Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

Thank you, Red Sox

(Daily Collegian Archive)

(Daily Collegian Archive)

Despite the Boston Red Sox efforts last week to try to keep their playoff chances alive, they saw their season, and the career of designated hitter David Ortiz, end at the hands of the Cleveland Indians in game three of the American League Division Series. While the finish was unsatisfactory, the 2016 season was far from a failure. The enjoyment of a season’s worth of baseball was not nullified by a playoff loss. Baseball was still the entertaining diversion it was supposed to be. Compared to the last place finishes of the previous two years, where the Sox finished 25 games and 15 games out of first place in 2014 and 2015, respectively; this year was a refreshing change. In 2016, fans witnessed the potential of another championship, as this team already has a core that could take them far in the coming seasons.

However, before we look to next year, we should appreciate this year. The 2016 season was not for naught. Once again the Boston club took Red Sox Nation along for a joy ride. While the season did not finish with a trophy that does not diminish the realization that baseball was enjoyable again. Baseball is different from the other major American sports because the baseball season is not only long, but also quite dense. The National Basketball Association season, for instance, stretches from October to June, but the teams play usually every two to three days. Baseball teams, on the other hand, play 162 games from April until October, often at a rate of six or seven games per week. This means that America’s pastime is a nightly companion, a routine. You can come home from work or school each day and turn on the game, check the highlights or look at the box score. The inherent purpose of baseball, and of sports in general, is to provide a distraction, and baseball is beautiful in its ability to do so.

This summer was full of tragedy and contention, from the shooting in Orlando to the shootings of black men by and the murder of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Surrounding this was a presidential race between two candidates that have angered much of the population. Sometimes the country needs a distraction for when current events get too depressing, and for sport fans, baseball can be an outlet. In sports, the world’s problems are replaced by the game. The biggest complaints are losing streaks and low batting averages. Happiness can come from a routine win. Even though Boston did not win in the playoffs, its division-winning run in 2016 was worthwhile because it served as enthralling entertainment and distraction.

The obstacles facing the country and the world still need to be solved. We still need to solve issues like gun violence, racism and homophobia. We still need to pick a president. But sometimes we need to escape for a bit. I say “thank you” to the Red Sox for helping us out of tragedy and difficult times yet again. It was fun and I look forward to the spring.

Joe Frank is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at jrfrank@umass.edu

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