Bronson Arroyo: I want to wake up where you are

"I can’t believe the news today," but Bronson Arroyo signed an extension with the Reds.

Good for Bronson… if, perhaps, not so good for me.

He holds a special place in Red Sox lore for me.  All but a castoff from the Pirates, when he pitched for the Sox he was good.  Much is made of the ace, of the dominant starter at the top of the rotation; the innings-eating, reliably okay-to-good 4 or 5 starter is underappreciated.  Particularly one as talented, as personable, and as downright determined (even if I perhaps can’t repeat Schill’s comment on MLB!) as Arroyo.

He had a rangy physique and a distinctive leg kick.



July 3, 2005
.

Not to mention a handsome face.



July 31, 2005.


August 4, 2005.

I worried a little anytime I saw him carting around a bucket of balls–he looked too tall and slender for that kind of work!



September 2, 2005.

I really enjoyed seeing him hanging out with buddy Lenny DiNardo.



October 1, 2005.

I was delighted to try out the new camera on Bronson in Spring Training, catching both a belly flash…

… and the distinctive green St. Patrick’s Day uniform.



March 17, 2006.

But it was shortly thereafter that I learned that would be my last photo of Bronson in a Sox uniform for a while.

I’m hard pressed to say I don’t believe–if a little hopefully–in karma, and i worried about the 2006 Red Sox from that moment on.  Partially, because I think you trade away reliable starting pitching at your peril.  But partially because Bronson had signed a contract with the Sox in good faith.  Faith–a word that means so much to a Sox fan.  I understand the business, really I do–but there were greater aspects of human character on the line here, and they were ill-served by the decision to trade him.

I did see the Reds in Cincinnati, but because of a willingness to pitch on short rest in September I wound up not seeing Bronson pitch.  I did see folks walking the streets of Cincinnati in "Arroyo 61" jerseys; I did see plenty of Arroyo gear in the Reds team store.  I guess it was the "Got Bronson?" tee that brought a bit of a tear to my eye.  I suppose he couldn’t have had the success, the opportunity, he had in Cincy if he were still in Boston.  But I missed him.

In December Bronson appeared at a dinner, autograph signing and performance event for Sure Shot.



December 17, 2006.

And there I got a photo I (obviously) didn’t take myself…

I told Bronson I hoped to see him back at Fenway, and he said he missed it; he’d worked out there that day.

But I can scarcely blame him for signing his extension.  And my disappointment is really only my respect for him, and my gratitude for 2004, and my appreciation for his time here.  I wish him all success.

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4 comments

  1. redsox8585@earthlink.net

    Very nice Kelly. I got to see Bronson pitch at the first game I ever went to at Camden Yards to see the boys. What stinks the most about this is he REALLY wanted to pitch for the Sox. And while I like WMP, Bronson was one of the 25 who won it all.

    By the way:

    You. Are. Very. Talented. 🙂

  2. ccorliss38@gmail.com

    I love that belly shot. I love Bronson. He needs to come back and sing again for us! (and take more requests!)

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