First of all, sooo glad to be home. If only because it means I won't be seeing that Right Guard commercial where the guy fights the deer so much anymore (RedSox.com: take it easy with that, wouldja?).
Oy. Am just seeing Cora's mugging, WWE style, by Lyle Overbay. Somebody stop this guy before he starts reaching under the field tarps for metal chairs. Good thing we got to sic Papelbon on him before the game was over.
Some more side notes: I'm with Kristen when she says "sometimes I think that Jonathan Papelbon is a character that we all created with the combined power of our imagination." Also with my dad when he says, as he frequently does, "Alex Cora. Nice little ballplayah." (Except to my surprise the scoreboard told me last time I was at the park that Cora is actually 6'0" 200, which I found unbelievable, because he looks so wee somehow on the field, but that's neither here nor there).
Also--only recently saw Manny's homer. He looks like it's just such a relief. Like it just feels great to hit a home run. Phew. Now hopefully he'll get to mashing.
Because I hate to say it, but watching A-Rod coming down the Pike is a bit like that scene in Jurassic Park where the kids are watching the water glasses quivering in the Land Rover (Yes, as time goes on, my references get more and more gloriously old-skool). Then again, with high risk comes high reward: if our pitchers can hang with one-through-six in that lineup this weekend, I'll get even more cocky about this team.
Otherwise, here's a good indication of the feeling going into this series: I was sitting in the San Diego airport yesterday, dazed and confused after another security obstacle course (seriously: pulling out the laptop and one-quart regulation ziploc with my travel-size liquids while taking off my shoes while holding on to my boarding pass and ID? What's next, Twister?), waiting for my JetBlue flight to JFK - New York, where I was making a connection to Boston. The plane from San Diego had been caught going out from New York in the redeye time slot by traffic gridlock on the runway, a fact that made me feel stupidly homesick for the Right Coast when I learned it. Nonetheless, we were going to have to wait at the gate for a while before our plane could be cleaned out and ready to leave.
A man in one of those Navy ship ballcaps carefully folded his New York Times and slid it between his carryon bag and rollaboard, then sat down slowly next to me, sighing contentedly as he stretched out his legs.
I forget how we started talking, but pretty soon I was asking him, "are you a Yankees fan?"
He looked at me with twinkling eyes, crinkling with crow's feet at the corners. "Die hard." he said quietly. This sounds weird, but it was kind of like meeting the Yankees fan parallel-universe version of my dad. He and I had a very nice, utterly civil conversation about the teams so far this year, our memories of past Yankees-Red Sox episodes, comparitive pitching staffs, the Padres 13-inning stinker against the Diamondbacks he'd attended that week, his season tickets in Yankee Stadium (This guy took a Yankees schedule out of his pocket and told me with pinpoint accuracy where his seats are Monday through Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, oh, and playoff games), the upcoming probable starters for the Yanks and Sox this weekend, Yankees lineup vs. Red Sox pitching, Mariano Rivera, Curt Schilling, A-Rod, and finally, extensively, Boston fans vs. Yankees fans. It was, I wish to stress again, highly civil. But the longer we talked the more passive-aggressive we grew.
"Moose still on the DL?" I said pityingly.
"Yep," he said, shrugging. "And Pavano. And Wang. They're bringing up two pitchers from Triple A to stawht against you goys."
Then I smiled a little bit to myself thinking how I'd made him admit that out loud and he smiled a bit to himself, probably thinking about how that just means the pressure's on us.
People. It is fucking on.