"Oh shit, it's Eric". "Just smile and nod, honey."
Rem-dawg pointed out tonight in the pregame show that Kevin Youkilis can be spied in NESN's footage of last night's game running away away from Josh Beckett's water-cooler atrocity in the dugout. Wouldn't anyone? I can't even imagine what it must've been like to be there right next to that. I probably would've run screaming.
Anyway. Enough about Joshie's weirdness, because even though I don't have the SEVERE crush on him that I have on Jonathan, he has become a bit of an obsession, and yet I'm no closer to solving the mystery wrapped in an enigma that is his hotheaded Texan self.
Instead let me state for the record, since I haven't yet, that I genuinely like Eric Gagne. Even though he once told Sports Illustrated that he loves Angelina Jolie so much he named his son Maddox after her son because he thought it was a cool name*. Even though he talks like a male version of Celine Dion. He's a big pasty cuddly-looking French Canadian dude with aggressive chin foliage and a ton of hair. Not only does that make him a perfect fit for the Red Sox, but it also makes him seem like a guy I'd be friends with. Weird Angelina Jolie stuff and all.
So I like Eric Gagne. And I like that we got him. And I was excited to see Fenway greet him on his first walk out to the bullpen.
But I still thought it was a little uncalled for to have him warming up in the bullpen behind Papelbon in the ninth. Since when do we have someone warming behind Cinco Ocho when he's in kill mode? You do not disrespect Cinco Ocho that way.
"Ah, is your binky gettin' a little pressure?" my dad said when I expressed as much over the phone.
"I just think it's disrespectful," I pouted. He guffawed at me for probably a full minute.
What? I like Eric Gagne. He is a fine gentleman. But as we've covered before, Jonathan is The Precious. And The Precious, in my universe, is to be deferred to at all times. In fact, I noticed that Jonathan was the bullpen representative who stepped out from the bench to welcome Gagne to Munchkinland with a fist-bump after his first walk out to the bullpen, which I would guess puts Jonathan in the position of alpha dog. Being the official fist-bump welcomer has got to be a pretty prestigious position in the pecking order, especially since given the ovation, the entire park and TV audience was watching them. It was at once a gracious gesture and an establishment of exactly whose bullpen this is, thank you very much, now wipe your feet over there and take a seat next to Mike, just watch out you don't get too close if his left eye starts twitching.
You see? That is appropriate. This Gagne warming up in the ninth like Jonathan can't handle his business? Not acceptable.
"Maybe he's just getting his throws in!" my dad cried.
"Well," I clucked. "He could've done that some other time."
Right. So. Beth still crazy about Papelbon. Now that we've covered that bulletin, let's move on.
To the offense! Yes, credit where credit is due. Beginning, yea verily, with Julio Lugo, the Sox mounted an actual comeback tonight, not 24 hours after I lambasted them all over the Internet about their lack of intestinal fortitude. Good show, lads. Watching Kevin Youkilis's hit grab the wall, watching him storm into second base in his intense way, watching him fist-pump with maximum righteousness and yell when he got there...I feel like I haven't seen a moment like that in quite some time. It did my heart good.
*And not, as people usually assume, after Greg Maddux. I guess this creeps me out because they're both famous. It isn't like some regular guy having a celebrity crush (although the naming-the-kid thing is still a little weird). In my mind, I guess it's like all famous people know each other, and Eric Gagne might run into Brad in the celebrity supermarket sometime and things will be weird.
P.S. Pedroia just called Julio "Loogie" in a postgame interview with Tina Cervasio. Swear to God.