(With apologies to Kristen for a ripoff of the letter format)
Dear Red Sox Pitching:
Words do not describe how much I love you. Really. I love you. You are all my little cabbages, my little binkies and I love, love, love you.
Jon Lester, you started things off with only your best start ever in a Red Sox uniform, giving up just one run over six-plus and looking utterly brilliant on your Fenway return, with your parents beaming from the grandstand. This couldn't have been a better game for you and I reiterate that we should never ever let you go, ever.
As for you, Mad Mike, nothing made me happier all night than seeing your utter pwn3rship of BJ Upton to close out the seventh after Manny Delcarmen had a rough time of it. Mike Timlin plus inherited runners? Let's just say I wasn't keeping the faith. But that fantastic final swinging strike to Upton was shades of the "Born Again Hard" Mike Timlin. And really. I don't care how much my dad picks on you, I still think you have balls of steel.
And Eric. I've felt a bit of that old Foulke-pathology creeping back into my cerebral lobes hearing people talk about you the last couple of days. I guess it's easier to pick on one guy than the entire offense, but really, the fact that the Fenway crowd was giving you a hero's welcome last week and booing you when you were coming out of the bullpen tonight makes me want to scream. I was rooting for you in that eighth inning as hard as I've rooted for anything or anyone all season. "Come on, Eric. You can do it. Come on, Eric." Every single pitch, I held my breath. After you'd worked a 3-0 count on the first hitter I was praying--praying, though I am an atheist--for you to come back and finish him off. And you did, with a beautiful changeup on a 3-2 count. And on the last guy, 2-2 count, I was begging out loud for you to just pour everything into one last pitch...and you did.
I know it's too much to ask that everybody with lungs to boo at Fenway will realize that being in non-closing situations requires adjustments for you, adjustments most of us don't even understand, and that this time, it's worth noting that in a save-like situation in the top of the ninth, you came through. But damn, was I ever happy to see you shut the boo-birds up. And so help me, if that guy who heckled Foulke shows up again, I will kick his ass for you even if I have to scalp a ticket.
Dear Red Sox Offense:
Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek and Coco Crisp, you are excused for the moment.
The rest of you.
Oh, the diatribe I had ready for you if it wasn't for Mike, Tek and Coco. You all better buy their rounds tonight, because you owe them big. There would have been lots of creative obscene phrases and perhaps a few remarks about your familial lineage. Because JESUS. You can't see it, because I'm typing, but I am shaking my head in stern disappointment even as I write this.
Yes, we won, and that steals my thunder here for now, but mark my words: teams with playoff aspirations do not struggle like you guys did for 99.9% of this game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at home. Yeah, yeah, Kazmir, but there were three pitchers' worth of Tampa Bay bullpen in there, too.
I know some of my fellow fans will say I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth here, but please. This team is better than this. You know it and I know it. And I have had quite enough of this crap for one season. So don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining--let's just start scoring some runs from now on, how bout it?
Thank you for lingering over Jon Lester's fist-pumping, joyous exit from the dugout after Varitek scored the winning run. This is why you continue to rock.
Dear Baltimore Orioles:
Thank you. Now do it again tomorrow.