Monday, July 18, 2005
OK, firstly, what kind of Al Leiter was that? That was not ANY kind of Al Leiter that I'd seen this season and I now feel uncomfortably duped by the whole thing. Al Leiter was supposed to be the washed-up pitcher that the Yankees picked up in a crazed move, desperate for arms. Al Leiter was not supposed to be the next ex-Yank to return home and be labelled a Good Old True Yankee upon his triumphant return.
Apologies for the complete incoherence of that last post... my sleep schedule is all shot to hell, due to a combination of staying up late to talk to my friends who are studying abroad in various other timezones and the fact that the middle of the night is seemingly an excellent time to draw marsh vegetation. At a certain point, however, it seems that writing suffers, hence, well, that last post.
The upshot of it was just that I'm very glad we've got Jeremi back up at the major league level anyways.
I'm also very glad that Johnny extended his hitting streak to 29 games. That's no small matter-- it's the longest such streak in the majors this year, and better hitters than Johnny have failed to do it. I'd be remiss if I didn't give it at least a small laudatory mention.
Manny's shot over the Monster tonight was impressive as well, clearing the wall and ending up the street. Most unfortunately, two of the three Yankee homeruns flew at least that far as well, so it's probably safe to assume that the warm and humid conditions had a bit to do with the way the ball was flying out of Fenway.
Wake threw a complete game, that was nice too.
Everything else? COMPLETE CRAP.
No, really, complete crap. But it's OK. Really, OK. Bear with me.
It seems absurd now that only a couple of nights ago I was at the Sports Depot with the SG crew, Sox fans all and Sox bloggers most, watching the Yankees get pounded most riteously, taking their desperately assembled pitching staff to task to the tune of 17 runs.
It was fun, a lot of fun, to watch the game in a place like that with a bunch of people like that. Beth was there, accusing me of 'knowing about stuff' when I made comments about the Royals lineup (the Royals/Tigers game was on another TV, and yes, I kept an eyeball or two on it all night) despite the fact that I am a completely amateurish baseball fan, and stealing my camera to take photos with it while completely disregarding the fact that my camera is not as good as hers and therefore takes crappy fuzzy photos in low light with the flash off.
Kristen was there, trying to convince her new roommate Colleen that we were all completely normal, honest (she probably failed in this endeavor-- I, at least, did not act completely normal. I distinctly remember banging riotously on the table and hooting about Pudge while everyone else was trying to watch the Sox game at least twice), and orchestrating secret evil plans to bring good luck to Bill Mueller at the next day's game.
Steve was there, putting up with horrifying feminine assault from all sides with moderate good grace, up to and including the handling of a sparkly handbag. There was also a round of intensely hopeful group hand-holding during a Mark Bellhorn at-bat which, naturally, ended in an out, and rather a lot of dispirited groaning.
Mer was there, albeit briefly, because she had come with her own crew and therefore only came in to experience our magical ways for a sadly shortened period of time. We spent the rest of the night spreading malicious gossip about her. Seriously, Mer. The rest of the night.
Amy was there, all the way from the strangely pale blue land of the Carolinas, alternating between molesting some member of our party and deciding that now was a perfect time to demonstrate the 'Trot Nixon Dance' or the 'John Halama Voice', neither of which I can do justice to in a print form, although there is an animated gif of the Trot Nixon Dance floating around the internet. Not that I had anything to do with that, or, er, anything.
Jen was there, seemingly geniunely amused by things like the story of Steve blushing violently when presented with an unusually shaped birthday cake (amusing), or my reaction to a Dmitri Young homerun (in retrospect, probably embarassing). She also has glasses that, in an art school situation, could be called 'painfully artsy', which is obviously a big plus with me.
Paul was there, holding forth at the opposite end of the table from me, and he seemed to quietly enjoy the madness, except when Amy would feel the need to momentarily molest him and explain the aforementioned nefarious Bill Mueller mojo plot to him, at which time he looked mildly horrified. As, I assure you, any self-respecting heterosexual male would.
Annette was there, more hung over than a noose on a gallows, but not once asking people to quiet down and maybe spare her head some blinding pain (this may have been a recognition of futility), and still finding it in herself to scream like a maniac with the rest of us when Papi hit his grand slam.
Maura was there, taking Beth's pronouncements about Keith Foulke and Curt Schilling in easy stride despite the fact that some of us were absolutely horrified that people we think are quite clever think these things about Curt Schilling who is basically an oval on spindly chicken legs and, well, basically I was impressed by her forbearance, is what I'm saying.
She also left early, after PICKING UP THE TAB AND NOT TELLING ANYONE, and indeed we did not find out until we accosted the waitress and asked for the check, only to be informed that it had been taken care of. Which was a bit shocking, considering the great quantities of alcohol that had been consumed (not by this particular underaged blogger, mind you), and according to her she did this basically just because we are Red Sox fans and we hang out on a message board and share sarcastic little zingers when the Red Sox lose in spectacular fashion as they are sometimes, even in defending championship form, wont to do.
Which brings us back to the point.
Because that jolly good time, with those jolly good people, and that jolly good score, why, that was only on Friday, and here we are at Monday. That's only a few days ago, when we were watching Trotter hit an in-the-park homerun, giggling helplessly at the way he stumped around the bases, laughing at the absurdity of Jerry Remy in a black 'do rag, glorying in the mere fact that we were in a Red Sox bar, in a Red Sox city, sitting at a table with a bunch of fellow Red Sox fans who knew exactly how we felt about every pitch.
There was a close-up shot of Mueller's face, grimacing in slow motion, and the entire table made a sort of overjoyed strangled gasp, followed by a collective short moan when the shot ended. Even Steve and Paul knew what had happened, although their reaction was probably more one of slightly removed horror.
The array of Yankee pitching trundled out of the bullpen was hilarious, and at that point the series was tied at 1. They had the Wizened Unit going tomorrow, but that was OK, he'd been off all year. They had some nameless entity going on Sunday, rumors of them picking up Al Leiter, but that was OK too, Leiter had more to offer baseball as an analyst at this point than as someone on the mound.
Funny how that stuff works out, huh? Har de freaking har har.
Now, scant few days later, we find ourselves only half a game ahead of the Yankees... only half a game! It's ridiculous, it's painful, it's absurd. Wake didn't pitch poorly tonight, but the bats simply could not get moving until it was too little, too late (I missed the Cora maybe-maybe-not-GIDP, because my friends and I went out to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). The night before, Jeremi's solid pitching wasn't enough to stop the mess from developing.
We're barely hanging on to first place, and it seems like all the team does is lose lose lose. A few nights ago we were winning 17-1, but no one ever said Red Sox fans were rational, cool-headed beings, and if we feel like plunging into despair after going 1-for-4 against the Yankees, we bloody well will do just that.
But there's something else going on here. Something that makes a couple of very discouraging losses a little bit easier to take. And it's not the fact that The Fruitbat is already well on his way to being overworked again this year, tantalizing as that may be.
Amy flew in all the way from North fucking Carolina to hang around with crazy Red Sox fans and watch her team.
Mer flew all the way in from Texas.
Steve allowed photos to be taken of him holding a sparkly purse.
I braved the Mass Pike.
Maura picked up the fucking tab.
Just because we're all Red Sox fans, and the team can plunge us into a deep, dark dungeon with only a couple of games. And we know we can all be in the highest state of optimism two days from now, if they play just right, but it doesn't stop us from writing haikus about Mark Bellhorn striking out or how much we hate the Yankees*, and it doesn't stop us from moaning that there's no way we can carry on with our pitching like this, and it doesn't stop us from worrying ourselves sick over this latest trade rumor involving Bronson.
We all feel it.
I'm not sure what the point of all that was, other than to say that there's something going on here. And win or lose, we're still Red Sox fans. And, come Hell or High Water or A-Rod Homerun, we're in this together.
*The pitch elevates;
A mighty swing with strong breeze;
Mark Bellhorn strikes out.
You can take your smug
Fist-pump and your 26
Rings and go home. Ass.