Friday, September 22, 2006
I was in the Union, again. This time it was not because I had no cable at home but instead because we had just gotten out of a lecture and my friend Sara and I were in the mood for some greasy Union comestibles in the way of dinner. I steered her to a table with a view of the TV, around which the few other diners were already clustered.
I was confused. I had forgotten about the Tigers game being an afternoon offering, and so was surprised by the appearance of the Red Sox on the screen. Not complaining, though, so we sat down to eat our gooey pizza and bitch about the art school.
David Ortiz came up to the plate. I have to admit to being dorky enough that an Ortiz/Santana battle is exactly the sort of thing I love to see. I fell silent and both Sara and I turned our eyes fully over to the TV.
Of course he hit it out of the park. Of course.
Sara knows nothing at all about baseball. I explained to her who David Ortiz was, who Jimmie Foxx was, who Johnny Pesky was, why it was so marvelous to see Johnny Pesky hug Papi and nearly cry, why this homerun was not like all other homeruns. By the time I finished, Ortiz was stepping out of the dugout for a curtain call, waving to the crowd.
"So aren't you going to get up and scream or something?" Sara asked.
Very funny. Art school kids always get a kick out of watching me go insane over baseball. I looked around at all the Tigers fans watching around us, smiling and hopeful, seeing Santana beaten so smartly. Since the Tigers had already lost, it was IMPERATIVE that the Red Sox win, to maintain that slender half-game lead. That's what's important right now, around here. That and Michigan football.
People were still shouting and clapping in Fenway. I'm glad, heck, we're all glad it happened at home. It would've been nice no matter where it happened, but this is better, seeing Ortiz showered in appreciation and love as only a faithful Fenway crowd can do.
I explained who Johan Santana is, how he's usually almost unhittable in September. I explained, or tried to explain, how deeply Boston can care about and love certain players. Sara nodded and mulled it over.
After Ortiz's second homerun of the game, ESPN cut to him smiling in the dugout, right after everyone had given up on the silent treatment and mobbed him. "He looks so... so happy," Sara said. "Like he's always like that."
Yeah. He is.
That's our Big Papi.
Labels: baseball, David Ortiz, MLB, Red Sox