Up from Third Base to Huntington
"The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark." - Barbara Hall
Against the Detroit Tigers, at least, the Red Sox made things look easy, rising to 23 games above .500 for the first time all season, and after Saturday's 5-1 win, becoming the winners of 11 of their last 12 and 17 of their last 21, and owners of baseball's best record (19-7) in August. They are now 4.5 games behind the Yankees following a Bombers loss at Skydome against the Blue Jays.
Also on Saturday, the Patriots faced the Carolina Panthers in what some ridiculous saps (read: the National Media, many members of the Panthers' team) had billed "Super Bowl II," and after two quarters the results were eerily similar to the 38th NFL championship game: 14-10 Patriots after a scoreless first quarter.
Meanwhile, Steve and I were far away, visiting our favorite spot--Brenton Point in Newport, RI--for his birthday. When we got to Tweet Balzano's Italian Restaurant in Bristol, the two televisions over the bar were showing Olympics events, a state of affairs I grumbled about to no avail.
But as we headed home groggy from fresh air and good food, sea salt drying in our hair, we flipped the radio back and forth between the two hometown games, and the narratives of Joe Castiglione and the velvet-throated baritone Gil Santos blended together beautifully to pass the time.
A feel-good weekend, to be sure, but the Patriots' backup squad blew a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter to lose 20-17, which will surely give some of the same aforementioned saps cause to dispute the Patriots' supremacy over the Carolina team; and more importantly, the New England squad has just one opponent--the easy-prey Jacksonville Jaguars--to go before facing the arch-nemesis Colts (now there's a rematch worth hyping) in Game 1 Sept. 9.
Furthermore, the Red Sox welcome the die-hard Anaheim Angels to Fenway on Tuesday to start the season's 36-game home stretch.
In other words, pass the smelling salts and paper bags. Though we have ample reason to hope, crunch time is officially upon us.