Try Our Deep-Fried Tejadas
Twenty feet. Or thereabouts--that's what had the power to make or break my night.
Cut, if you will, to the NESN camera shot of the child in the crowd, "GO" painted in green on his forehead, "RED" in the appropriate color on his left cheek, "SOX" on the right cheek, eyes widening as David Ortiz lifted one to deep right-center.
The ball carries and carries and carries as what Fenway patrons were not on their feet already with two on, two out and Big Papi at the plate leap to their feet. The kid stares and stares, and then at the last moment his jaw drops, he jerks his head away as if slapped. His eyes clamp shut. He opens them again, squeezes them closed several times, and behind my own eyes I can feel the tears pricking up behind his. He blinks and gasps for breath. The Red Sox have kicked him directly in the stomach.
He has been officially baptized into the Fellowship of the Miserable.
All because of twenty feet of distance between the bullpen wall and Jay Gibbons' glove, where Ortiz' fly ball landed to end the game and any hope of another walkoff win over those (insert insulting adjective here) Orioles.
When these things happen I make what Steve calls the Red Sox Face. Making the Red Sox Face is easy. Simply scrunch up your every facial muscle into a tooth-baring grimace, eyes preferably closed tightly, veins and various ligaments that should never be seen standing out in stark relief in your neck and jaw. For added effect, bring one hand up till it is level with your agonized facial expression, being sure to twist it into a desperate claw.
You may find it a familiar pose once you try it. Let me know how it works out.
Twenty goddamn feet.
There it goes. Not much else to say, really.
"Well," Steve said, folding his hands over his belly, ever the old man in a young man's body. "There is still more baseball to be played."
There was a brief pause while crickets and sirens sang an off-kilter, distinctly Lowell duet around us.
"Thanks, Obi-Wan." Kellie finally answered.