That's what both the Red Sox and I are doing tonight. The Sox are trying to claw their way to first place, or at least closer to it, against the Baltimore Orioles, while I'm trying to climb out from under the mountain of writing material I've accrued over the past weekend.
It was a good weekend. Drunken debauchery, several road trips, and oh, yeah. The Red Sox reached back like a pimp and ho-slapped the Yankees on Saturday and Sunday. What's not to love?
Regarding Edgar, Part II.
And yeah, hey. I booed Edgar a couple weeks ago, much to the ire of many, but I still maintain that when he waved at that pitch off his shoetops with that little halfhearted swing...I just snapped. I didn't know what else to do. I admit it was in poor judgement and taste to boo him. But I did it. And I'm not the first person or the last person to boo a ballplayer.
Still, I feel more than a small tinge of guilt when I think of pretending in any way to be celebratory over his "comeback" (which is not complete yet, by any means). Will I be stoned in the village square if I profess admiration? Will I be pilloried, on the other hand, if I don't?
"Suddenly everyone in New England 'knew he'd break out of it'," is what Denton wrote over at Surviving Grady, and I am here to tell you that I will not be one of those people. I did not know he'd break out of it. I don't know that he is breaking out of it now. I do not know Edgar Renteria. I'm sure he's not a bad sort, but I feel...standoffish about him? For whatever reason, he has yet to worm his little way into my scarred Red Sox heart.
In some ways, I think I'm a bit of a snob about last season, and last season's team. All the newcomers--Wells, Clement, Renteria, Jay Payton--I'm having trouble jumping aboard their bandwagons as yet. I'm not opposed to them being here. I understand how the game works, how there are new faces every year. But this year...after last year...the remaining members of The Twenty-Five get my preferential treatment still, and I would be a complete liar if I tried to claim otherwise. (My screeching at the mere mention of Dave Roberts would give me away, anyway).
I think that's what's going on with Renteria and me. It was wonderful to see him break, if only for a few games, out of his slump and raise his batting average a little bit...but most of my memories of the Yankees series revolve around Trot Nixon and Johnny Damon's general studliness, and that absolute monstrosity of a home run by Papi into the black seats at Yankee Stadium. The thing very nearly attained orbit. I'm sure it breaks at least one law of physics for the ball to be hit that long and go that high in the air. Really, I don't think I've hollered "holy shit!" that much since Pokey's Catch (tm)*.
Someone Needs a Refill on the Old Clue Juice.
Is it just me, or could virtually any one of us writing and / or reading this website call a game better than Joe Morgan? Would I be really going out on a limb to say we could probably interview players better, too?
Witness Sunday's game between the Sox and Yankees. In the bottom of the third, Derek Jeter reached first base on a throwing error by David Wells. That's all that happened. Wells fucked up and Jeter reached. Period. End of story.
Not if you're Joe Morgan, though. No, Joe Morgan's take on the matter, and I quote: "I guess he (Wells) thought he had an easy play, but Jeter's hustle made him lose concentration."
Was I hearing what I thought I was hearing? Couldn't be. But oh, no. Morgan's further blatherings made it painfully clear. "It was a forced error," he drooled Jeter-ward.
"That's just what Derek Jeter does."
My reaction to this can best be expressed pictorially. (Warning: really gross)
Oh, but not only am I not done with the woes of Joe Morgan, I am just. warming. up.
Take this gem:
"He didn't run in a circle or a half circle. he ran in a straight line. As we all know, that's the quickest way to get to the ball, just a straight line to where the ball is going to land."
I mean...are they filling the ESPN broadcaster's booth with nitrous oxide during games, or...? Is there anyone watching a game that would truly be edified by such commentary?
Then...sigh...there was last night. When I was in elementary school, one of the stupid games we used to play involved hucking a tennis ball at a brick wall. I think I had fewer balls come back at me playing that game than Bronson did pitching last night.
My father was calling me from a loge box along the third-base line in the early innings, or I was calling him, virtually every two outs. Trot and Manny both had excellent assists, though it turned out to be all for naught.
I no longer know where things stand with the Manny / Millar blood feud (c. Kristen and her brother with their Tek / Belli blood feud). My father actually told me today (during yet another call, mostly consisting of baseball talk) that "Manny made quite a few good plays in the field last night. He gets that ball back quick."
Any mention of Millar, meanwhile, (who last year was "my boy Kevin" and "a dirt dog") is greeted of late with mutterings of "that load."
Of course, I attempt to drive home the extent of the hypocrisy in this, which is met with appallingly transparent backpedaling. "Well, you gotta give credit where credit is due, I mean, Manny could just as easily shit the bed tonight."
A few questions.
Are we underestimating the Orioles? No one seems seriously concerned with their first-place status, despite the fact that last year we couldn't seem to beat them for love or money, and this year the rest of the division seems to have the same problem. It seems like behind our back, they've gone and become an actual good team. Are we just not able to wrap our minds around that?
Has there ever been a more loveable person on the planet than Terry Francona? I mean, seriously. I am just that man's biggest sycophant this season. Every time I see him with that serene look on his face at a press conference, or rocking in the dugout (he's switching things up this season with a side-to-side rock as well as the Rain Main forward-and-back rock he perfected last year), I just melt into gooey mush inside. Please tell me I'm not alone in this.
Am I the only person who misses the living Bejesus out of Curt Schilling? No? Ok. That's fine. Not surprising, really.
Not to rip open old wounds, but is there a worse kick in the stomach than a grand slam on a 3-2 count with two outs? Anything?
Well, besides Joe Morgan's interview of Derek Jeter, I mean.
*Trivia! What hitter did Pokey Reese's Catch (tm) rob of surefire extra bases?