I have been neglectful of the Sox of late, but I have heard many a thing:
Manny's catch: My father called me on my cell phone the other night to exclaim, "Did you see that?!?" I was at dinner with friends at the time and so I did not, in fact, see it, until yesterday when I caught a highlight on ESPN (complete with blooper montage before showing the highlight). What is it about Manny that makes him unable to make the most routine fly-outs and yet turn into Torii Hunter on really tough, ridiculous catches? One of the deep and essential mysteries of Manny Ramirez, and as Singapore Sox Fan points out, his surge in fielding and baserunning errors / occasional appearance of the Torii Hunter channeling may indicate a return to his former hitting / World Series MVP style glory.
Big Papi's home run. As SG put it, hit the sixth ring of Saturn. Hot damn. And Papi? Totally casual back in the dugout while being assailed by congratulatory teammates. Just another day in Big Papi's Neighborhood.
Speaking of Big Papi, has anyone else heard the new D'Angelos commercial with Papi in it? Holy Crap, nothing more adorable has ever existed (with the exception of Bronson Arroyo in some instances). Big Papi begins to name the ingredients in the club sandwich he's promoting and gets as far as "turkey..." before you hear a large CHOMP and chewing. An announcer guy takes over with the ingredients list and Papi interrupts: "Quiet, mang, I'm eeeeding." Chomp, Chomp. It is. The best. Thing. Ever. Until it gets to the part where announcer boy says something about a combo meal that includes a cookie, and again, Papi interrupts: "Dere's a cooh-key?" Oh, my God. I want to give Big Papi a cookie.
In seriousness, however, how cool is it that a black, Dominican immigrant is now one of the most admired people in a city that, just a few decades ago, was so virulently racist that some black players still don't want to sign here? I sometimes refer to Big Papi as "The Black Bambino". In a way, he's large, and larger than life, the way the Babe was. But I think he signifies more about what broke the "Curse" than any other single player--David Ortiz, who made the difference in both of the most crucial games of last year's postseason, is the kind of player previous Red Sox regimes would never have signed, and primarily, shamefully, because of the color of his skin. And that's why they never won.
Jose Melendez points out an interesting parallel in this weekend's series with the Phillies, remeniscing about a foolish move by Grady Little letting Jason Shiell pitch to Jim Thome when most people were dying to see him call on the Chaw. Jose then lists the things Tito could do to match the magnitude of Grady's gaffe, one of which is:
Bring Alan Embree to pitch to Jim Thome. What a difference two years makes. Okay, maybe doing this wouldn’t make Henry want to fire Tito, but Jose can assure you that at no point in this series will he be screaming “bring in Embree” like he did two years ago.
Very interesting, Jose. I had not thought of it that way.
Mer, a native of Philadelphia, has a lovely post up about her perspective on this series.
And finally, I hear that Pedro beat the Yankees the other day. I hear he pointed to the "WE'RE STILL YOUR DADDY" sign out in the bleachers when he won.
I'd be lying if I said that didn't make my heart ache a bit.
P.S. Mer's post on Sox manhugging is also not to be missed.