I would be remiss in all my caterwauling about Schilling if I didn't find it in my heart to mention Manny's kickoff performance to the first inning yesterday.
Crusoe Cano hit a routine fly to left field. Manny went into a hook slide for no discernible reason. Manny missed the ball. The ball went bouncing merrily over toward the left field corner. Manny rolled around on the ground for a time. I smacked my forehead.
Manny hauled himself up and went stumbling after the ball. I was reminded just then of Bill Simmons' highly apt description of Manny "playing the outfield like a drunk man running from the police." Manny was gamboling and rushing and generally looking like a complete idiot out there, until he caught up with the ball.
Cano, seeing Manny's bumbling, tried to stretch his double into a triple, and Manny flipped the ball to Bill Mueller at third base, and Cano was out.
The ballpark erupted. It was simply unbelievable. The most incredible thing, though, was not Manny turning an egregious error into an assist--the most incredible thing was Manny's pure arrogance in performing the feat; he never looked at third base after releasing the ball, instead strutting off around his territory like he was simply, undeniably, the most incredible outfielder that ever lived.
"Manny, you beautiful bastard!" Steve cried.
"He totally deked Cano on that play," cried the Rem-Dawg. "Deked" is one of his favorite words. I know this from reading his book.
"I think he deked himself," Orsillo chortled.
And a good time was had by all. Until later, that is.