14 of the last 15 games. 16-2 against the N.L. this year. The gushing on NESN was unabashed going over these statistics, lovingly going back over already dog-eared footage of Manny and Papi's personal home run derby, since neither will be participating in the real one next week at the All-Star Game (however, your Red Sox second baseman Mark Loretta has just today passed Robinson Cano in the voting and will reportedly be starting at second for the American League).
Another beauteous five outs from Jonathan, my love for whom grows exponentially with each passing save. At 25 saves on the year--tied for the most in the league this year and the new Red Sox rookie save record--that's a lot of love.
Even Jonathan's teammates are starting to hover around him worshipfully in subtle ways--today Jason Varitek gently laid his palm on the back of Jonathan's head as they headed from the mound over to high-five after the win, and looked over at him with those sharp blue eyes, seeming to think about something very hard. Jonathan, clueless, scanned the field beyond, and then tipped up his hat brim, the better to wipe at the sweat on his brow; when he did this, Varitek quietly took his hand away. I don't know that Jonathan even knew he was there.
But I know exactly how Jason Varitek was feeling.
P.S. What do we think about this What if...? show NESN is advertising? I'm thinking it's not the ultimate in the original programming NESN could possibly air, but it's a damn sight better than Boston vs. New York Poker Tournament. I'm thinking I will probably watch it, myself.
While we're speaking of baseball television, I'm much more excited about The Science of Baseball scheduled to run on the Discovery Channel July 10 at 9 pm ET. And NESN's Sox in 2 All-Star Break marathon. Don't forget to vote!