(Photo via Screwballs)
There's a secret part of me that loves rain delays--because that's when NESN breaks out the best footage from the vault.
Today's high point was the breakdown of Jonathan Papelbon's new entrance music. I don't know what I love more--the choice of the Dropkick Murphy's song also associated with a violent Martin Scorsese flick about the badass side of Boston, or the fact that collectively, Red Sox Nation has been trying to come up with the perfect entrance music for him just about as long as he's been in the majors. "Bodies" was okay, but not quite there. "Wild Thing" is all right, and seems to be Jonathan's personal favorite, but the reference to Rick Vaughn is problematic, since Vaughn had issues with eyesight and accuracy, which is the opposite of Jonathan. As a middle-class kid from Louisiana, Papelbon also hardly boasts street cred from the California Penal League--he even dresses more like Dorn.
No, he isn't exactly the "Wild Thing". It has remained clear that his ultimate signature theme song--the equivalent of Mariano Rivera's "Enter Sandman"--had yet to be found.
I know there are plenty of Bostonians who are not fans of the Dropkicks, and it remains to be seen if this one will stick, either. But I like the choice, not only because of the fact that it's an appropriately tough-guy song, but because it's so overtly, aggressively Boston-themed. It feels like we're putting our mark on Jonathan by picking that song; whether or not you like the song, it's clear we want his badassery intertwined with our city's identity, and I can only hope the front office (other than Dr. Charles Steinberg, who was shown playing the opening riff on a guitar during NESN's segment on this today) is taking note, since it'll soon be time to take care of him financially. Once you take the worship to the level of assigning Jonathan Papelbon a Dropkicks song, you can't let him go to free agency or arbitration. You just can't.
Some other things of note I skipped over during a busy week:
Score that play 5-2-5-1-6-3: I forgot to note the rundown I saw Thurday night in which half of the Red Sox fielders combined to put out Carlos Guillen in the fifth inning. That was the kind of play that contributes to a lifelong battle with high blood pressure for the baseball fan; whenever you throw the ball back and forth that much there's always the chance for something ugly to occur. Thankfully, it worked out in our favor.
Hideki Okajima is a stone-cold stud: That's how Seth Mnookin put it a while back, and I can't help but think of that on weeks like this one just past, when Okie contributed 2.0 innings, earning one strikeout and one save and posting a 0.00 ERA. He has an overall ERA of 0.44 in 20.2 innings pitched. He faced down the heart of the Tigers order twice in a row in the same game, on Thursday, and both times wiped the floor with them, prompting effusive praise from Gary Sheffield, of all people. (Sheffield's statements are documented in this awesome Jackie MacMullan piece on Okie which--Red take note--contains references to puppets.) Also, judging by all the huggage, Manny has at this point officially adopted Okie--there seems to be a trend of deep man-love developing here between Japanese and Dominican Red Sox players.
File this under 'I'd have given just about anything to be there': The conversation that took place between my Dad and Rem-Dawg about Iain on Yawkey Way on Tuesday night. Hearing Iain speak English after my dad pointed out he had come from France, Remy expressed skepticism thusly: "What, Paris, Massachusetts?" I will always regret being in Chicago at the time this was occurring.
New year, new teams, new face-mammals: Edgar Renteria's first move after reaching first base safely in yesterday's first game? Reaching out to pat the small animal Youkilis has nesting on his chin. I'm sorry, that is just plain awesome.
This is why they don't play baseball in the rain: Last night a foul screamer wreaked havoc in the Red Sox dugout, glancing off a bat Jason Varitek happened to be holding and off the forehead of Wily Mo Pena, directly into the choppers of poor Devern Hansack, who would later be pegged by a liner back to the mound in the throwing hand and lifted from the game.
Red Sox Photo of the Week:
P.S. That video of Remy taking a header while playing air-guitar in the booth still has yet to get old, despite the fact that I've now seen it approximately 241 times.