So I leave for two weeks and JD and Coco start hitting then stop again, Curt Schilling goes on the DL, and there are easily 8,453 catches, hits, and goofy highlights I could've commented on that are now water under the bridge.
Safe to say I'm glad to be back. Thanks to Red, I've now seen DAVE ROBERTS' full standing ovation, and thanks to NESN I've managed to catch most of the last couple of games. I just haven't had the wherewithal / energy to write about them.
Take last night for example. I was passed out in front of the TV by the end of the first inning, and then only intermittently awake until I finally, officially went to bed in the fifth or so (not even sure when it was, that's how out of it and jet-lagged I am). So I saw the game...sort of. But blogging was, as you can imagine, out of the question.
It's safe to say this trip kicked my ass. In retrospect I should've gotten a guest writer or something. But once again, there was too much going on.
Anyway. Thanks to my own TV! which has OnDemand on it, and NESN! which I can watch now (the novelty is just about killing me) I've seen the recap of the game, and so I've seen Daisuke's brilliant smile after Dustin Pedroia's nifty catch, which made me all giggly and had me reaching for the rewind button immediately, because hoo, boy, Daisuke may drive me nuts with his brain hemorrhages (cf the first inning), but I'm a complete and utter sucker for that big bright grin of his. Especially when he's pitching well.
After being Red Sox deprived for so long, I've been on overload now that they're freely and abundantly available again. Like the other night, when one of the first things I saw on my triumphant return to NESN viewership was Kevin Youkilis with two fistfuls of Manny's hair in his hands like horse reins. I didn't even laugh right away--I just sat there almost catatonic, watching as Alex Cora danced around Youk and Manny crazily and Mike Lowell yelled random stuff in the background and all four of them did so many adorable, lovable things in the space of 30 seconds I couldn't even really take it all in. Then Julian Tavarez pitched brilliantly, the Sox scored eleventy thousand off some poor quadruple-A bastard on the Braves, and everybody hit home runs. At the time, having just taken a redeye home the night before, I didn't have much to say about that beyond, "okay, awesome."
I have to admit that last night as Dice went pear-shaped in the first I was not optimistic (me?? never). In fact, I did find myself resorting to thoughts like, I hope Greg Maddux just falls down on his face or something, as bad as things looked early on. And then, well, he did, literally taking a tumble after catching his spike while throwing a pitch. What I personally can't get over about the replays I've seen of that isn't even the mighty digger Maddux takes, but the shot shortly afterwards of one of his teammates, face obscured by a hat or towel or something, clearly laughing himself into a tizzy.
And how about Jonathan Papelbon after sealing up the save last night? He came leaping and hollering off the mound a la Josh Beckett, fist-pumping, pounding his glove, and screaming something no doubt laudatory at Varitek at the top of his lungs. Personally I think it's the start of a little diva contest between Jonathan and Josh. They already clearly elbow each other in front of the mirror in the clubhouse, why not also take the competition out onto the field?
Ah, Red Sox baseball. Thank God I'm back in your loving arms of insanity once again.
P.S. NESN now replaying the game, complete with the sidebar interview with Mike Timlin in the fourth inning about his visit to the Navy destroyer off the San Diego coast. "The stuff we saw in the combat suite," Timlin is growling, looking menacing in mirrored shades. "Well, I'd tell ya, but I'd have to kill ya." I have concluded that I can never, ever move outside NESN's broadcast range. Two weeks away has damn near killed me.