Manny reassures an unnerved Dustin Pedroia that the Japanese fans are not going to try to squish him with their Thunderstix. (AP photo / Koji Sasahara / ESPN.com)
--Am I the only one who squeaked a little when they showed Mike Timlin and Alan Embree together during workouts on Sportsdesk last night? I don't disagree with the decision to get rid of Embree, but I miss the fertile ground for imaginative possibilities that was his extra-special relationship with Mad Mike. Embree, with his tennis-ball-sized plug of chaw and stylin' fu manchu, was a perfect sidekick to the steely Timlin. You could picture them as a sherriff and sherriff's deputy, riding the range.
Okay, I squeaked more than a little.
-- They distinctly mentioned on said Sportsdesk that Brandon Moss would NOT BE PLAYING, because he's a 'reserve' player in case someone has to drop out. So this morning when I tuned in to the game on my commute (long story, had to drive my husband to work, had to leave ass-early, haven't seen any of it on TV yet) and heard Brandon Moss's name mentioned, I immediately froze in horror. Who was he subbing for already? Who's hurt?!? And then they told me: J.D. Drew.
"MADE!! OF!! GLASS!!" I shouted at the back bumper of the Honda in front of me. I am never a terribly patient person, but I'm downright ornery before 8 am.
Just when I was giving JD a chance, though. Jesus.
-- What a weird moment of Zen it was to be commuting to work and listening to a ball game. Adding to the feeling of disorientation: Dale Arnold calling a baseball game on WEEI.
-- Speaking of moments of Zen, disorientation, and general discombobulatedness: KEITH FOULKE. PITCHING THE 8TH INNING FOR OAKLAND.
I knew it was bound to happen, and I guess getting it out of the way early was probably for the best. But yes, my brain did threaten to implode.
If you've been reading this blog for longer than a year, you know that for me, Keith Foulke is the all-time be-all and end-all Red Sox player. I will still treat you to a 15-minute sermon on Keith Foulke's under-recognized contribution (to put it mildly) to the 2004 Championship, his subsequent abuse at the hands of Boston press and some fans, and my bitterness about all of the above, but especially the latter.
When he first took the mound, I heard what I thought were boos raining down from the stands. Having already been told by the radio broadcasters that Sox fans were outnumbering Oakland fans by about 20:1, I immediately assumed the worst until they added that Kevin Youkilis was at bat. Then I just chose to live in possible denial, because honestly, the thought of Red Sox fans booing Keith Foulke still makes me want to find a megaphone and stand out in front of the Cask giving my sermon repeatedly until everybody listens.
-- Manny Ramirez sure looks like he's going to give us the "Monstah Yeeee--aahh" everyone's been so hotly anticipating. He was 2 for 5 today, but his hits were situationally nuclear--he knocked in four of Boston's 6 runs with those two liners, including the go-ahead points in the top of the 10th.
-- Brandon "I'm not even supposed to be here today" Moss became your Serendipitous Storyline of the Game when he hit the tying run in the top of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. JD Who? No, really, what do we need him for?
-- It pains me to even mention this, but JONATHAN R. PAPELBON WHAT IN THE NAME OF HOLY GOD. I mean, seriously. Jonathan and Daisuke might both be the cause of great consternation today were it not for the batsmen's heroics.
P.S. If this means my TiVo didn't record the game, I am going to FLIP. OUT. This is even worse than when FOX shrunk the Red Sox / Yankees screen down and made the stupid Indians screen bigger that one time in 2005. In fact, if it was truly as widespread a problem as it seems, it could rank up there with the time NBC switched to 'Heidi.'