Having said all that about appreciating the current moment, let me make a note here of all the delightful things that came to pass with the Wild Card celebration the other night (and before you go all sanctimonious on me about celebrating ONLY THE WILD CARD, I would invite you to remember that the Red Sox have now, in the last six years, clinched a playoff spot FIVE TIMES, which would be the same number of times they'd appeared in the playoffs in the 25 years that came before. We're celebrating. Sorry).
All the video, as usual, is up at Center Field. Having spent most of the last two weeks traveling, I'm getting caught up this weekend.
- The way Tito watched all his players celebrating, just standing and looking quietly, by himself - and the way he greeted them all with a pat on the head or slap on the butt and an expression, with his chin tucked in and a smile, like a proud papa to each and every one of them.
- The fact that Jonathan very pointedly kept his pants on, but also very pointedly wore a cutaway t-shirt that exposed his midriff frequently. Jonathan apparently determined to look as slutty as possible despite some obvious team-imposed strictures on his celebration clothes.
- The bullpen guys pouring champagne on the bullpen cop.
- When Jonathan pointed out into the crowd and then made a hugging gesture? I died. Just a little bit, but I died.
- Youkilis chasing a tiny curly-haired boy around the infield. (A Timlin?)
- All the fans who stayed. All the players who went out and touched them - with champagne showers, high-fives (Jason Varitek's deliberately gentle high-fives to the fans just so adorable I can't stand it), and, um....the bases.
(Matthew West, Boston Herald)
- I've learned over the last year or so that you either luuuuuuurve Jonathan Papelbon or you hate him. The idea of hating him won't compute if you lurrve him and lurrve similarly is not imaginable by the haters. I fall squarely in the luuuurve camp, and so I find the fact that you know he's always going to do the most memorable thing in any given champagne-soaked celebration delightful.
- Josh kissed his girlfriend on the field - and then she wiped off her face. I'm thinking the transfer of beer, champagne, and sweat there must've been unimaginable.
- The shiteating grin that never left Justin Masterson's face for a moment.
- Okay, it's official, I have a THING now for Jon Lester. Sam made fun of me about the fact that this is directly proportional to his pitching prowess. What can I say. I am what I am.
- All around him, fans pounded the wall, chanting "Let's Go Red Sox!" and then dissolving into indiscriminate cheers. The kid Jonathan gave first base to just stood there, with a thousand-yard stare, on the phone for a while, and then just clutching his base and looking around, his mind clearly, officially blown. I love it.
- Another thing I love? Big Papi's knit-hat, sunglasses / goggles, and huge gold chain ensemble. Also, every single thing about that man. Except his wrist.
- Josh has his mantra: "First team to 11".
- The Josh / Mike Lowell relationship is a beautiful, beautiful thing. "No," Mike Lowell said calmly to Josh during a dual interview with Heidi Watney in the clubhouse, his arm around Beckett, "I am not Teen Wolf." And then, of course, there was the instant-classic exchange:
Josh: That cigar makes you smell like a hamster.
- ...after which Josh chuckled, lowering his head, looking almost bashful. My dad thinks Josh is such a cantankerous bastard in his postgame press confs because they're catching him immediately after he comes off the field, nostrils still flaring with competitive aggression, and also, his shoulder probably hurts like hell. This relaxed, even bantering interview with Heidi Watney and Mike Lowell, on a day he didn't start, seemed like a vote in favor of that idea.
- There are some new additions to the Beckett lexicon for me. Such as: Spoontenator. n. the muscle that connects your heart to your guts.
- Also, "deep gas," fairly self-explanatory, which Beckett was heard to yell at a passing Jon Lester at the end of his interview.
- My only complaint about this postgame celebration coverage was the relative lack of Pedroia content. Otherwise...I'm not gonna lie, I'm a pile of squishy moosh right now just thinking about it.
And so now I head out to either a Sox-Yankees game or a rainout. Wish me luck.