Picture, if you will, a frail and fragile Hope, embodied as a tiny, somewhat amorphous, furry thing, one with gigantic, brown baby-seal eyes that blink at you beseechingly.
That was the Hope I had after the Sox swept a team! on the road!! (even if it was the Blue Jays) and, while they lost the series, still authored that amazing comeback on that Friday night in Texas.
I wasn't thinking this Hope had legs. But there it was, just the same. I wrote a glass half-empty / half-full post. Things had reached...equilibrium.
Picture, if you will, an 18-wheel, tandem, Mack truck, one with a huge NY symbol on the front in Christmas lights. Picture it bearing down on a squealing Hope, then striking, flattening, and obliterating Hope into fragrant road pizza by the side of Rte 128.
That would be my best description of how it felt to watch the first three innings of last night's ball game.
And yes, I only really watched the first three innings. Oh, we were set up at my friend Ryan's house with pizza and bubblies, watching eagerly on his big screen TV as the game began. Our speculation on what would happen in the game, in retrospect, was almost...cute. Ditto the blog previews I read leading up to 7:12 pm, many of whom were caught up in the Tek / Martinez controversy or wondering whether Brad Penny had another start in him like the one he showed against Detroit.
By the third inning that half full / half empty glass, if I may mix my metaphors a bit, had us all a little better acquainted with what it's like to be David Wells.
Back on our couch, we flipped to the Little League playoff game between Peabody, Mass. and San Antonio, TX, which began in a taut pitchers' duel. Sure enough, by the fourth inning of that game the Boston affiliates were getting crushed.
Even our Little League team was losing. And when we found ourselves excoriating 13-year-olds for failing to make catches in the outfield, we decided a switch to Comedy Central stand-up would be best for all involved.
So that's what we did. We watched most of Jim Gaffigan's King Baby on the big screen TV with our pizza. Every so often my cell phone would buzz with text updates. After a while, I kept hoping the next one would be the one that said "You have exceeded your ten messages per day limit."
Eventually it came, but not until after we switched back again just in time to catch a 10-1 score, to which Ryan reacted by dry-heaving. We went back to Gaffigan.
"This is the kind of game that gets a nickname," Ryan finally said. "The Friday Night...something."
"Massacre's already been used. Twice," I replied. "Maybe...the Friday Night Failure?"
"The Friday Night Face-Smashing," he responded miserably.
An hour or so later, we switched with one eye open back to NESN. We were still unprepared for what we'd find. When we saw that impossible "20", Ryan let out an involuntary little shriek, a shriek very much like the one I'd pictured my little Hope making, with his very last breath.