"Two [expletive] games already and you mother [expletives] are going crazy. What's up with that, man. [Expletive]. There's 160 games left. Ain't that [an expletive]." -- David Ortiz
...or, at least, an evening after -- Opening Night, that is. Along with, apparently, an accompanying hangover for the Sox.
I confess I didn't get to see the game, though I listened to the last inning or so on the radio on my way home from a social obligation last night, and received my text messages with score updates as usual. From this evidence it appears the Sox and Yankees traded leads and tied the score multiple times throughout the game. It also appears that Jon Lester was the second of our top three NOT to kick off the season with a very dominant performance. In the bottom of the ninth, it came down to Dustin Pedroia vs. Mariano Rivera, representing the tying run, but it's not every day the Sox can come back against the Great Mo.
Maybe if I'd watched the whole game, I'd be more angst-filled, but my only thought last night was, you can't really ask for much more than a competitive series to kick off the season, and a tight game like that, where the Sox were still threatening down to the very last out.
It also didn't surprise me, frankly, that the Yankees took this one. Someday, when baseball is discovered by future archaeologists, and all has been said and done, I'm convinced the Yankees and Red Sox will have each won 50 percent of their contests, with maybe a one game differential all-time, and even then only because a three-game series in the year 3089 is abruptly cut off by a meteor impact or volcanic eruption or nuclear Armageddon or whatever. It's just the way of things. And after watching their ace and bullpen cough more than one lead on Sunday night, you had to figure it would be the principle of the thing for New York in game 2.
But then, this morning, I became aware that despite the fact that the Sox are still at .500! After two games! There are some people (I'll give you three guesses who) already apparently glancing toward the Tobin Bridge, and / or bringing the hammer down on Papi for his 0-fer-2010 showing so far.
It's not like I'm going to pretend that things weren't painful with Papi last season, or that I really think he's suddenly going to pop back into 2004 form. But I know that one thing has been definitively shown NOT to aid a player in making a comeback around here, and that's hounding questions and talk-radio diatribes after the second game of the season.
It's been pointed out that despite all the prognostications that Red Sox fans would mellow out after '04 and '07, in some quarters that has simply not proven to be the case. I'm not sure if it's an identity thing -- calling for the head of your erstwhile star slugger two games into the regular season = me passionate, intense, dedicated fan? -- or habit, or just some kind of ingrained cultural orneriness around here. But I do know that the longer it goes on, and the earlier in the season it starts to happen, the more we become a parody of ourselves.
The bottom line is, some very fine baseball has been played at Fenway Park in the last few days, baseball we've ostensibly been pining for months to see. For there to be a rivalry, there has to be some give and take like we've seen in this series, which sets up a rubber game tonight that'll also give us the first look at our vaunted new pitching acquisition, in an important start against our hated rivals.
Seriously, what's to complain about?