photo by Kelly O'Connor
My favorite thing about moments like Daniel Nava's first-AB first-pitch grand slam yesterday is the choral reaction of the Fenway crowd, with some syllable clearly audible in the buzz or the roar that perfectly encapsulates what's happening. Moments like that homer into the Red Sox bullpen yesterday come not with that savage "Yahhhh!!" of the crowd c. 2004 ALCS, but a more reverent "Whoaahhh", the sound of 35,000 palms slapping foreheads in disbelief.
Kevin Youkilis also stole the scene with his theatrical reaction at the dugout rail, first staggering with his right hand to his chest as if reeling from a punch, then turning and letting loose a no doubt profanity-laden tirade of incredulity to his teammates behind him at the dugout, and finally seizing Nava as he came down the dugout steps and pounding him about the head and shoulders with all his might. He used open hands and not fists, but a couple of those mighty Youkbacca love taps looked like they probably left a mark anyway.
Today, I came across this quote from Roger Angell, posted on Facebook by Sheila O'Malley --
“All around me in our section I could see the same look of resignation and boredom and pleasure that now showed on my own face, I knew — the look of longtime fans who understand that one can never leave a very long close game, no matter how much inconvenience and exasperation it imposes on us. The difficulty of baseball is imperious.” - Roger Angell, The New Yorker
It is because of things like Nava's grand slam that this is the case. Long periods of boredom may be punctuated by something no one has ever seen -- or only seen once before. And you would never forgive yourself if you could have been there, but instead were stuck with your face in some dude's armpit on the Green Line the moment the magic happened.