As I type this, on my husband's wheezing old laptop in a cottage deep in the wilds of extreme Western Massachusetts, the Red Sox are, justly, dominating the bottom-feeding Astros 9-3 in the ninth. The Adrian / Papi combo seems to have kicked in nicely, just in time for interleague to be over, but let's not dwell on that.
What's truly important at this point is that no matter what else happens from here, Dustin Pedroia has put his stamp of ownership on this weekend, with both authority and finality.
The bases were loaded in the seventh with the Sox trailing 5-3 and one out. The at-bat went routinely enough, until the count reached 2-1. J.A. Happ delivered a pitch down and outside which Diaz called a strike. Standing straight in batting helmet and cleats, Pedroia was of equal height to Diaz in his crouch behind the catcher, but that didn't stop him from wheeling on the much larger man, and launching a vociferous argument. Even as he tightened up his gloves again to await the next pitch, he was still shaking his head and declaring, "that was a ball".
The next pitch was in a similar location. The fired-up Pedroia proceeded to go out and get it, as if on principle, knocking a grounder down the right-field line that would plate the tying runs.
But this did not seem to be Pedroia's primary concern -- halfway down the line he turned to holler back at Diaz; even as he delivered his trademark "F-yeah" clap at first base, it was a mere pause in his continuing tirade toward home plate. In fact, as he came around to score a run later that inning, he still had more to say to Diaz when he popped up out of his slide.
Personally, I haven't seen this classic a Pedroia moment since the legendary "Go drink some decaf" game of aught-eight. Except this time, despite arguing balls and strikes nigh unto a Supreme Court case, somehow, he was not run from the game. Don't ask me to explain it -- I still don't know how he got away with it. Instead, he was permitted to continue his sputtering and ranting in the dugout, baseball's Napoleon, surveying his territory and upbraiding some underling for a poor inspection.
To say I loved this is to vastly understate things. I already thought I enjoyed Pedroia as thoroughly as a person can, but this moment last night took it to an entirely different level. He rules. He owns. He is the cat's nads, period. And no matter what kind of fireworks may be headed our way Monday, none will be quite as spectacular, in my book, as the ones launched by our supremely awesome second baseman last night.
P.S. In case you missed it, fear not, there's video here.