…this boy won’t be pitching tonight.
To paraphrase Jerry Remy: Red Sox Nation, I give you your closer! 🙂
Photo lifted from Boston.com
I’m watching Mike Lowell smoking a cigar while being interviewed on NESN. As cray as he went, and he went crazy celebrating with the fans, he’s calm and cool and saying that they aren’t finished yet.
Re-sign this man, Theo. Re-freaking-sign him.
It’s been a terribly shitty week or so. Lots of personal family stuff going on that has knocked the crap out of me and most of my family. It might sound silly to some, but something small like this has helped make a difference to us.
Alex Cora has taken the audio/video over at Fenway Park and Jonathan Papelbon is basically running around in his underwear. I know AT LEAST four people who were supposed to be at the game tonight, and I truly hope they’re still there!
Here’s my day:
I was with my sister, in the hospital with my grandfather, from 8am to 7pm. Included in that, was a ride in the back of an ambulance. I got to start watching the game at 8pm and watched the Sox win. I started watching what was close to the end of the Yankees/Orioles game, and then, for reasons I still don’t know, I put on the Phillies game and watched them win. I fell asleep thinking, "well, it could be worse, we could be Mets fans…" and I fell asleep with the tv and all the lights on. I woke up thinking it was much later than it was, and hit ‘last’ on my remote to see that it was the 10th inning in Baltimore with a score tied at 9.
It was pretty freaking surreal.
Watched the rest of the game, convinced Kevin Millar was going to get the winning RBI, and I think I ripped something in my throat screaming when Melvin Mora bunted in the winning run.
Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox. Congratulations to all the Red Sox fans, especially those of us who never gave up. And, not so incidentally, up yours Yankees fans. Especially those of you who wrote me all year long to tell me my team was going to choke. How ironic that the Sox clinched tonight, due in part, to the great Mariano Rivera choking.
NESN has shown all of the celebration stuff live and now they’re re-showing it on Sports Desk. There’s something special about watching grown men act like kids. I’m so proud of them and now I can’t wait to see the rest of what they can do.
My favorite line of the night comes from, surprise, surprise, my man Mike Timlin, in reference to watching Kevin Millar strike out in the 10th tonight:
"We were a little mad at Kevin, ‘What are you doing taking a fast ball down the middle?’"
These guys watched the game the same way we did. 🙂
With the great news, comes relatively bad news. No Clay Buchholz in the post-season. I’m pleased that the team is choosing to protect him. 23 is young and we’ll have him for a while, so I don’t see rushing him through a post-season and messing him up. Thanks for the help, Clay!
There’s still an awful lot of crappy going on in my life right now, but having these guys to use as my get away from all that is something I’m truly grateful for. Thanks so much Red Sox (and Red Sox Nation!)!!
Photo lifted from Yahoo! Sports
Crappy loss tonight. Not a huge deal, but still annoying. Sox are still in a great position to win the division. I’d much prefer Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell have bad games the last week of the season than the first week of the playoffs.
It’s odd, but I find my mind wandering all this week. Making it really difficult to focus on the games. There’s a lot going on in my life and I’m sure that’s part of it, but this seems to happen every year at this time. As much as I love baseball, I end up winding down the last week of the season. I’m absolutely looking forward to the playoffs, but I want them to get here NOW. Which is probably why I won’t lose any sleep over the Sox losing a game off their division lead. What happens, happens. And when Monday comes, the Sox will still be in the playoffs.
A headline on Yankees.com = "After celebrating, starters rest". Now, the Yanks won the game tonight so the starters resting affected nothing for them, but how interesting is the headline? It’s still fascinating to me that, suddenly, the Wild Card is good enough for the Yankees and their fans. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Wild Card. Some of my favorite teams have won the World Series coming in on it 🙂 – I only wish I had saved all the nasty emails I received from Yankees fans over the last few years, berating me and all of the Red Sox fans for being happy ‘coasting’ into the playoffs on the Wild Card. How the "mighty" have fallen.
I mean, come on, Joe Torre CRIED on Wednesday when the Yankees clinched a division spot. He cried. Apparently, he and Captain Fistpump and the rest of the Yankees forgot what it was like to get into the playoffs since a whole year has passed from the last time they were there.
I was totally remiss, this morning, in not mentioning what September 27th is…Johnny Pesky’s birthday!
88 years old and still showing up at the ballpark! Happy Birthday, Johnny!
Worry not, Sox fans, three games left and the magic number is two…I like our chances with those numbers.
Way to go fellas!
Incidentally, am I the only one finding humor in the hypocriticalness (is that even a word?) of the Yankees and their fans? I wasn’t really around yesterday and only glanced at the sports news this morning, but it seems the Yankees did the whole spraying champagne thing on each other when they clinched a playoff spot last night. Gone are the days when Yankees fans email me to make fun of Red Sox fans for being happy about our team getting into the playoffs even though they didn’t win the division, eh? And I suppose Jeter won’t be coming out with anymore snide quotes about not celebrating until they’ve won like he did in 2003, eh? Sox have a champagne toast last Saturday, Yankees spray each other with Champagne last night.
Kind of tells you the mindset of each team, doesn’t it? 🙂
Joshua Patrick is on the mound tonight (against BOOF) and, God willing, I’ll be home watching. How sweet would it be for the Sox to clinch the division TONIGHT? With Hughes and Kazmir pitching in Florida, it could happen. 🙂
In honor of his fabulous season, and for the ladies, I leave you all with this:
Thanks, as ever, Beth!
Three games ahead in the division.
The magic number to clinch the division is three.
It’s a nice thing to wake up to.
Photo lifted from The Phoenix
This week is huge. HUGE. I don’t have to tell Sox fans that. I’m not sure how many games I’ll get to see, but I’m hoping to get a few innings in on each one. I told someone yesterday that the Sox being in the playoffs is basically the one positive thing I have to look forward to for the time being. My insistence on the division is waning just because I don’t have the time or energy to focus on it. But, thankfully, the Yankees and Blue Jays helped us out in that area yesterday. So even though I’m not honed in on it, it’s good to know baseball is.
Great article in the Globe today (I haven’t written THAT sentence very often, have I?) about Red Sox fans. It’s nice to read what the players have to say about us. Sadly, there’s a few bad apples in every bunch. If you’re a fan who has actually bothered a player while he’s eating or while he’s with his family, well, then you deserve any crankiness you might get. As passionate fan as I am, I feel like, unless it’s at a show or something structured like that, off the field is off limits. I’m not comfortable, at all, approaching players when they aren’t ‘on’ and haven’t ever done it. Regardless of their job or their pay, they’re people too and deserve as much respect and privacy as any of us would want or expect.
Mike Timlin loves the support at home and doesn’t think fans are out of control. But on the road, he says, some fans don’t understand that game day is very structured.
"It’s not like we’re trying to be rude to people, but we have our routines during the day," says Timlin. "We go out to eat in small groups. We go to the field in small groups. We’re not trying to be rude. We’re in the opposing city and we’re trying to get our mind right so you can go into an opposing arena and play right.
"I know some people will take that as rude and blowing them off but you take that as sharpening your mind as much as you can in an opposing city.
"Probably the worst is when you’re eating. You’re sitting there with your family or your teammates and somebody says, ‘I don’t want to bug you but . . .’
"You’re taking a bite and they ask you to sign something."
There’s positive stuff as well, which is nice to read. The fans love their team and the team appreciates it. Doesn’t mean they can’t use some space some times, folks.
Gagne is staying as my ‘player of the week’. I think it’s fitting that the player I’ve been most critical of this season gets the positive vibes to end the regular season.
Schilling on the mound tonight…here’s hoping he can get the job done and the team supports him with runs!
Pile it on boys – make us proud(er)!
"We don’t want to be complacent. We definitely want to win the division and we definitely want to have the best record. That doesn’t mean you should diminish something along the way. We want to celebrate one, two, three, four more times." – Mike Lowell
“…this is a good beginning. Now we start our work.” – David Ortiz
"To tell you the truth, winning the division is nice but the main thing is going to the playoffs," – Julio Lugo
“We want to get in, but our eyes are on the division.” – Tim Wakefield
"We spent six months earning our way to the top of this division and we want to win the division title" – Curt Schilling
"Everybody’s really happy about it but I think our mission is to finish in first place" – Eric Gagne
"Our goal is not finished yet, we definitely want to go out there and win this division and take that into the playoffs" – Jonathan Papelbon
"There are psychological reasons to want to win the division, and there are practical reasons to want to win the division. They’re not extreme reasons, it’s not a do-or-die thing but from a psychological standpoint, some people would argue these are very nominal, some would argue they’re very significant. I tend to focus more on the practical reasons. But the psychological reasons are: We haven’t done it since 1995 and we’ve been in front pretty much from the second week of the season on, so you feel in a sense like you’ve earned it. You’ve gone out… not a good thing to feel like you’ve earned something over 5 1/2 months and then give it away over two weeks. So from a psychological standpoint, we all want to win the division.
From a practical standpoint, winning the division does create some sort of home field advantage, and if you can win the division and stave off the Angels and the Indians, well, that gives you the choice in the first round, and home field throughout the playoffs, so again, home field isn’t the be all, end all in playoff baseball, far from it, but it is better to have home field, especially with our club. We score about a run per game more at home than we do on the road. That’s not insignificant." – Theo Epstein
"We’d really like to win the division. But [the balancing act], it’s really not that tough. Just do what’s right for the team." – Terry Francona
It didn’t take me long to compile these quotes. A quick Google search and one viewing of post-game interviews from last night. So someone tell me why Michael Kay was busting a nut on YES today about how the Red Sox "don’t care about the division" and how they’re "just happy being in the post-season!"? Does this guy ever check anything before he says it or does he just talk to hear himself speak? (You’ll notice Lugo’s comment in red. Which he made, not so incidentally, right after the Sox had their ninth inning come from behind win last night.)
He used resting Okajima and Youkilis as examples of this. Yes, resting an excellent relief pitcher who has struggled lately, probably due to fatigue, is giving in. Letting a player who came very close to having his wrist broken, by a Yankee pitcher I might add, is throwing in the towel. Michael Kay was shrieking during today’s Yankees game like Suzy Waldman when Clemens announced his return. He then finished off by saying he used to hate the Wild Card and now he loves it.
That’s probably the most interesting part of all this. The fellas at YES had a lengthy discussion about how great the Wild Card is. Interesting how seemingly everyone out of New York spent years bashing the Wild Card, only to have to embrace it this year on the chance that’s how the Yankees get in.
Sox are losing, Yanks are winning. If this all keeps up, the Yanks gain a game and the Sox are back to being 1 1/2 games up. Not a perfect scenario for the Sox to win the division, but there are six games left to be played and, as they say, anything can happen. It’s fun to see the Yankees and their minions have to admit that.
Very nice write up by Nick Cafardo today. I’m so damned proud of them.
They toasted briefly with plastic glasses filled with Moet just a few minutes before the media came into the clubhouse.
Manager Terry Francona spoke about how proud he was of his Red Sox team, and the only other speaker was veteran reliever Mike Timlin, who seemed, in a few words, to epitomize the mood and the circumstance.
"I told them not to relax," Timlin said. "I want to win the division. A lot of guys have been here before and we don’t want to get too excited. We wanted to recognize what we had accomplished but to make sure we all knew and all understood we had our eye on bigger things. This was just the first step."
Classy. Dignified. It was what the Red Sox felt they had to do after clinching a postseason berth last night with an exciting 8-6 victory over Tampa Bay with a ninth-inning rally before 34,626, most being Red Sox fans.
The Sox could have whooped it up as they did in 2003 and 2004, but this team has matured from the Idiot Days, when passion and momentum carried them to a world championship in 2004. Celebrations are often scrutinized here because the Patriots fear they’ll lose focus if celebrations get out of hand – before a Super Bowl championship.
…says Jonathan Papelbon.
Indeed, Jonathan! 🙂
Incidentally, this picture is of Sox Sistah Brenken in 2004. It’s a screen grab I took from the game against Tampa, in Florida, where the Sox clinched their playoff spot. Brenken was there and got on NESN with her sign. Brenken was also there last night.
I consider that a very good sign!
Again, like the Sox, I want the division this year. Knowing the Sox are definitely in, though, is quite reassuring!