I’ll say this much for the 2004 edition of the Olde Towne Team: They don’t do things half-assed. When they lose, they lose in stellar, sock-to-the-gut fashion, with stupendous base running gaffs, boatloads of stranded runners, balls lost in the sun, and Kevin Millar invariably doing something ugly, prompting you to shake your fist at the sky and declare, “That Kevin Millar! He is good for nothing! Nothing, I say!”
But when they win, it is thunderous. Baseballs screaming into the void far above the Monster. Men flying without wires. Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star.
Last night’s game was a textbook example of the latter, with just about everything a Red Sox fan could hope for. We had Johnny Damon (who says he’s ready to move to right or left field to accommodate Carlos Beltran) making a sensational grab in centerfield. Curt Schilling (who, ankle willing, could be on his way to a 20-win season) turning in another majestic pitching performance.
And then there was Manny. Is there anything, and I mean anything more bloody amazing than watching Manny Ramirez effortlessly swat home runs over the Green Monster seats? I never want to take it for granted, but he’s making it tough. I mean, when’s the last time he hit a Fenway homer that stayed in the park? Fecked if I can recall. And that bit the NESN cameras caught in the Sox dugout, with Manny goofing on Schilling as the pitcher scribbled furiously in his notebook? Hilarious. So much for being bitter and cantankerous over almost being shipped to Texas. Dude mugs for the camera more than Mr. Roper.
The centerpiece of it all was Nomar’s grand slam, a terrific jack to straightaway center, right after Minnesota intentionally walked Manny to load the bases. Is he unhappy? Is he leaving? Is he being traded? Who gives a shit. Just sit back and soak these moments in.
Thirteen hits. Superhuman plays. A standing O and curtain call. It was a good night at Fenway. We just need to see a lot more of them. Like, in a row.