Forget all of the recent quotes from Pedro. Forget the blown saves by Foulke last week. Forget the two months of .500 baseball. This is all you need to know, coming from Pedro Martinez;

“We’re gonna get a ring”

So, yes, I believe!

Watching the “subdued” celebration last night was wonderful. You get to see these guys on the field, game faces on, all business. With the exception of Pedro or Manny mugging it up in the dugout (and Kevin Millar everywhere), you don’t get to see who these guys really are. And after seeing, I love them even more! Speaking as a straight male, of course.

Even through the streams of champagne, you could see in their eyes that they knew their work had just begun. Tim Wakefield – “nobody’s more bitter than me about last year”. Manny – “I live for this”. Pedro – “we’ll be there at the end”. Christ, I was even happy for Francona – have you ever seen a manager look so genuinely happy for his team? But I swear I cracked a smile and pumped my fist when Pedro said “we’re gonna get a ring”. It hit me that this really could be the year.

After game 7 last year, there was a clear set of steps Theo and company followed to get to the World Series in ’04.

Another quality starter. Schilling – check.

A closer. Foulke – check.

Shore up the defense. Pokey, Minky – check, check.

Fix the clubhouse chemistry. Nomar gone, Cabrera here (see also “shore up the defense) – check.

Get to the post-season. Clinched Wild Card – check.

Win the division (optional) – TBD.

Win the ALCS – TBD.

Win the World Series – TBD.

A lot of work yet to be done, but still…so close. For today, all I have is love.