Is it just me or is this season becoming hauntingly reminiscent of last year? Not that it turned out so bad in the end, but at times, getting there wasn’t easy. Remember the queasy, burning sensation in the pit of your stomach that got worse depending on the scheduled starter for the night? The dull ache behind one or both eyes that you swore was a brain tumor, but the pain mysteriously disappeared on the morning following a win? The inability to sleep despite walking around like a zombie all day? The almost-impossible-to-suppress urge to slap the face of anyone wearing a non-Red-Sox shirt or cap? And the crackwhore-like desperate cravings whenever there was an off day? Yeah, all of that is back.
Johnny Damon: Last year, the guy was a one-man stupid-human-trick highlight reel. He made a living running full tilt into any wall he could find. Once he even caught the ball he was chasing. Last night, he was sporting 4 new stitches and some bumps and bruises from another futile attempt to move an immovable object that was in the way of a catch. Which he didn’t make. Welcome back, Crash.
Dale Sveum: He had to hire Mr. T as a bodyguard (Did you think that was Dmitri Young hanging out with him all that time?) after his disastrous run of misjudging the speed of Red Sox baserunners and the strength and accuracy of any opposing outfielder’s arm. Yup, the human windmill’s been spotted again, just once so far, but you can always feel his presence nearby can’t you?
Tim Wakefield: Untouchable for a stretch of games, homerun derby pitcher for the next few. Guess which one he was last night? Geronimo Gil…’nuff said.
Kevin Millar: El Bencho. The right-handed Brian Daubach. The rally killer. Mr. LOB. E-3. The Karaoke Guy. Cowboy Up. He is a man of many names and many different facial hair styles. But he’s not hitting. Or fielding. Yes, he played himself out of a similar lengthy slump last year, but do we really need to wait for it to happen again? You had me at El Bencho.
Still, we forge ahead. The Yankees have put two former aces up against the Royals, and twice Goliath has fallen. It seems their Tino-powered hot streak is in the past. And today, we place our faith squarely in the hands and chin-hairs of Matt Clement. Who better to right the ship then someone with no 2004 Red Sox history to repeat? And what should be a tradition before every Matt Clement start, I leave you with a quote from Abraham Lincoln. “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” Like winning.