Congratulations to Captain Jason Varitek and family on the birth of their third daughter yesterday. They named the new addition Caroline. Interesting, even “sweet” you might say.
On yesterday’s game there are two ways to look at it. The first: The Red Sox beat up on a bad pitcher as we know they are capable of doing. And “Honest Matt” Clement was able to shut down a good-hitting line-up, like he’s done all but once or twice this year.
The second viewpoint, which I happen to firmly believe, is that we are finally starting to see the 2005 team. Not in their level of talent or hustle or their attitude, but in terms of the ever-elusive team chemistry. 2003 gave us “Cowboy Up” and it worked. 2004 saw a bunch of “Idiots” take the field, and take home a World Series. What about this year? Nobody mentions Cowboy Up and at least two pitchers have severed any ties to being “Idiots”.
That is because the 2005 team is neither of those. Players have come and gone, for better or worse, and I believe what this team has been struggling with is their identity. No, I don’t think this is why Manny is batting 60 points below his career average or why Embree continues to put balls up in the Monster seats or why Keith Foulke has struggled. But I think it is a factor, and with a renewed team spirit, good things can, and will, happen.
Renteria has been contributing more, not just getting a few hits to improve his average, actually contributing. Manny may have found his groove with back-to-back homerun performances. The Mirabelli-Wakefield reunion was huge, I don’t care what anyone says, that was a big part of Wake’s personal struggles. Damon and Tek have been stellar all season and continue, but now Payton, Mueller and Millar are adding hits and RBI as well, and things just get easier.
I expect very soon we will have the 2005 battle cry. I don’t know what this year’s mantra will be or who it will come from, but I sense it will be a galvanizing force not just for the team but for the fans as well. Particularly for those who have forgotten last season already and the power of Believe and Faith. I think we will continue to see more dugout shots of the players’ antics that we love to see. And I think we will see more winning. Lots more.