Another win. Another trouncing. Another National League team sent scrambling to the gates of Fenway, clutching what’s left of their pride and their teeth, imprint of Ortiz’ massive cleat firmly ensconced on their backside. A-Gon is chipping in with a coupla hits each night. Alex Cora — Alex freakin’ Cora — is tearing it up like the Incredible Hulk. And last night’s Jon Lester performance helps keep our eyes off the revolving door in the background which brings us the likes of Kyle Snyder and Jason Johnson.
Put simply: It’s officially summer and the Red Sox are in first place. That’s like the hot chick who works the counter at Starbucks asking if you’d like to meet her after work. Or sliding on the jeans you’d left crumpled in the corner of your closet and finding twenty bucks in the back pocket. Or realizing that, hey, there is another beer behind the OJ in the back of the fridge.
These are happy times, and what I thought might become the summer of our discontent is now looking like euphoraplooza. A perpetually smiling Remy. Cheers throughout the Fens. A Delcarmen jersey in every home.
And in times of extreme pleasure, I can begrudge no man. Not Tom Arnold. Not that “the chances of me working are… remote” assclown from the Red Roof Inn ads. And not Pedro Martinez.
Pedro will be back in Fenway next Wednesday, and while I won’t be at Fenway Park to personally greet him (and as he has yet to respond to my personal invitation to join me for a couple turkey sammiches at Panera Bread in Dedham), I will rise from the comfort of my bacalounger, put down my Heineken keg can, and clap my hands with great exuberance when he takes the hill next week.
I hold no grudges. I harbor no ill will. Where others see an egomaniacal fiend who fled to the Mets rather than share the limelight with Schilling, I see the guy who tore through the Cardinals in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series. Who raised his arms in jubilation upon the heroic return to Fenway with the trophy in tow. Who seemed every bit as swept up in the majesty of the “Rolling Rally” as we were.
When he pitched, he gave his all. And it was an event. Screw the offense. Yeah, a home run here a sac fly there. All good. But watching Petey throw that heat, seeing him absolutely baffle the pants off professional hitters of all shapes and sizes, was a near religious experience.
When he wasn’t pitching, well… he still kept us entertained. Teasing his teammates. Working the Yoda mask. Getting taped to the dugout post. In a town where “animated players” used to mean Yaz or Ted Williams actually cracking a smile, this meant something. Not to mention that 2003 tussle with Don Zimmer, in which he gave us one of the single most surreal moments in Boston sports history.
As Pedro himself said of his return:
“Well, the way they are in my heart, if they feel the same way that I feel, it should be a mutual respect and passion for each other. I had a lot of fun. My best memories in baseball are in Boston, so I hope they receive me the way I have them in my heart.”
I’ll be the guy standing. Cheering. Who’s with me?