In my mind, last night’s game represented a perfect microcosm of the 2006 season, in convenient three-hour format. You had your moment of unbridled awesomeness, Papi’s franchise record-tying 50th home run of the season, and your moment of stick-your-head-in-the-toilet-and-don’t-stop-flushing-’til-you’ve-reached-China ugliness, which covers everything in between the minute Craig Hansen left the bullpen to the minute he left the mound.

Tonight, we get Johan Santana against Josh Beckett. Call me crazy, but I think tonight’s the night that Beckett gets his redemption. Seriously. Perhaps a no-hitter or complete game shutout or handing out Leeann Tweeden’s cell phone number to everyone coming through the Fenway gates. Something big is in the works. Trust me.

Oh, and I got a chuckle reading this bit from today’s Globe:

Doug Mirabelli defended himself yesterday from what he termed an “assassination directly at my character for unprovoked reasons” by Padres general manager Kevin Towers

Those words? From Dougie’s mouth!? Unless someone was workin’ his strings from behind, a la Jim Henson, I just can’t see it. Next thing you’ll be telling me he keeps a monacle and pipe in his locker.

Also: Up north, the Yanks clinched the East. I watched some of their celebratory antics on ESPN, but had to shut it off before the Sal Fasano Victory Mustache Rides.