I gotta admit, I’m the type of guy that is sorta…obsessed…with the Red Sox. And when things go bad, I jump on the players I think are to blame. And it usually gets personal, like they’re not trying their best just to piss me off. Mark Portugal once snubbed my ten-year-old daughter for autograph at Fenway. Mark freakin‘ Portugal! So he’s on my list. Psycho Steve Lyons got caught stealing in a one-run game with Wade Boggs at the plate. Boggsy was hitting about .400 at the time, and well on his way to being able to will himself invisible. Can’t stand Lyons to this day. Jose Offerman – he just sucked – no love for the guy.

But Julio Lugo – sure I’ve bashed him – but for some reason I’ve been rooting for him. And based on the reaction at Fenway last night, I’m not alone. Even after going 0-for-33, even after making lots of errors, and even after the guy gets gunned down by a mile trying to steal third in the ninth inning of a one-run game, when he stepped to the plate last night, the “Let’s Go Julio” chant started up. And when he cracked a base hit to drive in two runs, he got a standing ovation. Not one of the mocking, hey-you-finally-did-what-you’re-getting-paid-millions-to-do ovations, but a legitimate, from the heart, Standing-O. And if I had been at the game, I would have been on my feet too. I mean look at the picture – what else is there to say?

So after watching the game in my vintage Phil Plantier jersey and kicking back afterwards for a few cold ones while being serenaded by Laura Brannigan’s Greatest Hits, I’ve decided to become the official ambassador for Julio. And after reading this from CBS Sportline:

Lugo showed little reaction, but outfielder Manny Ramirez gave him a
lengthy hug in the infield on their way out to their positions after the inning
was over.

“You can’t not think about things like that,” Lugo said when asked if
the slump was on his mind. “They’ve been very supportive, especially Manny.”

If Manny endorses the guy, why shouldn’t I?