Remember the days when you didn’t pitch to Ortiz with the game on the line under any circumstances?

I think those days are upon us once again.

It seemed like a lifetime since I’d seen the guys scrambling toward the plate in a mad dash, throwing themselves around Papi with wild abandon. But, man, watching it unfold again is like slipping on a pair of comfortable shoes, finding an extra twenty in your back pocket, and learning your favorite hooker just happens to be available the night you’re in Minnesota. It feels good.

Flip the coin and it would have been hellfire and Rob Schneider, 24/7. Losing a series to the Devil Rays? This late in the season? With a wafer-thin lead over the Yankees, who just happen to be heading to town? Unthinkable. But at the time of year when the Red Sox are notorious for collapsing, they are instead taking off their glasses, tearing off their dress shirts, and revealing the Superman costumes beneath. They’re peaking at just the right time and suddenly, October is looking like a pretty f@#king awesome place to be.

This is magic time, people. Walk-off home runs from Ortiz. Deficits that just weeks ago seemed insurmountable, suddenly surmountable. J.D. Drew swinging the bat, hitting the ball. Jools — who deserves his own flag and postage stamp — coming out of the pen and back into our hearts.

The days are getting shorter. The season’s grinding to a halt. The Red Sox are heating up. And they’re set to collide with the equally hot Joba Chamberlain’s Flying Circus this weekend. As a man much wiser than me once said, “Is this a great country or what?”

Also, props to NESN for the reaction shot of the night: