I suppose we have them just where we want them now, these Cleveland Indians. Lulled into a false sense of security, riding high on the shoulders of Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez, waving their towels and blasting their “Tribe Time” theme song and guzzling cheap wine like they’re on their way to the World Series.
We did this before, folks. To the Yankees in 2004. Gave them their false hope. Let them stoke their fires and crank their music and point at us and laugh as we were forced to the back of the bus. We sat and watched and observed and absorbed and kept quiet. And when the time was right… well, let’s just say it all started with a walk to Kevin Millar.
Now we’re doing it again, albeit after taking the first game, because someone as filthy with awesome as Beckett just can’t drop one on purpose. It’s simply not in the guy’s nature. But everything else that has transpired, to paraphrase the Emperor from Star Wars, has done so according to our design.
One game away from elimination? F@#k that noise. We prefer to think of you guys as three games away from elimination. And hanging on by a slender thread.
And just how have we been able to get ourselves into this plum position? You can chalk it up to some spectacular decoy work by our offense, which by now you and your fans must think incapable of conjuring any sort of rally. Agents Coco (3-for-16 in the ALCS), Pedroia (3-for-16), Drew (4-for-15), Lugo (a staggeringly pathetic 2-for-14) and the Tek/Belli tandem (3-for-17) have given us absolutely nothing at the plate, laying down on the job to let the likes of Paul Byrd and Jake Westbrook take our lunch and eat the Twinkies. Just as we were hoping they would.
Meanwhile, neither Schilling nor Matsuzaka nor Shakey Wakey have been able to give us at least five quality innings (in fact, curiously, all three of them went approximately 4.2 innings). Again, they’re just following orders. Letting you think you’ve got a leg up on us. Biding their time.
We’ll concede that to this point, the better team is not us. It’s you. And you seem poised to deliver the final cut Thursday night.
Only, it’s not going to happen. Not with Josh Beckett on the hill. Not with an offense that will finally be given the green light to come alive like Frampton. Think J.D. Drew’s been a loss this season? Screw that; he’s been saving it up, stashing away the awesome until he’s ready to pop the cap and let it loose. And he’s officially ready.
You know that scene in Battle for the Planet of the Apes when Roddy McDowell tells his fallen comrades to “get up and fight like apes,” and all of a sudden all those monkeys that we’d thought were dead spring back to life and go nuts? That’s what it’s going to be like Thursday night. Only Roddy McDowell won’t be there. To the best of our knowledge.
So pack your bags. Kiss your wives and children and dogs and landscapers. Cancel that Saturday barbecue. You’ll be heading to Fenway Park this weekend. Where your medicine awaits.
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Regarding the photo accompanying this post, yes, that was Denton and I being interviewed on WBZ-TV 4’s morning show last Friday. Thanks to Dave Robichaud for hooking us up. We’re currently having the clip YouTube-ified, so that anyone longing to see Denton and I blabbering out our asses and typing on a keyboard and playing wiffle ball can consider their dreams fulfilled.