Heidi Watney: Yet Another Perk of Playing in Boston

So Jason Bay shows up, explains during his Fenway presser that he grew up with Rice and Yaz posters in his bedroom, makes a sweet sliding catch in left, gets on base a number of times including a triple in the bottom of the twelfth, and scores the Sox’ only two runs of the night. At the end of a dizzying day, he’s got a packed house chanting his name and the majesty of Watney all up his face.

Meanwhile, out on the west coast, Manny grounded into a double play in the ninth with nobody out and the Dodgers down by a run.

There was something surreal in the air last night, for sure, seeing all those “Thanks Manny” signs and a skinny, dreadlock-free white guy patrolling Fenway Left. Even stranger is the news that in the final hours before he was cut loose, Manny lobbied to stay in Boston, promising to be an upstanding citizen for the balance of the season:

Within an hour after Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein informed Manny Ramírez he had been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, Ramírez’s agent, Scott Boras, called the Sox back, according to a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations. If the Sox dropped the option years on his contract – which they had agreed to do if they traded him – Boras said Ramírez would not be a problem the rest of the season.

Strange stuff, no? But the important thing is that we wake up with a win in our pockets, and Jon Lester looking for his tenth win of the season tonight. The pennant race heats up over the next few weeks, people. The faces may change, but the objective remains the same.