With my newfound hobbies–petty larceny, vintage soda bottle collecting, clockin’ the hos–I’ll admit I may not be giving the Sox the undivided attention that they deserve, especially this time of year. So I’ll assume that even though I have yet to catch so much as a glimpse of The Pappet working its gentle magic on the Fenway crowds, there has been at least one sighting in 2008. Surely after last year’s playoff action, during which The Pappet was as much an integral figure as J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Papelbon himself, The Nation’s Marionette and those who are required to operate him must’ve received season passes to the ol’ bandbox, to ensure that no late-inning rally is without puppet-inspired fanfare. Yet… I see no Pappet. So I ask, can someone please confirm or deny the current well-being of the Pappet? Let’s get that wooden f@#ker out there tonight, to ward off the would-be conquerors from Texas.

Last night’s game provided the perfect prelude to this home stand, getting me all riled up and checking my calendar to free up space in October. With Papi riding the pine, Commander Kick-Ass went all vintage 2007 on us, allowing only run over eight, while the offense–which looked like it might be on permanent vacation through the first six innings–came through when it mattered most. And suddenly a split with Chicago doesn’t feel bad at all.

Tonight, the Zink Era kicks off at Fenway, so we have the excitement of his debut to complement the thrill of a pennant race. Sounds like the perfect time to bust out The Pappet, no?