I found myself playing the role of the optimist after yesterday’s loss. Because there’s just nothing healthy about dwelling on whether or not Julio Lugo is still on the Tampa Bay payroll or why Manny Delcarmen picked that particular moment to lose his game face or why Tek and his pitchers seemed to adopt a strict “screw all the runners on base; let’s focus on the guy at the plate” strategy (seeing Crawford running carefree across the bases made me think of that Adam Sandler bit where he offers his impression of the opposing team’s coach the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points).
Instead, I looked at it this way: Yesterday’s game offered, hopefully, the chance for our guys to wring out any remaining pints of suck before heading to the Big Apple. Also, we came thisclose to another stellar come-from-behind victory powered by Youk. The dude is batting an AL-best .407—which, even though we’re only one month deep, is still pretty awesome. With his team-leading six home runs, he’s also become the go-to guy for The Big Hit while Ortiz remains trapped in Slumberland.
So that’s my mantra for the day: Youk’s batting .407. The mailman tells me that Lugo sucks? I’ll say, “Youk’s batting .407.” McMillan from accounting passes me in the hall and whispers, “They gotta get rid of Beckett”? I’ll say, “Youk’s batting .407.” Yet another woman tells me I’m impossible to live with and I just don’t share my feelings and it’s ridiculous that a guy my age would still have a Dwight Evans night light? I’ll say, “Youk’s batting .407.”
That’s where I’m finding solace today, people. Because Youk really is powered by red meat, cheap beer and the blood of his victims. And tonight, he’s bringing the pain to New York.