Say what you will about the first official game of the season, a Lord of the Rings-trilogy-sized epic between the Sox and Yankees: It was entertaining. Lots of edge-of-yer-chair drama, Pedro Martinez returning to toss the first pitch, and an immediate answer to the winter-long question, “Where will the hits come from?”
Somewhere in between, we got Heidi Watney interviewing Dr. Dre (something I never thought I’d experience without the assistance of hallucinogens), a Neil Diamond-Steven Tyler musical smack down (final score: Neil 1, Steven 0) and a Jim Rice pre-game suit that simultaneously channeled Al Capone and Boyz II Men.
When the dust cleared, the Sox had 12 hits, including 2-for-3 showings from Cameron and Scutaro at the bottom of the order, overcoming a 5-1 deficit to beat the Yanks, 9-7. Meanwhile, Youkbacca went 3-for-4 and Pedroia went deep, avenging a bad call that had him out sliding into first when replays showed he beat the throw. And Papelbon, last seen skulking off the mound as the Angels played grab-ass on our turf, shut down New York in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.
Simply put, it was everything we’d been waiting for (Just think… we’ve got seventeen more of these Sox-Yankees mash-ups to look forward to.) And while one game does not a season make, I think the new guys acquitted themselves pretty nicely last night.
The highlight, for me, was Pedro’s first pitch, and the way he walked over to Johnny Pesky immediately afterward. It was a beautiful moment before the paparazzi literally pounced on them, turning it into some sort of bizarre Parade Magazine-esque photo shoot. But, as I noted on Twitter, I could watch the “wanna have a catch?” scene from Field of Dreams twenty times and not weep as much as I just did for that reunion. For those who missed it, here’s the tape:
The worst day of the year — the inexplicable off-day after opening day — is upon us. Stay cool, people. We’re here for you.