Youk is on the bench tonight, which means we’re losing the critical “sweaty bearded guy” edge that carried us through the 2007 World Series. But even on the bench, he can still play a critical role for the team. Kinda like how Rico Petrocelli used to sit in the dugout and point a loaded rifle at various members of the opposing team just to keep them on edge.

Tampa Bay is losing as we speak. Yanks are up at 9:40. But we must control our own destiny in these thick, pre-All Star Game nights. If Lackey collects his nuts and says, “Tonight is the night I shall make you a believer in my talents,”–and by “you,” of course, he’d mean all of us in Red Sox Nation–then I think things will be just fine.

I want to believe, John Lackey! Help me to believe!