Ron Gardenhire welcomes you... to Minnesota.

It’s quite disheartening that the Red Sox’ first assignment on this road trip is to take down a team managed by the absolute doppelganger of the Rankin/Bass Santa Claus. Because tussling with a beloved icon to billions of children worldwide is not the kind of karmic boost we desperately need right now. So I’m hoping fans of Christmas and Minnesota in general will look the other way as, hopefully, our boys dismantle the Twins and turn this snakebitten ship around.

We’ve got Jon Lester on the hill tonight, which can be good or bad, depending on which version of Jon shows up. But the one guy we can bet on is David Ortiz. He always seems to turn it on against his former team, and he’s one of the few things that’s going right with the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

I call for a big night for the Big Guy. And, sorry, Santa. I don’t mean you.