(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)
Thank goodness for Sidney Ponson's awfulness and Jon Lester's awesomeness. Else that would have been embarrassing. This series with the Yankees seemed to encapsulate every kind of game possible. That being Friday's excruciating 1-0 loss (honestly, what more can you ask from Josh Beckett?), Saturday's smackdown (oh, Timmy, it happens to everyone), and last night's ass kicking. Granted, I'd have liked the Sox to come out on the up side of more than one of these games but Jon Lester apparently had no intention of handing over a sweep.
Is it just me, or has Lester been getting more and more badass of late? Not just with the pitching - though that surely hasn't suffered - but his demeanor seems different. He'll begin the inning with a base hit or two and it's almost as if he doesn't even notice it, as he stands there, absolutely unflinching and strikes the next guy (or two) out. Maybe it's Varitek, maybe it's the knowledge that after a World Series and a no-hitter and, you know, cancer, a few base runners doesn't seem like that big a deal. Or maybe it's what Varitek keeps telling us, Lester has transformed from a boy into a man. (Tek would surely give us some cringe-worthy biology lesson as explanation that's like listening to your dad stumble over an explanation of sex but let's just leave it at that.)
Whatever it is, I am glad of it.
Of course, because the Yankees are the Yankees, they're doing that thing they do every year where they're all "Hey! Remember us? You thought we sucked and, to be fair, we totally kinda did. But yeah, we're back. Ready to make our annual second half playoff push. So that's gonna be fun for you."
Sean, a Pirates fan (I know, right?) had this to say re: the trade of Xavier Nady and Demaso Marte: I apologize on behalf of the Pittsburgh Pirates for our annual farm system contribution to the Yankees pennant push.
Me: I appreciate that. But at least we can all go on hating the Yankees together and the world is as it should be.
Sean: Correct. And man, I can't wait until one or two of those four pitching prospects get good so we can deal them right back to the Yanks or Braves or Mets in late July 2010.
But it's not like it was a surprise, right?
Though I suppose the Red Sox would do well to focus on their own issues here at home. Those being winning games and, apparently, (again, some more) muzzling Manny. Because, seriously? Again? Are we entirely 100% sure that Manny doesn't have an "Annual Bitching and Disgruntled" clause in his contract? Like maybe someone slipped that in to ensure that, just in case the team was fairly drama free around the trading deadline, Manny could be counted on to speak up and send the talking heads at ESPN into a frenzy? Does he get paid in Sweet Tarts every time he says something stupid? Because we put up with a lot from Manny over the years. He's a great hitter. He clearly loves playing baseball. He's fun to watch and, let's face it, he's entertaining. But enough is enough is enough. I think I speak for a fair number of Red Sox fans when I say, Manny? Shut up. Love you, mean it. But for real? Shut up.
Times like this are when I really miss Kevin Millar as he would surely don a tutu during batting practice or something to pull focus. Maybe he'd still be willing.
On the flip side of the sports coin, guess what happened this weekend? Training camp! Patriots training camp! Real, live footballs! You guys? Tommy and Randy and the rest of 'em are back. I missed them, I really did. Granted I've still not really accepted that whole Super Bowl thing but you know what'll cure that? Football. I can't wait. Plus, my brother tells me that Vrabes and Tedy took the stage at the Kenny Chesney concert at Gillette on Saturday and did some "singing" of their own which ensures that one of my very favoritest sports bro-mances is alive and well. Patriots football! Coming soon.