Thursday, April 06, 2006


No More White-Knuckin' the Ninth

So far the most obvious difference between this year and last is that Tito cares about the fans with heart conditions. He made this message loud and clear over the phone to the bullpen last night, calling out the biggest pair of balls he had - green they may be. Foulkie looked on with the kind of interest you would see from someone watching hip-replacement surgery on TLC. via

"The Sox won," said Foulke. "That's always my first concern. It's one of those deals where, [heck], when I get my stuff together and I go back and earn the spot, so be it. As long as we win, that's all that really matters."
...and if you wanna get that Center Ice package I've been talking about, [heck], I'll sit on my [rear] back there all you want. [Heck], I'll even hang out in the bullpen on our off-days.

The anxiety over here in the land of reb was reaching root-canal levels when the Rangers' broadcast came back from commercial break for the top of the ninth. Suddenly the screen held our young Pappy, and the tension took a nose-dive. The Rangers' dudes sound surprised and a bit baffled. Probably disappointed. The excitement 'round here rises slowly to giddiness in perfect harmony with the high heat zooming into home plate. By the eleventh and final blow, all of Red Sox Nation is on its feet, aching to hug the young Jonathan Papelbon and dance around with him.

Am I exaggerating? Was it worth that much anxiety and excitement? Last year a one-run squeaker like that gets chalked up in our loss column - and you know it... So does Tito. Just read the relief between the lines as our manager describes the first outing by Beckett (via
yahoo sports):
"He was terrific. ... He enjoys competing and is fun to watch. I'm glad we didn't waste that outing."
We got the pitching we needed last night. Pitching and defense... a new way to win in 2006.

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