On May 26th, fellow Paisan (redundancy intended), Tony Massarotti, wrote, “[t]hough nothing is ever guaranteed in baseball, there is every reason to believe Lester has turned the corner for good.” Can I get a second motion on that? There’s a third motion and millions more. That was easy–nothing else seems as true when thinking about our pitching. I will repeat what Tony repeated: “Jon Lester has the highest career winning percentage of all ALL-TIME after 100 starts. ALL-TIME. If we start to doubt and get caught up in the Dice-Maze, we can rest assured with Lester, who clears us out of the rotational maze.
So what do we do about Dice-K, who made headlines today for all the reasons opposite his last start in Philly. Didn’t he make it look so easy, and against one of the toughest line-ups in baseball? When things are going well for any Major League player, it always looks effortless and natural. I have been watching baseball for 86 percent of my life, but I can’t pretend to know what the heck Dice-K is doing out there when he is that wild. As I tried to follow the Twitter feed(ing) frenzy during the first five innings last night, there were hundreds of ideas, but equal parts cheering and woes. It’s sort of like sitting in a room with a bunch of fans. Sort of.
I went to the bookstore after Bill Hall’s home run, which did, in fact, look quite effortless. When his balance falls on his back leg, he looks as though he can hit 50 at will.
I bought Doug Glanville’s The Game From Where I Stand. “[M]ost of us have only a dim understanding of the lives of major league players–until now,” the book jacket says. That phrase alone has kept me thinking about Dice-K and the mysteries therein. Will the next start be another strong one, alternating each time? Perhaps more importantly, what does he need to be nearly unhittable? Is it personal, cultural, Fenwayal? I return to the moment one Japanese reported revealed at Yankee Stadium. He had never, throughout Dice-K’s entire career seen him so mystified and emotional trying to answer questions, as “though he was about to burst into tears.”
PS. In the voodoo corner, I forgot to put the dice that came with my pack of playing cards out on the desk, as I did for the last start. I won’t forget next time.
In imitation of Professor Peter Abraham at the Globe, I will report “on the Ipod right now”–
West Country Girl by Nick Cave and Bad Seeds.
AP PHOTO BY CAMERON SMITH