Thomas’ Trolley Top First Half Highlights
10) Big Papi Winning the Home Run Derby: Meaningless but memorable
9) Darnell’s first at-bat home run and game-winning sac fly: Who’s there? Darnell I am
8) Opening Day Comeback against the Yankees: Full Blossomed Optimism, which vanished faster than Jayson Werth’s liner back to Dice-K on May 22, which leads me to . . .
7) Dice-K’s One Hittter against the Phillies, May 22: Dreaming in Technicolor of the old Dice-K
6) Clay Buchholz’s Complete Game Shutout against the O’s, June 4th: Masterful Season in the making.
5) Big Papi’s 2 homer, 4 rbi pounding of the Tigers, May 14: Meaningful & memorable May
4) Papelbon’s save against the Yankees, May 18th: Saving the game and our souls
3) Nomah Night, May 5th: The Past is the Present, or something like that.
2) Dustin’s 3 HR Laser Show, Colorado, June 24th: Fans required to wear protective gear in the left field stands.
1) Daniel Nava’s First-at-Bat Grand Slam: The story with many stories, like Tolstoy.
It is a lot easier seeing Johnny Damon in a Tigers’ uniform. Baseball celebrates the past, by its very nature, but then I find myself wondering what might have been Last night during the game, while the Detroit announcers(Long Live the beautiful voice of Ernie Harwell) were recalling the days of Ortiz-Manny and commenting on how much more difficult it was then to pitch to Papi, I started wondering what would have happened had we kept Manny, despite everything, Unrealistic perhaps.Then I wondered how feasible it was to keep Damon away from the Yankees. What’s the difference in having a Mike Cameron than keeping a 36 year-old Damon, one Globe reader asked. Good question. The Tigers talk about how important he is in the clubhouse. Maybe Manny’s antics were more of a disturbance to the team after Damon left. I can’t pretend to know these things but I often wonder.
I recently mentioned Roger Angell’s amazing essay on the home run, “Homeric Tales,” and last night’s game was a great addition to the Tales of Papi. Two blasts, or as he called them, “lasers.” Nick Cafardo writes about the quicker, shorter swing employed by Papi. It is magnificent to watch. Then there was Bill Hall’s shot.The pinch-hit homer is gratifying in a unique way. (As a side note, did anyone see the behind the plate camera view in replays? Why doesn’t MLBtv use that more often?) Angell writes about the most famous pinch-hit home run in baseball history. (You know what it is.)
What is your favorite Red Sox home run?? My choice, for now, is Johnny Damon’s grand slam in Game 7 of the ALCS. That’s when I knew we changed baseball history.