The lines from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Texas Flood” are much more damning than the way we ought to feel right now. Three out of four hurts, but not bad enough to report that the” dark clouds are rollin in and man I’m standin out in the rain,” I saw SRV and Double Trouble once. It was a blistering two hour set, where the man never took his fingers off of his guitar. Inside the RPI Fieldhouse in Troy, New York, where the sound was passable, something in the high range of his guitar left my ears ringing for several days.
I was thinking that yesterday was double trouble, Lackey against Lee. There are those times that Lackey simply bears down, and I think he can do that as the season moves into August and the games increase in meaning. I know they are all meaningful now, but I am not ready to turn the season in until I see Beckett, Pedroia and Clay back on the field. As we all know, Lee is pitching for a team that plays in a park where his ERA is the highest of any other. He lost two games in row as a Ranger, but that is what our offense can do when it’s pressed, especially Youk. You may have noticed (or maybe not since there were no comments on the Top Ten List) that Youk didn’t make it on the top highlights of the first half. I will add the comeback and walk off hits to the list of the second half, if I have to. What I am hoping for is that there will be so many other important and wildly terrific moments in August & September, that this series will drift in a pleasant amnesia. Maybe the kind that gives us 7 wins out of the next ten.Those are my numbers.
I had to miss this afternoon’s game(still waiting for that potent phone) as I was driving to Virgina for 6 hours. Professor Abraham said that he hoped the Sox could keep last night’s mojo going. I listened to Mojo by Tom Petty several times, having the same hopes. Even with Cameron’s monster seat shot, another comeback was washed away. But the music of Petty and Vaughn can remind us that a few dark days can easily turn into clearer skies, where “baby, the sun shines every day.”
Down on the Farm:
Later in the week, I will catch the Salem Red Sox against the Lynchburg Hillcats I hope to have a few photos for you.
1989, San Francisco: I was about to pick up the phone to call my brother back east, to see if he was tuning into Game 1 of the Bay series. I felt a rumbling in the floor like a large truck was going by, close by. Then I saw the windows outside my 6th floor studio, the ones in the building across the street facing the sun start to ripple.Luckily I was standing in a doorway, exactly where one is supposed to stand in an earthquake. A tear went through my wall and the floor swayed in the same way it feels standing in a small boat on a rough ocean. After 15 seconds, it stopped. I was lucky. The city was lucky.
Despite all the damage, there were fewer casualties than were estimated on the first night. What saved many people was baseball. I am not trying to be too sentimental about our game. This was literally true. Since thousands of people in the Bay Area had left work early to get to the game, which had a 5:00 start to sync with east coast TV, those fans were not on the Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate or on their normal commuting routes. Candlestick Park turned out to be a safe haven. As Joe Dimaggio was helped, along with many others, out of his tumbling Marina home, the city showed incredible commitment to others, a real sense of pride for a beautiful city.
It is hard for me to separate San Francisco from that memory, even when I tune in to watch the Sox play in a brand new park, Professor Abraham’s favorite outside of Fenway. But it also gives me optimism in light of Dustin’s injury, which is the hardest one to swallow of this whole season. I have hope that he and the Sox will pull through. Some great plays yesterday are clear examples of our resilience.
Cameroning On: As I have written here before, watching Mike Cameron play center in Spring Training was illuminating. Every hit ball that I thought would drop he charged and caught with great ease. Yesterday’s catch was spectacular. When he rose from the dust. . . .a clear metaphor doesn’t need explanation.
Relief: As a second stage of agida started yesterday watching Clay pull up running to second, I wanted to blame MLB for interleague play and promise not to watch or buy tickets for another cross pollinating game. But please, Clay, do some more jogging before the game. You don’t need to follow Tim Wakefield’s example of tough base-running. He can get away with that. Anyway, the relief troops proved themselves finally. I also like the looks of 2006 5th round pick Dustin Richardson. Of course, Atchison was terrific, too. My thoughts on the whole pitcher pinch hitting thing: stupid. Keep our pitchers off the basepaths and let them drop sac bunts, even when no one else is on.
Papelbonus: A great close for Pap. I repeat, he is our closer. No doubts about that from this trolley’s view. But Pap, do you have to say things like “it had nothing to do with the team”??? It always has something to do with the damn team.
All In: This is a team effort, let by Tito. Since I was lucky with a few bets this week, I am putting all chips in for Lester, and everyone behind him.
photo by Thomasox
I am a little distracted this morning. Game 7s have a unique magic. Or is it otherwise known as nerve dancing jitters flying around the room with an irritating buzz like tinkerbell ‘s evil twin? Is there some way that the electricity of Youkilis-Pedroia could be lent to the Celtics? Kobe leads the other team (mentioning them by name here is like saying Macbeth inside a theater . .doom ensues), but the game isn’t won by one player. Pretty obvious. When the Celtics bench played its best, there was no stopping them. The bench always wins. Could there be a louder charge at Fenway this season than Daniel Nava’s grand slam? Off the bench, around the bases and onto the top step for a curtain call.
But back to this morning. Back to the moment, even with the anticipation of game 7, we can linger in our faith.We can linger in Lesteration (see previous entries for a definition), even as Lester may have had a necessary shifting approach with more change-ups. We might celebrate Moyer’s effort against the Yankees.
One of the great pleasures of the game for me is knowing a hitter’s home run swing and the angle of his head as the ball leaves the bat, with the follow through that signals nothing else but a home run. As difficult as it is to know each tic of Youk’s stance, the long ball is beautifully apparent. For some reason it was hard not to think of the 4-homer sequence against the Yankees in 2007. Each shot over the monster was definitive. I don’t have to mention that Manny was in that quartet. Manny. Manny.
But back to the morning here in Asbury Park. The new issue of Poetry Magazine arrived and has a short essay by basketball coach John Wooden. (I won’t mention his team by name.) Clearly, as monthly publications go, the editors decided to publish this many months before he died. He writes about how he always used poetry when coaching his players. In the New York Times obituary, the writers( Frank Litsky and John Branch) say that Wooden was a “dignified, scholarly man who spoke with the precise language of the English teacher he once was.” In his pocket, he carried a note from his father, which offered a good dose of wisdom.
“Make each day a masterpiece” was one part. “Pray for guidance, and count and give thanks for your blessings every day,” is the last line.
Ok, Coach. It might not goes so well, but I’ll give it try.
Is 9:00 pm as far off as it looks? Never mind. THANK YOU KEVIN. BOTH OF YOU.
I promised fellow Sox fans I would help Dice K with my newly found dice, three pairs that were in an old storage box. I think they came with a deck of cards in a bonus pack. The day I dug them out of the box was the night Dice-K came close to a no-hitter. As is the case with most games, I cut out everything and everyone in my life to watch.
In so doing I forgot to place the dice near my screen or perhaps more elaborately, wear them around my neck somehow. My girlfriend makes jewelry, but I haven’t ventured towards that request yet. After all, she, too, is a Sox fan(as all her boyfriends have been, even here in Jersey). Speaking of Jersey, besides our infamous reputation for delivering industrial waste to the world, many automobiles come fully equipped with rearview mirror dice. This is actually my preferred method of spell-casting for Dice-K victories. It’s funny how many Yankee fans drive around doing the same thing, unwittingly. Even here at the VW dealership, from where I write this as my car gets serviced, several loud Yankee fans are driving off in Jettas, GTI & Passats, with dice dangling right above their GPS screens. (One patron donning an old Yankee cap was yelling for all the dealership to hear, “I need a stick, because I don’t like people driving my car!” Another example of Yankees avarice.I am not making this up.)
The other important personal subtext here is my pick up from waivers of Dice-K for my fantasy team, made up of fellow professors, adminstrators and deans. None of my league members would go near him. Two hours before the roster deadline yesterday, I made a quick exchange for Kevin Slowey. Normally, I don’t win these kinds of leagues since I have a hard time rooting for other players. Dice-K now accompanies Youk, Drew, Buchholz, Lester, and Scutoro on my team, the Idiot Winds. Hope you get the references.
The numbers: 15 scoreless innings for Dice over two games. 4 hits(I know, it’s only the Indians). A 0.75 WHIP.
And $175 for my 30,000 mile service on my Red Sox red GTI.
On the speakers in the dealership waiting room: “Whole Lotta Love” Led Zeppelin
Way down inside, we needed Dice-K