This means you, Manuel.
And now I’d like to present my impression of the Cleveland Indian’s nine-game winning streak upon encountering the Red Sox:
Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-SCCCCRREEEEEEEEECCHH!!! Thump. Gasp. Splat.
Last night’s game has already been christened the best of the season by our dear Red Sox (take note: they would be “those bastard Red Sox” had the outcome been different), and the folks over at Surviving Grady are waxing poetic about what a fun game it was to watch. And in retrospect, it was. At the time, however…well, I’m not gonna say I got mad or anything but I might need some spackle for my living room walls, Jason Varitek.
The thing is, I hear people say, “Wow, that was a great game. Even if we’d lost, it still would have been a great game.” But I just can’t make myself feel that way. I can say that, but I won’t mean it. I know myself. And I know that no matter how closely contested or how well-fought the game, I’ll be in a righteous fit if my team doesn’t pull it out in the end. I’ll be proud of the boys for trying their best and I’ll grant reprieves to the Bill Mueller’s and the Edgar Renteria’s of the world (we’re going on a night-by-night basis here), but I’m still going to curse and yell if I don’t get what I want. And what I want is a win.
Thankfully, there was no need for such cursing last night. Well, mostly. Since Manny decided in the early goings to play left field like a 13-year-old princess afraid of the ball and Varitek has chosen now to start sucking mightily at the plate, there was some, shall we say, frustration on my part. Let’s put it this way: I was multi-tasking by making cheesecake and there were many times when I screamed something along the lines of “No cheesecake for you, MARCUS!” There may also be graham cracker bits ground into my hardwood floors. Or rather, there were, until the bottom of the 8th and 9th innings after the Sox had taken the lead and we trusted the game to the “sometimes capable but sometimes makes you want to eat your fist in anger” talents of a one Mr. Keith Foulke. Foulkie’s appearances now cause such agita for me that I literally have to physically remove myself from the room. Or, as was the case last night, clean like a madwoman. It’s not like with Embree where you can just sit there and shrug, saying, “Alan Embree: Official Sign of Surrender” and be reasonably certain that he’s going to let up a gopher ball or twelve. (Imagine my surprise last night when he got out of a bases-loaded, no out jam without giving up a run. Shocking!). Foulke is more infuriating because you simply don’t know what you’re going to get. Could be Balls of Steel Foulke from the playoffs. Could be Tape Measure Shot Foulke from times this season. Could be anything in between. So, because of Keith Foulke, my apartment is now spotless.
In the end, the real kudos belong to John “Benevolent Alien” Olerud, Edgar “That Boy’s a Majah Leagua!” Renteria, Jay “Please Play Me, Trot Can’t Hit Lefties” Payton, and Bill “I know your secret, sir!” Mueller. And Wade Miller, save for some slippage in the later goings, didn’t do so bad his own self. And naturally Tizzle continues his dominance of damn near everyone…but it’s asskickery with a smile.
Sweeps are good. I like sweeps. I especially like sweeps of a formerly streaking team that came into the series all blustery and badass. Combine that with the Devil Rays ending the Yankees’ superb one-game win streak (*snerk*) and the Blue Jays beating the O’s (or rather the O’s beating themselves as the winning run came on a balk. Sorry, Marianne!), and we’re one game back and cruising. Good times to be a Sox fan. Off day today with a series in Philly looming. Terry returns to his roots a gold-plated winner and the team looks to continue on it’s roll. As for the rest of us, well maybe “A Different Season” is on tonight?