(photo from Boston.com)
In fact, it would seem that Mark Loretta wishes me a very pleasant morning. And you know that’s how he’d say it too. “I hope you have a pleasant day.” Because Mark Loretta is a pleasant guy. That’s how the neighbors describe him. And not in the “He was always such a pleasant guy until the cops found fifteen severed heads in his freezer” kind of way. That’s reserved for Tim Wakefield. Mark Loretta is the guy who has the office next to your dad at the insurance company when you’re nine and his door is always open and when you stop by to see your dad, he always says “Hi” and calls you “Kiddo” and asks how the science fair went and makes a fatherly comment about how you’re going to be a heartbreaker some day. He and his wife come to dinner at your house and he always brings your mom a bottle of wine and makes an effort to talk to your brother about his Lego house. The family dog loves him. He’s got a thing for bugs but it’s not creepy because he’s so fascinated by them. That’s Mark Loretta. Just a very pleasant guy.
Guys like that are not ususally the ones you expect to be hitting walk offs. And, just like on Patriots’ Day, lots of people were looking to the on-deck circle where another guy, perhaps you’ve heard of him? was waiting for his shot. And just like on Patriots’ Day, the other guy didn’t even have to work up a sweat (well, except, you know eleventy billion degrees), because Mark Loretta took care of it. Mark Loretta sent us all home happy.
It’s a toss up as to what was the best part. Me torturing Marianne about Alex Gonzalez and his knack for getting on base and making stellar defensive plays, Loretta’s assertion that, “He’s not actaully Greek, you know” regarding Youkilis immediately after the game when Tina Cervasio referred to Youks as “The Greek God of Walks,” Papi, clapping Loretta on the back with enough force to leave a pretty impressive bruise and, I don’t know, transferring his power or something, or Papelbon going absolutely, completely, balls-out batshit crazy and waving his towel around like he’s at a wrestling match and someone has just broken a folding chair over someone else’s head.
Actually, it might be that last one. ‘Cause you just know homeboy had a Hulk Hogan poster in his bedroom growing up. He might still, but his wife makes him keep it on the inside of the closet door. But Papelbon’s explosion out of the dugout was something special indeed. Bill Simmons has an article up right now comparing the legend of Larry Bird to that of David Ortiz. He mentions, in reference to Ortiz “I just can’t imagine anyone else in sports making his teammates look like little kids on a regular basis.” And that’s perhaps my favorite thing about these Red Sox. They look like little kids more often than not. Last night it was Loretta providing the impetus for the tomfoolery, usually it’s Ortiz. But when you see straight-laced, no nonsense guys like Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek jumping around like eight-year-olds after snorting Pixie Sticks (not that Jason Varitek will be doing any jumping, thank you very much), you just can’t help but smile. And it’s times like this when I realize that Papelbon really is still just a little kid. He’s younger than me. And I know that if it were me in that dugout, and I watched Loretta bang a game-winner off the top of the wall, well, I’d lose my shit too. S’all I’m sayin.
Oh, and it’s been mentioned over here, but I thought I’d have a go at it myself. Just take a look at tonight’s starting pitcher. Now tell me that everything we’ve ever said about Josh Beckett isn’t true.
Also? This. Just ’cause.