The Sun Is Out

Well, apparently the Red Sox took my “no more Sox game escapades” ultimatum seriously, as they all banded together to get me to write about this lovely team that has been without a pulse for two months. This win is seen as a step in the right direction, in which perhaps the team will band together just like they did in the second half of the break last year.
Kevin Millar (say what you want about no power, he still gets on base) shaved his head and elicted promises from other players to follow suit. Much like last year, we won with Millar’s shaved head. Isn’t it strange to see a bright-blonde shaved head? Either way it worked, as we rolled to a 6-0 win that has everybody in Sox Nation feeling juuuuust a little better about our prospects this season.
After having been swept by the Yankees in three games (coulda, shoulda, woulda), only the most optimistic Sox fans told people to hold on, it was only July 1st, and by god, we still led the season series with the Yankees 6-4. Everybody else was thinking about who they would like to deliver the eulogy. Follow that with an extra-inning heartbreaker on a three-run homer from rookie Nick Green, and well, the fork was pretty deep in the barely ticking heart of RSN.
But there HAD been promising signs leading up to this game. For one, the tandem of Ortiz and Manny just would not stay quiet. They pretty much were our entire offense. The fact that we were in so many games completely dependent on the #3 and #4 hitters says we will be dangerous once the other facets of the offense snap around. Secondly and perhaps more importantly to some of you, Terry Francona managed a game, as he did in the extra-inning ex-Sox stabbing (Tom Gordon, Tony Clark, John Flaherty) debacle. He pulled in a five-man infield to pitch to the parasitic Jason Giambi and other Yankees that, fortunately, I cannot remember. Anything I can’t remember from that night is a bonus. David McCarty and Kevin Millar had to do some running drills as they had to keep running back and forth to get new gloves.
We get to the second game of Atlanta, and Jason Varitek has to have a rest, having caught 25 innings in 24 days. Doug Mirabelli gets the start, and Schilling is going to have to pitch to a catcher not named Varitek for the first time in nine-odd months. Count me among the pantheon (ever since last year) who think Mirabelli and Varitek should be rotated normally and not based on the pitcher, as Mirabelli is with Wakefield. But I’m not the manager. If it came down to any of us, I believe any manager would take Francona over the average Joe, which is why I try to not question managers – they are managers for a reason, while I am not. The only exception to this case is Grady Little. But I digress.
Mirabelli was apparently so enamored of his starting with Schilling (who threw a complete game, one earned-run effort), he took a couple of cues from Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon (each had a solo homer in the game) that he paid Schilling a favor by blasting the game open with a grand slam in the sixth, causing a sweat-dripping John Thomson to punch the mound in anger. Wrong hand (right hand), but right idea, Mr. Thomson. I like this guy.
So fast forward to today, and you can tell this team finally has a pulse. People are smiling, shaved heads are popping up, and Bobby Cox intentionally walks Nomar (!?) to load the bases to get to Manny. It was noted that Manny is among the league leaders in GIDPs (Ground Into Double Plays), but do you really want to risk that with Manny, especially at the pace he hits left-handers (Mike Hampton on the mound)?
Either way, the sun is out again.