So, as weekends go…that was a pretty good one, right? I’ve said it over and over, so I hesitate to say it again here. But, once again it was obvious how my attitude towards this team has shifted.
When the Sox were trailing last night, I wasn’t worried. Youkilis was up with two men on, trailing by three. I wasn’t expecting him to pop out. Or strike out. I was expecting him to do something good. And, of course, he did just that with a game-tying home run. Good things are expected from this team. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Speaking of Youkilis and home runs, his discussion of his home run on Friday was interesting. It was an opposite field shot that just cleared the right field fence. He correctly pointed out that he was lucky the game was in NY. That ball would have been an out in Fenway. It was nice to hear such an admission from a player. I’ve certainly never heard Derek Jeter confirm his career is a joke because of all the home runs he’s hit into the first row of that Little League Park they have there. It was also nice to see the Sox take advantage of that wall this series. It always seemed like the Sox would hit homers into the third deck while at the Stadium. They’d club shots that would leave any park. Then, the Yankees would win the game on a home run that went 315 feet. But, not this weekend. There was Youkilis’s homer. Then, David Ortiz blooped the go ahead run last night over the wall using a broken bat. To cap it off, Saltalamacchia added an insurance run that actually bounced off the top of that short wall. It was great to have that obvious advantage help the visitors for once.
I would be slightly remiss if I didn’t belatedly mention the Jorge Posada mess. I’ve never been a fan of Posada. I know. Shocking. He’s always been bush league in my book. An example? When a runner takes off from first on a 3-2 count, he’s the only catcher I’ve ever seen actually throw through after ball four was called. It’s worked more than once. Once it was Manny running to second. When the throw came through, the tag was applied to Manny before he reached the bag. The second base umpire, having been duped by the throw, called Manny out. So, Manny left second to walk back to the dugout, and he was tagged out. Posada makes that throw where the only purpose is to trick an umpire or cause injury to a sliding player. He’s never rated very high on my “classy” scale. So, his whining and crying about being last in the order didn’t blow me away. The only question I had about the incident was about Derek Jeter. Where was he? For the last 15 years we’ve been force fed tales of his leadership. He makes the team run. He gets the best out of every player in the clubhouse. But, here’s the position player who has been his teammate the longest quitting on the team? What happened to that leadership? Where was Jeter after the game? Where was his support of a troubled teammate? Is it possible that Jeter didn’t dare make any comments about the incident because he’s the next candidate for a demotion to ninth? He needs to just sit back to figure out what he needs to do when his time comes.
This series is a great candidate for a turning point of the season. As with any turning point, it’s only any good if something actually turns. The Sox can talk all they want about finally getting to .500. They can expect all the momentum they want from finally getting there. If they go out and get swept by Baltimore, though, it won’t mean a thing. So, they need to keep the ball rolling. The pitchers need to pitch. The hitters need to hit. They need to dominate this homestand. The division is a clump right now that is ripe for the taking.
It’s time to go take it.