Friday, July 6, 2007

GAME EIGHTY FOUR: C is for Cookie, TB is for 15 runs.

Oh, what a sweet sweet act of total brutality we inflicted upon the dorsal-finned. I've got a belly ache. There are four basic kinds of victories:

1)The squeaker/thriller, everyone's favorite because it follows the dramatic structure (Mamet, David, Three Uses Of The Knife, page 8.) Comes in comeback variety, the Cadillac of victories, and "phew" form, where victory seems certain, then less certain, then not at all certain until it's over at last.

2) The hard-to-remember game: your team takes lead, wins, maybe by three or four runs. Drama-free.

2a) The comeback turned "eh" game: often memorable, so it should be noted even if it is just a variety of 2.

3) The fantastic blowout (Night, Last, Red Sox 14, Devil Rays 4).

The blowout has a special place in my heart. It's like the bonus round in a video game, where you just shoot the targets knowing the targets won't shoot back; it's like the home run derby, only it counts for a win. I'll forever remember the Sox's most notable blowout as a sort of apex in one period of my life, post-college in New Haven without real plans but without real cares, writing at home when my girlfriend of the time called me from the game to tell me the Red Sox had scored 14 runs in the first inning, 10 before the first out was recorded. It was still early in the year, not even the midpoint (6/27/03), but it was a moment when I really thought this team could be not just good but special. (Of course, the Sox lost the game after, seemingly exhausted by all the swinging and running around the bases, a la the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, where Game 3 bizarrely took more out of the Yanks than the Sox; I probably cursed their inconsistency again right then and started doubting the bullpen. You can't fight your nature.)

All hail Coco Crisp, even if we needn't all cover him in milk, which could be considered rude when not performed by a 6'4", 230-pound (listed weight) Dominican. Then again, if any baseball player could stay crunchy even in milk, it would be Coco Crisp, now with 14 essential vitamins and 5 RBIs in the same game! (Additionally, hail hail Mike Lowell; it shocks me to type this since it was the last thought on my mind when the Beckett trade went through, but I sure hope we can resign him.) (Wipes eyes in broad comic "Wha??" fashion, like the tap dancing cat in the clip below.)

I was considering doing a post consisting entirely of me typing "Coco Crisp hit a grand slam" over and over, so shocking was the event, but Coco is genuinely come alive. .265 is an accomplishment when you start off the way Crisp did, when Coco wasn't even hitting his outs particularly hard. J.P. Howell served 'em up, with extra chocolate chips, but it takes a genuine offense to knock any starter out in 0.2 IP. Beckett's back on a 30-win my own mind. Onto a real challenge, in Le Tigres. I'm at once bemused and repulsed by Gary Sheffield much as I am by Le Tigre, but I sure hate to see that goddamn bat waggle sending a threat with every wave at the Green Monster. Remember how he started this year? Where'd those 20 HRs come from? My guess: Jim Leyland ashed his 40th cigarette of the day on his locker, or did something else to jump start his pissed-offed-ness. All I know it's there's a lion in his lumber, baby, and it's ready to roar.

Keep the ball down, Julian. Way down.

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