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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Outfoxxed


Game 153: September 21, 2006
Twins (90-62), 0
Red Sox (82-71), 6
L: Johan Santana (18-6)
W: Josh Beckett (16-10)

We are lucky.

It doesn’t seem like it after this injury-ridden season, I know. But we are.

Because we cheer for players like Alex Gonzalez, who had just seven errors this season and makes the spectacular look mundane.

And Manny Ramirez, who, since he joined the team, has had an on-base plus slugging of greater than one for all but one season and has hit 40+ homers for three years and more than 30 for every other year.

And Jason Varitek, who has caught more games for the Red Sox than any other backstop.

And Curt Schilling, who earned his 200th win and 3,000th strikeout while with our team.

And Tim Wakefield, an underestimated practitioner of an arcane art.

And Jonathan Papelbon, who jolted into the consciousness of the fans with nearly as much force as his heater.

And Carlos Peña, who had his childhood dreams made real one late summer evening.

I could go on and name every player that donned the cleats to bring some measure of joy to 2006.

Above them all would be David Ortiz.

In every home game, after Mark Loretta does his thing at the dish, the crowd noticeably comes to life. At first, there’s the barest of rumblings and a smattering of movement as the audience realize who’s batting next. Then, flashbulbs twinkle like diamonds, the fans surge upwards to stand, chants echo, and applause rings.

Ortiz rarely disappoints, and he did not last night, either.

As if on cue, Ortiz pummeled the first pitch he saw from Cy Young-contender Johan Santana into the bleachers.

The anticipation that had been building erupted into pure jubilation.

I was already overjoyed that the Portland Sea Dogs were honored in the pre-game festivities. Sadly, hardly anyone applauded for Dan Burke, Charlie Eschbach, Todd Claus, and Devern Hansack despite the full-capacity crowd. There was more applause for the Gulf Coast Red Sox at the Futures at Fenway doubleheader even though Fenway was not quite half-full at the time.

I was lucky to have seen firsthand how the dugout gave Ortiz the rookie treatment after his 52nd home run. I had a clear view into the Red Sox haven from my loge seats on the third base side.

We (Matt and I) were lucky enough to have had three seconds of fame in the broadcast territory of Fox Sports Net North, the affiliate that airs Twins games. I made a “Circle Me Bert” sign to pander to Bert Blyleven, but it also included a birthday greetings to Scott, who could not make last night’s game.

We are lucky, and I’m afraid some of us don’t realize just how much so.

Dedicated to Scott, a.k.a. Fiskian Pole Shot, whose birthday was yesterday. They played Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September” last night, whose lyrics include something about “the twenty-first of September.” Thanks for the tickets. Also, I’m getting my Macbook back soon, so I will finally be able to post pictures from last night as well as a few other games I attended while my laptop was in intensive care.

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