Game 104: July 31, 2006
Indians (45-59), 8
Red Sox (63-41), 9
H: Rafael Betancourt (4)
BS, L: Fausto Carmona (1, 1-5)
W: Kyle Snyder (3-2)
My voice is hoarse from exultation. I was at Fenway last night and it was as boisterous as Pedro Martinez’s homecoming. The unrelenting heat of the day games I had recently attended left the masses especially enervated, although Game 102’s ending restored a semblance of spiritedness into the crowd.
David Ortiz somehow supplanted his weekend brilliance with yet another game-winning home run. There just isn’t a vocabulary to describe what Boston’s designated hitter accomplishes on the field. New words need to be invented to encapsulate his grandeur. Perhaps German or Finnish, with their endlessly agglutinating compound nouns, may one day harness all that is Ortiz.
There should be special ground rules made for Wily Mo Peña:
- A ball being propelled with such force as to become embedded in the left field wall is a ground-rule triple.
- A ball lodging itself into the wall in center field on the line or to the right of same is a home run and the other team will have one run deducted from their total.
- A ball striking the earth and causing a crater of 50 meters or greater in diameter and reducing the global temperature by one or more degrees Fahrenheit for six months due to tons of impact dust blocking the sun is a grand slam, regardless of whether there were men on base or not.
Peña almost hit for the cycle. The only other Red Sox player who nearly for the cycle when I was at a game was Bill Mueller, so Peña’s performance brought back fond memories despite how disparate these two players are. From my vantage point in the left field grandstand, the outfielder’s fourth inning roundtripper kept on elevating; I lost track of it because of the box seats above, but even as it winked from my view it looked as if it were powered internally rather than merely being hit.
In contrast, Manny Ramirez’s two-run homer in the first was beatific in its loftiness as it soared into the night. It’s like the difference between meteorites and meteors: Peña’s blast will eventually pummel the face of the planet causing massive destruction while Ramirez’s will elegantly illuminate the evening sky.
Ortiz’s circuit clouts are akin to comets, predictable but still eliciting delight when they make their exactingly prescribed visits.
Now that the non-waiver trading deadline is past and the Red Sox have decided to stand pat, it’s time to analyze the more pressing issues that plague the club. Such as, why is Doug Mirabelli so slow? He runs, or should we say plods, even slower in person than on television. Does television subtract 20 miles per hour as it adds 10 pounds? Or does NESN charitably speed up footage of the backup catcher as he rounds the bases? “This catcher has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and air within the time allowed.”