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Home » July 2009 Game CommentsJuly 2009 » Invitation


Game 81: July 5, 2009
BS, L: Miguel Batista (2, 5-3)
42-39, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox8
W: Justin Masterson (3-2)
49-32, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: David Ortiz gave Tim Wakefield a huge hug right in the middle of the pitcher’s in-game interview. Wakefield became the second-oldest player to make an All-Star team; in 1953 46-year old Satchel Paige represented the St. Louis Browns.

Terry Francona obviously does not consult the promotional calendar when he makes his lineups. It was Rhode Island Day at Fenway and Rocco Baldelli, one of four active major leaguers born in Little Rhody*, rode pine. Francona was probably too embroiled in his plan to wind Tim Wakefield up about the All-Star Game. The skipper tried to play a joke on his veteran pitcher by calling him into the office after he had distributed everyone else’s All-Star gear; but “cheesed up” very quickly. The man has been waiting almost two decades, Tito!

The burning issue in Rhode Island at the moment is whether or not to drop “Providence Plantations” from its official name. The place name had nothing to do with plantations in the sense used in the South; rather, the state’s connection to slavery came from merchants who profited from the trafficking of people.

I think omitting the name erases the true history of the state. How are we supposed to learn about northern states’ complicity in the slave trade, which is the actual and far more damning sin, if relict words from that period are sanitized?

I was heartened to see that John W. Henry had service men and women as his guests at the park. The gesture of major leaguers wearing red caps with the stars and stripes in the logo is simply that: a gesture. The players participate in a kids’ game for millions of dollars playing while men and women in real uniforms risk their lives for far less.

In addition to Wakefield, the Red Sox will send Jason Bay (third time), Dustin Pedroia (second), Josh Beckett (second), Jonathan Papelbon (fourth), and Kevin Youkilis (second) to St. Louis. Time to fire up the Dassault Mystere Falcon 900 again. At least it will be a quicker trip than the flight to San Francisco in 2007.

After a disappointing homecoming, the Red Sox recovered with a comeback victory. David Ortiz tied the game in the seventh with two on and two out. Don Wakamatsu had foiled Ortiz in the middle game of the series but this time the over-loaded right side of the field couldn’t stop a sharp grounder from finding a hole in the defense.

Mark Lowe replaced Miguel Batista after the latter surrendered the lead. Lowe was far less effective from the stretch in a high leverage situation: he walked Bay to load the bases and then Jacoby Ellsbury, who pushed over Pedroia for the go-ahead run.

Mark Kotsay then singled to right to plate two more runs. This multi-faceted fielder is fast becoming a favorite of mine with his professional at bats, timely hitting, positional flexibility, and defensive prowess. I may soon be adding a Kotsay player t-shirt to the wardrobe.

*The other three are Chris Ianetta, Paul Konerko, and Dan Wheeler.

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