The one, the only Pedro Martinez throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, hugging Johnny Pesky, and double pointing to Big Papi did much to wash away the schmaltz of last night’s festivities.
Many would point to Josh Sacco’s Miracle speech as exhibit one in the case against melodrama, but I think charged words foretelling the dissolution of an evil empire issuing forth from a cherub-like face was in its way subversive. Some fire in the belly of children who are fed pablum that passes for education programming is a welcome thing. That Sacco’s utterance of a somewhat risque word probably compelled dozens of dowdy biddies to pen letters expressing their stern opprobrium also delighted me.
I’m not sure whose camp I fall in with respect to fireworks; I love pyrotechnics but they are a spectacle in and of themselves, and furthermore baseball requires no further adornment. They were part of the presentation of the national anthem sung by Keri Hilson, who just days before forgot the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” With everyone ohh-ing and ahh-ing any slips by Ms. Hilson would be missed.
Steven Tyler slogged through “God Bless America” with one gangly arm slung around a young girl. It was just chummy enough to make one wonder who the lass was, but when she opened her mouth to harmonize it was clear that she was Tyler’s daughter. Not Liv, of course, but Chelsea.
Speaking of big mouths, Curt Schilling has joined ESPN Boston. He, Nomar Garciaparra, Karl Ravech, and Bobby Valentine sat behind a desk ridiculously placed in the foul territory near first. Red Light looked somewhat awkward behind the luminous monstrosity, but certainly when there are less people taking attention away from him he’ll be much more comfortable.
LeBron James schmoozed with and was schmoozed upon in John Henry’s box. It wasn’t enough for His Highness to get the regular luxury boxes. All so he could watch his favorite baseball team (Yankees) while he checked his Blackberry for any offseason updates on his most beloved football team (Cowboys).
In the middle of the eighth, Neil Diamond groggily emerged from the hot tub time machine fresh from a jaunt through Kings County circa 1957. The singer was proudly attired in the fashion of the mid-50s and, since he was always a man to wear his convictions on his back, his blazer blared, “Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn.” After leading a stirring rendition of “Sweet Caroline” (even Nick Swisher joined in), Diamond lurched back to the time machine, setting the course for a time when his music was relevant.
Wait, so the hot tub time machine not only travels through time but spans the gap between parallel dimensions?