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Home » September 2010 Game CommentsSeptember 2010 » Ninth Circle

Ninth Circle

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
— Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia
In Alighieri’s Divine Comedy the ninth circle of hell is inhabited by traitors, those who betrayed others with whom they shared a relationship. There are four rounds within the circle of treachery, corresponding well to the four runs the White Sox scored in the ninth inning.

Round one is named after Cain and houses those who betray their relatives. Jonathan Papelbon doesn’t play with his twin brothers Josh or Jeremy, but the baseball season is so long that teammates often consider themselves as close as brothers. Papelbon allowed Alex Rios to reach on a base on balls. Rios stole second and scored on Carlos Quentin’s double to shallow center.

Antenor, a Trojan, betrayed his city to the Greeks by opening the gates of the city. His house was spared by the invasion because it was marked by a panther’s skin. Therefore ring two is called “Atenora,” a frozen waste where those breached the trust of homeland or political party are tortured. Ryan Kalish, whose parents are from Massachusetts, laid out for Ramon Castro’s bloop to center but instead it evaded him and the tying run came across the plate.

It’s appropriate that the ninth circle of hell was a gelid emptiness of sufferers encased in ice to varying degrees dependent upon the extent of their sins. All of Fenway was numbed by the spectacle before them. Papelbon walked free-swinging Alexei Ramirez after the score was knotted 5-5 and Dustin Richardson took the mound. The rookie southpaw walked the bases loaded and Terry Francona went to the well again by tapping Robert Manuel.

When Manuel couldn’t find the plate the White Sox bode their time in the box. Gordon Beckham’s base on balls pushed the go-ahead run across the plate and sent the crowd into fits. Manuel might find himself in Ptolomaea, the third ring in which those who betray their guests are punished. Ptolemy invited Simon Maccabaeus and his sons Mattathias and Judas to a banquet and then killed them.

The center of hell is surrounded by the fourth and final ring, Judecca, named after Judas Iscariot. The betrayers of their benefactors are completely confined in ice, contorted. Perhaps Manuel belongs here, as he walked yet another White Sox player, Juan Pierre, for an insurance run. That’s not exactly earning one’s paycheck. But neither did the final three Red Sox batters, none of whom reached base in the bottom of the ninth.

Game 137: September 5, 2010
WinWhite Sox
7W: Scott Linebrink (3-1)
S: Matt Thornton (6)
2B: Omar Vizquel (10), Carlos Quentin – 2 (24), Alex Rios (26), Mark Kotsay (16)
Red Sox
5BS: Daniel Bard (6)
H: Hideki Okajima (11)
BS, L: Jonathan Papelbon (7, 5-6)
2B: David Ortiz (31), Adrian Beltre (39)
HR: Victor Martinez (14)

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