Just. Wow. This is why I love baseball. Well, this and the dingers. J.D. Drew, a guy who couldn't buy a big hit all year, who had fans mocking him, actually pining for Trot Nixon (!) after Game 2, who apparently had personal problems off field that may have contributed to his relative lack of production this year, was redeemed in a big way. All of a sudden, curtain call, standing "Os", possible chants of "Drew, Drew" (I couldn't quite hear them).
Some commenters on Deadspin were complaining about "Sox Fans" - to quote one:
You Red Sox fans are f*cking pathetic - rip J.D. Drew and then he saves your season like that so he's a God.
Yeah, that's about right. But you see, that is a fan's prerogative. I don't necessarily agree with booing your own players (well, I will make an exception for Gagne), unless they have come out and maligned fans or teammates, or generally acted like jerks. However, fans are absolutely entitled to complain about a guy, whine to talk radio, bitch and moan and then, when the moment is right, turn on a dime and cheer cheer cheer.
It's not two-faced. It's called being a fan. And last night Drew got to experience the good side of the equation. As did Sox fans everywhere.
Three things I noticed: (1) Schilling was actually pretty masterful. The picture of efficiency. He threw 90 pitches over 7 innings, never more than 18 in an inning. He never was in any real trouble, despite Joe Buck and Tim McCarver's fevered hand-wringing in the third inning when Cleveland cut it to 4-1 and had the tying run at the plate. He was the epitome of crafty. The only people who should have been surprised are people with poor memories. He pitched the exact same way against Anaheim. Too many people let the one bad start against Cleveland color their views.
(2) Speaking of McCarver. He's become downright unlistenable (I know - this is news?) What I mean is, I used to be able to listen to him at least for the unintentional comedy effect - like the other night when he expressed surprise that a lead-off home run will lead to more big innings than a lead-off walk. Something has changed, though. I don't know what - seems like he's forcing himself to find things to say. He actually said last night, apropos of nothing that the word "gameplan" has been used in football for a while and is now being used in baseball. Huh? What does that even mean? That people use gameplans in baseball now, or just the word? There were countless other examples, but he's not even funny anymore. He's just sad. Like the drunk uncle who goes from funny to quiet and distant. Sad.
(3) I've talked about it over and over again, but it was finally nice to see it acknowledged by a real baseball person. After the game, Eric Wedge noted that the breaks that had been going the Indians way, went the Sox way last night. Some borderline pitches by Carmona were called balls. A couple of little infield hits in the first loaded the bases. Drew's grand slam cleared the wall by about a foot. And then the late miscues came - lack of execution. The series has done a 180 since i wrote this, and I think it's 25% execution and 75% breaks falling in a different way.
Touring the blogs
Jere is luckily going to Game 7 tonight. He's too fixated on the Yankees though for my taste. I did not once think of the Yankees last night.
Sox Nest knows the meaning of redemption.
Keep Your Sox On echoes the theme of little moments making the big difference.
Peter has the money quote from Schilling about Dice-K ready to go out there tonight.
That's all for now on the baseball front. Unfortunately this is a work day for me, but I'll be back in a bit with quick NFL picks.