THE 9TH INNING. [5-23-09]
I have a confession to make: I was really looking forward to seeing Jonathan Papelbon in action.
Don’t get me wrong; even though I happen to own an unofficial Papelbon shirt (it was a present!), there was no question of loyalties or anything even close this weekend. I just love the drama of the closer and this guy epitomizes that. So the Papelbon entrance was just gorgeous to me. And I loved it for the fan response. I loved that they sang that insufferable Dropkick Murphys song with gusto, that a million flashes went off, that everyone was on their feet, that the sound system was blasting (the sound was crystal clear!!) and the place was rocking. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Papelbon did not disappoint. The dramatic flourishes, the look of evil intensity, the extended pauses for him to breathe and settle his shoulders. It was all worth the price of admission.
However, I was delighted beyond belief when Mr. Perfect Closer walked our lead-off guy. Especially since it was Gary Sheffield, who had been roundly booed at each at bat. We understood and expected the booing; the chants of ‘steroids,’ however, prompted TBF to murmur something about where Manny Ramirez was that particular moment. And of course, the utter mayhem when Santos rocketed that ball over that line on the top of the Monster.
I am sorry that my photo of Jerry West coming out of the dugout after watching the replay did not come out; I am sure, however, that all of you understand why it was a blurry mess. There was just a little jubilation at that point.
And then, of course, the happy ending.