Wednesday, October 06, 2004

American League Division Series - Game 1

Red Sox 9, Angels 3
Sox lead 1-0

Just when I thought I could take a rational, measured approach to playoff baseball, Curt Schilling went and started the Sons of Sam Horn game thread. I mean, if you didn't get goosebumps reading that first paragraph, you're not human. I was pumped and jacked and reporting for duty by noon - and then had to sit in a budget meeting from 4:00 - 5:15, fingers drumming on the table, absent-mindedly blurting out nonsense until I could go home to watch the game. The Sox plated 7 runs in the 4th inning while I was in the car driving home, ending the game for all intents, and enabling me to actually pay attention to my daughters and wife for a few minutes.

Yesterday was simply a red-letter day in my personal history. The Sox won, the Yankees lost, my aging softball team recaptured a little of our past glory for one night, and I got a promotion at work. I'm now sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Schilling wasn't stellar yesterday, but he did his job once the Sox posted an 8-0 lead. The Sox took advantage of Angel mistakes the way championship teams should, combining 2 walks and an error with 2 homers and a couple of singles to put the Angels away early. The defense was solid, and Alan Embree and Mike Timlin resurrected their 2003 playoff stuff to shut the Halos down over the final 2 1/3.

Now it's on Pedro to keep the Sox moving forward. I've been rightly apprehensive about him over the past month, hoping more than thinking that's he's just playing possum. I still refuse to believe that the game's most intimidating pitcher completely lost it over 4 starts, and most of me expects that he'll step up tonight to show the Sox, Schilling, Anaheim, and the nation at large that he's still El Rey. That other little part of me is hiding in a corner with its thumb in its mouth, mumbling something unintelligble.

Here's a question for the MLC readership. I'm taking a substantial amount of grief from several women in the office about my priorities. Yesterday was my wife's birthday, and I bought her a gift, and flowers, and carry-out dinner from one of our favorite restaurants. I then bailed to play softball for 4 hours. Our 5th wedding anniversary was 10 days ago, and we did it up proper-like. Our daughter's 3rd birthday is Friday, and we've been preparing for that over the past week. Finally, neither of us ever makes a big deal over birthdays. So, the question is this: Is Pedro's hairstyle the real reason he hasn't been pitching well over the past month, and should Eriq Lasalle's character in 'Coming to America' sue the Sox' hurler for impersonating a fictional person? (And, no, I'm not going to admit any weakness on this birthday issue. She knew what she was getting when she boarded this particular party train.)

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