Game 92 - Red Sox
Red Sox 4, Royals 0
In today's mega-media sports culture, it's easy to get jaded, to get sucked into the gravitational pull of the superstars that meet some producer's definition of "now". I'm guilty of it as much as anyone else, having long ago fallen in love with David Ortiz' jovial public persona, among others. The brightest in the firmament all started someplace, though, and as sure as they now strive to present a cool indifference to the day-to-day trappings of their superstardom, they had their days of unhidden joy.
It's that unhidden joy, those moments where these grown men remember that they play a young boy's game, that provide me with the most lasting memories of each season. Tonight, as Kason Gabbard closed out the first complete game shutout of his major league career, his beaming face lit up Fenway, his hair tousled by grizzed veteran Jason Varitek's gnarled hand.
In the happy exchange of high-fives after the game, Dustin Pedroia's giddy visage stood out, too, as befitting a guy who'd homered to give the Sox all the offense they needed, then made a stellar defensive play in the next frame to keep the Royals off the scoreboard.
Manny and Papi backed up Gabbard and Pedroia with homers of their own, a terrific sign for Sox fans and an ominous one for the rest of the league, if it portends anything larger than one night of upraised arms from the fans behind the plate.