White Hat Sports Headlines

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Doing the Drunk Texas Reaction and then not

I believe the date was September 16, 2005, ( I know because I was there) I went to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park against the Oakland A's. I don't remember the pitching match up, only that Wakefield threw 9 innings, but before the game even started there was an hour and a half rain delay. This was my first rain delay experience and it wasn't bad, I had some pizza and sat in the drizzle talking to my buddy, Squirrelly. There were a couple guys in front of us, one of the greatest sections I've ever sat in, I mean the people not the seats. The seats weren't bad they were down just beyond Pesky's Pole and about 12 rows off the field, but the people were good. There was a couple from Georgia, she went to school at BU so he came up to visit her. Next to them were two guys who came up from Texas to see the weekend series. Well one of the guys spent the entire rain delay drinking heavily, the more it rained, the more he drank. The original 7 o'clock start ended up taking place at about 8:30 and by this time the red headed Texan had all he could do just to stand up during the National Anthem.
Then came the moment. As soon as the PA announcer started reading off things to do with the game all he could do when the crowd erupted was throw his hands over his head with his shoulders touching his ears and the look on his face was like he was lifting the bottom of the pyramid cheerleader above his head in some elaborate toss or something. I suppose it was just a natural reaction when you're in that state and feeling that kind of joy and on occasions since then, I have found myself doing the same thing (such as when the Red Sox won the World Series last October.)
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I just had the same reaction to what Jason Bay just did for the Red Sox. He took a two out, one on offering from Dan Wheeler and drilled a low line drive into the front row of the Green Monster. The pure guttural roar of the crowd and of Jason Bay screaming "Get up!" as the ball left the yard gave me an instant rush of the "Drunk Texas Reaction".
Right now it looks like it might have been a little premature, as Joanthan "I am probably 6 months away from legally changing my last name to Cinco Ocho" Papelbon has given up a game tying home run to Dan Johnson. I guess this is fastball mode? Two doubles in a row and the Sox are trailing.
Right now though, I am still somewhat confident in this teams ability to come back. The Bay home run was a big moment for this team, it showed how badly they want to finish first in the division and how badly they want to get home field advantage in the playoffs. The moment like almost like this happened in 2004 when Orlando Cabrera hit a walk off homer against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in extra innings. This could be that moment if they use the home field advantage they have at this moment and score in their final time up.
This bottom of the 9th will be telling, will the Red Sox battle back, will the Rays resolve be enough to hold off the defending champions or will Troy Percival cough one up to the greatest clutch hitter in Baseball history? (Yes, I stole this from Batman and yes I did read this old column from Bill Simmons at work today.)
David Ortiz is coming to the plate with a man on base down by one in the bottom of the 9th. Doesn't it seem like a while since he hit a walk off home run? Wasn't the last one last September against these Rays at Fenway Park off Al Reyes? It doesn't look like he will get the chance as he's ahead in the count 3-0 and Percival doesn't want anything to do with him. Can Ortiz turn back the clock and give us one more day of summer (stolen from Vin Scully in For Love of The Game) and knock one out of here?
3-1, he pops out to right field, it had hope off the bat, but he was just under it. Ellsbury comes on to run, you have to steal second here so you have a shot to tie the game with a single from the red hot Coco Crisp right? HE DOES!!! He steals second and the throw bounces away, Ellsbury at third with two outs.
I can't help by notice, if Ellsbury had run two batters ago, this game would be tied after Ortiz's fly out to left. I'm never going to make it through October.
Coco flies out, game over, drive home safely, the Rays have won for the first time this season at Fenway Park. My spirits are lifted knowing that Josh Beckett is on the hill tomorrow, and no matter what, there is still October.
If I can only make it through.

Sterling Pingree

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