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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pedro and The Mets...

Hey waz up you-all? It's been a few days since I've posted anything. I try to post something every day or at least every other day, but sometimes there's just not that much goin' on ya know?

Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Put kids to bed. Wake up. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Today is a very blah day. Rainy. Damp. Depressing. Just 'Blah'.

Earlier I took an afternoon ride down the road to the nearest Dunk's just to get me a pick-me-up. The office coffee machine was not gonna do it for me today. I needed the real juice.

Now I am awake and alert again, but the stuff that I'm supposed to be working on here is broken. Stupid computers... Always breaking. 


The Red Sox will go for their 11th straight win tonight, which is simply amazing, especially when you consider that these wins are all against National League teams. As has been mentioned in the papers and on about 15 other Sox sites, the Red Sox have traditionally sucked at Inter-League Play, but this year things are different, much different. There's been no 'June Swoon' this year. Let's hope The Sox can keep this winning pace going into July, where we'll be seeing teams from the AL Central and AL West...

Before I get to looking too far ahead into next month, tonight's game should be interesting for all kinds of reasons. Unless you are living under a rock, or maybe don't follow baseball at all, by now you are assuredly well aware of the fact that Pedro Martinez will be pitching at Fenway tonight for the first time in a visitors uniform.

The fact that he'll be going against the Sox new young gun, Josh Beckett, adds flavor to the sauce.

Some added spice includes the fact that Pedro will be pitching for The NY Mets as The Sox celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the 1986 Red Sox team, the team that lost the '86 World Series to said Mets in a most painful fashion.

All the elements are there for a potentially classic game tonight.

This Mets series and Pedro's return to Fenway has me thinking about a couple of things...

Regarding the '86 team:
Although the '86 World Series loss is often held up as the most painful of all the Red Sox gaffes over the years, I have to admit that it had hardly any affect on me at the time that it happened. In those years I did not follow the game of baseball at all. In '86 the only teams I followed closely were The Patriots and The Celtics. I had a mild interest in The B's and zero interest in The Sox back then. Of course it did not help that at the time, the Sox and B's were both shown on Channel 38 out of Boston, a UHF channel that was nearly impossible to tune in at my parent's house.

The Pats and Celts were both shown on the major network channels, which were VHF, meaning we could actually tune those channels in and watch the games, though there were occasions when The Pats were blacked out and we had to try and tune The Pats game in on Channel 22 out of Springfield, MA, an extremely difficult operation. When we were forced to watch The Pats on Channel 22, we ended up seeing more static than actual plays in the game. The Pats were the only team that was worthy of such an eye-squinting effort at our house.

In 1986 I knew that the Sox were in the Series that year and I knew they lost, but that's about the extent of my experience regarding the '86 World Series. Back then I was more concerned with finishing my homework, trying to get my drivers license and getting some chick, (ok, any chick,) to make-out with me. I was more upset about The Patriots getting embarrassed by the Chicago Bears in Superbowl XX and Rowdy Roddy Piper losing Wrestle-Mania to Hulk Hogan than I was about the Red Sox losing the World Series. 

Regarding Pedro:
Pedro's return has had me thinking about the 2 occasions I got to see him pitch at Fenway. The first time I saw him in person was vs. the Phillies, which turned out to be the last game he played during that year before going on an extended stint on the DL. I remember I was really looking forward to seeing that game because hey, Pedro was pitching, and I also remember taking a ton of shit from some Phillies fans in the stands that day as Pedro was out there sucking wind on the mound. They were sitting right in front of us in the right field box seats and they would turn around and goad us every time Pedro gave up a hit. 'What's going on with your man Pedro? I thought this guy was supposed to be good!'

I was wondering the same thing myself. A few days after that game, he was on the DL and pretty much done for the season.

The second time I got to seem him was a few years later. I had awesome seats that day, five rows back from the visitor's on deck circle, and Pedro was RIGHT THERE, in real life, not some little speck viewed from a distance in the stands, not an image on the television set; here was the man, up close and personal. I could see the expressions on his face as he pitched. I don't get to a lot of games and for the ones I do get to, I am usually not very close to the field, so being that close to the game that day, it was just incredible. I remember being surprised at how small his frame is. He is not a big man, as far as physical size goes, but man could he throw that ball in there, so fast I could hardly follow it. Believe me I tried. Pedro pitched a masterful game that day.

I have always liked Pedro. Sometimes the little melodramas that he seemed to have once a year would get a little old, but I generally ignored that stuff, and that seemingly unbreakable barrier that seems to exist with him where he's got an arsenal of 100 pitches to throw and no more, could get frustrating, but still those are issues that I could live with for what he brought to the team. After 2004, I knew he would not be back with the Sox and I was bummed to see him leave the team, but that is the business of baseball.

So now with Pedro on the mound wearing a visitor's uniform, it's time to stow those memories away. He's the enemy, for tonight anyway.



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