I endured a nine inning game between the Sox and the Twins tonight, six of which took place during heavy rain fall. This one was a typical late season match up between one team fading, and one team flourishing. The biggest highlight of my night took was watching my fantasy first baseman go 5 for 5 with 3 doubles. (Oops, did I just pull a Kornheiser?)
The second biggest highlight was hanging out with Peter Gammons during the pre-game festivities. And by hanging out . . . I mean I passed him in the aisle a total of three times while going to and from my seat from purchasing a Fenway Frank. We didn’t speak, but I could tell by the nod he gave me that we have a mutual respect, he being a baseball journalist and me being a hack blogger. Peter, when you read this, I want you to know how great it is to have you back in the baseball landscape.
Last week I read a report by economists John Kwoka and Kamen Madjarov, giving a statistical argument that Boston has the most loyal fans in all of baseball. Their data was actually somewhat convincing. Without giving the details, the only critique I have is that I think the way their results were concluded gave an advantage to teams with small parks, Fenway and Wrigley being the best examples.
Nonetheless, I saw more proof of their claim tonight. Most of the crowds sat through consistent rainfall, to watch the home team with no chance at the playoffs lose a game they trailed by no less than 3 runs from the second inning on. Granted, the stadium lacked the buzz I’ve grown accustomed to in Boston, but they still got on their feet for Varitek’s pinch hit appearance in the eighth.
I did see one thing that I thought was impossible – Big Papi struck out to end the ninth. Has this ever happened before? I’ve got Knowledge Droppings checking all of the old boxscores, but I was under the impression that Ortiz is Superman any time his team is playing from behind past the seventh inning. Do you think the rain had anything to do with it – like maybe water is Big Papi’s kryptonite? If that’s the case, I’m not sure how to explain the fact that he spits on his hands before each pitch . . .