Sunday, September 23, 2007

We're going to be playing in October

AP Photo

Yeah! Last night's come-from-behind victory against Tampa Bay assured the Red Sox of a place in post-season play. Detroit lost, and that means that the Sox are in the mix for the World Series. However, the Division title is still up for grabs. Any combination of Sox victories and Yankee losses that total 6 mean we'll win the division title for the first time since 1995.

Last night's victory gave three players who've been targets of the boo-birds a chance to shine. JD Drew homered, as did Julio Lugo, and Eric Gagne pitched a clean 8th inning. We need all three of those guys to sustain this if we hope to go deep into the playoffs. Drew in particular has been strong of late, and hopefully the haters will see why Theo went thru so much to get him on the team. Lugo, after a rough start, has turned his season around; nothing is more delightful than seeing the look of pure glee on his face when he gets the big hits. And I still have hopes that Gagne is adjusting to the Sox - we really need him as a set-up man for Papelbon, especially if Oki is questionable.

The celebration post-game was low-key, at least what the public was allowed to see. Pap saluting the camera with a glass of champagne was as wild as it got. Most of the players seem focused on winning the division, which thrills me. It was really nice to see players who had never been on a contending team enjoying the moment, guys like Kyle Snyder and Eric Hinske.

On a personal note, this post-season play will have some new highlights for me. In 2004, I was stuck with Fox and ESPN - didn't even have ESPN news. I ended up watching the victory parade online - what a nightmare in retrospect. In 2005, I was stuck in Pittsburgh at a conference for all three playoff games. I only caught glimpsed of game one as I moved through airports; game two, I was on a dinner cruise and had to make several emergency phone calls for updates. And game three, I blew off a big gala event to sit in my hotel, nursing some room service beers (and crying in them!)

So, this year! I've got the satellite. I've got the cable. I've got the internet. It's gonna be grand!

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