Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5: Another Season Begins

Hallowed rite of spring:
crack of ball on bat; third out--
Red Sox beat Yankees!

Last night a new baseball season began, complete with a lot of pageantry, a deep-seated rivalry, and a satisfying come-from-behind win: Red Sox versus Yankees on opening night at Fenway. Both teams received the courtesy of a full introduction, from the bat boys and massage therapists on up to the starting pitchers (Beckett, Sabathia). Old Johnny Pesky made an appearance, Lowell got a standing ovation (as a back-up player), a smiling Pedro threw the first pitch, Neil Diamond came out to sing "Sweet Caroline" in person in the 8th inning, and the Sox won 9-7 despite being down 5-1 at one point. Of course, it all meant staying up till midnight, because Red Sox-Yankees games always run at least four hours. And it all came back in those four hours--the thrill of this placid but nerve-wracking sport: watching your favorite players make good plays, a 7-pitch 1-2-3 inning, the solid thwack of a well-hit ball, an unexpected homer, the ethereal green field under the lights, the crowd chanting "Yankees suck!" and the anticipation as Papelbon pitches for the final out of the ninth... We were all yawning in the office today, but also smiling.

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