Saturday, September 29, 2007

Goggle Time

That's, um, our star closer in the picture. Yup, the same guy on the SI cover in the previous post. I am now an even bigger fan of Jonathan Papelbon.

In a wild string of events last night, the Red Sox clinched the AL East crown for the first time in 12 years. What followed was a veritable love-in at Fenway well into the night.

Let me recap the scene. After the Sox had dispatched the Twins last night, behind Dice-K and Big Papi, they retreated to the locker room to watch the Yankees-Orioles game. A Yankee loss would give the Sox the division, but it didn't look promising. The Yanks had a 9-6 loss heading into the 9th with Mariano Rivera coming on. As the Sox watched in the clubhouse, thousands of fans stuck around Fenway and watched the game on the Jumbotron. Against all odds, the Orioles scored three in the ninth to tie it up - with old friend Jay Payton delivering - and then won it in the 12th on, of all things, a Melvin Mora suicide squeeze. As soon as that happened, it was Goggle Time. First made famous by Pedro and Big Papi, the idea is to wear swimming goggles during champagne celebrations so your eyes don't get messed up.

After they celebrated in the clubhouse, the public love-in began with the team heading out to the field en masse to celebrate with the fans. It was pretty cool to see guys taking laps, shaking fans' hands, spraying champagne, etc., with the hearty souls who stuck around.

So what does our closer's head feel like this morning? Like Keith Moon's doing a drum solo inside it, but who cares - he can take a nap in the bullpen today. The division is ours, we've got home field advantage, and it looks like we're going to be playing the Angels, who we match up well against.

The real season begins Wednesday or Thursday, and it can't come soon enough.

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