Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

The Real Red Sox return (for one night, anyway)

Posted by Bill Koch on August 3, 2010

Tuesday night made me proud to still be a Red Sox fan.

So many great things happened at Fenway Park during Boston’s 3-1 win over Cleveland that I could spend the next two hours running them down. Since I doubt that any of you really care to read my ramblings for that long, I’ll fire them at you in bullet-point form.

— THE RED SOX HAVE A F&%$ING PULSE!! Finally we saw some signs of life out of a team that has been nothing but boring over the opening 100-plus games of the season. Part of the problem with Boston’s roster purge that swept out The Idiots and brought in the likes of J.D. Drew is that the group left behind was a soulless, unfeeling, android-like collection of wanna-be OPS machines. The leadership and passion that defined so much of the Red Sox run to the 2004 World Series was absent, and it showed up for a few flickering moments on Tuesday.

— Mike Lowell returned with a bang. Boston’s forgotten man crushed a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the second inning, a screaming line drive over The Monster that gave the Red Sox the lead for good. It was one of those moments that even makes a bitter, hardened cynic like me feel a little tingly. The dignity that Lowell has shown handling his difficult situation with Boston’s front office in 2010 should be an example for every professional athlete.

— Josh Beckett looked like The Real Josh Beckett. Boston’s ace-in-hiding was dominant over eight innings, allowing just three hits and mowing down the final 14 hitters he faced. Beckett even flashed some of his old fire when Jensen Lewis threw behind Adrian Beltre in the bottom of the eighth, trying to get at Cleveland manager Manny Acta and Indians’ outfielder Shelley Duncan in the ensuing pushing and shoving. An angry, annoyed Beckett is usually the righthander at his best. This clip should serve as enough of a reminder to all the members of Pink Hat Nation who only started to tune in after 2007.

Let’s hope Beckett stays that way down the stretch.

— Jonathan Papelbon fired as impressive a 1-2-3 ninth inning as he has all season. Amazing what happens when he’s allowed to start with a clean inning, much like his alleged successor Daniel Bard enjoys just about every time he comes to the mound. Were you paying attention, This Manager? Get Papelbon out there with nobody on base and watch him go to work.

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