Sunday, June 25, 2006
As part of my ten man pack, I had a ticket to Saturday's Sox game. But with the one to two inches and 80% chance of rain, the thought of driving seven hours was not in the cards nor was Home Depot. As we know, the Sox played and since the game was on Fox (not in HD in Burlington), I went to Nectars to watch on the big screen projection.
Things were good, until the soccer game came on. A kickball game took precedent over the Red Sox. The Sox game and I were relegated to the café side of the establishment and the small screens. Too add insult to injury, the U.S. wasn't even playing. Terrible! Just awful!
Not only did I miss one of the most exciting games of the year at Fenway (I had tickets to last year's contest against LAA, when Papi hit the game winner 450+ feet off of Shields), although aren't we all expecting the heroics of Big Papi like Larry Legend, I got pushed to the kid's table.
Tito seems to get it now.
“The numbers, I know, are fantastic,” Francona said when asked about using Papelbon in a non-save situation. “But just as important is coming into a game, whether we’re up one, down one or tied. He kept that game right where it needed to be. I don’t think you wait for just the perfect save situation.
And Super Papel-Bon-Bon is fine with this type of usage.
``You want to give your team everything you've got," said Papelbon, ``and that's the kind of guy I want to be thought of as, the guy who goes out there and regardless of the score or inning, I'll go out there and give it everything I've got.
As I have said before, using Papelbon in the highest leverage situations more often will give the Sox an advantage over most of their competition, although the BJays are using BJ Ryan in that manner and the MFY will use Rivera in non-traditional save situations. In a tight race for a playoff spot, the Sox need to take advantage of every opportunity. And if the Sox spend wisely this winter (more on this for the All-Star Break), it could be best to have Super Papel-Bon-Bon in the pen to pair with Hansen ending the opposition's hopes after the six inning.