Several bows and a handshake
More zaniness at City of Palms Park today where the Yankees and Hideki Matsui came to town. Because the Red Sox had their annual union meeting and didn’t have regular scheduled batting practice, there was no casual greeting between Hideki Matsui and Daisuke Matsuzaka. In lieu of that, one was organized.
The dead give-away came when the large throng of Japanese photographers walked down the third base line at about 6:30, almost as if in a parade. In actuality, they were getting in position for the money shot of Matsui, Matsuzaka and Okajima meeting each other behind home plate.
It’s been a long time since Dice-K and Matsui have been on the same field. It was 2001 in the Japan Series. Matsui was 0-for-3 against Matsuzaka, but his team swept the series. Could Matsuzaka earn some good, old-fashioned revenge in this year’s ALCS?
One of the treats with a Red Sox-Yankee game is getting the opportunity to ask Joe Torre questions. This guy is one of the most quotable people I’ve ever seen in my years of covering sports. Ask him a question, and, invariably, he gives you a great answer.
Torre seemed delighted that Papelbon is no longer closing for the Sox. Here was his quote on the Red Sox closing situation:
“it’s a huge question mark. You play in that ballpark, no
lead is safe in that ballpark. Where other ballparks, three runs is save, five
or six should be a save in that ballpark. Leads disappear very quickly. That
kid, what a job he did. Papelbon did a spectacular job. He was intimidating,
sort of really the opposite of what Foulke brought to the mound. With Foulke, it was more finesse and knowhow. This
kid has great stuff and seemed pretty polished too. But yeah, closer is like a
It was also funny to hear Torre’s impression on rabid Red Sox fans. He was asked if he’s surprised the rivalry hasn’t toned down any since the Sox actually did win the World Series in 2004.
"I thought some of the anger would subside. Sometimes you
have to remind the Red Sox fans they did win the world series. They still
maintain that personality. I mean, I love Boston, but the anger that has been built up there over the years is still the same.
There’s still a lot of resentment to the Yankeess and stuff like that. That’s
what fuels the whole rivlary. It’s a great rivalry. I thought the Dodgers and
Giants, which I grew up with, was pretty special. But I wasn’t on the field for
those so I really couldn’t give you the true flavor of it. This is something special."
Just an FYI to all you faithful readers, I’m getting on a plane to Boston in the morning and going home to spend six days with my family. Redsox.com will be in the fine hands of Maureen Mullen, who does a very nice job. As long as she doesn’t Wally Pipp me, all will be right in the world!
But feel free to keep chiming in on the blog and all check the comments section on occasion. I’ll be back in the saddle on March 20.
Until then, peace out and sayonara!