Tuesday, May 23, 2006

good to the last drop

The walk-off squeeze bunt in the 10th inning wasn't even the strangest thing that happened at the Sox game last night.

Neither was LeiGh Vanna White-ing a bag of Sox peanuts while behind bars.

Most of it happened in the second inning. To wit:
  • There was genuine applause when Frank Thomas came up the first time in the second. Which instantly turned into "uh, what now?" when he promptly escorted the baseball to deep left, just like he always used to do. I mean, we're happy to see you do well, but uh, why couldn't you be satisfied with, say, a double off the wall? And then he hits another homer in the 5th. Garland sucks.
  • Ozzie, annoyed with the tight strike zone and Garland's generally sucktacularity, comes out to the mound to talk to his pitcher after giving up Thomas' aforementioned and a back-to-back, cherry on top, solo shot to Bobby Crosby. Umpire Doug Eddings comes out to break up the meeting, Ozzie apparently didn't like the color of Eddings' trousers, gets tossed.
  • Play is stopped for a good long while as a squirrel prances around in the left field grass. Pablo Ozuna, hamfisted outfielder though he is, knows enough to not get near the wild animal, and generally gives off the body language of, "I don't get paid for that." The security guys along the left field stands? Not moving an inch.

    Finally, like sheep to the slaughter, two grounds crew guys jog out of the visitor's dugout, which is on the right field side, i.e., the furthest away from the squirrel possible. The crew dudes start sprinting when they realize 40,000 people are watching them attempt to do their jobs. The squirrel, alert to the possibility of a golden comedic moment, now jailbreaks for the center field warning track. Grounds crew guys freak, try to cut off the path of escape, squirrel doubles back to the left field corner. Cheers of "SQUIRREL... SQUIRREL... SQUIRREL" have predictably arisen. Jill shakes her head, wonders where we are "right now." Helpful fans along the left field stands try to reach out to catch it, maybe not thinking about how dumb grabbing a feral rodent might be. Order restored when the squirrel hides under? inside? the tarp. ToddH deadpans, "maybe the squirrel can pitch."

The rest was pretty straightforward. Mackowiak ties it, Jenks holds' em, Pablo squeezes it.