In a game where it appeared that the Sox would not be denied; they finally were. Two valiant comebacks; and a third denied.
“Mendoza didn’t lose the game, I did,” said Nixon, who left 12 runners on base despite going 2-for-7. “… You want to be in the position to win the game, but I wasn’t successful.”
Way to shift some of the blame (and you DID strand a small army), but I think I’ll place the blame on Mendoza here. I’m finally tired of his “4 very good outings in a row and then blow it in a close game” pattern. Coincidentally; it was at about this time last year when I finally gave up on Tony Clark.
Still; even though they didn’t win; last night was another great example of why the 2003 Sox are a damned exciting team to watch.
So the Astros come to town tonight; the return of Jimy and Jeff. Bagwell and I went to the same high school in the town over from lovely Portland, CT. Unless you have been living in a cave; you know Bagwell’s history with the Sox; and you probably know that he was a die hard fan growing up. There is a nice interview in the print edition of the Hartford Courant about Bagwell; but I can’t seem to find it online. Gorden Edes does have a nice article as well.
Bagwell, who starred at the University of Hartford, was playing in a college all-star game in Fenway Park on the day of the draft.
”I called my father,” Bagwell said, ”and asked him, `Anything yet?’ He said no. I said, `Oh, man,’ and started to drive home, a two-hour drive.
”By the time I got to the house, the entire house was filled with people. My dad came out with a Red Sox jersey and hat. My grandparents were crying.
”That was the only team I had anything to do with my whole time growing up. That’s all we did, watch the Red Sox, talk about the Red Sox. I was Yaz. I used to hold my bat like him, but righthanded. He was tough, though, because he changed every year. He was my idol growing up. I remember watching Roger [Clemens] when he first came up. I was in high school. Now he’s a friend of mine. It’s funny how that works.
”It was a dream come true for me. Then, when I got traded, everybody was crushed.”
And I didn’t know about this; if only the injury was worse!
”I told my wife [Ericka], `Honey, would you be upset if I asked for a trade to see if I can get into the American League [where he could DH]?’ She said, `Give it some time, see what happens.’ I felt like I couldn’t help, I couldn’t get any better. All I could do was hit. But it got better as the spring went on.”
Bagwell instead of Giambi and Ortiz would have been fine with me…