Please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times

Sox fans and Philly fans both got a roller coaster ride yesterday with PLENTY of ups and downs. Very much like the extra inning game they played in late June. This time, however, it was the Philly Coaster that derailed.

I only started watching in earnest around the 7th inning. I was thrilled when they took the lead on Ortiz’ triple, and chilled when Timlin gave it right back up. I almost went back downstairs and joined my guests. But I figured; what the hell…one more inning. They’ve come so close to late inning comebacks the past 2 games, maybe this time they could pull it out. And luckily, that’s what happened.

A couple not-totally-game related issues festering in Red Sox Nation today that I wanted to add to.

First of all, regarding giving Clemens a standing ovation on Sunday. I’m proud to have taken part in it. I booed him from the second he left the bullpen until Torre came to pull him out. At that point, in my opinion, it was time to acknowledge a Hall of Fame pitcher who did more than a little bit for the Sox in his day. That seemed to be the majority opinion in the crowd that day. I’ve seen a little backlash in some circles regarding “How could you cheer for Clemens?” or “How could you cheer for a Yankee in the middle of an important game that the Sox are losing?”.

Nobody was cheering for the Yankees. Hell; I wasn’t even cheering for the performance Clemens put in on that day. I was clapping to pay respects to a great baseball player, no matter how little I think of his decisions since 1997.

The second issue is Manny. On one hand, I think too big a deal is being made of him at the Ritz Saturday night. He lives there, he was talking to a friend of his. BFD. I also think too much is being made of the “I want to play in New York” statement. Although I agree it was a dumb thing to say, in the context of the conversation with Morgan (growing up near the Stadium, going there with his father as a kid), they are almost defensible.

However, the problem I DO have is not showing up at the park on Sunday, and then still being too ‘sick’ to pinch hit at all yesterday. Apparantly sitting in the clubhouse for most of the game yesterday. That’s BS, in my opinion. Unless a doctor told you to stay home, or to not sit on the bench with your teammates, you should be out there. And it seems like some of the Sox feel the same way:

“I’d much rather not give thoughts on that,” Damon said. “We know he’s a big part of our team. So we want him around whether it’s sitting on the bench or just holding a bat somewhere. That’s all I’ll comment on that.”

“This says a lot about the team and guys who are on it and guys who went into the game today,” said Nixon, making an obvious reference to Manny’s reluctance to grab a bat. “You can look at that any way you want. I’m sure a lot of people would like to have seen Manny up there. Well, I’m just as confident with the people who went to the plate. Those guys are the MVPs of this game. I’m not talking about Manny, just those guys.”

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