Thursday, at the trade deadline, I could feel a whirlwind of emotions. Relief that there was resolution. Shock that there had really been a trade (my heart knew it had to happen, but my head thought the deal would never go through). Apprehension at a team without Manny. And anticipation to see what we had in Jason Bay.
I had a ticket for Friday night, and while I was a bit disappointed I hadn’t had one for what turned out to be Manny’s last game, I was very happy to have one for Jay Bay’s first!
I was delighted to see that there were already T-shirts for sale–and already people wearing them! Not to mention one young man in a Sox hat and a Bay Pirates jersey.
It had to be overwhelming for him, but he already seemed to take it in stride.
And I was very moved to be part of the first ovations for him. I’d been a little anxious about the fan response, but it was a magnificent showing of the best that Boston has to offer. And he himself looked both moved and a touch uncomfortable, in a very endearing way, to be receiving accolades before he’d even had a chance to show what he could do.
Accidentally shot with the shutter speed too slow, but I kinda liked the effect!
Oof! Well, it’s one way to get on base…
Of course, he went to score the first run–the one that looked like it might be enough, especially if we had good defense…
…like the kind he showed on a magnificent sliding catch, for which he’s getting a pat from Lowrie here. And it was at that moment that I realized I was smitten, in a baseball sense.
Perhaps it would have been the perfect capper if the ball he hit high off the Monster had cleared it, but as a longtime fan of Jed Lowrie, I guess I’m not sorry that they could both celebrate!
I couldn’t be at the park for Saturday’s heroics, though I did see Sean Casey that day and he was effusive in his praise of Jay Bay. But I was back at the park Sunday, in my brand new Bay 44 shirt!
Youk pointing something out. I’d like to think it’s the hawk. “And if you see that… just make sure it’s not carrying its lunch. Sometimes it likes to… share.”
Pregame warming up.
I took a shot like this Friday but he looks much better here; it could be a better seat and better light, but I’d like to think it’s my growing affection!
At the risk of undermining my baseball credibility, I have to note that Jay Bay’s got a very nice, er, stance.
Too late, Rob Bowen!
We’re no strangers to embracing new players midyear in Boston, of course; 2004 is enduring testimony to that! But I’m a little surprised myself by how happy I am to have Jay Bay in the fold. No, I don’t think we’re going to win out the rest of the way, of course. But it’s funny how a solid, capable, down-to-earth guy has made my Sox-loving heart soar again.
now the radio stutters. snaps to life.
some sour song that sets it right.
and when London falls
he’d like to call
but the stars collide.
they’re beautiful and much maligned.
in a universe where you see the worst,
and it’s up to you to fix it.
I’ve written before of my mixed feelings about Manny Ramirez, but it certainly seemed to me that over the last few weeks the pendulum swung very, very far toward the “tired of Manny” end. And in the last days, I couldn’t envision any scenario in which the Sox didn’t trade Manny. So I battened down the hatches, said my prayers over the players I least wanted to lose in the collateral damage (including you, Mr. Masterson, and you, Mr. Bowden), and held my breath. As everyone knows, as the minutes ticked by it looked less and less likely that a deal would happen, but as with the Nomar trade in 2004, the word finally broke after the deadline, and Manny was gone.
What’s hard for me to understand is that no few media people reported that for the first part of this year, Manny was as happy as they’d ever seen him–and my photos seemed to bear that out.
Opening Day: why high five when you can touch fingertips? April 8, 2008.
Cavorting with Youk, pregame, April 13, 2008.
With the two teammates I think were best for him: Lugo and Papi.
Getting into it Manny-style with the Royals, May 22, 2008.
Home Run #500 in Baltimore, May 31, 2008.
June 3, 2008.
“What do you mean you got traded?” Cincinnati, June 14, 2008.
With Alex Gonzalez, Cincinnati, June 15, 2008.
After Youk’s grand slam, making light of their supposed issues, July 12, 2008.
I can’t help but think that Scott Boras had something to do with this relatively dramatic change. After all, Manny’s new agent wouldn’t have been in line for a payday if the Red Sox picked up Manny’s option, and what better way to make sure Manny made sure he wasn’t wanted than to make him think he was disrespected?
Regardless of why things broke down so irrevocably, it wasn’t just Manny who experienced the consequences. Manny’s off to Los Angeles, but two of my favorite youngsters are off to Pittsburgh.
If you’ve checked out sittingstill.net in the past, you’ve probably noticed that Craig Hansen has been a favorite photo target of mine. I couldn’t help it; I’m not sure I can think of another player where I think my snaps are so much better than anything out there from the pros!
September 25, 2005
March 15, 2006
With Paps, July 31, 2006.
March 3, 2007
May 30, 2008
July 9, 2008
I did shoot him pitching too, honest. But of course, he struggled a bit. He was probably brought up too fast in 2006, and it seemed to me that the resultant up-and-down year, plus some tweaking the Sox tried to do with his mechanics, left him not knowing which way was up. Spending all of 2007 in Pawtucket seemed to be the right plan, and he did pitch well, if inconsistently, for the Sox this year. My hope for him is that a fresh start and the National League work some Cla Meredith-like magic for him.
And we also lost Brandon Moss.
March 7, 2007.
Wreaking havoc with the Fenway scoreboard, September 2, 2007.
Defeating Mirabelli in rock-paper-scissors, September 11, 2007.
Collecting his World Series ring, April 19, 2008.
Evading man-monster Richie Sexson, June 8, 2008.
My hope for Mossy is that, like David Murphy, a new team will provide new opportunities, and he’ll stick on the major league roster. He’s been one of the nicest players I’ve ever had a chance to chat with; Dan Hoard, one of the PawSox radio guys, named him with Sean Casey, David Murphy, and David Pauley as members of the all-time list of nicest professional athletes. I know good character doesn’t always translate to success in the big leagues, but I hope that in this case he looks back at today as a positive turning point in solid career.
Jason Bay… better put your best face on tomorrow night. You’ve got a big role to fill, but I promise I’ll always try to catch you in good light.