It’s taken me a day to process it all, but I’m reiterating my prediction that the Red Sox will win 112 games, as I did when exchanging high fives with randoms in Boston Beer Works (where we ended up after getting denied entrance to the ballpark with our fake press credentials that we had drawn on napkins) once Papelbon secured the final out Sunday night. That’s how excited I am that it’s baseball season.
As for where it stands in the history of Opening Days, I’ll say that it’s up there. We started the day around 5 at Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill, and that was a very good decision. First of all, the place is gorgeous. The two giant TVs above the bar, and the literally dozens of other plasmas surrounding both the big boys and the rest of the place make it so that there is no bad pace to sit (even on the crapper), and they got all of the little touches right.There are jerseys on the wall (the classic four retired numbers), bats frame the TVs above the bar and though it’s named after Jerry Remy, the place is not a shrine to him. The whole main room is open front to back on nice days and you can see the ballpark from the inside.
The staff took care of us very nicely, as we were greeted at the back door (hey-o) by the General Manager, Don, and our server, Curtis, was very attentive, even after the girls left. The food was great, as expected, but what really surprised me was the beer selection. It wasn’t huge, but Don, who put it together, really knows his stuff. There were the regular local favorites and lawnmower beers (even ponies of high life), but there was also a selection of craft brews (like Delerium Tremens and Bear Republic’s Racer 5) that rivaled some of my favorite beer bars. Needless to say that the experience there is one which I highly recommend.
Once the game started, there was nothing I was all that disappointed in. Sure, Beckett wasn’t dominating, but he’s not supposed to be in mid season form, and this is a lineup which grinds you. It also may drive him to be even better as he has to prove that he’s worth his new $68 million extension. He’ll be fine. I also loved that the new guys showed up in a big way. The fact that Beltre, Cameron and Scutaro were all instrumental both in the field and at bat in the win went a long way to make those who doubted their ability to hit calm down, and also got the monkey off of their backs.
All of the other stuff that went on (i.e.the Sox bullpen flexing their muscles while the Yanks’ pen was flaccid, Papelbon’s save, the creepy kid saying to screw the Yankees in the pregame festivities, the power exhibited by Pedroia and Youkilis) was awesome, and having Pedro come back to smile his way in from left field, give the Willy Mays Hayes salute to Ortiz, throw the opening pitch to his old catcher and then hug Johnny Pesky was just tremendous.
Oh, and if you missed it yesterday, apparently Jason Heyward was worth all of the hype that has been spread around him.
7:05 tonight, the Sox are in first place, the Yankees in last, and we get to do this 161 more times. Awesome.