Monday, May 31, 2010

The Tek and Papi Reunion Tour

Even from the right field grandstand, it was easy to tell that Jon Lester didn't have his best stuff yesterday. It seemed like every count was going 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2, and more than once Lester would start off 0-2, and manage to walk the batter. Jon was obviously struggling, and he was almost like a vintage Daisuke in his ability to wiggle out of some jams in the early frames.

Even when the Sox were behind (it was a brief one inning), it was a great day to be at the park: the weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and my seats were in the shade (I'm pale enough to be borderline albino - I wear SPF 100+).

When the bats started to come alive, I was practically in heaven. Watching Jason Varitek and David Ortiz go yard on a beautiful summer afternoon took me right back to those magical years when the two were the best at their respective positions - and both seem to be enjoying a resurgence of late.

My Papi poster... That sweet swing is making a comeback tour!

The Boston Globe online notes that David Ortiz is the best he's been in three years, while Globe columnist Chad Finn gives Varitek an "A," but cautions against overwork. Interestingly enough, the appraches to keeping these two aging players productive must be opposites: David needs to be in the lineup as much as possible in order to saty in his groove and keep getting good looks at pitches, and Varitek is raking because of all his time on the bench.

As an everyday catcher, the toll on Tek's body in recent years has been enormous - his first and second half splits were absurdly different in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and it's obvious that the toll on his joints from catching was the culprit. Now, largely relieved from those duties, he can focus more on hitting, and it's paying off.

One of the first Sox posters I ever bought was this Tek one... I miss the high socks.

I get a lot of personal joy from having these two back to some semblance of their old form, as they've been with the team for most of my baseball watching life (Tek more so than Papi, but still). Though my bedroom (both at home and at school) is thoroughly covered in Red Sox paraphenalia, only three players have full-sized posters of their own on my walls: Dustin Pedroia (obviously), David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek. Now if Pedey could just get his swagger back, all would be right with my walls... erm, world.

Some might think having Pedroia's giant face on your wall is creepy... These people clearly don't know me at all.

1 comment:

  1. As probably Tek's number one fan, it's great seeing him play well (even if it is off the bench). Looking forward to seeing him possibly reach 20 HR for the first time since '05.