Well, maybe not really. I’m avoiding both games of importance tonight (Sox/Jays – Yanks/DRays) because they’re both just too ugly. I’m not all that worried about the Yanks gaining a game. Worse things have happened and there’s still the rest of the month to play ball. I’m just not in the mood to be annoyed. So I’m thinking about something that has been in the back of my mind all day. It’s how older players (specifically in the case I’m thinking about: pitchers) react to the younger guys coming on the team and doing well, basically grabbing some glory away from them. Really, acting as a reminder that they are getting older and are on their way out, and there is always someone there to replace them.
I started thinking about this last night after Mike Timlin gave up that three-run homer and tied the game that was, at one time, a 5-0 lead. He sat in the dugout and then watched Jonathan Papelbon pitch three near-perfect innings, while Big Papi came up and finished things off for us.
I’m sure he was happy the team won and Papelbon kept them in the game. But there had to have been a bit of, "jeez, I’m old enough to be this kid’s dad and he’s showing me up here" too.
(Mind you, I have no idea about what Mike Timlin thinks. Maybe he hasn’t given this a thought at all and I’m just pulling things out of the air to talk about…but it’s been kind of nagging at me…and then, to top it off, a friend of mine points out today that Papi gave Papelbon his "special hug"…the one that there are TWO pictures out there of Papi giving it to Timlin after a win. These are from August 26th and September 7th. Papelbon got one of those last night. And I should be happy for him. Heck, I AM happy for him. What’s good for him is good for the team. I suppose being only a couple of years younger than Timlin, and hearing him make remarks about OTHER people commenting on his age, makes me relate to him better than some other people on the team. I find it sad how people get tossed aside in sports. I’m not saying this has happened to Timlin…not yet, anyway…but it will. At some point. And it stinks. And I guess focussing on that right now works better for me than focussing on the crappy way the Red Sox are playing tonight.