I’ve never had to knock on wood

NESN blesses us with The Mayor this weekend! Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

The comments in the live blog basically sum up anything I would say about the game on Wednesday. It was infuriating and invigorating and nerve-wracking and inspiring. Who would think in a game where Jason Bay struck out five times and Josh Beckett gave up five earned runs in four innings – a game where thirteen different players went to bat but only five of them got hits – would end up making us so happy?

In the eleven-inning game, the last 24 batters for Baltimore didn’t reach base. Beckett, Daniel Bard, Ramon Ramirez and Jonathan Papelbon spent 8 innings keeping the Sox in the game and it paid off. Sox win the series, Papelbon becomes the all-time team leader in saves, and we get to forget about the abomination on Tuesday night. Enjoy the off-day on Thursday, fellas, you earned it!

We don’t have time to dwell on Baltimore…because All Star voting ends at 11:59pm on Thursday night. So, as a Nation, we have some work to do.

Here’s the thing: I’m not a competitive person. I’m just not. Beat me? Good for you; you were probably better than me. I wasn’t born with whatever people have that makes them want to compete and HAVE to win. I’m in it all for fun. As long as I’m having fun, you can keep on winning.

But, somehow, that attitude hasn’t translated to this year’s All Star Game. In one sense it has. Ian Kinsler at second base? Have at it, Ian. Your numbers are good. By all accounts, you seem to be a nice fella. Very few could argue that you aren’t as good an option at second, if not better, than Dustin Pedroia. If Pedie ends up winning the spot, I’ll be happy too but I’m not about to stuff any ballots for him.

Kevin Youkilis is a totally different story. Here’s where I remind people what a total homer I am. I’ll also remind you that I openly hate the Yankees. So it should come as no surprise that I want Kevin Youkilis to beat Mark Teixeira in the All Star voting this year.

Mind you, wanting him to win doesn’t necessarily equal wanting him to play. If some phantom (read: fake!) injury befell him and he couldn’t perform his duties, I’d certainly understand that. But I want him to win. I want The Yankee “Universe” to be collectively crestfallen that their new, multi-million dollar man missed by THAT much. Except I don’t want it to be by THAT much – I want it to be a landslide. I want so many votes for Youk that people won’t be sure if Teixeira came in second or third. I want Youk to be stupid with support. And I want to see Derek Jeter be the only player from the New York Yankees voted in as a starter by the fans. (Not that I want Jeter in there, but he’s going so why fight it?)

So this is the final push, people. If you haven’t already, go vote for Youk (and Pedroia if you’re so inclined)!

In what could be really good news for Tim Wakefield, MLB has decided to expand the All Star rosters this year to 33 players, adding a 13th pitcher to both teams. This makes practical sense (wouldn’t want a position player out there pitching, right?) add another guy. But it also puts Joe Maddon in the position of being ble to give Tim Wakefield a looksy for that slot. I’m a sentimental homer…I’d love to see that happen.

Go enjoy the off-day, people! And if you see Sean Casey (which isn’t so crazy since he’ll be in the booth with Donnie O all weekend!) wish him a happy 35th birthday today!

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