Yeah: they look stressed about being down 3 games to 1, don't they? Manny being Manny, and Beckett looking, well, bemused is the best I can come up with.
For the Red Sox to play a game 6 on Saturday, my limited intelligence has come up with the following.
Josh Beckett needs a reminder he is the Commander of the Kick A** Brigade and bring his A game. Nothing less will do. We need at least 7 innings of fastballs that top out at 98 mph, curve balls that fall off the table, at least 3 FYYO, and at a minimum, 1 busted water cooler.
Manny and Papi need to continue treating each AB like batting practice: HR's, doubles off the wall, and random pointing of fingers and goofy hand shakes. And in Manny's case, if you hit a Home Run, nothing less than 15 seconds of admiring said shot will be accepted: if they don't like it, tell 'em not to throw it where you can hit it.
For Mike Lowell: continue what you've been doing, sir. Great defense, a few doubles to the gap, and if it's not too much trouble. a 3 run HR.
JD, Tek, Coco, and Lugo: I'm not asking for the moon. Just a few timely hits here and there, with the random stolen base snuck in between, and the occasional clutch play on defense. I'm not going to go crazy: just pitch in where you can.
Youk: keep on keeping on, brother. You've been a rock all year and in the post season. Don't change a thing.
Munchkin: you are my role model and my hero: candaon and I look up to you. Literally. You are the Rookie of the Year: quit pressing and act like it. OK?
Tito: on the off chance you get a "hunch" to bring in Gagne? Just fight that feeling off like it was Joe Torre shooting for your job: take a look out at that bullpen. You see that guy that looks like he'd take your head off with a pair of rusty pliers and some WD40? That's Mike Timlin: he'll do just fine.
And if you're tempted to go with the Baseball 101 book and bring Lopez in to face a lefty? Give yourself a good hard shot to the marbles, throw that idea out the rear view window, and bring in Okajimer: sure his arm is tired and he needs some rest. That's what the off season is for.
Jonathon Papelbon. I've seen your work: it's quality stuff. Be in your managers office, sitting in his chair and drinking his coffee when he arrives at the park tomorrow. Tell him you are ready to throw the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning if needed. You are 26 years old, full of piss and vinegar, and recently paraded around Fenway Park with a Bud Light box on your head: I think you can handle a few innings extra of work.
Because this is it fellas: lose tomorrow, and you go home. For 6 LONG months. You don't want that any more than I do. If we win tomorrow, you get to go back to Fenway and Curt Freaking Schilling gets a shot at redemption.
Does anyone in their right mind not think Schilling would KILL for this opportunity? He of the bloody sock, the "nothing would make me happier to make 50,000 people shut up" quote, and never met a camera he didn't like wouldn't rise to the occasion?
After that, it's game 7. To paraphrase Kevin Millar: "Who knows what would happen in Game 7?"
Yeah: it's a crazy plan. But it just may be crazy enough to work.