It's a big night for Red Sox Nation as the long awaited John Smoltz show begins. Let's quickly go around the horn before tuning into NESN and waiting for a sideline report from Heidi....
--John Smoltz returns to major league baseball tonight after tossing just 28 innings last year prior to his injury. Gone are the days of an overpowering pitcher, so I expect to see a guy spotting fastballs around 90 or 91 while emphasizing his change up. NESN has been pumping up this game ever since his start date was decided, we should all expect to be able to write Smotlz's wikipedia page by the time the game is over.
--David "I'm so back" Ortiz is batting cleanup tonight with Youk sitting out. I've got to hand it to Ortiz, we were all calling for his head just 3 weeks ago, but ever since he hooked that 304 foot home run around Pesky's pole, he's been the Big Papi of old. Speaking of old, perhaps he really isn't 37 like I've been telling everyone.
--Jason Bay is not a US citizen (although he'll be one soon). I find this absolutely hilarious for some reason. I'm not sure why, but Canadians just make me laugh. I don't care where he's from so long as he keeps hitting .340+ with RISP.
--Red Sox minor leaguers Casey Kelly and Junichi Tazawa were named to the All-Star Futures Game.....if you remember, ITM had a hint of man love for Tazawa....which will continue until he makes it to the big leagues and gives up a tater late and close.
--The Red Sox are over .500 on the road right now....which hasn't happened in ITM's relatively brief existence.....combine that with the first sign of sunshine since May...and that's cause for celebration.
--Just a general note here....maybe it's just me, but I'm at that point where I go into every single Sox game fully expecting to win. I know it's an unreasonable expectation, but I felt the same way for a lot of 2007 too, and that season turned out pretty well.
--Lastly, I'm running in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge tonight. Which unfortunately starts at 7:15pm.....honestly.....when they heard John Smoltz was making his Red Sox debut, why not reschedule the race? 12,000 people would understand. Dumb.
So long as I get through the race without re-rupturing my Achilles, I'll be flying home to ice down and get behind Smoltz.....provided he's still in the game. Go Sox.