May 26, 2004

Red Is The Color Of Love. Ed Cossette is in love. So am I. A Red Sox team that gets on base 31 times in 8 innings and waltzes to a 12-2 victory over a possible playoff opponent will always cause my heart to skip a beat.

Ed mentions the "deep throated, all encompassing crowd roar" we heard many times last night at Fenway Park. He's describing the "Yoooooouuuuuuk" chant for 3B Kevin Youkilis, but the noise I love most is what I hear a split-second after Manny Ramirez makes perfect contact with the baseball -- and the tiny white circle gets smaller and smaller against the dark sky. ... What is that roar? It's not clapping, really, and it's not screaming, though it includes both of those things. The roar seems to mimic the arc of the home run, as well as the fans themselves as they rise en masse out of their seats.

I tape the games on the weekend and usually watch them both on Mondays. Two days ago, I rewound and watched Ramirez's Saturday home run against Ted Lilly several times. And what I enjoyed most wasn't the home run -- though Manny's swing is a thing of beauty -- but the synchronization of the action on the field and the roar of more than 35,000 fans. The ball appeared to rise and sail on the strength of that roar.

Andy Dominique made his major league debut last night. He took over at first base in the top half of the 8th inning and here he was, coming to the plate in the bottom half. The crowd gave him a standing ovation and he quickly got ahead 2-0. Then the chant began -- "An-dy! An-dy! An-dy!" -- it was loud! -- and I'd be surprised if it didn't distract him a bit. He took two strikes and then waved at strike three. No matter. ... It was another glorious night at the ball park, three wonderful hours spent in the company of the team we love.

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