Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Well, who would have ever thought we’d be back in the Bronx?

30 teams before the Red Sox this year had gone down 3-0 in a seven game playoff series. 25 had gone on to be swept. After the beating the Sox had taken in Game 3, I was pretty sure it was over. No MLB team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit. I thought the Sox might win a game, but probably not get much further than that.

All that was before the events of the last two nights. Two extra inning games at Fenway, each taking more than five hours. Sterling work by the Red Sox bullpen, holding the mighty Yankees lineup at bay for inning after inning. And, of course, the two game winning hits by David Ortiz - a home run in game 4 and a single in game 5. No one has ever had a playoff like David Ortiz this year. He’s taken the team on his back and carried them all the way back to Yankee Stadium.

Now it’s game 6. Curt Schilling, remarkably, is back pitching, bad ankle and all. Thankfully, he looks like the 21 game winner we saw all year after 2 innings. We’re currently in the top of the third in a 0-0 tie. John Leiber looks much more vulnerable than he did in game 2, although he’s been bailed out by double plays in the 2nd and 3rd innings.

Win or lose tonight, it’s been amazing how this Red Sox team got up off the mat and fought back in two of the most incredible baseball games the old ballpark in the Fens has ever seen. But wouldn’t a game 7 in the Bronx be a great thing?

I’ve been neglecting the other playoff series, but the Astros and Cardinals hooked up in an classic last night, too. St. Louis Woody Williams and Houston’s Brandon Backe had dueling shutouts until the 9th, when Jeff Kent hit a 3-run, walk-off home run off the Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen. Even though the game started three hours later than the Sox-Yankees, it only finished about 20 minutes later.

Schilling got through the third, a ground rule double by Miguel Cairo being rendered harmless after Jeter popped to center.

One other thing I did this weekend was to finally get around to watching Star Wars on DVD. It really looks and sounds fabulous; as good as any DVD I have in my collection. I had to do a little work to get it working, though; I discovered my right rear surround speaker had come unhooked and I had to get behind the entertainment center to fix it.

Of course, these disks are the “special editions” that George Lucas put out in the late ‘90s. Lucas made a number of alterations to the movies, and the most were done to Episode IV. I don’t really have much objection to most of them. There’s a scene with Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt that was cut from the original movie. The human actor who played Jabba originally was replaced with a CGI Jabba for the theatrical release, and the scene has been reworked again with a better looking Jabba for the DVD release. Another scene added was between Biggs and Luke Skywalker before the battle with the Death Star. Most of the rest of the changes are alterations to background scenes and reworking some special effects.

Then there’s the really objectionable scene. George Lucas decided that a hero like Han Solo wouldn’t shoot first, as he did when he gunned down Greedo in the cantina bar in the original movie. It was a very effective scene, as we saw the evolution of Han during the three movies from heartless mercenary to hero of the Rebel Alliance.

The reworked scene has Greedo shooting first (actually, they fire almost simultaneously) and inexplicably missing Han from about three feet away. It really ruins the power of the scene, and the journey for Han’s character throughout the three movies.

OK, this is really bizarre. Bellhorn hit what looked to be a three run homer in the top of the 4th. The replays clearly showed it hitting a fan and bouncing back onto the field of play. The left field ump somehow called the ball in play! Fortunately, the umpires congregated and decided that the ball did, in fact, go over the fence. 4-0 Sox in the 4th!


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