Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Darnell McDonald's world, and we're all just living in it.

One of the great things about baseball is the ability for a player to transcend his talents, even if just for a day. A sub-.500 pitcher like Don Larsen can pitch a perfect game in the World Series. Bernie Carbo, who had only 96 career home runs, can come up and slug a pinch-hit homer that became the stuff of legend.

So it is with McDonald. Pretty much a career minor leaguer, he has had a couple of cups of coffee with the Orioles, Twins and Reds. Tuesday morning, he was with the Pawsox and wasn't even on the 40-man roster until Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury went on the DL. He didn't start Tuesday night's game, but ended up hitting the game-tying homer against Texas, following that up with a game winning single off the Monster in the bottom of the 9th. This led to one of the great pig-piles of all time, as McDonald's new teammates celebrated a desperately needed victory.

Last night, the merry-go-round ride continued as McDonald bashed another home run and threw out Julio Borbon at the plate (although Varitek's brilliant block of the plate gives him more than 50% of the credit for that play). The Sox won in another walkoff, this one taking 12 innings with Youk getting the big hit.

So, Darnell McDonald has gone from being a guy best known for running a race against a horse for a minor league promotion to being a New England folk hero. He's one of those guys who, although he may not make a huge contribution to the team in the overall scheme of things, will always put a smile on your face when his name comes up in conversation.


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