ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Watch the first moon landing (they tell me it really happened) on TV. Check.
Survive two organ transplants. Check.
Have a long and wonderful marriage and a great kid. Check
See the Red Sox erase a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees in 2004 and win the World Series. Check.
See the Patriots win a Super Bowl in person. Check.
Watched live on TV both ends of the Bruins' 39-year Stanley Cup drought. Check.
Cover the game when from the press row in the Garden when Larry Bird stole the ball. Check.
Bucket List complete.
Bruins' "Miracle on Ice" followed by Drew's "Bop at the Trop."
A "Miracle on Craputurf."
What an incredible week for Boston sports. And it's only Thursday.
The announced attendance at Tropicana Field for Boston's 9-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays was 15,767. They must have been counting toes, not people. But millions no doubt will say they were there the night Stephen Drew dropped the big one into the right-center field bleachers.
Shock and awesome. Clutch home runs of nowhere were in the air at Tropicana Field Wednesday night as former Red Sox outfielder Bernie Carbo was at the Ted Williams Museum signing autographs before the game.
They've already taken measures to mark this historic occasion. The Baseball Hall of Fame has asked for Drew's bat and plants to recreate the scene in Cooperstown by taking the Sweetbay sign from right-center field. The Rays are adding a special red seat to mark the spot just to the left of the 370-foot marker where this historic clout landed.
One more shot like this and Drew might even knock Tom Brady off the Mt. Rushmore of Boston sports.
In a night when Nomar Garciaparra was in the house (working for ESPN), Drew took a giant step in silencing skeptics, such as the author of this blog and its Twitter feed, who are still haunted by the fact that his name is Drew and he wears No. 7. More importantly, Drew offered some hard-core proof at the plate that the Red Sox might have found someone who can give them stability at the shortstop and not finish the season with 22 RBI and a .179 batting average.
Drew began Boston's eight-run third inning by drawing a walk and not even realizing it was ball four. He would eventually score. Drew's grand blast on a 1-1 cutter in was so majestic and stunning (although my cousin sitting next to me did call it two pitches ahead of time), that he may have slipped next to Nomar on top of the list of "Best Red Sox Shortstops Since Johnny Pesky" with one swing.
Drew also turned a couple of sweet plays in the infield Wednesday. His second career grand slam and a line drive home run off the bat of Will Middlebrooks to right field in the ninth helped power the Red Sox to an easy 9-2 win and give the left side of the Red Sox infield a much-needed spark.
Wednesday night's victory was a steroid-laced shot in the arm for the Red Sox, who had lost nine of 11 and three straight heading into the game. Boston is now 5-9 this month after going a major league-best 18-8 in April. Jon Lester (6-0) kept the Rays dim all night, except for a little rough patch in the third inning. He kept the Rays from doing any damage, despite several threats, and only gave up one hit over his final four innings. Overall, he threw seven innings, giving up eight hits and just two runs on 107 pitches.
Grand slams out of a nowhere are a Drew Family Tradition, much like leading runners in scoring position in the eighth inning. J.D. gave the Red Sox his $70 million grand slam in Game 6 of the 2007 ALCS. The Red Sox were still down 3-2 in that series. But Drew's shot to dead center field in the first inning off Fausto Carmona gave the Sox a super-boost of confidence in that series and emotionally wrapped things up at that point, even though there were 17 innings to go before Boston would win the series and start Riverdancing.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Drew was hitting .119 and providing plenty of fuel for the "Bring Back Jose Iglesias debate." In the past 18 games, Drew is 20 of 63 (.317) with eight extra-base hits and 17 RBIs. So John Henry has now gotten two surprisingly clutch grand slams from the Drew boys for a mere $79 million.
A bargain at any price.
Time to get Tim Drew out of retirement.
The Red Sox could always use another arm in the bullpen.
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