The Darkman.....Our Darkman
This is from the Sunday Herald...read the entire article by clicking on the title...it gets into the deep dark mysteries of our newly restocked and revamped bullpen. Here you go.......
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - "The Japanese have a term for people like Hideki Okajima. Loosely translated, the kage no hero is “a supporting actor, someone who lives in the shadow of the hero.” (Peter here...he is the man called Darkman, living in the shadows until he bursts into the sunlight, the spotlight, as bright as our live-giving sun, whenever his team needs him)
"But if Okajima keeps this up when the Red Sox start playing games for real, he’ll be casting a sizable shadow himself.
Making his eighth official appearance of the spring, Okajima threw two scoreless innings yesterday in the Red Sox’ 1-1 tie with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 10 innings at Al Lang Field. The outing trimmed Okajima’s spring ERA to 1.69. He has allowed two runs in 10 innings, both runs coming on solo homers."
For all of the attention that has been placed on Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1, 2.84 ERA in 12 innings), Okajima has been equally as impressive.
“In Japan, it’s the same thing. The starting pitcher and the closer get the spotlight,” the engaging Okajima said through interpreter Sachiyo Sekiguchi. “But if you know your baseball, you know how important the set-up man is. I play that role and I’m very proud of it.” It’s a good thing, too. The biggest question concerning the Red Sox now is the bridge leading to him. (Peter---OH YES!)
“You know what he is? He’s a professional pitcher,” Francona said. “He knows what he’s doing. I think he’s just as tough on righties as he is on lefties.”
Peter yet again. When it comes to the Darkman, I HAVE to say something. And that is this. Now that Paps has given us the lock on the closer's role, the set-up guys remain the obvious mystery, the "if solved" puzzle that could catapult the Boston Red Sox into first place, right through October. My faith right now is off the scale. Will it be another 2004? No, nothing could mirror 2004, unless we are talking about that final result. But the shades are open, the light of hope streams in. Feel it? Feel the warmth. We can all breath. This team, our team, the one we love, looks great. So fasten all the seat belts and harnesses. And enjoy the ride. Today's game is on NESN this afternoon, as all eyes, fans or coaches, are intent to see how the approaching end of this spring training period concudes.
WE HAVE A CLOSER. The 'pen will settle in and fill their roles. 8 days...my goodness!
As always, thanks for reading. Your comments would be so great. Click on the title for the great article from the Hearld. You'll be glad you did. And oh, you make me happy just by being here! (And I could use a little happiness so much!)