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Position players


 

Here’s a little trick I’ve discovered, which works more often than you might expect.

When you’re at a Red Sox game and the team is losing — the offense is anemic, say, and/or the pitching is mediocre — simply move. Get up from your seat and relocate to another part of the park. (If standing-room is the best you can do, big deal; consider it taking one for the team.)

It’s a stratagem that’s paid off for me more than once in the past — most recently last night.

Round about the middle of the seventh, with the score frozen at 4-1, the sole offensive production having come from Pedroia’s homer in the first, my buddy Ben and I departed our sopping wet bleacher seats and headed into the bowels of Fenway. Our plan was to grab a standing-room spot along the third baseline. But as luck would have it, some box-seat swells had vacated the premises — we duly took our place not far behind home plate. As it happened, this would prove an advantageous vantage point for what was about to unfold.

(The less said about the yuppie couple in front of us, who arrived at their seats at the top of the eighth and proceeded to sip wine — red for him, white for her — and poke away at their Blackberries while generally ignoring the on-field goings-on, the better.)

The game had been pretty boring up till now, of course, and I was despairing that our fourth loss in five was on its way. But as soon as we sat down, things started getting good.

Lugo singled to right.

Ellsbury did the same.

Pedroia laced one into center, scoring Lugo.

After Drew struck out, Manny grounded to third, advancing Ellsbury and Pedroia. And then Lowell doubled to left, scoring the both of ‘em.

The crowd, I can tell you, was rather enjoying this turn of events. Even the yuppies in front of me seemed to notice that something big was going down.

Then our captain Jason Varitek — who was mired in the 1-31 doldrums, who was being mercilessly razzed by the two high-school dopes to my left, who was wondering whether he should ever try to be a switch-hitter again — stepped to the plate ... to bat as a lefty.

And then he singled to right and pushed Lowell across the plate for the lead.

Bedlam.

And so, with Yooooooooook — and his shiner — inserted defensively at first base, “Wild Thing” boomed and Papelbon walked with affected deliberation to the edge of the grass, and then onto the mound. Two Ks, a walk, and a ground-out later, a win was on the boards where a certain loss had been before.

See? It’s all a matter of Positioning Yourself for Success.

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