Red Sox just fine with 'Jason Being Jason'
BOSTON -- Life sure is simpler with Manny Ramirez gone. The Green Monster will no longer be treated like a Mass. Pike rest stop. Pine-tar helmet gunk has been purged from the dugout. And of course, any day that passes without the phrase "Manny being Manny" being uttered is a good day.
- In his Red Sox debut, Bay received a standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd as he stepped to the plate for the first time. He later tripled in the 12th inning and scored on a Jed Lowrie single to give Boston a 2-1 victory over Oakland. Talk about an omen.
- Bay batted .400 (12-for-30) out of the chute and hit safely in 13 of his first 14 games with Boston. The Red Sox went 10-4 in that stretch and 34-19 overall after acquiring Bay from Pittsburgh. The Dodgers, in contrast, posted a 30-24 record after picking up Ramirez.
- While no MVP award exists in the division series, Bay would have been a leading candidate. He hit a two-run homer off John Lackey in Game 1, added a three-run shot off Ervin Santana in Game 2, and doubled and scored the winning run on a Lowrie single in the ninth inning of the series finale.
During the postgame hysteria in the Boston clubhouse late Monday night, Bay found time to duck away from reporters and plant a hug and a kiss on his 22-month-old daughter, Addison. He wore a bandage on his left hand to protect a minor spike wound suffered during his climactic head-first slide.Bay half-jokingly observed that the cut only hurt when he spilled champagne on it. "I'm such a wimp," Bay said. "But my buddies back home wouldn't let me live it down if I let this bother me." Back home is Western Canada, where Bay survived the usual obstacles of limited playing time and a lack of exposure to make it in the pros. He played his college ball at Gonzaga University, and signed with Montreal for $1,000 as a 22nd-round draft pick in 2000.
From the day I got here, these guys treated me like I'd been here five years -- busting my chops out of the gate, which is what you do in baseball. It's been an easy transition.
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