I love this word. It's a childish thing really. Cocksure sounds like it's a dirty word. It's not.
Courtesy of Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: cock·sure
1 : feeling perfect assurance sometimes on inadequate grounds
2 : marked by overconfidence or presumptuousness : COCKY
One might think I chose the word cocksure as the title of this post to describe the collective state of mind of Red Sox Nation after a two spectacular come from behind winds against the Jays and Yanks followed by another solid win over the Evil Empire again today. I didn't. The title of the post describes the look on the face of the man in the Yankees on-deck circle in the 9th inning of today's game.
To frame the situation, the Sox are up 7-5 in the 9th. They've squandered numerous opportunities to break the game wide open including a bases loaded situation in the 8th. At no point during the game did I get that "uh oh" feeling. However, this is the New York Yankees and they haven't exactly been putting up goose eggs recently (on the offensive or defensive side of the ball). We get to the ninth and in comes this blog's namesake, Jon Papelbon.
Game, set match, right? Not quite. Papelbon gets a fairly quick out against Johnny Damon. Then walks Melky Cabrera on four straight balls. Next up, Derek Jeter. The Nation's palms begin to sweat a little (not a lot, after all, we have uber-closer, Jon Papelbon, pitching for us). Papelbon makes Jeter look like Dustin Pedroia against Johann Santana on a couple pitches, the last of which sends Jeter to the bench. Now we get the mighty Bobby Abreu. Not a world beater but still dangerous.
So here's where the title of this post comes in. The Fox camera flashes to A-Rod swinging the bat in the on deck circle. He's got a little smirk on his face as if to say, sorry Boston, I'm about to ruin your Saturday night. And you know what, the guy should feel that way. I dislike A-Rod immensely but I will give the him credit. He's been lights out so far this season (of course this will not last when it counts -- mark my words). Except A-Rod never gets a chance to ruin our night. Abreu flies out to deep center. Game over. No more cock-surity from Mr. Rodriguez.
I know it's early. I know the games we care about come in months that start with "O"s, not "A"s. Still, it's sweet being a Boston fan and constantly getting a chance to tweak A-Rod's, and the Yankee's noses. It all stems back to the 2004 ALCS. Ah, the memories.
Two side notes. First, it looks like Varitek has broken out of his funk. Same goes for Coco. This will be huge for the Sox down the stretch. Second, I love Alex Cora. Guys like this make the game worth watching. Can't wait for tomorrow!