So Manny hit #500 on Saturday night at Camden Yards. It came against Chad Bradford in the 7th inning of a game the Red Sox won 6 - 3. He took Bradford's 1st pitch over the right-centerfield wall, right into an area I've actually sat in before. I wasn't there, I wasn't watching, not even on GDGD, my acronym for the MLB.com Gameday program that allows you to follow the games on computer. When I first started participating in the Joy of Sox gamethreads, almost everyone else on line was watching the game on NESN or some local affiliate. I was waiting on the Gameday program to catch up and usually by the time I saw a play and responded to it on-line, everyone else was talking about the next pitch. I would simply say G**damn Gameday, and it happened so often I started shortening it and everyone still knew what I meant. It's a common term around JoS now, and I hope one day to have it entered in the site glossary - a very big honor on JoS.
Manny has sealed his spot in the Hall already, and I hope now that the big one is in his hindsights he'll settle down and start ripping the cover off the ball. It's amazing that I had May 13th (I think) picked in the contest at RSFPST, another of my favorite Sox blogs, to guess the date the homer would come on. On that date, almost 3 weeks ago, I had a shot at it. He had hit #498 the night before and 2 homers in 1 night are certainly not out of his reach. But there it stayed, at 498, for over 2 weeks. He finally hit #499 on May 28, then on Saturday night, May 31st, in Baltimore, the Big Being hit the Big One.
The Red Sox are in very good shape in the standings, but for a truly successful season they'll need to get a little more consistant pop out of the #3 and #4 spots, Manny and Papi, than they have lately. Papi is sitting on a .252, not so hot for him. Manny had a good enough early part of the season that he is still at .294, even after a slow couple of weeks, but we need those guys to be in the mid-300s.
Here's hoping the sweep in Baltimore and the end of the distraction about #500 will get things rolling.