Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanks Covelli

Coco Crisp didn't have the greatest career in Boston. He was there for three seasons, and hit 21 home runs. He was brought in to replace Johnny Damon, who took the big money of the Evil Empire after the 2005 season.

He got off to a flying start in 2006, but broke a finger in Baltimore and missed the next six weeks. He never really got it going that season. He never really put the offensive numbers like he did in his final year in Cleveland in 2005.

But he made some catches that we'll never forget. The one he made off of David Wright at Fenway Park in 2006 is an all-time great one. And we'll never, ever forget the one that won the pennant for the Red Sox in 2007, as he went flying into the Triangle and banged into the bullpen wall to rob Casey Blake and put the Sox in the World Series.

I loved Coco's all-out hustle and desire. He was always a team guy and never complained about his role. I remember that diving attempt he made trying to catch a ball off the bat of Alex Rodriguez in April 2007 and he wound up falling into the bullpen and didn't come up with it. And later in that game, Coco hit a game-tying triple against Mariano Rivera and scored the game-winning run on Alex Cora's single in a five-run eighth.

In 2008, Coco will forever be remembered for the bench-clearing brawl against the Tampa Bay Rays in June. The night before the Rays accused him making a dirty slide on a steal attempt, and you knew the next night that some retaliation was coming. And when James Shields plunked him in the second inning, all hell broke loose. A number of Rays players went after him and got in some cheap shots on him and were suspended for it.

But even bigger than that was Coco's now-legendary at-bat in the 8th inning of Game 5 of the ALCS against the same Rays. The Sox had come back to 7-6 after being down 7-0. Coco had a 10-pitch at-bat against Dan Wheeler, fouling off some tough pitches. But he lined Pitch 10 into right to score Mark Kotsay from second to get the game tied, setting up the bottom of the ninth and the second-greatest comeback in postseason history.

So, courtesy of Erik J. Heels, here's a YouTube clip of Coco's immortal at-bat:

Thanks for the memories, Covelli. Good luck in Kansas City.


Peter N said...

Thank you Coco, and thank YOU, JQ.

The Omnipotent Q said...

You're always welcome, Peter. Have a good weekend.

Peter N said...

Thanks, John. I woke up this Saturday morning and instantly realized it's been 45 years since JFK was blown apart. I wrote about it over at my place, and yes, I miss his SO much. I'm glad you're feeling better, and I hope your weekend will be a good one.