By Matthew Taylor
Normally I wouldn't be interested in reading a fan's fond reminiscence of Clay Buchholz's no-hitter last season against the Orioles. However, I've made an exception for Ira Fritz's piece on ESPN Page 2. Buchholz's no-no was the first game for Fritz's five-year-old son, Daniel. Even better, the kid almost saw a no-hitter in his second game - John Maine's near-miss against the Marlins - as well.
My soft spot for father-son baseball stories and my own childhood memories of believing the home team won games for me are stronger than any distaste I have for our division rival. Besides, that's two O's connections (not necessarily good ones, mind you, but connections all the same) in one article.
"That afternoon, while walking around Faneuil Hall and eating a vanilla ice cream cone larger than his head, Daniel told me the Red Sox were going to win. His reason was simple: They knew he would be at the game, so they couldn't let him down.
'On the ride home, a sleepy voice rose up from the back seat ... 'Did Clay Buchholz make that no-hitter for me?'
My wife and I looked at each other. She nodded toward me as if to say, 'This one's all yours ...' I decided to go with the truth.
'He sure did, Daniel. He sure did.'
On the way home from Shea Stadium, Daniel and I talked about how amazing it all was.
'Hey, Daddy ...'
'Yes, Daniel ...'
'Can we go back to Fenway for our next game?'
'Maybe Big Papi will hit 10 home runs ...'
'Ten? Why not 11?'
Come on ... what else could I say?"