It was Dan's long awaited take on the even-longer awaited return of Pedro Martínez to Fenway Park. It was hard to say which one stunk worse.
Summoning the ghost of Saul Bellow, The CHB ticked off a litany of names and out-of-place references: John Wasdin, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Johnny Damon, Cal Ripken, Barbra Streisand, Ann Coulter (!). Other than naming names, though, intermixed with a pedestrian game account, the column lacked any sense of depth or proportion of what the game meant to Martínez.
The CHB did note that Pedro didn't have his best stuff (eight runs allowed on seven hits and two walks in three innings), yet he (thankfully) shelved the childish nicknames (the Dominican Diva, for example) and his usual snideness, save one line: "We saw some of old Pedro when he drilled Loretta in the wrist on an 0 and 2 pitch with two outs and nobody aboard in the second" (as if Pedro, down 4-0 at that point and with Ortiz and Manny due up next, would really pick that spot to make a point).
Perhaps The CHB let up as he sensed -- correctly for a change -- that the winds were blowing Pedro's way, that Boston fans recognized the masterful performance he put on during his time in Boston and were ready to welcome him home.
No, you don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows. Just read Dan.
Grady Little watch (you knew there would be one, didn't you?): "He rarely cracked 90 miles per hour and needed 75 pitches to get through the three frames. Even Grady Little would have pulled him out of this one."