Pacioretty's better; nobody in Canada cares

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Pacioretty's better; nobody in Canada cares

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

SCENE: The home of Max Pacioretty. I have no idea what it looks like, but let's assume that it's big.

Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne, sits across from Pacioretty in what I assume is a big living room.

DIONNE: Max, mon ami! Ca va? What are you doing out of bed?! I have some tres exciting news pour vouz!

PACIORETTY: Um. Okay.

DIONNE: First, a few gifts. Keanu Reeves sends you this gold-plated wheelchair as a sign of Canadian solidarity! Pans hand slowly over shiny wheelchair

PACIORETTY: Wow. That's, um... wow. I don't actually need a wheelchair, Louis. I'm feeling pretty good.

DIONNE: Please, please, call me Lord Dionne. And don't be silly! Somebody needs to dim these lights for you, oui? We don't want you to have one of those nasty Savard Seizures. Zut alors! Where is your body cast, Max? Sighs deeply Your second gift: Dan Ellis' butler, on loan to you until you can walk again. God willing.

BUTLER: Bonjour.

PACIORETTY: Ooooh, man. Okay. Listen. I appreciate the concern, but I can walk fine. I'm actually not having any concussion symptoms at all.

DIONNE: Nonsense! Canada needs to stay strong in the battle against American oppression and YOU are her leader.

PACIORETTY: ...I'm from Connecticut.

DIONNE: Maintenant: Your third gift. HAC's -- Habitants Against Chara -- has made these shirts for you. Rips open black robe to reveal t-shirt

PACIORETTY: Reads "Die, Chara, Die"... ?

DIONNE: DEATH TO THE GIANT! To be so tall is ridicule! Begins foaming at the mouth HE MUST PAY FOR BEING SO LARGE.

PACIORETTY: Whoa, whoa. I don't want Chara to die. I was pissed, but this is getting crazy. How are the fans angrier than I am? I'm the one who got hurt. And I'm probably going to play hockey in 4-6 weeks.

DIONNE: REGARDEZ! Violently unfurls poster

PACIORETTY: Omigod! Is that a severed head? Dry heaves

DIONNE: Very Frenchly Ho-ho-ho! Poor Pacioretty! Look how he barfs! He is tres, tres ill! Dan Ellis' butler: Tend to him! He must lead the charge on America in The Glorious Golden Wheelchair of Keanu ce soir!

BUTLER: Whispers Vous tes un sale, salit l'homme.

PACIORETTY: I told you, I'm not Canadian! I don't speak French for Christ's sake! What the hell did he say to me?

DIONNE: I must go, but consider what I said to you today, young Max. It would be a great thing to be Canada's martyr.
PACIORETTY: Don't martyrs die? When did we stop talking about hockey?

BUTLER: Snickers

Dionne leaves, big black robe wooshing around his legs. Dan Ellis' butler pulls out a 40 and starts drinking. Pacioretty picks up the DIE CHARA! shirt.

PACIORETTY: I'll give it to my mom.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

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Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?