“We’re Human Beings,” by Jill McDonough

It’s easy to forget, sometimes, that the players we watch from the stands or from the comfort of our own homes are just as much flesh and blood and bone as we are.  Julio Lugo was certainly no stranger to criticism during his career, and admittedly, it was his own fault oftentimes.  The thing about being in the spotlight is that your mistakes get magnified ten-fold.  That doesn’t excuse them, of course, but I do still think it’s important for us as fans to remember that we all know folks in our own immediate lives who make the same kinds of mistakes, but are fortunate enough to not have a spotlight shone on them.

*

That’s why we’re here, said Julio Lugo
to the Globe. Sox fans booed
poor Lugo, booed his at-bat after
he dropped the ball in the pivotal fifth.

That ball, I got to it, I just
couldn’t come up with it.

Lugo wants you to know
he is fast: a slower player
wouldn’t even get close
enough to get booed. Lugo
wants you to know he’s only
human: We’re human beings.
That’s why we’re here. If not,

I would have wings.
I’d be beside God right now.
I’d be an angel.

But I’m not an angel.
I’m a human being that lives right here.

Next day, all
is forgiven. Lugo’s home run, Lugo’s
sweet comment to the press.

I wanted to make a poster like the ones that say
It’s my birthday! or First Time at Fenway! or, pathetic, ESPN.
Posterboard, permanent marker to say Lugo: me, too.
I’m a human being that lives right here
, decided
it’s too esoteric, too ephemeral a reference, but it’s true:
Oh, Lugo, Julio Lugo, I’m here with you.