Thursday, July 31, 2008
We're still processing. We still can't believe we'll never see Manny in the Monster, never see him in his oversized Red Sox home whites, never see him play the wall like he was born to it again. We're sad that it came to this, upset that the Manny who wanted to retire a Red Sox and bought Pedroia suits morphed into the Manny who tells anyone who'll listen about how the team doesn't deserve him. The Manny who shoved a man whose entire job is to make his life easier. The Manny who doesn't run out grounders and sits out games against the younger flamethrowers. Who, more than that, thinks that all of those things are perfectly okay. Manny being Manny always was a double-edged sword.
Still. We'd rather remember him as the guy who high-fived a fan in the middle of turning a double play. The man whose moon shot off K-Rod in last year's ALDS still hasn't landed. The man who beat up on Yankees pitching and always seemed to love playing baseball, who never seemed to forget that he was getting paid to play a game. Weird to think that he won't be patrolling left field the next time we go to Fenway.
We're just as sure this was the right move as we are that it was the wrong move, and that's all we have to say about that until we see it shake out.
GBMU (the last): Traded to Pittsburgh, where he'll hopefully get regular playing time with the big club and show the world why we love him so much.
*Here's the part where we wish Manny, Mossy, and Hansen all the best with their new teams. Good luck, guys, we'll miss you. **
**And here's the part where we say, "Welcome to Boston, Jason Bay," and brush up on our Canadian anthem skills.
Monday, July 28, 2008
We've used our boundless cunning* and vast network of insider connections** to infiltrate the Sox clubhouse and document some conversations that took place once the big man rejoined the band.
I. Overheard from the Bash Brothers
Papi: I cannot believe this. I leave you alone for a couple weeks and what do you do?
Manny: Hit a home run?
Papi: And what else?
Manny: Hit another home run real hard?
Manny: It's not my fault Boston hates me! All I ever do is play baseball!
Papi: Sometimes what you do is, you don't play baseball.
Manny: ...Is this like when a tree falls in the woods?
Papi: No, it's like when we play a game and you sit in the clubhouse playing Star Wars on the WII.
Manny: But I hurt my knee and I'm a Sith Lord!
Papi: You been talkin' to Scott Boras too much.
Manny: Look, it's okay with me if Boston doesn't like Manny. My feelings ain't hurt. Sticks and stones don't break my bones.
Manny: Manny can play baseball anywhere. Boston...Japan...Iraq...
Papi: Think abot this, Manny. They don't have baseball in Iraq 'cause they are too busy shooting each other with guns.
Manny: The moon, then.
Papi: They don't have baseball on the moon, either, 'cause they don't have air.
Manny: I'm gonna wear a spacesuit. I'm not dumb.
Papi: You got me there, man. Have fun on the moon, or...wherever. Just one thing, though.
Manny: I can get you a spacesuit too, don't worry.
Papi: No, no, listen. Fenway...Fenway keeps the Monster.
[They think about this for a minute. Manny looks up at the sky.]
Manny: Goodbye, moon! I got to stay in Boston!
Papi: It's one in the afternoon, Manny. That's the sun.
Manny: I know. That was a symbolic gesture to the heavens, much like the actions of the Biblical figure Job. You should read more.
Manny: Did you say one o'clock? Time for juice and cookies!
II. Overheard, Talking About Practice, Practice, Man, We Talking About Practice
Papi: So what'd I miss?
Tek: Well, um, Manny wants a trade.
Papi: I know.
Tek: And Pap and his wife are expecting a baby.
Papi: I know that too, I was there.
Tek: ...What the dang--
Papi: When he told us, man, when he told us. You catchers got dirty minds.
Tek: We do not! I just didn't understand you there, man, 'cause I've been a little preoccupied, what with me bein' in the worst offensive slump in the history of mankind.
Papi: Yeah, what's that about?
Tek: I think my bat's allergic to leather.
Papi: Come here, come here. Watch me and copy what I do.
Tek: Copy what? The way you heal sick children with hugs? 'Cause that's pretty cool.
Papi: Man, just pay attention.
[Papi crushes a batting practice fastball into the bullpen.]
Papi: Now you.
[Tek flies out to shallow center.]
Papi: No, no, no, no. I said copy me!
[Papi hits a ball directly into the red seat.]
[Tek grounds it foul down the first base line.]
Papi: Why you playin'?
Tek: I don't know, Papi, why am I playin'? Please make me stop.
Papi: I show you one more time.
[Papi hits a ball over the monster, over I-95, over New Hampshire, and into Portland, Maine, where it lands in the outstretched glove of a grateful Sea Dog.]
Papi: You got it now?
Tek: Um, maybe if you show me that one again.
Papi: Hit a damn baseball!
[Tek hits a double high off the Monster.]
Papi: My work here is done! I gotta go, it's time for rounds at Children's Hospital.
[He dusts his hands off and walks away. Tek takes another cut and bounces a ground-rule double around Pesky's pole.]
Tek: There goes my hero.
Interlude: Another County Heard From
A-Rod: Hey, Papi! Remember that time we had dinner during the All-Star Break?
Papi: You mean last week?
A-Rod: That was awesome.***
Papi: It was okay.
A-Rod: We should do it again! We should bring our families! Actually, we should go on vacation together!
Papi: ...I'll let you sit next to me at PF Chang's if you be quiet.
A-Rod: You're my best friend!
Papi: You're buying.
III. Overheard via the Parents Television Council
Beckett: I'm fuckin' glad you're back, dude.
Papi: Thanks. Pass me a bottle of water?
Beckett: Hey, waiter! Bottle of water for the fuckin' man here!
[Justin Masterson looks confused.]
Papi: Never mind, I'm good.
Beckett: You sure? 'Cause I don't mind, I can make the rookies do whatever you need. I got 'em good and scared of me.
Papi: Umm...so how you been?
Beckett: Me? Great.
Beckett: Yeah. Executin' pitches.
Beckett: I mean, I don't expect fifteen fuckin' runs every fuckin' time I pitch...
[Beckett sniffles. Papi nods.]
Beckett: I know it's my fuckin' job to throw fuckin' strikes, I know, but--
Beckett: Two fuckin' runs, man, that's all I need is two--
[Beckett lets out a sob and is instantly folded into a hug of record-breaking size.]
Papi: It's okay. Papi still loves you.
In conclusion, overheard in all of Boston: BEAT L.A.!
*This is a lie. We don't really have that.
***The resemblance to a Chris Farley sketch here is purely coincidental. Rodriguez has never really gotten into Saturday Night Live. He does have a tape of that one time Jeter was on, though.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
So Papi's taking BP (seriously, repeat it with us: we want our Papi back!), and they're pulling an anti-Joba with Masterson, sending him back down to the farm to pitch out of the bullpen. In the meantime, Bailey's coming up to give us a better pinch-hitting option than Tek,* Dougie visited the Fens and announced that he's coaching his girls' coach-pitch team,** Lugo's still our starting shortstop, and someone needs to hold Manny accountable for some of the crap he's been pulling lately. That about sum things up?
But, look, for all the frustration of yet another road trip gone horribly wrong, for all the times we banged our heads against a wall when Tek came up in the ninth/the bullpen blew a lead/Manny watched a pitch straight down the middle/someone grounded into a double play/another man was left on base, at least our team hasn't resorted to having a catcher pitch. Yet. So it really could be much worse.
And, hey, the
Devil Rays have to lose a game or two sometime, right? So all the Red Sox need to do is take care of their own business, try to combine some killer pitching and offense on the same night once in a while, and maybe invest in a few Scott Kazmir voodoo dolls. Just in case.
So repeat after us: it's only (almost) the ASB,*** it's only (almost) the ASB, it's only (almost) the ASB. And, as the great Kevin Millar once said, it's not time to jump off the Tobin Bridge just yet. Or at all. Ever.
Now let's get out there--or, rather, the guys who are actually on the team should get out there--and beat up on the Twins. Sure, they're good. Sure, their catcher can hit. Sure, they've got outfielders who can actually throw and a Canadian first baseman and a whole bunch of wonderful things we're really not all that educated about (mostly because, well, we don't particularly care). That's not the point. The point is this: this is Fenway, not the Metrodome, and it's time to win some games. For the good of our sanity, and the sanity of the greater New England, etc., area.****
*Look, we obviously love the guy, but we're not delusional: the dude couldn't hit a knuckleball-that-didn't-knuckle these days, and no way should he be hitting with the game on the line in the ninth. Not in Tampa Bay, not in New York, not in Boston.
**And to give Tek some tips on how to become a stud who hits bombs.
***It's entirely possible that we're actually excited about the All-Star Game this year. We're pretty sure it's because of those crazy Statues of Liberty and the insanity of the whole "Last Year of This Particular Yankee Stadium" thing.
****We refuse to call it "The Nation." For reasons.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
We said, as one does, that we didn't know. That we hoped they'd figureout how to do what they were doing at Fenway in the Metrodome, at Comerica, in the Trop. We talked about our pitchers, and Manny'sswing, and the persistent awesomeness of Tim Wakefield. We talked about Tampa Bay.
He said, "Do you think they're for real?"
He said, "Because I think they are."
He said, "They remind me of my '67 Sox. The Impossible Dream, you know? Young, talented, fun to watch. They play to win. I think they're for real."
He told us that 1967 was his favorite summer of his life, not becausehis son was born that year but because of the Red Sox. Because of Yaz. Because of Dick Williams' managerial stylings. He still remembered who was on a strict diet, and whose ass got kicked on the way to glory. When he talked about the summer of '67, he sounded the way we young whippersnappers feel when we come across, say, VH1's "I Love The New Millennium: 2004" and freeze in our tracks, hoping for a glimpse of Bronson Arroyo.
It was still fresh. It was still present.
We said our farewells and started toward our apartment. The season was young, barely beginning, and anything was possible. Maybe for us, but maybe for the Rays; maybe for Toronto or Baltimore or, god forbid, even New York. Our coffees were getting lukewarm. We turned the corner onto our street.
*Tangentially, this Dunkin Donuts is currently papered with Papelbons, from the lifesize cutout in the corner to the poster on the wall where he looks like he's about to throw an iced coffee fastball. We're not sure whether we're supposed to be amused or intimidated. Probably we're supposed to buy stuff.
**Timestamp: one of the hellish road trips. Pick a road trip, any road trip.