We didn't plan to blog today. Up 10-1 in the 7th last night, we figured, "eh, this one's such a laugher, there won't be anything to say." Sure, we could write something about the time Jonathan Papelbon took it upon himself to teach his teammates to count to three,** going all Count from Sesame Street on their asses, but that one's definitely funnier when we do the voices. It doesn't quite translate to the written word. Up 10-5, we thought, "hmm, well at least it's--wait, fuck, another run! Okay, this isn't funny anymore."
A game as horrifically, transcendentally, amazingly, trainwreckingly bad as last night's game deserves--nay, demands--a detailed response from the blogosphere.*** As representatives of said imaginary land, that means us. We think.
At first, we were willing to write it off. Bad games happen, even to good teams. There are no extra points for style: the fact that we lost this one the way we did doesn't mean it counts for than your average 1-0 or 2-1 loss. But then we realized the truth. The truth is that there is obviously some sort of grand conspiracy going on here. Maybe there's a grassy knoll, maybe there's a Broadway musical; we're not 100% sure on all of the details, but we've definitely got some ideas.
1. It's the return of the Curse of the Bambino! No, really, hear us out: the Babe was born in Baltimore, right? And this game happened where? That's right! Baltimore! At Camden Yards, even, which is allegedly located at the exact same spot he was born lo those many years ago. Ergo, the Curse is back. Sorry, guys, this means Orioles fans are going to be chanting "11-10" at us for years to come.
2. The entire bullpen hates John Smoltz. Now, they'll try to deny it--"He's a surefire Hall of Famer," Masty'll say; "Who doesn't love Smotlz?" Okaji will ask (okay, he'd ask in Japanese, but we're the kind of stereotypical Americans who get by with some English, a couple of catchphrases in Spanish and French, and charm)--but the facts can't be denied. Smoltz pitched well yesterday, but the bullpen was in full-on sabotage mode. Never mind that Smoltz wasn't in line for the win anyway; little details like "facts" and "logic" merely get in the way of a brilliant conspiracy theory. Actually, that isn't even the biggest flaw in this theory, anyway. The biggest problem is the fact that Jonathan Papelbon would have to be in on the plan, and we all know he's got the memory of a non-memory-having thing. Like a goldfish. Or a cactus. A scene, if you'll indulge us:
PAP: He's always going on about his friend, Tiger Woods. 'My friend Tiger woods did this, my friend Tiger Woods did that.' You don't see me always bragging on 'my friend Eli Manning,' do you?
TEK: No, but that'd be dumb.
PAP: Ex--heeey, wait a--
TEK: Eli. I was insulting Eli.
PAP: Okay then. Wait, what were we talking about again?
...and end scene.
3. Picture it: Baltimore, 2009. A solitary figure stands atop a lonely light tower, peering into a long-range telescope. Every so often, he flickers a flashlight. Or one of those red laser pointer things. Back on the field, the Orioles batter reads the sign being transitted from on high and swings. He does not miss.
4. It was the power of The Wieters. He is Baseball Jesus, after all.
5. Perhaps you noticed, as we did, that when play resumed after the rain delay, Tek was no longer wearing the tall socks. It was jarring. It was strange. It was wrong. Of course, Tito pulled him not long after we made that observation, and it quickly slipped our minds. How could we overlook such an important wardrobe issue? Could Tek without tall socks be the hosiery version of Failhat? Let's hope this hypothesis is never again tested!
Luckily, it looks like the intrepid crew we call the Red Sox recognized all of the above signs and portents and took appropriate action late last night. A phone call was placed to one Kevin Millar, and he talked his former teammates and his ex-Marlin friends (and even Julio Lugo) through the appropriate curse-breaking rituals. Sure, Beckett's pitching was possibly affected by the copious amounts of Jack Daniels he was forced to drink--against his will, we're sure--to complete the ritual, but luckily the curse lifted just as the ninth inning rolled around.
So, yes, yesterday hurt. There's no sugarcoating it. But, hey, if the Red Sox win in extra innings and no one's there to see it because we're all stuck in our stupid offices cursing the IT gods in vain, it still kicks ass. And that's a fact.
*We've filled our obligatory Michael Jackson reference quota, so the world blog police can't come after us.
**PAP: All's I know is, you never see me doin' my fist-pumps before the third strike. That's three. Count 'em. Uno, dos, tres, quatorze.
***What a horrible word. We vote that we rename it "Goretopia," for the founder, inventer, and colonial conquerer of these here interwebs.