Derailed

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A visual representation of last night’s 8th and 9th innings.

A: Damn near everything.

Q: Name something that was more fun than watching Keith Foulke firebomb last night’s game.

I would have also accepted: tetanus tester, root canal model, live cadaver and javelin catcher for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team.

Let’s put it this way, when I ran into Amy on the T this morning, she said, “So they won last night, right?” I dissolved into a fit of hysterical laughter while the gentleman seated next to us rolled his eyes, shook his head and said, THAT was bad.”

For real, are we being punked? There is no other explanation that I can come up with (at least not without the aid of recreational drugs) that would explain how our closer who was absolutely nails in the playoffs last year should be sucking so badly right now. And he doesn’t just suck in minor ways. Oh no. If your normal closer who blows a few games every now and again is your average, run of the mill Hoover vacuum, then Keith Foulke’s performance is that scary, bright yellow Dyson thingie advertised by the dude with the nondescript European accent. You know, the one who’s all proud of the fact that his vacuum doesn’t have any bags or filters to get in the way of the sucking? Yup, that’s Keith Foulke. Nothing to get in the way of the sucking.

I mean, I know he’s been dealing with some personal problems and allegedly they’re not pretty. Not for me to comment on because as much as I like to live in Imaginary Baseball World, I don’t actually know Keith Foulke or what goes on in his head and his personal life is none of my damn business. But so far as we know, he’s not broken so…what’s the deal?

Wait. Now I remember. Annette and I figured this out. I know who’s fault it is. Oh god, it almost pains me to say it. It’s given me an ulcer actually. I know who’s responsible for The Slow and Painful Demise of Keith Foulke. Jason Varitek.

I know, I know, I didn’t believe it either. But just listen up for a sec. It’s not because Tek is calling bad pitches because Tek, (future starting All-Star, god-willing) does NOT call bad pitches. And it’s not even because Foulke doesn’t understand his catcher. Really, it’s a matter of Varitek not knowing his own strength. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at this picture.

Right there, we can pinpoint the exact moment that Jason Varitek broke Keith Foulke.

Want further evidence? Look at this one.

That’s right, he broke Alan Embree too. I think it’s a bit too coincidental that Embree and Foulke have both been less than effective since Jason Varitek exuberantly jumped on them after the final outs of both the ALCS and World Series respectively.

Now, we all know how much I love Jason Varitek. But dudes, he is not a small man. Not by any measure. I say we start a petition to make sure that from now on, pitchers have to jump on him. I don’t want to have to live in fear of the day Arroyo pitches a no-hitter and Varitek runs out to the mound, arms splayed and jumps into Bronson’s arms, snapping his spindly stick legs like overripe celery stalks on the way down.

Shudder.

Despite the sucktastic performance last night of the Sox bullpen, I did get to watch the game in the company of Marianne who, between gamecasting back and forth between the Yankees/O’s game and screaming “DAAAAVEEEEE ROOOBEERRRRRTSS!” at the tiny, little pixilated image of Tom Gordon on my laptop screen, was great fun.

When Brian Roberts hit his walkoff homer off Mike Stanton’s first pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning, a loud shriek was heard down Beacon Street. That was Marianne, y’all.

“Oh shit,” she said a few moments later. “Today was Yankee Meeting Summit Thingie too.”

“Ha!” I laughed, using, as I’ve done so many times before, the Yankees’ suffering to salve my own wounds, “George is just going to start shooting people.”

Marianne laughed, “I’d love it if, in a fit of insane rage, he just up and traded Derek Jeter to the Devil Rays for like, Dewon Brazelton or something.”

“And,” I said, “He’d still refuse to move A-Rod to short.”

“Oh yeah,” Marianne replied, “He’d still be at third. And Womack would be a short. Or maybe Brazelton would have to platoon between short and pitching.”

“You know what?” I said, “Bernie Williams would be moved to short. He is a True Yankee ™ after all.”

Marianne fell over laughing.

“If Steinbrenner trades Jeter to the Devil Rays – excuse me, the Division Rival Devil Rays – and Bernie Williams ends up a short, I will pay actual American currency to get YES and watch this disaster unfold.”

“Screw that,” Marianne said, “I’ll drive my ass to New York to see it.”

Basically, it made me feel a little better.

As did, I might add, my continued snarking on the official Orioles’ program that Marianne had with her. Looking like it was designed by a remedial graphic design student with an overzealous fondness for the fade tool in Photoshop, it also featured a rather terrifying picture of Brian Roberts on the cover. He looks, minus the ears, exactly like Shrek.

Observe: Brian Roberts. Shrek. Yes?

In short, Marianne now hates me.

I don’t even know what to tell you guys about last night, aside from that it’s over. And that’s a good thing. If Keith Foulke again puts me in the position of having to defend Mark Bellhorn (that’s Steve’s territory, y’all), I am NOT going to be happy.

You know what? If MARK BELLHORN puts me in a position to have to defend Mark Bellhorn, I am not going to be happy. When I’m fielding calls from my dad that go like this: “You need to start another website. wherethehellistoddwalkerwhenyouneedhim.com!” there’s a problem.

Knock it off, you bozos. I’m not messin’ around.

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