Off the Fourth Ring of Saturn

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(photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Okay so, can we get someone to check Bobby Abreu for a pulse please because that shit was NOT human. Twenty-four home runs in the first round alone? Forty-one overall? He hit more home runs in the span of three hours last night that he’s ever hit before IN A SEASON! I mean, just woah.

I’m not really an Abreu fan, insomuch as the National League is largely a far off land of legend and mystery but that has got to be respected.

I was wrong when I called Teixeira to win the whole damn thing yesterday and, despite my well-publicized affection for David Ortiz, I didn’t really give him a shot either. I guess I underestimated the power of traveling with Ron “Papa Jack” Jackson. The man knows Tizzle’s swing as well as anyone and I’m sure it didn’t hurt having him along. Toting Dale Sveum as his own, personal BP pitcher probably helped a bit as well. Also? Did we notice that Teixeira was using Sveum as well? Chris Berman made a comment about the young guys not warranting their own BP pitchers but my guess is that Teixeira, in his first All-Star appearance, showed up not knowing that he was allowed to bring his own pitcher and Ortiz, because he is a giant huggy monster, took one look at Teixiera’s crestfallen face and said, “It is okay, my Ranger friend, you can use my pitcher!” Because he’s a giver, is why. Besides, with the three day respite between games, Sveum’s windmill arm is liable to get stiff.

I have to admit that when he’s not playing against the Sox and showing his well-publicized “heart,” Miguel Tejada is kind of fun to watch. His Swedish masseuse impression on Ortiz was hilarious, especially combined with Tizzle, backwards hat-wearing, badass, “I’m’a wreck you all” look. And he damn near did with his seventeen first round bombs. Had Abreu not just jacked twenty-four, Ortiz’s seventeen would have set the single round record.

There’s something so fantastic about David Ortiz’s swing. It’s almost like the power behind it is so much that he almost knocks himself over with the follow-through. The way he lets go of the bat with one hand and sort of windmills it around his head after connecting with a ball is something I don’t remember ever seeing before. And it’s one of my favorite things about him. Because for all his clutch ability and talent, sometimes, he still looks like a kid who can surprise himself with his own strength.

But, you know, it’s a good thing Minnesota released him because he’s not a power hitter or anything.

Along the “They look like little kids,” line, Colleen watched the Derby with me and commented that it looked as though the players snuck in, set up folding chairs and had themselves a home run hitting contest. “Is this like an actual professional thing?” she asked. “What’s with the folding chairs? Don’t they make millions of dollars?” I laughed, “I’m guessing it’s all informal.” “Hmm,” she said, “Well, Manny’s having a good time.”

And was he ever. I kept hoping that Ortiz would need Manny for something since the Tizzle/Manuelito dynamic is one of my favorite things about baseball. As Denton pointed out, Sox fans are used to seeing teammates have that much fun but the rest of the baseball fanship might not be. I’m happy to share with them for an evening. But would it have been too much to ask to fly in Edgah to feed Papi applesauce between rounds? I sincerely hope this team is looking into an endorsement deal with Mott’s.

Okay, I’m establishing a ground rule right now and I expect Major League Baseball to adhere to it in future. Yankee players are not allowed to have cute children. And if they somehow bend the laws of genetics and physics and the evil does not get passed down genetically and manifest itself in scales or third eyes, they are certainly not allowed to appear with their cute children on television. It makes my head hurt. Yankees=bad=hate=evil and when you throw cute children into the mix, it just confuses matters. I like my rivalries in black and white with no messy gray area.

Ortiz and Manny, however, are allowed to have all the cute kids they want. Hell, they can rent other people’s kids if they feel like it. It almost seems like they did from the legions of mini Tejadas and Moras roaming about the place last night. It was like a Venezuelan/Dominican daycare center on the field. Although something tells me that the kids were the ones taking care of Manny. I swear, sometimes I honestly think that he’s not aware of the fact that he makes $20 million a year.

Johnny Damon still needs to shut up.

And Jason Varitek, for as much as I love him, could maybe stand to, I don’t know, be less boring? It’s not entirely Tek’s fault since he hung with Berman and Morgan during Ortiz’s first round and seventeen home runs is a lot of talking to get through. But Jason? Snooooore. We know there’s crazy shit that goes down in that clubhouse, now let us in on it.

And speaking of Berman and Morgan? You know what, let’s not. They’re perfectly content to speak for themselves. I’m honestly surprised that with the two of them in the same stadium as Johnny Damon, there were no noticeable tears in the fabric of the universe owing to all the air being sucked out of the state of Michigan. Even Colleen noticed the suck. “I watched the replay of last year’s Home Run Derby earlier today because I was too lazy to change the channel,” she said, “and Berman kept saying the same thing. Except instead of saying, ‘It’s headed for Ann Arbor!’ he’d say, ‘Look out in El Paso!’ or ‘Remember the Alamo!’ He needs a new schtick.” “Yeah,” I said, “Berman’s pretty much been saying the same thing for thirty years.” Sometimes, boys, “Woah, that’s really far,” will do.

Tonight we get the All-Star Game, heavy on Red Sox and light on Yankees. Nary a Jeter to be found. And let’s not forget, our boys’ introductions will come with the requisite, “From the WORLD CHAMPION Boston Red Sox…” Chills, people, chills.

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