Monthly Archives: April 2006

The Power of Positive Thinking

So we decided to try something new last night. Rather than the usual, “Remember how we said we weren’t going to be sucking here, boys? Remember that? You must have heard wrong because what you appear to being doing is the exact opposite of that and SUCKING MIGHTILY!” that we usually throw at the Red Sox when faced with mediocrity, Marianne suggested that perhaps they just needed some positive reinforcement.

She reminded me of how well that had worked for Mark Loretta on Patriots Day when we offered him a shiny, green beetle if he would somehow get on base and let Papi have a shot at winning the game for us. Turns out, Mark really wanted a whole ant farm so he sent a walk-off over the Monster. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

So it happened that last night, down 6-5 in the top of the ninth inning, we started getting positive with our cheering. Trot Nixon, up with the bases loaded, was the first recipient of our good vibes.

“Trotter,” Marianne said, lovingly, “If you somehow tie this game, I will see to it that you get your own personal keg of Lonestar Light. And unlimited barbecue ribs for a week.” Trot, cleary, liking the deal, drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game.

Then it was Varitek’s turn and God (and myself) love him, but we know the man doesn’t exactly have the best track record in bases loaded situations. “Weak pop to short,” I predicted.

“Now, let’s be positive,” Marianne countered. You know Tek best, what does he want?”

“Jason,” I said, staring intently at the television screen, “If you managed to get an RBI here, I will get you every season of This Old House with Bob Villa on DVD.” Tek swung at a fastball out of the zone, missing it by a foot. “And Supercuts gift certificates for life.” I added. He swung and missed at another pitch.

“It’s not working,” Marianne countered, “He needs something else.”

“Beef jerky!” I blurted out, “Or Slim Jims. Do something good here and you can snap into as many Slim Jims as you like.” Tek evidently liked this idea as he laced a ball through the hole on the right side of the infield, scoring the go-ahead run. I got so excited, I therw in a bonus, “And a fancy, new pair of pleated khakis for you too!”

Next, it was Mike Lowell’s turn. “A lifetime supply of Just For Men!” I blurted out, resulting in a sacrifice fly.

Up came Wily Mo. Now, Wily Mo hasn’t been around for long. It’s hard to know what the newbies want in Imaginary Baseball World as we haven’t really had long enough to get to know them. But we do know that Wily Mo likes to hang out with David Ortiz.

“Wily Mo,” Marianne coached him, “If you get a hit, you can borrow Papi’s harem and entourage for one day. And you can sit next to him in the chauffered Escalade.”

“And you’ll get your own bottle of Hennessey at the postgame spread,” I added.

Wily Mo obliged with a single to center, scoring Trot.

“You know,” I said, “I’m starting to get a wee bit frightened of our mental powers here. It’s possible that we’ve just tapped into the key to winning baseball games. It’s all about positive reinforcement.”

“Or it’s possible that the Devil Rays’ bullpen just really sucks,” Marianne said.

“True,” I answered. “Plus, it’s kind of unlikely that this whole ‘think positive’ thing is gonna catch on in Boston.”

“Well some of them just need tough love,” Marianne added, “Like Damon did.”

“Or like Foulke,” I said.

“Exactly. Who’s up now?”

“Um…Gonzalez.”

“What the hell are we supposed to do with this guy?”

We stared at the television for a moment, long enough to see Gonzalez fly out to end the inning.

“Well,” I shrugged, “No use in getting greedy.”

“Indeed,” Marianne agreed.

“Now,” I said, “Here’s the real question: with Papelbon, do we offer him something so he’ll do well or do we just not look directly at him and allow him to go about his business?”

“I’m thinking we don’t mention his name again and look at the television in about four minutes.”

“Good plan.”

And so we talked about tangentially related baseball things for a few minutes, drank some beer and, when we finally allowed ourselves to look at the TV, Papelbon had struck out the side, securing the win for the Sox.

“The thing about that guy is…I don’t even know,” I said, at a loss for words.

“Word,” Marianne replied.

So clearly, last night all the Sox needed was for someone to believe in them. I’d like to say that the era of good feelings, puppies and rainbows will carry over into today’s game but the D-Rays are countering Schilling with Kazmir. The least I can hope for is a good brawl.

However, I would like to tempt Kevin Youkilis by saying that if he does something particularly excellent, resulting in multiple runs, I’ll have a talk with Coco about letting Kevin “The Big K.Y.” have a guest spot on Coco’s next rap album. Think about it, Youks.

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A Definition

(photo from Boston.com)

Def: clusterfuck (noun), That.

Um, yeah.

Wow.

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You All Remember Manny Ramirez

2004 World Series MVP Manny Ramirez? Surely you haven’t forgotten him.

So we’re walking David Ortiz to pitch to Manny now?

Yeah, good plan.

Manny’s got only one thing to say to that.

“Bitch, please.”

Am I the only one who doesn’t want to look directly at Jonathan Papelbon, lest the spell be broken? He closes out last night’s game and I remarked to Amy, “Jesus, where did he come from?”

“His little stool in heaven,” she replied.

As Curt would say, Amen.

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No Canada

(photo from Boston.com)

Dear Jason Varitek,

Why are you bunting?

Love, The World.

Okay, so, to review:

I knew we were losing Friday night’s game. I just had a feeling. Admittedly, they went and dragged it out and made it awesomely unawesome and especially painful which, in turn, made me very glad that I’d ordered the nachos at Coolidge Corner Clubhouse to drown my sorrows in (and memo to CCC: That’s a “half order?” Are you effing kidding me? Look into portion control. Good god). Anyway. So the game? Not good. ‘Course I thought we were going to get to blame Keith Foulke and we’d all have to embark on the latest installment of the “Can someone kneecap Keith Foulke” diatribe but I forgot that Rudy Seanez is on the team. Had I remembered, I obviously would have seen it coming.

And then, you know, Saturday. Blah. Ew. I’m thinking one of two things: Either Lenny Dinardo is trying to stick it to Theo for trading Bronson and breaking up the band or he’s working on his varying succession of catalogue model looks and he figures that “anguish” should be among his repertoire. Either way, homeboy ain’t pretty enough to suck that badly. I’d keep working on the Blue Steel look or finding out where the local auditions for the next season of Rock Star are being held if he knows what’s good for him.

Y’all want Youkilis to do something impressive really soon. Trust me, I’ve got a Thug Life: Kevin Youkilis post all ready, just waiting to be deployed.

As for yesterday: that was better. Not perfect but better. And I will take it. I was, of course, fully prepared to blame Kevin Youkilis had it all gone to shit for our boy Papelbon. Because, have you heard? The Rick Vaughn hair was Youkilis’s idea. And Papelbon WON the bet. Dear god, imagine what he’d have had to do if he’d lost. Mostly, I think Youks is just relishing having a rookie to pick on. Because there is no more perfect word for Kevin Youkilis than “goober.” And he’s sick of it.

I’m obsessed with that song “Pretty Vegas” by INXS. This has nothing to do with anything but you all might need this information when I finally break with reality and am carted off to the asylum muttering about “thumbing your way to Vegas.”

David Ortiz is an android. Rumors of Manny’s demise were premature at best. Jason Varitek *hearts* the Medoza line (sigh). Gregg Zaun can suck it.

I’m just glad to get the hell out of Canada.

Off day today. Back at it tomorrow with Big Schill on the hill.

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He Was a Nice Guy, Kept to Himself…

(photo from Boston.com)

Tim Wakefield is way too nice a guy to put up with this bullshit. “This bullshit” meaning, of course, “no run support.” It’s likely he also puts up with whatever other crap this team throws at him with a good-natured eye roll and a shake of the head. The hot foot, the Ben Gay in the jock strap, the inexplicable tendency for Manny to refer to him as “Sparky.” It’s likely Wake just shrugs it all off.

But now we’re taking advantage of his good nature. We’re trading away his personal catcher. We’re signing him to a lifetime deal so we can have him ready whenever we want him. We’re probably sticking him with the KFC bill when Kevin Millar is in town. And we’re flat out refusing to score runs for him.

Come on, guys. This isn’t nice. It’s not right to take advantage of the good guys. The guys who’ll pitch nine innings and TAKE A LOSS without so much as wishing out loud that their teammates had managed to scrape together just two runs. And I’ll tell you what else. It’s also not safe. Because the nice ones are the ones with the greatest chance of snapping.

How many times have you heard the phrase, “He was such a nice, quiet guy. Kept to himself. Didn’t cause any trouble,” about the recently discovered serial killer with fifteen severed heads in his freezer? I’m just sayin’, Postal Workers were nice too before they started getting all “disgruntled.”

The man hunts with Mike Timlin.

Here’s the deal: maybe we should stop testing him. Because I do believe that Tim Wakefield will cut a bitch.

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And They Say That A Hero Can Save Us

Things that have given me pause over the last 24 hours:

The current heroes of the Red Sox are named Kevin Youkilis and Adam Stern. Hmmm…

America’s fascination with Kellie goddamn Pickler. (HATE.)

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes “had” their “baby” and named “her” Suri.

No, for real, Kevin Youkilis. That one.

The fact that I’ve suddenly realized that Adam Stern might not be unattractive. I’m sure this correlates to his performance on the field. See also: Loretta, Mark.

It’s only April and, as Red pointed out, heart attacks will likely be the norm this year.

Yes, THAT Kevin Youkilis.

We have a…closer? Who can…close?

The big, spendy, shiny new free agent Blue Jays and (snerk) Yankees are duking it out for fourth place in the AL East. At present, it’s the Yankees looking up at everyone else. Yes, even Tampa Bay. Spare me the “It’s only April” business. One must get one’s digs in when one can.

Matt Clement pitched better than Randy Johnson.

Seriously, America. Kellie Pickler is what’s wrong with this country. Y’all deserve that horseshit if you’re gonna be that stupid.

My 85-year-old grandmother, possibly the world’s only Devil Rays fan, has taken to emailing me to trash talk about the series. My grandmother. Is trash talking. About baseball.

Curt Schilling goes for win number four on the season tonight. Already.

Adam Stern appears to be, “The Man.”

Clearly, we are in the End Times.

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And From Now On, He Shall Be Called "Mahky Mahk"

Welcome to Boston, dear sir.

I do believe Mr. Mark Loretta has earned himself a nickname. I would like to put “Mahky” on the table since it takes a feat of such wonderment and aplomb to get yourself a nickname in Boston. And I’d say a walk-off home run on Patriots Day, when most of the Massachusetts-employed folks were sitting with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other, counts. I especially loved the fact that nearly everyone – and don’t lie, you did it too – ignored the fact that Loretta was at bat and saw only that Papi was on deck. And we all said, either out loud or to ourselves, “Mark, just get on base. Do like Youks did. Hustle your ass off and get on base so Papi can do what he does.” For the walk off is Ortiz’s game. That’s his bread and butter. But in a game where he’d already hit two homers – both to tie the game at different points – and narrowly missed a third (goddamn Ichiro), how much more can we really ask of the guy? Luckily, thanks to Mark Loretta, we didn’t have to.

Marianne and I, in a moment of pure Imaginary Baseball World brilliance, realized that Mark Loretta is clearly an amatuer entymologist. Look at him, he just looks like a guy who spends his off days carefully pinning the wings of butterflies to display boards and painstakingly cataloguing the difference between an African and an Asian dung beetle. (Note: I don’t even know if African or Asian dung beetles actually exist. Sam?). And so, in order to inspire him to get on base and let Papi do his thing – or so we thought – we promised him a shiny, new, green beetle. Clearly, he thought this was a good tradeoff. I’m just sayin’, the Imaginary Baseball World power cannot be denied, y’all.

Oh, and for those of you who were concerned, when Remy said, “Looks like Varitek might be limping a bit there,” I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head, pulled the drawstring closed so that I could not see or breathe, and proceeded to whimper while lying on the floor in the fetal position for a good five minutes. There were witnesses, most of whom did not find this behavior curious. However, there were a few unfamiliar with my baseball sensibilities who clearly thought I was having my much-anticipated break with reality. It’ll happen eventually, I’ve no doubt. Just not today. It was not to be. And thank goodness for that.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank my readers who stood up for me during the whole plagiarism fiasco. Looks like it’s been taken care of. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but, call my crazy but if I come up with a stupid joke about Jake Plummer’s Boogie Nights mullet, I want it attributed to me. So thanks, kids. You guys are truly the best.

Hey, did y’all hear there was some kind of road race today?

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