That foot up there belongs to none other than Red Sox manager Terry Francona. He’s standing on a rookie. Fantastic. So far as motivational tactics go, I suppose it’s slightly better than coughing up blood. But he’s probably saving that for the inevitable post All-Star break slump.
Man, I love Tito. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That man has the exact right blend of baseball know-how, intuition, a thick skin, self-deprecating sense of humor, and New England ready snark to make it in this town. He seems to anticipate the barbs and second guesses and head them off at the pass. He was quoted as saying the first day of Spring Training was a good one because, “no one cursed me out.” Now that’s a manager I can get behind. Of course, this all means nothing when I start screaming at him not to put Mike “Inherited runners don’t count on MY ERA” Timlin in with men on first and third. But that aneurysm is still a couple months away.
Anyway, Marianne and I were at the laundromat last night and I was picking through a two day old copy of the Globe and snarking on everything (because it’s what I do, people), and in and amongst the Defcon 5 coverage of Tom Brady’s baby-making abilities (“Tom Brady Has Sex! World Ends!”), I realized that Curt Schilling is back to his old tricks. He spoke in Monday’s Globe:
“I think the kid is phenomenally talented,” Schilling said. “I think he’s an ace in the making, stuff-wise. Makeup-wise he’s polished, he’s very composed. He’s a mature 26-year-old kid.
“I guarantee he’s expecting to win 25 games and win a Cy [Young] and win a World Series, because that’s what great pitchers do. Everybody talks about him winning 15 or 16. That won’t be a good year for him. He won’t look at that as a good year.”
I love that Schilling seems to speak only in hyperbole. Additionally, the Globe reports that Varitek is attempting to keep a lid on the Matsusaka Mania:
Varitek wasn’t quite as provocative, as usual, though it does seem as if the catcher already has begun influencing Matsuzaka, even considering the brevity of their encounter. Or, perhaps, the Japanese pitcher has just taken the one piece of advice given by Josh Beckett: “Trust ‘Tek.”
I like to picture Beckett with bloodshot eyes and working on the tail end of a three day Jagermeister bender, raising his head slightly from the leather couch in the clubhouse as Matsuzaka passes. He grabs the new pitcher’s arm and speaks hoarsely from behind Oakley wraparound shades. “Dude,” he says, “Dude, I don’t care what they tell you. Don’t shake off ‘Tek.” This wisdom duly dispensed, he collapses back onto the couch and turns up the volume of his iPod, the dulcet sounds of the Dave Matthews Band’s bootlegged Red Rocks concert filling the air.
Come on, it totally happened exactly like that and both you and I know it.
And that, dear friends, is why I love this team.