(Photo from Boston.com)
But seriously, if I’ve told y’all once, I’ve told y’all a thousand times: Don’t shake off ‘Tek! The “y’all” in that sentence obviously referring to major league pitchers who stubbornly refuse to listen to me because I know that none of the lovely people that actually read this damn thing would DARE to shake off Jason Varitek. I mean, you’re smart people. You know what’s good for you. Curt may have learned. After the game they asked him about the shake off and what ‘Tek had to say about it. He said, (I’m paraphrasing), “He said that’s the same thing Pedro did when he lost his no-hitter. I should know better.” ‘Tek with the snark! Lookit that! Must be Mike Lowell’s influence. But seriously, stop shaking off Jason Varitek. Just stop it. ‘Tek said something similar in his own postgame. Or, at least, I think he did. The camera angle was wide and there were shoulders involved and something about sliders and pitching and biceps and awesome and I believe it amounted to “Stop shaking me off, bitch.” ‘Tek knows best.
As for the game, I was partially correct with my prediction that yelling at Julio Lugo while on a treadmill would cause me serious injury. Because, even though I stayed rooted to my chair at work – desperate need to pee notwithstanding – to watch the entire thing go down on Gameday, by the time I finally went to the gym to watch postgame, I was so furious with Lugo that I could barely run straight. Ignoring the fact that on my best days I run like the drunk guy at the company softball game, I was some kind of enraged.
And okay, it was a clean hit by Stewart and Schill shouldn’t have shaken off ‘Tek and all that but if Lugo fields the damn ball cleanly in the fifth, Stewart never comes to bat and Schilling has not only his no-hitter but ALSO a perfect game. But no. Because Julio Lugo hates fun.
/takes deep, cleansing breath
Okay, I’m fine. I mean, I’m starving because I refused to leave my desk to get a snack once we got past the sixth inning and I had lunch at like 11:45 (I’m writing this on the T on my phone, people. Prompting the woman sitting next to me to ask me “Does that, like, go to a computer” and being really confused when I tried to explain why I was feverishly typing on the world’s tiniest keyboard between Government Center and Kenmore. It’s because I love you people. Don’t say I never did anything for you), but I don’t think I’m hallucinating. Curt Schilling threw a complete game shut-out which was a no-hitter up until two outs in the ninth. Well done, sir. Well done, indeed.
More importantly, in the grand scheme of things, it was a win. And one the Sox sorely needed. I don’t think I’d realized they’d been quite as bad as they have been recently – losing six of their last seven – as I’ve been operating under the delusion that if the games took place after I went to bed (stupid West Coast) then they didn’t really happen. But Curt stopped the skid. Because Curt hates to lose.
Now, Annette and I talked each other through the whole thing today on Gmail chat. (Side note: the internet makes it criminally easy to distract oneself from doing actual work what with the Gamedaying and the emailing and the chatting and the obsessively checking pitch counts. Thanks, internet!) and we decided that this miraculous thing was happening all because of Tito’s gum throwing conniption fit last night. Because nothing says “motivational tactic” like hucking your giant wad of strawberry Big League Chew across the field so you can better go tell an ump to go fuck himself. I’ve really got to hand it to Tito there. It’s not coughing up blood but it sure seemed to get the troops fired up.
Me: That was clearly a call to arms.
Annette: That was the GREATEST moment in regular season baseball. Like, maybe ever.
Me: It was amazing. I *heart* Tito.
Annette: That was a dad whose kid just did something STUPID level of pissed. The level where reason goes out the window and rage takes over.
Me: I love that he was all, “Oh, HELL no. I can’t work up the requisite amount of rage with this giant hunk of strawberry Bubble Yum in my mouth.”
Annette: It might have impeded the 912 cuss words he wanted to string together. And perhaps the “fuck offs” would not have been heard as such. It might have sounded like “duck off” or something.
Me: This was all a motivational tactic on his part. And I’ve got to say, he’s a goddamn genius.
Of course, Annette and I attempted to talk about anything but the game, which proved largely unsuccessful. Mostly because we eventually starting talking about ways to get Julio Lugo off the team and replaced with a bucket of baseballs, operating, of course, on what I’m calling The Easter Basket Principle, (created by the genius ladies over at the Papel-Blog), which modification reads that a bucket of baseballs, turned sideways in the basepath would field more balls cleanly than Lugo, just based on probability.
Me: Seriously, let’s call Theo and make him explain to us, using small words and in plain English, why the Sox chose to go for Lugo instead of extending Gonzalez. I simply cannot fathom it.
Annette: Not a clue.
Me: He has to listen to us. We’re very smart. I write things using big words and you’re an actual scientist! You can create graphs and everything!
Annette: It boggles the mind.
Me: I would be totally fine with Mike Timlin riding in from Pawtucket in a rusty pickup and forcing Lugo off the team by crossbow.
Annette: Me too.
See? We’ve got a solution for everything.
Except of course for JD Drew. We don’t know what that’s about either.
Me: He doesn’t even care. I don’t even know what JD Drew sounds like.
Annette: He sounds like a stockbroker.
Me: Which is not how a baseball player should sound.
Annette: I keep expecting him to give a big sigh during interviews and go “The problem is that the S&P 500 showed a small failure of growth in the fourth quarter of last year, Tina. That led to widespread economic failure in the private sector.” Finish it off with a nearly imperceptible eye roll and that’s a JD Drew interview for you.
Me: Baseball players should talk about hunting and killing and “grinding it out.” They should use the word “phenomenal” entirely too often, be in dire need of a thesaurus and misuse words in their press conferences. They should use poor grammar and say things like, “Ah, man, I dunno, I just felt like ah was in the zone today. Ah was in Kill Mode.”
But negativity and snark aside – temporarily, of course – the Sox needed this one. And Curt delivered. I keep thinking back to the offseason before the 2004 season and that commercial with Curt hitching a ride in a Ford F-150 or something where he said he needed a ride to Boston as he had to “go break an 86-year-old curse.” And damned if he didn’t deliver. Because, look, the guy pisses me off frequently. He’s probably one of the last people I’d want to have to dinner and I would sooner chew off my own arm than debate politics and religion with him. But you can’t say the man can’t pitch. Today, he did.