It’s not his fault his name is so pun-friendly.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

But seriously, how many variations of “Master-ful” are going to be popping up in baseball headlines this morning? Not that it isn’t warranted. It surely is. I’m also probably gonna have to stop calling the 6’6″, 250lb Masterson “Little Justin Masteron” as well since he could likely eat me for breakfast.

But he would never. Because he’s like puppies and rainbows and 1-running the Royals over 6 1/3 innings last night. And he didn’t even freak out when Okajima came within a hairsbreadth of blowing the whole thing. He just peeked out from the dugout in trepidation, watching it all go down. And I swear to you that if you looked closely, you could see Tim Wakefield over his shoulder, nodding sagely and readying himself with the words of wisdom in re: your bullpen blowing your fantastic pitching performance. But alas, Wake will have to save that talk for another day. Papelbon done took care of the newbie. And all was right with the world. You guys? I like the under 25 portion of our team a WHOLE LOT. We’re getting to the point where Josh Beckett will be the grizzled veteran at 28. That kind of stuff makes me giddy.

Also? Paps making with the Tek-like head pats and acting all older brother to Masterson. Which is hilarious on several levels, chief amongst them being that if Papelbon actually decides to form his own little Merry Band of Young Pitchers and declares himself Supreme Ruler and Badass, we’re in for some good times. We’ve all heard stories of the competitions he used to get into with his younger brothers, the Papel-Twins. I can only imagine what madness would befall the Sox bullpen. Something involving wild boar and squirrel hunting probably. Or sudden death Scrabble. Plus, you and I both know that Pedroia would not take kindly to being left out. Hilarity would surely ensue.

Speaking of? The Yankees and Orioles nearly got into a bench clearer last night because of some beanball antics and LaTroy Hawkins throwing at Luke Scott and his Texas Hair. In retaliation, apparently, for Daniel Cabrera hitting Derek Jeter on the wrist earlier in the game. Now, I wasn’t watching but I have it on good authority that even the YES announcers were all, “Um, yeah, so that wasn’t intentional” because first of all, the Orioles were up 10-0 and second of all, it’s Daniel Cabrera, not known for his pinpoint accuracy. So really, Hawkins was overreacting and trying to hit pretty, pretty Luke Scott. Who then went all righteous vengeance on them an inning or so later and hit a 2-run moon shot. Apparently Kevin Millar was spoiling for a fight (been a while since he brawled with any Yankees), and the Orioles bullpeners were raring to go. (Jamie Walker can throw down, I’ll tell you whut). But order was restored. As was a 12-2 Orioles win. Which is fun for everyone outside of the Bronx.

And tonight, to follow up on two fantastic performances by the Young Guns, the Sox have former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon going. Which could be a mixed bag but you gotta figure that anything effective they get from him is gravy. Mmmm, gravy. Heady times, my friends, heady times indeed.

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