Sunday, August 28, 2005

ROLLERCOASTER

No, it is bad enough I have the Red Hot Chili Peppers Love Rollercoaster stuck in my head, but the real rollercoaster is the one the Red Sox have put their long-suffering fans through this season. Where is the California Sports Guy, Bill Simmons? The Sox get a five-year grace period for winning the World Series? Puh-leeze, a five minute grace period is more like it. Maybe the fair-weather fans can handle it that way, but anyone who grew up watching the Sox on channel 38; listening to Ned Martin and Bob Montgomery ramble on; drifting off to sleep right about when Bob the Steamer Stanley would come out of the pen to get that ground-ball double-play to get the Eck out of a tight spot in the seventh inning and waking up at 2 AM as the test signal came on; listening to Gil Santos on WBZ for the final score in the pre-WEEI, pre-ESPN days, we have no grace period. We lived and died with each season, each game, each inning, each at-bat, and each pitch.

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RED SOX:

SCHILL SHELLED:

Ugh. Thank God that it was a Thursday and Scrubs was on so I did not have to sit through another ass-kicking courtesy of the mighty Kansas City Royals. With George Brett, I mean Mark Teahen, roughing up Schilling along with Willie Wilson, I mean David Please Do Not Call Me Ivan DeJesus and Hal McRae, I mean Mike Sweeney, it was not a pretty restart for Mr. Schilling. Willie Mays Aiken, I mean, Emil Brown, smacked a monstrous home run off of Little Papi (quick note: there is no way I will EVER call Jonathan Papelbon Super Bon Bon. Let me throw this over to Comic Book Guy real quick. CBG: Worst nickname ever.) and TV sets, including mine, switched off or over to TLC for The Science of Sex (No nudity? This is an outrage!).

All kidding aside, Schilling is going to have a few rough outings and we will have to deal with them. I think the reasonable hope is that he will work out the kinks and get his stamina back enough to give the Sox six or seven solid, although not dominating, innings. Schilling is good enough, as he showed in Bloody Sock I: Curt Comes Alive and the sequel, Bloody Sock II: A Stitch in Mine Stops the St Louis Nine, that even if he is not at full strength and does not have his best stuff, he is a dangerous, prepated, mature pitcher with a nasty splitter: sometimes that is enough.

OLD FRIENDS:

So maybe the A-Rod deal was a possibility, as, almost two years and $52 million dollars in lost salary later, Nomar finally is moving to third base. Word is that he actually volunteered to move to third base. This is one of two things: Dusty Baker is a heck of a manager to play for, or else Nomar is getting a wee bit worried as another season without any 4 year - $60 million offers on the table. Poor Nomar, from the Pantheon of Boston Sports with Larry Bird, Yaz, Teddy Ballgame, and Bobby Orr to the fringes of Red Sox nation with Jackie Jensen, Walt Dropo, and Hawk Harrelson.

THE YAWKEY TRUST IS IN GOOD HANDS, RIGHT?

Of course, we all remember the bad old days before the Triumvirate and Theo the Kid? It was John the Caretaker Harrington and the Duke, who had people dreaming of the glory days which were, sadly, Heywood, Buddy, and Jean. The Harrington/Duke leadership were always spewing out facts about how they needed a new park to compete with the Yankees and afford contracts like those of Pedro Martinez and enough money to keep young stars like Nomar, Big Mo Daddy, and Irishman Troy OLeary around for the long haul.

Tear down Fenway they said, and the championships will roll in. Of course, as the White Sox and Tigers have learned, tearing down historic venues and replacing them with pieces of crap do nothing to increase revenue. Sure, it worked for Cleveland and Baltimore, but their stadiums were not historic bandboxes and needed to be torn down for safety and aesthetic reasons to begin with. As if not bad enough, Harrington wanted a multi-sport facility in Southie. Right, because all stadiums should be modeled on Three Rivers Stadium. Great thinking.

Fortunately, Boston politics being what they are, there just was not enough lips to kiss all the asses needed to grease the skids for this project of monumentally bad taste. Harrington moved on to simply cashing out the Sox and dropped the plans of destroying a national landmark. Well, it should be a national landmark, and it is encouraging to read that the Triumvirate is applying for landmark status for Fenway Park. Fenway is saved. Peel the Save Fenway stickers off your bumpers greater Boston.

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PATRIOTS:

WHERE HAVE ALL THE ANTUANS GONE?

Dex Reid, you are one tough son-of-a-gun, you special teams madman. Start filing the injury settlement paperwork, because Antuan Edwards is out the door and Reid keeps his roster spot. Sure, he was horrible on defense, unable to beat out Don Davis at safety last year (Davis is a linebacker), but his stellar special teams play should keep him around at least another year (or until he screws up on special teams and J-Rod Cherry is back in the fold).

Of course, this means Guss Scott needs to get healthy and out on the field as well. Or at least, I certainly hope so!

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RANDOMNESS:

POLONIUS BRIGS:

In honor of a wonderful friend and all-around great human being: the Squire of Cambridge, Lord of Chinatown, Big Sack of the Sackler Lab, Christopher J. Danforth Brigham aka Brigstah aka Polonius Brigs aka Brig-Yum tying the knot last weekend with his perfect match and soulmate, I have to relate one baseball-related story about the big lunk. Early in April a few years back, when everyone was still on top of their fantasy baseball league with dreams of smacking around Chazer and his collection of Morgan Ensburgs and other Phil Plantier wannabes, Derek Jeter had his first major injury, hurting himself sliding into third base and being knocked out of action. Watching the game on ESPN, I was reveling in the bad fortune of the Yankees when I remembered that Brigs had Jeter on his fantasy team. Springing into action (which is not that easy as I am not the most nimble) I grabbed the phone and dialed up his cell: BRIGS! I shouted into the receiver, Your season is over. Jeter is down. Writhing in pain! Here comes the cart to take him off the field.

He later relayed to me that he got the message while sitting down to dinner after a hard day at the lab, no doubt putting a crimp into his evening and all-around ruining his day. What can I say, what are friends for? Adding injury to injury, in fantasy football that season, his first round pick was none other than Michael Vick. Yes, that was the year he broke his leg in a preseason game and was ostensibly lost for the season.

Brigs, if you cannot be lucky in fantasy sports, at least you are lucky in love. Congrats again, my friend. All my best wishes for many happy years for you and Katie (and stay away from drafting scrambling quarterbacks this weekend!)

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