Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This just might be my final post. For all the times I've been wrong, and the few times I've been spectacularly wrong, I have never been quite so wrong as I was on July 1st. On that fateful day, I mentioned how discouraging it should be for Red Sox fans that their $146 million ass-kicking machine of a baseball team had to that point managed to come from behind in their final at bat to win only once all season. Now I am eating my words, as they did it for the second time.

Unconfirmed rumors from the Tigers clubhouse placed manager Jim Leyland on the floor of his office, in the fetal position, chain-smoking and weeping when he heard the news tonight. That World Series trophy is as good as won for the Olde Towne Team as we speak. And that's why I have to shut this blog down for good, because this team has the perfect combination of tired arms and overpaid frauds who dream of hitting .250. Nothing I say can slow them down now.

Of course, there are naysayers who might point out that the two comebacks occurred against Baltimore and Tampa Bay, currently in next-to-last and last place respectively in the AL East standings. There are even some crypto-fascist reactionary types who might think that a team whose 3 and 4 hitters have not yet managed to equal the home run total put up by Alex Rodriguez could have a small problem when it comes time to face a more daunting bullpen than that of the Devil Rays. But I am no longer one of those guys.

Terry Francona changed all that. Never in all my born days could I have conceived of a move as brilliant as pinch-hitting JD Drew in the 7th so that the .248 hitter could ground into a double play. Not since C. Montgomery Burns pinch hit Homer Simpson for Darryl Strawberry with the bases loaded and two out so that a right handed batter could face the left handed pitcher (even though Straw was 9-9 with 9 home runs) against the Shellbyville team has a manager been so committed to playing the percentages. Hell, if all he wanted were a double play ball, who better than Wily Mo?

But the real key that emerged from this game...they finally know how to use Eric Gagne. He pitched a scoreless 9th because there was no real pressure on him. It would have been very difficult, indeed, for him to get the loss tonight. So no wonder he didn't choke. As long as the Sox can pitch him in situations where he can't make things worse, he'll be awesome.

And the Sox got a game back, thanks to the Yankees being mauled by the Orioles on the day that saw the passing of Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto. I hate to say this, but all day, whenever I saw it on a news ticker or Sportscenter, the only thing that kept popping into my head connected with Rizzuto was George's key chain with Phil's head saying "Holy Cow" when it was squeezed. I know. I am a horrible human being. But at least I admit it.

And in other depressing news, it seems that the Patriots are going to try to play Adalius Thomas at inside linebacker and move Mike Vrabel back to his natural position of outside linebacker. Leaving aside the issue of whether one can still be said to have a natural position when one has lost a step or two or thirteen, I must confess this depresses me.

I was looking forward to ripping the Pats when Thomas' production from his contract year didn't follow him to New England. Now they have a ready made excuse. Of course he can't get double digit sacks, he's playing a different position in a different scheme. It should have very little to do with the fact that now Mr. Thomas has the financial freedom that he doesn't have to think twice about getting extra cheese on his Whopper.

Tonight also served up yet another disappointing episode of The Bronx Is Burning. I understand that it's based on a book (a book which I never read, in the interest of full disclosure), but I'm still bent that the show has so many different strands going at the same time. I want to see more about the Yankees in 1977 (more scenes of them beating the Red Sox would have been greatly appreciated).

If I wanted to watch a documentary of how Ed Koch got to be the Mayor of NYC, I'd find a way to do that. Or check into the psych ward, whichever comes first. And maybe it's because I am not a New Yorker or a particularly morbid person, but I really have no interest in Son of Sam stories. Quite frankly, I don't see how the election of Ed Koch or that tool shooting innocent people had any bearing on the baseball season.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe if Bella Abzug had won the mayoral election, the Yankees wouldn't have caught the Orioles and the Red Sox. Maybe if Mario Cuomo had won, Kansas City would have held on to the lead at home in that fifth and final game of the ALCS. Maybe if Son of Sam had murdered one fewer person, the New York Rangers would have surprised the hell out of the civilized world and made the World Series in a stunning turn of events.

ESPN is a sports network, is it not? It's not the everything about everything about life network, and sometimes they'd do well to remember that over at the World Wide Leader.

1 comment:

Kevin Smith said...

Remember the E in ESPN stands for Entertainment - the first word in their name. Yay.