Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Bum

For those of you who have been following the Sox before they became sexy in 2004, who had a relationship with the team similar to a rocky marriage--- when things were good, oh man, they were good, and when they were bad, look out---you understand the irrational rage, the betrayal, the flirting with the concept of divorcing the team and finding another sport, say, arena football, to devote your love and attention. In my particular case, I usually choose one player on the team to focus all of my anger toward, a sounding board, a whipping post. Even after two World Championships, I still have my goat, and for the past two years, it has been $9 million dollar toilet flush that goes by the name of Julio Lugo.

On Sunday, I was watching the game against Tampa, and my blood pressure was slightly elevated, as it usually is during a Red Sox game, but stable. There were runners on first and third with one out (Carl Crawford probably stole all three bases then got back on the base path for shits and giggles), and Brad Penny was on the mound. There was routine grounder to Pedroia, a textbook 4-6-3 inning-ending doubleplay. But with Julio "The Loser" Lugo at the shortstop, nothing is EVER routine. Lugo muffs a feed that Stephen Hawking could have handled, the run scores, and The Sox go down and never catch up. I lose it. I start spraying f-bombs and insults like Dick Cheney firing at a friend's face on a hunting trip (man, I struggled with that simile), and my three-year-old son took cover under a blanket. Before I could apologize and tell him to never repeat what he just heard in front of his mother, the phone rings. It's my father.

"That fucking idiot!" he yells, eschewing your standard phone call greetings. "Why the fuck do they keep playing this guy?" Mind you, my father introduced me to the concept of The Red Sox Bum, the term I've adopted for these players, way back in 1986 when he would take everything out on the hapless Bob Stanley.

Now, the reason I bring this up is to give formal recognition to the players who have borne the brunt of my indignation over the past five years (to go back further would require a much, much longer post). So here they are, in chronological order, with the nicknames I assigned to them:

Grady Little, a.ka. Forrest Gump. While Tito Francona could take a dump on my bed and I'd simply admire its consistency, Grady Little was the cause of all of my life's stresses and problems during his time as the helm. A check bounces. Fucking Gump. A bird craps on my windshield. Grady Little fed it the damn worms. There was something about his languid Southern hick-ness that drove me up a wall. And when he left Pedro in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS...well, I'm not even going to go there.

Mark Bellhorn, a.k.a. Smellhorn. Again, one of the defining characteristics of a Red Sox Bum is the general demeanor of someone who can't fight back. Bellhorn struck out far too much for my liking. Was he instrumental in the Sox winning in 2004? You bet. Did I love him during that time? Yup. Such are the hypocrisies of Sox fans. Ironically, I still have a Mark Bellhorn keychain that was given to me as a gag gift. I still use it.

Willy Mo Pena, a.k.a. Willy Mo-ron. First of all, I was an Arroyo fan, and when the Sox dealt Bronson to The Reds for this walking steroid with the brain of a piss-drip, obviously, I blamed Pena. He was like the dude that dates your ex-girlfriend after you've broken up. Regardless of what he does or how nice of a guy he might be, you're going to dislike him. And Mo-ron, aside from hitting a few moon shots, did little to help his cause. From his fielding blunders to his gigantic whiffs at the plate, all-around, I blamed him for every game the Sox lost during his tenure, whether he played or not.

Which brings us back to Lugo, a.ka. The Loser, a.ka. Fucktard the Asswipe Douche. It's a rainy evening here in New England, and in a few minutes, I'm going to head downstairs and see if the Sox/Spankees game in the Evil Empire's billion-dollar whiffleball field is going to happen tonight. By the way, I just checked the line-ups. Nick Green is scheduled to start at short, but if the Sox lose tonight (if they play), I can guarantee you Lugo had something to do with it.


Anonymous said...

The funny thing about Mark Bellhorn was that year you guys had Pookey Reese on your bench. I'm not saying Pokey was ever an elite player, but he swung the bat every once in awhile and had a terrific glove. I never understood why Bellhorn was never put on a short leash in 04, but what the hell do I know, they won a world series when all was said and done.


Charlie Drew said...

I was also a fan of Arroyo which meant I hated Pena. He sucked. Yeah, he could hit a few 400 plus feet home runs. He also stuck out 3times a game. His fielding *shakes head* don't even get me started. Damn, now I am all mad thinking about him in a Red Sox uniform.

Nate Graziano said...

I forgot to had Doug Miserabelli to my list. I mean, I know he was a sentimental favorite at Fenway, but I always had a feeling of impending dread every time he picked up a bat in a clutch situation.

Yeah, Charlie, a mannequin with a glove probably would've had the same fielding percentage in the outside as Willy Mo-Ron.

Kudos to Robby on Facebook for the nickname JD Spew. I love it.