Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Panic Button

(The following is Rated-R: Adult language, adult content, Red Sox fan pissed off)

Strangely, I feel most comfortable, a sense of nostalgia even, when The Red Sox are losing. Without missing a step, I go back to my pre-2004 self, throw up my hands and say, "Goddamn bums, it's over. The season is the over. The past five years have been an aberration, and buckle up because it's going to be another 86 years before these fucking idiots win again."

After the Sox abysmal 1-5 road trip, I've gone past hitting the panic button and have officially given up. Why? The answer to this question gets to the root of my indignation with these fair-weather Pink Hat bozos who claim that they shit in the shape of Yaz but couldn't tell you The Sox starting right-fielder.

I have given up because I'm a fucking Red Sox fan!

For those of us who are over five-years-old and have been following the Red Sox our entire lives, you are not going to undo a lifetime of misery and disappointment with two World Series championships. Being a Red Sox fan is more than following a baseball team; it's a way a being, a psychological condition. And when things are going bad, a little switch goes off in your head that tells you that the sky is falling and nothing will be salvaged. Therefore, you give up. I've given up on these assholes who, standing in a verdant meadow, couldn't hit the grass with a stream of their own piss lately. Fuck them. Fuck the Red Sox. When does football season start? I don't care anymore if my wife watches Project Runway when the game is on. It doesn't matter because it's over. Do you understand me? It's fucking over!

And if the Sox happen to start playing well again, I'll be right there with them, denying I ever wrote this, in spite of the irrefutable evidence that's right here for everyone to see. This is what it means to be a Red Sox fan.

And as for you Pink Hat dildos and your stupid optimism: you don't know dick. Put on your your $200 Big Papi jersey and go fuck yourself.

And one more thing. Go Sox!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Change of heart.

About what I said yesterday regarding Roy Halladay: Fuck it. Go get Doc.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Say-hey, Clay

Edit: After writing this post, while searching for pictures of Clay Buchholz, I found out that he was dating Erica Ellyson (pictured), former Penthouse Pet of the Year, and is currently engaged to this girl. All right, I'm going to go kill myself now. Consider this my last post.

In the mix of the multitudinous questions that surround the Sox starting pitching right now, there is one immutable fact: With the exception of maybe Mariano Rivera and Randy Johnson, Clay Buchholz is the ugliest man in baseball. Seriously. He looks the spawn of Sigourney Weaver and the alien from Alien. Or maybe he's the love-child of owner John Henry and Larry Lucchino's ass. I don't know for sure, but this is not meant to take anything away from young Clay. I mean, it's not like I'm beating back women and I've never thrown a no-hitter (edit: or had sex with a Penthouse Playmate, the fucker).

So back to the big question: What now will the Red Sox do about their starting rotation? It's an enviable problem to have, and luckily for Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brass, they have assholes like me to tell them what to do with nothing at stake if I'm wrong. With a dismissive shrug and a "Hey, I don't get paid for this shit" safety net, I can spout off like a goddamn white whale and fudge my way into sounding somewhat knowledgeable---ah, the beauty of being an imaginary sportswriter.

Now my solution.

First, forget about Roy Halladay. JP Riccardi is going to want to clean out the Pawtucket clubhouse and probably take Daniel Bard in the deal. With their starting pitching as it is, and looking into my crystal ball (edit: as well as this ridiculously beautiful women who was sleeping with that mutant), the Red Sox will be competitive for the next decade with the staff they have and their prospects, like Buchholz (edit: truly unbelievable) and Michael Bowdoin. Bard is already starting to prove himself to be a major league force with major league gas, and Beckett and Lester will be around for quite some time. Hopefully, with a little luck and without the WBC, which clearly the Japanese see as the Holy Grail of baseball, Dice-K will get his head out of his ass and prove to be a decent three or four starter. Sure, having Doc in the rotation this year would be about as close as you get to a slam dunk for the pennant as you get, but I really hope the Sox have learned something from the Yankees misguided attempts at purchasing All-Star teams for the past eight or nine years. On the other hand, the Yankees have not. My prediction: Halladay goes to the Yankees at the trading deadline.

Now, the Sox still have some difficult pitching decisions to make, and as their imaginary general manager, I have a solution. As a member of management, I need to be circumspect, logical, and analytical, judiciously weighing all options. We could sit pat with the hand we have, moving Buchholz (edit: How in God's name does something like this happen?) up and down from Pawtucket as needed, then bringing him up when the roster expands in September. Or you make a more aggressive move.

Here's what I would do. I would organize my pitching according to an ugliness factor. In other words, ugly is intimidating, and intimidation has been proven to be an effective tactic in any combat. Therefore, I'd move Buchholz (edit: Am I the only one distressed by this?) into the rotation as the five-starter. Brad Penny, who looks a little like Fred Flintstone, stays as well. John Smoltz is a fairly attractive older man, so he gets moved to the bull-pen, where he's pitched an inning or two in his career. Now, this requires that I clear another roster space in the pitching staff for Buchholz (edit: Money is not enough; he must be hung, that's the only thing that makes sense). Sorry, Justin Masterson. Although Masterson is no Brad Pitt, he looks young and fresh and vibrant, all of which are NOT intimidating. So Masterson, who has been struggling lately, gets optioned to Pawtucket. Problem solved.

Wow, being the imaginary GM is almost as difficult as being an imaginary sportswriter. I need a vacation. Another one (edit: and some cyanide).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Great Debate

Admittedly, in these blog entries, I tend to tread in irreverent, sophomoric, and, sometimes, crass waters. Every now and then, however, it is incumbent upon the imaginary sportswriter to confront serious topics that explore not only the sports we cover, but the shadows they cast as both metaphor and microcosm of our shared human condition. Now, my friends, I'm about to step up to the plate (metaphor) and delve head first into a topic that not only affects baseball but humanity at large (microcosm).

That topic is the goatee.

This morning, after showering, in an impetuous fit of fancy, I decided to shave my goatee. Some of you may not see this as an issue of such colossal importance, and you might, I surmise, consider a bit of flaming fucking retard for treating it as such; however, please allow me to explain. I have kept a goatee since my mid-twenties, when I was a strapping young buck capable of anything, and with little exception, I have not messed with it. Hell, I'm a straight American male who likes beer and sports and porno: Why wouldn't I have a goatee? Then I heard on an episode of The Daily Show about six months ago that goatees have become a passe, so after six months of deliberation, anguish and sleeplessness, this morning I shaved.

(If you haven't guessed, I'm also a bit of a neurotic.)

However, since shaving, as I've been scratching my beardless chin, I've realized that baseball players have all sorts of goatees and facial-hair growths---unless, of course, they play for the Yankees, and if they play for the Yankees, the safe bet is they have no soul. So how can goatees be passe if some of our greatest American athletes continue to sport them? On the Sox alone, Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell, JD Drew, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield have goatees consistently, and others flirt with them from time to time. Was the idea that goatees are passe an apocryphal one? If this is the case, should I grow mine back? My wife says yes.

So I submit it to you, my 12 readers: What are your opinions on the goatee? Let's get some dialogue going on this imperative topic. It's the All-Star break, so we have some time to discuss these pressing matters. I'm also posting a picture of my post-facial hair ugly mug for your examination. Do you agree with my wife? Should I grow back the goatee? Do you or does someone you love (or fuck) have a goatee? What are your thoughts? Post them right in the comments section.

Godspeed, my friends, and just a reminder, the Sox are up three games going into the second half.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On Holiday

I'm alive and well, my 11 friends who religiously follow my blog. I realize my week without blogging---I blog; therefore, I am---may have caused great distress in your life, but you can stop performing the self-flagellation rituals of Shiite men, knowing now that your imaginary sportswriter, your life-force, is back at work and has not seen an untimely and unholy demise. In fact, while you were checking my blog ten, maybe three hundred times a day, voracious, waiting for my next entry, I was on vacation.

I realize this is a baseball blog but, please, allow me to take you on a discursive sojourn while getting there. First, I want to talk about vacations, seeing they play such a prominent role in our lives. The Brits call them "holidays," which I believe is a better word. Holiday sounds--- phonetically, at least---much more fun and relaxing than "vacation," with its harsh and staccato v and hard-c sounds. So allow me to rephrase: for the last week I was on holiday.

Vacations. Holidays. Whatever. They've always conjured in me the image of a young Chevy Chase, playing a young Clark W. Griswold, speeding down the desert highway with his family in a station wagon, and pulling up alongside a simply delicious Christie Brinkley in a convertible, before she started slumming with Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl." Griswold is a man obsessed with vacations and having "a good time" on vacation, which was part of the reason I could never get into the idea of "going on" a vacation somewhere where you're supposed to have fun. To me, it seemed so contrived, so phony. I mean, you plan on having "a good time" months before you actually have the "good time." Isn't that antithetical to the whole spontaneity of fun? Are you supposed to arrive at the said destination, look around at the landscape, and say, "Damn, I'm having fun now." Do you see what I mean?

But I did have a nice time on my holiday, despite my neurosis about fun. My wife and I, her best friend Melissa, and our combined five kids, ages 4-10, rented a small cabin on a lake in Piermont, New Hampshire. Now, for many of you, I'm sure, the idea of being in an enclosed area with five kids probably more accurately describes incarceration than it does vacation, much less fun, but I was able to enjoy myself, mostly because I spent the entire week unplugged---no computer, no phone, no television. This meant---and pay attention, because here's how I'm looping back to baseball---I had listen to The Red Sox games on the radio and read my analysis in The Boston Globe the next day, and it was wonderful. For a week, that is.

There is something sweetly nostalgic about listening to baseball on the radio, reading about it the next day from the baseball beat writers, a.k.a. the lucky bastards who have my dream job. It evokes images of baseball back when the game was in its heyday, in 40s and 50s, back before it was despoiled of its integrity by money, steroids, and corporate America.

In fact, on a more personal level, it brought me back to a time when I was single, living alone, and the cable I was splicing off my neighbors was shut off for an entire season. It was 1999, and I listened to each game on the radio, sitting at my kitchen table and running down to the bar in seventh inning if the games were close then for the playoffs. While The Sox ended up beating the Indians in ALDS---remember Pedro coming out of the pen in Game 5?---and rocking Roger the Roid in Fenway before getting a good ole' fashioned an ass-whupping in ALCS by the Spankees, it was still a really memorable season for me.

Some of this nostalgia, I realized last week, was due to the merry frustration of listening to Joe Castaglione call a routine fly to left like it's Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard Around the World," but it also had a lot to do with a feeling that baseball is better being followed either in the ballpark, with beer and hot dogs and peanuts, or listening to it on the radio, where the game plays out, inning by inning, out by out, in your imagination. Sure, I like watching Wakefield's knuckle ball dance in high-definition as much as the next guy, but in some ways, I'm a traditionalist, a modern Gatsby trying to recreate the past, and there's the irrefutable fact that I enjoy things seen through my mind's eye much more than I do those optical globes in my head.

Unless, of course, it's a young Christie Brinkley, and she's nekkid, in a swimming pool. On vacation.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The 10th Player Award Winner

Oh, irony abounds in my little baseball blogosphere.

Last week, I mentioned that the tenth person to follow my blog would be bestowed with the coveted Nate Graziano Tenth Player Award. We have a winner.

Ladies and gentleman, I am pleased to announce Mrs. Jaime Studd as the winner of The 2009 Nate Graziano Tenth Player Award.

A little bit about our winner: to begin, Jaime is my first-cousin. This is not the ironic part, nor is it nepotism, seeing half of the 11 people who follow my blog are related to me, either through blood or marriage.

Here is the bomb, and Sox fans, you might want to stop reading here: Jaime Studd, my cousin, is A YANKEE FAN!

If you trace its lineage, every family has their dirty, little secrets. Whether it is an illegitimate child borne of an inter-racial love affair or a distant uncle who lived out his life in an asylum after being arrested for masturbating at the zoo, trying to telepathically impregnate a female lemur, all families have dirty secrets. In my family, we have Yankee fans among us. But right here, right now, people of the world, I'm asking that we put an end to these secrets. This is 21st Century, and we live in a world that demands tolerance. Yes, I'm related to a Yankee fan, and I (sniff, sniff) love my Yankee fan cousin!

This brings me to another point, as I digress. The other day, I was talking to a friend...okay, I don't have any friends, so I was talking to a wino beneath a bridge and telling him how it is essential to the Sox/Yankees rivalry, the greatest rivalry in sports, that Yankee fans despise the Sox as much as we loath their team. It creates the inexorable passion that fuels both sides, establishes an ambiance where hostility and irrationality---it's a war, for God's sake---can exist with purpose. If Yankee fans were indifferent to The Red Sox and treated the games like they would a series against the Mariners, Sox fans would be pissing into the wind, full of futile bluster, every time the two teams met. In other words, if you've ever tried arguing with yourself, you've realized it's not as much fun as arguing with another person. In this sense, we---Sox and Yankee fans alike---must embrace each other's hate, celebrate our enmity, and press on.

Here's a non sequitur, but an amusing anecdote, nonetheless: Jaime, my tenth player winner, is also married to a Met's fan, a fine chap named Mr. William Studd. One night, during a lull in conversation at a bar, Bill lifted his glass and uttered the now-famous line: "Cheers to me!" Indeed, my friend, cheers to you.

Finally, seeing this past contest was such a raving success, I decided that I will also give out a 20th Player Award for the twentieth person to follow my blog, and the winner will receive a special prize, to be named later. At this pace, we should have a winner by, um, 2040.

(Honorary mention: Pee Wee. Cheers to you, too, Mr. Parker.)