Friday, June 1, 2012
Dirt Dogs vs. Princesses
Early, something happened that turned the season around: The princesses started dropping like flies.
For starters, John Lackey was sidelined in the off-season to recover from a speciously-scheduled Tommy John surgery, and there was much rejoicing. Ditto Dice-K, but he recovered quicker---probably free-basing radioactive rock or something---and is currently shitting the bed in Pawtucket, poised to shit the bed in Boston. During spring training, the $20 million uber-dud Carl Crawford broke his finger picking his nose, and no one knows if or when he'll be back. Then Andrew Bailey, their purported closer, got a boo-boo on his baby toe and was placed on the DL before he even threw his first regular season meatball. In the shocker of the new millennium, Jacoby Ellsbury pulled an abdominal muscle ripping a fart and he's gone, again, until after the All-Star break. And, finally, in what proved to be the Sox most fortuitous injury, Youk went down and paved the path for his imminent successor Will Middlebrooks to come up and rake in the majors.
Now, the Red Sox are over .500 for the first time this season, and they're winning with a patchwork crew of dirt dogs, who not only play the game hard but are utterly affable to boot. I'd almost rather see the current line-up lose the rest of the season than watch The Red Sox with the princesses from the infirmary win a pennant.
So let's take a look at the dirt dogs.
So far, Daniel Nava is winning over fans with both hustle and a hot bat. Carl Crawford can kiss my ass. Let Nava man the Monster for the next five years. I'm down. Then there is Ryan Sweeney, a wild card from Oakland who was packaged with Bailey. Sweeney, who has earned a role as an every day starter, has made some incredible plays in the field---i.e. the diving catch in center where he concussed himself---and he's been putting up the stats on top of it. The aforementioned Middlebrooks looks like the real deal, infusing the team with youth, while even journeyman like Marlon Byrd and Scott Posednik play hard, which is the antithesis of the Beer and Chicken Bitches. Even Salty has come into his own and is putting up All-Star numbers with a hearty dose of toughness to boot. If Ellsbury got a cut on his ear, it would've been a potential career-ending injury. And Mike Aviles, hell, he's made a nice case for himself as an everyday starter at shortstop. On top of it, although part of the millionaire crowd, Papi has his mojo back, and Gonzalez has shown some real character by volunteering to play right field. And Pedroia is Pedroia: the muddy chicken and a consummate gamer.
Given the Pink Hats and the way the team presented itself to fans last season and the first month of the current one, I'd forgotten what it's like to really root for the Red Sox. However, with the team they're putting out now, I'm hoarse from cheering in front of the television. But, alas, while they take their sweet-ass time to heal, the princesses will return, and the Sox will go back to being the team that Theo built, a watered-down version of the Yankees. When the princesses are healthy, the front office will demand their babies get to play, and Valentine will either comply or get fired, and we're back to the same flat baseball that resulted in last September's disaster.
But for now, I'm liking these guys. A lot. Like a penis likes soft and wet...forget it. You get picture.