Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sleeveless Sox

You’re a nice person, aren’t you? You’re willing to cut me some slack, right?

I’m having some trouble getting this writing thing together, write at the moment. I want to tell you all about the time I spent as a dishwasher, but I just plain do not feel like writing much write now.

(OK, I’ll stop misspelling “right”. Sorry.)

I don’t want to half-ass it. I want to give you enjoyable, well-written stuff. So, I have to beg your indulgence and ask you to come back on Monday for the dishwashing story I've been promising you. I’m hoping that I find a whole slew of inspiration over the weekend, and that my job – you know, the thing that pays the rent – evens out a bit and doesn’t leave me mostly exhausted each night, as I have been for most of this week.

(That’s why all the reprints this week, you know. I’m exhausted. Lazy, too, of course, but mostly exhausted.)

So, Monday = Dishwashing Story. I semi-promise!


In the meantime, I need to talk about the Red Sox.

(I've picked up a whole slew of new readers from places like Australia and England and Austria. This will mean just about nothing to most of them. Oh, well. They can feel free to tell me all about the Geelong Cats or Aston Villa or whatever they watch in Austria aside from the German border.)

(By the way, I actually own an Aston Villa scarf. I got it when I was in England around 1971. I'm not a huge soccer ["football", to everybody in the world aside from Americans] fan, but I do follow them as I'm able. Results are spotty to come by over here, and the only time I can watch the team is if they're on a Pay-Per-View, so I don't, but I own the scarf!)

Anyway, the Red Sox are now leading the Yankees by a game-and-a-half. They led them by as many as 14 games earlier in the year. Panic is setting in. Some Sox fans are reserving spots on the Tobin Bridge for jumping at a later date.

There's a lot of blame to go around for this sad state of affairs.

For one thing, Manny Ramirez has been missing from the line-up for 21 games now. His bat is integral to the success of this team. Take him out of the spot between Ortiz and Lowell? Not good. Jacoby Ellsbury has been a nice surprise, no doubt, and his glove is better than Manny's, but he doesn't have half Manny's power and - this is most important - Manny is one of the all-time great RBI guys. Show Manny some runners in scoring position and his average goes up something like 50 points.

(Should Manny be sucking it up and playing, despite being hurt? You never can tell with Manny. He might just be enjoying an extended vacation of sorts or he might really be so hurt he can't play. That's part of the deal when you have Manny on your ball club. It's sort of like being a Catholic. You have to accept everything on faith.)

The team is also missing Coco Crisp (THE best name in all of baseball) and Kevin Youkilis. Who do you have replacing them? Folks like Brandon Moss and Eric Hinske. Personally, I don't think Hinske should even be on a major league roster yet, let alone in your line-up during a heated pennant race. Moss? Another triple-A player. It's as though the Sox have decided that it wasn't challenge enough to beat the Yankees with their regulars, so they're seeing if the PawSox can do it.

Then, there's Eric Gagne.

Gagne came to the team with impressive credentials. He was lights out for the Dodgers a few years back. He was having a decent season for the Rangers. We gave up Kason Gabbard, a fine young starter, for what was hoped to be the absolute clincher in the bullpen. It has not turned out that way. As a matter of fact, it hasn't even come close. Gagne is a complete bust.

Take the four games Gagne has blown since coming to the team, transfer them from the loss column to the win column, and not a single fan would be looking to add arsenic to his meals come October. If there is any one reason why Red Sox fans are considering laying themselves down in front of a Red Line train, it is Gagne.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I have the answer to Gagne's problems. Here it is. Get the man a shirt that fits.

I'm as serious as a heart attack. Have you seen the way this guy fidgets and squirms on the mound before delivering a pitch? He pulls on his shirt, tugs at his pants, and then, before EVERY PITCH, he throws his arm up into the air above his head to adjust his damn baggy uniform. Well, of course, he has to bring his arm back down before throwing the ball and then his uniform is in the way again.

I'm NOT joking.

I say cut his sleeve off entirely so he doesn't have to fuck with it. There's precedent for such a thing. Look at Ted Kluszewski.

Big Klu played many outstanding years for the Cincinnati Reds. As you might imagine, he was a power hitter. Early on, he decided to cut off the sleeves of his uniform in order to give his massive guns more freedom of movement.

I say that Gagne needs to do the same thing, at least for the one arm he uses.

Bottom line for the Sox? They make the playoffs and we'll see what happens after that. I still say they win the division, but only if Gagne gets a new shirt.

See you Monday with a dishwashing story.


David Sullivan said...

You've got it wrong Cuz. Gagne needs to go get a gun and blow his own head off because as long as he is breathing Francona will continue to march him out there to get slaughtered. He and Drewe should not be on the post season roster and in the meantime Gagne should be relegated to the role of mop boy. If we are up by ten or getting slaugtered put him out there to save the rest of the pen. Let him pitch 6 innings in relief and get our money's worth for him (we lost a 6-1 lefty and an outfielder that is hitting .367 with 17 runs and 11 RBI's in 33 games). He is a piece of shit and Tito is an imbosyll.

Suldog said...

Hey, Cuz, don't be shy - tell us how you REALLY feel.

I think Gagne should definitely be doing mop duty. We had a perfectly good bullpen rotation going, with Okee-Dokee and Paps for the 8th and 9th, while DelCarmen, Lopez, etc. were getting the job done most times if needed before then. Sox management had no need to grab Gagne - they were just getting greedy. Gabbard should still be here.

Tito is hardly blameless in this. He's trotting out line-ups that have me mystified, and his bullpen choices are bizarre.

All of that said, they're still UP, not down. Let's try to enjoy this.

Brian in Oxford said...

My dad got me a 1955 or so Big Klu baseball card from a client.

Mom tacked it to my bulletin board. Thanks, Mom!

david mcmahon said...

Harrrrumph, all right, we'll let ya off the hook.

Monday it is, then ...

Michael Leggett said...

Knowing Gagme's History, medically, I was pissed off over Gabbard's Departure, as, by watching Tarvarez blow up a few times, that The Gag-Me Deal was really not thought out @ all:

It was a point of disruption of Chemistry

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's the shirt...Manny wears one about 5 sizes too big and it works for him (when he plays...Manny, come home. We need you!)

Ericka said...

enjoyable, well-written stuff? *blink* i hope you intend that for what you write, and not what you read. *gulp* um. yeah. on that.

Unknown said...

I think this is funny, how the Yankees have you all running scared.

Unknown said...

Suldog - I forgot all about telling you what happened last Sunday night.

I was in Wal*Mart and I heard Christmas music playing. I walked towards the music and sure enough, a Christmas display.

Peter N said...

Two Sullivans? Wow. My feelings are the same as yours about Mr. (I used the term loosely) Gagne. But what has happened has HAPPENED, and we're supposed to learn from the experience. I guess Tito, who has done a great job all year....if Gagne had gone to the Yanks...and....well, (I could keep going) he has yet to learn that basic fact. Manny, this time, is NOT being oblique is a tough thing for a hitter, as you as an athelete know. I jest a little, but this is not a Manny monent like the end of last year.
I hope, I pray (or is it prey?) and I KNOW we're in the playoffs, short of losing all 9. I'd be nice to finish in first in that elusive AL East, but I'd rather the team be healed, with manny and Youk and Coco and Okie and the real Wakes and....and.....ahhhh!!!!
Thanks Su;l, and check out that coulumn from the Courant'sa Jeff Jacobs. Click on the title of my today (Friday) post. Have a great weekend. Go Sox.

Peter N said...

Sul, AND your readers, I wish I had sincere apologies. Now go Sox!

Suldog said...

Brian - Moms will sometimes do that. They think they're doing you a favor, so you have to just suck it up and say, "Thanks!"

David - Monday, I promise!

Michael - Yes, it was a disruption of chemistry. That's the worst thing you can do to a good team.

Blue State - Yeah, but Manny doesn't constantly fidget with his shirt and stuff. Different guys have different needs. Like, take Larry Bird. The NBA all wore those Daisy Dukes short-shorts then. If Bird played in a baggy uniform like today, I bet he would have felt like crap.

(OK, Bird still would have been magnificent, but you see my point? Maybe?)

Ericka - Not to worry. I only get huffy about my own stuff.

Barbara - Not ALL of us are running scared, dear. I still have every confidence in the world that I'm going to win that bet. Well, maybe not EVERY confidence...

And, yes, the damned Christmas music comes earlier and earlier. I really, truly, love Christmas music, but not in September. Feel free to shoot out that store's speakers, and when they give you any guff, you just tell 'em that Suldog sent you. I'll take the heat :-)

Peter - Thanks for stopping by. Don't worry about the proofreading. We still love you.

Merisi said...

I told you I'm a Sox fan, didn't I?
I even know that of course (full confidence here!) they will sock the Yankees. Yeah!!!!!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...