Saturday, September 22, 2012

Take me out to the morass!



Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs—hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn't tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted "We want Ted" for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back… Hub fans bid kid adieu - John Updike


Friday Sept 21 – Boston - The Friday bleachers were fairly empty at Wrigley but pretty full at Fenway where the cult of baseball onward rolls on, and who’s keeping score? Dear friend Jeff Hull and I were in that tide of zoomanity – a walking dream trance a foot - and much glad. We had a couple of beers, kept a scorecard for four innings, and discussed family, business, and baseball – cheering here and there. No boos.
No boos but some healthy sighing lamentations as the Red Sox dropped another one. Harvard Law Librarian and Organist Josh Cantor played Let’s Spend the Night Together, to which we sang along. Poignant was the singing of Sweet Caroline. Good time. Ever indelible: The Hood Blimp. [Says Jeff: "Momma, it's the blimp!"]

Tix came as courtesy of Jeff Jr. who smartly at the time was climbing Mt. Kenya.  What happened back in Boston? The Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-2. Next day the Globe didn’t bother to write up a recap story on the game. A larger picture looms: After a very good and historic run, many have sneaky feeling we are entering the old vortex of loss and Bucky Dent.
Friday night, things started out ok. Jon Lester had his lifetime 20-0 record against the Orioles on the line. The Sox gained a 1-0 lead in the 3rd when Pedro Ciriaco hit a blistering double to left to score Daniel Nava, who’d doubled before him.  In the next inning the Orioles got back the run and added another to lead 2-1. One such  run came on a single by catcher Matt Wieters, who ultimately drove in 3 runs in the game. Some of his hits were barely fair, said the ever optimistic Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine. The Sox got another run in the 5th but that was it against able Birds’ starter Gnzalez ( and a series of late-inning relievers).  Lester was hit hard in the 6th, giving up 2 runs, to set up the eventual tally.

Yes, at least one of the shots hugged the line, but I was bitterly disappointed in the effort on one of those by first baseman Loney, recently obtained in the mega deal that sent Adrian GonzoLess, Josh ‘Waiting4’ Beckett and Carl ‘Has Anybody Seen Me Crawford’ to the Dodgers of Chavez Ravine.
Loney looked no more ready than a bleacher fan to field (Wieter’s?) hot pill. Like a feather caught in a vortex he lunged lightly leftwardly - only the Loney plunge was deficient. Lonely fits in with the spiral. He has the gumption to say 'there was a reason why i was traded' to a journalist, explaining the year he has had. With that kind of esteem of self going for ya, you will fit in on this death ship. Smile, it’s a morass for the masochist.

Boy vitriol is an elixir for the writer!

On a happy note Ciricao is my favorite and I enjoyed yelling “Vote for Pedro” has he repeatedly showed enthusiasm, brains and ability. He doubled in a run in the 3rd, later singling and scoring a run himself. On a sour mash note, management seems to jolt him from position to position.

I admire John Lester, and so did not openly criticize him for throwing three of four or more pitches that did hang up in the zone. The Orioles are on a tear, unlike us, and joyfully tore into the less than optimal Lester lob-ations that included a wild pitch that led to a run. P.S. It was fan appreciation night, which meant people sitting in our seats could get free cotton candy. However, we were not sitting in our seats.

Baltimore now trails the division-leading Yankees by 1 game, with little more than a week to go in the season.  This is a remarkable reemergence of a vaunted franchise. The team is led by Yankee castoff Buck Showalter, who is a bit of a magic man riding a magic bus at this magic moment. The team has a phenomenal 15-2 record in extra-inning games this year, which the law of averages says is not possible. Showalter changes pitchers and makes late-inning defensive moves deftly. And, what do you know, the players seem up. Magic is better than albatross guano.  To add to the irony, Orioles’ resurge is in part due to machinations of former RedSox GM Dan Duquette, who, like Showalter, was shunted sidewardly  out of the limelight town.

Why do I mention albatross guano? Well I am old sea farer and I smell it: There is a general feeling that there is some type of albatross in the clubhouse, and it could be Valentine who has an inexplicable approach to lineups, chatter, you name it. For the germ of the demise I blame moves a couple of years ago that saw letting Beltre go and getting  Gonzales (why? To keep up with the Yankees? So Youk could harrumph meekly at third? ) Couple that with the beer-and-chickencabinet of 2011.

But Valentine is a good candidate for Jonah. But, whose idea was it to bring him here? And, what were they thinking?  Why not Alvin Dark? Losing breeds losing. Too damn apt was Buchhoz after Thursday night’s loss: “Stuff happens.” Friday’s loss put Red Soxat .447 pct., leaving them 20 full games behind the New York Yankees.  As I write these words, Sat afternoon the game is tied in the bottom of the ninth, and Sept shadows creep across the infield. [Guess what happened!]

Thanks again to the two Hull Jeffs. And thanks Deborah who pinged me with the very idea. Shout out to Tony G. who after game (pretending humorously) together with his little boy accosted me on Brookline Ave. Good travels all from your old Moon Herald reporter.

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