Monday, December 22, 2008

The Gift That Keeps Giving

With the Yuletide season reaching its apex, we Rooters are as frenzied as the urchins awaiting a visit from Jolly Old Saint Nick.

But while they dream of sugar-plums, jelly candies and the latest mechanical tin-toy marvels, we hope that the Oligarchs that control the Red Stocking Base-Ball Franchise will deliver us a special gift for the coming season: Perhaps a slugging first-sacker shipped in from the Western Coast? Or another fire-balling hurler to complement our ranks of horsehide heroes?

Yet amidst the aching want, I was reminded of the true "spirit" of the season. For today, un-announced, the letter-carrier delivered to me a special package by parcel post. Inside, lovingly secured in a bed of cushioning chaff, was a bottle of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey, sent to me from none other than Mr. Hurdy Chadwick.

A warming gulp filled me with the glow of the Christmas star, and reminded me that base-ball will come again, bringing rooters together in fine company for songs and cheers and even the occasional hoots of derision when our boys on the diamond fall short of their goals. No matter who wears the flannels next season, we will be rooting. We few. We Happy Few. We band of brothers!

So let the wee ones enjoy their stockings full of trinkets and sweets. I shall be preparing a special Wassail this season with Duffy's finest elixir. The green of the Tannenbaum shall stand in for the green fields of the ball-park until the Spring returns -- and with it, our timeless game.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Crummy chumps. Those rotten dirt clods! I'm hopping mad -- so perturbed my face is breaking out in the hives, and I'm sure to spend the rest of the week-end with an oatmeal-covered cloth resting about my head and neck.

The reason for my dismal mood? Those hucksters in the Boston ticket offices of Red Stockings Incorporated. Those Huns have taken the last of my Saturdays with their infernal waiting rooms and phony promises of "ticketing chances for matches through-out the upcoming base-ball season!"

Thanks for nothin', ya crumbums. Phooey on you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stoke up the hot stove, fat man!

I am not a patient man. And the recent weeks of inactivity on the Red Stockings front has made me irritable and ornery. My entreaty to the corpulent cigar chompers on Yawkey Way: Make some news for the boys in Boston with base-ball on the mind, the lads waiting on every tavern stool who want to know who next season's hurler-in-chief will be.

Winter is upon us, the snow a lily-white blanket keeping warm our fair emerald field in the Fens. But after the bottom of the ninth chapter, baseball does not vanish. It stalks the subconscious, waiting to be fed a diet of spinning horsehide and ash clouts. I beseech thee, Theodore Epstein, feed that hankering!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Strike up the band!

Tune the banjo and polish the plectrum, for happy days are here once again in the Old Town of Boston! Word filtered north this afternoon that Lil' Hands Dustin Pedroia, he of the Most Vaunted Player award given at this year's Annual Base-ball Player's Dinner and Consortium, has applied pen nub to paper, his little hands scratching his signature on the dotted line of a contract that will bind his services to the Boston Red Stockings for a whopping six years' time!

And let me tell you, that little ball chaser will get his fair share of clams in the deal. I'm not one to shoot off half-cocked on pecuniary matters, but i have it on good faith that the key word to this deal is simoleons. You heard it from me: Lil' Hands has enough loot to hire a craftsman full time to create custom mittens!

What a time to be a follower of the squad! What a time to be a lover of scarlet hose and the ol' horsehide! What a time to be alive!

Long live Lil' Hands!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Gilded In-Field

For he’s the jolly-good fellow! “Little Hands” Pedroia, also known amongst wags as “El Caballito,” has been recognized for prowess on the diamond!

Pedroia now hoists a glittering golden glove on his tiny hand, a symbolic acknowledgment that even the hottest smash or sharpest grasser can’t escape his entrapment. He joins “Yukon” Youkilis, himself a gold-glove first-sacker, in creating a gilded in-field.

When the Florida sun again shines on the dirt of the base-paths during spring training, expect the reflection from the right side to be blinding!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Welcome back, Knuckles!

It's news this morning, good ol' Knuckles Wakefield is back in the fold. I speak for the legions who are fanatics of that hero's shaking, waffling and confounding hurling when I say "Huzzah, and welcome back!"

Stuffy and I are well prepared for the darkening season, and will draw close to the hot stove and report any and all Red Stockings news to our tens of readers.

Until then, we remain, faithfully yours,
Hurdy Chadwick and Stuffy McInnes,
Full Circuit Clout

Monday, October 20, 2008

Requiem for a season

Take down the bunting.
Launder the flannels one last time.
Feed the remaining wieners to the hogs,
And un-tap the kegs of ale.

Pack up the leather and horsehide.
Incinerate the hexed ash-clouts.
Shoot out the lights and let the turf go dormant,
For base-ball is ended at the Fens.

Muffle the drums and silence the Rooters’ chorus.
Roll up the pennants with a bracing of naphthalene.
Lock the turnstiles behind the last exiting man,
And sweep the discarded score-cards into the ash-heap.

Lay in a quantity of Duffy’s.
Pull up a chair to the hot stove.
Brood on the fates of the Captain and the Colossus,
For today, the Bostons have fallen.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Godspeed to the General!

Assemble the troops before the good and virtuous Gen. Joshua P. Beckett, whose hill-top heroics in the waning days of October have become legendary. He has but one message for the flannel-clad warriors of the Boston regiment: Go forth in Victory!

The base-ball season hangs in the balance with to-night's tilt versus the formidable Floridians. One false step and those sun-kissed lads from Saint Petersburg will rain down mighty ash clouts, circling the bags with unrelenting fury. But our General has a crafty and forceful demeanor that, when all is right, makes the fairer sex swoon and the lads' knees buckle in flailing hysteria.

Let all Rooters hope the Good General brings his gunny-sack of greatness. The Nation's eyes are upon you, the commander of the mounding, the hurler-in-chief. In Beckett we believe!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Stuffy is nearly speechless. But Rooters, this is all you need to know:

The Bostons will be playing base ball on Saturday evening.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Escape these chains!

The good lads of Boston are preparing for quite a fight this eve, when the Red Stockings engage the Floridians of the American Base-Ball League in the fourth of a best-of-seven matchup for league victors.

Today, the Bostons are in a two-games-to-one hole. One might say they are wearing the manacles of the underdog, those heavy steeled chains that apparently are binding our sluggers' hands to their leg-irons. Would that the Mighty Colossus and our Lil' Hands Pete have the strength to swing massive ashen clouts out of that abominable base-ball stade in the St. Petersburg area! Would that our hurling corps remind themselves of where "ball" and "strike" land, and how best to deliver the pill to would-be-swatters.

Tonight, let us remind our wobbly pill-man, Knuckles Wakefield, that all of Boston beseeches him to grasp victory with his well-leathered hurling hand.

Onward, Bostons!

NB: It has come to our attention at FCC that one David John Drew, whose clouting heroics against the Clevelanders were celebrated far and wide nearly one year ago this night, takes over the leading off position from our young buck, Jac Ellsbury, the human wind machine. Godspeed, David John! Round the basebaths so Little Horse and the Large Father may bring you home!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Which contest was Francona watching?

Today, like all Rooters, I am still befuddled by Skipper Francona’s decision to return our beleagured General to the mound. It was clear to even the peanut-peddlers plying the aisles that the General was “off.”

After a heroic triumvirate of clouts by the Bostons gained them the scoring edge, it was Francona’s duty to turn the pill over to the relief hurling corps. And yet, against all evidence, he instead let the General mount the hill again to disastrous effect.

I have yet to hear a valid explanation for this egregious lapse in base ball judgment. Yet one of my club-house sources told me that a messenger-boy delivered a hand-written note to Francona in the midst of the contest. My source could not read the entire note, but saw a signature scrawled on the bottom of the card.

It read: “G. Little.”

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Speaking in clouts

Bleary-eyed Rooters awoke this morning still gobsmacked by the spectacle of swatting performed by our Bostons in last evening’s contest. Was it merely the fever-dream of the dyspepctic off his Duffy’s? Most certainly not!

It was, indeed, a contest book-ended by tremendous clouts from the Red Stockings, who have not let the unfamiliar environs of the Pacific Coast shake their resolve to achieve another World’s Championship Title. Fittingly, the decisive blows were delivered by two bats-men who share their names with mythical heroes from the mists of time.

First, Jason “Argonaut” Bay proved worthy to carry the name of that seafaring Greek adventurer, delivering a first-chapter four-bagger that achieved three “runs” for the local nine. Alas, frame after frame of pesky swatting by the Anaheims erased the Bostons superior run total, until our boys were down to their last three batting opportunities.

But then, “David” John Drew faced down the Goliath of closing-chapter hurlers, Francisco “Jowly” Rodriguez. Armed not with a sling, but with his ash bat, the result was the same. One stroke, and the villain was vanquished, as the pill sailed resolutely into farthest bulwark.

Huzzahs and congratulatory handshakes raced about the drawing room where myself, Hurdy Chadwick, and an extended gang of Rooters had been hanging on every hurl and swat conveyed over the wireless. The Bostons are as we speak steaming eastward to attempt a “sweep” of the Anaheims at Friendly Fenway Park. Gen. Joshua P. Beckett, scheduled to deliver the orb despite his recent infirmities, has no doubt been inspired by his team-mates to etch another heroic chapter in the legend of October Red Sox base ball.

Friday, October 3, 2008

V for Victory!

Indeed, the Anaheims spent a fruitless evening Wednesday swatting nothing but air as "Nothin' Doin'" Lester spun his webs of horsehide confusion. A fine way for the Bostons to announce themselves to the Los Angelenos!

There was much reveling after the victory according to the Hollywood reporters. "Lil' Hands" Pedroia--El Caballito in the flesh--celebrated in style at the Brown Derby, and at one point was good-naturedly accused of being "handsy" with the kitchen staff. Meanwhile "Yukon" Youkilis took in the scenes at one of the many moving pictures studios and in the end was featured in a newsreel bit starring none other than famed warbler Cornelius Smith, or "Old Smitty from Hartford," as he's known east of the Mississippi! What fun for our heroes from Boston, who spend more time clad in flannel and battling base-ball foes on the diamond than enjoying the sites and smells of good old U.S. America!

Alas, while Thursday was a day of rest and relaxation, today's squad buckled back down to business, assembling at the ball-park at an early hour to commence preperations for tonight's all-important matchup. This evening, Boston fans will warm the wireless tubes for a 9:30 p.m. showdown between Matsuzaka-san and Anaheimer "Big Erv" Santana.

What will come? Not one person knows! But know this: Hurdy and Stuffy and their assembled cronies will root, root, root for the gentlemen in red stockings, hoping heartily for a Boston homecoming with two matches stored tightly under the squad's collective belt. Moustaches will certainly be chewed, flagons of ale quaffed, and various meats gulleted by the gang. For baseball calls!

Stay tuned, good friends...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Prepare for battle!

One-hundred and sixty-two games in the musty old books. Thousands of pills delivered to home-plate, hundreds of erstwhile sluggers mystified by the Red Stockings' vexing hurlers. Numerous clouts beyond the reach of mortal base-ball fielding men, an uncountable basket of fine feelings among the Rooting set.

Tonight, the Bostons have completed their steam across country to the orange grove capital of the world, Anaheim, Calif., where they will take on the Angels of Anaheim in Los Angeles County. Halos be damned! Our boys are heading to battle, and Stuffy and I, Hurdy Chadwick, will be glued to the wireless, no doubt salving our anxious souls with a dose or two of Duffy's as the Bostons begin their post-season campaign.

Clear the women and children from the room: This is October base-ball!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Whither the General?

And so the long base ball contesting season has reached its terminus. The irrelevant New Yorks may have taken some solace from their two “wins” during the week-end, but a squad of Boston yannigans delivered a rousing victory in extra frames last evening that reiterated the essence of the thing: Boston continues the quest for a Pennant, while the New Yorks have a long winter of moustache-chewing ahead of them.

Yet an “extra” flashed across the wires late Sunday night that added a disquieting note to the celebration. It seems our great and terrible hurler, Gen. Joshua P. Beckett, has suffered some kind of ailment in his “oblique,” which necessitates a delay in his mound-helming duties. I’m no sawbones, but I’ve seen other fine ball-players sidelined for extended periods with such injuries, and we can not be sure if the General will indeed be in top performing condition when he returns to duty.

Sweet fancy Moses! Let’s hope the Boston medical men are administering frequent doses of Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey during the upcoming days. And if it comes to it, let them stick the General with a shot of Soldier’s Joy before his scheduled appearance. Whatever it takes to put the pill in his hand for a play-off game.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To the play-offs!

Huzzah to the Gentlemen Red Sox, that band of lovable ball-hurling and hide-swatting urchins. They came from near and far, from lands of hot sunshine and lands of towering evergreens, from base-ball meccas and rural outposts that knew more of digging post-holes than tossing knee-buckling curving balls.

But let no-one take this away from our home-town team: We are going to the play-off sectionals, where the best of the best will be pitted against one another--just one of four squads from the vaunted American League to reach such a lofty goal. (Indeed, our frequent combatants from Gotham have missed that goal for the first time in a baker's dozen years! Double huzzahs from the New England region for that stroke of good fortune!)

The first opponent? Likely the Angels of the Anaheim region of Los Angeles, where orange groves multiply like so many of John Lackey's strike-outs. Indeed, this season, the Bostons have fared dismally against this band of southern Californian sun-seekers, going just one win out of nine chances.

But a betting man would be hard-pressed to lay his chits on another team than the Bostons in October. Who else has the Colossus? And what of Lil' Hands Pedroia, the Bostons' fancy-handed loudmouth (who also swings a prodigious club!), and the Beard of the Ages, Yukon Kevin Youkilis? And from Gen. Joshua P. Beckett and "Nothin' Doin" Lester to leather-clad stalwarts Jedrick "Square Face" Lowrie and Alexander "Benchy" Cora, the team has talent to spare, and will certainly be a fright for any squad that faces them in the cool air of early October.

Rest assured, Stuffy and I will be tuned to the wireless, ears pressed to the speakers as we shush the talking and send the children out of the room. Why, it's the play-offs! Celebrate in good health!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thunder on the Base-Paths!

Hurdy Chadwick and myself joined the throng of happy Rooters in Fenway’s commodious out-field bulwark yesterday for an afternoon of steaming wieners, refreshing suds and delightful ball-playing from the local nine. Adding to the merriment was the Boston Club’s formal recognition of Maine’s Rooting Regiment, and seeing the Pine Tree State’s blue standard sailing above the grand-stand, amongst the stars and stripes and a phalanx of League and World’s Champion banners, brought a tear of pride to my jaded scribbler’s eyes.

The morning’s drenching rains made the day seem better-suited to mud grappling than base ball, but we began our trek southward with hopes that the new-fangled weather prognosticators were correct in their assessment that precipitation would end before our heroes climbed from the dug-out. What science these “weather-men” must have at their disposal, for as sure as you’re born, the 1:35 start time arrived with narry a mist falling!

In fact, the only thunder heard that afternoon came after a decisive eighth-frame blast from “Colossus” Ortiz. To that point, the Bostons and Torontos had been ensnared in a high-class flinging duel, with our Ace, “Nothin’ Doin’” Lester matching Roy “The Wizard of the Pill” Halliday hurl for hurl. But the Colossus made sure to clip the wings of the recently high-flying blue birds.

Ortiz’s mighty ash delivered a cannon-shot to the right field, where the young patrolman made an ill-advised “dive” in his efforts to corral the orb. As the pill skipped past his prone, helpless figure, the Colossus stoked his locomotive engine and roared around the second-bag to earth-shaking effect. Before the Toronto third-sacker could receive his prize, The Colossus had settled safely on the pillow!

Mayhem and triumphal songs erupted from the assembled Rooters! And tho’ he may have desired a brief nap at the corner, Ortiz did not remain long in “scoring” position. The next bats-man, “Yukon” Youkilis, delivered a deep “fly” that allowed our Colossus to amble to the home-plate and notch the game’s decisive run.

Such was our abiding joy from the spectacle that Mr. Chadwick and myself did not even need a restorative pause at one of the innumerable gin-joints, honky-tonks and dubious road-side food sellers along the U.S. Postal Route that links Boston to Maine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Knocked senseless

When I was a lad in short-pants, I often spent bucolic summer week-ends visiting my grandparents' farm. One glorious Sunday afternoon, I endeavored to lift a home-made kite into the soft breezes of a cloudless sky (there was no wireless then, or else I would certainly have been listening to my ball-playing heroes, a sasparilla clutched in my small hand).

I ran through the lower meadow with my kite steaming behind me, like a banner signifying pure joy! So focused was my attention on its upward trajectory, that I did not notice the iron manure rake that "Rummy" Pete, Grandpa's unreliable farm-hand, had left on the ground -- its tines facing up.

My course carried me precisely to where the rake lay in wait. As my tiny foot landed on the tines, the wooden shaft shot upward in a flash, like Archimedes' lever, colliding with a horrendous "smack" into my cheekbone!

The final chapter of last evening's contest felt exactly like that stunning blow to the face. And this is the last I shall ever speak of that harrowing day, or last night's contest.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Forged in the fires of a Pennant Race

There’s a chill tinge of autumn in the New England air, and the Boston aggregation of base ball talent are within hailing distance of top honors in their Division!

The signs are un-mistakeable: We are rapidly closing the course of the long contesting season, and from this point each match is charged with Championship intensity. The finest ball-men, such as our brawny hurler “Nothin’ Doin’” Lester, meet the challenge with aplomb, and grace the diamond with the good and steady work that makes for winning ball.

Lesser sporting gents are rendered weak in mind and sore of heart by the high stakes. Why, just read the latest cables from the West Coast, where the frustrated New Yorks are resorting to fisticuffs when their batting and twirling fails them!

To-night, another high-class flinging contest is afoot, with the Tampas’ crafty southpaw “Babyface” Kazmir matching up against Matsuzaka-san, whose penchant for surrendering bases-on-balls must be brought under control.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Twists and turns in the final weeks

With a resounding victory over the Texans in today's matchup, the Bostons move just one-and-one-half games from the top of the American Base-Ball League's Eastern Division, behind only the Sunshine State squad from the Tampa region. Why, just days ago that number stood at five games, and many Rooters were left to wonder if the old boys from Boston had enough gumption in stock to climb upwards in the standings.

Well, I am here to tell you, good friends and regular readers, that I am trusting in our flannel-clad warriors. I will have eyes trained on each and every match for the balance of the season, and I invite you, dear readers, to weigh in on each and every development -- from the mundane to the positively explosive -- as the season winds to its conclusion.

Rest assured, there will be no shortage of massive ash clouts from our corps of batsmen, and mystifying and crafty pill deliveries from our hill-top pharmacists, whose gyrations are designed to befuddle the other squad's would-be swatters. In short, it's a wonderful time to be in base-ball!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesdays with Hurdy: A victim of circumstance


Dear friends of Hurdy Chadwick,

As you've no doubt ascertained, this week's edition of Tuesdays with Hurdy has been unavoidably delayed. I regret to inform you that your intrepid Rooter has been incarcerated at the Maine State Correctional Facility out-side of Portland, Maine. I assure you our good friend is innocent of all charges, the victim of a local magistrate intent on maligning our blameless friend. Indeed, all charges have been trumpeted up by a youthful prosecutor bent on elevating his position.

Mr. Chadwick's crime? Why nothing but a friendly case of mistaken identity. It was certainly not Mr. Chadwick filling a certain police seargeant's chapeau with tuna-fish salad on the night in question. And it was most certainly not a "visibly in his cups" Mr. Chadwick, as the gendarmes reported, who then proceeded to fit the chapeau on the top of his crown. Indeed, how would such a boxy garment even fit on our fine Rooter's head, which acquaintances will attest is shaped not unlike a ripened honeydew?

I admit that circumstantial evidence -- including the unfortunate coincidence of Mr. Chadwick being found strolling Congress Street with not a little amount of tuna fish covering his head -- looks to be in the state's favor.

Regardless, be assured that Kenneth J. Phrippen, Attorney at Law, is on the case.

Yrs. in all matters legal and judicious,
Kenneth J. Phrippen, Esq.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Napoleon in Flannel!

First, a tip of my boater to the Wobblies and other labor agitators who secured for us hard-working stiffs an extra day of leisure at the end of our summer holiday season. My lack of dispatches during the past week-end can be explained by my refreshing visit to a summer cottage colony here along the rocky coast of the 23rd state, where communication devices are limited to steamer-mail deliveries and carrier pigeon.

But not every worker spent the recent days lazing about in an ale-and-steamed-crustacean fug. Indeed, our tireless second-sacker has continued to amaze Rooters and old base-ball men by pulling trick after trick from his bottomless gripsack of talent.

“Little Hands” Pedroia deserves a new moniker for his heroic exploits, for there is nothing “little” about his presence in a ball-park. His clouts can fell a forest of opponents! His leather can stop any hot smash or sizzling grasser ticketed for the right-side of the diamond! Even the demure Mrs. McInnes has noted the joy with which he whirls about the pitch, remarking to me that he plays like a youth-league urchin who has yet to realize his physical limitations -- nothing but arms and legs and fearless determination.

He is our Napoleon, intent upon leading the grand army of red stocking’d soldiers to another World’s Championship banner. We can do naught but follow him to glory.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hurdy and Stuffy win the lottery!

The numbers of fortune surely were singing for ol' Hurdy Bird and The Stuffy One this early afternoon, as we were fatefully accepted into a rare lottery for admission tickets to a Bostons Red Stockings match to occur in the crisp and lovely month of September.

The occasion is Maine Day, that date where all the Fens celebrates its neighbors to the north. What kind of bunting will mark the occasion? Perhaps a fine deep blue with "DIRIGO" emblazoned across its majestically rippled creases. All Bay Staters will have their palms extended, ready to shake the hand of a true Mainer, a group so hearty it's of no wonder the 20th Maine regiment saved the whole of the United States that fateful day on Little Round Top.

A hearty "huzzah!" is reserved for Mr. McInnes, whose prowess at the ticketing office is certainly unmatched north of the Piscataqua River. For those attending the Sept. 14 match versus our even more northerly neighbors from Toronto, Canada, Hurdy and Stuffy will wear our Junior Maine Home Reserve uniforms with pride. We shall be positioned behind the practice pitching area beyond the "out"field, with steaming sausages and frothy ales in abundance.

Until then, let us say a word of good cheer for our ailing General, the young Joshua P. Beckett, whose cannon arm and sabre-rattling intensity marched our men to victory last season. Godspeed, good General!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A brighter sun, a fresher breeze

There’s nothing quite like greeting the day after a definitive thrashing of the New Yorks. And today’s glorious blue ceiling seems that much bluer, and that much clearer, thanks to the clowning act put on last evening by Alex “Slaps” Rodriguez.

Tho’ richer than Croesus and blessed with preternatural base-ball talents, Slaps has proven no better than a bush-league bumbler when the stakes are highest. To wit: No “hits” gotten in five chances in last night’s contest; twice delivering “grounders” that allowed the Bostons to administer double executions; and yet another humiliating three-strike dismissal by “Dancin’ Johnny” Papelbon for the final out of the game.

Has Slaps’ recent dalliance with a notorious chorus-line dame drained him if the vigor needed to apply bat to sphere? We Rooters certainly hope it is the case. As my local priest, Father Donovan, often tells an antsy parish before they scatter from the pews to attend a Sunday base ball match, “Every time Slaps strikes out, an Angel gets his wings.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesdays with Hurdy: Moustaches!

Tuesdays with Hurdy is a weekly exercise allowing Hurdy Chadwick to ponder issues of importance to the general Rooting public. Today's installment finds Hurdy pondering the efficacy of the mustachioed set.

Dear friends,

The lad above is my nephew Cornelius. Why, if there had been a tooth-puller in his burg when his pearly whites began popping through his gums, that man would have been richer than a steel baron! Just look at those cookie grinders poking through his open maw! Sweet sassy molassey, that boy has got a fine set of enamel!

It's likely, however, that few notice his prodigious chompers, in large fact that his moustachioed upper lip is so kindly swathed in gentle bristles. And that, my friends, is the power of the top-shelf push-broom, the Great Shapoopie, the lip anorak, the hair o' the bear. Why, the moustache draws the eyes away from any unsightly facial blemish and onto the glory of the man's old kissy scrubber. What a device! It's in this way that I am unsurprised to rarely see unattached men who also sport moustaches. Why a lady wouldn't fall for a moustachioed man is beyond the reaches of my thimble of comprehension.

If I had the gumption -- and the extra jingle in my change purse -- why I'd run down to Vespucci's and procure some waxing agent for the ends of my moustache. If I could twirl those tufts, I'd be among the most respected men on my block as I carted my trash to the curb and fetched the news-paper on a Saturday morning.

Indeed, moustache play has become such a past-time that even the President on his weekly radio address takes a few minutes to describe to the listening audience as to the state of his under-the-nose caterpillar. And during times of stress, I know no fresh-faced man who is as relaxed as one who is able to chew on his moustache.

Friends, it's the dawning of the age of the hairiest, and I, Hurdy Chadwick, am going to sing to the golden choirs of and let Him know what power His creation has wrought!

All hail the moustache!

Yours in hurling and twirling,
Hurdy Chadwick
Westbrook, Me.

Let us kindly offer those New Yorks a firm tushy slapping!

For Rooters of the Bostons, venturing into the Bronx in the recent decade has been an exercise in girding ones constitution and preparing for a heaping helping of downtown fisticuffs. We're talking square-legged, arms spinning, clothes rending fisticuffs, like the bare-knuckled brawling Rooters so often would see outside of Rosie's Portland Tavern after a clutch of patrons had imbibed more than his or her alloted share of Duffy's old brown medicine.

This year's trip, however, has a rare feeling. Where is the bluster and swagger of the Blue Pinstriped Youth of the Bronx? Where are the ripe words of Boston's finest scribes? Where is the general kerfuffle of a weekend feature red versus blue, Boston versus New York, good versus crummy?

Nowhere, friends, and that's what bothers ol' Hurdy Bird. For while the once-potent New Yorks may be shrinking in the looking glass, they still possess the power to upset the Bostons' 162-game marathon with a few choice swats of the ash. I, for one, would like nothing more than to see those Bostons steamroll into the soon-to-be-former Yankee Stadium of New York and apply their collective hands to the ample tuchus of the Steinbrenner-led Goliaths of base-ball.

For while ash on horsehide will be sweet, nothing is sweeter than the red handprint of the Bostons on a Bronx heinie! Let fly, boys!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bird Hunting in the North Country

Despite a dispiriting loss in the final tilt against the orange-feather'd foes of Charm City, the Bostons proved themselves well-able to take down their subordinates in the American League's Eastern regiment.

The quest for another Pennant now has our heroes ensconced deep in Canadian territory, where they face another squad of pesky birds, this time of blue plumage. We hope they spent the long locomotive journey checking their powder and aligning their sights to spray white bullets all over the pitch.

To-night, our own Byrd of recent vintage -- he of the pretzel delivery -- commands the pill on behalf of our squad. He must contain the Torontos' surging bats to give our Boys a chance to overcome the afflictions that so often plague them when contesting within those hideous, miasma-fogged, enclosed stadia. At least we can count on the northern latitudes to set the feral instincts of our fierce first-sacker, "Yukon" Youkilis, a-tingling!

Yours truly and the honorable Mr. Chadwick will be unavailable to closely follow the week-end's matches, as we will both be attending nuptial celebrations that by frustrating tradition so often interrupt the base-ball season. But thanks to the miracles of the wireless and the relentless churn of the mechanized printing-press, we shall at least receive updates that will either inspire us to raise celebratory toasts amongst fellow jolly Rooters, or send us to find solace in our post-dinner snifters.

Until next week, I am yrs. very truly,

Stuffy McInnes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A change of address

At long last, the beleaguered “Beanpole” has packed his gripsack and boarded an express train out of Boston. He punched his own ticket with another dreadful hurling performance last evening that, mercifully, lasted barely two chapters. It was long enough, however, to let Victory drape her gentle cloak over the Birds of Baltimore.

His destination: The junior-league squad of Portland, Maine. That being Hurdy’s and Stuffy’s local metropolis, we shall endeavor to witness a contest from the grand-stand to provide for you, Rooting readers, a first-hand account of his remedial twirling training. I am also prepared to offer the lad free reign over my private stock of Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey, if it should restore his nerves.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesdays with Hurdy: The lushing youth

Tuesdays with Hurdy is a weekly exercise allowing Hurdy Chadwick to ponder issues of importance to the general Rooting public. Today's installment finds Hurdy evaluating whether the nation's youths are taking to drink at too fresh an age.

Dear friends,
This week-end, I had occasion to traipse through the old college courtyard, shuffling through the dewy grass and gazing skyward at the bright blue of a late summer ceiling. It was a rare feeling I had that morning, and one that only a hearty extended tramp through a collegiate quadrangle can bring to the lungs and chest. Huzzah, fresh summer air and ivy-covered brick facades!

However, a scourge was afoot. Indeed, directly under my foot, as I stumbled over a barely conscious college man. The lad was lying on the brick walk-through wearing a sweater emblazoned with my alma mater, his left hand clutching a pennant to root for our foot-ball squad. In his right hand? Why, an empty beer stein, its foamy remains long since spilled between the bricks on the walk. His lower half was clad only in underpants, I am reluctant to admit.

As I pondered this character, he blinked his eyes and, in a crusty voice, queried as to why he was in the bright sunshine and not under his duvet. I cuffed him twice in the ears and picked the youth up by the shoulder, dragging him from the quadrangle to the dormitory I divined was his, for the pants-less lad's britches were hung on a small dwarf spruce framing the building's entrance.

Inside, I cuffed him once more for good measure whilst I ran a cold shower in the lavatory. Finally awake, I sat the lad down and asked for an explanation of why he would tarnish the fine reputation of my alma mater by laying pants-less on the carefully laid bricks of the quadrangle's walk-through.

His answer? "Why, I'm now 21 years of age, old man!"

It seems our young friend, who even in the daylight hours was still quite tight, had celebrated his birth-day the previous night at the local tavern. And by the looks of his shaking hands and puffy eyes, he was not quaffing vats of vim and determination, unlike that hero in red stockings, Dustin "Lil' Hands" Pedroia. Nor was he taking to the Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey, which is scientifically proven to knock dyspepsia off its pedestal with a one-two punch of good manners and thoughtfulness. No, our good friend was higher than a kite thanks to bubbly bottles of beer. (It was indeed true: I could smell the hops and barley strongly, for they seemed to have saturated the fibers of his good ol' college sweater.)

Now, your friend Hurdy Chadwick is not immune to the temptation of a few pints of bitter, or perhaps the occasional "shotgun" drunk straight from an aluminum canister, not through the pull tab, but through a mighty hole pierced in the side at close range. I even have been overserved and found myself pants-less on some infrequently traveled thoroughfare in the early morning hours. But never, ever, have I attempted to sully the reputation of fair alma mater, the place of my higher learning and the home of those men and women of substance and academia!

The state of that lad begs the question: Should U.S. Americans implore their congressional representatives to reduce such exploits through responsible introduction to booze, spirits and liquors at an earlier age? Or is that idea nothing but a slick of banana oil?

Friends, I beg you to respond below in the commentary section and let me know your thoughts. On the one hand, I am loathe to run across such a louche character in the early morning. But on the other, don't the Stars & Stripes all but guarantee a man of any age the right to lose his britches once in a blue moon?

Discuss as you will...

Yours in hurling and twirling,
Hurdy Chadwick
Westbrook, Me.

In next week's serial: Hurdy displays his arthritic grasp of world geography. "Russians invading Georgia? Alert the Atlanta Militia!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

And happiness dries up...

I believe all the sweeping motions performed by the Rooters swept an accumulation of dust and crumbs into the joints of the Bostons, the lot of which were nothing but creaky and feeble in the face of the Canadians come down from the North Country.

Little to say, friends. Which way will the wind blow for this band of base-ball heroes? Will their ash clouts streak the sky like August lightning, or will their maddeningly inconsistent talents continue to result in a cavalcade of aces being scored upon them?

For the sake of my indigestion, I sincerely hope it will be the former. Else, it's the Duffy's for poor old Hurdy Bird.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Push the broom, gents!

The heroes of Boston made no doubt of their clouting abilities during the three days of matches with the Texan ball-men, performing a "sweep" of the Rangers of Arlington. True, the Texans wield some heavy ash, but their hurlers were certainly affected by some sort of distemper or other affliction.

But looking forward, Rooters around the nation are contemplating whether our new twirler, Paul "Frasier" Byrd, will lay a gem or an egg on the Fenway mound. Since he's matched against the formidable Roy "Smeck" Halladay, Let's hope for the former from Byrd and his new-fangled pitching contortions!

Go get 'em, Red Stockinged heroes of the Fens!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

From the mail sack: Relax, chums!

Reader "Waxy" Charles Logan writes in with this note:
Hey Hurdy Bird,
What gives with ol' speckle-face Dusty Nippert tossing four wide ones to our man "Stumpy" Sean Casey? If I had the ducats to the Fens for last night's match play, why I would have rushed the field and socked that doodle-sack right in his musty old boiler room!

The nerve of that Nippert! Old Calamine Hands ain't got nothin' on the General, and even less on our boy Nothin' Doin' Lester! That damn Ranger from Arlington know less about hurling the pill than I do about those old ancient Sumerians. And I don't know diddly-hoops about those crusty old Sumerians!

Minnie's callin' for lunch, so's I've got to scramble. Later for you, Hurdy Bird!

"Waxy" Charles Logan
Somerville, Mass.
Well, now. I've been through some tilts in my day, and even I'm nervous to imagine what would have happened had Waxy Charles been in attendance at last night's nine-inning slugging competition. Suffice to say that Dusty Nippert would have been worse for the wear, with at least one bruised rib and a bit of ruffled flannel.

Still, the strategy was sound: Four wide ones gave Stumpy Casey the first sack, leaving all the sacks full with nary an "out" on the side. A difficult way to enter the match, but Nippert stood tall, eluding all batters, inducing outs and keeping the sacks full with no aces until the third "out" was secure in the fielder's mitten. Indeed, while the Texans have had little to shine on through their stay in Boston, Dusty Nippert showed brassy fortitude last night. My cap's off to him, and I urge Rooters to ponder the heroics.

Adieu for now, fans of the mail sack!

Yukon pans for gold!

In the second consecutive night of tormenting the Texan ball-squad with his terrifying ash clouts, The Beard of the Ages, Yukon Kevin Youkilis, proved again that he is a man of uniquely elevated athletic status.

His statistics for the evening read as follows: Four batting chances, three successful "hits", two aces batted in, three aces scored, six total sacks.

Truly prodigious from the bearded maniac who spends his off-season tramping through the underbrush of remote Canada, hauling logs and chasing elk as is his wont. His work ethic shows no sign of slowing, and Rooters around the world are the luckier for it!

Post-script: I would be remiss to not mention the laudable efforts by "Nothin' Doin'" Lester, who hurled and twirled a true diamond gem last evening, and Jedrick "Square Face" Lowrie, whose increasing clouting prowess is matched only by his gloved skills.

I smell a coming cavalcade of wins for the OldeTowne Team!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scores in the stratosphere

Aces! Aces everywhere! When I returned home from my daily office work, I warmed up the wireless whilst I went to the cellar for a cool can of ale. When I returned, the wireless tubes glowed bright and the youthful voice of Joe "Stumpy" Castiglione was boundless in its enthusiasm. It seemed the Colossus had entered the game in grand fashion, driving two great full-circuit clouts with his stout ash in just the first chapter! Indeed, by the time those dusty old Texans came up to bat in the second frame, they had dug themselves a hole so deep it's a wonder they didn't strike oil!

But as I plundered my ale collection in the cellar, the going got bad for the blue-eyed Boston boys. As Charlie "The Fink" Zink fluttered his high knuckler at batters, it became clear that our stalwart Knuckles Wakefield isn't easily replaced. (And Godspeed in recovery, Wakefield, you old knuckling fool!) A string of goose-eggs in the Texas column quickly turned to crooked numbers, including a chapter that saw the Lone Star louts spin eight men fully around the sacks. Eight aces in one half chapter!

The mood was tense as I collected empty ale cans on my sideboard. At only one point did I take a respite from the game, and that was to chase the family's invalid pet feline out of the listening parlor. The Rangers from Arlington certainly took justice into their own hands last night, belting rocket after rocket, spinning men around the sacks until they led the Boston heros by a pair of runs.

But thanks be to the Beard of the Ages, good ol' Yukon Kevin Youkilis, the balding and bearded infield threat whose second four-ply drive of the game would provide all the margin the Home Town boys would need. Huzzah for ol' Yukon!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ripped from the headlines: "Byrd to Boston"

This is the most recent photograph of new Boston acquisition, pitcher Paul Byrd

By Saul McNally,
Amalgamated Newspapers Staff Writer
Tuesday, Aug. 12

BOSTON -- Boston base-ball group The Red Stockings announced the acquisition of Paul Byrd, who previously manned the pitching position for the Indians franchise of Cleveland, Ohio.

The diminutive hurler, whose delivery is marked by a decidedly progressive windup motion, has a record of 7 wins and 10 losses this base-ball year, with an average of 4.53 runs allowed to swatsmen per nine innings pitched. Since the season's midway hiatus, the 37-year-old twirler has posted "wins" in all four starts, allowing a paltry 1.24 aces per nine innings.

Byrd was harangued by Boston scribes late in last season when, during a particularly sticky series between the Clevelanders and the Bostons, news emerged that the hurler had taken to imbibing whiskeys spiked with tranquilizers developed for farming animals. Few will forget the deciding game seven, when Byrd laid on the dugout steps for two innings, asking head umpire Charles S. Frazier to "milk [him] already, goddammit!"

The Bostons' bargaining chip was an unnamed player, which may be anyone from Portland AA veteran Iggy Suarez to Pawtucket lavatory janitor Ted "Buckets" Moppington.

This content courtesy and copyright (c) Amalgamated Newspapers, Sandusky, Ohio

Wrapping up with the Chicagoans

A quick note to cheer the good Gen. Joshua Beckett for the plentiful pounding of the striking zone in last night's match. For though the Red Stockings lagged the Chicagoans, the Boys from Boston never gave up the ghost and the General saw them through the battle.

When the dust settled, the Olde Towne Team led with five aces to just one for the home team White Stockings.

A trip on the road with four "wins" and three "losses" is passable, and even fortunate given the state of the vimless Bostons in recent games.

To Fenway we come!

Tuesdays with Hurdy: An aquatics wonder!

Tuesdays with Hurdy is a weekly exercise allowing Hurdy Chadwick to ponder issues of importance to the general Rooting public. Today's installment finds Hurdy gazing at the wondrous physicality of American aquatics champ Michael "Duckfoot" Phelps.

Dear friends,

"Laps to go before I sleep! Laps to go before I sleep!"

Such must be the night-time mantra of Michael "Duckfoot" Phelps, the prodigiously talented aquatics champion. The Duckfoot moniker, of course, references his enormous paddle-like feet, which so closely resemble those of a common mallard. Ol' Duckfoot sure looks at home in that water, and his fellow Olympians must glare with envy at his American splendor cutting through the swimming-pool venue in these quadrennial Olympic matches.

But my favorite part of Ol' Duckfoot is his good-natured countenance, which shines brightly from his dearly lopsided head from morning 'til night. For a youth to have such command over aquatics events from Siam to Seattle yet still possess child-like enthusiasm is enough to give one cause to brush away the doldrums and the ill-temper caused by the workaday world.

Indeed, Ol' Duckfoot is certainly the human form of a dram of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey. I am confident that one look at the youthful Phelps is enough to settle indigestion and cure distemper altogether. With that power, one must wonder whether some enterprising young Chinese lad isn't bottling all the sweat from Ol' Duckfoot's workout garb, bottling it in lantern glass and marketing it as an old Chinois remedy passed down through the generations!

If that's the case, then sign me up! I'll take two, and charge it to my home account, Mr. Wang!

Yours in hurling and twirling,
Hurdy Chadwick
Westbrook, Me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The challenge of the lefty youth

In just two official appearances as a Major Base-Ball League member, Clay "Beanpole" Buchholz tallied one of the sport's most vaunted accomplishments: the "zero hitter." It was a crisp September evening in good Boston when the lanky Texan twirled the pill through the Baltimore swatters, not one of which were able to place a ball beyond the reach of the Boston gloves.

But following the "striking out" of the very last batsman, whilst his team-mates rushed the pitching mound, Buchholz was dazed. Even when Capt. Varitek lumbered up on his prodigious gams and hoisted the youngster into the air, Buchholz appeared to have difficulties comprehending his accomplishment.

Certainly, his youth played a part. But given his record of two wins and seven losses this season -- and with his per-game allowance of nearly eight "runs" a game -- one must wonder if the Beanpole is having troubles properly harnessing his prodigious talent. For sure, he has shown that he can compete with the best heroes of the base-ball world. But will he gather his skills and keep opponents from pasting aces on the scoring board?

Today's the day, with Buchholz challenging the potent offense of the Chicagoans, those white-stockinged ne'er-do-wells led by the the perpetually angry Oswald "Words for You" Guillen. I for one have good feeling about the Beanpole's growth prospects. Let the sun shine and allow that plant to blossom, young Buchholz!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A return to form

After last night's disheartening loss to the pale hose of Chicago, I was feeling gloomy about the Bostons' clouting skills. Except for a tremendous wallop by our magnificent midget second-sacker "Li'l Hands" Pedroia, not one of the nine seemed able to scuff the old pill, let alone strip it of its horsehide.

A few chapters into this evening's contest, and the pattern was the same. Weak taps, rainbow "fly" balls, and flailing three-strike "outs" left the Bostons with another awful "goose egg" on the score-board. Such was my dismay that I even beseeched Mr. Chadwick, "What's become of our batting?"

Well, the base ball gods must have heard my whinging and decided to teach me a lesson. In one frame, the ruddy-ankled roustabouts put on a classic assault from the batting-box: Speedy Ellsbury laced a "grounder" through the gloves of the sprawling Chicago fielders; Capt. Varitek followed with a solid single; Ol' Aches and Pains proved why his eye for the incoming orb is second-to-none, recording a base-on-balls; Li'l Hands once again weilded his large lumber for a run-scoring swat.

The decisive blow came, of course, from "Colossus" Ortiz, who swept the diamond clear of Red Stockings with a two-bagger that caromed off the left-field bulwark! Advantage, Bostons!

Jac Ellsbury's four-ply drive in the next frame seems to confirm that the lad is finding his stroke again, which is a portent all Rooters should find as comforting as a fine cigar and a leather arm-chair. Stuffy has been humbled to-night. I won't again doubt the dynamite in the Bostons' bats.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesdays with Hurdy: The restorative powers of base-ball

Tuesdays with Hurdy is a weekly exercise allowing Hurdy Chadwick to ponder issues of importance to the general Rooting public. Today's installment finds Hurdy putting his faith in the restorative powers of base-ball.

Dear friends,

Allow my mind to perambulate around the issue of the day. The economy is in shambles, housing stocks are reeling and our collectively profligate ways have been recounted and numbered in every news-paper from New York to Sandusky. Why, even getting to the ball-park has become an exercise fit more for a king than for an every-day working man like myself.

And yet, through this fiscal crisis, America's Past-time remains a shining spot in an otherwise drab world. Base-ball has continued to buzz over the airwaves, from ball-park microphone men to the wireless tuners perched in the everyman's living room. Amidst careful portioning of grocery stuffs and diligent pinching of pennies, it warms the heart to take two hours out of each working day and listen to the heroics of our flannel-clad hurlers and twirlers.

Base-ball, you see, is a uniter of men, a fantastic mixing bowl that brings the rich and poor, the manly and impish, and the hale and the infirm together as one listening and rooting audience. As the dog days of summer wear on and I see my fellow working-men leave their offices as the 5:00 whistle sounds, I see many dour expressions and grim countenances on these faces. I want to grab each one by the lapels and evangelize the gospel of the horsehide, the joy of the four-ply drive, the majesty of a strongly hurled curving ball arcing its way to the home-plate, buckling the knees and soiling the flannels of any batsmen unlucky enough to swipe at its splendor.

Spread the good word, friends. Grab men and ladies -- discreetly, for the latter -- and remind them of the purity of the game. Readers and Rooters, base-ball is here, and it is here to stay. Huzzah to the heroes!

Yours in hurling and twirling,
Hurdy Chadwick
Westbrook, Me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The end, and the beginning

Spring’s glorious rebirth inevitably leads the Dog Days of summer. A time when our spherical Earth-ark transverses a treacherous section of the heavens that brings unsettling ill-winds, madness-inducing heat, and general lethargy.

The ancients blamed this temporary frenzy on the prominence of Sirius, the dog star. Accordingly, they sacrificed helpless canines in an effort to appease the stellar pot-stirrer.

So it is today with our Bostons: The Dog Days have disrupted our once-reliable hurling, merciless swatting and pill-gobbling glove-work. The malaise demanded a sacrifice, and it was delivered. Manuel “The Wonder” Ramirez has thrown off the white flannel and red stockings and boarded an express locomotive to the Western coast. His clouts will no longer sunder the New England sky and punish opposing flingers. His dubious diamond antics, a veritable one-man vaudeville show, will play now for the moving-picture set in Los Angeles.

Exiling the malcontent masher seemed the only course available to club officials. But we Rooters are left pondering whether the sacrifice has appeased the base-ball gods. Can the Nine, so recently strutting as the World’s Champions, reclaim their great and terrible prowess on the pitch?

Contests resume to-night, with a chance for this club to prove that they still have the stuff. I’ve thrown open the curtains, removed the damp cloth from my aching fore-head, and placed the nerve-tonic back on the remedy shelf. Let it begin.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The fate of The Wonder, and The Bostons, hangs in the balance

Rarely is your humble scribe at a loss for words regarding our beloved squad. But rarely have I observed a week of such dismal performances on the diamond, combined with a public feud as ugly as the current tangle between Manuel "The Wonder" Ramirez and Red Stocking ownership.

Scuttlebutt amongst the news-paper men says that representatives from several teams are ensconced in a smoke-filled room, tallying a fiendishly complicated swap of players that would result in The Wonder no longer wielding his ash clout for the Bostons.

Replacing The Wonder's heroic feats of batting skill is neigh on impossible, so these tales of player swaps fill me with dread. No out-come seems likely to improve the squad's chances at another Pennant and World Championship. And for that reason, I must withhold a comprehensive dispatch until the ponderous process has reached its conclusion.

I believe I'll retreat to a darkened room for the day, clutching a bottle of nerve-tonic in one fist and a jar of old Duffy's in the other.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Keep away from open flame

Not even a king's serving of fine wieners and lashings of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey can make me forgot the horrible spectacle of last evening's contest.

In one chapter, the wiley Matsuzaka is sending bats-men back to the pine perch with dazzling command of the pill. The next, he's apparently poured a canteen of kerosene over his head and struck a match! It happened faster than a motor-car collision on a rain-slicked street. Oh, untimely bases on balls! Oh, the surrenduring of full-circuit clouts!

When the horrendous hurling had ended, the surging squad from Anaheim township in the county of Los Angeles in the state of California had collected enough "runs" to place victory beyond the reach of the Bostons' bats -- not that they weren't presented opportunities to hew and hack their way back.

A hopeless "whiff" by Jac Ellsbury when the diamond was bristling with Boston base-runners made me think that perhaps this yannigan needs another turn in the junior league. Then, a poorly struck ball from The Wonder resulted in a twin-killing that discontinued yet another counter-strike.

To-night, we hope that the lanky Buchholz can reclaim his twirling prowess and keep these Anaheims of Los Angeles in California from tramping round the bags and festooning the score-board with numbers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Victory for the hungry!

My compatriot Stuffy McInnes was in attendance for last evening's drubbing of the New Yorks, where much of the action was provided by our mid-lineup stalwarts, David "The Colossus" Ortiz and Manny "The Wonder" Ramirez. The pair were a sure catalyst for the victory, as their ash sticks gobbled pills like a wide-eyed Bowery Street doper.

The winning score did much to make the assembled Rooters forget the sad state of affairs of their beloved home-town team, which in recent days has more resembled a ragtag "Little League" squad than a collection of world-class hurlers, twirlers and clouters.

But the best news? Stuffy reported following his return locomotive of a secret treasure buried amid the bowels of the Fens: A purveyor of one-foot-long frankfurters that are just pennies more than the delightful Fenway weiners those yellow-shirted urchins hawk amidst the Rooter faithful. I can assure you that next time Hurdy Chadwick steams to the Fens from his parochial home north of the Piscataqua River, he will stuff his gullet with the fantastic "weiners" found beneath the stomping throngs cheering our base-ball heroes to victory.

Where are these magical meats? I cannot say, for Stuffy has sworn me to secrecy. But perhaps, for the cost of one measly "hot dog," directions can be had. Such is the price of greatness!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Giving up ground to Gotham

All too suddenly, the Fenway Park that has for the first one-half of the base-ball "season" been a house of mirth and playful frivolity has become as dour and humorless as the soup salesmen on Boylston Street.

And for what reason? In what manner have the Bostons given up run after run to the Anaheims and the New Yorkers, with just a brief layover in Victory Land with a three-game thrashing of the Seattles? As we wait for the first pitch to be twirled and hurled in tonight's Boston-New York tilt, let us survey the American League: The Bostons are sandwiched like luncheon meats between league toppers Tampas and the advancing New Yorkers.

The answer, good pals, is unclear. What is clear is that the collective base-ball heroes of the Boston Red Stockings must regain their vim and vigor. Rooters from Pawtucket to Portland need to see fellows like Lil' Hands Pedroia and Jed "Square Face" Lowrie quaffing flagons of grit at each turn on the diamond. They must see clouters like The Colossus and The Wonder swatting pills into the grand-stands and bleacher areas of each ball-park the Bostons visit. And the fellows in the club-house before each match must remember why they play base-ball, a sensible game for sensible men, where morals reign and comradeship is paramount.

Regroup and redeploy, Good Boston Fighters!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

1 - 1 = 0

Crumbs! Crumbs, I say! As soon as the glorious day we've long awaited arrives -- the return of our Colossus to the batting-box -- his compatriot of clout disappears from the starting nine.

Again, we're forced to ask, "Where is the Wonder?" One without the other in the batting order is like a scale out of balance, and the weakness is undeniable: A white-washing by the hated New Yorks.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Captain comes through

The news-print in recent weeks has been stuffed with unkind words about our cheery and resolute Capt. Varitek. His bat, the yellow scribes from the evening papers have said, more resembles flimsy wicker than the beefy clouting ash of his fellow team-mates. And his steely eyed countenance, once so awe-inspiring to yannigans near and far, seemed to be reduced to a muted, longing gaze from behind his catcher's screen.

Even the Good Captain's body seems to be ripe for mutiny: It was said that he backstopped a recent match with the use of only one eye, his other swollen due to some undiagnosed malady. A full nine chapters slapping his mitten and snaring each hurled pill with just half his God-given vision? A more difficult course few have endured since the days of old, when captains did battle with high-seas serpents endowed with forked tails and saucer-like eyes.

But alas, last night Capt. Varitek reminded Rooters from Boston to Barstow that he carries the clouting ash, swatting a four-ply drive with authority and reminding the Seattles' corporate brass to rue the day they swapped ball-players and lost the Good Captain from the Cascades.

Full Circuit Clout sends a Huzzah to our Capt. Varitek, a hero whose leggings are stretched around thighs made so formidable by carrying the weight of the Bostons on his back for so many seasons. Lead the charge, Captain!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Return of the Native

A low, hungry feeling came over me this morning as I considered the plain truth of the previous evening. Another fine hurling performance by “Knuckles” Wakefield answered by his club-mates with listless swatting. Another late-chapter failure by the bull pen. Another defeat for the Bostons in a faraway ball-park.

But the time for gloomily chewing on our moustaches is over, as the Nine are set to begin another contest on the unfriendly Pacific coast. and to-night, we have a special card up our sleeve: Our starting Hurler is no stranger to the environs of Seattle.

He is a lad from the land of loggers, raised among the mists of Puget Sound and the timber-scented currents that blow down from the Cascades. Mounting the mound this evening should feel to “Nothin’ Doin’” Lester as much like a “home” match as any at Fenway Park, and his twirling should perform accordingly. Lead on, Lester, to a sorely needed road triumph.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Special Delivery to the Bostons

So chagrined am I by the dreadful ball-playing of the local nine that last night I took a few coppers from my recent winnings at the greyhound track (where else is a Rooter to spend time during the All-Star Pause?) and dictated a Western Union telegram message directly to the flannel-wearing flailers.

Herewith are the contents of the message. It is my sincere hope that a chum of mine in the Anaheim clubhouse was able to deliver it in time to set these boys onto the diamond in the proper frame of mind to secure a “win” to-night.

NL 10:52PST 21JUL08.





Friday, July 18, 2008

And now, a word from our sponsor

In England, where there are the most immoderate eaters and gourmands of the world and where the most indigestible edibles are indulged -- such as plum pudding and veal pies at night -- dyspepsia is almost unknown. Englishmen laugh at the feeble and debilitated stomachs of Americans, and any American who has traveled in England will tell how he was ridiculed at the mention of dyspepsia. Their exemption from disease of this kind is due entirely to the stimulants they drink with their meals.

But a ballooning number of U.S. Americans have begun to share the good fortune of their Englishmen brothers, appreciating the fine medicinal and healthy effects of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey. To hear more, let us turn away from those Madison Avenue pitchman and hear directly from those whose dyspepsia and general stomach ailments have been cured. Indeed, we open the Full Circuit Clout forum to the real men and women whose lives have been turned to-wards the brightness thanks to Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey.


We begin with a tale of bravery, and a tale of heroism cut short by dyspepsia of the stomach. The cure? Why Duffy's, of course!

Mr. Hiram Cronk, of Ava, N.Y., who was mentioned in General Orders for bravery at the Battle of Sackett's Harbor, states that he is kept strong and well by Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey.

"Thanks to Duffy's, I am able to be out every day and take quite extended tramps in the severest weather."

On being interviewed, Mr. Cronk said: “For many years Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey has
been my only medicine. I take a dessertspoonful of the tonic three times a day with my meals, and when I go to bed. Although we have severe weather where I live, I am able to be out every day, and I take quite extended tramps. I am thankful to Duffy's, for it gives me a good appetite and keeps me strong and well in my old age.”

Mr. Cronk is famous the country over for being the sole survivor of the war of 1812. He served in the 157th Regiment Volunteers; fought with distinction throughout the war of 1812, and at the Battle of Sackett's Harbor was mentioned in general orders for bravery. Mrs. Sarah A. Rowley, his daughter, writes that in spite of the fact that the grand old man is 105 years old, he is keen in mind and rugged in health, thanks to Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey.

Now to the letter-bag, wherein regular readers of Full Circuit Clout have regaled us with success stories regarding their use of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey:

J.F. Pennington, 12 North 7th St., Philadelphia, Penn
GENTLEMEN: I purchased two bottles of your Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey, which, together with the formula I took according to directions my temperance friends held up their hands in holy horror, but I determined to test the merits of the recipe and it affords me infinite pleasure to state that I derived incalculable benefit from the use of the whiskey. To use a vulgar expression, it “knocked the dyspepsia higher than a kite” and gave me renewed strength. I will continue the use of the whiskey indefinitely.

Mr. Fred W. Wild Gen. Ambrose Burnside, 35 North Gay St., Barrington, R.I.
GENTLEMEN: For ten years my wife suffered with acute dyspepsia or neuralgia of the stomach. Different remedies were used without effect. Her sufferings were intense and relief could only be obtained by hypodermic i
njections of morphine. Hearing of your Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey she commenced its use and so steadily improved she has no use for it now. While suffering, she visited a place where she could not get it, and though she procured the best of other whiskies, she could not use it. I know of nothing equal to yours for stomach affections.

Mr. J. Mitchell Webb, 621 Market St., Wilmington, Del.GENTLEMEN: Your Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey is the best medicine in the world, and has done my poor weak system more good than anything ever used. In fact, it has made me able to attend to my business, which I could not do before I commenced its use. I have gained wonderfully in the flesh.

Mr. George H. Bluhm, Pontiac, Ill.GENTLEMEN: I was taken with severe hemorrhages of the lungs and have been retired to my bed. Your formula with Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey, I do not hesitate to say, has accomplished even more than you stated. Dyspepsia entirely disappeared and I have gained 38 pounds in six weeks’ use. I cheerfully recommend it to all parties suffering from indigestion.