Thursday, May 29, 2008


The ineptitude and futility on display in the faraway ball-parks of the West is a sore puzzle for Rooters to ponder. Can this rabble of hackers who show no aptitude for the beauties of the diamond-field sport really be the same Boston squad that emphatically swats and twirls its way to triumph in the friendly dimensions of the park by the Fens?

Last night’s white-wash at the hands of the inferior Seattles was the final insult for this observer. To squander a sparkling performance by “Knuckles” Wakefield is an offense that deserves no quarter!

The sage, stalwart veteran is one of the most heroic ball-men to ever wear the Boston flannels. Few have the character to bestride the dirt Olympus and put their faith in a unique twirling style that depends as much on the whims of fate and prevailing winds as it does to their intentions. Once the fluttering pill begins its dance toward the home-plate, “Knuckles” is like a spiritualist channeling a message from the great beyond, directing but not entirely controlling the outcome.

As such, this consummate team player deserves the support of his club-wielding compatriots. Yet the somnolent stick-men once again failed to make even a single “run” on his behalf.

We can only hope that the “real” Red Stockings shimmy their way free from the binds and gags administered by these dastardly imposters and storm the base-paths of Baltimore to avenge the recent losses. I will soon be clattering south by rail to observe one of the week-end contests, and will not tolerate a continued display of egg-sucking from the local nine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A stampede of white cleats

Why a pachyderm balancing on a base-ball is a fair symbol for a team from Oakland, Calif., is beyond the comprehension of your humble correspondent. And while they may appear docile as they plod around the underbrush, there is something menacing about the leathery visage of a noble elephant. For when the feet begin stamping and the trunk lifts and blows into the air like the trumpets of war, it is surely time to scatter for safer locales.

Such was the situation this Memorial Day week-end when the Bostons steamed to the West Coast full of vigor after a rousing homestand that featured seven wins and naught a loss. But as the estimable Stuffy McInnes so sagely pointed out in previous correspondence, a cross-America journey in a Pullman car is a certainty to sap any ball-player's energies. And arriving in the City by San Francisco, the Boston heroes bumbled their way through a three-day set of games, losing each one by a significant sum of plate crossings.

The Boston Red Sox team were sapped of vim, and extended the string of tourist losses to seven. Were they lulled into a stupor by the Athletics' kindly faces and white cleats? No-one can be sure, though it was a certainty that the trumpeting elephant was ready to strike. Beware!

Author's note: Following the drubbing in the City by San Francisco, the Bostons steamed their way north to the logging town of Seattle, where the salty air of Puget Sound was a better tonic than that of the Golden Gate. The Olde Towne Team pummeled the Marine Men of Seattle with the corpulent and crafty Bartolo "El Gordo" Colon manning the mound. A streak-breaking to fire the Bostons' ball-playing corps! Huzzah for a winning match away from the homey atmosphere of Fenway Park.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Two mighty shots, and down go the Kansans!

There’s no more devastating blow in all of sport than a full circuit clout delivered with a full complement of base-runners on the bags. One such wallop is a rare and delightful enough sight. Two in the same contest? That is an embarrassment of riches, and a sure road to ruin for the hapless squad that receives such a battering.

And so, down went the Kansas City nine to the Bostons’ heavy batting. Ol’ Aches and Pains Drew and Mike “Two-Bags” Lowell made the most of their turns at the plate, when the diamond was studded with red-stocking’d gents. Not even our volatile, hydrogen-fueled relief corps could surrender the lead achieved on the occasion of those two mighty swats.

Onward to California, where our boys must again battle the discomforts of the cramped Pullman car, unfamiliar grounds, and the questionable availability of Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey. Let’s hope the heavy batting continues tonight, to support the always erratic twirling of Knuckles Wakefield.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Curling and Crying...

Shame! Shame on us both! Like infants deprived of the teat, Hurdy Chadwick and Stuffy McInnes are in the throes of sadness and fury.

In truth, your intrepid and inky Rooters Hurdy and Stuffy had opportunity to ride the locomotive south to Fenway Park and give passes at the turnstile for yesterday's winning game against the Kansas squad, but personal and professional appointments kept us homebound.

And oh, how we are paying for our short-sighted error! Four years or more from now, we won't remember what mundane tasks kept us cloistered in Maine, far from the hooting and rooting at Fenway Park, and far from a magnificent gem of a match turned in by the hurler formerly known as Seattle Slop. Indeed, with a line of naughts across the board, Jon Lester, our devious, crafty and well-balanced man on the mound, is well deserving of a new moniker. Should he from now on be known as The Cascade Kid? More is Lester? Or, perhaps simply "Nothin' Doin'" Jonny? Let us hear the voices of the fans, and please correspond with Full Circuit Clout to offer your suggestions.

Meanwhile, from the depths of a sickbed, wherein Lester was in full clutches of The Grip, to hurling a game where not one Kansas bat made a hit into the field must be among the most heroic stories ever to come from the base-ball diamond. It surely eclipses the reigning hero tale of third-bag monitor Punches McGinley, who employed just a pinch of chaw and a dill pickle to rouse a lady Rooter suffering a mid-inning bout of the vapors.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let's play two!

The fellows from Milwaukee arrived to Boston Friday for a week-end slate of games. But a soaking rain kept the ale-crazed Brewer base-ballers holed up in several of Boston's most agreeable watering holes at the time the first horsehide was to be hurled in Fenway's confines.

The result? A "double-header" to be played! For Rooters, a two-game Saturday is as happy and delightful an event as one's young son learning to handle the ball-and-mitt at a precocious age. And after a series of losing contests, the Bostons made sure to capitalize on meeting a foe from the less accomplished National League, where batsmen swat with less vigor and pitchers are less flexible and less adept at the pretzel delivery than their American League counterparts.

To the Rooters' delight, the Bostons applied the squeeze to the Milwaukees, pasting runs on the board with frequency during both matches. Strong performances by The Colossus, David Ortiz, as well as Kevin "The Beard of the Ages" Youkilis and Dustin "Li'l Hands" Pedroia, led to the "V for Victory" two times in the day.

However, the fine mood in Fenway's spacious stadium seats soured as the Bostons' bull-pen corps fell flat at many times during the day. The difficulties ranged from a late-chapter clout allowed by "Dancin' Jonny" Papelbon to innings of "walks" and base-clogging from David "Applebags" Aardsma and Craig "Here I am!" Hansen.

Those woes, however, weren't material enough to sway the final scores of each match. As Saturdays in May, this was among the best possible, packed with base-ball and curried with victory for the home-town squad.

Late-breaking note: The Bostons prevailed again Sunday, with an 11-7 stymie of the Brewers from Milwaukee. Gen. Joshua P. Beckett led the charge, as is usual on every fifth day, and The Colossus brought up the rear with two four-ply drives.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh the Humanity!

Extended travels have kept me from observing or listening to recent matches of the timeless game, but it’s clear the Olde Towne Team has had an equally sad soujourn. Even the cold calculus of a box score printed in a local broadsheet can’t obscure the carnage.

What has become of our reserve hurlers? The effect of their arrival on the hill can only be compared to an unfortunate meeting between a Zeppelin and a Tesla coil. Conflagration! It’s enough to cause the most stalwart Rooter to avert his eyes, rather than witness the pitiless toll.

Gentlemen! Steer your volatile airship away from danger!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Snooping Around in Old Detroit

As a young child, my favorite program aired on the wireless was Magnum, P.I., which detailed the exploits of a hardboiled Chandler-esque private dick named Thomas Magnum. And though he spent his days driving a top-of-the-line Model T through the lush underbrush of Honolulu, a five-day steam from the Port of Los Angeles, trouble always found him. But night after night, one truth about Thomas Magnum came in loud and clear over the wireless: This gumshoe was a Detroit Tigers fan.

Indeed, would the wireless today still carry the Magnum serial, I'd bend an ear nightly to hear Johnny Murdoch -- who voiced the cantankerous and mustachioed crime-stopper -- bring the character to life with a rant-and-rage over what's happening on the ball-field in Detroit.

For two consecutive nights, the tourists from Boston have walked all over the Detroits, their ash bats cracking wise with hits, treating the home-team like a cuckolded gent coming in off the street, hat in hand, pleading to hire a tail for his gal. Indeed, Matsuzaka-san two nights ago offered the Detroits every chance to rout the Bostons, piling up eight "walks" after delivering the pill in many a haphazard directions. Still, the Bostons prevailed and times were dandy for the Rooters.

Last night, the game was won by two crafty veterans, Tim "Knuckles" Wakefield and Mike "The Hunter" Timlin. In fact, not a home-town man crossed the plate in nine chapters, whilst Boston's men continued playing ring-around-the-rosy with the Detroit ballpark. Five to nothing was the final tally, keeping the Bostons at the very top of the American League.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Battle "Hymn" to Rattle His Rivals

Rarely after such a triumphant week-end of matches will I be at a loss to describe the diamond heroics of our Bostons. But this day, my thoughts are still consumed by a startling experience of aural distress at our fine ball-park.

Custom holds that many of our reserve hurlers decamp from the bull-pen to the rousing strains of a jig, or a bold brass march. But the appearance of our mighty south-pawed set-up man Okajima was announced by a new composition resembling nothing like music these ears have yet heard.

First came a shocking blast, like that of a steam whistle. Next was a relentless pounding such as that of a pneumatic steel punch through one-inch plate, followed by staccato reports of such hellish fury that I can only liken them to the sound of a rivet gun accident at the Iron Works. Above the din, the deranged shouting of a feral army, much like the fabled “Rebel Yell” that gave the Union boys a shiver in the War between the States.

Being one more comfortable with the gentle harmonies of a fine Rooter’s glee-club, deciphering these phrases proved beyond my abilities. But this infernal ditty must be a well-considered bit of gamesmanship intended to befuddle opposing bats-men. Indeed, a gentleman of medicine in my acquaintance assured me that the jarring sounds would rattle the vital humors in the ear canal, engendering tiny bubbles that upset the equilibrium necessary to square the bat against the pill.

It is an interesting trump card to hold in your hand – but such a frightening cacophony could render certain spectators in the grand-stands senseless, particularly those from the gentler sex! I trust they will use this weapon sparingly.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The little man from Canada

O, what a ball-playing man, that David Eckstein!

How a ball-club attendant can find a hat that fits Little David's head is any man's guess, but the Canadian supporters likely are thrilled to have such a little bucket of steam playing the short-stop position in each and every game!

During the three-game set against the Bostons, Little David refused to sit quietly in the dug-out. His ash stick clouted against many balls, though most were captured by Boston's field heroes and turned to bags for "outs." In last night's match, his four appearances at home-plate were rewarded with one trip to the second bag.

In the field of play at short-stop, Little David tries more than most men, hurling his 177-pound form at balls hit to the left of him, and balls hit to the right of him. Again, many of those balls elude his diminutive reach, though he more than makes up for his lack of traditional base-ball "skills" with steaming helpings of heroism, moxie and punctuality.

His value to the Canadian ball-club is certainly in his temperament: Like a happy boy celebrating his birthday, Little David seems always at the ready for cake and ice cream, his "toque" as much a festive birthday cone as a base-ball cap. His team-mates share in his enthusiasm, for Little David certainly conjures up action on the part of his base-ball brethren just by having the gumption to play a more sensibly sized man's game.

From the fans at Full Circuit Clout, Three Cheers for the Birthday Boy, Little David Eckstein!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The first month of base-ball matches ended last evening in memorable fashion. Another taut twirling contest saw the Bostons and their Canadian opposition knotted in a one-point "tie" upon reaching the final half of the ultimate frame.

Then, a timely knock from Capt. Varitek's bat sent "The Wonder" Ramirez wheeling around the base-path to slap his hand on the home-plate just before the pill returned to the stubborn backstop's mitt. "Safe!" came the official's cry, while shouts of joy and triumph sailed skyward from the rooters in the grandstand! That's the stuff, Ramirez! Good on you, Captain! Bravo Boston Red Stockings!