Thursday, June 26, 2008

O, to be a yannigan!

The above photo-graphic is just a place-holder for this column's main subject, Chris "Smitty" Smith, the yannigan hurler who has ridden the rookie express from Pawtucket twice this season to take the hill for the Mighty Bostons.

We at Full Circuit Clout celebrate the righty twirler Smitty for overcoming terrible adversity and becoming a man among men. Despite allowing a four-man clout in his first appearance, the California Kid has been a welcome addition to the Bostons' hurling corps. We entreat the manager, Terrence "Tito" Francona, to serve more heaping helpings of yannigan exploits.

Smitty, we salute you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June Gloom

The glorious summer sun resolved today to no longer hide its warming glow under a bushel, yet this rooter can’t shake the damp gloom that so recently gripped his corner of the Red Stocking’d Nation.

The annual barnstorming tour of National League competitors is historically an occasion for our team to exert its might over lesser squads, tallying “wins” that propel them to the October tournament of champions. This year, however, there’s been a decided absence of vim from the local nine when presented the chance to make hay.

Falling twice to the Scarlet Birds of St. Louis -- in matches contested at Friendly Fenway no less! Allowing a taut twirling duel to slip into the “loss” column after repeatedly positioning men at the second and third bags and failing to deliver a conclusive swat! This is not the play of defending World Champions.

Even glimpses of hope are quickly darkened with shadow: “Yukon” Youkilis connects for a dramatic, victory-sealing four-ply drive one day; the next, he’s off the field and on the physician’s table after an errant toss of the pill connects with his orbital socket!
If the squad can not shape up tonight and demonstrate why they’ve achieved the apex of the base-ball world, Yukon won’t be the only team-member sporting a purple “shiner.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

A hero bids fare-the-well

It was reported this week-end that the Bostons' club-house leader, the Teutonic rabble-rouser, Curt "Der Spiegel"Schilling, will go under the knife to cure his ailing and aging body.

Rooters familiar with Schilling's hurling mound heroics were certainly unsurprised by the doctors' reports that detailed a litany of medical issues. For spending the better part of two decades twirling and hurling invites such maladies to one's shoulders and arms.

That said, we at Full Circuit Clout rise and applaud the blond-and-paunchy one for a magical twilight among the Fenway regulars. Since coming aboard four years ago, his stated desire was to aid the home-town team in the winning of a championship. Mission accomplished, dear sir.

From the blood-streaked hosiery to his penchant for discussing base-ball matters to willing audiences across the wireless, Schilling was a man without parallel.

Will the surgery work? If we only knew. Indeed, just a few years ago, such a shoulder surgery would surely confine the patient to the rest of his days in a wheeling-chair. But in this day of medical marvels, Schilling's chances of leaving the surgery table alive are greater than 10 percent -- a testament to the golden age gracing the world to-day.

I, Hurdy Chadwick, pledge this to our readers: I will wager one dollar that Rooters around the world will one day see Curt Schilling walk again! Huzzah and godspeed to the Teutonic rabble rouser!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A day of leisure!

For certain, the full 40-man team is taking a well-deserved "day off" today after a grueling two-and-a-half-month schedule of gaming. Perhaps some are sun-bathing with their favorite gal pals while others are in a dimly lit booth in a tavern far from the Fens. Some may take the opportunity to motor coach with their families to one of the many fine sand beaches south of Boston Proper, or to swing the hickory at a local golfing facility.

Whatever the proud gentlemen of the Boston Red Sox plan to do this fine day, let them enjoy the solitude and recreation. For tomorrow it's back on home turf for another stretch of base-ball!

The Antidote for Untimely Clouts

A confession: The first contest of this triple billing between the Philadelphias and our Bostons struck fear in the McInnes heart over the clouting potential of the upstart competitors from the City of Brotherly Love. An evening’s worth of scalding swats from the “Phillies” found me questioning the ability of our hurlers to keep the pill safely inside the confines of the ball-field.

I must have skipped my daily draught of nerve-tonic, because those fears dissipated faster than a specter in the warm glow of the friendly sun as soon as our boys returned to the tournament grounds. The old base-ball adage is indisputable: Momentum is only as good as your next match’s starting twirler.

And what fine twirling we saw! First, “Nothin’ Doin’” Lester proved that his commanding “no-hit” performance was no sideshow trick. Next, the yannigan Masterson continued to impress the professional club with his mastery of the old horsehide. Both starting hurlers befuddled the mighty swat artists of the opposing club, while their team-mates answered the call with a barrage of white bullets that had the Philadelphias chasing their own tails while our boys sauntered around the diamond.

But the greatest performance was that of “Dancin’ Johnny” Papelbon, who completed both contests like the Grim Reaper himself, clad in gray flannel to collect the souls of the unfortunate bats-men at the plate. His hard tossing was untouchable, surely making even the most confident swatters wish that their mothers had never met their fathers.

As much as we love a hard smacked two-bagger or the eponymous full-circuit clout, games such as these remind us that there is no purer joy in all of base-balling than tyrannical twirling at the hands of a master like Papelbon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Live by the clout, die by the clout

Like the lyrics of that oh-so-popular tune of the day, the Bostons left their luck in Cincinnati and their heart in Terre Haute.

The terror of the Philadelphia Philadelphias was on full display yesterday evening, as the Most Vigorous Players of the last two years cried "Charge!" and put their team in the head. Jimmy "Dynamite" Rollins and Ryan "The Temp" Howard put on an offensive showcase that hasn't been witnessed in the City of Brotherly Love since John Adams famous accosting of Ben Franklin in Independence Hall over the latter's lewd behavior with the courtesans of gay Paris.

To the moon went the orb! One after one other went the pill into the bleacher seating as the Philadelphia Philadelphias ratcheted up the swatting fury from the very first pill hurled. Poor Bartholomew "El Gordo" Colon! The corpulent hurler must have washed away his tears with molasses and chewing candy. A dismal time for the Bostons, indeed.

Tonight, "Nothin' Doin'" Jonny Lester paws the mound against an elderly Jaime "Pappy" Moyer, the aging southpaw whose hurling arm is held together with bailing wire and gumption. A fine June evening at the ball-park, and an even finer evening for the Bostons to take liberties with the Philadelphia Philadelphias!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Clout! Clout! Clout! Clout!

In Sunday's deciding match between the Bostons and the Reds of Cincinnati, there was one single, immutable truth recognized by the thousands in attendance: Trotting out a starting hurler named "Homer" is not in a team's best interest.

Indeed, home-runs were the order of the day for the crack Boston squad, with even the littlest of the clouters swatting the pill over out-field fenceposts. "Lil' Hands" Pedroia and “Navajo” Jac Ellsbury burst four-ply drives from their ash sticks, and crafty veteran J.D. "Aches and Pains" Drew continuing his torrid affair with the full-circuit clout. Add a deeply powdered shot by Covelli "K.O." Crisp, our pint-sized pugilist, and the Bostons' order was shown to be particularly robust amid the sweltering Ohio summer sun.

But he-man heroics was not the only recipe in the kitchen. For the Bostons' fleet feet provided an extra dose of vigor and another means of posting numbers on the score-board. Take Ellsbury, the gazelle of the roster, whose snatched both second and third base in succession in the first inning after beginning the chapter with a one-bagger. That twin burgling surely placed the Cincinnati's on their collective heels, for the team never recovered and ended the day with nary a "run" on the board. Final score: 9-0, Bostons.

Today, the Bostons continue their swing through the unfamiliar National League parks as they visit the home of the Philadelphia Philadelphias. An exciting match, to be sure!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The birds! The birds!

What horror awaits the Bostons in tonight's matchup with those grain-sniping feathered fiends from the Streets of Baltimore? Will the Dread Markakis snare pill after pill from his out-field perch? Will Kevin "Gypsum Pants" Millar trudge around the bases following a full-circuit clout? Will Chad "Pushbroom" Bradford side-wind his way around the potent Boston roster?

Many questions! Few answers! Let the games begin!

Monday, June 9, 2008

And the hills cried, "David John Drew!"

Send the doctor away! Have him pack up his leather kit and vacate the house! He must keep his tongue depressors, iron braces and vials of Duffy's, because the aches-and-pains have bidden our right-field-man good riddance! For as the robins sing high and low amongst the trees, J.D. Drew is alive and well!

Huzzah to the good fortune of the Bostons! There was once a time when Ol' Aches and Pains Drew routinely showed at the club-house and bee-lined for the medical office, complaining of one ailment or another. One day rheumatism, another the grip. Just days ago, Ol' Aches and Pains was laid low by the vertigo, that dastardly affliction that makes a sober man drunk and a drunk man cry for the soft baby Jesus.

Here at Full Circuit Clout, we have a theory behind his fragility: What stardust he must have taken into his lungs during his adventures in Los Angeles! Will all the motor cars huffling and chuffling past The Brown Derby, one would be lucky to enjoy a simple ham-burger without an un-wanted side order of soot and grime!

Alas, this particular West-to-East story has a turn for the happy, as Ol' Aches and Pains has become a veritable comet of base-ball brilliance in the last few matches. Against both the young Tampa upstarts to the recent hosting of the Seattles, Drew swatted the ash like a man stuffed with vim and quaffing vigor by the quart. He also roamed the right-field turf like a starved nightstalker awaiting his prey, gobbling up balls by the glove full, no matter how difficult and circuitous route he was to run.

Indeed, he wrapped a swell chunk of games with a fine catch of a Richie "Shorty" Sexson line-drive, and his four-ply drive in the sixth chapter became the deciding factor in the victory for the Bostons.

After a day of rest, Baltimorians escape the sweltering heat of the mid-Atlantic for the sweet New England summer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cry Havoc!

The topsy-turvey has been righted, and our Bostons have claimed their rightful perch atop the rankings of the American League’s Eastern regiment. Swell batting from the likes of Ol’ Aches and Pains Drew have to this point made the socking absence of our Colossus an easier pill to swallow.

Amidst the joyous rout, however, were signs of escalating tensions between the Old Towne Team and the league pretenders from the Flower State. The instigation? A dodgy defense of the second bag on a burgling attempt by our fleet-footed field patroller, Crisp. It seems the over-eager short-stop violated the ball-man’s code of ethics by obstructing Crisp’s “slide” with his lower gam. One jammed digit later, and Crisp was seeing red!

He plotted his payback, and delivered in a later frame with a charging attack that sent a wayward Ray tumbling. Thinking the tactic shabby, the Tampas’ skipper had sharp words for Crisp, who engaged in a jawing-match from the dug-out that featured the kind of blue language rarely heard outside a longshoreman’s tavern. (One can only hope that ladies and children were not privy to the exchange.)

The visiting squad will surely attempt their own rebuke of Crisp’s painful message. There can be only one outcome: A donnybrook!

All eyes will be on the conduct of the Tampas tonight. The merest provocation will surely lead to fisticuffs, turning the diamond on its side and creating not a ball-field, but a boxing ring. Do these Rays not know that “Hoss” Timlin is waiting in the bull-pen for just such a scrap? Advantage: Bostons!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prayer for The Colossus

A grim day in Rooter Nation, as the battle-weary base-ball men return to Boston from Baltimore and the end of what seemed like an inexorable cross-country odyssey. The Colossus, David Ortiz, was reported to have a sort of tubular malfunction in the wrist area that will require a prolonged vacation.

The news must have reached the Bostons by last night's eighth inning, certainly immediately following a joyous rally that led to a one-plate "lead" on the Baltimores. But that rally was for naught as Hideki "The Shadow" Okajima laid damp noodle after damp noodle across the batting area, allowing for hit after hit (and a difficult-to-swallow "walk"), eventually culminating in a two-bagger that cleared the Oriole-clogged base-paths.

The outing was the worst our Hero in the Dark had experienced in the Land of Plenty. But we mustn't judge his hurling abilities, for it was certain that the real culprit behind his musty delivery was the news that his hulking and heroic team-mate, The Colossus, was not to rejoin the team for some time.

Indeed, it will be of no surprise should all of the Royal Rooters in Boston and compass points beyond approach their jobs without full focus, as the health of The Colossus is surely weighing on every mind from Methuen to Machias. It surely is on the brains of both Hurdy Chadwick and my esteemed colleague Stuffy McInnes.

Here's hoping regular treatment and routine tonics of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey will cure whatever ails The Mighty Colossus.