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

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Mr. Fred W. Wild Gen. Ambrose Burnside, 35 North Gay St., Barrington, R.I.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Invasion of the Crooners!

Although I know our base ball heroes need a restorative pause from hurling and swatting during the long season, I wish the tycoons and robber-barons who own the squads would enjoy a similar respite.

But no! These bean-counters see a gap in the ball-playing schedule as an opportunity to invite any musical revue, burlesque show or other “entertainment” spectacle into our hallowed ball-parks, all in the name of putting a few more nickels in their vest pockets.

Last night, noted “rag time” artist "Wee Willie" Joel took his position in center-field of the Metropolitans’ coliseum, wielding a piano instead of a glove. His bar-room ballads filled the air that should instead be ringing with hoots and huzzahs from loyal rooters. Worse, next month the Tin Pan Ally crooner Neil “Sparkles” Diamond will be warbling his ditties on the fine turf of the park by the Fens.

Now, I have no beef against a cheerful tune or even a sing-along amongst gentlemen -- but I feel these activities are best confined to the taverns and men’s clubs outside the ball-grounds. The diamond is a sacred polygon, laid out for gallant men in flannel to prove their skill in the ancient arts of stick and ball. (Not to mention the fact that these interloping canaries tend to attract an unseemly crowd of reefer-heads, tarts and delinquents.)

I’d rather the grandstands remain peopled with honorable rooters, upstanding ladies, and lads and lasses partaking of our noble past-time. Base ball can’t return quickly enough for my tastes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A double-fisted hero, with talent to spare!

What a gentleman ball-player! The previously derided David John "J.D." Drew, he of the "Ol' Aches and Pains" moniker, has been such a breath of fresh mountain air for the Bostons this first half-season. Indeed, his play has been a tonic for the spirit, much like a nip of Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey to cure dyspepsia.

But until last night, David John's heroics were largely sequestered in the minds and hearts of Boston's Rooters. Now, his name is known far and wide after his most-valuable play at the All-Star shenanigans at New York's Yankee Stadium -- a park so festooned with bunting during its final victory lap amongst the base-ball cognoscenti that it nearly collapsed under the weight of the gaily colored felts and cottons.

And not only did David John drive the pill into the cheering throngs late in the seventh chapter to make a "tie", but he also surrendered his ego to volunteer for hurling duty as the match wound its way into the wee hours before a victor was named. Alas, there was no need for David John's knuckler as Tampa's Scott "Church Mice" Kazmir twirled the final frame to bring in the victory for the American League ball-players.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sideshow in the Stadium

Base-ball’s mid-season respite from match playing takes a turn toward the carnivalesque to-night, with the folly known as the Four-Ply-Drive Derby.

As an aficionado of the full-circuit clout, I confess mild interest in the festivities -- at least to a point. To follow the arc of a scalded pill from the crack of the ash up into the firmament and beyond the confines of the ball-yard is to witness a miracle of the physical sciences.

But removed from the other beauties of the game – twirling, glove-work and base-running – clouts become cause stripped of effect. To-night, there will be no “runs” put on the board, no “ties” broken with one mighty swing, no conclusive blasts in the final chapter to secure victory for our home-town boys.

Instead, the swat artists will stand in the batsman’s box and clobber slow hurl upon slow hurl, until they resemble less a ball-player than a Fiji mermaid or bearded lady wielding the lumber. I will gawk for a moment, but in time, my thoughts will drift toward a half-season of meaningful clouts yet to come.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The heroes enjoy summer

On a fine and sunny Sunday, assorted musings from your friend, Hurdy Chadwick:

  • As we approach the midpoint of the season, the reigning base-ball champions must certainly be looking forward to a vacation away from the diamond. However, a full seven of the Boston Red Sox will be accompanying Manager Terrence "Terry" Francona to New York for the annual "All-Star" festivities. Rooters are indeed pleased to have such fine representation from their home town team.
  • In the waning days of July, teams around the Major League of Base-Ball will be convening meetings amongst their brain trusts, no doubt sequestering the assembled minds at some lake-side retreat to mull the future of their squads. Will the Bostons commit to a "trade" of any of their diamond-minded heroes? Will the Olde Towne Team add to their already significant ranks? No-one knows, but rest assured that Hurdy and Stuffy will be watching!
  • As I write, the wireless is tuned to the Sunday base-ball match between the Bostons and the Baltimores -- a match in which the Bostons have a two-run-to-nil advantage -- and the broadcasters recently noted that the upstarts from Tampa are losing to the Clevelanders by a score of five runs to two in the twilight chapters. Dare to dream, good Rooters, but if current trends continue, the heroic Bostons may again be atop the vaunted American League East category as the teams break for the respite of the Minmidsummer Classic.
Update: The Tampas have indeed dropped their match with the Clevelanders. As the Bostons continue battle with the Baltimores in the Fens, there is a "tie" at the tippity-top of the American League East division. Huzzah!

Second update: The Bostons have triumphed and take a one-half-game lead over the entirety of the American League East base-ball squads! Huzzah, indeed!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thank you, Wonder!

No sooner had I wired over a dispatch decrying the lack of clouts from the local nine than Manuel "The Wonder" Ramirez answered with a tremendous four-ply drive deep into the New England summer night.

As the pill screamed across the sky, three Bostons completed their circuit of the diamond to "tie" the game at 5 points apiece. The Wonder had done it again!

To-day's match will be contested under the brutal mid-day sun, with Gen. Joshua P. Beckett assuming the hurling duties. All Rooters should report immediately to the ball-park or a local tavern (preferably those with the wireless) to hoot on the hometown squad while staying cool with a fine tankard of suds.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bring back our Colossus

The recent epidemic of ineffectual swatting has worked my patience to its limits. “High-Pockets” Lugo stands at the dish with the countenance of a street urchin caught in the path of trolley car. Capt. Varitek swings as if underwater. And Coco “The Brawler” Crisp appears to be suffering ill effects from his recent tussle with half of the Tampas. How else to explain his inability to square ash to horsehide with any effect?

Even The Wonder is afflicted with some variation of the swat-sapping disease (despite knocking the pill for a deciding “run” last evening). That so many are failing so spectacularly at their batting duties makes us ache for the return of our Colossus -- the Mighty Ortiz, the one with the fists as big as hams.

Reports that he’s facing live hurlers again -- albeit in pre-match warm-up swatting -- are heartening. We can only hope his recovery continues apace, so he can bring his great and terrible clouting back to the diamond in time to help the Bostons capture another American League pennant.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The curse of the Sunshine State

O, lovely summer sun, that disappears when the mighty Bostons march into the home of the Tampa Bay tormentors. O, cruel irony, that the squad giving our fair base-ball heroes such a prolonged case of agitation carries the moniker of sunshine! For everyone knows these days of the Bostons' unfortunate performance when shielded from the life-giving rays of the firey orb!

Indeed, the Bostons' dismal appearances in the Sunshine State have given Rooters little in which to revel this base-ball season. Consider the heroic night by the Lil' Hands Pedroia, in which he belted a four-ply drive and a three-bagger followed by a pair of gutsy two-sack punches. What reward does the bantam basher receive for his ash-stroked goodness? A corps of hurlers that offer meaty pills to the hungry swatters of the Tampa crew, gagging up a two-plate "lead" and leaving the Bostons in a difficult pinch.

It is last of the eighth chapter and the wireless announcers' glum voices are those of the entire Rooter nation. As Hurdy Chadwick signs off to prepare his night-time routine of Duffy's Pure and salted pork, he asks Rooters and U.S. Americans alike to plead to The Almighty for base-ball heroics to return to the arms and ash batons of the Boston squad.

Will we wake tomorrow to hear that the Bostons made a thrilling escape from the dark clutches of sunless Tampa Bay, Florida? That much is unclear. But following this unfortunate stretch of matches, the Olde Towne Team must pull up their collective britches to face another foe tomorrow: The Gotham Yankees.

Onward, gentlemen!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vexed by our vim-less Bostons!

The calendar turns, the midpoint of the base-ball contesting season is behind us, and Rooters are sorely discomfited at the penultimate position of our local nine. Playing “runners-up” to the belligerent Tampas is unbecoming of a champion squad.

To-night, it is time for heavy batting, artful catching, and deft twirling to record another victory to the Bostons’ credit. Let us see our mighty swat artists bat the journeyman Garza all over the field. And let “Knuckles” Wakefield, a veterans’ veteran and true gentleman of the sport, atone for “High-Pockets” Lugo’s unconscionable “gag” at the plate last evening, when the equalizing runner was a mere one bag from home.

To be sure, Knuckles may be the only Boston who prefers playing amongst the miasmas of the Tampa sporting gymnasium. Somehow, the ill-humors of that wretched affront to the pure and platonic beauties of a ball-park have the opposite effect on his fluttering twirls, helping him notch nine “wins” while only a single “loss” under its roof.

So lead on, Knuckles, and carry your squad back to glory.