Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Heavens to Murgatroyd! I haven't witnessed a sustained swinging of lumber like that since the failed gold rushers of '49 took to felling the giant redwoods of Humboldt County!

Why, the hurlers of the Lake Erie Tribe had nary a chance in the face of such a potent onslaught of batsmanship! They were akin to an unlucky spelunker, standing afore a darkened cave, from which flew thousands upon thousands of rousted bats!

Cleveland soft-tosser Mitch "Pitch Don't Belly Itch" Talbot was almost certainly not expecting his afternoon to play out as it did. Nor, in truth, was your humble scribe!

A dozen hits, and eight earned runs in merely three innings! Seven of those in just the first frame!

A circuit clout from Lil' Hands Petey! Followed close on by a single! And another single! An error! A sacrificial fly ball! A single! Yet another single! Meanwhile, the men moved round the bases in a steady and joy-making counter-clockwise motion, like the gaily painted ponies of a child's carousel toy.

The hits came hard and fast. And some of them went far!

Salty! Pow! The Colossus! Kaboom!

Why, even speedy but scuffling Carl Crawford decided to take advantage of these advantageous circumstances! He had his biggest red letter day in his Red Sox flannels so far, going a perfect four-for-four with two doubles, a circuit clout, three runs scored and two runs-batted-in!

By the time five further runs were pasted to the scoreboard in the sixth, the result of this contest was more than preordained. The boys from Boston had shown these would-be world-beaters who, in truth, is boss.

Such an outburst was hardly needed of, course, with the steady left hand of Jonathan "Nothin' Doin" Lester, ever in control as he trundled forth to his best-in-baseball seventh win!

It seems that day-time base-ball suits the Bostons very well indeed. So let's be thankful that tomorrow's match is similarly to be played at a post-meridiem hour.

May the afternoon sun continue to shine on the local nine!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Fenway Phantom

Rooters: I have seen a ghost!

In truth, I’m haunted by this spirit at least four times each night, when an apparition formerly known as “Ol’ Aches and Pains” Drew materializes in the batting box.

How else can one explain the inconsequence with which Ol’ Aches and Pains swings his stick? Ectoplasm has no mass, and without mass there is no kinetic energy to transfer from pine to pill.

Instead, an astral body wearing the Number 7 Flannels glides silently into a swatting stance for each turn at the dish and hovers there in the ether. When he chooses to wave his lumber we hear not the crack of a crisply-struck “hit”, but a feeble sigh from the spiritual realm.

Madame Blavatsky herself could not conjure a more astonishing demonstration of the “other side.” But I, for one, am tired of this spook-act, and would greatly prefer that Ol’ Aches and Pains returns to his corporeal form and applies the physical molecules of wood to horsehide.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not half bad!

Happy days are here again! The skies above are clear again! So let's sing a song of cheer again! Happy days are here ag-aaaaaaaa-iiiii-n.

Er, scratch that second one, on second thought. These cold and gray skies look like they've got plans to unpack their bags and stay for a spell.

But that's just A-OK anyway, see?! Because the boys of summer are back! Back at a .500 clip for the first time since that snowy April Fool's Day that sometimes seems so long ago.

The glass if half full! The future looks sunny once more!

For weeks, the quest to finally notch as many victories as losses seemed a Sisyphean struggle. Each time the Bostons were one game away from that milestone of mediocrity, they'd spit the bit, and so find themselves two games back again.

But not this week-end! Not when faced with a team as currently wretched at the squad of pinstriped-wearing geriatrics, what with their porous third-base-man and their malcontent backstop! (Perhaps Posada is upset as much by his elephantine ears and Lilliputian chin as his microscopic batting average and low place in the hitting order?)

The Boys from Bean-towne were happy to take advantage of the plum opportunity that was handed to them.

Yukon Youkilis, The Colossus, and even ol' Salty getting in on the act with monstrous circuit clouts that cleared the walls of that gleaming Albert Speer-inspired Stadium with aplomb. Why, Mr. Ortiz was even one measly triple shy of hitting for the proverbial cycle. If only he could have saved that once-yearly occurrence for that occasion!

On the pitching mound, Lester did his job left-handedly, and Paps did his even if his shoelaces did not. And so, into the sporting books a W was inscribed.

And so as well we now look to the future, our heads held high, our eyes on the horizon ahead, confident in one indisputable fact: the Bostons have won precisely as many game as they have lost.

Perhaps Simple Jack Lackey will come down with a mild case of grocer's itch, scrumpox, or other such minor malady, so he'll be forced to ride pine whilst his teammates build on the accomplishment.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

All Hail the Adjutant General!

He makes opposing hurlers as comfortable as a lamplighter in a gunpowder factory. His burly frame handles the ash like a Maestro twirling a baton, conducting the pill sky-ward in scorching arcs over the grand stands. He is the Bostons newest hero, and certainly one of the finest swat-artists this Rooter has ever observed: Adrian “The Adjutant General” Gonzalez!

His exploits at the dish would seem unlikely even in the pages of a dime-novel, let alone a certified fact from the base-ball record book: Five full-circuit clouts in the past four contests!

Such production is the result of his uncanny ability to approach each swing like a general plotting a campaign. Note to opposing twirlers: If you have beaten the AG before with high screamers, attempting the same delivery again is a fool’s errand.

Few things in life are ever as fine as advertised. Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey and the fried Hamburger steak sandwiches of the Fat Boy roadside tavern come immediately to mind for their consistent ability to exceed expectations and remind us of all that is good on this muddled planet. But now, this Rooter can tally another entry on his list of life’s “sure things”: The Adjutant General’s clouting prowess!

Anger Becomes Him!

An angry General Beckett is an effective General Beckett. The above tintype illustration clearly shows the after-effects of our fearless General's hurling prowess: Gothams stretched on the field, relying on their batterymates to heft their dazed figures to the dug-out.

An efficient thrashing of the New Yorks is the recipe for a fine Saturday evening. Thanks ye to our Hero in Flannel Epaulets, the Commander of the Boston Cadre, the indefatigable Gen. Joshua P. Beckett. Huzzah!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Journey to the end of the night

Zzzzzzzzzz … zzzzz …. [cough] … [snort] … huh, wha?

My apologies, loyal base-ball rooters! It seems I must have drifted off to the land of nod toward the tail end of that long-interrupted and interminably rain-soaked contest in the muddy Fens.

(Whoever could imagine that such ample and flowing whiskers could sprout forth in a mere eight hours?)

But, oh, I was having the most wondrous and frightening dream!

In my slumber, my head was swimming with strange and perplexing imagery.

I dreamt that the Bostons' trio of pennybags owners were mingling with the common man, working the counter at of the Fenway park dough-nut shoppe and dispensing cups of the blackest joe and piping hot cocoa to shivering and saturated crowds!

I dreamt that Fenway's creaky seats echoed gloomily with just a scattered smattering of cheers – mere hundreds of fans, rather than the 37,037 with whom I'd entered the park at 7:05 p.m. that very evening!

And I dreamt I saw Mr. Matsuzaka-san pitching in relief! Preposterous and unprecedented!

What's more, I dreamt that, sleep-deprived and bleary-eyed, he loaded the bases and lost the game for the Bostons at the ungodly hour of three quarters past two o'clock in the morning!

What a despicable night-mare!

Seldom have I been so happy to be awake!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Littlest Hero!

It is rare these days to see full and bushy moustaches amongst New England's gentlemen. Indeed, the once-lush pushbrooms of Red Stockings Nation have been reduced to a mottled landscape of perturbed follicles.

And for what reason? The answer is quite clear: The opening chapters of the Red Stockings' base-ball season has been a most difficult fortnight for all involved. With defeats piled among a smattering of victories, it is without surprise that most of the region's whiskers have been mercilessly twirled and chewed by anxious Rooters from Mattapan to Madawaska.

O, but the gilded lining of this angry cloud has been revealed! And he has the littlest hands of them all! Friends of the Flannel, our savior has made himself known, and he is Dustin "Lil' Hands" Pedroia!

To be sure, Lil' Hands' swatting average is not the top of the pickle barrel, and his physique is more child-like than man-sized. But look deeper into Lil' Hands' person and you will find a heart that beats more strongly than any assembled cadre of men. Peer into his eyes and you see a wondrous tableau as if gazing through a looking glass at Nirvana itself.

Lil' Hands' guile, courage and unflappable charisma have elevated him to a place of reverence among Rooters and Flannel-Clad Heroes alike.

Take, for example, the events of last eve: Following a poor series of tilts against the often woeful Seattles, Rooters were in their cups with despair. A match against the most vaunted hurler of the young season left many with agitation, indigestion and a general feeling of uneasiness.

Along came Lil' Hands to convince Rooters to spit their whiskers and instead use their piehole for more savory pursuits -- such as shouting and leading the Home Team to victory! This Knight of the Keyboard speaks the truth of Lil' Hands more lyrically than I.

For now, let us be thankful for the bounty that comes in small packages. Huzzah for Lil' Hands!

The picture of comfort!

Update! My concern over "Speed-Boy" Crawford's dismal stickwork reached such heights over the week-end that I slipped a copper to a messenger-boy, with instructions to deliver a bottle of Duffy's to the Fenway club-house attendant.

Affixed to that shiny flagon of sweet brown relief was a brief message about securing a new set of Flannels for Crawford -- preferably ones that had not been tainted by the miasma of failure that once made "High Pockets" Lugo the object of such scorn among Rooters. Message received, and the switch made to a fine set of looser-fitting togs, the Speed-Boy emerged envigorated on Sunday, striking the decisive blow to secure a victory for the Bostons!

He's a new man out there, poised to punish the horsehide and demonize the base-paths with his bag burgling! Meanwhile the nine continued to dominate the Anaheims on Monday evening, breaking up a fine hurling duel with a symphony of clouts in the seventh frame.

Not unnoticed, however, was the shameful Sunday afternoon performance of shaky twirler Jenks, who cost "Knuckles" Wakefield -- the sport's finest Gentleman -- a much deserved "win" for his sparkling deliveries during emergency mound duties. Jenks had apparently chewed his mustache clean off his lip in an attempt to reverse his spate of dismal luck, yet the troubles remain.

March on, mighty Bostons!