World Champions, Day 20
* * * * * * * *
Customer Service Man: Sony Customer Service, how can I help you today?
Red: Hello, this is — eh — Mr. Winters calling from North Dakota. I’ve got a problem with my Sony television set.
CSM: I’d be happy to troubleshoot this problem with you, sir. Can I have the model?
Red: This would be the 42-inch rear projection LCD. Model number KF42WE610.
CSM: Okay. And what seems to be the trouble?
Red: Well, I was watching a videotape of Game 5 of the ALCS. Red Sox versus Yankees.
Red: And… y’know that walk that Millar worked off Gordon in the bottom of the ninth?
CSM: Did the picture look fuzzy?
Red: The picture was fine. I just think, the more I rewatch the tape, that it’s impossible to overlook the huge-ness of that base on balls. Probably the most important walk of the postseason, if not the season itself.
CSM: Okay. So. The picture is fine?
Red: I mean, once they put Roberts in to run for Millar, you just knew that he was going to score the tying run. You knew it.
Red: Anyway… it just set the stage so brilliantly for more late-inning heroics. Trot’s hit and run. The Tek sac fly. Majestic, don’t you think?
CSM: So the problem has gone away?
Red: Well, er, it did… but then it came back. In Game Seven. Remember the Damon grand slam?
CSM: Sir, has the picture problem been corrected?
Red: That was the slam-dunk moment for me. I’m usually pretty pessimistic, but at that moment, I knew it was over. Didn’t you? Couldn’t you taste it at that precise second?
CSM: Is this Red?
Red: No, no. I’m Mr. Winters.
CSM: Hold on. [sound of shuffling papers] Yeah, our supervisor warned us about you. You’ve placed about fifty calls over the past three days, but all you ever do is talk about the Red Sox.
Red: That’s not true. I’m a customer and I’ve got a problem with my Sony product. I need you to talk me through it. I demand satisfaction!
CSM: I’m sorry, but we’re very busy here…
Red: Just tell me what you thought of Papi’s attempted steal in Game Five. The most unexpected play of the year? Of the decade? You know, he was really safe–
CSM: Sir, I’m sorry…
Red: For Christ’s sake, man, can’t you show a little compassion? I’m running out of people to talk to. With each passing day, folks are getting a little less analytical. They want to talk football or politics or New Year’s resolutions. But I’ve still got so much Red Sox to discuss. My mind is bursting at the seams with details and images. Like Tony Clark’s ground rule double. Can we say enough about that? What are the chances of a freak hop going our way?
CSM: I have to go.
Red: Quick, can we just talk about Leiber in Game Two?
CSM: Good night, sir.
Red: Alright, Whatever. I’m buying Zenith next time, jackass.
CSM: [hangs up]
Red: [runs hand through hair, takes long pull of his beer and taps out another number.]
Voice on phone: Craftmatic Customer Service.
Red: Hey. Mister DeLuca here. Listen, I was watching the World Series in one of your beds…