First item on my Christmas list:

Second item on my Christmas list:

* * * * * * * * *

Reflections of Heartbreaks Past, Vol. 28

Close your eyes and you’re back there again. Game Four of the 1998 ALDS against the Indians. Sox are down, 2 games to one. You’re with Mike and Matthew and Mark. An October afternoon in Fenway Park and you’re hoping for a miracle. And you’ll need one, with Pete Schourek against Bartolo Colon. Seven beers deep by the fifth inning and the Sox cling to a slim 1-0 lead. Cute, drunk girls sitting right behind you and veins heavy with the sweet buzz of alcohol but you could care less. The Red Sox are in the postseason, which hasn’t been particularly kind since the 86 World Series. But you believe. You can visualize the comeback. And you’ve already hand-picked Eckersley as the hero — the prodigal son returned to lead the Sox to the ALCS. But then the Injuns post two in the eighth and you feel it slip away. Sensing the end is at hand, the beer stands let the alcohol flow to the last out. From your left field seats, you join the crowd taunting Manny Ramirez. Screw him and screw these Cleveland Indians and Jim Thome wears a skirt and Travis Fryman’s a tool and I swear I’m jumping onto the field to show someone my ass and where the hell is my beer I just laid it down for a second, mutha–. You feel yourself becoming the guy you never want to get stuck sitting next to at a Red Sox game, but everyone’s so deep in their cups and despair they could care less. Our boys are going home empty-handed again, watching some other team come onto our field, drink our champagne, feel up our women, and flip us the bird as they sashay out the door, on to the next level. While our thoughts turn to spring training. And Excedrin. Your Dad once again comes to rescue your sorry ass, picking you up on Brookline Ave because you’re too drunk to drive yourself. You slip into the car and say, “They did it to me again.” And he says nothing. But he understands.

* * * * * * * * *

Congrats to Roger Clemens, who, to no one’s surprise, picked up the NL Cy Young Award. This would be his seventh. The fourth since he entered “the twilight of his career.” Dan Duquette, please feel free to observe this milestone by kicking yourself in the plums.

Oh, to see him back in a Boston uni. For just one, final season.

Lastly, as further proof that the world makes no sense whatsoever, we leave you with this photo of Clemens and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. Tone Loc had apparently left the building, otherwise he’d be here too.