Unlike Red, I despise winter. It is cold, the days are short, and worst of all, there is no baseball. I am a huge football fan, but it’s not the same. Give me heat and humidity and sandy beaches and the soothing sound of Joe and Jerry or Don and Remdawg talking baseball to me. To fill the void, since I am biologically unable to simply hibernate, I find myself scouring the newspapers and the internet for anything vaguely baseball-related.
Baseball can be a strange game sometimes. Seemingly unrelated players or events can circle back and prove to have some kind of bond that shows itself later. Take Curt Schilling. Drafted by the Red Sox in 1986 (their last World Series appearance until ’04), traded away, only to return 18 years later to help win a World Series. Or Edgar Renteria making the last out in the historic 2004 World Series, then signing with Boston. Or Carlos Delgado and Doug Mientkiewicz.
This is Red’s post regarding a game played on August 16th…
The story of the game, at least in my fevered head, is Minty. Dude was playing second base for only the second time in his major league career and he made a fuggin’ stellar play in the first inning, snaring a ball and instigating a wicked double play. Later, he got knocked on his ass by Carlos “Perpetu-Sneer” Delgado, and actually started after Chewbacca like he wanted to throw down. For someone who’s about as imposing as the guy who played Skippy on Family Ties, Minty won some props in my book with that one. Respek!
Anyway, Lowe, who allowed only four runs and struck out seven in a pretty decent outing, returned the favor a few innings on by plunking Delgado on his ass. But there were no punches, no emptied benches. Just a much-needed Red Sox win on a soggy night at Fenway.
Think about this. Minty was playing second base for the second time in his career and is involved in somewhat of a bizarre play with Delgado. Five months later, the fate of one is impacts by the other. It was no secret that Theo was waiting for Delgado to sign somewhere before dealing away Minty or Millar. And it didn’t take long. Within 48 hours of Delgado signing a $52 million deal with the Marlins, Theo pulled the trigger. I had envisioned a lot more talk before a deal was made, prodding the market to get the best deal for either Minty or Millar, but it is already done.
Doug Mientkiewicz is a Red Sox no more, leaving us with the chicken-hawking Millar and a damaged Single A prospect. This may be a blemish on Theo’s record if the man-of-a-thousand-beards plays mediocre first-base and goes into prolonged slumps at the plate again. Or if Minty prospers with the opportunity to play more. Or if the prospect, Ian Bladergroen, fades away like many do. Although he does have a cool nickname (Blade) and one scouting report states “through the roof power potential”.
My opinion on Delgado? Pretty low. He refused to waive his no-trade clause to go to a contender even though he knew he wouldn’t be re-signed in Toronto. He refuses to stand for “God Bless America” at any ballgame as some sort of half-assed war protest. And the play last August? I’m pretty sure Minty wasn’t wishing him happy birthday after the questionable knockdown, but Delgado just walked away. The guy may put up decent numbers, but he shows no heart.
At least I have an excuse to watch the Marlins/Mets game this year. I could see Pedro plunking Delgado, with Minty just waiting at first with a smirk. To avoid a confrontation, Delgado just walks back to the dugout and is never seen in the baseball realm again. Years later cameras catch a man who looks strangely like the ex-major-leaguer making Origami seagulls at a street fair in Caracas. Yes, I need winter to end. Soon. One more snowstorm or three hour commute, and I will start taking hostages.