The conversation on the mound:

Francona: Wow, he really battled today. And when I say battled, I mean sucked. Now I have to sit in the dugout listening to him bitch while he ices every moving part of his body. Shoulda sent his lard ass to triple A.

Tek: Guys, I have to confess. I told every batter what was coming. I know I’m captain and all, but I’m sick of all his “Yankee this” and “Yankee that” talk. Fat shit.

Millar: Tek, you ‘ole bastard, I never thought you had it in you. I love the rivalry, love the competition, love the team. B’sides, dude’s more out of shape than I am. Damn! Look at that ass, looks like a giant golf ball gone all melty-soft.

And so the unholy trinity of Wells, Gonzalez and Halama combine to give up 13 earned runs and some god-awful amount of hits. And the hometown team limps home from the west coast swing with a 2-4 record. I remember in the mid-to-late 80′s when the west coast trip was always prefaced with “the always rough” or some such menacing statement. It was spoken of with great reverence and always with a hint of dread. Now, the Sox had some good teams back then, but so did the then-California Angels and the A’s. You knew you’d be facing guys like Dave Stewart, Chuck Finley and Mike Witt. Christ, as bad as the Mariners were, they still had Mark Langston to throw every 5 days.

But Seth Etherton? What kind of name is Seth Etherton? It sounds like he should be driving a horse-and-buggy in Amish country. And Gil Meche? Remember when he won the Cy? Me either. Time to come home, boys. Take a day off tomorrow. Rest, relax, contemplate the road trip. Go to church, light a candle, sacrifice a chicken, bring out the gimp. Just get ready to play some baseball. We get the Braves starting Friday. In our house. You know what that means, right? Time to start kicking some ass and winning some games. Like, a bunch in a row. You know, Yankee-style. ‘Cause those guys are coming hard and they’ll be playing this weekend for back-page headlines and NYC bragging rights.

Seth Etherton. Christ. I need Red back from his covert operation. Nothing soothes the pain of a bad road trip better than some off-day ramblings.