Before I get into the madness that was last night’s game, I’d like to take a moment to mention something good. Something uplifting. Something that will make you not want to stick freshly-toasted Eggos down your shorts.
That something is the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Telethon.
Look, we can all agree that cancer, for lack of a better term, sucks. We’ve all been touched by it, and there’s nothing in this world that can make you feel more powerless and terrified and alone. When it occurs in children, it’s the ultimate injustice, and further evidence of how random and merciless this disease can be. The kids who are sitting in the Pediatric Ward at the Dana Farber, kids who are undergoing chemo and blood tests while their friends are outside riding bikes and kicking soccer balls… they are literally fighting for their lives each day and I am dwarfed and humbled by the perserverance that they — and their parents — muster to get through it.
Today, Denton and I will be making a donation to the telethon in the name of Surviving Grady and our readers. If you’ve ever frittered away a few moments reading this site when you should have been working on the O’Harrah file, then you’re a part of this donation. And we truly, truly thank you for it.
The telethon will be running all day on WEEI, and donations are also being accepted online via the telethon website.
And there’s no better way to sum it all up than this quote from Tim Wakefield:
This game is full of egos. What these kids do for me personally keeps me grounded. I feel blessed to be able to put on a major league uniform every day and play a game for a job while these kids are battling for their lives in the hospital.
I can’t say how humbling it is for me to visit these kids and put smiles on their faces. That’s all they ask, and we have the power and ability to donate time. It’s just time, and you may save a life by putting a smile on a child’s face.
And now, on with today’s post.
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Ladies and gentlemen, I try to be a rational guy. I know that since his surgery, Schilling has been “Schilling Lite” for the 2005 season. And as I sat down to watch last night’s game, I tried to keep my expectations firmly in check. Again, he’s not what he was last year, and it’s something that must be accepted. And I did. I was in my happy place, with a little cooler of beers at my side and a couple pounds of fried food on a plate in front of me. Life, as the say, was good.
Then the game started. And my rationality hoped the D train back to Newton.
Dudes, this is the worst team in baseball. And at 42-83, they’ve lost more games than any other team has won. And as they knocked Curt around like a sack of flour, I started running around my place like Robin Williams in The Fisher King, all eyes bugging and arms flailing and mouth foaming. Instantly, the 2005 season became Not Good: The Musical, and I found myself channeling the brutish, pre-2004 World Series victory lout I once was.
Looking back, however, I’m able to establish an even keel. And I won’t toss hope into the Charles based on one night’s game. I did that once upon a time, and look where it got me. [Interestingly, ESPN.com paired up "False Start: Schilling Roughed Up" alongside "Pedro Wins" under its ESPNEWS Headlines, as if to say, "Hey, you folks in Boston missing Petey yet?"]
I will say that Schilling can’t shoulder all the blame; the offense gets no love either. Not in this house. Not tonight, anyway. We had three baserunners in the first, yet couldn’t plate a single bloody run [and a little part of me died when The Magic Helmet lobbed a DP grenade all over our good time]. At one point, Jose Lima retired nine of ten batters in a row, with the only one who reached doing so on an infield error. And in the sixth, the makings of a foot-stomping rally were there, as Manny and Tek doubled and El Bencho walked. But just as quickly as it started, it was chloroformed by a couple ground outs and Alex Cora getting caught stealing. Suddenly, I was back in grade school, and the fat kid just sat on my lunch.
So we lose a series to the Royals. Did I mention they have the worst record in baseball? Because they do.
We don’t have a closer. We don’t have a “stopper.” We can never be sure what we’re going to get from any of our pitchers every time they take the mound. Our lead in the AL East has slipped to two and a half games.
Whatever. We regroup. We recover. We come back to Fenway, where the air is sweeter, the girls are hotter, and the field has been sunken by the Rolling Stones’ mammoth three-ton stage. We climb on the backs of Wakey, Bronson and Wells and say “Here come the Tigers. Gentlemen, it is time to roll.”
Oh, and if you’re going to Sunday’s game and feel like laughing at a couple of buffoons, stop by Comicopia, on Commonwealth between the Kenmore T stop and Mass Ave, where Denton and I will be peddling our book from a suitcase on the sidewalk in front of the store. One of us may also be dressed as a monkey, begging for a sandwich or spare soup. We’ll be there before the game [12:30-2:00pm] and again for about an hour after the game. Please say hello.