Hello, fellas. Red here.
I’ve examined the “list” of potential replacements for Mr. Damon in centerfield. I was happy to see that it included Torii Hunter. I was also glad to see that it did not include Will Ferrell, because, let’s face it, that f–ker is everywhere these days, and, frankly, I’m getting sick of looking at him.
One name that gives me pause, however, is Dave Roberts.
Please, in the name of everything that you hold dear and holy, don’t bring back Dave Roberts to play centerfield.
Don’t get me wrong. I ::heart:: Dave Roberts. Love the guy almost as much as I enjoy breathing and the subtle charms of Gilbert Gottfried. In fact, my love for him is immeasurable by means currently accessible to man, requiring some sort of tool not yet invented, like a nuclear-powered slide-rule, perhaps. But I don’t want to see him back in a Red Sox uniform, unless it’s in a coaching or “Goodwill Ambassador to the People” sorta role.
Why, you ask? Selfishly, it’s because I don’t want to dirty up the sterling memories already floating around in my sad-ass head.
I want my lasting memories of Dave Roberts to be the way he pumped his fist after The Steal. The broad smile as he jumped up on Mike Timlin’s shoulders and hoisted the World Series trophy [a magic moment captured for posterity on the cover of Surviving Grady: The Book, which, coincidentally, makes a great last-minute gift... only $5.55 at khepri.com!]. The thunderous ovations he received during the victory parade and the opening day ring ceremony. The gracious and ridiculously classy way he thanked the Sox brass and fans when he was granted a trade to San Diego. The Christmas morning he showed up at my place to make waffles and join me in re-enacting some of our favorite moments from the Rankin-Bass holiday specials [our Heat Miser/Snow Miser duet was a particular highpoint].
It doesn’t even matter that the last point has only occurred in my head. What does matter is that we keep these precious memories intact. Not that anyone in Red Sox Nation would ever boo Dave Roberts: The guy is essentially boo-proof and could more or less rip off a downtown bank at high noon and elicit nothing less than kind applause and a hearty “Oh, that Dave Roberts!” from bystanders. But I don’t want to see the guy striking out in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run at third [Hell, that's what we've got Kevin Youkilis for]. I don’t want to see him miss the cut-off guy and allow the go-ahead run to score. I don’t want to see him pulled for a pinch-hitter, then make the slow walk back to the dugout, helmet tucked in shame. I want to remember him just as he left us: on top of the world, caught in a full-on love assault.
So, please. I beg you. Just give me my DVDs of the 2004 ALCS, let Mr. Roberts continue to frollick in light breezes off Coronado Bay, and get Torii Hunter’s agent on the phone.