The Sox signed hard throwin’, phone-punchin’ Julian Tavarez to a two-year deal, a move that instantly demotes Mike Timlin to “second most likely to chew off someone’s foot after a tough loss.” Tavarez has already been immortalized in our hearts and minds for serving up Mark Bellhorn’s ultrafantastic dinger off Pesky’s Pole in Game One of the 2004 World Series. And, yeah, when I heard this news I immediately threw in Faith Rewarded and watched that scene about sixteen times. Tavarez is also name checked in this bit from Surviving Grady: The Book, entitled Highlights from Tony LaRussa and Terry Francona’s Unused Audio Commentary for the MLB 2004 World Series DVD:

Game Two, Top of the Ninth Inning

Francona: Did you get a sense at this point that things weren’t going your way?

LaRussa: I don’t like to throw around phrases like “phoning it in,” but I will confess that at this point I was going through our roster and trying to figure out which Lord of the Rings character each player most resembled.

Francona: Really?

LaRussa: [Crinkling sound as he pulls paper from pocket.] Yeah, I have it right here. Let’s see… actually, I didn’t get much further than scribbling “Tavares = Gollum.”

Francona: I’d buy that.

LaRussa: Of course, Gollum probably wouldn’t have given up that home run to Bellhorn in Game One. Or screwed up his hand by punching a phone. Or showed up at my ex-wife’s house without any pants on.

Francona: What?

LaRussa: Never mind. Long story.

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In other news, Surviving Grady has been nominated for a “Best of Blogs” award. We’re not quite sure what this means, but we’ll keep you posted.

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Also, in the “stuff you didn’t need to know” category, I just realized that I’m f–king addicted to Red Bull. If I don’t have one Red Bull and a piece of wheat toast every morning, my entire day is for sh-t. Is that a problem? I don’t drink coffee; never have, never will. But I imagine my feelings toward the Bullie are similar to what coffee drinkers feel toward their morning java.