Folks, there’s a reason we put Mike Timlin and Dave Roberts on the cover of Surviving Grady: The Book. For one thing, they’re both handsome devils. Second, they’re destined to live on in our hearts for, let’s face it, the rest of our lives. When I’m 84 and drooling in my Corn Flakes, I may forget my own name, but I’ll sure as hell remember Roberts’.
But more importantly, in some ways, they represented the opposite poles of the 2004 team: Roberts being the perma-smiling, “so gosh darn happy to be here” type [along with the likes of Manny, Damon, Millar, etc.] and Timlin being the potentially homicidal, “I shall strike you out or eat your spleen” sort [a group I’d include Curt Leskanic in as well. Dude just looks like if he wasn’t playing pro ball, he’d be taunting the FBI with photos of his victims].
Sadly, Roberts has moved along. But Timlin in still here, and with every day — and every Globe hunting story — he grows larger than life itself. In fact, after reading the latest article, I’ve reached a conclusion: For the entirety of the upcoming season, when someone’s screwing up to the point of no return, the code words for hastening their trip to the bench or Pawtucket or some other team will be “Time to send [name] out hunting with Timlin.”
Example: Let’s say, oh, Mike Lowell is batting .123 after one month and goes 0-for-20 during a series with the Yankees. Upon witnessing his final strike out, one would turn to his or her companions and say, “Oh, man… time to send Lowell out hunting with Timlin.”
The inference being, of course, that only one of them would return from said expedition. And he would be named Timlin.