Note to NESN, #2881-B: During games such as last night’s, when the proceedings become so one-sided that an opposing team’s hopes just dissipate into the Kenmore air like sausage steam and stale beer mist, even the most die hard Sox fan might find him or herself wandering over to FOX or the Spanish channel. Here’s where you can keep them engaged. Put the game in a tiny box in the upper right hand corner of our screens, and just give us Kelly the Ball Girl in full frame. Mic her up — christ, she’s already on the NESN payroll — and let her chat with some of the folks sitting around her, give some commentary about the game, tell us what’s going on in her life, and so on. I mean, she’s become an integral part of the Sox community, yet there’s still so little we know about her. For example, what’s her phone number? And can I have it?
Even better, link her up to Remdawg and Don O and let the three of them riff mercilessly on the proceedings. God knows Rem and Don look forward to these blowouts so they can flex their thespian muscles (as last night’s bizarre Larry King bit illustrated). Turn it into an improvisational theater bit and I guarantee the ratings will hold, even as the Sox unload can after can of beatdown.
On a serious note, the Gods of Karma seems to have an ownership interest in Major League Baseball (wasn’t it 2003 when the Sox unloaded on the Florida Marlins with 20 runs one night, only to lose an excruciating game the following evening?), so I won’t tempt them with any egregious D-Rays bashing. Suffice it to say that last night, our pals from Tampa Bay looked woefully out of sync, as if some of them were channeling a baseball game happening in an alternate universe. The Sox, meanwhile, continued to tear it up, with the offense delivering a seven-run third inning, and Schilldog, while not quite as sharp as previous outings this season, striking out seven and holding the Rays to one measly run. Our Man Curt is 4-0. The Greek God of Walks (3-for-4 with a home run) has been reborn as the Greek God of Kicking Y’alls Azz. Mike Lowell continues to deliver at the plate. And Adam Stern, likely Pawtucket-bound tonight, made another SportsCenter-friendly catch.
But the potential for drama exists tonight. We have Wakey pitching, so things can go either way. And the Rays counter with Scott Kazmir, who Schill accused of throwing at several Sox hitters. Could this be the night that Rudy Seanez’s ultimate fighting skills are put to the test? Stay tuned.