Being on the business end of a beat down like that is never a good thing. But when it occurs on the same day that our arch nemeses pick up Bobby Abreau and Cory Lidle for what essentially amounts to a Hickory Farms smoked meats assortment and a copy of Tesla’s The Great Radio Controversy? Man, that’s just dumping a truck of salt on the wound. Seriously, if the Angels simply lined up alond the third base line and took turns walking to the mound to slap Van Buren and Tavarez about the head and neck with a pair of ladies’ stockings filled with chocolate pudding, it wouldn’t have surprised me. In many ways, it would have been easier to digest than the full-scale pasting that actually occured.
The game was essentially decided in the third inning. In the top half, the Angels belted three home runs to drive their lead to 6-1. In the bottom, the Sox had Manny and Ortiz on second and third, respectively, with Trot looking for a little two out magic. Instead, we get Trot pulling up lame after swatting at some off-speed stuff, and Wily Mo — who came in to complete the at-bat — striking out on a pitch that even by the most conservative estimates was over 45 feet out of his “zone” [and the experts tell us, yes, Wily Mo does have a “zone.”] So suddenly, it’s squelched. Ass meets bench. And thanks for coming.
There were some other lowlights as well. Crisp temporarily saved Van Buren’s hide with a spectacular catch in the sixth, only to taint it a few batters later with one of the lamest relay throws ever executed at Fenway Park — one that bounced at least a dozen times before reaching the cut-off man. And the relief corp — specifically Van “pack your shit” Buren and Tavarez — pretty much opened the toll gates for any and all inherited runners.
Most alarming, however, was watching Schill get whacked about with such severity. To this point, he’s been our Captain Marvel, our reliable belt of blonde bombacity, shooting lightning out his ass and doling out the beatings like handshakes. Because his badness of ass has been unquestionable so far this season, we give the benefit of the doubt. As Ray Liotta noted in GoodFellas, sooner or later, everyone takes a beating. We have to suck it up and assume he’ll get ’em next time.
So tonight, we have the return of Boomer. And by end of day, perhaps some new additions to the team. Julio Lugo? Alfonso Soriano? Dontrelle Willis? In the back of my mind, I have a feeling that if a deal is made, it’s gonna be something big and unexpected. An out-of-left-field job that has us all sending flowers and champagne and hookers to Theo’s Yawkey Way office. And seeing OC’s mug around the park these last few days reminded me of how much of a jolt a late-summer infusion of new blood can provide.