When I heard that the Sox got Wagner, I was pretty freakin’ excited. I mean, the guy’s baseball card is worth millions. Plus, he’s a Hall of Famer, used to drink and throw down with Ty Cobb, and he was born in 1874, which means he instantly has something in common with Timmy Wakefield. Nothing but good vibes all around as far as I could tell.

Later, when someone informed me that it was actually Billy Wagner, the almost-40 closer who’s just off Tommy John surgery, whom the Sox signed, not Honus Wagner, I became despondent. Seeking refuge in port wine, I drank myself numb and painted my windows black, unwilling to deal with the rest of the world and its problems.

Having sobered up, I can now look at the Wagner acquisition as a positive thing. If he goes Smoltz, we’re out a couple inconsequential prospects and about 3.5 mil–roughly the annual cost of Comcast’s full HD package. If he brings any of the piss and vinegar that made him a premier closer for so long, he could prove a factor as we grind on down the stretch. Then, once the dust settles on the 2009 season, we can offer him arbitration, and gain a couple choice draft picks.

There’s almost no downside here. Unless, of course, Papelbon gets liquored up and threatens him with a shiv. But I think a little competition in the pen is a good thing. Like the time back in ’77 when Bill Campbell caught Jim Willoughby trying to grow a ‘stashe as lush and exotic as his own, and had the upstart young righthander beaten senseless by a gang of local toughs. You didn’t f@#k with Bill Campbell back then. Everybody knew this.

Lastly, this Thursday night, we invite you to join Denton and I upstairs at Crossroads Ale House at the corner of Mass Ave and Beacon, where we’ll be watching the Sox game and collecting donations for The Jimmy Fund as part of the EEI/NESN Telethon. This is an informal affair–no rented room, no tuxedos, no velvet rope. Hell, we’re not even sure the Crossroads staff knows we’re coming. But the Jimmy Fund does, and the kids they help are counting on us. We won’t let ‘em down. Also, Denton promises free hickies to the first 11 women who show up.