Friday, October 17, 2003

Bring Me the Head of Grady Little!...

This is why I hate baseball. Obviously there are no baseball Gods, or if they are, they are sick, twisted, cruel little creatures with black hearts who thrive on crushed hopes and forsaken dreams...

I'm looking at my little notebook. Seven outs to go, Two men on, 4-2. Little Evil Karim Garcia is the tying run. Soriano is at the plate. Ball. Foul. Strike. Foul. Ball. 2-2 count. Pedro strikes him out, for the fourth time that evening.

I went upstairs, told Wifeypooh Pedro has just masterly saved his bacon and got out of the seventh, and we were going into the eighth ahead 4 to 2, but Pedro was definitely done for the night.

Eighth inning.

Manny bats, out. (By the way, what the heck's with all that scmooze on some of the Red Sox batting helmets? Looks like dog crap.)

David Ortiz, Pappy. Homerun. 5-2. Little note in the margin: "wine".

Bottom of the eighth.

Six outs from the World Series. Six outs. Five batters later we're five outs from the World Series, except it may not be us, because it's tied 5-5 after Grady "Forrest Gump" Little lets Pedro stay in after bringing not one, not two, not three, but four batters to two strikes before giving up hits. At this point Pedro has thrown approximately 9,000 pitches and his right arm is seven inches longer than his left.

"Aw Crap" is scrawled along the bottom of the notebook.

Six freakin outs.

I knew it was over at that point. Oh, sure, my heart leapt a little when Ortiz hit that nice double, but I knew as soon as Kapler was sent in to pinch run we were done for. Not that Kapler can't run, but that putting in a pinch runner who can score from second is a smart managerial move -- which assured that Kapler would never make it home; as nothing Grady Little ever does looks like a smart managerial move.

Jeez. At this point I'm ready to bring back the Gerbil.

Listened to Grady Gump's post game interview. Two questions. Both basically the same. To paraphrase: what the Hell were you thinking?

Of course, had Grady sat Pedro after the seventh and someone from the bullpen came out and lit themselves afire, as had been the case for huge chunks of this season, then Little would share John McNamara's fate, who seventeen years later is still answering the question "Why didn't Roger go out to pitch the eighth?"

Well, for new Red Sox fans this was certainly instructive. I don't know why I fell for it this year; I feel like a fatter, hairier, version of Charlie Brown as the BoSox yet again play Lucy with the football.

Oh, this was supposed to be different. This was so different. Looking at the notebook now: "9:25 PM EDT - Clemens' career ends as he's pulled in the fourth. Score: 4-0."

Now he gets another ring, and we get... what exactly?

Well, the media will be happy at least, they, like the Baseball Gods, feed on misery and despair. Chow time, fellas.

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