Letter by letter, they're eating their words, and it's all getting a little hard to swallow for Red Sox Nation. They've been saying all along that
this was the year. The Curse was being reversed, and the Evil Empire was falling. Then it started...
An ankle injury rendered Schilling worthless, and game one went to those damn Yankees. Then, without warning, the City went paternal on Pedro on game
two. Contrary to the hype, these Red Sox aren't ready to rumble. They are, however, ready to tumble, bumble, stumble, fumble and crumble...like Bryant
Gumbel. And like it or not, the Empire isn't...
Boston centerfielder Johnny Damon said it best: the 2004 Red Sox are a "bunch of idiots." True to their name, the idiots went to New York and laid the
biggest egg since Ernest went to camp, jail, school, Africa, Splash Mountain and Hollywood - in that order. I smell a franchise here. Not a sports
franchise, a film franchise, a blockbuster of repeatable proportions. And as the idiots go home to Boston, they can only hope for the same improbable
happy ending that always befell Mr. Ernest P. Worrell...
Prior to game one, Curt Schilling felt good about his chances at Yankee Stadium. "The great thing about being a starting pitcher is having the ability
to make 55,000 people shut up," Schilling boasted. "I'm not sure if I can think of a better scenario than making 55,000 people shut up." But injury
aside, is there anything worse than an uppity ace falling flat on his face in his biggest start of the year?
Indeed, the prognosis doesn't look good for Mr. Schilling. To paraphrase Lieutenant Frank Drebin of the famed Naked Gun franchise, "Doctors say that
[he] has a 50/50 chance of [pitching], though there's only a ten percent chance of that." But if Schilling can defy the odds and lift his Sox to an
improbable pennant, his legacy as a playoff hero would reach rarely charted territory, the hallowed grounds inhabited by the great clutch performers
of the modern era: Magic, Bird and Jordan of the NBA; Gretzky, Messier and Roy of the NHL; Montana, Emmitt and Brady of the NFL; and Gibson, Puckett
and Jeter of MLB...
Forget about Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio and even Beltran. Heading into the NLCS, the most "Killer B" on the Astros was 26-year-old Houston native
Brandon Backe. Indeed, Backe backed up his name with back-to-back wins with his back against the wall and the season on the line. First it was a wild
card-clincher on the final day of the regular season. Then it was a game three victory against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division
Series. But the first-year starter's high came to a crashing halt when the bluntly offensive Cardinals stoned him in game one of the NLCS (4 2/3 IP, 4
ER), making young Backe look greener than wacky tobacky...
When a batter gets hit by a pitch, they call him a "hit batsman." Why, I have no idea. So if a batter gets hit while attempting to bunt, does that
make him a "hit buntsman"?
And a walk might only be as good as a hit, but it's certainly better than a "hit batsman," which often results in injury...
By now I'm sure you've heard the question: How many times do you see a guy make a great play in the field and lead off the inning with a hit? It's a
rhetorical query, of course. Which makes me wonder how many times you see a guy get a hit and lead off the inning with a great defensive play. I
really don't know, but I'll guarantee this: the odds are exactly the same...
Two years removed from a "magical" World Series run in '02, the Angels and the spoiled citizens of Anaheim got what they deserved: a clean sweep at
the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Those cursed Halo fans were really starting to get on my nerves. "Thundersticks and rally monkeys" is a bad idea for
a frat party, not a foundation for fandom. Talk about monkey business. It might sound a little traditional, but what ever happened to cheering and
clapping? Seems to work just fine for the good people of the Bronx, for example, who've cheered and clapped their way through 26 world championships.
But now that I think about it, what else would you expect from a fair-weathered fan base from the Land of Disney, just 40 miles south of the Town of
[Edited on 10/16/04 by deanchristopher]