Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Curse of Kevin Youkilis

Never unnecessarily cloud the truth with facts. Maybe that would be an alternative mantra for Washington after 'plausible deniability.'

After languishing without a World Series title for 86 years (Henry's comet appearing with lesser frequency than Halley's), the Sox finally broke through in 2004. The solution? The appearance of Billy Beane's 'Greek God of Walks', Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis made his debut in Toronto with unusual fanfare, a home run in his first game, followed by the infamous 'air five', a variation on the Silent Treatment.

He went on to have a solid if unspectacular season, the talisman smashing the curse. Of course, that is the stuff of legend, and fantasy, as the principal curse-buster was the simple answer: pitching, pitching, and more pitching. The work of Schilling, Pedro, Lowe, and Foulke in shutting down the Yankees and the Cardinals, not curses, spells, or voodoo provided the answer.

Naturally the season got off to a sluggish start again this year, followed by improvement, and then exile of Youkilis to Pawtucket, coincident with the miasma known as Springtime in Boston. Youkilis goes down, the Sox struggle, so why not bring him back?

Damn, reality sets in, with the Sox at 5-5 when Youk got the bus ticket, and he returns with the team in a funk and fade, now at 11-11. So, .500 with Youkilis, and .500 without the Walkbino. It's time for Youkilis to prove himself to be the real stopper, and give this column a happy ending.

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