Saturday, September 17, 2005

Foulke Tale

Only one word describes my feelings about Keith Foulke - ambivalence. Foulke had a proven track record before signing on as a mercenary (coming for the top dollar), and last year he deserved to be the World Series MVP. He threw strikes, controlling the zone with both his fastball and his 'Bugs Bunny' changeup. He pitched intelligently, made few mistakes, and stayed away from his weakness, breaking stuff.

This season has just been a nightmare for him, between personal issues (one's home life does make a difference), professional ones, and injuries. I'd feel sorry for him whether he were making the minimum or winning the lottery annually if his life were totally miserable. Yesterday, he exposed that misery to the public on his weekly radio gig. To paraphrase Deion Sanders, "he's a baseball player, not a baseball fan."

So it comes down to a choice for Red Sox fans, do we have some compassion for the player, or just beat on him, because that 's what northeast corridor baseball cities (Boston, New York, Philadelphia) do? Somehow, kicking him while he's down doesn't score any points.

Sure, we'd love to have him turn it around and be able to contribute for the stretch drive and into the ephemeral postseason. Could that happen? Sure, stranger things have happened, just ask Betty and Barney Hill (abducted by aliens).

We can be sure that if Foulke could have it his way, he wouldn't be struggling from dawn 'til shuteye, and he'd probably even give back the truck not to have to bare his soul to the masses he shrinks from. Well, maybe not the truck.

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