Friday, June 29, 2007

Bad Joke?

Recent Boston sports action reminds me of a joke I heard the other night. "Airport security has taken it to the next level. I get ready to board the flight, and the screener says, 'I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that you may board immediately. The bad news is that your prostate is enlarged'. "

The Red Sox (good news) returned to Fenway Park (good), got outstanding pitching (good), didn't hit (bad), but won anyway 2-1 (good). Don and Jerry (good) kept us distracted with inane banter about ballpark dating episodes (bad). At least Jerry didn't display his footwear (good), although I missed part of the game watching Man Versus Wild (very good).

On the other hand, the Celtics (bad) botched another opportunity known as the NBA Draft (good). In a bizarre plot to strengthen franchises close to his western home, Ainge once again dumped the high draft choice (bad) for an All-Star (good) with two bad ankles (bad), who knew God's dog as a puppy (bad). At least Ray Allen probably doesn't detest New England (good), having played at UCONN. Don't worry'll never be accused of making a bad high pick when you always choose the easy way out. Respect for the franchise. Puh-lease. The Redhead turns over in his grave, because he was the swindler, not the chump.

Defensively, the C's can't catch a cold. Interior defense? More like interior decorating. Maybe we can go Loyola Marymount and try to beat teams 145-140.

What more can Danny do to ruin the franchise? The GM appeased Paul Pierce (good, bad) and acquired a talented (good), rotund (bad) power forward in Big Baby Davis. Danny's Boys might be able to make the playoffs (big deal) in the Eastern Conference (bad), but we have become Clippers East now. We get a high draft choice annually and turn it into somebody else's.

The C's might have the sixteen banners hanging from the rafters, but the championship-driven mantra seems at odds with the parade of one (Wally) or zero-dimensional players (Raef Lafrentz, Brad Lohaus, Travis Knight, etc) who've unfortunately walked through that door. To refresh, Lafrentz was a consensus All-American, top three NBA pick who had no low post game, and inconsistently knew which way to roll on the pick-and-roll. And don't tell me different, because I always watch NBA players to see if they execute properly. Big Al, listen to the coaches, you're not doing it correctly often enough.

The Red Sox may have adopted some kind of Markov Chain philosophy to try to break the run scoring drought. With a trio of three hundred hitters with high on-base percentages at the top of the lineup, the Sox may have the opportunity to 1) get more men in scoring position and 2) get the best hitters more chances.

Julio Lugo is having sleep difficulties. If only that were his problem. He keeps waking up in time for the games. No, seriously, we all want Julio to sleep better and to hit better, as we want the jokes to be on the other team. Lugo's epic struggles have reached Herculean proportions. The Red Sox pitching staff may have had more hits in June than he did.

Jerry Remy has so many astute observations. Tonight's game brought the obscure to the ridiculous. First, J.D. Drew hit a ground rule double HIGH into the left field seats. Really. Second, the Sox had the winning run score on a fielder's choice, where the runner on second (second and third) got tagged out AFTER the run scored. Third, Papelbon missed getting a strikeout because the umpire missed an inside strike in the ninth when Varitek set up outside. Fourth, Dustin Pedroia probably deserves the save for getting Papelbon out of the umpire's face after a close call at first base. Papelbon couldn't cover quickly enough to beat Lofton. If Papelbon gets tossed, then who do you bring in.

Why is Youkilis successful? At least at this point in his career, he grinds, every pitch, every at bat, and curses his failures as aberrations. He's our Paul O'Neill, minus the water cooler destruction (as far as I know).

Terry Francona will never get enough credit. He's unassuming, humble, underpaid, keeps the nuttiness in-house, and never throws the players under the bus.

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