Column Topics

Column Topics

Firebrand AL

Column Topics


Well, Evan asked me to write this column a couple of months ago, standing maybe 60 feet from home plate during a game at Fenway. Now it’s the Monday night before the thing is supposed to appear and I am still searching for the Perfect Topic. I’m also watching this afternoon’s game on TIVO so if I interject a random expletive you know that Tavarez just entered the game. TIVO itself is a potential topic, watching baseball is a wholly different experience with my magic TIVO box. The obvious application of recording a day game that is scheduled for when I am at work is one thing; but the ability to fast forward over those commercials, pitching changes, and opposing team homerun trots has changed things as well. The rhythm of the game feels off without those half inning intervals. At Lester’s game last week Nipper came out of the dugout and I turned to the guy seated next to me and complained that the sight of the Nipster was my signal to hit the ff button, and now I don’t have my remote.
Although sometimes I wonder of Papi is in fact a robot and that Theo is sitting somewhere above with a remote that has a big red HR button on it…just waiting for that perfect moment..
And while at that game last week I was struck with admiration for the Ice Cream Girl. You know the one, she walks around selling ice cream bars in the stands and has her big square soft sided cooler of ice cream…….balanced on her head. Constantly. Even when she reaches into it to get another bar. She must alternate sides when she removes bars in order to keep a proper weight distribution. I was already impressed when she stopped right next to my row and asked us all if we wanted to see ‘her trick’? ‘Uh huh’ I and the other guys around me replied (you know how eloquent guys are around pretty girls) and she proceeded to bounce the thing up in the air and have it land back down on her head, hands at her sides. Clearly she has magical powers and should be treated with reverance.
But I digress. I considered several Column Topics, thinking of questions that might spark some conversation, hopefully without working Sean into such a lather that he needs to go back on the medication. One thought that came to mind as a ‘question soon to face us all’ was whether or not to re-sign Trot this winter. He’s getting on in years, has had a troublesome injury history, and a history of poor performance at the plate against lefties. He’s also fifth in the league in hitting, has a history of great performance in the clutch, plays as hard as anyone in the organization, and after 13 years has proven himself to be as solid a citizen on and off the field as we could ask for. But if we keep him then what to do with Wily Mo? Did we really trade a starting pitcher for a fourth outfielder? Do we think we can unload Ramirez this winter with only two years now left on The Contract? Was it thought that letting Wily Mo show what he can do for a few months might make him attractive to someone looking to unload an expensive veteran starter (Smoltz) next month?
But that wasn’t the topic i settled on.
Would you trade Lester for Dontrelle Willis? And if not now, would you have last winter? The word ‘prospect’ itself speaks of possibility, the hope of finding that nugget of gold. Remember 11 years ago, the Sox had a blue-chip can’t miss stud prospect of a pitcher named Frankie Rodriguez. His name had been mentioned by every team that had a working telephone, his baseball cards seemed to be already worth thousands before he even reached AAA. But the Sox found themselves in the hunt for a division title, and they needed a closer. So finally Frankie was sent off to Minnesota in exchange for Rick Aguilera, who proceeded to save 20 games down the stretch for the eventual Division Champion Boston Red Sox. And Frankie ended up with a career record of 29-39 and played his last game five years ago. (Aguilera re-signed with the Twins that winter, and we were swept in the playoffs by the Indians, but that’s beside the point).
My point is that while all ‘prospects’ look wonderful, for they do all have the potential to be that golden nugget…that Papelbon…that Fred Lynn…eventually some are revealed to be Frankie Rodriguez.
So, Lester? Willis? (Assuming Florida would agree to such a thing, but I suspect they would) Someone else?
At any rate, Seanez just came in with the bases loaded and promptly gave up a single, so before I hurl this computer at the TV set I better sign off. Have fun wherever you are Evan, and Trotsky, have another of those rum drinks with the little umbrellas for me.

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