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post #159
bio: chris
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2/23/2005
00:15

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Previous Posts
On Sting (and other crap)
Things I Say to My Dad, Because (like myself) He Thinks, Irrationally, He's Going to Die Soon
Why Hipstamatic Was Invented
Happy Mother's Day, Y'all
Black Pear Tree (Guest Post from John Darnielle)
Serendipity






I'm Gonna Make You Love The Sox
"Tessie!" Nuff Ced McGreevy shouted
"We're not here to mess around!"
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Red Sox, you are the only, only, only

--"Tessie", Boston Red Sox Fight Song

(totally inspired by Blaine's post)

It is the end of February. Pitchers and catchers are getting into form. The position players have reported to Spring Training. Florida and Arizona are abuzz with the buzz surrounding the return of Major League Baseball to their cities and towns.

It's time to get in shape, boys.

I'm going to make you love the Boston Red Sox.

"How can he do that?" you ask.

I reply, "Let me count the ways."

1. Charles Bronson Arroyo

Yes. His name is Charles Bronson Arroyo. He was named after Death Wish series star Charles "Bad Motherfucker" Bronson. I am not making this up. For that reason alone, he is loveable.

For the record, he goes by "Bronson". Bronson Arroyo.

Bronson was the guy who got stood up at the Senior Prom by a Sophomore, and decided he was gonna get all buff and hot as hell so that Said Sophomore would rue the day she ever dissed him.

Bronson was a promising young pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Now, the Pirates are and have been a hurtin' baseball franchise for many years now. So they brought Bronson up to the big leagues a little early. In his first two years in the Majors with Pittsburgh, he struggled mightily.

Three years ago, the Pirates grew impatient with him, and neglected to offer him a contract.

The Red Sox front office said, "Hey, this guy's got talent. He was rushed to the big leagues before he was ready, and didn't do so well. Let's pick him up and see what he can do."

So the Sox let him pitch in Triple-A for a year in 2003. (Triple-A is the highest level of baseball's minor leagues.) All Chuck-Bro did was go 15-6, pitch a perfect game, and get named Triple-A's International League Pitcher of the Year.

In 2004, the Sox threw Arroyo into their starting rotation. And he was stellar. He put up better numbers than most of his more-heralded contemporaries. He didn't get hit. He struck a lot of guys out. He didn't walk many of ‘em. That shows that he has great stuff on the mound, and good command of it.

2004 was his first season back in The Bigs as a full-time member of a starting rotation. And Charles Bronson kicked some serious ass.

Imagine what he can do in 2005, with a full year of his best stuff behind him.

Also, when Bronson does his hair up in cornrows, he looks just like Justin Timberlake.

He wants to rock your body. And he will. Just ask Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who Arroyo unintentionally whacked with a curveball (You don't intentionally hit someone with a curveball. You nail ‘em with a fastball.) sparking a bench-clearing brawl that turned the Sox's 2004 season around.

2. The Fat Boys

I'm talking about Curt Schilling and David Wells, who will go #1 and #2 in the 2005 Sox's starting rotation.

I've been glowing about Schilling ever since The Sox acquired him two Thanksgivings ago. And the guy's lived up to his hype. After injuring a tendon in his ankle against the Anaheim Angels in the first round of the 2004 playoffs, Schilling sutured up the skin around the tendon – stopping the thing from sliding around over bone – and shut down the Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship series.

I could go on about The Big Schill for days, but guys who get paid to talk about him have already said everything that can be said about Schilling.

Except for the fact that he's fat. Dude is fat.

Which brings me to David Wells. David "Tubbo" Wells.

I admit, at first, it was tough to get used to the idea of David Wells starting for the Boston Red Sox. After all, Wells was a Yankee. He defined himself as a Yankee. He grew up idolizing Babe Ruth, and even bought himself The Babe's old Yankee hat. He wore that thing when on the mound when he'd pitch for the Yankees.

Those days are over now. Wells feels like the Yankees disrespected him, and now he's signed himself up with the Boston Red Sox, to shove it to former friends and bosses George Steinbrenner and Joe Torre. The man is pissed. And hungry.

Did I say hungry? Wells is pushing 300 lbs. He's also 42 years old.

Did I say "hungry"? I meant "drunk". Wells once pitched a perfect game (27 batters faced, 27 outs, no opposing batter reached base) while he was still drunk from the night before. (from J-Walk) Also, he's good for one Drunk-Related-Injury every year. Take last year for example. While he was pitching for the Padres, he got loaded one night, tripped over his own barstool, and broke a wine glass into his pitching hand. (scroll down to the end)

He's the Billy Joel of Pitching. How can you not love that?

He pitched a hell of a season for San Diego in 2004. Drunken wineglass hand and all. That's Balls, my friend. That's a drunken fat guy who wants to win.

And in the end, aren't we all just drunken fat guys who want to win?

3. Matt Mantei

Ah, Matt Mantei! The Sox picked him up on the relative cheap this off-season.

On and off from 1998 to the Present Day, Matt Mantei has been one of the most dominating relief pitchers in baseball. He comes in at the ends of games and blows opposing hitters away with his 100 mile-an-hour fastball.

There's only one problem. That arm that throws the 100 MPH fastball? Well, it keeps blowing up. A lot. Two major surgeries since 1998 on that thing. One minor surgery that kept him out of action for most of 2003.

That's the bad news.

The good news? Doctors (reportedly) finished cleaning out most of the arm damage during the surgery he had last year.

Mantei has reported to camp, and he's throwing the ball pretty damn hard according to sports reporters who get paid to do this kind of thing. His arm feels good, and if he's healthy, he'll shorten games. Get the starting pitcher out before he tires, and turn it over to Mantei and the rest of the Sox's relief crew.

4. Jason Varitek is Back

Jason Varitek is America's greatest invention since the Cotton Gin. Jason Varitek, catcher, calling games for pitchers behind the plate, can turn the guy who won the Spelling Bee Championship into a Cy Young (Major League Baseball's Pitcher of the year) contender. It was also reported that before game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, Varitek turned the Poland Spring cooler into a wine cellar. The Sox drank from it, and it was good. They went on to win the ALCS in 4 games straight after facing elimination down 3 games to 0.

Jason Varitek is also the Virgin Mother of Christ.


Or so the Boston press would have you believe.

Exaggerated as these reports may be, ‘Tek is The Shit. Calls great games. Like to get dirty. Wasn't afraid to shove MLB's Protected Pretty Boy Alex Rodriguez in the face after Rodriguez bitched about getting hit by a Bronson Arroyo wayward curveball. (See above for the hitting-a-guy-with-a-pitch protocol.)

Jason Varitek, Boston Red Sox Captain. (that pic never gets old.)

I've never seen the guy naked, but I would bet that each of his individual testicles is at least this size of your head.


All right. That's four. I could go on all night, but I think I've gone on long enough.



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