Nerds Bite Bullies
(photo from Yahoo! Sports)
No, no, no, no, no. Just...no. We don't lose one run, extra inning games to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Or rather, we do, I guess, but I'd really prefer it if we didn't. Look, if the Devil Rays had an online dating profile, it would read like this:
Being assholes, making people cry, wearing stupid vests.
You, Me, laughter, sunshine, kittens, fun.
Unacceptable. The entire team lives in constant fear of their manager short-circuiting and eating the shortstop or a utility infielder. Carl Crawford is probably safe because I don't think Sweet Lou's gonna run him down without the aid of a motorized Sequeway. But as for the rest of 'em, how can you focus when you might become Lou's lunch at any second?
I love Mike Timlin. I really do. Despite all his blustery "I'm a big, huntin', Nascar watchin', god-fearin', Southern baseball player" business, I really kind of love him. But it is not necessary for him to let eleventy billion inherited runners score. Just because someone happens to be on the basepaths does not mean they're allowed to touch home plate. This is not a manifest destiny situation, Big Fitty. You can do that snarl thing you do, turn to spit on the grass and say, "Screw you. You're staying right there. This land of 'home' you've heard tell 'bout ain't nothin' but a legend for you." I don't know why Timlin speaks like a 1940s gold prospector in my mind but just go with it. I'm starting a new campaign right now. "I Heart Wins. I Hate Inherited Runners." Who's with me?
As for Manny, well, he's Manny and as Beth so brilliantly pointed out, when people get on him, I get really defensive because I think of him as a small child who doesn't know any better. And so, to that end, if last night's 9th inning with the bases loaded and two outs was a third grade report card, Manny would get As in "Attitude," "Skill Level" and "Plays well with others," but he'd be rockin' Fs in "Follows directions" and "Performs according to potential." A pop out to right with the bases loaded in a tie game is not what I ordered, Manuel. Not what I ordered at all.
Also? There was that business where Olerud got a hit and yet the ball somehow nails Trotter who is then called out for "interfering with a ball in play." Not intentionally, mind you. But still. That happened and I typed to no fewer than four people who I was conversing with at the time, "What other team does that happen to? None other team is the answer." And yet does it really surprise any of us that the Red Sox were able to pull that off? Call me a prophet.
But what can we do? The trading deadline is rapidly approaching and there are rumors that everyone from Bro-Yo to the bat boy are getting swapped. What we need is pitching, clearly, but name me a team who doesn't need another arm. All faith in Theo but for the next week, I wear my fingernails down to bloody nubs waiting for the announcement that my favorite binky has been shipped out of town. And when you get right down to it, aren't they all my favorite binkies?
So tonight we go with Matty against that poor devil Mark Hendrickson who didn't make it out of the first inning last time we faced him. In fact, the Sox scored six runs before he made an out which, if I'm doing my math correctly, puts his ERA for that last game at infinity. That's gotta be a wee bit demoralizing. And well, I'm sure he's a nice kid and all but I'm going to need to Sox to hit him like he owes them money tonight. I want a win!