Welcome to the Nut House
(This man clearly belongs in the Sox bullpen.)
You know, it just occurred to me tonight that with the addition of Eric Gagne, the Red Sox bullpen might be the craziest in the majors. I mean, obviously, they're already pretty good and Gagne only makes them stronger (one hopes) but I think what we should really be focusing on here is the intimidation aspect inherent in boasting a bullpen that features the craziest nutters around. Sure, they're scary because they might strike you out, but they might also start basting you with barbecue sauce and gnawing on your leg. They might get you to ground into a double play or they might start wearing a tinfoil hat and claiming the aliens told them to distrust anyone wearing green. They might hit you with a 97 mph fastball or they might...hit you with a 97 mph fastball. NO ONE KNOWS. And I would imagine that as the opposition, that's gotta be kind of scary.
In addition to the ringleader, Captain Batshit himself, Julian Tavarez, you've also got Paps, Timlin, Donnelly (DL bound but still, Googles knows from crazy), and now Gagne. Poor Manny Delcarmen and Kyle Snyder must just spend all their time trying to keep from making sudden moves and alarming the inmates.
Everyone knows that Paps is nuts but I'm not sure we understand the extent of his psychosis. Tonight, before the game, NESN showed us part of Papelbon's hunting trip in Maine. They were very proud of the "Papelbon Moose Cam" which was, essentially, Paps wandering around with a video camera and commenting on what he saw including but not limited to the majesty of the mountains in Maine, the possibility of a truck fording a river that "looks like a damn lake!," and something about gittin' 'er done. But the bottom line is that someone let Jonathan Papelbon loose in the woods with guns. That cannot be a wise decision.
Then there's Timlin, who is crazy in the same way as Papelbon except with about twenty more years experience killing wild boars with his bare hands just for fun and such. I'm thinking Mike Timlin would be the absolute last person one would want to run into in a dark alley. Or a well-lit alley. Or even, you know, the middle of Mardi Gras with thousands of spectators. He's not right in the head is what I'm saying.
And now we've got Gagne who, as Denton pointed out, "has that half-crazed, I-might-throw-you-a-pitch-or-I-might-kill-your-entire-family look about him," and we really appreciate that brand of crazy in our pitchers. Plus, apparently Yankees fans are REALLY upset about the Sox landing Gagne and I refuse to believe that the fact that he wouldn't be required to shower every day if he played in Boston didn't factor into his decision. Want to go to work in your pajamas? Sure, here's one of Manny's spare uniforms! Want to sculpt some interesting facial hair? No problem, here's some of Youkilis' extra shaving cream! Want to bathe in whisky and gravy? Sure thing, take Kevin Millar's old locker!
My point is that we're very accommodating to the crazy around these parts.
No wonder Jason Varitek needs a break occasionally. The sole anchor tasked with keeping these psychos under control, Tek's due a day off every now and then if for no other reason than to prevent himself from shaving his head and fashioning the tablecloth from the postgame spread into a fetching toga to wear during his press conferences. Although if that did happen, would anyone blame him?
Now, as Tek has just managed to catch a foul pop for the last out in the second game of the Seattle series, I can safely say that I won't be pulling any crazykakes moves myself tonight and doing anything rash. But that promise is only good until tomorrow, game time.