bad-ass new gods: summer vacation editionOkay, this may be the longest post we've ever written, but since we don't post as much this season, it probably all balances out, right?
For our mid-season review, we're using quotes from Wizard People, Dear Reader, which is a strangely intoxicating and incredibly hilarious alternate soundtrack to the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by comedian Brad Neely. This thing is also intimately linked in our heads with the Game (aka, the entirety of the 2004 playoffs) because we saw it for the first time at the Coolidge the night of the much-fated rainout during the ALCS and became our alternate soundtrack to the best few weeks in baseball ever. Basically, a good quarter of our vocabulary and a large portion of our speaking patterns come from this thing and, if you are aware of pop culture at all, you may know that it's a big month for this Harry Potter phenomenon. So, here goes…
I've got Harry frickin' Potter with me today, and we're doin' some shopping!
We are attempting to reserve judgment on Theo's off-season shopping trips for the moment. If you'd told us late last year that Josh Beckett would be pitching in the All-Star game in 2007, we would have laughed in your face, so who knows? Maybe Julio Lugo will win the Home Run Derby in 2008. Anything's possible, right?
God, I hate that shit. I'm here to learn, not watch a fucking performance.
Do you think there's any possible way we can convince you that maintaining his blog is what led to Schill's mysterious shoulder issue? Like, our shoulders totally hurt right now after coding this whole thing. That's got to be proof of something, right? [sigh] (It's possible that kelly's doesn't hurt, but mine does and I'm typing this paragraph, so my reality wins.)
I am gigantic! I am important and unavoidable!
We'd like to apologize to the Boston Globe, but unfortunately, there's nothing in Wizard People about being a 'pitcher not a thrower,' so we had to go with the next best option. Seriously, there is nothing we don't love about the Redemption of Joshua "Katie's Boyfriend" Beckett. Oh! Wait, no, there is one thing—no one's posted pictures of the inside of his apartment since he became a bad-ass new god; we kinda miss that.
His stockpiles of nuclear-level energy will be tricky to funnel.
He's good, he is. We're totally willing to give him a bit of a break as he hadn't faced most of these opponents early on. And he's definitely suffered from some run-support issues. But still, the one-inning meltdown show can stop at ANY time. We still think it was a worthwhile pick-up, but we hate the feeling of watching him pitch well and just knowing that at any moment he could lose it. Often it doesn't matter and he pulls it out, but still, our hearts can only take so much.
TIM WAKEFIELD & DOUG MIRABELLI
He then, after warming up the crowd, introduces the blood-eyed cat that is head of security, and then introduces the cat's manservant, Dazzler.
Oh, Wake. Sometimes he has a really bad game and we wonder if the Sox will make him join the ground crew or start selling stuff in the souvenir shop to finish out that lifetime contract he signed. And if they do, what's the groundskeeper/retail slave equivalent of not getting any run support? Most importantly, when they send Wake to the Aramark concession booth, will Dougie have to go to? We hope so, because it's about damn time we're able to get a good chicken parm at Fenway.
Oh, we don’t say his name, but know this. He is a badass. He could kill anyone, anything. A gorilla or a bear, whatever, anything.
Hands-down, no question the surprise of the season. If someone had told us last season that we would be deep in the thrall of Julian "Head Bus Driver" Tavarez, not only would we have laughed in their face, we would might have punched them in the face. Which, come to think of it, is probably a completely Julian-approved move. We love his dedication to the team, we love that he looks like a carnie, we love that as a number five starter he's really not doing too bad, we love the way he fields/bowls the ball, and we love the post-game interviews. His record is mostly beside the point because him winning two games is more than we ever expected and even if he had lived down to those expectations, the sheer entertainment value would have won us over.
This is the moment! I must make my move in this masking of a snowstorm and I will take one letter into my room and whisper it to my horses and see what they think.
He's two and one with a pretty nice gem of a no-decision in there as well, but we are contractually obligated to point out that his name is still a typo.
A man, who obviously has never heard the laugh of a lover, never heard the phrase “You are fine” from a doctor.
A man who, if we had the power, would have been traded for a bucket of balls, and then pummeled with said bucket of balls, while he winced and cried like a little girl, because he's scared of baseballs, and that's why he has to hide down in Ft. Myers, because he think the baseballs can't find him there.
Hey, you look tired, have you been tested for diseases?
We love Mike Timlin around here. Almost as much as we love Papelbon and mostly for the same reason—we love a guy who kills for fun. But the sad, sad truth is that Timlin is looking more like a dead duck than a badass duck hunter every day. It truly hurts us to watch, not just because it hurts when he blows a lead or gives up three homeruns or whatever sickening feat he's performing this time, but because we use to love watching him so much. It used to be an exciting moment when "Black Betty" blared from the sound system and Timlin came out with that "I'm going to fuck your wife" look on his face. The Timlin we see now is old and sad and, frankly, depressing. It's time for him to retire gracefully and become a pitching coach before he's reduced himself to the point where no up-and-coming reliever can take him seriously.
The God Wheel of Fate has stopped on yes, yes-in-fucking-deed you will be a wizard, and this moment is the first in a series of moments that no matter what feelings the moments embody, yes, yes is still the answer. Yes to life and yes to magic.
And the God Wheel of Fate says that yes, yes in-fucking-deed, you will have a reliable set-up man! And not just any reliable set-up man, but bridge-like structure of a bad-ass who will delight an entire fan base and make us forget we were ever bad-touched by Rudy Seanez. And really, what else is there to say about the hero in the dark?
I am a beautiful animal! I am a destroyer of worlds!
I am going to bean players if I fucking feel like it! I am the shark in Jaws! When I take the mound, my default mode is set at kill mode! I think 'get tipsy and then refuse to leave' is an awesome dating plan! I am a god damn grammarian! You might also know me as Gasolina or as my split personality Cinco-Ocho, but I am Jonathan fucking Papelbon and I rule the fucking school!
Um. You may have heard we're fans of this Papelbon kid?
MANNY DELCARMEN, JAVIER LOPEZ, KYLE SNYDER, BRENDAN DONNELLY, JOEL PINERO, JC ROMERO, DEVERN HANSACK, ETC.
Well, the club got strict; you had to love evil and not be shy about using murder spells, or else you’d be murdered.
Life in the second-best bullpen in baseball can be tough, man. Led by men who'd kill opposing batters as soon as look at them, you've got to be right there with them. If that's not your thing, you'll need to go to Pawtucket and work out your issues. Or, if Timlin's had a bad night (aka, pretty much every night these days), he might just shoot an arrow at you and see if you know how to duck. So, uh, be on the look-out for that and um, practice ducking on your off days.
Heaven is for those too scared of nothingness! I will go no further than my mortal flesh will carry!
Nobody could really blame him for
KEVIN YOUKLIS & MIKE LOWELL
Harry explains to the Bear that subtly and patience are a great way to look pretty cool. The Bear has to agree, and they give each other Fonzie looks.
The hot corners! The secret power hitters! Honestly, where would the first half of the season be without these two? And while Youk may be the official (ghost) blogger, Mike Lowell gets our vote for best blog-that-never-was:
""My philosophy is, if Manny is willing to sell a grill for $20,000, I'll tell him just to talk to me, and I'll type a blog for him -- Mannysblog.com. And I'll pay him $21,000, he'll think he sold a grill, and I'll negotiate a dollar a hit. I'll be a gazillionaire, and Manny will be happy because he can buy a new barbecue . . . Everyone wants to know what Manny's saying, so all he has to do is give me two legitimate answers and after that I'll make up anything I want, and nobody will know the difference."DUSTIN PEDROIA
This paradox of babiness and power, right here on a frickin' Muggle's doorstep!
Earlier in the season, we had plans to do a first quarter report card after forty games, but then we got distracted by Josh Beckett, Miller High Life, etcetera. Had we remembered to do a quarter-season report card, we were going to name Dustin Pedroia the player we'd most like to trade for himself, fifty pounds of muscle heavier in the future. Instead, we got Dustin Pedroia: 150 points of batting average heavier in the future!
It unlocks the door and backs away trying to resemble what it thinks is a cool looking person, but in reality, it is freaking Harry and Hagar out miserably.
Freaking us out miserably is perhaps too mild an expression of the way we feel about Lugo. We decided we wouldn't talk about the alleged reasons we hated Lugo before he even got here because sometimes it's best to stay away from off-the-field controversy, but even though we despised him from the get-go, we didn't expect that his on-field play would be so terrifying. We don't even really have the energy to go into all the ways that Lugo has been a disappointment so far, so let's just note that Theo could have blown that money on whores and blow in Vegas and we'd be less annoyed with his decision-making skills.
Harry is totally disinterested in the next challenge. He runs through this problem like a set of crunches as his mind’s eye daydreams. He sees himself dressed as a conquistador, crashing in the phases of werewolves and bigfoots with an enormous telescope.
Is he taking the year off? Has he hit his plateau? Did somebody forget to tell him that the season started? Does he think he gets an extra cup of paste every time he hits into a inning-ending double play? We … don't even know.
Vanders, with a why-didn’t-I-think-of-it-before look, the look that everyone’s dad puts on when he’s trying to pick out shoes and clothes for their kid, even though they have had thought of this before, from the beginning in fact, they just want to draw out the afternoon with needless driving around and tryings on because they don’t know what else to do with their kids, well, he puts on that kind of look and music galore fills the shop.
A particularly long one for Coco, who is nothing if not a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a defensive predatory animal wrapped in a sub-Mendoza hitter wrapped in a batting stance that resembles a street urchin trying to pick a fist fight wrapped in a sore thumb wrapped in … our lead-off hitter of the future? The only thing more abrupt and unexpected than some of the paths that Coco takes toward his web gem catches was his June reanimation at the plate, and every time he leads off with a base hit and steals his way into scoring position, we certainly make a why-didn't-I-think-of-it-before sort of look.
'You like flying motorcycles?' 'Anything's better than crawling.'
Dude, JDizzle's still standing upright 6 days out of 7 and it's already July, so we're pretty much doing better than expected.
Master H is beginning to feel animosity towards his own celebrity.
Because you just know that when the Giants were in town, Papi and Barry totally had a sleepover and
ALEX CORA, ERIC HINSKE & WILY MO PENA
Some kids get letters, others get ornaments that quickly fill with mother’s blood, and some desperately wait for their letters to arrive, which shall never, for they are the type of kids that mothers never write to.
Emergency Back-up Everything has been a delight at every position (especially when he subs for the Wretch who usually plays short), but is probably well aware that he could be an everyday player on another team. The papers tell us that Hinske is totally fine with the amount of playing time he gets, so that's a sure sign that he's been complaining. And as for the Easter Basket, well, we keep being told he needs the playing time to get better, but it's hard to fit him in when he can't, you know, catch the ball. All in all, our bench is probably better than half of Tampa Bay's starters, but we still sometimes feel bad for them.
Clearly, sidekicking for Hagar would suck balls.
It's probably a bad sign when you can say "at least he hasn't been hospitalized for coughing up blood this season!" and mean it. This guy seems to take everything hard—even the wins. Tito needs something -- a vacation, maybe a pet dragon to cheer him up, maybe a date with Hazel Mae --and whatever it is, we'd be glad to make it happen, because it's gotta be hard dealing with this bunch of wackos, even when they are the best team in baseball.