October 12, 2006

curt Hiya folks! Legendary sports broadcaster Curt Gowdy here from beyond the grave to talk some early hot stove league baseball with y’all. Today happens to be The Great White Shank’s 51st birthday, so he asked me to pick up the slack while he spends the day outside with actress Kirsten Dunst, trying to drink their way out of a hot-water heater-sized mai-tai, their bodies shielded from the Arizona sun by a potent SPF-40 mix of Myers’s Rum and Creme de Cacao. As my old Red Sox broadcasting partner Ned Martin would say, “Mercy!”

Like the owner of this here weblog, I’m glad I wasn’t around to see the last depressing days of this year’s Red Sox season. ‘Shank tells me he was on a cruise ship bemoaning the fact there wasn’t one Red Sox game broadcast at the ship’s sports bar that final weekend of the regular season – seems they’d only show ESPN Baseball Tonight games where the playoff standings mattered – go figure. Me, I was broadcasting a heavenly World Series played between the 1936 St. Louis Browns and the 1940 edition of the Ebbets Field Negro League Ethiopian Clowns. What a series! The Clowns kicked the Browns a$$es from one end of that Iowa cornfield to the other, which shouldn’t surprise anyone – the Browns always $ucked. My apologies, can I say that on this blog?

Anyways, I didn’t get to see the Sox drop two out of their final three games – good thing, because with Toronto winning two of their last three, our beloved Sox dropped to third place (which, BTW, you might recall, was the position Mr. Shank picked them for at the start of the season – he’s pretty damned smart, huh?). Me, if I was Sox owners John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner, I’d be pretty darned disappointed at spending the amount of money they did for a 3rd place team that basically quit after being swept in that horrendous five-game series against the Yankees back in late August. But who am I to say?

There’s lots of Red Sox fans up here in the grand eternity asking me what Red Sox GM and former wunderkind Theo Epstein oughta do. Not that my opinion would matter to some – how do you say it these days, dude? – who hadn’t even graduated toilet training academy when I quit broadcasting baseball, but I’m only following orders here. (To give you a hint, Denton at Surviving Grady is kinda thinking the same way I am, though he’s still half a bubble shy of plumb as far as I’m concerned, if you know what I mean.) Anyways, here’s what I would do:

Pitchers: My starters are Schilling, Beckett, and Papelbon. They’ll need two other starters, because Wakefield, Tavares, Delcarmen, Foulke, a hopefully re-signed Timlin, and Kyle Snyder are in my bullpen. And, they’ll need to find a closer as well. I don’t know where and how Theo’s gonna pull that off, but hell, that’s why he’s the GM and I’m not.

Catchers: Mirabelli is dead to me. Oops, given my own situation, that’s probably the wrong choice of words. Let’s just say that, whether its that newly-acquired George Katteras feller or someone else, Jason Varitek needs a more solid backup, one that can adequately hit while spelling the Captain for somewhere between 60-70 games a year.

Infield: If you want to put rookie Dustin Pedroia at 2B to save some money, fine, but I’d want Youkilis, Alex Gonzalez and Mike Lowell back at 1B, SS, and 3B, respectively. Cora’s your valuable backup at 2B and SS, and Eric Hinske’s there to give Youk and Lowell much-needed blows, because they both ran outta gas down the home stretch.

Outfield: No offense meant, but I’d rather be dead than to see Trot Nixon re-signed; Theo, save yourself some vital dough-re-mi. Me, I’d put Wily Mo Pena in left field and have Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski teaching him how to play The Wall starting manana and throughout the winter – even if there’s 3 feet of snow on the ground. (Ideally, Yaz will have that electric stun pole at the ready whenever WMP misplays a ball – will help to reduce the learning curve.) Coco stays in center, and Manny moves to right. Young-un David Murphy and the “Hebrew Hammer” Gabe Kapler are valuable backups as needed.

And I’d fix that damned line-up while I’m at it. If that idiot Francona reads this blog, he’ll pay close attention to what I’m about to say:

1. Youkilis – 1B
2. Pedroia – 2B
3. Ortiz – DH
4. Ramirez – RF
5. Pena – LF
6. Lowell – 3B
7. Varitek – C
8. Gonzalez – SS
9. Crisp – CF

Holy Toledo, it’s time for me to go. Me an’ the Splendid Splinter are going fishin’ today with Dizzy Dean, Roberto Clemente, and Tony C. We hear the stripers are really bitin’ and Diz’ has got a cooler full of ‘Gansett and bags of Wachusett Potato Chips to stave off the hunger pains until tonight’s backyard burn at Hemingway‘s hacienda. Don’t believe that old adage “dead men tell no tales”; get this crowd together, and they do, they do….

Until next time, this is Curt Gowdy signing off. Um, I almost forgot – The Great White Shank (he’s such a dufus) insisted that I close with this:

“Hi neighbor, have a ‘Gansett!”

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 02:11 | Comments (0)
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