Some Men I'd Like to Meet
Thursday was a most pleasant day, even though it didn't start that way. Sometimes the alarm clock goes off at the wrong moment, and that was the case yesterday. I must have been in a deep slumber, because that annoying jingle my cell phone makes really startled me when it went off at 5:45. I don't always get up that early, but the Red Sox were on and I wanted to see the end of the game. A slow game: I sat down at the computer and it was only the top of the sixth. Beautiful. I was just getting my eyes to stop watering and, crack, Jason Bay smashes a two run homer. Then in the bottom half of the inning Lester boy strikes out the side. And so it went. I go to the terrace and the sun is just coming up, and for the first time of the season, it's rising over the water. Wonderful. I'm sipping my coffee, thinking a little about the Sox and feeling very placid and benevolent, so benevolent, in fact, I decide it's time to really cleanse myself completely: I'm going to forgive the big goat from 1986. No, not Bill, middle name omitted, Buckner. I forgave him years and years ago. I'm talking about John No Brain McNamara. Buckner will always be the poster boy for that historical meltdown, and he of course was the one who blew the routine play, a gaffe that happens to be, for his eternal misfortune, antonomasia for little kid mistake: Billy baby, you stop letting the ball roll through your legs when you're 10 or 11 years old! But poor old Bill should never have been out there in that situation. All through the 1986 season, when the Sox were ahead in the late innings, Dave Stapleton had been sent in as a defensive replacement. So why did McNamara change the routine? He wants the old veteran out on the field for the celebration. Get real! (Compare that to Francona's recent explanation of why he left Timlin off the roster: yah, Mike's a great guy, and it's tough, but this is about putting the best team possible out there. You tell the guys the truth straight up and that's that. We're professionals.) And McNamara pinch hitting for Clemens and sending up Greenwell, leaving Don Baylor on the bench. Don Baylor and his 31 home runs that year! Greenwell was a rookie! McNamara, the bum. The Bum! But yesterday, the sun was coming up beautifully and I thought, it's ok. John is no doubt a nice guy and I'd even like to meet him and I would no longer have any bad thoughts. It's gone. All gone. And so I'd like to meet Buckner, too, poor guy. And while I'm at it, I'd like to meet Bob Stanley, and Mookie Wilson, and even, I'm going out on a limb here, Calvin Schiraldi. It's all ok. But I don't want to meet Dick Stockton. Is there a worse baseball announcer out there? I just heard him durng the ninth inning of the Dodgers/Cubs game. Truly awful. That too, is ok.