Friday, December 9, 2016

How we beat Boston in 2017

It won't be easy. Let's face it: The next two World Series likely will see Boston v. Theo Epstein - the two elite dynasties of baseball - while the Yankees grovel for the Selig Cup, that miserable one-game wild card.

But but BUT...  it hasn't happened yet. We don't have Boston's prime rib buffet. What we do have are the juju gods, who don't take kindly to hubris - the mother's milk of every Redsock fan. (It has been ours in the past; have we learned?) As Kenny Rogers Shakespeare said, "There are things out there in heaven and hell, o noble Epidermis, so you gotta know when to walk away, and when to run." Boston's Justice League of America still needs to win 90 games. Way I see it, they have yet to win one. So here's our 10-point 2017 Action Plan.

1. We need frayed elbows and tweaked gonads. Of course, this goes against my moral code: I never wish bad things on a fellow human being. Live and let live... and if we meet again, it is beautiful. That said, how about a nice outfield collision! A Beltran flip, or a concussion - NOT a fracture - good God, what do you take me for? Boston needs injuries. They just traded away Yoan Moncada, their great insurance policy for if and when Dustin Pedroia spins a nut sack, which he will. Their front line pitchers - Price, Sale, Porcello - have thrown a gazillion innings. I certainly don't wish to inflict pain on these fine fellows. But Trump wants to bring back waterboarding. I say, bring back voodoo dolls.

2. The Panda Bear, Pablo Sandoval, needs to stay consistent - as in consistent washout. Boston won't say it aloud, but they secretly think he'll lose weight, hit .280 and turn into Albert Schweitzer. Good luck on that. He'll be 30 this year. He played 3 games last season, and the year before, batted .245. That year, he gave up switch-hitting, going lefty the whole second half. Moncada was also their 3B insurance policy. They also traded away Travis Shaw. If Sandoval is bad, he makes Chase Headley look desirable. We need bad. Have another cheeseburger, Pabs!

3. Andrew Benintendi must not become a star. Not at least in 2017.  He's just 22, and even though he hit .295 in 34 games last year, he's still on double-secret probation. The league's pitchers must figure him out. Otherwise, aw shit... it's not fair: They draft Benintendis, and we draft pugs - and nobody in our front office ever gets fired. If Benintendi is the real deal, they have a virtual all-star OF. So... we need him to be an illusion.

4. They have problems in the bullpen, but who doesn't? They talk about signing a veteran arm. Somehow, they always have salary space, while all we hear is how poor, sad, penniless Hal Steinbrenner has no wriggle room in his fanny pack. They spent $60 million on Moncada and $90 million on Sandoval, yet they don't poor-mouth, which has become Food Stamps Hal's go-to mentality. All we ever hear is how expensive these players are. Still... their bullpen - it could be a problem - (like everybody else's.)

5. They might have a weakness at catcher. Last year, Sandy Leon came out of nowhere and played way above himself. A 27-year-old nobody - never hit a lick anywhere - comes in and hits .310, with huge clutch HRs. But but BUT... by end of the season, he was Melba toast. In the last month, Leon hit .177 - over the last 14 days - .087 - and he was benched. He won't hit .300 again. We have them beat at catcher.

6. Hanley Ramirez is still Hanley Ramirez. I believe they would trade his ass in a Boston Minute if somebody would take him. Yesterday, they signed 1B Mitch Moreland. Problem is, they have lost far more than Big Papi's warm-hearted, adorable grin: They have lost 38 HRs and a .315 hitter in the three-hole. That's a hell of lot of production to kiss goodbye. And Hanley Ramirez is Hanley Ramirez.

7. The evolution of Jackie Bradley continues. He's a great glove in CF, but his bat dramatically tailed off last year. He hit .296 in the first half - was leading the league in May, when they voted him to the all-star team - then he fell to .233 in the second half. The guy can't hit lefties. Boston waited on him for three years, but there have been rumors he's been dangled in trades. If he's a .290 hitter, they're unstoppable. If he's .230 - well - he's a slight notch above Aaron Hicks. Ouch.

8. We need another Gary Sanchez. Of course, it must be Aaron Judge. If Judge fails, he'll not only drag us down for three excruciating months, but he'll kick our youth movement in the nuts. Yes, we'll still have Clint Frazier in Scranton, but until these prospects hit in the majors, they are dust projections on the wall. Last year, Sanchez gave us hope. We need another Gary.

9. Don't forget our old friend - Boston, itself. The city is foaming sea of negativity. When things go bad in Boston, it's the worst place on earth - even worse than near that volcano in Iceland - to play pro sports. The talk shows grow fangs. People throw batteries. One thing leads to another. This year, anything less than a World Series will be a disappointment. The frat boys don't like disappointments.

10. It's all about October. Way I figure... if everything above, 1 through 9 happen, Boston still wins the AL East. They're that stocked, and we are that uncertain. But but BUT...  if we can take the Wild Card, it's a three week show. In that moment, we could be the rising team. Hey, can we hire Tom Coughlin?


Anonymous said...


Alphonso said...

I haven't yet read a word of this opus. However, I already know its formula ( for beating Boston ) will be about as simple and realistic as me assembling a 1000 part, super Barka-lounger with adjustable arms, footrests, and massage features in a drunken stupor, with my screwdriver and hammer.

Now I shall read.

Anonymous said...

I know you, Fonz, you old softie - - I know double-reverse JuJu when I see it, too. LB

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