Friday, June 15, 2007

When I was, eh, maybe 15 years old, I saw in interview with Barry Bonds and Steve Sax (I think that’s his name), and I was appalled by how arrogant, how condescending, and how rude Barry was. Then, Steve asked Barry who the greatest player to ever play the game was, and Barry replied, “I am, how can I possibly play this game if I thought anything different.” So let me get this straight Barry, the game is only worth playing if you’re the best? Well, if you are the best, then what is the point of everyone else playing too? I think every other major league ball player should probably just pack up and go home. And leave you to play with yourself, all your friends (0), and all your rings (0). Forgive me Mr. Bonds, but I think the mark of a great player is the ability to make his team better, himself better, and to win a championship. Sure, you need the stats, but more importantly, you should want the ring. That makes Tom great, it makes Papi great, it’s what made Bird great and it’s what made Ray ride off into the Rockies for a chance to hoist the cup above his head. I don’t hate Barry because of the stories of him cheating on his wife, cheating on his taxes, and of course, cheating on baseball. What bothers me the most about Barry isn’t any of those 3 things. It’s the fact that he’s a stuck up asshole. And that, is why I would boo him if I was one of the lucky 90,000 to see him at Fenway this weekend. I don’t hate him because he’s a cheater, but because he’s a dick.

So the Giants come riding into town with their ace, Barry Zito on the hill, we got our fifth starter who may or may not be certifiably insane. What I do know, is that we score runs for Julian, and that Zito has absolutely destroyed my fantasy team this season. So we just lost a series to a bunch of kids wearing royal purple and with names you’ve never heard of. It’s time for the Sox to get their bats going, time for us and them to get our mojo back, and time to get up, dust the dirt of our knees, and get ready to boo Barry Bonds till our throats burn. Listen here Fenway Faithful, I’m expecting all 36,000 of you to boo till you can’t breathe, I want you to be exhausted by booing. I don’t want you to be able to speak till Tuesday. Got it?

We, of course, have another fantastic reason for having sore throats tomorrow, that, of course being Mr. David Roberts, author of, “The Steal”, one of the greatest, if not the greatest chapters in Red Sox history. My life is basically separated into two sections, BS, (before steal), and AS (after steal). Before Steal I had Crunch and Munch poured on me at Yankee Stadium, where I had to listen continuously to old men with bad teeth shout, “Nomar “No Rings” Garciappara” at me every 8 minutes in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium, I had to hear “19-18”! I had to lay in bed for a week in 2003 coming to the realization that it was, in fact, entirely likely that it was not happening in my lifetime. After Steal anything was possible, the greatest comeback in the history of sports, curses could be broken, the Red Sox could not be denied, and bandwagon Yankee hats disappeared. And those that remained saw an entire Nation decked out in World Series Champion gear.

As the great, if not annoying, Kevin Millar once said, “Don’t let us win one!”, and he was right. One was all it took. All it took was the steal led to the hit which led to Papi’s home run which led to Curt on the mound with a bloody sock, which led to Johnny’s home runs which led to Petey leaving it all on the mound, to Timmy finding redemption in the late innings, to a sweep and to a duck boat parade 86 years in the making. But none of it happens without the steal.

So, Barry is going to stand in tonight, 9 home runs shy of one of the most hallowed records in baseball, and have boos rain down upon him, probably a battery or two, and some nasty chants tossed in his general direction. And a 3rd/4th outfielder, blessed with speed, hustle, a cheerful demeanor and not much else out will stand in and have a reception worthy of a king. I can’t wait to hear what the Fenway Faithful has for Barry tonight, but even more than that, I can't wait to hear the Faithful give a much deserved "Hello" to a deserving old friend.
Welcome home Dave!

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