There’s lots of ways to create a New Year’s post. I mean, I could do a super classy year in review. I could talk about that time Sept 19 broke my heart. Or how Dice-K died. Oh! And how everyone’s favorite K-Youk was K-put.
Or… I could focus on the kickass moments. Like the Tek homers people said wouldn’t happen. Or that little Stanley Cup thing we won…
Or… I could do what all good New Year’s summations SHOULD do. Look ahead to the future. Because what happened (or didn’t happen) doesn’t matter. What matters is Soxtober 2012. And it’s going to be a doozy.
By this time next year-
1. NO ONE will talk smack about Kevin Youkilis. NO ONE. And he will polish his WS MVP accolades. On our mantel. Because he will be living here. You know. Part-time. When he’s not like, playing baseball, and signing cologne contracts and stuff.
2. Tim Thomas and I will have coffee and discuss the second Stanley Cup. And how two cups hold a lot more champagne than one cup.
3. Carl Crawford will write journal entries that don’t sound like angsty girl rock. Oh, and he’ll absolutely kick ass and make certain people at ESPN rethink their goat comments.
4. Josh Beckett will become a vegan.
5. Derek Jeter will cry. On camera.
6. John Lackey will be a born-again post-TJ surgery super star. It will creep all of us out. And then, after the WS victory, he will disappear, and it will be like one of those Amelia Earhart stories. Where did he go? We’ll talk about it for years to come at cocktail parties.
7. Andrew Bailey will surprise everyone and be amazing. And Rivera will be like, ‘Man, I wish I was that guy.’
8. Jon Lester will pitch four no-hitters. FOUR.
9. Tim Wakefield will pitch amazingly (as long as that walker can make it to the mound) and then replace Larry Lucchino.
10. No one will ever read the name “Manny Ramirez” in a headline.
11. Adrian Gonzalez will learn to run to first.
12. Jacoby Ellsbury will sign to the Red Sox forever. And teach everyone else how to play baseball.
13. We’ll have this nailbiter ALDS matchup, right? And just when we think it’s over, who should appear? But Josh Reddick! Magically traded to us for… um… Bobby Jenks! And Josh Reddick will be badass Josh Reddick 2.0 and… oh! oh! oh! That’s when Derek Jeter will cry on television!
14. Alex Rodriguez will accidentally inject so much female growth hormone that he gets bigger boobs than his girlfriend.
15. Jorge Posada is signed by the Red Sox. Wait for it… where he must don a Green Monstah costume and entertain children. FOREVER.
16. Tito will come back!
17. Mike Lowell AND Pedro Martinez will wake up one day and be amazing and re-sign with us. Oh! Oh! Oh! And can we have Derek Lowe too? Thanks.
18. And Jason Varitek takes Curt Young’s job.
19. The headline reads- Sabathia is the 2012 version of 2011 John Lackey.
20. Jay will apologize to me for saying David Ortiz was on steroids. Oh! And David Ortiz will be amazing.
21. Joe Maddon will get year-long laryngitis.
22. David Price will take Don Mattingly up on his offer to start a ballet company.
23. BASEBALL: The Musical will win four Tonys.
24. Kevin Gregg will be irrelevant. But wander from talk show to talk show anyway talking smack until finally he winds up with a permanent home on Dancing With The Stars.
25. And there will be world peace.
What are your predictions? Mine are going to happen. You’ll see.
Best prediction wins a prize!
I have to go! So much to do!
Best clean up if Kevin Youkilis is going to be moving in!
And, on a personal note- have to go find glittery clothes. Spending New Year’s with the UNC-Chapel Hill fan. Who is in a band. And sends me nice text messages at one in the morning and not pervy ones. Hope your New Year’s isn’t sucky!
Remember THIS? That’s when Rich Hill’s elbow exploded all over our hopes and dreams in June.
Whatever. Keep them coming. I will not be satisfied until our back-ups have back-ups. What do you think, Soxies? Think Richie Hill will stay healthy enough to save the day? Are you a big Rich Hill fan? Are there ANY big Rich Hill fans?
Your daily injection! Braun’s still not talking about his syph-um… private medical issue. Oh. And Minka gets another gift basket.
Ryan Braun, stalked by TMZ AGAIN today… once AGAIN offers no explanation for his PED test…
See, as I reported last week, I could totally buy the “private medical issue” excuse- provided you give us a little more of an explanation.
I mean, if someone accuses me of something horrible and immoral… like… um… puppy murder. Or homeless sleeping bag stealing. Or, you know, steroids… I fess up my alibi. Even if my alibi is something less than Lauren-y. Like. Um. A Gossip Girl marathon over ice cream and regret. I mean, embarrassing is better than puppy murder or steroids, right?
Ryan Braun… is it syphilis? You can tell us. Christopher Columbus had that, you know. It’s Hep C, isn’t it? Leprosy?
We all know my opinion on the ‘roid issue. For new readers- I say exactly what David Ortiz has said-
“Ban ‘em for the whole year.”
Except I add a “forever.”
Give us SOMETHING, Ryan Braun. Apparently, there are people that look up to you. An excuse. Any excuse, really, would be better than the flaky attitude you’ve been flicking at us. There might be an explanation.
“I tell you, I don’t know too much about steroids, but I started listening about steroids when they started to bring that shit up, and I started realizing and getting to know a little bit about it. You’ve got to be careful. I used to buy a protein shake in my country. I don’t do that any more because they don’t have the approval for that here, so I know that, so I’m off of buying things at the GNC back in the Dominican (Republic). But it can happen anytime, it can happen. I don’t know. I don’t know if I drank something in my youth, not knowing it.”
You could say SOMETHING, Ryan Braun. Celebrities don’t get privacy, see. But you do get millions of dollars, hence the me-not-feeling-sorry-for-you.
Oh, Braun… that’s not a shadow following you around…
That’s an asterisk.
In other ridiculous roidy news- Alex Rodriguez is OFF THE MARKET.
Thank GOD, the market says. Until the market examines the catch. That catch is Torrie Wilson who, judging from the pictures, may share A-Roid’s juicing hobby. I don’t see this working out. I mean, what if they BOTH see a reflective surface? Staring at that window pane could waste a whole day, guys. Alex, it is such a newsy week for you.
Does anyone else think that A-Roid’s hookups will be a reality show some day?
There. Now, don’t we all feel dumber?
You’re welcome, America.
PS- Speaking of steroids- interesting position on Jeff Bagwell- read it HERE.
Bobby Valentine, ever the jet setter, is delivering the snark in person this weekend to chicken-lovers-anonymous, aka: Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. Anyone else wish they’d bring a camera crew?
Josh Beckett and Bobby V are going to sit over whatever Texas’ equivalent of tea and crumpets is (DO NOT SAY BEER AND CHICKEN) and have a heart to heart bonding session. Maybe do eachother’s nails. Hug it out. Play nice, Josh. You’re a role model now.
And then Bobby V is going to play therapist to our sappy fixer-upper, Carl Crawford.
Will be a grand old time, I’m sure.
“There is no, from what I gather, any adversarial relationship with either situation. I just want to talk to Carl about his plan for next year,” Valentine said. “Talking to [Dustin] Pedroia, who has had a couple of text messages with him, Carl is working his butt off and doing everything he can to put up and make people shut up, and that’s all I’m asking.”
Put up and shut up. I like that. But, coming from Dusty, aka- The Euphemizer… it’s hard to tell what’s really going on in Carl’s brain. No, I think (and from reading all those journal entries to fans) that Carl’s a good guy. Contrite. Sad. I mean, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him when you look at that cap-down photo from September. Well, and then you look at the score. And the cash you’ve shoveled at him. You know what? It’s actually easy not to feel sorry for him…
This year aside, remember how awesome it felt to nab Carl? I remember where I was when I learned we nabbed Crawford. It’s easy, really, because I was right here. At my office. Where I always am…
But it felt great.
Everybody has an off year. Right? Right? Let’s say 2011 was his. Let’s start over you and me, Crawdad, k? I’m giving you one more chance. Don’t screw it up. And Bobby V- please don’t make him cry. He can’t see through the tears and we kind of need him to see to knock balls out of the park.
Bobby V sounds like a smart guy. Oh. Oh wait.
“All of a sudden we went from the cupboard being bare to a cupboard that’s plentiful and we’re all excited about.”
Seriously???? This is a cupboard that’s plentiful? Have you SEEN our rotation? It’s like having a cupboard with NO macaroni and cheese and THAT is unacceptable!!! What will the children eat, Bobby????
Oh. Right. Daniel Bard. Blahblahblah. Oh, I’m sorry. That’s just the “MISTAAAAKE” chorus playing in my head.
While the plan is for the Red Sox to put Bard into the rotation, Valentine said that it is not guaranteed. He told Bard if the move to become a starter falters, “be ready for plan 1A and that would be where you’ve been the last couple of years. He was fine with that and so am I.”
I’m fine with that too! Let’s just do that!
Okay. I’ll give you a chance, Daniel Bard. But just ONE.
Alfredo Aceves, I trust and love you.
In other news, The Bleacher Report says we’re going to fail in 2012. Which is fine by me because remember how everyone’s predictions panned out last year…
The psychological effect from last season’s demise will likely result in a carryover of bad feelings into spring training. Returning players will meet again, and there may be some hard feelings toward one another.
Hmmm…. hard feelings.
Hmmmm. Bleacher Report has a point. I mean, I used to be in this… um… let’s just call it a Greek organization… in college… and… um…
DON’T JUDGE ME.
Yeah, so anyway, there was this one retreat where there was all this fighting. I don’t really want to get into semantics (it may have been about a boy), but it was like full on war with hairspray nukes, right?
Anyway, thought we’d never get the band together. And then we had this pow-wow retreat, right? I’m not going to go into it. There were candles. Oh. And a feelings discussion. And then we just hugged it out. And now we’re okay. Um. On Facebook.
Maybe that’s what the Red Sox should do. Have a retreat (NOT ON A YACHT). Talk it out (NOT OVER CHICKEN). Hug it out.
Maybe Bobby V could resign someone with the specific intent of being the team hugger. Hmmm… who could fit that bill… hmmm…
GOING TO HAPPEN. Right, Nick Cafardo?
The world’s just full of haters today.
Oh look. We got first in something. Damnit.
Here’s to hoping Bailey wasn’t our last big move. In addition to the pitching holes, it would be nice to get an outfielder. And BR and I have a suggestion…
Seriously, why haven’t you “followed” me? And you NEVER talk to me on TWITTER. Am I not tweetable enough for you? Hmm?
Read THIS. It will make you happy.
Kobe Bryant apparently has more free time than recent reports would have you believe.
When he’s not “conquesting,” he’s hitting the books.
Yes, really. You know all those experimental “procedures” A-roid is getting so his robotic body will keep a charge?
Kobe’s got his back, studying and researching his procedures. After all, he’s the guy who turned him on to the German facility… So, don’t worry your bloated little heads, skanks. Alex Rodriguez will back back and ready for more juice (maybe they’re installing a pump!) before you know it.
Oh, and Kobe’s more than beef, FYI. He’s a Yankees fan. I guess the Lakers jersey should have given it away…
And I’m not being facetious at all. Don Mattingly, I like you better as a ballerina. Mattingly just finished an acclaimed performance as “Mother Ginger” in “The Nutcracker.” Which, as I imply in my headline… IS AWESOME. And this happened like, a week ago… and I’m just hearing about this TODAY???? This is what happens when my personal life distracts me from the important things in life, Soxies.
Don Mattingly, you made me smile today.
In fact (take note, Stanks of past, present and future), when you don ballet shoes, you get a free pass on this blog. Hear that, former Yankee Don Mattingly? You get a free pass. The last time I gave a Yankee a free pass was… um… Aceves?
And, my submission for best quote of December comes from the artistic director, Mark Bush.
“I walked away headed to a corn dog stand and thought, ‘Don Mattingly is my Mother Ginger,’” said Bush.
Oh. It’s awesome.
“Kind of cool getting out on that limb a little bit,” Mattingly said after the performance. “Getting out of your comfort zone, doing something you aren’t usually involved with. It’s been interesting for me.”
I think ALL baseball players should dress up as ballerinas. You heard me.
I LOVE ballet. And I LOVE sports. Why can they NOT coexist? Genius, Don Mattingly.
For your next trick, I’d like to see Baseball On Ice. Oh! Oh! Oh! Or Baseball: The Musical. PLEASE CAN YOU PRODUCE BASEBALL: THE MUSICAL?????
Did you guys know about this? firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not EVER let me miss a good ballet story, guys!
I’m hearing a lot of hate.
Everyone’s heartbroken about Josh Reddick, who, if you didn’t read my post from yesterday, is now officially a letter and not a Sox…
But, see, this movie doesn’t have to have a crappy ending.
We’ve all seen this situation before.
I think you know what I’m talking about.
This EXACT situation happened in a classic film from 1987.
I think it’s obvious where I’m going with this.
That’s right, ladies and gents. Classic of all classics, “The Brave Little Toaster.”
Allow me to explain.
Okay. So, there’s this toaster, right? Let’s just call him Josh. And, despite being BADASS (you should see the toast man, it’s stellar. Just add butter), toasters are a competitive lot. I mean, Josh is like a two toast toaster. And there are like, eight toast toasters at Walmart for just a couple of extra dollars. Even though Josh’s toast is faster. And crispier. And, um, energy star. And who eats eight pieces of toast anyway? So, when the kid grows up, let’s call that kid… oh, I don’t know… BEN. When the kid grows up, he’s going to get all these new appliances, right? Like an electric blanket that works and stuff.
So the Toaster, um, Josh, and his little friends (D-Lowe! Gotta have hope! Tek!) go on this walk about, right? And have these great adventures. All to find their kid again.
I mean, it’s scary. As we know, it’s not a movie for the faint of heart.
I mean, it has Joba Chamberlain…
And the Orioles…
Oh! Joe Maddon…
It’s a very scary movie, guys. Can you believe I watched this when I was three?
Anyway, SPOILER alert, the toaster comes back. And so will Josh. You’ll see. And when he comes back, we’ll all eat toast.
He just has to have an animated adventure first.
There. Feel better?
YOU ARE WELCOME.
Never seen BLT? Well, this situation is also exactly like this movie… Except without the grizzly bears.
And we like this guy, FYI:
Bailey’s repertoire consists of three main pitches: a four seam fastball, a curveball, and a cutter. Bailey has a very good fastball that he can locate well, coming in at 93–97 mph. Bailey’s cutter is also effective at 89–92 mph, and he can often get strikeouts with his fastball or cutter. Bailey’s curveball comes in at 78–80 mph, but Bailey usually throws his curveball earlier in the count to get ahead.
Yeah. I wiki-ed. So what?
We got this guy Ryan Sweeney too. His nickname is Firebird because he collects Pontiacs? Really? You collect Pontiacs? I collect… um… unicorns…
(YIKES! Google image search first pulled THIS up)
But whatever! We have a closer!
But… at what cost, America?
Not only is Josh Reddick my mother’s pick for a son-in-law, he’s kind of been badass. The last time I was this skeptical about letting the rookie go... well…
But this is a year for optimism. OPTIMISM. So. As bittersweet as it is to say bye to Reddick (and I think I will cry about this later over bath salts), I’m over the moon at actually getting someone who can throw.
I STILL think we need some Hiroki Kuroda. Is it wrong that I will genuinely NOT be satisfied until EVERY. SINGLE. PITCHER. has a backup? If that’s wrong, baby, I don’t want to be right.
I have a date. True story. I’m only dating UNC Chapel Hill fans this week.
Does that make me bitter?
Farewell, Josh Reddick. I hope you come back to us… some day…
I’m sorry, FDA. I wanted you to hear this from me…. but… another player has gone to RIP (Rot In Pinstripes).
Honestly, I’m not too broken up about this. He’s always had a snarky look about him.
Can’t really blame him for going evil. I mean, we were the ones who shoved him to the minors. Of course, we’re also the ones who paid him $8.5 million to play a game. So there’s that.
No, really, Oki has never been my favorite. I liked him as half of the dynamic duo. The Robin to Dice-K’s Batman. But you know what? Dice-K isn’t batman anymore (at least not yet. My fingers are still crossed. Of course, they’re the same fingers that typed “Tek is SO WEARING BOSTON in 2012″).
I’m not smiling at this move- but a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s yet ANOTHER reminder of how stagnant we’ve been this offseason *ahem, Ben Cherington! ahem*
Rest in Peace, Okajima. Because now, in those pinstripes… well…
Feel free to grieve in the comments.
Need something else to roll your eyes at on this cheery Wednesday? Here. Read this.
Picture it. Benny C. Straightening his collar (he has a collar), staring into that freshly windexed mirror, repeating to what looks back the same thing he’s been rambling since Theo patted him on the back a few months ago.
“You can do this, Ben! You got this. You da man.”
The lip-trembling figure staring back? Doesn’t look much more optimistic than I do, glaring into a computer screen here in Boone, North Carolina. Except I have better hair and my ears don’t stick out. Oh. And I wouldn’t quiver when I saw Larry Lucchino on my caller ID.
You can talk the talk, Benny C- at least when it’s your mirror and there’s no one but a Mr. Clean can there to ridicule you… but can you walk the walk? Or, more specifically, DO ANYTHING?
I’m fed up, Benjamin.
I don’t have to tell you Soxsplosion was bad. 2011? 2011 SUCKED. We, your nation, Mr. New-Theo, need inspiration. It’s like that time in “Independence Day” where our White House has been decimated and our pilots are about to blow up and you’re the president.
You are BILL PULLMAN, Ben Cherington. And we need inspiration.
STARING AT YOUR MIRROR IS NOT INSPIRATIONAL.
Remember what you said in September?
“For every pitcher you acquire,” Cherington said, “there are five more that you try to acquire.”
You lost out on-
And, well, just click here and look how many people we’ve just glowered at…
Oh! And we can’t forget about-
What I’m getting at here is…
It is Dec. 28. And you have done nothing but move Daniel Bard. A move I am neither pleased nor optimistic about.
It is Dec. 28. You hearing me? 52 days ’till pitchers and catchers report. Jason Varitek (this is called OPTIMISM. NOT DENIAL), Lavarnway, Shoppach and Saltalamacchia need someone to catch.
I have a few suggestions.
But I’m not the manager. You are. Now put on your big boy face, step away from the mirror, and get busy. Because I’d really like to forget 2011 when 2012 comes around.