Don't worry. This is how your average
Sox fan is supposed to look come September.
Paper bags. That's what I keep thinking of. Stores all over New England must be doing a brisk business in paper bags--for purposes of breathing into during hyperventilation, housing rotgut whiskey bottles in while stumbling down Ted Williams Way, howling to the baseball gods, or, if completely around the bend, for fashioning into hand puppets to argue with about Mark Bellhorn's OBP when all your real friends and family have left you.
Has there ever been a worse time for a Red Sox off-day? Maybe not for the team--it's good to rest before the "Mortal Kombat" portion of the season commences--but for the fans the lull is entirely unnecessary, and, perhaps, potentially damaging.
And, actually, maybe it's not so good for the team, either. Much as I enjoyed Bob Hohler's account of the Red Sox clubhouse tuned in to the Blue Jays - Yankees game, if I was the manager, I'd have clicked that TV off toot-sweet. I don't want the players watching the standings. I don't want them coaching opposing teams' relievers. I don't want them calculating the odds or anticipating their opponents or planning post-season rotations. I don't want them thinking nothing, to paraphrase Manny.
They should be kept under quarantine like a jury. Denied access to the sports sections, SoSH and talk radio (yes, I'm talking to you, "gehrig38.") They should be spoon-fed special energy gruel by albino dwarves. They should receive massages from elven people imported from Greenland with a special healing touch, to the tinkling of finger cymbals. They should be sent to Native American sweat lodges until they each receive mystical visions of a world championship. John W. Henry should send for a guru from India to lead the clubhouse in intensive yoga sessions (although all I really picture coming from this is Manny's snoring spoiling the meditation).
Spare no expense. Shield them from the world. Keep them covered in canvas like expensive sports cars. Scotch-Guard them so they don't get stained sliding down the base paths. Shoot Dale Sveum with a tranquilizer dart. Let Bellhorn have all the Pert Plus he wants for those curls of his. Keep Kevin Millar in fresh, sharp razors and hair clippers at all times, in case of a rally emergency. Read Manny Elmo books before he goes to bed every night, two if he wants. Do whatever you have to, keepers of the Sox. Our precious, precious Sox.
We'll be over here, working on breathing in and breathing out. Listening to the soothing crinkling sounds as we exhale.