The Mud and the Thick of the Slaughter
"The Nightmare" by Henry Fuseli
Ghost of Butch Hobson: Wanna pass those raisins?
Me: Yikes! The ghost of Butch Hobson! The harbinger of all bad things Sox-related! Why are you here? Oh, God, don't tell me. The Yanks get Johnson, Griffey and Bonds? Jimy Williams replaces Francona? Steinbrenner builds Robo-Babe?
Ghost: No, no. None of that. Although... er, nevermind.
Me [exasperated]: What? What?
Ghost: Let's just say, I hope the Sox offense can carry on without Manny for, oh, all of August.
Me: Oh no. Oh God. What does that mean? What the hell does that mean?
Ghost: Sorry, I've got to go [takes raisins]. (Surviving Grady, 7/15/04)
Last night I was at Andy's birthday party, and we put on music and the Sox game like it was a sports bar, so if it occurred to me that Mark Bellhorn was playing third base or that Mike Timlin, Alan Embree and Curt Leskanic formed some strange Decepticon combo-closer, I chalked it up to Terry Francona and his zany lineup / pitching ideas.
When I watched Manny hit a foul that probably had home-run distance, except that it encountered his left knee first, I let out a string of curses that made my fellow party-goers look at me very strangely. I thought of the Surviving Grady column quoted above. But I had no idea. None.
Then I had the following conversation with Sarah this morning over her brand spankin' new AIM:
Her: dude, i was all drunk last night and flipped out about manny getting hurt and almost cried...i was like "omg how many fucking players are gonna go down??" and i got all emotional...but i guess it's not serious. ? Me: i was just going to mention the manny thing Her: tragic Me: i was at a party last night and we were watching and i was like OH MY FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING GOD and ppl looked at me funny Her: lol Her: AND bill mueller AND keith foulke!! Me: what happened to them???????????? Me: i was not aware of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her: i love bellhorn, but i don't want to have to watch him play third Her: billy has a sore foot/ankle that he hurt on thurs, and foulke is having back spasms Me: <----kills self Her: i know, right! Her: i got allllll emotional last night Me: ok NOW i'm flipping out Me: what's the prognosis on both of them? Her: well, everyone is "day to day" but you know how that's been this year Her: no one is officially on the dl Me: <---kills self again Her: "day-to-day" = "maybe in september" Me: fuck me gently with a chainsaw, sarah. fuckin fuckin motherfuckin goddamn sonofabitchin... Her: lol! Her: it's awful Me: ok Me: i must blog about this Her: if manny goes down we're sunk Me: this is a suck Her: man, i think i've cried more in the past two days than i have in the last five years
I am remaining calm, though. Really. I am remaining calm. This may be just another bump in the road. We've been fine without Pokey. We've been fine without Nomar. We've been fine with Ortiz slumping and bitching and complaining. We've been through so much this season that it's something we--and this team, it seems like--can weather. To quote DMX, we done been through the mud and the thick of the slaughter.
Sarah: u think the sox have a shot at the division? Me: oh dear christ i don't know Me: how did billy hurt his foot? Sarah: changing directions between third base and homeplate on thurs......maybe we can technically blame sveum for that one, too? Sarah: blame sveum....that's got a nice ring to it Me: lol Me: what do you think? Sarah: about the division? Me: yeah Sarah: i like to act all hard about it, but inside i'm secretly very hopeful Me: nice Sarah: nothing would make me happier than seeing the sox ram a cleat up those dirty pinstripers' asses Me: lol yeah Sarah: jesus, bellhorn at third base is enough to make me wake up screaming in the middle of the night
And what if the bus is going off the cliff? To quote the first-class passengers aboard the Titanic, we are dressed in our best and prepared to go down as gentlemen.