By the late summer of 2004 we had the loosest clubhouse around. Kevin Youkilis would help me stretch by setting up chairs for me to knock over and get loose. Kevin Millar, the team clown, could be heard over the din. He liked to sing, but he never bothered to learn a song's words...Kevin, who was nonstop, would crack a joke, and if no one laughed, he'd keep making something else up until someone did. I wondered how much coffee Kevin drank. David Ortiz could get pretty loud.
"You guys are a bunch of bitches," he'd yell at us. We had no idea what he was talking about.
Trot Nixon...would come up to me and say, "Nice hair, Johnny. When you gonna get that shit cut?" or "Hey Millar, when are you going to get that pump for your penis?"
Curtis Leskanic rolled around the locker room naked. I liked to do my pull-ups naked, though I was never able to recruit a spotter. Gabe Kapler and Trot Nixon threw a football around, and you had to pay attention if you didn't want to get smoked with it. Sometimes when you endered the locker room just before (or during) a game, one of our bat boys, Andrew Crosby, would deck himself out in hockey goalie gear and Keith Foulke would grab his hockey stick and try to shoot pucks past him. During the game, if Andrew was still wearing his equipment, you could go in the clubhouse and take some shots at him.
Around this time we played a practical joke on Kevin Youkilis. It's called the Three Man Lift. Three people lie on the floor, and they lock arms. You brag to everyone that you're so strong, you can lift all three of them off the ground at once. The victim is the guy in the middle, in this case Youkilis.
Lucas, one of our clubhouse boys, held him down on one side and Gabe Kapler...held him down on the other. To sell the thing to Youkilis, the guys were all taking bets on whether I'd be able to lift them all up or not. Jason Varitek kept on saying, "John, your knee is all banged up. I don't think you ought to do this. You're going to hurt yourself." Youkilis was sure this was on the level.
Then all at once, the rest of the guys started pouring on him anything they could get their hands on, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, Coca-Cola, All Sprt, and anything else available. This was about a half an hour before the game and Kevin was wearing his Red Sox home whites; he was a mess.