No easy way to say this, so I'm just gonna come right out and say 'er. Folks, the Original Dirt Dog has officially left the building.
Here are some posts that already summed things up better than I could:
- Amy (I Can Never Remember the Nuts Thing), Pasquinade: We'll miss you Trot, you crazy son of a bitch.
- Jere, A Red Sox Fan In Pinstripe Territory: "These are Trot's people."
- Sam: "It's too utterly weird, too incredibly wrong. I don't want to picture it, and I'm going to try avoiding a mental image of it until the season starts and I'm forced to see it."
It's like I told Sam: Trot's going off to Cleveland to smear Vagisil on his chest and demand of teammates, "Are you saying Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?"
OK. Weak attempt at humor there.
Anyway. I remember Trot on my DVD of Faith Rewarded, huge fat cigar in his mouth, saying, "Ah don' cayer who we play. Bring whoaivur ya want."
Trot in the Cookie Video.
Trot needing to "give him some information."
That unforgettable conversation between Red and Sarah at the Kenmore Square Pizzeria Uno's.
Trot in the World Series:
Trot Nixon's face in close-up on the TV screen, mouth open, shoulders heaving, sucking breath after his double to make the game 3-0, a sniffle and a wiggle of his pug-nose, a delicate little puff of condensation clouding around his face in the chilly October air.
It's strange, because Trot Nixon isn't really my favorite player, and not someone I take especial notice of this way, but he's burned into my brain now, and that memory of his face, panting after legging out his two-run double for the last RBI a Sox batter would earn in 2004, will probably be the first thing that pops into my head whenever anyone mentions the 2004 World Series, or even the 2004 Red Sox in general.
It's hard to know why this moment has stuck with me, or what real significance the memory of Trot's face has for me--memories are usually tiny things you attach subconscious tags to--remember this--along the way, something you consider significant before hindsight proves you right. I had no way to know that Trot's RBI would be the final men pushed across the plate until next year's Spring Training, and frankly, being the cynical New England fan that I am, I was worrying and hoping for more right up until Foulke was underhanding to Mientkiewicz.
It's funny, the things you remember.
Maybe it's just a sign of the way I got so into these guys, the fact that though I wouldn't consider Trot my favorite player, I have him and his face memorized, like all the rest--the kind of weird one-sided intimacy a fan has with each player in a year like this.
The Red Sox have their eras. Some of us are the Dewey Was My Favorite When I Was a Gawky Preteen generation. Some are the I Remember Fisk's Homah generation. Some are the I Idolized Yaz generation. And so forth.
There are kids right now who are the I Saw 'Em Win It All generation who'll someday wax nostalgic about the days of Trot Nixon, and his pine-tar filthy helmet, his crazy mohawk, inexplicable dugout gum-sniffing, and complete shit fits at umpires from the dugout that got him ejected from games he wasn't even playing in...
And one of them will say to the other, "Ya dood...those were the days."
For us...maybe we grew up in the Carlos Quintana Era, but we're also old enough to remember when the Trot Era ended, and they were officially all gone, another fistful of names: Nomar. Pedro. D-Lowe. How long before it's...allright, let's just stop right there.
Brr. Suddenly it feels chilly in here.
The real bitch of it, too, is that in the end, we left him. I know baseball teams are businesses and not charity organizations, and that this was a necessary move, but the guy's never worn any other uniform. Let's not pretend that on an emotional level this doesn't just suck, right out loud.