by Alkie Grubbucks, Sports Desk- Swain News Service
DATELINE- BOSTON In the days since their historic slide from an assured place in the American League playoffs to off-season unemployed bottom dwellers, the Boston Red Sox have undergone a personnel vasectomy, lopping off vital parts of the team in an effort to save face and diminish the volume of incoming junk mail to the front office.
BOOZE-O-VISION: The question now is whether Red Sox pitchers saw rival batters as competitors or as milky hazes?
Key amongst these changes was the release of team manager Terry “Tito” Francona, who according to Red Sox President Larry Lucchino was not released due to the unprecedented slide into hellish oblivion his team took in September, but due to community sensitivities in surrounding ethnic neighborhoods. “We are very sensitive to the wonderful people of Yugoslavia, or whatever those people call their country nowadays, and we didn’t want any further emotional turmoil caused by our manager’s constant reference to that awful country’s former dictator,” read a statement from the Red Sox front office.
To distract from an unfair fallout on Bosox manager Francona for the historic slide of the team, owner John Henry (above) attempts to distract the press by faking his own death; the plan foiled as no one could tell the difference.
Reaching Team Captain, veteran catcher Jason Varitek about the situation, he commented only by saying, “uhhh.”
This might have been an accepted scenario were it not for an exhibition of last-minute theatrics by Principal Owner John W. Henry who, while Francona was announcing his ouster from the team, was staging a valiant distraction campaign by tripping over his laces and falling on the deck of his yacht cum aircraft carrier, bumping his head and paralyzing the New England health care system by keeping every doctor on call in case they were needed for surgical support and emergency bill padding. After personally telephoning every media outlet in a nine state radius, Henry was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance that took a mere three hours to travel the four blocks from the docking pier, followed intently by media helicopters from all over the globe. “It was touch and go, until he arrived at the hospital,” says Chief Surgeon Dr. Imperius Chester Thumper, Director of Mass. General Hospital’s state-of-the-art Department of Hysterical Illnesses. ” It was one of the most perplexing cases of ‘aplexic contusive sternasis’ I’ve ever encountered; or, in layman’s language, a boo boo. When he arrived at the hospital he seemed to be in advanced state of rigor mortis, but was responsive to questions and seemingly back to normal.”
The Boston sports media, however, was not fooled by the ruse and took the incident with a grain of salt, one prominent Boston Globe columnist summing up the situation by saying, “My God! This could have been the end, I tell you, THE END! IT COULD HAVE BEEN OUR OWN 9/11!!”
Since then, new and damning allegations have emerged of players drinking during games, gorging on and greasing up their pitching fingers with Popeye’s Fried Chicken and playing clubhouse video games during crucial innings in the tumultuous September slide.
IN BETWEEN PITCH SNACK?: No matter what his ERA, Bosox hurler Josh Beckett was reportedly Team Captain when it came to CPI (Chicken Per Inning).
“I don beleef dis forra secon’,” said Juan Jose Garcia Ramirez Santiago Ortega-Martinez, night manager of the local Popeye’s franchise, across the street from Fenway Park. “Owr chikken ess no greezy. Wee spunge off de chikkens affer cookin’. No greezy.”
Popeye’s delivery man, Zindale “Spiderneck” Agula, has a different story.
“You bets we deliver t’ them guys all t’ time,” he said. “That cheapskate Beckett always came t’ the clubhouse door ‘n grabbed the bags o’ food and said “hey, look behind ya'” an’ when I turned he closed the door on me, ‘n stiffed me. After seven ‘r eight times, I din’ fall for that no more.”
About what has become known as the “Crispy Thigh Affair”, Red Sox Captain veteran catcher Jason Varitek would only comment by saying, “uhhh.”
The rumors about during-the-game drinking are particularly disturbing, especially when considering that it takes at least forty minutes in line at Fenway Park to get a delicious lukewarm brew: where were pitchers Beckett, Lester and Lackey getting theirs at a moment’s notice?
BOTTOMS (OF THE STANDINGS) UP?: Inside the Bosox clubhouse, referred to by team personnel as "The Speakeasy", with team bartender Manny Jigizup, who may not be able to pitch a curve ball, but mixes a mean Highball.
“It’s all on tap,” says clubhouse bartender Manny Jigizup, “you just put your glass under the spigot and pour a tall one.” It seems that as a condition of lengthy player arbitration, the Red Sox organization allowed many players contract bonus incentives, the rumored so-called ‘Kegger Clause’, to “maintain high spirits”, but details of these contracts have not been made available to the public. “That Theo, ” said Jigizup, “he really knows how to negotiate a contract. Can I pour you a pint?”
Theo Epstein, General Manager of the Red Sox has since resigned from his post on the hapless team, where he was instrumental in leading the team to two World Championships, ending an eighty six year drought, and has now moved on to a position with the Chicago Cubs, whose own record of 103 consecutive seasons without a Series championship needs serious attention.
“We’re thrilled to add Theo to our team,” says Cubs’ spokesman Mason Brickview. “The Cubs have found every way humanly possible to lose a chance at a Championship Pennant, but we’ve never had a major slide due to rampant team sanctioned alcoholism, obese overeating and video game distraction. This kind of contribution could add an entirely new chapter to our team’s legacy!”
5.6 TONS ON THE RICHTER SCALE?: Bosox ace Josh Beckett exiting Fenway Park during the final month of the season. Fans question why alarm bells, or at least seismic readings, weren't attracting attention over the disgraceful clubhouse situation?
In the meantime, there remains the question of what to do with the smoking crater once known as Red Sox Nation? Bosox President Larry Luchino is optimistic about the future. Says front office spokesperson Denny Nile, “Red Sox staff, players and fans are all looking to put this behind us. The front office has taken firm action into correcting all of the problems with the team this year. Already plans are in the works to change over many of the concession personnel, repaint the rest room areas, add more seats to the right field section and, of course, raise ticket prices which the fans expect and would be alarmed that something is wrong if we didn’t.”
But what of the problems with the team itself, especially reports on undisciplined activity by the players? Nile waves away any such concerns.
“Let me tell you,” he said, “that we have already spoken to pitchers John Lackey and John Lester and both have agreed to suspend their clubhouse pole dancing competition until after the seventh inning stretch. By that time, neither would be in the game anyway. And have I not told you we’re firing several of the stadium hot dog and cotton candy vendors?”
When reached for comment on the entire situation, Red Sox Captain, veteran catcher Jason Varitek, responded by saying, “uhhh.”
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino could not be understood for comment.