Miley Does Not Go an Extra Mile

 DATELINE: Mileys to Go Before We Sleep

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Whatever Happened to Baby Miley?

Leave to the Red Sox to continue their grand tradition of pitchers with attitude issues.

You know it will always turn out badly in the end.

The latest head case in red hose is Miley Wade Cyrus, or is that Cyrus Wade Miley?

In any case, after giving up three home runs in four innings, his manager, the affable Dudley Do-Right Farrell, pulled him.

It apparently pulled the wrong string on Miley who went ballistic on candid camera in dugout. Back in the days of real managers and real players, such a stunt would have a player sent packing faster than you can say “Casey Stengel.”

Not today. Now, the player who embarrasses his teammates and manager is considered a “competitor,” and given accolades for his desire to win—even if he loses.

Forget that Miley Cyrus Wade is a maroon with a maturity issue. Put aside that he puts a bad performance ahead of winning the game. His noblesse oblige ownership will likely invite him for a trip on the Henry yacht to kick back and relax.

If Cyrus Miley Wade is not sent packing, don’t blame us. We firmly believe that an adult pitcher is a sober, down to earth, hard working stiff, even if he is bombed. He does not carry on like a New England Patriot player driving at night without headlights and crashing into unsuspecting drivers.

Call us old fashioned. We would not walk a Miley in those shoes.

 

 

Big Hullabaloo Over Big Papi Brings Big Wind

DATELINE: HUMOROUS TIBIA

While we went on our luxury vacation from sports to work on our new book about the Titanic, David Ortiz hit an iceberg in Boston.

Well, it was 70 degrees and a beautiful day, the next day was iceberg weather. Boston is like that in April. And, sure enough, if the Queen Mary of Designated Hitters did not go bump in the night. He ripped a hole in the Sox hull.Featured image

While Ortiz was complaining about balls and strikes, which is an offense against man and humanity in the eyes of MLB, he carried over his anger to a second umpire.

When you bump the third base umpire while complaining about the home plate man in black, you are likely to be abducted by little green men from the Commissioner’s Office.

Usually in situations like this, Ortiz makes a direct attack on the Bell Telephone in the dugout with a bat. Not this time, fans. Ortiz decided he would take down the iceberg with a heated exchange.

Suffice it to say, the justice league always prevails. You may think you are Batman going up against Superman, tugging on his cape, but you are merely a glorified pinch hitter.

And, the league is not about to let superheroes grow into green monsters like the incredible hulkster that Ortiz has become. He is now bigger than the game, or at least bigger than his britches.

Right now, he has driven off the britches before counting his chicken.

Boston’s Birds of a Feather: Tim Thomas & Ryan Dempster

DATELINE: HUMORESQUE

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BOSTON’S KOOKOO BIRDS OF A FEATHER

On the championship Red Sox team of 2013, Ryan Dempster was famous for plunking the unpopular Alex Rodriguez and sparking a Yankee rally.

Now before the new season starts, A-Rod has been plunked by an arbiter to the tune of one full season of suspension.

And now before the new season starts, Ryan Dempster has plunked the Red Sox and announced he will be the new Boston version of Tim Thomas. Yes, another Boston athlete has decided to take a year off.

The Red Sox don’t have to pay Dempster, but they should give him a bonus.

There is no word so far as to whether Dempster is renting the bunker into which Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins hid for a season after leaving the hockey champs.

Perhaps it is something in the water. More likely it is water on the brain. Two aging athletes whose skills are being questioned decide to “not retire” for a season away from the stress of winning a world championship.

Tim Thomas had a history of being a survivalist looney tune who hated Barack Obama. Ryan Dempster seems only to take umbrage with A-Rod. There’s nothing controversial in that.

Like Thomas, Dempster expects to return next year for another go at a multi-million dollar contract. This year he will forego $13million and change.

Who needs money when happiness is at stake? Tim Thomas has come back, in a manner of speaking, but is a dim memory in Boston– and Dempster may come back for some other lowly team. He will pass into the mists of time by next Spring Training.

By then we expect some New England Patriot player will decide he needs a year off. We can only pray it is not Tom Brady.

Patriots to Red Sox: Around the Horn with Evelyn

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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Evelyn Lozada Scouts a New Husband at Fenway

Who said lightning won’t strike twice in the same place?  Basketball Wives features women who marry football and baseball players.

Not three years after visiting Fenway Park with her new husband, Chad Ochocinco, who was bedecked in all his newly-purchased Red Sox memorabilia, hausfrau Evelyn Lozada looked stunning in her box seat.

She also looked totally oblivious to the game of baseball. She was texting most of the time.

So, she did not look up to left field to see her future husband while she sat like a Super Bowl trophy waiting for the World Series trophy to show up.

Little did she know back then that in December of 2013, the left fielder of the Red Sox would soon pop the question and drop a diamond ring on her that would make Chad Ochocinco count to fourteen carats when he is now a bust in the checkbook contest.

Ochocinco turned out to be a big bust with the New England Patriots, never doing much. Evelyn Lozada turned out to be the second big bust of Ocho’s life. After they finally married, he slugged her when she asked about his box of condoms in the Prius trunk.

The rest, as they say, was history. Divorce, domestic abuse charges, jail time, plastic surgery, a tattoo to show undying love, and Evelyn moved to Los Angeles where the traded Red Sox left fielder also found himself after being the third big bust in our triangle.

As of Christmas 2013, Miss Lozada is engaged to Carl Crawford:  yes, the man who couldn’t hit a lick has found a beautiful wife lickety split from Ochocinco.

Only in the magical world of sports in Boston could such a scenario turn out to be a fairy tale in Los Angeles where Carl Crawford was shipped for being broken merchandise.

He’s whole now and in the hole, and so is Evelyn. No word on the broken shards of the life of Chad “Don’t Call Me Ocho” Johnson.

Best Bet for Red Sox Fans!

FENWAY PARK: BEATING THE CONUNDRUMS

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If you want to know the human interest stories behind the World Series win of 2013, you owe yourself and your Red Sox fans a treat. Give them the funny, sweet and sour, RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP. This new book details the Sox from Spring Training through their victories in October. It’s a month by month account of all your favorite and irritating moments during a season that turned out to be one of the most Cinderella of stories.

Available on Amazon.com in softcover and ebook formats for smart readers.

Lester & Lackey Redemption Center

  DATELINE: HUMOR!

If ever there was an opportunity for a heartfelt apology for 2011 and 2012, Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey may be seeing a convergence of man and moment.

Forever associated with the greasy chicken and watery beer collapse and Bobby Valentine’s march to oblivion, the two pitchers survived where so many others were sent packing.

King John Henry VIII and his court jester Larry Lucchino, in their infinite wisdom, chose to give a second chance to the Lester and Lackey comedy team. They could have turned this season into another attempt to do the Abbott and Costello routine of “Who’s on First?”

Instead, they turned in stellar performances for the season with only minor lapses. They showed a new attitude and gave fans a sense that they were reformed and redeemed, like born-again coupons.

Now they face the crunch time when more than six-pack abs are on the line. Joe Maddon’s loosey Tampa Bay Rays are no longer the Devil you know.

The Rays have impressive pitchers in the likes of Matt Moore and David Price who can match the Sox resurrection boys.

If Lackey and his partner Lester don’t win, then they may be buried more prematurely than an Edgar Allen Poe hero and cast into the pit. If they do win, they can write their own ticket for the next fifty years as legends in the Red Sox cause.

They have been given rare opportunity denied to their mentor and partner in crime, Josh Beckett who has taken the medical path to safety in Los Angeles this season.

There will be an uncomfortable reunion with Beckett if the Dodgers become the Red Sox counterparts in the National League. The Devil will size up his handmaidens who have gone over to the Sons of Light.

If Lester and Lackey lose the first series for the Sox, their redemption will be on the order of a soda pop bottle. You won’t give a plug nickel for them.

Redemption is a high-priced product.

Channing Tatum Looks in the Red Sox Mirror

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

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Separated at birth or brothers of the same mother?

 

For weeks now we have been confounded by Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway.  He plays sparingly for the Boston team, but his ubiquitous handsome looks just seemed overly familiar.

Our regular radar for connections had gone Haywire. We felt as if we were on a journey in Britannia to recover The Eagle and facing the race of blue men with Jamie Bell as our best slave boy.

The White House may be down and out, but the Red Sox are in first place and first in the hearts of Red Sox Nation.

Though she may be the man, Lavarnway is not the Son of No One.

We decided to make a 21 Jump Street of faith to resolve our Dilemma. It was time to Step Up and make our decision.

Lavarnway had the distinct look of a man who would suffer the Side Effects of being a second-string catcher.

We have not seen how well Ryan Lavarnway dances—with or without his clothes. Yet, we had a magical moment when Ryan tossed off his helmet and looked for all-the-world like he was about to bump to a version of “It’s Raining Men.”

Yes, it was true. There was an uncanny resemblance to the sexiest man alive (if People Magazine is to be believed).

Ryan Lavarnway, now playing for the Cubs, looks just like Channing Tatum.

For a time this made the Red Sox look like movie central, as we cannot help but see Jeremy Renner whenever we look at Jake Peavy.

If they want a battery of movie stars to play pitcher and catcher in the remake of The Broken Hearts Club with Renner and Tatum lookalikes, they could hire Peavy and Lavarnway and no one would be the wiser.

 

You can read MOVIE MASHUP for more movie insights, or you can read RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL and have fairly much the same experience. Both books are available on Amazon.com.

Cold Shoulder, Cold Hands, and Cold Hearted Reception for Jason Collins at Fenway Park

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The Red Sox organization, opportunists for any cause that garners them publicity, offered former Boston Celtic Jason Collins a chance to throw out a ceremonial first ball on a cloudy June night.

 

Collins accepted this mainly because he had returned to Boston to march in the Saturday gay pride parade after making his splashy gay announcement. He has expressed his disappointment that his former college roommate, straight Congressman Joe Kennedy III & Then Some, could march annually, but not he. He couldn’t march because he locked himself in a closet for years.

 

So, this year’s march gives him the chance to mix with supporters and friendly faces.

 

An appearance in Boston at Fenway, even as a Celtic who could return here in the upcoming season, was fraught with the kind of bullying and bashing that one can receive at a sporting event. Who can forget when Santa Claus was booed in Philadelphia?

 

So, wearing a Red Sox jersey, Jason Collins—svelte and tall in his Number 98 hometown team Sox dress white—practiced his lobs. He wears 98 in honor of murdered gay martyr Matthew Shepard (killed in 1998 for being gay).

 

His ceremonial pitch was not made to one of the catchers who usually receive such honors and shake hands with the guest. No, this time in an unusual move, Collins threw his pitch to manager John Farrell who spoke eloquently to the assembled press.

 

 

 

David Ortiz had the good taste and goodwill to shake his hand.

 

Likewise, the media was careful not to characterize the reception Collins received. The Boston Globe lied carefully by saying he heard a “nice hand,” which at Fenway is like a frosty snow in March. They meant most fans sat on their hands.

 

Congratulations, Jason, you have now received your first gay bashing by an unwashed crowd.

 

More surprising was the lack of support shown by the fellow professional athletes on the Red Sox. We did not see the usual gladhanders like Dustin Pedroia, nor the more circumspect like Jose Iglesias, out to shake the hand of Collins.

 

Almost to make sure that history could not be immortalized, the local media did not show much beyond the cursory ten second shot (without sound).

 

The event was not memorable, not warm, and not comforting to any high school kid who has been bullied or mistreated for being different.

 

Yeah, congratulations, Boston. You were really strong on this one.

 

The Nine Lives of Alfredo Aceves

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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ELFEGO BACA                             ALFREDO ACEVES

Like the proverbial bad penny, the badass Alfredo Aceves has turned up in the starting rotation again. Not since the New Mexican lawman of legend and Disney fame named Elfego Baca has there been a cat with more lives.

The Red Sox are nothing if not persistent. They won’t give up on a player until the lynch mob storms Gate D. There will always be a contingent of supporters of the most heinous of all types. Heaven knows, there are fan club social media followers for one of the Marathon bombers.

So, Aceves surely deserves much more support than that lowlife. His biggest crime is being a bonehead. If he wins the Memorial Day game, he will enjoy a herald not seen since Josh Beckett treated the team to fried chicken.

If John Lackey can reform his character and rebuild his body, then Alfredo can conjure up a second act in his Boston career.

Old Western hero Elfego Baca could take on a lineup of tough cowpokes and live to become a lifetime sheriff and civil servant who managed to fire up his own myth. Maybe Aceves can inspire a Walt Disney movie.

If Alfredo Aceves can mow down a tough lineup and live to start again, he could become a new Mexican legend.

Elfego could hold off an army of bad guys all by himself for thirty hours. We simply want Alfredo to hold off a barrage of hitters for three hours.

In lieu of sleepyhead Clay Buchholz, we have called in the reserves, led by Aceves, who must stay awake and stave off his own demotion back to Pawtucket.

 

 

 

Be sure to read William Russo’s two season coverage of the Red Sox in RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY and the followup RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL. Both can be found on Amazon.com in softcover or e-book format.

Red Sox Love Song: J. Alfred Prufrock & J. Alfred Ellsbury

 

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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T.S. Eliot may have actually had the answer when it came to the conundrum known as Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

Let us go then when the evening game is spread out against the sky like a base stealer etherized in his slide to second base—and lately sliding to oblivion.

If you ask fans what happened to Jacoby, you will hear the sound of muttering retreats, of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels.

The women may indeed talk of Michelangelo and Jacoby when they come and go. Ellsbury remains in a yellow fog while Scott Boras insists there will be time; yes, there will be time for his star to emerge as a superstud.

In the meantime, Jacoby wonders, “Do I dare?” and “Do I dare?” But Ellsbury has measured out his life in broken ribs and the fear that another injury will shatter him like glass.

Right now the media has him pinned, wriggling against that monster big wall. How shall he begin a career as a superstar at age 30? In another venue?

Jacoby has seen the Red Sox batboy hold his jockstrap and snicker. In short, he has been afraid of the crashing catch and the desperate slide. He has already come back like Lazarus from the dead, but he bit the matter off with a smile.

Poor Jacoby. He is not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be. He is a serviceable center, one that will do to start a game or two. He is deferential, glad to be of use, politic, cautious, and meticulous.

Will Ellsbury dare to eat a peach? He heard the mermaids singing for one season, but now he is wrapped in seaweed.

 

You might consider reading SHAKESPEARE IN SPORTS & OTHER LITERARY HORRORS for the metaphoric truth on sports.  Now available in softcover and e-book on Amazon.com.

Wherefore Art Thou, Jacoby Ellsbury?

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

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So far this season, speedy centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has not broken ribs colliding with a teammate. He has not separated his shoulder sliding into second base. He has not hit a lick either.

In what his super-agent Scott Boras felt would be a breakout year leading to a super contract, Ellsbury has exhibited a broken bat and a breakdown in spirit.

Once vaunted as the face of the Red Sox for the future, Ellsbury has coveted privacy more than Greta Garbo at the height of her movie star career. It has not played in Boston.

No one knows the trouble Jacoby has seen. No one knows Jacoby. He is as quiet as a church mouse during the big Sunday service.

This is not exactly the stuff of mega-million dollar playing and paying contracts.

In the Massachusetts Bay state where Myles Standish needed a stand-in to propose to the woman of his dreams, Ellsbury seems to be sending a pale shadow to the batter’s box.

We might ask Jacoby to speak for himself, or just to speak. He is so vanilla in his style that he makes wallpaper jump off the wall.

There will be no MVP talk this season for Jacoby. There will be no Comeback of the Year.  He is providing a body in the lineup, not much else.

With the big 3-0 looming on his birthday calendar, Ellsbury may leave Boston with all the fanfare of Roger Williams being tossed out of Boston 300 years ago. Williams went south and founded Rhode Island. Ellsbury will be likely to be found by a hopeful but dubious pennant winner.

Ellsbury may go west before trade deadline, but he is not a young man any longer. And, the Scott Boras Gold Rush may be bring him back to his home in Seattle with little more than a few stolen bases on his scorecard.

 

You may read more about Jacoby Ellsbury and all the Red Sox in the books RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY and RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL, available on Amazon.com in e-book and softcover.
http://williamrusso.us/

Career Counseling in Order for Daniel Bard

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Mired in the lowly minors, once impressive and future closer Daniel Bard continues to slide into oblivion.

 

After a second season of nightmares has begun, the Red Sox may want to call in the therapists that specialize in mind games, not physical ones.

 

Bard may be more useful to the Red Sox in the role of groundskeeper and mound-raker than closer.

 

With the latest month of wild pitches and humiliating moments in front of astonished crowds, the Red Sox would do Bard a monumental service by helping him find another career.

 

Perhaps he might like driving a big rig on the nation’s highways. He’d be less likely to hit another truck than another ball player.

 

We begin to feel sorry for Daniel Bard who is writing a script that the original Bard would call historical tragedy.

 

If Anthony Perkins were still around and acting, he could appear in a movie called Fear Walks. Unlike Jimmy Piersall, Bard may resemble Perkins and would be a shoo-in for an Oscar. The role of Daniel Bard is a roller-coaster that any actor would die to play.

 

Alas for Bard, he must live the part.

 

Cock-eyed optimists may expect that Bard will return to the mother club as the expert closer, but that is in a parallel universe where quantum physics expand the strike zone into a new dimension.

 

No batter wants to stand in the box before the cock-eyed pitching of Bard.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Sox Hire Marquis de Sade as New Coach

DATELINE: HUMOR!

 

With pain and self-torture part of the new Red Sox regime, the management has concluded that the players need toughening up.

 

After a collision with catcher David Ross, third-sacker Middlebrooks seemed to be missing a sack or two.

 

Will Middlebrooks, the essential new Sox pampers boy, has to go through the new training program run by the Marquis de Sade whose methods are considered unusual by baseball standards.

 

Middlebrooks has separated cartilage from his sternum, causing him to lose his breath. This is nothing that a good dominatrix cannot fix.

 

Baseball players are known for their weakness when it comes to pain. J.D. Drew made a cottage industry out of being in pain and unable to play.  Few ball players have the right number of balls to play through pain.

 

Though many fans thought the weak-kneed mantle was passed to Jacoby Ellsbury and his ribs, the actual new successor to the pain threshold is Will Middlebrooks.

 

Just the other night Middlebrooks made a throw to first and begged pitcher John Lackey for mercy. The starting pitcher, not known for his sadistic tendencies, immediately stalled for time while Middlebrooks went from fair to middling.

 

Last season the young third baseman showed flashes of pain intolerance, but this season he may be in full bloom.

 

Without the master of the grind, Kevin Youkilis, to prod him on, Middlebrooks has been fording that brook alone.

 

Because Jason Bourne is unavailable as a coach, the Sox have turned to the time-tested De Sade to straighten out the players.

 

We expect more than the pitchers to be on the hook from now on for hard-nosed performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer Wanted: Two Arms Not Enough for Red Sox

 

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

Joel Hanrahan, we hardly knew ye.

Either that, or someone bought a pig in a poke. After an abysmal outing every time during spring training, Hanrahan continued to show qualities only Daniel Bard could love.

With an ERA approaching 10 on a scale where 1 is preferable, it was clear that the ace reliever was due for a stay on the Disabled List.

We were not prepared for a minimum of two months. Shades of Bobby Jenks and Eric Gagne, the Red Sox have hit the trifecta. Who scouts these guys? It’s only money.

The decision to let Jonathan Papelbon take flight begins to look like Wes Welker’s departure on the NFL side. If the Patriots end up looking like the Red Sox, someone in the front office has a bonehead.

Pollyanna will tell us that Joel Hanrahan was a top flight closer in the National League. With the Pittsburgh juggernaut, no less, he was sensational. With big money on a big team, he is chicken feed.

Add that to Andrew Bailey, also on the DL again this year, and you begin to wonder if David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury qualify as for the Iron Man Lou Gehrig award.

How is it that the Red Sox medical staff cannot diagnose or prognose to beat the band?

After being overhauled during the off-season, the medical officials of the Red Sox seem to have their medical degrees from some South American diploma mill.

Perhaps the Red Sox will recover from this early catastrophe, but if bad decisions led to this disaster, we are not confident about the months ahead.

RED Sox fans: be sure to read William Russo’s humorous analysis of the team in the past few seasons, RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY and RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL. Both books are available at Amazon.com in softcover and ebook.

Time to Turn a Blind Eye to the Red Sox

 

DATELINE: HUMOR!

 

After the best April in franchise history, the Boston Red Sox are ready to make their move. They are in a free fall.

 

The past few seasons have presented fans with the worst team starts in history, but that trend has simply moved to May.

 

The pitching staff has been lauded as better than expected. A few doctored balls in the pitch sequence have that effect.

 

Decisions have not been second-guessed until our arrival. Now that the Celtics goose has been cooked and charbroiled, we are now ready to turn our attention to the Red Sox kitchen. We see some code violations already.

 

Sox fans have been gloating all too soon that the ‘haters’ (a term derisive and filled with self-finger pointing) are ready to pounce on a good team.

 

We do confess our pleasure that the new manager strikes the right pose. Cue the camera. He has more closeups on the Red Sox network than Garbo ever received at the peak of her movie career.

 

Yet, we see a few bats in the lineup that seem to be made out of Swiss cheese. Will Middlebrooks has been fair to middling if batting your weight is the new normal. His glove has a hole in it too lately.

 

In that condition he has a teammate or two batting in sympathy, like Jarrod Saltalamacchia whose painted fingernails telegraph pitches to the fans in the bleachers.

 

Johnny Gomes and Stephen Drew are also blistering their hands with the swings of a bat. Imagine if they made contact once in a while.

 

We are glad to be on target and back to baseball full time. And, the Red Sox seem prepared to give us something to write about.