Thursday, January 27, 2005
I promised myself that I wouldn't post anything on football or this past crazy family- and snow-filled weekend or anything else until I had the RantBlog up. As usual, I can't quite stick to my own guns. News is tricksy like that. Stories can keep and be posted later, but news has to be reacted to right this very moment. So.
Goodbye, Doug Mientkiewicz. Or Doug Manishevitz, or Mientkie, or Minky, or Minty, or Malphabet, or Mientadfljkadsfkhj, or Hot Sexy Man (thinking of you, Tatiana), or whatever you called him in the relatively short time he was here. The Red Sox went into Minnesota for a series against the Twins. One game Mientkie (my nickname of choice) was on the Twins. The next game, the very next day, even, he was playing for the Sox, against the Twins. That's got to be disconcerting.
We all knew this was coming, that as soon as Delgado went (to the Marlins, in the end) we were going to shovel off either Mientkiewicz or Millar, and all the bad press swirling around during the downtime (thank you, Dan Shaughnessy, you malicious word-twisting hack) seemed to point to Mientkie as the goner. Oh, I know 'Ballgate' wasn't officially sanctioned by the front office or anything like that, but does anyone else see a pattern here? The whole blasted-by-the-media-for-things-which-may-or-may-not-actually-be-blast-worthy, followed by departure of the player? Anyone? Bueller?
I know it's part and parcel of being in Boston, where the media is surpassed in sheer rabidness only by New York, but I don't have to like it. What can I say? You can achieve great glory out here on the East coast, but you've got to have a thick skin to do it.
For what it's worth I think the whole 'Ballgate' thing is an absolute crock of coprolites, a total non-story that got blown up into something fantastically ridiculous. I like my iconic objects as much as the next sports fan (I wear the same hat all the time, I hug my Patriots pillow, every time I go home I have to throw the marvelously gameworn and scuffed ball my dad snagged for me at the Lowell Spinners game last summer from hand to hand a few times just to remind myself that I'm back in Boston), but this was insane. I emailed Jodi Mientkiewicz (his wife) about this right around when it broke and she posted something on one of the Red Sox message boards. It was basically just me ranting and saying I was behind them and thought the whole thing was Dumb-with-a-capital-D, but she wrote back, which was totally unexpected and very nice.
Anyways, I've gone and gotten myself all riled up about this now, because the guy should be leaving Boston a hero, the first baseman who caught the last out of the 2004 WORLD SERIES, the guy who gave us excellent defense when that's what we were lacking, and instead he's practically ridden out of town on the hood of Shaughnessy and Dirt Dogs' dented old pickup truck. Thanks, guys. You took a happy event and turned it into a fucking media circus, and succeeding in tainting yet another One of The 25 in the eyes of the country. Well done, sirs, I doff my fucking paint-covered Red Sox hat in your general direction.
I'm also not so sure about this trade in general... Mientkie, i.e. former Gold Glover with the potential for a respectable bat, for, um, an injured minor leaguer? We couldn't have gotten more for him? I don't know, it seems like a very Billy Beane-ish type of trade to me, and yes, I like Billy Beane a lot (there, I said it, I like Billy Beane, release the hounds), but I still don't know. We're gambling trade value on this kid getting healthy and getting hot, it seems. Seriously a kid, he's only two years older than me. And yes, he's got the plus of having the last name 'Bladergroen', which lends itself to all kinds of comedic potential. But. Heck, I don't know. I'm tired and annoyed and I can't remember if I have work due tomorrow or not.
We needed defense last year, so much so that we had to go out in the middle of the season and get some. Now we're getting rid of it again? Because don't even try to tell me that Millar at first gives us comparable defense. Oh yeah, and Millar? You'd better be hot with that bat for most of the season. Theo went with you on this one, now prove him right. If you start slumping and subjecting us to your usual defensive woes, you will be torn to pieces by the fans. Just so you know.
Tired. RantBlog soon, I mean it this time, really, it's at least half written and sitting on my harddrive. I have no idea why this is taking so long, it's not like it's complicated. Ungh. Really tired. Goodbye Mientkie, I'm sorry it had to end this way, but I'm doing my level best to keep your image in my mind restricted to the happy good things. Good luck on the Mets.
Speaking of which, the Mets? Is there anyone they didn't get this offseason, other than Jason Varitek and Randy Johnson? Good lord. If the Mets are actually good this year I'm not sure what I'll do with myself. It will be that weird in the world. Red Sox defending champions and the Mets valid contenders.