Thursday, March 31, 2005

Position by Position for Opening Night

You'll see a lot of people running stats over the next couple of days in an attempt to assess how the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry will look in the first year AP (After Papi). Me, I'm not big on long-range forecasting. I'm offering instead an inside look at the intangibles that will loom large for the most immediate business at hand: one game, in the Bronx, April 3.

Starting pitcher

Randy Johnson's paid endorsement: "I Can't Believe It's Not Cartilage!"

David Wells's paid endorsement: "areyougonnaeatthat.com"

EDGE: Yankees, though narrower than you might think.

Catcher

Jorge Posada's uniform alteration: Kevlar cup for those Randy Johnson sliders in the dirt. (Somehow this sounds way more obscene than I intended.)

Jason Varitek's uniform alteration: "C" sewn onto left shoulder.

EDGE: Red Sox


First Base

Tino Martinez, looking forward to: Using four-year-old punch card to get a free sub at that place down the street from the Stadium.

Kevin Millar, looking forward to: Hair of the dog, baby, hair of the dog.

EDGE: Yankees.


Second Base


Tony Womack's off-season: Renewing Rogaine prescription for his eyebrows.

Mark Bellhorn's off-season: Going to the batting cage to work on watching pitches go by.

EDGE: Red Sox


Shortstop

Blanche DuBois's off-season: Repertory production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," of course.

Edgar Renteria's off-season: Playing Double Elimination Rock-Paper-Scissors with Orlando Cabrera and David Eckstein.

EDGE: Red Sox


Third Base

Judo Chop!'s off-season: Developing moisturizer to conceal the dermatological ravages of 6 AM workouts.

Bill Mueller's off-season: Beating the crap out of Mariano Rivera's mailbox.

EDGE: Red Sox


Left Field

Hideki Matsui's favorite "Simpsons" quote: "No hustle, either, skip!"

Manny Ramirez's favorite "Simpsons" quote: "That dog has a puffy tail!"
EDGE: Red Sox


Center Field

Bernie Williams' media blitz: classical guitar cover of Perry Como's Anvilania anthem from Animaniacs.

Johnny Damon's media blitz: tell-all book, breakfast cereal, and lobbying to get himself digitally inserted into remastered Good Will Hunting.

EDGE: Yankees


Right Field

Gary Sheffield, thoughts in the batter's box: "I better get a hit or Paul O'Neill will chew me out."

Jay Payton, thoughts in the batter's box: "I better get a hit or Trot Nixon will chew me out."

EDGE: Red Sox


Designated Hitter:

Jason Giambi, batting for: Jaret from Subway

David Ortiz, batting for: Roy Hobbs

EDGE: Red Sox


Final Score: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4, on Nixon's pinch-hit home run off Tom Gordon.

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