Thursday, August 12, 2004

Game 112 - Red Sox
Wicked Millaaaah

Red Sox 14, Devil Rays 4
Record: 62-50
August Record: 6-4

Kevin Millar went 1 for 15 in a 4 games against the Angels and Mariners on July 15-19. During the Mariner game that concluded his fine little run (and neatly coincided with Millar earning - and deserving - my scorn for his corpse-like efforts) he studied Mariner catcher Miguel Olivo's batting stance during breaks from pondering this season's team catchphrase. The same Miguel Olivo who's posted a .240/.292/.407 career avg/obp/slg line.

In the 19 games since opening up his own stance to mirror Olivo's, Millar's batted .470 with 7 homeruns and 25 RBI, and posted a 1.300+ OPS. Put simply, he's been the best hitter in the major leagues over that span. Yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with a homer and 4 RBI to pace the Sox to an easy win over the D-Rays.

As a result, I now call for any Sox regular who struggles at the plate (as of this moment in time, this means you Manuel Ramirez, you Bill Mueller, you Orlando Cabrera, and for good measure, you, too, Gabe Kapler - even though you're actually swinging a decent bat right now) to find a mediocre major leaguer to emulate. Manny, go study Robert Machado's sweet stroke. Billy, have a look at Scott Spiezio. Angel Berroa's making a trip from AA Wichita to work with you, Orlando. And Gabe, Alex Gonzalez has some free time - take a look at his film and give him a call. I expect history-making results.

And now for something completely different, or, here's a screeching segue from out of nowhere. In Gabe Kapler and Kevin Youkilis, the Sox have the league's largest contingent of practicing Jews. (I think. I have no research to back this up, but I can't imagine any other team has more than one, can you? Hell, I'm not even sure Youkilis is Jewish, but if he's not, Mientkiewicz must be, right? Johnny Damon looks like Jesus, if nothing else, and as we know, Jesus was Jewish. Can you tell I'm struggling for relevant things to write about the Sox?) This sets up all kinds of allusions to wandering in the wilderness, chosen people, kosher beef franks, circumcision, etc. for the good people in the national news media. I'm really rather surprised that it hasn't happened yet, to be honest, though Youkilis' non-Hebrew last name may have thrown off the reliably lazy members of the sporting press.

This can't be a bad thing for the Sox. Jews, like Sox fans, have been persecuted for ages. Like Red Sox Nation, the Nation of Abraham has sought succor from the One above for lo, these many years. Sox fans, like Jews, are forced to endure ritual pain - and, in fact, endure it one an annual basis, instead of once at birth. In much the same manner that the Hasidim stand out by wearing those funky curls, Sox fans purchase those awful blaze-Red Sunday jerseys to attract more attention to their plight. The Sox are good with money, as are many Jewish businesspeople. I could go on, but my next several comparisons are even closer to the border between good and bad taste than my last. I think you see my point, though. Some day, the Sox will be delivered to the Promised Land, as it is written in the Book of Ted. I just hope I'm alive to see it.

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