Friday, February 16, 2007

Take This Job and Shove It

Obviously, this post title has nothing to do with me or my colleague. Obviously.

No, this is an homage to one of the gutsiest postseason performances in recent professional sports history. Keith Foulke retired today after essentially giving his right arm in exchange for a 2004 World Series ring.

Foulke's 2004 postseason is the stuff of legends - he took the ball game after game, inning after inning, pitching on a knee that was so badly injured that it cost him 2005, and gave up 1 run in 14 frames. He pitched 6 innings over 3 consecutive days in ALCS Games 4-6 with nothing but guts and an 83 mph fastball - and put up a series of bagels against the Yankees. (We'll leave out the part about Tony Clark's ground-rule double in Game 5 - game of inches, and all that.)

Then, finally, he caught Edgar Renteria's comebacker in St. Louis and underhanded the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz, and all hell broke loose.

Foulke wasn't lovable, or quotable (Johnny from Burger King notwithstanding), or all that friendly. All he did was his job, even when it probably wasn't in his best personal interest. Godspeed, Foulkie, may the road rise to meet you, and may you never have to reach for your wallet in the presence of a Red Sox fan.

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