Saturday, August 8, 2009

I am a Big Fat Dunce

I should apologize to you non-baseball fans, who might find this column a little boring or confusing.

But first, I need to apologize for a foolish, insensitive error in last week's column.

I poked fun at Fox News and Washington Post Writers Group commentator Charles Krauthammer for, among other things, being stiff on camera, looking as though he had hurt his back. Then a reader pointed out to me that Krauthammer did, in fact, suffer a paralyzing back injury when he was in medical school. I was not aware of this celebrity tidbit, mainly because it was not mentioned in his biography on the Washington Post website, and I didn't bother to do any other research on him.

Obviously, my comment was grotesquely inappropriate and I feel like a big fat dunce.

Worse yet, this type of thing strains my marriage. My wife contends that you should never make fun of anyone for anything that isn't their own fault. If a person looks stiff and awkward on camera, it could mean he's a paraplegic, or it could mean he's nervous, but what gives me the right to slam him, either way? Compassion should be my impulse, not ridicule.

And here I was, ready to write my annual summer column slamming the Boston Red Sox for falling behind in the standings and generally not playing up to their potential.

Instead, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I can't fathom how hard it must be, day after day, to be a bunch of drooling, loafing, pampered, overpaid, prima-donna, slack-jawed-hick pseudo-athletes who use more needles more than the Pine Tree Quilters' Guild, and are suddenly playing like the Keystone Cops now that steroid testing has gotten serious.

As I write this, five Red Sox starters are hitting below .250. The pressure of having to justify those giant salaries must be getting to them.

They just traded for Victor Martinez, who is an excellent player, but plays positions (catcher, first base, DH, hot dog vendor) already occupied by excellent players.

"Big Papi" has spent most of this season flailing around in the batter's box like sugar-hyped, blindfolded six-year-old trying to bust open a pinata, but you have to give him the chance to get back to his old, 'roided up self again.

Varitek, the captain, is suddenly a back-up. That should work out well. It's not like these guys have egoes.

Lowell just had hip surgery and now walks like a pregnant woman with plantar fasciitis, but he's still hitting .295, just had a 5-RBI game, and wears one of the top five goatees in the Major Leagues.

Oops, sorry, there I go again. My apologies to Mike Lowell, in case he really is pregnant or has plantar fasciitis. I should check his player profile... nope, no mention of either. Whew!

Anywho, they should have traded for Roy Halladay. Obviously, they would have had to give up more to get the best pitcher in baseball, but consider this equation: Beckett + Lester + Halladay = Yankees fans weeping in the streets, Hal Steinbrenner coughing up pieces of his internal organs in a fit of anguish and disgust, automatic World Championships for Boston this year and next.

Isn't losing inconsistent Clay Buchholz and a couple more hyped-but-unproven prospects worth all that? Even if the Jays own the league five years from now, who cares? We could all be dead from swine flu by then.

If you have swine flu, please, please, please forgive me.

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