Sometime far, far in the future…
Man in rocking chair: Come here, little boy.
Little Boy: What is it, Grandpa?
Grandpa: Hop up here. I’m going to tell you a story.
Little Boy: OH! OH! Is it about ghosts? Or dinosaurs? Or Republicans? Or ghost-republican dinosaurs?
Grandpa: [laughs] No, no, son. Newt Gingrich isn’t involved at all.
Little Boy: Drat.
Grandpa: No, it’s about the Boston Red Sox. Did you know, a long long time ago, the year they finished with 140 wins, they actually started the year by going 2-10?
Little Boy: Ha ha ha ha!!! [spits White Russian through nose]
Grandpa: You know, you really shouldn’t drink alcohol at your age… Anyway, it’s true. The best baseball team of all time, the 2011 Red Sox, won only two of their first twelve games! The entire New
England region – this is before it was mostly under water – was so upset!
Little Boy: I bet Dan Shaughnessy, IV had some wise words to say about it.
Grandpa: This was well before his time, little boy.
Little Boy: My name is Harold. I’m five. You should probably know my name by now.
Grandpa: I know your name, Arnold. As I was saying, the Red Sox actually were 2-10.
Little Boy: Why was that, Grandpa?
Grandpa: Well, Reginald, it was really an accumulation of reasons…
Little Boy: What’s “acrumumation?”
Grandpa: It means lots. There were lots of reasons.
Little Boy: Like what?
Grandpa: Well, they weren’t hitting, for one. Great players like Carl Crawford – this is before he had that merry-go-round accident, lost his limbs and became the world’s first fully bionic left fielder – was so bad, he had a negative OPS+.
Little Boy: You mean he broke OPS+?
Grandpa: Yup, but that wasn’t all. Daisuke Matsuzaka just about broke my Red Sox fandom. He gave up seven runs to the Tampa Rays – this before they moved to London and had the league’s highest payroll – in two of the most excruciating innings you’ve ever seen!
Little Boy: What’s “excrunchating?”
Grandpa: Have you ever been run over by a lasercar? It’s feels like that!
Little Boy: Oww!
Grandpa: Then the Red Sox started to turn around. They started hitting but most importantly, they started pitching. It wasn’t just Hall of Famers like Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka, either. John Lackey and Josh Beckett – this is a few years before he left the team to join the priesthood – were so good that the Supreme Ruler of Massachusetts – at that time called a Governor – named roads after them.
Little Boy: What’s “roads?”
Grandpa: That’s what people used to use before they had lasercars.
* * *
That’s more than enough of that. What’s the point? Well, it’s an off day, for one. For two, things can turn around in a hurry, something Red Sox fans (myself most definitely included) should know, but apparently the Baseball Gods felt we needed a refresher course. With that out of the way, it should be smooth sailing from here on out. Right? Sure.
Postscript: I hope I didn’t offend anyone’s political beliefs by bringing up Newt Gingrich. It isn’t my intention to do so. I honestly feel Newt Gingrich is a hilariously funny name. No offense intended.