Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stranger than Fiction: The Boston Irish 'Red Sox end of month review' for April

April's end of month Red Sox review is brought to you by the movie 'Stranger than fiction'. This is a fairly obscure reference as let's face it, 'Stranger than..' was no box office smash.

It is, however, a funny, uplifting little movie with super performances from Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast. Just go with the flow, get over the odd premise and let the flowing, witty script and genuinely endearing acting take you. Enjoy what is one of the best kept secrets in terms of movies in the last few years. Now, about those Sox.

The infield

Julio Lugo
Harold Crick: So you must've been expecting an audit.
Ana Pascal: Um, I was expecting a fine, or a sharp reprimand.

Harold Crick: A reprimand? This isn't boarding school, Miss Pascal. You stole from the government.
Is .287 with a low .313 OBP going to cut it for the Sox beleaguered short stop? No triples, no home runs, low RBIs and high strike out numbers, lets face it, Lugo is not off to a blazing start. If a 'reprimand' comes, what form will it take? By the by, could they have come up with anyone better to play an IRS agent than Will Ferrell? I don't think so.

Jed Lowrie
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Are you the king of anything?
Harold Crick: Like what?

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Anything. King of the lanes at the local bowling alley.

Harold Crick: King of the lanes?

Dr. Jules Hilbert: King of the lanes, king of the trolls,

Harold Crick: King of the Trolls?

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Yes, uh uh uh a clandestine land found underneath your floor boards.

Harold Crick: No.
You were probably aware Red Sox rookie fill-in Jed Lowrie was playing well enough to stick to the club with Lowell out, but did you know he is batting a lofty .323? Lowrie doesn't really have a place on the Sox as yet, the kind of player that needs at bats, and thus isn't going to stay as a once-a-week kind of guy. The reason for that is Tito would probably rather have him get at bats at the triple A level. So for now Lowrie isn't the king of anything, but he is definitely earning himself a long, hard look from the Sox.

Mike Lowell
Kay Eiffel: As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok.

When Mikey Lowell went down injured the Red Sox embarked on a six game win streak, masking the absence of their rock solid third baseman. The subsequent five game losing streak maybe gave Red Sox fans a peek into life without Lowell, and it wasn't pretty. Lowell brings order to the Sox lineup, and his return, like a bite out of a Bavarian sugar cookie, suggests everything is going to be okay.

As good as a Bavarian sugar cookie

Sean Casey
Kay Eiffel: Harold quickly calculated the odds of making an ass of himself, in ratio to the amount of time he stayed to chat

Next time Casey is playing first base and an opposition players gets a hit, watch the interaction between said player and Casey at first. Invariably the player arrives at first, nods in recognition of Casey, and then bursts out laughing. Somebody needs to mic Casey up.

Dustin Pedroia
Dave: Do I have a superpower?
Harold Crick: No, you're *you*.

Dave: I know I'm me, but do I have a superpower?

Harold Crick: No, why would you have a superpower?

Dave: I don't know, you said it was hypothetical.

Harold Crick: Fine, yes, you're really good at math.
The scrappiest little guy on the Red Sox has picked up right where he left off in 2007. Just like Harold Crick's hypothetical query, Pedroia doesn't have a superpower, he doesn't have one thing he does particularly well, however the sum of all his efforts adds up to plenty for the Red Sox. He is batting an impressive .313, getting on base and scoring runs, and playing stellar defence. Whilst no superman, he is definitely a decent 'Robin'.

David Ortiz
Doctor Mercator: You'll be all right. You'll just have a shard of wristwatch embedded in your arm for the rest of your life
What's wrong with Big Papi? Is it long term? Or is it just a blip on the radar? A nervous Red Sox nation waits to find out over the next few weeks.

The outfield

Manny Ramirez
Harold Crick: [Ana has just brought out a huge box totally stuffed with a mess of papers] What's this?
Ana Pascal: [Very pleased with herself] My tax files and receipts for the last three years.
I presume this is how Manny would present his tax files, in an over-stuffed box with zero order to the proceedings. Did you know Manny has already struck out 27 times this season? I guess that's a price the Sox are willing to pay for the 6 bombs and 20 RBIs. Imagine having to actually DO Manny's tax return, actually, come to think of it. Remember the story about a Cleveland Indians assistant taking Manny's car to the car wash only to find 60,000 in uncashed pay checks in the glove compartment? Goodness gracious.

Jacoby Ellsbury
Harold Crick: [to Ana] You have very straight teeth.
Ana Pascal: Thanks.
Listening to commentary teams, Sox and opposition alike, croon over the physical abilities of the admittedly amazing Jacoby Ellsbury is starting to get a little uncomfortable. ''He is so fast, such great legs, nice, tight buttocks.'' Plus, great teeth.


Coco Crisp
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Let me ask you this. On a scale of one to ten, what are the chances that you'll be assassinated - one being highly unlikely, ten being you're expecting it around every corner?
Coco has showed flashes of what he can do for Boston, with his speed and defence, however, how paranoid do you think he is right now? He is definitely showing strong character by not sulking as the Red Sox openly drool over Jacoby but what must be going through Crisp's mind as he basically waits to see what's going to happen to him?

JD Drew
Kay Eiffel: [narrating] This is a story about a man named Harold Crick and his wristwatch. Harold Crick was a man of infinite numbers, endless calculations, and remarkably few words. And his wristwatch said even less.
18 runs scored. 3 home runs, 13 RBIs. Those are about the only numbers you can get excited about with Drew so far. His BA and OBP are low (.269 and .373) and numbers are the reason Drew was brought to Boston. Drew needs to slap a decent run together to keep the good buzz going from his dramatic playoff grand slam against the Tribe in late '07.

Pitchers

Josh Beckett
Ana Pascal: [Ana bursts into the hospital room that is housing Harold who is pretty much in a full body cast] Howard! Oh my god!
Harold Crick: [as she's kissing him] It's okay, I'm fine.

Ana Pascal: Harold you're not fine! You're seriously injured!
He's hurt. He's not hurt. He's hurt. He's not hurt. Beckett has every Sox fan suitably worried with his on/off start to '08. The Sox need Beckett to be pitching every five days for the good ship Boston to be sailing right.

John Lester
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Little did he know. That means there's something he doesn't know, which means there's something you don't know, did you know that?
Throw strikes! Lester showed last night, in his marvelous start against Toronto, that when he throws strikes he can be a front line starter for Boston. I think sometimes we all forget that Lester is still learning his trade. A patient approach could yield great results, as it is pretty clear from last nights tremendous two hit effort, the kid has the stuff to make it in the bigs. Just throw strikes, J!

Oh my God throw strikes!

Tim Wakefield
Every weekday, for twelve years, Harold would brush each of his thirty-two teeth seventy-six times. Thirty-eight times back and forth, thirty-eight times up and down.
I love this one. I think Wake has even been with the Sox for longer than Harold Crick brushed his teeth in that OCD manner! Mr dependable, Wakefield has already pitched 31 innings in '08.

Clay Bucholz
Kay Eiffel: He was elated and surprised by his somewhat flirtatious encounter with Mrs. Pascal. So elated that he exited the transit authority bus a good 27 blocks too early and would now have to walk.
I think all Sox fans are elated and surprised by their somewhat flirtatious encounter with Clay Bucholz so far. The kid has only gone out there and shown terrific stuff and decent poise, with nearly a K an inning and a serviceable era. On a similar note, love this email from Hurricanes 'B' Captain and 'A' team slugger Lorcan Sherlock. We had been discussing the Sox and Yanks rotations, and he has this to say as of this morning;

''I hate being wrong - but I can admit it when I am! Lester and Bucholz have completely outpitched Kennedy and Hughes. Not even close.''

Damn right!

Daisuke Matsuzaka
Ana Pascal: [as their walking with Harold carrying the box of color flagged bags of flour] So did you make a key?
Harold Crick: Uh no I just committed it to memory. The blue, that-that's barley flour.

Ana Pascal: What's that one?

Harold Crick: The orange?

Ana Pascal: Yeah.

Harold Crick: I forget.
Do you think Matsuzaka even has names for all of his thirty seven pitches? For scouts and fans, most pitchers have a few pitches, fastball, slider, whatever. However, from a pitchers point of view, a simple 'fastball' in the public's eyes, might actually be five different pitches for the pitcher. I know from my Irish league baseball experience, the pitchers in our league all have different versions of each pitch. I know the Blacksox Niall Rowen throws about nine different curve balls, for example. Matsuzaka takes it all to a new level. Next time he throws, really watch him pitch, watch each individual pitch. It's truly amazing.

Manny Delcarmen
Ana Pascal: Wait, you can give presents, but not receive them? That sounds awfully inconsistent, Mr. Crick.
Manny Delcarmen is awfully inconsistent right now. The kid has the stuff, the mental makeup and he even has the 'local boy come good' element to his makeup. He just needs to add consistency and he can become a really big part of the Sox bullpen mix.

Hideki Okajima
Ana Pascal: You're a very strange man, Harold Crick. But I like you anyway.
I don't think I need to add anything here. Ana Pascal summed it up perfectly.

Jonathon Papelbon
Harold Crick: Aren't you too old to go to space camp?
Dave: You're *never* too old to go to space camp, dude.
I could see Paps in Space Camp, doing a jig, swigging a beer. I could also see him saving 45 games for the Sox this year. Did you know he has a ridiculous 14.73 K's per 9 IP at the moment? That is pretty above decent right there.



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3 comments:

Shane said...

I had forgotten how funny that movie was.

Cormac said...

It really is a funny flick, isn't it? I would go as far as saying 'heart warming'!

Thanks for the comment

sugarshane024 said...

What a great post! Love the format and the idea.

Aside from that, it is interesting how some movies so perfectly parallel sports, no?

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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