Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The enemies list

Reed Johnson. A game-winning three-run walkoff homer by Reed Bleepin' Johnson. His second homer of the night, no less, and the Sox lose, 9-6.

Reed Johnson. Figures. This guy is a classic fourth outfielder, a so-so field, so-so hit, so-so run scrapper out of the Darren Bragg mold. He is extraordinarily ordinary, a player who should never beat you . . .

. . . yet he kills the Sox at least once or twice a season. Or at least it seems that way.

Johnson's not the only one, either. While I was fuming over his predictable heroics, I got to thinking about other subpar, non-descript and just plain lousy ballplayers who have tormented the Sox in recent years.

Let's see, there's A-Rod . . .

Whoops, wrong list. Here's the real hit list I came up with:

Miguel Cairo, Mets second baseman: This infernal pest looks like the result of a drunken night of passion between Derek Jeter and a lawn gnome.

Gregg Zaun, Blue Jays catcher: Buddies told me he showed up at the festivities for the Pats/Panthers Super Bowl in Houston acting as if he were some sort of major celebrity. Is it really possible to forget that you're only Gregg Zaun?

Frank Catalanotto, Blue Jays outfielder: Yep, another Jay. The unbalanced schedule breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds comtempt. When healthy, he's a decent lefty hitter with a sweet swing, and I've always thought he'd be a nice role player with the Sox, if only to keep him from tormenting them.

David Eckstein, Cardinals shortstop: Gritty, gutty, scrappy, vastly overrated by stray former members of the Jeff Frye Fan Club, and possibly the only albino dwarf in the majors.

John Flaherty, Yankees catcher: Busted up Pedro's no-hitter in '99 while a Devil Ray. Has no business hitting Pedro now, then, or ever. No dummy, rumor has it he's been wearing a steel-belted earflap against the Sox ever since.

Tanyon Sturtze, Yankees pitcher: Looks like a rat on steroids, but rats on steroids are more appealing. Kapler, Trot and Papi should have finished the job during the brawl. Worcester should be ashamed. (Can you tell I don't like him? Can you? You can? Okay, good.)

Enrique Wilson, Cubs infielder: .245 career hitter who had an inexplicable run of success (read: blind luck) against Pedro a few years ago. Lucky Pedro never tried to bean him, because his bulbous head makes for one inviting target.

Jerry Hairston, Cubs second baseman: While an Oriole, tied Jeter for the league lead in smirks three years running. Largest differential between actual ability and self-confidence among any player currently active in the majors.

Luis Matos and Larry Bigbie, Orioles outfielders: Mantle and Maris against the Sox. Kutcher and Romine against everyone else.

Kyle Davies, Braves pitcher: Scouts and the Baseball Prospectus devotees tell us the kid has a hell of a future, but he has no business shutting out a veteran Sox lineup for five innings in his major-league debut.

Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays pitcher: Last year's version of Davies. At least he's tormenting Mets fans, always a worthy cause.

Rodrigo Lopez, Orioles pitcher: Former ace of the Culiacan Tomato Growers of the Mexican League was 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA against the Sox last year. He can go back to the mighty Tomato Growers any day now.

David Newhan, Orioles outfielder: An obscurity striving for mediocrity, he had 116 hits last year. At least 113 of them came at Fenway. However, his dad is a legendary sportswriter, so he's got that going for him.

Eric Byrnes, A's outfielder: Steve "Psycho" Lyons crossed with Jeff Spicoli.

Erubiel Durazo, A's designated hitter: WHAT THE %&#* IS HE STARING AT?

Gil Meche, Mariners pitcher: Career pattern: Shut down the Sox, have elbow surgery. Shut down the Sox, have shoulder surgery. Shut down the Sox, have arm amputated. Shut down the Sox . . .

Carlos Pena, Tigers first baseman: Writes my buddy Nuts:

he's hitting .190 with three homers overall, .996 with two homers against the sox. he even had a good hall of fame game.

Works for me.

Ted Lilly, Blue Jays pitcher: Ron Guidry against the Sox . . .

. . . Ron "Horshack" Palillo against everyone else.

David Wells, Red Sox pitcher: The heir apparent to Ramiro Mendoza for the Danny Cater Embedded Yankee award. Theo, what say you just tell him he can go back to New York now and we'll all pretend this never happened, okay?

If any of you, my 14 beloved readers (up from a dozen!), have any other Sox opponents you'd like to see get the business end of a Louisville Slugger, send 'em along. The TATB henchmen will get right on it.

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Today's Completely Random Baseball Card . . .

. . . apparently, D-Lowe modeled for the Sears catalogue before the whole baseball thing panned out.