As each of the division champions and wild-card teams are determined, Big League Stew asks World Series hopefuls to issue a formal acceptance speech and explain why they're the team that will be hoisting The Commissioner's Trophy in late October. Next up to bat are the Boston Red Sox who were forced to settle for the AL's Wild Card when Tampa Bay won the AL East on Friday night.
Mr. Commissioner, Principal Henry, President Lucchino, Director Mitchell, General Epstein, Author King, Screenwriter Affleck, No-No Nanette, Abstract James, Pesky's Pole, Fisk's Wave, Mr. & Mrs. Yawkey, Manager Francona, Tony C., Wally, Millahhh, The C's, the B's, Butch Hobson's Shaving Kit, Bill Buckner's Knees, Whitey Bulger, Sam Adams, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Paul Revere D.D.S., Aerosmith and NKOTB.
The Boston Red Sox graciously, humbly and excitedly accept the American League's Wild Card bid — but only because you can still win the World Series after finishing second. We helped prove that and thankfully we did, because otherwise this would be a total waste of our time. Let's keep this brief.
(Pause for polite applause)...
Fenway Friends, if someone had told us the New York Yankees would finish in third place in the AL East and the Boston Red Sox wouldn't have won it, we would have committed them to the mental ward at Mass General. We still can't believe, despite our injury problems and our Manny problems and our fifth starter problems, that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat us out. We admit it. We underestimated them like everyone else. It just leaves a sour taste, and sores, it also leaves sores, and scratches and — ow! — our hair! We work all day on our hair, and then you pull it.
Why they never contracted that franchise or moved it to a real baseball town back in '02, we'll never know. We enjoyed helping them sell tickets down there in that bawm shelter they call a ballyahhd. Beyond those jaunts down there to see our Sawx for an affahdable price, we could do without the whole state of Florida.
(Pause for nodding)...
Sons and daughters of the Sons of Sam Horn, the rest of the AL East, as happens every season, was the toughest division in baseball, which makes us a little happier to deliver this speech. The Yanks are closing the Stadium. Only took 'em 20 too many years, you ask us. Place was the world's biggest rat's nest. Speaking of which, the Yanks had plenty of problems with A-Rod being great instead of wicked pissah great, plus lots of injury issues. Here's $250 million. Call someone who cares.
(That woke 'em up — pause for raucous applause)
Yazzercizers, the Toronto Blue Jays are a team on the come. Our Canadian friends know how to pitch — someday, we'll steal Roy Halladay from them — and now that Cito is back, they'll be going in the right direction with the bats, too. Just as long as they bring back Junior Felix, too. Loved that kid
Lealistas del Tiante, the bottom of the barrel in the East still gets you some good pickels. The Baltimore Orioles have our respect and they have Kevin Millahhh. (pause for "Millahhh!")
Survivors of Grady, what will it take for the Boston Red Sox to win our third World Series in five seasons? It will take the usual combination of good play and good luck. Josh Beckett will need to be healthy. Daisuke will need to be on. Jon Lester will need to be Jon Lester. Gawd bless 'em. Paps in the pen will be fine and Delcarmen and Masterson can set it up as well as anyone.
The offense has some holes if Lowell and Drew can't go, and Varitek's best days in the batter's box come less and less frequently. But we still have our Little Guy Pedroia. Hey Peedy! Ain't he cute as a button? Yeah, look at him, all short and wiry and full of fun. But don't get too close, folks. And for Gawd's sake, don't touch. Chop yer ahhm off with those fangs. Who's a powerful little bastige, eh? How adorable.
(Pause for "Awwwwwwwwww")
One more thing, Dewey Disciples. Unless we see the Dodgeahs in the Series, at least we won't have to worry about certain persons urinating on the Monstah wall, or manhandling our employees, or deciding he doesn't want to play 10 minutes before the national anthem. No more of that crap. Jason Bay, he's a Canadian, all he does is play ball. Maybe he won't high five fans after making a great running catch, or trip over his own two feet, or make mobile phone calls from his urinal. When we win the World Series, it will be as a team and not individuals. Francona sees to that. Dusty sees to that. Papi sees to that. Pretty soon, the world's gonna see it. Thank you and may Gawd bless you and may Gawd bless his Boston Red Sox!