March 21, 2006



And I'm not talking about Dr. Zaius, either.

I've always enjoyed the antics of Sawx pitcher Bronson Arroyo---he's kind of the new age equivalent of Bill "Space Man" Lee, the zonked southpaw stoner, the knucklehead screwball pitcher, crown prince of the "Buffalo Heads" for the 1970s Red Sox. Needless to say, I loved Bill Lee, and he was right up there in my pantheon of juvenile heros with Muhammad Ali, Ken Stabler and the biker gang Oakland Raiders, Evel Knievel, and of course Snake Plissken.

He also has the honor and great distinction of being the only major leaguer to have a song written about him by the late, great Warren Zevon:

(Warren Zevon) You're supposed to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things
Man, that's hard to do
And if you don't, they'll screw you
And if you do, they'll screw you, too
When I'm standing in the middle of the diamond all alone
I always play to win
When it comes to skin and bone
And sometimes I say things I shouldn't
And sometimes I say things I shouldn't

Free Bronson!

Bronson Arroyo is kind of a descendant of Bill Lee---goofy white boy with cornrows who played guitar along with Southie Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys to record "Tessie," the Red Sawx theme song from when the won the Series in 1903. Experts in voodoo (and the reason why Sawx Nation is such a screwed up place is because we have two state sanctioned religions: hard core, old school Calvinsim, and voodoo) know that this record was instrumental at breaking "The Curse."

So while Johnny Damon was the sparkplug, the indispensable fire-eating heart of the team, Arroyo was kind of their idiot-savant good luck charm, the Waterboy, dare we say the Rudy of the Sawx and their improbable eight game winning streak against the Yankees and the Cards that swept them into the Promised Land in 2004.

So naturally, the leaders of Sawx Nation let Damon go to the Yanks and are putting Arroyo on the bus to Cincinnatti.

Anyhoo, my big brother Lou (whose birthday happened to be yesterday--Happy Birthday, big bro!) dropped this in the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack:

What did you think of the Red Sox trade (with Arroyo)? In particular, I was wondering what your thoughts on it were since he reached out to sign a home town discount in hopes of staying longer. I don’t think its good for baseball when a team turns its back on players that want to sign for more reasonable money rather than try to eak out the last dollar like Damon did. Actually, with all the money grubbing in sports and Bronson not doing that, I think its pretty disgusting. The Red Sox say it is in the best interest of the ball club, but now all discounts are off. Call it short sighted at best. I don’t see how its in the best interest in the club if they set an example that home town discounts are not valued and the players all go for the last buck.

Shocked, SHOCKED I am to see stupendously stupid short-sighted behavior on the part of the leadership of Red Sawx Nation!

Here's the money quote from Bronson:

What was it about Boston and the team that made you want to sign that contract?:

“Just, you know, going to Fenway Park 81 times a year, man. There's an excitement in that place I'm not going to get anywhere in the National League except maybe Wrigley. So that was the No. 1 thing. And then, just the group of guys we've had that a lot of 'em still here, pitching to Varitek. I felt like Boston was my second home and I hadn’t felt that way about any other place I've ever played. So, you know, stuff kind of being uprooted. You feel like you're being ripped out of your home. That's the way the game is.”


(And yes, I've been waiting for forever to use that pshop of Dr. Zaius riffing on Elvis).

Posted by Steve at March 21, 2006 11:45 AM | TrackBack

As a Yankee fan, I've only got one thing to say:

Posted by: rbj at March 21, 2006 12:31 PM

Bite me.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at March 21, 2006 12:36 PM

He was going to start the season in the bullpen anyway. Two words to remember this season, Steve-O: John Papelbon. He is the future.

Posted by: The Colossus at March 21, 2006 02:30 PM

I'm in a rare moment of agreement with the Colossus. Papelbon is da man (I still have Kleenex fantasies of Rocket coming back for a year to take JP under his wing). While Bronson was surely a vast wellspring of unintentional comedy, I knew Bill Lee, and he is no Bill Lee. It is pretty lousy to sign the guy on a stay-at-home discount and then trade his ass. But if Arroyo’s agent had been worth his 10%, he would have put a poison pill into the contract…

Posted by: LB buddy at March 21, 2006 05:45 PM

Spoken like the cold-blooded capitalist I know in your heart you are.

Patents for the people, indeed.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at March 21, 2006 08:10 PM