I love you like a fat kid loves cake.
I'd like to take a paragraph to get re-acquainted with my love for our second baseman, the venerable Mark Bellhorn.
A couple days ago I was really bored and decided to randomly select and watch a game from the 2004 season - it turned out to be the May 7th home game against the Kansas City Royals. You may remember the end of this game, where Manny crossed home plate as the winning run in the bottom of the ninth thanks to an RBI double by V-Tek. Manny motored all the way around from first base, and instead of sliding into home when it became evident that there was going to be a play at the plate, Manny slowed down and seemed to tiptoe in, his arms raised, his fingers pointing up to the sky, a huge smile plastered on his mug as he jumped into a team mate's arms. It was one of my favorite MannyMoments of 2004, but I started the tape at the beginning of the game so that I could enjoy the Moment in context. (I'm a nerd like that.)
Wakefield was pitching, and, as was so often the case last year when Wakey started, the game was unpredictable. Everything started out smoothly, with the game staying close through the first half, until the Sox unraveled suddenly in the field and allowed something like four runs to score in an inning. This was thanks largely in part to nearly back-to-back errors by Mark Bellhorn. In one instance Bellhorn and Millar had Carlos Beltran in a pickle (remember Beltran as a Royal?) and Bellhorn inexplicably missed a toss from Millar, allowing Beltran to return safely to first. (Weirdly this was scored as both a caught stealing on Beltran and an error on Bellhorn, though Beltran remained standing on first base. God I miss baseball. It's just so cool.) The second error occurred when Bellhorn was unable to handle a routine groundball. Don Orsillo: "It just seemed like he was in some sort of trance...I'm not sure what happened there." Close-up of Bellhorn's face. Sweatier now, with the bags under his eyes somehow more pronounced...Bellhorn doesn't look embarrassed, he just becomes instantly haggard. Anyhow, eighth inning, the Sox are down 5-3 and who should step up to the plate with Johnny Damon on first base but the Haggard Mark Bellhorn. And wouldn't you know that that erstwhile motherfucker tied the game with a two-run homer? Instant vindication. I cheered for him like it hadn't happened eight months ago. And somehow, that encapsulates my love for Mark Bellhorn.
That said, both the aforementioned Bellhorn and Bronson Arroyo reached one-year deals with the Red Sox yesterday, avoiding arbitration proceedings. Both received substantial pay increases, which they both deserved. If I weren't such a douchebag I'd remember the exact numbers, but I forgot already. I'm a bad blogger. Sue me. Let's just say that they'll both be back next year and leave it at that, aight?
Speaking of being back next year, what is up with this Millar/Mientkiewicz controversy? Is there really a fucking decision to be made here? Is Mientkiewicz going to hit 20+ homeruns next year? Is he going to get 80+ RBI? Is he going to be Manny's boyfriend? Is he going to suddenly develop a redneck drawl and a sense of humor and run around and entertain me? The answer is NO. HE'S NOT. Millar is. I'm going to be pretty disappointed if we keep the late inning defensive replacement.
That's enough for today. Peace.