I was just recently browsing through some of the threads on the message board of the official Red Sox website and came across a thread dedicated to discussion of this book. One person wrote that “it is good if you followed the season from the very beginning,” but that if you hadn’t then it was pretty boring. For one thing, Mr. Anonymous poster, way to be a half-ass fan and not follow a complete season. For another thing, I did follow the entire season, and I still kinda thought the book was boring.
Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty of humor spread throughout that kept me laughing. For example, when our hapless third base coach would wave someone around into a certain out at the plate, Stephen King referred to this as being inducted into the Hall of Sveum. D-Lowe is referred to as the Tragickal Mr. Lowe. After a game lost by a moronic Francona move, King’s literary partner Stewart O’Nan writes: “Captain, I’m detecting high levels of Gradium.” Good stuff. There are also plenty of good memories to relive, like the April ass-whipping the Sox dealt down to the MFYs, or Manny and Big DaDa going back-to-back, or how much I used to enjoy it when Jose Contreras and Felix Heredia would pitch against the Sox. And some memories that aren’t so great, like the entire “June Swoon” chapter and Cesar Crespo.
But the book was basically a nearly game-by-game recap of the entire season without much in the way of new information. King and O’Nan just didn’t add much that I didn’t get from Remy and Orsillo/McDonough during the game broadcasts. And O’Nan was kind of grating on my by the end of the book due to his obsession with catching balls at games and getting autographs. Catching a ball every now and then is cool. Showing up to batting practice with a fucking net and coming home with ten fucking balls isn’t cool. Trying it again is just fucking dumb. Leaving every game you attend with an excess of five baseballs while little kids around you go home with none is sort of repugnant to me. What the fuck does he do with all those balls? I mean, they’re just baseballs. Does he toss them around in the backyard with his kids? Does he cryovac them and display them in a hermetically sealed and bullet-proof plexiglass case? I mean, what the fuck? The autograph thing…well, I can see how other people would think it was cool, but personally, asking someone for an autograph would make me feel like a total douchebag so I never do it.
But anyway, I got sidetracked.
I found “Faithful” to be entertaining at best, and the worst thing I can say about it is that it can be a little tedious at times. I’m not too sure about the re-readability factor with this one since it is so intensive on details of one season, but hey – it’s the offseason and I’m pretty much clinging to any sort of baseball life raft that floats my way. If you thought you were missing baseball now, reading this book will make it infinitely worse. Between that and all the Randy Johnson/Carlos Beltran bullshit going on in New York, I’m looking forward to the 2005 season like you look forward to five minutes alone in the bathroom after spending all night at a strip club.
Let’s get it on!