1. It’s over. It’s finally over.
More than thirteen years since the end of his brutal reign and more than 22 years since its beginning, the last vestiges of James G. "Lou" Gorman have been at long last expunged from the Boston Red Sox.
The temptation would be to slink into nostalgia. To sadly lament the departure of Christopher “Mosey” Nixon, the original Dirt Dog, and one time next Mickey Mantle. One could recall his 3-0 drive off the wall off of Jason Marquis in Game 4 of the 2004 Series, his home run off of Roger Clemens in the Rocket’s famous duel with Pedro or simply his reckless disregard for his own personal safety. But Jose will leave that to the eulogists, who plod their days away, writing doleful obituaries for the not yet dead. Rather than looking wistfully back at Nixon, Jose will view his departure as a cause for celebration, not so much for the end of his career, but for the end of the era he represented.
Nixon was a Cuba of a player, an enigmatic and poorly understood relic of a past age. While Cuba was left, after the fall of the Soviet Empire, as a strange anachronism, the last gasp of the Comintern, Nixon played the same role in the Gorman Empire, a final bulwark of a dead age.
Nixon, like Cuba, was a screen onto which observers projected their hopes or fears. Leftists see in Cuba a workers paradise of free healthcare, high literacy and unlimited ice cream, rightists a cruel dictatorship and kleptocracy. Similarly, some look at Nixon and see a “real baseball player,” a man who plays hard, gets his uniform dirty and keeps his mouth shut. Others see an oft injured, overrated outfielder who never learned to hit left handed pitching and never lived up to his promise, a player who was loved for the color of his skin far more than for the content of his game.
And the truth is Nixon, like Cuba, is both, a mix of good and bad. He did play hard and sacrifice his body for the team, but he was always injured and was impotent against lefties. This year, the time simply came when the negative side of the equation simply outweighed the positive, when Nixon’s hustle no longer compensated for aging legs and sore back. Perhaps the time is coming for Cuba as well. (Note: They could really benefit from a Presidente with a decent curveball.)
And that is the end of the Gorman era and it is time to move forward. Unless the Red Sox bring back Gorman acquisition Roger Clemens, in which case they might as well put Lou back in the GM seat and dig up Mrs. Yawkey.
2. This just in.
As he departs for Cleveland after spending his entire career in Boston, right fielder Mosey Nixon consented to give the Boston press corps one final interview.
When asked how it felt to be leaving Boston, Nixon responded “"As I leave you I want you to know--just think how much you're going to be losing--you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."
(Note: Jose desperately wanted to add “Nixon will be replaced in right field by Lew Ford. But since the above comment was made following Nixon’s 1962 defeat for Governor of California, not his 1974 presidential resignation, it would have been historically inaccurate. Besides we all know that Nixon is leaving because he lost a race for the right field job to Ed Brown of the 1925 Brooklyn Dodgers.)
3. Two days ago Rob Bradford wrote in the Eagle-Tribune, the Merrimack Valley’s Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, that Mr. Matsu is unlikely to bring a windfall to the Red Sox. Bradford argues that because of league revenue sharing rules, very little of the funds from increased sales of Red Sox merchandise and the like in Japan will benefit the Red Sox.
But this is a shortsighted approach to the problem. So what if the League takes hat sale money. So what if the Red Sox can’t partner with Asahi beer because they are betrothed to Bud? The Red Sox just need to think outside of the box.
All Jose knows is that his favorite Indian restaurant in Boston, Kenmore Square’s India Quality Restaurant, had a review up in Japanese when he went there last week. Suffice it to say, this was new. The Sox don’t need to make the money in Japan to make this work. The Japanese will come here, and the Red Sox just need to take advantage of it. So here is Jose’s idea. If even local Indian restaurants (note: delicious as there food may be) are preparing for the Japanese Invasion, the Red Sox should start an ultra high end Japanese restaurant at the park. You know, the sort of placing selling Kobe steaks, the price of which could finance the next three years of Dustin Pedroia. Better yet, they could start a Karaoke Bar. The Japanese love karaoke!
Alternatively, the Red Sox could start selling pre-worn Red Sox thongs in vending machines at the park. Jose has heard the Japanese like that stuff. They could even through in a few thongs from KEYS, as KEYS is quite popular in Japan, except there it is called “Words in three of Jose Man who writes as if to open locks of bats of baseball.”
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.