This guest post was written by Cameron Martin, a columnist for Page 2 at ESPN. He will be an occasional contributor, and this is his first guest post for Fire Brand of the American League.
This is a new feature here at Firebrand of the American League, as we ask Don Orsillo’s decapitated bobblehead to use a familiar baseball term — three up, three down — to assess the recent fortunes of Red Sox players, coaches, owners, beat writers, broadcasters, groundskeepers, fans, sideline reporters and inferior opponents.
Take it away, Decap…
Up: People often ask me how I developed my unusual physical condition. When I refuse to tell them, they usually like to hazard guesses, and one of the most popular is, “I bet you got thrown against the wall when Tim Wakefield gave up the Aaron Boone home run.” Nyet! First off, nobody puts their hands on Decap. Secondly, I wasn’t even watching the game at that point. The moment Wakefield was brought in, I turned to Rem Dawg and said, “Here comes the offseason!” and ducked under the NESN desk to chain smoke. A knuckleball pitcher as a closer: Only someone who rides unicorns could see that ending well. But Wake took his licking like a man, and hung around long enough to earn the third-most victories in team history. Not bad for a washed up Pittsburgh Pirates position player.
Down: Speaking of Pittsburgh, the Yankees paid the Pirates $20 million to take A.J. Burnett off their hands. The only thing lower than Burnett’s confidence right now is the price of Kevin Romine’s rookie card.
Up: David Ortiz avoided an arbitration hearing (boo! I wanted to hear the team denigrate his base-running skills) and signed a new one-year deal. Very nice, no cushion for Big Papi. That guarantees he’ll either be pressing all year (first home run before Memorial Day?) or he’ll be playing his tail off to get another one-year deal. As a professional broadcaster, I approve of these easily digestible storylines.
Down: Now, Sox fans, we’re all in agreement that we’re not rooting for Theo Epstein to have success in Chicago, right? If the Cubs win the World Series, Epstein will have helped to end the two most infamous title droughts in North American sports. Even the guy born on Dec. 25, 0000, thinks that’s bit a messianic.
Up: Congratulations to Kevin Youkilis on getting engaged to Tom Brady’s sister. I hope that woman sweats less than Youk, otherwise their kids are gonna be swaddled in towels 24/7.
Down: I suppose we can’t go through our first Three Up and Three Down without mentioning the Sox new manager, Bobby Valentine. The guy grew up a Yankees fan, and is the most highly placed Yankee mole since Ramiro Mendoza infiltrated the Sox organization several years ago. Valentine called me last week to introduce himself, and I told him, “You’re suspect!” and I hung up. Bobby Valentine is the Aldrich Ames of Major League Baseball. He doesn’t fool me one bit.
This article was written by Cameron Martin, a columnist for Page 2 at ESPN. You can follow his musings at @CameronDMartin.