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Mike Torrez

July 18, 2007
  

Is Mike Torrez looming? Is that what you’re telling me, universe? I go to Holland with my team on cruise control, enjoying a lead as big as any they’ve had since, well, since 1978, when the man pictured here was in his first season for the Red Sox. And I return home to find them sputtering and flailing. Minutes ago (yes, it’s a first on Cardboard Gods–a real-world, real-time update) the Red Sox lost another to the Kansas City Royals. Meanwhile, the Yankees have a comfortable late-inning lead. Where is this all going?Does anybody know anything about narrative therapy? I know next to nothing, but once a guy explained to me that it was based on the idea that we can change the stories of perpetual failure that we tell ourselves. Something like that. There’s more than just collapses, one bad thing giving way to the next, causing it, a snowball effect of doubt. Pesky holding the ball, Torrez serving up the homer to Dent, Stanley uncorking the wild pitch, Mookie Wilson pulling a grounder toward first. There’s more than all that. There are other possibilities. There is Millar drawing a walk, then Dave Roberts stealing second, then Mueller grounding one past a sprawling, finally human Rivera, Dave Roberts flying home to tie the score. There are stories that go that way and keep going: We’re alive!

So even though I just got back from one trip I’m off on another, but this one’s a mission: I’m going to Vermont then on to Fenway for Saturday’s game. I hope to furnish a full report when I get back, and I hope it to be free of Torrez-ian gloom.

9 comments

  1. 1.  Jesus, man, you can really write. Come back safe and come back soon. Great stuff here.


  2. 2.  The only guy to be a teammate of Roger Maris and Darryl Strawberry. I’m still calm about the Sox… for now.


  3. 3.  This must be Dave Roberts week.


  4. 4.  Welcome back Josh! Glad to see the new posts.

    Torrez was 6’5″ and Dent was 5’11”. The Yankees likely would have pinch-hit for Dent, but they had a real shortage of infielders. Randolph was out, hurt. Brian Doyle played 2b, and was already pinch-hit for with Jim Spencer (right before Dent came up), and Chicken Stanley was to play 2b. With Dent coming to the plate, the towering Torrez must have been very confident. Previously in his career, Dent was 4 for 20 (.200) in his matchups against Torrez, with no homers. Even Doyle hit above Dent in the 8-spot that day.

    3rd inning: Dent is behind a Torrez offering but manages to fly to right. Sox 1-0.

    5th inning: Man on second, and Dent grounds out to short. Sox 1-0.

    7th inning: Dent looks aweful fouling off a pitch which drills his foot. He hobbles around but stays in the game. Dent points towards the top of the Green Moster. Fenway fans crack up-laughing. And, then…….BANG…….


  5. 5.  The story I heard is that while Dent was being treated after fouling the pitch off his foot Mickey Rivers handed him another bat and told him it had a home run in it. Not sure if that’s true.


  6. 6.  I also read somewhere that Mickey once admitted the bat was corked.


  7. 7.  And in 1978, it was Stanley Steamer who gave up the extra run via Jackson’s homer, the eventual winning run. Everyone forgets this.


  8. 8.  Josh must’ve been thinking of ’04 rather than ’78 over the weekend.


  9. 9.  4: Nice recap of the Dent-Torrez lead-in, Catfish. I didn’t know that Torrez had “owned” him.

    5, 6: I’ve heard the same about the rumors of the corked bat and have decided it is inarguable fact.

    7: I remember. Poor Bob Stanley’s got his fingerprints all over the two worst games in Red Sox history.

    8: Yeah, actually I was thinking of 2007, baby! Since 2004 the team has been searching for a new identity; for ’05 and ’06 they were not the Idiots anymore and they weren’t anything else, either. Now with new veteran leaders like Lowell and new hungry young guys like Beckett, Youkilis, Pedroia, and Papelbon, they’ve got an identity all their own. The Yankees are still coming on, but at least the Sox have (for the moment anyway) stopped plummeting. Saturday’s game probably highlighted the White Sox shortcomings more than the Red Sox strengths, but the hometown squad’s ability to pepretually clog the bases with walks and hits was on full display. An 11-2 thumping! I was a happy customer to say the least.



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