What’s the problem? It isn’t enough for you to embarrass us by contributing blog postings to the Web site for WEEI, a sports radio station whose callers routinely lend evidence to the notion that the general population is getting dumber? Are you not sated by your uncanny ability to offer up your opinion (often on said radio station as a ‘caller’) on hot-button topics having nothing to do with you? Are you bored with your trite, exclamation point-riddled Twitter updates that make teenage girls’ Facebook status updates sound like verses of T.S. Eliot by comparison?
Your name means something to fans in this town. You symbolize a refusal to go down quietly in the disgrace of seemingly certain defeat. Simply put, you were a warrior who pitched hurt and won under extreme pressure back in October of 2004. Your Curt’s Pitch for ALS charity work is applauded, admired and worthy of the utmost respect. Hell, you wrote the damn letters on your bloody cleats…we get it.
But there’s nothing heroic or admirable about a retired athlete spending his post-ballplaying days developing a video game centered around slaying fictional creatures in fantastical lands of make-believe. Sure, you won’t be doing much of the actual “creating.” But recent news stories have you playing an integral role in your start-up company 38 Studios‘ development of a fantasy video-gaming franchise, code-named Project Copernicus.
Code-named Copernicus? Is this being developed in your treehouse? Will Shonda be serving you and your colleagues Ecto Cooler juice boxes and Teddy Grahams while you sit on beanbag chairs?
Now, this is not an indictment on video games, video game makers or video game players. This is a criticism of your assumption that your investment in the next World of Warcraft-esque cult/franchise/religion/phenomenon is a perfectly suitable career move for a retired baseball player.
Why can’t you take up fishing like the late Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr? Become a dentist like Jim Longborg. Or go golfing with Fred Lynn? Or become a pitching advisor like Luis Tiant? Or race stock cars and wrestle alligators like Mike Greenwell?
We have tried mightily to keep you in the small fraternity of former Red Sox players with total immunity from any objection or ridicule. But this is the last straw. You’re officially out of the club. Johnny Pesky may have held the ball back in the day, but he spent the next 60 years working for the team, doing manly things like hitting fungoes to rookies learning the ins and outs of the Fenway Park outfield.
You’re just always going to be that member of the family that everybody tolerates but rolls their eyes at as you walk away. You want to become a beta-tester for a video game that will further decrease the already long odds that the more socially awkward members of society ever have sex (with a person). What next?
This is not the way we wanted to remember you. But, frankly, you’re not leaving Red Sox fans much choice. Your awesome 2004 season seems like a long time ago.
Next time you’re invited to Fenway for some old-timer’s reunion or legends appreciation night, have the decency not to stand too close to guys like Rice, Evans, Yaz, Pesky, Ortiz, Wakefield and Lynn. Those guys invoke various feelings of pride and dignity. Lately, all we can manage to do when we look or listen to you is snicker.