Monthly Archives: September 2009

A decade later, 1999 Pedro is taking his dominance worldwide

Anyone alive to witness the brilliance of 1999 Pedro knew the success of that season would have consequences that would reverberate for years to follow. True to form over the last decade, 1999 Pedro has become one of the world’s most powerful governing forces, surpassing once-impenetrable public and private institutions alike.

1999 Pedro’s relative statistical value has compounded itself exponentially in recent years to surpass the combined net worth of all 30 companies on the Dow Jones composite index.

“1999 Pedro really took advantage of the bear market bloodbath over the last two years,” said one market analyst declining to give a name or company for fear of obliteration. “All the value his FIP brought the Red Sox in 1999 was re-invested at bottom-market prices in distressed funds and struggling companies desperate to stay afloat. Now that those assets are rebounding, 1999 Pedro is a bonafide superpower.”

In an apt twist of fate, 1999 Pedro recently purchased a minority stake in John Henry’s investment business using an unreleased version of the iPhone while he was waiting for a table at the Cheesecake Factory. (He did not have time for dessert.)

Another industry analyst was impressed by 1999 Pedro’s conviction in overloading his portfolio with investments in foreign stocks and junk bonds rather than safer municipal bonds and stable commodities such as precious metals.

“Guys like 1996 Hentgen and 2003 Gagne pussyfooted around and got themselves bogged down in stagnant money markets and gold futures,” observed another marketplace analyst. “1999 Pedro went for the jugular when the economy was already barely able to gasp for air. He is just as shrewd as he ever was.”

1999 Pedro has also taken an increasing interest in utilizing his incredible resources to become involved in international politics. Earlier this year, 1999 Pedro provided $100 million in private aid to the African Union to fund security forces formed to thwart pirate hijackings in waterways adjacent to the Horn of Africa. Sources close to the pitcher say he also has funds tabbed to expedite the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under military junta house arrest in Myanmar since 1990. He is a routine contributor to charitable causes such as the United States Peace Corps, Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International.

It is difficult to quantify how much 1999 Pedro would be worth if he were a free agent pitcher on the open market today. Ten years, after all, is a long time. The world is a different place. The dot-com bubble has long-since burst and El Nino proved itself as nothing more than Generation X’s version of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Meanwhile, economic globalization continues to present fresh new challenges to both well-established and burgeoning markets.

One professional agent claimed he would open negotiations by asking for a 25-year contract with annual salaries calculated as a variable percentage of the combined gross domestic products of all countries in North America with the national budget deficit of France as a signing bonus. A baseline for 1999 Pedro’s annual roster bonuses, says the agent, would be set at no lower than 5% of all net earnings from oil exported from Middle Eastern countries.

“I’m sure, even then, 1999 Pedro would take a few days to mull over his other options,” said the agent. “He’s that prolific. I mean, really incredible. If Bruce Wayne’s Bat Cave really exists, I’m convinced he’s sitting down there right now eating mangos with Morgan Freeman and 2005 David Ortiz.”

Another agent says, “I just hope 1999 Pedro and 2005 Bartolo are never in the same room together, because that poor guy would get annihilated.”

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Release of Heidi Watney peephole video stalled by post-production hurdles

BOSTON–In an attempt to combat newly hired on-air talent and possibly parlay her local fame into a more fulfilling national gig, NESN on-field reporter Heidi Watney hopes to soon release a professionally produced voyeur-style video clip of herself undressing in a hotel room. Filming concluded several weeks ago and the video could make quite a media splash if, as planned, it is released just before the Red Sox begin playoff action early next month.

However, after hundreds of hours of excruciating post-production work, the timeline for the release of the viral video on the Interweb is in jeopardy due to a dispute between Watney and the film’s contracted distributor, Mortimer VonHoffstreuzen, say several members of the film’s production staff.

The major point of contention is VonHoffstreuzen’s insistence that Web sites hosting the four-minute video clip be required to pay a $10,000 fee for the rights to stream the file.

Watney believes that viewers should be able to access the file for free–especially because it was deliberately filmed with a low-quality web-cam in order to give the impression that it was made surreptitiously.

“Heidi is right,” says an industry analyst. “It’s folly to expect people would be willing to pay to watch this video when better-quality videos can be found everyday in every corner of the Internet absolutely free of charge. Viewers will simply go elsewhere to watch women undress, which would make it hard for any Web site to justify buying rights to this relatively soft-core entertainment.”

VonHoffstreuzen’s counterpoint is that Watney’s celebrity status makes the video premium, elite content that should merit payment for full access.

“This isn’t just any blond woman taking her clothes off,” says the distributor. “This is someone who is on the television, on the radio and who even writes her own blog for NESN.com. She is a star and it is insulting to compare her work in my film to that of any filthy skank with a web-cam.”

With NESN’s recent hiring of Newton native Jade McCarthy, an anchor/reporter cut very much from the same cloth as other female talent appearing on the station (Watney, Kathryn Tappen), Watney is said to be increasingly worried about the possibility that her colleagues may divert attention from her work.

“NESN is accumulating voluptuous blond bombshells faster than Clay Buchholz tears through trashy playmate girlfriends,” says someone close to Watney’s camp. “Competition for viewer affection could get pretty ugly once this new girl starts in January.”

Indeed, McCarthy won two Emmys last year for her sports coverage for NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate. The achievements could overshadow Watney’s work unless the incumbent on-field reporter manages to make a splash of her own.

A member of the film crew told Fenway Pastoral, “From a creative standpoint, I’m still trying to figure out how Heidi distinguishes herself from the millions of other clips that are posted on the Internet every day. I’m sure there’s a following for her work that will help sell the product if the film distributor has his way…But there’s a huge risk that people will feel alienated if it isn’t free.”

Francis Flynn, once believed to be Watney’s most devoted fan, was noncommital when asked if he would pay to watch a peephole video starring the NESN reporter.

Reached via CB radio while harvesting his cranberry bog in Carver, Flynn reasoned, “I already have hundreds of pictures of nude models in various poses with Heidi’s face photoshopped over the originals. For me, it seems like I’d be paying for recycled, repackaged content. Maybe they should come up with a better business plan.”

MLB umps: ‘Of course opposing pitchers are squeezed at Fenway’

BOSTON–Some call it the most conclusive evidence yet that Whitey Bulger is still very much alive. Others blame it on a power-hungry mayor who wields far too much pull in the inner workings of the city, including the fortunes of the Hub’s professional baseball team.

Whatever the causes, the data is irrefutable: Umpires are simply afraid to call a third strike on a Red Sox batter in late inning situations at Fenway Park. In a city that cares so deeply about their beloved local nine, umpires take a substantial risk in calling strikes during late-game situations.

The latest evidence came in Wednesday night’s dramatic 9-8 comeback victory in which Nick Green appeared to take a game-ending third strike from Brian Fuentes. The pitch was called ball four and Green’s walk drew in the game-tying run, much to the chagrin of Mike Scioscia, a former player so bland in personality during his playing days that the writers for The Simpsons didn’t even bother naming the mysterious ailment that kept him from playing for the Springfield Isotopes in a 1992 episode. After the game, the Angels manager and several players intimated that umpires’ non-calls on Red Sox hitters is a chronic issue.

One former and one current Major League umpire are confirming the Late-Inning Fenway Factor bias, a phenomenon unrivaled at other ballparks around the league.

“Do you want the lingering members of the Irish and Italian mob coming after you?” asked a former MLB umpire speaking on condition of anonymity. “Boston’s drug and gambling rackets dried up years ago…All these guys do now is watch baseball and complain about the umpiring. They know us all by name…I guarantee it. Down in New York, the mobsters have better things to do, but not up here…”

Others explain the phenomenon as a symptom of Mayor Thomas Menino’s unchecked power over the city’s operations, a key rallying cry of mayoral hopefuls Sam Yoon and Michael Flaherty.

“What if I want to paint the shutters on my house in West Roxbury? You think Mayor Menino’s gonna back the BRA zoning to do that if I’m the reason the Sox lost?” reasoned a current American League umpire who worked a series at Fenway earlier this summer.

The retired umpire concurred. “Menino’s only but a few miles away and ready to sic his cronies on us any minute. Whitey worries me the most, though. What if he’s watching in Thailand or Fiji or the North Pole or wherever he is and decides to come back and exact some justice on one of us for a bad call? It’s not worth it.”

“If it’s close, you call it a ball…everyone knows that,” said the active AL ump.

Pitch f/x data analyses indicate that, indeed, called strikes at Fenway Park are rare when Red Sox players are batting in the seventh inning or later. Analysts suggest that high-walk-rate players such as J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis would have on-base percentages about 50 points below their current levels were it not for the Late-Inning Fenway Factor.

“My guess is that the umpire last night knew darn well that pitch to Green was strike three,” said the retired umpire. “And that guy at first wasn’t going to ring him up on that check swing, either. I know for a fact that guy has a grandson in the Boston school system. Menino would ship that kid out to some charter school in Roxbury so quick his head would spin.”

Verbal abuse from the fans was also cited as an explanation for the Late-Inning Fenway Factor bias.

“Some of the things these people yell about me and – god rest her soul, about my late mother – are just awful,” said the active umpire. “And those Boston accents they have…they just make everything come out so hurtful. Fans in other cities like St. Louis are just too classy to yell things like you hear in Boston. If I call a strike on a Cardinals player, the fans applaud my honesty.”

At least make an effort to hide your chubbies beneath those laptops, Boston sports media

Curt Schilling possibly vying for the late Edward Kennedy’s empty seat in the Senate? Yeah, this story could have legs. A veritable Big-Show blowhard bonanza delivered right to your newsroom desks and radio booths. Somebody called him on the phone!!…He’s been contacted!! He’s not denying it!…He’s being coy now, but just wait a couple days…

Tell us what you think, Bob Ryan. Your head must be spinning with the possibilities, Gerry Callahan. (You may be able to top 500 words with this column…) Don’t straddle the fence on this one, Dan Shaughnessy. Start drinking a couple extra hours before airtime, John Dennis. Guzzle some Listerine and fix your tie, Bob Lobel – someone might call you.

The stronger your opinion, the better. We need to know what you think and we need to know now because in a couple days, this potential goldmine could go away. Big Schill didn’t slam the door on running for Ted Kennedy’s seat and, therefore, he’s keeping that door ajar like a leadoff walk in the ninth inning. Surely, January’s election would rival The Dave Roberts Steal in sheer excitement were Schilling to enter the mix.

Are these pseudo-politico-baseball puns working for you guys? We know you can do better. Just do it fast. In a couple days, there is a strong possibility Schilling will grow tired of seeing his name in the headlines for such a ludicrous idea and abandon it in favor of something a bit less…involved. Wait too long, and your thoughts on the story will seem more awkward and out of place than when Gary Tanguay pretends he likes sports.

Perhaps you can play a role in scaring No. 38 away from doing something regrettable.