Monthly Archives: October 2009

Five years later, Boston Globe proudly remembers insufferability

Hemorrhaging readers by the day, The Boston Globe employed a curious new strategy toward regaining popularity today by reminding its dwindling audience of the mainstream media’s relentlessly negative, monotone coverage of the Boston Red Sox.

Five years after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, the Globe looked back at the tone of local media coverage (themselves included) with the same sort of fondness a jailed pedophile may have when remembering his glory days as a Cub Scout den leader:

The Sox, their fans, and the city’s sports media were a different people then. Fenway Park was a monument to postseason misery, a place where dreams soared in summer and died in October. Globe lightning rod Dan Shaughnessy popularized the theory that the team’s 86-year legacy of futility was tied to a curse, and a tenacious Boston broadcast correspondent went out of his way to perpetuate the myth among a generation of Sox players.

Rather than sourcing former players or members of the organization, the story focuses on three of the more despicable members from the gaggle of annoying local media personalities: Dan Shaughnessy, Jon Miller and Bob Lobel.

Readers in the Boston area seemed puzzled when goaded into reading past the first paragraph of the article, which center-pieced the paper’s Sports section despite the fact that the Celtics begin the regular season tonight on national television.

“This story is kind of like the IRS mailing a summary to every American citizen detailing how much money they paid the government in taxes over the last five years,” said an irritated businessman on his lunch break in Post Office Square. “I’m sorry you made me read that.”

Mary Ursuline, 45 of Reading, said she did not need to be reminded that Dan Shaughnessy constantly inserted ‘curse’ references into his columns. “He’s the guy who writes a bunch of Twitter updates and pastes them together into a column, right?”

Business analyst Doug Tillings was fascinated by the originality employed by the Globe. “In terms of pure business practices, this is really unheard of in most circles. Antagonizing your customer base and opening old wounds isn’t considered a mindful approach to retaining business in just about any marketplace. Talk about cursing yourself…”

Regina Werth, 56, of Danvers, summed up the overall dismay voiced by many Red Sox fans over the course of the day. “It’s too bad they still think people are interested in these negative storylines. I vaguely recall a group of 30 or so guys who did their job on the field well enough over the course of seven months that they’ll always be fondly remembered around here. That 2004 team wasn’t too bad either…”

Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag

Boston‘s young pitching phenom Clay Buchholz will officially be off the dating market next month after he marries Deal or No Deal model Lindsay Clubine. The Red Sox star’s proclivity for dating smoking hot models has at times evoked feelings of disbelief, bewilderment and envy. Now that he’s off the prowl, Clay was nice enough to take some time out of his offseason to answer some Fenway Pastoral reader’s questions about the dating scene.

I recently visited a strip club in Toronto and purchased an hour in the champagne room. The stripper who wound up taking care of me seemed like a nice lady and I asked her for her phone number after my hour was up, figuring it would be nice to take her out for a nice dinner somewhere in the outside world. Unfortunately, she declined and now I have a weird rash to go along with the embarrassment of rejection. What did I do wrong?

–Daniel from Everett

Rookie mistake, Dan! You can’t just show up at the strip club and expect the chick’s gonna be all about you after one freaking hour. Courting strippers takes patience and persistence. Your first time with a dancer in the champagne room should be about putting your vibe out there. Play it close to the vest and be nonchalant while she does her thing. If they sense you’re too enamored, it’s all over. Act uninterested and like you’ve been there before. Strippers hate this, but they’ll remember you the next time when you show up with enough cash to buy a bottle of Patron and her exclusive company for the rest of the night. As for the extra pine tar on your barrel, a scalding hot bath and a ton of Icy/Hot on the affected area is the best remedy for erasing a regrettable evening.

I recently became intimate with a woman with a large tattoo of the Aerosmith logo on the small of her back that spans over the better part of her hips. I’ve heard of women with smaller, elegant tattoo designs on their ankles or shoulders, but I’m having trouble getting past the size of this thing. Is it out of line to ask her if she’d ever consider getting it removed?

–Brian from Athol

Brian, Brian, Brian…You’re kidding me, right? A broad without any tattoos on her lower back cannot be considered a true woman. This one sounds like a keeper. You should be out buying her tiny tank tops that ride up on her midsection so everyone can see her ink when she leans forward to grab her Budweiser tall-boy can from the bartender.

What kind of music is best to play to help get a girl in the mood?

–Pete from Somerville

Thanks for writing, Pete. I’m actually engaged to be married to a Deal or No Deal model next month, but back when I was on the singles scene, it depended on the type of magazines my date had modeled for. If she was a little freaky and had some experience posing for hard core pictorials, I liked to start out with heavier cuts from bands like Pantera or Sevendust and eventually segue into some Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie. The more vanilla, wholesome models (Victoria’s Secret, JC Penney) generally listen to tamer buttrock bands like Staind and Nickelback. These chicks aren’t usually much fun and I’ve always tried to stay away from these girls unless I’m lonely and just looking for the company of some easy road beef.

Is it OK to slip some Ecstasy into a girl’s drink at the club even if she’s already turned it down?

–Bill from Middleboro

I like where your head’s at, Bill. The reverse of this scenario actually happened to Brandon Walsh on one of my favorite episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210. He and his girlfriend Emily Valentine wound up having the time of their lives, partying until sunrise at an awesome underground rave. I haven’t pulled the E-slip on a girl in a while, but sometimes I’ll crush up a couple Ambien pills and sprinkle them in Dustin Pedroia’s Jagerbombs. That guy takes it to the limit every time we go to the club and, frankly, it’s difficult to keep up sometimes.

The Youker Files: My visit to Disneyland

Written exclusively for Fenway Pastoral by Red Sox first baseman/third baseman Kevin Youkilis

For starters, let me just say that I’m not much of a theme park guy. But we had a couple of days to kill in Anaheim before Thursday’s opening game of the ALDS against the Angels. The baseball playoffs are always nerve-wracking and as a player you’ll do anything to keep yourself on an even keel.

Under normal circumstances, I’d just blow off some steam and hit a few buckets of balls at a local driving range. But a couple weeks ago, someone lost grip of their driver and the club boomeranged out and flew into my post, striking me in the side and bruising my ribs. Ever since then, I’ve been reluctant to return to the links.

At any rate, October isn’t one of Disneyland’s peak seasons, but for whatever reason the park was packed the day I decided to visit. Little, punk kids were running around everywhere and I had to swat them away like gnats buzzing around my head during a humid summer night in the Fens.

The entryways to all the popular rides (Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean) were more crowded than South Station on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was horrible.

At one particularly vexing point as I first entered the gates, a herd of truant second graders damn near trampled me to the ground as I tried to make my way toward a concession stand to purchase a sno cone. The stream of bodies collided with me with such force that I was pinned back against a brick wall and the ham sandwich in the front pouch of my Camelhump backpack was irreparably destroyed, crushed.

Already hungry and distraught, I was able to summon the patience to line up for the Space Mountain roller coaster. I waited about an hour and ten minutes only to be disappointed by the ride’s relative lack of speed and imagination as compared to Disney World’s version.

Making matters worse, I was forced to sit next to a heavy-set woman who repeatedly hit me in the face with her chunky left elbow as she raised and lowered her arms in delight. As I exited the ride, I hit my forehead on the restraint bar that did not rise to the proper height to let me safely get out of my seat.

Determined to salvage the afternoon, I bought an ice cream sandwich to hold to my head to reduce any swelling and ate some fried dough and a jambalaya chicken sandwich. Feeling better, I decided to wait in a short line for the tea cups.

I learned the hard way why the line was so short for the tea cups. After exiting the heinous five-minute spinfest, I threw up the entire contents of my stomach all over a nice family of Canadian tourists. It was truly awful and I promised to mail Jason Bay autographed jerseys to all six members of the family.

After the puking incident, I decided it would probably be best to stay off roller coasters for the rest of the day. I found what appeared to be a lovely garden-themed retreat that was reasonably empty and free of long lines and screaming children.

I sat myself down on a bench and enjoyed a brief moment of relaxation before feeling a sharp, stinging pain at the back of my neck. A bumblebee had apparently flown out of a nearby flower bud and caught me at a moment of vulnerability. Irritated, I swatted at the bee, which was a mistake. The vengeful bee circled around and gave me a second sting on the inside of my elbow.

Suppressing groans of agony, I kicked at a nearby trash can in frustration at the immense feeling of pain. Still flailing around, I somehow managed to slam my funny bone into the wooden corner of the bench and a numb shot of pain reverberated up and then down my arm.

At this point, I was in an excruciating amount of distress and decided it would be best to leave Disneyland. I was able to make my way back to the team hotel with minimal additional damage. (I rolled my ankle getting out of the cab and my pant leg briefly got caught in the hotel’s automatic doors, but I took full BP the next morning and felt good as new.)

Frankly, I’m not sure if I’ll be going back to Disneyland any time soon. The rides are outdated, the food was subpar and the facility’s infrastructure does not seem to be able to accommodate the high volume of visitors. Needless to say, Disneyland certainly proved a righteous test of patience and self-restraint.

As for this playoff series against the Angels, everyone in the league knows I don’t hit sliders too well. But John Lackey and Jered Weaver are loathe to throw theirs for strikes consistently and I plan to inflict enough damage on offense over the next couple of games to assure we don’t have to come back to this godforsaken hellhole again until next season.