Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Youker Files: 4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips

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

Setting off fireworks is a part of Americana that I’ve always truly enjoyed. The anticipation of a lit fuse, the loud explosions, the high-pitched whistle of a fiery projectile shooting into the evening air en route to illuminating the sky with smokey color. I take a childish delight in the whole scene.

We were lucky enough to have this past Memorial Day off this year–the Monday breaking up our homestand against the Royals and Athletics. So I figured I’d take advantage of this blessing from the scheduling Gods and have a barbecue at my home in a nearby Boston suburb.

Honestly, what BBQ is complete without fireworks? To honor our veterans, I decided to have a buddy go up north to the New Hampshire border and purchase a very large amount of explosives to set off in my backyard once dusk rolled in.

I’ve gotta say, the idea seemed pretty flawless at the time. But I did learn some valuable lessons about the proper usage of fireworks that I hope everyone will keep in mind this weekend as we celebrate the Independence Day of our great nation.

Rule 1: Stay back
I guess we can all learn something from Dustin Pedroia, who got his own foot a bit too close to his own Laser Show for his own good out in San Francisco. In all seriousness, once a firework is lit in your vicinity, get out of the way immediately. Fuses require differing lengths of time to burn through and just because your M-80 doesn’t fire out of its launch pad immediately doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to get a closer look to see what’s going on.

Rule 2: Watch your aim
Don’t point your fireworks at other people. Don’t point your fireworks at other houses. Don’t point your fireworks in any direction which might have flammable substances or wooded areas. This might seem like a no-brainer to most people. But I’ve actually been hit in the head by several ill-fated bottle rockets. Those things can come at you quicker than any line drive down the third base line and they can leave more permanent marks than just a baseball-sized bruise.

Rule 3: Wear protective armor
I know, I know. You probably think you’ll look ridiculous wearing a helmet, safety goggles and a non-combustible jumpsuit, but just pretend you’re stepping into the batter’s box against Joba Chamberlain after he’s been drinking heavily. Do you really want to risk a fast-moving projectile speeding at your head so quickly that you only have a split-second to react?

Rule 4: Be patient
I haven’t always exhibited the same amount of patience in my fireworks escapades as I usually do during at-bats. I like buying a lot of different types of fireworks, loading my mortar up with several explosives and setting them off at the same time. But the risks of haywire aren’t always worth the reward. Rather than trying to impress your barbecue guests by lighting 10 projectiles at the same time, set off your M-80s and Roman candles one after another and just enjoy the experience. It’s pretty embarrassing when all your friends leave your house early because you thought it would be cool to try to light your whole arsenal with a blowtorch.

Well, I hope these safety tips are helpful. An amateur fireworks show can be one of the most absolutely awesome forms of entertainment, but unlike baseball, injuries can only be avoided by using common sense. Stay safe on the Fourth, everybody.

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Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag: Red Hot Summer Edition

Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is on a roll thus far in 2010. He’s 10-4 with a sub-3.00 ERA and appears to be putting together an All-Star-caliber season. Using his instinctive guile, Clay is tearing through batting orders the same way he used to plow through women before marrying model Lindsay Clubine last fall. Even amidst preparations for the birth of his firstborn child, Buchholz found some time to impart some of his pimping wisdom to his faithful fans at Fenway Pastoral.


Clay, what’s the deal with NESN Sportsdesk anchor Jade McCarthy’s mole located above her top lip? At times, I’m able to rationalize it as a Cindy Crawford-esque beauty mark, but just as often it just seems like a regrettably-placed distraction. Help?

– Andrew from Plymouth

I’m not a big fan of facial blemishes, Andrew. Whenever I turn on NESN and Jade and Her Mole are on the screen, I imagine that she is wearing one of those sexy silver stud rings some girls have pierced onto their faces. Usually, when you see a chick who has a weird piercing like that on her lip or nose or (obviously) her tongue, it means she’s gonna be pretty wild when you get down to rolling around in the hay with her.

Clay, you managed to impregnate your wife within a couple months or so of marriage. But Sox owner John Henry was married to his wife/muse for nearly a year before he was able to slip one past the goalie. What gives?

– Lynn from Chatham

Well, Lynn, I can’t say for sure, but it’s probably all the energy drinks and protein shakes. Also, there are certain positions that I like my partner to be able to contort herself into that are more conducive to getting a broad pregnant. Honestly, Mr. Henry is kinda old, so I hope he didn’t try any of my moves.


Clay, I’m 17 years old and pretty new to the … “dating” scene. Whenever I’m in the throes of the moment in the bedroom, I find it useful to think about baseball when delaying arrival at the finish line. This method must not work for you since you’re probably always thinking baseball all the time anyway, right?

– Brett from Lexington

Brett, I spend six-plus months in a major league locker room. I see a lot of dudes parading around in towels on a daily basis and they’re not all svelte guys in their primes. I’ve got plenty of ammunition to slow down the clock if I really need it. But in all honesty, dude, why are you trying to delay the inevitable? You’re young. Relax and let the game come to you. You can’t move onto the next batter until you’ve gotten the one at the plate out. Also, throwing a few side sessions in the “bullpen” in between starts might help a young player like yourself find the proper rhythm.

What, exactly, did Jason Varitek get himself into with Heidi Watney? The guy romances her a few times and the next thing he knows, the chick is scurrying over to him every time she needs a player to toss her a bone with some throwaway quote on camera.
– Jeff from Manchester

All I can say about that situation is I feel bad for poor ‘Tek. Generally speaking, a man should always make it clear to a female from the get-go whether he sees her as a full-time starter or just a situational reliever.

Clay, I was at a gentleman’s club in Austin last week getting a lap dance when I noticed that the woman taking care of me had a small tattoo of the New York Yankees logo just to the left of her landing strip. I, uh, immediately wilted like A-Rod in October and actually cut the dance short before the end of the 20 minutes I’d paid for. What’s the etiquette in that situation? I already paid for about twice the amount of time she was with me, but she seemed peeved I didn’t give her a tip on top of my wasted up-front fee.

– Gerald from Bangor

You did the right thing cutting the dance short, Gerald. But really, it sounds like your laziness lead to some buyer’s remorse. You should always make sure you get a good overview of the lady offering you a private dance before shelling out any dough. Next time, have the dame do a few twirls in front of you to get a better idea what you’re getting into. It’s OK to say no and if any other strippers are around, they’ll appreciate your discerning tastes.

Click here to read the Valentine’s Day edition of the Love Doctor Mailbag

Click here to read last October’s edition of the Love Doctor Mailbag

Scu-Scu-Scutaro Fever Invades Greater Boston Area

Chances are, at this very moment somewhere in the Boston area, someone is practicing his or her Scu-Scu-Scutaro flex pose a la Patrick Bateman.

A business man, noticing his reflection in a train window as his Red Line T heads underground, risks tearing the stitching on his designer suit to do a flex-and-point—all the while holding his briefcase and folded copy of the Wall Street Journal. A seemingly timid intern steps into the ladies’ restroom of a Cambridge-based research laboratory to flex her pose in the mirror after MLB’s Gamecast indicates that the Red Sox shortstop has drawn a base-on-balls, igniting a key rally. A Boston Police officer reroutes traffic down a dead-end street because he refuses to change the positioning of his right arm, which points at his reflection in a building’s facade as he thrusts his hips to and fro while blowing his whistle erratically.

Boston’s slick-fielding, sure-handed, at-bat-extending, fundamentally sound shortstop’s popularity continues to skyrocket as quick as the team’s place in the standings.

Last week’s release of the Scu-Scu-Scutaro video on YouTube has the city awash in fans humming the parody, set to the tune of the 1985 Phil Collins hit “Sussudio.” The original song, which has been a staple on generic easy listening stations for more than two decades, has invaded the subconscious of Red Sox Nation.

“Sussudio” served as the soundtrack to Patrick Bateman’s psycho-sexual, nocturnal blood lust in the movie American Psycho. Similarly, “Scu-Scu-Scutaro” has quickly become a fitting ode to a player who murders the opposition’s pitching staff with his pesky hits, plate discipline and sure hands in the field.

Of course, there are some unintended consequences that have sprung up as a result of Scu-Scu-Scutaro Fever.

For example, a six-inning Little League game this past weekend in Belmont lasted well over four hours due to the mounting number of 11-year-olds who have begun emulating Scutaro’s selectivity at the plate.

“Back when Nomar was king around here in the late ‘90s, I coached a game that only took an hour and fifteen minutes because everyone wanted to swing at the first pitch,” said longtime coach Ed Stevens. “But I’ve never seen anything like this…These kids are doing the flex-and-point and high-fiving each other when one of their teammates foul chops a bouncer into the dugout to keep an at-bat alive.”

Stevens echoes the concerns of many youth baseball coaches in the area who have observed similar obsessions with the Scu-Scu-Scutaro way.

“I’m in a tough spot because I know I should be rewarding these kids for their plate discipline,” reasons the coach. “But I feel a little silly paying for a kid’s Mr. Misty at Dairy Queen just because he made another kid throw him seven pitches in one at-bat.”