Monthly Archives: January 2014

This Winter in Boston Baseballing, 2013 – 2014

Boston enters the final weeks of the Hot Stove stretch having done relatively little tinkering with its roster this offseason aside from resigning Mike Napoli and coming to terms with free agents A.J. Pierzynski and Edward Mujica.

The Red Sox have a number of Top 100 prospects in its minor league ranks who are expected to contribute this season. Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are forecast to see full-time duty while the club also has a few pitchers (Matt Barnes, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo) who could be pitching meaningful innings by the summer if the back end of the rotation doesn’t pan out.

Former Superstar Grady Sizemore Signs With Boston
The Red Sox were evidently the only team willing to give Sizemore a significant major league contract. He will earn at least $750,000 and if he somehow supplants Jackie Bradley, Jr. as the starting center fielder and performs well, he could make up to $6 million.

Edward Sutelan writes on FanGraph’s Community page:

The signing of Grady Sizemore is an indication that they are ready to give Jacoby Ellsbury’s former job over to Jackie Bradley Jr., but it also shows that they are prepared with a backup plan in case that doesn’t pan out.  Some would say that Sizemore is hardly a backup plan as he could very well end up injured, which is absolutely true, and that an outfield of Gomes LF, Victorino CF, and Nava RF would happen in the event of Bradley turning out to be a dud.  But with Sizemore comes a tremendous amount of upside.  Five years ago he was a 30-30 player and a gold glover in the outfield.

Boston Rounds Out the Roster
In addition to the Sizemore signing, which generated the most fanfare, the Red Sox also made a series of minor moves to round out the roster, trading Franklin Morales for Jonathan Herrera and making pitcher depth signings in Jose Mijares and Jose Valdez.

Jerry Remy Announces He Will Return to NESN in 2014
In an interview on Monday at the station’s headquarters, the NESN color analyst said that as recently as December, he thought he was finished. However, he has had a change of heart since the New Year as family and friends implored him to come back.

Ortiz Gives Bizarre Interview With A Dog on his Lap
Boston may as well accept that Ortiz’s heroics and prolonged popularity allot him a unique amount of leverage. He is unlikely to ever be OK with entering a given spring with his current contract due to expire six months later. His public ploy for another extension is absolutely an opportunistic money-grab. But, really, what is it worth pride-wise for the organization to take a hard line?

One of these years, Ortiz is going to lose enough bat speed and become a lousy hitter. At that point, he will become a sunk cost, dead money on the Sox payroll. But it’s at least worth noting, as Pete Abraham noted on Boston.com earlier this week, for all his contributions to the club’s success, Papi’s salary has averaged only about $10 million per year over the past decade. The amount of cash it will take to forego this annual conversation until, probably, next spring amounts to a rounding error for the team. And it’s hard to argue that it sets a dangerous precedent because nobody else is David Ortiz. He is the only guy who can get away with this kind of yearly posturing. As the team has come to find out, he damn well knows it.

And of course, Papi looked especially villainous during this latest round of posturing thanks to giving his interview with WBZ while holding a small dog in his lap a la Dr. Evil.

Ortiz with dog on lap

The Red Sox Sit Out the Masahiro Tanaka Madness
Los Angeles, New York and Chicago were reportedly the three most active bidders in the Tanaka sweepstakes. The Yankees’ 7-year, $155m deal with Tanaka screams desperation. New York probably would have been smarter to sign a few shorter-term stopgap deals to insure themselves against injury and age (i.e. bring in Stephen Drew to spell the inevitable absence of Derek Jeter). But the tactic of signing Tanaka underscores that New York can’t afford to just be pretty good with marginal names. It needs cache and name recognition.

Red Sox fans should be thrilled that a rival AL East team signed Tanaka as he is a good bet to be one of the most exciting pitchers to watch during the upcoming half decade or so. And all the while, the move isn’t likely to garner New York any competitive advantage over Boston.

Larry Lucchino Renews His Favorite Narrative
In the wake of New York’s deal with Tanaka, Lucky Larry just couldn’t resist belly-aching over the Yankees’ seemingly endless budget. Lucchino makes these comments just about every time Boston’s AL East rival announces a splashy free agent signing.

As David Schoenfield mused Tuesday on ESPN, life is “tough for small-market Red Sox”:

Even in 2013, when the Red Sox trimmed their Opening Day payroll from $175 million to $155 million, they had the fourth-largest Opening Day payroll behind only the Yankees, Dodgers and Phillies. They’re not exactly the Pirates or A’s here.

For all the accolades given to the Red Sox for their 2012-2013 offseason when they went after second-tier free agents like Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes, let’s be honest here: They still bought those players. You don’t think the Pirates are smart enough to know they could have improved their club this winter with a couple of strategic free-agent signings? You don’t think the Rays would just once want to sign a free agent that costs more than the Red Sox pay for a part-time left fielder?

It’s difficult not to take Lucky’s comments as the kinds of pointed opinions PR-minded dudes like Lucchino employ to rile up its bottom line – the ticket-buying, apparel-purchasing section of the fanbase. We have a difficult time thinking he even truly believes it. The Yankees more or less bought a World Series in 2009 but have otherwise seen very little correlation between success and bloated contracts, payrolls or luxury tax payments.

Lucchino only further exposes himself as a phony – if that’s even possible at this point – when he comes out with such a disingenuous assessment of other teams’ fiscal behavior – especially in matters relating to the rival Yankees. The Red Sox boast a top 5 farm system right now – maybe even vying for one of the best depending who you ask. It has a lot of young talent that will be price-controlled and will likely mitigate any need to make the kinds of nine-figure signings the Yankees and other big market clubs like Anaheim have been inking lately.

Based on this enviable position, the team will almost certainly use the savings to supplement that talent by overpaying some higher-visibility, recognizable free agents and to looking toward various contract extensions with marketable superstars (Lester, Ortiz, etc.) already on the roster.

The money has been there ever since the John Henry regime took over in 2002. There is no reason why this ballclub, with three World Series championships in 10 years next to just one for New York, needs to falsely pump itself up as some kind of model for relative fiscal restraint.

As shown in the chart below, the payrolls for the Yankees and the Red Sox are indeed in a different stratosphere. However, averaging Tampa Bay, Toronto and Baltimore’s yearly payroll (the black line), Boston is clearly trending closer and closer toward the ceiling set by New York and distancing itself from the other three teams in the division.

AL East Payroll 2002 to Present

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NESN reporter Jenny Dell’s scoop on Will Middlebrooks’ offseason work at 2B called into question by people with opinions

It was only a matter of time.

middlebrooks

WMB as Pedroia’s backup? Watchdog journalists are questioning whether he has the mechanics.

Jenny Dell has officially broken through with her first major “get” thanks to her privileged access to a player on the Red Sox.

During a segment featured on NESN Daily, Dell dropped a potentially significant bombshell upon Red Sox Nation last night: Will Middlebrooks, Boston’s starting third baseman and her current boyfriend, has been taking ground balls and “working out extra” at second base this offseason. Dell cryptically floated the news and refused to elaborate.

Media analysts, industry experts and professional linguists believe that if the report is true, the team is working Middlebrooks at a different position in an effort to expand his role with the team in case Boston re-signs Stephen Drew and opts to move Xander Bogaerts to third.

Jenny on ledge

Jenny Dell is standing by her story about her boyfriend Will Middlebrooks’ extended work at second base this winter.

As one analyst from the Poynter Institute noted, “The team doesn’t really have that clear-cut, utility infielder that really rounds out a true contender. Sure, there are a few guys like Brock Holt on the 40-man roster. But if Middlebrooks is able to serve as insurance against a Pedroia injury, the team will really enjoy a measurably higher amount of roster flexibility.”

It should be noted that Middlebrooks did indeed put in some time last summer working out at second base in case the team needed him in a pinch prior to Holt’s September call up. He even played four errorless innings at the position in San Francisco in August.

However, long-time media critics speaking to Fenway Pastoral on condition of anonymity are having a hard time digesting the veracity of this particular report.

“Will doesn’t have the touch OR the soft hands required to consistently work around the second base bag, initiating double plays, turning over tosses from the shortstop, fielding short-hops from the catcher on steal attempts,” observed one journalism ethics watchdog. “He’s got a good throwing arm, but that would be largely useless at second base. I don’t know how Jenny Dell – of ALL people – doesn’t know that. What games has she been watching these past two years?”

Said another respected observer, “He’s probably just having a little bit of fun is all. I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s January for crying out loud. Maybe everybody should just freaking relax and see where things actually stand in March. I don’t know why people are getting all up in arms about this. The real question is can Will lay off the high fastball and hit for a consistent average.”

Added a Pundit Who Says Lots Of Stuff On the Radio, “I start at third base on the station’s softball team and I had to fill in at second one day due to an injury. It was a hard transition! The footwork and the timing and the angle at which the ball leaves the bat? All that stuff is so different at second base. I have grave concerns about this whole thing if it’s true. WMB better check himself.”

Screen Grabs from YouTube MLB Classics: Red Sox Pitching Coach Juan Nieves’ No Hitter in 1987

Watching footage from 1980s baseball games feels like witnessing some relic from baseball’s distant past. The basic details and rules of America’s Pastime are there, but the aesthetics just feel remarkably different. Like 70s porn, the key nuances – the mustaches, the stances, the positioning, the ball girls that look like Van Halen groupies – combine to distinguish it in greatness even amidst much scaled down production values (relative to today’s broadcasts). Cherry-pick any game uploaded to YouTube and it becomes apparent. If nothing else, this old archive footage can help us power through the remaining weeks of the long, cold winter leading up to spring training.

On April 15, 1987, southpaw Juan Nieves became the first Puerto Rican player to pitch a no-hitter, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in what was then a showdown between two American League East ball clubs. Nieves accomplished the feat only about a year after his major league debut.

Nieves became Boston’s pitching coach in 2013 and there are other interesting Red Sox angles to this one as well. Milwaukee started former Red Sox Cecil Cooper at DH while former third base coach Dale Sveum manned shortstop. Meanwhile, Baltimore’s lineup included second baseman Rick Burleson (playing in his final season) and a center fielder named Fred Lynn. The Orioles also had Ray Knight at third base, fresh off his 1986 World Series MVP performance the prior fall and the karmic justice of a killer case of kidney stones during spring training.

Jim Paschke and Mike Hegan from WBTV, the Milwaukee Brewers’ television network, provide the call, never once mentioning the no-hitter until the final out is in Robin Yount’s glove.

00:10: Milwaukee’s lineup.

Milwaukee lineup

00.30: Baltimore’s defense.

 Baltimore defense

1:56: Orioles starter Mike Flanagan starts off the game in front of a not-so-packed Memorial Stadium crowd (paid attendance was listed at about 11,400) that isn’t all that anxious to sit through this drab and rainy April affair.

Memorial Stadium empty

Somewhat reminiscent of the typical turnout in the home plate box seats at New New Yankee Stadium…

Flanagan first pitch

8:47: Juan Nieves, who had an inauspicious start to the 1987 season and had reportedly “lost his way” during a tumultuous 1986 rookie season, takes the hill after the Brewers go down in order in the top of the first.

Nieves takes mound

12:20: Nieves gets No. 2 hitter Rick Burleson to chase a 12-to-6 breaking ball for his first strikeout of the game. The pitch was characterized by the commentators as a “slurve” but was later explained as likely a hybrid of a split-finger and a knuckleball.

Nieves Ks Burleson

12:43: Cal Ripken, a mere 29% through his 2,632 consecutive games played streak as of this particular AB. He would pop out to end the inning.

Cal Ripken AB

13:40: Special graphics for Brewer Baseball ‘87. Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” is the choice for the outro music, obviously.

Brewer baseball 87

13:59: Cecil Cooper with some cool specs that would make many modern hipsters drool all over their flannel.

Cecil Cooper specs

21:22: Jim Paciorek makes a diving catch in left field to rob Eddie Murray of a single in the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Pachorek catch

23:33: What is Ray Knight grinning about? What a rat bastard…Knight would wind up drawing a walk from Nieves.

Ray Knight grinning

37:34: A check on other AL scores has Boston beating Texas, 5-4, at Fenway Park (Dwight Evans hit a homer and a triple and Wes Gardner saved Bruce Hurst’s bacon by pitching three innings out of the pen, striking out seven).

Boston v Texas final

40:23: Somehow Ken Gerhart hooks a pitch right down Main St. so high and far down the left-field line that it catches a jetstream and blows foul. Based on the camera track and where the crowd is scurrying in the bleachers, it’s hard to figure how this ball could have hooked far enough left to be foul unless it immediately changed path in mid-air before it landed in the seats. The third base umpire was Derryl Cousins. Nieves would eventually walk Gerhart before striking out Burleson to end the 3rd inning.

Gerhart foul ball

46:50: Lucky No. 7 Dale Sveum puts the Brewers on the board by pulling a lazy fly ball that manages to drift just over the wall next to the left-field foul pole. It landed nowhere near as high as Gerhart’s foul ball shown above…For your amusement, here he is rounding third base.

Sveum HR

54:44: In the 4th, Ripken takes a pitch well inside and below the knees on a hard line down the third-base line that looks like a hit as it leaves the meat of the bat. But Paul Molitor barely even needed to move to make the play. Batted ball luck: a must-have during virtually any no-hitter. (As it would turn out, this game would serve as a chief case in point in regards to the powers and influence of BABIP in small samples.)

Ripken liner

1:03:09: As Nieves deals to Knight to lead off the 5th inning, the commentators dance around any discussion of a no-hitter, instead filling the void with safer ground: gushing over Bo Jackson’s evening against Kansas City the night before. Bo famously scored a touchdown and kicked the extra point in the game.

Nieves delivers in 5th

1:07:11: Cal Ripken, Sr. looks like he’d be a fun dude to share a bottle of bourbon with.

Cal Ripken Sr

1:08:07: Another close call for Nieves as John Shelby hits one that barely lands foul down the left-field line. It would have been a sure double had it landed fair as Paciorek was shaded toward left-center.

Another close call

The platform in left where the ball landed, acting as the roof to the groundskeeper’s tool shed.

Platform in LF

1:10:31: Shelby goes down swinging for Nieves’ fourth strikeout on a pretty hittable pitch up in the zone.

Shelby Ks

1:11:00: Molitor would snare the final out on the next pitch to get Juan through five.

Molitor catch in 5th

1:20:11: Nieves fools Gerhart into swinging at this breaking ball to strike out leading off the 6th. A flyout to center and a flyout to right would do it for the inning.

Gerhart Ks in 6th

The Brewers’ two-run 7th inning features a leadoff double, a bunt basehit and another double along with a Gerhart error in left. A woman named Mary in Madison won a prize pack thanks to the runs being scored during the designated “Rally Inning.”

1:37:35: Nieves walks Murray on four straight pitches, prompting a visit at the mound by the pitching coach.

Mound visit

1:41:39: It’s Dale Sveum who takes over yet again, first initiating a 6-4-3 double-play on a ball hit by Lynn and then catching this can of corn for the final out in the 7th.

Sveum catches 7th inning popup

1:46:08: The Brewers extend their lead to 6-0 in the top of the 8th with a three-run homer by Greg Brock.

Greg Brock HR

1:52:45: In the 8th, Nieves gets a first-pitch flyout and then sets up the old inside fastball – outside fastball trick on Shelby swinging for the second out. Shelby accounted for three of Juan’s seven total strikeouts in the game.

Shelby's third K

1:53:47: Like the Gerhart foul earlier, the wind saves the day once again as Floyd Rayford gets out in front of a pitch and pulls it just in front of the left-field foul pole. It had the distance as it bounced off the upper deck facade in the corner.

Left field facade

1:55:16: Nieves proceeds to get Rayford to chase a 2-2 outside fastball that puts him just three outs away.

Rayford strikeout 8th

2:01:29: Milwaukee hitters swing early in the count in the top of the 9th in an effort to get Nieves back on the mount as quickly as possible. The Brewers still manage to tack on a run thanks to a Braggs home run off Dave Schmidt. Minutes later, Nieves takes the mound with a 7-0 lead in the 9th.

Nieves comes out for 9th

2:02:30: Gerhart swings at the first pitch and grounds out to third, bringing up Burleson. Nieves doesn’t look worried.

Nieves not worried 9th

2:02:43: Burleson hits a line drive to third, also on the first pitch, and Molitor again fields it no problem. It is the third line drive of the game hit right at him. Molitor gets extra points for grabbing this as a short-hopper here may have spelled trouble.

Molitor fields liner 9th

2:05:02: Cal Ripken draws the fifth walk of Nieves’ night, bringing up Eddie Murray, who lifts the first pitch to left-center field. And Robin Yount makes the play of the night, just laying out to clinch the no-no.

Yount dive in 9th

Yount high five

2:06:02: Nieves celebrates as he finishes the first no-hitter in Brewers history.

Nieves first no no

Nieves celebrates

Overall, Nieves exhibited much guile and instinct with what was generally a mediocre repertoire. Game score-wise, Nieves was hardly dominant – his seven strikeouts were largely offset by five walks. However, this wasn’t exactly Phil Humber no-hitting the lowly Seattle Mariners lineup a couple of years ago. Baltimore’s offense featured some firepower, namely Ripken and Murray. But they were also fairly free-swinging in this game and Nieves took advantage by working around the better hitters and taking advantage of mismatches (hello, Mark Shelby).

CLASSIC RED SOX SCREEN GRAB SERIES:

1975 World Series, Game 6

1986 ALCS, Game 6

1990 ALCS, Game 1

1999 ALDS, Game 5

1999 ALCS, Game 3

The Youker Files: Packing up for a year in Japan

Written exclusively for Fenway Pastoral by former Red Sox infielder and fan favorite, Kevin Youkilis.

(Youker Files diary archives can be found here.)

As a child of the early 90s, I’ve seen the movie Mr. Baseball about a thousand times thanks to TNT and TBS. In the film, a former major league superstar played by Tom Selleck is traded from the New York Yankees to the Chunichi Dragons when his career in the U.S. goes south. Selleck’s character struggles to fit in on his new team.

youkilis mr. baseball

But then some weird stuff happens. He falls in love with one of the locals, wins over the fan base, starts to figure out the culture and, at the climax of the movie, hits home runs in seven straight games in really dramatic fashion. He marries the girl, returns triumphantly to the U.S. and winds up becoming the manager of the Detroit Tigers. I won’t rehash any more details in case some of the younger readers haven’t seen the film yet.

So anyway, the parallels here are eerie, right? Only a few minor details are different. I myself just finished up a less-than-stellar year with the Yankees. And I’ll be playing for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, not for Chunichi. But otherwise – the killer mustache? the Hollywood pedigree? the rugged American sex symbol in a classic fish-out-of-water scenario? the hairy forearms? I’m blushing here, but yeah, I am like the real life Mr. Baseball or whatever.

Back when I went over to Tokyo in March 2008 with the Red Sox to play the Athletics to start the season, I didn’t have a lot of time to really assimilate into the culture or anything. It was just too much of a whirlwind. But if we had been there for a few more days, though, the vibe I got was that I was on the verge of total acceptance. I mean, no offense to Red Sox Nation here, but Japanese fans coordinate their chants in perfect synchronicity. It’s amazing. So I really think these Golden Eagles fans are going to nail the “Yooouuuk” thing pretty early on.

Plus, check out this picture the Associate Press got of me trying to follow along with a pregame Awaodoi dance routine put on by some of the native dancers. I think I held my own pretty well.

Youkilis in Tokyo

On top of that, just check out this article in The Japan Times about how Japanese baseball fans love the artistic genius of unconventional batting stances. In fact, the writer says I am the Michelangelo of batting stances. Yeah, I definitely feel the same way and he was my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as well so there is just a lot of Zen-like harmony and symmetry in this world.

There are other reasons I had to do this deal with Tohoku you guys. I get a $4 million base salary and I can get another million more if I hit some basic benchmarks. And this is where I really took them for a ride: Part of how they calculate the incentives is how many walks I draw. I mean, c’mon! They would have been calling me The Wolf of Yawkey Way or something if MLB teams had stuff like that written into their contracts five or six years ago.

Some people have been asking about how I’ll assimilate into the culture. (Tom Selleck didn’t really get it at first because he was being an idiot.) But I think I’ll do just fine. I’m taking my wife, Tom Brady’s sister Julie, and my kids. Plus, I’ve done pretty well for myself in yoga class even after the embarrassment of that first session, when I accidentally ripped a fart in the middle of one of the poses. A lot of people sent me heartfelt messages after that incident and told me to just keep my head up and forge ahead. Turns out that farting isn’t all that uncommon during yoga and I never had to feel as ashamed as I did. I kinda figured that, but it was still nice to hear people come out of the woodwork and say it.

It’s not going to be all baseball over there either. I’ve got some things I wouldn’t mind doing while I’m over there. If they’re still around, it would be cool to meet the guys who made the 8-bit Nintendo video game Contra. I was so good at that game back when I was 11 or 12 years old that I didn’t even need to use the cheat code for unlimited lives. I’m pretty sure there are only a handful of us around so maybe the developers of that game would appreciate meeting me?

So I guess it’s off to the Far East. I’m not sure why they can’t just call it the Near West if you fly to Japan from California or really anywhere on the West Coast, but whatever. I’m not in the mood to fight every little battle. For example, the sushi thing. Yeah, that’ll probably come up a fair amount. I don’t eat raw fish and people will just have to deal with that.

I know that some of you guys out there kind of floated the idea of me coming back to the Sox before the team re-signed Napoli. Yeah, I would have probably crushed it at first base and as a DH spelling David Ortiz, but I think it was some Zen Buddhist or other Asian philosopher who first coined the phrase “Everything happens for a reason.”

If you really think about it, that’s pretty insightful. It’s definitely a little more useful than other motivational sayings I’ve heard like Millar’s “Cowboy Up” thing. Then again, Kevin Millar wouldn’t understand a good koan if you etched it on a baseball and drilled it into his ribs. I suppose that’s my way of saying the Red Sox will be alright without me. And, hey, if the Red Sox end up signing Masahiro Tanaka away from my new team, it’ll be kind of an even trade right? Funny how these things work out in the end.

And, look, at the very least my new career in Japan can’t possibly be any weirder than Manny going over to Taiwan last year, right?

Stop drinking chocolate milk, have breakfast, eat salmon and you too can live like Gabe Kapler

Want cut, chiseled muscles like former Red Sox outfielder and fan favorite Gabe Kapler? Well, stop drinking Yoohoo like an asshole and start binging on wild Alaskan salmon.

gabe kapler kapstyle

Kapler’s new blog, KapLifeStyle.com, is barely more than a week old. Yet he’s already touched on numerous subjects essential to survival (six-pack abs, juice cleanses, Whole Foods) and also not so essential (vacations, said flavored milk).

Kapler hit the ground running on his site, which is ostensibly aimed at ushering in a new generation of major league outfielders who get completely jacked out of their friggin skulls the old-fashioned way–one avocado at a time.

Kaplifestyle

Boston Bullpen Cop Steve Horgan on 2014: “I should probably put my arms down at some point this year, but then again maybe not, right?”

P1040672

Boston Police officer Steve Horgan spent just about all of the final two months of 2013 with his arms raised in the iconic pose that made him a household name during the ALCS last October. Fundraisers, galas, dances, balls, movie premiers, wakes, funerals, CPR certification classes – every occasion seemed to just naturally call for some Steve Horgan Arms.

During an exclusive interview conducted during New Year’s Day, Horgan admitted that old habits die hard.

“It’s been a lot tougher than I thought to shake this,” Horgan said. “I know you probably think I’m straining and going out of my way to keep my arms raised even when I’m just sitting in a chair conversing with you. But it’s not an act. This is all too real.”

The good-natured Horgan says that sometime in November, when requests from family, friends and strangers alike to Do the pose! reached critical mass, his shoulder muscles began reassigning themselves to support the weight of his upraised arms.

“Right now, if I pull my arms down to perform even menial tasks like brushing my teeth even just drinking a sip of coffee, it becomes very difficult for me because my arms and shoulders just begin kind of shaking. Normal, arms-down posture just isn’t normal for me anymore. My arms, they just kind of MUST be raised.”

Horgan takes a drink of water – most of which winds up on his BPD sweatshirt – in a downright chilling display that confirms his troubling affliction. He wipes the dribble off his chin by rubbing it against his now massive shoulders and returns to his former stance.

While people may presume that he will need to address the issue before it further impacts his quality of life, Officer Horgan isn’t so sure anymore.

“At first, I was a bit alarmed. I thought that I was some kind of modern day iteration of a Greek tragedy. ‘The Guy Who Wouldn’t Put His Arms Down’ or whatever. But I don’t know anymore. If every man on this earth has a purpose, maybe this is why I’m here. To put my arms up in the air. It seems to make everyone pretty happy.”

A conscious choice to cultivate his condition may spell the end to his days on the Boston police force. However, Horgan figures he won’t be hurting for cash anytime soon.

“I’ve hired an assistant to comb through various endorsement opportunities. We are in talks with a couple of deodorant manufacturers. And in the meantime, I’ve got a bunch of birthdays, bachelorette parties, Bar Mitzvahs and what-have-you lined up.”

Horgan also believes there may be a certain understated nobility to having a disease named after him, should the medical profession take notice of his rare condition for further study.

“You already got Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Tommy John Surgery, Steve Blass Disease…Now, add Steve Horgan Arms to that list. I’d be in pretty good company.”

One last thing Horgan seems to be sure of is that he doesn’t want to mess with a good thing.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You know? The Red Sox resigned Mike Napoli and are bringing back most of the guys who had such awesome clubhouse chemistry last year,” Horgan reasons. “In some way, I feel like I was a part of that feel-good vibe. Yup, I think I’m gonna ride this thing out just as long as I can.”