It is the worst kept secret in town: The Red Sox are going to fire Bobby Valentine once the 2012 season comes to its merciful end.
Yet even though the outcome may be inevitable, leave it to the Boston Red Sox to deliver some much-needed autumn drama to its starving fanbase.
At a future date in October subject to approval by Major League Baseball, the Red Sox will send Bobby V. to the gallows in style as part of a live televised special that will include a veritable lynch mob of surprise guests; former players; the “Real” Wally the Green Monster; Jenny Dell (pre-recorded); John Henry and Larry Lucchino wearing tuxedos and coattails; an imposter Wally the Green Monster; former and current local television personalities; 6 o’clock evening news anchors and meteorologists; Hazel Mae; a guy with a goatee who looks a little bit like Dave Roberts; and many, many more.*
*(Just kidding. Hazel Mae won’t be there.)
Organizers expect the live special to run at least two hours (not including WB Mason pre- and post-firing analysis).
NESN officials are also promising a 30-minute condensed firing will be rerun throughout the Hot Stove season on both NESN and various local affiliates.
“Lineup cards written by Bobby will be burned; fake mustaches will be worn; shit-eating grins will be obliterated; wrap sandwiches will be fed to full-size elephants and their resulting dung will be packed into trash bags and emptied on top of his car,” said one organizer who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I can’t share too much else. The final script hasn’t been approved just yet…”
The front office, accused by some of becoming a bit tone-deaf to the wishes of its bread-and-butter fanbase over the past season or two, has seemingly come through with a slam dunk idea just in the nick of time.
“This thing is going to be an absolute ratings bonanza,” said one NESN executive from his office in Watertown. “We’ve already got Charlie Moore lined up to host a pre-game fishing special and NESN Daily will have a special booth. We expect that it’s going to be incredibly popular.”
Said another club spokesman, “What better way to lay rest to this atrocity of a season than to very publicly, very humiliatingly relieve Bobby Valentine from his duties as manager of the Red Sox?”
Sources have thus far been coy about exactly how they’ll “break” the news to Bobby V. However, the front office clearly lacks neither firepower nor creativity.
“Hell, we got Bill Cosby here to throw out the first pitch for a meaningless game earlier this month and even Jose Canseco showed up for the Fenway 100-Year Anniversary celebration,” said one official. “With the number of sponsors we have knocking down our door to get in on this, we’ll have a fairly significant chunk of cash to sink into making this whole firing go just right.”
Inside sources are already handicapping the chances that local celebrity personalities such as Ben Affleck, Lenny Clarke or Maria Menounos will be brought in to emcee the extravaganza along with NESN booth mainstays Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.
More obscure emcee possibilities include the actor from The Karate Kid who yells, “Put him in a body bag, Johnny, YEEAHH” (provided he can be rescued from Bill Simmons’ basement) and former Sox utility man Nick Punto, who bragged on Twitter that he would “both literally and figuratively tear away Valentine from his association with the Red Sox uniform.”
But why the public flogging for a guy who clearly wasn’t the only contributing culprit to a season gone awry?
Across the river, a Harvard psychology professor applauded the Sox’s decision to air the firing live on NESN.
“It’s the same old story that harkens back to our earliest history. It is that very human desire to witness pure, elemental suffering at its very core. Why did people in the middle ages show up en masse for public stonings and to the gallows at sundown? I’ll surely have my digital video recorder set in advance.”
If nothing else, the planned live firing extravaganza seemingly vindicates the front office’s decision to hold off on a decision regarding Valentine prior to the regular season’s conclusion.
“Not to brag or anything, but this is exactly how Lucky Larry drew it up at the beginning of the year,” confirmed one high-ranking Sox executive.