Dave Parker, crushing it.

Dave Parker, crushing it.

A few years ago at a place of business we shall leave nameless, I was feeling less than inspired. It was hard to see what, if any, impact I was really making beyond just getting through another day without throwing an inkjet printer three floors down into the lobby. It’s your run-of-the-mill office restlessness, but it was mine and it came at a point where it all felt like one cumbersome weight.

The saving grace here was that I wasn’t alone. I had three or four co-conspirators who were just as frustrated and annoyed by our rigid 8-to-5 life, and we came up with a series of inside jokes to help pass the time.

One of them featured the gentleman in this card, Dave Parker. By the time I learned about him, he was augmenting the Bash Brothers in Oakland, a still-viable designated hitter in his late 30s who could send 20 or more baseballs out of the park. We discovered some truly amazing pictures of Parker in his earlier days as a veritable baseball hurricane in Pittsburgh, winning MVP awards and sporting some terrifying face gear and occasionally lighting one up in the dugout. We printed up all of these and hung them up around the office.

I also had this card of him as a Milwaukee Brewer and I taped it to the monitor of my computer. When things got tough or our boss gave us yet another meaningless or impossible task, it was, “be strong like Dave Parker,” or “what would Dave Parker do?”

It’s March now. This is the time to start thinking about baseball and bitching about lineups and Spring Training scores, typically. But always, it seems like a good time to chill before crushing whatever problem is staring us in the face into oblivion.

What would Dave Parker do? He’d chill. Then he’d take care of business.

Cobra

darkness-boston-110115

I’ve felt like I’ve been in a cloud all day.

I’ve had a little twitch in my left eye that’s come and gone to accompany the drifting headache and general exhaustion that comes with not going to bed until nearly 2 a.m. on a day where I was an hour busier than usual. So a thank you goes out to daylight savings time ending, to The Darkness for putting on one of the more ridiculous rock and roll shows I’ve ever witnessed, and for the Kansas City Royals for ending the 2015 World Series in only the most insane and suitable of fashions. (more…)

At one point, this was Alex Gordon.

At one point, this was Alex Gordon.

I meant to write something — not quite this — before the start of what seems like a wholly improbable World Series, though any cold, rational look at it will show that it’s anything but that. These are two teams built to win in their own ways, one through young, powerful pitchers and the other on speed and opportunism. It’s only a surprise because we endlessly associate everything with the words and colors on their shirts and hats.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. The laundry is what pulls everything together. It’s how we tell who’s who in the stadium, and those stadiums are usually coordinated to match. So it’s natural that we associate decades of losing and ineptitude with the uniforms of those who carried out those sullied legacies.

It’s the uniform that’s the reason for the card posted alongside this piece, mostly because I don’t have a lot of cards of the current members of these teams. As feverishly as my baseball card collecting came back around 2010, so too it went shortly after. So here’s Alex Gordon, back when he was a clean-shaven third baseman and thought to be a disappointment, not the lynchpin of a free-swinging group of relative youngsters. (more…)

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

I missed Rich Hill’s latest gem — a complete game shutout over the Orioles at Fenway Park, with 10 more strikeouts, just one walk and an insane amount of goodwill pushing him. He’s a hometown guy, he’s been to hell and back personally, and professionally he’s making an unthinkable run through September as part of the patchwork Red Sox rotation.

I missed it because I went to a fancy dinner with my girlfriend after work. I got to have a nice drink and a nice meal on one of the first truly crisp fall days in New England. I wore a sweater and still felt a little chilly when I was outside. (more…)

When he was on the mound, nothing else mattered.

When he was on the mound, nothing else mattered.

To illustrate why most Bostonians would have rather been willing to submit to a daily full-cavity search than to host the Olympics, consider the scene at Park Street Station yesterday afternoon around 5:30 p.m.

With hundreds (thousands?) of fans packed onto the Green Line platform on a day approaching 90 degrees with about 4,000 percent humidity trying desperately to climb onto one of the few B, C or D trolleys to Kenmore Square (never E, of course), there’s a mad rush whenever the appropriate train pulls up and the threat of collapsing due to dehydration grows with every closed door packed with three more helpless people stuffed alongside it as they shut.

It’s a nightmare. It’s not news, just an inevitable part of trying to get to Fenway Park on a weeknight. The crush has been a little better lately, thanks to the Red Sox’ decision to give everyone a breather for another season, but it was back yesterday, a reminder that this city exists on the edge every day anyway, and that people will put up with a lot if they think it’s worth it.

The desperation’s slight uptick was thanks to Pedro Martinez, who was due to have his number retired at Fenway Park. The crowds and sweat and inefficiency would be dealt with. Nothing else mattered. This was actually important. (more…)