The Baseball Guru - Beer and Chicken? Don't Make Me Laugh by John B Holway Home Page

Baseball Analysis  John Holway / Yankees / Red Sox

Also Read: Joe Girardi and Baseball's Unbreakable Code ARod and Manny and Ted  Come Back Tessie, We Still Love You



CRWe are informed that three Red Sox out of 25 on the regular roster (40 on the September roster) drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse. When and how often? We are not told.

The Sox were awful in April, super in May through August, and dreadful in September.

But three cans of beer and some chicken!? I dont get the connection.

Babe Ruth must be slapping his knee and busting his gut Up There (or down there, or wherever he is).

Back when I was a young fella, baseball men were men.

Babe's legendary boozing and whoring didn't prevent him from smashing homers and winning pennants.

Mantle, Martin, Ford, Bauer? The Yankees won pennants year after year while they were staggering around Manhattan , leaving a trail of martini olives and bashing fans' heads in the Copacana men's room. Mantle showed up at one game in Baltimore totally hung over. Bauer, then managing the O's, told his pitcher to groove them to Mick, who smashed a home run. "I saw three balls," Mickey said, and swung at the middle one.

Don Larsen wrapped his car around a telephone pole around three a.m. Asked why Don was out so late, Casey Stengel shrugged, "Maybe he was mailing a letter." I don't remember whether that was before or after Larsen's perfect World Series game.

Yankee manager Joe McCarthy took swigs from a brown paper bag on the bench, then snored it off in a corner. At Boston , the Sox finally found him literally in the gutter and sent him home to Buffalo for good. He's now in the Hall of Fame.

Boston's Ellis Kinder couldn't pitch if he wasn't blotto. If he was, he could win 23 games. The players laughed. "We're gonna ship his arm to Cooperstown and his body to the Harvard medical school."

Cleveland catcher Rollie Hemsley was a notorious drunk - and the best receiver Bob Feller ever pitched to.

In '48 the Indians' Ken Keltner sat up in the club car on the train drinking all night before the playoff, in which he hit two home runs to win the pennant.

The 1986 Mets were world champs with cocaine snorters Daryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden leading the way.

Baseball's most famous drunk, Grover Alexander, won 373 games. Paul Waner made 3,000 hits.

A can of beer and a chicken!

Three players. That leaves 22 guys on the regular roster. They include Pedroia, Ellsbury, Ortiz, Youkilis, Gonzales etc etc. Which ones were responsible for the collapse? We may as well include Jon Lester, one of the sinners, who pitched very well in the finale - two runs in six innings on short rest.

John Lackey never lived up to our hopes when we got him. Now we find out he needs Tommy John. In 2013 will he be the pitcher we thought we were buying?

The main cause of the big stumble was not three cans of beer. It was losing Matsuzaka after he pitched two back-to-back one-hitters in April, then losing Bucholz who was 6-3 when he was knocked out for the rest of the year in June. That left two pitchers, Beckett and Lester, plus the sore-armed Lackey, one 45-year old, and whoever Pawtucket could scrounge up. With that rotation, it was a great achievement to win 90 games. How many tee-totaling teams could win as many?

Give us a healthy four-man pitching staff, and the Sox could make history next year.

John B Holway has been a Red Sox fan since 1940.

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