Say it ain't so, Heidi. Say it ain't so.
We can handle the departures of Tito, Theo, J.D. Drew, Dr. Tom Gill, the strength coach and Jonathan Papelbon. We were fine with the snub by Mike Maddux. We can cope with the humiliation of coming in 2d place to the Cubs in the Dale Sveum sweepstakes. (Et tu, Dale.) But this is the cruelest loss in an offseason of tumult, embarrassment and defeat. Heidi Watney is leaving NESN. Who is going to tell us what to eat in Baltimore? Who is going to interview Dustin Pedroia after the Sox clinch 3d place on September 28th? Who is going to chat up Daniel Bard after that 46-pitch save against Toronto? My favorite Heidi moment was her full-out sprint along the third-base line after Jacoby Ellsbury's walkoff home run against the Indians on Aug. 3. You can see it at about the 19-second mark of this video:
She was probably the 2d fastest person on the field that night. It would have taken A-Gonz a week to cover that same turf. Most sportswriters and bloggers would need oxygen and knee surgery after a dash like that. It would have landed me on the 15-day DL for exhaustion. There's no word on the current price of those "Heidi Watney Lowell Spinners" bobbleheads. They will be a valued collectible as we watch her via satellite during the Lakers' games once the NBA season resumes around 2016 - which will be about the time the Red Sox find a manager. Being a young, athletic, blonde sideline reporter for the Red Sox network during Red Sox telecasts since 2008 make Watney a natural target for ridicule and an excuse for endless rumors and conjecture about her personal life. The "mudslinging" reached a new low along with everything this offseason. Can't wait for the "Watney-Metta World Peace" stories to surface. She's going home and California's gain is our loss. But the Lakers. Sorry, that's traitor territory. "Judas" Damon meet "Judith" Watney. What's next - Naoko jumping ship to Montreal? If that happens, I may never watch NESN again. Watney's personality and grace will be missed by Red Sox viewers. She was articulate and knew what she was talking about most every night, except when it came to that chicken and waffle sandwich in Cleveland.
To help cushion this blow, you might want to know that Red Sox are offering 25 percent off any one item at the www.redsox.com shop website through Nov. 21. Wondering if that discount applies to season tickets, the next manager, the new closer or David Ortiz's next contract. Speaking of closers, Jonathan Papelbon "Authentic Home" jerseys are still available for $194.99 - plus tax and shipping. But with that 25 percent discount, they are a steal at $146.24. Home jersey? Funny how a Phillies jersey looks just like a Red Sox jersey from the back.
Among the responses posted to this discount offer on the Red Sox Facebook page:
Carol B.: "You have got to be kidding. The Red Sox have to realize that their fans aren't stupid. I'm not sure I'll go to a game, watch a game, or wear any Red Sox merchandise. And I have to change my dog's name from Fenway."
Josh A.: "Comes with free Josh Beckett workout video. Chugging to the Oldies"
Michael R.: "How about 25% off Crawford's contract?"
And Michael P.: "Never again thx to Donald Fitzpatrick! I use to love the Sox! I cant stand racism or a cover up to sexual abuse to an innocent child!"
That last remark refers to the former Red Sox clubhouse manager who sexually abused at least a dozen African-American boys while they worked as attendants for the team from 1971 to 1991. The parallels to what happened in Happy Valley are undeniable, even though the current regime in charge at Fenway settled the civil lawsuit that stemmed from the case in 2002. Much has been written and said concerning the Fitzpatrick case in the past week. Everyone, but Red Sox fans in particular who might not know about this tragedy for whatever reason (age, Pink Hatness, geography), ought to be aware of this sorry chapter in the team's history, especially as details continue to emerge from what occurred at Penn State. This piece by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports offers an in-depth and updated look at the Red Sox sexual abuse scandal. The details are graphic, as you might imagine. Sadly, it's a must-read.
Don't forget to join us right here for our weekly Patriots in-game fan chat Monday against the Chiefs. We'll get it started at 8 p.m. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to follow us on twitter @realOBF. Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.
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