Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shill Shamelessly sez: Sox a lock for Series

[Editors' Note: One of the Spy's best-tolerated [Surely, best-loved? – Ed.] features over the years has been the candid reports of its veteran sports columnist, Shill Shamelessly, the Owner's Friend.  Since the days of Mike Higgins, ol' Shill has given Spy readers his unvarnished version of whatever the owner of the team has wanted him to say.  This year, it's no different.]

By Shill Shamelessly
Legendary Sports Columnist

FT. MYERS, Fla. – Greetings, Red Sox Nation!  Again this year, ol' Shill has made the trek to beautiful Southwest Florida to give you the low-down on the Olde Towne Team and for the 63rd consecutive year, the Shillster can confidently report: this is the year!

Before I give you my expert analysis on why the Red Sox are sure to sweep the Series in 2016, let me thank Mr. John Henry and the wonderful Red Sox organization for continuing to take such good care of the hard-working (and thirsty!) baseball press corps.  That all-day buffet of corned-beef sandwiches and frosty-cold But Lights sure makes life easier for yours truly, especially because certain organizations which shall not be named have cut ol' Shill's meal money down to $3.99 a day, or just enough for the all-you-can-stand buffet at the Golden Palmetto Bug Diner, out on Route 43 just past Pellagra Junction.

Yep, I owe a lot to Mr. Henry, despite the unaccountable decision of certain members of his training staff to not let ol' Shill “hitch a ride” in the equipment truck.  Hey, who knew those edamame nuts were reserved for Koji Uehara?  It's not like they had his name on it, or if they did who could read those hen scratches anyway?

Fortunately, I didn't get to be the dean of Boston baseball writers [He is? – Sports Ed.] by lacking resourcefulness.  So here's a tip of the ol' Sox baseball cap to Lucky Accident Bus Lines of Pawtucket for providing yours truly with a ride to Spring Training on six of their luxurious coaches in exchange for a modest “promotional consideration.”  Offering convenient connections via Bridgeport, Conn., Camden, N.J., Aberdeen, Md., Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Palatka, Florida, it's the only way to travel to Florida, at least for $24.99.

Now that I'm ensconced at the Crouching Python Trailer Park a mere 32 miles from Pail o' Muck Park in Ft. Meyers, let's play ball!  First, here's a shout-out to Mr. Henry and the entire Red Sox Organization for digging deep and acquiring David Price as No. 1 starter and Craig Kimbrel as closer.  It's like I always say: it takes money to make money!  [How come he said last year that Henry was smart not to pay up for washed-up pitchers like Jon Lester? – Sports Ed.]

Pablo Sandoval has never looked fitter
With these wise decisions, the Red Sox pitching staff looks to be set, even if certain whiny washed-up relievers still complain incomprehensibly about some snack foods that they never got.  Cowboy up, Koji!  Do you think your fellow countrymen on Iwo Jima bitched about their edamame?

Of course, the other big issue, and I do mean big, is the controversy about Pablo Sandoval reporting for Spring Training with a slight paunch.  Take it from one of the shrewdest baseball men who ever picked up a phone: Sox executive Dave Dombrowski.  According to Dave, the Panda never looked better.  Sure, he may be 17% body fat but it's in all the right places!

With Ortiz, Ramirez, and Castillo joining Sandoval in the lineup, you'll need to bring your own fat fryer to Fenway this summer because there will be taters for everyone!

And speaking of exclusives, who should ol' Shill run into at the Winnebago dealer next to the Crouching Python Trailer Park, but Sox skipper John Farrell?  Farrell told the Shillmeister exclusively that he wasn't worried about keeping his job and that the RV he was buying was for a friend.  There you have it!

In conclusion, the 2016 Red Sox, rebuilt by Messrs. Henry and Dombrowski, look to be an unstoppable juggernaut sure to bring joy to Fenway and misery to the South Bronx.  And stay away from the edamame nuts – they give you the wind something awful.  Have I ever steered you wrong?

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