Each Tuesday (I believe it’s Tuesday) on the “Mike and Mike” program on ESPN radio, the guys poll their listening audience via email and texting as to who they should award the weekly “Just Shut Up Award”. They usually have three nominees and either play soundbites or read quotes from the individuals, offer some commentary themselves, encourage listeners to vote, and announce the winner later in the program. I’ve never taken part in the voting (though I do listen to the entries if the timing coincides with my morning routine of ironing my clothes for work), but this week have a suggestion for a nominee.
I don’t recall his name off hand, but I imagine either Mike or Mike could find this out for me considering the guy is a fellow reporter for ESPN radio. He was one of the reporters on the field last night following the Red Sox versus Rockies game of the World Series. The nameless reporter to whom I refer happened upon Mike Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach, approximately 3 minutes after Jonathan Papelbon struck out the last Rockies batter he faced, winning the game for the Sox and setting off a scene of great joy and celebration for the team.
The Sox won, achieving a goal they set out for themselves way back in February when pitchers and catchers first reported to spring training. And it was indeed a feat they had accomplished – a feat that began at least 10 months ago, 162 regular season games ago, 14 playoff games ago. It was the culmination of more tireless work and effort than any bystander – fan or reporter – can possibly fathom. And perhaps this explains the utter absurdity of the question the reporter asked. Perhaps it excuses his stupidity, for could he possibly have understood all that was really happening around him? Maybe not. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt. But more… I think I’ll just give him my vote.
He approaches Mr. Farrell, in the midst of the revelry and relief of victory, and asks him if he’s going to be the next manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yes, this is the question he poses. He does not ask him anything about being a part of the Red Sox – the team that has just won the World Series. The team that just finished in first place overall. No, he asks him about a vacancy on a last place team that finished playing baseball about a month ago. At least one hundred and eighty seconds have passed since he became the pitching coach of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. I guess our reporter thinks that surely Mr. Farrell is ready to move on now. Surely it’s all behind him and he’s ready to think about and/or talk about his future vocational plans. That’s the world we live in. Fast and future-oriented. Who the heck lives in the present?
Evidently, not this reporter. No, I imagine him as the kind of guy who might step into the delivery room following his wife’s 16-hour labor to deliver triplets and ask her if she’s ready for another roll in the hay. Afterall, I’m sure HE’D feel it was time to move forward.