Thursday, April 25, 2013
Morning report: Song remains the same
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- Good morning from the Edes cave, where I’ve been listening to the CD “Stay,” by the irreverent Boston band Jim’s Big Ego, which modestly describes itself as “The Greatest Band in the History of Recorded Music” and employs Red Sox organist Josh Kantor as keyboard player and vocalist.
A great sound, and lyrics that include such gems as this: “Why is man born only to suffer and die? Why not?"
The band will be playing on the Great Lawn at Brandeis University on Sunday afternoon as part of the Leonard Bernstein festival of creative arts, though Kantor has a gig at Fenway that afternoon and can’t be in Waltham.
There’s a musical motif to this morning report, namely the adoption by Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey of “Shipping Up to Boston,” the song by the great Dropkick Murphys that became a staple at Fenway Park after Jonathan Papelbon chose it as his entrance music. Well, Pap is gone, starting his second season in Philadelphia, but the song has returned, Bailey making his way from the bullpen to the same tune.
How’d that happen? Bailey explains.
“We talked about it, a couple of us, the first game we got back here," Bailey said. “We decided it’s a Boston song. It’s been a staple for the city for such a long time, the fans really enjoy it. Nothing to do with anything else but the fans love it, and that song is a Boston song."
Pap hasn’t sued for copyright infringement?
“It’s just one of those things, man, it gets them pumped up," Bailey said. “And that’s what it’s about. Nothing other than that. The Red Sox have done such a great job of separating the Fenway experience to the Red Sox. When people come to town, they want to come to a Red Sox game, and part of that experience is that song in the ninth. Red Sox fans deserve it, they like it, obviously, they cheer for it, and we’ll probably stick with it."
Papelbon has moved on to Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
Singing the blues: While the rest of the globe was expressing its solidarity with Boston, poor Carl Crawford was once again lamenting the fact he ever set foot here as a member of the Red Sox. His latest screed came courtesy of USA Today, under the headline " 'I don’t think I smiled’ in two years in Boston."
This interview, mind you, took place last week.
"I try not to even think about my days in Boston anymore," Crawford told USA Today baseball writer Paul White. "It's still just such a nightmare. Every time I think about it, I cringe."
Presumably, the cringing abated long enough for Crawford to deposit the checks he got from the Red Sox as part of the seven-year, $142 million contract he signed for the team, which one could argue was every bit as nightmarish for the ballclub as it was for CC. So nightmarish, in fact, that the Red Sox willingly traded away a player they liked, Adrian Gonzalez, just to get out from under the Crawford [and Josh Beckett] deals.
CC’s Boston bashing has been emboldened in part by his hot start with the Dodgers, although he may want to get in his shots while he still can. He is batting .125 (3 for 24) in his last seven games, and began Thursday hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
"When you hear how bad you are every day, doubts spring into your mind," Crawford says of the spiral he admits made him wonder if his career was in jeopardy. "Deep down, it's like I know I can still play baseball but after being told how much you suck for two years straight, it kind of messes with your mind."
Crawford is full of it, of course. His signing by Boston was greeted with across-the-board enthusiasm, manager Terry Francona proclaiming him a “game-changer." Fans and media did not spend the next two years Crawford-crushing -- he rarely was booed in the Fens -- but they did ask a fair question: What happened to the great player who regularly tormented the Sox when he was with Tampa Bay?
But, hey, Rays folks gave fair warning that Crawford would be a bad fit in Boston, and they were prescient. He’s happy to be in L.A., and the Sox are happy he’s not here.