|This man is NOT an underdog
A slow day in Boston means that we get to read about the Red Sox' favorite movies:
Current Sox catcher, captain and all-around baseball warrior Jason Varitek likely has a soft spot for the Russell Crowe Oscar vehicle Gladiator. Drawing connections between Maximus' breastplate and shield and his own chest protector and mitt, Varitek has been known to refer to himself as "Captain Maximus" from time to time . . . Dustin Pedroia is the living embodiment of a true underdog story. As such, he's always felt a special kinship to Sylvester Stallone's down and out hero Rocky Balboa in the redemption story Rocky . . . Sox centerfielder and speedster Jacoby Ellsbury illustrates a shrewdness both in his play and his ability to influence the right people as he's often been seen kicking back and watching the Humphrey Bogart classic Casablanca when General Manager Theo Epstein happens to be around. Casually mentioning that the writing is "really great," knowing full well that Epstein's grandfather Philip and great-uncle Julius won Oscars for the film's screenplay . . . Whirlwind Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon would appear to have the cinematic tastes of a Red Bull-infused 13-year-old. Lots of 2 Fast 2 Furious and comic book adaptations.
Memo to Varitek: You can't give yourself a nickname. Sorry, those are the rules.
Memo to the writer: Simply being short doesn't make someone an underdog. Pedroia was his high school league's MVP and was the quarterback of his high school football team. He was given a scholarship to one of the premiere college baseball programs where he beat out Ian Kinsler to be the starting shortstop, prompting Kinsler to transfer. While in school he was a Golden Spikes Award Finalist, Pac-10 Player of the Year and First Team All-American. He was drafted in the second round in gived a half-million signing bonus. He was Rookie of the Year and then an MVP. Simply put, there has never been any reason to think of Pedroia as the Rocky Balboa character. He's been a bigger comer than Clubber Lang since the day he started playing baseball. Quit making assumptions based on physical stature.
Memo to Ellsbury: You've got the gig. No need to keep kissing up. Not that kissing up is the only reason to like "Casablanca."
Memo to Papelbon: You're lucky you have money, because you're not going to attract many women by liking car and comic book movies. Not that those are bad either, mind you. You just have to do what I did and keep your inner child hidden until after you get married. THEN you break out the lad/geek tendencies.
Ah, forget it. The money trumps it all.