Saturday, October 08, 2005

**MOJO** - Yacht Rock - End of 2005 Season

With the sudden end of the 2005 season, emotions are running high. Emotions that can best be summed up by the smooth music from the late 1970s and early 1980s: Yacht Rock.

First, the loss, and the anger that comes with it. The Red Sox, with their shoddy pitching and suspect management, and there nasty habit of leaving tons of men on base, winning the World Series? Man, that's What a Fool Believes.

Then, the emptiness that comes with no Red Sox to watch. What can I possibly do? The Red Sox were all I thought about. It's like I'm spending Time Out of Mind.

Then, the knowledge that the Red Sox will be returning ready to play in 2006. And there is only one thing to do until the hometown boys are ready to take the field again: Keep the Fire.

Look for sporadic updates over the course of the off season, mojo and otherwise. Until then, I'll be keeping the fire, with incredibly smooth music.

Friday, October 07, 2005

**MOJO** - Las Vegas/Rainy Day ALDS Game 3

The Sox head home facing an 0-2 deficit, needing to win-out to avoid being eliminated from the playoffs. This is not an unfamiliar position for the Red Sox, as they were famously down 0-3 to the Yankees in 2004, and down 0-2 to Oakland the year before that. However while they were victorious in both of those occasions, long odds are once again facing them as they again chose the hard way to advance in the postseason.

With probability abandoning the Red Sox hopes to continue their title defense, we turn to the city where probability is never on you side for, a fact which doesn't prevent millions from going there to gain their own winnings. Las Vegas, where dreams come true.. if you are lucky.

The Red Sox will need more than just luck to continue in the postseason. It is going to take every one on the team performing at their peaks to pull off. The most daring of adventures often do, and when you have a high stakes game, you need an enitre team of talented professionals there to back you up. I'd say at least 11 of them (but preferably 25). Perhaps this plot may sound familiar?

Everyone has a role to play, and they are all important. You can't score runs if you don't get on base. And those runs are meaningless if your pitching can't hold a lead. And great pitching goes right out the window if the players in the field don't make the plays they need to. There is no longer any room for error, and the Red Sox will need to play like it if they have any hope for victory.

Time for the Red Sox to blow on the dice for luck, because right now the chips are down and they need to come through with a big win. Come on baby, daddy needs a new championship ring.

So if you have any mojo of your own you've been saving up for a rainy day, here's a little note to you: it's pouring out.

I have a few, and they are getting added on for today, a course of action best summed up by the first bonus mojo, courtesy of Gene Hackman as Jimmy McGinty in the Replacements.

"They're not afraid of you right now, but they should be. Because there is no tomorrow for you. And that makes you all very dangerous people!" Playing for tomorrow is no longer an option, it's win today or go home, and I for one am not ready to close the book on the 2005 season just yet.

The first bonus mojo is a childhood favorite, and here's a little hint: they're More Than Meets The Eye.

Transformers are exactly what this team needs to start their comeback. Renteria can transform back into his reliable Gold Glove self at shortstop. The bullpen can transform into a group of rally killers. The lineup can revert to their pitching killing machine form. And Kevin Millar can metamorphosize into... maybe a fire truck? The Red Sox have the ability to come back from this deficit, they just need to heed the call: Red Sox Bots, Transform and Roll Out! (cue: Stan Bush - You've Got the Touch)

And because I find 1980s nostalgia particularly powerful, we are going to add in a little bonus TMNT mojo, just to be on the safe side.

If there is a problem that can not be solved by radical genetic mutation and/or ninjas, I've yet to find it.

And finally, because they simply rock so hard that not including their mojo at some point in the season would be a travesty in and of itself, I give you AC/DC.

For those about to rock.

We salute you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

**MOJO** - The Veldt ALDS Game 2

After a disastrous Game 1, the Sox look to rebound with a split in US Cellular to take back with them to Friendly Fenway. The match up will feature two marquee match up of two lefties, Mark Buehrle and David Wells.

To help the Red Sox even up the series, we take some inspiration from Jungle Mojo, and mark the return of the wayback machine. And we turn to one of the United States fightingest president, Teddy Roosevelt, as we take a trip to the African Veldt.

With the Red Sox, it seems they never want to do things the easy way, and the same was true of Teddy Roosevelt, who dedicated himself to living "the strenuous life". He routinely participated in tennis, rowing, hiking, polo and even boxing. In fact he would spar regularly while Governor of New York and even continued during his Presidency, until a blow to the left eye left him blind in that eye. And if we know one thing about Teddy Roosevelt, it is that he would not go down quietly.

So it's time for the Red Sox to return to the field with their jungle instincts and take one from the White Sox to even the series. Teddy Roosevelt would have wanted it that way.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

**MOJO** - Impending Doom ALDS Game 1

With the Sox taking the Wild Card and making the postseason for the third straight year (the first time the Red Sox have ever done that), there is a lot of extra unused negativity lying around. And of course, waste not want not. Time to put all that negativity to use and turn it to where it should be: the hearts of the Red Sox' opponent.

With a nod to the successful Comeuppance Mojo, we look to the sweet anticipation of just desserts. It was last season that Red Sox Nation got to enjoy what the fruits of victory tasted like. Now with that taste, we can again look to taste it again. Meanwhile, our first round opponent has been without it for even longer than Red Sox Nation had, and as such we leave the negativity for our friends and the South Side of Chicago, and instead turn the doom and gloom to our favor.

For the all important first game of the series, we turn to the patron saint of doom, and to a little help from the Fantastic Four Mojo which locked up the Wild Card. Dictator of Latveria, Victor von Doom.

Dr. Doom may be a villain, but he possesses many qualities that will help the Red Sox take the early lead in the ALDS. He is brilliant, patient, and most of all, powerful.

His genius level intellect is for Terry Francona in the dugout, to make the smartest moves to give his team a chance to win. Also for Varitek and Clement to call the best game. The White Sox hitters can be dangerous, and Clement will need to be on his game for this one. However, with the right game plan, Clement can (and will) make the pitches needed to come out victorious.

Patience is for our hitters. All great evil geniuses will sit and wait for their plot to unfurl, waiting until the time is right to strike. The Red Sox will need to do the same against old nemesis Jose Contreras, someone who they have done well historically against, but who has been pitching very well lately. With most of the team all ready with a sampling of at bats against him, it will be important for them to exercise smart pitch selection.

And as for power, well that goes without saying.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

**MOJO** - Goonies Day 1

"Heyyyyy, yooouuuu guyyyys!"

It's the last day of the season, and a win ensures the Sox entrance into the playoffs. It's like this ragtag group has been handed a treasure map, and all they've got to do to cash in is follow it to the end. But not without getting past some bad guys (in pinstripes), of course.

With one win all that stands between them and a playoff birth, the Red Sox (and their Nation) would be wise to remember the oath of the Goonies: "Goonies Never Say Die!" And neither do we.

Of course, if someone could get Millar to do the Truffle Shuffle for a little extra mojo, it wouldn't hurt.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

**MOJO** - Fantastic Four Day 3

The Red Sox keep rolling, and so does the mojo from the world's first super team: the Fantastic Four. Today, it is the leader of the group as well as the team's namesake: Mr. Fantastic.

Blessed with the super stretching ability, Reed Richards is capable of extending his body to incredible lengths, excellent mojo for today's game versus the Yankees. Think a ball is going to reach the gap? Nope, looks like Johnny's arm is just long enough to extend and get it, just as Graffanino's body will find a way to lay out and stretch to make the distance. Think our guys are going to get thrown out at any bases? Not when we can stretch our hands around any would be taggers. Let's not forget about errant knuckleballs, ones that will be easily blocked by the expanding powers of Doug Mirabelli.

But it is in fact not his super powers which make Mr. Fantastic so valuable, he brings much more to the table. He is a certifiable super-genius, often willing battles with science instead of brawn.

I don't even know what that big gun does, but I know I don't want to mess with it. It is these smarts from the dugout to the pitcher's mound to the field and the basepaths that will guide the Red Sox through the game. With Randy Johnson on the mound, the Red Sox can't afford to give away outs on either side of the ball, and it will be smart baseball play that will prevent that.

Even more than his rubber-like appendages and his massive brain, it is Mr. Fantastic's leadership that makes him so important to the team. And just as the Fantastic Four would be nowhere without Reed's guidance, so too will the Red Sox falter without their own veteran leadership. It will be up to Tim Wakefield, the longest tenured Red Sox player, to set the tone. He has been coming up big all September, and this is the one we need from him the most.

It is also worth noting that Reed Richards is married to Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman. And if you think that mentioning that is just a flimsy excuse to post another picture of Jessica Alba in her Fantastic Four costume, well... you'd be absolutely right.