Musings: Pennant Fever

Pennant Fever
by Dick Flavin, 2017

Have you caught the bug that’s been going around?
It’s called pennant fever, it’s all over town.
If you don’t have it yet, you probably will;
It’s highly contagious and real hard to kill.
Here are the symptoms, so you’ll be aware;
It makes you feel giddy, like walking on air.
You dream funny dreams about all kinds of things,
Like games in October, and trophies and rings.
Don’t ask me to treat it. That’s too high a barrier.
Besides, if you must know, I am a carrier.
There’s only one cure, and it’s pretty bruising.
A tough pill to take, it’s called too much losing.
That stops the fever, but here’s the transgression;
The after effects could lead to depression.
If you should come down with it try to be strong,
And hope that the fever lasts all season long. 

I am as excited as all get out about the coming baseball season. The Red Sox have pitching; they have hitting; they have defense. What could go wrong?

There is one tiny detail yet to be worked out. They still have to play the games. Spring training hasn’t even begun yet, let alone the regular season. That doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m so bullish about 2017 that I’ve put a hold on all engagements scheduled for October. (The fact that I have no engagements scheduled for October is beside the point. Hell, I don’t even have engagements scheduled for February.) The Red Sox are as inevitable as Hillary…strike that. Let’s just say that I feel pretty good about their chances.

I’m more confident about this season than I have been  at any time since, well, since 2011. You remember 2011, don’t you? What? You're still in therapy? Aren’t we all.

2011 was the year we were supposed to have the best team in baseball because in the off-season we had acquired both Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The first sign of possible troube came when it turned out we hadn’t signed Carl Crawford at all, but, through a technical glitch, had signed his twin sister, Carol Crawford, who wasn’t nearly as good. Still, the Red Sox did have the best team in baseball – for five months.

Then September struck.

Oh, the devestation! Fried chicken from the local Popeye’s in the clubhouse – while the games were still going on! Reports of drinking beer in the dugout! And loss after loss after loss. Until, at the very end, nothing remained of the season but a cold, blood-stained carcass. And a few half-eaten chicken wings.

At least it gave me something to write about.

The Red Flops Song
By Dick Flavin, from Red Sox Rhymes

(To the tune of “Charlie on the MTA”)

Let me tell you the story
Of a team from Boston
In a tragic and fateful year.
They led the league all season
Then for some strange reason
Wound up crying into their beer.

Did they finish the race?
No, they were a disgrace.
At flopping they were tops.
The revolting news is
That those guys were losers,
The two thousand eleven Red Flops.

They drank beer in the dugout
And they ate fried chicken
And the pitching really stunk.
And the losses were plenty
They went seven and twenty
And the whole damn season was sunk.


In the month of September
They just couldn’t remember
How to be half decent players.
And it needn’t be stated
The were well compensated.
They were multimillionaires


The meltdown that transpired
Got the manager fired,
And that’s a well-known fact.
And although it’s not funny
They got paid all that money
For a disappearing act.


Reprinted from Red Sox Rhymes: Verses and Curses with permission from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.