Due to the fact Ciera is grounded until NEXT Sunday, Rakes has rattled my nerves so bad I resemble one of those bobble heads you see on somebodies dashboard, and I had to threaten Trot with severe corporal punishment just to get him down for a nap, I need a diversion.
So tonight I decided to post about another one of my favorite ex-Sox players.
Spaceman Bill Lee.
If you don't know his story, this guy makes Manny look normal. He played for the Red Sox from '69-'78, and the phrase "he was a character" doesn't do him justice. He may well have been the first hippie in MLB, and he was a quote machine for the media.
From talking about sprinkling pot on his cereal to calling former manager Don Zimmer "The Gerbil" Lee was, well, entertaining. Zimmer HATED Lee, and even though he was a Yankee killer, Zimmer stuck him in the bullpen in 1978. The rest is history, and if you don't know what 1978 means to a Red Sox fan? Bucky Freaking Dent is what it means.
Upon being traded to the Expos following that season, Lee said this: "Who wants to be with a team that will go down in history alongside the ‘64 Phillies and the ‘67 Arabs?" A pawn of the man he wasn't.
For all his kookiness, the man could pitch. He specialized in the Eephus pitch, alongside various other junk pitches; Nolan Ryan had nothing to worry about. If you don't know what an Eephus pitch is, go down to the local softball field this spring and watch a game. THAT is an Eephus pitch. Can you imagine the marbles it took to throw that thing to Reggie Jackson? It's sort of like watching Wake throw the knuckle ball; it looks like you should be able to hit the Mass Pike with it, but you just end up looking silly in the end.
However, the biggest reason I'm a Bill Lee fan? He HATED the Yankees. Still does. For years he blamed Graig Nettles for ruining his shoulder during a Sox/Yankees brawl, and if you ask him today what he thinks about them, get ready for an expletive filled rant at anything and anybody in Pinstripes.
The guy oughta have a statue out on Landsdowne Street.
As recently as 2007, he was playing the topic of yesterdays post, Oil Can Boyd, and a team of former major leaguers in a barnstorming tour where they honored the playing style and heritage of the Negro Leagues.
Still fighting the man at the age of 61.
God Bless, Spaceman.
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