NEW YORK, NYâ€”Coming to you today from the Big Apple, a city known for its hard-hitting news stories, and still a place where people (well, some of us anyway) like to dirty up their hands in the morning with a tangible newspaper as we ride the electric sewer to work. In New York, we donâ€™t read the comics section for the laughs, we read it to see Sarge kick the holy crap out of that lazy goldbricker Beetle Bailey. Horoscopes arenâ€™t for amusement, they are daily guideposts to be followed to the letter. As for the sports section, donâ€™t tell us what we already know (e.g. the Knicks are hopeless, the Islanders putrid, A-Rod has a thing for manly women), write about something that hasnâ€™t yet been brought to light. Itâ€™s always worth digging a little to unearth those stories that no one else is covering. With this in mind that we now present five under-the-radar stories weâ€™ll be following this upcoming baseball season.
Dateline Boston: Whatâ€™s left for 35-year-old wunderkind Theo Epstein? All this fresh-faced youngster has done since taking over as Red Sox GM is reverse the curse of the Bambino, built two World Series Champions, and turned Boston into one of the most feared teams in the majors. So whatâ€™s left to win, you ask? Nothing. Whatâ€™s left to lose? His virginity. Theo just hasnâ€™t had the time. Sure, his bio says that he has a wife and child but, on closer inspection, it appears those two came over as part of Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena deal. This is looking like his summer though. The economic downturn will have the bleary-eyed floozies in Bean Town looking more favorably upon young Mr. Epstein. Kerri Connaughton of Charlestown spoke for many when she said: “That guyâ€™s got wicked dollahs. Iâ€™d jump his bones for a sixah even.”
Dateline Los Angeles: Thereâ€™s only one thing on the minds of rabid Angeleno baseball fans this season and itâ€™s not Manny Ramirez. What the Dodger faithful really want is the return of one of the cityâ€™s most beloved figures: the bacon hot dog. This one is really worth monitoring. If the Dodgers get off to a slow start and there are no bacon dogs to be found around Chavez Ravine, LA may turn into a powder keg where one carelessly tossed grounder by Orlando Hudson could transform the city of Angels into something worse than the O.J. Chase, Rodney King Verdict, and an Eagles concert all rolled into one.
Dateline Detroit: Jim Leyland turns 100 this year! To Celebrate the Leyland Centennial the Tigers will give the first 5,000 fans over the age of 80 attending the Tigersâ€™ August 6th game vs. Baltimore a pound of Jack Linkâ€™s Teriyaki-flavored beef jerky, a carton of Lucky Strikes, and a lap dance from Motor City native Madonna. This one could get out of hand faster than Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979.
Dateline Philadelphia: Sometime this September the Devil is due in Philly to collect on the deal the city made with him last Fall. In exchange for winning the 2008 World Series, Phillies fans turned over their collective fates to the man known in Pennsylvania by many names including, Mephistophillies, Beelzebubby Brister, Del “Diablo” Unser, and Miroslav Satan. Whatever form he comes in this time, itâ€™s anyoneâ€™s guess what he will do with the souls he purchased from those poor desperate Phils fans. Some are guessing that heâ€™ll sentence them to an eternity of healthy eating, proper grammar, and good manners. Stay tuned.
Dateline New York: C.C. Sabathia is secretly telling friends that he has no intention of finishing the season in New York. The twist in this developing story is that there are rumors swirling that Sabathia will leave the Bombers to join up with the 10cc reunion tour hitting the States in July. Perhaps the British rock actâ€™s biggest fan (literally), Sabathia was recently asked about his commitment to baseball and the Yankees, and responded: “Itâ€™s just a silly phase Iâ€™m going through.” If the Yanks try to hold him to his contract weâ€™ll truly see if big boys donâ€™t cry.
We promise to monitor these stories and many more here at Meet the Matts all season long, but donâ€™t let that stop you from buying the newspaper. We love newspapers. Be sure to tune in for God-knows-what tomorrow.