A year ago, you all mocked Senators Week as at best an annoyance and at worst a Mardi Gras of Mitch-McConnell-at-a-costume-party-in-Satan’s-barn stupidity. Don’t deny it. Yes you did. Our ideas start well and then live or die based on our abilities to maintain a coherent line of thought for five days, so … well, you figure it out.
But this much was true: The Ottawa Senators, the inspiration for that ramshackle little playhouse, was so moved with our spirit of generosity that they beat Winnipeg on the Tuesday, 2-1, Montreal on the Thursday 5-2, and, still encased in the warm embrace of our snark a day after their week ended, beat Winnipeg again Saturday. All things eventually die, decompose and jam up the disposal, and they lost the following Sunday to Calgary, 6-1, but we did all we could do. You’re welcome, Ottawa. I assume the fruit basket just got lost in the mail.
When ideas were batted around for this year’s week, the one that stuck, the way a frothy sneeze without a buffer gets stuck to your hands, was Rays Week, with the motivational spark being the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays were then in the nascent stage of a 6-13 run that saw them go from nine games behind ces salauds Yankees tricheurs (those cheating Yankee Bastards) to 15.5 games behind, and out of the participation trophy round of the American League playoffs, looking up at (for the gods’ sake) Cleveland. The author of said idea was Comrade Theisen because of her well-known affinity for the downtrodden (all the Michigan teams). She noticed the Rays were being the Rays and spoke up for a team she had no reason to care about save the fact that if the meteor struck Tampa it would take out the Lightning and enhance the Red Wings’ chances of making the playoffs. It didn’t, and they didn’t. Merry Christmas right in your ear.
But did the Rays falter upon being kissed on their empty little skulls by this rare burst of consistent attention? Quite the opposite. They swept, yeah swept, the Boston Red Sox in four games. Thursday night was pure, as the winning pitcher, Tommy Romero, was making only his third major-league appearance and threw a spotless seventh inning to lower his career ERA to 7.71 while the Rays mustered up a five-spot in their half by batting around in their half. Those nine humans were, and stop us any time you spot one you may have heard of, Jonathan Aranda, Christian Bethancourt, Josh Lowe, Taylor Walls, Luke Raley, Brett Phillips, Yandy Diaz, Ji-man Choi, and Harold Ramirez.
In short, the Rays rose to the challenge Comrade Theisen set for them by running the table during their theme week, making Defector 6-0 for the life of the scam and now available to the highest bidder for next year’s Weekstakes. Just get your forms in before the deadline with a wad of thousands bigger than a boar’s head, or the Apple Pay equivalent. We are the cure for whatever ails you, from losing streaks to minor diseases, and if you don’t believe that, I believe the polite saying is: “Scoreboard.”