Re: Bold Predictions
posted at 2/13/2012 10:23 PM EST
After Aviles, Punto and Iglesias are all sidelined with injuries in the early 2012 campaign, John Henry learns in June that Liverpool's Luis Suarez once played professional baseball in Uruguay before becoming a football sensation, and was considered one of the best Uruguayan shortstops of his brief era. As a condition of returning to Liverpool after all the controvery he engendered recently by "racially abusing" Manchester United's Evra, getting suspended for 8 games, and then refusing to shake Evra's hand before a match upon his return this past weekend (causing a physical tunnel bust-up between the two teams later on), John Henry asks Liverpool's Luis Suarez to play shortstop. Luis becomes a defensive and offensive sensation, hitting .300 and playing sterling defense, earning him a $24 million dollar, 3 year contract from John Henry to give up his football career with Liverpool and stay with the Bosox. Unfortunately, in an early September game with the A's, Yoenis Cespedes slides hard into Suarez in a routine attempt to break up up a double play. Suarez becomes enraged, starts yelling at the umps to show Yoenis a red card, and then tells Cespedes in Spanish that he is a "dirty Cuban defector". A physical altercation ensues, and the benches empty. Quickly, Bartolo Colon and Josh Beckett become embroiled in an MMA-style wrestling match on the mound. Colon emerges triumphant, bloodied but unbowed, while Beckett is removed on a stretcher. This turns out to be Beckett's last day in a baseball uniform after career-ending groin surgery, while Colon parlays his permanent suspension from baseball into a lucrative career as a UFC favorite in his weight class.
John Henry gives Suarez one last chance to apologize to Cespedes and shake his hand before the cameras, and this time he does. He becomes even more of a new fan favorite in Boston, and things go swimmingly until late September when he starts refusing to field balls in a game, subsequent to being yanked the day before for defensive reasons by Valentine and replaced with a now healthy Iglesias. He also calls Iglesias a "dirty Cuban defector", and Iglesias becomes enraged by the "defector" part of the hurled insult. A locker room altercation ensues between the two, with Luis and Bobby V. going at it as well, and Suarez is suspended by the Red Sox. Suarez apologizes before the cameras again, this time explaining that his was an innocent gaffe, since he actually thought that, like Cespedes, Iglesias had defected as well.
Despite the impact of Suarezgate on the Red Sox in 2012, Boston beat writers praise him for effectively ending any future discussion of 2011's Fowl Beergate. To cap it off, the Red Sox get great news in February of 2013 when they learn that the Pirates are willing to eat most of Suarez's contract while sending the Red Sox two AA prospects in return for Luis. One of these prospects, another Cuban defector, becomes the future Red Sox centerfielder and a first ballot Hall of Famer, leading the Red Sox in all offensive categories for 10 years, and helping them to secure 5 World Series wins from 2014-2024. Dan Shaughnessy pens a salacious tome in 2024 about Suarez entitled, "The Reverse of the Curse: the Suarez Dynasty", and it wins a Pulitzer Prize.
Suarez himself lands on his feet, despite the fact that his career fizzles quickly with the Bucs, and that he finds himself unable to sign with any American or European football clubs because of all the controversy and notoriety surrounding his name. John Henry takes pity on his ex-employee, and finances a "racial diversity" tour for Luis throughout the US and Western Europe. Suarez becomes a re-invented sensation as a result, and parlays this into a new career as a talk show host on the Oprah network, remaining truly his OWN man after he talks Bobby Valentine into becoming his celebrity back-up host.
"Moral: If it is your Play to be a Hero, don't Renege."
- from "THE FABLE OF THE UNINTENTIONAL HEROES OF CENTREVILLE" in Fables in Slang (1899) by American humorist George Ade (1866-1944)