For 3 years now, anytime Red Sox beat writers had nothing interesting to report, or just didn’t feel like doing any actual work, they could write about Mookie Betts’ skill as a bowler. I admit, the first time I heard about it, it was interesting. It’s probably because it’s a sport normally reserved for old, out of shape white guys. But these jamokes would pump out a Spring Training story on the topic every year and then every fall they would write about him going to the World Series of Pro Bowling, or whatever the hell the name is.
This week, it appeared these scribes were being rewarded for their hard work of recycling the same content repeatedly, when Mookie Betts bowled a Perfect 300 at the WS. According to Betts he’s bowled somewhere around 10 perfect games, but this was his first in competition. An actual story, a new development, on their old trope.
This event brings me to my first attempt at “BBWAA Fan Fiction”.
Just as Betts finishes the last frame, the red phone rings at the BBWAA Boston Chapter’s lavish sitting room, outfitted with couches from each former Sox mangers’ office. At first, they don’t hear it because Springsteen is turned up way too loud, but eventually Pete Abe puts down his Fenway Frank- they begin smuggling them out of the press box in late August, like squirrels preparing for a long winter- and picks up the phone. He simply nods, the hangs up slowly, smile on his face. He looks out over the room and just says “We got the call. It happened. To the Twitter Cave”.
The sentence is barely out of Abe’s goatee surrounded mouth before Scott Lauber shoves Alex Speier out of the way- Alex spilling his $6 can of the latest trending New England Double IPA all over his spreadsheets- and runs toward the Lodge PC. Ian Browne, who had fallen asleep listening to McAdam and Buckley simultaneously telling different stories to each other, awoke from all the commotion and- always a wily one- beat Lauber to the desk.
They all huddle around Browne, as he logs into twitter ready to be the one to “break” the story. Meanwhile, Buckley holds an impromptu ’67 Red Sox trivia contest for the rest which will decide who posts next. Much to their chagrin, they discover that the Pro Bowling Association has already tweeted out the news of Betts’ perfect game. Crushed, they all begin to contemplate how they can cram one slightly different factoid into 140, er 280, characters to ensure they have a different spin on the already old news. Everyone except Pete Abe, that is.
Pete yells “Who does the PBA think they are, tweeting news about a baseball player? They don’t cover baseball”…he whips out his concealed Blackberry- phones are typically not allowed in the Lodge- and begins to type an angry reply, accusing the PBA of something outrageous (Pete can be a real bastard on Twitter). Rob Bradford manages to wrestle the phone away, warning Pete that anything controversial like that may threaten his “access” to the team.
Just as he calms down and reluctantly agrees, and as they try to formulate what unilateral spin is best to put on the story, their attention turns to a flashing screen. On the monitor they catch a glimpse of Bob Hohler’s 2000 word column on the topic citing “sources close to the front office”. They all decide to call veteran writer Tony Mazz for advice on how to handle this obvious breach, but he refuses to take their call.
Carribis, outside with his face pressed against the window, snaps a few pics and posts about the incident before any of them get a tweet out.
THE END, until next time…