Attention Red Sox: Ben Needs You

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

Attention Red Sox: Ben Needs You

September 16, 2003

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I would like to address this column to any Boston Red Sox players who happen to be reading. As you know, of late there have been two major developments in the world. First, if the regular season ended today, you would make the playoffs by winning the American League Wildcard, though your hold on that spot remains tenuous. And, second, famous actor and die-hard Red Sox fan Ben Affleck has reportedly split with his fiancée Jennifer Lopez.

On the surface, these may not seem linked, but in fact they are. According to the gossip pages, Ben responded by heading to Las Vegas for a weekend of gambling and God knows what else. This is obviously a tough time for Ben, and that's where you come in, Red Sox players. What Ben needs right now more than anything else is for the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series. Forget about the Curse and those long-suffering fans who haven't seen a championship for 85 years. No, we need you to win it this year for Ben.

I know that whenever I break up with an internationally known diva, I like to watch all the sporting events I can just to prevent myself from wallowing in self-pity. I imagine Ben will be doing very much the same, and just think of the difference you can make in his life by making a run for the title. Think of how a Red Sox world championship could lighten his heavy heart in this time of pain. Think of the smile you could put on his crestfallen face. Sure, the rest of us Red Sox fans could probably cope with another disappointing finish. Hey, we're used to it. But, this year more than anything, Ben needs you.

Remember that game in Anaheim when Ben and J. Lo were sitting in the front row watching you beat the Angels. Did any of us for a second believe that she really cared about the Red Sox? Sure, she jumped up when you, David Ortiz, hit that game-winning home run, but obviously that was just to dupe Ben. No, Jenny from the Block is a Bronx girl, and no doubt a Yankee fan at heart. Ben is better off without her. And so let's go to the playoffs and beat the Yankees for Ben.

It's time for all of you to step up and give 110%. Manny, I know that some have questioned your desire this year, but surely you won't loaf now that Ben's very mental well-being is at stake.

And, Pedro, you may feel that we don't appreciate you enough, but I know that doesn't extend to Ben. You're capable of being the most dominant pitcher in the game, and, if helping Ben doesn't motivate you, then I don't know what will.

Even you, Lou Merloni, must take your game to another level. Sure, Ben may not have always spoken kindly of you. (I believe he said your low batting average was a "mockery" during a Red Sox telecast last year.) But you know he was speaking so rashly only because he cared so very much. Let's put aside those petty differences, and give something back for Ben.

If anything will help Ben out of his current stupor, it's clearly some quality baseball. I'm talking about timely hitting, two-out RBIs, aggressive base running, and a bullpen that doesn't give back hard-earned leads. Do all that, and Ben will make it though this breakup stronger than ever.

One of these days, he will find a nice girl to make him forget all about J.Lo. Until then, boys, it's time to cowboy up and win one for Ben.

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