Friday, May 27, 2016

Clay Buchholz Must Stay

Danville, Kentucky -- 1995 was a dark year, for those of us who spend our days on the assembly line with the thick smog of industrial chemicals heavy in the air and spend our nights numbing our aching bones with alcohol and trans-fat. The details are grainy to me, but it was several months after the passage of NAFTA and decimation of my local GM plant, which had long been a source of gainful employment to the Danville greater area. I was trying to pick up the pieces of a life that had been all but destroyed by the forces of globalization and cheap foreign competition. Work was hard to come by, but I eventually found meager wages serving as a shelve-stocker at Home Depot.

With my income halved by a recent divorce, I was forced to sell my house and relocate to a dingy apartment in a student ghetto near Lexington. When Home Depot fired me in cruel fashion for drinking on the job and smelling like Hot Pockets, the true bleakness of my situation became apparent. Before long, the electric company shut off my power. Only then did I truly despair, persisting on a diet of unheated cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli. I remember those nights all too well; sitting alone in the cold darkness, with everything silent save the lonely clinking sound of my spoon against the greasy tin can. 

As I ingested tin can after tin can of faux-Italian children's food, served as cold as the Kentucky Winter, I remembered everything I still had to be thankful for. I had a loving nephew, and a loyal Basset Hound. I found comfort in the knowledge that those who truly mattered to me would not judge me by my worst moments.

If only the Boston Red Sox had learned that basic life lesson: don't judge people when they're at their worst. Folks, it's hard to deny Clay Buchholz has been disappointing to the Sox this season. The 2-5 win/loss record doesn't lie. He's giving up dingers at an alarming rate; Clay Buchholz has bled home runs like my eyes bleed at the thought of giving into the new liberal trend of watching foreign soccer games. But let's not judge Clay when he's at his worst. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, being the longest tenured member of Boston's rotation, filled as it is with mercenaries like David Price and Rick Porcello

Clay has served the Boston Red Sox well, and will continue to do so in the future. He was a core piece of the 2013 championship team, and remains vital to the team's championship hopes in 2016. Have the good (and not so good) people of New England forgotten the 3 playoff wins started by Clay during the team's magical 2013 playoff run, which culminated in a World Series victory? Clay hasn't. Clay once made the Boston Red Sox great. Clay is now working to Make America Great Again. Buchholz, one of the few baseball players (other than hero Curt Schilling) bold enough to speak their mind in the face of liberal PC-culture, is an unapologetic Donald Trump supporter. It's no surprise that a winner like Clay supports a winner like Donald. Moreover, Clay's willingness to buck the liberal consensus speaks to his integrity and character. How many guys in the Boston clubhouse have the guts to come out and say they like Trump? David Price -- who unlike Clay has never won a playoff game -- doesn't. David Price only cares about endearing himself to the Boston media, intimidated by playing in a big market for the first time ever. 

Clay doesn't care about being loved. He wants to be respected. He tells it like it is. The cold canned ravioli I ate in the Winter of '95 can never be undone, but thanks to people like Clay, President Trump may one day heal the wounds of NAFTA.

It is beyond foolish to move Buchholz to the bullpen or DFA him. He has shown flashes of his old self and just needs time to rediscover the art of pitching. The Red Sox will regret letting the inexperienced Eduardo Rodriguez into the rotation at the expense of playoff-proven veteran Clay Buchholz. They will similarly come to rue the knuckballer experiment as well. After all Clay Buchholz has done for Boston and for America, he deserves a spot in the rotation. Don't judge him by his worst, Boston.