hard-luck hustle Over five years

Here’s a funny thing about Jeremy Guthrie: Guts was claimed from waiver wire by Team from dumb Cleveland Indians in late January of 2007, two weeks before Blog of Team was born.

This means very little to Guts, but it DOES signify entire lifespan of Blog of Team has been Guthrie-centric. Also HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY BLOG OF TEAM!

Capitalizing on contemporaneous nature of these two spans, Blog went to back of rack, bottom of closet and way back to back of garage to see what Guts nuggets could be unearthed from tenure.

Blog is sorry to say that, in many ways, Blog’s record of Guthrie’s exploits is incomplete and incoherent, much like Blog itself. But record certainly does paint picture of Guthrie as talented, flawed competitor who probably deserved better.

Guts was a bit of a peripheral figure very early on. But that didn’t last long. By May of 2007 Guts was smack dab in middle of one of greatest painful Team moments since 1996 ALCS / Jeffrey Maier incident.

That, of course, was Mother’s Day Massacre.

Guts burst onto Blogosphere as perhaps hardest-luck victim from that brutal day. Blog of Team chronicled what sportswriters — and Red Sox themselves — had to say about Jeremy’s electric stuff:

“Guthrie had thrown 91 pitches and given up only three hits. The Red Sox were certainly happy to see him go.” – Jeff Zrebiec from Baltimore Sun

“…we had no chance” – David Ortiz

“I’m glad he got taken out.” – Kevin Youkilis

That game, played May 13, when Blog was Young and experimenting with recreational fonts, marked beginning of end for manager Sam Perlozzo in Crabtown.

On May 15, Blog, not fully recovered, had following conversation about massacre with Red Sox fan Ted Williamsburg:

The Wayward O: It’s the kind of thing that can propel a team like the Sox and give ‘em a sense of destiny

Ted Williamsburg: Absolutely

…and vaguely remembers something about Red Sox winning World Series that year. It would not be first time opposing squad would best Guts on way to championship round.

On May 30, 2007, Blog pushed for an attempt to use Guthrie as trade chip (along with other Orioles of course) for Mark Teixeira. But, of course, Team really didn’t have nearly enough talent to make that work.

Adding to pain for Os fans everwhere was this June 7, 2007 Guts start vs. Angels on Wess’ Coass’:

With one powerful swing, Vladimir Guerrero gave the Los Angeles Angels another pulsating victory.

Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Chris Ray, and the Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Sunday after being held to one hit through the first seven innings by Jeremy Guthrie.

Blog wonders how many times bullpen let him down. You could look it up, but it would take all day.

By April 2008 Jeremy Guthrie was Opening Day Starter. He got beat by James Shields and potent Rays.

Blog of Team complained that Guts “gets the squeeze as lost season begins.” Remember lost season? Hahaha. Found it.

Guess who went on to World Series? Rays. They didn’t win. But they got there.

Later on that same month Guts pitched “his guts out,” didn’t get win, as Team came back anyway to beat White Sox behind Nicky’s flag-court shot.

Still later that very selfsame month, with Team still firmly in psychological shadow of aforementioned massacre, newish manager Dave Trembley takes heat for leaving Guts in (with Jamie Walker ready in the pen). Guts gives up hit to Jose Vidro and Team loses a 4-2 nailbiter to Mariners on a cold April night in Seattle.

During this game Guts made a crazy unassisted putout, likes of which likely will not be seen again. It is a nearly forgotten play that, in Mind of Blog at least, encapsulates Guthrie’s hard-luck hustle over five years:

Hustle. Guts has it.

Guts was Opening Day 2009 starter as well. He got win over C.C. Sabathia.

And later in April 2009, Guts didn’t do himself any favors with this one. Handed a 7-0 lead, he couldn’t contain Boston’s offense. He got hooked and left rest of debacle to … ugh … Danys Baez.

As noted by Worldwide Leader in Pictures of Washed Up Wide Receivers Pouting:

The Orioles have lost four straight, eight of nine vs. Boston and fall to 6-22 at Fenway Park since 2007.

But late April of 2009, things were looking up as Guts had compiled a 2-0 (non-mattering) win-loss record on early season. But eventual outcome was not to change.

In a May 2009 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium Guthrie forever solidified dual reps as Yankee-plunker and home run prone starter. Guts gave up three straight dongs in 2nd inning, then hit A-Rod and Mark Teixeira later in losing effort.

Like others that vanquished Guthrie in memorble fashion, those 2009 Yankees would go on to win World Series.

Blog is telling you, beating Jeremy Guthrie is ticket to Fall Classic.

In December of 2009, during hot stove of discontent, Guts and Team get together for a green energy press release. This kind of stuff is just a part of Guts’s makeup that everybody likes: class,  wisdom and concern for fellow man.

It’s entirely likely that Guts was 2010 Opening Day starter as well.* But let’s not talk about 2010. Why would we do that? Okay maybe a little…

In June of 2010 Aubrey Huff, since signed with Giants, splashes a Guthrie offering into McCovey Cove.  Keeping with trend, Giants would go on to win World Series.

By September 2010, after a long, frustrating, losing year, Guts’ penchant for hitting Yankees was front-page news and Joe Girardi was whining about it. Guts explained that he was “just trying to go inside.”

By 2011 Guthrie had solidified his status as Team Leader or something. He won on Opening Day, beating Rays with eight fine innings on way to to … well, another Guthrie-like year. And Guts got UP ON TWITTER!

Still funny

But, ultimately, 2011 ended like years that preceded it. Full of drudgery and punctuated with occasional great performances.

How many wins were left on table as Guts compiled a 47-65 over five years with Team?

World will never know. Anyway “wins don’t matter.”  They don’t matter not even one bit. Right? Actually they apparently mattered to Guts, who recently tweeted he hopes he can find 20 wins in Colorado.

Guts is a talented and inspiring competitor. How on earth did Cleveland give up on him? Thanks for your contributions, Guts. Maybe Team will see you again in future as washed-up free agent sporting Championship Ring and looking for one more season before hanging it up.

* wrong! it was Brad Bergesen! at least for home opener. Oh, and Kevin Millwood started on real opening day at Tampa. MILLWOOD!

One Response to “hard-luck hustle Over five years”

  1. Sponsort Says:

    My prediction: come August we are going to sorely miss Guthrie’s steady presence every 5th day.