Dear Baseball Fan:
I know what you’re thinking: Couldn’t he have come up with a better title?
My mother agrees with you, but unfortunately Genius just doesn’t have the same ring.
Let’s get something straight right away. I may be an idiot, but I’ve tried to do more in this book than just revisit the Red Sox’s Miracle Season.
I want to give you a sense of what it’s like to grow up with baseball dreams, to spend long years climbing the ladder, and then over the course of three years to see the building blocks of those dreams fall into place.
In this book, you’ll be reading about the son of an Army staff sergeant—a thrill-seeking Orlando kid who at age thirteen was gifted with a man’s body, including rare speed and reflexes. It was some straight talk from my brother that kept me from abandoning that talent, which led to my eventually catching on with the Kansas City Royals and later the Oakland A’s.
Starting in 2002 with the Red Sox, I got to see what can happen when a determined front office decides to roll the dice and acquire players who, like me, leave the thinking out of it—who trust their instincts and play team baseball.
Forget what you’ve read about the posse of long-haired rebels who eventually made up the 2004 Red Sox. I'll give you the straight dope, including who's got the biggest mouth (hint: his first name is Kevin); what Pedro Martinez was doing all those times when you couldn’t find him on the bench; what game David Ortiz should never play; and why I sometimes question Curt Schilling’s sanity. Memo to Curt: the statue of you is being erected.
What’s it like being responsible for the hopes of millions? In the fall of 2004 my teammates and I got to find out. What I’ve tried to do in these pages is bring you inside, show you the black humor that erupted when it seemed we could do nothing right, and the immense joy that followed when 25 guys took turns picking each other up, and by sheer force of will reached baseball’s summit.
Red Sox Nation (both natives and new arrivals), this one’s for you.
—Johnny Damon, #18
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Idiot|
|Release Date: 02-10-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Three Rivers Press|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Devices||Samsung Tablet, Apple Ipad & Iphone, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Aluratek Libre, Iliad, Nokia, Blackberry, Hanlin|
|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|
Chapter 1: So Close, but So Far. October 2003
I was standing out in center field under the bright lights in Oakland. The Red Sox were playing the A’s, my old team, in the first round of the playoffs in the fall of 2003. Jermaine Dye, probably my best friend in baseball, hit a lazy fly ball my way. I remember thinking it was going to be an easy catch. I ran over to get it. Then I blacked out. Damian Jackson, our second baseman, had run out for the ball, and just as it came down, we both went for it and collided. His hard-ass head struck me in the temple, knocking me out cold for a few minutes. If you look at the replay, I fly into the air, and my whole body goes numb. One of my arms starts shaking. It was the hardest whack I ever got. When I was playing football in high school, Warren Sapp hit me pretty good but Damian Jackson’s head-on-head collision was definitely harder.
While I was on a stretcher being put into an ambulance, I gave a thumbs-up. When they carted me off the field, everyone thought I was okay, but I wasn’t. I’d suffered a bad concussion. My mind was scrambled. I actually thought I was wearing an Oakland uniform and that I was walking off the field waving to the Oakland fans, saying, “Thank you for supporting us this year.”
After the medics loaded me into the ambulance, they put some fluids in me and hooked me up to an IV. But as they were sticking it into my left arm—people think everyone’s right-handed—the ambulance hit a speed bump on the way out of the coliseum and the IV rammed into my veins. I ended up with a bruise from my wrist to my bic