Normally I wouldn’t dream of putting pictures on this blog of the Red Socks celebrating their clinching of the AL Eastern Division, but I couldn’t let these pictures go by without comment. As you can see, the Red Socks have brought celebrating to an all time low. Now I understand when they started putting clear plastic over the lockers and huge flat panel TVs that they have in the clubhouse because all of it most certainly would be destroyed from the champagne explosions, but this next step has finally taken safety too far. As you can see from the pictures below, the Red Socks apparently decided that champagne stings their eyes too much and that swimming goggles are now required. This is simply ridiculous…absurd…weak.
Above is a picture of Red Socks designated hitter David Ortiz wearing his goggles as he gets soaked from behind by some random Red Socks player. As you can see, Ortiz also wears a hat to shade his hair and forehead from a drop of champagne. What’s next, wearing his batting gloves so that he doesn’t cut his finger when he tries to pop the cork for the next bottle?
Next is pitcher Josh Beckett getting ready for a sensual embrace with another random teammate. As you can see, Beckett has joined the swim goggles party, but apparently didn’t get the memo that he could also wear a full scuba mask. This technique is clearly used to maximize peripheral vision for when teammates try to sneak up and get your shirt wet (another great measure by scuba man was wearing a liquid whisking Under Armour shirt). It also appears that the Bud Light has officially been broken out, as the player on the left has decided to start splashing that around. I guess the Red Socks trainers have determined that Bud Light stings a little more than Champagne and are therefore requiring swim goggles for everyone.
This third picture is just screaming lack of safety. Here is closer Jonathan Papelbon holding a cooler over his head without a hard hat on!!! My gosh, someone get the man a batting helmet STAT! And while we’re at it, can we also get him a rain jacket? His shirt is so wet, he might get a strain from having to carry around that heavy tshirt. At least he is wearing his goggles…thank goodness, Red Socks Nation must be relieved.
And who can have a Red Socks celebration without Curt Schilling, who has smartly gone with the full sweatshirt safety technique. Everyone knows how bubbly champagne is and you never know how itchy it can be until a celebration like this occurs. With all the scratching that must be done to get that icky champagne off your arms, he might tire that shoulder out before he gives up seven runs in his first playoff start this year. To enhance his safety even more, Schilling even goes with the tinted goggles so that the lights from all the cameras don’t hurt his eyes. How can you ever find a sign from the catcher when all you see are lights flashing in front of you? Well played Curt, that extra bit of vision will most certainly help you go 6-17 instead of 5-18 next year for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The celebration finally goes back out onto the field, as Papelbon brings the champagne to the Fenway faithful who had nothing better to do than to stay an hour after the game waiting for the Red Socks to share some of the bubbly. To thank them for their enthusiasm, Papelbon sprays the crowd, but doesn’t provide goggles to any of them. How can a team have so much insight as to protect their players’ eyes but not their fans??? Just a slap in the faith to the Red Socks Nation if you ask me.
This last picture of the Socks speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not completely. Let’s take a second to appreciate Papelbon keeping the spandex shorts on so that he keeps his legs warm in an effort not to pull a muscle while hugging and posing with his teammates. The last thing the Red Socks need going into the playoffs is to have Papelbon’s legs stiffen up after being so diligent in protecting his eyes.
Now I am not going to sit here and appreciate the safety concerns of the Boston Red Socks and not point out other players who were smart enough to shade themselves from the ever dangerous champagne spray. Below is a picture of New York Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz celebrating with skipper Joe Torre, also with a pair of swimming goggles.
Mientkiewicz was the only Yankee who donned the goggles after they celebrated clinching a playoff spot last week. Maybe he picked it up during 2004 when the Red Socks won the World Series? Either way, he is an inspiration for safety experts everywhere.
In the end, we should all be thanking the Red Socks for bringing their safety measures to the forefront so that we can all learn about the dangers of champagne sprays to the eyes. Following the celebration, Red Socks Theo Epstein announced further safety measures for the team and provided the following uniform prototype for future celebrations: