Friday, September 30, 2005

'24' Players '24' Cabs: Inside CTU Boston

It is that time of year again. And for some reason it just doesn't feel the same. October baseball actually begins tonight with the Red Sox and Yankees playing three games to decide the American League East Divsion and watching the Cleveland Indians to see if the Wild Card route (the route Boston went last year to the World Series Championship). This year's team just isn't as likable as last year's (I miss guys like Dave Roberts, Pokey Reese, and even Pedro Martinez) and to win the World Series last year, every single thing had to go right for the Red Sox and every player had to play a part. I sense the championship ingredients just aren't there this year.

So while the Red Sox were squandering their lead in the American League East. I was catching up on the First Season of my new favorite show ‘24’. I would flip back to check scores and at times became confused as to what I was watching when. This gave me an idea. How would some of this year’s Boston Red Sox fare as agents of Counter Terrorism Unit? I wouldn’t want Johnny Damon, Bill Mueller, Trot Nixon, David Wells or Matt Clement in charge of anything having to do with National Security. And I don’t think anyone at CTU has any use for the knuckleball so count Tim Wakefield out, but some of the this year’s Red Sox have peers at CTU:

Curt Schilling as George Mason- Mason’s inconsistent support of Jack is parallel to Schilling’s inconsistent pitching as both a starter and a closer. If Schilling is the ace he had hoped to be, the Red Sox are up 6 games and this weekend is nothing more than an Yankee Elimination Party.

Bronson Arroyo as Rick (Kim’s love interest and kidnapper)- To some a lovable loser, to most just a loser. Arroyo will forever be 5th starter. Arroyo also managed to annoy Red Sox fans off the field by producing an album with the worst version of ‘Dirty Water’ ever performed. His Eddie Vedder impression voice is easily beaten by my performances at Karaoke Bars and the 920 living room.

Tony Graffanino as Milo- Introduced without pomp or circumstance and likely exiting without any either. Graffy does the little things very well and his hustle has contributed to a few wins, the Red Sox are lucky to have right now. Remember, if not for Bauer’s being taken hostage, Milo would have decoded the keycard and saved Senator Palmer in the early afternoon.

Alan Embree as Jamey Farrell- Any good conspiracy theorist could argue that Embree was this year’s “embedded Yankee” judging from the way he pitched the first half of the season to the coincidence of the faith Joe Torre has in him now.

Mark Bellhorn as ‘Alan York’- Another possibly “embedded Yankee”

(I only mention Bellhorn as an excuse to bring up Alan York, the most surprising bad guy since Hulk Hogan. So believable as a concerned father that when he ends up killing Janet York in the hospital my heart actually sank three inches.)

Edgar Renteria as Tony Almeida- Tony accused Jack of being in love with his girlfriend and ratted him out to Division causing Mason to put CTU in lockdown. Renteria has 35 errors. Almeida was long believed to be the dirty agent, Renteria has been brutalized in Boston this year. Yet when I look to someone for Almeida-esque postseason performance I expect to see Edgar coming through as he has in the past.

Larry Lucchino as Mike Novick- The Dick Cheney look-a-like aide to David Palmer, was long believed to be turning on Palmer but never did, at least not during Season One. The Mr. Burns-esque Lucchino was only supposed to be here until baseball opened in Washington D.C. but he is still here with a hand and say in everything.

Craig Hansen as Keith Palmer- Theo’s boy wants to use his slider as much as Keith wants to go to the cops with the tape of his conversation with Carl at the public garden. This, however makes Theo and Tito very nervous and they are overly cautious with him.

Theo Epstein as David Palmer- Idealistic, intuitive, and liberal, also hoping the man casted as Jack Bauer can save his life twice.

(My favorite Senator Palmer moment is when he invites Patty to his hotel room only to fire her, knowing she has been told to seduce him by his wife Sherry. Any man who can resist the booty to keep his principles in tact, deserves to be President. It was that moment I forgot he was Pedro Cerrano from ‘Major League’)

Terry Francona as Sherry Palmer- Now I’m not saying Tito would arrange for Theo to sleep with his media relations director or leak his staged death to the media but with his use of “the kids” (Papelbon, Hansen, and Manny DelCarmen) you get the feeling Tito is protecting Theo’s prized prospects to save him from himself, even if it means sacrificing a championship this season.

Jonathan Papelbon as Kim Bauer- So much hope, So much promise. So much potential to throw it all away by trying too hard and getting traumatized by a catastrophe.

(I enjoy Elisa Cuthbert’s Maxim spreads as much as anybody but after hearing her snap in the women’s prison at the nose-ring chick she is arrested with. I now know why. The Maxim Speads don’t involve an attempt at acting.)

Jason Varitek as Teri Bauer- The glue that is supposed to keep the Red Sox together is the woman who comes unglued during the Bauer family’s traumatic day. Also after Kim is believed to be killed in the car explosion after the safe house escape, Teri suffers amnesia forgetting that Jack is her husband and Kim is her daughter. Likewise ‘Tek might be suffering amnesia as he has apparently forgotten how to swing a baseball bat. I swing ‘Little Derek’ in the urinal with more assertion and confidence than Jason does at home plate.

Manny Ramirez as Nina Myers- I’m not suggesting that Ramirez is a *SPOILER ALERT*Double Agent *END SPOILER ALERT* just that he is competent enough to take the Red Sox as far as they want to go, but more than capable of doing something to spoil it in the end before he leaves Boston for good.

(I wish I had time to watch the DVD a second time now knowing who Nina really was, some things just don’t make sense now. Why didn’t she reveal the location of the safe house? Why didn’t she protect Jamey? Why didn’t she

David Ortiz as Jack Bauer- You knew where I was going with this. If you needed one man to hit a home run or your family would die, a dirty bomb would go off, or a deadly virus would be unleashed, who else in the major leagues right now would you want at the plate? In that reasoning, he is the MVP. Of course nobody on a $100 million payroll team that doesn’t make the playoffs is a Most Valuable anything so this weekend is very crucial for his cause. But watching last night having no doubt Ortiz was going to get the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th is the same as knowing Jack is going to thwart the terrorist plot in the 24th hour. Now Big Papi needs to ask the rest of his team “WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR????”

Can Red Sox Nation be spared from another threat by the Evil Empire? The clock starts NOW! 71:59:59


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