Seriously. All of you. Just show up, give me the quick cleat-to-sack, then head back to your mansions and 18 year-old girlfriends. Sure, it’ll hurt. But the pain will be sharp, fast and furious, which I’d prefer to that slow water torture of a game last night against the Rays.

From my slightly inebriated vantage point, everything was going great until the top of the seventh, when Lester hit Carlos Pena and Teets rocketed out to fetch him like he was shot from one of those “nana launcher” chairs. At that point, JL had struck out 10 and given up a paltry three hits; once the Parade of Relievers started, Oki and Bard had given up two hits before Lester even got his ass back to the dugout, allowing Pena to score and forcing me to crack my emergency Tagamet supply. Why not let JL try to work himself out of it? This was one of the questions I kept asking myself as I repeatedly slapped a nun in the ass. The next inning, Longoria — who Lester had reduced to a Craig Grebeck clone for the first half of the game — went yard. And I kinda saw where this one was heading. The fact that we escaped two bases-loaded, no-outs situations only makes it hurt more.

Outside of home runs by Elf and Youkbacca, Garza shut us down but good, and we couldn’t buy a run against the Rays Relief Corp. In the middle of the line-up, Ortiz, Drew and Tek absolutely killed us, going a combined 0-for-14, and making the argument that any one of them could be replaced with a hat rack and we’d not likely notice the difference. I’m sure Drew will earn his 2009 paycheck with a dramatic, game-winning post-season home run, but the road to that point is going to f@#king kill me. Honestly, though, the entire bottom half of last night’s line-up gets the wooden spoon for this one: from Papi on down to Green, the boys went a shitriffic 1-for-21 on the night. You’re reading that correctly: one hit across twenty-one at-bats. Not exactly the kind of performance that gets you fired up for a critical week of division rival baseball.

Anyway, we shake it off. Because we have to. And we look to tonight’s game and ::gulp:: Brad Penny against David Price. Heading into the Bronx, this is a must-win game for us. We need timely hits (or any kind of hits for that matter), some serious Robo-Penny action, and a little fire in the belly. If Tito has to threaten anyone who goes hitless with a DeMarlo Hale teabagging, so be it. This is war, people. This is war.