How are the Red Sox going to blow it this time?

The Boston Red Sox have won 11 baseball games in a row and sit six games ahead of their closest competition for the AL East crown. They’ve clinched a playoff spot. They look good, they’re peaking at the right time, and they seem to have mostly gotten over that whole “our pitching sucks” problem they had earlier in the year. They’re a contender.

Except they’re the Red Sox, so they’re going to fuck it up. It’s what they do. They set high expectations and then vomit all over them in spectacular fashion. To those of you thinking I’m too much of a Negative Nellie, I ask you: have you looked at the god damn roster? It’s so combustible it started five separate wildfires in Cali last time they visited the Angels. Shit’s going down in October (or maybe November) and it’s going to be some Maury-level “Neither of you is the father!” drama. Let’s go over the most likely culprits behind this pending baseball arson.

The Price is wrong

The Red Sox gave David Price roughly a bazillion trillion and twelve dollars so all the locals would stop complaining about their lack of an ace. This is a guy with a 3.20 ERA in 251 Major League appearances. He’s at 3.95 this season, but his peripherals suggest he’s pitched better than that number and he’s had a little bit of bad luck. He’s a 5.12 in the postseason. He made four playoff starts for Toronto last year and gave up at least three runs in each. You can’t say he had a really ace-like postseason since that time the Rays made the World Series. Betting on Price to go kablooey on a cold fall evening in Fenway seems smart. Odds: 3-1.

Hanley being Hanley

Hanley Ramirez has been almost too well-behaved this year. He lost weight, learned to play a decent first base, and generally kept his act together despite his inability to find a god damn helmet that fits. Still. He’s kind of an adventure with pop flies. He’s never seen a borderline strike he agreed with and he likes to talk to the umpires about it. The Baseball Writers of America voted him Most Likely to Charge the Mound and Drop the Pitcher with a Shining Wizard. Fine, I made that last one up, but can’t you totally see it happening? Odds: 5-1

Big smelly Butthole

Sure, things would have to be going pretty badly for Clay Butthole to end up in a high leverage spot, but I couldn’t leave him out. Butthole’s been pitching better since he cut his stupid hair, but like the team in general, he’s setting us up. If Farrell turns to Suckholz in the thirteenth inning of a tie game in a close series I’m frickin’ going to bed. Odds: 4-1

David Ortiz can’t run

Ding ding ding, I think we have a winner! David Ortiz is a hell of a ballplayer. He’s forty years old and somehow OPS-ing 1.038 even though he really can’t run at all anymore. And that’s the problem. Balls down the line or in the gap that should be doubles end up as singles or outs at second because his myriad injuries have sapped what little speed he has. I can picture it now: Ortiz leads off the bottom of the ninth with the Sox down two and a man on second. He hits a frozen rope into the right field corner. The runner scores, but Papi either holds at first, the next batter hits a single, then the two after that strike out, or he tries too hard for second and gets thrown out by a mile. Watching one of the most beloved Red Sox players ever end his career in the middle of a “He cost us the series!” shit storm is the worst possible way this season could conclude, so that’s what’s most likely to go down. Odds: 2-1

Honorable mention: Eduardo Rodriguez making sure everyone in the stadium knows what he’s about to throw; Mookie Betts blowing out his ACL during an outfield victory dance; Robbie Ross; Craig Kimbrel discovering the last few molecules of that bacteria that wrecked Daniel Bard in the clubhouse shower.

2016 NFL quarterback crap rankings

I love football. I also kind of hate it. A big reason for that hatred is the narrative surrounding the quarterback position. If the various talking heads poisoning the league’s presentation are to be believed, every semi-competent quarterback in the league is some sort of golden god come down from on high to save his otherwise useless franchise from certain doom. And sure, a really, really good quarterback can carry his team for long stretches of a game, but here’s the thing: there’s only ever three or maybe four really, really good quarterbacks in the league. The rest are varying degrees of crappy.

How crappy? Let’s break it down using a tiered approach.

The Unknown Craps

Carson Wentz, Eagles
Jared Goff, Rams

It’s way too early to judge either guy, but I’ll tell you this: trading buttloads of picks to move up and take a quarterback in a supposedly quarterback-weak draft is dumb. Like, going to Wal-Mart to buy a luxury automobile dumb. The move makes a lot more sense for the Rams (who built a solid foundation using the picks acquired by trading Washington the pick used on Robert Griffin) than it does for the total waste of roster space in Philadelphia, but it’s still a bonehead move.

Giant Dog Craps That Are Somehow Still on the Sidewalk

32. Case Keenum
31. Sam Bradford
30. Blaine Gabbert
29. Josh McCown
28. Mark Sanchez

Holy balls. I’d call this part of the list a dumpster fire, but that would be an insult to actual dumpster fires. These guys are all somehow worse than flaming metal bins full of disgusting garbage. The worst part about these five: everybody knows they suck. Seriously. They suck. They’ve proven it over and over and over again. And yet, somewhere, some former player-turned talking head in a suit is rambling on about how this might finally be Sam Bradford’s year. Concussions are a terrible thing.

Who Crapped on the Floor? That’s Not How You’re Supposed to Do It!

27. Marcus Mariota
26. Brock Osweiler

Mariota found great success at Oregon in the spread offense, so of course Tennessee’s planning to put him under center in an old school ground-and-pound system. As for Osweiler…Houston’s where quarterbacks go to die.

Someone Forgot to Flush

25. Jay Cutler
24. Alex Smith
23. Ryan Tannehill
22. Andy Dalton

Sure, Tannehill and Dalton aren’t as old and hilarious as Cutler and Smith, but it feels like they’ve both been stinking up the league forever. Do you really want any of these guys leading your offense? I don’t think you do.

I Shouldn’t Have Trusted That Fart

21. Tony Romo
20. Teddy Bridgewater
19. Blake Bortles
18. Joe Flacco

Can you win with these guys? Yeah, but you’re just as likely to end up 6-10 and looking for a new coach. Bridgewater can’t throw deep. Flacco can only throw deep. Romo fractures his spleen if you look at him cross-eyed. Bortles is a Jaguar.

The Morning after Chipotle

17. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Totally inconsistent.

Hot Steamers

16. Jameis Winston
15. Derek Carr
14. Tyrod Taylor
13. Kirk Cousins

Each of these guys could be something someday, but one strong season isn’t enough to prove their value. Advanced metrics surprisingly love Tyrod Taylor, so I love him too.

Time for My 2:30

12. Matthew Stafford
11. Philip Rivers
10. Matt Ryan
9. Carson Palmer
8. Eli Manning

Just another day at the office. Ho-hum. Nothing to see here. Just gonna linger on the john for a few more minutes while I finish reading this thing on my phone. Whatever.

Just One Wipe

7. Ben Roethlisberger
6. Drew Brees
5. Cam Newton
4. Russell Wilson

Finally, some actual quality. Brees and Big Ben are old but they aren’t quite done yet. Wilson and Newton are knocking on the door of the next tier, but the remaining quarterbacks are all just that much better that I can’t justify it yet.

Actually Really, Really Good

3. Andrew Luck
2. Aaron Rodgers
1. Tom Brady

That’s right: there are only three quarterbacks in the league I completely trust to win games all on their own. The previous quartet can do it on occasion, but they’re just inconsistent enough that they can’t quite be included here. The sky’s the limit for Andrew Luck, but I worry that his huge new contract will keep Indy from being able to build an actual team around him. Rodgers is a stud, but he’s starting to show his age a little bit. Brady’s the best and if you disagree you’re a dink and you should go watch soccer.

None of my clones got me anything for Mother’s Day

What a bunch of ungrateful little bastards. You bring a bunch of lives into the world, spend day after day after day busting your ass to make sure they’re properly prepared to face the ups and downs of modern life, and what do you get in return? Forgotten on Mother’s Day. Didn’t even get a card or a text message. I wish I’d never pulled those degenerates out of their nutrient tanks.

Clone One, I figured, would’ve remembered. He was always such a sweet boy. Then he fell in with the wrong crowd. I never should’ve let him hang out with those juggalos up the street. God damn millennials and their dark carnivals.

Sure, Clone Two-A and Two-B are conjoined at the respective crowns of their skull and they live in the attic, surviving off rats and insects and the rain water dripping in from that leak in the corner, but that’s no excuse not to crab walk their asses down to the god damn CVS to get me one of them singing cards. Have I ever forgotten to toss a squirrel up there every weekend so they can have a nice Sunday dinner? No. Not once. And this is the thanks I get.

Clone Three’s probably sitting on his couch, tickling that third testicle that dropped when he was seven. Dude’s a hedge fund manager. I don’t know why people are paying him so much for some boring ass bushes, but he lives like a king. And he never fucking calls.

Clone Four’s busy wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination. I don’t know what the hell went wrong with that one. Actually, maybe I do. I ran out of DNA when I was mixing him up so I substituted in some mayonnaise. Any geneticist worth his telomerase knows that’s a perfectly suitable replacement, but I didn’t realize until a few weeks later that mayo was expired. My bad. Sorry about that, America.

But seriously. You think one of those scumbag clones of mine could’ve bothered to call? Ha, right. Take it from yours truly: if you’re thinking of cloning yourself, don’t do it. This shit just ain’t worth it.