I get a strange magic. Oh, what a strange magic. Oh, it’s a strange magic. Got a strange magic. Got a strange magic. -ELO
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! I’ve been waiting for something like this. Anticipating for something like this. Scouring the news from here to the great Bay Stating for something like this. My wait is finally over. You may know by now the Colorado Rockies are red hot. My gal is red hot, your gal ain’t doodly squat. You may know that they are now 15-5 under the leadership of new manager Jim Tracy. But did you know that’s the best record for a midseason replacement manager in his first 20 games since 1988? Did you know that’s when my beloved Red Sox went 19-1 under…wait for it…wait for it…that’s right, our very own patron saint, Joe Morgan. Woooo doggie!
Maybe you don’t come around here so much. Maybe you didn’t hear about it, you’ve been away a long time. They didn’t go up there and tell you. They didn’t go up there and tell you that we here at JQP Productions end every post with Six Two and Even! Or maybe you did know, but had no idea why. Well sports fans, today’s your lucky day.
Sherman, set the way back machine to 1988. Ahhh, 1988. Greg Oden was born. Adorable Adrian Adonis died. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis wins the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary. INXS is playing on the radio and Rain Man is playing at the local Bijou. But most importantly, a talented Boston Red Sox team was stumbling and bumbling under manager John McNamara, leading the ownership to fire him during the All-Star break.
That brings us to this. That brings to our man. That brings us to Joe Morgan. Not that Joe Morgan. Not the Joe Morgan who was blowing money, on private jets, 5-star hotels, and parties with various female porn stars, escorts and strippers on the NHLs dime. Not him. A kinder Joe Morgan. A gentler Joe Morgan.
Our Joe Morgan was a highly popular figure in Boston. He was our native son. He was a former hockey player, and a blue-collar hero. A local kid from Boston College. We’re talking about Walpole Joe Morgan. He was called “Walpole Joe” and “Turnpike Joe” in tribute to the offseason job he held for many years to supplement his minor league pay: driving a snowplow on the Massachusetts Turnpike. What’s not to like? We like him even more for a little ditty we like to call Morgan’s Magic. And it goes a little something like this:
In 1988, with the team struggling, the Sox went into negotiations with high profile managerial candidates. Joe Torre candidates. Lou Piniella candidates. Candidates like that there. Instead of those guys, they went with our guy, at least for the interim. The Red Sox promptly won their first 12 games under Morgan. They won 19 out of 20, and 24 in a row at home. Morgan’s Magic is born and the team names him as their permanent field boss. Hooray Joe Morgan! The Sox won the AL East that year but were swept away by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. We didn’t care. We had Walpole Joe.
Oh ya, six two and even. Joe said stuff. Funny stuff. Folksy stuff. He said stuff like, “Roger spun another beauty…Six, two and even.” We never knew what that meant. Some say it comes from the Maltese Falcon when Humphrey Bogart tells a gun-toting punk “Six, two, and even, they’re selling you out, sonny.” Apparently, it’s a botched line. Apparently he was supposed to say, “I’ll give you six to two odds. ” Apparently that didn’t stop our boy from adopting it as his personal mantra. We here at JQP are grateful for that. Long live Joe Morgan!
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!