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Red and Denton come clean

"We should be documenting every Sox game," Tom Deady e-mailed his buddy Tim McCarney in April of 2004. "When we win the World Series, we’ll have a book written chronicling the season."

Truer words were never spoken, even if at the time McCarney (a/k/a "Red") and Deady (a/k/a "Denton") — authors of Surviving Grady: A Journal of Unhealthy Red Sox Obsession During the Greatest Season Ever, which compiles the ’04 entries from their blog SurvivingGrady.com — had no particular reason to believe them.

The previous October had seen their beloved baseball team shut out of the Fall Classic thanks to the singular idiocy of one William Grady Little (a/k/a "Gump"). Deady, like many of us, "spent a lot of time" thinking up painful tortures for the feckless Sox skipper. "I’ve read about things like tying a person down next to a fire-ant hill and smearing maple syrup on them and just letting the ants have at it," he says. "I’ve come up with a few of my own scenarios that involve a cheese grater and Tabasco sauce."

But a blog was both more realistic and less felonious. "I think we both just expected a little self-therapy," says Deady, who plays the straight-man fan to McCarney’s warped and wild-eyed musings. Reasons McCarney: "a blog would be a healthier way to vent than, say, punching a truck."

At last count, there are roughly one zillion Red Sox books on the shelves cashing in on last year’s epochal season. Many would argue that we need another one like we need another Bob’s Discount Furniture ad on NESN. McCarney disagrees. "If anything, I think the current supply of Red Sox books is alarmingly limited. Where’s the Kevin Millar tell-all? The ‘secrets from the clubhouse’ exposé by the batboy? The Lynn Jones Guide to Grooming? I say keep it coming."

Other books are "written by highfalutin’ sports journalists with their press passes and expense accounts and souped-up Russian hovercrafts," says McCarney. Surviving Grady, on the other hand, is a "day-to-day, blurry-eyed account of each and every game by two passionate and likely certifiable fans."

So as we progress from hopeful (April 6) to despairing (July 2) to exultant (October 28), we get rants. We get confessions. (Denton: "This team is my drug." Red: "I enjoy Tom Arnold.") We get posts "guest written" by Tigers slugger Dmitri Young. We get great nicknames for Derek Lowe ("The Incredible Sulk") and Gabe Kapler ("Mazel Tough!"). We get all sorts of plain ol’ really weird shit, from conversations with the ghost of Butch Hobson to Carl Yastrzemski robots.

But, if and when we can pull it out two years in a row, there’s some question about whether we’ll see a Surviving Grady sequel. "We fooled one publisher into believing we were real writers once," says Deady. "I’m not sure we could pull it off again."

McCarney has other ideas. "A repeat World Series title would deserve something bigger than just a book. At that point, I think we’d be talking about a touring puppet show."

Tim McCarney and Tom Deady sign copies of Surviving Grady at the Souvenir Store, 19 Yawkey Way, on Sunday, September 18 from 11 am to 2 pm. Call (617) 421-8686.

Issue Date: September 16 - 22, 2005
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