Tuesday, May 31, 2005


O the Kill-joy

This game turned out to be a disasterous collision between two problems:
  1. Rodrigo Lopez tends to dampen a hot bat +
  2. Bronson self-consciously refuses to throw his fastball in the strikezone right now

I seem to remember we hit Rodrigo pretty hard in Baltimore back in April... but I think that was just a bad night for him. Everyone has a bad night sometimes, case-in-point BRONSON.

Bronson, you've got killer stuff. There is no reason for you to be AFRAID of the strikezone. You shouldn't be afraid of anything, actually; you're name is all about strength, courage, and being the baddest-ass pitcher around. Please go jam out, or whatever you have to do to feel like superman again, before Saturday. And stop thinking so damned much. Your job is NOT to think. Thoughts are a distraction, an opportunity to falter, an open toilet seat letting in BAD CHI. I'm not making any judgement on your intelligence here; I'm sure you're a very smart guy. It just seems that your brain may be short-circuiting your physical abilities at the moment. You're much better off focusing on what Captain thinks. He's the nerd of the group; everyone knows it. He spends hours upon hours on those hitting charts. If you don't do exactly what he tells you, you throw all that study time out the window. If you do what Captain tells you, and they hit your fastball, he'll shoulder the blame AS YOU KNOW... but if you refuse to do what he tells you, you won't have your best stuff, whether you physically have it or not. So please, Bronson, just DO WHAT THE CAPTAIN ORDERS. If you need something to fear, get that adreneline flowing, just pretend he'll smack you around the clubhouse if you don't hit his spots.

There IS one good thing I would like to point out from this game: Tito finally uses bullpen in a logical manner. What allowed him to do this, I believe, is the absolutely stellar performance by Halama. 4.1 innings, 1 walk, 3 K's, ZERO HITS (!), 64 pitches of beauty. Clearly John was not intimidated by the birds in town. Halama is a crucial cog to our bullpen, and today he was oiled and ready to spin. Had our batters been able to crack the damn 'Rigo, the game was still in reach because of John Halama.

Unfortunately, our batters couldn't do a thing, and when it became a fairly hopeless situation, Tito did the right thing: He gave some work to Captain Cheese. Alan Embree, folks, that's where we should see him, when there's no chance we'll win, so what the hell.... could've left him in for the 9th, too, but maybe Myers likes the chance to face a few batters in a row every once in awhile.

All in all, a very disapointing game. There was not even enough offense for me to comment on. But let us not forget the job of John Halama. If we're winning tomorrow, and the hottie Matt Mantei takes the ball in the eighth (as his role ought to be,) it will be because Halama ATE innings today, and Matt wasn't needed, and Tito had his head together enough to use Embree instead.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Looking for a Distraction?

With the sox batters stinkin' it up against Rodrigo Lopez, I'm only half watching as I peruse a new interview with Bill James on Baseball Digest Daily.

I love, just LOVE (even though I'm intensely curious) when he refuses to answer a question because his research is "the property of the Boston Red Sox."


Blatantly Stolen Photography

I told him on Saturday, this pic was too good to waste.

I warned him last night, "if you don't post it, I will..."

As promised:

Billy, Captain, & K-Mar(t) appear to be pretty tight.
photo by Jere Smith

It's not like I didn't warn him. He must be just giving it to me.
Nice guy, that Jere.


Don't have to live in Boston to Believe

Great article in NY Newsday today by Ken Davidoff:
He never should have lifted Billy Crystal, the game's ceremonial first-pitch
honoree, for Mike Mussina.

Any NYC article subtitled "Red Sox still have edge" is worth reading.


Pitching Well(s) Again - Finally!

I would love to have been a fly in Wellsie's glove to hear what he said to Francona tonight. Frankly I could feel his pain. 95 Pitches, 1 out, FIVE run lead, and Tito takes him out because he gives up a single. Maybe that was their deal... "you can go out there, but if you give up a hit, you're done." Maybe his velocity was falling (jere said the scoreboard showed a fastball at 86 in the 9th.) I confess, I was not paying enough attention at this point to see if his location was wandering.

Whatever it was, kudos to Wells for returning to form, despite standing my hair on end in the first. He's had some horror-flick starts this year, in fact most of them have elicited expressions on me that could rival an Edvard Munch painting (that's The Scream, for you non-art-lovers.) The ol' dog can pitch, though, and I knew he would come around.

And speaking of comin' around... whatever help Foulkie DID or DID NOT recieve in Alabama HAS WORKED. In three outings since his trip, Keith has not given up a hit. I am hard pressed to remember EVEN ONE outing this year pre-alabama in which he has not been hit. Can we send Alan Embree to Alabama next? (or just, um, get rid of him, PLEASE?)

I'm sad for Kelly, going 0-4 tonight. Hope he gets a big league hit before they send him down again. I wonder why they chose Wells for him to start with. The art of pitch-calling fascinates me... like a book I'm dying to read, but it's in another language.

Hey I'm not bitching after 2 big wins in the Bronx, but Mueller & Millar were also both 0-4. Meanwhile our international contingent went 11-15 tonight. Whiteboys had better step up & join in the fun, starting tomorrow; the O - no's are comin' to town. Let's make this a loooooong win streak.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


The Adventures of Reb & Jere - *hotel stalking*

I got up at 7am yesterday, and still I failed to catch an early enough train to stake out a good spot at the Riv. If Jere had even been awake when I called from the train at 10:45, I'm sure he would've told me what a "terrible job" I had done. Oh, well. I didn't really care about the Riv, anyway; the real purpose for my trip to NYC will reveal itself shortly.

I don't think I need to review the game with you people. There was so much joy in that game, I wouldn't know where to start, anyway. At whatever time I checked in the 4th, the formerly coveted Carl Pavano had already thrown 91 pitches. And it only got better from there. Jere decided to show me his red sox movie during a commercial, and when we looked up, Edgah was jogging into home. "I think that was a grand slam," I told Jere. Chan, lackluster yankee fan, was sitting there watching, dead silent. So yeah, we missed it. And Chan let us. (terrible job, Chan!) From there the game was pretty much garbage time, but after watching so many hit parades on our relievers, it sure was nice to see it happen to some other team, and even nicer to have that team be the yanks.

Once the game was over, it was time to enact the plan. When jere brought it up a couple weeks ago, I was all for it. As the time approached, however, and it appeared we would actually go through with it, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the idea. I am not a groupie. I have never read The Inquirer or Star, and couldn't care less about the personal lives of celebrities. I love our players, and very much enjoy ogling some in particular for their looks and/or personas on the field, but I am a baseball fan, people. It's cool that we know where they're staying, and therefore can actually see them, but it's also really sad that they can't go in or out of their hotel without being mobbed, mostly by scumbags who are selling their autographs on e-bay and star-struck crazies who don't know where to draw the line.

I told this to jere, and he apparently felt the same way... and yet we went anyway. After all, we knew where these guys were. Don't we have a responsibility to our readers to provide as much extra sox stuff as we can find?

We got off the subway, and as we were walking to the hotel, jere saw a bus that looked like the kind the sox were using. We tried to see what we could through the tinted glass as we walked past. For just a moment I got a good angle, and what I saw was unmistakable: Matt Clement's chin. Sure enough, the bus pulled to the hotel's side entrance, and we were there to see it unload. It was mostly coaches, but I did get that teaser I posted last night, and also this one of Captain Cheese-head:

Alan Embree
After that, jere & i walked around the corner to the hotel's main entrance. We definately felt a little weird, and tried to keep our distance from the obvious money-mongers, particularly one with a shirt reading "Mother Fucker." (nice.) Jere had seen him on Friday, and said he was a real jerk.

We ended up talking to a guy who's name we later found out to be Milan. Milan is Indian in heritage, but was born in, you guessed it, Milan, Italy. He said he had been seeking autograghs since he was a kid. He showed us one from Liza Minelli he got just the other day. Milan acted like he didn't know what was going on, or what the sox did while in town. As the evening wore on, he occasionally made comments to indicate otherwise. One thing I can say for sure, the man knows how to get an autogragh, and he was nice enough to take us under his wing. I surely would have been content to get pics like this one all night:

hmmm. what is Bronson smoking? And why didn't he give any to me?
But Milan asked Bronson to take a pic with me. Here I am waiting for that to happen, as Bronson indulged autograph seekers:

Bronson was very friendly. Here he is signing autographs with me in the backround.

Milan cut off Bronson's head. Oh, well... he got better at it. That's Jere, by the way, in the backround.
hey, I know most of you have never seen me before... you'll just have to take my word for it. Jere will back me up, too. The reason you've never seen a pic of me before is that I'm not too photogenic. I almost NEVER look good in pics. But who cares how I look... this is all about the players.

Some players were super accommodating, like Bronson. Most were friendly and tried to give a few autographs while getting to a car. Others just high-tailed it, like Mike Myers:

Myers walking briskly through a small mob to get to a car.
By the way, that's Milan in the foreground. I really ought to have gotten a real pic of him....
Francona's troubles started in the lobby, and had little patience for it by the time he got outside. Not that I can blame him, and still, he was very nice about signing some autographs, but this is the only decent shot I got of him:

Tito thru the lobby window
Didn't even think that one would turn out. Here he is mobbed at the car door:

Tito signing autographs
Timlin kept coming out and going back in again... but didn't really sign any autographs. He told the security guy he wanted a car to Peter Luger's.

Mike Timlin
Eventually he & Tim Wakefield came out, shuffling both their wives through the crowd and into the car.

Timmy & wife
Clement was one of the more accomodating ones:

Clement signs autograph for little boy

Me & Mattie
Mattie struck me as fairly shy, and perhaps a bit flustered by the attention. I'm not sure why he was trying to flag down his own cab... the security guy eventually ended up doing that for him.

Olerud arrived at the hotel while most everyone else was leaving. Kindof makes you wonder if he had been catching up with his old cronies...

John Olerud & me

I'm sure you'll be thrilled with my multiple shots of the hottie Matt Mantei:

Matt Mantei surveys the scene

Mantei endulges the crowd

Just my luck, this is the photo where I look most retarded.
Keith Foulke was doing the in-between thing, signing a few autographs as he tried to get to the car he was sharing with Mantei, and cracking me up the whole time. Dude is funny.

Wade Miller was with them, too, but I couldn't really get close:

Wade being mobbed by people who probably don't even know who's autograph they were getting.
Jay Payton tried to get through unscathed, but I got him to take a photo with me:

Me & Jay Payton
Unfortunately, some crazy was all over him the next minute, and jere said he was pissed, and smiled really fakely for a pic with her before getting the hell out of there.

Poor reticent Renteria sat in the lobby for a long time, waiting for a private car. He was so nervous about the crowd, the security guy made us clear the sidewalk, even though he didn't come out for a long time. I felt bad for him.

Edgah finally gets his car

By then, the show was pretty much over. Milan had taken off a bit earlier, but gave us his contact info. I hope he checks our blogs and leaves a comment or two... he was a nice guy, and he helped us out a lot.

My camera shuts itself off after it's been on awhile, so I wasn't always ready. A couple guys were too quick for me:
Schilling arrived at the hotel with family in tow, and quickly shuffled them through to the door.
Johnny & Michelle Damon got into a white stretch limo.

Also in a white stretch limo, Bronson CAME BACK. Jere & I decided enough was enough, we didn't want Bronson to see us still hanging around there. Besides, we were getting cold and hungry.

Unfortunately, I saw hardly any of my faves:
1. Theo... I highly doubt he's staying at the same hotel, anyway.
2. Captain. Someone told us they saw him & Billy Mueller leave before we got there. Milan thinks 'tek is a jerk... not surprising from the hotel-stalking point of view. I'm sure you know I hold Captain in very high regard, and I certainly don't blame him for being annoyed at autograph seekers lying in wait on the hotel sidewalk. The man is all business, and always ON on the field... that's all I care about.
3. Billy - left with 'tek.
4. KY - where the hell was he?
5. Bronson - you KNOW I saw him.
6. Trot - saw him coming off the bus, but didn't get a pic. Never saw him come out.
7. Bellhorn - maybe he was with KY.
8. Millar - apparently never came back to the hotel. Good thing I didn't wear my Harley Davidson boots just to impress him.
9. Manny & Ortiz - they never came back either. Probably hangin' with Manny's family or something.

Despite all my great pics, I'm extremely jealous of the video still jere sent me on Friday. I've saved it as my backround. If HE doesn't post it by tomorrow, I WILL.

Anyway, I hope they all ended up having fun last night; they deserve it after yesterday. I know we can't expect a repeat of THAT, but let's hope they're well-rested and on top of their game tonight.

Edit: I've notice that people are still hitting this post from search engines. Be sure to check out our more recent adventure.



This boy has no business hanging his head, now does he?

And really, when I say teaser, y'all have no idea what is coming.
But I'm tired. You'll have to wait.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


There's always Tomorrow

So I guess the sweep is out. shocking. Thanks a lot, "Captain Cheese." By now I'm sure we've all lost count of how many games we've lost this year by long-balls off Embree. Look to jere for more details on why he shouldn't have been in the game in the first place.

Honestly, it's ok, I care much more about tomorrow & Sunday. please, please, puh-leeze win those games.

so, looking on the bright side as usual, Mark Bellhorn only struck out once, he walked twice & got a hit. Can't seem to slide into home properly, but at least he knows how to get on base. Plus, I've always thought Bellhorn was pretty cute, but he seems a little cuter lately. The hair... love it a little messy-long, but methinks it may need a trim soon? Sure hope he's not trying for Samson locks like Damon (ick.) Moving on...

Jay Payton is a serious player. Not that I would have him replace any of our starters, but he sure is a start-worthy guy. Tonight he went 2/3 and robbed Jeter of a nice hit. It was a pretty play on a ball that almost always drops, but Jay, charging hard, lays his glove down on the ground and the ball just plunks right into it. beautiful.

Now our new boy Edgah is really in his groove, 3/4 & a walk. The YES broadcasters always seem a wee bit behind the times with their comments. ("after signing a big contract... Renteria has really been struggling to adjust") This tends to confuse me... I can never decide whether to laugh at their stupidity, or be offended by their arrogance. I compromise by calling them pompous idiots. clueless pricks. Blind, self-satisfied georgie-worshipping fools leading an equally blind mass of gray, black & white clad half-hearted yet over-confident followers to bow at the gold-plated idol, the highest-payed player in the history of baseball, Prince Purple-Lips. Really, I could go on all night about the insufferable Micheal Kay and his lackeys, and you could, too, if you have to listen to them as much as I do.

So really, the good news is that honest abe takes the mound tomorrow, and not only will I be watching it on FOX, but if I manage to make it to the train on time tomorrow I won't even be able to hear the ill-informed announcers over the roar at the Riv. So I guess I'd better finish this off & go to bed, eh?

Friday, May 27, 2005


It has to get better from here right?

Wondering where I've been all week? Just think about how badly the sox have been stinking it up in Canada, then imagine between the constant rain and my car and other personal battles I'm currently embroiled in... my week's been about as horrid as my team's.

But the wind, I hope, is achangin' and even though a dark stormcloud rolled up and started pouring down on me just as I was getting out of the car here at home tonight, I start my weekend with the glass half-full.

After all, Renteria's finally hitting.

Maybe we'll be weilding brooms by Sunday night, and maybe my bro-in-law will follow the fine and respectable example of A-rod, and maybe I'll win the lottery or wake up tomorrow ten years younger... you never know.

Sunday, May 22, 2005



Last night, my father noticed the Red Sox game on our channel guide, and flipped to it. It was a blank screen. He asked me why?

Having been through the gammit with the cable company & MLB, I told my Dad that MLB has deemed Fairfield County as exclusive NY territory, and Red Sox games are blacked out here, even if you have a dish. The only way to watch the sox on tv here is to buy MLB extra innings, or watch on the tiny box on the computer, like me.

I thought nothing of it, and then today I was opening up MLB.TV & asking Jere how his Star Wars gig went down, when he told me he was watching on TBS, at his NYC apt. Now, wouldn't you think that NYC would be exclusive territory of NY? hmmm.

Jere e-mails that his friend is getting it in Danbury, which is in Fairfield County. So now I'm feeling a bit cornered and confused. I call my cable company.

The woman feels my pain, but tells me that MLB has directed them that NESN owns the rights in this area, AND YET also per MLB, cannot be broadcast in my area.

I called MLB and left such a long pissed off message that I got cut off at the end when I was giving my phone number... so I probably won't be hearing anything back from them.

Then I remember:when I was in NH, NESN was blacked out when the games were on TBS. Uhm, why is it that TBS owns the MLB rights to this game in Dover, NH, New York City, Danbury, CT (that's ten minutes from here) - but NOT here in Newtown, CT? NESN OWNS IT? BUT MLB WON'T LICENSE NESN TO BROADCAST IT?
What kind of bullshit is this?


Pink Hats

I've noticed that a lot of female sports bloggers have a huge problem with pink hats. I don't know what the big deal is; what about the green and the yellow and the sky blue, too? Fashion hats are all the rage, fueled by the creators, who obviously want to sell lots of extra apparel. Personally I prefer the classic, but it is fun to have something else for occasional use. I just don't feel that whether or not you like the color pink has much to do with how much you know or how much you are interested in sports. Oh yes, I see the equation:
Pink = Girly = Knows Nothing About Sports
I just don't buy it. Maybe people assume that I'm girly because I write in purple (i guess that's a pretty girly color, too.) Then you'd never guess, would you, that my "daily beauty routine" consists of applying lip balm while driving, and I know how to do almost nothing with my hair... Just not interested - but I am really interested in sports. And I am even a little encouraged by the ever-widening selection (including pink hats and other apparel,) of women's gear, since it indicates that an awful lot of women have at least a mild interest in sports.
I used to hate pink quite violently. At ten, I had some pink items of clothing, which I never wore... When questioned, I realized that looking at them in the morning actually made me rather nauseous. I had never been much of a pink girl before then, but after that I avoided pink in all facets of life for about eighteen years. In college I designed a t-shirt, in fact, with the slogan "nothing cute, nothing pink." I really don't keep track of these things, but I'll estimate that pink got huge in the fashion industry about five years ago (and still hasn't shown signs of going away.) I eventually got used to seeing my sisters in pink, and I guess it's kindof grown on me.
You probably noticed that my niece Elle's Red Sox onesie is pink. My sister Beth dresses her in pink most of the time, mostly to save people the trouble of wondering if she's a girl or a boy. I used to think it was cheesy for people to do that, but I see her point... And if you've ever encountered a baby in ambiguous clothing, maybe you can, too. But I digress...
I have a pink sox hat. It's a visor, and I hardly ever wear it, but if I were going to a game on a hot summer day, I would wear it. (But mostly I wear my classic navy baseball cap.) I also have a pink pats hat. The logo itself is the same color pink as the hat, which I like the subtlety of, since I almost feel guilty about their absolute greatness. Baseball caps are not that practical for football season, and I mostly wear my black knit cap with pats logo.
I also have two pink sox t-shirts. One is an ALCS Championship t-shirt, which I wore to the hospital to see my niece (ahem) the day the Red Sox won the World Series. The other is long-sleeved, and it's my favorite.

my favorite sox t-shirt Posted by Hello

I wear pink, and I also know a lot about sports. I actually don't know the difference between a two-seam and a four seam fastball - yikes - but people sure do look at me funny when I explain why the National League rules change the way the game is managed and strategized, particularly in the area of pinch hitting... and somehow I get the feeling that it's not the pink hat.

Everyone has their little prejudices... Some are just assumptions or hearsay. Others are more ingrained in us because we have adopted them through experience. Some of you may know that I think Latino men cheat on their wives and girlfriends, for example. That is because every Latino man who has ever hit on me I either knew or found out later to have a wife or girlfriend. I also have learned from experience that women in general can be catty, judgmental, and cliquey. This does not mean that I assume every Latino man I meet is a cheater, nor can I expect every woman I encounter to be a catty bitch to me. It is a bit ironic when girls bitch about not being taken seriously by guys, then in the same breath refuse to take other girls seriously because of the color of their hats (which does seem to support my women are cliquey and critical experience,) but I guess I can understand prejudice about pink hats if you're repeated experience has been:
pink hat + overheard comments indicating that she had no clue what was going on=
knows & cares nothing for sports.
Sometimes when I'm driving three cars behind a painfully slow vehicle and trying not to get pissed, I realize that everyone I am passing has a story, and most likely one I will never know anything of. We never really know why someone else behaves as they do, but much of our personalities are because of our own unique experiences. You really never know with people, so don't be surprised if someday you meet someone in a pink hat who actually knows what she is talking about. Yes, about baseball.

That being said, I saw a woman wearing a pink hat during the ninth. Her man was talking on his cell, and she was looking around, eyes glazed over, as if she had no way to interpret what she was seeing. Her hat, that nasty-brite bubble gum pink, was the fuckin' ugliest "accessory" I have ever seen in my life; there is no accounting for taste.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Pats Potpourri

A Red Sox travel day is always a good excuse to look in on the Pats. Some of this I've been meaning to blog about for a few days now... Bronchitis has really hampered my brain activity.

In my nineteen years of watching football, I have seen many players make a point to retire with a certain team. I never noticed any players doing this with the Pats. For so many years, I longed for greatness in the Patriots organization that would inspire such loyalty.

That day has come.

Media Credit: Patrick Schneider
New England cornerback Otis Smith celebrates an interception and touchdown by teammate Ty Law during the second quarter of Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome.

Otis Smith Retires as a Patriot
(from patriots.com:)
I wanted to retire as a Patriot because the greatest success of my career came in a Patriots uniform, Smith explained in a Patriots Football Weekly interview. The thing I really liked about New England is that the fans always appreciated my talents and what
I brought to the table, win or lose. They appreciated the effort more than the actual winning itself.
*I glow with pride*
We were successful together, he said, and when people ask me what happened with me and football, I decided to retire with the team I won with and the team I got a lot of
exposure with. We won a lot of games together and lost a lot of games, but we stuck together. There is a team concept in New England, not just from the standpoint of the players but expressed throughout the whole organization. I have developed a feeling in my heart for the way that the Patriots do things and that is something I want my to be tied to for the rest of my life. When people ask me who I played for, I say the New England Patriots. I guess you could say I'm a Patriot."
I never thought I'd see the day, until a few years ago. Now my teams have reached such a pinnacle that I feel gluttonous... In a warm, fuzzy, fat & happy way.
I've grown so accustomed, in fact, to being proud of the Patriot's organization, that I was surprised to see this:

It's waive or goodbye

If Tedy Bruschi decides to play again, the Patriots will ask him to sign an injury waiver to protect themselves from liability. There's probably no way around it, unless the Patriots want to open themselves up to a major lawsuit, but the scope of the waiver could be narrowed to something very specific. Even if Bruschi signed a waiver, was injured, and had his career end, he would have a few alternatives for collecting income, including a one-time $275,000 disability payment from the league, workers' compensation, severance pay, and disability insurance.

I hope they mean to limit this waiver to injuries directly related to his particular health concerns. Tedy has embodied the concept of playing with heart on the field; that his physical heart would be flawed seems ironic. And it would hurt my heart to never see him play again, so I wish there wasn't all this waiver crap to discourage him. This does seem to indicate, however, that talk of him playing this year might be going on, which is very encouraging.
In his NFL Europe diary, Kory Chapman says one of the things he misses most about home is candy bars. Yup. "The chocolate here is very different."
I've heard that American chocolate is globally considered a disgraceful use of the cocoa bean. It's too bad that our culture has us so spoon-fed with super-processed homogenized crap that we can't recognize quality when we taste it.
Hey - our new LB Chad Brown is into snakes!
* sorry about the picture thing. I'm so annoyed with trying to get it to display. Guess I'll stick with Hello from now on.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


What Game?

Much of yesterday's game is unspeakable. It seems that most of the team got a head start to Boston, leaving just Captain and Bellhorn to hang out with stunt doubles on the field... At least, that's what I'm telling myself. So I will be turning my attention to other endeavors today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Edgah Arrives

Yes, I saw it with my own tired dying-to-close eyes: Edgar Renteria crunched a very clutch hit last night. And for those of you who were good and went to bed on time, you missed a beautiful thing. He was not at the plate long enough to fully analyze, but hitting the first pitch like that showed the confidence and aggression we have been waiting to see from Edgah. I'm all for taking your pitches and makin' em work out there, but watching Edgah do it this Spring has been a little disturbing. Is it just me, or has he looked bored and figity at the plate, as if he was just putting in his time & couldn't wait to get back to the dugout where not so many people were staring at him? Last night he showed more purpose.

The real Edgah has finally stood up. Yes, I realize he's been hitting a bit better for awhile now, but a key, ballgame-winning hit like this feels different to me... And I bet it feels different for him, too.


A Note to Giambi


Yesterday I said I would wish you well after you ditch the uniform. This was not intended to be a green light to go 3/4 with a homerun. It's ok for you to show these flashes of talent occasionally. In fact, it's important to do this for our ultimate goal of being traded. To stick the yanks with the majority of your massive salary (and thereby buying back your soul,) just make sure you don't do this too often.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005



Among the many things available on Yawkey Way, I saw a sticker on the 8th of May proclaiming "Yankees still Suck." At the time I shook my head at the sticker, thinking, "No, this year, they really do suck." Unfortunately, nine games later, I am feeling the sticker.

In the back of our minds, we knew this tear would happen. It doesn't mean we have to like it.

The worst part for me is who's hot. Tino Martinez seems like a nice fellow, but he is the favorite of my sister Beth, if only for the song they introduce him with. I do not care for getting Tino updates from my sister. If there are updates to be made in this area, I would rather be giving them. So Tino, pul-eeeeze, let me see some strike-outs. How about a douple play or two? Even an infield pop-up could bring me some joy at this point. This chick does not dig the long ball while you are wearing that uppity-pinstriped uniform.

Giambi Update: 1/4 last night, improving to a whopping .204 batting average.

Personally, there is nothing I would like better than to see Steinbrenner and Cashman suffer under flames from their cavalier spending sprees. I cheer Jason's decision to scoff at minor league assignment. My greatest hope is that Giambi will continue to sputter, but show some promise. I salivate at the thought of a trade, where the Yanks get stuck with a great majority of Giambi's salary. Oh, my heart might leap out of my chest with joy over such news. Then, since there is something vaguely sox-worthy of this dirt-bag-steriod-coverboy, I would like to see him back on his game once again. After all, he has worked hard to make up for his rapidly shrinking head. He seems rather sincere in his desire to succeed fairly. If he can shed that putrid uniform, I will be greatly pleased by any success he might have.

Meanwhile, Steinbrenner plans to continue his spending sprees with a
new stadium. By reducing capacity from 57,478 to 50,800, Georgie plans to raise ticket prices. And maybe he can actually fill the place more often. The sinister part, of course, is that he gets to use the MLB profit-sharing funds. You know, the funds that are supposed to be there to help small-market teams compete with the likes of this same evil empire. Leave it to Georgie to figure out a way to get his hands back on the cash he feels he has been unfairly parted with.

Regardless of what we've been seeing lately, the yankees still suck. I think the "yankees suck" cheer is ungraceful and unworthy of the mouths of the proud Red Sox Nation, yet let it be so.


Inexplicable Sufferings

On my last night in NH, I watched NESN on a 53" projected screen. I hate that streaming video feed I get in CT, as I can never see the pitch clearly - or anything else for that matter. Oh, last night I had a good view, as Captain surely was thinking, "I didn't mean that far inside."

It troubles me that the location-bug has found Bronson. It seems to have permeated the entire staff. Even Mike Myers couldn't get his job done last night. I'm sure it's a fluke. Still, innings like the 5th last night have become all too common in these parts lately, coinciding in Red Sox Nation with much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. We have good pitching. Our pitchers are blessed with a good game plan (master-of-charts Captain.) Our suffering is inexplicable.

Our hitting seems similarly afflicted. Yabu seems like a name for some fraggle-looking criminal in Star Wars, using the dark power of The Force to smite our batters with his trickery. With the bases loaded in the 7th, I could see just how much 'Tek wanted that grand slam... He could taste it - we all could - and yet Yabu's eyes held that ball, sneakily dodging it around the powerful bat of our dear Captain, sending him back to the dugout as we slumped back into our seats at home.

The man does not have a MLB grand slam. Sometimes a zero can give me a lot of hope. Like when a good hitter (not in a slump) steps up to the plate, and you see on the screen he is 0/3 on the day. He is bound to get a hit. It does not always work this way, but it sure helps me keep the glass half-full. And so I tell you: Jason Varitek will hit a grand slam this season. Every time you see him a the plate with the bases loaded, you had better be watching; the man is due.

There weren't too many bright spots in my late night of viewing, but at least we can cheer Mark Bellhorn. Every time he didn't strike out, he got a hit. The swings he misses would be a lot easier to stomach if he could just keep up that 50/50 ratio. There's something about the kid that I like, even though he calls for way too many outfield pop-ups that trot could get to much more easily. He's got that early 90's grunge look that reminds me of high school boys competing for how many consecutive days/months/years they can wear their baseball caps without washing them. He strikes me as earnest. This trait always gets me, and it breaks my heart to see him walk away from the plate so often with an empty swing. So keep hitting the ball, Bellhorn; I love to cheer for you.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Pen going to Hell-ama dama ding dong

I love the concept of Halama, the funny name guy who can bail us out when our starters blow up early and occasionally pick up the doubleheader... I so want to like the guy.
Last night was a nightmare for those glowing hopes. I felt like I was just watching a replay, with hit after hit after hit. Clearly Halama was not the only one guilty of that. Which brings me to the growing question : What the fuck is wrong with our bullpen? I don't know a thing first-hand about actually playing baseball; I never even played softball. But I would assume they kind of... work on their location a bit while warming up, maybe? Wouldn't they? Why are these guys having such a hard time getting the ball where they want it? Is Captain's pitch-calling too sophisticated for these guys? I mean I know he likes to make pitchers go out of their comfort zone sometimes, but right now our bullpen hurlers seem to have no comfort zone at all. It's as if the Billy-bug took the form of "location issues" and infected the whole bunch of them.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Catch Adrift

I found out today from Sox Therapy that knuckle-baller Charlie Zink has just been promoted to Pawtucket, leading us to the obvious: Kelly Shoppach needs to learn how to catch the knuckleball. This seems pretty key to me, in case Mirabelli a) gets hurt or b) gets traded.

Why can't Captain 'Tek catch the knuckleball? I'm sure people ask that all the time. A couple of passed balls in our recent glorious post-season might suggest to people that he can't, but I will respectfully disagree. The knuckleball is rather unpredictable and requires a different glove. I'm sure it takes some getting used to and quite a bit of practice to get really good at. 'Tek is probably pretty good at it, considering the amount of practice he gets.

I don't think that's the real reason 'Tek doesn't catch Wakefield. I think it's merely a very good excuse to give our Captain a breather every five days, and keep Dougie's bat warm. Which brings me to the most common sox fan pondering of 2005, If we ever have six healthy starters, who will be sent to the 'pen? (Let me just say that it's a very refreshing change from "Will this be the year?") One thing I can say for sure: It will not be Tim Wakefield. More than anyone else on the team, we need our captain, and I hear catching can be kind of hard on the knees. So, like I said, the "knuckleball factor" gives Jason much needed rest, and our back-up much needed plate appearances.

Does this mean Theo will trade Mirabelli? I admit, thinking this makes me a little sad. Apparently Doug's a real crack-up, and keeps the pitchers loose as well as 'Tek keeps them informed. And he signed at a very reasonable price just to stay in Boston, when perhaps he could have found a starting role somewhere else.

This is where I get all glad and sappy-happy that we have Theo, surely the greatest man to so far emerge from my generation. Theo is able to srtip all that emotion away to the bottom line, which no doubt includes a lot more information than we all can get our hands on. He will do the right thing, and only for the right price.


In Tom's Defense

There seems to be quite a bit of ruckus over Tom Brady's new contract. With the comments he made during the postseason, I guess people thought he would sign at bargain basement prices. The genius personnel moves made by the Pats over the last four years have been based on an economically conservative philosophy; I cannot blame fans for raising up arms in response to this top-heavy contract. After all, Bill has made us all into cap-savvy believers.

Let me, just for a moment, remind you what it was like to see another quarterback at the helm of our beloved team. Perhaps some of you have forgotten the torture of watching Drew Bledsoe have heart failure at the first glimpse of a defensive lineman. The man had no patience. You could feel the stress oozing out of his skull as he made his reads... By the third read, you could see from your living room couch that he was completely freaking out.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Drew... The man has a gun for an arm, and I'm sure he'll continue to rack up the passing yards down in Texas with the other Bill. He has so much talent, I knew there would never be a good excuse to try someone new. I would never wish injury on a professional athlete (um, unless he has sold his soul to Steinbrenner, in which case, he has no soul, and anything goes) but let's just say as soon as I heard on the radio that Drew was hurt back in 2001, I was planning to be on my living room couch for the game the next Sunday for the first time in awhile.

So I can't remember if it was the very next game (week 3) that I got to watch, or if it was week 4. What I do remember is that the Pats lost, but not without making a significant impression on me. The calmness exhibited by Tom Brady while in the pocket was so refreshing, that I actually called my Dad and my sister both up after the game. "You have to watch the Patriots this year," I told them, and they ignored me, but who turned out to be right?

My point is: Tom Brady may not be flashy, but he is something special, and I saw it immediately. He restored my pleasure in watching football, for which I will be eternally grateful. His strongest talent may be a bit vague and hard to pin-point... But it shouldn't be ignored. The man has incredible poise, and perfectly executes a complex system to make his teammates better. Does anyone really care who we have out there catching the ball, as long as he can hold onto it? NO! Because if even one of them is open, Tom will find him, and throw a bullet to him, CALMLY.

Yes, of course, it's still a lot of money, and it takes money out of the budget to pay other players. All I'm saying is: In Bill I Trust. If he thinks he can field a winning team with the cash they have left, I have to believe him. All I know is, Tom Brady is not like most players... You can't just stick someone else in that spot and expect the same results. In my mind, at this time (particularly with the recent loss of Charlie Weiss) he is the one player who is not replaceable. If that's what they have to pay him, so be it. I think they'll still have the budget to win... Or at least make more of the team than without him. A conservative economic philosophy must look closely at the cost of replacement, which in this case would be astronomical, or perhaps a sign of surrender.


Why the new blog?

Welcome to my new sports page. I started a blog to have an outlet for my crazy love of professional sports, mostly football and baseball. I keep close tabs on my teams and generally have stuff to say about it, which no one I know really wants to hear because usually they don't know (or care) a wit about what I'm saying. Perhaps someone out there in the ethos does, but that's not really the point... Really it's just satisfying to express whatever I'd like to say on these matters as if people actually know what I'm talking about.

So when I started my original blog,
Faux Shui, that was my intention. Among other roadblocks, I ran into a huge problem almost immediately. A friend of mine, Jere, linked to me immediately. Traffic! Now how could this be a problem? Um, jere gets quite a lot of traffic on his site, and I just wasn't ready for that. I was just getting my feet wet!

So, knowing I would have to link to other Sox blogs, I started making the rounds and figuring out who I might want to include. This immediately began to make me feel rather insignificant, and also as if I need to be a part of what seems to be somewhat of a conversation.

And so I started blogging away and thinking this was really great and all... And then I smoked some pot and came to my senses. (yes, this seems contrary to reason, and yet this often happens to me. I get really excited about something and then I smoke some pot and realize that I'm acting like an idiot... Or I struggle with a problem and see no way out, then I smoke some pot and immediately come up with several possible solutions.*)

I realized that I wasn't being myself; that I was trying too hard to please too many people. I realized that I needed a separate blog for sports. I realized that as interesting as my traffic stats are, I don't really care about them; I just want to have a voice, and I want it to really be MY voice. So here it is, and if you like it, let me know... And if you don't, well, no one's holding a gun to your head to make you come back.

*I do not mean to promote the use of an illegal, although commonly used substance on my blog; I am just being honest. I hate to think some teenager might read this and think marijuana will inspire the solutions to all their problems. There are other side effects of this drug which can be much more detrimental. And if any police are wondering, I do not sell, nor do I drive under the influence of said substance.

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