Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Bell-Whore Update

Credit Jere for the "Bell-whore", by the way, which is just beautiful.

Just as Nixon hit the walk-off ball, Marky-Mark hit into a fielder's choice, which was really a double play ball that was messed up by the Mariners shortstop covering second.

The yanks have let Bell-whore keep the chops- although they are painstakingly clean and trim, making them look dorky rather than retro. His hair has been cut (which needed to happen anyway, I've been saying for months.) The ends are about two inches below the batting helmut. Tonight it was all curled up awkwardly and frizzy, but this is a good length for him, I think. Give it a week to grow in, and he might actually look cute... er, that is, if he were in a different uniform. And I'm actually not saying this to be bitter; he really looks sickly.

General yank update:

Moose will be missing his next start due to inflamation on the inside of the left elbow, which has supposedly been bothering him for a year now.

Chacon is finally pitching on par with his abilities tonight, having given up five in the second. That's 5-0, Mariners at post time, which I have corrected to be accurate.

update 11:08 -
the score is now 5-2. Bellhorn just ended the inning with the second pitch of his second at-bat, grounding out to third. The first pitch, by the way, was a beautiful swing and miss.

update 11:32 -
the score is now 8-2.

update 1:11 -
Seattle wins 8-3. I have to be up at six and have NO business being up. Still I'm waiting long enough for the post-game, just so I can give you info you could obtain just as easily from the box-score. ok, here it is: Bell-whore went 0-4 tonight.


So much for our long-awaited Ace...

Pitching woes continued:

And this ball is hit high in the air... and it is off the wall. Is my mlb.tv skipping or something? No, I think the score continues to change. Every ball seems to linger fatly across the plate. A little leaguer could hit Curt tonight. His first start back - 6 runs in 5 innnings. Now, in his second start, 5 runs in two. So far.

I think we need a serious investigation into everything involved in this year's pitching staff, from trainers to towells. I'm sick of this absurdity.


Resentment over Pitching Discrepencies

Our friend peter* made the comment here on Reb Sox this morning that "It would be nice to see the Yanks lose a few." If you all are wondering why peter* has an asterisk, I gave it to him a while ago in appreciation of his fine comments. And he lives up to his reputation today by bringing up an important, albeit obvious point. In fact this is the central theme of what I promised to write about, the situation our boys have dug us into...

Thanks to the rain delay, much of the game last night occurred at the same time as the yanks playing out in Seattle. During this time I sat on my bed, tv tuned into YES with the sound and the computer monitor next to it tuned into NESN via mlb.tv. As our boys in white were whooping up their second rally in the seventh, I noticed some close-up shots of a concerned Mike Mussina on my tv. In the bottom of the fourth Seattle led the yanks 2-0, runners at the corners with nobody out. Ball three. Moose winces. Jorge gets up from his crouch as Mel jogs out to the mound. The camera shows a close-up of Torre, whose expression in past years seemed stoically confident, and this year seems more resigned to a fate of eternity in hell. Perhaps it's the lighting but his eyes are always in shadow in these close-ups, a creepy and ghoul-like effect. Of course, as is the custom with the yanks, the entire infield approaches as they form a too-cool-to-huddle "meeting of the minds". I say this in sarcasm, obviously, since the only one at the party with any significant brain power appears to be keeping his mouth shut. His expression can partially be explained by frustration over how his arm is throwing on this particular evening... yet there is another element I see often in Mussina, no matter how he's pitching. As the camera centers in on Derek Jeter, who seems to be doing much of the talking even though the meeting is theoretically about something he has nothing to do with, Mike appears to be concentrating on holding a straight face as he waits for the meatheads to finish their meaningless conversation so he can get back to work.

There was a bit discussion here at reb sox last week about how cute Moose is, and whether or not we ought to loathe ourselves for admitting it. I rationalize my lack of guilt here by fantasizing about Moose's opinion of his teammates. It seems clear to me when I watch him interact with them that he is barely able to tolerate their simple minds and over-aggressive egos. He seems to grit his teeth and will his eyes not to roll as he has to listen to their prattle. He rues the day when he sold his soul to steinbrenner and wonders hopelessly if he will play the game with men of integrity and intelligence ever again.

Mel walks back to the dugout. Finally Jeter is done with his pep-crap and the party breaks up. They all get back to their positions, and Moose scrunches his shoulders up - y'all ever notice how he looks like Frankenstein at the pause just before his wind-up? The pitch... ball four. Torre steps out of the dugout and heads toward the mound. The infield gathers up, once again, and this time Mike is booted from the party. He hangs his head a bit in disappointment as he walks to the dugout, but there is no fire in his eyes. Instead he seems slightly relieved to be done (for the night) with his active contibution to a team he despises.

Last night was a perfect example of our current situation, which I promised to discuss, and yes, I'm finally getting to the heart of the matter here. Moose, the only pitcher of actual quality on the yanks, struggles mightily on this evening in Seattle and leaves the game having retired just nine batters. The yanks, however, are saved with two "towering homeruns into the upper decks" (read that with the voice of the insufferable Michael Kay in your heads, please) by none other than back-on-the-juice Giambi, and the usual excellent performance by Small, who by the way could not pitch his way out of a plastic grocery bag until he made his arachnid vows to the devil. Meanwhile our boys smack away at the plate, building up a formidable lead which our bull(shit)pen promptly does it's very best to squander.

The victory by the yanks last night was merely irritating compared to several ridiculously disgusting come-from-behind bottom of the ninth walk-offs we've seen pulled by the yanks in the past week or so. If I have to listen to my sister and her husband smugly tell me about the five runs their evil team racked up at the very last minute to win a game they had no business claiming victory of one more time in the next month I might start punching things... that is, if I'm not close enough to just kick my bro-in-law in the balls. I expect a little rage once in awhile with my whole quitting-smoking endeavor, but this kind of thing is making me unreasonably violent.

Let's go over this with the logic which is surely being applied by theo & company. We have a bunch of quality pitchers, none of whom seem to be able to get their shit together long enough to pitch a quality game. Now that we've rid of Mike Remlinger, we seem to have a pen consisting of some degree of talent. Often they pitch very well through the first two outs of an inning... Well you know where I'm going there, right? All year long we have been losing games we ought to have won because of implosions by our pitching staff, both starting and relief. The confusing part? It doesn't appear that personnel is really the problem. We have talented pitchers who've been tossing out batting practice at inopportune times throughout the season.

Meanwhile we have the yanks. Their pathetic performance this spring should have been enough to put them away for the year. Sadly, our unexplained mound issues have left the door wide open. Their pitching rotation, on the other hand, is a veritable mess. They are putting guys up on the mound on a regular basis this year who practically have no business in a major league uniform. They have been driven to this in desperation, as their expected starters keep going down with injury. No sooner do these lo-talent tossers don the pinstriped uniform complete with arachnid head gear, when they suddenly look like cy young contenders. Is georgie paying someone full-time to sit behind the plate and put a confusion hex on each opposing batter? (with the recent performances of Moose & the shriveled unit, maybe he's only employing the witchcraft part-time).

So you see my frustration.
Our pitching- quality: decent, performance: crap
Their pitching- quality: crap, performance: decent

What the devil is going on?

Monday, August 29, 2005


I Live

My blog has now passed into the abyss of the forgotten, since even my most loyal friends must be starting to suspect that I may never blog again. Not so! Oh, how I have missed you, my desk, my keyboard, my mystical internet friends.

I finally had some time to blog yesterday, and before the game wrote quite a few paragraphs which are now, of course, completely useless as they were meant to be published before the game. Clearly I was interrupted, and held up in fact for several hours. Fortunately I was able to resume life somewhere around the third inning, but had already squandered my free time for the day. Once the game ended I was off and running, working my little tail off - and yes, I mean I was painting and what-not, and in fact did not stop working until 12:30, when I finally just dropped into bed. Yikes.

I admit I am often lazy. There are weeks when I do practically nothing. This is just not right, and if you ask how I get away with it... I don't. Not really. I suffer. And every once in awhile, I run around like the proverbial headless chicken, trying to make up for it.

*Methinks Johnny Damon is happy I'm finally blogging.*

Well just because I haven't been writing about it does not mean I haven't been paying attention. I have some comments to make on the situation our boys have *holy shit apparently Papi is feeling happy tonight, too. Who the hell is pitching batting practice out there?* dug themselves into. But I think I better post this while I can, and watch the game. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Moose Parade

I'm sure NESN showed highlights of the glorious top-o-fifth which recently occurred over in the Bronx. It's moments like these which make me feel marginally ok about the fact that I get YES instead of NESN. The highlights may not show that this rally started with one man on and a 1-1 pitch called as a ball. This made Moose very unhappy. (Personally I'm shocked that a borderline call went away from the yanks. Seems like that never happens. Wonder if that ump's check is late.) The next pitch was promptly returned up the middle for a base hit. Still flustered, Moose walks the next guy to load the bases. Goes to pitch to the next guy and oops! Moose scores the first run off himself by hitting the guy. I'm going to have to check the play-by-play tomorrow, because I think Moose went and walked the next batter as well. Then a base hit, scoring two more. I've got to be honest and say that at this point I completely lost track because I went to the bathroom (score 4-0, two on) to rinse off my hands, and when I came back it was 8-0, bases empty. I've got to assume there was a longball involved there. And they finally relieve Moose of his agony. And indeed it went on for quite awhile still, but the jays only got one more. I think it will be enough. The score through 8 is 9-2, and I'm pleased to announce as a sidenote that the contemptible Gary Sheffield is 0-3 tonight with a strikeout.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


No Title, No Sleep

I got home in time for the bottom of the ninth, after an extra-extra long day of painting. I think Timlin must have sensed my disappointment with so little of the game left to watch. So he tried to make it interesting for me. And it worked. Just a few short minutes after Witch City Sox Girl commented here at Reb Sox that we were working on a shut out... eh, not so fast. Loading up the bases wasn't quite thrilling enough; Mike decided to make sure I got to see some runs score. So, they were for the other team - it's only the Royals... it's almost like charity.

After working a full day at a client's, I went to my sister's house to work on her master bedroom. This project, which I said from the start that I did not want, has dragged on over a month. That's because I have not devoted any actual days to it; I only work on it 2 or 3 hours at a time in the evenings and only when I feel like it. It's enormous and needed a lot of prep, ceilings, trim, ok I'm losing you folks here, aren't I? Yes, well painting bores me to tears, too. I'm sick of this project, which I was supposed to finish before I left for the cottage. So I dug in and got most of the remaining stuff done there.

At 10:15 I was practically falling over myself as I carried my ladder out, where I encountered my dear sis smoking a butt. "Yankees won it in the ninth," she says to me, all smiley and excited. (It's nice that yank fans can enjoy the simple things again, like just winning a game, and not feel it was expected.) "Felix Escalona hit an rbi single to win it!" she tells me. "It's about time, eh?" I say, remembering the insufferable Michael Kay's comments last night on Escalona's squandered opportunities. "What do you mean, we won last night." Of that, my dear, I am painfully aware.

We are all aware of the absurd goings-on in the Bronx. I have been watching some of these games, and I still don't understand how they are possibly winning. And I'm completely confused about their pitching. Why aren't we seeing a hit parade or three against the likes of Al Leiter? Dude sucks. But not in pinstripes, apparently, and he's not the only one. I swear, if Alan Embree starts pitching well, I might have to start an investigation.

But you know what? I'm not worried about those evil arachnids. I think that's because they SUCK, but it might also be because my eyes are closing without my permission and my brain is flashing the message "Emergency Cranial shutdown commencing - Find bed immediately."


Pie-Crust Promises

So I said I would write on Monday, and you know how that worked out.

I could list numerous excuses for you, from the dreaded post-weekend Monday traffic to the mounds of laundry and sundries I had to sort through upon returning home. But truly the blame lies between the magical powers of J.K. Rowling, and the equally powerful and mysterious tractor-beam employed by my niece Elle-boom while I am in her presence... or so it seems.

so yeah, tonight then. I'm glad KC got that win out of the way on sunday, so now they can get back to what they do best... losing.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Return to my internet world

I'm back! Well, sortof. I've left my retreat at the cottage, and am now at my sister's in Weymouth on the way up to NH. I will not really have time to blog until Monday, but I looked and saw that some of you are still checking in, just in case. And that makes me feel loved. So thanks, and I'll write soon.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Have a Good One

I have some rather disappointing news for you, my friends. I am leaving this afternoon for a week's vacation, and I will not have access to the internet during that time. If by some freak chance you need to reach me, Jere & Witch City Sox Girl both know how to do that. I had hoped to write a more detailed post, possibly mentioning something about my quit-smoking endeavors (going smoothly; thank you for your support) and the sox (imagine that!) but unfortunately I have just spent the entire morning at the chiropractor's office, and I still have a million things to do before I leave. I learned there that I have a somewhat unusual, er, structure of sorts... apparently my clavicle (?) is barely connected at all. I have so much movement with my shoulder that it would practically be impossible to dislocate it, I suppose. My rhomboid muscles are the only things attaching my shoulders to the rest of my body, thus bearing the weight of my entire arm. Yes, on both sides. Kindof explains why my rhomboids have been killing me for, oh, just about my entire LIFE. Not a problem, per se (according to her, at least) but I need to do some excersizes to strengthen some interior muscle I forget the name of. And this is supposedly why my entire right arm has been numb for about a week now. interesting stuff.

Anyway, have a nice week, folks. I will be listening to our boys on the radio in Plymouth, Mass, so if anyone's headed that way this week, let me know through Jere or Kim.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Public Service Announcement

Hey, I don't know if you people are like me, but I rarely, if ever, look at the announcements on my dashboard. As a result, when Blogger goes down due to a scheduled service, I usually get screwed in some way, shape, or form.

But today I read the announcements, and it's a good thing, because Blogger will be down tonight from roughly 9-10 EST. Even if you are not on Blogger personally, it's helpful for you to know this, so you won't have to bother trying to go to a site that is on Blogger at that time.

Also, if you are in the NYC area, (and possibly other areas, too; I recommend that you check your digital guide) the Sox game will be on ESPN tonight. Please be sure to have your seats in the upright and locked position, and enjoy the flight.

Edit: Well I guess that Blogger service is tomorrow. But I swear, this morning it said the tenth.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005



"Edgah Rentaria the hero tonight," or so claims Orsillo. But he's not fooling anyone; we all know why we were still playing at that point. Sure, it's great theater in the end. But at this point we are all so tired of what Jere likes to call Edgah's "National League" playing. He leads the league in errors by a good chunk. And that's just not cool at all. The whole team's been playing sloppy of late, and it just pisses me off. Oh, I know I'm not the only one.

So that's great, Rent pulled it off in the end. But he needs to take in some extra ground balls or something, and the whole freakin' infield needs to join him, 'cause this shit has got to stop here.

And while I'm at the declarations, I may as well point out that it's time for Bronson to break out the Saturn Balls for this game tomorrow. Sure, we know Kenny Rogers is rusty as a barn-nail, and that his temper may not deal well with the taunts that surely will be flying at the Fens tomorrow... But Bronson, you need to be the balls tomorrow, 'cause you're due, and we might need it. In case you haven't noticed, your team is fielding like shit, and you're up against the second-best ERA in the AL.


Embree Update

Alan gave up the winning run to the white sox at spank stadium tonight. Thanks Alan!


Reaching My Own Blog in Creative Ways

I noticed a little while ago that I was on "the hotspot". So I decided to try and reach my own blog from the "next blog" button. I hit "next blog" for a very long time. I swear I must've reached over forty blogs for a second time, and some a third or fourth or even fifth time. I even reached a blog I recognized as one I found months ago with "next blog" that I had liked. I was waaaay past wanting to give up, when I finally reached... my other blog. Bizarre.

In other news related to my blog-stat obsession, someone from Louisiana just recently reached my blog by searching for "how to pop the question". I ask you, if you are trying to figure out how to propose to your girlfriend, how exactly do you read this:
BlogThis! Reb Sox Friday, July 08, 2005 The PoP Question - Again So. It's been almost 24 hours since I asked for input on the positive outing percentage cut-off point. About forty "unique visitors ...
and think it's possibly going to help you in your endeavor? Maybe they do things differently down there in the south? or maybe he's looking for a VERY creative way to beat around the bush?


Is the Trading Deadline Irrelevant?

I'm confused. How do the Sox & Cubs trade through a "waiver transaction"? Isn't this kindof dangerous? Don't other clubs get the chance to mess things up? Doesn't this leave clubs in the vulnerable position of just hoping the other club will follow through with their word? Are these cash consideration transfers legal? Forgive my ignorance, people.


Oh, whatever... I can't think of a title *giggle*

I just can't seem to come up with a cohesive post today. (I think it might be the nicotine patch that I'm wearing that's making my brain go all wacky. Oh, well... at least it's not the lack of nicotine making me go all psycho.) (Jere, please note: I make no apology for commenting on my personal struggles. And I think this may qualify as a list, so I hope you enjoy it thoroughly. Also, I realize that all my parenthetical remarks make things difficult to follow, and I really don't care... maybe it will put you all in my confused mind-state.) So I've decided to bullet my thoughts.

Red Sox

Yanks Suck

The Patriots


Usually when bloggers "change location" we mean from blogger to typepad, or livejounal to blogger, etc. No, this time we've got a different kind of move going on. I'm about to swap "distance to Fenway" ratios with two bloggers I love to read:

An extra special treat

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Oh Crap

way to THROW the game away, guys.


Random Chatter (includes one or more dead animals)

Yesterday was plain awful...
but that's the beautiful thing about baseball. lots of games, so the losses just don't smart like in football. (we can all dream of a perfect season, but most likely you will see me really mourn at some point in the next six months.)

Anyway, in the baseball world things are already looking up, as the yanks just dropped in Toronto, 8-5, with errors charged to block-head, the shriveled unit, and Flaherty, who frankly is just too pathetic for me to have a nickname for. I caught the tail end of the game, with the intolerable sheffanie taking a solo lap, then Prince purple-lips got a called third strike, and I swear from the first camera angle it appeared that slappy was puffing his chest out as he got closer and gave the over-the-top thug glare to the ump. Of course, I was watching YES, so they quickly changed the angle... but it is amusing how quickly that overgrown child loses his cool.

Also Boomer seems to have good stuff today, and fiery as ever, as Captain just had to have a little mound chat with him about keeping his cool for the plate ump. Bitchin' about calls is just going to get you more bad calls, Boomer, and worse...

Now I know this is a stretch, but since this is a sports blog maybe I can mention something about hunting? I'm not into it, personally, but my cats are. I can be realistic enough about the food chain to appreciate the various field mice, voles, and moles i find occasionally after my boys have had their way with them. I know how proud of themselves they are, and I do try and praise them, even though I'm completely grossed out as I use a leaf to pick the small carcass up by the tail and toss it into the woods. This is the time of year they start to catch a bird once in awhile, and as sad as that is, I really do get proud of them for that, because I think that must be pretty tricky.

Today was a new & different experience for me as a cat-momma sought out for praise. If you are squeamish, and haven't already figured out that this is going to be really gross, the time to stop reading is NOW.

So I was minding my own business, trying to catch up on Six Feet Under episodes on HBO on demand this afternoon, when I heard a cat's cry coming from the backyard. I look out my window and see Thor, the more talented of my two loyal predators. At first the cry does not seem to be coming from him, then he drops something and I can see that it was just muffled. He continues to cry until I appear on the back porch, and start walking up the hill toward him. As I approach, I hear another, higher-pitched cry... Thor picks his captive up with his mouth, then drops it down again in a different place. He backs off just a bit to let me get a look at it. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what type of animal it was, but I can tell you it was ALIVE, and an infant of some type, slightly larger than a kitten, which is the only type of newborn animal I've seen before in person. Newborn animals don't tend to have much hair, which makes them difficult to place with their species if you have no experience in this area... my best guess is an oppossum, but I suppose it could have been a squirrel, or who knows what else. I didn't have much time to figure it out as Thor quickly went to work, and I'm thankful his back was toward me so I saw little more than a bit of blood as the mysterious animal let out it's last feeble cries, and soon was silent as my cat continued to chomp. I managed some obligatory praise as I backed off down the hill.

Someone once told me that a cat did not eat it's prey until it's seen it done by another cat. I had never been aware of my cats eating their kill before, and I assumed by the many whole bodies I have found that they did not. But perhaps field mice are not too tasty. Or maybe Thor eats and Piter does not. I don't know. But I'm not too interested in finding out. I'm flattered that it's so important to Thor that I see his prize, but I never wish to see him eating something alive ever again. I hope this doesn't hurt his feelings.

Edit: Thor seems quite satisfied with himself today, and not at all hungry. "Baby... the other, other white meat."

Friday, August 05, 2005


Read this only if you like Bitchin' about the yankees

I had my blog all planned last night, about how Alan Embree put the winning run on base for the Indians. I was at my sis & bro-in-law's house, and was overwelmed with joy when I saw him on the mound.

Then Bob Wickman had to go and blow it for me. Why did they pull Millwood? I know managers like to pull the starter when they have a good closer, but Bob Wickman is NOT a good closer. Yes, I'm aware that Bob is the league leader in saves. I think that ranking closers by the number of saves they've accumulated is pure idiocy. I decided to take a quick look at the numbers to see how he compares to the other leaders in saves for both leagues. I really, really wish I had time to do the BpB charts on all these guys. I meant to do that before the trading deadline, but of course a variety of things have prevented that. But way back when I did Bob Wickman's BpB, I was shocked at how often this guy was really terrible. While I can't demonstrate why as specifically without the BpB, I think I can get my point across with other, more readily available numbers.

Here are the top five in saves for both leagues, ranked according to ERA:
1. Mariano Rivera, NYY, .95
2. Chad Cordero, Was, 1.11
3. Jason Isringhausen, StL, 1.66
4. Dustin Hermanson, CWS, 1.75
5. Brad Lidge, Hou, 2.40
6. Joe Nathan, Min, 2.96
7. Trevor Hoffman, SD 3.00
8. Bob Wickman, Cle, 3.16
9. Francisco Cordero, Tex 3.47
10. Jose Mesa, Pit, 3.76

Now in save percentage, or SV/(SV+BlSV)
1. Dustin Hermanson, CWS, 26/27, .963
2. Mariano Rivera, NYY, 27/29, .931
Trevor Hoffman, SD, 27/29, .931
4. Jason Isringhausen, StL, 29/32, .906
5. Joe Nathan, Min, 28/31, .903
6. Chad Cordero, Was, 36/40, .900
Brad Lidge, Hou, 27/30, .900
8. Jose Mesa, Pit, 26/29, .897
9. Bob Wickman, Cle, 29/34, .853
10. Francisco Cordero, Tex, 26/32, .813

To put this in perspective, our own 2005 pre-surgery Keith Foulke, whom I think even Beth would admit was pretty terrible with his 6.23 ERA, closed out 78.9% of his opportunities.

What I'm trying to say is that BOB SUCKS. So he logged his 700th appearance on Wednesday. Good for him. There was no need to put Bob in for his 701st, not with a one-run lead over the yanks, at least not when your starter has a pitch count of just 94 and most likely his best stuff of the year.

Our old friend Alan was brought in with a runner on first, no outs in the 7th. He threw 9 pitches, 3 of them strikes, got a gound out and then walked a runner on a 3-2 count. At this point he was pulled for our old friend flash, who immediately gave up a bases-clearing double, the go-ahead run charged to Embree. This should have been it, but NO... Cleveland manager Eric Wedge, who ought to know better, allowed Wickman to face 4 batters in the ninth. He gave up two hits; with the second batter, he blew the save with a solo bomb by Prince purple-lips, then lost the game with the fourth batter, another solo bomb by block-head Giambi.

Yes, I wrote all this to bitch about the yanks winning yet another game simply by luck and the stupidity of another team. Wrote it twice, in fact, as blogger was nasty enough to eat most of it when I tried to post. I just hate it when the yanks win games that they ought to have lost. I'm not worried about them, since they truly do suck this year, but if they were to pull off the Houdini of being an actual threat to us at the end of the season, it would only be because of the many, many games that they have won undeservedly.

Incidently, that was the second block-head bomb of the evening. "Giambi's back on the juice, eh?" said my father, the rare breed of sox fan too lackluster to be pissed off by Jason & king georgie's cheatin' ways. "Yep," replied my bro-in-law, happily, because he knows his team sucks donkey balls and will take a win any back-door way he can.

Of note: I don't think he's cheating, but did y'all notice Mo's numbers up there? Without looking, how many saves do you think he has blown this year? Hint: add up the ones you specifically remember seeing. That's right, closer-robot has not blown a save since the first week of the season. Also since then, he has given up just three earned runs.


Captain Crunch

I don't really want to write about this, since everyone and their mother's friend's dog already have, but the truth is this is my blog, and it's for me as much or more than anyone else.

I've been waiting for this.

I wrote about it, in fact, back in the infancy stages of this blog, only the fifth post. I declared this to be his year, and have looked on in anxious anticipation each opportunity he has had, and there have been many.

It seemed a no-brainer to me that this would happen, particularly with the way Jason has been swinging the bat this year. But with the bases loaded, it seemed as if he was anxious, too. I could see how badly he wanted it, plain as day, with the intensity of his expression, and the power of his swing. But he was swinging too deep. Most of his at-bats with the bases loaded this year have resulted in a strikeout. I had begun to worry that he wouldn't get it.

When it finally happened, I was watching... but I missed it. I stepped outside to get something from my car, and the pitching change just didn't take much time at all, I guess. Anyway, I inadvertantly notified Jere of this event... most likely before it even happened. I called, and knowing he was watching with more of a delay than me, he assumed what had happened, (which, as I said, had not happened yet, least not on my tv; I was calling for other reasons.) and took his phone off the hook. Then after he saw the grand slam, he called and left a message bitching me out and took his phone off the hook again. So I had to leave a message on his blog, defending myself. I think by now he has forgiven me for what I did not mean to do at all... at least I hope so. (It's weird, though, how he always has more delay than me, under many different circumstances.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Gem of the Evening

There were enough good things about the game tonight to make me forget about the bad things. Guess you would call that a win. But there was just one curious thing, that I will not forget.

I think an announcer on the Kansas City Royals broadcast said something along these lines:
"Millar doesn't bring as much power to the plate as most 1B in the league, but he makes up for it with his stong defensive play."

Um, yeah, that's why the sox like to have a late-inning defensive replacement. Did he really say that?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


the d-Lowe

Derek has always reminded me of just a regular guy... a cute guy. Not too bright, occasionally prone to emotional fits one would expect from a five year-old. Easy-going, well-intentioned, but a little selfish, and occasionally sketchy.

I knew he was a cheater.

Just a gut feeling. Not like I was judging him, but I always pictured him as the type who finds a way to get laid on road trips. So this whole thing was not a huge surprise to me. Also I used to speculate, last year, that d-lowe was having personal problems at home. He just seemed unhappy, tense. I wondered occasionally if he and jason varitek had had some kind of falling out, or maybe just a drift. I could tell somehow that he was unhappy with his life, and would not be able to pitch as he really can at Fenway Park. But he pulled it out in the playoffs, and I had hoped a change in venue would help him out.

Looks like he's decided to change more than the venue.

I have to give Derek some credit, though. I imagined him being shallow enough to be content with fucking strangers on road trips. When I first heard about this, I didn't realize that Derek had moved out and asked for a divorce. This isn't a "Derek got caught having an affair" situation, Derek has left his wife Trinka (what kind of name is that?) for another woman, so Trinka is dragging details of it into the public in attempts to shame her husband into coming back to her. Yikes.

Trinka is angry, as we all would be, and is doing what she can to take revenge, including putting the other woman's job in question. For good reason, absolutely, but let's remember the kind of spite it's being done with. Derek wants out, and I'm sure he'll pay dearly for it, but those of us who have been in a relationship which has turned sour might be able to appreciate his position.

I started writing this to trash Derek, just like anyone else, and I find myself defending him. Because we don't know how shitty his marriage was. Trinka might be a raging bitch, how would we know? The way she's using his fame to take revenge by trying to publically embarrass him on the radio and internet... well she's certainly not proving otherwise. And this is not just some fling... Trinka has released phone records to prove that Derek has been talking on the phone with Carolyn Hughes at least four times a day since April. Sounds pretty heavy to me.

I don't know how many people got this e-mail that jere and I both got today. It was an article on the Lowe situation. I found out that the guy who sent it is a Dodgers fan, and he likes to heckle the opposing pitchers from behind the dugout. Oh, what the hell, I'll just quote him:

Send this out to all your fellow bloggers....just so you know my friend Tim
and I are probably the rarest of fans now....we actually believe we can turn the
tides of games and if given a seat behind the Dodger dugout...we do!! Our fan
noise is unparalleled from that distance and angle....we have in three tries
broken down three quality pitchers:
Adam Eaton (only loss of the year
when we had him on the ropes in April
Joe Mays (Twins)-
Friday.....the Card's.Matthew Christian Morris..(Matt Morris)...we chanted his
whole name and when we did,,half the time he bounced the ball in front of the
plate..LaRussa left him in way too long and we cntinued to wear the poor guy
down to when he fielded a dribbler, lhe looked lazily at Cesar Izturis at third
and strangely elected not to run him down to prevent him from scoring the tie
breaker...he wielded and threw to Pujols at first....allowing Izturis to

I think more teams can win with genuine fan
noise......."go go go go" does work and egging on the runner at first to lead
off, go etc,,,,,,does rattle the pitcher even if the guy at first weighs 275 lbs
and has never stolen a base..the dumb pitcher hears us two and eventually throws
over and forgets what the pitch call was from his catcher...I am telling you
this works..

Well that's kind of cool. If you have a loud mouth, instead of yelling into jere's ear, please try to get seats behind the dugout. Either one will do for this, I think. Personally, I neither have a loud mouth, nor a chance in hell to get seats like that, but I think anyone who does should give this a shot.

But now that I've decided to defend Derek for some strange reason, this doesn't seem like such a great idea:

Dodger fan here in the LA area.......and boy I hope Lowe does not pitch
here next Wednesday against the Phils or Friday against the Mets....cause we are
not kind as hecklers here to what I refer to trailer trash, wife beaters or

My chant and rant will be:

Hey Derek, you
win less that you LOSE
Now you shack up with HUGHES????

But you're a Dodgers fan, dude. Cut the guy some slack. Maybe he really loves the chick; who knows. Read the article you sent me. Lowe wants a divorce. His wife is trying to turn his public against him. Yes, he's a cheater, but things aren't always what they seem, especially with the media spin. You don't have to agree with what he's doing in his personal life to root for him... he's on your team. I think you should say what you feel, but not to throw off his game, the way you would an opposing pitcher.

But hey, that's just what I think. And since it's my blog, I guess I can write whatever I think. And if you disagree, you can feel free to say so in the comments.

Edit: While my new Dodger-fan friend has not made any comments, he continues to send me interesting stuff about the situation. Naturally, I am starting to get google and other search engine hits on this topic, so I've decided to feed the frenzy by adding good links & pics on the subject as they come about. Here's an abc news piece.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


savor the sweetness

In my right eye, I watch Bob Wickman close out a game, thanks to the cushion given him by Al Leiter. And I remember just two weeks ago, when the Yankees sat in first place for less than twenty-four hours, just after the inexplicably stellar performance of that very same Al Leiter at Fenway Park.
how dark it seemed in red sox nation.
how uncertain
the air became heavy
as a storm gathered far in the distance
and appeared suddenly, as if out of nowhere,
raged on for days
then was gone, in an instant... and unexpectedly.
*Bob Wickman just smiled and made a thumbs up. You know what that means.*
And now it is sunny. The air is light.
*oh, you don't? It means the Yankees SUCK*
There's a warm breeze, and the sound of laughter and cheers.
Yeah, the summer has turned.
But we've been over that, right?
Ah, it still feels good to dwell on it. After all, today felt so sure, and the confidence of the nation was well placed. And Manny, though it's nice to hear that you love us, you can show us in that way any day. Also, thanks for making Runny Elves PAY for those walks.

Manny's not the only thing shiny and gold right now... the whole team looks refreshed after a quality "nap" yesterday. Our second baseman is finally starting to grow on me, and Gabe makes a splash in his short playing time, once again. He didn't have much of a chance on that score, but you've got to love his bid to knock the catcher over.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

I don't know a lot about this Jose Cruz jr kid, and I hope it works out. Rockies sure are hoppin' mad, and I betcha a certain Larry Bigbie is not too thrilled either. The mangled story I heard is that this trade was already completely signed off on by Theo, then pulled by Lucchino & co. The fact that the first part of this trade had already gone through makes for a messy situation. I sure hope this Cruz kid makes up for the mess by suddenly living up to the formerly glittering potential I've heard mention of.

patriots.com/Keith Nordstrom

The guys have hit the field in Foxboro, and I start to remember that there is life beyond baseball... football, of course. Now most of you readers would not realize this, but I am a football fan first. But it's much different to blog about... I'm not sure I'll be all that good at it, and so far I have not been feeling inspired. Now that camp has started, I'm sure that will change quite soon.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Coming Attractions

Not here, of course, but around the sox-blogosphere:
For a more up-close and personal look at the weekend that turned the tide at Fenway, check out what it was like to be there... on Saturday, to hear the lineup announced, then confusion let loose... then yesterday, a game any one of us would have killed to be at. At post-time, the pics & recaps are not up yet. Neither is the long-awaited BSM return post. But I would check anyway.

Edit: Not only are these all up now, but BSM has completed the weekend notes by including comments on the game he attended at Fenway on Friday.


Everyone loves a happy ending

It's been a busy week for red sox nation... and a lame week for Reb Sox, I know. I did not comment on the manny situation here, but those of you who have been following Andrew's excellent coverage of the situation know that I have not exactly kept my mouth shut about it... in a theoretical, non-committal way, of course. Well everyone loves a happy ending.

Driving to NH on Friday evening, I had the rare opportunity to listen to WEEI, and smack in the middle of the biggest controversy of the season. Whenever I listen to this station, I inevitably end up yelling agrily into my dashboard and beating on my steering wheel. Among the many callers into WEEI, there seems to be a rather low IQ. And the hosts there don't seem to be bringing that average up too much. For a fanbase known for it's intelligence and commitment, WEEI is an embarrassment as a flagship station. The guys on there talk like arsonists weilding torches and throwing gasoline. But I suppose I don't listen enough to be critical. It's probably just a coincidence, right, that these guys are talking out of their asses every time I turn them on? ha!

Well I suppose it's not that unusual, in sports radio, as I was yelling and banging before I even made it to WEEI on Friday. Yes, my scan first hit ESPN radio, where some chick (wish I had caught her name, as I would love to be specifically making fun of her today; she sounded suspiciously similar to Susan Waldman) was coming up with perposterous trade ideas, simple player-for-player in terms of fair value for the player. She had come up with seven players who supposedly were of similar roster caliber to Manny. I do not know what the point of this exercise was, and did not bother to stick around to hear all of her potential candidates. The two that I did hear were enough to make me want to ram into something, so I felt it best to change the station for simple safety reasons. "what do you think, folks, would you trade Manny Ramirez for Gary Sheffield? How about Roger Clemens?" So yeah, obviously this discussion was not being made for practical reasons. Not only were we, in this segment, completely unconcerned with the likely possiblity of a trade, we were also completely ignoring the motivating factor behind the trade speculation in the first place. As in- Roger Clemens DOES NOT want to pitch in Boston EVER AGAIN, I am QUITE CERTAIN. And I'm pretty sure that Gary Sheffield would feel the same way, although my major objection to him is that he's a complete dickhead. If Theo were to have made this trade, as suggested, motivated by the organization's philosophy concerning the "type" of player they want here in Boston, well these two guys are about as far away from that "type" as you could get, regardless of their performance. So if you thought that "mannygate 2005" could not get more absurd than what was on WEEI this weekend, you might have been wrong.

I will not claim to have "stayed loyal" to manny throughout this event. I think many of us were concerned with the combination of events last week. It was too fuzzy for awhile, at least for me, where manny's loyalties lay for me to back him up as much as some have this weekend.

As weird and as almost surely staged as that scene in Francona's office was yesterday, Red Sox Nation required it. He needed to say to the media "I want to play here" before he went out there again. And that's all most of us needed. Yes, I know, some of you did not need that, you would defend manny to the death... not me. I needed to hear it. Even if it's not true, I needed Manny to say it. (And to hear him say "Manny being Manny" -ha aha- now that's just bonus material.)

I get the feeling that Manny needed what happened yesterday, too. A pinch-hit, winning RBI... yes, how very appropriate. Maybe we don't realize how necessary it was, how it magically reunited manny with red sox nation, once and for all, (at least 'till it comes up again next year.) It very quickly put to bed an emotional situation which could have left lingering frustration in the hearts of many fans, and perhaps many team members. Instead, just like that, the nation moves on, healed by the laugh of "manny being manny," cheering with a smile at his double-point from first.

This image, along with the much scarier one last week, will seem just as fresh in our minds at the end of the season. This past week has earned a permanant spot in each of our mental red sox slide shows. And maybe people will say these events were the turning point of the season. We have yet to see what direction that curve has sent us in, but I think we've all seen it coming; things have been heating up under the surface for weeks now, and suddenly it came to a boil. Tension has dropped off the map just as dramatically, and timed perfectly, as the sox have begun what seems to be their long-awaited hot streak.

Since things seem to be finally "falling into place", I think I ought to spread out some glue and hope it sticks.

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