Saturday, March 25, 2006


New Choi

The first I heard of our new pick-up came in my e-mail box this morning. This guy Jay from L.A. is a Dodgers fan who sends me links and crazy stuff from time to time. Here is what he had to say about Choi:

Egads! We all hear in Blue Land are glad to see him go!

Good luck. This guy does NOT belong on a major league roster at all.

As soon as you get a chance just look and see how bad his swing is. Real bad

Yeah. Great news. But ya never know; one man's trash is another man's treasure... just look at big papi. But I thought I'd share with y'all the above pic, also from Jay.

also: anyone else find it funny that Byung-Hyun Kim gave such a favorable report of Boston?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Hi Again, Mr.Youkilis

When asked what he will do for fun in his new city, Bronson said:
"I'll probably end up hanging out with [Cincinnati native Kevin] Youkilis's parents a lot," he said.

So Mr. Youkilis, if you're still googling for your son's name all the time, hopefully you've found this. Please tell Bronson we miss him, and the nation will always love him.


Juan Gone

I saw this last night, but was unable to find confirmation. Guess I didn't look hard enough. The spanish translation on Elephants in Oakland is funny enough to wonder if it's just a joke...

So the nickname sticks. Or comes back to bite us in the arse, I suppose... Is it legal to just desert a contract like that?

I can't blame 'im. Certainly he was not going to get too much playing time, especially since we've acquired our new toy from Cincy. We are suddenly a bit back-loaded in mediocre outfielders, me-thinks. We will start the season with Stern (whose first name we refuse to use today) and Wily Mo as our roster back-ups, and when Gabe gets back our young jewish-canadian will start doin' the ol' Pawtucket Polka (KY is teaching him the steps - and the fastest travel routes - as we write this). So yeah, we're all set, Juan. But thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Let the Bleeding Continue

(this post has been edited for foul language. sorry but there's nothing left. read this link for an explanation. As had been forshadowed.)


Pinstripe Pitching

It's been awhile since we've had a good chuckle over the skankee rotation, hasn't it? Snark on this from the NY Post, via the yankee despiser.


A Girl After My Own Heart

Thanks, Deadspin, for pointing out this fascinating read. (They're good like that, aren't they?) There are so many more to consider... please make your nominations, ladies, in the comment thread. Remember, blog comments are not legally binding.

Monday, March 20, 2006


After the Smoke has Cleared

The initial shock of a trade always gives way to acceptance, for me, and a look at the potential positives. While I was not around to take part, there was a great discussion of the trade over at A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory (or whatever-the-hell he's calling it these days) where people smarter than me seem to be in favor of it. I would have to describe my own feelings more as "sad" than good or bad in this case- and here are some thoughts:

The big Bronson bummer makes the Clemens concept a little less far-fetched. I said a little. Don't go blowing up those "Welcome home Roger" balloons yet; you're wasting your breath. (or all that leftover helium from St. Patty's Day leprechaun skits.) He could still sign with Steinbrenner, you know. This would feel a lot more like a Clemens set-up if Clement had been traded instead.

And perhaps Clement might have been traded instead, were it not for that sparkling performance we saw on Sunday. A performance, by the way, that Bronson credited in his press conference almost entirely to the man behind the plate. Confidence is the key when you wonder which Bronson will show up, and the other day that confidence came from the called pitches of the Captain. Lately it seems like he's been pitching scared; maybe in a smaller market he will find that toughness within that once earned him the nickname "balls of Saturn". I sure hope so, for he deserves the best possible outcome from this mess.

As for our end of the deal, I have a good feeling about Wily Mo. The Tizzle seems pretty happy to have him onboard, and Manny might not mind having him around either. Clearly he needs to learn some plate discipline, but I think Papa Jack might be just the man to teach him. Remember that Manny's freakish natural ability at the plate seems to have affected the patience and confidence of a lot of players coming in, including Big Papi.

A quote from the conversation at RedLegNation:

I have a feeling that Peña will thrive with a regular job in Boston. I expected him to sort of fizzle in Cincinnati, even as an everyday player, but he may really take to playing alongside Manny Ramirez. After all, Wily Mo was made in his image.

At the very least, we now have another player with a very funky name. Last year I was at a game with Jere, WCSG, and Empy when I first noticed the spelling of his name, which ought to be read like "smiley" rather than "silly". This makes Wily sound more like a wascily wabbit than the (apparently) "correct" pronunciation, which if you ask me sounds like a red-neck on crack. Let's hope he lays off the rock and crushes the baseball this year instead.

I've seen this compared to the Nomar trade of 2004 for the emotional impact on red sox nation - I hope Bronson can appreciate the implications of this comparison! Nomar was THE marquee player in Boston for years; to acheive a similar outcry from red sox nation is a tribute to the level at which Arroyo was appreciated in this town. But there is more to the comparison: Wily Mo's production numbers are pathetically similar to the two infielders acquired for Nomar. The Nation looks back at this trade in hopes of the same upside result. We hope Wily Mo starts hitting better and brings a smile to the clubhouse every day, just like the OC did. As this trade plays out, maybe theo will look less like a gorilla and more like boy wonder yet again.

And today our young Wily Mo took a step in the right direction of plate discipline. In his first two plate appearances in a red sox uni, he singled and walked.

More intelligent conversation re: the trade over at "Learn Stern" from yesterday. And if you're wondering why I keep finding out about these after-the-fact, there's something on jere's main page that keeps giving me a run-time error and closing out browser windows like a mad frothing dog. I wish he would fix it because in the meantime I resort to checking the specific posts that show up in my came-from's.


Singin' Sad Songs...

I was so happy for Bronson yesterday. but that was then. Who knew such a stellar performance on the rubber would be his sexy leg-kick out of town? ::Arroyo's agent raises hand::

Lovers of the leg-kick have been nervous ever since the contract was signed. A long-term contract is meant to ease concerns. It's supposed to imply security and committment between a club and a ballplayer, and this one did... the commitment of a ballplayer and security for the club, that is, and not the other way around. His heart was in the right place - He wanted to keep Boston as his home, and was willing to take a hit for it, both in money and playing time. That's how much he loved us.

I think we all know from life that sometimes when we love we give too much... and when we give too much, we're liable to get kicked around, taken for granted, or tossed out in the cold. In his eagerness to stay and play for the Nation, Bronson made a miscalculation. He was too generous with his hometown discount. He signed so far below market value that his contract became coveted throughout the league, and it was only a matter of time before an offer was made that could not be refused.


We'll miss you, Bronson. We'll never forget that you're gone because you loved us TOO much - ever the irony here in Boston - and we hope you know that we loved you, too (and as one of the 25, always will.)

Friday, March 17, 2006


That's a Good Question...

A reader has inquired about where the skanks stay in Boston - reb being such an expert in hotel stalking, and all. We are looking into it. If anyone knows, please e-mail the information rather than posting in the comment thread (no need to make this info TOO available).


Brackets for Dummies

I've never been involved in an NCAA tournament bracket before, and would not be now were it not for the persistance of the bro-in-law, a character ye readers of reb sox might be familiar with. He started this mock tourney and named it after my familiy, despite the fact that we know absolutely nothing about college basketball. After begging me & the sis to get involved, he put us up for persuading other members of our family, and anyone else we could scrape up.

As you might already know, I was able to snag Jere and Chan into our lair. I also convinced my youngest sis & her boyfriend, along with my dad, who was a surprisingly hard sell. My family members were most concerned with their lack of knowledge in the area of college basketball, and afraid they would become a laughingstock in this tournament. Of course I told them that none of us know anything, and the less you know, the better off you would be. Well since those three are sitting in the bottom third of our standings right now, I guess I may have been a little off in my statement. Either that or they made shitty pics on purpose; believe me, this is always a possibility in my family. Despite their poor performance, I hope they are finding out what the sis & I have discovered: this is fun!

Picking a bracket is not about thinking you know who will win... rather it's like the nickel bets we used to make at Lee Speedway when we were kids: picking for the simple fun of caring about the outcome. There was one sister I was unable to bully into involvement, and I am sad for her. It reminds me of the time this same sister refused to go to Water Country with us because she didn't want to be seen in her bathing suit. Now if you've ever been to Water Country, or any other water park for that matter, you know that people are way too busy having fun on water slides to care how you look - and also no matter how bad you look, there's going to be others there who are worse. When we got back to our grandmother's at the end of that day, sun-burnt and exhausted but still grinning form ear to ear, our sister regretted having stayed home. I'm sorry she didn't join our tourney, and I hope she gets the same feeling again - because life is too short to worry about how you look to other people. It's not about where you land in the standings at the end, unless, of course, you have a lot more riding on it than our silly $3 bet. The most fun is always in the ride itself - which is exactly what I used to say about being a red sox fan before the big win, and it's still as true as ever.

So if you've never done a bracket before, try it next year. There's a reason they call it March Madness, and it's not because all these people actually care about college basketball.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Aww, Johnny...

Is your shoulder bothering you AGAIN?
From the NY Daily News via Joy of Sox:

Damon said he was "not really sure" when his shoulder started bothering him this spring, but the timing could sprout into an issue since the Yankees were reluctant to send their stars - Damon, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez - to play.

Team USA manager Buck Martinez said yesterday that "Damon's been conservative with his throwing the whole time here. He hasn't thrown much. We haven't done anything here that's affected Johnny Damon."

But Damon apparently told his friend Jason Giambi that Team USA was "trying to speed them along" in drills to get into game form, Giambi said yesterday.

"I think I just need to, when I start throwing, save my bullets right now," Damon said. "I was stretching my arm out, trying to build it up real quick for this tournament. I just need to back off. It's something that comes and goes, but if the season were to start today, I'd definitely be able to go."

King Georgie's up in arms, of course, and blaming the "injury" on Bud Selig, when we all know it's Rogers Centre that's to blame, if anything. The Yankees chose to ignore what we in the Nation knew in our gut to be a career-nagging injury. Not that Johnny's a bad ballplayer with a bum shoulder - not by any means. In fact if his value at full strength is $13 million/year, I'd say his value with a constantly sore shoulder is still around $10 million. Boy, those numbers sound familiar... Where have I heard them before?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


America's Vanity

I was watching the U.S. play Japan on Sunday, and one of the announcers kept talking about how important it was for them to do well in this tournament. He asserted that it would be an embarrassment to MLB for the U.S. to not make the semi-finals in this WBC. I just kept thinking about how arrogant he was and how he sounded so much like a YES announcer in his blind-sightedness...

Many countries have been playing baseball for many, many years. The concept of baseball as "America's pastime" is antiquated. The only thing distinctly American about baseball is who pays the most for it - so yeah, it is our pastime, as in an entertainment venue we americans spend a lot of time money to support, and as a result the best players seem to gravitate here.

I went to the D.R. once and spent two weeks with a bunch of natives there. Every boy wanted to be a baseball player. We just don't have quite that kind of draw for it here in the U.S., so why should we expect to be better? That's just silly.

I've decided I'd like to see Korea Vs. Dominican Republic in the finals. That's a game I would be most interested in watching. Make it happen, ye umps.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006



Tito's the man. After what happened with theo, no way were they going to leave this contract up in the air. I love how laid-back and personable he is. He always looks on the bright side of things, like the WBC being an opportunity to see more of the young guys. He handles difficult situations with genuine sensitivity, causing barely a ripple of discontent in the clubhouse. And he's not shy about the truth, as we can see from this quote from

"I was going to the bathroom," Francona said. "Theo walked it in. That's when you got a pretty good relationship. When your general manager can come and hand it to you while you're on the toilet, you got a pretty good relationship."

Wow. That's a really stange visual. Thanks, Tito.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


The Adventures of Reb & Jere - Posing as Press

I was in NYC last Wednesday night, as indicated by photographic evidence, on a mission with Jere. This adventure was a wee bit less exciting than others we have been on. It does seem rather silly to take the train into the city just to watch a movie that I could've seen here a week later. Still, it was kinda thrilling just to see jere and talk baseball. It's appropriate that this should happen on the eve of our first spring training game; we last saw each other at WCSG's for the last game of last season. (our plan to meet up at the ALDS home game 2 was so rudely thwarted by those other sox.)

In my title I pretend we might be doing something borderline-bad again. I must admit, in all honesty, that our attendance was perfectly legitimate. Jere was invited to the preview as a member of the press - and yes, apparently these people had full knowledge that jere's mode of publication is a red sox blog. He had called ahead of time and obtained a "+1" for me, so they had no idea that I intended to write about it, and dude didn't even seem to want to give me the notes handout. But I got one, and it doesn't say much anyway.

I must say that as a red sox fan, I was not exactly excited to see this movie. I'm an empathetic person, and the concept of re-living the agony of the 1986 world series through the characters of a movie did not appeal to me. After all, I've gone through a great deal of trouble to compartmentalize and avoid my own memories of said series for many, many years. Of course I could NOT avoid the Bill Buckner play, since that clip seemed ever so popular for a long time, and it began to re-play in my head each time I thought about going to see this film.

Just as I suspected, there is a ton of misery to be experienced in this movie, from the very start. They pile on the pain so thickly that you almost forget there's a game coming up - but Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) never does. And he's convinced they're going to fuck it up it up somehow. Jere and John had a big problem with that, saying everyone they knew thought the sox were going to win at that point. I remember being pretty hopeful myself. Nicky was an empty-glass kind of guy, so I guess it went along with his character to expect the worst. I thought it was strange that he only cited one of the sox past disappointments as reason to expect catastrophe.

The end is oddly cathartic, as if the characters had our present peace of mind shipped back in time. Or maybe they decided that the shared emotion of being a fan was more important than winning itself. Either way, there were some aspects of the film that were a little hard to buy as a fan, but the acting was good enough to support it. The movie was also very well produced, with fascinating details throughout. If you are like I was, reluctant to see this movie because of the painful memories involved, I can assure you I left the theater a lot less depressed than I expected. In fact, I think this movie helped me come to terms with the game it was named for, and even helped me appreciate the accomplishments of the great 1986 Red Sox. And judging from posts I've seen, I'm not the only one.

Game 6 comes tomorrow to a theater near you, and reb gives it the thumbs-up.


He is Fast

Mr. Speedy (aka our own Adam Stern) just hit an inside-the-park homerun for Canada. Americans are almost as stunned as Canadians (er, the three that are paying attention) by the 8-0 smack-down currently going on in Arizona.

Later in the same inning, Captain shows 'em how a homerun really looks - a grand slam.

Ah, despite the 6-run rally, the USA falls to Canada. But I did get to hear my yankee-fan sister cheer for 'tek and yell about how awesome he is. Nice. But once again I must ask...Mexico beat South Africa tonight, so if the U.S. beats them tomorrow, and Mexico beats Canada (both seem to be reasonable scenarios, right?) WHAT WILL HAPPEN?


Scattered Musings

The real baseball has begun, albeit a little early and in strange uniforms. I have lots of thoughts on the subject, and since I've been sick for what seems like FOREVER, I'm now also sick of letting my fuzzy head prevent me from blogging. So today you all get to read a bunch of random-ness. lucky you. Well go on, read them - or just click one of those links on the left if you're looking for something more cohesive.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Knock-Out Knuckleball

John Flaherty has retired. He didn't say why, exactly, but maybe he just sucks at catching the knuckleball. Guess you don't know until you try; it's not exactly standard practive among major league catchers. I feel kinda bad for him, actually. It's hard for an old dog to learn new tricks, especially with a couple of young pups nipping at his heels. And I'm sure his competitor's yard-ball yesterday didn't help.

So long, John. I'm sorry you won't be in the clubhouse to watch the whoopin's we lay on your former teammates this year.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Happy Days are Here Again

Last October, as the lights went out at Fenway Park and the players packed up and left for home, some were not very subtle about when (or if) they wanted to come back. As if it wasn't bad enough to be swept in the ALDS, the team itself seemed to be unraveling at the seams. By the end of the month a certain gorilla walked off into the shadows, signifying a dismantling so complete, it could not have been better orchestrated by king georgie himself.

Depression. I suppose that's an appropriate way to enter a long, cold winter. The Rocket would reckon we missed that feeling... that we called it back on our own - that we wanted this misery. We in the Nation must have something to complain about, after all. Right?

Were it not for football, reb might have sworn off sports altogether. In fact, it may have seemed to you, dear readers, that she had. No such luck, kids. While I did not have high hopes for our boys in blue last season, they seemed to pull things together toward the end there, at least until they had to return to the dreaded Denver (I hate Mile High Stadium. Thank you, wild horses, for reminding us here in New England what it's like to end the season with a loss.) At this point reb was sinking from sadness, seeing nothing but desolation on the boston sports' horizon.

The sting from our latest loss had barely faded when things began to turn around - and in a big way. The foundation of the future of Fenway, which seemed to be crumbling apart less than two months before, found its footing again. It's been slow going, but players have been pieced together and began playing last week. It's a different group, as it always is in Spring, and time will tell how well these guys mesh, both old and new. But early signs are good, as previously pissy players appear to have made peace with their old uniform.

according to Wells, quoted from

I think we're a better team this year than we were last year

In other words, either someone's putting something special in David's donuts, or he's getting excited about our team this year. And gosh darnit, SO IS REB. It's time to fall in love again with our boys in red.

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