"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Friday, April 29, 2005

Return of Flutie Magic

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According to the Boston Globe, Doug Flutie is currently signing a contract to serve as the New England Patriots' backup to quarterback Tom Brady.

20 years after Flutie's famous Hail Mary lob at Boston College, Flutie Magic returns to Boston.

Presumably, this means he'll also be available to shag foul balls at Fenway.

So that happened...

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Days without sports force me to engage in other activities. And then things like this happen. Please, Red Sox, for the sake of my liver, my sanity and my continued well-being, play a game tonight.

Note: If you look really closely at the picture in that post, a ghostly hand emerges from the darkness, offering Amy yet another beer. This, dear readers, is the elusive Steve Brady. A sighting of whom is even more rare than Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Mosnter. Photographic evidence, kids. It does not lie.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Now Accepting...

...applications for a groom.

Exactly how warped does it make me that I would actually consider something like this?

Just imagine, the Monster as the backdrop for all your wedding photos, ring bearers wearing bat boy uniforms, rose petals strewn down the first base line, the vows projected on the scoreboard. I'm not a normal girl, am I?

Proud Papa

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As you can see, Millar is already familiar with parenting.

A bright spot in this otherwise dark and tormented place known as Red Sox Nation (What? We're good with the pathos), is the news that Kevin Millar and his wife Jeana yesterday welcomed the arrival of twins Kashten and Kylie. (I will not make fun of their names, I will not make fun of their names...)

According to Kentucky Fried Kevin:
"The babies are healthy. The boy was six pounds, two ounces. The girl was four pounds, 11 ounces. It went as good as it goes. I didn't look as much as I should have probably. It's the one thing I regret. I should have looked a little more, but I was scared to."

Allow me to be a girl for just a second, AWWWWWWWWW!

Lest you think that Millar will let this distract him from his game, well, listen up:
"Maybe we'll hit a home run for the kid. We're on pace for one," said Millar, poking fun at himself for not going deep yet this season.

Oh Millar, still a kid at heart.

A sincere congratulations to Kevin and Jeana who went through some quite serious stuff last year, baseball aside. And a sincere rally cap to the kids who are going to have, perhaps, the most embarassing dad this side of Ozzy Osbourne. Although, to be fair, to the best of my knowledge, Ozzy's never taken a header rounding first base. I'm sure Millar will be a great dad and I wish the entire family only the best. Here's hoping that Kevin imparts his joy of life, and the game of baseball, to the little 'uns. I want to see these kids in about three years, when Manny and Tizzle are teaching them handshakes...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bloody Wonderful

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Curt Schilling becomes the newest member of the Let's Go On the DL Team! Really, the jokes about ankles being the Achilles heals of this team are just damn too easy.

*Hulk smash*

Ahem. As you were.

The Talk

That's right, boys, we need to talk. Why don't you pull up a chair? No, it's okay, come closer, I won't bite. Actually, you're right, you might want to remain standing. I'm just sayin' I'm not a runner by nature but you light a fire under me, like perhaps the FIRE OF A THOUSAND BURNING SUNS THAT BLOWING A FIVE-RUN LEAD TO BALTIMORE incites and I just might hunt down your asses and whip y'all good.

You see this ice behind me, boys? This is the ice in my soul. My soul is frozen. My soul is frozen with the potential love for you that's just waiting to be thawed and brought forth. But no, you don't want me to love you. So you continue sucking so hard you've actually created Red Sox-shaped vaccumms which, while not actually useful for fielding ground balls, are, in fact, keeping the infield nice and tidy.

Billy Mueller, you're the only one exempt from my wrath right now because I'm just tickled pink to see you're walking upright and not, you know, dead from the Bubonic plague or some rare strain of the Ebola virus. Also, RBIs. A few RBIs and a girl can forgive many things.

What I cannot forgive is WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, KEITH FOULKE! Seriously? The fuck? Two 2-run homeruns? Two? Are you fucking kidding me? Look what you've done, you've made me resort to repetition of the word "fuck" and use it in nearly every part of speech. I'm an editor, Keith. Words are my thing. And you leave me speechless. And not in a good way.

Kevin, I'm glad you're having babies tomorrow and I do truly wish you all the best with that but for the love of all that is good and holy, please do not DROP THEM! I've noticed you sometimes have problems with this.

Boys, are we not having fun right now? Is that the problem? Do we miss O-Cab and D-Lowe and Pedro and Pokey and Dave Roberts? I miss them too, guys but they ain't coming back. Except maybe Dave Roberts who I'm totally kidnapping. I think we need more manlove, boys. We need more hugging and feeding of applesauce to each other. We need more shenanigans and tomfoolery. Some ballyhoo, even. You all need to start engaging in acts that will make Tek and Billy look at you disapprovingly. Really, start the love now. I miss the love.

Boys, I want to love you all the time, day and night. I don't want it to hurt anymore. We can't break up, we've been through too much. There's too much history here. But you need to know I'm hurting. I hurt because I LOVE TOO MUCH! You need to start returning some of that love.

That up there *gestures upwards* is my concerned face. Trust me, you don't want to see the sad one. Let's get it together boys. Let's play like men. Or, better yet, let's play like guys who realize how fucking lucky they are to be playing baseball for a living.

I'm in for the long haul, boys, you know that. But you need to start earning my love. Sigh.

Yours...for better or for worse,

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Time to Pay Up

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This one will do just fine...

Dear Fat Man,

Kindly remember our deal. You don't pitch like shit and I stop making fun of you. Or you continue to suck boiled eggs and you buy me a pony. Please see the above pony. It can be purchased at a farm in New Hampshire for a reasonable price. I shall expect it to be waiting for me, tied to the fence post and lazily munching on my front lawn when I return from work this evening.


I don't really want to talk about it. Can we just pretend it never happened? Except for Tek's Monster shot. That most assuredly did happen. Truthfully, I missed most of the game in actual real-live action because I was being a good little worker bee and retired directly to the mouse-infested BPL to do some freelance work immediately after, well, work. "I can do this," I told myself. "This will be fine. You can ignore the game for one night. You don't need to know what's going on every second of every game. You need to get your work done if you ever want to make the downpayment on your new apartment." This was the rational side of my brain speaking. The irrational side countered, "Ooo, look! The BPL has wireless internet! Gamecast, SGMB, email, here I come!" Technology is a cruel mistress.

However, after three innings or so, it became clear that the poorly drawn "hitters" and the crudely constructed "strike zone" on my laptop were not going to be telling me anything I wanted to hear. After a while, David Wells' mug shot actually appeared to be mocking me. "Screw you, Fat Man," I said under my breath, "You're back on the shit list."

As was, I might add, Amy1, who got to attend the game and felt the need to inform me that she was "right behind the bullpen. I can throw pebbles at Varitek. Oooo, he's stretching! Your boy's hot." I believe I responded in a stage whisper, "I hate you." It's not true, of course, I love Amy dearly, but that is not nice, that is. Rubbing it in and such. However, I have further incontrivertible proof that Varitek does indeed love me as I got a text message from Amy, "Send some mojo!" and a voicemail message shortly thereafter, "Your mojo worked! Send more!" Boy knows who loves him. I'm just sayin'.

So, aside from that, can we just forget about the rest of the game? Let's just pretend that yesterday was an off-day and tonight the newly christened Neptune Nuts (Clement) faces off, again, against Rodrigo Lopez and these Orioles who have begun to drive me batshit. Also, there are far too many people named Lopez and/or BJ on the Orioles. Amy2 and I are calling for a moratorium. They're just being greedy. That, and no grown man should be able to refer to himself as "BJ" without giggling.

See y'all tomorrow. Pony rides for everyone!

Until then, let's just look at the following stats and bask in their hearty glow. Three guesses who's numbers these are. And the first two don't count. Someone's pullin' their weight around here:


Monday, April 25, 2005

Bad Blood

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(photo from Boston.com)

The following IM conversation between Amy* and myself took place approximately seven seconds before Papi went deep:

Amy: How you gonna boo David Ortiz?
Me: Tizzle gonna make y'all pay. He's gonna kick your asses, is what.
Papi's Bat: BOOM, bitches!

Let it never be said us girls don't know our players.

Seriously, you guys, why do we have bad blood with Tampa Bay? Does this go back to the Pedro beanball wars and the D-Rays pitchers always plunking Daubach in his substantial heiny? Can we let it go? Otherwise, Trot Nixon is going to kill someone with his steely, steely eyes of doom. As Blaine Neal's purpose has now been clarified as "Trot Holder Backer," we're in for some serious stuff if "a certain person" keeps poking Trotter in the eye. Also, don't throw at Ortiz. Papi "Don't play that."

No one is more upset than me about the way the first two games turned out, okay? I mean, I'm subjected to the continuation of the Red Sox Catcher Blood Feud with my brother on Friday night and I took an unholy amount of flack when Dougie gets lifted for Tek who then proceeds to ground into an inning-ending double play. "I'm sorry, is that Steve Yzerman batting? Oh, right, I forgot, this isn't hockey. Hard to tell with that fucking 'C!'"

And don't even get me started on the amount of shit I had to listen to when Embree's first pitch was deposited in the outfield grandstands. "Well Tek obviously called for that pitch. Nice job, Captain."

However, the evening did lead to this little wager. You're all witnesses:

Kev: Dougie's gonna hit an inside the parker.
Me: Doug Mirabelli?
Kev: Yeah, he's gonna hit a round tripper. You watch.
Me: Doug Mirabelli, our backup catcher, he of the parachute-trailing run is going to hit an inside the park home run?
Kev: Damn straight.
Me: Here's what: Dougie hits an inside the parker and I'll buy you a case of beer.
Kev: What about a triple?
Me: Twelve-pack.
Kev: Double?
Me: Six pack but he's totally hitting a double sometime this year.
Kev: Inside the parker. It's happening.

My dad pipes up from the depths of the couch: If Doug Mirabelli hits an inside the park homerun, I'll eat my shirt.

Kev: Hope you like cotton.

So there it is, the sibling wager. Technically, I think it was only supposed to extend to Friday's game but so tickled am I at the prospects of seeing Dougie truck around the bases, huffing and puffing and hauling that imaginary piano and at my dad slowly and methodically devouring his golf shirt that I'm willing to offer up the price of a case of beer to see both happen.

Saturday's game wasn't witnessed in person but rather on tape at 2am after many, many, way too many beers and a few inadvisable gin and tonics. This is Butchie's fault. Most days when I drink too much, it's Butchie's fault. Butchie, in addition to being my own personal cheerleader, er, Pip, is also a horrendously bad influence.

I allowed myself to be torn away from the Sox and the Big Schill on Saturday night to attend a bad prom party hosted by my godparents and populated by all manner of people in hideous "prom"ish attire. Amy's** dress was tangerine, lemon and fuchsia. Mine was black and irridescent and sparkly. A corset was worn, as were false eyelashes and some truly horrific purple and teal eyeshadow. I looked like I was repping the New Orleans Hornets. Or, alternatively, a drag queen. Which, and I'm just sayin', I've been to New Orleans, there ain't that much of a difference.

Anyway, ain't nothin' that says "anguish" like watching the Sox, no, watching Curt Schilling blow a 4-run lead to the effin' Devil Rays while wearing a sparkly prom dress, flip flops and dealing with the spins. Yesterday was a very, very long day.

Tonight it's the Fat Man vs. Bruce Chen, Part the Second. Let's see if we can stifle the Birds again.

Oh, and just so we're all clear, my mom is the greatest ever. I showed up at my parents' house on Friday night to find this waiting for me. Minus the "C." Let's all hear it for my mom.

And this. Flattering, ain't it? I feel it's my duty to inform you all that I don't normally have seven chins nor am I twelve months pregnant. I was, however, carrying most of my earthly possessions in the front pocket of my hoodie and was probably suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. Also, distracted by the shiny.

EDIT: I was just reminded, there were pineapple chunks marinating in Vodka. That may also have added to the problem.

*There are two Amys. I know, this is getting confusing. This is Amy of Platooned. Or AmyintheSouth to many of you. We don't "know" each other per se. But we chat frequently, distract each other from work and serve as most excellent Pips for one another in all boy-related situations.

**This is Amy of Pasquinade who works, at present, 4 feet to my left. We have dubbed ourselves hetero life partners as we spend what is most likely an unhealthy amount of time together. This Amy witnesses, in person, most of my insanity and debauchery. She also sometimes spills beer on people. Just so we're all clear.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I'm completely...

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This has very little to do with sports but it's an interesting and most likely frightening glimpse into Amy and Kristen's shared descent into madness. Far be it for me to keep this from you. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I mention the Sox at some point. As I do.

Red Sox Catcher Blood Feud Update

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(the boys play nice)

An email exchange between my mom and I, detailing the latest developments in the blood feud:

Mom: So, dinner while watching the Sox game tonight? Will that be acceptable for you?

Me: You don't know me at all, do you? Catch any of last night's game? Matty Clement has balls of steel.

Mom (graciously ignoring my comments on the density of our pitcher's naughty bits): As a matter of fact, yes. Your bro was over and watched most of it with me. Tek got on base and Kev goes, "Damn, I'm never gonna live this down. She had to call and wake me up this morning, giving me shit about his 3-run homer last night."

Me: I left him a message that said: "So was that a 3 run bomb that Tek hit? It was, right? But hey, good to see they put Dougie in when he couldn't do any damage. Nice to see he's getting some work in."

Mom: You're bad.

Me: Tell Kev Dougie goes tonight so it's his opportunity to make up some ground.

Mom: I don't think I'll have to tell him. He knows. You two can argue while watching it over dinner.

Me: You enjoy antagonizing your children. We need some more blood feud updates.

Mom: No bloodshed in my living room!

Me: You take all the fun out of things.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


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Video Game Matt Clement looks at the Orioles and stoically says, "I care not if you are the most fearsome lineup in the league. I will give you nothing. I am BALLS OF STEEL Clement!"

And indeed, he was. Eight shutout innings from Matty. And a solid ninth (with a small oopsie to the tune of a Javy Lopez 1-out double) from Keith Foulke.

Matty continues his TekLove and Foulkie showed some positive signs. You know what? Let's let Terry say it.

"I don't think it's confidence. He's going to be fine. He's got some big...guts."

Guts. There you have it. So if Arroyo is Saturn Balls (per Curt Schilling), does that make Matty Jupiter Nuts? I'm just trying to get the astronomy right.

Nice work, boys. Very nice work. Red Sox Nation is pleased.

On the straight and narrow

(photo from Yahoo Sports)

Yeah, like I'm going to post a picture of David Wells if there's a legitimate reason to toss up a pic of the Captain and his Thighs of Freedom. You people don't know me at all, do you?

Now, my Dear Red Sox, that is more like it. This is what I like to see. A blowout of the "they really shouldn't scare me because they don't have good pitching but why do they always give us fits" Baltimore Orioles. This is good things. These are good times. See how much happier we all are now? Don't we like being happy? I thought so.


Bill Mueller: Thank you for rediscovering the high socks/tight pants combination. I wasn't sure what I had done wrong to make you opt for the shoetop covering, somewhat baggy pajama look but it was doing you no favors. I'm glad you've come to your senses. Also, don't beat up the water cooler in the dugout, Dougie's sitting there. And I hope your mysterious “flu-like symptoms” have gone away. (Confidential to Bill Mueller: I won’t tell everyone how you got the flu if you don’t. Best to just keep this between our dual-red noses.)

Mark Bellhorn: I hope you had a lovely Mark Bellhorn Day (tm Amy). (Look at the date, people.) For going 1 for 4 with an RBI and only one strikeout, you get a tasty bag of Funyuns, some crunchy Cheetos and some Bagel Bites. Mmmm, snack foods.

David Wells: Now you listen here. You’re making it really quite difficult for me to continue my irrational (or not so irrational) hatred of you when you pitch like that. I’m clinging to what Adam said when I asked him if I had to start liking you now. “No you don't want to go that far. The Red Sox won last night, not Wells. Arroyo lost the win the other day though. See these are the subtle differences.” So we like Bro-Yo but the jury is still out on you. So here’s what; I’m going to give you a pass on buying me a pony for now. Give me a few more starts like that and I might rescind the request altogether. However, if you wouldn’t mind pitching in for a new refrigerator for Amy, Deb and Emily, it’d be much appreciated. You can keep your beer there where Millar won’t find it.

Blaine Neal: Why are you still on the roster?

Jason Varitek: Oh Jason Varitek! I continue to love you to little gooey bits and will prostrate myself at your feet every chance I get. A 3-run homer? Yes, please. Papi thinks you’ll hit 30 this year. Please do. That would be wondrous and spectacular and the epitome of all that is good and right with the world. It would also put to rest this argument that Jason insists on needling me with that you’re not worth $10 million a year and Gregg Zaun would have come cheaper and been just as effective. Obviously Jason has gotten into Bellhorn’s stash to even utter such heresy but it would be nice to just whip out a stats sheet and say “read it and weep.” Also, Gregg Zaun wears one of those stupid hockey style masks because he is a Communist. Or maybe because he plays for a Canadian team and they only really care about hockey in Toronto. Although that doesn’t explain why other players on non-Canadian teams wear them. Anyhow, they are stupid. You wear the correct type of mask. And the high socks. Because you are awesome. Anyway, I do go on, but the point is, I love you very, very much and you continue to rock my socks off.

All of you need to send healthful wishes to Nomar who went down hard yesterday with an apparently serious groin injury. That is not good. That is, in fact, quite bad. Especially because Todd Walker will also be out for a while with knee issues. The Former Red Sox contingent of the Cubs’ infield is not looking so hot. Bad times in Chi-Town, we must spread the love. Let’s not be like some of the deplorable people on the Sox boards who are crowing about Nomar’s injury. Let’s not be mean. We’ll all say it together, “Get Well, Nomar!” As Adam says, “I hate to say it, but maybe Nomar is the new Griffey. Can you be the new Griffey when the old one is still around getting hurt?” Sadness and woe. Feel better, Nomar.

Thank you, boys, I’m glad to see you’ve learned how to straighten up and fly right. It falls to you tonight, Matty. Be the man. Be Balls of Steel. Cookies await.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It's time for a heart to heart

This is not the Keith Foulke face we like to see. This Keith Foulke face makes us cry. Why do you want us to cry, Keith? Why?

Now you boys listen here. No, you listen up. Manny, I’m talking to you too. Stop chasing butterflies and pay attention. Ahem. Okay, see, there’s only so much love mojo I can give you. And I do not like being made to feel as if I didn’t love you enough. Because that is simply not the case. I was wearing the Tek shirt, albeit under a sweatshirt but I’ve had a cold and had the chills and I believe I can be exempted on that reason. I mean, if Billy doesn’t have to pinch hit for Ramon because he has the sniffles, I sure as hell can get away with wearing a Sox sweatshirt over the Tek shirt. So I don’t want to hear your whining. Besides, Jason is not the problem. Reed Johnson has now been indoctrinated into the Eric Byrnes school of baserunning. Good job, Jason. You’re free to go.

Don’t you all roll your eyes at me. Bellhorn! You either. If you sit there, be quiet and pay attention, you can heave Cheetos later on. Okay, good. Now, what do we do with the first pitch? Anyone? Anyone know the answer? Stop looking around for Nomar, boys. He’s not here. He’s hitting .163 in Chicago right now so he’s not going to be a whole lot of help to you. The answer, since we obviously need a refresher, is NOT SWING! We DO NOT swing at the first pitch! Unless it’s a really good one. But you know what? You clearly can’t comprehend the finer points so we’re going to just say no swinging at the first pitch. You step into the box and the pitcher starts his windup, I don’t so much as want to see that bat move off your shoulder. Just because you’re facing a former Cy Young winner does not mean you need to make his job easy. You showed no mercy against Randy Johnson last week, I want the same killer instinct against everyone. So, all together now, no swinging at the first pitch! Got it? Good.

Now, this one is specifically for you outfielders there. You, Manny and Johnny and Trot. No, Jay Payton, you’re fine. You did nothing wrong. You can go salsa dance with Papi in the corner until I need you. Okay, boys, now, what happens when a fly ball comes towards us? What do we do? No, Johnny, the answer is not “run into the nearest obstacle ensuring a concussion.” Manny? Do you know? No, not “fall to the ground as though you’ve been hit by a sniper.” Christ, didn’t any of you play Little League? Trot? That’s right, “call for it.” Call for the ball. A simple “I got it” will do. But for heaven’s sake, do not call for it if you’re not going to catch it. And back off when someone else calls for it. It’s a simple concept, boys. We like sharing. We want to share the fly balls. We do not all run to the same spot and try to catch the same ball, tripping over each other in the process so that the ball rolls to the wall, a hundred yards away from the tangled mass of outfielders, giving the batter an inside the park home run. That is not how we play. We share. More sharing. Yes, Manny. I know you hit that very, very far. That was a good job. But you still have to catch the balls when they’re hit to you.

Okay, now, Papi? Actually, no, you’re fine. You’ve done nothing wrong. If you could maybe, I don’t know, hit at least two of those bombs every game to pick up your team who appear to be attempting to hit 93 mph fastballs with wet noodles, that’d be great. But I understand. Even Superman can only do so much. Go back to dancing with Jay Payton. Why don’t you teach him Lando’s handshakes?

Who do we have left here? Oh yes, Edgah. Don’t try to hide behind Millar, I have words for him as well. We’ll get to that. Now, Edgah, I knew you just needed some tough love. I understand you probably had no idea what you were getting yourself into voluntarily checking into the asylum. I know, it’s a crazy nuthouse in there. But don’t be scared. Everything will be okay. Millar is gonna make you sing country songs every now and then and Manny will probably give you a hot foot or two but just roll with it. Oh, and the Wall is your friend. Embrace the Wall. Steve assures me that you’ll be a good Fenway hitter and the Wall will be good for you. I’m going to listen to him. So just smile a bit more. And keep making those smooth plays at short. We’re never going to forget The O.C. but that’s not your fault. It’s okay, we are learning to love you.

All right, Kevin, what’s the problem? I certainly hope you were paying attention when I went over the whole not swinging at the first pitch thing. Because if not, this is going to be a very long season and we’re going to have to have this talk a few too many times. I’d rather not. And it’s good that you’re always willing to talk to the media. Really, that’s a good thing. But every now and then, a “no comment” will work as well. Really, if you need a breather, we understand. That goes for all of you.

Johnny! What did I just say? Shut off the camera and stop talking into that hairbrush! Pay attention! You, Mr. Damon, are about thisclose to pissing me off something fierce. You’re walking a razor’s edge, buddy and I’ve just about had it with you. How’s about this? No more talking to the media. No more interviews. No more books. No more contract year talks. No more hedging. No more Yankee loving. No more commercials and for the love of all things holy, no more godforsaken Puma ads! None of it. Put them all away in your little offseason bag and leave them there until the season is over. Put your wife in there too. We’ve had just about enough of her and her, um, assets. Now, just play baseball. You can do this. You’ve done it before. And if you must strike out – and I would prefer you didn’t – can you make it look a bit less feeble? I mean, really, even Bellhorn tries. Also, buy a thesaurus, I am tired of hearing you say “awesome.”

Mr. Foulke, I’ve saved you for last. Now listen, I’m tempted to send the rest of your teammates out of the room so they don’t have to listen to me yell at you and make you cry but this might just toughen all of you up. What’s the deal, man? Did I piss you off personally? What’s going on? Do you not have a calendar at your house? Yeah, well then I would suggest you look at it and realize that it is not, in fact, still spring training and these games do actually count. As in, you need to win them. Many of them. As many as possible. And when you are called into the game it is your explicit purpose to not give up any runs. That is your only job. You don’t have to hit the ball or field the ball very often. You don’t even have to argue with the umpires, you have a catcher who’s more than happy to do that for you. What you do have to do is not give up hits and not let the other team score runs. You also have to not give me heart attacks. I’m a young woman, Keith, but I am aging ten years for every hit you give up. Keep it up and you’ll be pitching before a park full of corpses. Now, I don’t know what your problem is but I suggest you figure it out right quick. Heather is already drawing up the papers for a divorce and Beth, while she is still selflessly offering to bear your children, is none too happy with your performance of late either. I know it’s tough and sometimes this game is hard but I suggest you go with Amy’s mojo and, as she says, “grab your nuts and strike this motherfucker out!” You are Keith Balls of Steel Foulke! Listen to your entrance music if you need to. Do whatever you have to do. But be Nails. Just do it. I don’t care how.

Okay, boys, are we all clear now? Do we know our jobs? Yes, Manny, your job is still to hit the ball very, very far. I know you hit a car. I saw it. It was lovely. Keep doing that. Everyone else got it? Good. We've got two games against Baltimore who just came off a sweep of the formerly fearsome Yankees and they don't care one whit about what you did six months ago. I want to see killer instinct! I want to see Balls of Steel! I want to see wins! All right, I'm glad we had this talk. Now, let's go win us some ballgames!

The End

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The Week 'O Sports has ended. I shall post on it shortly. After I rehydrate and find a good cut man.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Flutterballs Fly

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(Wake, pumped about his contract extension)

According to the Boston Globe, Tim Wakefield has been given a contract extension. Looks like the contract guarantees Wake a job in Boston through 2006 with club options for 2007 and beyond. So we're talking about indefinite team options here. That is, in a word, choice. I remember watching Wake and Timlin being interviewed during the Jimmy Fund Radiothon over the winter and during the question and answer session with the crowd, a young woman asked Wake, "How many more years are you going to pitch and will you retire with the Red Sox?" And Wake answered, very directly, "I don't know how many more years I'll pitch but I guarantee I'll retire with the Red Sox." The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

I suspect it's only a matter of time before I receive a call from my brother, wondering why the Sox haven't offered Mirabelli a matching deal.


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I feel a bit like this right now. Let's put it this way, if I were playing for the Patriots, I'd be held out of the game with "flu-like symptoms."

This would be the day where I have a launch meeting and a departmental status meeting to attend, wouldn't it?

But I shall soldier on. I have a Sox game to attend tonight and short of needing a major organ transplanted, I am going to that game. The boys need me. Except for Manny, apparently, who seemed to find his bat all on his own.

More tales from my sportstastic week will be forthcoming, I promise. Pressing questions will be dealt with such as: "How can a score of 59-41 be considered low scoring?" and "Did Amy really add margarita mix to the tequila or did she just wave the bottle over the glass?" In the meantime, I shall concentrate on keeping my head from exploding all over my keyboard and popping Sudafed to fight off this cold that would stop a charging Rhino dead in its tracks.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Nine touchdowns is just about right

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You guys? Arena football...is awesome!

I'm still trying to figure out how the Wolves' kicker could suck so badly - we're talking 2 for 9 in attempts here - and the Wolves could still come away with a win. Y'all are going to be so jealous of my new Manchester Wolves hoodie. So jealous.

At present I am horribly, horribly embarrassed for Tom Brady who's hosting SNL. I mean like peer through my fingers, embarrassed. About to watch the replay of tonight's Sox game. In which I am sure good things happened.

Later, kids.

That'll Do, Boys

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Blowouts are good for the soul.

I'm still recovering from spending three periods sitting in front of shrieking 12-year-olds last night (perhaps they thought they were seeing a Justin Timberlake concert instead of a hockey game?), and I'm about to leave for the arena football game (Wheeee!) but I thought I would offer these points regarding last night's Sox game which I saw on tape delay:
  • That's more like it, Fat Boy. Keep it up and you might earn yourself a new nickname.
  • Dear Hideo Nomo, Brush Papi back all you want. Now you done pissed him off. And you gon' pay.
  • Despite my father and brother calling for the insertion of Mirabelli into the game following Tek's second inning foul pop-up, he's still the man.
  • Manny, where'd ya go? Perhaps we need to loosen that bandana/do rag, whatever it is?
Ah, blowouts. That game was therapeutic after the tension of the last few games. Sucks to be the Hapless Devil Rays but every bully needs a nerd to beat on. How long before Lou Piniella eats a middle reliever to prove a point?

Off to the friendly confines of a hockey rink to watch football. Yeah...what a country!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Instant Classic

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(Photo from Yahoo Sports)

Dude, DOOD… What a bloody fantastic game! Truthfully, my fingers and toes are still tingling, as much from the clapping and stomping in the 43 degree game time temps as from the electricity that fills Fenway Park during a Yankees/Red Sox game. It’s like I can still feel it humming through my bloodstream and the energy hasn’t yet abated.

I usually get to Fenway a half dozen times a year, but never until about a third of the way through the season. To be there for the third game in the home park, against the Yankees no less, and to see three home runs off a decidedly human looking Randy Johnson, the initiation of Edgah Renteria, NotDave Roberts going deep, experiencing the Tek Love Mojo, seeing some brouhaha between a fan and the Right Field ‘Roid Monster, Papa Yack and Tito Be-Still-My-Heart Francona getting tossed, the Yanks bullpen imploding, Foulkie giving me palpitations, TEK! and the continuation of the Red Sox Catcher Blood Feud, it’s almost too much. Okay, deep breath. And…away we go!

I walked to Kenmore after work. Arlington Street to the Bertucci’s in Kenmore is a good walk at a brisk pace and after spending nearly the entire day sitting in my chair, staring at my computer screen, I had some residual energy to burn. Amy stood with me waiting for Deb to show up, or, in the event that Deb didn’t make it, to take her ticket. We saw a couple walk by, him in a Sox hat and shirt, her wearing a Jeter jersey.

Amy: How does that happen?
Me: She can’t be that good in bed.

Deb finally arrived and we found our seats fairly quickly. The Yankees were taking batting practice and a lusty chorus of boos could be heard whenever a villain – which is pretty much any Yankee – took to the cage. A few Yankees fans were scattered around the dugouts, begging for balls or whatever it is Yankee fans do. I can only imagine the inside of their heads must be a dark and terrifying place. Deb borrowed my phone to call her brother and inform him that our seats, Grandstand 29, Row 10, were freakin’ great. Perfect sight lines to the entire infield with the obligatory support column blocking a partial view of the Jumbotron. All the better to obscure the Yankees’ faces during at-bats. Excellent.

Deb, though a relative baseball neophyte, was better than 95% of newbies I’ve been to baseball games with in that she didn’t continually ask inane questions like “What’s a double?” or “How many innings are there?” Occasionally she’d ask what player wore what number or whether something was scored a hit or an error but she seemed to understand when I explained, probably poorly, what a 6-4-3 double play was and I translated “GIDP.” She was good company.

At first, the String Bean looked good. He threw more pitches that he should have in the first thanks to the Marx Brothers out there in left and center who evidently cannot understand the Little League concept of “calling for a ball.” Kee-rist. What’s it gonna take for those two to pay attention? Complete concussions? Comas? Seriously, put the hair in a ponytail, JD if it’ll allow you to hear better.

Anyway, Bro-Yo did what he did and there was little harm done. It was Unit time.

Deb turned to me and said, “Randy Johnson is really ugly. Like, even from here.”
“Yeah, he’s a freak of nature,” I said.
“He should, like, do some squat thrusts or something. He’s all scrawny. He has no ass.”
I gulped hard, “I really don’t want to think about Randy Johnson’s ass. Present, absent or otherwise.”

Throughout the game, Deb kept a running commentary on the Yankees re: their mug shots on the Jumbotron. She proclaimed them, in lineup order, as follows:

Tony Womack:
Deb: Nice ‘stache.
Me: He’s the stand-in for Sheffield’s porn roles.

Derek Jeter:
Deb: Cocky bastard.
Me: I’m pretty sure the way Jeter brushes his teeth would irritate the piss out of me.

Gary Sheffield:
Deb: Ew.
Me: Hate. Hate. Hatey, hate, hateration.

Hideki Matsui:
Deb: That guy scares me. In so many ways.
Me: His official name is “Fucking Matsui.”

Alex Rodriguez:
Deb: Why are his lips purple?
Me: *clutches stomach, doubles over with laughter at newbie’s seemingly innocent observation*

Jorge Posada:
Deb: He looks like a jug.
Me: Or a rat. With no chin.

Jason Giambi:
Deb: Oh yes, he’s very unpleasant.
Me: That’s one way of putting it. And he clearly eats babies.

Tino Martinez:

Deb: He looks very plain. Like’s he’s just…nothing.
Me: There’s a guy who works in the coffee shop in my office who looks just like him. I’m kind of mean to that guy. He probably wonders what the hell he did to piss me off.

Bernie Williams:

Deb: Um…he looks…old.
Me: That’s because he’s 147.

The Assless Unit (tm Deb) got out of the first inning unscathed, undoubtedly helped along by the Red Sox’s apparent philosophy that it’s fine to swing at the first pitch, or the second, or really, any ‘ole pitch. And if anyone knows what’s happened to Manny Ramirez, the real Manny Ramirez, the World Series MVP Manny Ramirez, could you kindly let the Red Sox know. He seems to be missing.

Top of the second and Bro-Yo takes the hill again. At this point, the people in my section started getting wise to my nicknames for the players. Since the Fenway seats are, shall we say, tight, there isn’t much room to spread out. When a loud, blonde chick is clapping wildly and screaming, “Come on, B! Let’s go, String Bean!” you’re going to pay attention. I’m not sure if this is when the umpiring crew decided to employ the Jackson Pollack abstract expressionism form of the strike zone or if it was later, but the 35,000 umpires in the stands were not happy with B’s walk of Tino. When Bellhorn caught Womack’s liner to end the inning, I yelled, “Nice catch, Funyuns!” only to be rewarded by some quizzical looks from my seatmates.

Fan in Front: What did you just say?
Me: Oh, “Funyuns?” That’s my nickname for Bellhorn.
Fan: Why?
Me: Because he always looks stoned.
Fan: Oh. (beat) Heh, that’s pretty good. “Funyuns.”

Bottom of the second and just as I’m explaining the difference between a no-hitter and perfect game to Deb (“Yes, Randy Johnson has done both. No, hopefully he won’t do either tonight.”) Millar singles to left. “See,” I said, “What’d I tell ya?” “So now that someone has hit the ball and no one’s caught it, does that mean-“ The words weren’t even out of her mouth before Jay Payton (NotDave Roberts), homered to center. My first Fenway homer of the year. I screamed my fool head off.


It took only a moment for the “Raaaaan-deeee! Raaaaaan-deeee!” chants to start up. Mueller grounded out to end the inning but the Fenway stands were buzzing. We’d nicked Johnson. The untouchable lefty was looking shaky. It’s amazing the amount of confidence a home run off a future Hall of Famer gives a ballpark. Though I am nothing if not supportive of all the Red Sox (David Wells is still in a holding pattern), when you see “Johnson v. Arroyo” listed as the day’s starters, it’s hard not to go into the game feeling like you’re already fighting an uphill battle. Don’t get me wrong, B’s thrown some gems in his time. But it’s Randy Fucking Johnson. And whatever you want to say about the guy, personal, professional or otherwise, he’s brilliant bloody pitcher. Getting to him early was crucial and it energized the place like someone had started passing out sparklers.

When Arroyo let up a leadoff double to Jeter in the third inning, the place was still fired up. It’s like we’d witnessed Manuelito’s and JD’s antics in the first and thought, “It’s cool, little hiccup, B can get out of this.” And then, after Sheffield flew out to Payton, Hideki Matsui strode to the plate. “Oh god,” I said, trepidation creeping into my voice, “It’s fucking Matsui.” Deb looked at me and glanced at the Jumbotron, “This guy’s really good, huh?” As if on cue, Matsui, sorry, “Fucking Matsui” lined a double off the wall in left – which Manny played perfectly, by the way – and Jeter’s tagging the plate. 2-1 good guys. “Hold the line, B!” I scream. He does as A-Rod, continuing his uselessness, much to my delight, fouls out to first and B gets The Chinless Wonder to ground out to Funyuns. The line, she is held.

Mid-inning, the two guys behind me start talking. “Can you believe our girlfriends weren’t gonna let us watch this?” one of the said to the other. “Seriously,” his friend replied, “It’s bullshit.”
Never being one to mind my own business, I turned around, “Wait, wait, wait,” I said, “Your girlfriends wouldn’t let you watch a Sox/Yankees game?”
“Nah,” said the taller of the two, “They’re watching ‘Spanglish.’ Who watches fucking ‘Spanglish?’”
“And they wanted you to watch it with them?” I said.
“Yeah,” said the other guy, “You believe that shit?”
I rolled my eyes, “Where do you boys find these women?”
They looked at each other, then back at me, “Yeah, I dunno,” Shorty said, “Soon as I find a replacement, I think I’m breakin’ up with her.” His friend smiled, “Yeah, me too.”
I laughed, “That sounds reasonable. Christ, what kind of girlfriend won’t let you watch a Sox/Yanks game?”
The tall one glanced at me, “Heh, yeah, so you-“
“Shhh!” I cut him off, “Funyuns is up.”

Bellhorn proceeded to do what he does, which is strike out swinging, “Either that or hit a clanging pole shot,” said Shorty behind me. I nodded in agreement, my eyes never leaving the field. Johnny Damon strode to the plate and Deb let fly, “Do it for Amy, Johnny!” As Amy’s infatuation with Johnny Damon is well-publicized, it seemed apt. JD proceeded to walk, which is, I guess, a friendly hug to Amy in the grand scheme of things. Not exactly the hot, steamy lovin’ an opposite field blast would have been but she’ll take it in a pinch. “Oh,” Deb says, “The new guy’s up.”

“Christ,” said the Tall one, “Here comes the GIDP.” I turned for a split second. “If Edgah’s goin’ down, he’s takin’ someone with him.” He laughed. Edgah proceeded to give me and all the doubters a giant “Neener!” as he deposited a hanging Unit slider into the first row of the Monster seats. Again, the head, she was screamed off.


“Raaaaan-deeeee! Raaaaaan-deeeee!” 4-1 Rebel Alliance. After dual strikeouts of both Manny and Papi (urgh), Johnson left the mound to a chorus of raucous cheering. Maybe he’s starting to rethink his participation in this rivalry thing. Because here’s the thing, Randy: we don’t care if you are one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in the game. We don’t care how many Cy Young awards you have or how many no-hitters you’ve thrown. That means nothing to us. We’re Red Sox fans. We know only what’s in front of us. And what’s in front of us is you in enemy colors. Therefore, you are the enemy. You and your “I want to go to New York,” and your stats and your perfect game and your freakish 6’10” frame and your glorious Irish-setter looking mullet in your past. Evil, all of it. You don’t get our respect because of what you’ve done in the past. This is the here and now, and right now, we’re kicking your butt. Get used to it.

Amazing how the tide can turn at Fenway. From where I was sitting, the umpire looked to be squeezing the pitchers all night. It seemed Arroyo more than Johnson but I’m clearly not impartial and the Unit was being pissy and flipping his glove around as well so perhaps they were both being shortchanged. Whatever the case, when Papa Yack stormed out of the dugout and started screaming at the home plate umpire (and I can only imagine what that sounded like in Papa Yack’s high-pitched “Someone’s got-ta pay!” voice), I figured something must be really off. Terry came out to hold him back and I instinctively yelled, “Terry! Your heart!” I wasn’t the only one.

The inning, she was a mess. Two walks, three hits, four runs, another appearance by Fucking Matsui and suddenly the Yanks are on top 5-4. Bugger. “Come on, guys,” I said quietly, “I want to WIN!” Had I known what was going to happen next, I would have put more faith in Tek’s mound visits. Afterwards, I can only imagine that he said, “Shake it off, B, I’ll pick you up.” Damned if he didn’t do just that.

After Millar popped up to Jeter (sigh), Varitek stepped into the box. Even in the short time Deb’s been watching games with me, she knows not to talk to me when Varitek is at bat. I am, as my brother says, “in the Tek Zone.” “Come on, Tek,” I say softly, “Come on. Do it.” He does.

“TEK! TEK! TEK! TEK!” I scream, “JASON VARITEK, I LOVE YOU!” I jump up and down, clapping my hands together like a little girl who’s just opened a much pined-for present on Christmas morning. The phone in my pocket starts vibrating immediately.

Kev: Go ahead.
Me: Who was that who just took RJ deep? Who was that? I didn’t quite see that.
Kev: You’re an asshole.
Me: Oh and the scoreboard is saying that was his 100th home run as a Red Sox. Well would you look at that. Where’d that land?
Kev: Fucking Landsdowne. You know, if Dougie played every day, he’d have 300 homers by now.
Me: Yeah, he looks nice sitting on that Gatorade cooler over there…WHILE TEK ROUNDS THE BASES!
Kev: Yeah, well…the “C” looks stupid.
Me: Don’t you start with the “C.” He earned that damn “C.”
Kev: Jeter’s the captain and Jeter doesn’t wear a big, stupid “C.”
Me: I’m sorry, did you just praise Jeter? We are so not related anymore if you just praised Jeter.
Kev: Jeter blows.
Me: That’s better. Okay, gotta go.

Thus continues the Red Sox Catcher Blood Feud Update.

After Varitek single-handedly plugged Fenway back into its power socket, Terry upped the ante by arguing balls and strikes – deservedly so – with the home plate umpire. He got tossed, as expected, but his point was made. Bill Mueller flied out to end the inning but we were back in it. And we were excited.

I’d summarize the next two innings but, quite honestly, they passed without incident. Both pitchers found something they’d been missing before and the score stayed knotted at 5 through six. When Alan Embree came on in relief of the String Bean to get Fucking Matsui in the sixth, B left the mound to a standing ovation. It’s what we do. He’s ours, he battled, and we love him for it. And whatever happens, he won’t get the loss. Good on ya, Bronson.

Embree finally, FINALLY rendered Matsui harmless to a giant, palpable sigh of relief from the Fenway stands. It’s like the building has a sixth sense and knows when a dangerous hitter is up. People start speaking in hushed voices and glimpsing at the field from between clasped fingers. When the ball left Matsui’s bat, the entire park said a collective, “Oh, fu-“ and then when it landed in Damon’s glove, we all sighed, “phew.” Our turn.

Whatever problems Randy Johnson had been having in the earlier innings, he straightened them out by the 6th and 7th. Sandwiched in between was Embree’s workmanlike disposal 3-up, 3-down of the Yanks in the visiting half of the 7th.

The game remained tied at 5 entering the 8th inning and Brad Mills (as acting manager unless Terry had donned a disguise Bobby Valentine style) decided to bring in Foulke. Or Hot Lips (tm Heather), or Hottiepants (tm Beth). It was a typical Foulke-like inning. A leadoff walk to Tino Martinez and I was prompted to say, “Christ, why do you always make it so interesting, Foulkie?” Little did I know. The next three he got in order, a backwards “K” of Bernie Williams that got the crowd going after three innings of stasis followed by another “K” of Womack and a lineout by Jeter.

“Two innings by Foulke?” the Tall one behind me said.
“That’s ballsy,” his friend replied.
“Bill James,” I said, “Most important inning may not be the 9th, blah, blah, blah.”
They both looked at me. Shorty asked, “You read Bill James.”
“Sure,” I shrugged and glanced at the field, “Shhhh, JD’s up.”

Deb said to me as Tom Gordon enters the game, “So they changed pitchers. Is that good?”
“Could be,” I said, “Johnson seemed to have found his groove. But it’s late goings now so that’s gonna happen.”

“Oh Flash,” said the guy to my right as he watched Gordon walk in from the bullpen, “How could you?” We’re Red Sox fans. We never forget.

Johnny, in what can only be described as an outpouring of love for Amy, proceeded to single to center. “Hey look,” Shorty said, “GIDP’s up.”
I turned around, “Edgah just needs some tough love. I’ve been calling him ‘Last Out.’ It seems to be working.”
“You’re vicious,” he said with a laugh.
Edgah, to prove my point, took a Tom Gordon fastball and laced it to deep center, scoring Johnny. I turned around, “What’d I tell ya?”
Shorty nodded, “You’re right. You’re right. Shit, you’re right.”

Manny sauntered to the plate in that Manny Ramirez Doesn’t Have A Care In The World And Hey Are Those Cracker Jacks And I Like Puppies sort of way that only he can. The crowd, smelling blood, stands and cheers, half of them chanting “Man-ny! Man-ny!” and the other half screaming, “MVP! MVP!” Manny, because he hasn’t yet found his swing, lines out to left. Undeterred, the crowd shifted its focus to Ortiz. “Pa-pi! Pa-pi!”

“Come on, Tizzle,” I scream, “do what you do!”

Tom Gordon, evidently having ALCS flashbacks, intentionally walks Ortiz. The crowd boos and I swear I could see Tizzle’s Cheshire cat smile from where I was sitting. 2 on, one out. Chicken man at the plate. “Make ‘em pay, Millar, make ‘em pay.” Millar, perhaps still smarting from his second inning belly flop around first, flies out. “You CANNOT let them get out of this inning!” I scream, “Make ‘em pay!”

Shorty taps me on the shoulder, “Your boy’s up.” I laugh, “And he’s pissed.”

No sooner were the words out of my mouth that Tek lined a triple down the right field line. The ball hugged the wall and Sheffield got a horrible read on it and ended up chasing it down the line. Before Tek even reached third, my phone was ringing.

Kev: Bring it.
Me: So when was the last time your boy hit a triple?
Kev: (conciliatory) Yeah, that…that was pretty good.

I notice a group of people clustering around the right field grandstands but I’m in left and I can’t see what’s going on. Out of seemingly nowhere, a cup of beer rains down on the field and the Yankee infielders run toward right.

Kev: Holy shit.
Me: What the hell is going on?
Kev: Looks like some fan punched Sheffield.
Kev: Wait, no, they’re showing the replay, I guess the guy was reaching for the ball or something.
Me: Woah, it’s getting ugly.
Dad: You better call dad. He’s going to think you’re beating up Sheffield.

I hang up and my phone rings instantly. It’s my dad.

Me: It wasn’t me.
Dad: (laughing) Yeah, but don’t think I didn’t consider that.
Me: What the hell?
Dad: It’s fine, the guy got kicked out. So should have Sheffield since he shoved the guy before making the play. Genius.
Me: I hate that guy.
Dad: Of course you hate him, he’s a Yankee.
Me: Well yeah, but he’s also eeeeevil!
Dad: Okay, looks like it’s breaking up. Watch the replays on SportsCenter. They’ll be hyping the hell out of it.

Side note: I did watch the replays – pretty bloody hard to miss them – and what I saw was a fan, an idiotic one, no doubt, reaching for either the ball or the wall or something and brushing Sheffield’s face. Maybe he was trying to hit the Right Field ‘Roid Monster. Maybe not. But he surely wasn’t looking at him and all replays indicate that it didn’t look premeditated. But what I did see was Sheffield very directly and very forcefully shove the fan with both hands before throwing the ball back into the infield. Not cool. Not cool at all. The fan was ejected, as well he should have been, for interfering with a ball in play and the game resumed. Sheffield was interviewed afterwards claiming he got “punched in the face” and that he thought his “lip was busted.” Cry me a freakin’ river, ‘Roid Boy. Look, I’m never going to give Sheffield the benefit of the doubt because in my opinion he’s a dirty, cheating, money-grubbing, steroid-taking punk. I’ve never liked him before and I certainly don’t like him now. The fan was wrong, yes, but so was Sheffield. No winners in this one, kids. Sheffield was quoted afterwards as saying that he “held back” and that he “almost snapped.” Really? So the shove was what, a love tap? I really don’t want to get into this any further because, let’s face it, I’m biased and I was sitting on the complete other side of the field, but here are my notes from last night: I HATE YOU GARY SHEFFIELD AND YOU ARE NOT BLAMELESS IN THIS AND I SWEAR TO CHRIST IF I HEAR ONE MORE THING ABOUT SHEFFIELD’S “RESTRAINT” I’M GOING TO EAT MY FIST! That about sums it up. The scary part is that Fenway can turn on a dime and it was about one more spilled beer away from getting really, really ugly in there. I’m glad the situation was diffused when it was. There. Fin. Over.

It should be noted that while all of this was going on, Varitek was squatting on third base, his hands over his ears like a small child trying to block out the noises of his parents fighting. It was almost heartbreakingly adorable and I kept imagining that he was thinking, “Just play baseball. Can’t we just play baseball.” Gotta love the Tek.

Trot, pinch-hitting for Jay Payton prevented further damage by striking out to end the inning and I realized that Fenway, collectively, hadn’t sat down for twenty minutes.

“Time to Foulke ‘em up,” I said to Deb. God help me if he didn’t make me bite my nails down to bloody nubs. I love Keith Foulke, I do. He was nails in the playoffs last year and he’s the guy I want out there in a save situation but I’d be lying if I said he didn’t scare the crap out of me. Foulke gives up a leadoff double to the ‘Roid Monster himself and I’m starting to get antsy. “No drama, Foulkie, just do it.” Foulkie, evidently, likes drama. Fucking Matsui is up again (Again! Why is it always him!) and Foulke, just to give me another ulcer, walks him. 2 on, no outs. “Oh shit,” I say. A-Rod, who, it should be noted, spends a great deal of time at third base kicking the dirt like a petulant child, is up. “Shit,” says Shorty, “I have a really bad feeling about this.” I quickly do the math in my head, 2 on, A-Rod represents the tying run. No outs. “Fuck,” I say.

Foulke, having enough of the drama, gets A-Rod to fly out. Deeply to left. Deeply. Fenway lets out a collective sigh of relief. And now Posada, thorn in our metaphorical side on more than one occasion steps to the plate. “He’s yours Foulkie, you own this bitch.” Foulke does indeed, as he gets Posada to pop out to short, but not before going to a 3-2 count and threatening to load the bases with one out. At this point, my stomach which has had literally nothing to digest all day save a lone Fenway Frank, starts threatening me. Gurgling, churning, telling me to make Foulke knock this shit off.

“Settle, Foulkie,” I say as he 3-2 on Giambi, “Fuck it, Foulke. Goddamit! SETTLE!” Walk. “Christ on a bike, what did I do to piss you off?” I ask him. He doesn’t answer.

Ruben Sierra, 378-year-old Ruben Sierra is up. Something tells me this bodes well. Isn’t it always Jeter who’s up in these clutch situations? Isn’t that why we have to listen to the talking heads go on and on about his “clutch performance?” Ruben Sierra? Really? Okay.

Foulke, sensing danger, goes to 3-2 on Sierra. “Are you fucking kidding me with this?” I ask. “You WILL NOT walk in a run. You WILL NOT.” He listens. Sierra sends a pop foul down the line directly in front of the Yankees dugout, straight down the line from where I’m sitting. Varitek, hustling, makes a great catch. Game over. Fenway is quiet for a split second, our brains adjusting from preparing for impending disaster to accepting the win. It takes a moment for us to get our swagger back. And then…the place explodes.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Apologies to VH1 but this is truly the Best Week Ever

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(my week in a nutshell)

So this is what it’s come to. I’m a sports nomad. It all started innocently enough. My dad tells me over Easter weekend, “Hey, your mom’s got her shopping weekend the 15th through the 17th of April. If you want to come home, maybe we can find some games to go to or something.” That was it. That got the ball rolling. And here I find myself, on the precipice of perhaps the most sport-acious week ever for someone who’s not actually a, you know, paid, credible sports journalist. Just you check this action out.

Tonight, Thursday, April 14
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park, Boston, MA

It’s almost backwards really, starting out with this match-up. This should be the cherry on the sundae of a week of non-stop sports. But when Deb called, all excitable yesterday, asking me if I wanted to go to Yankees game (I keep reminding her that it is, in fact, a Red Sox game), I wasn’t about to say no. Because the gods have smiled on me, I don’t have to see an Opening Day rematch of Randy Johnson and David Wells. Instead, we get Bro-Yo. So it is, as I so succinctly put it earlier, The Flaccid Unit vs. Saturn Balls. Edge: Boston. I mean really, look at this man. Him and his Eight Buckets of Ugly Teammates surely don’t get this kind of attention. Matsui on the Jumbotron makes small children cry. As for Giambi, well, I was bitterly disappointed in the apparent lack of heckling the Fenway Faithful rained down upon him last night. You can bet I’ll be doing my part to turn that disturbing trend around. As Deb said last night when Giambi’s horrifying mug shot was flashed on the screen, “He looks like a very unpleasant person.” Well said.


Friday, April 15
Lowell Lock Monsters vs. Manchester Monarchs
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH

You all remember hockey, don’t you? The game of ice and puck and curvéd stick? This be minor league hockey which kicks so much ass it needs special shoes. Or skates. Of course, being that the major leaguers have spent what would have been the season either playing in European leagues, flipping burgers or, I don’t know, scratching themselves, the pace of this might be a bit different. I guess some of the pros have gone slummin’ with the minor leaguers and, if that’s true, it might add a higher level of urgency to the game. Because what scrappy minor leaguer wants their playing time cut in half to make way for a pretty boy, millionaire pro? That’s what I thought. And can someone explain to me what a bloody “Lock Monster” is? “Loch Monster” I would have understood because in my infinite geekdom, I read lots and lots about the Loch Ness Monster and hope fervently against my better judgment that it’s a real thing. But a “Lock” monster? Is this just poor proofreading on someone’s part? Is this a Lowell thing I don’t understand? Also, the Monarchs have a roaring lion as their mascot. Awesome. But they also wear purple. Somewhat less awesome. Anyway, Lowell Lock (h?) Monsters vs. Manchester Monarchs. Woo alliteration! Oh hockey, how I miss thee!


Saturday, April 16
Green Bay Blizzard vs. Manchester Wolves
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH

That’s right, kids. Not just football, arena football. This is what happens when you miss the pigskin so much its palpable. You pay too much for tickets to arena football. My dad, who really should know better, forked over his credit card and said, “Why don’t you get us a couple of seats to the Wolves game on Saturday?” Apparently by “couple of seats” he did not, in fact mean “the best seats in the damn place.” So we’re sitting on whatever the equivalent of the 50-yard-line is in arena football. The 25-yard line? I expect there will be much crashing into boards (like hockey!), 7-yard field goal attempts and a score of something like 79-65. Sadly, there will be no Bon Jovi sightings as the Green Bay Blizzard are most decidedly not the Philadelphia Soul. Le sigh. But even though baseball season is in full swing and I’ve got my Red Sox rooting pants on, I still long for the football. I’ll take it in whatever way I can get it. So…go Wolves!


Sunday, April 17
Buffalo Bisons vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI

Minor league baseball, oh yes indeed! Also, the World Series Trophy which I will try very, very hard not to steal. I can’t make the same promise about Kevin Youkilis. He may end up in my backseat, hog-tied and dropped off in Terry’s office with a note pinned to his chest saying, “Found this in Pawtucket. I believe it belongs to you. Please make use of it and don’t lose it again. Sincerely, A Concerned Fan.” I mean, on one hand, YOUUUUKKK! But on the other hand, Youk? Boy’s a big leaguer now. I mean I know they had to option him down to AAA to make room for Schilling but could someone explain to me what the bloody hell Blaine Neal is doing on the roster? Whatever, I’m still pissed we traded Hyzdu. Now I have to find a new chew toy. Amy, however, is excited about the Youks because she’s recently hopped aboard the Kevin Youkilis love train and she’ll get to see her new boyfriend, up close and personal. I will get to see Kelly Shoppach, aka Training Wheels, my minor league catcher boyfriend. So it’s a win-win. Anyway, Paw Sox baseball! Cheap beer, good French fries and the World Series trophy. A good day indeed.


Monday, April 18
109th Boston Marathon
Boston, MA

Because my office is located smack dab in downtown Boston and getting to work even on a normal day is dicey at best, never mind on a day with an influx of one million additional people, our office manager, in her infinite wisdom, has elected to give us all a “stealth holiday.” I mean, we’re “working from home,” if by “working from home” you mean, “helping Amy throw a marathon and Sox watching party with many drinks, food and the like,” then yes, yes we are. Yeah, don’t tell our New York office. So that’s Monday, then, commencing at 10:30am to get our drink on so as to be sufficiently prepped for the 11:00am Sox game against Los Blue Jays and their horrific, horrific uniforms. Then, at 1-ish or so, we all head out to Amy’s deck, drinks in hand, to watch thousands of other people perform a miraculous athletic feat while we toast them with high-calorie beverages and devour carb-laden food. Mmm, marathon. The irony is delicious.


Tuesday, April 19
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park, Boston, MA

And so, like many pilgrimages, this one ends where it began, except in right field. Thanks to the lovely and talented Caitriona who was looking to sell some of her Sox tickets and the Bank of America who continues to allow me to transfer money from my savings account despite me telling it to, under no circumstances, let me spend my rent money on Red Sox tickets, I’ll be sitting in Trot territory hopefully watching the Sox beat the snot out of the Blue Jays. If for no other reason than they should be punished for those softball jerseys they insist on wearing. Looks like I’ll get String Bean again if I’ve done my math correctly and that is just fine by me. After, it feels like years of attending nothing but Wakefield pitched and Mirabelli caught games, I’ve finally been given some Tek. You’d think, once every five days is not that often. There’s a 20% chance that Mirabelli is catching. But when do I always seem to get tickets? That’s right, when Mirabelli is catching. Bloody hell. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Dougie. But there is a special place in my heart for the Tek. And I hardly ever get to see him live. Well here I come, Captain, hope you’re ready for me. Heather, whose mental state and ulcer-free stomach I’ve completely destroyed by getting her addicted to the Sox, with be accompanying me. Be ready, boys, us girls want a win. And we ain’t messin’ around.

And so concludes my week of nomadic sports attendance. Sports witnessed: 4. States traversed: 3. Beers consumed: Countless. Different companions: 6 plus whoever shows up at Amy’s party. You’re all invited. I’ll try to post updates at least once a day but I might slack a bit. I’ve also got some work to do. Lest you think I’d finally just chucked my job and starting following random sports teams around, groupie style. Not today. Maybe tomorrow. It all begins tonight. I best stay hydrated. I think I’m up for it. Bring it on!