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

Monday, May 09, 2005

Two out of three ain't bad*

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(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Youk da man!

*Did I…did I just quote Meatloaf? What is this world coming to?

But so far as the baseball goes, I would indeed say that concept holds true. Three games against the beleaguered Seattle Mariners and our beloved (though endlessly frustrating) Red Sox took two of ‘em. I’ll take it.

Friday’s game happened while I was home, um, working. Because what do cool kids do on Friday nights? Apparently, they sit at their desk, sneaking glimpses of a baseball game and slave over a neverending freelance project. I would like to tell you all that I went out, engaged in all kinds of debauchery and partied until 4am but the sad fact of the matter is that I was in my pajamas by ten. Fielding calls from Beth and Colleen (and “fielding calls” means that I have to actually put on shoes and drive around in my car because Nextel has decided that I live on the third moon of Jupiter and they’d prefer to just drop my calls any damn time), I got less work done than expected. And then Sam and Amy kept me up until 3:30am playing Hit it/Not hit it with the Red Sox roster. Don’t you look at me that way.

The game, so far as it goes, was pretty much a slugfest with Papi going deep and the Sox showing no mercy against Jamie Moyer who, contrary to popular opinion, is in fact still alive. Not so much his fastball, though. Really, I know Manny owns him but I watch Moyer pitch and I seriously wonder how he’s been able to be so consistently reliable for so long. He’s 42 and he doesn’t throw hard. Like, at all. And yet, had he won on Friday night, he would have been the winningest pitcher in Seattle Mariners history. The mind boggles.

However, he didn’t win because our own Matty “Abe Lincoln” Clement, pitched pretty well his own damn self. Here’s the thing with Matty: I think I’ve learned that it’s going to be a struggle all year with this guy. He walks people and he always seems just on the brink of completely snapping and collapsing in a sobbing heap on the mound. He seems like a high-maintenance guy but, unlike a previous Red Sox pitcher who had an instantly recognizable facial expression named after him and who was known to melt down in spectacular fashion when things started to not go his way, Matty seems to take real solace in the fact that he’s got a rock in Tek behind the plate. I honestly feel that in that battery make-up, Tek is less a catcher and more a life coach. Oh, and Matty apparently has balls of steel. So that helps too.

Saturday’s game was rained out. Good thing too as that is when the debauchery took place. Note to self: When you say, “I’m only going to stay for a little while,” at least recognize that you’re lying and you won’t leave before 2am at the earliest. Just stop lying to yourself, it’s not becoming.

Sunday, being Mother’s Day and all prompted me to make the sojourn to the great white North and hug my mom and grandmother. My grandparents, (Ma and Gump), who have just arrived from Florida (via California), are kicking my ass, endurance-wise. They’re both 84 and have just completed their 8th cross-country trip and are no worse for the wear. And my brother and I both show up yawning and hungover due to ill-advised behavior the previous night. My grandmother, because she is my grandmother after all, wasted no time laying into me about the Sox and the Devil Rays (her team). Lemme tell you, arguing about Rocco Baldelli vs. Manny Ramirez with an 84-year-old woman is not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Naturally, game one of the day/night doubleheader was playing on the bigscreen. I plopped myself on the couch next to my dad and started right in on the running commentary. Three minutes into my snarky remarks, Ma turned to Gump and said, “I don’t know if I want to go back to Florida this year.” She gestured to me, “I miss this crazy one.” Her nostalgia was short-lived as three innings later, she piped up and said, “Actually, I think by the time we go back, I’m going to be really sick of hearing about the Red Sox.” Sox obsession, not for the fickle.

My brother, as he is wont to do, kept needling me during Dougie’s at bats. “Dougie’s gonna go deep here. Dougie’s gonna clear ‘em all.” “Okay, Kev, whatever you say,” was pretty much my standard answer. However, when Dougie did, in fact, hit a wall ball double that brought in two runs, I reverted to flat-out swearing. Yes, in front of my grandparents. “Shit!” I said. “What?” asked my dad. “Dougie hit a double. I owe Kev a six-pack.” Kevin, such a gracious winner, raised his arms in victory, “That’s right! I am the master! Dougie is a beast!” He paused for a second, “Wait, I thought I got a case?” “No way,” I said, “Case is for an inside-the-parker, 12-pack for a triple, 6-pack for a double. Don’t push your luck.” “Fair enough,” he said.

Allow me to take just a second and gloat about just how cool my mom and grandmother are. I mean, it’s Mother’s Day. The one day of the year when you absolutely cannot get mad at your mom is she demands undivided attention. So, would we have been put off it either Mom or Ma had said, “Can we turn the baseball game off and just have a nice family dinner?” No, we would not have been. It’s Mother’s Day, you’re not allowed to get mad at your mom. But did either one of these fantastic women even suggest such a thing? They most certainly did not. Because they are awesome, is why. So awesome, in fact, that in the lull between games when we probably should have been catching up with my grandparents and filling them in on all that’s happened since I saw them last, we decided they needed to see the “Faith Rewarded” DVD. Well, I rationalized, that’s kind of a big thing that’s happened since I’ve seen them last. And my mom, bless her soul, sat on the couch, occasionally remarking, “Oh, this is when it gets really good.” Don’t ever let that woman tell you she’s only a casual sports fan.

Game two of the doubleheader commenced as I was driving my tired ass back to Weymouth under the pretense of, you guessed it, more work. Welcome to the big leagues, Cla Meredith. (Can I make fun of his aversion to the letter “y” or has it already been done to death? Just makes me think “clah” which is so not a name.) The bright spot in the game, I believe – other than the vapor trail left by Richie Sexon’s grand slam off said newbie relief pitcher – was the performance of a one Mr. Wade Miller. Or the Zen Master. Or Scary Zen Steely Eyed Stare of Death Man. But that can get a bit lengthy. A strong performance with six strikeouts will do wonders to salve a loss. And yes, I did actually get some work done.

This week will be a hectic one as I’ll take up permanent residence at the BPL (y’all come by now!) and take Friday off to watch my baby brudder graduate from college. Odds on whether he wears the Mirabelli jersey under his cap and gown?

Wake goes tonight vs. Danny Haren (who, if memory serves, we kicked around pretty good during the World Series when he pitched for St. Louis) as the A’s make their first trip to Fenway. With Dougie once again behind the plate, look for the blood feud to continue unabated.

Edit: I can't believe I forgot to mention the antics of the Giggle Twins on Friday Night! Remy and Orsillo were in rare form, cracking themselves up over a Dan Roche 2nd-grade joke. Seriously, they Could. Not. Stop. Laughing. For half an inning this went on. Long enough for me to start worrying about the oxygen supply to their brains. Throughout the entire half-inning you could hear Orsillo's giggle and Remy's wheezy laughter. Orsillo would try to speak and lose it halfway through his sentence. Remy, bless his heart, didn't even try. Seriously, I want whatever kind of drugs they have in the NESN booth. How lucky are we as Red Sox fans to have these guys? They're completely insane but damn if they don't love their jobs.