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

Monday, August 22, 2005

Back on Track

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(Papi's a lover, not a fighter.)

Right, so, where were we? Pretty much right about here, I gather as the Sox and Yanks remain four games apart in the standings, Jon(athan) Papelbon continues to make me forget the name “Wade Miller,” Timlin is still letting inherited runners score at an alarming pace and I’m still not getting enough sleep. So, yeah, stasis.

Admittedly, Friday night’s game provided some good drama as Mike “Oh shit, these ones count against my ERA” Timlin, was entrusted with Matty Clement’s 3-1 lead, promptly got two quick outs then let up a single, intentionally walked Vladdy Guerrero (I WANT!), watched the Angels execute a perfect double steal and then served up a game-tying two-bagger to Casey Kotchman. Nice work, Hoss. No, for real. Good one. We were getting just a little too comfortable with your ability to keep your own baserunners from scoring. Good to know you’re all for equal opportunity sucking. And now I hear Big Fitty is going to be our closer. Excellent. Hold onto your butts. The boys managed to pull it out, I’m still not sure how as I was pretty much dead to the world by that point, but I vaguely remember Gabe Kapler crossing the plate and Schilling pitching balls-out, return to form, four strikeouts, that’s the Schill we know type-pitching in the 9th and 10th innings. That happened, right? Don’t worry, it won’t be the only thing I don’t remember from the weekend.

Saturday, well, Saturday saw me greeting all manner of guests at the outdoor tiki bar and directing them as to where to put their lobsters and clams. Even though the game was playing on the outdoor television (you’re daaaaaamn right!), I was inundated by the arrival of friends and family and could not give Messrs. Red Sox my full attention. I gather, from reports passed along by Annette, Marianne and Butchie that I did not miss much. Bronson Arroyo apparently pitched well but the Sox continued what I believe Sarah would call “their collective pants-shitting” when faced with a rookie pitcher they’ve never seen before. To put it bluntly, Ervin Santana made the Sox’ normally thunderous bats his bitch. I wonder if they’d have done better if we’d told them it was Cy Young winner Johan Santana pitching. Worth a shot.

Saturday night, bereft of Red Sox action saw me engaging in some “athletics” of my own including a beer and whoopie pie fight with Marianne, beer pong with my brother and his friends and an especially spirited bout of Kung Fu fighting with Butchie which left me with a rib bruise of the most violent purple shade you can imagine. I’m simultaneously very proud of and horrified by it. But I shouldn’t really be surprised. That kind of thing tends to happen at my lakehouse. Or around Butchie. Frankly, with both of them in concert, I’m surprised all my limbs are still attached. That said, the beer pong was a near disaster as my teammate and I were being schooled by my brother early on. But! We came back! We came back from being down by five cups to tie it at two before they finally won on a triple cup score! (I don’t actually know what any of that means but I have decided that John Madden needs to start calling beer pong during halftime of Monday Night Football.) Annette threatened to tell everyone that I was the Kansas City Royals of beer pong but I would argue that the comeback and near victory puts me at the very least at Texas Rangers or perhaps Oakland A’s level. Besides, I went to art school. I’m not supposed to know any of this.

Sunday, I had the best of intentions. I was going to get a ride back into the city, take a quick nap and get up and watch the game while live-blogging. Not so much since what actually happened was that I got home, had some lunch, decided I’d lay down for a quick second and woke up six hours later to an apparent Red Sox win. Six hours, people. That’s almost a double-header. Clearly, I needed the rest.

I caught the highlights on replay as Marianne and I watched the Braves/Padres (DAVE ROBERTS!) game on ESPN. And I have just one thing to say: Papi…bunts? I am reminded of one of Amy’s finer posts in recent history wherein David Ortiz’s mugshot says, “Bitch, I can bunt if I want to.” Because, what? NESN, apparently aware that the viewing public was going to need to see this more than once before they actually believed they were not hallucinating due to some bad shellfish, replayed it over and over. And it gets more spectacular and wonderful with each subsequent viewing. Manny’s catch and excessive theatrics of the “banging into the wall and stumbling around like you’ve been shot before falling to the ground in the most dramatic fashion” variety were lovely as well, but ain’t nothin’ better than watching Tizzle bunt. And beat it out. It’s entirely possible that Ortiz, like Dougie, woke up yesterday morning feeling fast. But I think it’s more likely that he stood in the batter’s box and thought, “You shiftin’ on me, bitches? Go right ahead, you ain’t seen this shit before.” Bet Ted Williams never psyched out an opponent like that, eh?

It is also, I feel I should tell you, impossible to love David Ortiz too much. I’m fairly certain that were I ever to see that man in person, the jaws of life would be needed to remove me from his leg. There’s no one I can think of that sparks the urge to hug so much while simultaneously making the opposition soil themselves. Just look at how angry he gets from time to time. I wouldn’t want to be on the business end of one of Papi’s rage blackouts but in a tight spot, I want no one else up there going, “Don’t you worry, baby. I’ll take care of it.”

And how about Jon(athan) Papelbon? How about that shit, huh? Newbie takes over a spot in the rotation from the recently displaced (and largely ineffective) Wade Miller and suddenly, he’s become – well, not our ace, exactly – but a solid starter we can count on. Welcome to the big show, baby. We hope you stick around for a while. If only because Matty needs a co-chair in the “I *Heart* Tek” Fan Club.

Tonight’s an off day and that’s all right by me. The Yanks and Blue Jays are currently knotted at zero in the second inning but no matter what happens, I can take solace in the fact that yesterday, the Big Eunuch gave up four home runs…in the same inning and ESPN.com is currently debating whether or not Joe Torre should be fired. Spec-fucking-tacular. As for me, I’m about to turn on the Cubs/Braves game and behold the wonder of Derek Lee. In that vein, I present to you an exchange between myself and Marianne:

Me: If Derek Lee wanted to call me every night and say “Good night, sweet girl,*” I would not be mad.
Marianne: Indeed.
Me: Sebastian said he could arrange that if Gary Sheffield calls him every night.
Marianne: And says what? “Where my money, bitch?"

Tomorrow it’s Fat Man vs. Zack Greinke of the Lowly Kansas City Royals who, prior to yesterday, had lost eighteen games in a row. Seems a likely place for Lard Ass to get back on track after his last disastrous outing but this is the Red Sox, we take nothing for granted. Be warned, Fattie, the stable’s on hold with a nice Arabian pony should you put your foot in it again. I’m not kidding.

I feel it also necessary to inform you all that due to Bellhorn's recent DFA'd status, Steve Brady has been put on suicide watch. He's currently in deep denial, insisting that The Bell has "another month to win his spot back," but we've mostly been shaking our heads at him as Steve endeavors to destory his liver and remaining internal organs as he drowns his sorrow. We're attempting to help him work through this as best we know how. We appreciate your support.

Also, completely unrelated to baseball, I want to send a warm congratulatory hug to Annette who became an aunt for the first time today! There were many discussions this weekend about the fact that none of us would know each other were it not for the internet and the Red Sox and just how sad that would be. It truly is amazing that in such a short amount of time, I’ve made such wonderful, caring, hilarious, perverted and insane friends. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything. So congratulations, Annette! That’s one lucky niece you have there. I know you’ll spoil her silly.

*Name the movie, get a prize! Or my eternal respect. Whichever.