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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Battle Royale

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Trot Nixon, evidently.

You all know what I try to do here. I try to write about our local teams in a personal, rather unprofessional manner. And I try to find humor in it whenever I can. But the thing with these Red Sox is, every time I think I've come up with something good, they've gone and outdone me.

And so, I present, The Great Red Sox Cookie-Off.

Please, do yourself a favor and watch it. Pay particular attention to the Oscar worthy performance of Gabe "It's Not a Brownie!" Kapler and the Cookie-Monster stylings of Trot Nixon who, it seems evident, is "clearly hacking people apart with chainsaws in the deepest reaches of the underground batting cages" (TM Beth). And don't miss Bronson "Someday I'll be a REAL musician!" Arroyo's heartfelt rendition of "C is for Cookie."

I promise you, watch this video and lead a better life.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Clearly, It's Warmer In Florida

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Caption from Boston.com: "Red Sox veterans watched as some of the team's rookies ran in their underwear during morning workouts."

See, the thing is: if you don't love this team, you have no soul.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's Been a Long, Cold Winter

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(All photos from Boston.com)

Okay, two things:

1) David Ortiz is the goddamned Pied Piper of baseball, leading children and adults alike through the winter and delivering them into the magical time known as "Spring Training."

And 2) Damn, that dude is bad ass. He looks easily twenty feet tall in that picture. Look, I took a photography class or two in my time and I understand about composition and depth of field and all that stuff (not as well as Sam, but really, who does?) so I get that there's an angle thing working here as well as the fact that a large number of people in the background seem to be children and therefore, wee, but this photo makes Papi look like the Grand Poobah of Ass-Kickery.

And oh my god, I'm excited!

I don't think I fully understood how much I've missed baseball until I found myself, semi-inebriated and exhausted on Friday night, watching Olympic ice-dancing and debating which of the women ice dancers had Adam's apples. Keep in mind that I was a figure skater myself for many, many years and therefore, one might reason, not so hard on these poor people. Yeah, not so much.

And yesterday, I was delighted to learn that the satellite at the gym had been repaired meaning that instead of suffering through eighteen hours of Creed videos (no, I am not kidding), my tiny, little, personal television would bestow ESPN and SportsCenter upon me. Except you know what they saw fit to talk about for an hour? Goddamn NASCAR.

Yeah, it's been a long winter.

But look at that picture. And look at this one. And this one. And, oh my god, this one. But mostly? This one. Baseball, you guys! Real, shiny, new baseball!

I can't wait.

Monday, February 20, 2006

An Infusion of New Blood

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Now THAT'S motivational.

Okay, kids, it's like this: I'm kind of bored. There's no pro hockey to watch, baseball is still a month away, football is a distant memory and despite the fact that I figure skated myself for fourteen years, ice dancing ain't really doin' it for me. The epic beer pong tournament I attended Saturday night (holy crap, you guys, seriously) was the closest thing to a legitimate "athletic" competition I've seen in some time.

In short, it is a sad, sad time. Dark days ahead. I'm off today and watching Jerry Maguire, y'all. That's how bad things are.

And so, The Rick had an idea for this here "topic-starved" blog. What sports that aren't currently in the Olympics should be? And conversely, which ones that are, shouldn't be? I'm open for all suggestions. Golf, water-skiing, or the aforementioned beer pong. What do you think?

And hey, do you think Scott Boras has ever said, "I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a Sega game featuring you, while singing your own song in a new commercial, starring you, broadcast during the Super Bowl, in a game that you are winning, and I will not sleep until that happens"

Because I think he might have.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Days Are Here Again!

David Ortiz would like you all to know that today is Truck Day and that he's gonna take care of things, baby, so don't you worry.

Jason Varitek would like you to know that pitchers and catchers report in ten days and he's been spending the offseason organizing his notes into color coded Trapper Keepers with handy, dandy Velcro binding. (The Yankees one is clearly sparkly and pink). And also refilling Matty's allergy meds.

Manny would like you to know that his favorite color is yellow and duckies say "moo."

Theo would like you to know that there are not now, nor were there ever, any problems in the front office and he'll thank you to mind your own business except for when Trauser is playing because then you should totally come out and see them because Trauser RAWKS!

Johnny Damon would like you to know that he misses you already and please don't boo him and he'll try real hard not to be too good for the Yankees and why don't you love him?

Mike Timlin would like you to know that he's taken care of Johnny Damon.

The Red Sox would like you to know that baseball will be happening soon.

I think I speak for all of us when I say, thank goodness!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How Can We Miss You...

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...if you won't go away?

Actually, I don't really want to miss you. I just want you to go away.

Let it go, JD. We already have.

Monday, February 06, 2006

How Long Until Baseball Season Again?

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Kitty feels me.

Things we learned during Super Bowl XL:

* Jerome Bettis is from Detroit. (I know!)
* The NFL really needs to work on this whole "officiating" thing.
* John Madden has apparently made it through an entire broadcasting career without drawing crude anatomical drawings with the Telestrator. Frankly, I don't think I would have made it past three games.
* Jerome Bettis's mama loves him.
* Tom Brady is pretty.
*Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning are in the football equivalent of the Witness Protection Program.
* Ben Roethlisberger is, uh, well, he ain't that smart, folks. We'll leave it at that.
* No matter how far modern technology and marketing have come, the best way to sell your products is still to put big boobs in the commercials.
* Or horses. People seem to like horses.
* Bill Cowher is the world's most terrifying human and I could have happily lived my whole life without ever seeing him kiss ANYONE.
* The Stones no longer cheat death. They now openly mock it and refer to it as "their bitch."
* Stevie Wonder's suit could comfortably double as a penthouse for the teeny, tiny, weepy Hines Ward.
* Jerome Bettis will no longer play football.
* This Super Bowl was intensely boring and underwhelming.

Look, it's like this: I really thought I could be neutral, watching with friends who are Steelers fans and all. But then the Steelers started winning and all the calls started going their way and my Pats fan sensibilities came to the forefront and I thought, “Oh my god, I really and truly hate the Steelers.”

Can't teach an old dog new tricks and apparently you can't teach a dyed in the wool Pats fan to cheer for the Steelers. I'm happy for my friends who are Steelers fans because they're good people and it's always nice when good people are happy. But as a Pats fan...I just can't get behind that. And I justify it this way: The Pats and the Steelers have turned into quite a rivalry over the past few years (pretty sure the Steelers still can't beat us, actually,) so I've spent my football-viewing life cheering against them. It's hard to turn on a dime like that. That and, I'd bet money that if it had been the Pats vying for another championship, Sebastian, Katherine and the lot of 'em would NOT have been cheering for the Patriots.

So, that's that. Like I said, decidedly underwhelming. However, there were a few comments worth sharing:

An unidentified viewer upon watching Hines Ward hold the Lombardi Trophy in one hand and his son in the other: "Hey, Hines, if there were an emergency situation and you had to make a break for it, which one gets saved? Trophy or baby?"

Amy, after nearly every commercial, 90% of which made no sense and/or could have been Mark Bellhorn's Marketing 101 final at THC University: "Am I high? Seriously. Are we all high?"

My brother after I complained about the fact that Roethlisberger having a Super Bowl ring makes me sick to my stomach considering that he's easily one of the five dumbest humans alive: "He's a football player. They're lucky if they can even say their names, let alone spell them. And with a name like 'Roethlisberger' he must have been the valedictorian of the 'Fundamentals of Golf' class he took at Miami of Ohio."

So there you have it. Another Super Bowl in the books. Yawn. I haven't the slightest idea what I'll be doing for the next month as I'm not allowed to watch the Bruins because they evidently hate me personally and they'll turn on the suck if I watch so much as a face off, Olympic hockey is on at something ridiculous like two in the afternoon and the World Baseball Classic doesn't start until early March.


If you need me, I'll be hiding in a bunker somewhere with my copies of Faith Rewarded and 21.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Super Bore

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Perhaps we can look forward to more of this type of completely random insanity during Super Bowl XL.

I certainly hope so. Because nothing says "smashmouth football" like interpretive dancing, pink fireworks and giant, inflatable, vaugely Rastafarian...things.

Oh, and the Rolling Stones.

Actually, I'm fine with the Stones. Despite the fact that a British rock band is only tangentially related to American football in that they've, you know, actually used the word "football" and, um, they sometimes play in football stadiums. But hey, I guess they figure we've all already seen Mick Jagger's and Keith Richards's exposed breasts so the FCC won't get their shorts in a bunch over any "wardrobe malfunctions." I don't understand why, personally, as geriatric nekkidness of the formaldehyde and Jack Daniels-preserved variety is undoubtedly far more damaging to the children and, you know, my eyesight, than exposed silicone. But I don't make the rules.

And I also happen to think The Stones still rock, so just ignore me.

As for the actual game, I'll be watching with Steelers fans who are, shall we say, insane. Since I've watched the past two Steelers playoff games on their couch, they're refusing to let me wear different clothes, bring different food or sit in a different location for the actual Super Bowl. They are, however, apparently fine with the fact that I'll actually be rooting for the Seahawks.

I did waffle on my decision a bit as to where to view the game. Traditionally, Super Bowl Sunday is spent at my parents' house in New Hampshire, taping up the Adam Vinatieri Papa Gino's posters (shut up, you know you want one), making the eight gallons of chili and readying the spiral ham for the football hungry masses. But with the Pats notably absent from the big game this year (shame, that), I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the trek for a few hours. And when I mentioned to said Steelers fans that I didn't know where I planned to watch the game, I swear to you, I thought they were going to hog tie me to their couch or stab me with a pretzel stick to prevent me from leaving.


So the Super Bowl with Steelers fans it is. But, to keep my Pats fandom on the straight and narrow, I will give you a list of things I will and won't be doing during the big game.

I will:

* Cheer for every Seahawks touchdown, field goal or exceptional defensive play.
* Smile whenever someone mentions the Patriots and their dynasty (don't you freakin' argue with me!)
* Eat an irresponsible amount of taco and artichoke dip.
* Make fun of Ben Roethlisberger's facial hair.
* Call Roethlisberger "The Hamburgler" on every possible occasion.
* Clap whenever it's noted that Hasselbeck is from the Boston area.
* Roll my eyes at the goddamn Terrible Towels.

I will not:

* Stop calling Bill Cowher "The Chin That Ate Pittsburgh."
* Openly cheer for the Steelers.
* Get up off my assigned spot on the couch, apparently.
* Wave, touch, or hold a Terrible Towel.
* Take Joey Porter seriously.
* Provoke Sebastian as he will not hesitate to kick me down the five flights of stairs leading into his apartment.

And honestly, I understand. While I worry that he will actually have a heart attack before kickoff on Sunday, I've been there, and I can sympathize. Last year, I nearly destroyed a very expensive, big screen television with a half-inflated football. If my aim were better, I would have owed my dad a lot of money. So I get Super Bowl stress. I feel them.

However, it'll be interesting to watch the game as an impartial observer. Okay, not entirely impartial, but let's just say I won't be flipping over cars and setting them on fire no matter who wins. I wouldn't have said the same thing if Indy had made it. But with Peyton Marino at the helm, that was never really a legitimate fear.

So I'll watch, and I'll drink, and I'll eat dip. And I'll hope my friends end up happy while still wanting the Seahawks to get a Lombardi trophy for Boston boy Hasselbeck. But in the end, this time, the Super Bowl really is just a game. Hmmm, I'm not so sure I like this.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Odds and Ends

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You'll have to forgive me for the lack of updates lately. I've been swimming around in a Sudafed cloud and threatening to swallow the entire box so as to make my head as dry and arid as the Sahara. Or I was, until Colleen informed me that in areas where there are high concentrations of meth labs, they control the sale of Sudafed since it's used to make methamphetamine. I swear, I would be the worst drug lord ever.


So let me see if I understand all this. We've got a centerfielder? For real this time? This isn't like a Rent-A-Player program or something, is it? We don't have to give him back if Shoppach gets a hangnail or anything, do we? Because I gotta tell you, I might have started believing that Tito was planning on showing up to Spring Training and making Trot run wind sprints so he could be fast enough to cover both right and center until Gabe gets healthy. But I guess there'll be an actual human type person patrolling center. Well, how do you like that?

Even better, he's named after a chocolately cereal. How long before the "Loco for Coco" shirts appear on Landsdowne Street? A month? Two weeks? Tomorrow?

And, it appears, we've also got ourselves a shortstop. A shortstop who, it turns out, is not entirely unfamiliar with taking over for Edgar Renteria. According to Gordon Edes' article in today's Globe, "In 1999, when the Marlins traded Renteria to the Cardinals, Gonzalez became Florida's everyday shortstop and made the All-Star team for the only time in his career." Well how about that? Lucky for him, he won't have to do too much to get the fans on his side. Anything under eleventy billion errors will suffice.

So, centerfielder? Check. Shortstop? Check. Dude aptly named "Riske" added to the Sox bullpen? Check. Excellent. We appear to have an entire team of baseball players (and one space cadet patrolling left) ready to take the field in a few short (long?) weeks.

Now I am left only to wonder what will become of Dougie out in San Diego as the Padres have signed Mike Piazza to a one year deal. According to San Diego GM Kevin Towers, "His experience and his knowledge of the National League behind the plate is a big plus." Towers is aware that Piazza is the butt of all "defensive liability" jokes, yes? I mean, even the writer of that article knows that, "Much has been made in some circles about Piazza's defensive liabilities, mostly because opposing runners have stolen more than 1,300 bases with his success rate at throwing out runners at just 24 percent."

Oh, but Towers has an answer:

"The numbers don't lie. He struggled last year throwing out runners [just 13-of-95], but having a manager like Bruce Bochy, who was a former catcher, I'm sure can really help him work with his release and his footwork," said Towers. "We're going to have to help him out. Our pitchers are going to have to slide step and do a much better job at holding runners at first. And hopefully, Boch's instruction can help him along.

"I certainly feel, regardless of his numbers, that this guy is going to do enough damage with his bat that will make up for maybe his lack of throwing arm," said Towers. "I do feel that stolen bases are a very overrated stat."

Stolen bases are overrated? I wonder what Dave Roberts, Piazza's new teammate would have to say about that.

As for Dougie, let's hope the Sox can finally ship the Fat Man out to the West Coast where he so desperately wants to be and bring Dougie back to his rightful place as Tim Wakefield's personal catcher. Y'all know my love for Tek is strong but I do NOT relish watching every fifth game between my fingers as inning upon inning of the Neverending Passed Ball-A-Thon continues. And John Flaherty wears a stupid hockey helmet. So he's out. Come on, Theo, bring Dougie back.