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

Monday, July 31, 2006

And on the Seventh Day, God Created Ortiz

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(Clearly, an epic tome on the Sox DH)

In the interest of full disclosure, I think it's only fair to tell you (because The Rick surely will if I don't) that I was checking the score on Gamecast, watching Miami Ink (my remote is broken, again) and scouring the internets for...stuff because I did not want to watch the Fat Man crash and burn when I heard that Tek went down with a knee injury. Then I made a noise similar to that of a feral cat caught in a garbage disposal. And I began searching frantically for the half-full bottle of tequila and a twisty straw. As such, I did not see Ortiz's blast. But I'm pretty sure I know what it looked like. You know, having seen it seemingly every other game.

NESN is telling me that Ortiz has hit only fifteen walkoff hits with the Red Sox. I find this completely impossible since I'm sure I can personally name at least 50 in recent memory. Such things happen when you're larger than life.

At this point, I'm thinking opposing pitchers, knowing that he's going to beat them with a certainty usually reserved for death and taxes, should just throw the first pitch right down the middle of the plate, thus saving the strain of extra pitches on their arms. It might seem overconfident but, I mean, it's DAVID ORTIZ. He is not human. Kyle Snyder, when asked by Tina Cervasio, "What's it like to see David Ortiz do this again?" replied, "It makes no sense. I don't even know."

If you'd like to write a haiku, please do. I welcome epic odes and heartfelt renditions of The Greatest American Hero theme as well. Because, as Annette observed, "Pretty sure we've reached the point where we essentially have to rename the state Papichusetts. It's the only possible tribute big enough."

As for the rest of the team, I, for one, am not upset about the lack of movement at the trading deadline. Of course, I'd make a terrible GM because I grow very attached to players very rapidly, but Mark Loretta is an All-Star. Mike Lowell in en fuego. Coco is nails (and also has phat beatz). And Papelbon? Are you high? I've grown quite fond of this team and, call me an eternal optimist (I guarantee you I don't get called that very often), but if we're gonna win, I want to win with this team. And the other thing? This team does not suck. This team is pretty damn good. I'm thrilled that we didn't break up our sexy infield defense, especially if it would have meant bringing scum like Julio Lugo onto the team. (Gabe Kapler would have had to cut a bitch, for sure). I imagine it also instills the team with a certain level of confidence that Theo and the front office have enough faith in them to let them have a go at it as presently constituted. And so do I.

As for the Yankees...eh. I can't get up the energy to be all worked into a righteous lather about the Abreu/Lidle thing because, I mean, did we really think that wasn't going to happen? They pull this shit every year. This is nothing new. I'm not sold on Lidle because the gap between the NL and AL just keeps getting greater and greater and I see Lidle as an NL pitcher. And as for Abreu, well, offense isn't really the Yankees' problem either. And I don't think Abreu has a devastating sinker that we don't know about.

I...can't talk about Tek because my computer tends to crash when faced with high-pitched shrieking.

And now, your moment of Zen as I report to you that NESN has seen fit to show a montage of David Wells sucking set to Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine." No, I've not finally lost my mind and started hallucinating due to prolonged exposure to rock star sweat and leatherpants. That really happened. "Your love is like bad medicine! Bad medicine is what I need." I...don't even know what to do with that.

Tomorrow, we roll one. I wish I was hallucinating this time but I'm pretty sure I heard Tina Cervasio say that Jason Johnson will be starting for the Sox tomorrow. There goes that high-pitched shrieking again. But this is the team, boys. This is who we've got. Time to man up. At least we'll always have Ortiz.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

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(pic from Sam)

In light of David Ortiz's heroics (again) with a game-winning single in the bottom of the eleventh inning AGAINST THE SHIFT, I think I'll just let the shirts speak for themselves.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

For Those About to Rock

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Rock. On.

Okay, I'll level with you. I'm thrilled there's no game tonight because that means I won't miss anything while rockin' out at the Bon Jovi concert at Gillette Stadium.

Go ahead, mock at will. But you KNOW deep down you're jealous. You KNOW it.

Amy and I have shirts and everything. I fully expect to meet my first ex-husband there.

What I'm wondering is, exactly how certain are we that Doug Mirabelli will make a cameo appearance? 65%? 80%? 92%? I'm just sayin', if Dougie hasn't rocked the hell out to "Livin' On a Prayer" or "Wanted Dead or Alive" while speeding down the highway in his beat up, red, Ford F-250, then everything I know about life is wrong.

I'm also calling an appearance by Bill Belichick as we know that he and Jon Bon are BFFs. (Weirdest. Pairing. Ever.)

I will bring back all Sox and Pats-related details.

As for the Sox. Sack up, boys. Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

California, Californiiiiaaaaaaa!

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(photo from Boston.com)

You know, I am all for this Kristen goes to bed with the Sox up a by a comfortable margin,* misses all the drama in the middle innings where things got dicey and wakes up the next morning to find that we shellacked the A's to the tune of 13-5 thing. That's not so bad. Of course, when that happens, I miss things like the sudden outpouring of offense in the six-run 8th inning which is a shame because I hear tell that was the only time that The Catcher saw fit to lay bat to ball in a way that did not result in at least one out. In fact, I read something about a "bases clearing double?" But I haven't had enough caffeine yet. I could be hallucinating.

That said, it's good to see Curt Schilling with his 13 wins and flames shooting out of his ears. Remember last year we weren't sure we'd ever see that again. And earlier in the season, I think we all thought that Schilling would be a good, if endlessly talkative, influence on Beckett because of the whole grizzled veteran, come here and let me tell you a story, kid experiencecakes. But I'm not sure we envisioned the reverse happening in that every time Beckett goes out there and punks the other team, earning himself a win, Curt feels slightly more disposable, older and less "the man" and he immediately follows it up with a tough as nails game of his own. It's an interesting dynamic. Curt can't rock a visor like Beckett (not that Beckett is "rocking" it, per se, but he thinks he is), and he can't figure out how to get a BC undergrad to put all his Toby Keith albums on an iPod for him, but he can sure as hell strike bitches out. So that's what he's gonna do.

I have, by the way, no evidence that this actually happens. It's just what goes on in my own head. Which, as I've said, is short of caffeine at the moment. It is also a terrifying place.

It was also good to see Manny continue beating the ball senseless as if it personally insulted one of his fifteen alleged grandmothers. That guy absolutely confounds me. I really believe that if he wanted to, he could hit a home run in every single at bat just by deciding to do so. He's just so nonchalant about everything and so, "I hit a home run now" that it's easy to believe that he really is able to do whatever he wants with the baseball. He's gotten better at hitting low pitches too, positively golfing some of them but his swing hasn't changed. It's as if he just woke up one day and thought, "I'm gonna see if I can hit the pitch at my ankles over the wall. That'll be fun. Where's my green pony? Can I have sherbert for breakfast? Today, I feel fast."

And it was nice to see Trotter break out of his powerless slump as well. I was getting a bit concerned that all the rumors and talk were messing with his head. For the record, that's as far as I'm going in addressing the Nixon trade rumors. There will be no more talk of that here. No, I'm not listening. *sticks fingers in ears* LALALALA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!

Today, that Bronson Arroyo-lookin' dude Kyle Snyder faces off against Danny Haren who you just know used to stiff Bellhorn's dealer back in the day. I mean, lookit the dude. 3:35 start. Gameday away!

*Note: No margin can accurately be considered "comfortable" as long as the bullpen is still inexplicably boasting the Gas Can Twins.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


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(photo from Boston.com)

I'm for serious not even kidding anymore about Alex Gonzalez being a superstar. Did you know he has eight home runs? That's right, eight. Including the one he hit last night off Oakland's Barry Zito (that saddest bastard that ever did live) to get the offense started for the Sox. If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Alex Gonzalez, who the Sox acquired for his defensive wizardry, would have a higher batting average than The Catcher and eight home runs a week after the All-Star Break, I would have assumed that was some excellent crack you were smoking and I would have inquired as to why you weren't sharing with the rest of the class.

But in reality, no drugs were needed. Unless you're Barry Zito. In which case, I don't know...'shrooms? I don't know what the kids are into these days. But even after being nothing less than "a magician" in the field (per The Rick) during the first half of the season and coming up with some pretty clutch hits as well, I'm still not sure we're paying enough attention to Gonzalez. Sure, we joke about how he loves it when we sing Nickelback's "Hero" to him (and if you even think I'm not gonna try to get to the Bon Jovi concert early on Thursday so I can thank Nickelback, the opener, in person, well, you just don't know me very well at all), but it's almost like he doesn't need it anymore. Can you imagine? Someone not needing our musical mojo. Madness!

Then there's Manny and Papi. Who continue to hit the everlovin' shit outta the ball. Just another day at the office.

You know, in the past, the Sox have reminded me a little bit of those St. Louis Rams teams of about 1999-2002. Yes, that's football. "The Greatest Show on Turf" they were called because of their ability for offensive explosions and dazzling displays of football athleticism. But their defense was for shit. Kind of like the Sox over the past handful of seasons. Well, except for that turf part because turf sucks, Toronto. But there was never any question that the Sox could bash the ball. It was when they had to stand on the field that there was a problem. It's like Big Papi has been known to say, "I ain't here for my glove." But in the past few years, starting with the Nomar trade in 2004, that's changed. And now, much to many people's surprise, the Sox boast one of the best defenses in the majors. We tied a major league record earlier this season by going 17 consecutive games without committing an error. These are things I never thought would be said about the Boston Red Sox unless it was backwards day in bizarro world. But man, is it fun to watch. It's like the sentiment that Sam so ingeniously crafted into a lovely t-shirt, "Fangirls dig the K, give me a good groundball pitcher with a solid infield defense." Sexy! And the Sox have not, as I thought they might, gone all glove and no bat on us. We've still got Manny and Papi acting like the baseball insulted their mothers and Trotter is not messin' around. But perhaps the best part is the offensive contributions from the defensive-minded part of the batting order. Gonzalez, Lowell and Loretta have given no one cause for concern and even Little Alex Cora has done his part. And freakin' Youkilis. I don't even know what's up with that guy. Homeboy must have taken some yoga classes in the offseason or something to prompt the NESN Lowell/Youkilis, "You want them on the corners. You need them on the corners. Do not fear them. They are here to protect you." commercial. (Best. Commercial. Ever.) So...hooray for defense! And hooray for defenses that can hit.

All of this, apparently, was a long-winded way of saying that Alex Gonzalez is awesome, Barry Zito is a nutjob, Sox take Game 1 from the A's and tonight we roll on with the Big Schill.

Friday, July 21, 2006

His Pimp Hand Is Strong

(photo from Boston.com)

I'm pretty sure I've stolen that post title from Red. But I trust he'll forgive me. Also, like I wasn't gonna use that picture? (Edit: Apparently SG had the same idea on the picture as well. Heh.) Pshaw, okay. I like to think that David Ortiz, taking the day off yesterday and chillin' in the dugout with his sunglasses, headband and pink Vitamin Water (or Papi Water as we've renamed it), had a little talk with his offense. He probably reminded them that even though it's technically only necessary to score one more run than the other guys, it's often a lot more fun to score, you know, more than that. He probably showed them what hitting looks like by cranking up some footage of his towering home runs and demonstrated how awesome it was to take a slo-mo pimp stroll around the bases. Then, I'm guessing, he told them that scoring runs for Curt is a particularly good thing because when you do, he won't corner you at your locker for thirty-five minutes after the game and discuss Everquest with you to work out his frustrations.

Then he sent them all on their way to do his bidding, as he sat back and enjoyed the applesauce being spoon-fed to him by a Playboy model. Because, as Sam so deftly observed, "We're all just hoes in the semi-legal employ of Pimp Papi." Truer words have never been spoken.

And so score runs they did. Of course, they also let the Rangers score a few as well but Papi can't do everything. Papi don't pitch or play defense, after all. Some things, these boys gotta do for themselves. However, unlikely RBIs from The Catcher and Wily Mo were most welcome. Wily Mo hit one so far that it knocked over Rangers right fielder Mark DeRosa. Knocked him clean over. It was excellent many hours later when I saw it upon review because *grumblegrumble*GameDay*grumblegrumble*

Mark Loretta has evidently been taking lessons at the Jeremy Giambi school of baserunning. Lord help us all.

And speaking of Giambis and things that suck, the Blue Jays victimized the Yankees and Indomitable Closer Mariano Rivera (I think that's his official name now) for a walk off win off the bat of Vernon Wells. I present to you the email received from The Rick mere seconds after Wells' jumped on home plate, getting mobbed by his teammates (though someone needs to learn something from Ortiz as he didn't remove his helmet and will surely have one HELL of a headache today):

Subject: Yankees lose, Yankees lose, Yankeeees Loooose!
Body: Vernon Wells is good, huh? Actually really good. And VERY underated. And I also like Frank Catalanatotoloalotoaonnnoto - or whatever his name is. Maybe Shea is right - the Blue Jays should be better - Gibbons should not have yanked Halladay in the 8th.

For serious, dude, what is up with Shea Hillenbrand?

Anyway, back to 2.5 games up in the standings and things are lookin' all right. See? This is what happens when you listen to Pimp Papi.

Oh, you may also have noticed that I added a new link to the sidebar. The Papel-Blog. Check it out. Frankly, these chicks are renting a luxury suite in Imaginary Baseball World and I cannot for the life of me figure out why we don't know each other yet. The poor universe, she can't take it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Good News, Bad News

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(photo from Boston.com)

The good news: The Red Sox won another game, thus sweeping the Royals.
The bad news: They only managed to score one run in the form of a Manny Ramirez home run.

The good news: The Yankees lost, putting 1.5 games between the Sox and Yanks in the standings.
The bad news: They should have lost last night too but Joe Torre is in league with dark forces.

The good news: Jonathan Papelbon is still a robot.
The bad news: Sometimes, humans have to play baseball games.

The good news: Josh Beckett, clearly not content to let the rookie steal his thunder, pitched eight complete innings of shut-out baseball. Immediately after the game, Theo announced that the Sox had signed Beckett to a three-year extension.
The bad news: Three more years of worrying about Beckett's potential for blisters. Not to mention the iTunes bills for all the Phish and Dave Matthews Band downloads.

The good news: Our rotation might be coming together. I cannot emphasize "might" enough.
The bad news: Tim Wakefield has a fractured rib and will almost certainly go on the disabled list. I blame an overenthusiastic hug from Dougie, his hetero lifemate.

The good news: Doug Mirabelli is hitting over the Mendoza line.
The bad news: Never mind.

But hey, a sweep is a sweep is a sweep. And someone very wise once said that "you only have to score one more run than the other guy to win." Probably it was Tim McCarver. In which case, replace "wise" with "incompetent, bumbling jackass." Nevertheless, one is still more than none and these wins count just as much as any others.

Personally, I'm glad it's Wednesday night so I have Rock Star filling the dark, baseball-less void of my evening. But does anyone else feel like the Red Sox are having their own little Rock Star reality show right now? Like they keep auditioning pitchers to figure out who's worthy of joining their supergroup? Like maybe Mike Timlin fancies himself the hatchet man and has to tell the aspiring newbies that they didn't make the cut and have to go back to fronting a AA farm team somewhere in Des Moines for peanuts and beer? Would that make Mike Timlin the Tommy Lee of the Red Sox pitching staff? Who's the Jason Newsted? Who's the Gilby Clarke? What happens when Axl Rose inevitably shows up looking like he ate his former self and beats up a bullpen catcher? More importantly, what the hell am I talking about and why do I watch so much damn TV?

Until tomorrow, kids. Seattle's in town (Edit: Or Texas. I'm hallucinating, apparently). Best bring it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Enough Monkeying Around

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Well, how do ya like them apples?

Evidently, Jon Lester had had just about enough of the collective freak out we were all having about our fifth starter. He clearly wanted to hear nothing more about the sadness and woe we were all predicting. And, apparently, he took what Amy said to heart when she yelled at him from the third baseline field box this evening that he should, "not fear the sixth inning but instead, embrace it openly, as your friend." Except she used more swear words.

Because I don't know if you know this or not, but not only did Jon Lester pitch like his pants were on fire and go eight complete innings (thus earning him a giant fruit basket from the bullpen, one hopes), but he also gave up precisely one hit. That's "one" as in the number that comes after zero and before two. O-N-E, one. Damn, kid, that's showin' 'em.

Frankly, I did not expect that. I was expecting a close game, to be sure, because usually, no matter how well Kansas City is playing, they're still Kansas City. But, to be honest, I did not expect a pitcher's duel. This Duckworth fellow, as far as I can tell, is named after a Disney cartoon or something. A little research tells me that he bears a fantasy comparison to Jonathan Papelbon which, frankly, makes me laugh for all of the years. But it's not like the Red Sox have never before had problems with a relatively unknown pitcher. In fact, it's become sort of a calling card for them. An endlessly frustrating and infuriating calling card, but a calling card nonetheless. And so, knowing this, Amy and decided not to fuck around and to do our damndest to reverse jinx this Duckworth person as soon as we could. Which is why we decided to let our section know that in the second inning, Duckworth was throwing a no-hitter. No sooner did we say it than Youks laced one to center. The woman sitting next to Amy turned to her with a look of wonder on her face, "Wow," she said, "You girls totally called that." We shrugged since calling a hit against a Royals' pitchers is kind of like predicting that the T will be crowded during rush hour. Sometimes you're wrong, but it usually takes some wacky alignment of the planets for that to happen. Nevertheless, fist bumps were exchanged all around and I gleefully marked down a "1B" on my scorecard. (Yes, I printed out scorecards and brought sharpened pencils to the game. This either makes me a complete dork or utterly precious and I'm coming down firmly on the side of Team Precious until I hear otherwise.)

Of course, nothing came of the Sox offense until the fifth inning when, fitting as ever, The Captain, the day's honoree, knocked a double high off the wall and was knocked in by an RBI single by Alex "Nickelback is my favorite band" Gonzalez. Turned out to be all the offense they needed.

And I know that I've been giving Tek shit lately. Believe me, I am aware of the abysmal nature of his batting average. Oh, boy am I aware of it. But tonight, after five innings as the game became official, Fenway Park rose to it's feet and gave The Captain a lengthy standing ovation, honoring the fact that tonight, in his 991st game, he broke Carlton Fisk's record for games by a Red Sox catcher. Well, I got a little choked up. I know, I know, I'm such a freakin' softie. A chick in a sweat-soaked Dave Roberts t-shirt and a backwards (or urbanized, if you prefer) camo Sox hat, standing there and getting teary. Ridiculous. But Tek's my favorite. I have a soft spot for the guy. I can't help it. And I don't for a minute believe that pitchers like Lester and Papelbon would be anywhere near as effective as they are without the guidance of Varitek. And, well, 991 games is a freakin' lot of games. Twenty minutes on the Stairmaster is enough to prompt my knees to call a lawyer to draw up a "Cease and Desist" so I can't imagine the trauma his body has gone through. And he's still out there, anchoring the team, utterly without complaint. That's truly something. So while I've been referring to him as "the catcher" lately because of his lack of output, tonight he was upgraded to "The Captain."

That moment of fangirly-ness aside, can we again mention that Jon Lester rocked the house and Jonathan Papelbon is a god amongst men? Also, Mike Lowell is a handsome man, but his defense? His defense is downright SEXY.

I would also like to point out, because the Fenway Park scoreboard operators apparently deemed it important, that according to scouts, Joey Gathright can jump over a car with a running start. I'm assuming this skill would come in handy if either A) teams start playing "obstacle baseball" and littering the basepaths with Yugos or B) he's up for the lead in Spiderman 3. And exactly what kind of car are we talking about here? Are we talking a Saturn or more like a Hummer? Because I suspect the results might be slightly different. But thank you, Fenway Park scoreboard operators for that moment of Zen. I am a better person for knowing that.

I do not, I would like to note, think that it's a coincidence that the last game I attended was the Sox first shutout of the season and tonight marked the second. I'm just saying, perhaps they just do not like giving up runs when I'm around. Maybe they're showing off. Maybe they don't want to make me cry. Maybe they realize that the insane heat has made me homicidal and it will not take much to push me over the edge. (Seriously, "96 and feels like 101" is not a weather report, it's an oven setting). But whatever the case, I appreciate it.

So we rack up another one while the Yankees remain tied in a rain delay in the bottom of the ninth at the black hole in the Bronx. But tonight was all about Jon Lester and The Captain. Well done, boys. The Young Gun and the Veteran got it done. Beers are on your teammates tonight.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Unlikely Source

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(Clearly someone is smiling on Dougie.)

Look, I'm not gonna lie, I thought we were losing this game. Yeah, that's right, I said it. I thought we were going to lose a game to the Royals. The Kansas City Royals. I thought the Yankees were gonna beat the Mariners, the Blue Jays were gonna beat...whoever the hell they're playing, and it would be sadness and woe in Boston. I know, I know, I'm a bad fan. But for reals, the way this team has been flopping about the field and swinging as if equipped with wet noodles, what did you think? I mean, sure, you'd like to THINK, "Oh, it's the Royals. Cakewalk." But I have learned that when you start thinking things like that, that's when you get bitten in the ass.

And before we go any further, yes, I will acknowledge it. DOUG MIRABELLI IS A STUD WHO HITS BOMBS. Clutch bombs, at that. You happy, Kevin? I know, I don't remember the last time Tek hit a home run either. Go ahead, mock at will. I'll wait.

Ya done?

Okay then. I don't want to talk about the Wakefield situation. And I will tell you why. Because neither Jason Johnson, David Wells, Scrap Heap Pitcher #1 or Scrap Heap Pitcher #2 seems like a good idea to me. In fact, I would rather be packed into a crowded T in 98 degree weather with eight thousand drunk Yankee fans on "Don't Shower For Luck Day" then deal with so much uncertainty in the Wakefield-occupied part of our pitching rotation. What I'm saying is, this can't be a good thing. Someone hold me.

But for right now, we'll take the win. We'll take all the wins we can get. Tomorrow, I'll be there attempting not to melt into a puddle in the grandstand and encouraging Ensign #2 to a win. Please, please, please, just win. Apparently I've resorted to begging now. Hey, whatever works.

Get a Move On

(photo from Boston.com)

Dear Boston Red Sox:

Do not ever make David Ortiz sad again. Just don't do it. And while you're at it, don't make me sad either.

Look, I don't have time for this. I cannot babysit you every single day. That seems to be what you want considering that the only game you deigned to win this weekend was Saturday's game which I attended in person. (Lookit Sam's pictures!). But unless Manny wants to hand-deliver me some season tickets so you can have my undivided attention all the time, you're going to have to accept that I've got other shit to do. Sometimes I have to go to the grocery store. Sometimes I have to drink too much. Sometimes I have to go see Kelly Clarkson (WOOOOOOO!) So start acting like big boys and play like you mean in.

I'll be there on Tuesday because Amy is awesome and she loves me. Be that as it may, that DOES NOT give you license to play like a bunch of Little Leaguers today. This is Kansas City we're talking about here, boys. Kansas Effing City.



Okay, for serious, I've been out of my head busy lately and while I haven't been giving The Catcher much credit for what he's been doing offensively, (which has been a whole lotta nuthin', come to think of it), I would be remiss if I didn't mention how freakin' impressive it is that he tied Pudge Fisk with 990 games caught yesterday. That's some serious catchin'. Today, Wakefield pitches and tomorrow, when I'll be in attendance, Tek will break Fisk's record. I might even bring the jersey out of retirement despite the fact that I swore I wouldn't wear it again until he hit above .250. I can say what I want about the guy, but I am truly glad he's on our team. That's quite a feat. Well done, Tek. Well done. Now stop swinging at the goddamn high fastball.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Brain Cramps for Everyone!

What did I JUST say? Did I not JUST YESTERDAY comment on how Tavarez is not the guy you want in the game, maybe ever? Pretty sure I did. Pretty sure I knew what was coming there.

Look, it's only the first game after the All-Star Break. It's entirely too early for me to be sitting in my apartment and uttering the phrase, "Where's the rest of that bottle of vodka?" before being forced to mute the TV and dance around the apartment to Kelly Clarkson in a semi-drunken state to make myself feel better. Not that I did any such thing, mind you. Oh no, of course not. I, um, did my taxes. And then, um, raised some money for charity. And I am most assuredly NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT HUNGOVER THIS MORNING.

/takes life-affirming sip of coffee.

But if I were, (which I am not, thank you very much), I would place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Julian Tavarez. Because why not? Why not indeed. He should be expecting my bill for a case of Ketel One any day now.

Mark Loretta, well, he's still in his grace period. He's an All-Star and while I did let out an audible, whiny, "Maaarrrrrrrk!" when he brain-cramped on the field, I'm not blaming the entire thing on him. Just...don't let it happen again.

Theo, for serious, can you fix this? Because I cannot take many more extra inning games that do not end well for the Sox. Because it's not like I'll be content to just go to bed after the regulation nine innings, figuring I'll check the score in the morning. Oh no. You know full well I'm going to stay up for the whole gruesome affair. But really, it's totally cool. I like stabbing myself in the eye with toothpicks too so this was almost as much fun.

Tonight, Fat Head faces of against the Emo-est Emo that ever Emo'ed (aka: Barry Zito). C'mon, you look at that guy and tell me he doesn't write poetry about "dark nights of the soul" and all that rot. I would like to think that Mr. Beckett can step it up and deliver a win. In fact, I'm going to need that to happen. I'm all out of vodka.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stretch...and Run!

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(Or the second half of the baseball season. Whichever.)

For the record, we are not talking about the Manny thing. If there is a problem with Manny that can't be solved with some twirly straws and a case of Capri Sun, I don't want to know about it. We are so firmly entrenched in the "Manny's a nutjob" camp that when he actually has a real, medical issue, we don't quite know what to make of it. I know only this: if Manny goes, so goes Ortiz. Then there'll be some tears. So let's not even talk about it. Good? Good.

So...how's everyone been? Good, I trust. Been spending the last week catching up on our sleep, restocking our Valium prescriptions and trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with Tommy Lee? Good, me too. (I still have not figured out that last one, by the way.) Ready for the second half of the season to begin? So am I. Did y'all hear that the American League won the All-Star Game? Was anyone surprised? Didn't think so.

Now would be a good time for me to stop with the rhetorical questions.

Honestly, I'm pretty pleased with the way things have worked out for the Sox in the first half of the season. I won't give a full recap because, well, you saw it. You know what went down. I will simply say that I am glad the Keith Foulke Experience seems to be in remission, our rookies have stepped up like majah leeg-ahs and our defense is sex-ay. That's right. Red Sox defense. Sexy. In the same sentence at the same time. With no sarcasm or anything. Who would have ever thought we'd see the day? I'll tell you who. Alex Gonzalez. And Mike Lowell. And Mark Loretta. And a dude I like to call Kevin "The Big KY" Youkilis. Actually, I don't like to call him that at all but I will bet my camo hat that he's called himself that on more than one occasion. I would probably also beg him never to do so again in my presence but that's neither here nor there.

Also, this team can hit. But you already knew that. I shall not speak of The Catcher except to say that I sincerely hope he spent his All-Star Break in a batting cage, attached to a set of electrodes that shock him severely every time he swings at a pitch at his shoulders. This is why I'm not a major league GM. They probably frown upon this kind of treatment of the players.

Yes, we have bullpen questions. Or rather, answers. Answers to the question: "Who is the worst possible person to bring in in this situation?" But what team doesn't have those issues? I've watched Marianne burrow, headfirst into my couch cushions when the Orioles' bullpen doors swing open to admit, well, anyone really onto the field. At the very least, we have Hansen and Delcarman who don't immediately turn us into the creepy child from The Shining, all rocking back and forth and chanting "Redrum! Redrum!" while blood pours from the walls. That's gotta count for something. And yes, our fifth starter is a bit of an enigma. But if you can name me a team with a fifth starter who could reasonably be considered an ace, please do. But I probably won't believe you.

All in all, I think we're in good shape. Things could be better. Things could always be better. But things could be a lot, lot worse. For instance, we could be Kansas City. Which is a team, I've noticed, that everyone uses as their Barometer of Suck. There but for the grace of God go...the Royals. Poor bastards.

So onward we march. Tonight, Ensign #2, er, Jon Lester opens up the second half as he faces off against the AL West leading Oakland A's. Esteban Loaiza pitches for the A's. Wait, Loaiza is on Oakland? When the hell did that happen? Last I knew he was getting slapped around for a game-winning hit by Ortiz (though really, who hasn't?) in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS. Where have I been?

Season resumes tonight.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Pitch

Memo to NESN/ESPN/FSN/OLN, all applicable sports networks:

Please consider giving David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon their own show immediately.

I don't care what you call it. Possibly "Hangin' with Paps and Papi." Or "The Robot and the Papel-Bot." Or, I don't know, "Asskickers '06." But whatever you decide to call it, please put it on the air. I know of absolutely no one who wouldn't watch this. It would be a sort of Odd Couple for the new millenium. And it? Would RULE.

You could split it up into different segments. A cooking segment, for instance, where Papi teaches Jonathan how to make mango salsa. Followed by the segment where Jonathan teaches Ortiz how to milk a cow (I did not make that up. Papelbon actually won a cow-milking contest in the minor leagues, having never done such a thing before).

There could be a segment with catchphrases and vocabulary like the D'Angelo's "Big Papi Says" ads. (Link shamelessly stolen from Beth to whom I owe ten thousand thank yous).

Scrabble Time with Jonathan would also be a hit where he explains, in his cornfed, farm boy accent about whupping ass at Scrabble. Complete with a special dance for a triple word score.

Then, of course, there's the Culture and Style segment where Papi discusses the importance of proper accesorizing and Papelbon displays how camo goes with everything.

And how about a Trip to the Barber with Papi and Paps? Mohawks and fades for everyone!

Think of the Very Special Episodes with special guests Rem Dawg, Eck, Curtis Leskanic, Pedro Martinez and Manny.

And, of course, the show would always end with an instructional segment on handshakes and hugs. And Jonathan's assessment that, "Big Papi, man, he's a special one."

Look, we already know these two can act. If we remember Ortiz's Comcast spots and his inherent flair for the dramatic and Papelbon's stunning work for a local car dealership.

I could take an informal poll to see who would watch this, but I'm willing to bet that the only people who would decline would be Yankees fans (so much do they quiver in fear of these two), or people who have been clinically proven to be without souls. Sad.

So, applicable sporting networks, please consider this new programming for your station. Get your pitches in early. I sense a bidding war shaping up.

Loyal Viewer

Monday, July 10, 2006


Look at me returning just in time for the All-Star Break. Excellent timing! I've been taking a break from baseball for a week and perfecting my groupie skills by following around rock stars. (Note to my parents: I totally mean "planting trees and helping sick children." No groupie behavior here). And I think this break was probably good for the soul. Especially since those bozos saw fit to lose 3 of 4 to freakin' Tampa Bay. Or, you know, so I heard since I wasn't paying attention. No, really, I totally wasn't.

And then we damn near swept the White Sox. Which doesn't suck. What does suck is that we all knew that Rudy Seanez was going to be the reason we lost yesterday's game. I mean, didn't we? If you tell me you honestly believed it was going to be someone else's fault then I will call you a dirty, dirty liar and I will attempt to douse your pants which will most certainly be on fire. So, considering that we all knew how this was going to end, I don't understand why Seanez felt the need to drag it out for three innings. Really, he could have shown some mercy and just gotten it over with in his first inning of relief. The Rick even called me sometime in the 18th inning to tell me that his hand was on the "Send" button and he was ready to call me as soon as the inevitable Seanez-proffered three-run bomb landed in the outfield seats. But it didn't happen. The bleeding was just slower and more painful.

Of course, my weekend of acting like a hormonal 14-year-old with a Bedazzled tour t-shirt must have made me zen or something because I choose to look at the positives from yesterday's game. Those being that Tito only resorted to the Gas Can Twins when he absolutely had to. There were no other choices. Well, technically that's not true. Doug Mirabelli was bench-bound and I might have given a semi-important limb to watch him pitch in relief. But it never came to that. Maybe Tito has finally figured it out. Maybe.

As for the other one behind the plate there, I'm taking the Steinbrenner approach and referring to him solely as "the catcher" until he deigns to hit above .250 again. I mean honestly, what is that shit about? Unacceptable, sir. Most unacceptable. And speaking of "the catcher," please read Amy's genius post. That girl. Sometimes, I don't even know.

So here we are again, three games up in the standings with half a season played and half left to go. I'd say that's a pretty fair showing. Especially considering that our fifth starter is officially named "TBA" and our bullpen is held together with airplane glue and Lincoln Logs. Not to mention that various members of the team spend most of their time dodging peach pit missiles and Timlin's crossbow. I'm looking at you, Clement and Wells. Honestly, were it not for the previous mention of Lincoln Logs and the obvious tonsorial similarities between their namesake and the ertswhile pitcher, I would probably have forgotten that Matt Clement even existed. Which, you know, might not be a bad thing.

So tonight marks the official start of the All-Star festivities with the Home Run Derby. Or, based on last year's Tejada/Ortiz antics, Marianne has dubbed it the "Dominican Power Hour of Fun." Here's hoping Ortiz hits a few into the stratosphere. You know, again.

Buy Stuff!

I promise an actual update shortly. Until then, I give you a way to spend your money. I'm a giver.

Sam over at Blue Cats and Red Sox has been designing some shirts. They're excellent. You should buy one. Or buy many! Sam's a good chick. Don't you want to give her your money?

Thought so.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Checking In and Checking Out

(photo from Boston.com)

Well done, Mahky, well done indeed.

Okay, perhaps I lied. Clearly by "sporadic" updates, I meant "none at all." Unfortunately, things don't look to be improving on this end for the remainder of the week. I'll likely be a bit too busy to be updating daily. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind and go on a 2,000 word tirade about Josh Beckett's expanding cranium or a list of the Top 101 Reasons Why Curt Schilling Hates Fun. (Reason #87: His hair is clearly long enough for cornrows but do you see them? No, no, you do not.) But rest assured that I'll be back next week in full force. Until then, I leave the Red Sox in your capable hands. Try not to let Manny near the Icy Hot and remember to put Jonathan Papelbon and Gabe Kapler in their bubble-wrapped boxes after use. Until next week, I leave you with this: Losing a game is one thing, but losing in embarrassing fashion and blowing out your bullpen while you're at it is another thing altogether. I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning.