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

Friday, December 29, 2006

The More Things Change...

In an idea I stole from Beth, I'm recapping this year in sports by reprinting the first line of every month's final post. (I think she did every month's first post but I'm urbanizing it yo.) Sometimes it's more than one line because sometimes, I just don't make no damn sense. But you already knew that.

January: Don't look now, but the Bruins have won five of seven and seven of eleven.

February: 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.

: Tonight at 8:30 PM on NESN, "Remdawg Unleashed." Jerry Remy outtakes. I...is there really anything else that needs to be said?

April: So we decided to try something new last night. Rather than the usual, "Remember how we said we weren't going to be sucking here, boys? Remember that? You must have heard wrong because what you appear to being doing is the exact opposite of that and SUCKING MIGHTILY!" that we usually throw at the Red Sox when faced with mediocrity, Marianne suggested that perhaps they just needed some positive reinforcement.


June: Since I became one of the approximately twelve billion people to use the Spinal Tap
reference in yesterday's post title, I thought I'd go for the easy joke again and see if I can hit the jackpot twice. Anyway, what more is there to say about this team? They're pretty freakin' good, eh? It's strange that on this extended winning streak, things seem to be going the Sox way. We're getting the good bounces, getting the calls and, as in the case of Coco accidentally revealing his alternate identity as Spiderman last night, making the plays. I know someone who would not have made that same play and would still have managed to concuss himself on the warning track whereas Coco just popped right back up like a Whack-O-Mole...

July: 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.

August: Where you're looking at tonight's starting pitcher (Julian Tavarez). I figure, at this point, the least we can hope for is that he'll bite someone for entertainment's purposes.

September: That's right kids, it's nearly hockey season. I can't be the only one who's excited, can I? Even if your excitement is based solely on the fact that the Bruins couldn't POSSIBLY suck more than they did last season, well, that's something, ain't it?

October: I'm sorry, I know people are getting tired of the Brady crushing and man-crushing. I know fans of other teams are rolling their eyes. I'm sure you're sick of it. (Unless you're a Colts fan, in which case, SHUT IT). But damn, dudes, last night, Tom Brady was better than you. And better than me. And better than everyone. That was a fun football game.

November: In honor of yesterday's hard fought win over the Bears, it's time for another installment of "Things You Can Tell About Tom Brady Just By Looking At Him."

December: In case you were wondering, I've JUST NOW started breathing normally after Tom Brady's BRUSH WITH DEATH on Sunday.

Happy New Year, everyone. Let's hope for more madness in the future.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


(photo from Boston.com)

In case you were wondering, I've JUST NOW started breathing normally after Tom Brady's BRUSH WITH DEATH on Sunday.

Thomas, you cannot win football games if you're dead. And as long as you continue laboring under the misapprehension that you're speedy, you've got a greater shot at dying when speared by an opposing player's helmet.

I'm sure Matt Cassel is a lovely boy. Doesn't complain. Loves his momma. Only crosses in the crosswalk and all that. But I do not EVER want to see him leading my football team unless it's in a game in which said football team is already leading by thirty. Got it? Good.

So now, playoffs. Bring it.

Everyone have a lovely Chrismakuh?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Good Tidings and Joy

Why don't I have these? That seems like a gross oversight.

Okay, kids, I'm off to New Hampshire and parts North until Tuesday. Since Santa has already seen fit to bring us a brand new Matsuzaka, I guess I won't ask for much more from the Sox right now. (Does anyone else think "Tamogochi" when someone says "Matsuzaka?" Like one of those little Japanese virtual pet toys that you had to "feed" and "clothe" to keep alive? And if they "died" it indicated that you were a bad parent? They cost like $17.99 initially but eventually they started giving them away in Happy Meals? No? Just me? I'm just saying, if I start referring to our shiny, new pitcher as "Tamogochi," you'll know why.)


If Santa is feeling incredibly generous and wants to bring us some good tidings in the form of a Patriots win over Jacksonville, well, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Gift reindeer? I know Tedy Bruschi wants a win, in addition to a Segway scooter, a foot of snow on Christmas morning and a limited edition Optimus Prime action figure. Kinda makes you love Tedy Bruschi that much more doesn't it?

Oh, and thanks to all of you who sent wishes for The Rick's speedy recovery. He's doing fine and, as he says, will soon be pouring them from both sides of the plate. He's not taking any of the painkillers which, if you ask me, is a real loss since my dad on painkillers needs to be filmed 24-7 and turned into a reality show immediately.

I'm in and out this week so unless something momumental happens, I won't be around much until next week. But I wish a Happy Holiday (whichever one you care to choose from the smorgasbord available), to all of you and your families. Thanks for reading, you guys make it worth it. I'm off to look up synonyms for "disrespect" and write a strongly worded letter to the NFL regarding Tom Brady's Pro Bowl snub. See y'all next year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sugar High

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Annette and I let the Christmas sugar rush go to our heads as we discuss how The Rick's shoulder surgery will affect the 2007 season.

Me: My dad's having shoulder surgery right now.

Annette: What the fuck for?

Me: Something to do with impingement or something and a possible rotator cuff injury. Which likely means he won't be able to jump to the starting rotation until midway through the 2007 season at the earliest.

Annette: Well, then we're fucked. Completely. Or at least my fantasy team is. I was really counting on The Rick to make a difference for me this year. Especially in the important categories like "Do Wah Ditty" sing-a-longs. That category is worth so many points and he routinely cleans up. Ugh.

Me: I think The Rick will still be available to pinch hit in sing-a-longs in the later innings.

Annette: I don't question his heart, I just worry about roster availibility and stuff. I mean, there are rules to the DL. At least it's still the offseason. Winterfest is still a good bit away.

Me: I'll bet we could hide him on the roster somewhere. Just use him as a bench player. Or keep him in the minors and just bring him up when rosters expand. Or he'll make an excellent bench coach.

The Rick is not at that stage of his career. His vocals are still major league ready. And the way he emotes when he performs...unparalleled. Perhaps in a few years, I could see him as a bench coach. But not yet. The injury doesn't seem career threatening to me at least.

Me: I trust he'll power through and be back to doing mic tosses and power slides in no time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Day in the Life

New InSite column out. Get inside Laurence Maroney's head and learn all about Tom Brady's questionable musical tastes, Vrabel's hair maintenance campaign and Belichick's mind melding techniques. But the best part is the asterisk noting that "Laurence Maroney did not contribute to this article." Imaginary Football World blows up, yo.

Marianne contributed as well.

Pick it up on the street and give it a read.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar.

Okay, full disclosure. I slept through yesterday's Patriots' game. It's not my fault! I'd just gotten off a plane after a weekend of 48 hours of rock star insanity with only about 90 minutes of sleep (no lie). I just passed out and woke up to the sounds of Belichick's press conference, talking about "good execution" but how the team could "always do better." Took me a minute to realize they'd won.

Anyway, on Thursday, I did manage to catch the Bruins' game while at my brother's house and I have to say, aside from the actual game where the Bruins laid the smack down on the Devils, the best part of the game was undoubtedly the introduction of Matsuzaka at the TD BankNorth GardenThingie. Decked out in a #18 Bruins jersey, Matsuzaka trotted out on the carpet and dropped the ceremonial first puck. Then he and 6'9" Bruins' captain Zdeno Chara stared at each other like two totally different species, wondering what to make of each other. They sniffed and stared and likely would have circled each other warily had the game not started.

I do have to wonder if poor Matsuzaka, fresh off an airplane where he was evidently kidnapped by Theo and co. was a tad bit confused when he showed up at the Garden and was given a hockey jersey to wear. "Um," I can imagine him saying to his translator, "This is not the sport I play." And then attempting to throw a gyro-puck. On second though, perhaps the Bruins could use him.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"I'm big in Japan." - Theo Epstein

(photo from Boston.com)

Okay, I totally made that quote up. Except that I'm pretty sure it happened. Either way, Theo is HAMMERED on Sake bombs right now. Doing karaoke on the plane to "Turning Japanese" and calling John Henry a pussy for drinking un-spiked green tea. At one point, over Tokyo, Theo demanded that everyone on board refer to him as "Theo-zilla" for the duration of the flight and Tom Werner is breathing into a paper bag between gulps of, "That's a lot of money. That's an awful lot of money."

Theo has also drunk-dialed Brian Cashman at least once and said, "You thought I had balls of steel when I traded Nomar. But now I've landed the DICE-Man!"

Curt Schilling, who has been learning Japanese and Jason Varitek, who feels that the universal language of baseball will suffice, greeted the plane at Hanscom Air Force Base in traditional samurai garb. Schilling then read a haiku he had composed for the occasion.

We welcome you to Boston
Now throw all the strikes

So basically what we're saying is that Marianne and I need to stop drinking so much on weeknights.

Additionally, Mirabelli is back. And while that might make my brother happy, "Sweet, at least they're locking up all the essential players," he said, I figure it's a case of the evil you know vs. the evil you don't know. Or do we all want to re-live the Josh Bard Experiment?

And Gabe Kapler, aka The Hebrew Hammer, has opted for retirement instead of free agency. Kapler will remain with the organization as the manager of the Sox' Single A affiliate Greenville Drive in the South Atlantic League. Personally, I'm stoked that Kapler will still be in the Sox organization and I think he'll make a terrific manager. He's always been the kind of player that was never the best at his position, but as such, has always worked hard and has always understood the importance of learning proper technique and work ethic. Plus, it's kind of flattering that he wants to be a part of the organization enough to take the managing job. Also, I think he's a good person to have around to keep an eye on Julio Lugo. Just 'cause.

So apparently the Jewish Santa Claus, in the person of Theo Epstein (aided by John Henry's money) has brought us a Japanese ace for Christmas. And he appears to have done it on his terms. Now, as I've been saying, I view prospects and politicians in the same way. It's exciting and we're promised a whole hell of a lot, but you're gonna need to show me something before I throw you a parade. So, Matsuzaka (I refuse to call him "Dice-K" or "D-Mat"), welcome to Boston. Now let's see what you can do.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bring a Player to Work Day

That's "Mr. Brown" to you.

Me: Seriously, no one else would have been able to rock that polo shirt and dad jeans.

KCee: Of course not. He could probably pull off pleated pants. JEANS even.

Me: He's
Troy Brown. Who's gonna tell him no? Certainly not me. Marianne contends that he was mystified by the sheer amount of white people in the place, it being a hockey game and all.

KCee: She might be right. Then again, if he ever came to our offices, he'd feel pretty much the same way.

Me: He can come sit in my cube. There are so many pictures of his teammates around here that it'd be like he was at practice.

KCee: My office would be like his office, because, you know, his picture is on the door n' shit.

Me: Obviously, he needs to come visit. It’s a good thing he wasn’t closer last night, I never would have stopped hugging him. Oh, and they had one of those things where you could text a message to a certain number and they’d put it on the scoreboard between periods. After they showed him, nearly every message said, “We love Troy Brown!”

KCee: I think you may be on to something there- I mean- hell- kids can take football players to school. Why can’t we bring them to work?

Me: I know! It’d be like when Kendra brings the boys in. Except maybe
Troy wouldn’t be so amused by trains. But then again, maybe he would.

KCee: OhmygodthatwoudlbeAWESOME.

Me: He’d be all spinning around in circles in the chair.
Troy, what are you doing?”
“Ah, I see.”

KCee: Imagine the patterns and routes he could run around the cubicles! Through the kitchens! Then, after spinning, he’d drink tons of soda and watch it all come out his nose.

Me: This. Must. Happen.

KCee: Get on that. You know people. Don’t you?

Me: Um, if by “know people” you mean, “can stake out the entrances at the TD Banknorth whateverthehell” and wait for him to go in…sure.

KCee: I mean the newspaper people- you are published. Help a sister out and make some calls.

Me: I have absolutely no problem abusing my position for this kind of thing.

KCee: Good. Bring Troy Brown to Work Day will be a smash hit.

Me: Absolutely.

Nothing to See Here

If you could just look directly into the light...

Look, how else are we going to eradicate the memory of games like that? And why does it seem like we always have one of those games against Miami which we all agree to pretend never happened? Like Rocky V.

I'd like to start a petition that yesterday, December 10, 2006 be stricken from the record books and that all events occuring on this day never be reffered to again. I'm guessing Broncos, Jets, Cowboys and Colts fans would agree with me. Of course, if the entirety of yesterday never happened then the Colts didn't get their asses handed to them but good by Jacksonville and that was actually kind of fun. So perhaps we can make an exception for that.

As for the rest of it...I have no idea what you're talking about. I spent the day baking cookies and watching Christmas specials. No football here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Olde Time Hockey

Would you wanna mess with this dude?

Marianne and I attended the Bruins’ game last night. Now, remember how last year, everyone was all excited for hockey to be back and they went to every game and getting a ticket was actually quite hard considering they were the Bruins and really upping the ante on this whole “sucking” thing? Yeah, well, people appear to be over it. Lots of empty seats last night. And the biggest cheer of the night was undoubtedly for Troy Brown who was shown on the scoreboard between periods. I’m sure he was there in some sort of official spokesman for TD Banknorth capacity but I like to believe that he was ready to strap on a pair of skates and play defense if the need arose. At this point, would anyone really be surprised? I sent a text message to Amy, “TROY BROWN IS HERE!” I said. She wrote back, “Is he playing?” “No,” I said, but he is wearing a lemon-yellow polo shirt and dad jeans.” And Troy Brown is likely the only person who can make that look badass.

I was kind of hoping they’d show Ray Bourque and Jason Varitek too, if they were there, considering their incredibly wooden and stilted ads for TD Banknorth on WEEI are the height of comedy, (and also because I love them), but it was not to be. Probably just as well. I think the actual Bruins on the ice would have gotten annoyed.

Those actual Bruins actually took it upon themselves to play all three periods too. Which is quite something since they’re known for stopping after two. In fact, they scored all three of their goals in the third period, besting the Maple Leafs (why does no one else get annoyed at the incorrect pluralization of “leaf?”), 3-1. Unfortunately, Andrew Raycroft wasn’t in goal for the LEAVES, so we didn’t get to harass him. But Hal Gill did play. And anytime that dude stepped on the ice, he heard it. Boy, did he hear it.

The Bruins’ own defense, by the way, is freakin’ huge. Everyone knows that Zdeno Chara is a beast but Andrew Alberts and Milan Jurcina, both at 6’4” (6’7” with skates), are not exactly small dudes. And this is evident from the nosebleed seats. What’s also evident? Chara is not human. Marianne and I had the following conversation:

Marianne: Chara is gigantic. Even from up here.

Me: And if you run into him, he will break you into forty seven million pieces. And he will not feel remorse. That is one remorseless bastard.

Marianne: He eats spare car parts for breakfast.

Me: And used skate blades.

Marianne: His parents were Andre the Giant and a Clydesdale. You guess which one was the mom.

Me: And if you guess wrong, he gets to eat you. Though, let's face it, he's probably going to anyway.

Marianne: Probably.

Me: I have come to love Chara. Too bad he is a robot made of scrap metal and motor oil and doesn't know what love is.

Marianne: Good, we don’t want him going soft on us.

And then we discussed goalie Tim Thomas, who apparently likes to engage in bear hunting for recreation. (Again, not making that up.)

Me: Oh, and Tim Thomas is from Flint, Michigan. You know, the town with the guns and shit that Michael Moore profiles in “Bowling for Columbine.”

Marianne: Oh, Jesus. Of fucking course he is. If he weren’t in the NHL, he'd be running a meth lab out of his basement, like his brother, Jim. Shit, maybe he is anyway.

When you spend most of the game talking about Chara’s cravings for metal shavings and human blood and how Tim Thomas reconciles playing for the Bruins and yet killing bears (“He’s not killing them, he’s releasing their spirit, which he then captures and it becomes a part of him so he can be more bear-like.”), it was probably a good game.

Also, Troy Brown was there. And how can you beat that?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Shameless Self-Promotion

(Heh. Riiiight.)

'Sup, kids? Busy day today. Going to the Bruins' game tonight (shhhh, let's not talk about them, lest they think anyone is paying attention and start screwing up).

If you're bored, you can check out my monthly sportswriting gig for InSite Magazine.

This is last month's column. This month's should hit, um, street corners soon. Be sure to pick up a copy if you see it out and about. It's free, you cheap bastards.

Amy from Pasquinade is in there too. Give it a read, kids. It's good times.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Boy Wonder

Let's get one thing clear. Well, two things, actually. I do not like J.D. Drew. I like Julio Lugo even less. But I'd rather focus on the positive this morning (I don't know, early morning gym endorphins or some damn thing. I'm sure it'll wear off soon enough), and give a cyber hug and a hearty pat on the back to Jon Lester whom doctors have declared cancer free. I think, in spite of all the offseason moves that may or may not happen, when pitchers and catchers report to spring training at the end of February, the sight of Jon Lester playing catch will be among the most welcome.

I try not to get too smurfy with my baseball "analysis" because, hey, you can read Bob Costas-type human interest stories anywhere, but occasionally, something sticks and I have to give voice to my feelings on the matter. Lester's situation is one such circumstance.

You may have thought that I'd been avoiding the Red Sox lately. That wasn't entirely true. But I learned a few years ago that reading every tidbit of information or rumor on the winter meetings and free agent signings will do nothing but cause me to lose sleep. So I told myself two things: 1) I wasn't going to get all bent out of shape at the possibility of something happening (or not happening). I would wait until it happened, (or didn't) to react. And 2) Theo is smarter than me. I know, I know. I can't believe I said it either. Especially considering all the hours I spend pontificating about how sometimes I think this team would be run more capably by a drunk monkey. (This may well be one of those times. We'll see.)

But today seems like the day when I would address the first thing, and yet, I don't really want to. Because Lester's news is more important. It's so trite and tiresome but when you, as a sports fan, get the news that your team has landed a shortstop and an outfielder for a boatload of money and your 22-year-old starter has beaten cancer, you realize that, at the end of the day, it's just baseball. The second thing matters. The first is just baseball. Which is not to say that tomorrow, I won't make fun of Drew's Nascar-stache and invent a Lugo Whack-O-Mole game, but today, I'm just thrilled for Lester.

As are, I'm sure, his teammates. You know what I'm looking forward to most right now? Not the impact of the new guys or watching Alex Gonzalez hit .300 and play magical defense in Cincinatti. Not Manny's newest hairstyle or Manny Delcarmen on applesauce duty. And not Tek swinging and missing at the high, fast one (again). What I'm most looking forward to are the shots of Lester in the dugout, surrounded by his teammates. I want to see him spitting seeds with Mike Timlin (who, as Marianne says, is so proud of Lester for kicking that cancer square in the balls like he told him). I want to see him enveloped in a giant bear hug from David Ortiz. I want to see Manny ruffling his hair and calling him "Bubble Gum Head." (It's Manny, who the hell knows why?) And I want to see Lester's fist pump again. I want to see him playing baseball.

Okay, smurf over. Return to regular snark tomorrow and theories on what would happen if someone locked Julio Lugo in a steel cage with Gape Kapler.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Winning Ugly

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Obi Wan Belichick discusses a call.

"Sometimes winning ugly is better than losing ugly." - Tom Brady after today's game.

And that, Thomas, was
ugly. It was actually the first game this season that prompted me to strip off my jersey in disgust, grab my gym bag and storm out of the house, spouting profanities and promises to kill them all with my teeth if they didn't get their shit together. Of course, you and I both know that it was an empty threat since I spent the entire T ride checking the score on my phone. I half expected the people at Google alerts to send me a message all, "Bitch, please, we will text your ass when there's something new to tell you. Simmer down."

So what I'm saying is, that was entirely too close for comfort.

I mean, it's the Lions. You don't expect to have to scratch and claw out a win against the Lions. But evidently, the Patriots thought that it was fun and good times that they were able to get a win against the Bears last week despite committing five turnovers and they wanted to walk on the wild side and TRY THAT AGAIN. And now that it's worked, well shit, what's in store for next week? I'm almost afraid to ask.

Possibly they'll just run backwards down the field and run all plays in reverse. You know, just for shits and giggles. Of course, then they'll tell us, "We've been working on the ultra super secret triple reverse in practice all week, because you know, that's a good team we're facing. I don't care what their record is." Because that is how the Patriots talk. They speak a lot and don't say a word and they play everything close to the vest. Like injuries, for instance. Prior to the game, Amy and I had the following discussion:

Me: Wait, when did we get Ken Walter back? What happened to Josh Miller?

Amy: Josh Miller is on IR with a shoulder injury.

Me: How does a punter injure his shoulder badly enough to warrant an IR listing? Bowling with the offensive line?

Amy: Two words: Blow. Drying.

Me: There is no way you're wrong. I guess Vrabel didn't share his fancy helmet blow dryer patent.

These Patriots just don't tell you a damn thing. It wasn't until the third quarter when Marianne was moving all sharp objects out of my reach that I realized that Maroney hadn't been in the game since the first quarter. At which point, I exploded in a string of profanities, as you might imagine. Official word is that he was out because he "got the wind knocked out of him." Must've been a gale force wind. Although the commentators were speculating that he'd taken a helmet-to-helmet hit. Which wasn't called because, you know, it wasn't AGAINST the Patriots. Therefore, no penalty.

/is convinced the NFL hates the Patriots

On the plus side, Reche Caldwell is performing well. So much so that I have
finally stopped referring to him as "NotGivens."

And Mike Vrabel appears to be okay after being knocked about a bit at the end of the game. At which point, I am confident that the following conversation took place. (Picture from Boston.com):

Vrabel: Don't worry, I'm fine. I just couldn't find my gel spritzer.

Bruschi: Yeah, you're good. No worries. Here, use my spare.

Vrabel: Thanks, dude, I needed that.

Bruschi: Sure thing, Vrabes. Whatever I can do to help. Lemme fluff that for you a bit in the back there.

Vrabel: Thanks, man, I hate when it gets flat.

I feel 93% sure that this conversation happened exactly like that.