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

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Welcome to the RSN, bitch!"

That foot up there belongs to none other than Red Sox manager Terry Francona. He's standing on a rookie. Fantastic. So far as motivational tactics go, I suppose it's slightly better than coughing up blood. But he's probably saving that for the inevitable post All-Star break slump.

Man, I love Tito. I've said it before and I'll say it again. That man has the exact right blend of baseball know-how, intuition, a thick skin, self-deprecating sense of humor, and New England ready snark to make it in this town. He seems to anticipate the barbs and second guesses and head them off at the pass. He was quoted as saying the first day of Spring Training was a good one because, "no one cursed me out." Now that's a manager I can get behind. Of course, this all means nothing when I start screaming at him not to put Mike "Inherited runners don't count on MY ERA" Timlin in with men on first and third. But that aneurysm is still a couple months away.

Anyway, Marianne and I were at the laundromat last night and I was picking through a two day old copy of the Globe and snarking on everything (because it's what I do, people), and in and amongst the Defcon 5 coverage of Tom Brady's baby-making abilities ("Tom Brady Has Sex! World Ends!"), I realized that Curt Schilling is back to his old tricks. He spoke in Monday's Globe:

"I think the kid is phenomenally talented," Schilling said. "I think he's an ace in the making, stuff-wise. Makeup-wise he's polished, he's very composed. He's a mature 26-year-old kid.

"I guarantee he's expecting to win 25 games and win a Cy [Young] and win a World Series, because that's what great pitchers do. Everybody talks about him winning 15 or 16. That won't be a good year for him. He won't look at that as a good year."

I love that Schilling seems to speak only in hyperbole. Additionally, the Globe reports that Varitek is attempting to keep a lid on the Matsusaka Mania:

Varitek wasn't quite as provocative, as usual, though it does seem as if the catcher already has begun influencing Matsuzaka, even considering the brevity of their encounter. Or, perhaps, the Japanese pitcher has just taken the one piece of advice given by Josh Beckett: "Trust 'Tek."

I like to picture Beckett with bloodshot eyes and working on the tail end of a three day Jagermeister bender, raising his head slightly from the leather couch in the clubhouse as Matsuzaka passes. He grabs the new pitcher's arm and speaks hoarsely from behind Oakley wraparound shades. "Dude," he says, "Dude, I don't care what they tell you. Don't shake off 'Tek." This wisdom duly dispensed, he collapses back onto the couch and turns up the volume of his iPod, the dulcet sounds of the Dave Matthews Band's bootlegged Red Rocks concert filling the air.

Come on, it totally happened exactly like that and both you and I know it.

And that, dear friends, is why I love this team.

Trouble in Paradise

Bad times for the Huggy Bunch.

Dear Alex,


""You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week, and now you don't sleep over. "

Dude, we would have SO MUCH LESS material if you'd just keep your mouth shut. Honestly. Just when I think things have been a little slow in the "making fun of A-Rod" department, you go and do something like this. It's not even a challenge anymore.

Nevertheless, please don't let that stop you from making these statements to the press. We find them positively delightful.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Keeping Up with the Crazy

Among the things I apparently missed:
  • Tom Brady is going to be a daddy. (Thanks to the four bazillion people who sent me text/voice/MySpace messages to that effect.) I really don't think I could have stopped it had I been here, but I'm glad y'all were thinking of me. Also, now I can pretend that Brady didn't play in the Pro Bowl because he was busy picking out a crib. Hee. As for how I feel about it? It's his life. I think he'll be a great dad. And honestly, did we think he was dating a hot Hollywood actress for several years and not engaging in the sexxing? Yeah, I didn't think so. I'm just glad he's not hurt. And dudes, he's Tom Brady, it'll be fine. That child will be seriously beautiful and is likely already fielding scholarship offers.
  • Matsuzaka is apparently our $100 million caddy as he's evidently taken to carrying Varitek's stuff. Fantastic.
  • The NBA All-Star team was at the gate next to me during my connection in Vegas because of the All-Star Game this past weekend. The Southwest dude with the microphone told us we could all go over and meet them if we were so inclined. Not exactly a mad dash. Still, I need a press pass. Not necessarily because of random, roving basketball players but because Slash was totally on my flight from Vegas to Burbank and THAT is a dude I have some questions for.
  • Norv Turner is the new Chargers coach. Um...okay. I...wow so...yeah.
So...did I miss anything? A lot happens when I'm driving three blocks, valet parking everywhere and allowing my college roommate to crush the life out of my hand while she gets her first tattoo. Los Angeles is...interesting. But I can say without a doubt that I am unequivocally an East Coast kind of girl. It's just much more my speed. Oh, and I think it's worth noting that I've never had a cup of coffee thrown at my car for some imagined parking injustice by an angry Yankee fan in Boston, but I have in L.A. Take that for what it's worth.

So, in the immortal words of the Standells, "Boston, you're my home."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Welcome to the Fish Bowl

(photo from Boston.com)

Hey, look! It's a shiny, new pitcher! Yay! He is undoubtedly wondering what the HELL he's gotten himself into.

Just as Mother Nature dumps the first real snow on Boston this winter (OH MY GOD! STORM OF THE CENTURY! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!), pitchers and catchers are beginning to report in earnest and the official start of Spring Training is close enough to taste it.

And I'm saying "adios" to the slush and sleet for a few days and heading to Los Angeles to visit my old college roommate. Never been to L.A. before. I remain dubious, but ever-hopeful that I might run into say, David Boreanaz in his natural habitat (which is clearly a bathtub), or that George Clooney might need a jump on the freeway or something. No, that sounds dirty. Heh. Well...

Anyway, I trust you'll all take care of the Boston sports scene while I'm gone. For my part, I'll be holding it down as I attend the annual President's Day Party in L.A. dressed as "Red Sox Nation." Hey, you have to come as either a president or state. I think that qualifies.

Now, who wants to be in charge of the phone tree so I can be alerted to Tom Brady's whereabouts should he decide to stop by my apartment and wish me a Happy belated Valentine's Day?

Take care, kids. See you next week.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spring Fever Grips Hub!

A series of emails between coworkers.

David: It's never too early.

Kristen: I know! I'm stoked! And those pictures of Lester are great for several reasons.

D: Aside from the fact that he's healthy, which is just fantastic news, I'm just remembering now this weird bit of conversation from this time last year that went something like:

"We've got an awful lot of pitchers."
"Think they'll trade away someone?"
"They should. We'll be fine."

Lesson learned. Lesson definitely, absolutely learned.

K: Let’s hope Mr. Epstein has learned this lesson as well. I will not hesitate to call him and give him what for.

D: Seriously. But don't worry. I think Terry Francona would punch him in the stomach if he tried to trade a starter or potential starter.

K: And Tito routinely coughs up blood. That’s not someone you want to mess with.

D: Typical movie fight sequence:
"This one's for all those press conferences I had to sit through, answering the same goddamn questions!"
"This one's for having to talk to Wily Mo every day about why he can't get enough at-bats!"
"This one's for having to read about Arroyo's success in the NL!"
"This one's for having to read about the NL rookie of the year!"
"This one's for Jason Johnson!"
"This one's for Jason Johnson!"
"This one's for Jason Johnson!"
"This one's for Jason Johnson!"
"This one's for Jason Johnson!"
"This one's for Jason Johnson!"

K: While Manny just sits there, munching popcorn and playing with his Tonka trucks.

D: Eventually leaning over to whisper, giggling, "Who's the angry bald guy?"

K: “I bet he need some applesauce.”


A series of emails between Annette and myself:

Me: You are not at the truck? I thought you would be there.

Annette: No, not at the truck. I've never actually understood the point of going and watching the truck leave. It's just a truck. Filled with equipment and sunflower seeds. Now, if like the players were there or there was a raffle for Opening Day tickets or some shit, I'd TOTALLY be there.

Me: Jason Varitek, hitchin' a ride on the truck. Hee.

Annette: Exactly. That would be awesome and worth standing in the cold for. A bunch of boxes, not so much.

Me: I'll bet Tek has considered that. Since it'd be economical and all.

Annette: He would do it if he lived in MA. But they winter in Georgia, so he just walks to spring training. Helps get those legs in shape.

Me: With 10 gallon buckets of sunflower seeds in each hand.

Annette: He does squats at stop signs.

Me: Obviously.


Happy Truck Day, y'all. It's finally here. Here's hoping they make Theo carry his own stuff again, just to keep him grounded.

I look forward to endless stories from Fort Myers about whatever Manny has chosen to do to his hair over the winter, Schilling's presentation to Matsuzaka of an Everquest sweatband, and reports from City of Palms Park security about a man, identifying himself as "Matt Clement" trying to break into the locker room and claiming to still be employed by the Red Sox.

Happy Spring!

Friday, February 09, 2007

And Lo! The Stench Came Down

(I sincerely hope these pants are the result of a lost bet)

The thing is, from nine rows back, you kind of can smell them a little bit. And that ain't never a good thing. Now, the reason I was nine rows back at last night's Bruins' game to begin with is because Deb is awesome and she had won tickets and didn't want to go and, I don't know if you've heard, but I've got a bit of a reputation as a rabid sports fan. So the tickets became mine. Amy and I headed to the GardenFleetArenaBowlWhatever after work and took our $85 seats. Yup. $85. "Come for the overpriced Molson, stay for the Stench of Defeat!"

But still, a free hockey game is a free hockey game and I, despite all my better judgment, love hockey. Especially with beer. Especially with Canadian beer. After all, I'm French-Canadian, attending a hockey game without sucking down a few watered-down Molsons is surely enough to get me kicked out of the family.

And nothing amps up the experience quite like being seated in front of Massachusetts' pride and joy. You know what I mean. Like Fitzy there, over on my sidebar. Like my dear friend Butchie and his friends, the sheet metal workers of Local something or other. You know those guys. I LOVE those guys. So when Alberts absolutely leveled a Hurricanes player into the boards directly in front of us and some bleached blond princess screamed like A-Rod when Walgreen's is out of his Plum Passion lipstick, the dude behind me called out, "First game, honey? Don't worry, that'll happen." And when the 'Canes cleared the zone and the puck barely lifted over Chara's head, the same dude yelled out, "Chara! You're fuckin' seven feet tall! Reach for the fuckin' thing!" Point, indeed. Because it's been said before but it's worth saying again, Chara is a fucking PLANET.

Not that having Captain Planet on their side helped the Bruins remember that THE SECOND PERIOD ALSO COUNTS AND GOD WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE? The nine-year-old boy behind me wearing the Bruins foam mask and sporting those foam fingers shaped like claws was BEGGING them to put in Hannu after Thomas let in three goals in the span of about two minutes. I swear, it was like looking into the future and seeing my own progeny, harassing professional athletes. Sometimes, I swear, they all need a severe talking to. Which is obviously why hockey players smell so bad. I'd never be able to get close enough to give them the tongue lashing they so richly deserve.

But, like I said, free hockey is free hockey. And it was certainly something to do as we count down the seemingly interminable days before pitchers and catchers report.

Oh, and one more thing because it must be said. Lenny Clarke was in attendance last night and I've become quite the "Rescue Me" fan of late so I was stoked. And while he managed to control himself and didn't start ranting about the lack of Jewish hockey players (making Kevin Youkilis very proud, indeed), it was, quite honestly, rather hard to pay attention to what he was saying considering that he seemed to be wearing the large, and not quite dead pelt of a wild animal.

I called Marianne immediately. "I just need you to know," I said, "that Lenny Clarke is here. And he appears to be wearing Chewbacca."

"OutSTANDING," she said.

Outstanding, indeed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Futility, Thy Name is Celtics

Me: I need something sports-related to write about right now. Nothing is happening and I'm not talking about the Victory That Shall Not Be Named.

Amy: You could write about how if any other team (read: Pats or Sox) had a 16-game losing streak there would be murder and mayhem in the streets, but the Celtics' suckfest remains largely a matter of joviality.

Me: Because honestly, I didn't even know it was happening. Does that make me a bad sports fan? I mean, partially, I am still in that self-imposed seclusion chamber without sports news, so I wouldn't really hear about that but damn, that's a new and impressive level of suckage.

Amy: See? That's something to write about. You can have a debate with yourself. You can be a master debater.

So...yeah. The Celtics. Very bad, it seems. Impressively bad, even. The news of this current 16-game losing streak reminds me of when Marianne talks about the 1988 Orioles who lost the first 21 games of their season, setting a franchise record. "Because," she says, "when you're eight-years-old, 21 games is a fucking eternity. I honestly thought they would never win again." I wonder if there are any Celtics fans that feel like that right now.

I'm not gonna lie and pretend like I follow the Celtics. I don't. But when someone brings to your attention that they haven't won in sixteen games, well, that's something of which to take notice. But Amy's right, the fact that people have turned it into a punchline rather than a reason for lining up along the Tobin says something about the sports culture in this town. I mean, the wounds from the Pats' playoff loss to the Colts three weeks ago are still fresh and some of us still don't want to talk about it. (Read: La la la, I can't hear you!) And even after everything that happened in 2004, I don't know any Red Sox fans who are going to be inviting Aaron Boone to dinner anytime soon. But here are the Celtics, in the midst of this great sports city, absolutely setting new records for futility and ineptitude and people...don't care? Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe people care. But I just don't know any of these people. The one diehard Celtics fan I know hasn't so much as mentioned the losing streak to me.

The way the whole thing is being treated reminds me of this book I read. "Squeeze Play" is a work of fiction told from the perspective of a female baseball beat writer. Among the usual locker room politics, etc., there's also a subplot about how the team she's covering is on pace to lose a record number of games. After much agonizing, it finally becomes a point of pride for the team. Not that I think the Celtics are currently shooting for the record books here, but how long before the novelty becomes the goal?

I guess it speaks to the changing sports consciousness of this town as well. I used to follow pro basketball. But I stopped pretty much the second the Celts hung Bird's #33 from the rafters. Never really looked back. It's partially because the year that Bird retired is the same year I fell head over heels in love with Mo Vaughn. And like so many rooting interests for a sports fan, nothing could be done.

But this town doesn't seem like a basketball town to me anymore. It certainly used to be but times change. I wonder if the Celtics' current state is a response to that, or a reason for it. What do you think?

Monday, February 05, 2007

This is what it sounds like when doves cry

Dude, did you catch that Prince concert last night? That dude is unreal. Any 5 foot 2 inch munchkin who can strut around a soaking wet stage shaped to look like a symbol he created for himself in 4-inch platform heels, play a guitar like it owes him money, and sport an Aunt Jemima 'do-rag and waterproof eyeliner can ONLY be described as badass. I mean really, Prince is the man. I'd watch that guy all night.

Far as I'm concerned, give that dude the MVP. You know, assuming they'd had a Super Bowl this year. Two bad, that's two consecutive years without a Super Bowl. It used to be so much fun too.

Now, to avoid all forms of sports media until pitchers and catchers report to spring training...

In lieu of that, please acquaint yourself with a gentleman known as Fitzy. He was brought to my attention by Amy and I don't know him personally yet, but that clearly needs to happen if I am to continue leading a full life. This, people, is why I love Boston.

Go Sox!

ETA: Fitzy at Townie News has been added to my sidebar in the links list. You'd really be doing yourself a disservice not to check it out, um, always.