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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shea Stadium is Not a Shit Hole

(Photo by Greta)

For the record, Shea Stadium is not a shit hole. In fact, I would venture a guess that the things that many people dislike about Shea are, in fact, the things that make it awesome. For example:

Shea is in Queens. You guys? Queens is awesome. Seriously. Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason but I realized that it’s probably the only ballpark I’ve ever been to that wasn’t completely overrun with white people. All the announcements were in Spanish and English. Jose Reyes gave us Spanish lessons on the Jumbotron between innings and told us how to properly pronounce the lyrics to “La Bamba.” “Yo no so marinero. Soy capitan.” (I am not the sailor, I am the captain). Priceless information, that.

People also say that Mets fans are rude. Dudes, these people live in the same city as Yankee fans. They wouldn’t be out of line to be a whole lot ruder, if you ask me. Not once did I witness a single Mets fan acting all entitled or pontificating about the True Metsness of any one player. I did see an usher roll his eyes and yell at a woman in a sequined Carlos Betran tank top because she refused to believe that the stadium had an upper deck but she totally had it coming. You know what else I saw? Some jackhole at a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike wearing a shirt with a Yankees logo that said “Got postseasons?” And that right there pretty much encapsulated why I can’t stand the smug sons of bitches. Just because you’ve been to the postseason in the past, you somehow think you’re entitled to it now? And we should respect you because of that? Or something. The logic is flawed. And also stupid. And also Mets fans are so much cooler than Yankees fans which I think was my original point before I got all uppity.

But on the whole, Mets fans are pretty damn cool. No, I don’t remember ’86 or Buckner or Mookie or any of that. And yes, I still cringe when I see the umpteenth repeat of the ole’ through the wickets play at first but you know what? I’m letting it go. Because Jose Reyes wasn’t involved in that game. Paul Lo Duca wasn’t involved in that play. David Wright wasn’t involved in that play. Hell, was David Wright even born yet? (Okay, he was 3-years-old. Jesus, I’m old). Anyway, this current Mets team is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I mean, maybe not so much on the night I was there as they were in the process of losing to the Nationals but still, fun. The stadium is also enormous in that "this could totally be a football stadium if they'd close off that end there" way. But they can't, because that's where they're building Citi Field, the new home of the Mets. I'm sure it'll be lovely and new and shiny and all that, but I hope they don't take away from the Queens-ness of it all. That's what makes Shea, Shea.

And there’s that whole sharing Pedro Martinez thing. Which is totally the name of a book that I’m going to write about a touching coming of age story and the growth of a friendship between a Mets fan and a Sox fan. Right? Because I know that Pedro is theirs now, but he’s not really theirs. I mean, he was ours first. They can use him now so long as they remember where he came from.

And? Paul Lo Duca has “Stayin’ Alive” as his at-bat music and the picture they put on the screen during his at-bats is totally his impression of Blue Steel. It’s amazing. Paul Lo Duca can have drinks on me anytime. I’ll bet that dude has some stories to tell.

I could have done without the SCREAMINGLY LOUD meringue band that entertained the crowd pre-game (it was Meringue night, dontcha know?), as Shea is already the loudest stadium on the planet and the music was honestly painful. Earsplitting, even, and unnecessary. I know that Shea is located next to JFK and planes fly overhead all game but there’s no need to adjust the music volumes for that. I had a serious headache by the time the game started. Beer was needed to make it go away. Beer and hot dogs. But the hot dogs? Were delicious.

Baseball Elsewhere

Wooooo, baseball!

Quick note to let y'all know that I made it back from parts elsewhere safely. Despite the fact that I spent hours screaming at jackasses on the New Jersey Turnpike to STOP BRAKING ALREADY and that I am completely convinced that the loathsome state of Connecticut gets bigger every time I drive through it, we made it home in one piece.

I would like you all to know that Shea Stadium is actually pretty awesome, Jose Reyes will give you Spanish lessons on the Jumbotron, Citizen's Bank Park in Philly is completely delightful and the upper decks provided a much needed breeze, the Pirates are TERRIBLE and Nick Markakis is a litterbug.

Also, I am going to submit my resume to Major League Baseball posthaste because they need a Music Consultant. Because, as Greta and I realized yesterday during hour number nine trillion in freakin' Connecticut, the fact that no current closer is using "The Final Countdown" as their bullpen music is absolutely tragic. I mean, said closer would obviously be transported to the mound in a pimped out bullpen car while shooting sparks from his fingertips. While wearing a cape. A cape! Who doesn't like a cape?

I have the best ideas.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One Run Wonders

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

You guys? Games like this are going to kill me. Didn't I just say, like, yesterday, that we needed a stat for "fucking up but getting yourself out of it before doing irreparable damage to your team?" Didn't I say we should name it after Matsuzaka? Do we all see why?

Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic to have the win. Especially because the version of C.C. Sabathia that happens to be pitching this season is a good one. So getting a win against that dude is a good thing. Plus, I mean, apparently the Yankees will never lose again so we really have no choice. Am I surprised that Mike Lowell had the sole RBI for the team? Not in the slightest. He's Mike Lowell, man. He's in the business of getting hits and RBIs and generally being all around awesome and silver foxish.

You hear that, Theo? I sincerely hope you're paying attention here, dude. You so much as think of trading Lowell and I will find you. And I will make you watch as I burn all your Pearl Jam bootlegs. And don't be thinking you can hide in brew pubs in Portland, Maine either. I know your tricks. This team needs Mike Lowell. Of that, there is no question.

I hate the trading deadline. I can't even talk about it. So let's...not talk about it.

Let's talk instead about how this weekend, I'll be gallivanting to parts elsewhere as Greta and I tackle a baseball road trip. Friday night we'll be at Shea kidnapping David Wright watching the Mets hopefully take down the Nationals. Saturday finds us, along with Chris, at whatever that park in Philly is called, probably causing some kind of illegal incident and Sunday we'll be attending the Yankees/Orioles game at Camden Yards, after which, Cal Ripken, Jr's Hall of Fame induction will be shown on the scoreboard. Not a dry eye in the house, I imagine. At least among the Orioles fans. And I will personally smack the hell out of any Yankee fan I see being the slightest bit disrespectful. It's Cal's day, you yahoos. Show some goddamn respect.

Allegedly, we'll return on Monday. But that all depends on the restraining order from Nick Markakis traffic.

So what I'm saying is, can you guys hold down the fort for me? Can you keep a lid on all the one-run games? Can you keep things under control and monitor your breathing so no one hyperventilates? And can you please tell me what in the holy hell Wily Mo Pena was doing anywhere near a baseball diamond with a one run lead? Why wasn't he hogtied in the clubhouse? Surely Pedro left some tape around here somewhere.

No, I'm fine. Really, totally cool. Thanks.

/goes quietly insane

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blue Skies

Well that'll certainly do. It wasn't the smoothest performance but come on, you can't really blame the kid for the Grady Sizemore homer as Sizemore is, as Greta is fond of saying, grown in a lab. I mean, he's not human. He's not of this earth. Even the best pitcher is going to give up the occasional long ball to members of the race of baseball playing martians or robotic outfielders with dimples that'll make your mom blush. So, excluding that malfunction, Lester got himself into a couple of jams, but managed to work himself out of them (by striking out the aforementioned Robot Sizemore, no less). And really, that's what I care about.

Don't get me wrong, no-hitters and Josh Beckett taking opposing team's hits as a personal insult akin to calling his mom a whore are fun, but I think the ability to work out of one's own jams is highly underrated. Just as I wish baseball analysts would pay more attention to "Inherited Runners Scored" than traditional ERA for relief pitchers, I think we should start keeping some kind of stat for "Could Have Potentially Turned the Inning Into a Giant Clusterfuck by Walking the Bases Loaded with No Outs or Some Such Nonsense but Instead Sacked Up and Managed to Get Out of it and Avoid a Complete Disaster." I mean, this would be useful. We'd maybe call it the "Matsuzaka Inning Syndrome" or something like that.

And when Lester got out of said jam, was there anything more awesome than his mom in the stands? I totally feel Mrs. Lester. My mom would have reacted the exact same way. Screaming and pumping her fists. (My mom's not exactly demure during sporting events.)

Of course, Tito, in his postgame, talking about how "you get pretty attached to these guys," is really enough to break your heart. He's like everyone's favorite crotchety uncle. We must keep him around in some capacity forever and ever. Maybe when Gabe Kapler eventually takes over the team, (Kapler, Tek, Lowell coaching triumvirate? Yes? No?), Tito can just sit on the bench, spit and occasionally make with a snarky comment. Of course, by then, Tito will likely be just a floating head in a jar of that blue barbershop liquid considering his pact with the Devil re: the World Series win he's paying for with his life. But it's Tito, I'm sure he's accepted that. Besides, the floating Tito head could totally still roll its eyes.

Yeah, I...probably need to start sleeping.

/extricates cat's head from old (retro?) promotional Johnny Damon soda cup from Fenway

So Jon Lester. Two thumbs up. And, because I'd be remiss not to mention it, Mr. Covelli Crisp with the four-hit night. Not only does he play defense but he enjoys hitting the ball as well! Who knew? Apparently, he's just decided to do it all his own self. I expect we've got another week before he intercepts a reliever coming out of the bullpen and mows down the opposing hitters himself. I look forward to it.

Hail the Conquering Hero

(Give 'em hell, Jonny)

Jon Lester returns to the mound tonight. That's maybe the best news all season. 7:05pm. Be there.

The phrase, "triumphant return" has perhaps never been so true.

Now, the Sox are in Cleveland for a series. What're the odds old friend Trot Nixon crosses the lines to lay a manly hug and backslap on his friend and former teammates Lester? Not a dry eye in the house, people.

Go Sox!

Go Jon!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Not In a Listening Mood*

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

What is happening up there? Manny decided to show old buddy and former teammate Jim Thome how things work in Boston so he enlisted the help of the Hug Patrol? Or were they trying to squeeze him so hard that he'd just feel so much love for those goofballs that he wouldn't be able to bring himself to hit a three-run homer? Yeah, interesting plan. Too bad it didn't work. Luckily, it didn't end up mattering but things were touch and go there for a while. Especially after the blown call on the JD Drew home run/not a home run. That reminded me of nothing so much as the home run/not a home run call that went against Gabe Kapler a couple years ago. The umps conferred, erroneously ruled it a double and Kapler, Zen thinker that he is, just stood placidly on second, waiting for the game to resume. But Trot Nixon, who had the night off and was receiving treatment in the clubhouse for an injury came tearing ass out of the dugout and started screaming at the umpires resulting in him getting ejected from a game in which he was not even playing. It was, in a word, excellent. And it makes me sad that we never got a NESN original programming show called "Life Coach: Nixon and Kapler" where the two BFFs tackle every day challenges of the Red Sox fan. For instance, let's say my friend Butch, who is employed as a sheet metal worker, goes on the show because he needs advice about how to deal with a coworker of his, who happens to be a Yankee fan. Kapler's liable to say, "We must accept people for who they are. Faults and all. This is merely a part of his personality and personalities are what make us unique. The world would be boring it we were all the same." While Trotter would likely reply, "Y'all got some nail guns around that construction site? Blowtorches maybe? That'll set 'im straight." Seriously, people, it'd be a TV goldmine.

Anyway, as for the game at hand, I think it's probably best if I address the actual team, since they've been deserving of it for some time now.

Gentlemen, Julio Lugo saved your asses. And I have to wonder how that feels, hmmmmm? But you are lucky, sirs, because I was thisclose to writing you a memo on behalf of the Red Sox about how if any of you so much as think you're going to the All-Star Game next year when this is how you perform afterwards, you can think again. Because I don't know about you but I was under the impression that the Boston Red Sox were a good baseball team. Perhaps you'd heard otherwise. Perhaps you think it's acceptable to lose the occasional series to the Royals. WELL I AM HERE TO TELL YOU OTHERWISE, SIRS. That is not okay. That is never okay. There is a reason the Royals are the butt of most MLB jokes. It is because they are bad. They are bad at baseball. They willingly employ someone named "Gobble." You are supposed to beat a team like that mercilessly. And you did not. And that is NOT OKAY. And Thursday night's game was likewise unacceptable. I don't know if Matsuzaka has been peeing in your Cornflakes or putting itching powder in your five-toe socks or whatever but you REALLY need to start scoring runs for the man. I mean, come the fuck on, people.

/deep breath

Now last night was a good sign. I appreciate that. I enjoy watching AJ Pierzynski bitch because that usually means he's unhappy and if AJ Pierzynski is unhappy, I get the warm fuzzies. I like the warm fuzzies. They're delightful.

Not delightful? The news that David Ortiz was removed from the game because of a sore right shoulder after a SERIOUSLY misguided slide into second. You know what Papi looks like when he attempts to slide? He looks like how, when you were younger, and the neighborhood kids set up a Slip 'n Slide on someone's lawn, everyone would go and have fun and then the neighborhood fat kid would be the last one down and there wouldn't be any water left and he'd do a belly flop and then kind of stick there at the end. He's kind of like that kid. Now, I'm not calling David Ortiz fat, far from it. I'm just suggesting that perhaps the man could work on his sliding technique. Jim Rice on Extra Innings made reference to the fact that "God gave you that big ol' butt, you gotta use that for sliding. You gotta get down there on your rear." And when a man in a pimp suit is telling you to "use your rear" I'm thinking you don't argue.

However, apparently we're getting game breaking hits from the likes of Julio Lugo now so who knows what to think? Up is down! Left is right! Yankees is love! Madness. Oh, and a friendly noogie to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Thanks, guys, that was helpful.

Um, and, um, Tiki Barber was taking batting practice in a Red Sox uniform. Um, YES, PLEASE. Rowr. First person to email me pictures of that gets my undying love and devotion because, yum.

*Per Tito, whom I love unconditionally.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No Way That Just Happened

I mean, seriously, WHAT? I'm hallucinating because of the fact that I'm a wee bit hungover, there's no running water in my apartment and I've had way too much coffee, right? No way the Sox just dropped a series to the Mighty Kansas City Royals. That just...didn't happen.

Because if it did, I will make like that dude in the picture above and start spearing people with my...horns? Antlers? Fish hook? Anyway, NOT GOOD, gentlemen. Not good at all.

The last thing you want to be doing right now is pissing me off, boys. I am a woman possessed. When Julio Lugo got his double last night, my father called to give me shit (as he is wont to do) and I answered the phone by saying, "I am ON THE EDGE and I was debating whether or not to drink myself into a stupor tonight. But now that Julio Lugo's getting RBIs, I'm sticking a straw in the bottle because it's clearly my last night on earth."

However, sadly (or not, depending on the level of your hangover) it was not to be. And we all awoke this morning with the bitter taste of a series loss to the freakin' Royals in our mouths. Oh, and the Yankees won. Because that's how things work around here, right?

Now, the White Sox are in town. AJ Pierzynski, owner of the Most Punchable Face in Baseball (sorry, Red, I'd punch AJ over Shea Hillenbrand any day) is still employed by said Pale Hose. If y'all can't get fired up to kick some Southside ass, I just don't know what to tell you. Except to say "horns," "scimitars," "swords" and all that. For serious, boys, I am not fucking around.

Also, thanks to Red for the pimp today, though full disclosure, I was emailed the photo by Luna from Respect the Tek!

Additionally, it has come to my attention that people are not entirely happy with the way I've been posting photos. Honestly, I am not trying to fuck anyone over. But I get the pictures I post from Google. It's not always easy to tell where they come from. If I've posted a picture of yours and didn't give credit, please, email me (link's on the sidebar) and I will give credit immediately. I'm all about the credit here. It's not done maliciously. To that end, the picture of Kason Gabbard I used a couple of days ago was evidently taken by Kelly. Error corrected.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A River in Egypt

(A rough approximation of Fenway Park)

Weird freak hailstorm localized over Fenway last night, huh? Too bad they couldn't get the game in. It's a shame, baseball is fun when they play. And, you know, the Royals were in town so obviously, the Sox would have had more than a fair shot at a win. Bizarre. That's weather in New England, I guess. Unpredictable and improbable at it's best. Weird.

Anyway, wonder if they'll play tonight. I heard a forecast for locusts but one never knows. Huh. Strange.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Women and Children First...

(Photo by Kelly)

...because, you guys? We're all gonna die.

That man up there? The one who looks like he's sweating off the last vestiges of a three-day Red Bull and Jaeger bender undergone at the behest of Josh Beckett and some Northeastern coeds? The one who has convinced the Major League Baseball-watching public that "Kason" is a name and not a typo? The one who, you could swear made his name as a hornball with the hot mom in those American Pie movies? That man is your winning pitcher today. And it wasn't even close.

A complete game is nothing to sneeze at. Not even against the Royals. Especially since, on any given day, none of us really knows if the offense is going to decide to show up or if they're too busy playing cribbage and getting hammered on John Henry's private jet. (It has nothing to do with Mike Lowell not hitting. I just really wanted an excuse to link to that photo).

And since I've decided to approach the David Ortiz's leg-is-going-to-fall-off situation in the same way I approach overdue bills or cleaning out my refrigerator - ignore it and it will go away - I'm just really glad to see that Dustin Pedroia is continuing his elfin tear through opposing pitchers. Admitting in his postgame that the pitch " Probably looked up to you guys, but I'm short," just adds to Pedroia's legend. That dude can play baseball. To whit: Dennis Eckersley on the postgame: "See how far he hits this ball? Imagine if he was 6'5"? He would have hit that ball 600 feet." Hee. The Eck, nothing if not a fan of hyperbole.

So good on ya, Typo. And you as well, Dusty and the Big Boppers. Hee, what an excellent name for a 60's doo-wop band.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Midsummer Classic

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Seriously, you guys, Manny loves everyone.

Okay now that was an interesting All-Star Game. Ignoring for a moment that Fox was treating it like the All Barry Bonds and A-Rod Game and it was actually quite enjoyable. There were home runs - of varying varieties, good pitching, pitching meltdowns, an almost historic comeback, Jose Reyes and Brian Roberts being BFFs at second for a few minutes and actually causing Greta to stop breathing AND A-Rod being thrown out at the plate. What more could you ask for?

I'm not entirely sure why, prior to the game in their red carpet "we're riding in trucks" business, Jeter was dressed like an extra on Miami Vice and A-Rod was doing his best impression of the captain of the Love Boat but, you know, I'm not a Yankee. Maybe it makes sense if you are?

While I did not enjoy Tim McCarver's blustering - there were at least three occasions where I just threw up my hands and said, "What the fuck are you talking about? Street musicians?" - I did appreciate that MLB stuck cameras in the clubhouse prior to the game. Of course, I also feel like they missed a golden opportunity. During Jim Leyland's speech about how baseball is "booming all over the country and not just in New York and Boston" I think they cut away too soon, before we could see Papelbon go all Talladega Nights on Leyland and threaten to "come at you like a spider* monkey, old man." Because, come on, that happened. Cinco Ocho doesn't truck with disrespect to his team. Not from Jim Leyland and not from anybody.

And I can't be the first person to notice that Brad Penny and Derek Lowe have turned into each other can I?

And Josh Beckett got the win. So that's nice. Speaking of Beckett, with the sheer amount of cranial mass residing on that field last night, it's a wonder the earth didn't spin off its axis. I mean, in addition to Beckett (whom I've refrained from calling "Fathead" because his pitching hasn't warranted it, but come on, that dude has a huge melon), you've also got Senor Cabeza himself, Barry Bonds. Not to mention Placido Polanco, he of the world's greatest moment in baseball prominently featuring a head sock. Then there's Pudge and Bobby Jenks and Prince Fielder and the aforementioned Brad Penny. Big heads, the lot of 'em. I'm just sayin'.

Who's idea was it to stand Papelbon and Bobby Jenks next to each other in pregame introductions? I sincerely hope they were separated shortly thereafter because there is absolutely no telling what they could have gotten up to otherwise. I shudder to think.

So...yay AL? Honestly, I could not possibly care less about the "counting" aspect of the All-Star Game, I mostly just like watching some good players do some interesting things. So in that sense, the game succeeded. Now back to work.

Also, unrelated but no less awesome: Troy Brown is back for another year. Yayyyyyyyy!

*edited because I'm a moron, apparently.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Shut Up, Chris Berman

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

I think when you hit 'em that far, you're allowed to admire them. You should also be allowed to admire them without commentary from Chris Berman, John Kruk, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips. It's like the Special Olympics of Horrid Announcing. Come on, ESPN. Poor Peter Gammons and Karl Ravech are forced to interview the likes of Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez while these guys are just trying to hit home runs and put on a show but instead, we have to listen to Barry do his spin doctor act about how it's hard for Hank Aaron to follow him around the country (and also he hates you) and A-Rod talk about...I don't even know what he was talking about, only to be constantly interrupted by Chris Berman bawking like a retarded chicken. I mean, can he stop? Like now?

That said, Beth made an excellent point with her comment that "A-Rod's practically the only person on Earth who can stand next to Barry Bonds and still seem like the bigger jerk." Indeed. Because why the suit, Alex? Did someone tell you this was a formal event? Did, as Amy theorized, your colorist inform you that the orange American League jerseys would make you look ruddy and less than virile? They make everyone look that way, they're horrible jerseys. Get over yourself. This is an event that features gajillion dollar players lounging on the grass (or in a snappy recliner if you're Justin Morneau) and letting their children run wild with minimal supervision all while trying to launch baseballs into the stratosphere. This isn't really a black tie kind of thing. Are you campaigning for something?

However, A-Rod and Bonds-centric bullshit aside, the Home Run Derby was still entertaining in it's own right. At least for the first two hours. Teddy suspects that after the Jason Bay debacle a couple years ago and Morneau's contributions this year, Canadian players are henceforth banned from participating in the Home Run Derby but it was still a good time. It was fun to imagine ESPN and MLB wringing their hands and clutching their pearls over a potential showdown between Alex Rios and Matt Holliday because YOU GUYS THOSE AREN'T REAL BASEBALL PLAYERS NO ONE'S EVER HEARD OF THEM! Seriously, I suspect they had a team of marketing interns chained to desks in the production studio, trying to figure out a way to market Alex Rios and Matt Holliday to a nation of apathetic baseball fans.

"Um, well, can we use 'exciting?' No, crap, we already used that up for Jose Reyes."

"Um, how about 'wholesome?' Holliday is wholesome, right? He kind of looks like Tim Hudson. Do people still like Tim Hudson?"

"I think we trademarked David Wright's name with 'wholesome.' And 'spunky' belongs to David Eckstein."

"Same with 'sparkplug?'"

"'Fraid so."

"Oh, phew, never mind, it's Vladdy and Rios in the final. People have heard of Vladdy. Dodged a bullet there."

I'm sure it helped matters that Papi took it upon himself to act as Vladdy's own personal caddy. David Ortiz is just too much fun, people. Too much fun.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Here We Hug and Bump Fists

(Photo from Boston.com)

Oh hello, offense. Nice to see you again. Damn. Not fucking around, were you? Announcing your presence with authority and all that. Well done.

My grandmother would think otherwise as she wasn't nearly so amused when I called her last night to inquire about her team's pitching staff. Yes, I shit talk my grandmother. She started it.

But I mean, honestly, what did they expect throwing a 12-year-old on the mound? Although, seriously, one can't really be prepared to be giving up grand slams to Coco Crisp. That doesn't usually happen.

I did, however, delight in Remy's assertion that there was an ongoing war between Coco and Mike Lowell regarding who would get to be named Top Dawg for the evening. The fevered debate between Remy and Orsillo was excellent as well. God, I love blowouts. When the Sox are up by more than six runs in the second inning, some enterprising intern or PA starts spiking Remy's coffee with crack rock. And then we all win.

I'd also like to thank whoever put the new camera in the broadcast booth as it makes Orsillo INCREDIBLY uncomfortable which is just more hilarity for the rest of us. But hey, despite Remy's frequent fretting about the state of the game and what blowouts lead broadcasters to do, no one got fired. Except maybe the Devil Rays' director of player scouting or something because DAMN.

Can someone confirm for me that at one point last evening, Don Orsillo uttered the phrase, "exploding chest hair?" I'm not entirely sure what he was talking about but when I heard that, I should have just shut off the TV, turned off the lights, gotten into bed and called it a day. You're just not going to top that, pretty much ever.

Other things that won't be topped? The crowd's response to Okajima's selection to the All-Star team. He deserves it, for sure, but it's really nice to see him being recognized like that. I clapped a little in my living room, I'm not gonna lie. Of course, it's that much better when you read the Globe article about the selection and realize that Tito doesn't know how to work one of these doggarned computers, Mike Lowell feels he did his teammate-ly duty and Papelbon browbeat his wife into voting for Okajima as well. He got his wish, his man is going to San Fran (it's closer to Japan).

Also, y'all heard it here first, Covelli Crisp is winning a Gold Glove this year. He's been playing MAGICAL defense like that Maysesque over-the-shoulder grab he hauled in last night and it's been saving pitcher's asses all season. Think about it, doesn't it feel like every other day we're all imitating that dude from last year's NESN commercials? "Did you SEE that catch Coco made?" Unbelievable.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mike Lowell Will Thank You to Remember That He Is an All-Star


It's true, Mike Lowell is an All-Star. And he didn't want to make a big thing of it, but he wanted you to know. Because Mike Lowell does not make a big thing of anything. (Except that time that he said he wanted Fidel Castro dead and the Herald, with all their journalistic integrity blew it up to "Germany surrenders" size headlines and splashed the word "dead" across a picture of Mike Lowell and I nearly got hit by a bus in on my way to work one day). But this wasn't like that.

Mike Lowell doesn't want to take any focus away from Daisuke Matsuzaka's gem of a pitching performance the other night. He doesn't want to pull attention away from the fact that Julio Lugo has finally started hitting (although Mike Lowell is nicer than me so he won't point out that one of Lugo's hits should have been negated because he immediately got himself picked off but I will). And Mike Lowell is just glad to be providing some run support for the much maligned Tim Wakefield. But, you know, Mike Lowell is an All-Star and he'd like you to know that if you're not too busy on Tuesday night, he's going to be playing in this baseball contest in San Francisco with some other baseball playing fellows. And you could check it out if you wanted. I mean, Mike Lowell will totally understand if it's your bridge night or you have to hand wash your delicates. But if you need someone to entertain you, Mike Lowell's your man.

Remember how the Sox took Lowell as a concession in the Beckett trade and we figured that to get our stud pitcher we'd have to take a below-average, not hitting for shit, expensive as all hell third basemen? Remember how we all planned on a full season of "Mueller would've had it?" Remember how we eyed him skeptically when he hit his first few doubles off the Monster and waited around for him to come back to earth? Yeah, I'd like to issue a formal apology to Mike Lowell. I'm so sorry. I was wrong. I almost never admit that but this time, it's true. I was so very, very wrong. In addition to being an excellent baseball player, a lover of cribbage, an apparent hater of Fidel Castro and sporting snarkypants the likes of which I've never seen, you're also (I suspect) a super spy and, you know, an All-Star. So well played, Mike Lowell. I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

But you're a nice man (nicer than me because you don't even snark on Julio Lugo or theorize that JD Drew needed more time off because it was his time of the month), so I'm confident that you'll forgive me. Because you, Mike Lowell, are an All-Star.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Gonna Fly Now!

Happy 4th, y'all. In honor of our nation's birthday, Spike TV has decided to show a Rocky marathon. SWEET. Dudes, Rocky is so my favorite movie. Seriously.

'Course, I'm headed out of town today for a barbecue so I won't be around to watch it. But I'm considering leaving the TV on so my cat, Rocky Dave Roberts Markakat, can fully learn the origins of his badass name. I expect to come home to find him running laps and doing one-pawed pushups and sneering at the neighbor's cat (who I'm totally sure is named "Apollo.")

As for the rest of you, have a great fourth, enjoy the memories of Matsuzaka's badassery and try not to light yourself on fire with any sparklers. Trust me, that stings.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Eric Hinske Loves Puppies!

For some reason, when you do a Google Image Search for Eric Hinske, you are rewarded with a picture of adorable puppies. I can only take this to mean that Eric Hinske loves puppies and wants them to be happy. You know what else Eric Hinske loves? Winning baseball games. Hitting triples. Getting RBIs. That whole thing? Loves it, Hinske does. And so I, in turn, love Eric Hinske. And so should you.

We should also love Jacoby Ellsbury. And let me tell you something, in Portland, they LOVE them some Jacoby Ellsbury. They were so proud, they showed his first major league at-bat and his first major league hit on the screen between innings of the game on Saturday night. It was adorable. The entire ballpark went all proud papa including, I'm guessing, Theo who was probably squirreled away in a press box somewhere mumbling something about "that guy knowing how to run the bases, Julio."

I trust dear Mr. Ellsbury will forgive me if I occasionally refer to him as "Jacob" and forget the extraneous "y." I'm not turning into Tim McCarver but I suspect that after forcing my brain to accept that "Kason" is a name, my cerebrum can't take any more of this nonsense. That and I think "Jacoby Ellsbury" sounds like a name that would not be out of a place in a touring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Perhaps he can elevate the level of between inning entertainment at Fenway and recite soliloquies from various Shakespeare plays to the adoring masses. Better than hot dog races, anyway.

Tonight Matsuzaka-san takes on the mighty Devil Rays. Evidently, so much do we enjoy the Devil Rays that we've saved all our games against them until the second half of the season. Freaking spectacular. I look forward to fully half of the remaining season being played on a putt putt course and the "dome" confusing Manny to believe he really has left and joined the circus.

My grandmother has been using MLBTV to watch the Devil Rays games all season (It's not elder abuse, she's actually a fan. I know!) and I'm sure she'll be shit-talking me, no matter the outcome. That'll be fun. Nothing like being schooled by your 85-year-old grandmother who will actually point and laugh at you when Carl Crawford steals a base against your pitcher. Truly special, that.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Julio Lugo Hunger Strike Starts Today!

I'm taking a good, long look and drinking it all in. Because the Julio Lugo Is Not Our Shortstop Hunger Strike begins at noon today. After that it's water and crusts of bread, just enough to sustain life functions, until Tito comes to his senses and stops putting Lugo in the lineup or on the field or anywhere near a baseball diamond or uniform or, you know, anything baseball-related at all. In fact, let's just remove him from the state, shall we? Pawtucket's not really good enough. I'd say Lowell but their shortstop is hitting .364 so even that seems a bit generous.

Maybe someone can pull a Scott Proctor and steal Lugo's uniform and equipment and set it on fire?

And speaking of Proctor, I'm totally starting a Yankee Bullpen Fan Club. Who wants in? I know it's possibly bad karma to harsh on the Yankee's pitching woes when the Sox offense might as well be attempting to connect with limp pool noodles for all the good they're doing, but SCOTT PROCTOR LIT HIS UNIFORM ON FIRE. ON THE FIELD. AT YANKEE STADIUM. Come on, people. That's amazing. We can't forget about this. When the Yankees next come back to Fenway, I want fans wearing plastic firefighter helmets and taunting Proctor by singing "Burning Down the House." We cannot miss this golden opportunity.

Do you think there's a scorch mark on the warning track?

And the Sox, a team boasting All-Stars and people generally regarded as talented and good players who are successful at their jobs (except for Julio Lugo), need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that it's not the All-Star break just yet and that these games actually count as well. Freakin' Typo is pitching today. This does not instill me with lots of confidence. However, more disturbing is the fact that mostly, the pitching hasn't been the issue. So I don't know what their damage is but if the offense would care to perk up for a few days, it would be MUCH appreciated.

Especially since we're calling up minor leaguers and Dustin Pedroia keeps taking his life in his hands and throwing himself into the fray like a human battering ram and admonishing Papelbon to "TAKE A WALK!" I mean, we're gonna be down a second baseman if that keeps up. We're gonna need an extra. So long as no one looks at Lugo.

I will not hesitate to ignore the baseball and get caught up on The Wire DVDs because Dominic West > than the Sox blowing it again. And I will totally rewatch replays of last year's Home Run Derby where David Wright did many wrong things to a horrific mustard yellow jersey and David Ortiz owned all. These are not empty threats, people. I came to play.