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

Friday, May 30, 2008

Go ahead, impress me.

(Oooo, shiny!)

So the nice folks at A&E sent me an email the other day wanting to know if I'd be amenable to receiving a box set of The Essential Games of Fenway Park to review. You might've noticed, I like baseball, so I said yes immediately. Then they told me that they'd throw in another set for me to give away to a reader, however I see fit. Well really, it's all about you people so of course I took them up on that one.

The set includes such highlights of awesomeness as 1975 World Series Game 6 (obviously), the 1999 All-Star Game, and the April 22, 2007 game against the Yankees where four Red Sox players conspired to hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs and destroy Yankee pitcher Chase Wright. Also, there is Bonus footage of Dave Roberts' "The Steal," Bill Mueller's walk-off against Rivera in the Brawl Game, and the last inning of Claybelline's no-hitter against the O's last September 1st. So basically, this box set is like a Red Sox fan's suicide prevention kit in a set of handy DVDs. You want this, is what I'm saying. And you can have it.

So here's the deal: I've developed a little contest based on - as most things are - a conversation I had at a bar.

The setup:

Amy: Here is what I want: a transcript of Jason Varitek's postgame from Lester's no-hitter, because I am still confused about how people turn from boys to men.

Me: He is talking about slick balls. I know that much.

Amy: First he gave us a meteorological report and then he explained biology.

Me: I love listening to Tek's interviews. He makes no sense whatsoever. For her sake, I hope Karen didn't have them write their own vows.

Amy: I just love that after he made the rambling boy-young man thing, he did this little nod. Like, "Yup, that's what I'm going with."

Me: Maybe in an alternate life, Tek is a frustrated poet.

Behind the plate
Am I protecting
My chest
My heart?

Me: Tek does Williams Carlos Williams should be a new regular blog feature.

The mask I wear
Covers my feelings
And my face
My heart is reeling
Who am I?

Me: You're frighteningly good at this.

So here's the deal, Jason Varitek: Secret Poet. Run with it, people. I want the best 'Tek-penned poems your sick and twisted minds can come up with. Haikus are probably the best form though if you absolutely must do iambic pentameter, knock yourself out. Bonus points for hilarity and references to missing Dougie. Email 'em to me at snowtackle (at) gmail (dot) com. (Email link also on the sidebar). I'll select the best entries and post them on the site here and have the readers vote on a winner. And said winner will get a shiny, new, shrink-wrapped box set of Fenway's Greatest Games.

I'm out of town this weekend, heading to Steelers country to witness Katherine and Sebastian get married. (You know I love them if I'm willingly heading to a place that prides itself on serving "Roethlis-burgers"), so you've got all weekend to get the creative juices flowing. I shall return Monday, hopefully to a few Sox wins and my inbox overflowing with delicious, Tek-poetry goodness. Good luck!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This stopped being funny several starts ago.

Tim Wakefield is so not amused, you guys. So not amused. After giving up eleventy runs in his previous few starts, he holds the Mariners to one stinkin' run and his teammates can't manage to score any? Zero? None? Wakefield makes one little mistake and he loses the game? You're kidding me with this, right? I thought we were done with the whole "Not scoring runs for Wake's starts" thing. Didn't the Red Sox front office rescind that memo? This is upsetting is what this is.

Also upsetting? The fact that former Oriole and current Mariner Erik Bedard can get the snot kicked out of him by the Yankees and then "learn something" and pitch like a dude who was a possible Cy Young candidate a year before. And this is after I reimagined a song for him and everything. You know what, Erik? I take it back. I TAKE IT ALL BACK.

Why do we suppose the Red Sox are playing like the Celtics? That is winning exactly ONE game on the road in the past million years? Why is that happening? Are they not used to the weather outside of Boston? Don't understand what a "mariner" really is? Still in hiding from the four-wheeled menace Mariner Moose? Could I possibly ask more rhetorical questions in this post?

Whatever it is, FIX IT. They have today off to travel and, presumably, think about what they did. Or didn't do as the case may be. For his part, I hope Tim Wakefield spends the entire plane ride home making the Dad Face at his teammates. You know the Dad Face. The one your dad gives you when he's so disappointed, he doesn't even have words. I hate the Dad Face. Let's hope the offense gets the message.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That is the sound of the other shoe dropping.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Ugh. Boo. Do not want. Etc, etc.

Didn't see a pitch of this one as I've taken to getting up at the crack of dawn to go running with Greta (someone spiked my coffee, obviously), but it's probably just as well as I would have likely gone to bed around the time Matsuzaka was getting pulled with "shoulder fatigue" and then I wouldn't have slept well, fighting off nightmares of frayed rotator cuffs and shoulders going kablooey. So basically, not knowing was better, I think.

Of course, that also means I missed Manny's 499th home run, apparently the only offense the Sox could muster in this one. I'm glad Manny's hitting again but if the rest of the team would care to follow suit, that'd be swell.

Also swell? Tim Wakefield. He's a swell guy. He'll be taking the mound tonight. He's not had the best of starts lately but he's Tim Wakefield. Predicting his starts is like dancing about architecture, or...something. Let's just win, please?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

All jokes at Bartolo Colon's expense will cease until further notice.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Honestly, we have to stop making so much fun of Bartolo Colon if he's going to be the only pitcher capable of winning on the road. Kevin Youkilis is also going to have to stop calling him "Fartolo" which thing I believe happens daily. I mean, I know Seattle is terrible and all but come on, dudes, 1-hit against a dude in Oakland whose last name surely made him the butt of playground jokes as a child? Uncool.

I don't have much else to say about the sweep at the hands of the A's, watching the games as I did through a haze of post-race endorphins (best time yet!) and sunburn-fever. I can almost pretend it didn't happen. Except that it did because somehow, the Rays are back in first place again. This is becoming worrisome.

As for last night's win, I'm surely not alone in claiming Tek's fancy camo catcher's equipment as the highlight of the game, right? (Well, maybe also Ichiro's highlight reel catch). But the camo gear made Tek look like more of a super hero than he usually does and the mind reels at the possibilities of spin-off comic books a nation of over-imaginative fans could come up with. Apparently he's auctioning off said gear for charity? Which is awesome but I have to wonder two things. 1) Mike Timlin is behind this, isn't he? And 2) Did he take the time to have "Tek" stitched into the chest protector like he has with his normal gear? Because that little detail is precious and gets me every time. I have to believe it's force of habit from years of Dougie stealing Tek's gear and stretching it all out and not putting it back in it's proper place. Tek likes order, people. And he'll thank you to keep things organized.

Baseball aside, a big fist bump is in order for Colleen, Colleen's dad, Amy, Greta and my parents as they all either ran or walked the 5K on Sunday. My brother, I am sad/proud to report, did not make it back in time as he was up until 6am drinking with Kanye West at Foxwoods. But his sister did him proud, posting my best time yet. Training for the half marathon is on track, people. And I look forward to next month's Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K Race to Cure ALS. All I want is a high-five from Mike Timlin. I'm a simple girl.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eyewitness confirms Gamecast nonsense.

(Photo from Boston.com)

I had spies at the game, you see. That's how I was able to confirm the seemingly insane reports from Gamecast that were telling me that JD "Jessica" Drew hit a grand slam in yesterday's afternoon game. Amy and Sam were there and they saw it. And though they've been known to hallucinate on occasion, it was two in the afternoon and they seemed to have their wits about them. So yes, JD Drew did, in fact hit a grand slam yesterday. Will wonders never cease?

As did Mike Lowell but that is much easier to believe. I mean, would you look at this man? Mike Lowell is a Silver Fox, my friends. And you know what silver foxes do in baseball? Hit grand slams. That's right. Remember when Bill Mueller hit two in the same game from opposite sides of the plate against the Rangers a few years ago? I do. So basically, the Mueller to Lowell trajectory is working out perfectly. Which is handy since I was pretty sure I would never love anyone like I loved Bill Mueller.

Anyway, Matsuzaka, despite getting his eighth win without a loss is still somewhat worrisome. That boy likes high pitch counts and digging himself holes, doesn't he? It would be tempting to chalk it up to the fact that he wasn't throwing to Tek yesterday but really, he's a major league pitcher. You have to be able to not walk the ballpark to get the job done.

You also have to be able to not give up nine runs to the Kansas City Royals, CRAIG HANSEN AND DAVID AARDSMA. I find Craig Hansen to be particularly infuriating since some days, like Wednesday, he's positively lights out. And then the very next day he'll be all "Here's a home run for you. And a walk for you, and here's a home run for your friend there." And don't give me "fatigue" because you're a major league reliever. You have to be able to pitch in back to back games. Apparently my argument today is that if you're a "major league something or other," I don't want to hear excuses. "You're a major league bat boy, son. You have to be able to put the right amount of pine tar on the bat. Let's see some hustle out there."

All right, I concede that I'm nitpicking since the Sox did just manage two series sweeps and a perfect 7-0 homestand. Maybe I'm like the gruff coach who rides his charges hard but only because he loves them so much. Tough love and all. Except for you, Lugo. You I'm still watching.

So tonight the Sox head to Oakland where things promise to be a bit different in terms of facing good pitching. Damn west coast time difference. As for me, I'm running in my first road race this weekend, the 11th Annual Runner's Alley/Redhook Memorial 5K in Portsmouth, NH. This is all in training for the larger goal of the half marathon in November but you gotta start somewhere, right? I've managed to rope Greta, Amy, Colleen AND The Rick and The Sue into participating with me. And possibly my brother if he manages to make it home from a bachelor party in time. But there's beer at the end of the race so perhaps that'll be an enticement. Anyway, wish us luck.

And finally, this weekend is also time to celebrate the birthdays of both Father of Basegirl, The Rick, and Brother of Basegirl, Kevin. (Perhaps we'll make Kev run in a party hat). Without these two, I wouldn't be half as insane and sports obsessed as I am. So basically, it's their fault. Show 'em some birthday love, eh?

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's not his fault his name is so pun-friendly.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

But seriously, how many variations of "Master-ful" are going to be popping up in baseball headlines this morning? Not that it isn't warranted. It surely is. I'm also probably gonna have to stop calling the 6'6", 250lb Masterson "Little Justin Masteron" as well since he could likely eat me for breakfast.

But he would never. Because he's like puppies and rainbows and 1-running the Royals over 6 1/3 innings last night. And he didn't even freak out when Okajima came within a hairsbreadth of blowing the whole thing. He just peeked out from the dugout in trepidation, watching it all go down. And I swear to you that if you looked closely, you could see Tim Wakefield over his shoulder, nodding sagely and readying himself with the words of wisdom in re: your bullpen blowing your fantastic pitching performance. But alas, Wake will have to save that talk for another day. Papelbon done took care of the newbie. And all was right with the world. You guys? I like the under 25 portion of our team a WHOLE LOT. We're getting to the point where Josh Beckett will be the grizzled veteran at 28. That kind of stuff makes me giddy.

Also? Paps making with the Tek-like head pats and acting all older brother to Masterson. Which is hilarious on several levels, chief amongst them being that if Papelbon actually decides to form his own little Merry Band of Young Pitchers and declares himself Supreme Ruler and Badass, we're in for some good times. We've all heard stories of the competitions he used to get into with his younger brothers, the Papel-Twins. I can only imagine what madness would befall the Sox bullpen. Something involving wild boar and squirrel hunting probably. Or sudden death Scrabble. Plus, you and I both know that Pedroia would not take kindly to being left out. Hilarity would surely ensue.

Speaking of? The Yankees and Orioles nearly got into a bench clearer last night because of some beanball antics and LaTroy Hawkins throwing at Luke Scott and his Texas Hair. In retaliation, apparently, for Daniel Cabrera hitting Derek Jeter on the wrist earlier in the game. Now, I wasn't watching but I have it on good authority that even the YES announcers were all, "Um, yeah, so that wasn't intentional" because first of all, the Orioles were up 10-0 and second of all, it's Daniel Cabrera, not known for his pinpoint accuracy. So really, Hawkins was overreacting and trying to hit pretty, pretty Luke Scott. Who then went all righteous vengeance on them an inning or so later and hit a 2-run moon shot. Apparently Kevin Millar was spoiling for a fight (been a while since he brawled with any Yankees), and the Orioles bullpeners were raring to go. (Jamie Walker can throw down, I'll tell you whut). But order was restored. As was a 12-2 Orioles win. Which is fun for everyone outside of the Bronx.

And tonight, to follow up on two fantastic performances by the Young Guns, the Sox have former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon going. Which could be a mixed bag but you gotta figure that anything effective they get from him is gravy. Mmmm, gravy. Heady times, my friends, heady times indeed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius*

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

course Tek called for the high fastball. Of course he did. Heh.

I guess that's a sufficient answer to the question of why we're all so excited about this team's farm system and why we didn't want to trade Jacoby and Lester - not both, not either - for Johan Santana. Because moments like that are priceless.

I called my dad - of course I did. Though really, since his TV is about ten seconds ahead of mine, he probably should have called me and spared me the half-moment of anguish, seeing into the future as he can. We sat there on the phone, not really speaking but both watching Lester being interviewed by Heidi Watney.

"God," I said, "he looks like he's ten-years-old."

"He's got more gray hairs than you and I combined. That kid has had some kind of life," my dad replied.

He's got that right. Everyone will touch on the positively "you couldn't write something this schmaltzy for Disney and expect them to buy it" storyline of the Jon Lester Story, but personally, I think the best part is how absolutely joyful he looked immediately afterwards. Because, let's face it, the kid has been through some shit. Cliched though it may seem, he's dealt with the highest highs and the lowest lows. And it's so, so, SO wonderful to see him just flat out enjoy something like this. I mean, Eckersley is nattering on about Lester's sense of perspective (frankly, Eckersley is nattering on about a lot of things, so excited is he), but he's right. You think Jon Lester is scared of Alberto Callaspo? Bitch, please.

Also, I am only human. When Lester said that Tito told him he was proud of him and that he thinks of him as a second dad, I lost it. Just lost it. I am not made of stone, people. I can only take so much. And Tito's press conference is not helping in that matter, what with him talking about how fatherly he feels towards Lester and that he'll "sit here and brag about him all night if you want me to."

And we would be remiss if we didn't mention Jacoby. Not only his stellar catch but also his triple and the base-stealing and the run scoring which takes pressure off a starter in a whole different way. THANKS ANYWAY, MINNESOTA BUT WE'LL KEEP THESE GUYS IF THAT'S COOL.

And there is, as there always is, Jason Varitek at the heart of it all. Now with a major league record for no-hitters caught, Tek is indisputably and inarguably THE MAN.

Of course all of this lead to some frantic postgame emailing with fellow denizens of the blogging underworld.

Luna: Lookit his little camo shirt! God, he is so wiped out.

If I hadn't eaten the last of my homemade banana bread for breakfast, I would march right down there this minute to give it to him.

Luna: How drunk is Josh Beckett going to get him tonight?

Oh Jesus. We should really bring him some Chaser and a truckload of Gatorade, just as preventative measures.

And naturally Amy and I were emailing each other during the game but refusing to talk about it. Instead we discussed the relative sizes of baby polar bears and pandas and whether or not, if Tony Gwynn, Jr. rode around in a kangaroo pouch, the baby kangaroos would behave themselves. I realize that sounds like we're insane but really, these are pretty standard conversations between Amy and myself. Just, usually, we're not actively avoiding talking about baseball.

Jason Varitek's postgame press conference is just furthering my belief that great pitching is better than sex to that man. Can you remember the last time Tek looked so relaxed? So sprawly and, you know, just sort of hanging out? I can. It was September 1st of last year. True story. Of course, he's Tek so he's going to pretend that a laundry basket with a chest protector would have been just as effective behind home plate, but we know the truth. Because did Lester shake off Tek even once today? I don't believe he did. Lest we forget that Tek is actually one out away from having caught five no-hitters,

But tonight is about Jon Lester and what Jon Lester managed to do. And the next week represents my favorite part of the post no-hitter circus. The coverage and the buck-passing in the credit-spreading sense. "Tek did this," "No, this was all Jonny," "No, really none of it would have been possible without Jacoby's defense," or even, "Actually, Theo had the foresight not to trade these kids." Love it. Love all of it. Congratulations, Jonny Boy. Congratulations, indeed.

*The Dave Eggers book that I'd been reading during commercial breaks was spine-up on the coffee table when the game ended and the title just seemed appropriate here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cheer up, Milwaukee. That Ryan Braun kid is the real deal.

(Photo from Boston.com)

The thing about taking in yesterday's day game from the upper bleachers is that I didn't have to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck waxing poetic about Ryan Braun and positively embarrassing themselves with the mancrushing. The great thing about watching today's game from my apartment is that I was able to take in Jerry Remy's version of same. Truly, truly excellent. Of course, it did force him to face a bit of an existential crisis as Remy is a noted opponent of interleague play.

Remy: It's nice to see a guy like that play. That kid is the real deal.

Orsillo: Well, that's why interleague play is nice. You can see players like Braun.

Remy: (pauses) Or you could just watch the highlights and see him that way.

Jerry Remy is a man who sticks with his principles. He likes bunting and stealing bases and does not approve of new-fangled things like interleague play. And I dig that about him.

Yesterday's game was exactly what a baseball game should be. It was beautiful, it was sunny, it was a good game - not a blow out, things were kept interesting but the Sox prevailed in the end - there was a Papelbon save and a David Ortiz home run. Also, Amy and I were in row 30 of section 36 in the upper bleachers and do you know how many seats there are in row 30 of section 36? Two. That's how many. Do you know how many times Amy and I had to get up to let people out for beer/food/bathroom runs? Zero. Zero times. Baseball bliss. Except for the asshole in front of us who was exactly the kind of loudmouthed jerk who gives all Red Sox fans a bad name (I think an open letter to that guy is in the works, have no fear), things were wonderful.

And Jason Varitek, I am duty bound to report, has finally changed his at bat music. After about eight straight years of Three Doors Down's "Kryptonite," Tek has made a change. Unfortunately, he's changed it to that damn Rascal Flatts "Me and My Gang" song that my brother and his friends like to sing when they're hammered. Ugh. I'm going to pretend Tek did that to help my brother deal with the loss of Dougie. That seems the only logical reason.

Prior to the game, Amy and I staked out a spot near the Brewers dugout so she could hopefully get some autographs. That didn't quite happen (though today she managed to get Mike Cameron's and David Riske's) but she DID have an exchange with Ryan Braun about his contract and I have to say, Ryan Braun? Is ADORABLE. Seriously. We're lucky he doesn't play here because the squealing would deafen even the hardiest of souls.

And while that was awesome and all, it wasn't quite as great as the conversations Amy and I had during the game about all manner of things including Julio Lugo's spirit guide.

Me: I still don't like him. He's shifty. My grandmother thought he was shifty when he played for the Rays.

Amy: He is shifty. He does that thing where he pulls his jersey up like he's speaking to a little man that lives in there or something.

Me: Possibly.

Amy: Maybe it's his spirit guide. Maybe he's asking his spirit guide what to do.

Me: His spirit guide is telling him to ground into a shit ton of double plays and fuck up some pretty routine grounders.

Amy: Yeah, you know you're fucked when your spirit guide hates you.

Then later on in the game we noticed that Craig Hansen and Mike Timlin were chatting with each other in the bullpen.

Me: What the hell do you imagine those two have to talk about?

Amy: (in her Craig Hansen stoner voice) So, dude, like what time did you get up today? I got up like five minutes ago. (Pause) Dude, have you ever played with like five dogs at once? It's a lotta dogs but it's pretty awesome, I gotta say.

Me: And the whole time Mike Timlin is mentally sharpening his crossbow?

Amy: Naturally.

Of course, Julio Lugo came up again and managed to ground into some sort of 2-3-5-7 or something double play.

Me: How the hell do you score that?

Amy: I'm going with a skull and crossbones.

Me: Fitting.

On the whole, Brewers fans are incredibly nice (and attractive) people and they probably deserve better than a sweep. Not that I'm complaining about the Red Sox winning, mind you, though I am a bit concerned about Josh Beckett's second straight mediocre start but the Brewers have some really fun players. They're fun to watch. And Ryan Braun matching David Ortiz home run for home run is certainly impressive.

Also? The Gabe Kapler Goodwill Tour continues unabated. There is no one that man won't hug. And there is absolutely no one who doesn't want to stop and talk to him for at least twenty minutes. Frankly, I'm surprised the dude had time to get any batting practice in what with all the hugging and the laughing and the reminiscing. Perhaps Gabe Kapler and Sean Casey should run for public office together when this baseball thing is over.

We also saw Bob Ueker hanging out before the game and the Brewers fans around us started chanting "Ueeeek!" to the endless confusion of several Red Sox fans as there was nary a bald, bearded first basemen to be found.

Me: How come no one has made a Bob Ueker/Kevin Youkilis commercial yet?

Amy: That's like a Sportscenter spot waiting to happen.

Me: Well, we're bugged so probably it will be tomorrow.

All in all, I enjoy the Red Sox return to scoring runs and winning baseball games. That's a nice thing to see. Apparently we've also wrested possession of first place away from Tampa Bay for the time being. As for right now, I'm about to have a lazy Sunday night watching the Mets take on the last place (hee) Yankees. That's gonna be fun while it lasts. God save us all from Joe Morgan.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sadness in Birdland

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Is that supposed to be Sean Casey's mean face up there? His "I might be the nicest guy in the world but I'm totally holding back David Ortiz and he's a really large man and I am willing to throw down with him because he is my teammate, dammit" face? Or is it more, "Oh please god, can't we settle this with a nice game of Go Fish and some organic apple juice?"

Sigh. Also? No disrespect, Papi. But I'm pretty sure you went around.

Poor Brad Mills. Not only does he have to man the helm for a few days in Tito's absence but suddenly he has to deal with JD Drew nearly pulling a Hideki Matsui in right field, sticking The Big KY in the outfield, Coco being struck down with a tummy ache and then Ortiz flying off the handle. Really, boys, I think the man has enough on his plate.

Greta's theory about Coco's gastrointestinal issues is that visiting players are just not used to the Old Bay they put on everything in Baltimore. That's a problem, if a delicious one. I wonder if that's Josh Beckett's problem or if he unwisely accepted an invitation to go out on the town with Kevin Millar before the game. Millar seems like just the type of guy to take out the next day's starting pitcher for crabs and Natty Boh and perhaps some strippers. Kevin Millar's a one man welcome wagon, my friends. And he's our friend and we will always love Kevin Millar, but perhaps we should issue a blanket statement to the Red Sox that prior to the games, they are not allowed to accept drinks or entertainment from Kevin Millar. It just seems wise.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The team just got 53% less crazy.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Lookit how sad Tito is. He's so sad, you guys. He's not even yelling or throwing his gum or anything. He's not wearing his fancy red fleece either. That's how you know he's depressed.

Could be the losing but personally, I think he's concerned that with the DFA-ing of Julian Tavarez, someone is going to have to adopt the mantle of Captain Batshit Crazy on this team and frankly, he's a little concerned about the bullpen's prospects. True, Timlin is his own brand of insane but we've all sort of grown used to that. The best thing about Tavarez was that we never know what he was gonna do next. He kept everyone on their toes. Timlin is a mostly benevolent and predictable sort of crazy. Basically, I think he's worried about Craig Hansen. And dudes? I would be too. Especially if Manny gets anywhere near him.

Of course, after last night's showing and the frequent Jekyll and Hyde routine pulled by young Clay, perhaps he's the real nutter around here. Just what's IN those necklaces, anyway?

Additionally, since Tavarez was DFA'd to make room for Sean Casey on the roster, I'm guessing Casey - being the nicest guy on the planet, by all accounts - feels super bad about that and has already taken it upon himself to shower Tavarez with gifts of boar meat and midget porn just so he won't feel completely out of his element, wherever he might end up. Of course, Sean Casey feels a little uncomfortable about those pastimes and he'd prefer it if Tavarez spent his downtime learning to cross-stitch or perhaps in the service of baking a perfect pear tart but really, he doesn't judge. He just wants us all to be happy. We're all god's children, after all.

So, you know, I'd rather think about that than the losing of the baseball games. Who's with me?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Kevin Youkilis will thank you to pay him more attention

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Yo. What's up, Boston. Kevin "The Big KY" Youkilis here. You may not know this but I'm doing pretty well for myself this season. Hittin' home runs, makin' some pretty sweet plays at first, you know, that kind of thing.

Anyway, you're all talking about Papi's knee and Manny's home run chase and all that and, you know, that's awesome and all, totally cool. But, dudes, I'm the Big KY. I am CARRYING this team. Mike Lowell - oh, I'm sorry, WORLD SERIES MVP Mike Lowell - goes down with a bruise and everyone starts freakin' out about how "OH NO OUR DEFENSE WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO WHO CAN HIT THE BALL AHHHH!" Dudes, chill. CHILL. I totally took care of you, didn't I? With the sweet defense at first or third. Don't matter. I'll play short if you want me to. (Actually, I've seen what some of you have been saying on the web about Julio so maybe you do want me to and, you know what? Forget I said anything.) But dudes, me and Sean Casey were totally an awesome tandem. And you guys thought I'd forgotten how to play third base. Pshaw, whatever, people. They don't call it the Hot Corner for nothin'. Am I right?

And who's tied for the team lead in home runs with Manny and Papi? Yeah, that's right. The Big KY. What do you think I keep in this beard anyway, Cheetos and PBR? Hell no, this is a cover for the Awesome. The Awesome lives here. That's right. 100% pure, American-made Awesome. And you can't stop it now.

Don't even get me started on all my teammates who are on the DL or whatever with "pulls" or "strains" or "bumps and bruises" or maybe "their cat scratched them while playing with a feather on a stick and now they've gotta get a Band-Aid or something." Dudes, think I'd let that stuff bother me? Hell no. You just suck it up and grit your teeth or get the Bactine spray from your mom if it gets real bad. But don't be a baby. You gotta be like me. Stone cold awesome.

Anyway, Josh did pretty good last night so we'll give him credit for that but don't forget who's really carrying this team. Yeah, say it with me now. The Big KY. That's right. You know it. Peace out, Boston.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Don’t worry, it happens to everyone from time to time.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Or so we tell ourselves.

But, I mean, really, Paps was just reverting to the norm laid out by Sox pitchers last night since giving up 18 hits isn’t really going to get anyone a win unless the opposing hitters start playing dizzy bat in the on-deck circle and running backwards around the bases. (Which could happen if they had Manny on their team, actually). And pretty much the only thing that could have stopped Placido Polanco was some sort of kidnapping maneuver wherein he spent the entirety of the game locked in the concession stand broom closet behind third base while trussed up in medical tape and Ace bandages. Must be all that residual power he stores in his gi-normous, lightbulb-shaped head.

The good news is that Mike Lowell is hitting home runs. And Kevin Youkilis is playing on another planet entirely. Plus, the Sox did manage to muster 12 hits and eight runs which is really not so slouchy, offensively-speaking. Clearly, last night was not about pitching.

Look, Papelbon was bound to blow a save at some point this season. You and I both know it was going to happen. Because despite the fact that he often looks like a cartoon character and we frequently view him as a heat-throwing superhero, he is, evidently, human. And when matched up against Captain Bighead of the 5-for-6 night, well, something’s gotta give. Irresistible force meets immovable object and all that. It's best we get it out of the way now before he gets to something ridiculous like 40 straight and we start having fireworks and laser shows and he enters wearing a cape and a horned helmet and THEN he blows one. That'd be way more embarrassing.

So we take it on the chin and move on. Personally, I’m not worried. We’ve got Beckett going tonight and you know what fires up Josh Beckett? Besides Lone Star pitchers and the newest issue of Maxim? Being the stopper. So really, it’s a good thing that the Sox have given Beckett something to be fired up about. This is all going according to plan.

Wow, look at me spinning a loss into a positive. That’s impressive. Perhaps I should work for the Clinton campaign.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Your Brain on Running

So have we all seen this commercial for Nike SPARQ Training? I'll wait a moment so you can familiarize yourself:

Anyway, ignoring for a second the fact that Jacoby Ellsbury does not appear in the commercial (for shame, Nike) despite endorsing the SPARQ system, the spot did inspire some intense trash-talking between Amy and myself, amateur runners both:









Amy: MY...okay, I am out of ideas.

Me: Me too. We're special.

Anyway, this is all by way of saying that when we're not stressing over the Red Sox or tangentially-related items in front of the television, we're doing the same while running. Because apparently we're doing that now. It's all Katherine's fault. (Amy: Katherine infected our brains with crack. Me: We need to make Katherine's Crackheads Running Team t-shirts.) And then there's Abby who ran the entire damn Boston Marathon.

But my point is, my friends - in addition to being crazy people who like to run - are also altruistic sorts who at least like to run for good causes rather than just 'cause they have some deep-seated masochistic streak (I mean, probably that too). But this is all by way of saying that from time to time, I will be shilling for them and their causes, as well as myself and my own causes. Because you know what's awesome? Causes.

Currently, Sean is raising money for the New York Junior League's 4th Annual Mother's Day Race through Central Park. Money goes to combat domestic violence, a worthy cause - especially on Mother's day - if ever there was one. So give him some money. Causes need money and one time Sean ran a 5K in Southie on St. Patrick's Day after consuming half a bottle of Jameson's the night before. He's dedicated is what I'm saying.

Personally, I've got a couple of 5Ks planned in the next couple of months but the one that might resonate with the Sox fans is the Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K in Hopkinton on June 21 of which all entry fees and donations go towards the Mike and Dawn Timlin-established Angel Fund which is seeking a cure for ALS. So you should donate to that one as well, should you feel so inclined. Or better yet, run it with me. Who's in? Amy has already committed so you know it's gonna be a time. We'd love for you to join us. Dudes, Mike Timlin is totally gonna be there and he'll probably give you a high-five. Won't that make it all worth it? Thought so.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Order Restored

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

So...what's the ruling on emailing my grandmother and giving her a hard time about the Sox turning around and sweeping the Rays? Does this fall under the "dishing it out and taking it" headline?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Red Sox Steadfastly Refuse to Score Runs, Continue Hatred of Wakefield

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

This is the year, people. I really think this is the year that Tim Wakefield, fresh off a game like last night's where his teammates can't even scrounge up a single run for him - despite the fact that they managed to do it in dramatic fashion the previous two evenings - just takes off and goes running naked through Kenmore Square wearing a Gatorade cooler for a hat and swinging at random passerby with a Louisville Slugger, only to finally be tackled by Boston cops while trying to scale the awning at Eastern Standard.

It's going to happen. And it's not going to be pretty.

Despite the umpires decision that the game wasn't really over after it, you know, was, and the second chance the Sox got to come through, they still couldn't make anything happen last night. Personally, I'm not too concerned. But then, I'm not Tim Wakefield. And if you're gonna refuse to score runs for the man during the same season in which you get rid of his personal catching binky (again), well, you'd just better assign him a handler at all times. Things might get ugly.

Now, anyone else think Jays' closer B.J. Ryan is slowly morphing into Mike Timlin? Since he cut the blond mullet which made him look like "Farrah Fawcett climbed a sequoia" (TM, I think, Beth), he's definitely looking a little Timlin-esque. Helped along, naturally, by his near implosion and tirade last night. There's already the Brad Penny/Derek Lowe morphing happening in L.A. and who knows what sort of unsavory genetic mutants the Yankees are building in the basement of the Stadium? Forget performance enhancers, we might be talking about gene-splicing and straight up science fiction shit going down here. Soon, the X-Men could be pitching for the Sox. You can be sure we'll be monitoring this situation closely.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hello, my name is Jason Varitek and I will be your hero this evening.

(Photo from Boston.com)

Seriously, man, if I'm the Blue Jays, I'm wondering exactly what kind of black magic voodoo I have to pull out of my sleeve to win games like this considering how great my pitching has been.

But they don't have Jason Varitek is what. And they don't have Jason Varitek deciding that he's just going to hit it to the same place as Brandon Moss before him because he's a gambling man by nature and he'd wager a bet that Vernon Wells isn't going to throw out the lead runner at the plate twice in a row. And he was right. Because he's Jason Varitek. He's The Captain.

Of course, Tek's genius plan required Manny to be running full bore and tearing ass around third. And Manny did his part. The helmet didn't even come off until AFTER he'd been called safe. Maybe he knew it was more aerodynamic?

Anyway, thanks to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jonathan Papelbon and Jason Varitek, (and Vernon Wells, let's be honest), plus Brandon Moss and his fantastic catch, lighting has indeed struck twice.

Tek even acknowledged the crowd with a nice little curtsy move over at first. Did we all see that? Oh, Jason, you're the prettiest ballerina in all the land.