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

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cash Money

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Do you think every time Kevin Cash does something well - like last night's 3-run homer or the (gasp!) intentional walk - Dougie dies a little inside? Awww, that's so sad, I'd rather not think about it.

What I would prefer to think about is Randy Johnson and the manner in which his season is unraveling. I don't quite know why but seeing The Big Unit (are we still allowed to call him that?) struggle amuses me. I'm sure all pigeons out there agree.

I also appreciate Tim Wakefield stepping up and showing us all how it's done. Wake has been, for all intents and purposes, throwing the same pitch for thirteen years, and if there are nights like last night where he can still confuse people and make them look like 6-year-olds playing dizzy bat as they swing and miss, I figure he's still worth it.

Good thing he's got that lifetime contract.

Now that JD Drew appears to be coming back to earth, there's some cause for concern re: our offense. But if the mantle of Captain Offensive Contribution is going to continue to be picked up by the most unlikely of candidates, well, we couldn't find someone less likely than Kevin Cash. Except perhaps Dougie. Who's probably still practicing his naked cuts somewhere.

Does this mean that my brother is gonna have to stop instinctively booing Cash now? It's nothing personal, you understand.

Also, for what it's worth, there is very little I wouldn't give for Kevin "Cash Money" Cash and Kevin "The Big KY" Youkilis to collaborate on an album of raps together. Maybe Coco can hook them up?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Revisionist History?

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Okay so, maybe I'm hallucinating or something? Not enough sleep (totally possible) or too much coffee (probably not). But I swear that Dan Haren didn't used to be this good. You know, back when he was called "Danny" and was sharing a dealer with Mark Bellhorn or something. I didn't make that up, right? There was a time when Dan(ny) Haren looked like a cross between Dr. Richard Kimball and the lead singer of Nickelback, right?

Anyway, apparently he is over that now. More's the pity for the Red Sox. Especially since Josh Beckett pitched well and managed to mostly save the overtaxed bullpen. But, you know, that's why we play again tonight.

What I am slightly concerned about is Kevin Youkilis using his face as a backstop. No, Kevin, no! You are not wearing catcher's gear. Maybe helmets for infielders? With masks?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Walkoffs and Bulldogs. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Jason Varitek laughs at the preposterous notion that he can be defeated by a mere mortal. Honestly, people, he is Superman. His only known Kryptonite is the high fastball. But you think he's gonna let someone like Chris Duncan get the best of him. For he is Tek, Captain of Awesome.

"Didn't that same thing happen to a Molina a few weeks ago?" I asked Amy.

"I think he had to be carried off the field on a stretcher," she said.

"With the understanding that I don't want any Molinas to be hurt," I added, "I think this means Jason Varitek is greater than a Molina."

Amy mused, "You know how Banana Republic and The Gap and Old Navy are the same company but they use the good cuts of fabric for Banana Republic and the middle for the Gap and the crap ends for Old Navy?"

"Yeah?" I said.

"Jason Varitek is the Banana Republic cut," she said. "Then there are other catchers who are the Gap cut, but most people are the Old Navy cut."

"Apt comparison," I said.

Anyway...Kevin Youkilis. Gettin' it done. Like he told you he would. It's just that easy.

Due credit should go, of course, to the Sox bullpen as well since, aside from some uncharacteristic Papelbonian hiccups, they were effective and got the job done.

Probably because of what I'm taking to be their mandatory presence on Saturday morning at the Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K Race to Cure ALS. I was there. So was Amy. So were many Sox bullpeners. Justin Masterson in particular showed up early, way before race time and stood next to Mike Timlin looking as though he was waiting to be told what to do. He appears to be a helpful sort, that J-Mast.

"Do you think I should tell him I've christened him the team ace?" I asked Amy.

"Oh absolutely," she said, "And then slap him on his pitching arm and say, 'No pressure, kid!'"

Luckily for everyone, I restrained myself.

Justin Masterson's wife Meryl ran the race, as did Dawn Timlin. Both of them kicked our asses. But that was pretty much expected.

What wasn't expected? Seeing David Aardsma and Javier Lopez positively geeking out over a tiny bulldog puppy after the race. Not that I can blame them. I mean, it was seriously the most adorable puppy I've ever seen. There was also an older bulldog who was very protective. Basically, we were living in this Petsmart commercial. And David Aardsma was angling for the best picture of said puppies on his iPhone. No lie. Maybe that's what he'll look at to psyche himself up now?

He also, by the way, knows that I know this about him since Amy and I were returning from the car and I was blabbing loudly and said something about "David Aardsma's obsession with bulldogs" which made Amy start laughing for reasons I did not understand until I looked up and saw...David Aardsma about five feet from us. "Heh," I laughed. "Maybe he'll Google that phrase tomorrow."

"And lo the many things he'll find," Amy added.

So yeah, the Sox lost two of three to the Cards but they won the third in dramatic fashion. Plus, Rick Ankiel fell down, Youks went on a tear, Tek demonstrated his superhuman abilities (Again. Some more.), Mike and Dawn Timlin raised tons of money for ALS research, David Aardsma got to bond with a bulldog puppy and I learned that Javier Lopez wears Converse All-Stars. So really, not a bad weekend all things considered.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sometimes I go a little nuts is all

Home Sweet Home?
Historical Landmark Provides Comfort, Shelter for Mets' Forlorn

Stanley Mumphrey, the 73-year-old groundskeeper at Shea Stadium noticed something odd this past weekend as he was walking the warning track in center field checking for divots.

"I was walking along like I always do and got near the apple, see?" Mumphrey said, referring to the giant apple that rises from a top hat beyond the center field fence whenever a Mets player hits a home run, "and it looked to me like there was a light on in there."

Mumphrey called park security to investigate, thinking vandals had broken into the historical symbol.

"It wouldn't be the first time," head of park security, Randy Chalmers said.

Only this time, it wasn't vandals or teenagers pulling a prank. When Chalmers and his security team opened the trap door located at the base of the top hat, they found recently fired Mets manager Willie Randolph, asleep and surrounded by what appeared to be scouting reports.

Roused by Chalmers, Randolph was confused as to his whereabouts and appeared intoxicated. Several empty bottles of gin were found stashed inside the apple along with a Coleman camp stove and several unopened cans of tuna fish.

An agitated Randolph claimed he was "only staying for a little while" and "just needed a place to crash" following the recent 3am firing by Mets brass.

Mets general manager Omar Minaya could not be reached for comment.

When asked if, prior to his discovery, Randolph planned to stay in the apple for a lengthy period of time, he would say only, "I just figured they wouldn't find me here."

Pedro Martinez, the Mets future Hall of Fame pitcher, commented only that "it's better than living under a mango tree. I did that once. Before I was a mega-gajillionaire."

There were no reports yet on whether or not Randolph plans to undergo counseling for post traumatic stress disorder.

"I figured," he said, "I can still be close to the team, right?"

"This apple's pretty roomy. Maybe McLaren needs a place to crash," Randolph added referring to John McLaren, the recently deposed manager of the Seattle Mariners.

When asked if other fired managers might find solace in the Stadium artifact as well - perhaps Yankees manager Joe Girardi, should he face a similar fate for helming the underperforming Yankees - Randolph shook his head violently. "(expletive deleted) that guy," he said.

Yankees partial owner Hank Steinbrenner could not be reached for comment.

(Apologies to Sean as the original idea of someone (namely him) taking up residence in the Shea Stadium apple was his. And this was BEFORE the drinking at the wedding.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Marvel should get on this immediately.

You guys? I don't mean to alarm anyone, but I'm pretty sure J.D. Drew has been bitten by a radioactive spider.

I mean, I really can't think of another explanation since his ridiculous stats and hitting prowess since Ortiz went on the DL are pretty much straight up science fiction shit. Even his "patch of suck" in right field has cleared up. (No lie, there was a dead, brown patch of grass out there where he used to stand). He hasn't even missed any time lately with the menses. We've even stopped calling him "Jessica."

So, you know...what? What is happening here?

"Too bad he couldn't do that last year," my mom said when I expressed my confusion at his performance.

"Well, I guess," I said, "But I mean, it's not like we could have won the World Series more if he'd been hitting better. I guess I'm just confused by the turnaround."

"It is quite a marked difference," she agreed. (My mom pretends not to follow baseball).

"Maybe he really is a superhero and he saw Papi go down and was all, 'I'm needed!' and then put on his super hero cape and started playing like Spiderman."

"Okaaaaay," she said. And then laughed nervously.

I don't know. Maybe that is what happened. Maybe he's actually an X-Man. Maybe he saw the new Hulk movie or something and decided to start playing angry. Or maybe he was hanging out with Tek and Lowell one day ('cause those guys are obviously super heroes. I mean, that's just general knowledge, right?) and they let him in on their super heroe-y ways. Showed him the magical phone booth or something.

All I know is that while at Fenway last week, Drew cracked a base hit, plating a couple of runs and inspired the following conversation between myself and a woman I'd never met before.

Me (turning to complete stranger): Seriously, what is up with that dude all of a sudden?

Stranger: I think his wife's been putting out more.

Me: Right?

And he hasn't tailed off since.

You guys, I haven't even moved the bobblehead from it's place on the bookshelf or anything. At this point, I'm kind of afraid to.

He would make quick work of that Flarke bookcase

Me: Can I tell you? I have a WICKED crush on Kevin Garnett. I kind of want to hang out with him.

Kerri: He is one of the most intense people I've ever seen. And I mean INTENSE. Could you imagine him trying to put together a pre-fab bookcase or something? Talking to himself the whole time and several chest pumps when he finished?

Me: That settles it. He is coming with me on my next trip to IKEA.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Long Time Coming

(Photo from Boston.com)

Now, I'm not what you'd consider a huge basketball fan. I pretty much stopped paying attention to the NBA when Larry Bird retired. I got wrapped up in baseball then. And we all know how that's gone. I have virtually no memory of the Celtics' past days of glory since they won their last championship when I was six. But I do appreciate any scenario in which Kobe Bryant looks like a punk. I seem to have developed a wicked crush on Kevin Garnett (I do have a history of liking the sprawly, snarky ones), and I'm taking a surprising amount of pleasure in watching Paul Pierce, who always seemed so prickly to me, find a place as a member of a great team instead of as the team all by himself.

Plus, I'm from New England, geographically, these are my boys.

And I do know some Celtics fans who are no doubt completely thrilled this morning. I'm thinking specifically of Kerri and Big Mike and of Rachelle's dad Lou. And of course Butchie and the Tin Knockas. (Now does that sound like a bunch of Celtics fans out of central casting or what?) So I'm totally excited for them. Watching your team win a championship - especially considering the turnaround from last year - is a great thing.

Hazel Mae just said, "There's always room for another championship in New England." And I know what people outside of our fair nation think - sometimes outspokenly - about our teams in this region. But you know what? No apologies. We love our sports. We love our teams. We love seeing them win - as would anyone enjoy seeing their teams on top. So we take it and we smile and we cherish the championships.

So good on ya, Celtics. Nice work. Nice to see you smiling, Paul. When you frown, you look like a catfish.

As for the Red Sox, they did some impressive work of their own. Since throwing his no-hitter, Jon Lester is in the business of being one-upped, it seems since his last start was overshadowed by the Fisticuffs of Fury involving Coco and the Rays and last night's start will be largely relegated to sidebar material on account of the Celtics' win. (As it should be. The Red Sox are the golden child in this town and can do with taking a backseat for a day or so). But we shouldn't ignore the fact that Lester pitched admirably. The Phillies are a division leader and with Utley, Rollins and Howard, hitting is never their problem. So holding them to zero runs is nice work indeed.

Also, when I saw the Phillies were countering with Jamie Moyer, I assumed that Manny would take him deep at least twice since historically Manny holds ownership papers to Mr. Moyer. Imagine my surprise when I checked the score to see that the RBIs came about as a result of a Coco Crisp home run and a Julio Lugo double. Not really known for their offensive prowess those two. Crazy times indeed.

Of course, now we learn that Bartolo Colon has been placed on the DL with back stiffness. Which thing I guess we can't really complain about because of the fact that we're apparently paying him in cotton candy and well wishes. And Matsuzaka is coming back so...I guess we'll be all right.

It's a day game today which I find mildly irritating since I haven't been able to watch an actual Red Sox game since the one I attended in person last Wednesday. Life, you know, sometimes gets in the way. So I'll be Gamedaying and hoping for the best.

But today belongs to the Celtics and Green 17. Fire up a cigar for Red.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Power of Suggestion

(Photo from Camden Chat)

Still recovering from the crab and Old Bay coma sustained in Birdland over the weekend but I would be remiss if I didn't point out to you, dear readers, that in light of last week's discussion about possible at bat music for Kevin Youkilis, someone has clearly been paying attention. Aubrey Huff's at bat music is, in fact, "Shoop" by Salt 'N Pepa.

You heard me.

I am pretty sure this can only mean one thing: Kevin Millar has been reading this blog. So let's all take a moment and wave hi to Buckethead, shall we?

HI, EL BENCHO! We miss you!

Have fun in Baltimore. Also? Maybe not so much with the Shooping for Aubrey, no?

Oh, and maybe give Markakis my number? Kthnx.

/retreats into crab coma

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

Um, so, baseball players? That guy up there? Not actually a professional salsa dancer. Not an underwear model either. He's, uh, actually pretty good at hitting the baseball. Won some awards even.

Just sayin'. Maybe not so much with the walking Manny to pitch to Mike Lowell.

Actually, you know what? Forget I said anything. Carry on. That guy sucks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Exercise in Bi-partisan Baseball

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

So lemme tell you, when you wear an Orioles Nick Markakis shirt and a Red Sox hat to Fenway for an O's/Sox game, you get some funny looks. First there's the "Oh, Orioles fan. Okay, whatever," then they notice the hat and it's all, "Hey, wait a minute." One relatively attractive gentleman in an Orioles jersey asked me, "So...what are you?" I explained, "I'm a Red Sox fan. I'm from here. But my best friend (gesturing to Greta) is an Orioles fan. So because of that, I've grown to like the Orioles."

"Right on," he said.

All in all, the Sox fans were well-behaved and didn't heckle or disrespect the few Orioles fans scattered around the park. Plus, the way I figure it, we certainly invade Camden Yards often enough (I refuse to call it "Fenway South"), that we can definitely use a taste of our own medicine. Plus, I do genuinely like the Orioles. And the Rays had already lost so no matter what the outcome had turned out to be, the Sox would still be in first place. A win-win if you will.

Additionally, my Markakis shirt made me some new friends. "I have to ask you," a middle-aged woman decked out in Sox gear said to me during the seventh inning, "isn't Nick Markakis smoking hot?"

"I'm saying," I replied. Greta and I then shared the story of Markakis balancing stuff on his face for fun and tearing ass around Baltimore in wheelie shoes. You can't say we don't do our research.

The game itself was precisely what I wanted. A very solid start by Colon and Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell going deep. Also Luke Scott, whom I've adopted as well. But I do have some questions. Such as, what the hell is Kevin Youkilis using as his at-bat music?

I texted Kim - the resident Youk fanatic - said question during the game.

"You mean you're not familiar with the smooth vocal stylings of Rick Ross's 'Push it to the Limit?' For shame."

I wrote back, "I was confusing it with Salt 'n Pepa's 'Push it.' Forgive me."

Kim was excited, "THAT would be a fantastic song. Can we campaign?"


So get on it, people. What can we do to get Kevin Youkilis to use Salt 'n Pepa music exclusively for his at-bats? Perhaps even a little "Shoop" or "Whatta Man" thrown in for good measure. The world needs more incidences of Kevin Youkilis doing his butt wiggle to the words, "Spinderella, cut it up one time" and "Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that." Trust me.

That said, I am a little concerned about the music director at Fenway Park as, at one point during the evening between innings, Sade's "Smooth Operator" could be heard.

"What?" said Greta.

"I feel like I'm in the world's largest dentist waiting room." I said.

The two guys standing behind us turned to each other with confused looks.

"I feel so sexy right now," one of them said to the other.

This prompted another exchange of text messages.

"Sade and fruit cups? What is happening to Fenway?" I asked Kim.

"I asked myself that same question as I passed by the yogurt. Then I got in line for beer."

"Keeping it real is very much appreciated" I replied.

Because...what? I'm a baseball purist, you might have noticed so I feel kind of squicky when fruit cups and veggie platters and wine spritzers make an appearance at sporting events. Especially at a place like Fenway which, thus far, has done a pretty good job remaining traditional. I just feel like baseball goes with sausages and Fenway Franks and beer. And despite the fact that my runner's system no longer takes kindly to such delicacies, that's what you eat at a baseball game.

Unless you're in Baltimore. In which case you eat Boog Powell's barbecue and $2 Natty Bohs at Slider's prior to the game, which advice we gave to the woman admiring my Markakis shirt.

"I'm going down there for the Sox series next month," she said.

"Are you going to behave?" Greta asked her.

"What do you mean?" she wondered.

"You know how Red Sox fans get," said Greta, "I've been living here for ten years so I'm a Sox fan too but people have soured on them and I am only one person, I can't defend or represent the whole fan base."

"Put it this way," I said, "would you want visitors coming into your house and disrespecting your team?"

"No way," she said, "I'll behave. Besides, I still love Kevin Millar."

So really, Millar continues to bridge the gap of baseball loyalties and bring people together. And isn't that what it's all about?

Myself, I will be in Baltimore this weekend watching a rematch of the 1979 World Series between the Pirates and O's. Along with, I'm guessing, about seven other people. Nevertheless, it promises to be a good time. Hold down the fort for me, will you?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Okay, I think you all know how I feel about the Orioles. That is, I enjoy them a great deal, think their fans are lovely people, totally dig their ballpark and try to practice bi-partisan cheering whenever possible. I am fully pro 2/5 of the AL East. (The remaining 3/5 can go screw themselves). But last night's game was apparently worrisome. I say "apparently" because I'm a bad fan and saw only the highlights this morning due to a prior commitment. That said, just what exactly is going on with Hideki Okajima? That is troublesome. Putting a winnable game firmly out of reach is not something we want to be doing, Hideki. Especially in lieu of our ace's shaky start. Although, until further notice, I'm thinking Justin Masterson should be our "ace." Everyone else can try their hardest to wrest the title from him.

That said, I think perhaps Craig Hansen and JD Drew somehow got wind of the bet Amy and I have. They've just chosen to react to it in opposite ways. JD Drew has become a home run hitting, RBI producing machine, rivaling the sidelined Ortiz in output. (You guys would tell me if we were in crazy bizarro world, right? I mean, there's non-baseball related evidence to support this in my life as well but I wasn't sure it was carrying over to the league of bats and balls). And Craig Hansen is apparently buckling under the pressure of finishing the season with a sub-3.00 ERA and has decided to forget how to throw a baseball. So that's fun.

Tonight I will be in attendance at Orioles vs. Red Sox V2 because I have some wonderful readers (Kim) who offer me their extra tickets. Seriously, you guys are the nicest. We'll see how tonight's exercise in bi-partisanship pans out. I might have to take a tally of the confused looks I get while simultaneously cheering for Nick Markakis and Jason Varitek. But not Julio Lugo. Screw that guy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Pitcher Crush

(Photo from NECN)

Amy said to me yesterday as we watched Papelbon close out the win against the Mariners, "You know, I feel like no one is really talking about how great Justin Masterson has been."

So let me state for the record, here in this space, that I am full on DRIVING the "uncomfortably in love with Justin Masterson" bus.

Seriously, you guys. I think I love him.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Playing Nice with Others

(Photo from Boston.com)

Awww, you guys, it's such a throwback, this whole brawling with the Rays thing. Remember when Pedro used to get into it with them and Tek would have to tackle the batter who charged the mound from behind and then Brian Daubach would start throwing haymakers and Trotter would be "giving some information?" Last night made me almost nostalgic for that.

Okay, full disclosure, I didn't see the fight when it originally happened as I was out running - my longest run yet at 7.25 miles (go me!) - so only got the report when I got home and called Amy.

"Yeah, so Coco got in a fight."

"Like, with the umpires? Because he was kinda pissed at them last night."

"No, with Shields. He charged the mound after he got hit with a pitch."

"Coco's a little bit of a punk, isn't he?"

"I think he missed snack time due to the early start."

And then all kinds of shenanigans happened with Jacoby rolling his wrist in center (what did I just say about all the cool kids wanting to hang out on the DL?) and JD Drew playing center and Youkilis(!) in right and Chris Carter (not to be confused with former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter), in left and then Kevin Cash serving as both bullpen catcher and DH.

Coco's locker room interview in which he held forth on the proper way to fight - "And I actually credit Shields, too. Even though we went at it, he hit me in the leg, he didn't try to hit me in the head. He didn't try to kill me. I ran out there and then he tried to hit me in the head. That's the way to go." - was interesting. But I suspect his repeatedly calling the Rays "little girls" is going to carry over. Also, that's big talk from a man in braids and beads.

There was also that little matter of the skirmish between Youks and Manny in the dugout.

"Just a lot of testosterone flying around out there tonight," Tito said in his postgame. "I wanted to kick Millsy's ass."

One hopes it really was just testosterone and that it is, as both Tito and Dave McCarty suggested, "Taken care of." McCarty was quick to point out that these things happen all the time on major league teams, just not usually in the dugout in front of cameras. But I'm thinking, considering the parties involved, isn't it entirely possible - and maybe even probable - that what we saw was a result of a wet willie or perhaps that favorite of little brothers everywhere, "I'm not touching you! Can't do anything, I'm not touching you!"?

What I'm saying is, I don't think we should worry too much about the chemistry on the Good Ship Red Sox. After all, we have Sean Casey: Peacemaker. He'll appease all parties and get them separate coloring books and Tek will give everyone Dad Face and everything will be fine. Problem solved.

What I am worried about is Jacoby's wrist and Manny's hammy. Because we kind of need both of those body parts. I mean, god love ya, Chris Carter, but you are no Manny Ramirez.

Also, lost in the Fight Club: Red Sox Edition is the fact that Jon Lester pitched himself a hell of a game and managed to stay out of the fray. Impressive, that.

Tonight the Mariners are in town with their tirade-prone manager John McLaren at the helm. That man is spitting fire, boys. Watch out. Oh, and Coco, if you see the Mariner Moose? Run.

In addition? Way to go, Celtics. ::fist bumps::

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

(Tek enjoys your poetic prowess)

Or, you know, a box set of DVDs. That's it, people. The votes are in and have been tabulated and the winner of the (what should be) Annual Jason Varitek Poetry Contest is...Aaron Bennett who penned the William Carlos Williams-inspired selection #2, narrowly beating out Jason Varitek's Sestina #45. Aaron is now the proud owner of The Essential Games of Fenway box set.

John Cheever once famously said "All literary men are Red Sox fans" and you have proven him correct. This little contest was fun but also reaffirmed my faith in our brains, as a fan base. Poetry and baseball. Two great tastes that taste great together!

So congratulations, Aaron! Enjoy!

Also, the Red Sox won because Josh Beckett hitched up his pitching pants and went to work. That was fun too.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Up is Down! Left is Right! Rays is Good!

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

You guys? Can I make a confession and you promise you won't judge me? Okay, see, the thing is, I still get confused by the fact that beating Tampa Bay is actually a difficult thing to do. My kneejerk reaction is to see them coming up on the schedule and laugh and go, "Right, Tampa. H'okay then" and just sort of snort derisively. Because someone has to be on the bottom and, traditionally, our good friends from Tampa have done the job nicely.

But apparently, things are changing. Joe Maddon's emo glasses and his roving band of spunky misfits have formed an actual baseball team. One that currently sits atop the AL East. And they look built to stay there. Right? It's not just me, that looks like a typo, doesn't it?

It's upsetting the natural order of things. Soon it will be snowing in July and fish will take to the land.

That said, because of Tampa's newfound baseball relevance (perhaps they should have done away with the 1994 Lisa Frank color scheme a while ago), the Sox did some pretty fine work in beating them last night. In a game with several lead changes - due, in part, to several home runs - Justin Masterson pitched well and the Sox offense kept it's head down and went to work. Possibly they're realizing that with David Ortiz out for the foreseeable future, someone is going to have to step up. But I do wonder how long that can last if that person is, you know, JD Drew.

Also, what is Okajima's deal? Is his arm currently held together with Big League Chew and gumption? He worries me. I am worried.

However, playing at Fenway has certainly served as a cure for what ails these boys this season, so let's hope they can keep it rolling. Tonight, Josh Beckett goes and I, for one, hope that he's in more of a "been listening to Back in Black for three days straight and pounding down Red Bulls and ready to punk some Devil Ray ass" rather than "Duuuuude, the new Dave Red Rocks bootleg is sweeeet! Also, check it. I got a new Frisbee. It glows in the dark," mode. Here's hoping.

Also, one day left to vote on the Tek poetry contest!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Day Late and a Designated Hitter Short

Obviously, when I said I'd be back Monday, I totally meant Tuesday. Y'all should have known that. We made it back from Pittsburgh in one piece - though technically we had an emergency landing due to some issues with landing gear power. For reals, there were emergency vehicles meeting us on the runway and ushering us into the gate. Turned out to be nothing but you can bet that Greta and I will be embellishing the story in the days to come. Tales of untold bravery and selflessness in saving feeble old ladies and puppy dogs from a fiery explosion, etc, etc. Or a gremlin on the wing and John Lithgow freaking everyone out. One or the other.

Anyway, to take all our minds off the fact that the DL is apparently where all the cool kids are hanging out these days, I give you the contest submissions for the Essential Games at Fenway box set. No names because I'm all about fairness here, but I've assigned them all numbers. So here's what you do: Pick your top three choices and rank them. Then email them to snowtackle (at) gmail (dot) com in your preferred order. I'll tally them up and post the winner who will then get said fabulous box set. So without further ado, the best entries:

Thank god for Dougie,
Now I mean Young Kevin
Wakey isn't mine to catch
If only Schill had listened
Thank god for kids
Now turned to Men
4 No no no's
Damn Schill all to hell

So much depends

a rookie pitcher

for some reason

won't throw the fucking pitch I called

Calling the pitches
For all you bitches who want
to be boys to men.

Dougie, Dougie, where,
have you settled your humor
And slick dressing skills?

I am the best at
What I do catching pitchers
In major league games.

In a moment, Dougie will be back.
I keep his soft mitt,
close to my soft heart.
The roar of his escort grows louder.
Too long already,
we have been apart.
If only Doug could return,
For just one three-base dash,
I'd gift him my catcher's camo,
Just have to outbid Cash.
We will be fine without Mirabelli.
More dollars spent on batting gloves,
but not nearly as many at the Deli.
Kevin's crappy OPS comes cheaper.
Mirabelli had his moments,
but not nearly as many as the Duchscherer.
Gone, not forgotten.
Still plays more than Nancy.

DiceK ( san )

just once-


Jason Varitek's Sestina No. 45

My favorite pitcher? Gotta say Pedro.
In his prime, seven, eight years back, before Schill
Came to Boston, before--wow, had Beckett
Even reached the majors yet? I know Lester
Was a long way off, him and Papelbon
Both way too young, which of course puts Buchholz

Down in, like, kindergarten. In fact, Buchholz,
You know, we only got to draft him 'cause Pedro
Left town. But that year his ERA was lower than Pap's--
Now, for a starter, that's a miracle. Like Schill
Going seven on a bleeding ankle, like Lester
Coming back strong and then stronger, like Beckett

Unhittable in October. Course, we might not've signed Beckett,
And I wouldn't have caught a no-hitter by Buchholz,
And I wouldn't have caught a no-hitter by Lester,
If it had never been for years of Pedro.
He made us all into contenders. So Schill,
In turn, could pick up the slack. Now, y'see, Pap's

Thrown fire for me since day one, but Pap
Had seen us win it all before, and Beckett
Came here already with a ring, like Schill.
They're here because we had the chance we had. No Buchholz
Without Pedro, I'm saying. Without the *promise* of Pedro.
It's not just the extra draft pick. Like, Lester--

We'd already drafted him, I guess. Gosh, Lester's
A great story, great kid, great pitcher. Papelbon?
Well, when he isn't dancing, he's a horse. Pedro's
Tremendous, but if someone could come close, it's Beckett
Someday. And I'm blessed to catch those guys, with Buchholz
in the wings, and we haven't heard the last from Schill.

These days, I hear a lot about how Schill
Shook me off when he shouldn't, and how Lester's
No-no set a record, like I held his hand and Buchholz's,
Like I'm more than just a lucky man. Papelbon
Won't quit calling me "captain." And Beckett
Claimed he'd cut his MVP plaque in two. He should send half to Pedro.

One pitcher taught me most of what I know.
(Not forgetting D-Lowe, not forgetting Foulke or Nomo.)
I never had favorites--but I had Pedro.

Dougie, of the Parm
Noodle bat and big-ass mitt
No more be they here

I have seen the best hitters of my generation
whiffing wildly, hysterical madmen
unable to connect
waving feebly at demonic pitches thrown by a dominican maniac!
Pedro! Pedro! Pedro! I've seen you in Moloch!
Pedro! Your grandmother is sick again!
Pedro! You killed the Yankees! Pedro! They ain't your DADDY NO MORE!

This is just to say

I have kicked

your husbands' ass,

Mrs Rodriguez

Which ass

you probably

had plans for

Forgive me

but your

husband really is a pussy.

So that's it, people. Email me your choices. As you can see, my readers might be even more insane than I am. Love it. I'll close down voting in 48 hours. So that gives you until 9am on Thursday.

Also, unrelated but congratulations to Kate & Seb. Those kids even made Pittsburgh enjoyable. I will totally go to all their weddings.