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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Boston, You're My Home

(Photo from Trip Advisor)

New NESN.com post up, kids, in which I romanticize about the...well, romance of Fenway Park. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Knockaround Guys

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

So...do you think George Kottaras knows where he is right now? Or did all the wild pitches/passed balls/getting knocked into next Tuesday render him incapable of rational thought? Like, if you asked him how many fingers you were holding up, would he say "yellow?"

Poor George. It's happened to many before you, young man. True, it's not the knuckleball you were forced to tangle with last night and, truth be told, you've done an admirable job of that so far this season. But perhaps no one told you about Matsuzaka's penchant for wildness or his never-ending quest for equality as he doles out walks to the entire ballpark. You couldn't have known.

And then, there was the collision at the plate with Carlos Gomez who, if a recent series between the Twins and Yankees is to be believed, has a bit of a fighty streak in him. You done well, sir, to not only hold onto the ball but to absorb the hit and make the out. We're not certain, but we think we could feel Jason Varitek sitting in the dugout and cringing. He's 37, you know. His veteran bones can't quite take that kind of licking anymore.

That said, 'Tek? Please come back to us. We'll cushion the home plate area with bubble wrap if it'll help. Only don't go away again.

All in all, a frustrating game. Despite Papi's better efforts, Denard Span felt like being a big mean jerk and catching all fly balls hit his way which, really, is just inconsiderate when a guy's trying to get going. But I'm sure Papi wouldn't want anything handed to him anyway. Though, do you suppose it's okay if I give him a hug?

And Jason Bay hit a home run. As that is what Jason Bay does. Our pale little Canadian is steadfast, that's for sure.

Day game today. Beckett goes at 1:10. Perhaps he will have had quite enough of this wild pitch business and will throw nothing but BBs all day. Here's hoping. For us and for Jason Varitek's knees.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Here is what we learned

(Photo from Bliss-Tree.com)

We learned that if we get home, take Benadryl and then drink half a Negra Modelo, we will pass out completely at 8:35pm, waking up only once when the boyfriend texts something about LeBron getting his shit together. We will then pass out again until roughly 7:10 this morning.

This will cause us to miss the Red Sox game entirely. Checking box scores this morning, we will realize that we didn't miss much.

We will vow to do better.

We will also vow not to mix allergy medicine and alcohol again. You know, maybe.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Doing better and demanding more.

The new issue of InSite Magazine is out and I've got a new column. Somewhat uncharacteristically serious for me but I think that we often forget the impact and influence sports and athletes have on us as a culture. And the media (self included if we're using the broadest possible definition of the term), have a responsibility to demand more.

Check it out.

Are you not entertained?

New post on NESN.com is up, kids. Wherein I discuss the favorite cinematic distractions of our favorite Red Sox players. Come on, you just know Pedroia is off somewhere pounding bloody slabs of beef a la Rocky. You didn't need me to tell you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

As George Michael once famously, said, you gotta have faith.

(Photo from Boston.com)

See, Papi? We knew you could do it. Never doubted you for a second. Okay, perhaps that's not 100% accurate but I'd state confidently that most of us knew you had that in you somewhere. But we were worried. And while a curtain call after the first home run of the season might seem excessive and a little, you know, much to some people, it was an acknowledgment that, "Wow, been a while, huh? Good to get that monkey off our backs." Now let's move on.

And perhaps I'm not quite as hardened and cynical as I thought as the Fenway crowd's reaction to Ortiz's blast last night had me all choked up. That's what happens when a fan base truly loves a player. You want them to do well. You will for them to do well. And when they do, it's excellent.

Also excellent was the home run derby the Red Sox decided to play last night against young Mr. Cecil. It wasn't quite the same as the night a few years ago when the Sox went back-to-back-to-back-to-back off the Yankees Chase Wright and where, if you looked closely enough, you could actually pinpoint the moment his soul left his body, but it was similar in terms of the amount of mercy they showed. Read: none. And Captain 'Tek with the hitting! 37-year-old can't hit catcher my ass. That'll show 'em.

So tonight, it's Game Three against those worrisome Blue Jays from yonder North. I'm sure Kevin Millar has something delightful on tap for the finale, possibly involving some questionable tonsorial decisions or a barnyard animal or two. One never knows...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lovefest for Wakefield

(Photo from Boston.com)

Awww, there's a smile. Who's our cream puff? We love ya, Timmy, you know we do. You do know that, right? Despite the whole "trading away of your personal catcher, no, wait, he's back, actually we think we'll just let him retire and become a realtor in Michigan" thing, right? Doesn't mean we love you any less.

You're Mr. Reliable. Mr. Steady-As-She-Goes. Mr. Dependable. You're Tim Wakefield, practically a synonym for steadfast stoicism in this town. That young fellow George seems to be taking to you rather well too, I'd say. Not that there's anyone around these parts who wouldn't personally strap on the tools of ignorance to give it a go should you need a personal catcher in his stead. And this is even after witnessing what trying to harness the knuckleball can do to the likes of 'Tek during 2004's ALCS Game Five, colloquially known as the never ending passed ball-a-thon. But we love you, Wake, so for you, we'd happily chase errant knuckleballs all over the infield.

Why the lovefest, you may ask? Could be last night's masterful eight innings against the division leading (?) Blue Jays. Save one Kevin Millar home run (and you can hardly fault the guy, he does know you well), it was a virtuoso performance. Could just be that it finally, finally, finally feels like springtime and I was able to watch the game with all the windows in my apartment wide open. Could be that with the Celtics and Bruins eliminated from contention, the Red Sox are back to being the only show in town and, same as it ever was, we've got Timmy Wake to count on. Whatever it is, consider this era of good feelings out in full force.

Bradley Wayne Penny? You are obliged to keep it going, sir.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Healthy Competition

New NESN.com post is up, kids, wherein I offer some suggestions for promotions our four respective professional sports teams can do to stake their claim on their portion of the fan base. A good problem to have, surely.

But then, who wouldn't want to attend "Dennis Eckersley High Cheese Night?" No one I care to know, that's for sure.

Off the Brink

(Photo from Boston.com)

And just like that, it's all over. Thought they had this one too. I really did. I mean, what's a hockey team doing in Carolina anyway? Especially one with a coach that looks much more like the lead singer of some emo band you've never heard of or perhaps The Proclaimers than the coach of a professional hockey franchise. I mean, honestly.

But pettiness aside, the Bruins have little to be ashamed of. They fought hard and they fought long and overtime in Game 7 is about as far as anyone can expect to be pushed. That said, I wanted to win that one. I really did.

I guess I'll cheer for the Blackhawks now since I have a sense of loyalty to Original Six teams and Detroit won theirs last year. Plus I've always gotten the sense that I'd greatly enjoy Chicago. Guess this means that spring has officially begun here, kids. Winter in Beantown is over.

Good thing we have that baseball team to focus on. Now, what's the matter with David Ortiz?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Get well soon, RemDawg

(Who else misses this? I know I do.)

I'm in New Orleans until Tuesday, kids. Keep a lid on things without me, okay? In the meantime, my new NESN.com piece is up wherein I detail all the options the Sox have for a temporary replacement for Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy while he continues his recovery from cancer surgery and subsequent pneumonia.
Kevin Garnett and Bill Belichick in the booth, anyone?

Get well soon, RemDawg. We love Eck and all but you're our man in the booth. We miss you.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Beware of larcenous Canadians!

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

If there's anything more delightful than the dulcet sounds of Dennis Eckersley's commentary coming from the booth during a game at Yankee Stadium in which the Red Sox are winning, it may be the unexpected and still understated play of everyone's favorite Canadian, Jason Bay. I mean, from the Red Sox side of things, of course. When Bay swiped second late in the game last night, I referred to him as a surprisingly larcenous Canadian while HJ, the Yankee fan boyfriend claimed, "You know those Canadians, always wanting stuff for free. Health care, bases..."

You can't say he doesn't have a sense of humor about these matters.

Then, of course, there's Eckersley. Why NESN has been messing around with the likes of Buck Martinez while our dearly beloved Jerry Remy recovers from pneumonia is beyond me. When they have a gem like Eck in their midst? We could have been listening to this brilliance the whole time? Oh, Dennis, where have you been all our lives?

Now don't get me wrong, I love Remy more than is probably healthy and wish him the speediest of speedy recoveries, but Eckersley is nothing short of a national treasure. The man simply says what he thinks, whatever pops into his head, regardless of appropriateness or tact. It's simply delightful. His assessment of certain Yankee players being scrubs is fantastic such as his comments in re: third base sub Ramiro Pena. "This guy already got his bloop single. He's not a hard out. He has no business hanging in there against someone like Beckett." And his steadfast assertion that Chamberlain drilling Bay was intentional: "That's just bush. That's bush league. You're gonna do that in a one run game? Come on, now, no one in that dugout likes you to begin with."

Basically, Eck says what we're all thinking. And our lives are the richer for it.

Now that I'm writing for NESN.com and Eck and I are technically paid by the same people, Chrissy is angling for an invite to the annual Christmas party (which thing I don't know if it exists). I suspect she just wants an opportunity to touch Eck's flowing locks and bask in the commentary he's sure to deliver on junk ball pitchers and leads off first. In the meantime, I'll do what I can to make sure Eck is a part of our daily baseball lives. Of course, when Remy comes back, we shall embrace him with open hearts, but a little Eck never hurt anyone.

Monday, May 04, 2009


(My sneakers. See how fast they make me look?)

Marathon fundraising update!

That's right, you're getting running updates. To date, I've raised $1,365.40 (the odd numbers owing to some creative friends and their donations of $52.40 - or $2 a mile, and $262 or $10 per). And that's in just over a month of fundraising. I can't begin to thank you all enough. With more than five months to go, I'm over a quarter of the way to my fundraising goal. You people make me proud.

As for the actual training part of this marathon, right now I'm still doing short runs. Inside on the track and progressively more and more outside runs as the weather warms up. Of course, when I run inside, I don't get chased by a very aggressive Pekingese like I did on Saturday. I also don't get lost in the woods while listening to "American Girl" on my iPod and freak myself out by envisioning that I've somehow inadvertently cast myself in a remake of Silence of the Lambs. But if I didn't run outside, I wouldn't have these stories with which to entertain you, now would I?

If you've not yet donated and would like to, you can find my personal donation page
here. Link is also on the sidebar. HJ, the graphics wiz boyfriend has created a handy thermometer so you can track my fundraising progress. Or if you'd rather do it the old-fashioned way, Rick and Sue are accepting checks made out to the Alzheimer's Association (email me at snowtackle (at) gmail (dot) com for details).

Once again, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support in this crazy endeavor. I've said it before and I'll say it again but I truly do have the best readers out there. You guys rock!

Friday, May 01, 2009

For shame

(I feel you, monkey)

One hit? One? I am going to take so much shit from my grandmother.

On the plus side, I've got a new piece on NESN.com wherein I let our dear GM know exactly what's up.