Saturday, April 17, 2004

Jere's Stat O' The Week

Batting Average Thru 4/17

Manny Ramirez: .405

A-Rod & Giambi: .385*


The magic number now stands at 151, which also, I think, is what the guy next to me was drinking at Fenway today.

Friday, April 16, 2004

That FOX Quality

I love beating the yankees. I'm trying to come up with a comparison to this feeling. "Christmas morning" just doesn't come close...

I know it's April, but still...

It's always the best kind of win. Any year, any month. All my life. Just the way I was raised I guess.

You'd think FOX could've shown a little more of the new aspects of Fenway. Like maybe a better look at the RF Roof seats, or some underneath-the-stands action. But no. Of course, McCarver told us about the Titanic sinking stealing the headlines over Fenway's opening in 1912. They can't seem to get enough of that one.

Here was McCarver's big mistake, though: When they showed the graphic of Red Sox 7th Game heartbreaks over the years, MacCarver read them all, and then said, "Five in a row." Terrible job, Grandpa Timmy. How about Game 6 of the '86 ALCS? We won that one. I'm not saying the graphic was wrong, I'm pretty sure it was just showing all the Game 7s the Sox have lost. But McCarver acted like it was some kind of streak, like we just can't win a Game 7. What a moron. He actually did seem a little less senile tonight than last season.

Actually, he also made a mistake on the Manny HR-that-wasn't, when, on the first replay, in which you couldn't possibly see where the ball landed (although I knew it hit off the wall on the live shot), McCarver says, "It's a homerun." Only to be proven wrong on the next replay. About that play, I wish they hadn't botched that call, because Sheffield, who is a disgrace to Def Leppard's hometown of Sheffield, England, had no intention of chasing down that ball, (in much the way Knoblauch wouldn't have) and I would've liked to see Manny get an inside-the-parker.

I also didn't like how McCarver called Manny's dropped ball a "la-tee-da" play. He was looking it in to the glove, he just missed it. And McCarver just gets all over him, strictly based on Manny's nonchalance of the past, and not on the play that had just happened.

Wasn't that funny when A-Rod was out at first, but called safe, only to get caught stealing third with the tying run at the plate? And then the two genius announcers with their "I'm not surprised A-Rod isn't hitting, what with all the pressure..." BULL S**T. And "Who are they gonna boo more, Jeter or A-Rod?" Come on, now. Think, FOX.

And of course, as I should've known, we've got a new member of the "Damon's hair is slowing him down" club. And like everyone else in the club, Joe Buck acted like he was the first to think of this silly notion. (You know, in high school, I was the fastest player on the team, and I was the only one with long hair.) Who'll be the next to join the club? My money's on Sterling. Remember, though, you can't get in to the club unless you PRETEND you're first to think of it, so get your speech printed up now Sterling, so you don't mess it up on the air.

At some point in the mid-'90s, I was at Fenway with some friends for a yankee game, and when the Sox got the second out in the ninth, I stood up. My friend, a yankee fan, said, "You don't stand up with two outs, you stand up with two outs and two STRIKES." The rest of the crowd also started to stand up as I said to him, "This is the yankees." I was reminded of that tonight, as I stood up (I admit it, I'm an at-home stander) when the second out was recorded in the top of the ninth. And I watched as the Fenway fans also got up. Awesome.

Magic Number PLUMMETS to 153...

I'm up early tomorrow for my FIRST Fenway trip (that goes all the way there) of 2004.

[Edit from January 9th, 2005: I meant to say Game SEVEN of the '86 ALCS up in paragraph five. Funny how I was making fun of someone being stupid, and then I made a stupid mistake.]

A Very BS-y Day In The NY Media

Today, I took two 10-minute breaks at work and listened to some Red Sox-yankees hype on my car radio. In that very short time, I picked up a lot of BS for you to now read about.

Heard about 15 seconds of Michael Kay's show, which as you can guess, I tend to avoid. On it, I heard the tail end of some song about the day the Red Sox win the World Series. (the rhyme I heard was something about, "they were all the more dreary, the day the Red Sox won the World Series." Then Kay came on and said, "I've ALWAYS said this, when they win, these people won't know what to do with themselves. The agony is the enjoyment" His producer then said, "That's why they love Bucky Dent so much." (?) (Note how Kay tries to make it sound like this idea that it will be BAD for the Sox to win the Series for Sox fans--shared by everyone who knows nothing about baseball--was his originally.) Well, Michael, thanks to you and all the other yankees fans, we'll know what NOT to do....

On Mike & The Mad Dog, they were talking to Mike Barnicle. Mad Dog, who of course is anti-yankee, asked a question that would've been great five years ago. "What do you do with Fenway Park? You could replace it, but it's got the history...Then again, it's got the small runways, you can't move around...." Maybe he should've taken a walk around the park, condsidering their show was airing live FROM Fenway. I'm not sayin' all of Fenway's problems have been solved, but c'mon Mad Dog, look around before you ask the same old question you ask year after year.

Here's the one that makes me really mad, though. Remember how I talked about Jon Miller saying Johnny Damon looked slower because of his long hair? And then Hench on Dirt Dogs just HAPPENED to say the exact same thing? Well on Dan Patrick's show today, two more people jumped on board with that same opinion. Dan said, "I think he's slower with that hair." The other guy, I don't know his name, said, "Yeah, he's less wind resistant." I don't know what makes me angrier, hearing someone give an opinion that's actually someone else's, or hearing someone make a ridiculous statement that makes no sense. And when they're at the same time, uggggh. I mean if you're gonna buy into this joke of a theory, at least admit that someone else thought of it, and that you happen to agree with it. If anything, Johnny might look slower because he doesn't work out in the off season. Either way, I don't think any of these people could seriously notice a difference so early in the season. And then they all go and blame his hair. Gimme a break.

Now I'm gonna go watch Vasquez wither under the Fenway pressure.

Get ready for "A-HOOOLE, A-HOOOLE!" everybody. It's proverbially on.

Thursday, April 15, 2004


When the Red Sox game ended tonight, Joe Castiglione quoted the late, great Red Sox announcer Ned Martin: "Mercy." I guess the Orioles got us back for the game on my eleventh birthday when we beat them by 6 runs in an extra inning game, beating us by five in extras tonight.

This memory will be erased by eight o'clock tomorrow night, though, when the first yankee series starts. And when we take the field aginst those bastids...

NO mercy!

Magic # Thru Tax Day: Stagnant At 155.00

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Rain...Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout It

Went ALMOST to Fenway Park tonight. Got to Worcester, and found out the game was postponed. Oh well. I'm wondering if the Red Sox have thought of this: Tonight's game was part of one of the "10th Man" Plans (the one I have). Since it will have to be made up when the O's are back in town, it would be nice if they rescheduled it for the same day as the OTHER O's game that's part of the same plan, in September. Because while I love going to Fenway, driving 2 1/2 hours to get there on consecutive nights, or three times in one week, can be rough.

Tonight's fruitless Fenway trip reminds me of rain outs/delays from my past. My first game at Fenway was vs. the Tigers in April, Nineteen Eighty......One? ish? But it didn't happen because it snowed. I remember that the only player we got to see was Jim Rice.

In the late 80s, I went to a game at Fenway with my family, and my friend was also there, separately, with his family. There was a long rain delay. It looked like the game was definitely finished, for that night, anyway. His family gave up early on in the delay, and headed back to Conecticut. My family gave up a bit later, since we were staying with relatives just across the New Hampshire border. We were pretty mad to hear that the game started up again after we'd left. We got to hear the ending in the car. My friend and his family, however, made it all the way home to Ridgefield, CT, 2 1/2 hours away, and got to WATCH the end of the game on TV. (It must've been a Friday or a Sunday, since those were the only games the CT affiliate would show...although that's more than I get to see now).

I also have a great set of pictures from another rained out game. The first is of me and that same friend, at Fenway, all happy and smiling, in our front row seats (his dad had great seats, right near Libby Dooley, by the Sox batters box--wish I had those now), ready for the game. The second picture is of us, same shot, only with rain gear--and sad faces--on.

I also enjoyed when Rick Dempsey used to run around and slide on the tarp during rain delays. Last year in Baltimore, I was at a rain-delayed game (the "thunder" game), and since Dempsey is a coach with the O's, I was rooting for him to come out and slide around, but it wasn't to be.

In closing, I have to say I actually love rain. I love the way a day feels when the lights are on inside, and it's almost dark as night outside, because of the clouds and rain. I love when it's a hot summer day, and then around 4 or 5, you see those dark clouds rolling in, and you get a big thunderstorm to cool you off. I guess it's like having a blanket pulled over the earth after a long, lazy day. A friend of mine used to tease me when I'd say "I love rain" by saying, "Because it hides your tears when you cry?" No. Well yes, but ONLY when it cancels a Red Sox game...

Have you ever noticed almost every song about rain is a great song?

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Holy Roller......And It Kicks Foul

Went to Brooklyn with Lys last night, where she played a show at Pete's Candy Store, and the only comments I got about my Sox hat were positive ones. One friend who lives down there noted that every Sox fan she meets is a die-hard. A guy I met from the band Joss, who I'd never heard of or seen before, was happy to see a Sox hat, saying he likes to root for the underdog, and/or anyone but the yanks.

I also had a nice conversation with a friend named Mark, who's a "good" Mets fan. (Not the type who roots for the yanks come October.) I thought of two points that I'd, naturally, made before, but had never fully connected the two. Those being the thing about "Steinbrenner always does what it takes to win," and the hilarity that is Andy Pettitte's leaving the yanks (and them giving 46 to Donovan Osborne right away.)

So the connection is:

To the people that say that George ALWAYS does what it takes to win, and ALWAYS spends the money necessary to win, remember, George let ANDY PETTITTE walk. Ask any yankee fan if they'd trade A-Rod for Pettitte right now. You'd hear many a "yes," my friend.

I remember hearing Cashman defending himself about the Pettitte thing, acting like they made a nice offer, and he turned it down. The point is, we know George has money, and when it came time to re-sign the BEST pitcher on their staff, who was a very key player in all their four championships, where was George? Did he not offer "whatever it would have taken" because he thought Pettitte was a dtriment to the team? Or did he let personal reasons get in the way of winning? The answer is no secret.

This brings up another point. I probably am repeating myself now, but: Hopefully, more and more players will start to choose their teams for reasons OTHER than money (or "to win ballgames," which really means "to join a team that was already winning ballgames" . Anybody who's played ONE year in the majors is pretty much set for life financially. So I'm hoping that soon no one will want to play for Steinbrenner, because they'll actually care that he's not a good person, and figure out that it's more fun when winning is a challenge than when it's a near certainty.

Also, I've heard that devout Christian-types are offended about people calling Johnny Damon "Jesus," because of his beard and long hair.

First of all, lighten the hell up. Right now.

Second of all, Jesus didn't look like that anyway, just like god doesn't wear a white robe and sit on a cloud.

Third of all, I'm glad Christians are offended, maybe they'll learn a lesson: It hurts when people mock your religious beliefs and the way you look. Now you know how people of EVERY OTHER religion feel on a daily basis. If there was no religion, we wouldn't have these problems.

(Hey, I bet Andy Pettitte would be offended.) See how I came full circle there? Huh?

Meanwhile, I'm just 12 hours or so from being at MY church, Fenway Park.

No Conspiracy, But At Least I Get To See Schill

Okay, so maybe FOX wasn't paying off the Sox after all. Looks like Schilling won't be pitching Friday night on national TV, thanks to the rain out...he'll be pitching on Saturday, the game Pat & I are going to. Nice. And against Grandpappy Contreras, too. That should be sweet. We're also going tomorrow, Wednesday. Would have gotten Wake's first home start, but, again because of rain, we'll get Lowe. Not bad, though, Lowe and Schill. After two days of no baseball for either team, the Sox Magic Number to beat the yanks remains at 155.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Magic Number Thru 4/11: 155

Great win today. The Good Times sketch on SNL last night should've tipped me off that Esther would win it for us today. Today's game was a great example of Sox fans doing the opposite of what Michael Kay says they do: Cheering and chanting and getting the team going--without a scoreboard telling them what to say and when...

FOX Pays Off Sox

I'm sure of it. FOX must've paid the Red Sox to pitch Schilling on Friday night against the yanks. And once they did, Francona couldn't pitch Pedro Saturday, or Pedro would be pissed that he would essentially become the number two starter. So Pedro is skipping the yankee series. Great. See the Sox' official site for details. It just seems really odd. There's no reasonable explanation as to why they're doing this.

You wanna know why I'm really mad about this?

Because I'm going to Saturday's game, and now I'm getting Arroyo! Nothing against him, but I was pretty sure that in Game 2 of the yankee series, I'd be gettin' Schill. And it actually worked out so that's how it SHOULD be, but now they go and mess with it, and I get Arroyo on 7 (?) days rest.

You know how else I know this was fixed from the beginning? Schilling told Mike & the Mad Dog that he was getting the start in the first Sox-yanks game, WELL before the season started.

But now I have TWO reasons to root for a rain-out Friday night: The original reason--so I can be the first to curse out A-Rod in person, and the new reason--so FOX loses their precious early-season special "cash in on the rivalry" game.

Don't Miss Your Chance To Bean Jeter!

I heard a story on WCBS New York that Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Times Square will be having a wax statue of Derek Jeter on hand that you can "pitch" to. Apparently this big Jeter doll then grades your pitching skills.

Naturally, the first image that came to my mind was one of me, plunking this waxy-ass Jeter in the skull.

But the newswriters over at CBS were one step ahead of me. Later in the day, the story came on again, only this time, they actually added something to the effect of: If you're a Red Sox fan, and you're thinking about beaning Jeter, just know that the balls are spongy, and they bounce off the wax, without damaging the artwork.

All the more reason to go, right? I can hit him over and over again, and they can't give me the hook. (As long as I'm paid up, I guess.)

Right now I can't find any further info on-line, but if you're in the Times Square area, look for Madame Tussauds and check it out. (Mets fans welcome, too.)

And when admiring the wax dummy, note the attention to detail, right down to that fact that there is no soul inside Derek Jeter.

Magic # Thru April 10: 156 and falling fast

Heard a caller on the FAN today calling one of the yankees' losses a "must-win" game. They're worried big time.

Pedro is back to "Ace" status on the Dirt Dogs site. He/they would make a good yankee fan, what with the front-running and all.

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