Friday, October 01, 2004

My Own Horn

Go here to read an on-line article about my two-man band. And if you're in the Danbury, CT area, listen to us on 91.7 FM on Sunday, Oct 3rd, at 6 PM.

In other news, F the yanks.

The magic number is --.

Fortunately, in this wild-card society we live in, you can win the World Series without winning your division.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Mario Land

Around 4:30 today, I checked the yankee score: 3-1 Twins. Minny left some runners on, but it was okay, because they were hitting Mussina, and they had Santana on the hill. And in the next inning, the Twins had the bases loaded. At that moment, things were looking... not at all like they are now. 4 back, 4 to play.

That first yankee game, man, that was BS. I knew Santana was only going to go five, but still, if the Twins hadn't botched three plays in a row, the day could've turned out differently. First, Hunter in center lets a ground ball single get past him, putting runners at 1st and 3rd with two outs (It was 3-2 Twins in the 7th, I believe). Jeter then hits a weak grounder that the pitcher reaches for and slightly knocks down, so that nobody can get to it, and the tying run scores. Then, A-Rod goes for the short porch in right, and the right fielder misjudges where the wall is, and makes a weird looking, mistimed leap at a ball that should've been caught. The ball hits the wall, and rolls away. A-Rod ends up with a triple, even though he didn't hustle until he was rounding second base. (Please note that Yes missed the close play at third, because they kept the camera on Jeter, who scored on the play, for a reaction shot.)

At that moment, I was really mad. I started to realize how good you folks who don't pay attention to the yanks have it. I tried to tell myself that my team is in the playoffs anyway, and not to get so mad. But I'm tellin' you, you hear these yankee announcers for five minutes, and you'd be just as pissed. The Joy Of Sox dude felt my pain the other day, saying how he was yelling at the TV because it (the yankee announcers) was yelling at him. Anyway, I was surprised to find out that the Sox were on ESPN. So I thought, well, this will cheer me up, getting to see my team for a change. Manny and Ortiz did cheer me up--for a few minutes. But then it all went to poop. And with the yanks taking an early lead in game two, things were looking very bleak. But the Twins stayed in it. In the top of the eighth, they had the tying run at second with two outs. And as if someone from above was mocking me, who do I see in the batter's box, but Jose Offerman! That was the game, and the evening, and dare I say the division, right there.

But no! I don't dare.We still have a shot at it. I figure since I'm the only person I know who never lost sight of the division, I shouldn't give up now.

I did end up getting cheered up again when the games ended, by a friend of mine who I recently found out can beat Super Mario Brothers in 5 minutes and 24 seconds. After talking to him about strategy for a while, I plugged in the old Nintendo, and checked my own time. I got to world 8-2 in about 4 minutes. That's when I started dying, which you can't do at all if you want to break the speed record. But even without dying, how the hell are you supposed to get through worlds 8-2, -3, and -4 in a minute and a half??

Oh, so about this baseball thing, we've got four left, with Baltimore, so, uh--you know what, just forget that division thing.

Actually, watch the yanks clinch tomorrow, and we go on to SWEEP the Orioles in four completely meaningless games.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Shrunken Men And Shrinking Magic Numbers

11 freakin' innings against Tampa Bay! Why must they put us through this? I barely made it through that game; I wonder how I'm gonna handle the playoffs. The magic number is my lucky 8. As any fool can see, we could be 1 game back after tomorrow. We could also be 4 back. But I'm thinkin' it'll be closer to 1.

Isn't it funny how Pedro's little friend is really not affecting people? The clubhouse is so crazy that something like this just doesn't faze anyone. The whole thing just cracks me up. This team rules! I am psyched for October baseball!

Rare Mid-Game Update

The stupid radio station Michael Kay is on is calling next month "Kay-tober." They're killin' me here. It involves some contest where winners go to Puerto Rico with the Backwards Kay himself. I should try to win, and act like I'm his biggest fan, until we get to Puerto Rico, at which time I reveal my true self, and make his time in the Carribbean a living hell, to give him a taste of what he does to me.

I'm watching the Sox on Yahoo Game Channel, which refreshes every thirty seconds. I've also got the radio on, but it's all static. It's just horrible. I'm really pissed at Lowe. The guy can't shut down the D-Friggin'-Rays? Fortunately, we've come back to make it 7-6, but it seems far from over.

How key is it that the yanks have to play two tomorrow? I like how these hurricanes keep messing with the yanks, like the gods are really rooting against them or something.

Monday, September 27, 2004

A Shot Of H2O

As is the new tradition, I have just taken my shot of water to celebrate the Sox officially making the playoffs. I don't drink, so last year at the bar for the crazy '03 Wild Card celebration, a few Sox fans took celebratory shots of their favorite beverage, so I joined in with a nice water shot. This year, with everything being more subdued, and with my sights still set on the division, I was home listening to the radio. And I used the little cup on top of the cough syrup to take my shot. God, I'm lame.

Then Pat called, from the same bar we were at last year, and the subject of "Will Jere drink alcohol when the Red Sox win the World Series?" came up. Well, we'll just have to see about that. I mean what other occasion would call for me to do something that I've never done before? (Not including a sip of Miller High Life at age three, and some sips of champagne a long time ago at various toasts, but I don't even do that any more, so at weddings, my fiance gets to have her champagne and mine. Again, I'm completely lame.)

Maybe I'll smoke a cigar with Luis Tiant if they win it all. You gotta figure he'd be milling around in the celebration. I could try to find him.

But that's getting waaay ahead of ourselves.

Damon's HR was key tonight. I'd been waiting for him to do something good since I had a dream about him the other night. I was talking to him in the bleachers, and he was really nice. I tried to take a picture of him and I with a weird binoculars-looking camera device. It didn't work, so I just decided to take a poicture of just Johhny. I asked, "Do you mind if I take your picture." And surprisingly he said, "Yeah." I asked, "Like, yes you do mind?" He repeated, "Yeah." So I walked away, and started looking for my shoes. (Which I'd lost earlier.)

You know what else was key? Kasmir getting ejected. He seemed to have our, you know, number again tonight.

Magic number is 9. Wow, from 163 to single digits. 3 back, 6 to play. It could be fun this week. Especially if the Twins can come through in game one tomorrow. We'll be able to tell if they're gonna show up this week. They may not, since they've already clinched the central. But I'm thinkin' they're goin' in to the Stadium tryin' to show the yanks that they better watch out if they face each other in the playoffs. I almost want to go down to the Stadium this week and do some live anti-yankee rooting.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Happy Birthday Rich!

Former Red Sox catcher and National Hero Rich Gedman turned 45 today, September 26th. Please take the time to wish Geddy a happy and healthy 45th. Thanks!

The Best Season Of God's Career

Why do the yankee announcers keep saying that "this is Jeter's best year?"

They act like because he's come so far from where he was in April, that makes it his best overall season. Why can't they say, "If it wasn't for that dreadful April, this would be his best year?" It's like these people that say they're "born-again virgins"(as my friend Jen would say). Sorry, just because you wish something to be true, that doesn't mean it is true. Jeter had a horrible April. You can't take that away. You can't change it. It's done. Say he's has his best comeback of his career or someting like that. But if you're going to talk about a whole season, you can't just forget about the bad parts.

And while I'm making fun of things people say, you know that play where a pitcher fakes to third, then wheels and looks at first (the Jeff Nelson play)? Well don't people know that saying that that play never works is just like saying, "Have you noticed that MTV doesn't play videos any more?"? It's like, Yeah, dude, I noticed ten years ago, get an original idea. Also, people still yell "Viagra" when Palmeiro comes up, as if they think they're the first person who's ever thought of it. And when you yell "You suck!" at a game, you might as well turn around and tell everyone behind you, "Sorry, I just couldn't think of anything else to say."

Key Win

The 11-4 win today puts the magic number at 11, but I'm subtracting one for beating the yanks in the season series, since we only need to tie them to win the division. So it's down to 10, with 7 to play, and 6 to play for them.

Before today's game, Yes asked the audience if they thought Kevin Brown would pitch 1-3, 4-6, or 7-9 innings. Which was dumb to ask, you knew everyone would say 4-6, I would have. Sure enough, 3/4 of people said 4-6. Funny how "less than 1" wasn't a choice. Heh heh.

Great job by Schill today. And the entire offense.

Another great day for Jeter, with those two mistakes on one play, allowing a run to score.

That was pretty funny when Werner caught the home run.

The Hell, No Network announcers are full of crap. After Astacio threw at Lofton for elbowing Doug at first (and then complaining[?] did he think Doug backed his elbow?), they said it wasn't a smart move. Then when Halsey threw at Roberts, they just said "He really earned the respect of his yankee teammates." Such bullcrap. Oh, and they called it a "cagey" move by Halsey, too, whereas Astacio was just called stupid.

This Pedro Astacio/Anastacio Martinez/Pedro Martinez situation is confusing at times.

Well, after all that anticipation about the final six games against the yanks, we're right where we were going into them--3 1/2 back. That's good considering all that's happened this year. Now we kind of need to win out, though. I hope we don't get messed up by the Florida weather situation. Jeanne is still blowing on America's wang (as Homer Simpson once called it), so the Sox will have to do some bus riding. And then face Kazmir. You gotta figure we hit him the second time around.

I better not see any yankee shirts tomorrow at work.

Fenway Park, 9/25/2004

About the umpiring situation: I could do what I'm supposed to do, and just say, "You gotta play through the bad calls." or "The Sox defense is what lost the series, not the umps' bad calls"(like Suzyn Waldman said after the '99 ALCS). Or I can call it as I see it, which is that the yankees have had the umpires in their pocket for years.

From Jeffrey Meier, to the '96 WS, where umps were literally running into Braves fielders, to the '99 ALCS, where the calls were so bad that you had the field at Fenway covered in debris. And right up to the first two games of this current series. As if I needed more proof, last night I was at the game, and watched as the umps allowed a yankee to score from first on a fan interference play. On that play, you put the guy at third base, and then have a discussion about whether or not he could have scored. On the scoreboard, they had already put up the scoring of the play: Double, 1 RBI. But the umps just acted like it wasn't touched by a fan, even though the 1st base ump called fan interference right away. I watched the replay on Yes when I got home, and their announcers said they'd never seen a guy awarded home from first on a fan interference judgment call.

I've been watching the yanks' all my life. I've seen most of their games since about 1982. The umpires might as well be wearing yankee hats. Especially at home, with that loud crowd, half of these umps are scared to death of getting booed or worse if they make a call against the yanks at that stadium. And they love to hear those cheers after making the call in favor of the yanks.

In '99, as soon as I knew the Sox would be playing the yanks in a seven game series (something that was impossible up until four years before that), I knew my heart/stomach were gonna have a tough time getting through it. So I just said to myself, "As long as it's a fair series, I'll be happy." That way if the Sox lost, I could say it was because the better team won, and it wasn't because of the umpiring. But of course, the umps started right in with the crappy calls. And it ruined the series.

So I'm gonna continue to bring this up whenever it occurs, instead of ignoring it like everyone else seems to.

Anyway, about yesterday's game, it ruled. Seeing Jeter hit into two double plays, and miss a throw at second, and hearing the whole crowd chanting "Je-terrrr" really loud and for a long time just made me giddy. Not as many fights as usual, but some people, of course, got ejected. Including one guy who was yelling at the yankee bullpen and climbing the fence to do so. This was at 5:30. The dude got tossed an hour and a half before game time. Anybody who says these series "don't have any juice" have never been to Fenway for a Sox-yanks game. And not just because of the fans, but just the way the games are always so crazy.

Pat & I have really honed the craft of getting in and out of Fenway/Boston as cheaply and as efficiently as possible. To think we used to pay 20 bucks to park every time, when we now know you can always find a metered spot if you know where to look. We also saw wins in our last 6 games up there. And two over the yanks. We've also got our ALDS game, which is part of the 10-game plan deal.

Joe Castiglione's son Duke works for CBS-2 TV in New York. Which seems sacre-freakin'-lij. This morning, on Duke's round table show, he had his dad on, with Chuck Steiner, live from Fenway. At one point, another guest on the show jokingly said, "Which one's Duke's father again?" And Joe, uncharacteristically, said, "We're not sure." Steiner almost lost it. The sheepish look on Castig's face was priceless. I don't think he could believe he'd actually said it, nor did he realize exactly what the comment suggested. The rest of the time they all just kept making fun of the whole "Who's your daddy?" situation.

Speaking of that, why does everyone think that Pedro saying he never wants to see the yanks again means that "Pedro has admitted he's afraid of the yankees."? He was just saying, What the frig do I gotta do to beat these guys? Kind of like how as fans we say it sometimes. We watch the team lose to another team in frustrating fashion, and we say how we can't wait til they leave town. That's what Pedro was saying. To say he's "afraid" to pitch against anyone is to not know Pedro Martinez.

Magic number is 13. If we win with Schilling today, it's a 3 game deficit with 7 to play. That'll put some pressure on the yanks as they play Minnesota while we're in Tampa Bay.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States