Saturday, June 25, 2005

Dgo Dya Atfernoon

I give today's baseball action four--out of a possible four--Jhonny Peralta's Dgo's:

Everyone, from Pat in the form of a message on my machine, to BS Memorial, rightfully, is talking about the ri-goddamn-diculousness of today's yankee postgame on Yes.

It was a very special episode, I can assure you.

Everyone was there: Bob Lorenz was in studio with Bobby "My full first name is Bobby because there's no way in hell my parents knew Bobby was short for anything" Murcer and Dave "Insult the audience's intelligence on purpose" Justice. And the tri-cornered hat of buffoonery that is Kay, Kaat, and Singleton were live at the Stadium. And maybe Paul O'Neill, too. There were just too many to remember. Plus Kim Jones in the locker room asking Joe Torre if they would have been better off starting Sturtze.

I guess they felt a seven-person postgame crew was necessary in these troubling times.

They all sat around, brainstorming about what the yanks can do to get out of the rut they've been in, essentially since the moment Dave Roberts stole second base. Or, more accurately, since they signed A-Rod. (Trust me, I watched them all season in 2004.)

And what did they come up with? Dinner and drinks. Pool party at Joe Torre's. Get to know each other, and let the winning begin.

They might as well have all thrown towels at the camera in unison.

Hearing them talk about the yankees possibly "changing their attitude" reminds me of one of my posts that I'm proudest of, from last November. I really can't wait til the yanks start copying the Red Sox. Of course, they should start by building a strong farm system, and stop signing superstars that won't fit into the puzzle, no matter how hard they try to jam them in.

In fact, I can't wait to hear what yankee fans say when, next off-season, the yanks go courting the symbol of everything they despise, Johhny Damon. And then what they say when he turns them down.

Anyway, since last Monday, the yanks have gone 1-5, while the Sox have gone 5-0. That's 4 1/2 games they've lost in less than a week. Now, since Baltimore was in first at the beginning of that stretch, and the Sox have since taken over the top spot, now by two in the loss column, the standard line on the talk shows was that the yanks were very much in the race. What people failed to notice was how the yanks and Red Sox were headed in opposite directions--with the Sox now having won 11 of 12--because the Birds were barely hanging on to first, clouding, to most, the fact that the Red Sox were, and still are, pulling away from the yanks.

Even as late as last night, Chris Carlin on WFAN was saying that he can't count the yanks out because: They're 5 back (wrong, they were 5.5, 6 in the loss), and "I don't know if the Red Sox are gonna start playing well..." (They are. 11 out of 12. I'd actually call that a little better than "well.")

Less than 24 hours later, the yanks are 7 back of the first place, streaking Red Sox, and are one loss away from being swept at home by the Mets.

So today, people finally took note. Joe Buck said something about the Red Sox running away and hiding in the division race. And the Mets announcers also stated what's really going on in the A.L. East, while letting New York know that Manny is on fire. (Hey Gammons, I guess your assessment of Manny was about as accurate as when you told everyone, a while back, that Pedro was one pitch away from having his arm fall off his body.)

Talk about everything coming up Milhouse, the Red Sox are in first place as the World Champions for the first time in my life, and the yanks are falling apart at the seams, which were sewn together by a blindfolded Cashman in the first place. Our cuffs are bone dry!

Note: Lately I've been leaving my pics at full size, so that everyone can see them, because apparently some people (PC people?) can't see them when I reduce them. In the case of the dog pictures above, if you can't see them, you're not missing much, just four dog heads. Putting those at full size would completely ruin the effect. Sorry.

Philly Pictures

[Note, 3/15/2011: A lot of these older pictures weren't uploaded directly through Blogger, so these shots don't appear now, but one day I'll go back and fill them all in. I think these were screen shots from video anyway, so I may just post the video or something. In fact, I have put up video of Bronson Arroyo from that day here.]


OLdERdUDe and YoungERdUDe:

Millar grabs a huge chunk of Doug's butt, squeezes, and pulls upward:

I guess the right-ass is the thinking side. (Alternate caption: "A half-assed approach to pants-making.") And the front-right panel was a Phillies logo, so I don't know what this person's deal was.

The organist plays amongst the fans:

The stadium is not downtown.

C-Tek plays some first base in BP, but gets in a fielding position he's more comfortable with:

This time, Jesus ascended:

The neon bell, with '80 banner:

The Phanatic, with that whore W. B. Mason:

Schilling aches to get in:

Manny connects on a mammoth home run, as far as you know:

Doug crosses the plate after his homer:

Johnny heads to center after bringing David his hat and glove:

The sun sets on the Phils:

C-Tek clearly recognizes me, as he warms up Captain Cream Cheese in the bullpen:

I got this shot of the moon rising over NYC, which is rising out of NJ, from the car, while driving:

Our apartment is to the left of the screen. Look closely and you can see Chan.

Are You Kidding Me?

McCarver just said, about a replay of Millar and Manny double-pointing at each other: "That seems to be Manny's individual salute. I don't think any other player in baseball does that. Pointing with both hands." (and to that he added "with something in one hand or the other.")

With all due respect to the mentally challenged everywhere, is Tim McCarver fucking retarded? Even if he missed every regular season Red Sox game for the last few years, you'd think seeing the team or highlights of the team EVERY NIGHT of the last two Octobers would force him to notice all the Red Sox players pointing to each other and to fans in the double-point/six-shooter manner. And Pedro is still doing it now that he's on the Mets.

Well, Varitek just made it 4-0, so I'm feeling a little better now. Oh, but now they literally missed showing a Mueller double because they were showing a replay. This whole network should be put to sleep.

Much like Dirt Dog should be, as I was just reading on Bullshit Memorial Stadium, before McCarver rudely interrupted me. Actually, I was almost done reading about his Cleveland trip, and looking at his barrage of pics, and reading about how he met a dude named Jere. So I'm gonna go finish reading that.

But first, I'll mention that Buck and McCarver were just making fun of Tito for wearing a jacket in the 95-degree heat, apparently oblivious to the fact that Tito has a medical condition that requires him to keep lots of clothing on. Do I even need to say "terrible job"?

Update: They ended up asking Tito directly about his jacket-wearing. I can't find anything about that medical condition, but I know I heard that somewhere. So if it's not true, well, at least I can make fun of those announcers for acting like this is the first time he's wearing a jacket, when he actually wears it every game, which they should definitely know.

Bernie Goes Oops

Yesterday, the Mets became the first team in National League history to hit three sacrifice flies in one inning. I love when something happens that never did before. The reason they got three is because Bernie Williams dropped a fly ball, which counted as a sac fly, even though no out was recorded.

Here's an interesting thing about when a routine fly is dropped. I listened to the recap of yesterday's Mets-yanks game on both the Mets and yankees stations. (Yes, they both come in all the way down to Philly.) Both played their calls of the dropped fly.

Interruption: McCarver just PISSED me off. He just said how the Red Sox have a lot of fans following them at other teams' parks--and here's the ignorant part--"particularly after last season." Just drop dead already, you paying-no-attention-to-what-the-hell's-going-on son of a bitch. Thousands of casual baseball fans, thanks to that one ounce of diarrhea out of McCarver's mouth now think, Oh, how cute. Because the Red Sox are the champions, now their fans will go to OTHER parks just to see them, because they love them now that they've won. Screw you, McCarver.

So my point was, both teams' announcers said that Bernie had caught the ball, before correcting themselves. The Mets announcer even went on to the next sentence before having to change the call. This is understandable. But I think it's weird how they feel they need to make the call at the exact instant the play happens, seeing as their audience can't see what's going on. Why not wait that extra quarter-second to make sure of the result of the play? What's the difference?

Another thing about Philly: When Manny struck out early in the game, a guy in front of me made some joke about how maybe Manny should've taken batting practice HA HA HA. He was really amusing his kids with his amazingly original comedy. I wanted to say, "You know, Manny did that on purpose so he'll get the same pitch later. And when he does, he'll hit it out." I didn't, but I should have. And when Manny did homer, I was right next to a dude who made fun of Ortiz' strikeout, by claining he could feel the breeze. (They're killin' me with this comedy gold!) He also was yelling "Let's go Phils!" purposely into my ear. So when Manny homered, I yelled "Yeah, Manny!" a loud as I possibly could, as thousands of other Sox fans around that loser did the same. And then Ortiz later homered, just to complete the "Make fun of a Red Sox, watch 'em homer later" cycle.

I'll get those pics up soon, I swear.

Citizen's Bank Dot Org Or Whatever Park, June 24th, 2005

The 96-mile trip down to Philly only took me 4 1/2 hours. And that was with the two-hour delay on the George Washington Bridge going the opposite way. The people who didn't walk across the bridge just stood outside their cars and talked. But going my way, it was just general traffic. Also, 95 gets confusing down near Philly. I got off it to get on 480 North (?), only to get back on 95 North(?). How I got south of Philly without seeing it, I can't tell you. I guess it's like when you go through the Panama Canal from Atlantic to Pacific, you're actually going east, so the sun sets behind you. Something like that. I learned that from some announcers on an old baseball blooper video.

I ended up getting there AFTER the gates opened, which is a huge rarity for me. Got some good video of BP, especially Bronson, who didn't ascend to heaven this time, but signed autographs right near me for a good while.

The park is pretty cool looking, but I give Jacobs Field the advantage. The lower deck extended so far back, that unless you're in a certain spot, you're pretty far from the action, compared to the Jake. Of course, most people just sit in their actual seat, but I tend to stand in the back of the lower deck. Like all parks except Fenway, they guard the entire lower deck like Fort Knox, which is kind of dumb. Also, the pizza wasn't nearly as good as the Jake. (I don't eat meat, so my ballpark choices are limited to fries or pizza, usually. Although the Jake had a burrito, but I didn't try it.) They also had some scoreboard crap like "Make Noise," but not as bad as the Jake. And the PA guy saying "Your Philadelphiaaaaaaaaa...Phillies!" Terrible. There's a big Liberty Bell that swings and chimes in the outfield. It's neon. And since the Phils didn't score, it didn't do crap. Which was fine with me. The lines for food were ridiculous. Some didn't move at all. Overall, I give this nu-cookiecutter a B. No, a C. I'll take Fenway over all these places. Just don't sit in the right field grandstand, or be fat, and you're fine.

Plenty of Sox fans, of course. Even some security people were saying how amazed they were at the amount of us, which will only go up tomorrow and Sunday.

I saw three Red Sox games in person this week. In those games, I saw three homers each from Manny and Papi. And three wins. A perfect vacation.

Pics to come, tomorrow at the crack o' noon.

Now about those hateable chokers, the New York yankees, and their adventures with their cross-city non-rivals: The Mets listened to me! I got exactly what I wanted: One team making mistakes, leading to a loss in a game they could have won--but with the correct team winning! Thank you, Pedro. Thank you, Mets.

In my car driving home, I listened to the yankees' "Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda" report, aka the postgame. It was great to hear the recap of how A-Rod made a bad play in the field, Pedro beat the yanks at the Stadium, Beltran, who the yanks could have gotten, hit a homer and made a great catch, and another yankee starter failed.

I heard Cashman interviewed by Mike & the Mad Dog on the way down, and they ripped into him when he said Pavano pitched well the day before. Pretty good stuff.

Francesa, in the yanks defense, does bring up the fact that pitchers coming from the NL are having real difficulty in the AL, to the point where you can't ignore it. You're right, Mike. Exactly right. 100 %. It's a real epidemic. Nobody, NO-body, from the NL, does as well when they come over to the AL. You can't blame Cashman for that. Not at all. Good pitchers from NL=Not so good pitchers in AL. Nobody can make that adjustment....Oh wait, I just thought of six: THE ENTIRE RED SOX ROTATION. Terrible job, Mike. Maybe the real truth is that Theo knows which guys will be able to make the transition, while Cash-brenner is throwing darts. (And when I say six, that's Schilling, Clement, Miller, Arroyo, even though he didn't have much time as a Pirate, Wells, since he was in SD last year, and Wake, even though he came over ten years ago. But even if you want to only include those first three, it still blows Mike's theory out of the water.)

The ride home, on which, at 10:04 PM, I heard the Orioles lose, putting us in first place, only took 2 1/2 hours, thanks to the closing of the lower level of the GWB. Terrible job, traffic, for, like, existing.

Philly pix tomorrow.

Us Vs. Them

Let's take a look at how the Red Sox starters have done compared to the yanks', over the last time through their rotations:

Red Sox:

Wakefield at PHI: 8 IP 0 ER Win
Miller at CLE: 5 IP 1 ER No Decision
Arroyo at CLE: 7 IP 1 ER Win
Wells at CLE: 5 IP 4 ER Win
Clement vs PIT: 7 IP 0 ER Win

Pretty damn good. And in the 42 innings they pitched before that, they gave up 9 earned runs.

Now, the yanks: (Get your laughin' pants on)

Mussina vs NYM: 6 IP 4 ER Loss
Wang vs TB: 6 IP 5 ER Loss
Pavano vs TB: 6.2 IP 5 ER Loss
Johnson vs TB: 3 IP 7 ER No Decision
Henn vs TB: 4.2 IP 3 ER Loss

This says a lot. I'm sure you can find this stuff in three-dimensional graph form somewhere else, but this just shows you the basics. Pitching is key, is all I'm sayin'. Also, look at the opponents and the home/road.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Mets Pep Talk

I'm realizing just how important this Mets-yanks series could be, for the Mets, the yanks, the Red Sox, baseball in general...the world as we know it.

The yanks have just lost three of four to Tampa Bay at home. (Although, according to A-Rod, the Rays have "a pretty good team over there." Yes, he really said that.) They may be done for this season. The one thing that can save them is something that gives them momentum. Momentum they actually keep--a thirteen run inning and and eight run comeback didn't do it for them, but they're still within striking distance. What's the one thing that will make arrogant New Yorkers, and who knows, maybe even the yanks themselves, believe that they can actually win this year? A pummeling of good old lil' brudder--and look who's coming to the Bronx this weekend.

Usually this series comes up, and I don't think too much about it, often ignoring it, until I hear about game one: Two costly Met errors lead to a yankee win. Something like that. The yanks always seem to win this series, based on the nervousness of the Mets alone. We always end up talking about how the Mets should've taken two of three.

It's like the Mets are the JV team to the yanks' high school varsity team. The varsity could be 0-12 vs. the other towns, but when they play the JV squad once a year, all of a sudden they're playing a team that looks up to them and is just happy to be on the same field. Jeter's like the cool senior, who, while maybe not all-conference, strikes awe in the minds of the starry-eyed frosh.

This time, Mets, please step up. I'm hoping Pedro's that defiant sophomore who knows these guys are nothing to worry about, and he lets everyone else know it.

Come on Mets, win two games of this series and the yanks might phone it in from here on out. Sweep and cause utter chaos.

Do it! Get your heads in the game! I'll be in Philly tonight, and when I check the out-of-town scores, I don't want to see "4-0 yanks in the fourth." I want Met runs early and often. And Pedro, I know I don't need to tell you what to do. You're only the best pitcher against the yanks who people think can't beat the yanks. I know you'll show up.

Let's go Mets!

Thursday, June 23, 2005


All I've been hearing all week is how Robert Horry has suddenly been crowned the "best clutch player in NBA history." I thought that was a little much. But now, they can call him whatever they want, because he just won me a free ice cream!*

*see previous post

P For Psyched

Why aren't yankee fans booing? Three out of four to Tampa at home. My guess is that they all think that the yanks are in first place.

Jeter made a key error, and of course it was repeatedly called a "rare" error by Jim Kaat. He also grounded into an equally key double play.

Giambi finally bunted against the shift and it worked--unfortunately for him the team was down five in the ninth. Good call, chief.

With Baltimore's loss to BJ's wholesale, we're a half game out of first place, and the yanks are a half game away from fourth.

Tomorrow I go to Philly for Sox-Steaks. I just found out that Philly is only 96 miles away, a lot closer than I thought. I should be home by midnight. Maybe if Alan Em-room-temperature-Brie does well this weekend, we can start calling him Captain Cream Cheese.

I can't believe I didn't metion Family Ties when describing my Ohio trip. Now Chan and I are trying to come up with a sitcom that took place in Philly. Please help us. I understand that in Philly, a place called the Plateau is where everybody go. And I guess I could go to the Rocky Library or whatever.

Now that the yanks have ended, we've switched over to Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Which brings back memories of the high school Chan. You see, Chan was the ultra-rare kid who lived by himself in high school. At times. His parents stayed in Hong Kong when he came to the U.S., and he stayed with an uncle, who would leave for extended periods of time. I remember being over at the Chan bachelor pad for the 92 or 93 Finals. Chan was a huge Jordan fan, and I think me and our friend Mike were rooting for Phoenix just to piss Chan off. Of course, he was probably pissed enough that we were invading his little unsupervised house. Anyway, now we're about to see if it's better to be Pist-on than Spur. Chan thinks I'm crazy when I say basketball is boring, since I'm a baseball fan. I need to start making bets with him to make this more interesting.

Okay, I bet him two bucks the Spurs would make the next three-pointer. He said if I'm right, he gets me an ice cream cone from the Baskins & Robbins/Dunkin Donuts, and if I'm wrong, I get him a coffee from the Baskins & Robbins/Dunkin Donuts...

Wow, this is exciting now...

Pistons just missed a three. Sigh of relief.

Oh my god, the Pistons just made an apparent three, Chan celebrated and everything. But the guy's foot was on the line! I survive. And we go to the fourth quarter. Stay tuned...

Jacobs Field, June 21st, 2005

[Pics now in ultra-huge format, which, I think allows everyone to see them. Let me know if you still don't see the pics.]

Day two in Cleveland. Check out time was noon at my Travelodge, so naturally I woke up at 11ish. The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame cost 20 bucks to get in, so I opted against that. I don't really care about seeing Don Henley's guitar pick from 1973 anyway. Since the Jake gates opened at 4:30, I figured I'd just hang around there, and catch the players arriving.

Remy and Orsillo got there early. They got a little static at the door:

"Who did you say you were again?" This scene was straight out of a sitcom. This dude had that perfect quizzical look on his face that a character needs to have when looking at a clipboard. "Nobody told me anything about any Rum Dog..." "You don't look like ballplayers..." Anyway, Manny arrived in the jeep of another dreadlocked man while this was going on. The old man easily recognized Manny, and let him pass. (After Manny tried the locked door first.)

But it wan't until another clipboard was checked, and another employee was called in, that our announcers were finally allowed to go through. It's funny how in the above shot, Rem and Orsillo seem pretty sure they're just gonna go in with Manny. But no.

Then a cab with Mirabelli, Wake, and Mueller arrived. Billy did an exaggerated trip out of the taxi, then righted himself while keeping his beverage intact. He looks kind of geeky without the salt n pepa goatee. But that's okay.

Johnny arrived and was the only Red Sox to sign autographs. One dude brought a huge replica of the Green Monster scoreboard, which Johnny signed.

David making an important phone call:

Jhonny Peralta was dropped off by his wife or girlfriend, who brought the dog along for the ride. "Brak, brak, I'm Jhonny Peralta's dgo!"

I had a better shot of the dgo, but I chose this still because of the "I heart Sandy Alomar" graffiti on the pole.

Another absolutely gorgeous day by the lake. The sun sets well after 9 PM this time of year out there, because they're in the eastern time zone, but 500 miles west of here.

Bronson ascends to heaven:

Ortiz gives a smile after practicing his sidearm delivery in the outfield.

Here's Manny getting bear-mauled by David after one of his homers. I got two see two each by Manny and Ortiz in my two games.

Then he heads for the dugout to the delight of the pro-Sox crowd.

The Red Sox celebrate the win in game two, on their way to the sweep.

It was the second game in a row with a key insurance run in the top of the ninth after a Cleveland rally in the bottom of the eighth. I was over by right field for Trot's amazing catch that essentially saved the game.

Note: Yesterday I criticized Captain Cheese's performance in game three. Chan and I missed an inning of the game to get food, and Rebecca informed me today that Cheese actually came in during that inning we missed, and pitched out of a bases loaded jam. Apologies to Em-Brie.

Another Tease

Hello, I'm David Ortiz. Stay tuned to this site for more pics of me and my friends. In the meantime, click here for the Mini Manny Movie. Buenas noches.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Manny Movie

The awesome Manny movie!

Shot by me, Tuesday, from the upper deck at Jacobs Field in Cleveland.

Too bad I moved the camera like that, but it threw me a little when he reacted. (You can hear me laughing). I think this might have been the same guy who made our outfielders wave last week at Fenway. He did say he drove from Boston. He did it to Trot and Johnny first, which is why I was rolling in time to see the Manny.


Some Sweep Or Broom Related Title That's Been Used Before

Sweep! Over the nine-game-win-streak Indians. Gold. This game was on ESPN, so I got to see it. We're one game back.

OlderDude with a key homer. Chopper with a homer and a game-winning double. We even got past Captain Cheese's usual routine. And I love our starting pitching right now.

I'm hopefully going to post a really cool piece of video from the other night in Cleveland. But first I'm going to watch the two-hour documentary on the movie Jaws, which came with the thirtieth anniversary edition DVD I bought at Newbury Comics. Chan's been making fun of me for buying the thirtieth, since I already own the twenty-fifth. So I have five years to watch the extra stuff on this one, before I buy the thirty-fifth anniversary edition.

Stay tuned for fun stuff.

In other news, I like this living-with-Chan lifestyle. All that's missing from this apartment is our friend Gumby. The three of us used to hang out in the mid-nineties, staying up all night watching Mr. Belvedere and Small Wonder. This reminds me of those really fun days. Only now we've got New York City right outside instead of the wilderness of Connecticut. (Which can be cool, too.) Anyway, Gumby's off in Texas or some big western state, going through training for the Air National Guard. Which is something I totally can't relate to. But he's not one of those guys. He just loves to fly, and wants to do it all the time. The point is, even though Chan sometimes leaves the shower head pointed in a weird direction that causes the floor to get all wet, and even though he likes "ambient light," instead of one big light that lights the whole room (come on, Chan, seriously), he's still fun to live with. Here's his underrated and under-updated blog.

If, If, If, If, If, If, If...

Before I could finish the sentence "Only the Devil Rays could have an eight run lead in a game and proceed to lose that game--and by MORE than eight runs at that," the yanks had already given back all the momentum with a loss to the Dr. DRays today.

Actually, as I listened to the game in the car on my way home from Cleveland a few hours ago, I got really pissed when Jon Sterling went into his usual "assume a win" routine. He was talking about how when Pavano gets out of the seventh, he'll turn it over to "Gordon, and of course Mariano for the ninth." How this arrogant asshole can ever just assume the yanks will win, especially with a one run lead in the seventh, after last season is beyond me. I imagine some of the better yankee fans listening would say, "Shut up, dude, this game is far from over!" So you can imagine my elation when Carl gave up a three-run homer, resulting in a yankee loss. I love when the yanks' plans for the eight and ninth go from Gordon/Rivera to Sturtze/Sturtze.

I switched over to Mike & the Mad Dog right after the game, to hear Doggy celebrating and talking about how this was the yanks' worst loss of the year. He could be right. (He also gives daily updates on the yank's magic numbers--one for AL East elimination, one for playoff elimination. I wonder if he saw my blog last season... He's also been doing "Doggy Look-alikes," like all of us bloggers seem to enjoy, so maybe he really has been reading.)

The recurring theme of this yankee season, as I've said before, is "If, if, if." Today it was, "Pavano was one batter away." Per Sterling, Kay, and Torre himself. I agree with Francesa, yankee fan, on this one: No excuses. Torre defends Randy Johnson's shitty performances every single time. Maybe you can do that two or three times with the guy considered the greatest lefty of his generation, but every time?

What kills me, though, is how everybody, Sterling, Waldman, Kay, fans who call the radio stations, they all act like IF the yanks had just gotten that one strike, or retired that one batter, or if Jeter's ball had been hit a LITTLE bit to the left, well, then, the yanks would have definitely gone on to win, and from there, gone on to win the World Series. No question about it. Another cool thing is how Jeter seems to be the last batter A LOT this year in yankee losses. So while it's not all his fault, it just appears that way to a lot of casual fans. Hey, that's why he's considered a superstar, because the casual actually thinks he is one. So with these memories of game-losing at bats fresh in their heads, maybe his status will come down to where it deserves to be.

I'll post my pics from Day 2 of my Cleveland adventure soon. Edgar just homered. 1-1 in the third.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More Cleveland Pics

Possibly the worst mullet of all time:unaltered photo

The Champs are in town:

The Bob Feller statue:

The FAKE Tim/BSM! Now that I've seen the REAL Tim in person, this guy isn't that close, but he's close enough to a pic I saw of BSM on line that I actually embarrassed myself by asking him if his name was Tim. I do have a shot of the Broseph, but none of the REAL Tim. Yes, I realize this guy wasn't wearing any Sox gear, but I thought maybe that's how Tim rolled--wearing a regular rock band T-shirt to Cleveland. (The real Tim DID have full Sox gear on, as did the Bro.)

From the right field upper deck:

Manny hugs Ortiz after his homer:

And one thing I forgot to mention about Cleveland: Bugs have attacked the city. It's horrible in certain spots. I saw Jay Payton swatting at them in right field last night.

The Teaser Pic

One of the coolest pics I've ever taken:

Description of game and Day 1 of my Cleveland trip below.

Jacobs Field, June 20th, 2005

I'm in Ohio.

Jacob's Field is nothing like what it appears to be on TV. It's taller and skinnier, yet from the upper deck it seems expansive.

I got there very early, and parked across the street. I had a hundred dollar bill (what else would a World Champion Boston Red Sox fan carry?), and asked the kid at the lot if he could break it. After considering the consequences, he agreed to take it. His boss came over and got pissed, saying "Jesus Christ!" right in front of me, the customer. Terrible business method. But I got my spot, and the car didn't blow up when I started it after the game, so it all worked out.

I looked around for Bullshit Memorial and the Broseph, outside, amongst the thousands of Sox fans. Of the mass of people that entered the park when gates opened, zero to two were Indians fans. So I went up to a red-haired dude and said, "Are you Tim?" "No," he said. "Sorry, I'm looking for someone I've never seen." He gave a sixteenth-hearted chuckle while kind of rolling his eyes. I almost thought it really was BSM playing a joke on me. But, no.

I went in, took some pics during BP, then started walking around the park. I saw another red-head, this time with a beard. BSM had recently mentioned how he sometimes "rocks a beard," to the dismay of Erin. I combined that fact with the fact that the guy he was talking to looked just like the picture of Broseph he posted the other day, and went up to the pair. Fortunately, it was them. They were very cool. There's a familiarity about them that, in a weird way, didn't come from the fact that I've read so much stuff about them. But I guess that has to be where it came from. Either way, it was fun hanging out with them. I sat with them in their lower-level seats (I had a 6 dollar upper deck seat) until the point of imminent kick-out, then started walking the park again. (Grease is on TV right now. A Broseph afficionado should appreciate that.)

I had an image of myself catching a Manny homer in the standing room area behind the left field fence. I was there for his first at bat, but terribly, not for the at bat where he homered to the exact spot I'd been standing. At the very least I would've gotten on TV. When I was there, I noticed plenty of anti-Red Sox activity. I think all these people just get pissed when they see so many visiting fans in their park.

They have the whole "Make Some Noise!" thing going on on the scoreboard, which makes this Red Sox fan cringe. They don't reaaly need it, as the Cleveland fans seem excited anyway. They also have a new scoreboard on the left field fence, which looks pretty out of place, but did give out-of-town scores, such as "Rays 5, yanks 4"! Ha ha!

I eventually went to the top corner of the upper deck. Took some more pics, and watched the behavior of the peanut and insult throwing upper deck types. One woman was teaching her five year old to say "Boston sucks." Up there was the only place where it was chilly, because of the wind. But everywhere else, it was totally comfortable. A great night for baseball. I probably won't even bring my jacket tomorrow.

They played "Dare To Be Stupid" by Weird Al while showing bloopers. Very impressive.

The pizza is thicker than at Fenway, but a little worse. I had a good wafer cone with vanilla ice cream, since they only had that or black cherry left. BSM and I were both upset that the Jake is a Pepsi establishment.

Three dongs by the Sox were key. But, of course, we had to bring in the Cheese, Steak-ed with a four run lead, which he nearly blew. And Foulke now officially scares me. I was the last holdout, but now I'm in.

The key is that we got the win and we're two back. I had a lot of fun, felt very at home with lots of nice Red Sox fans around, doing lots of Red Sox chants, including the rare "John-ny!" chant. (Hey, what's with that Indian named Jhonny? Are his parents serious?

Driving back to the hotel along the waterfront, I looked at the city with the full moon behind it, and realized how beautiful it actually is. I'm a succer for skylines. If you want to take advantage of me, drop some skyline in my Coke, seriously. That doesn't even make sense. I'm just saying, that could be a night's activity for me. Looking at a city skylline. Seattle from Alki Beach. Boston from Cambridge. Any part of New York from anywhere. I even found the beauty in New Haven the other night. Yes, New Haven. I drove by it for the millionth time, and for the first time, the sun was hitting it right, and I thought, Oh, I get it now. I'm guessing that was a once in a lifetime one, though.

While appreciating Cleveland's beauty, I rolled down the window. Soon I discovered the smell of Cleveland. That kind of ruined the moment.

I'm gonna try to post some pics. In the meantime, check out all the new awesome stuff at Rebecca's site. She's been doing a lot of work.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Yeah, Sleepy Bear

Wow, Travelodge, home of Sleepy Bear, offers free internet. I bet every hotel does, and has for years, but I just got a laptop, so I never cared until now.

Only took 7 hours NYC to Cleveland, including a half hour break. Beautiful day here. I thought the lake, which looks like an ocean, by the way, would make 80 feel like 50, but it doesn't. Not today, anyway.

I'm off to the proverbial Jake.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

O Me O, O Mi O

This is a good sign, that the starting pitching has been so good. That's what's gonna determine how far into October we go. Great job by Matty today. It's also good to win 8-0 without Manny or Johnny in the lineup. And even Captain Cheese did pretty good. You know, except for that one triple he gave up. But then he struck out Michael "Festivus For The" Restovich, before retiring Tike Redman, who needs no nickname, to end the eighth. Then he got the side in order in the ninth. I'm hoping they kept Cheese blindfolded until he came in, and then told him the team was up by one and he had to go two innings for the save. If that was the case, then he did a great job under that kind of pressure. But terrible job for not asking why the scoreboard said it was eight to nothing.

Tomorrow I wake up early and head for Cleveland, where I'll see Monday and Tuesday's games. If there are no posts here until Wednesday, it's because I couldn't find a hot spot or whatever. And I pretty much refuse to go into an "internet cafe." So hopefully I'll be able to post, and then put up some pics eventually. I also hope to meet Tim, who you know as Bullshit Memorial, and his Broseph at the Jake, as they just happen to have to tickets for Monday as well. Looks like Wells against C.C. "You can't call him 'Black Sabathia' because it would sound racist, even though you're just going for the 'Black Sabbath'-style play on words" Sabathia. So how about C.C. "DeVille was in Poison, not Black" Sabathia?

Ohio here I etc. etc.

But I Don't Wanna Be A Pirate

Empy's blog reminded me of the play last night where a batter was not allowed to go to first, despite being hit by a pitch. It was a great moment, because I knew right away what the ump was saying, and was psyched that he was actually making this call. He pointed at the ground as if to say "Stay right here, faker-boy," and I yelled out "No attempt to move!"

Here's what's extra-gold about this play. A week or two ago, I was watching a yankee game on the Hell No network, and there was a play where a batter seemingly made no attempt to move out of the way of a pitch, but was still awarded first base. The yankee announcers, led by Singleton that day, I think, started confidently yapping about how "You know, people think you have to move out of the way, but that's not a rule, you can stand there and get hit on purpose." When I told this to Pat, he said, I'm sure they said that because it was a yankee who got hit. And, of course, it was. Robinson Cano, I think. Have you noticed how Cano is learning the yankee cheating ways directly from Jeter? Watch that kid closely is all I'm sayin.'

In other yankee nonsense news, the other day, Sheffield hits a line drive toward the left field foul pole. Kay sees the ump make the home run call, and gets all excited: "It is...gooooone!" Sheffield rounds the bases with a straight face, as if everything's normal. Then the umpires converge (as Singleton says, "I don't know he's allowed to get help on this play." Idiot.) and immediately change the call to "foul ball," which the replay clearly proves to be true. And Shef just walks back out to the plate, not even pretending to argue.

And have you seen the new yankee Stadium plans? What the hell are they thinking? I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt on the whole "still not facing the city skyline" thing, because there'd be a serious sun problem if they did that. But why did they make the outfield look so much like the current outfield, as if that were some special thing that all yankee fans love? They're trying to keep the integrity of the ugliness of the part of the stadium made in '76? I don't get it. Same with the dimensions being the same. Who cares? It's not like Fenway, where you have a really unique outfield with crazy dimensions and different wall heights, which you'd naturally want to preserve in a new park. But I don't think any yankee fans really were like, "They better keep that boring, uniformly even, mid-height wall exactly the same!" That's where they should have gotten creative. I mean, I'm kind of glad to see a "new cookie cutter" without the one high wall, but you can change it up a little. It's like they're taking the uncreative elements of the new parks and adding them to the boring elements of the mid-seventies "old cookie cutters." Terrible job, yankees. Fans, revolt. I want this to be a good stadium, too. Don't screw this one up like you did the last one. I will say that I might go over to Macombs Dam park and pee right where the mound of the new park will be, so when it's built I can tell everyone how I peed on the mound at yankee Stadium. Oh, sorry, Ameriquest.clownpenis.fart Stadium.

Fenway Park, June 18th, 2005

First the bad:

Wakefield was doing okay, why take him out and put in RoyAlan With Cheese? And after Cheese put us in a hole, why go with Halama to make that hole deeper? I guess it wasn't really their respective faults, as all the Buc runs came on bloops, wall-scrapers, and broken bats. [Edit: Oh yeah, except for Cheese immediately hitting that batter.] But still, Tito needs to learn my "Never take Wake out" theory. So many squanders at the plate, especially by Millar, who ended three different innings, each time with at least one runner on. (I know that thanks to Pat's scorekeeping at the game.) And too bad about Manny having to come out. I hope he's all right. And Tito, no Trot for Bellhorn in the ninth? What the H? A really frustrating game to attend. It seemed like a guaranteed win the whole time, but we just couldn't get a run across, even when it seemed inevitable.

Now the random:

The Johnny Kickstand Crew was there as they always are on 10-Game Plan days, but they were short two, so we had empty seats next to us, which is always good. A Pirate fan, one of many, sat right behind us, saying rude things about the Sox and singing "...root, root, root for the yankees..." during "Take Me Out To the Ballgame," while none of us said anything bad about any Pirate player. TJ.

One of the Pirates (Sid Bream? Jose Lind?) wore shorts during batting practice. And Dwight Evans was there. Dewey rules.

We anxiously awaited the Pittsburgh-themed song. My only thought as to what it might be was "Maniac" from Flashdance, since it starts "Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night." The chosen song started playing, and we sat trying to figure out what it was. It mentioned Cincinnati, but not Pittsburgh. No idea. Finally Pat says, "This is 'Cheeseburger In Paradise'." So we had a good laugh, since they obviously scrapped the idea and just played a random song that had nothing to do with Pittsburgh or pirates. Still, I thought there had to be a connection. Jimmy Buffett, let's see...Parrotheads? Parrots. Pirates? No. Kind of. But wait, the Pirates have that parrot mascot! Bingo. A stretch, but I'm sure that's what they were going for.
Thanks, some random website
I would've gone the Flashdance route, as that movie is what Pittsburgh's known for. Right? I'll have to compile a master list of these songs some time. (You think I won't?)

Witch City Sox Girl was at the game separately, and came over to our seats in the four-three, showering me with gifts. All right, a gift. But you can still shower ONE gift on someone, right? A one-drop shower. It can happen. So, thanks, W.C. (Hey, maybe I'll start calling her "Fields". Whoa, I really should call her that, since her first name combined with "Fields" makes the name of the actress who played Tootie Ramsey on TV's "The Facts of Life." If you followed that, you know how amazing this is. Holy crap.) Anyway, check out Fields' touching post about her father at the link above.

I was so pissed at people trying to start the wave during incredibly important moments. And I don't mean they tried to start it, turned around to watch the pitch, and then continued. I mean completely ignoring the game, facing away from the field. Even in the bottom of the ninth, while everyone was standing anyway, these idiots were missing pitches, facing us, trying to get us to do the wave. I blame these people on tonight's loss. I believe that if you're watching a game, your focus must be on the game, or you will not get the desired result. And the fact that they're not paying attention and I'm seeing that and getting mad about it, which shifts my energy slightly away from Johnny Damon's bat and brain, makes it even worse. How much could these people really care about the Red Sox if, they're at Fenway Park, the tying run is at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, the yanks have already won, we need to win to keep pace with Baltimore and stay three up on New York, and they decide at that moment to do anything else in the world besides watch the pitch? This is serious stuff, people. Your old baseball coach said it and I'll say it again: In baseball and in life, "Get your head in the game!" I was ready to strangle these people, honestly. And thinking about how much I care and sweat and punish myself by obsessing about this stuff makes me mad about that CardNilly thing, where he claimed I didn't care about a Sox loss a while ago. I wish he could've taken a bigger sample of all the blogs he looked at. Oh well, we're almost done with the publicity stunt/cash cow that is interleague f'n play. Hey, take this poll from Fox and MLB! Do you find interleague play A. Awesome to the extreme! or B. Totally Cool! See, everyone loves interleague play...

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Location: Rhode Island, United States