Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm Out!

Of the Tiger Stadium auction, that is. I had my eye on some women's room signs, but the prices are going too high. Plus there's a 28% buyer's fee and a 10% other thing fee and a 3% something else fee, and you have to pay for shipping. About the only affordable things are plastic letter "I"s that MAY have been used in a scoreboard. Even those would run you 50 bucks after all the charges. So, you've got a half hour left. Hope you've got cash.

Mistakes You Made In Your Craigslist Ad


Wow. Is that a Triple Crown or what? Another gaffe is admitting it's the no alcohol section, but I give 'em credit for being honest there. I wonder if they got anything at all for these....

At this moment: Bottom of the ninth in the NLCS. D-backs down one, first and third, one out. Kookie Byrnes hits grounder to second. Rox try for game-ending double play. High throw to second, so it looks like they'll only get one. No throw to first. Ump calls man at second safe, but runner (Drew's brother) assumes he was out, so he starts jogging toward third base dugout. Shocked, second baseman has to interrupt his argument with the ump to throw to third baseman to get runner. Next batter ends inning, we go to extras. D-backs would've had great chance to win. If it's Saturday and I haven't updated this, check the web to see who won. Nice job.

Update: Game still not over. But I was reading the recent Simmons mailbag (rare for me) and I saw that he wrote that the Yanks have lost seven games in the last seven post-seasons that could've ended their opponent's season. I count eight. I hate when people, accidentally or otherwise, understate Yankee failures. I hope he corrects this. (My count: 2001 WS 6 & 7, 2003 CS 6, 2004 CS 4, ha!, 5, ha!, 6, ha!, 7, ha!, 2005 DS 5.)

Final Update of Night: Rockies win in 11. They're up 2-0, going home. I still can't believe this. Rockies play Yanks and Sox tough in June--I proclaim to everyone I know that they're your NL champs. Then I check in with them late in the year to see, Oh, okay, I guess they have a chance, but they'd have to do really well.... They've lost one game since and are two away from the World Series. Amazing job by them. Hopefully their run ends when they hit Fenway for Game 1. But we need three wins first.

Friday, October 12, 2007

1-0 Us

In the first, Beckett gave up a solo homer. Considering he always has a bad first, I knew we were in good shape, provided we could score of of Sabathia.

And going in, I was thinking about how C.C. is less fearsome then Carmona, as C.C. didn't look all that great against the Yanks. When every hitter in the first inning hit the ball back up the middle against him, though, I knew we were gold. And we were very gold.

Great job by Beckett--who we were able to take out early with such a big lead, and great job by our big boys. The 2-3-4 hitters were 6 for 8 with 6 walks and 7 runs scored.

Schilling, with his under 2 ERA in 16 post-season starts, goes tomorrow.

I had fun broadcasting the game, and will definitely do it next season, and I'll let you know if I'll be doing it again this post-season.

ALCS Contest Scoreboard:

Inning/Contestant/Runs

3/Kara & Pweezil / 4
5/AJM & Laureen / 3
6/Soxy Lady & Allen / 2
1/Peter & Ryan / 1
2/Matty & Quinn / 0
4/savethejellys & Rebecca / 0
7/Novy & Dan / 0
8/Jay & Michael Leggett / 0
9/my mom / 0

Loved the Stephen King interview. Made fun of Fox, and said he was relaxed knowing the Yanks were golfing. Awesome. He is the ultimate Red Sox fan.

Announcing. Ment. Announcement.

When the third inning of tonight's game starts, mute your TV (if you hadn't by then), and click here (and then click on the GedMan icon) to listen to ME call a few innings over the internet.

You know how sometimes I have an idea but then someone else beats me to actually doing, and then I get all mad, even though it's my own fault for not following through? Well, finding out about this new site that lets you announce games is NOT one of those times. We've ALL had the idea to announce games or have our own talk shows. I'm totally glad someone finally made it possible and all I have to do is start announcing, while they do all the technical work.

The site is called Youcastr. Basically, it's legal because all you're doing there is broadcasting yourself talking, with completely original material. As long as you don't let the sound of your TV in through your microphone, you're not, you know, making any accounts and descriptions of the game you're watching, so you don't need the expressed, written consent of anybody. We think. I'm sure sports leagues will get pissed, but for now, the site is running. So tune in tonight and listen to me. I figure I'll just do a few innings. I did a test last night and it went well, but going a full nine would be tough, especially since I really care about the game, and will need to be jumping around the room and screaming and stuff, especially later in the game. Oh, that's another thing: When you do a game (the whole site is free), you say what team you're rooting for, if any, so people can choose who they listen to. Obviously, you know who I'm rooting for, but I won't Rizzuto out on anybody. I'll just try to give you a better experience than McCarver does.

So go there tonight, find the right game (my link at the top of this post should take you right to it), and click on my name there ("GedMan"), or on my little picture, which right now is Ortiz spraying Papelbon in the face. Once you hear me announcing, you can go back to whatever else you were doing on the web--just don't close the Youcastr window. Thanks. Also, while you're listening, you can comment on the message board which is on the same page.

Oh, and archived broadcasts are not available yet, but apparently they will be soon. For now, you'll be getting a secret, disappearing broadcast, which you can overhype to your friends later. And which my girlfriend may join me on! We may be the next Castiglione and Coleman!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Don't You Cry Toniiii-i-i-i-ee-yi-ee-iiiiii-yiiiii-yiiiiiight

Suzyn Waldman has accused some people of sexism, in regards to their making fun of her crying on air the other day. If anyone did say anything to the effect of "look at her, crying because she's a girl...a man would never cry," then by all means, that is sexist and she should defend herself.

I am someone who is sensitive to sexism. Some might say over-sensitive, actually. If I see a woman in high heels trip, I blame our male-dominated society for inventing shoes whose sole purpose is to make her butt look perkier.

So, just so everyone knows, here's why I made fun of Suzyn:

When Yankees cry, I laugh. When their 26 championships, which they're so quick to use as a fallback, suddenly aren't enough, and can't stop them from feeling sadness, it's hi-lar-ious. If they expect anybody to feel sorry for them for anything short of a person actually dying, they're crazy. Oh, no, Mr. Steinbrenner--the man they all defended by boasting, "our owner does what it takes to win"--might actually do something, gasp, unfair? Guess what? Laughter in your face. Loud, mocking laughter.

Do I feel "bad" for Joe Torre (assuming he's let go, which totally hasn't happened yet)? Well, to some degree. To take your team to the playoffs every year and be thought of as "not good enough"--that stinks. But he knew what he was supposed to do, and he failed, for the seventh straight year. Seeing him let go makes you cry? Better become a Royals fan. Either admit that you aren't god's gift to sports fans and franchises and therefore be allowed to cry at times like real human beings do, or keep up this ridiculous charade that it's manifest destiny that you win every single year and accept everyone laughing at you when you fail.

And what about the fact that it hasn't happened yet? Suzyn saying how everyone's looking at each other like this could be the end. Didn't you learn anything from Roger Clemens' fifteen retirements? Hey, maybe that's it, maybe she's crying to make it even more dramatic when Torre returns next year, so she can scream and lose her mind when he steps on the field. Could another moment take her top spot as the most dramatic thing she's ever seen? By the way, how'd that Clemens comeback work out for ya? Hahahahahahaa.

Getting back to Torre, though. Let's remember that Joe Torre isn't a god. Just a guy who was put in charge of a team with good players. He took them all the way four times. Then, it stopped, and the Yankees became this century's Atlanta Braves. When you think about it, a virtual all-star team really shouldn't get knocked out of the playoffs in the first round three years in a row. "It wasn't his fault," some yell. Well, if we give him credit for the championships, why shouldn't he take some heat for the flops? (Seven in a row with the Yanks, and don't forget: one first place finish in fifteen seasons as a manager before coming to the Yanks.)

I don't hate the guy as a human. The cancer, the growing up in an abusive household, the face for radio--I feel bad about all these things. But as a manager? No, I don't feel sorry for a millionaire with four championship rings who knew exactly what was supposed to get done but, for whatever reason, couldn't get it done anymore. (Besides, I don't know if any of you were in the New York area from 1996 through 2000, but I always felt perfectly justified in hating the man who was the leader of the team that made Yankee fans turn from simple arrogant bastards into megalomaniacs. Never fell for that "it's impossible to hate these Yankees" bullshit. I found it highly possible and even probable. That's just me, though.)

In fact, seeing something like this is what Yankee-hating is all about! Relish in the fact that their eternal happiness might be subdued, even if you think the reason is completely unjust. Isn't that what they deserve? So Torre's a martyr for anti-Yankee fans' joy--so what? In fact, how funny would it be if Joe is let go and banished from Yankee Stadium, and Larry Lucchino invites him to Fenway for "Joe Torre Day," and gives him a special plaque before a Sox-Yanks game. Even I might sign up for that scenario.

But let's see what happens first, eh? The people around George just might make him come to his senses, as they've been forced to do for years now, realizing that Torre leaving might cause some stars to mutiny. But even that scenario, I think, is over-hyped. Someone on ESPN talked about the Yanks falling back to the late-80s if Torre was out, and already every internet schmoe is convinced it's gonna happen. There's nothing I'd love more than to see the Yanks become a last-place team, but the simple fact is, they're a playoff contender for the foreseeable future, in spite of George's dementia, if for no other reason than the lack of talent on most of the other teams in the league.

ALCS Contest

Inning/Contestant

1/Peter & Ryan
2/Matty & Quinn
3/Kara & Pweezil
4/savethejellys & Rebecca
5/AJM & Laureen
6/Soxy Lady & Allen
7/Novy & Dan
8/Jay & Michael Leggett
9/my mom

Okay, with only minor complications, the innings are now set. Once I got to 17 people, I just figured I'd end it there, and leave just my mom with that screwy ninth inning. So see what inning you've got in the chart above, and root for the Red Sox in it a little harder than you do during all the other innings. If the Sox score more runs in your inning during the entire series than in any other inning, you and your buddy will each win a prize.

Tie breaker: Let's just say if multiple innings end up with the same amount of runs, the one, out of those, with the least number of Indians runs gets it. If it's still tied after that, the next tie-breaker will be the one with the highest number of hits by the Sox. After that it will go to the one with least amount of Cleveland hits. After that, it will be a duel to the death. And since there would be two people on each side, it would be tag-team. The team with the last person alive wins. If the final two people die at the exact same moment as determined by autopsy reports, I'll present prizes to all four contestants--although in that case I'd be presenting them to surviving family members. Oh, and Ryan, if you're wondering why you didn't get the 6th, go back and read the rules again, haha. Unless you were joking.

If you missed this Onion article about the Yanks, check it out. (Thanks, Amy!) Oh, and nice job by A-Rod tonight on Letterman. There was a segment about what the Yanks are doing this offseason. After a couple of still shots of players followed by shots of normal vacation activities, they cut to a taped shot of A-Rod, "relaxing" by having some dude massage him, while both were shirtless. (I think the masseuse was Biff Henderson, but I was too busy looking at A-Rod trying to make sure it was actually him.) So, good to see the guy laugh at himself, but in classic A-Rod fashion, he probably didn't wait long enough and will be criticized for having fun when he "should" be sulking. I thought it was funny, though.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fun Stuff While We Wait

ESPN today: "Red Sox fans aren't the only ones happy the Yankees lost. Also happy? The Red Sox themselves."

Whatever station I was watching last night: "Sox fans are happy the Yankees lost, but the Sox themselves aren't!"

I guess it depends who you ask. There are positives and negatives about playing both the Yanks and Indians.

A few spots left in the contest. If I don't fill up the second nine, there will just be few innings with only one contestant instead of two. But you've still got time to sign up. It's free. [Update: all spots now filled, do not enter.]

Being in Boston for the first time in my life, I'm getting to see the Boston local news, and it's so funny how the Red Sox are the top story every night. It should be called the "Nightly Red Sox News--and other stuff."

Funny moment on one of these news broadcasts the other night. It was some roving reporter trying to see if people around town "knew their Sox" or whatever. So she goes to the first person with the first question. That question was "who led the team in runs batted in this season?" But the reporter showed how much she knew about baseball in general by phrasing it, "who led the team in RUNS BATTED....in this season?" Terrible job! And to think, they edited the piece so that that was the first question we saw. That was even worse than when Dick Stockton, during the ALDS, said "watch for Frank! ... TV coming in November." (The show, as the whole world knows now, is called Frank TV.) I totally don't blame Stockton for messing up that promo, I just think it's funny when people emphasize the wrong word, or phrase things wrong, especially when you can tell they notice themselves doing it, but try to be smooth and just go with it.

Since there are still a few days before the ALCS starts, it's a good time for a pre-season quiz! (Quiz Season starts when the baseball season ends here at ARSFFPT.) Here we go. Since baseball started playing a 162-game schedule (1962--although the A.L. switched over in '61), this has only happened one time, and it was in 1992. What is it? Clue: it involves the whole league, not just one team.

Bonus stuff: Okay, at the playoff game last Friday, down by the foul pole, I spotted a dude in a Whalers jersey. We Connecticut people, even those of us who have never had the slightest interest in hockey, are still proud of the one major league sports team we've ever had. The Hartford Whalers. When I go to Fenway, I almost always see (exactly one) Whalers jersey. I even saw two dudes who came to the game together, both wearing a different Whale sweater, during one late-season game in the bleachers. Anyway, I had a great view of this guy on Friday, and I tried to get a pic, as he looked like quite a character, but I couldn't get a good one of him facing me. Fast-forward to yesterday, and I come across I blog I hadn't known about yet called My Corner of Red Sox Nation, and the woman who writes it (also a CT-person) was at the same game, and was sitting right behind Whalers guy! So I went back to my shots from that night, and I found one of the Whalers guy (he's in the front row with a Sox helmet on, and the jersey is white, but you can see the little green whale on the sleeve), which, of course, has this blogger person in it as well. (As you know, one of my hobbies is finding people I know in pictures, especially when the pic was taken without my knowledge of them being in that spot.) Click the pic to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

26 Tears

Suzyn and Jon would like to hug you. Check out this final wrap-up of the Yankees' season from after last night's season-ending loss. (Thanks to Pat for the heads-up.) Trust me--just make it through Sterling's initial speech and get to the Waldman part. As I listened to it, let's just say both me and Suzyn encountered tears of some type. This is just the best day.

I love how they talk about "parity" in baseball right after talking about how the Yanks make the playoffs every single year.

And Sterling does his patented "laugh at how awesome it is" about the fact that the Yanks sell 50,000 seats every game. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I wonder how many they'd sell if they weren't discounting so many of them at rates of up to 80 percent off.

People have asked about the upcoming schedule. You heard right, it's back to Fox for the ALCS: 7:00 Friday and 8:00 Saturday. TBS will do the NLCS. The deal is, the two networks will rotate on CSs. Next year, Fox gets NCS, TBS gets ALCS. Fox will still have the World Series. TBS will also DROP THE BRAVES and show a weekly game on Sunday during the season starting next year.

I've been hearing that old talk about how the champion "should" go through the Yanks. Which is bullcrap. We all love beating the Yanks. But guess what? We already have--they're going home, we're moving on. I could see Yankee fans trying to give the excuse of "well, you didn't beat us, so it's not a true championship" if they were the team with the best record and we were the wild card. (Note: they'd still be 100% wrong.) But they were the wild card. We played 162 games to prove that. You know where the raod to the championship goes through this year? Boston.

If you're still in the mindset that Yankee fans will ever admit defeat, regardless of the circumstance, think of it this way: If they didn't tip their caps to us after what happened in 2004, they never, ever will. So don't worry about 'em. If somebody tries to tell you that crap about this year not counting because the Yanks got brushed aside in the first round, tell 'em it's their own fault for losing, and that we were the team to beat this year anyway, not them.

One more thing: I was reading some article in some paper that looked like it gets less readers than this blog, and the guy was effing with Sox fans by talking about the "four-year history of the ALCS." I think his point was to say that we've forgotten about everything before 2004. I wonder if this guy would like to step into my special time machine, put a Red Sox hat on, go to New York circa 2003, and yell in the streets: "1903-1918, baby! You all forget about that stuff! We won 5 and you didn't win ANY! Sure, you conveniently forgot about that, huh?" See where that gets him. Look, Yankee fans, you had bragging rights for 86 years, and you're choking on your Pixy Stix after a mere three years of us having them. Suck it up, classy ones! (Hey, I wonder if that lady who "divorced" the Yankees watched the playoffs this year....)

Play "keep 'em or dump 'em" here. (And laugh at the Daily News' repeated use of the single open quote instead of the apostrophe.) (The biggest "dump": Clemens, at 95% right now.)

JoyBoy has all the happy Yankee headlines here.

Also, a few anonymous posters are pissed about what a past commenter said about Drinkwater's wife in this post. I informed "Suzanne" about it (I promise you, I don't know any of these people), so we'll see what she says. This is getting good! (Note: that post was written way before I'd put the correct faces to Drinkwater and Kapstein. The one I thought I was referring to at the time was Jeremy Kapstein, who I've now met! That story coming someday....)

Maybe?

Maybe now, after a seventh consecutive year without a championship, despite having the highest payroll for so long, Yankee fans will stop being so arrogant.

Maybe now, after seeing the Red Sox go as farther than their team again, they'll think twice before assuming the Red Sox will choke.

Maybe now, after seeing Steinbrenner threaten to let their manager go (twelve straight post-season appearances is not enough?), they'll start to realize there is more to baseball than winning. We could make a deal, they could stop acting like they're the "winners" and we're the "chokers," and acting like every loss is just a win upside-down, and we could come out and say, yes, that was a good effort from a team that had been so far behind--a good effort is all one can expect, you can't win every year....

The chance of any of that happening is about as fat as Joba, who I'm hoping people will have to Google to find out who I'm talking about when they read this five years from now. So I'll just happily laugh in the faces of Yankee fans. "Would you care to retract that statement, sir?" "No! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Yankees lose again!"

The funny thing is when you think, Hey, all the assholes who spammed my blog with comments about how the Yanks are DEFINITELY better than the SOX and WILL win it all will just shut their mouths now, humbled. Ha! They'll still come up with some excuse why I'm the asshole and why the Yanks will always be grand champs and the Red Sox will never be winners even when they're holding the trophy. That's why I say "screw 'em."

Thank you, Indians! Nice job.

How great was the Jeter double play? And then the out he made in the ninth. As my girlfriend said, How come they didn't show his parents after those at bats?? And A-Rod--oh, A-Rod, how I love to watch you in the post-season. There seems to be a faction that tries to act like A-Rod actually IS good in the clutch. Did you watch this series? Or the one before it? Or before that? This guy screwed the pooch again in October. He nor Jeter could save the Yanks. You know why? Because they aren't pitchers. This team was doomed from day one. You can bash your way to the playoffs, but not through them.

Johnny Damon. How I love to see you lose. "Tell Theo thanks for Johnny," Yankee fans (INEXPLICABLY, AS JOHNNY WON WITH US BUT NOT WITH THEM--sorry, I like to really stress points that Yankee fans erase from their memories) said at the time. From Theo: "You're welcome, ASS HOLES." Coco Crisp will be playing in the ALCS this season.

Wang: the "ace"! Really showed up this series.

Rocket, how could I forget you! I don't know if there's anything left to say to that guy. Except "eat it, traitor."

Let's look at the predictions from this blog for this series:

Nine people said Indians in five.
Four said Indians in four.
One said Indians in three.
One said Yankees in five.

Me, Peter, Michael, and Quinn nailed this one. But I was the only one to guess Sox in 3, so I guess I'll give myself an autographed Gedman card tonight before bed. I'd like to thank the fans, who made it all possible.

Some notes on TBS' broadcast tonight: The main announcer--I kept thinking it was DeWayne Staats, but it was Chip Caray. (See this article ripping him.) He seemed to be rooting for the Yankees. I actually started thinking maybe I should see if I can pull in Jon Sterling for more neutral announcing! I guess if you're a Yankee fan, you'd be "shocked" by the Indians beating you--that's what Caray kept saying. He blurted out, at one point, "this is absolutely amazing," referring to the Indians adding to their lead. Really? The team tied for the best record beating the wild card team by a few runs is "absolutely amazing"? They "shocked" Yankee fans? If they'd been shocked, they would've stayed for the whole game, instead of leaving early because they knew their team would lose. No faith, these Yankee fans. But I don't blame 'em, with the group of chokers they have to root for year after year. And then Brenley goes and says, "these Indians aren't afraid of the Red Sox." There we go again: Yankees--an awesome, unstoppable powerhouse, even as they watch another team celebrate (on their home field) in the first round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Red Sox--just some team not to be afraid of, even though we just swept through the Angels.

When Damon made the catch in the eighth, Caray screamed blue murder, like, like, well, like Michael Kay. It was a nice catch. But not that nice.

He also opted to break out the old "a little vitamin D from the Melk Man" on a routine fly to Cabrera.

And Tony Gwynn, who looks an awful lot like Buddha, made a few blunders, including referring to the bottom hand as the top hand.

So, pretty terrible job by TBS, but I'm just so happy right now, it doesn't matter at all.

Finally, I know some people thought it might be better to play the Yanks than the Indians in the ALCS. First of all, I couldn't have rooted for that. But I assure you, if the Yanks had won, I'd have been happy to have the chance to take them out ourselves. But still, even if that was important enough to me to actually root for the Yanks in their ALDS, I feel like that would've been a bad move anyway. Had the Yanks won, they would've been a team who'd won three straight. In other words, the Yanks you don't want to see. Sure, we'd have loved to have gone up against the Yanks who lost games one and two, but to want to play a hot Yankee squad would've been, uh, irresponsible, or something. So I'll happily take my chances with the Indians. They are good, but what are we, chopped Joba?

"Not the Yankees" vs. the Red Sox, ALCS game one, Friday. (AP photo above by Bill Kostroun)

Okay, forget I said "finally" up there. I've got a better final note. I think the most telling thing about the *new* New York Yankees came on Abreu's homer in the ninth. The Yanks were down 6-3, and Abreu's one-out homer got them as close as they'd end up getting. What song did the PA system at Yankee Stadium play? Theme from The Natural. Of course, in the movie, Roy Hobbes' home run won the pennant for his team. Bobby Abreu's was too little, too late. But they still played the song. "Almost--but not quite." "Coulda, shoulda, woulda." "If, if, if." Baseball fans, I give you the New York Yankees.

Monday, October 08, 2007

There Is None Nerdier

I was scrolling through Kevin Youkilis' blog yesterday, and I noticed this picture:
All the other pics seem to be current, but I quickly noticed this one was older: no right field roof deck, the high wall atop the bleachers that was cut down years ago, etc. I had to know, of course, when did this moment occur?

I knew it had to be at least late-2000, as Fisk's number is up among the retired numbers. And I knew it had to be pre-2003, as that was when they cut down that wall. Look at the home plate area, though. Around the circle, we've got the "1912 FENWAY PARK 2002" logo. So, it's 2002. I only have to glance at this shot to recognize April at Fenway. But the buntings give it away if the long sleeves don't. We also know it's a day game (if that's not obvious enough) because of the batters' eye.

The buntings are usually up for the opening homestand and the playoffs, which we didn't make in 2002. However, they did stay up until at least April 27th that year, as this pic (not mine--although I was at the game, it was Lowe's no-hitter) from kids' opening day 2002 proves.

We have no scoreboards to help us with the opposing team, but looking at them, I'd guess it's the Yanks. The only other teams we played hoe day games against in April '02 were: one vs. Toronto, and one vs. Tampa Bay (the no-hitter). But we played the Yanks three times during the day: the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Patriots' Day weekend. Look at the players: I think that's Soriano at second with the high socks, Jeter at short--and a lefty on the mound.

Look at each of the three possible games:

Saturday, 4/13, Wells did start, and that could almost be him, but Soriano didn't play second at all that day. It was Enrique Wilson. I'm gonna make the call that it can't be this game.

Sunday, 4/14, no lefties pitched for the Yanks.

Monday, 4/15, Pettitte started, and Stanton threw an inning. It has to be one of these two guys. Honestly, it looks more like Stanton to me, but I think it has to be Pettitte. The next step in the research should prove it:

What play is this? Here's the game on retrosheet. I looked at the situation: no one on base, and a ball hit to the left side. You can see the third baseman on his hands and knees. I thought, Okay, double down the line, right? But look at the shortstop. If that ball goes past the third baseman, he'd be running out to left in case the ball hits the boxes and bounces to the right. Or at the very least, he'd be going out to take the throw from the left fielder. And the center fielder wouldn't be just standing there, he'd at least be jogging toward left. Foul ball, you say? I don't think the runner would be that far towards first if it was foul. Plus the fan reaction, plus the ump, obscured by a pole, is at least facing fair territory. Still, I looked for singles or doubles to left, or errors by the third basemen with no men on and Pettitte or Stanton on the mound in the play-by-play, and found a Clark single (didn't say where) off Pettitte, and a Damon single to left off Stanton.

I still couldn't figure this one out, so I went to the New York Times archive from April 16th, (which also, in a different article from that day, called it a "gray Patriot's Day afternoon," which would be correct, looking at the pic) and I found this:

"Clark hit the pitch for an infield single, and Pettitte finished the [third] inning."

That's it! An infield single! That explains why Jeter's not looking or going out toward left, why the first baseman is over at the bag where he had been expecting a throw, why the right fielder is running toward first for a possible back up, why the center fielder is completely uninterested in the play, why the batter is sprinting to first, but has just made the decision to round the bag, leading Soriano to drift toward second just in case, etc. The third baseman, Brosius, probably knocked a hard shot down and it dribbled to his right and behind him. I'd guess the ball is behind the pole in this shot, and Brosius goes and picks it up, as the slow-footed Clark is held to an infield single. I've also included a screen-shot of Clark getting a base hit from the right side (where he would've been against a lefty) to show where he drops his bat--note it matches up with where the bat is in our pic.

Also, take a look at the clock. The game went from 11:05 AM to 2:11 PM. It's very hard to see the clock, but I'd say it's 12-something, which would make sense for the bottom of the third, especially since there was a long bottom of the second.

And look at A. the first base coach, and B. the fan in red down by the dugout. The coach is readying himself for a decision, not casually waving the guy to second, which he would be if the ball was going into the corner. And the fan has already turned away from the play to his buddies, as if he knows the play's pretty much over--the ball bounced off the fielder, and he knows the runner will reach, as opposed to looking down the line and expecting a play at second. Also, the rest of the fans are already standing and cheering, as if a little time's gone by since the ball hit the fielder. If it'd been a line drive past the fielder, the fans wouldn't have had time to already be fully standing and cheering at this point.

Reasons why this could all be wrong:

1. If that's Nick Johnson at first, he's not wearing his high socks. He'd only played a handful of major league games at this point, so maybe he hadn't started doing it yet.

2. Looks like a seven on the back of the runner's jersey. Well, when you blow it up, it does kind of look like a seven, but at that size, I think you're just seeing a smudge, basically, that could be anything, including Clark's 22. Besides, Trot Nixon never did anything in an APril 2002 day game that would look like what we see in this pic.

3. It really could be Damon's single off Stanton. I don't know--if Damon hit a ball that got past the third baseman, he's probably getting two.

4. Isn't Tony Clark taller than that? Yeah, I wouldn't have guessed this was Tony Clark without knowing what we know, but, there's no one standing right next to him for comparison.

So, I'm going with Patriots' Day vs. the Yanks, 4/15/2002, approximately 12:11 PM, bottom of the third, Clark has just singled against Pettitte. All this also leads me to wonder, how does Youk go about doing the blog? Is sitting there looking on Google Images to get these pics and upoading them? Of course not, but at some point, some person chose this random pic for Youk's blog, to show an example of "Sox fans." You'd think they'd have chosen a more recent example, but, hey, I'm probably the only one who noticed.

Contest And Other Stuff

[CONTEST UPDATE, 10/11/07, 2:15 AM: All spots are filled, see here.]

[CONTEST UPDATE, 10/8/07, 1:11 PM: As you can see in the comments, the first nine spots have been taken, but (between 1-8) people have already signed up for the second nine, and I need more, so if you haven't entered yet, do it now (until you hear me say stop). See below for details.]

If Cleveland wins Monday night, I will have nailed the predictions for both ALDS series. Don't think that means I was rooting against the Indians tonight, though. But the longer this series goes, the less-rested the winner will be. In fact, the series going five games would be very beneficial to us, but, of course, in game four, it's "go whoever's playing the Yanks," as usual.

Another prediction made at my house came true tonight: both my girlfriend and I said Clemens would "go three," and that, therefore, even if Dunbar won, it wouldn't be because of him. We actually overestimated him. The Nixon dong was sweet.

Shortly after that, though, we went to a Henry Rollins spoken-word performance. Picked a good night for it--we got to the whole Sox game, and only the good part of the Yanks game. Rollins was really funny. I've been listening to his talkie-talkie albums for--wow, I guess I can say "almost two decades" now. He is an entertaining dude. He was able to captivate a huge crowd for over three hours. Check hims records out at your local Crazie Eddie's or whatever.

CONTEST! Okay, here's the deal. Back in the day, my dad and his fellow teachers would have pools--weekly football, March Madness, Super Bowl squares, etc.--which I was always allowed to play in. In October, we'd do the playoff series composite linescore pool. Basically, everybody gets a half-inning. At the end of the series, whoever's inning has the most total runs wins the pot. (I specifically remember the 1986 ALCS, and my dad being allowed to get Red Sox half-innings for us, and everyone understood.) For the 2007 ALCS, you can enter for free, and instead of using Sox and Indians/Yanks innings, we'll just use the Sox, so nobody has to root for the other team. The person who gets the ninth inning also gets any extra-inning runs (but also can get screwed if there's no ninth inning in some games, so it kind of evens out). Here's how you get your inning: Comment on this post saying you want to be in the contest. Comments are hidden until I approve them, so the first person to comment will get the first inning, and so on. But you won't see who has what inning until all nine are filled. If enough people enter, I'll up the number of players to 18 maximum, with person 10 through 18 also getting innings one through nine, and there would be two prizes. So, remember, don't try to pick an inning, you will be assigned one. You can try to estimate it, like, since it's 1:20 AM now, and you read this at 1:25 and REALLY want the first inning, comment right away, but if you really want a later inning, wait awhile. Get it?

The prize: Don't know yet. It will be along the lines of "autographed '80s Red Sox player baseball card," but maybe something different. So just enter, but know that you'll be giving me your address if you win, so if you don't want to do that, don't enter.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sweet/p!

Let's take a look at those predictions for the Sox series:

16 people guessed.

15 people said Sox in 4.

1 person said Sox in 3.

That one person--me! Winner, and still champion!

Yanks just started game 3 of their series, with a ball hit to GOD, who, in true immortal fashion, DID NOT make an error. Base hit for Cleveland instead of an error by Jeter. And Roger doesn't look good. We have to leave now, so hopefully the Tribe can wrap this up tonight.

ALCS starts Friday night at Fenway!

Great To See Ya, Tommy!

Look at this.

I love it when George proves everything I've ever said about the Yankees organization.

About the bugs: I was waiting for the excuses. But, honestly, I thought they'd be "too classy" for it. I thought they'd say, Hey, both teams had to deal with it and we'll keep our mystical and aural mouths closed. Wrong! Here come the excuses: "It messed up our whole team," yells Steinbrenner. He goes so far as to say, AS IF HE MAKES THE DECISION, "Bruce Froemming will never ump our games again." You know, I meant to say this yesterday, but how cool was it to see the Indians players--especially Carmona--bearing down and doing their best to ignore the bugs, while the Yankee players whined like the babies they are. One Indian player even said something like, "the Yankees were acting like there were bullets coming at them." Man, I will never forget that day, when the New York Yankees acted like a swarm of bugs affected only them and not the other team. What will their excuse be tonight?

And about Torre: Oh my god. Seriously, when that guy leaves the Yanks, the fans are going to want to see him honored. Even if George wants to fire his ass, he should do it quietly. But no. He's saying that if Joe doesn't win this year, he's out. Ha! I love it. Are Yankee fans really happy with this guy? If I was a Dunbarian, I'd be counting the seconds until this guy kicks it and leaves my team alone.

Even you media-taught Red Sox haters need to take a step back, realize that the Red Sox have done nothing wrong and are really likeable and are always trying to help you and your city see the Yanks lose, and remember who America's most despicable, pathetic franchise is. Join the world-wide party that is "the Yankees losing." Remember Yankee-hating? It's the best time of year for it! Come back to us!

Angels At Sox, 10/5/07 (ALDS Game 2)

These large, circular devices allow people far away from Fenway Park to witness games on special screens.

I quickly went past the players' lot, even though I knew they were all inside by then, and I noticed former umpire Steve Palermo standing there. Which is quite impressive, since doctors didn't think he'd walk again after getting shot in the spine. (Still, TJ by him for taking a job with the Yanks a few years ago.)

Nice sky. With the 8:37 start and it being October, batting practice took place at night. Cool.

The Monster under the purplish/pinkish sky on this hot night in Boston. I really lucked out during my final stretch of Fenway games this year, temperature-wise.

Timlin and his boy.

I'd brought my radio (and listened to the beginning of the Yanks while I took a really long walk to Fenway, as my train stopped at MGH due to some kind of emergency), but fortunately they were showing the Yanks game on the scoreboard. They kept it on until the pre-game ceremonies started. You can see the pitch dark non-western sky.

Johnny Pesky signing. Note the bunting. Woohoo, bunting!

The ALDS logo on the field.

Vlad in front of the scoreboard. Look how the "2" serves two purposes.

The TBS camera, set up right in the "get in Kapstein's way" position.

Heading back toward my seat in section 2, I stopped around this area to watch the Yanks without having to crane my neck to see the board. In front of me in canvas alley.

Looking to the right, you can see how the right field grandstand is higher than the infield grandstand. I remember being little, and going around the stands, always getting to this point and having to climb over, while your older, feebler types just went down the alley and came up on the other side. Around this spot, one of the chairs will always be in the "down" position where everyone's been climbing over.

It's the eighth in the Yanks game, and the Tribe are still being frustrated. While still down by third base, I saw Joba the Slut get out of the seventh, and said to the guy and his son in front of me, "they'll choke in the end" as I walked away. (Note: I'd be totally right.) But that's not the point of this picture! The point is, there was a mysterious light visible for a few minutes shining through the Monster.

Between rooting on the Indians from the right field boxes now, as I inch toward right field, I took some shots of Dice as he stretched.

Dice still throwing.

See it go, Dice-K.

You know I admit when I screw up a shot, so you can believe me when I say I was trying to get a shot with a lot of in-focus foreground grass, plus a blurry Dice in the back.

Dice and some bongos. What an incredible version of the anthem by Tiger Okoshi and friends on this night.

At this point, we're all riveted with the bug-infested Yankee game. Apparently, these things are called "Canadian Soldiers," as they infest Cleveland occasionally from across the lake. People were spraying each other with bug spray, toweling each other off, getting bugs in their eyes and mouths, it was hilarious. And Joba is getting nervous. I don't know if all of America can appreciate just how much the Yanks had assumed they'd found their savior. After he threw his first inning this season, it was "Joba, baby." That's all Yankee fans needed to say. He was Jesus Fucking Christ to them. And I just sat back and waited for this rube to fail. To choke, as is the new Yankee tradition. "Please, Torre, I thought, bring this hog in to a PLAYOFF game, assuming nothing can possibly go wrong." And for him to blow it the way he did, on wild pitches, with bugs all over his face, just made it all the more roll-on-the-floor funny. Joba, baby. Joba. I always love it when the Yanks fall for, say it with me now, Timo Perez Syndrome! (That link is from the second month of this blog, in April 2004--note that the "fiance" described in that post is long-since out of the picture. And that my girlfriend now absolutely pays attention when I talk about the Sox, and responds as well.)

Here, the Indians have tied it up, and everyone's watching at Fenway as Joba shits his pants, drawing even more flies.

Our game's getting closer to starting. Meanwhile, just as a two-out, two-strike pitch is coming in to A-Rod, the screen goes screwy, and then they break into the pre-game ceremony. So I go to my radio, and am able to pull in EEI. Two stupid hosts are blabbing, but eventually tell me that A-Rod struck out. We go bottom nine in Cleveland. Above, Luis Tiant throws out the first pitch.

Dice on the mound, with Cabrera up. Note the right field umpire.

Vlad out in front of us in right field. These were the seats given to me for having the 10-game plan. Those seats are in the bleachers, and they try to get you something close to where your normal seats are. I was happy with section 2--only a few feet to the left of my normal seats, and with no pole in the way, and cover in case it rained. So I'm watching the first few innings of our game with a radio to my ear, waiting for updates from Castiglione. We hear that the Tribe left men on in the tenth, and then in the eleventh, they have another chance. And we hear the news--a single has won it for the Tribe. I know, the guy in front of me gets the update on his fancy whatever-thing, and we're just waiting for it to go up on the Monster scoreboard. And here's that moment:

video

As you can see, the Angels have just scored three off Dice to erase our two-run lead, which was thanks to J.D. Drew. So it was a little bittersweet, but mainly sweet, as I could now relax, knowing they were down 2-0, and we had many innings left to come back from a one-run defecit at home.

Interesting view of the right field corner.

The zoomed-out shot. Here, we score on a Lowell sac fly. Now, this was made possible in part by a great move by a front row fan. It was hard to see from where we were, but all I knew was, "that ball is in the crowd--it's the home fans' right and duty to go after the ball, preventing the visiting fielder to catch it." And that's what happened. However, there is a "temporary front row" in front of the real one, added for camera-people. So, does the area above that count as being part of the field, or the stands? I asked this question recently in this post, only I was wondering about the air-space over the tarp. Either way, even if someone tries to claim that the kid illegally reached out onto the field (notice there was no argument, and the fielder in question made no excuse, saying the kid made a good play) and that the area above the camera row IS part of the field, even that wouldn've been a borderline call. This play should never be mentioned in the same breath as the Jeffrey Maier play, which involved a blatantly illegal move that the umps *missed* (wink wink), and which directly put runs on the board.

Get that glove down, son. Hey, was that a terrible job by Dice not covering first or what? Get over there! Anyway, he wasn't great, but kept us in it in that weird way he often seems to.

Papi heading back to second after a foul ball on a 3-2, two-out pitch.

Manny, Lugo, and Lowell.

A window over at Hotel Buckminster with the Fenway lights reflecting in it. Either that or they're mining diamonds in there.

K-Rod, who seems to always get nervous against ONLY the Yanks, sprints in to meet his fate.

Ortiz is getting walked, and Manny is on deck, ready for the classic "make them pay."

A close-up of the soon-to-be hero of the night, taking a practice cut.

Manny heads for the batters' box, as all the fans off to the right point at him, thinking he's looking at them, when he's really focusing on a straight-ahead, far-away point as a hitting tecnique. So those folks would probably help him more by staying still and not distracting him. But hey, what are we gonna do, tell little children, "don't be fooled, Manny's NOT looking at you though he appears to be"? Anyway.....

....we delivered the bomb. Manny heads to first as the dugout spills out onto the field like the Kitner boy onto the dock. (Had they performed the half-assed autopsy.) (And had it been the right shark.) Look how close Papelbon is to Manny.

Manny rounding second.

The celebration at the plate. I don't think we need any more descriptions for a while. Like the announcer said as the last out of the '84 World Series happened, "we'll let you enjoy...."













Love this shot of Manny. We couldn't hear this interview as we all cheered and chanted Manny's name all the way through it. It was almost 1 AM but no one was ready to leave. What a shot Manny hit. I was thinking: One of the best things about usually sitting out in right field at Fenway is the angle we have on home run balls over the Monster. To see them on TV, you see it go straight up, and then when they cut to the shot from behind the plate, you see it going up, then down. But from right field, you see that ball jetting from left to right. Your eyes follow the ball, but when it's a real line drive, the background seems to do a stutter-step. You finally focus on a point in the Monster Seats to gauge fair/foul and distance. This one was a no-doubter, even from there. It was in the perfect spot where you knew immediately it was well fair, and that even if it was more toward center, no wall could hold it in.

And so that's most likely my last Fenway Park photo gallery of 2007. A great way to finish. Hope you liked them all, and hope you're clicking to enlarge.

The NLCS is set, with "my" Rockies against the Diamondbacks. We played better against Arizona, so I guess it'd be better to face them. But we'll think about that after we get past Anaheim and then the ALCS. The poor Cubs, man. October 14th of next year will be the 100th anniversary of the last time they won the World Series.

Schilling spins the wheel of fish against "Weava!" Sunday at 3-ish. "So stupahhhd!" I think Weavie's gonna pick the box tomorrow over the obviously superior choice of red snapper.

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