Friday, October 19, 2007

Manny HR Explained/Contest Update

Okay, I meant to do this last night. But after explaining it to Matty in the comments (which I've reprinted below), I decided to whip up a diagram of Manny's "home run" from last night. Click to enlarge.

"Think of it this way. If you take away that thing behind the wall, so, if it was just a thin, free-standing wall with a yellow line on top, do you think the ball would've bounced over or bounced back? Unless it hit the front corner (which it clearly didn't, it hit the top), it would have to continue in the same direction. ie. over to the other side. I think the ball slammed into the front corner of the hard surface beyond the yellow line (yes, much of the ball was ON the yellow line, that's because the yellow part has give and is soft, while the thing behind it is hard). That area is out of play, meaning if it hits it, it has hit something past the wall and is a home run. You could even hear it when they played it with sound, bashing off of something hard and ricocheting back toward the field. If it just hit the top of a soft wall, A. it would bounce over and B. the velocity of the bounce wouldn't have been so great.

The only possible hole in my theory is when they showed Myers out there, you could see that SOME panels of the fence actually extended up beyond the flat surface beyond it. If it hit the top of one of those and came back, well, fine, it's in play, but there must be some weird, angled thing INSIDE the yellow part that makes it come back when it should go over (again, because it clearly hit the TOP of the wall, and as long as the top of the wall is flat, physics shouldn't allow a ball to do anything else.)"

And I'd like to add that this was my theory from the minute it happened. I was screaming all this as it was going on. I didn't sleep on it and think, "how can I make it seem like a home run?" So, this is my theory and until somebody goes to that spot and can prove it wrong, I'm stickin' to it! In fact, Fox made it look worse by showing the extreme close-up, blurring everything, and saying, "well, look, it's touching yellow." Well, yeah, it's touching a lot of yellow. ON TOP. Unless the ball had come STRAIGHT down on it, it should've gone over. Unless it hit some foreign object like the hard surface beyond the wall.

Contest Update: Funny how Kara and AJM, the top two in last year's quiz standings, are currently sitting 1-2 in this deal. (With their partners, Pweezil and the mysterious Laureen.) Kara/Pweez tacked on to their lead, Jay/Leggett finally get on the board. passing Peter/Ryan, who also scored one, and Novy/Dan make a nice move. Five of my longest readers still have zip. Sad face.


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

It Was A Good Year...

Those Indians were tough, they earned--oh, wait, I'm not one of these ridiculous Red Sox fans (Bob Ryan, for one) who wrote "just in case" concession speeches today, I'm me! So glad Kevin Millar was on my side! He could see it--a simple win by our ace and we get to back to Fenway. And we did it. Beckett is incredible. This weekend should be fun.

But hey, if it doesn't happen--NO! I'm not gonna say that crap! Look, I'm glad some of you feel like not winning it all doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad year. I'm right there with you, I don't want to be like a Yankee fan. But wait until the season ends! What kind of an attitude is it to write a concession speech when we're still alive?? And in better shape than we were against the Yanks just three years ago! Come on, New Englanders, what will it take for some of you to get some confidence? Not Yank-fied arrogance (like the guy who commented on one of my GooTube videos saying I must just be mad because my team was "eliminated from the ALCS"), but enough confidence so that you can say, "I think we'll win tonight because we're the shit." Try it, it'll feel good.

I just mentioned Yankee fans. Speaking of people who seem to have no brain whatsoever, tonight, one of the first things we saw on Fox was an Indian fan with a "The curse is on again" sign. Clap....clap....clap. We're all very proud of you. Wow. Seriously, that would be like if there was a guy in your neighborhood who every day tried to climb a tree and get the golden goblet, but never could quite reach it, until one day after 20 years, he got it, and then a week later, he walks by you, HOLDING the golden goblet, and you say to him, "Hey, terrible job on all those times you didn't get the goblet and these last couple of days when you haven't gotten any more goblets! Loser!" You see how in that case YOU would be the stupid one? But, as a bonus, wouldn't you be even stupider if you added the fact that it was a mystical spell that made the guy not get the goblet for so long, and you feel that that spell surely has somehow reappeared?

Okay, enough about goblets. On to umpires who don't know their physics. If a ball hits the top of a wall, coming from one side, it will bounce OVER IT to the other. (Provided it clears the front corner of the top of the wall, as Manny's clearly did.) Therefore, if it bounces BACK, that means it has hit something on the far side of the wall. (That being the front edge of the solid, flat zone adjacent to the far side of the wall.) The fact that Buck and McCarver decided the umps had made the call had me ready to wring their necks. Then they go and make fun of Manny, who knew he'd just homered. Yet when Kenny Lofton decided to get into a yelling match with Beckett instead of running to first, on a play where, if the fielder had dropped the ball, he could've made it to second.

Speaking of that: I've been sickened by the Lofton bat flip on walks for years. I've talked about it so much this season. When it got to 3-0, I said, "Oh no, I don't want to see the bat flip! Don't walk him!" Then the pitch came in, it was close, Lofton drops the bat, and the ump calls it a strike! I knew Beckett would be pissed. And Fox cut to some highlight reel JUST as you see them start to get into it. I knew exactly what was going on, while Buck and McCarver were still trying to figure it out.

Eh, those guys were just too busy with the "quote Manny out of context" corner tonight.

The only time --Oh! Sorry to interrupt myself, but Josh Beckett just dropped an F-bomb on Fox 25! "I don't get paid to make those fuckin' decisions," he said. He was talking about something I mentioned here before the game--his ex! That was awesome. (Vid here.) I'd say we should get a choir of Indians' ex's to sing the anthem on Saturday, but I wouldn't want to motivate them like they did to Josh tonight! Ha!

So, as I was saying, the only time I was mad at Manny was when he didn't slide into home. When you see the catcher jumping for the ball, get down! Ah well, we ended up winning by a lot, so I'm not fuming about any of the bad stuff. Not even that play where Lugo cuts across in front of Dustin ad knocks the ball away, allowing a runner to go to third. If the two of them just sit there--literally sit on the ground--and wait for the ball to roll to them, at least the runner stays at second. Or that play where Coco couldn't get down a sac bunt, and then Lugo hit into a DP. Or that series against Cleveland where 2/3rds of the lineup shit the bed, but they somehow couldn't find a spot for Ellsbury.

No, I'm happy about the good stuff. Youk appears to be back, as does Dustin. Papi and Manny and Lowell are still gold. If the top five stay hot, and we just get a little help from the rest, and our pitching is solid, we win this in seven.

Man, it feels good to sit down. I refused to sit. The whole game. I needed to be up and close to the TV, in "the spot." I wasn't about to let one bad thing happen on my watch. I didn't achieve that goal, but I did enough. We got the W.

And as I said on my "show," what's the deal with Fox hardly ever mentioning the Indians' drought? When the Tribe, mere innings away from a possible pennant, started missing balls and walking in runs, why didn't Fox start to show close-ups of faces and talk about the "ghosts of the past" easing their way into the park to cause more heartbreak for these poor, cold, pitiful Clevelanders? Where was that talk? No, I don't think of Indians fans that way, and I don't think they deserve it. But after all those years, I kinda thought that was "their thing." Nope. Instead, I see a fucking Babe Ruth "curse" sign, three years after the damn fake curse was "broken" anyway. Dumb shits.

Update: Manny is fucking awesome. He's getting interviewed right now, looking like Joe Namath in Miami before Super Bowl III, laying there, surrounded by microphones. Laughing his ass off. He's obviously reacting to the reaction that met his quotes from before. Talkin' about playing in Colorado, etc. Hilarious. You will see this clip. And you will laugh. Papi himself seemed to be acting as one of the reporters, asking Manny "where's the funeral" at one point.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good For You, Joe!

Yanks offer Torre "fair" contract (which says "you better win the World Series"), and Joe says "fuck you!"


Let the party begin!

If my boss told me (and everybody in the world) I would not be back if I didn't do a certain thing, and then I try my best but fail, and then they say, "Okay, well, we'll give you this contract if you want," I'd be laughing very loudly while flipping them off and walking out the door. That's exactly what I hoped Joe would do, and he did it. And Yankee fans deserve it. They root for that franchise, they better expect to get treated like shit.

Update: Michael Kay calls this a "brilliant stroke" by the Yanks, making Joe look like the bad guy. Sure, Michael. You're a true Yankee fan. You know that the Yankees are always right and always win. I think they're still in the playoffs now, right? Forever World Champions, the New York Yankees. Hahahahahahahahhaha. Losers. That's right, the Yankees are the losers, again and again. They'll still brag to your face, even when there's nothing to brag about. It's really amazing. Eff 'em all.

So, did you know Beckett's ex-girlfriend is singing the anthem tonight in Cleveland? If that doesn't get him up for a game, nothing will. We're winning this in 7.

A Hundred Years From Then, It Still Makes A Difference

A lot is being made of the Rockies' eight-day wait before the World Series starts. It's the longest a team has ever gone between winning the championship series and starting the World Series.

But it's not the longest a team has gone without playing while waiting for the World Series to start. In 1910, the Philadelphia A's played their last regular season game on October 6th. 11 days later, they played World Series game one. They would go on to win the series in five games.

The next year, Philly also had a long wait, playing their last regular season game on October 6th, and waiting until the 14th to play game one of the World Series. Again, they won the series, this time in six games.

In both 1910 and 1911, Philadelphia's opponent had just one day off.

These years were odd, as usually both leagues wrap up their season at the same time. But, for some reason, in '10 and '11, the National League took extra time to finish up, despite that both leagues started their schedules on the same date in both years. (1909 was also a little screwy at the end, with four solid days of AL-only action before the World Series could start on October 8th.)

I thought maybe this was because the NL had more ties they had to make up, but it seems the AL was the tie-heavy league in 1910, while the NL was in '11.

In '10, the NL's St. Louis and Chicago clubs seemed hell-bent on playing a six-game series to close out the year, despite that the Cubs had long since clinched the pennant, and the Cards were 30 games out. But the nation waited them out, as they were the only game on the schedule on October 13th, then there was an off day(!), and then again they played the only game on October 15th. (Note, as this point, the AL's schedule had been complete for about a week.) Only then could the World Series get started up on the 17th, way later than usual.

A similar thing occurred in 1911. I still can't figure out exactly why this happened. Except maybe that the NL had more days off throughout the season. Sometimes the entire league would take a Sunday or a Thursday off. Over a four-day stretch in September 1911, there were no American League games. Maybe at that point they were trying to let the NL catch up or something. Or maybe it had to do with teams replaying games that were ties. But I'm just not seeing it.

From 1903 until the leagues were divided up into divisions in 1969, the World Series almost always started on a single-digit October day, or the last few days of September. (Or early September, as was the case only in 1918 due to the Great War.) Twice it started as late as October 10th, leaving 1910 and 1911, with their 17th and 14th starting dates, alone in their extreme lateness.

You Can't Front On That

There are only nine. Boston, Cleveland, the Yanks, Seattle, and Toronto in the AL. Arizona, Atlanta, San Diego, and San Francisco in the NL.

In 2007, these were the only nine teams (out of 30) who wore their numbers only on their backs. All the other teams, besides having them on the back, had them on the front of the jersey, either at home, away, or both, or, in the Phillies' case, on the sleeve.

Isn't that crazy? I read here that after the Dodgers started the front-number trend in 1952, "by the 1970s most clubs had adopted the number-on-front style that is still prevalent today." And I thought, Well, that's certainly wrong. Then I looked into it, to find out that I was the one who was wrong.

I just don't think of that as the norm. Maybe that's because the two teams I've watched the most have never had numbers anywhere but on their backs. (Of course, I'm only talking about uniform, not helmet, hat, cleats, etc.) After a little more research, I realized that the Sox and Yanks are the only two teams of the current 30 who have never had their numbers anywhere besides the back.

Arizona had them on the front as late as 2000. Atlanta: as late as 1986. San Diego: as late as 2003. And San Fran: as late as 1982. The Phillies had them on the front as late as 1991, and have had them on the sleeve ever since. In the AL, Cleveland had them as late as 1993, Seattle as late as 1992, and Toronto as late as 2003.

That leaves the Red Sox and Yankees. Why do I get the feeling neither is gonna budge on this issue? If you're looking for a tie-breaker, though, the Yanks have had several numbers on their sleeves to honor players who died, like 1, 5, and 7, for Martin, DiMaggio, and Mantle. So, technically, the Red Sox are the only current franchise to not have worn any kind of free-standing number anywhere on the shirt or pants, besides the back of the shirt. A win for us.

Beckett looks to keep the winning going tonight in Cleveland. A win, and we go back home, and the pressure starts mounting the Indians' minds.

[As always, I went here for my uniform-related research.]

[Crap, there was that 9 on the sleeve for Ted when he died. It was right there on the list at that site. Myyyy mistake. Okay, so we've worn the least amount of numbers on our non-backs. Still a win.]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CSI Shit To Get Your Mind Off It

This is an easy one. The background of an mlb vote. (Note that in this vote, A-Rod is referred to as "Rodriguez," whereas Aramis Ramirez is called "A. Ramirez." Because, as we know, there's only one Rodriguez.) Anyway, you've got the buntings, so you know it's a playoff or opening homestand game. You can see the "NY" on the board, and number 36 is up. Long story short, it's Game 5 of the 2003 ALCS. Top of the fourth, Matsui on first base, Nick Johnson up. You can also see the Morse code billboard at the top right. (It says "Red Sox Nation" in code--this was before the team took this term that described our fanbase and copyrighted it. I'm slowly starting to realize that some baseball fans, even "newer" Red Sox fans, already don't remember that we were called "Red Sox Nation" before the team took the term and made a business out of it.)

"We'll Be Back NTWO NTWO" -- Chuck Woolery

[Listen to the whispered, too-close-to-the-mic, premiere episode of "A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory For Folks Who Can't Read" on Youcastr here. And the better sound quality, less-stiff episode two here.]

Bright side: If the Sox win this series, it will mean I will have been there for the clinching game. And, of course, it will have been a dramatic comeback victory that came down to game seven in Fenway.

So, you all know my very simple theory on Wakefield. It's called NTWO: Never Take Wake Out. Tonight, NTWO could've given us a chance. Tito has a quick hook in the playoffs, and I support that. Kind of. If our offense isn't scoring, I don't feel like that should be a part of the decision to pull the starter. If a guy's doing fairly well, he shouldn't come out just because the offense hasn't scored yet. I know Tito wants to "keep us in the game," but as long as a starter isn't completely shitting the bed, he's a better option than the "bullpen guys who come in when we're losing."

Compared to the fears people had going in, Wake was doing fine. He hadn't lost it. Keep the knuckler who can eat up LOTS of innings IN, for as long as possible. Especially when he's shown signs of goodness. It's like with Dice the night before. Tito pulled him after a really cheap bloop hit. Does that really mean he's lost it and MUST be removed? Anyway, Wake gave up a solid shot, which was the homer, but besides that, there were some bad breaks, nothing that required him to leave. Delcarmen comes in, faces one batter and virtually locks up the game for Cleveland. Had Wake stayed in, there's a good chance our three runs the next inning tie the game. And then you've got Wake right back out there the next inning, and you've saved some of the 'pen. And I'd say this about anybody, but with Wake, getting that one last out can happen in so many more ways. The knuckler can mess a hitter up, no matter who he is. That ball falls off the table, defying the laws of physics, and the batter's gonna swing and miss. That's a chance I'll always take, unless Wake has proven 100% that he's totally lost it, which he hadn't tonight.

Times Fox has played the Red Sox victory song prematurely: 3 in 3 games.

Number of innings played in games after victory song was played: 11.

Number of runs the Red Sox have scored in those 11 innings: 0.

I'd guess they've gotten a lot of complaints, and now they're just doing this to piss us off. I never remember them playing "New York, New York" in the middle of a Yankee playoff game. But I could be wrong.

Not even gonna mention the home plate ump tonight. Except that I hope, for his sake, the Indians win it all. As an Indians fan, I know he and his family have suffered for quite a few years.

McCarver said something tonight that I'd read about online, as he's said it before. He's acting like he's uncovered some bombshell, saying that more multi-run innings happen after a leadoff homer than do after a leadoff walk. His point is that most people think a leadoff walk is bad, but, Hey, a leadoff homer is worse! Well, duh! You've already got a run right there! "Multi-run inning"? Okay, well, after a walk you need two runs for it to become a multi-run inning. After a homer, you only need one. So you're already giving one side a huge advantage. I mean, it's pretty basic. It's like saying, "I've got an apple and you've only got a seed. I'm more likely to end up with two apples." Well, yeah, because you're already halfway there. The contest should be, Who can come up with one MORE apple first. If seed guy gets an apple, he should get credit for having tied apple gal. But nooooo, McCarver wants to see seed guy come up with TWO apples, while apple gal only needs to produce one more. Terrible job, Tim. How is he not seeing this? So, basically, in his little world, a leadoff walk leading to a run doesn't count. It has to lead to two runs. Makes no sense. Nobody ever says, "damn, whenever you walk the leadoff man, he and someone else always seems to score."

Soxy Lady/Allen were the only scorers tonight, picking up three, taking sole possession of third, and getting within two of the lead.


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

As I was about to post this, saw Casey Affleck on Letterman talking about how he worked at Fenway in the Morgan's Magic years as a 12-year old. Dave said that the Sox are in a tough spot right now. Casey said, "not as bad as the Yankees are." Nice!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Most Hatable Team In Baseball, Now And Forever (At The Winter Garden Theater)

Yankees announcer Jon Sterling, quoted in a recent Raissman article:

"I know managers don't want to say this, but I got to say it. In all the years I broadcast basketball, baseball, football, (and) hockey, that is the unluckiest (Game No. 2) loss. It had nothing to do with baseball," Sterling said. "I know this: If there hadn't been the bugs, Joba would have done the job. And the Yankees would've won the ball game."

I love it when they make it so easy. It was the type of thing where you just beg them to say it. Say "it was the bugs," pleeeease blame the bugs, as if a swarm of bugs is rooting for one side or the other! And only swarmed one team! Are these people stupid? Do they think we're stupid? Jon, how about this? Joba fucked up because he's a double-A pitcher who the Yanks, with more money than anyone, couldn't come up with a pitching staff and had to make desperate moves, then just assumed that a guy who had 24 major league innings under his belt would automatically take them to the a world championship, for no other reason, from what I can tell, than that he has a cool name.

Or how about this, Jon? Joba fucked up, and maybe it was because of the bugs, but what an incredible job by Carmona and the Indians, who, as professionals, refused to let a few midges stop them from taking care of the task at hand, which was winning the game.

But no, he couldn't have said any of that. He says, "the bugs made us lose."




The other comical thing is how, when Papelbon started coming into his own, we all brought up how great he was doing, and Yankee fans would just not budge on their stance that he was no Mo, and how he never would be. They just laughed. "Nope, nobody will ever be as good as Mo because he's Mo." Then Terrible Joba comes in, throws 24 innings, giving up one earned run, and they act like there is none higher, that all their guys are the best and all ours were the worst. I was just praying to Greenwell that Joba would be brought in in the playoffs. He was, and they lost. Anyway, Papelbon went about 38 innings last year, his first as closer, before he gave up his second run. So, do Yankee fans, by acting like Joba is the best there is, admit that Papelbon is even better? They're just such awful hypocrites and I'd like to again point out how much I laugh at them daily.

And it's too bad the Diamondbacks couldn't have won a few games after it was 3-0, so Yankee fans would have to be reminded even more about the fact that they were the only team to ever blow a 3-0 series lead. But, now that that series is over, we can all sit around like the '72 Dolphins and raise a glass of Coke Cherry to another season where the record wasn't tied. (It'll never be broken, unless they start playing best-of-nines.)

We (Or They) Win!

After years of doing this, I think the novelty has worn off. That is, finding the products that will be sold if a team wins.

Yes, MLB has pages up for both the Sox and Indians as AL champs. They have to do this to prepare for what happens, as either team could win. It's not like they're advertising it early. They just have to have the page prepared, just in case. (Hey, doofuses--make the pages un-find-able by even the dumbest internet "hacker" to avoid the yearly controversy.)

What I don't like about it, though, is how it reminds me of just how uniform this whole set-up is. I loved it when all the teams had their own independently-run websites. Now you have everything all the same. If the Red Sox win, they'll wear the same caps the Indians would've worn, only with a tiny Sox logo stamped in the little space instead of an Indians one. And it's getting worse and worse. Look at these hats. The biggest thing is "League Champs." You have to squint to see which team it is. Why don't they hire people to make championship logos that are unique to each team? I know they have to have a logo for the World Series. Fine, put that in, maybe small and in the corner. But you're never going to get, like, a big red sock as the theme of the hat or shirt.

Fortunately, there are companies out there that make products that are unique to the home team.

Speaking of that, I try to avoid products that are made for multiple teams, with my team's logo stamped on. Even those shirts that say "I root for two teams..." Some of them are made by companies that do it for any set of rivals, and just switch the teams around depending on where they're selling them. Now, the motto which claims I root for two teams, the Sox and whoever plays the Yanks, is one I was brought up with, but if I'm going to get a shirt with that motto on it, I'm going to make it myself, or get it from a company that only makes Red Sox shirts. Think about doing stuff like that. If you want.

And remember, if you end up going to to buy the AL Champs hat, know that the copy that says "The Red Sox are the 2007 American League Champions! Commemorate the milestone in this women's version of the locker room cap worn by the players after the clinch!" was written way before it actually happened. Kind of makes it seem, I don't know, stupid, eh? Stupid mlb. Terrible job as usual. (But, of course, I still buy the stuff because I'm always really proud of the team and want the championship stuff right away.)

Rocky IV

So weird that I called it. I admitted to not being an NL fan, and never watching it, but I saw that Rockies team against us and against the Yanks and told everybody, "That's your NL champ." Had it been some other team that did that well against us and the Yanks, I would've picked that team. But, of course, I'm gonna take credit for this prediction, whether I knew what I was talking about or not.

Kruk just described the Rockies as "not just a Papi and Manny and Mike Lowell--everybody chips in." Why doesn't he just hang a sign around his chest that says, "I only start watching when the playoffs start"? Yeah, I know, I just said I don't watch an entire league. But I'm not paid to.

Speaking of not watching, it's always so telling when fanbases are there in the playoffs waving their (original!) towels, after having not shown up all season. Not naming names, but, let's just say there are a lot of non-Red Sox teams that have this problem. And even then, their scoreboards have to tell them to "get loud."

Wow, I just heard that for game five of the World Series, which will be at the Rockies' stadium unless there's a sweep, the Broncos are scheduled to play a game there, too. No faith, these baseball schedule-makers! Speaking of that, I notice that on the "schedule" page for all the teams that are still alive, none of them have a November page, nor does anyone include November 1st (game 7 of the WS) on their October page.

I buried that first pre-season quiz, which may be why no one answered. Regardless, here's the answer. The thing that only happened once (1992) since the majors went to the 162-game schedule is: Exactly 162 games were played by every team. 2007 would've been the second time, had there not been the one-game playoff. Most years, some games, usually Royals games, I noticed, get canceled due to rain or whatever and are never made up, as they wouldn't have affected anything. In some other seasons, every team reached 162, but really played 163 games because of a "tie," which was started over. The stats from the "tie" count, and everyone who played in it get credit for a "game." So, the total team games would be 163. The only time 162 and only 162 games were played by every single team has been 1992.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Westbrook did a little better than Dice. And the double plays killed us. Killed us.

Gotta win tomorrow, and then it becomes a best-of-three, with us having the home field advantage.

I guess Beckett going in game 5 means he starts a more important game--we'll either be on the brink of elimination or trying to take a 3-2 lead going home. If you have him go game 4 on three days rest, and he loses, then you're on the brink, and he can't go in the next two games. Thinking of it this way makes sense. I just hope to Gedman that Wake gets the magic back tomorrow night.

Contest update: Novy/Dan, the only scorers tonight, get on the board and move into a tie for third.


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

Benjamin There, Dunbar That

It's always funny when the Red Sox are in the national spotlight in the playoffs, and everyone starts learning about stuff we all knew already.

It's like, Check out this face Papelbon makes! Please, Fox, do not "Jeter's parents"-ize Papelbon's face. (Speaking of Pap, what a job he did in game two. It's a shame we couldn't win it while he was still in there.)

Then you've got Alyssa "Mint" Milano doing a story on the players' parking lot at Fenway, and it's tight squeeze, something Fenway fans have known about were invented, I guess.

And I guess everybody now knows about the rhythm section that is the Red Sox bullpen. Below is a shot I took of them in action this season. (Will Fox bring up the "pirate theme" this series? See the far right of the 'pen in the pic.)

Hey, I hear the Red Sox have come up with an alternate red jersey. Be on top of this breaking story tonight, Fox!

Oh, and of all the things I could forget to mention about game two, it was the most important one:

Curt. You've been pitching for 65 years. On 0-2, WASTE A PITCH. By my proposed team rules, he'd still be in the dungeon right now.

I've Got A G. T.

You know how I'm Mr. "Don't Use Those Slimeball Agencies, Just Get Your Tickets From the Team at Face Value" Guy?

Well, even I was ready to admit after my ALDS game that, Okay, if I don't win the online lottery for ALCS or World Series, I've definitely gone to my last game of the year.

Then on Saturday I called the ticket office. On the first try, it rings. I ask the operator if they have any ALCS tickets left, holding my ear far from the phone as not to go deaf from the ensuing laughter. But the guy says, "sure." They actually had two seats together. Now, it really didn't matter, because we were on our way to New Haven and had our weekend planned out. Of course, we asked ourselves, Should we just say say "screw it" and go to the game? But we decided to stick with the plans. (Good thing, right?) Anyway, that just reinforced to me that tickets are almost always there for the taking, right from the team, for face value. It's so funny to me how people have the mindset of "you just can't get tickets." And they immediately look to the agencies or whatever, and settle for paying 500 dollars for an 80 dollar seat. So dumb. At least give the face value method a chance before you do something stupid.

Anyway, I started thinking that I could make it to a potential game seven of the ALCS, so I called the Red Sox this morning. Third try, it rings--I'll be there if the game happens. A pretty good bleacher seat, 60 bucks. (The prices of seats do go up as the playoffs go on, so these seats are normally 23, but face value for ALCS is 60, going up to 75 for the World Series. Better than the 500 some greedy bastard on craigslist will charge you.) But I'm hoping I'm NOT at that game because I want to win this thing in five games!

Thoughts on Those We Shall Not Speak Of aka The Events of Game Two

I know Fox likes to come up with relevant songs to play during the game, but don't they know not to play "Dirty Water" until the game is over? Did everyone catch this? Is this the talk of the internet or was I the only one who noticed that they played it after we took the lead in the sixth...only to see our run-scoring stop right there for the night? Terrible job, Fox. And they, like TBS in the ALDS, used "Shipping up to Boston" for their intro song to the entire series. Kind of unfair to the Angels and Dragons if you ask me. Why don't they just play "Heart of Rock 'n' Roll" after every inning of every game? That would cover a lot of ground.

Another complaint about the "ball in flight" shot: On Coco's ball deep to right. No one watching had any idea where the ball was going. (Read that sentence and realize that it's a very important game, and the only one the network is showing that day.) It's not like missing a snap-throw to first by the pitcher, although they shouldn't be missing anything. This is a deep fly ball in a key situation. Don't show me a closeup of the ball against the sky. I might as well just hold a ball in my hand and stare at it. It would tell me about as much about how deep the ball at Fenway is. If you want to do the "look at this majestic fly ball" thing, you know, since the whole point of televising baseball is the Emmy Awards, just have one camera do it, and show us that angle on a replay, after we've seen what happened. When you show us that angle on the play, though, since we can't see the fielders, we are left to guess--is it thirty rows back into the crowd? Is it shy of the track? We can guess, but this isn't three card monte, it's the playoffs. Some of us care a lot about it.

Turns out Coco's ball was caught, despite that they completely fooled us into thinking it could only be a homer. Right when they set up to show a replay from a different angle, I said, Watch, I bet this camera shows just the ball, too. And it did. We never saw the fielder drifting back for the ball, which probably would've told us right away that he had a bead on it, as Castiglione (referred to as "Castillione" by McCarver) would say. If I want to be told that every ball hit in the air is a home run, I'd have your average fan at a game announce the game for me, and they can go, "Oh!" on what turns out to be a pop-up to second. Or, a foul ball back over the roof.

Remember how my biggest fear was Lugo doing "in his own world" stuff once the playoffs rolled around? Did you see? The play where he could've easily gotten the third out at second on the force, but looked at third first, costing him the out? That's a play where, as soon as the ball's hit, I'm thinking, "second base." Alex Gonzalez would've gotten it there before my two-word thought was complete. I just hope we can make it through seven more wins without him making any gaffes like that that cost us. In this case, I think we got out of the inning unscathed, but that's one more batter we had to face, bringing up the eventual go-ahead run up one spot earlier, i.e., it affected the game down the line, though we'll never know what would've happened if he'd made the play.

On the play where Papi didn't hustle out of the box once he saw the ball going right at a fielder. Were you like me? Did you know before you saw the replay that that's what happened? If you've been paying attention all year, you should have. I brought it up earlier in the year, and was told I was wrong, but I'm right and it can easily be proven. Papi doesn't always run hard to first. Sometimes, he doesn't even make it there. I'm fine with giving him the benefit of the doubt--that his knee is in bad shape and it's more important that he make it through the season. But it's the playoffs. A key game. Tied. Run to first, hard, please. All he had to do was think back to the sixth, when he beat out that potential double play! That's how Papi should be all the time! As soon as that happened, I, and I'm sure you, said, That could be key. And it was, as Manny tied it up right then. I really love Papi and I'd almost rather nobody noticed he doesn't run out balls, because I don't want to see him ridiculed by dumb shits like dirtdogs, but he really does have a problem with that, for whatever reason, and I hope next year, after his surgery, we never see him trot slowly to first again.

Eric Gagne. Just now, just to the left of these words, should be the last time I ever type those words. What gets me is, as we're sitting there wondering who'll be coming in for the eleventh, we're thinking, Okay, if it's not Lester, that must mean they want to save him in case he needs to start a game soon, or come in as Wake's "backup" long man. And we're also thinking, as we see Gagne coming in (terrible job by Fox for providing us no clue whether he had warmed up or not), Why not Lopez? Then, after Gagne does his usual, we see both other pitchers warming up. So, if they were both available, how was it that Gagne somehow was ahead of them on the list?? Anyway, they all shit the bed as it it turned out, but, seriously, can we stop with the Gagne now? For good? It was like we gave up the game. You know me. I'm an optimist. But with Gagne on the mound, and hearing the words, "Trot Nixon is on deck," I was already writing the blog entry in my head. Our team (minus Gagne) had taken us as far as they could. Now, we've surrendered. And I loved that Trot was coming up, because, Hey, as long as we've lost anyway, at least all the people who inexplicably defend J. D. Drew can see once and for all that they were dead wrong. Again, congratulations, Trot. If we don't go to the World Series because we were one Trot Nixon game-winning hit away, in a year where THERE WAS A TROT NIXON GAME-WINNING HIT, I'm gonna do that thing where I claim I'm boycotting the Red Sox next year (but then won't because we die-hards are weak motherfuckers who always come crawling back).

On to Cleveland. One win out of three means we get to come home. But let's just get three* and not worry about that.

*meaning "three wins out of three," not "game three." Sorry for the confusion.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Contest Standings Through Two Games


3/Kara & Pweezil / 7
5/AJM & Laureen / 6
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 & beyond/my mom / 0

Kara/Pweezil widened their lead with three in the third, but AJM/laureen, who were already in second, kept pace with three in the fifth. And that was your scoring for game two. My mom had three chances, but came away with nothing. She is assured of their being a Sox ninth inning for the next three games, though.

5 Hours

Trot, for having been replaced by someone who does the same job as you, only for way more money, you deserve it. Congratulations.

Red Sox, for putting Eric Gagne on the mound (for any reason), you deserve what you got, too.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that vomit-inducing game for now.

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