Saturday, April 18, 2009

12 Hours From Fenway (Where I'll See The Non-Last Place Red Sox)

Sox win 6-4, Yanks lose 22-4. Pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty good day. And remember that winning streak I wished for? We've now got the longest current one in the league. Granted, it's only 3 games. But we're out of last place! Woo proverbial hoo!

Tomorrow I go to Fenway with a friend who went to college in Boston over a decade ago and used to go to plenty of Sox games--but hasn't been to Fenway since '97! He is in for quite a few surprises.

Kapstein update! Okay, you may have noticed that Drinkwater has been at the games this year, but Kapstein hasn't. I have a theory. (And I know his father just died--but I don't see how that would make him miss five games, but you never know.) The front two rows behind the plate, when they were added, were built without a space for the aisle. In other words, the middle aisle goes down to row three, but when you reach that step, the seats in row two and one are essentially in the aisle. This year, I've noticed that on the normal centerfield camera angle, you have an unobstructed view of the steps. It's almost as if they extended that middle aisle all the way down to the fence when they redid the field boxes and the ground below. In which case, Kapstein's seat--literally--would be gone! Why they wouldn't just move him over one, I don't know. But I'll verify if the seat is gone tomorrow when I'm up there.

In the contest, four teams have 9, seven have 8. The bulk of teams are in the 7-8 category. The poor D-Backs are alone in the cellar with 5. This contest is really fun, because it's a total crap shoot. You're just hoping that your team does something it doesn't even know it's supposed to be doing. If they succeed, you feel they succeeded even if they lost their game, and if they fail, you're pissed at them even though they didn't do anything wrong.


Sometimes the headline writers are behind real-time, but this one is extra hilarious!

David Ortiz

Still not worried. Season early. Was injured. No big deal. Will adjust. He's Ortiz.

First Pitch At Yankee Stadium

I've been shooting a lot of vids lately but not posting them for whatever reason. Anyway, here's one from the first game at the new YS--in that first exhibition game against the Cubs. It was cool that we could see into the old stadium, so I made this video of how it looked at the moment the life of its replacement began.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Come Effin' Back

As usual in our comebacks against the O's, they helped us out a little. But I like to think that the "our offense will have trouble scoring runs, mark my words" types turned it off and missed a great game. Down 7-0 in the second! And we quickly get back into it and then take it 10-8. Two in row now. What say we just be the real Red Sox from now on?

Stuff I thought of:

Red shirts vs. black shirts. How often in my life has there been a Red Sox game without a white or gray jersey on the field?

That song!! They played one of if not the cheesiest songs of all-time during the "musical montage." It mentioned freakin' Windsor Locks! Fortunately, Rem and Don were right there to mock the hell out of it.

The other day I saw a commercial showing fans of all different teams. It was totally staged, and every fan was doing some stupid dance, implying the true fans are the ones who dance. Tonight during the game, Don does an ad for the same company in which they show a kid in the crowd and Don says, "this fan likes the Red Sox." Then they cut to some drunken dancing college kids and Don says "but these fans really love the Red Sox." That poor kid. He probably knows ten times as much about the Red Sox than the college kids.

Great line by Allan on JoS tonight: Felix Pie, after HBP: "You wanna a piece of me?"

And nice job having Pumpsie Green come back to Fenway--you may remember I called for this two and a half years ago.

Baby Stranglers Get First Cheap Win At New Toilet

Just how they drew it up: Throwing error allows tying run to score from first, Jeter homer into the second row of the short porch for the go-ahead run. Cap it off with Mariano getting strike calls because the ump's in love with him, and that's your typical Yankee win. Good thing they've forgotten how to do it in October of late.

Michael Kay's call during the final batter: "and the greatest reliever of all time sets, here's the pitch."* Surely he was trying to make it so if that had been the last strike, his pompous-ass call would've made the highlight shows. If you say you "hate" both the Red Sox and Yanks, watch one Yankee game to remind yourself of the one and only evil in baseball. Wait, why I am talking to non-existent internet words on a screen-only 16-year olds who know nothing about baseball again?

I have to say, though, those empty theater-style seats behind home plate had suffered enough--they deserved a win today.

MLBtv looks really good--but I hate that it's a solid three minutes behind real time. Get it close, at least....

Update: The end of that game pissed me off so much I forgot about a key bright spot--Joba's start! 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 5 BB.

*I'm actually not kidding about this

El Tiante

Last September, I was at a game at Fenway, and the Farrelly Brothers were there filming a movie. They had Luis Tiant throw out the first pitch, which they filmed for the movie. They told us this ahead of time--said to cheer extra loud and go "Loooouie," as if we needed instruction. I guess the filmmakers just wanted to make sure we knew this was for a movie. In my link above, you can also see a shot of them filming Luis walking through the crowd.

Anyway, the movie's coming out. It's a doc on Tiant called "The Lost Son of Havana," which will be showing during IFF Boston at the Somerville Theater next Saturday at 8:00. It will also be showing at the Tribeca Film Festival next week.

Here's the video I shot--if you go to the movie, watch for this scene:


Nice long piece on the Rem Canine here. Which I saw linked at Cyn's place.

'08-'09 Kwiz Season Over!

AJM is the Kwiz Champ, his third win in four years. Congrats.

Mike took second, jumping over three people on the last question. Nice job.

Nick Smith has once again come in last. Terrible job.

Prize info to come.

Thanks for playing everybody! And for those who don't care about these--you don't have to hear about them for another six-seven months!

Kwiz Twenty Twenty, Fun Tie

Lou Criger hit one home run in 1905. What was the date?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Ghosts" Clearly Hate The Yankees And Root Against Them

Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium. Grady Sizemore just hit a grand dong to make it 9-1 Cleveland in the 7th! And before I could post this, another dong to make it 10-1! What a beautiful day! As the millionaires start to boo.....

...and chant "we want Swisher"! (To pitch, get it?)

Update: 10-2 final.

#62 To Hang Like A Monkee In Davy Jones's Locker

Newest Red Sox pitcher Hunter Jones will wear 62. (His real name is David Hunter Jones.)

Two Yankee Things That Really Could've Happened Anywhere

This isn't so much about the Yanks as it is about the police state we seem to live in. People say "free country" all the time, yet if you do what they don't want you to do--especially during songs which brag about the freedom of this country--you're forcibly removed. Very scary.

And also--Pepsi effs up again! Giving Yankee fans June tickets instead of Opening Day tix and creating a mob scene.

The Biggest Difference

"If we can get the fans to make enough noise when that marquee says make noise...," says sign-carryin', pan-whackin' Yankee fan Freddie Sez.

This is and always has been (since electronic scoreboards first appeared, anyway) the fundamental difference between how Red Sox fans and Yankee fans view a baseball game:

The scoreboard tells Yankee fans when to cheer.

This is something I've known all my life, but I don't think it's a very well-known fact. When people in the midwest are watching a Yankees game on TV, they probably don't realize that the crowd is being told when to cheer with hand-clap graphics, "make noise" signs, or bull-charge noises. Either that, or, they do realize it, because a lot of other stadiums do it, too--and so what they don't realize is that at Fenway Park, none of this has ever been done.

And I'm sure some people who have never been around here might think when I say "never" that I mean "well, of course, they have the occasional 'noise meter' or a rhythmic sound pumped in or that 'everybody clap your hands' song, sure, all stadiums do that stuff." And to that I say, first of all, it's a park, not a stadium, and second of all, no, we have literally NONE of that crap to tell us when to cheer during the game. Ever. This is something I've thought about, like, every day of my life, but I don't feel like I mention it on my blog enough. So watch for this to be drilled into your head in '09!


If you follow this blog, or have spent any time talking to me about the Red Sox, you've heard my wild theory (among others) called "never take Wakefield out." With other pitchers, if they lose it, they lose it, take him out. With a guy throwing knucklers, if he loses it, he can get it back just as quickly, so why waste the bullpen when you can just keep the starter in who's putting less strain on his arm then any other, knowing that he might do just as well or better than the guy replacing him? So I've always said to basically keep him in a game until he truly can't throw any more.

Now read what Wake himself said before today's game: "No matter what, don't take me out."

Haha! Winner! Granted, he was talking about a specific game in which the bullpen needed its rest--but that's what I'm talkin' about! That's exactly what I would've told him today if I were the manager: You're pitching pretty much the whole game today. Only he said it himself! So from now on, when you hear me saying "never take Wake out," it's not just me, it's Wake himself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Burnin' Down The House

Kim and I feel lied to. By the talking heads on those music countdown shows. It's almost like they only say good things about the song so their comments would get on the air. I think the VH1 talking head world is a cutthroat one, with Jake Fogelnest regularly sabotaging Chris Jericho's wake-up calls and slipping mickeys to Michael Ian Black to be more likely to have his comments air. Ben Lee is hiring writers to come up with better comments and then rehearsing in the mirror beforehand. The Donnas seem to only exist in this world at this point.

And they're all lying to us. I just can't believe any of these people when they say they really loved that Key Largo song, or that some rap-metal guy was truly influenced by Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride.

Another thing about those countdowns: You know who I really feel bad for? Two-hit wonders. If you had three or more hits, you were probably pretty famous. If you had one, you live forever as a one-hit wonder. But having exactly two hits makes you a nobody, mentioned about as often as bands who never had a hit at all. (I also love how every one-hit wonder thinks they're the first to think of the line, "it's better than being a no-hit wonder!")

I'm having a lot of fun with the contest--the Jays had a chance to stay in first all alone, up 10-2 in the ninth, but just now, with two outs, they tacked on two more, and since they already have 12 and 13, won't be scoring tonight. So we've got them, the Cards, and the Mets in the lead, tied with 8 totals each. Nice job by Mickey, SoSock, and Lance.

Red Sox Playing Now (Meaning "Then")

5:49: Red Sox win, 8-2. Wakefield pitches a complete game. I really hope a start like this will quiet some of the anti-Wake people. I've heard people talk about how he should take his softball pitch and go home, how the knuckleball just isn't a major league pitch, how they've "tired of his routine," etc. Do they know he has more wins for the Red Sox than everybody except Roger Clemens and Cy Young? It's almost as if their reasoning for wanting him gone his the style of his pitching--which he's proven is fine by his 16-year career. Anyway, great job today, Wake. Too bad it wasn't a no-hitter, but maybe you'll top Roger and Cy eventually.

5:28: After a running catch by the wall for the first out by Jacoby, Wake gives up a solid single to left to end the no-hitter. But the key is, it's 8 to freakin' nothing us.

5:22: Jacoby single makes it 8-0. Huge cushion for Wake as we go bottom 8.

5:15: 6-0 on a Green single. So key that we've taken the (extra) pressure off Wake here. And we're still batting, bases loaded, top 8.

5:12: Drew, after having struck out thrice in the game, hits a two-out, three run dong! After the intentionally walked Youk. 5-0 us, top 8th.

5:00: Nick Green saves the day with a crazy catch on a blooper over his head! Not a hit given up to an A by Wake in 7 innings!

4:54: Sox had 'em loaded with one out--until Kottaras hit a check swing grounder to third, and for some reason looked at the ball instead of running to first right away. 5-2-3 double play. 2-0 after 6.5.

4:43: Well, Lowell took the simplest of grounders and lolligagged it to start the bottom of the sixth. Error. But Wake got the next three guys, so that's the only Oakland batter to reach in the game. 2-0 us after 6.

4:28: This game isn't an hour old, but we're through five! No Athletic has done anything against Wake. 2-0.

4:19: Wake has (quickly) all batters through four innings. 2-0 BOS after 4.

4:14: So I was wondering if they made up a new uniform for everybody (rather than removing every number temporarily and replacing it with a 42)--and the fact that Bay's sleeve logo is correct now tells me they did indeed make up new unis. We'll have to wait till the next road trip to see if his logo got fixed. Actually, there are no names on today's unis, so they have to be new for today only--and auctioning off later, I'm sure. 2-0 through 3.5

4:04 PM: Wake has given us what we need so far--three of the quickest innings you'll ever see this side of 1981. Jacoby made a nice running catch to end the third. 2-0 Sox through 3.

I'll try to give some updates to you daytime-working humans. Every player is wearing number 42 for Jackie Robinson Day today. Every coach, manager, etc., too. Wake had a quick first, and Lowell just hit a two-run dong in the second. 2-0 us on a bright, bright, bright, sunshiny day in Oaktown. And NESN's new Red Sox theme has yet to sink into my head.

Nothing Hurts

When Clemens was on the Yanks, it seemed like every time he had a bad performance, they'd come out and say he had some new injury you've never heard of. Ever since then, it almost seems like this is the way teams handle horrible performances: "our pitcher did poorly, standby for the injury report." I hate it when my team does this, as I like to admit when my guy shat the bed/soiled the sheets/crapped the cot/pooped the pillow/dookied the duvet. Dice-K did all of these things in one inning last night--yet I sat there waiting for the mystery injury to come out. Remy even suggested one, saying he saw Dice reach for his right hip/lower back.

Then word came out: Dice-K has left the game with arm fatigue. What, so you were gonna keep him in? Come on. Finally, though, the language barrier comes through to help prove my theory. They ask Dice about the "injury," and he says, "I think that I'm OK physically."

Aha! Exactly. This guy's always been honest, again, he simply says how he feels, the order with which injury to fake lost in translation.

Update: They put him on the DL. (Again, a guy who says he's fine.) But it doesn't change my point that every time a guy does poorly, they tell us what his injury was.

Hey, have you been following your team in the contest? I've had my eye on the Jays, as they quickly got their 12 and their 13, and had unique totals the first several games of the season. Last night, though, they separated themselves from the pack, now the only club with eight unique scores. They're followed by three groups of seven teams each, with 7, 6, and 5 scores respectively. Rounding out the back with a sad four scores are the D-backs, Astros, and Brewers. Rebecca was pissed when her Rays went above 13 the other night--sorry, anything above 13 doesn't count, though I guess I could have made a rule where those would count AS a 13. But I kind of like the teams having to get each one of the totals exactly...

Red Sox try to start the winning streak again today at 3:37, and still, not only am I not worried, but I hate the fact that our minute-by-minute society is even necessitating me to debunk worry. Remember when ol' Brooks went out into the free world, and said how it went and got itself in a big hurry? And look, he ended up hanging from the rafters because of it. And I don't mean in a "championship banner" kind of way. So don't worry about the naysayers, they've clearly just started watching baseball. In other words, two weeks to them is a huge chunk of their baseball life. Our team could sleepwalk through the season and still finish above .500 on talent alone. Or think of it this way--it'll be a nice change not to have to hear every idiot reporter talk about how we'll blow our big April lead, which we seem to always have. Not that I don't think we still could be in first by the end of April, but, for now....we've got something to shoot for instead of everyone shooting for us.

Two In The Morning

And we're still playing baseball. Papelbon just got the side in order in the 11th. We scored three in the first, but Dice-K had nothing, giving up five in his one inning. They say he's got "arm fatigue." We eventually got the two runs back, and our bullpen hasn't allowed a run. In 10 innings now. 5-5. Updates to follow.

Update, 2:33 AM: Lopez walks THREE guys in the 12th. And with two outs, a freakin' chopper off the plate, and Pedroia tries as hard as he can to throw the guy out at first, but it's just a but too late--though it looked to me like the runner's foot landed before the bag. NESN not worrying too much about it as they just wanna go to bed. Anyway, just an absolute killer of a game. It would've been even if it hadn't been a 10:00 start.

Key plays--Youk NOT sliding into first when he got doubled off. Had he slid, he wouldn't have overshot it and gotten tagged out. Remy & Don don't even point this out. Then, Bay hits a double that may have been a triple had he not looked at the ball and stopped, thinking it was foul. He may have gotten three bases if he'd run out of the box--but it definitely would've scored Youk, had he not been doubled off. NESN also said nothing about this. B'night, everybody.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thanks For Playin'

Congrats to AJM on winning the Kwiz title. His thrid championship in four years. Dynasty? Definitely team of the decade. Or, dude of the decade.

But there's still a race for second with one kwiz left!

Red Sox about to start a winning streak in Oakland with Dice-K on the mound.

AJ Burnett had a no-hitter in the 7th, but gave up three hits in a row, allowing Tampa to tie the game at 2. But the Yanks got the lead back in top 8. We'll monitor that one, as is the lifelong tradition. I'd prefer the Yanks to blow it with two outs in the ninth, but sooner works, too.

Update, 10:10: Yanks pull away and win 7-2.

Kwiz I'm Bad, Nineteen

Who is this man? (Picture taken by me this month. And I don't mean the guy at left with the Under Armour logo.)

Update: Kwiz solved, here's the full pic:

Sox Don't WIn, 8-2

Well we just looked like a bunch of fools out there tonight. I can't even look JD Drew in the eye any more.

I'm happy for Nomar getting a dong.

In case you missed it, Lowrie's on the DL, so the winner of the shortstop battle was Nick Green after all. Velazquez was called up, too.

Bright spot? Lester's work in his innings that weren't the 5-run second.

Brighter spot: Wang gets shelled again, eight earned runs in one-plus innings. That guy's having serious problems. Yanks lose 15-5.

The contest is getting kind of fun. Five of you are tied for the lead with seven unique totals. So you're halfway to the 14 totals needed--but that second half's gonna take a lot longer than the first half did.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Breaking Horrible News

When I was writing the post linking the article about Baldelli and other locals who became Red Sox, for some reason, I didn't think of Mark Fidrych, though his attempt at playing for Boston only got as far as Pawtucket. Little did I know at the time, he was dead. Apparently The Bird was found today under a truck he was fixing at his home, victim of an accident.

I'd been talking about The Bird here and on other sites a lot lately--one of his most famous games had recently aired a few times on TV. I can't believe that from now on we'll be referring to him as the late Mark Fidrych. He was only 54. My autographed Fidrych ball is one of my most prized possessions.

Louie Rocco?

Did you see this New York Times article about Rocco Baldelli last week? His favorite player growing up: Rich Gedman!

And we all knew Rocco would come to our team one day--but it's funny that some Devil Rays felt the same way.

RIP Harry Kalas

Announcer Harry Kalas died today.

I've been meaning to do a post about the horrible current announcing landscape for a while now--in it, I was going to mention that Harry was one of the few good guys. Every Phillies fan knows his voice from baseball, but the rest of us know him from his narration work with the great NFL Films. Nobody could have replaced "the voice of god," John Facenda, but Kalas did as good a job as anyone could have. He was also the voice of one of my favorite weekly moments as a kid--during the two-minute warning of NFL games, they'd play a short clip of a game with a great ending. "Alcoa presents...Fantastic Finishes." I don't know why I loved it so much--it could have been the White Shoes Johnson play every time and I still would have watched. Maybe Harry had something to do with it...

Olde School

My game summary of the Easter loss is up at Baseball Digest.

When I do the old-timey wraps, I always think, "I'm on a roll! I'll do this after every game!" Then after two days go by I think, "Eh, I'll never get back into that mindset--I'll just do it once a week." So, while I hope to do this as often as possible, I'm only guaranteeing one per week minimum. But I'll always let you know here when something's posted over there.

I should also tell you that a catcher pitched for Pawtucket tonight.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Crooked Sox...And Andy

Enough of me trying to explain it, here are some screen shots!

The sox logo, CORRECTLY situated on sleeve:

They're all like this, except for two players I've spotted so far who have the sox logo turned WAY counterclockwise, like the way a casual fan might place a sticker on their windshield. Here are your two INCORRECTLY situated sleeve sockers, Josh Beckett and Jason Bay:

For once, a corporate logo is useful, as the Majestic icon--set parallel to the bottom of the sleeve--makes the error easily noticeable.

Finally, Joy of Sox game thread buddy "Andy" was at today's game. (JoS is where you'll find me during games if I'm not at the park--join us!) In the below shot, he's at the top left in a gray shirt and blue hat with his right arm raised (he was taking pics on nearly every pitch), and to his left, his wife in a red shirt and blue hat:


Drew: throws to wrong base, pops out on first pitch against a pitcher who's wild in a key late rally, ends game by watching three strikes. Needless to say, terrible job. He did hit a dong early, but he does a great job of making you forget. Too bad we couldn't break through in this damn game.

A dude on the Royals hit a ground ball to the right side that went through Swisher's legs, and then through Cano's legs. And he got a hit for it! It turned out to be key, until a Royals error gave the Yanks the go-ahead run. But KC came back in the bottom of the eighth and held on for the W. Thank you Royals, for finally coming through in this series.

I cleaned up the contest page. No more bold/non-bold--just the totals each team has so far. A bunch of you are tied with six unique totals. The Royals finally didn't score either one or two runs today, but they still trail the pack with three.

I see Josh Beckett is in the "sleeve logo turned way counterclockwise" with Jason Bay. Those are the only ones I've noticed so far.

Back Up In Yo' Ass With The Resurrection

Really interesting story about the suicide of the son of Sylvia Plath.


Also meeting the Angels are the Red Sox, at 3:35? You got a better one?

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