Friday, July 15, 2011

No H, No F

We lost but they lost, still 1.5 up.

To the people of Los Angeles, I hear you've got some construction that's about to cause some traffic. Around here, it's only news when there's a day without construction causing traffic.

July 15th In Red Sox Vs. Rays History

Never played 'em on this date. In the meantime, enjoy a video, image, or article from a different website of your choice! Good luck!

Sox @ Rays, 7:10

Yanks Lose, I Guarantee It

I missed the whole Yankee game tonight since we saw The Godfather under the stars in Providence. It was a sweatshirt-needin' night after a scorching few days. So I was happy to find out they got Broadway Joe'd, 16-7, in Toronto. We're 1.5 up. I really wanna leave them on the side of the road and pull away, cannolis in hand.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More July 10 Fun

Got some non-Kyle Weiland shots from that July 10th game, but first, enlarge this one of some kind of beetle on our kitchen window screen. (Oh, and Kelly O'Connor's photos from this game are now up on her site.)

Most of these are Tek. I went to the front row in the RF corner to get shots of Weiland, and ended up with Tek practically in my lap, repeatedly saving my life from Salty's throws. It's pretty scary but you have to trust your captain.

Here he is walking closer to me for longer tossing. My shoulder hurts when I picture my Little League field--these guys can throw 200 feet effortlessly.

It kills me when people ask him for the ball at this moment. Actually, it's not as much "asking" as it is "telling" him that they've got a little kid and that Tek, instead of getting his throwing in, should be giving the ball to them instead. At the very least, ask the player if you could have the ball when he's done with it, but bothering players while they're working is just rude.

You can see Salty way back there. On this same day, my mom got a dog and named it Saltalamacchia, Salty for short of course.

I'm in the same seat, Tek has moved to my left. We'll go caption-less on these next few, eh?

So yeah, there's your Tek gallery.

This was an ad in the sky but I've made it so it isn't.

Vlad Guerrero.

Jacoby Ellsbury.

And Youk in the dugout.

Idiotic new rules update: Fenway's still not allowing us to go out beyond the dugouts from 2 through 1.5 hours before the game. It's so stupid. No one knows about it. So you stand there waiting, only to have a steady stream of people attempt to walk by you only to be told they have to stop there. Then they become a waiter and get to make fun of the next people to try and walk past. Meanwhile, some people sneak by, and you feel like a bigger idiot for still standing there, obeying the unnecessary rules. At one point, I watched two people go right by as the usher looked the other way. Minutes later, the same usher then started yelling at a different usher for looking at his phone and therefore missing people go by him. I wanted to tell the guy that he too was guilty of letting people go due to his not paying attention to the one thing he's supposed to be doing. And through it all, I'm standing there like a jackass among the logjam of people when I should be out in the outfield getting home run balls.


My friend Chan, who I lived with in NYC and who still resides there, took this shot last night. It was, of course, Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun lines up with the street grid.

One thing I love about the 'henge is how I discovered it without knowing about it ahead of time. While living in Manhattan, I was walking along 33rd with Chan, and was struck by just how long everybody's shadow was. It just seemed odd, with all the skyscrapers in the way, that you'd ever see shadows that long completely on the ground. So I guess that night we did some electronified searchin', and learned about the phenomenon. It's a beautiful thing. Try to go to NYC in late June or early July to catch it. (There's also the sunrise version which occurs on different dates, but, come on, getting up early? Who does that?) And if you can't make it to New York, search online for pictures of Manhattanhenge. There are some great ones, but here's one from some guy's blog showing just his own long shadow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Recapping

Back to my pre-season month-by-month predictions: Okay, I effed up June. Had the winning and the losing in the wrong places. Yet when I looked at the total June record compared to my predicted record for the month, they were the same! So despite a "bad" June, I actually nailed the overall record, at 16-9.

So far in July, I've been one game off in each of the series, but again, overall I'm close, predicting 8-2 pre-break, with the real record being 9-1.

At this point I thought we'd be 60-32. Actual record: 55-35. Four games off. Just goes to show you how great we've been playing, because had we gone even a modest 7-5 to start the season instead of 2-10, we'd be doing better than my 60-32 prediction, which is .652 baseball.

Ricky Gervais Is 50

And he gives good advice. Eff the flow!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meaningful Meaningless Game Goes To NL

Adrian Gonzalez donged. Other than that, pretty much nothing happened. Except Heath Bell slid into the mound when he came in and everyone laughed. I think Henry Rollins does the post-game Fox disclaimer, too. If so, he's now done voiceover for every single company in the world. He tries to disguise his voice on some of these ads, but I always can tell it's him by the slight lisp and the monotone and the low-pitch breaths. Oh shit, I actually forgot about the ridiculous WS home field advantage thing until just now. So we either don't have that goin' for us if we win the AL or we do have that goin' for us if the Yanks win the AL.

Looks like Prince Fielder's gettin' MVP. Do we know if he's still a vegetarian? I hope so.

Anyway, the point is, read this great post on Joy of Sox about the whole shitty state of racist Arizona, and how a lot of these ballplayers had said they would boycott the ASG, but totally didn't after all. It's a long post, so if you're a 140-character type, you don't exist, because how would you have read this far in this post?

Fox ASG Broadcast Off To A Great Start

Fox, if your interns use Google to grab logos to slap on your graphics, you're gonna end up with old versions of them. They changed it in 2008. Why is this so hard for people? The Bruins tweaked their logo a few years ago, and I knew about it without even being a hockey fan. Every time a team's logo changes, there's an announcement, people give their opinion, and, most importantly, the new logo is used from then on. The old may be brought back in a retro way at some point, but the new logo becomes the logo. I still can't figure out why when the Boston Red Sox, a fairly well-known and well-covered franchise, changed theirs, nobody seemed to notice. Doesn't a memo go around? Especially to a network like Fox? The Boston Herald is a newspaper, and they still haven't noticed. Yes, I will always be mad about this. Do you have any friends who think that glove with the MB is still the Milwaukee Brewers logo?

So to all the stragglers, for the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000th time, here's the new (not anymore, assholes!) Red Sox logo:

July 12th In AL Vs. NL History

Our league has played the weird other one 6 times on July 12th. We've won 3 and lost 3. Five of the 6 games were played in NL parks.

1949 @ NL (Brooklyn): 11-7 W Mel Parnell started for the AL, who improved their record to 12-4. This was the first All-Star Game to feature black players.

1955 @ NL (Milwaukee): 6-5 L Stan the Man hits the first pitch of the bottom of the 12th out of the park to win it for the NL, who had trailed 5-0 going to the bottom of the 7th.

1966 @ NL (St. Louis): 2-1 L On a 105-degree day in St. Louis, Maury Wills singled home Tim McCarver with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th.

1988 @ NL (Cincinnati): 2-1 W After losing every game from '72 to '82, the AL had started to regain control by the late '80s. Terry Steinbach knocked in both runs for the AL in the '88 game, becoming the first player to hit a homer in his first MLB at bat and his first All-Star Game at bat. I remember being so excited that my favorite player at the time, Mike Greenwell, made his first All-Star Game. He finally got a chance to bat, and hit a solid line drive to left that looked like a sure hit. But Andy Van Slyke made a great catch. The moment was especially terrible for me, since a few of us 7th graders decided for no apparent reason to follow the Pittsburgh Pirates. (When you and your friends root for rival teams, you look wherever you can to find common ground--which is also why we all rooted for the New York-New Jersey Knights of the World Football League. And the National League was about as foreign to us as the World Football League was to everybody, so there was no harm in "rooting" for the Pirates.) Aided by the Panini sticker book, we loved Jose Lind the most, but also liked Bream, Bonilla, LaValliere, and of course Van Slyke. Damn, of all the guys to rob the Gator...

1994 @ NL (Pittsburgh): 8-7 L Fred McGriff tied the game with a 2-run dong in the bottom of the 9th. Moises Alou knocked home Tony Gwynn with a 10th inning double to give the NL their first win since 1987. One month later, the strike would begin, leaving us with no World Series in 1994. The New York Yankees were named that season's honorary champions by their fans, who also determined that Paul O'Neill definitely would have hit .400.

2005 @ AL (Detroit): 7-5 W In the first All-Star Game ever played on July 12 in an AL park, Matt Clement and the rest of the AL stars jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 win.

Things That Need Fixin'

Remember how the Yanks had that guy Brian Gordon make a couple starts a few weeks ago? What I didn't realize was that in those games he was actually using a non-leather glove! As a person who thinks it's effed up that we play games with the skins of animals, this is huge. I'm still hoping for the day when the baseball and the gloves will all be made of anything but hides. Thanks to Caitlin for the link.

Meanwhile, the long-time minor leaguer Gordon, who wasn't a pitcher until recently, was sent down by the Yanks, and has subsequently signed with a team in the Korean leagues.

Oh, and check this out:

This is from a TV commercial for the All-Star Game. A little hard to tell in this bootleg screen-grab, but below the superimposed Adrian Gonzalez is a "home plate area," with batters' boxes and the catcher's box--note that they've got the batter in the catcher's box. Terrible. Yet another case where all you'd have to do is consult with one goddamn baseball fan before making your baseball commercial and you wouldn't end up with egregious errors. Then again, maybe they look at the stats and say, "Hmmm, Jere Smith of Providence noticed the error and every other person in the world didn't. Run it!"

And speaking of that, have you noticed the new studio set-up for the NESN pre- and post-game? And have you noticed the giant neon Sox hanging on the wall to the right? And have you noticed that they're backwards? How am I supposed to roll my eyes when they're already stationed in the upright and rolled position??

Monday, July 11, 2011

L-B'ing The HR Derby

11:20: The Hample vids are here and here, you'll see the yellow Homer shirt. These were recorded bootleg style, laptop aiming at TV, sorry for the poor quality. Wow, Cano was a little over the top with that celebration, eh? What a dick.

11:03: I'm confused. He's hugging everyone and even saying "no mas." Does he think it's over? But then he gets the derby-winning dong. What a little shit. Well, Adrian gave it a shot, did it without being a cocky piece of rotting feces, and hopefully Cano pulled something. Okay, I'm gonna go YouTube the Hample catch.

11:02: Okay, Cano at, 10...with only 6 outs. We need a serious drop-off or we're done....shit, gets his 11th, we're tied, and he's only at 6 outs.

11:00: Cano's up to 7 dongs---ZACK CAUGHT IT!!!!!!!!!

10:50: Adrian ends with 11. Tied for most ever in a final round. I still wish our guy had last ups. But Cano will now bat needing 12 to win. Yankee fans preparing both post-derby statements right now, the "we'll win when it counts" one and the "we are awesome winners who winningly win always" one.

10:45: Another dong close to Zack, maybe 6 rows in front of him. He's got room to run left/right, but he can't move down. Anyway, Adrian's up to 10 with 6 outs.

10:43: Guy catches one and jumps into pool. He Jetered it though, meaning he didn't NEED to jump in the pool, he just did it for fun right after catching it. Adrian with 6 dongs, 3 outs. Make it 7. Remember, both guys start with 0 for the finals--but they both had 20 so it's truly even. And Adrian is up to 8 homers, still just 3 outs.

10:40: Good start for Gonzalez. 3 dongs in first 4 swings.

10:35: Pedro Gomez: "People don't think of [Adrian Gonzalez] as a home run hitter." Prince is done. It's Adrian Gonzalez vs. Robinson, peg, for the championship.

10:28: I love this--Gonzalez hitting dongs all over. I love it because Cano pulled the whole "wave triumphantly at the crowd" routine after his turn, forgetting that Adrian beat him in round one and had yet to take his round 2 swings. He's tied Cano in total at the gold ball....and he's done. Adrian and Cano with 20, Papi done--will Prince force a swing-off? (Note: Adrian did NOT do the triumphant wave to the crowd as the showboat shit-eater did.)

10:22: Fucking idiots. I'm trying to watch Gonzalez in the HR Derby which comes but once a year, and they miss two pitches in a row because they're showing Cano's face. Adrian up to 15. And there's Zack! He IS in right field. Last dong was just a few feet in front of him, and he waved both arms for the camera's sake.

10:18: Adrian goes opposite field for a dong. He's knocked Papi out since he's up to 12 now. He looks Finals-bound against Cano right now.

10:12: Cano ends with 20 total. Now Adrian.

10:08: Cano adding many long dongs to his total, he's got 16 altogether. Adrian hasn't hit in 2 hours--he's up next.

10:00: Still looking for Zack's yellow shirt, but who knows, maybe he's stuck in left. If he is, he's pissed with 4 lefties left. 8 outs now for Papi, 8 total dongs. He needs some more though he'd be technically alive if he ends now. Gets a gold ball dong to make it 8....and they COMPLETELY MISS his last swing. ESPN, you jackasses. If you don't show it, we don't see it. Who's in charge? Will they be fired? What's the point of airing this event if you're not gonna actually show it? Cano up next.

9:56: Okay, Papi leads off round 2. Total of round 1 and 2 add together to get the 2 finalists. He keeps hitting low liners. Now he's asking for a music change! And he dongs first swing post-music change. And again. So his total's up to 8.

9:44: Prince hits one way up and out, and ESPN's cam is too low to see where it hits. And Prince ties Holliday, one more and he's in...with 3 swings left. And he's got it. So it's Prince, Papi, Cano, and Adrian moving on.

9:44: Papi up. This will be tough. Out on swing one. Deeep dong on swing two. Another front row liner for dong 2. Two swings left...and he goes wayyy out! So he's in for round 2--and he adds another. 4 in 5 swings. So if Prince can beat 2, he'll also be in.

9:41: Berman forced to explain the 3-way swing-off as Holliday's hitting. Each of the three guys gets 5 SWINGS...Holliday with....oh my god ESPN showing the number of swings but they're counting DOWN. And no, they didn't tell Berman. So he's thinking....well, the point is, everyone's confused, but Holliday ended up with 2. Now Papi.

9:38: So is Zack gonna get his ass over to RF at this point? Fielder up to 5 dongs, at the gold ball. This could be a three-way tie for the final two spots. Berman not mentioning that, of course. And he ends with 5. So it's Adrian with 9, Cano 8, Holliday, Papi, and Prince with 5. We'll have some kind of bat-off.

9:34: Fielder up, last guy. AL has kicked NL's ass, despite Bautista's poor showing. Wait, so Papi's tied for third, not fourth, meaning if Prince passes him, he's in a bat-off. Too bad ESPN's not updating fans with this stuff. Fielder with 3 dongs, 4 outs.

9:27: 9 outs. Just 4 dongs for Papi. Team meeting! ESPN giving no indication to fans of what each guy needs to stay alive, etc.. Gold ball dong! So he 's got a shot! Tied for 4th. I think. And he's done, as we get a horrid wide shot from behind home so we can see noting.

9:24: Youk interviewed as Papi hits. He gets a dong that they assume ISN'T out and show the field with cam too low, so annoying. A front row line dong gives him 4, but now he's got 7 outs.

9:23: Little Papi brings his dad a drink...another line shot homer... 4 outs, 2 dongs....he's not in a rhythm yet.

9:22: Cano's dad pitching to Ortiz....gets his first dong, a liner, with 2 outs.

9:21: Papi needs 6 for a guaranteed move-on. Here we go...

9:17: Matt Kemp gets to the gold ball with ZERO dongs. These fans are already pissed that their Upton wasn't chosen. Now this dude....well, he gets an upper deck shot...and another dong...and he finished with 2. Papi time next!!!!!

9:08: Bautista shitting the bed. 2 dongs, then lots of outs...but 2 gold ball dongs now...and he's done. 4 for the regular season leader. This means Adrian makes round 2!

8:56: NL guy up. "Oh my god!" says Prince Fielder being interviewed. A kid made a great catch. Or at least that's what I assume, since ESPN opted to not show it. ..and Weeks finishes with just 3 dongs. Unless the remaining 4 guys ALL beat Adrian, he's in round 2.

8:50: And Mr. Thinks He Can Get By On Talent Alone ends up with 8 dongs. Lookin' good for Adrian.

8:48: Cano's dad pitching to him, and he starts out with a few crazy long dongs. ESPN now forgets about the contest, whoops, and we miss stuff. Oh, and now a close-up of Cano's face instead of the ball he just hit. What are these people thinking? 6 outs, 6 dongs, for they do some funny thing but ESPN's locked in on the kid who caught the last ball. They're just terrible. ... 8 dongs, 8 outs...

8:37: Holliday up, ESPN camera people quite impressed with the height of his fly balls that land in the outfield. These guys never learn.... 8 outs, just 3 dongs....9 outs, gold dong...and another--and I see Zack Hample! I see what he's doing, staying in a walkway behind one section of stands in left. He said on his blog he'll be in left--I of course would have chosen right, what with Papi and Adrian. Because, ya know. Anyway, 5 dongs for Holliday. Cano up next. (Hample was close enough to one dong that he had a distance marker graphic right on him.)

8:28: Adrian's almost reaching the upper decks here. ESPN does something stupid, showing a very wide shot with a trail, so we're essentially NOT SEEING anything right now. So fucking stupid. 8 dongs, down to last out, gets a Gold Dong, for his 9th jack. I think he's in for round 2.... and his 10th out. Nice job. Here's the pool replay--it didn't actually go in the water, just into the pool area.

8:25: ESPN, tell us who's talking...Ohhhh, it's Heath Bell. Papi came out with the traditional Gatorade for Adrian's who has 5 dongs, 5 outs. Make it 6 dongs.

8:21:Big dong, pulled right down the line. All this time for ESPN to prepare and they've got the screen covering part of Adrian's body as he hits. Nice. Another dong. To the pool!!!!

8:19: In this lull I guess I'll give my opinion on HR Derby--I love home run contests so I love this. I just wish it was less "the way it is"y and more "just regular"y. Okay, Gonzalez up. Dribbles one for his first a grounder. Terrible camera set-up.

8:17: Papi addressed the crowd, says he's putting Adrian first instead of Cano. I wonder if Adrian's goin' to left field in this thing...

8:15: Good to see Nomar announcing this. (With Kruk and Berman.) They keep saying how there's a "twist" this year. What the hell are they talking about? Just that there are captains who choose their teammates? And that there's actual gold in the gold balls? Or is their something else? What does "AL vs. NL" mean? Isn't there still just one winner?

8:11: Berman asking all the meaningless questions after both teams are introduced. I'll be looking for Zack Hample in his yellow Homer Simpson shirt in the outfield stands.

8:08: We started off with some bullshit country. It's bad enough that their music is crap, but do they have to act all "rock" on us? Just be your shitty self. When the south secedes, I hope they take modern country music with them.

Kyle Weiland Major League Debut Gallery

I took a hell of a lot of pictures of Kyle Weiland today, but I've narrowed it down to these. Above, KyWhy walks out from the dugout. Notice that the scoreboard people have been told he'd be wearing number 87. That would turn out to be bad info. (Unless they just took a guess or it was some inside joke.) Click each to enlarge. Then again to enlarge more.

Here he is throwing in the outfield.

I also got some good Tek shots since I stationed myself in the spot where he always does his long tossing from. I'll post those along with other non-Weiland shots later.

More outfield tossing.

And finally he makes his way to the bullpen for his warmups. And obviously I'm now in the bleachers.

Looking nervous.

Now the board has changed his number to 70...

...which is correct!

Another shot of him in the bullpen.

This one's got the date in it.

Then I took the long walk around the park and picked this spot to get shots of him on the mound. There were still plenty of empty seats as the game began.

Kyle Weiland's first pitch. He had a quick and easy first inning.

Close-up action.

Weiland and Gonzalez.

It was hot. Very hot. If you sat in uncovered seats for this whole game, nice job. I noticed Kelly O'Connor snapping away right near me and sat with her for a little bit, before finally moving to the standing room and some shade. When she posts her pics, I will link to them.

And Weiland gets ejected from his major league debut!

Here he is in the dugout post-ejection as Tito continues to argue.

Twelve runs in the first two innings, then just two more the rest of the way. And the length of the first half of the game threatened to eff up some post-game North End plans, but it sped up, and I got to go to that one place for the first time. And it was good. You know, Mike's. Anyway, KyWhy gave up those 6 runs in the second, but one hit was a bloop, one was chopped just over his glove, and one was a grounder to Scutaro that he went for the force at second on instead of realizing that Vlad was the hitter and would have been out at first to end the inning but 89.5 feet.

But the Brigade came back for him, and Aceves was key in relief. Bard held, Pap saved, and we sweep and stay a game up at the All-Star break. For the next 4+ days, we'll be at the top of the standings now matter how many times Yankee fans glance at them hoping they'll change.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Brigade Still Rocking

The rarely seen Good Lackey showed up tonight. Sometimes all it takes is the Orioles in their other dugout. The Rock Brigade only needed one tonight, but got 4 for the 4-0 win. I'm happy to say ever since I proclaimed them the Rock Brigade, they have not lost. Ellsbury had a single, double, and triple, and continues to show that he's much, much, much, much, much, much, much better than Brett Gardner, despite that Yankee fans assumed Gardner was better based on the fact that they wanted him to be.

Sunday we go for a 4-game sweep. We're one game up but we still need a win or a Yanks loss on Sunday to be in first at the break with the best record in the AL.

July 10th in Sox/O's history. We're 6-10 in 16 games all time. Smaller story, but I know you've been following it--we've been watching some of these series the last few days, and highlighted below are the ones that ended on July 10th.

1911 @STL: 8-5 W The 1911 series that happened on the same 4 days as the 2011 one finally comes to a close, and we win it 3 games to 1. The first 6 hitters in the Boston lineup had 2 hits apiece in game 4.
1912 STL: 9-2 L We also got to follow all 3 games of the 1912 series--Browns win to avoid a 3-game sweep. It was their first win against the Red Sox in 11 tries in 1912. Boston would win the season series 17-5, and repeat the feat 3 more times in the next 5 years.
1913 @STL: 6-2 W
1919 @STL: 5-1 L
1919 @STL: 4-3 L
This doubleheader sweep by St. Louis means they sweep the 3-game series. Babe Ruth went deep in the 6th inning of game 2 for Boston.
1920 STL: 9-2 L
1922 STL: 5-4 L
1922 STL: 4-3 W
This was the third doubleheader in a row at Fenway--all 3 were splits. Game 1 on July 10th went 13 innings.
1924 STL: 8-2 W
1928 STL: 4-2 L
1933 STL: 9-5 L We got to see this whole series from 7/8 to 7/10--Browns win it 3 games to 1, scoring eight runs in the 2nd inning of the finale.
1943 @STL: 6-3 W
1955 BAL: 10-7 W We take 2 out of 3 from the O's. (Game 2 of the doubleheader on this day was rained out.)
1969 @BAL: 5-4 L
1998 @BAL: 3-2 L
2005 @BAL: 4-1 L And this second-most recent July 7-10 series with Baltimore (also Thursday through Sunday) goes to them, 3-1. Trot Nixon goes deep and Wake takes the loss on a 93-degree day at Camden Yards.

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