Saturday, April 28, 2012

1010 Wins

A week after blowing a 9-0 lead, the Red Sox have now won 6 in a row, as Lester throws 7 shutout innings in a 1-0 win over the White Sox. (Or if you read the official article, it was a 9-1 lead we blew last Saturday, and Lester threw eight shutout innings tonight. But you come here because you want the facts!)

Peavy was great too, but we managed the game's only run off him in the 4th. Sweeney hit the Yankee-est of bloop doubles, and Gonzalez singled him home. Aceves got his 5th save with a 1-2-3 9th after Morales and Padilla worked the 8th.

Good point by Allan at Joy of Sox who noted that we didn't get to .500 until game 40 last year. After a similarly crappy start this year, we reached it at game 20. (Granted, we were only one game worse last year after 20 games than we are this year--but it's pretty amazing it took 20 more games to get to the .500 mark!) The Yanks lost tonight so we're a game behind them, and two games out of first in the loss column, which probably makes the "we're just not a good team"/"it's gonna be a long year"/"fire the manager after 10 games as if we're fucking Steinbrenner in the 80s" crowd feel like idiots. Of course I'd be as dumb as them to point at our place in the standings after 20 games to show we're a good team--but it's a good way to show how quickly things can turn around and how fast the standings change in April.

Great moment tonight when fill-in announcer and Jere-rival Pete Abe said "do you really think this is gonna be a 1-0 game?" in the fourth inning. As soon as he said that, my mind went "pleaseletthisbea1-0game pleaseletthisbea1-0game pleaseletthisbea1-0game"... and it was!

Oh and what's with Marlon Byrd breaking the wrong way on balls? It's happened four times that I've noticed in this Chicago series. Is this something he's always had problems with? Tonight he tried to make a diving catch, but he had broken back so as he was diving from right to left, he had to reach his glove toward the infield as the ball was to his left. He ended up kind of overreaching and the ball hit his wrist above his glove. He was going face first into the ground in an awkward dive which could have led to the ball missing the glove, but the fact that his initial angle was toward the outfield wall when the ball was in front of him was the problem in the first place. I like Marlon--I just think he may need glasses. The kind that make you break the right way on a fly ball. For it to happen this many times in the last 3 games alone means it's an issue with him.

We go for a 4-game sweep Sunday at 2:10.

Green Death For White Sox

Bard was a little off early in the game. An 0-2 pitch right over the plate leads to a 2-out RBI double in the first. A crazy third inning where we should have had about 6 outs led to another run, and a 3-0 dong by Konerko had the Blowtown Hose up 3-2 after 5. But the Boston bats were hot in the cold once again. A 2-out, 3-run double by Darnell put us ahead to stay in the 6th. He added a late dong (above) to drop the Green Death on the White Socks. Bard settled down and Albers was perfect in the 8th and 9th. 10-3 win.

So that's five wins in a row. What kills me is how not one reliever could come through last Saturday. It was easy to say "the bullpen stinks" after that game, but the truth is, they all just stunk on the same day. We knew each of those guys had had his moments before then, and they all have since, except for that one guy, but them all failing that day (except Tazawa when it was too late) means we're 9-10 right now instead of above 10-9. Oh well, that was 6 games ago, we're on a new path now. If we can win our 6th in a row, we'll reach .500 at the 20-game mark, which would be pretty sweet after the 4-10 start.

(Underrated moment at the Joy of Sox board. Allan said Shoppach was in danger of getting a Golden Shower, i.e. his fourth strikeout. I quickly made an "Our Kelly" joke and was very proud of myself.)

Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in the Yanks-Tigers game tonight. In the 9th, with the game tied, he walked. Then he went to second on another walk, and the ball got away from the catcher, so he went to third. Then there was a passed ball, allowing him to score the winning run. Are you ready to see what the Daily News thinks about this? Now keep in mind, I didn't leave anything out there. That was the whole rally. Walk, walk, wild pitch, passed ball. This isn't a Photoshop job, this is real, I swear. Here we go:

Nice touch with the "October is in the air" talk, too! The article's sub-headline also tries to make it appear as if Jeter did anything at all, as opposed to being handed the goddamn game:

"Jeter [...] worked a one-out walk in the ninth and then used some heads-up baserunning to score the game-winning run on passed ball by Tigers catcher Alex Avila."

Jeter himself admits right in the same article that "all I had to do was run"! These articles read like the Little League write-ups in the local paper, when they'd have to mention every kid in the game story. "Joshua Dineen played stellar defense in three innings in left field." If you never saw the games, you'd think Dineen was the star of the team--the writers can't help but notice all the good he does every single game! That's Jeter. He's the kid whose parents are really nice so you want to make sure to always praise him even though he doesn't do shit.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Rhymes Of Inspectah On-Deck & Redman

Every time Aviles does something good I say "A-vee-les, A-vee-les" to the tune of the chorus of the Redman song "I'll Be Dat!" (chorus starts a little after the 1:00 mark). I think this should be his at bat music, though the swearing in between the "I'll Be Dat"s would be tough to cut out. But it's a really funny chorus/song. I thought the "my crew do drugs Duane/Reade couldn't read" was genius. (I also just noticed on that YouTube page that Redman's playing in Boston tomorrow night! Somebody should go and tell him about the plan. They're both from the NY metro, I think it's a perfect match.

Inspectah On-Deck strikes again: My latest detective work is for the Fenway fan mosaic, which I mentioned the other day (and have since added one of my own pictures to). It's an interesting one, because once all the pics are filled in (about a quarter of it is done as of today), you won't be able to see the finer details of the bigger Fenway picture. But right now you can zoom in and look between the blank squares where pics will be added and get some key info from the auxiliary scoreboards:

To me that clearly shows Ball: 0 Strike: 1 Out: 1 Detroit with 0 runs, 1 hit, and 0 errors, Inning: 1. We know the picture is from at least 2008, as the 2007 WS flag is up over home plate. (The two red ones on the far right are '04 and '07.) We can tell the Red Sox are up, so it's the bottom of the first, day game against Detroit. Men on first and second, no outs. That's an easy one to match. I went through the games from '08 to now, and only 8/1/2010 matches up. Scutaro singled and stole second, Drew walked, and now Youk is up, and the 0-1 pitch is on the way, as the infielders are in ready position and the runners are taking their leads. Verlander is on the mound, and you can also see the second baseman is wearing 28, and that was the number of the guy playing second according to the boxscore--whose name goes perfectly with the rest of this post: Rhymes.

The Red Sox would go on to win 4-3, with my picture of Johnny Pesky in short right field....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Burnt Humber

The last words I'd written on this blog today were: "If they ever accidentally cut off some of a commercial or promo, I'll post that video here--and I'll give you one million dollars."

Well, I owe you a million dollars! (Fortunately I never specified what kind of dollars.) It happened in the third inning tonight:

Byrd seemed to be struck out, the graphics flew, the music played, and Don threw it to break. And after about 27 seconds of a 30-second commercial, we're suddenly thrown back to the field, where another pitch is being thrown to Byrd! Apparently the umps had huddled and decided Byrd hadn't struck out. And NESN showed they DO have the capability for cutting right into an ad and got back just in time. (I'm wondering how they even go about this. They must have known another pitch would be thrown well before they got us back to the game--does it just take that long to override the system, with two captains each turning his key at once, or did they decide to let as much of the ad run as possible, cutting back just as the pitch was being delivered?) Then it came out that Remy actually had gone to the bathroom thinking the inning was over. He trumped Phil Rizzuto's classic WW ("wasn't watching") scorecard notation with a WH: "wasn't here."

More importantly, a 10-3 Red Sox win! Doubront went 6, Tazawa went 3. Youk hit a grandmother slamfather, and Salty followed it with a solo blast--giving us a huge early lead that we'd never give up. Salt later hit another dong, a 2-run shot that injected Green Death into the other Sox. That perfect game by Humber in his last start was the best thing that could have happened to us--it's like the flight before yours crashing. Four wins in a row!

The Missing Of Pitches

Our favorite network has missed parts of at least three plays the last two nights.

The first one isn't that bad--but only compared to the others. They miss the entire pitch and the ball meeting bat. This was a key play in the Twins' rally last night, after they'd come back from commercial and were showing an extended Valentine non-reaction shot:

And shortly after that, we come back from break to see that another key hit was in progress:

But the night before had one of the all-time worst examples of pitch-missing. While we're trapped in a hallway, we hear the crack of the bat followed by the crowd reacting to Gonzalez fielding the ball:

On that last one, here's a still shot of the FIRST thing we see of that play (with the graphic not fully off the screen yet):

Pitch thrown, ball hit, ball fielded already--the first thing we see is the fielder touching the base for the out. We have essentially missed the entire play.

If they ever accidentally cut off some of a commercial or promo, I'll post that video here--and I'll give you one million dollars.

Yer Darn Tootin'!

After a 7-1 lead became 7-6, Don and Jerry announced the game like it was already lost. Remy even said "it's like starting from scratch," as if the game was back to tied. But we never lost the lead, and despite the gloom/doom from the booth, we win it 7-6, as the Twins leave 'em loaded in the ninth.

Man, NESN was bad again tonight. After missing almost an entire play last night, tonight they missed two key hits. Amazingly, both were on the first pitch...after a pitching change! We came back from commercial to see the ball already in the outfield. It happened on two run-scoring hits during the Twins' comeback. [Once the ad was still on when the ball was hit, and once they were still showing a replay of V's reaction when the ball was hit.] So Red Sox fans were left double-mad. I was so pissed on each of those hits regardless, but to miss the pitch and the swing made it even worse.

During one ad, I switched to MLBN to see if the Yanks (who lost again in Texas) were on. Instead I saw three guys in a studio talking about something I'd heard about earlier, which was that an incorrect Red Sox lineup was posted before the game and then changed. The charge was that Valentine didn't know whether the opposing pitcher was left- or right-handed. And they were talking about this like it was "LineupGate." And I was like, Yeah, bring it on! Let's keep on winning, and have all kinds of weird made-up controversies going on to the point where they lose all their weight. The guy even said that after the game, someone "in New England" will see Bobby on the street and mock him over the incident. (Funny how they talk about all about him not knowing about the opposing pitcher, then they don't even know that the team is IN MINNESOTA.) Anyway, even if it was a V "drugs" moment--fine. The more of them, the more the media can't affect the team with their fake controversies. But we have to keep winning so we can laugh it all off. I mean, yeah, I wish the water cooler fans who think each game represents the entire season--except, interestingly enough, after a win!--could realize that the media's shit is just that, even when we lose, but society has decided to be stupid, so we're just gonna have to win every single night.

Anyway we get the sweep in Minny. Like I said, there are enough bad teams in this league where a good team like the Red Sox is gonna win 81 games with bats behind back, and go from there--yet people see a couple bad series to start a year and seem to think it's a 16-game season like football or something. It's really unbelievable, and those people shouldn't be allowed to celebrate at the parade--but the media brainwashes them so it's hard to blame them. They react to "4 and 10" the same way they would if the Patriots were 4-10. Season over, out of playoffs. For some reason, they don't realize that 10 games in baseball is equal to ONE in football. I swear it didn't used to be like this. And on top of it, I remember years where the Red Sox weren't supposed to be that good, and we still wouldn't even worry about the team's record two freaking weeks into the season. I think I blame the Internet on all this. It's like the world's biggest game of telephone. It's amazing how people can be swayed. "My friends--none of whom know anything about baseball--are all saying this buzzword that they heard from somewhere else, therefore, I feel the same as them."

Where was I going with this? Oh right, so tonight--Buchholz was starting to tire there. V stuck with him a little long, then went to the pen who immediately started shitting the bed. Yet NESN's showing him on the bench as if to say " hate Valentiiiiine...." So you wanted the pen to come in and give up those runs even earlier? A bad decision can go well and a good one can go bad. If you're sitting there looking for negatives only from a manager, you're gonna eventually see one, and say, See, he fucked up. But you'll never see the positives because you're only looking for negatives. I shouldn't even acknowledge these people because they're the ones who were booing Valentine when we were blowing the 9-run lead on Saturday. I was at that game. I watched every pitch closely. And there was nothing V could have done but what he did, which was to go to the pen when his starter was done, and keep trying new guys as each one crapped the cot, one after the other. There was no magic move in that game. You can tell me you were just waiting for Tazawa all along, and that you would have gone right to him, just because you saw he did okay after 15 runs had scored, but you'd be lying. The point is, that proved to me that some people are just looking for an excuse to snag Bobby. The NESN cameras certainly are. Look people, I've always thought the guy was on drugs, and a phony baloney. And I loved Tito and never would have let him go. But I'm also all for giving the new guy a chance. It's not an easy job. And he's without two key players on offense, and his closer went down right before the season, and after they'd decided to move the set-up man to the rotation. Please give this guy a chance. We're a good team. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going in Chicago. You know, I accidentally scrolled down too far in the wrap-up after the 11-2 win and saw the top reader comment. It was from a Red Sox fan who said "The good news is..." and proceded to say something about Youk going 2 for 4. That's THE good news?? Usually a statement like that is said after something negative happens. But we won 11-2! It was ALL good news! I just thought that was so perfect, the way people are somehow trained to think. Why is it that the Orioles often have a good few weeks to start the season and all their fans are all proud, thinking they're gonna win, while the Red Sox will often have a bad start, and all our fans think the season's over? This might make sense if it was the Red Sox who finished with a very, very bad record every year, and the O's who finished with a very, very good record. But it's the opposite! Wouldn't it make more sense for THEM to say "Eh, it's all gonna go into the shitter anyway" and for US to say "we're the Red Sox, look at our team, we'll be FINE"? Yes, it would. But for some odd reason it's not. I thought the "culture" had changed, but apparently it can easily be brainwashed. If you're a water cooler fan, you think Valentine's evil and hates Youk and thinks he has no heart, Pedroia is in a "feud" with the evil valentine, and Beckett isn't a good pitcher anymore and neither are any of our starters. I wish everyone would just watch the games, stop listening to their know-nothing friends, and turn off EEI. It'd be a start. Okay, end of post. Sweep!

Here's a video I made about that ball right down the line in the 9th:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Red Sox are on NESN Plus tonight because of another sport interfering. Click here to find NESN Plus in your proverbial area, mofo.

2 Things

Yanks' Pineda out for the year.

Add your picture(s) to the Fenway fan mosaic.

Missing Pitches: A NESN Tradition Since Always

It's kinda cool to see into the visitors' clubhouses. I like seeing which teams know about the logo update and which don't. Last night, we saw that the Twins DO know about it. Fine job, Twins. So we've got the Blue Jays on the No side and the Twins on the Yes side. However, it would be nice if NESN didn't miss pitches while showing this stuff! While the viewers are being taken down a hallway, we heard an audible groan from the crowd and we knew we were missing something. They cut back to the game and we see Gonzalez just arriving at first base with the ball he fielded. So we missed the pitch, the swing, the grounder, and the fielding of it. Who's in charge over there?

Sox go for the sweep tonight at 8:10.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Twins Are Gonna Want That TruCoat

18 hits tonight! Aviles with 2 doubles and a dong. Papi with a dong, too, and raises the average to .444. Beckett had a weird first, walking three in a row on mostly close pitches. He had a 3-0 lead--fortunately he only gave up one run, and from there, the offense was in control. 11-2 win. Atchison threw two nice innings, and Albers closed it out. Byrd had a couple of nice catches in center, too. So we've got a little momentum now, doing what we should be doing, beating the not-great teams.

Bonus: YU pitched 8.1 shutout innings and beat the Yanks tonight.

Red Sox Release Official Info...About The Mets

Why is there a press release about a move the Mets made in the Red Sox' own press release section? (Yes I know any story will usually appear on all 30 teams' web sites, but each team has its own specific "releases" section and that's where this is. In the Mets' releases section, they show one of those players being called up, in the Red Sox' release, he's then sent down. If it is just a goof, isn't it weird that the Red Sox don't have direct control of their own releases section, that somebody at MLB could just place one on the wrong team's site?)

Sox/Twins tonight, Beckett/Blackburn.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sox Take Care Of It Right Here...In Brainerd

Ross's second bomb with two outs in the 9th breaks the tie and the Red Sox win 6-5 in Minny.

Lester pitched a great game...except for one inning, when he looked like he was suddenly pitching batting practice. After that, our 3-0 lead was gone. After they tacked on another run, Lester did have two straight 1-2-3s, keeping us in the game. Then Cody hit a massive 2-run dong to tie it. After Morales gave up a triple [actually single + error] to start the 8th (everybody's saying the guy's hand came off the bag and Youk had the tag on him, but I think Youk's glove pushed the hand off. Ump couldn't see it anyway, but I don't think you're gonna get an out call on that), Bard came in and in his old role, he put out the fire. After Ross's go-ahead dong, we went to Aceves, who closed the door. A long fly ball to left with the tying run on base looked scary, but with that ridiculously high CF camera the Twins use, I can't tell how far any fly ball is going off the bat anyway. After that fly out, V actually came out to the mound to calm everybody down and crack a joke. (He says he asked Aceves if he's trying to kill him....) Aceves got the next guy to ground back to him on the 9th pitch of the at bat.

Earlier, I had the game on the radio, and Dave O'Brien pointed out that homers to right field in his park "don't happen." So I thought it was funny when Salty did just that, a 2-run job that gave us our 3-0 lead.

Remy was UTW tonight, so the Twins lent us "my day" player Roy Smalley. He was good--and his voice reminded me of one of my favorite childhood announcers, Tony Kubek, who did a lot of work on the NBC Game of the Week. Then in the 8th NESN inexplicably went to the pen for NicK Cafardo. Oy. Anyway, great job by this team getting a last-at-bat win coming off the horrible previous game.

Tunnel Walk

I took so many pictures at the Fenway Open House, I figure I should divide them up. So what you see here is just the walk from the clubhouse door in the concourse under the stands, down the stairs, and through the tunnel to the Red Sox dugout and out onto the field. No captions necessary--except in one spot way below. Click 4 big. Enjoy.

This and the pic below are looking to the right just before reaching the dugout. The area was roped off and had a guard. I think the clubhouse door is the one straight ahead.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Twice Is Anti-Nice

Tonight's game has been called off due to the impending heavy rains.

Joy of Sox brought up the two other times when the Red Sox were ahead of the Yanks by 9 and lost. Once was 1950. The other was 1987--and I was there. I can't believe I didn't think of it sitting at Fenway yesterday. I was 11 years old, and there I was at Yankee Stadium with my Yankee fan friend and our dads. (This is the same friend's dad who got us those sweet front row Fenway seats back then. His Yankee Stadium seats were almost as good--front row of the loge, which everybody called the mezzanine, between home and third.) We watched the Red Sox take a 9-0 lead after an inning and a half. Only to have the Yanks score 11 in the third, eight of those off of my then-favorite, Roger Clemens, who'd just come off his Cy Young/MVP season. The Red Sox quickly tied it at 11, but no one else would score until the Yanks ended it in the tenth. That was a crappy day at Yankee Stadium. And yesterday was a crappy day at Fenway Park. And I was unfortunate enough to be there for both. Two 9-0 leads blown. The odds anyone went to those two games AND the 1950 are remote, so I'm gonna say I'm at least tied for the top spot in this horrible category.

Yanks @ Sox, 4/21/2012, A Date That Will Live In Shit-famy

My third day in a row at Fenway. Open House, 100th anniversary, and today's easy blowout win...or so we thought.

Something I missed the last two days, the "elephant tracks," in honor of a day when over 50,000 people showed up at Fenway to see some pachyderms on the field back before the Internet.

A few things from the 1960s on display, including one of those old usher hats that lasted into the 80s. I love this whole "living museum" idea and I will show you more of what's new there when I finally post all my pics from the Open House.

Took a look at some more bricks, and noticed things like poor saps whose bricks are way in the corner or are permanently in a puddle due to being in a leaked-on zone. Here's the "brick locator," which also shows you all the people/mascots who have sections named for them. (Not all have handprints--some just show a name.)

Another thing I didn't get to see the last two days, the "Filmed at Fenway" section.

Papi greeting some enemy friends.

Pat joined me today for the first game of the 10-game plan that's been mine/ours since it began in 2004. Here's the view from the same seats we've had for eight years.

The home plate view a little later as the sun started to go down. It was 78 degrees at game time. Windy again, but it only helped to keep us from sweltering. Well, April sweltering, but sweltering nonetheless.

I thought this was really cool--the light tower's shadow being cast upon the blowing flag.

I've always loved how our seats are right on the edge of the bleachers.

Missile Command over Fenway. We got to Garcia very early. It was quickly 7-0. Doubront was wonderful. I said how glad I was that this game was on national TV--everybody was seeing the Yanks having to use all their pitchers, and the lead went to 9-0, as all the Yankee fans sat quietly. Doubront gave up a solo dong in the 6th, but that was his only run. 9-1 Boston heading to the 7th.

And then the Yanks walked into our bullpen and poured a 7-and-7 over our heads. Every fucking single goddamn guy we marched out there laid a turd egg. How does a game go from 9-0 to 15-9 the other way? How is it even possible? Finally Tazawa came in and got some outs, but by that time we were already down 6, and Pat and I had already made our way to the good seats.

This dude looked like he was aiming the ball 20 feet to the left of home plate. Anyway, 15-9 was the final. After the game we got Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd. Somebody please tell me he can pitch.

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