Saturday, June 22, 2013

Grande Night

There's nothing life...than having your 5-run lead cut to 1 and then being able to extend it to 5 again. (slight ig-ZAJ)

After the one that got away Thursday against the Thunder Thigh-gers, we needed a win Friday. And after almost letting this one get away too, we pulled away for the 10-6 victory.

In the fourth, we had six hits in a row, knocking Fister I Hardly Know Her out. But we couldn't tack on to the 6-1 lead as the new guy got Papi to hit into an inning-ending DP on one pitch. That turned out to be big when the Tigers quickly made it 6-5. But we put it away in the 8th. With the Sox up 7-5, The Smoking Man elected to walk Ellsbury to load the bases and face Victorino, who had four hits at the time. He grounded slowly to short, and the run scored just ahead of the throw to the plate. Then Francesa's Fake Fireballer threw a wild pitch and again we barely touch the plate in time to make it 9-5. Each team added a run in the 9th. 10-6 SOX is your final.

Mid-game, it looked as if the O's might tie us for first (percentage points ahead). But the Jays beat 'em in the 9th for their 9th win in a row. So now it's Balty 2 back, Yanks 3.5, Rays 6, Jays 7. Speaking of Francesa, he said today that the Yanks had "fallen into fourth place." Let's not get ahead of ourselves, guy! But don't worry, they'll get there....

It's rare that I say something nice about announcer types, so listen up! Sean Grande, the voice of the Celtics, has been teamed up with Castig when O'Brien's doing ESPN games lately. And I have to say, anti-terrible job by him. Let's go over the four categories of the play-by-play man for him:

1. Content: It's almost as if this guy has been closely following the Red Sox just in case they ever needed him to call games! This fill-in is more prepared than Orsillo and Remy combined.

2. Voice: I don't regularly listen to the Celtics on radio, but he's been doing their games so long that I'm familiar with his voice. It's slightly "sports-guy-ish," but not enough to take away from his call.

3. Personality: Not dick-ish or smug, not over-the-top, not laugh-yourself-silly to the point where it seems contrived. He's just your average guy calling a game with that as his top priority. Able to joke a little with Joe, but keeps the game in the forefront.

4. Call: Pretty much tells you exactly what's going on without bullshit, just like he calls basketball games. He's comfortable and in control and seems to care about me, meaning he understands I'm tuning in to know exactly what's going on since I can't see it. He's made a few mistakes, but I give him a break considering he's a basketball announcer calling baseball.

I checked his Wikipedia page, and though it calls him versatile, I don't see any history of baseball jobs. So all things considered, hell, no things considered, this guy is a breath of fresh-ass air. Maybe I'm just so used to the not-that-goodness of Orsillo, Remy, and O.B. (and dear god, Jon Rish, who thankfully has moved on to an entirely different career), that any new guy sounds great, but, I'm pretty sure the guy's actually a very good announcer, and I'm glad he's on board, at least temporarily.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bail' Out, Please

Freakin' Bailey. We start the bottom of the ninth up by one, and he goes walk, dong, and it's over before he gets an out. We should have had more runs in the 3rd, 8th, and 9th, and they shouldn't have had any at all, so the game should have been out of reach by then anyway. Still, TJ, AB.

Fortch, the Yanks lost. So we're one up on idle Balty (0 in the loss) and still 3.5 up on NY (2 in the loss).

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Red Sox lose. I didn't see much of it, but I saw that TC was in the booth. I'm sorry, you guys.

Yanks split* so we're 3.5 up, 1.5 up on Balty now. Toronto won their 8th in a row but remain in last place.

NOw we go to Detroit for four. I see they start their games at 8 minutes after the hour. Could be a first. I used to track that stuff more. Other than the five-minute increment start times, the only odd ones I can think of are when the White Sox had that deal with 7-Eleven and started at 7:11 central, and Toronto's :07 starts.

The full story on Remy, who returns Tuesday.

*The Dodgers gave them game one. Should have been a sweep.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So Sweet

I knew I forgot to add something to last night's post--the funniest news of all! Youk's basically out for the season! It would be more fitting if he were normally a healthy guy, but we all kinda knew he wouldn't see much action this year....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ace & Doubler For The 1-2 Sweep

Except for the team we played, nobody in our division lost today. Yet we extended our lead on every single one of them. Yanks rained out, so we gain a full game on them with our two wins. They're 4 back. The O's beat Verlander, so we only gain a half on them, putting them 2.5 behind. The Jays won their 7th in a row but fall to 8.5 back. And of course we gain 2 on the Rays who are now 7 out.

Pretty sweet day at Fenway. I would have liked to have been there--long rain delays mean better seats, fun fans, and a greater chance for a foul ball. In the end, after a 10-hour day, we sweep the Rays. Only the Cardinals have a better record than Boston in all of baseball.

In game one, the key to me was the 2nd. Aceves had a 1-0 lead, but walked the first two, then after getting Wil Myers out on the first pitch he saw in his career, he gave up an RBI double to the Racist. A walk loaded the bases, and it looked like serious trouble. But he got a huge double play from the Homophobe to end the inning. Two innings later, Papi singled home two and we never trailed again. The long delay came after the game was official. It was bottom 5 and we were up 4-1. Toward the end of the delay, I put on EEI in my car, and heard Holley talking about how the game wasn't official yet. Unbelievable.

We tacked on one more (on a Victorino triple where every person in the world was wondering if he'd go for three, except Don and the NESN crew, who seemed to not understand how baseball is announced or broadcasted) for a 5-1 win.

Then game two started, almost an hour after its original start time. (It was supposed to start six hours after the first game!) Doubront was awesome, going 8 strong. He left with a 1-0 lead which we'd had all night, as Nava had donged in the second. But Bailey pulled a Bailey, and after one batter in the ninth, it was tied again. But he didn't give up any more runs, and pretty soon Jonny Wad Gomes was dropkicking his helmet as he ran into the celebratory pile. The two-run dong led to each member of the Rays walking off the field while the Red Sox ran onto the field only to have everyone say....oh forget it. We swept the doubleheader. Or maybe we "got swept"! Huh? Huh?

Wednesday night Dempster goes for the series sweep.


I remember the facelift of the Fenway field from 0-four. They removed the "crown," as described in this article. But I also remember hearing about how it would change the height of the Green Monster. Look at this:

Remember the days of hovering and seeing the alternate caption? Or did that never stop?

Obviously if you remove the crown, you could make it so the far edges of the field remain at their original height. So the actual measurement from top of wall to base of wall where it hits the dirt is probably the same as always. But technically, from where a ball is hit at home plate, it did become slightly harder to clear the wall, assuming everything else is identical on a given pitched ball. Right? But I still wouldn't say the wall's height "changed," as this Buffalo News article did. Or would I?


O's lost to drop to 2 back.

Jays won their sixth in a row to close to 8 out.

Nobody else played. Yanks remain 3, Rays remain 5. Behind.

Tuesday it's Archer against Ace at 1:05, and the Odor-Eater looks to mask the smell of Doobie smoke at 7:10.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Two Randoms

1. A few weeks back, Suzyn Waldman was drooling all over the then-scrappy Yankees on Mike Francesa's show. She had Overbay's entire upper body in her mouth as Mike asked her about the story of his spring training release from the Red Sox and short trial with the Yanks that led to his eventual .282 OBP glory. Now people, I remember when Overbay got off to his good start and had some key hits, and being very pissed at him for shitting the bed for us to the point where we sent him off to what could have been his retirement. So I was shocked to hear Suzyn say "he was hitting .300" when he was cut from the Red Sox. Boy did I feel like a fool. Maybe it was our own fault, not Overbay's. All he did was hit .300 for us and get tossed aside like...wait a minute. Let's look this up.


.220! Just as I suspected... I will give it to him for a .327 OBP over that same time--he only needs to add 45 points to his current OBP to get back to that level! Anyway, terrible job, Suzyn, on that big lie.

2. Have you been following the NL Central? I only check the standings to see how we're doing in the "best record in baseball" race, and for a long time now, I've noticed the Reds and Pirates running neck and neck behind the Cards. As it turns out, since May 3rd, they've been going back and forth between second and third place, never more than 2 games apart from each other. With both of them within four games of first that whole time. (They've also been within 2.5 games of each other ALL YEAR regardless of what place they're in.) So every day for a month and half, that division's had the Cards in first, with the Reds and Pirates within four of first and two of each other. It wasn't my imagination that those standings seem identical every single time I look at them.

Bad Day

Hours ago, I assumed the Yanks won, since they were up 6-0 in the 9th. Now at 1 a.m. I see they almost blew it. Mo gets a "Save" for coming in and going groundout, single, single, single, walk, strikeout. The K was against Pujols with the bases loaded. 6-5 final. God damn it. Oh well, at least they don't gain much confidence. It's so funny how the dumbass radio callers went from "we're so good we should keep Overbay at first even when Teixeira comes back because he had like 4 big hits" to "let's write off this season and look forward to 2014 in about three weeks.

So the lead is back to 3. And 1.5 over the O's who took three of four from us with a 6-3 win Sunday. We couldn't do much of anything against Gonzalez, and Lester continued his recent mediocre-at-best streak. We've got Monday off, then a day-night doobler against Tampa on Tuesday.

Don Burgundy stuff:

How the fuck has Don never been on fucking Eutaw Street? How long has he been going to Camden Yards? How many times a year? I think he's made about 37 trips there as a Red Sox announcer. And he didn't know about the little ball markers beyond the right field fence until today. It's like the first thing you see when you enter the gates! Not that he'd be entering that way normally, but wouldn't you think in all those years, covering more than 100 games, he would have taken a little stroll around the place? I'm not asking him to explore the vast reaches of the left field upper deck or the janitor's closet, but Eutaw Street? Kind of the key to the whole damn place.

Why does Don's wikipedia page say one of his nicknames is "Donny Man"?

And is the woman named Orsillo on WCBS 880 related to him? Funny how NYC lately has had a Castiglione (Joe's son) doing sports, a Bill Buchner--with an H--on traffic, and now an Orsillo.

Bad job by Don in the 3rd today. He said the O's came into the inning with a 1-0 lead and have tacked on two more. Nope. All three came in that inning.

On the ball down the third base line that hit the runner just as he was getting back to the bag: why didn't they talk about it more? They weren't even gonna show a replay until Farrell came out to talk about it. Then they just kind of said "this happened." Eckersley has to come through there and talk about how if it hits the guy in fair territory he's out, unless he's on the bag, in which case the ball's in play and it's probably a base hit. And since the ball hit the guy's leg, just as that leg's foot is about to hit third, I don't know how it's not right over the foul line. I think the runner should have been out! But our friendly announcers not only didn't see that, they didn't even let people know what any of it would have meant to the game.

Great job by NESN uncovering the shot of Carp wincing as he got to second, after he was pulled from the game once he got to third on a later play. And I say that sarcastically because all of us (except for Dona and Eck, apparently) saw the limping on the live play in the first place!

As for the game-ending play from Saturday, I wondered if Don/Eck had come around, and realized the runner didn't forget how many outs they were. Well, they showed the play again, and said "we'll never know" what he was thinking. I still say if you watch the guy, he very clearly slows down to watch the ball, and then makes a decision that it's gonna drop in, at which points he starts sprinting. If he thought there were two outs, why would he, especially as the tying run in the ninth inning, hesitate at all? He was running as if he had a decision to make, go or not go. When there are two outs, there's no decision when you're at first. You just go.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"I Thought Maybe They Had Changed The Rules Or Something"

Even though I don't think the guy thought there were two outs, I can't resist using Elaine's quote.

Don and Eck said Casilla was "clueless" and that "obviously" he forgot how many outs there were. But if you watch the replays (that they were watching too, presumably), you can see he's acting like a runner who knows there aren't two outs: he starts running, looks out to the outfield while still running but not at full speed, decides the ball's gonna drop in, and bolts, thinking he's gonna round second and pick up the third base coach to see if he's gonna score or stay at third. But the second he looked away from right field, Victorino got a beat/bead on the ball and made the catch, and the doubling off was an afterthought.

Had the guy thought there were two outs, he would have dropped his head and sprinted until somebody told him to stop. No need to look out at the ball and hesitate.

I didn't watch the post-game so I don't know what others said, or what Don/Eck said later after they'd watched it a few more times, but the guy himself said it was just a "bad read" anyway. Regardless of all this, it was a terrible job by Casilla for not being absolutely sure before dropping his head.

So we get a much-needed win B.T.S.O.O.T., and it's back to a 2.5-game lead, 4 over the Yankees, who lost their fifth straight tonight in Anaheim. The Rays are 5 back, and the Jays have won 4 in a row and are 9.5 behind. O's and Texas are your two wild cards at the moment.

Sunday afternoon we try to win yet another series-finale.

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