Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Love You, Dustin Pedroia

Dustin, you are better than Cano and you're everything they make Jeter out to be, only for real.

Tonight he made a great play to start a DP and then in the 8th, with two out and two on, broke the tie with a huge two-run single. Red Sox win 4-2. Lackey "was what he isn't" again, going 7 strong. Bailey held serve and Koji heard that he'd be facing two of the A's who used to be on the Red Sox and harbor illogical grudges against them, only to say "I don't know anything about that, gimme the fuckin' ball" and pitch a perfect ninth.

So the lead is back up to 4.5. We've now clinched best record in the A.L. at the break. This is also the most wins any Red Sox team has every had at the break, and there are still two games left. Our four-game winning streak is the longest current streak in the majors.

Why doesn't NESN show a postgame after west coast games? How is it that they can just say, "Oh, well, we don't wanna stay up too late"? NESN: Wall to wall Red Sox coverage, when it's convenient for us. Even worse, they run commercials for their postgame show that say, and I quote, "Red Sox Final. Following every game." In fact, they even say that their new daily sports show will air "after the postgame," when they know there's no postgame!

Great call by TC during a highlight break, saying how Chris Davis had a big hit for the O's "up in Toronto." All he had to do was watch the damn highlight to see the O's in their home jerseys, at Camden Yards, etc.

NESN has this problem where they MUST show runners crossing home plate. They miss things because of it. If there's a man on third and there's a base hit to the outfield, we know the guy is scoring, and if we don't, the announcer will (presumably) tell us. No need to cut away from things that are in doubt to see this. Two examples tonight: A's catcher receives bad throw as runner is about to score, and throws to second to try to get hitter who is on his way there. Ball is IN THE AIR and they cut away to show Nava who has just scored. So we miss seeing a close play. We actually learn that something has gone awry by the fact that we see Nava reacting to it. Turns out the throw got away and the hitter was able to go to third.

Then there was the time the A's had first and third, and they got a single to right. Victorino is coming in to field it, and as he starts to stutter step in preparation of the pick-up-and-throw, I started to worry, as he's botched this before in his haste. But NESN cuts away to show the runner scoring (again, we ALL knew he would score--the only reason to show him would be if he trips or something, but even then, you shouldn't be cutting away before we see what happens with the outfielder fielding the ball), and sure enough, we MISS the fact that Victorino does indeed boot the ball, allowing the runner on first to go to third.

And let's talk about the top of the ninth. First of all, you have to score when you get a leadoff triple. I really would have liked an insurance run there. Instead, we miss a chance to have Mr. Excitement bolt for home on a high chopper, then we go for a safety squeeze with one of our best hitters up, and it fails. No runs score. But what I really want to mention is Don Burgundy's performance. First, he and Remy start wondering aloud whether or not the Sox will try a squeeze, and act like they're on to something, even giving the "clue" that Iglesias had a long look at Butter at third. Well guess what? This all came AFTER the first pitch of the at bat, on which Iglesias SQUARED TO BUNT! So "coming up with" the idea that he might squeeze was not exactly expert analysis. Then when they squeeze, Don refers to it as, I shit you not, it a "safety-cide squeeze"! I Googled it just now, in case maybe this is an actual term for a hybrid of the safety and suicide squeezes, but Google just looked at me with a dazed expression and surmised that I've been watching too many NESN broadcasts. And to cap it off, the third out was on a grounder, and Don did his classic gun-jumping, saying, "and he'll go to first for..." only to realize that the throw is not perfect, meaning his word "for," clearly the start of the "for the out" phrase, was uttered far too early. His oddball audible turns his call into "he goes to first forLOW THROW!but they get the out." Joe Buck, master of the gun-jump, would be proud. I'm Don Burgundy?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Shakes The Clown

Made an AnGif out of that head-shaky kid from the other night. It's here.

K-Pedey's Sounds of the 90s

It's hard to win a 4-game series when you lose game 1. Even harder when you're down by 4 runs in two of the other games. But we did it, and we upped the discouragement factor in these teams behind us, as they win but don't gain again.

We're the first-half champs in the A.L East! And our series against the A's will crown an A.L. first half champ. Of course these are non-existent titles but we'll take 'em after last year's 90+ losses.

Today's big story was our knuckleballer Steven Wright. It wasn't quite Pedro '99 ALCS, but it was kinda like that. Nice job, Guy With the Same Name as Stephen Wright!

A first in baseball broadcasting on NESN today: First time there's ever been a ground-rule double where we don't actually see the ball bounce over the fence. In fact, we didn't even see it hit the ground, they were so hell-bent on showing that run scoring. They just have no clue. Between Don Burgundy, Remy Fartin', and the Crew, it's starting to feel like Tiger TV. Which was my high school's TV station. Which blew scones. (Although they did a nice job covering Superdance in May '85. But it was all down hill from there.)

Finally saw Inglourious Basterds tonight. (I'm a big Tarantino fan but I'm running a few years behind these days.) I'd like to thank all of you for not telling me in advance about the Red Sox part. It was a nice surprise. Never thought Lansdowne Street would get a mention in that movie. Anyway, it was good. That'll have to pass for my review for now.

Total runs this past series: 15, 19, 15, 15.

Friday night at 10 we start our final series of the first half, with Lackey on the mound.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


You early birds lucked out, as you got to go to bed mid-game pretty much knowing it was a win. It was 5-0 Sox after 4, and 9-0 after 6. The only slight drama was in the 8th when Brandon Workman made his major league debut, and the M's cut it to 9-4 and had a man on second and two outs. A dong would have made it 9-6, and we had already removed the top four hitters in our lineup. But the blue-collar kid struck out the next guy, and after two insurance runs made it 11-4, he did a fine job of settling down and pitching a 1-2-3 ninth. Doubront threw 7 innings of one-run ball for the win.

Papi is still on fire. In the second, he started our first rally with a double, which set the all-time record for hits by a DH. That rule started two years before I was born, so I take it as a special "since Jere was born" type record. One which may never be broken with the current state of the DH. The next inning, Ortiz hit a mega-dong to give us a 4-zip lead. The thing I don't like about Papi, as you know, is how he Cano's down the line all the time. Tonight, it bit him in the buttocks, as the fielder bobbled his grounder, but had time to get him by inches at first. Had he been running the whole time, he reaches base. (NESN botched the coverage--after several replays not showing Papi running, despite Remy mentioning it, they finally started to show it, only to have to cut away in the middle for the next pitch. Did they go back and show it in full? Of course not. Classic NESN.)

I should point out that Seattle DOES use the current Red Sox logo on their on-deck circle! Nice job. But much like Ortiz loafing it makes Jeter look better when he's merely doing what you're supposed to do, I shouldn't have to give credit for a team knowing a logo changed five years into its existence. But I'll take what I can get.

Fan of the day, this kid:

The winning team has scored 11 runs in each game of this series. Thursday is the fourth and final game. 3:40 eastern. The standings didn't change as all five A.L. East teams won tonight.

Bonus Don Burgundy video I finally got around to making a few weeks late:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stuff From Last Night

A play I thought they screwed up:

And then you have the fans from "Arkansas." (Note, I made this video before they revisited the subject, which you'll see in the next vid below this one.)

Okay, in the one below, they tell Jerry that it's Alaska, not Arkansas, but he just can't figure it out. I like when Don lies and claims he didn't see it the first time since he was "reading the promo." No, Remy was talking about it as they showed it, Don just wasn't watching or listening.

And here's a shot of Papi's big jump on his stolen base. This was NOT a 3-2, 2-out situation.

And here's a guy missing an easy chance at a souvenir:

Underrated Win

This is one of the ones they'll look back on and say, "that was one of the ones we knew we were gonna look back on," etc.

We went down 5-1 and things looked bleak with the Iron Man on the mound. (Webster looks like a frightened version of my cousin Ethan as a pre-teen. Frightened Ethan = FE = Fe = Iron.) We came back to take the lead, but that lead didn't last one pitch, as Iron Man gave up a game-tying dong to start the next inning. By the time they were ready to take him out, it was so obvious that they had him throw to first over and over, only to have Farrell come out and be denied by the umps, as a pitch hadn't even been thrown since the pitching coach had come to the mound. (Incredibly, the pitch he *had* to throw in order to leave the game was right over the middle, but he lucked out as the inevitable liner was caught by Victorino.)

At that point it was really late already, yet it was only the 3rd inning, a 7-6 game as the M's knocked in a run on Aceves's first batter. But we scored single runs in the next two frames, the go-ahead one coming on a Jackie Bradley Jr. dong in his first game back from AAA. Three insurance runs in the 8th sealed the deal. 11-8 final. A five-dong night for the Red Sox.

The Yanks had lost earlier, so they're now 6 out. The O's drop to 5.5 and the Rays stay 3.5 behind.

I've got more but it's late. Must sleep. Wait till tomorrow. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

King'd. Kinda.

We went down 2-0 to the proverbial King, but came back to tie it in the fifth. The tie didn't last long, as Lester gave up a dong to the first batter of the bottom of the inning. Then everything went haywire, with all kinds of mistakes and anti-good pitching performances, and by 1:30 a.m. eastern time, we'd lost 11-4.

Tampa won their fifth in a row to close to 3.5 back. Balty and NYY lost so they stay 4.5 and 5 out.


Two bad jobs by the guys on Pedroia plays. Bottom 4, man on first, hard-hit grounder through the right side, but Pedroia gets his glove on it, slowing it down enough for the runner to go to third. But Don Burgundy and Remy Fartin' neglect to point this out. Remy even said it was hit hard (which would mean the runner should have only moved up to second). So why did he go to third? Because it was deflected. They should be saying this. Runs ended up scoring. This was a key if not key-esque or -ish play.

Then on that ball where Dustin got caught on the in-between hop: He made a nice recovery, got the ball, and threw to first. Safe. Guy appeared out. But D&R acted like it was just a normal play, not even close. I had to do my own slow-mo, and I could see the guy looked barely out. You'd think they'd at least say "that was close" or something, if not have a full-on "look at it in slow motion and actually analyze it." But they said nothing. I sometimes get the feeling someone's whispering in their ear, "no time to talk about that last play, ad copy needs to be read here."

After the Mariners made it go from 1-0 to 2-0, it took about two minutes for the score to change on the screen. (Count to 120 if you think that's not a long time.) And it actually effed me up! I had been switching to MLBN to try to get a Yankee final (I realize there are other ways of getting it but I was choosing that way, "screw you for judgin' me!"--the first Sandler album) and at that moment there was a play where Holt went into the crowd, and MLBN cut to the Seattle broadcast as they looked at the replays, which by the way were so much better than NESN's. So I was on there, then I switched back to NESN, rewound, watched again, looked at the score to see it was still 1-0, yet the bases were still loaded and the outs hadn't changed, meaning a run must have scored. I thought I'd missed a walk...I must have, but they're still saying 1-0. Finally they sneak in the change. So I had to rewind even further back to find that I had indeed missed a bases-loaded walk.

Speaking of Holt, on that play where he threw to first and the runner went second to third: Remy said it was great baserunning. I say it was bad to bad-like fielding. I know he didn't have much time, but you still have to look the runner back, as opposed to a cursory head tilt in the direction of him. Had he turned his head (while still preparing for a throw to first), he would have seen the runner way too far off second, with a guy covering the bag. Cock the arm, watch the guy make his move, and hold the ball, get him trapped, and you've retired the lead runner. This is up for debate, though. Everything was happening fast. (Remy didn't even bring up the possibility that Holt try for the lead man.)

Did you think Ellsbury would have *definitely* caught the ball to straight away center that Nava couldn't quite reach? I think it's almost mean to say he would have, as D&R did. It was a ball that hit right around the base of the wall. That's not an easy play for anybody. Had Ells gotten to it, it still would have required a crash into the wall, which is no guarantee it's caught. I felt bad for Nava when they acted like a better fielder definitely catches that ball. (Though Nava did look like a fool at least one other time out there.)

Finally, here's a great job by NESN, as they actually cut away from a play at first base, causing them to miss a really nice barehanded catch by Holt:

And final-finally, this was from the Yanks game earlier. This poor woman gets pushed aside by a guy in a yellow Dan Fouts jersey for a foul ball, and then gets pissed and appears to say "what...the...fuck." I don't know if people saw this already, but I thought she deserved to get her moment since the tool walked away with the souvenir. So here it is:

Sunday, July 07, 2013

No Runs

You can't W when you don't S. And I'm not saying we definitely would have rallied and won in the 9th had the calls been right, but it stinks that the ump just wanted to go home and called those last two pitches strikes. I mean when you eff up the first one, and the pitcher does that obvious think of throwing to the same spot, you don't call it the same way! Unless you're a power-hungry motherfucker who got picked on in school and never made it past Little League so you'll do anything to make that crowd cheer and then pretend they're cheering for you. And ESPN opted not to show a K Zone on them, nor did they give a replay of Carp's check swing in the same inning. Or talk about it. So let's just get the hell out of Anaheim and head to Seattle with our 4.5 game lead.

Funny, O'Brien said how the forecast for Seattle these next four days is for 80 with no rain. I went to Seattle in July 2004, and got that same week. Apparently they have it every year.

Thank You, Fucking Orioles!

As the announcers were saying shit like "it's hard to offer honest analysis" when Mariano Rivera throws a bad pitch, the Orioles' Adam "Not the Guitar Player from Tool, a Different Adam Jones" Jones rocketed a two-run dong, shoving it right in their goddamn faces. A 1-0 Yankee lead became a 2-1 Yankee loss. Nick Markakis, the most feared hitter in the game,* started the rally with a solid single after missing a dong of his own by a few feet.

It was a supposed to be a series where the O's taught the Yanks that "you can't play the Twins every day." Instead, they blew game one in the ninth and lost another close one in game two. Then today they looked asleep, but thankfully the Yanks brought in the man known for some of the Greatest chokes in MLB history, and the O's salvage game 3 and jump back over NY in the standings. The Yanks would have gone into tonight knowing they could cut our lead to 4. Instead, they're in 4th place again, as the Rays also jumped over them today. Huge win for Baltimore.

Of course I'm still pissed about us giving away a game last night.

Lackey against Weaver tonight at 8:05. Lack's got him by a full run, ERA-wise....

O'Brien Blows Goats

Freakin' O'Brien, in the 8th inning, was talking about how the Red Sox were bearing down on a win, and how we were gonna have the best record in baseball. It's not like it was a 10-run lead.

We went to the 9th up 7-3, and after two failed stand-and-clap-in-the-living-rooms and the score 7-6 with the tying run at 3rd, we finally get a ground ball that's gonna end the game. Except it doesn't end the game because Snyder lobs it over Pedroia's head into right field.

We get out of it, but our bats felt like our stomachs in extras, and in the 11th, Drugs Delaney wins it on a dong.

Something Don and Remy, the worst announcers in baseball, never talked about was how Snyder's throw might not have beaten the guy to the bag anyway. Going to second is "the short way," but it's not necessarily "the easy way." As soon as that ball is hit I'm telling Snyder to go to first with it. Plenty of time there, whereas the guy on first has a lead and is off on contact. He could have set himself and thrown to first and easily ended the game. Instead, he thinks second base, and as he's about to throw, he realizes the runner is almost there. He's forced to rush into throwing on the move, and it goes way, way over Dustin's head. Game tied. Should have been over. We pulled a "Mets when they're playing the Yankees in a year other than 2013."

We left a million men on base, but none of that matters in a game where if a routine play is made, it's a win.

God damnit I can't believe this just happened. Gotta re-mount the equine tomorrow I guess.

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