Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Board Goes Back

As soon as Lowe walked the first batter, I knew we were in trouble. That and the fact that his face was all red.

At least we didnt get no-freakin'-hit, and we prevented Leiber from getting a complete game. Yes, that's all I can come up with for positives. But we've got Pedro tomorrow. His face will not be red.

On the FOX call of Ortiz's dong that broke up the no squared, the first thing the dude said after the ball was in the air was, "Playable...." And as the fielder got close to the wall, the guy said, "or did he get all of it? Yes." It was like he was hoping against hope that the ball would be playable.

If you want to root for a no-hitter, fine, but just keep it to yourself, man. You're a neutral announcer. Then they tried to cover up by saying, "I can't believe that ball went out." I don't know what they were talkin' about, I thought it was gone all the way. But that's coming from someone desperately rooting against the no-hit bid.

Speaking of "neutral" announcers, it was fitting that when the play-by-play guy said, "Some people feel Sheffield should be the MVP," McCarver jumped in with "I DO!" And then explained how he's just more valuable to his team despite having the fourth best numbers in the league.

That's actually dangerous, because now all the reporters in the midwest hear that on national TV, and boom, they vote Sheffield. McCarver is terrible. And I hate how he's defended so much, by even Boston media. They'll say, "Oh, every team thinks the national announcers are biased against their team." No, actually we're smart fans who pay attention. Tim McCarver roots for the New York yankees. Go ahead, ask him.

And I don't know about you, but I could tell that the sound on FOX was ahead of the video. So I could always tell if a ball would be hit, beause I'd hear the crack of the bat when the pitch was halfway to the plate. One time I heard a crazy double-noise, like "smack-crunch," as the pitch came in. Then a half-second later--a broken bat hit. It really made the game hard to watch. That and the fact that the Red Sox played like Rotary out there (that was my Little League team). I proved that I wasn't crazy with this sound thing, when they inteviewed Terry Stankonia, and his mouth was WAY behind the words he was speaking. (Tito's a laugh a minute, huh? That's actually not sarcasm.) Is this delay because of the Janet Jackson thing? Have the delay if you must, but at least synch everything up.

The magic number is 19. Forgot to update that after the incredible win. We're still 3 back in the LC, with 15 left, 4 against them. No problem.


It was a playoff atmosphere at the Stadium last night. Lots of Sox fans, and lots of loud, obnoxious, scared yankee fans. How sweet is it that we keep beating the great Mariano?

Yesterday, before the series started, Kay was admitting that the yanks are in trouble, but his big argument for why the yanks are better than the Sox is that they've got a lead, and even the "most lunatic Red Sox fan" would rather be up three games than down three games. Well I guess I could be considered a lunatic Sox fan, but I've got plenty of common sense. So I know that it's actually better to be the team that's surging ahead in a race, than the team that is limping, despite still having a slight lead. In some cases, sure, I'd sign up for the slight edge. But right now, we're right where we want to be. All the pressure's on them. And they've already succumbed to it in game one. Terrible job, Kay.

Kay also responded to Johnny Damon's comments by saying, "Before he says anything, he should look in the mirror." This was accompanied by cuckoo clock noises in the background. Michael Kay is a weak, weak piece of dirt. To just dismiss someone because of the way they choose to look in this so-called "land of the free" is ridiculous. Go back to first grade, Kay.

I'm so glad I was raised to respect people regardless of the personal choices they make, as long as they're not hurting anyone. And to stand up for originality and individualism.

I've been saying this my whole life, but I wonder now more than ever: How can anyone root for the yankees? After seeing those despicable fans last night (not all, but a lot--I love the rivalry, and being able to shake hand with the "good" yankee fans after a great ballgame), and the whole conformist attitude, and that unlimited, unfair cash supply, I just don't see the fun in rooting for them.

Great call by Sterling on the Manny catch last night: "..and it's gooooone, home run!'s caught by Manny Ramirez!"


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dennis/Brian/Tom & Jere

That last post made me think of some things. First, I remembered another Oil Can-related travesty. It was in '86, when my dad took us to Fenway, and we got tickets from a scalper. The dude told us, "These are the best seats you can get with the Can on the mound!"

Needless to say, that was my first time sitting behind a pole at Fenway.

Also, I thought of my friend Tom, who, while not a huge baseball fan, is a big fan if Oil Can, if only for his name. So I called Tom down in Philly, as I haven't spoken to him in a while. I got one of his roommates. This was the first time I'd called him at his new place, so I wonder if this person thought it was a joke when I told her to have Tom call Jere back. I hope not, because I'd like to talk to him.

More Fenway stuff:

Pat & I have noticed that they'll play a song, right before the game starts, that has something to do with the opposing team's city. Like when the White Sox were in town, they played "Sweet Home Chicago." And for the Tigers, it was Kiss's "Detroit Rock City." So last night, we tried to guess what they'd play in honor of the Devil Rays. We didn't come up with "Dock of the Bay," which was a stretch, since Mr. Redding was referring to the 'Frisco Bay. But we agreed that had Otis left his home in Georgia, and headed for Tampa Bay, he would've cut some serious miles off his trip. And who knows, may still be alive today.

Also, when Foulke comes out of the 'pen, they play Danzig's "Mother." I can't help but laugh when I here this song. One day a few years ago, while working at the book/music store, I heard some uproarious laughter coming from the break room, about 200 feet away from where I was. Turns out my friend and then co-worker Brian was showing a bunch of people a home video he made, in which he wildly lip-synchs along with "Mother." But here's the key: He was in the shower.

Fenway Park 9/15/04

Have I not mentioned Oil Can Boyd on this blog yet?

Well I'm going to. Last night at Fenway, who was in Autograph Alley but The Can himself. Pat spotted him, and we just starting running up the ramp toward him. I stepped up to him first, and said, "Hey Oil Can." He said, "Hi." I said, "I'm still mad [Pat & I decided I shouldn't say 'pissed'] that they didn't put you on the All-Star team in '86." Can said, "I hear dat." Then Pat told him how he saw him pitch in his first trip to Fenway against the Brewers in the 80s. Can started chattin' Pat up about Ogilvie, Molitor, and Yount. Can rules. He was really nice. Way nicer than Bob Montgomery. We're big fans of Bob's, but I think he's a little sick of Autograph Alley at this point.

By the way, the second biggest Oil Can-related travesty was that the band named after the Oil Can used a baseball card of him on the Expos as their logo, or on their cd or somewhere. Come on.

We saw a weird win, with the Sox giving up some leads but coming out on top.

I could smell the playoffs in the cool breeze that blew through the park.

Or something.

Just now, we beat the Rays again--Schilling's 20th--and now it's on to the Bronx. Hopefully the rain will hold off tomorrow night for the game I'm going to with Lys, her brother, and his wife.

3 1/2 back, 3 in the loss, and the magic number is 21.

"Dana na na na na na na na na na na nant"--Johnny Ramone
Good-bye to the greatest non-wanking guitar player of our time, a man whose no-BS attitude and even less-BS songwriting were able to overshadow his right-wing politics and yankee fandom in my mind.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Everybody's Stupid

What a bad time to lose our first Tuesday home game of the season. I should have known we were in trouble when Kay and Francesa both all but guaranteed a Sox sweep of the Rays. And the yanks won, but all four runs were cheap.

When the Mets traded this dude Kazmir, their top prospect, at the deadline, because they thought they were in a pennant race, I heard a lot about it, being in WFAN territory. And when his new team, the Rays, actually brought him up to the major league roster, Francesa had a field day, talking about how he'll probably pitch a two-hit shutout against the yanks in NY in the five game series in September. (Which, at the time, Francesa was rooting for, since he thought the yanks had wrapped up the division, So he'd have gladly traded a meaningless loss to the Rays to see the Met fans suffer, watching their top prospect shine two years ahead of schedule.)

Well, as we know, Piniella decided only to use Kazmir in relief against the yanks, for some reason. But when they're facing Pedro and the Sox, he throws the kid out there, and of course, he pitches a gem. And instead of a meaningless game against the yanks, it's a key game against the Sox, now close to the yanks, so Francesa wins, in a way he probably hadn't thought of a month ago. Terrible job by all involved.

My second Shea experience was more of the same on Monday. Again, 7 1/2 hours spent there, only this time I got to see two games. Again, a bunch of Sox fans, including two who had a huge sign for the visiting Braves, saying, "Can't beat the Mets? Just wait for Boston." Meaning in the World Series, I guess. Again, the Mets got 9 runs on 11 hits. Again, I watched the yankee score on the scoreboard closely (the Sox were off). It was great watching that score as it went from 3-2 yanks to 12-3 Royals, before going to 17-3 when Chan & I got to my car. Made it to Shea in just under an hour, so now you know how far away I am from it, which I didn't really specify before. Also, if you go there, I recommend the hot fudge sundae.

I found out today that Steinbrenner and A-Rod contributed 2 grand each to the Bush campaign. Nice to know the dirty money is staying in dirty hands. Man, I don't know how (either) George can sleep at night.

And my final comment on society for the evening:

When a kid misses a foul ball in the stands, and it bounces to some older dude, everyone yells and yells at the guy, until he caves and gives the kid the ball. Okay, so society likes kids. Or at least pretends to. Fine. (Even though, as I've said before, any one who goes to a baseball game should be considered a "kid," and should be allowed to keep any ball they get, guilt free. You know, provided they're not an ass about it, like if the kid is injured or stepped over.)

But when a woman walks through the crowd, and some dumbass coward whistles at her or yells some rude comment at her, everyone just sits quietly, and the guy gets away with it. How come everyone doesn't start yelling at that guy?

So basically, an eight year old girl can go to a baseball game, and be told, "Oh, you wanted that ball, okay, we'll taunt this old guy so he'll feel pressured in to giving it to you. There you go, there's your ball, you beautiful child. But remember, if you come back here in eight years or so, you'll be treated like a piece of meat whenever you get up to get a soda."

Interesting how this came to me after being at three games in a row in New York.

Eh, I shouldn't even say that, it's a USA thing, not just an NY thing.

I'll see what happens when I'm at Fenway tomorrow night.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Shea Stadium 9/11/04

When I think of "Mets vs. Phillies," I think, naturally, of the episode of Silver Spoons where Alfonso encourages Rick to skip school to go to Shea Stadium. It's Mets-Phils, and to further lure Rick to the game, Alfonso points out that it's "jacket day." Oooooh. And then there was probably some lesson about staying in school, but I forgotteded.

Well, I didn't get a free jacket, nor did I skip school. But I saw a Mets-Phillies game. Here's the wrap-up of my day at Shea.

Chan & I arrived at Shea 2 hours before game time, only to find out there was no batting practice. So we just walked around for a long time. I immediately spotted a guy with an "El Guapo" t-shirt on. You know, the one with the ~ over the "L," which is something that doesn't exist in the Spanish language. Who let that one get by? I said, "El Guapo!!" to him, and pointed to my Sox hat. He was psyched, but not that much. He was the first of what turned out to be a huge number of Sox fans I'd see (for a Mets-Phillies game).

We were in the front row of the section above field level. I looked down below and saw a girl wearing a Sox T-shirt with a girl wearing a Providence shirt, and their boyfriends. I yelled down to them, and they were much more psyched than the El Guapo guy. Then I saw a girl with a Nomar shirt, and later, two other people with Red Sox shirts.

Toward the end of the five hour, 13 inning game, I looked to my right, past a whole lot of empty seats, and saw a woman with a Sox hat. I waited until she looked over, and then gave her the point, and then the point to my hat, and she gave me a nod back. I told Chan I felt like I was in a secret society. Then we all cheered when the scoreboard gave Sox highlights from Friday night's game.

In this Mets game, on the third anniversary of the terror attacks, the teams were tied after nine innings, with each team having 9 runs on 11 eleven hits. And the errors were 2 for the Phils and 001 for the Mets. So that was weird. Along with the fact that the Phils ended up winning 11-9.

I was hoping to catch the yanks game in the car on the way home, since the Mets game was at 1:15, and the yanks' was at 4:30 (the Sox played at 10:05). But the Mets game didn't end until about 6:20, so the yanks were already in the 8th when we got out of there.

At one point, the Phillies pitcher got thrown out of the game, just for throwing to close to our old buddy Cliff Floyd, with the winning run on 1st base. The dude rightfully got pissed, and threw a bunch of stuff on to the field, including a big cooler.

It was a good game, a lot of rallies and comebacks. Eighteen pitchers were used, tying a record. Seeing a Shea Stadium crowd going nuts always brings back bad memories, but I could've counted the number of people there, so it wasn't quite like, you know, that year.

I'll be going again tomorrow for a doubleheader, which will probably have even less fans than on Saturday. So I'll have an even better chance at a foul ball. I came really close on Saturday, but it wasn't to be.

If you ever go to Shea, just go to your seat and stay there. The ushers wouldn't let you sit one section away from where you're ticket says you should be, despite the fact that the entire crowd could've fit into the lower deck. And these ushers are also notorious for being the oldest, rudest, crankiest, white haired-iest geezers in baseball. But those guys aside, it was a fun day. I actually like when games go that long, especially when I don't care who wins. And I always seem to pick the craziest games to go to. So watch for some weird stuff at Shea on Monday, Fenway on Wednesday, and yankee Stadium on Friday.

Too bad about today's games. 3 1/2 back again, but I'm confident. And I got my letter from the Red Sox about my first round playoff tix that I'll be getting for having bought a 10-game plan. I am psyched.

Cover Me In Sleep

Six days, six 10:00 PM starts. We made it through with five wins, and didn't lose any ground in the standings. And every night, except for one, I went to sleep knowing the Sox had won, while yankee fans went to bed uncertain, and woke up to the bad news that hadn't "pulled away." Granted, they got more sleep, but my sleep was satisfying.

The Red Sox have scored twenty unanswered runs. Manny's goin' for fifty HRs. Everybody's got crazy hair. This team rules. I'm sleeping in tomorrow. Then I'll tell you about the 7 1/2 hours I spent at Shea Stadium today.

The magic and most valuable number is 24.

September 12th is Grandparents' Day. A happy one to you, El Duque.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States