Saturday, October 22, 2005

2005 Red Sox Summary

Here's what I don't get. I heard Red Sox fans this year say "This team just isn't the 2004 team." But I'm sure some of those people did the same thing the year before. When the '04 team was down 3-0 in the ALCS, I'm sure people said, "This just wasn't the 2003 team." To the point where some people didn't even watch game 4.

That's why I was so confused and kind of pissed that so many people just didn't believe the Red Sox could win this year. Note the key word in that sentence. It's "believe." That people refused to "believe" this year makes me think they were all full of shit the year before. You know, the people who held up "Believe" signs AFTER we'd completed the comeback in the ALCS and were playing in the pressure-free World Series.

I can understand someone saying that since it happened in '04, there was no way it could happen again the very next year. But for me, 2004 showed me that anything is possible. 2005 was the first season of my life and yours that we could look at baseball and say "I think my team's gonna win, and I have proof that there's no reason why they can't."

But instead of Sox fans taking on a new attitude, it was the same old crap. One blogger who just won't link to me picked the White Sox to win it all. This person seems like a die-hard fan who was pretty damn psyched about 2004. So why would they take a look at 2005 and say, "Hey, this White Sox club looks like a juggernaut"?

Red Sox fans "believe"--that the fucking White Sox will win it all!

I'm not saying it's not okay to make a prediction based on facts and what you honestly think will happen. But what the fuck? How about some of that "belief" that got us so far a few months earlier? Is it so important to be right? More important than the Red Sox winning? Because if you think that us "believing" had anything to do with 2004, well, just know that your non-believing had something to do with 2005.

That's right, I said it. Because I'm not a fucking newspaper reporter, I'm a human being.

Take BSMemorial. He knows more than most people about stats and all that stuff. He could have done an in-depth study of every team in the league--and he probably did--but he still picked the Red Sox at the beginning of 2005. He even admitted that it had something to do with the fact that he's a Red Sox fan. Right on, brutha. I know this isn't Jere's fantasy world, but couldn't we have had one year--one effing year--where we all said, "The Red Sox are gonna win, I don't wanna hear any of this White Sox shit!"?

Andrew said something about complaining and cynicism being every Sox fan's birthright. Well, that may have been true, but if you're still thinking that way after 2004, nothing's gonna cure you.

I know it's cool to be sad all the time and whatnot, and be all pissed at the happy people. I used to be like that myself. But maybe after living for four years with someone who wrote the most depressing, crawl-in-a-hole-and-cry-yourself-to-death (albeit really, really good) songs you've ever heard in your life, I just decided I was gonna be happy for a change. And the 2004 ALCS coincided with that break-up.

Maybe I'm just confused.

My World Series prediction?

Red Sox in (200)6.

Friday, October 21, 2005

'06 Starts Before '05 Ends

Chan's not gonna be happy.

Since I basically denounced all sports besides baseball a few years ago, he's been saying, "Why's you choose the one sport that goes all year?" You see, Chan finds what I feel to be a normal passion for my baseball team quite annoying and over-the-top. And now, with the World Series not even over--or begun, even--the 2006 tentative Red Sox schedule is out.

Sorry, Chan.

We don't go to Washington, but the Detroit series is on a weekend. And in June. Good news because that's been my tentative major road-trip city for a while. They play in Toronto before that, so maybe I'll go through there before going on to Detroit. Also, the Mets are in this year. And surely, for the 100th consecutive year, every single person will complain about how the yankees series' are either too spaced out or not spaced out enough. We open up in Texas, and the home opener is against the Boredom Birds from beyond the border.

Ahh, those days I've summer I've longed for...for, like, less than a month. Baseball's back!

Pre-Season Quiz 2

Mike Greenwell was the only Red Sox player since 1960 to do what three years in a row ('89-'91)? (He was possibly the only Sox to ever do it three years in a row, but retrosheet doesn't have boxscores before that.)

Prerequisites for getting this answer: Lots of research, and possibly being named Andrew.

Also, where is Dannydeej, last year's quiz champ? Has anyone seen him?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bone Dry

Today started off not so good. For the last few nights, the dude who lives above me has been playing his organ from about 2 AM to 8 AM. It's the kind with pedals, so the annoying part isn't the organ sound, it's the incessant thumping. All night. I have a fan on high right next to my ear, but the sound travels through the walls, into my bed, and right into my brain.

The weird thing is, we know his name from his mailbox, and we looked him up online. Turns out he's in a fairly well-known band. So I check their schedule all the time, rooting for a year-long European tour. In fact, I'm thinking about emailing them, pretending to own a club in California, and tell them I'll pay them ten thousand dollars if they come out to play there. That should score me at least a few guaranteed nights of sleep.

Then again, I could just go put a note on his door. But what fun is that?

So, I "woke up" from my "sleep," and some other stuff happened that I was worried about all day. (Purposely being vague here.) By the end of the day, I was feeling better about that stuff, and me and Chan went to do laundry. He wanted some food between the washing and the drying. We went to this place we'd been meaning to go to anyway. I'd already eaten, so I just got a can of Coke. But I saw some black and white cookies, and since I'd just seen that Seinfeld episode an hour earlier, I got the B & W. Which I felt even better about because I'd recently been accused of being a racist on Rally Cuff because I said I felt that Edgar Renteria had a bad season.

Then, the owner dude said started making chit-chat about the World Series. Chan told him that he was a yankees fan and I was a Sox fan. The dude said he was a Mets fan. He said, "So we've got it all covered here." Then he looked at me, smiled, and said, "I never root for the yankees. Whe your two teams play, I always root for Boston." I told him he was my kind of Mets fan. Then, while waiting for Chan's beef stew, we saw a picture of this guy, as a younger man, shaking hands with Chief Brody, Roy Scheider. It looked like it was from an actual movie. We asked him what the deal was, and he told us it was a picture from a movie he was in--The French Connection. Okay, now Chan & I really need to see that movie. TJ by us for never having seen it. (He played a bartender.)

Then, we walked out, psyched to go rent TFC, and I immediately saw a Sox hat, and pointed at it. Chan knows now when I point at someone randomly, it's me showing him a Red Sox fan in his team's city. I saw that hat, and suddenly everything was comin' up Milhouse. The Mets guy, the French Connection, the Sox fan, I couldn't have asked for a better night. A better sober night, that is! Ha ha! Eh. No, I haven't started drinking. Just trying to make the humans relate to me. That one's for you, Rally Cuff. Lighten up, wouldja? :) (She also got pissed at me for being an annoying non-drinking person.)

I can't believe I just did one of those smily faces. TJ.


White Sox and Astros in the World Series. First time there's been two teams I've never seen in there before since the Tigers-Padres matchup of '84. (I was born between the '74 and '75 Series if you want to look it up. Or figure out your own--it's fun and exciting!)

If the Astros win, it will mean that the three teams that got screwed in '86 will have all won a championship in a four-year stretch. If the White Sox win, it will mean that two teams ended 86-plus year droughts in consecutive years. And a tie would be the first ever in World Series history. So we got that goin' for us.

My prediction: Whistros in 8. (could change before Saturday)

Meanwhile, the Cards are in danger of becoming the new yankees, who are the new Braves. Cardinal fans, look, it was a blessing in disguise you lost the NLCS. Obviously some of you have problems with being ignored and passed over, and it would've happened again had you been playing another "cursed" team. Maybe next year you could win it all against the Royals and get all the attention.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's Over!

Sveum out. Any other human or ape in! Praise the lord!

Retro Gallery: Fenway Tour, 11/03

In November of 2003, I took the Fenway Park tour. I shot some video. Here are some stills from that day:Manny's Silver Slugger. Oh, I actually had more on another tape, but I don't know where that is. So everything I filmed from the .406 club is not shown here. But going on the field was the best part anyway.

As we walked to the Monster Seats, I got this shot of the back of the "Fenway Park 1912" sign.

Jere touches the scoreboard for the first time.

The lights inside the at-bat area.


The ladder. You don't realize how tall the Green Monster is until you stand next to it and look up.

The view through one of the slits in the scoreboard.

I'm breaking my own rule of not showing myself on my blog unless the pic is at least ten years old. So, the new rule is, I can show myself, but only if at least half of my face is obscured. But you've probably seen my mug on Reb's blog anyway.


In the triangle.

What once was a New Era sign.

What Trot sees when he looks up to find me in my 10-Game Plan seats.


A Fenway worm, warning track, right field.

The dugout was covered by boards, but you could see the bat rack area.

I guess they ripped out some seats.


TV Party

I'd heard about the video game based on the move The Warriors, probably from Bullshit Memorial, but it didn't, uh, hit home until I saw the commercial for it. It was quite a shock to be looking down at my laptop and suddenly hear "Warriorrrrrs..." coming from the TV. Looks like they just took scenes from the film and cartoonified them. I can't believe Joe and Jane Americaston will now know the line "Can you dig it?" Hopefully some people will go rent the movie.

Have you been watching The Colbert Report? (with two silent T's) If you like Daily Show humor, you should be all set. And speaking of that, Bill O'Reilly was on there tonight. And he got booed. Awesome.

The current season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has been pretty damn good. And Larry's done a bunch of double points. Could this be connected to his being spotted at Fenway this season?

I commited the terrible job of not having seen The Office until just recently. And the new show, Extras, by the dude who did The Office, Ricky Gervais, is awesome as well. This is, like, my new favorite dude. Again, terrible job by me for not knowing this until now. The bonus is that Gervais will be in the new Christopher Guest movie. I'm already prepared for that to be the greatest film ever created.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Good With The Bad

Chan & I went out for a walk on this nice fall night. I wanted ice cream, because, for October 18th anyway, it was warm. We went into one of these ice cream places that also sells toys, candy, and stuffed animals(?). I got the cookies 'n' cream on a sugar cone. Then Chan stepped up and placed his order, as I moved toward the front of the place, noticing that most of the candy was described as "suger-free." I thought (all right, I didn't think of it until now), I wonder if they do this on purpose: "Well, yeah, of course there's sugar. But definitely no suger."

The only other people in the store were a high school-aged couple. Maybe college freshmen. I'm at that age where I don't know how old anybody is anymore. Almost everyone I pass on the sidewalk in the city could easliy be exactly twenty-three.

In classic Chan style, Chan suddenly blurts out "You got a quarter," even though I'm a mile away from him. I say, "maybe," and start walking toward him, as I reach into my pocket. The man/boy, the one with his girlfriend, being much closer to Chan than I was, offers to help.

Chan says, "No, that's okay."

But man/boy insists, points to me and says to Chan, "'Cause I like his hat."

Suddenly this guy was my hero. "Take the Red Sox quarter, Chan."

Chan, the casual yankee fan, was forced to take it. He thanked the guy half-heartedly--and I thanked him whole-heartedly.

Let Them Play

Mike & the Mad Dog were talking about the "Astros Curse" today. Apparently, yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Houston getting a franchise, which was called the Colt .45s until they moved to the Astrodome. And last night, the Colts put up 45 against St. Louis in football. But instead of breaking the curse last night, the former .45s lost to St. Louis, by a score of...4 to 5.

[Disclaimer: I never say the losing team's score first when talking about baseball. But in this case it just made the whole thing look cooler.]

Also, from "The New York Yankees announced today that second-baseman Mark Bellhorn has declined an outright to Triple-A Columbus and elected free agency." Welcome back (to non-evil-ness), Mark!

Quiz Update/You Really Got Me

Okay, to recap, the question was:

What two players played in a 20-strike out game, played on an All-Star team with a player who's now a major league manager, and played in a World Series in which one team won its third in a row?

Andrew has given us: "Bill Buckner (played in Clemens' 1986 20 K game, was on the 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost the series to the Oakland A's, their third straight, was 1981 All-Star teammates with both Phil Garner and Dusty Baker)." That's correct, even though the manager I saw was Willie Randolph, but that was before I changed the question to say that the guy played on the same All-Star TEAM, instead of played in the same All-Star GAME with. So I'm glad Andrew found two managers in that game, or my question would have been all messed up. Hey, it's really only Quiz Pre-Season, since the playoffs are still going on, so I get time to work out the factual kinks.

He also gave us Roger Clemens. Also correct, I totally didn't have that one.

There is (at least) one more. The clue is that his three events are all different from Buckner's three.

Update: Nick "Dumberer" Smith got it. Jose Canseco played in Clemens' second 20 K game, had 1 AB in the yanks' 2000 Timo Perez-aided WS victory, and played on the 1990 A.L. All-Star team with Ozzie Guillen.


As Albert Pujols stepped to the plate, I realized that I'd rather see a home run than see the Astros clinch. I had been rooting for them; all of them but Clemens, that is. I just wanted to root for the underdog, as well as against the Cards because of all of their whiny fans who hate my team for no good reason. (Come on, CardNilly, you know I kid.)

But then I thought, why the fuck am clapping along with the Bushes? (Who, if you didn't see the game, were right behind home plate all night--this is Bar and George H.W.) (They were also there if you did see the game.)

And why root against excitement in a series that, ultimately, I don't care about.

Well, I got the excitement. The series goes on.

I definitely feel bad for Astros fans. I know what "one strike away" feels like.

But, still, I'm happy to see Clemens and the Bushes get just a little of what they deserve. And, wait, what am I saying? Astros fans are still Texans, aren't they? Screw 'em. Unless they live in Austin. Which is cool. So I've heard. All right, it's cool to SAY that Austin is cool. I know that.

Anyway, I can find the good in whatever team ends up winning. It's fun to watch exciting baseball when your team isn't involved. Here's to "who cares?"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Quiz Season Begins

What two players played in a 20-strike out game, played on an All-Star team with a player who's now a major league manager, and played in a World Series in which one team won its third in a row?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Silicone Parts Are Made For Toys

I was rooting for the Angels, but I gotta hand it to those Caucasian Sox. I guess I just have to face the fact that Contreras is good now. But I'm stubborn enough to still think they won't get it done in the World Series. Who knows, I may end up rooting for them. But I just feel the same way about the Chi-Lock-Soxes as Becky's friend felt about the "rap guy's girlfriend" during the intro of Sir MixaLot's classic "Baby Got Back": They're just so...blah.

Absolute terrible job by the Angels' pitcher for not just throwing the ball to first. McCarver said it was because he thought the runner would be in the way. McCarver was wrong. He had an angle. He even had time to stop, move slightly left, and then throw, to better that angle. I think he tried to make a tag because he thought the runner wasn't as far up the line as he was. One Little League-style tag with an empty glove later, and the Angels were done.

About Piniella in the booth: Come on. As my mom would say, Fox, Ask yourself "Why?" It's almost like they got a bunch of letters saying, "I know McCarver is trying really hard to explain the game to me. But I'm really dumb. Can you bring in someone who can simplify this crap even more? Someone who can state the obvious to those of us who don't pick up on it even after two announcers have clarified it. Thanks." Also, Lou yells into the mic in a highly annoying way. I'm glad I'm only paying half-attention to these games.

I saw the last inning of the NL game. Was it me, or did Fox do a terrible job on the play where the Astros dude went to third when no one covered in the ninth? We saw the catcher make the tag at the plate, then walk back out toward the infield, as if he was holding the other runners, and then, presumably, calling for time. At the end of the replay that followed, the announcer said that the runner was "breaking for third." I think this was a fake call. Like, he saw the runner on third, and pretended like action he'd missed was now taking place. Because they never gave a good replay that showed when he broke for third compared to when the catcher had the ball, looking out at the runners with no urgency.

That was followed by one of the best 4-6-3's you'll ever see to end the game. And if the 'stros win one more, we'll see the man who turned it, Adam Everett, vs. another Everett who the Red Sox traded away, Carl Everett. Who was obtained by the Red Sox through a trade--for Adam Everett. It would also be the battle of dudes who were all part of the yanks' starting rotation: Duque and Contreras vs. Rocket and Pettitte.

The good thing about the Honky Socks winning is that we can say to yanks fans that the team that beat us beat the team that beat them. But I'm sure they'll somehow find a way to show that that means they're better. Screw 'em.

Top 20 Sports Movies

Coming in at number somethingty-something, it's Tiger Town. Made in 1983, Tiger Town was about some kid who clasps his hands together, and it makes the Tigers win. Chief Brody stars as the old dude trying for one last...well, you know, it's a sports movie. As cheesy as it is unwatchably watchable, Tiger Town hits a home run.

Note: This isn't actually a list of my top 20 sports movies, just an excuse to talk about this lost classic.

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