Monday, July 23, 2007

Lester Bangs Tribe's Drum. Slowly.

Excellent job by Jon Lester tonight. As we thought, and as NESN noted a million times, no nerves visible. Getting out of the bases loaded, one out situation was hog. (I'm just inventin' new words at this point.) The only runs he gave up were on the Little Grady homer, which I blame myself for. He'd just given up a bloop hit, Orsillo was talking about the big lead at the time, and my mind went to the fact that Grady hadn't been hitting Sox pitching lately and was probably psyched to see someone new out there. So I saw a home run in my mind. And it happened. I take full blame.

Timlin continues his goodness, and MDCops was back to form.

McCarty tonight--said "struggling" when he could've said "scuffling." I should've known a genius like him would come through for me. Dave also described a moment from his career, and I knew that unlike most ex-players, he'd probably actually have the facts straight. He said it was Nolan Ryan's last home game, and he knocked him out with a two-run double. He was exactly right. He also sounds like Nikki Sixx a little bit, I just realized.

This delay thing is still affecting my enjoyment of NESN games. It's the centerfield camera that's in real time, while all the others are a split second behind. (Don and Rem's audio are in real time all the time.) You can really tell on the audio, like when there's a Red Sox chant, or that drum is beating in Cleveland. You'll hear two quick beats in a row or a word repeated right when they switch back to the centerfield camera for a pitch. You can also tell visually when the pitcher will be shown from another angle starting his wind-up. When they switch to the centerfield cam, his arm repeats its previous split-second. I guess it doesn't bother enough people for them to scrap this idea. They must do it so after a line drive, we don't miss the ball getting through the infield. We get to see the swing, then they switch cameras, then we see the ball pretty much coming off the bat. Which is fine unless we're hearing Orsillo making the call before we see what happens! Like in Curt's near no-no, when you heard him say "Into right field" before the ball was past the second baseman.

Rem and Don agreed that we haven't seen a squeeze play from the Sox this season. We did it on July 4th, when Cora safety squeezed home Coco. Maybe they meant suicide squeeze.

On Lester's walk to the mound--they stayed with it instead of going to commercial. People in the crowd, including the many Sox fans, had just started to catch on and stand and cheer...when NESN made the call to indeed cut to commercial. Too bad about that.

On Saturday, during the Fox game, they showed someone with a sign that said something like "The Sox and Fox, a perfect team." I remember thinking how cheesy and phony it seemed, even for your average "wants to get on TV" fan. Something wasn't right about it. Tonight, NESN showed a kid with a great sign that had his message (something about driving out there to see Nixon), and below it, the words "Mandatory Rem & DO Plug." They started joking about how sometimes people will make great signs but they'll just be missing a little something (meaning the plug.) Then they said "at least we don't plant signs like some networks...over the weekend." I wonder if they meant that sign I saw on Fox on Saturday....

Everybody's going crazy about how Drew would've had at least a productive out with his grounder to first that was a DP, had Manny been running, getting a double instead of a single, before JD came up. Okay, Manny didn't run full speed the whole time. But did Drew think he was on second, and hit it to the right side on purpose? Come on. Just because the guy in front of you is on first when he should be on second, you still have to hit in whatever the situation is, not what it could've been.

Odalis Perez actually did better against the Yanks than he did against us. But the Royals didn't score enough. It was 4-2 Yanks going to the ninth, but KC gave up 5 in the inning, with two errors helping out. So they'll stay 7.5 out.

Lester's player of the game, of course. Pic from when I saw his first-ever game last year.

I loved it the way that NESN stayed with Jon on his first walk to a pitching mound...when he walks to his home mound at Fenway....WOW! Great job NESN. Greater job Jon Lester!!!!!
Yet my point was they cut away right when people started cheering. Either stay with it the whole time or do it normal and then show us what happened when they come back. But I thought it seemed indecisive of them. Like they thought, "Oh, no one's clapping, cut away." But they screwed up because the momentum had just started to pick up, and they cut.
Yea, you know those signs you see, the

E xcellent
S uper
P atriots
N ation!!

ones or whatever? Those are always plants from the network. I guess it's an old industry trick. File under: random stuff my Dad taught me.

Also, I was wondering about the scuffling thing, too, since you mentioned it, but... turns out we're wrong. I looked it up- it does mean to fight, like you say, but in it's verb form it implies more of a struggle (a fight you haven't got control of, in other words) than anything. It seems to apply OK here.

Not that most of these guys really think about this, they're just repeating what they hear :)
Oh yea, and Lester! Definitely would have rather see the ovation- I could see some Sox folk standing, like they were communicating to the unaware fans around them what it meant.

Would have been kind of cool if it had come in BOS. Oh well. I think he's going to be awesome for us. That was dominating- only one real mistake (to "Little Grady" :)
About signs--I don't doubt that's true. But, of course, those signs led to actual fans bringing signs in that style, once they knew that's how you get on TV. (See me and Pat's "Cunningham Can't Beat Us" at the Jets-Eagles game in like '88, with "CBS" in caps.)

About scuffle: San Fran Sox Fan actually commented on my last post about it, giving the full definition. From that, I actually thought I was proven right. The two closest definitions for it, as a verb, to the way these announcers mean it are:

to struggle or fight in a rough, confused manner.
2. to go or move in hurried confusion.

"Confusion" is mandatory, apparently. I don't, it doesn't seem like going 0 for 10 can be accurately described by these definitions.

Glad you noticed the cut-off ovation, too.
Oh ya, this was the definition I was referring to-

"to struggle or fight in a rough, confused manner"

Since it says "struggle OR fight" you can remove "fight" and get:

"to struggle in a rough, confused manner."

I think that fits OK with what, for instance, Lugo went through.
I don't know--that sounds to me like you're struggling to get out of quicksand or something. It does say "(used without object)," though.

Interestingly, there's a definition for "struggle' where they specifically mention sports slumps:

"4. (of athletes and competitors) to be coping with inability to perform well or to win; contend with difficulty: After struggling for the whole month of June, he suddenly caught fire and raised his batting average 30 points."

This also is in the (used without object) category. But so is the definition that says to fight with an opponent, so I don't know what that's supposed to mean.

So, struggle uses the sports thing, but scuffle doesn't. Because there's no confusion, no roughness. You just can't do what you're trying to do.

We need some English majors to enter this debate.
Oh actually, I am an English major. Went to Brown, graduated in 91.

Thing is- in a literal sense, scuffling is probably more apt to describe something other than baseball struggles, but as a bit of color, it works. Same way when you refer to a player not hitting you can say, for example, "he's fighting it a bit right now." Same sort of thing.

I give these sportscasters no credit whatsoever for realizing this, but I think it's correct.
You could be right. But you wouldn't say "he's fighting at the plate." Or he's tussling, or he's rioting. These are all struggles in their noun form, but it seems like only "he's struggling" can be said on it's own. Unless you specifically mean he's going along in a rough or confused manner, which I still say isn't what you're doing if you, say, lose 4 in a row against lefties. But maybe that is what it's supposed to mean.
"You could be right. But you wouldn't say "he's fighting at the plate." "

He's fighting IT at the plate.

You wouldn't say those other things because there are subtle distinctions in each one that sort of don't fit, where scuffling kind of does fit.

It's also important to note that the operative part of the definition is the "struggle" half, and not the "rough and confused" half. The latter can be interpreted a bit, but the "struggle" aspect is crucial to the definition.

There's also the actually likelihood that the word was zeroed in on as a result of how it sounds. "Scuffle" has a slight onomatopoeia thing going on, coupled probably witht the 'confused' implication, and you've got the imagery of a guy sort of trying to get his bearings. It's usually used in a benign context too because there's the implication that he's sort of lost; hence the "confusion."

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