Saturday, March 31, 2007

We're In The Park...

When I say we, I mean MattySox. Here are some early shots from Philly, where the Sox are playing right now. Thanks, Matty. Click to enlarge. More to follow... Also in the house are Quinn, Finy, and Leggett.

Update: Papi just hit a bomb in the first. Watching on the (crappy as ever)

The view from Matty's seat.

Update: We're scoring at will against the Phils. Dice has been weird. It's almost like he's trying to throw balls and walk guys just to test himself. Then he'll come back and get guys out. He gave up one run on a ground ball double, and then two more on a homer by Burrell--who promptly flipped the bird while the camera was on him. I think it was a joking bird.

(Those) Pesky Rules

Once again, Johnny Pesky has been disallowed from being in the dugout at Red Sox games. Terrible job, MLB. They say the dugout is limited to playrs, the manager, and six coaches. That's for uniformed personnel. You can have trainers in there, of course.

I say, make Johnny part of the training staff. In fact, the bullpen coach stays in the dugout--leaving the hitting and pitching coaches, the two base coaches, and the bench coach. Why not give that sixth spot to Pesky? Make him the "outfielders' coach" or something.

I have a feeling our ownership will come up with a solution to this. We'll see plenty of Johnny as usual in 2007.

*video still of Pesky taken by me, Opening Day, 2005, aka the greatest Opening Day ever

'06-'07 Quiz XX

A player whose name was mentioned in a comedy movie from 1980 has a cousin whose first major league hit was historically significant for what reason?

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Beast About To Strike

Much like the relationship between Michael Jackson's and Ola Ray's characters in the Thriller movie after he gives her the ring, "it's official": Carl Pavano will be starting for Mr. Dunbar on Opening Day.

I was psyched to hear about a woman umpiring a major league game yesterday, albeit at an exhibition game.

In the article, the people quoted seemed supportive, and the writer (also female) did a pretty good job with the piece. However, there seemed to be an air of astonishment. Like, "look how she actually knew what do do!"

She was clear signaling her calls and quick on her feet, says the author. Why wouldn't she be? Are fans actually reading this news and saying to themselves, "Well, surely they had to interrupt the game so she could take a break to watch a Meredith Baxter-Birnie movie on Lifetime--wait, they didn't? What? Incredible!"

Then a Cubs player said

It's kind of different to see a woman out there. Where I would think the challenging part would be is a close call.

Why? Women can't look at something and then convey what happened?

This almost reads like an article about a game where a penguin was allowed to be an umpire or something. "It stayed on the field the whole time. It even faced the action on many plays."

This confirms that there's no gender equality in this country. Not even close. If it were a black or Jewish man's first time umpiring, would people say "I don't know if they'll be able to make the close calls..."?

Fireworks Or Lack Thereof

You know that luncheon thing where Dice-K and Okajima answered a bunch of questions from reprters? Doesn't it seem like every blog that reports on it uses a different source? That's not all that weird, but it almost seems like everyone thinks they've found this secret story that no other paper has. I'm sure that's not the case with everyone, but it kinda seems like it on some blogs. I'm not, like, angry about this, I just think it's funny the way that story is just kind of lurking below the surface all over the place, but still not breaking out as one huge story.

So I won't provide a link. Just do a news search on Dice and add "Zimmer" or "Jolie" or "When Harry Met Sally."

Gervais News! Ricky will be playing the Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 19th. A Saturday--perfect. I can come back to NYC to see him. This is his US stand-up debut, as part of David Bowie's Highline Festival. Get your tickets now, they just went on sale.

Did you know that on the last three Independence Days, the Red Sox have played a team they'd never played on Independence Day before? Devil Rays, Braves, and Rangers. (Although they'd played the Rangers' franchise in the past. Red Sox-Senators (and Red Sox-[Philadelphia] A's) doubleheaders on the 4th of July were commonplace back in the day). Retrosheet is fun.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Two Pics From Last Weekend

All five AL East teams are represented here: Blue Jays--it's a blue jay. Orioles--they're also birds. Red Sox--I was (or was not) wearing red socks when I shot this. Yankees--pic was taken north of the Mason-Dixon line. Devil Rays--the sun's rays, which shone down on this bird, are hot, much like hell, home of the devil.

Good to see new father of twins Nomar is still remembered in the Boston area. (Hey, they could've just erased it.)

Speaking of ice cream, I just had some of the new Stephen Colbert flavor. It's really good--vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel.


Look at this. The sub-headline is (as of 5 PM) "Ochoa's solo shot completes Boston's game-knotting comeback". Yet according to Gameday, Yahoo, and message boards, Ochoa's HR was in the eighth, and it cut the lead to one. It was Argenis Diaz who hit the game-tying shot in the ninth. Yahoo also doesn't have the Diaz homer listed in the batting totals. I know it's spring training, but do these people put any effort at all into doing their jobs? I mean, this guy Diaz just hit what to him is a huge home run. And in the above mlb article, it says "Red Sox at the plate: Manny Ramirez finished his Grapefruit League season by going 2-for-2. David Ortiz produced an RBI single. Alex Ochoa added a solo homer." Diaz goes completely unmentioned in the article.

It's almost as if they proclaimed the game over before the bottom of the ninth and then said, "Okay, Diaz, we're gonna let you hit a home run because you'll never have this chance again." And then he hit a squibber to the mound but all the fielders let him run around the bases. And everyone except Diaz himself knew it didn't really count. But at least the run went on the board.

Update: says, "Juan Diaz had a homer in the bottom of the ninth." At least they know about Diaz' homer. Granted, they thought it was a different Diaz, but, come on, it's only 2006. I'm sure the carrier pigeon accidentally shit on the first name so they had to take a guess. No biggie.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rocky River

Looks like Swindal won't be the next Steinbrenner after all. His wife, Jenny, aka female spawn of Big Stein, has filed for divorce. The Boss has issued a weird statement saying he will run the team "with his family." So, I guess the guy's out, as soon as the divorce goes live. Unless George adopts him.

Schill pitched well tonight. The linescore was classic Red Sox-of-late: A bunch of zeroes for the other team early, with some crooked numbers in the late innings. The culprits were Okajima and Pineiro tonight.

Is it just so far beyond irony that it's pointless to mention that the Indians are playing in the upcoming "Civil Rights Game"? The game is sponsored by Nike, who have long championed the cause of the Native American stereotypes who work in their sweatshops.

A clue is up at the current quiz.

Curt With You

If you'll be seeing the Red Sox play in a city other than Boston this season, please click here.

Yesterday on CSTB someone left a comment about Curt Schilling's blog. He said that he'd commented on Curt's "stupid blog," saying something to the effect of "Curt Schilling is a right-wing Jesus freak who should shut up and pitch." Well, I can assure you I gave him the slow, sarcastic applause on that one. Seriously, terrible job on that, on unoriginality alone. But aside from that, let's take a closer look at Curt's blog. I've read almost the whole thing, from day one, and I can tell you that A. It's not stupid and B. It's not about politics or religion. (If anything, you could make fun of the fact that he talks about his video game company a little, uh, much.)

The point is, though, he's doing his blog to talk about his pitching. To give us insight. And it's really in-depth. If you've decided to pass it off as "Curt's Jesus Site," please give it a read. If you're interested in pitching, from the actual big league pitcher's perspective, you won't be disappointed.

I will also say that the guy has every right to spout off about why his religion is right, and that Bush is the king of America, and even that the Yankees rule and he wishes he pitched for them instead of us. On his own blog. None of us are forced to read it. But guess what--he doesn't do any of this. At all! When he's asked about religion or politics, he answers, and does it in a respectful way.

I'm a far left-winger and a 99% atheist. (While I don't believe in a higher power, I do admit that I don't know if one or many exist. I guess that makes me an agnostic. But, whatever, I just live my life and try to avoid labels and mainly try to be kind to the other creatures around me. Except for the creatures in section 39 in Yankee Stadium. They can go to hell. If it exists.) But I am able to read Curt's blog with no problem. In fact, I do more railing against the right-wing on my blog than he does against the left--which, again, is none at all! He focuses on baseball, I'm telling you. Try reading it.

Recently, he answered a question and it kind of sums his attitude toward all of this up. I leave you with it:

"Q-Curt, I wanted to add that I am a liberal and not Christian, so we disagree on certain issues, but I certainly respect your views, as I’m sure you’d respect mine.

A-I’d really like to address these two topics one time, and not have us do it again. I honest to God could care less what your political affiliation is. I also think you should care less what mine is. I don’t and haven’t ever voted ‘party lines’. I vote for the person I believe is the best candidate. If you vote for someone because someone told you to or someone you like voted for them, you’re an idiot. We’re in a quagmire right now politically. From local elections on up it seems to me that we vote for the person we DISLIKE the least, instead of the best candidate, and that sucks. But because you disagree with my political views is totally irrelevant to me unless you and I are discussing politics, and this isn’t a forum to do that. I will also add that my profession, like yours, has nothing to do with my political insight or opinions. If you think I’d vote for a president because his policy is going to lower my taxes you’re stupid.

As far as being a Christian goes, I’ll just tell you that it’s been the single biggest life changing thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not going to tell you how to or why to, or even that you should. I’ll answer questions from people, regardless of their religious beliefs, when they ask me about my Faith.

And as far as CHBs column that ran roughshod over me and the people coming here let me say this. Obviously, like anyone, I sincerely appreciate the well wishes, the thank you’s and the support. I didn’t start doing this to get an outpouring of back pats and hand shakes. Life has been more than great to me to this point and there are a lot more deserving people than me in this world that could be living my dream. If that bothers you then I would tell you that the problems you have are yours and yours alone. If someone wishing someone else well, or thanking them, is something that gives you problems, or makes you mad, then you’ve got a lot bigger problems than this one.

If that’s not acceptable or a problem then as I stated very early on, don’t come here. You come here by choice and it’s appreciated when it leads to you learning something about the game, ALS, Shade or whatever, and I appreciate the Q&A when it comes to 38 Studios, Baseball, whatever. I started doing this because of the unfiltered and open forum it provides to talk about the things I like to do. I don’t go out of my way to talk to people I don’t respect or like, why would you? I don’t moderate the comments here, other than to delete the vulgar sophmoric posts that have nothing to add. I don’t delete posts that are rants and what not, about me or what people think of me. To date the site has had almost 900,000 viewers, and almost 2000 posted comments. I’ve had to delete 23 posts for content, the rest are there for everyone to see."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Call To Arms (That Have Hands That Hold Cameras)

Dear Everyone,

Did you ever dream of being an unpaid photo-correspondent for a mildly popular blog? Well, dream no more, B. I'm looking for people who live in, or will be taking a road trip to, any of the American League cities in 2007. When the Red Sox are in town, take some pictures, and send them to me electronically for posting here. You can even caption them yourself! Or share whatever stories you may have to tell. E-mail me at [Two2067 at aol dot com] or put a comment on this post telling me you're interested.

I'm prepared to bribe you with one (1) DVD of my Red Sox World Series Rolling Rally mini-movie, which, trust me, looks way cooler than it does over the internet.

I've already got Jason helping me out in Seattle. And my cousin Kara out in San Diego--consider this my asking her. And I'll be in Baltimore for a game myself.

The following cities are up for grabs: KC, Arlington, Toronto, Minneapolis, Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa, LA, Chicago, plus the bonus NL cities of Atlanta and whatever city the Arizona club plays in. And New York. That's right, I say New York because I don't have any Toilet tickets this season, and I'll be moving to Boston next month.

Just thought I'd throw that in there without making a huge deal about it. How you like them apples?

This offer is mainly for people who don't have their own blog, but if you do have a blog, and for some reason would rather have your pics go up here than on your own site, or want to just put a few pics up here, by all means, feel free. But I wouldn't want to take attention away from your own blog. I'd link back to you, of course, if you do want to do that. Also, there can be multiple people for each city, which would actually be better for the cities the Sox make multiple trips to. Let me know. Thanks, humans.

Update (and first example of beggar being chooser): When I say "pictures," I mean mainly pre-game and dugout type shots. If you get good in-game action shots, that's cool, too, but I like the stuff you can't see on TV more, whether it be a guy picking his nose in the on deck circle, or a group of Red Sox fans in the stands in funny wigs, or stuff around the ballpark.

Monday, March 26, 2007


It's funny to see Kapstein and Drinkwater at the spring training games. I don't know how long that's been going on. But today I saw the Kap'n behind the plate at the opponents' home park. He doesn't have quite the same pull over there, as he only scored a third row seat. But he was workin'! That's right, Kap Gun was on the cell for much of the time I was watching. And he wasn't waving to the camera, if you know what I mean. He's gotta earn his keep doing...what is it he does again? Oh, right, "senior advisor/baseball projects." He must've been e-vising and maybe setting up an arts and crafts day for the players. That'd be a good project. I think Manny Delcarmen would be good at making those popsicle stick people.

Jealousy Boys

About the article about Schilling's blog by Shaughnessy:

TJ as usual, Dan. I don't understand how people who have a job in sports can make fun of people who follow sports in their free time. If a fan who talks about sports on their computer is a loser, what does that make a person whose livelihood depends on sports? You're the one "livin' the dream," Dan.

Granted, many commentors on 38 Pitches spend time thanking Curt for what he's done, and when you read 100 people do it, it can get tiresome. But do you blame them? As long as each person says their thank you and moves on, what's the harm in it? Some people do pathetic things, like trying to plug their site or ask Curt to dinner or whatever, but that's gonna happen regardless. Like the way young actors will try to give a Hollywood star a screenplay. You just avert your gaze until the awkward moment is over.

I got to see Dice pitch on ES-urine-N on my lunch break. You know the deal by now: He didn't have his A-game, yet didn't allow a hit in five innings. I can't wait to see this guy at Fenway. Oh, and in today's game, the wind was blowing so hard, it felt like you were watching one of those earthquake videos.

'06-'07 Quiz XIX

On July 4th, 1992, what did the Red Sox do for the first time in their 91-year history?

[Clue, 3/28, 11:45 PM: Their opponent also did something for the first time in their 91-year history.]

That Thing From Before

Remember my story about almost getting a David Ortiz HR ball in Baltimore in '03? I finally found the highlight of the play in question, which I'd taped myself back then. On a real TV, you can totally tell what's going on. So if you can't in this GooTube version, well, you at least get to see that awesome thunder clap that scared the hell out of Walker and Nomar and the rest of us who were there that day. (The red arrow shows the direction I run.)

Again, if you just watched that, and don't know the background, click that link above for the whole Christopher Cross-filled story. I made this little video in February, and was ready to post it, only to find my GooTube account had been taken down. I put a new account up a while ago, but I only just now decided to put this video on there. I kind of screwed it up, but if you watch again and again, knowing that I start by the left flagpole, you can really tell I started running back early. You can see me disappear behind Pat's red shirt and then reappear on the other (left) side of it.

Of course, all these videos look awesome until the GooTube resolution demons make them look shitty. They should work on that. One day you can all come over to my house and wach all my movies in digital high quality on a screen bigger than your thumbnail. Wait, I think it would be more feasible to DVD-ify them and sell them for a pittance. Maybe I'll do that someday.

Note: I went 11-1 in the basketball pool this weekend. Only Chan's Gators beat me. I should've known alligators would beat ducks.

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