Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wily Gust Mo

Update: Sox win easily. And Yankee announcer Joe Girardi's kid is a Red Sox fan! And Coco's my player of the game for his hit that gave us the 4-1 lead, and for coming through repeatedly with the bases loaded. (I almost gave it to Lowell for not arguing after he was called out at home despite the catcher hardly even making an attempt to tag him, let alone actually touching anything with his glove.)

"No Dice" gave up two homers in two innings, then was in a bases loaded, one out situation in the third. And got a lineout double play. Stupid Rays should of put it away right there. Instead, they go on to give up the next seven runs. With a 7-3 lead in the ninth, you knew Torre would chicken out and go to Mo. He did, and Mo gave up a hit and hit a guy, bringing the tying run up with two outs. But Johnny Gomes watched strike three. They play again tonight.

Incredibly, Wily Mo is still on our team. If he must play with Papi out, why don't they just put him in as the DH, to keep him out of the field? Especially since we've got the person who plays Fenway's left field better than anyone else on our team. Instead, we put Manny at DH, and put one of the worst fielders in the league in left. And immediately, Wily Mo misses a ball hit right to him, and the run eventually scores. (Was called an error, but was changed, inexplicably, to a double.) Then with two on, one out in the bottom of the inning, Pena hits into a double play. Terrible job. Just let the guy go already. Meanwhile, Bronson's given up 3 or less runs in 6 of his last 7 starts. And has hit as many homers as Wily Mo has since May 20th. I know, Wily Mo needs to play in the majors every day to be good--me, too! If they'd only just assume I was really good and play me! Every single day! Only then would they see what a great major league star I am. Oh, but I can't play the outfield, so they could just hope no balls are hit to me.

2-1 us in the fifth. Good job by Gabbo cubed so far.

Lost Boys 2: Lost Umpires

I'm sitting here watching the Coreys on Larry King Live, talking about their new show, and how there's going to be a Lost Boys sequel--with Feldman, without Haim. They've left that movie alone all these years, might as well let it stand on its own for all eternity. That's one movie that should never grow old, and never die. But I guess it must feed, Michael, on unsuspecting audiences in this case.

Great baseball night. Although after the umps botched the hell out of that call, I started to think: Maybe when Torre went crying to the league about the umpiring, they said, "Look, will you just get the hell out of here if we make a bunch of bad calls against the Red Sox?"

That's one call you can't miss. If you know the simple laws of physics, you know that if a ball travels in an arc and hits a flat wall, it can't possibly bounce up off that wall. Therefore, if it bounces up, it had to have hit something else. If you have two working eyes and half a brain, it should be impossible to mistake a ball hitting something above a wall then bouncing off the top of that wall for a ball caroming directly off a wall. Funny, I feel like we've been through this before.

Nice job by Beckett getting his 13th. Good to see Lugo get the grandmother slamfather. He appears to be back. Fingers crossed. And the other day I told Drew (in my mind) to start using The Wall. He did it tonight, and after he got screwed on the should've-been-HR, he later doubled to left as well. And Coco with a key triple. But Timlin gets my player of the game award. Going to the seventh, we led by two, and Mike continued his streak of awesomeness, shutting the ChiSox down. (Oka-jeemer did the same in the eighth, but we all expect that.)

I also liked Hinske's bunt, which acted like a hot dog wrapper-seeking missile. Nice slide by Papi tonight. I wish we could laugh about that one, but unfortunately he hurt himself on the play. Hope he's okay.

Now let's talk about those surging, panic-causing, balk-benefitting-from Yanks. Mussina shit the ol' bedski tonight. But you can't do worse than Yanks' reliever Edwar Ramirez did tonight. The guy comes in, his team down 5-0, with a man on second. He walks the first guy on five pitches. This would be the best he'd do. He walks the second guy on four pitches. Bases loaded for Dioner Navarro, who went into the game hitting well below .200 with one homer. After throwing a ball, he gives up a grand slam to Navarro. He follows that up by walking the next hitter on four pitches. He follows that up by walking the next hitter on four more pitches, before finally being pulled. Five hitters faced, three earned runs, four walks. 19 pitches thrown, 17 balls, two strikes, one of those strikes being a grand slam. Ouch. Devil Rays 14, Dunbar 4.

So what will the idiots in the media and on talk radio talk about tomorrow? The Celtics, I'm sure. They'll get back to complaining about the Sox after their next loss....

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Hone Rung Kink

Interesting that Bonds, now two HR away from the record, is going to Milwaukee (home of Bud Selig and former home of the Braves), before going back to SF to play the Braves. Lots of possibilities there. I heard a while ago that the Giants would definitely have him hit the record-breaker at home. So what if he hits two tonight? Will they tell him not to try until Monday, or sit him, or what? Suppan pitches for the Brew Crew tonight. He seems like the type to be remembered for what others do against him. The Brewers also have that pitcher named Shouse. Tom House, of course, caught Aaron's 715th back in '74, in the bullpen. (But not before left fielder Bill Buckner climbed the wall in a vain attempt to rob history--I still say he picked up some bad karma there.)

It'll be weird to have a new home run king. Aaron is the only one I've known in my lifetime.

Moving on: The "scuffling" must stop! I know I've said this before, but every time somebody says "scuffling" when they can only mean "struggling," it's like a screwdriver digging into my brain. Gordon Edes is doing it on purpose now, just to annoy me. I was gonna tell you all about how irrelevant Johnny Damon is, with his .233 average, but I'll just show you this travesty, from a Daily News article:

"Obviously Johnny is scuffling a little bit, but he'll be fine," added Derek Jeter.

You can't teach that kind of English-butchering.

Are you all with me on this? You can struggle. You can be by yourself and struggle. "Struggling with your homework," for example. And you can be involved in a struggle with someone else. This kind of struggle can be referred to as a "scuffle." But Jesus Christ, that doesn't mean you can scuffle with your homework! Or at the plate, or anywhere else. This can't be right. Remy, Orsillo, Edes, Jeter, you all must stop. Say "struggling."

You know, sometimes I think they just say it because the two words sound similar! You might as well say "Josh Beckett is a ripe-handed picture with good Cattral of his faxball."

Sox at Sox, the old man vs. Beckett, 7:05.

Terry Timely

It's exactly like the 2004 season. All summer I said we should be winning, and the Yanks should be losing, based on what was actually going on on the field. I was sure we'd eventually come around, and they'd eventually fall apart. The difference, though, is that we're the ones in front now. I'm happy about that. But I'm still ready to break stuff.

I don't know what's more frustrating, getting all these hits and not being able to drive runs home, or the fact that the Boston media, combined with the, what do you call those guys--oh, right, fucking idiots who call sports radio stations, have decided that "we" are "panicking." If you look at only the Yankee scores, you don't know that they're not playing any better now than they have all year. They've stepped ass-backwards into some wins while we're pulling off the most incredible performances of leaving runners on base. It's like a well-rehearsed Broadway show. You can't teach that kind of runner-stranding.

Tonight, after the fifth, I said to my girlfriend, Okay, next inning is the one where Dice gives up a few runs, so let's widen this one-run lead right here. I know what you're saying: "I said that, too!" We didn't score, and Dice went into multi-walk mode. It's a tough situation. You can't take the guy out in that spot. You never know when he's about to throw no-hit ball the rest of the way, and you know he's not tired. But he usually does have the bad inning. And we did get MDC in there, but it was a pitch too late. That guy continued to get the job done, holding it to a one-run deficit. Glad to have MDC on our side. Then Mighty Oak came in because the guys who normally come in when we're losing are tired, I'm sure, since we always seem to be down a run (or more) when the game gets late. But the run he gave up didn't matter, as we couldn't score any more anyway.

Also note that we're gonna have to deal with the fact that the umps either don't fully watch Dice's crazy pitches, or that they're doing that whole "you're a 'rookie,' so you're not getting any close calls" thing. Hopefully this changes next year.

Do you still not believe me that outfielders purposely put their glove over the wall on a catch that's close to a "rob" but not quite? That center fielder did it tonight. That was killer, as was the ball Coco hit last night that hit off the wall. Add a foot to each ball and we win the last two nights. But, still, even that first run we got tonight, it came from two balls that could've been inning-killing double plays, but were barely beat out at first. We were trying to frustrate but couldn't quite do it--until we ended the inning by getting thrown out on the basepaths anyway. We need to forget all this frustration, come out tomorrow, and get back to the way it was before. Unlike the Yankees, we have a "before." We can do it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Baby Tomato

This rain delay's a good time for me to catch up on the last two JPotG award winners. From Saturday, it was Mike Lowell who got a hit leading off the sixth, leading to the key five-run rally that won the game:

From Monday, I have to give it to Gabbo:

All pics on this site by me unless otherwise indicated. Although I have been stealing some shots from people's blogs--but only to promote that blog, as I'm revamping my links section. If any of you bloggers aren't happy with me using one of your pics where I have done so, let me know and I'll change it. But, come on, the pics are, like, barely visible. But it's your call. Oh, and if your blog hasn't been changed to the new picture-ific format it will soon. Unless I give up on the project.

Carin'/Karen/Caron About TC

What happened to that umpire Terry Craft? He umped the first month in '06, and seems to have disappeared. I really want to know because I want to break out my nickname for him: "Calling Occupants of Interplane-" Terry Craft. While researching him, I found an interview with him by "Blue Jay Way" from before the 2004 season. Check this out:

BJW: Lastly your prediction on who will win the series this year?

TC: My sure thing says it's Boston's year, but I'm also leaning towards Anaheim. I really doubt a team from the National League will be taking it this year

Nice call, COOI.

Guide to the title of this post:

Carin' About TC: I care about what happened to umpire Terry Craft. That's the obvious one.

Karen About TC: Same thing, but with the double-meaning of Karen for Karen Carpenter, whose duo did the song "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft."

Caron About TC: Same thing, only with the double meaning of Caron for Tom Caron, who actually is known as TC.

Weird how these things come together.

Yanks Just Lost

With the tying run just two balks away, Jeremy Accardo gets Cano to end it. Jays 3, Yanks 2. Nice to have the pressure off going into tonight's game.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Red Sox hitting over the last four games: 40 hits, seven walks. We're, losing three of those games.

Yankees pitching over the last four games: 48 hits, 17 walks. They're shitting the...opposite of bed, winning all four.

Absolutely unbe-fucking-lievable.

So that puts them within seven games of us. But if anybody tries to tell you they're some great, surging team, don't buy it. I'm not worried. Not about those wart-sniffers.

The Royal Gedman Card

As a Gedman collector, my holy (-ish) grail, card-wise, is his 1981 TCMA Pawtucket card. This card, by itself, though rare, isn't worth a lot of money. Maybe a few bucks. So you'd think I'd be able to get it, considering I'd gladly give up more than that to get it.

But the cruel joke is that Wade Boggs was on that same Pawtucket team. His mustachioed mug drives the price of the team set way up. And that's how the cards are usually sold, as a set.

I thought I had it a few weeks ago on ebay, but the price went way up in the final minutes. Stupid Boggs, screwing me over since at least the late 80s. (If he sees this, it'll kill him that the date I wrote about him was 7-18. Ha! 80s Sox fans should get that one.)

Finally, I came across, which, through card shops all over the place, sells just about any baseball card you can think of. (At least for Gedman, as he's the only guy I searched.) I was able to score the '81 Pawtucket card pretty cheap, as well as some other Geddy's that had been eluding me. They just arrived today. Sweet. Rich actually had a crustache while on the PawSox.

Sox trail KC, 2-0. We better not lose a series to the Royals. Update: We took the lead right back, then Tavarez gave it right back again. Down 6-5 now. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are trying to make me injure myself. They lead 1-0 in the seventh. Fine. But they've had 10 hits, 2 walks, and a HBP. It's almost impossible not to have more than a run home with that many players reaching base. I'm at the point now where it's like, just bring in Accardo, balk in some runs and get it over with.

Lower Case Punishment

I don't believe in the death penalty. Except for pitchers who balk in the tying run in the ninth inning. Accardo did that against the Yanks tonight, who went on to beat the Jays in extra innings, capping off a triple crown of the Yank-iest kind of cheap-ass victories over the past three days. Look at this recap of the tenth from an article about the game: "Janssen started the 10th by hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. A-Rod moved up on a wild pitch and scored when Cano looped his hit to left." That's, again, after they got to the tenth because the tying run was balked in in the ninth. So don't try to tell me the Yanks are "surging," or anything else that doesn't mean "winning because their opponents are absolutely shitting the bed to the point where they're literally tripping over the rubber." Once again, I can't wait til Yankee Stadium is torn down so these teams don't turn into drooling toddlers when they go to play the Yanks.

Meanwhile, we get killed by the Royals. It all couldn't ruin the awesome time my girlfriend and I had with my parents and cousins up in New Hampshire. The record for running long jump in age group 30-35 in southeast New Hampshire currently stands at 11.5 feet. Beat that.

Oh, here's a pic I forgot to post--that anti-gun ad behind the Green Monster on the Pike:
Forgot to do a player of the game for the last two wins. I'll get to it.

Bonus news (via Joy of Sox): Leskanic back! (scroll to bottom) Sweet! One of the all-time classic Sox.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Royals At Red Sox, 7/16/Oh 7

KG 4, KC 0.
Kason Gabbard pitched a complete game shutout tonight. (Got to see three outs of it from this perspective!) Click pics to enlarge.

Dice throws a ball to a fan.

Timlin and his kid. More on players' kids on the field later.

Manny, about to take some swings.

Papi. Note the "L'Montro 99" wristbands.

Emil Brown with no money, and surrounded by dudes from my day, Buddy Bell and Bill Doran.

Here's Tony Pena, Jr. today...

...and as a kid, on the field with his dad. Photo courtesy of Pena via

I thought it would be a cool shot, the standings with people half-covering them, giving them a living, breathing feel. Maybe not. Anyway, the guys mentioned in my last post are (unintentionally) in this shot, too.

German and Brown, I think.

The usual suspects.

When looking at this pic, I got a serious, full six-second deja vu. Probably because I've taken the same pic before.

Drinkwater lookin' like a tough guy. I saw him stick his cell phone under those wires. That's the DW cell-holdin' spot.

Long names on uniforms are fun.

Gabbo pitches to my fellow Husker, Alex Gordon.

Buddy Bell argues a call. (What's up with his feet?) I'm watching the replay of the game now, and Lugo was indeed out. When the play happened, I immediately thought, "He'll get picked off anyway." Didn't you? He did indeed get picked off.

The two shots above are Manny hitting his mega-blast HR. I know I always say that pictures of guys swinging are mammoth homers as far as you know, but this really was his HR swing. I swear.

And here he heads back to the dugout.

Tito argues a call, too. It also looked wrong on the TV replay I just saw.

Papi touches the plate on his line shot homer. They keep saying he wrapped it around the pole. Hazel and Don said it. Inaccurate. I was looking right down the line, and that ball landed well to the left of the pole. Saying it was a "wraparound" cheapens what was a laser beam that would've been out of many parks.

With a 4-0 lead, enough people left after eight so that I could go down close. Here, Gabbo closes in on the shutout.

Sox win. I saw seven hits and a win today, eleven hits and a loss yesterday. Add another Papi and Manny HR to my list. I always seem to see those guys homer. Pedroia homered, too, and played good D. And Gabbo was a little tentative on his teo throws to second, but they were good enough to get two DPs. That dude was on tonight, changin' speeds, foolin' the Royales without Cheese.

Pretty perfect night overall. I was in and out of Fenway, nailed the metered parking, got a shutout win, was actually hot out the whole game--no light jacket needed, a Papi and a Manny HR, no red lights and no traffic on the way home, which I arrived at by 10 PM. (I do like long, drawn-out, AL-style games, but I won't complain about this one....)

Monday, July 16, 2007

How Can You Hold What Could've Been...

...on a cold and lonely night?

Tiffany Darwisch (you know her as "Tiffany"--we who were Tifficianados at age 11 know the full name) didn't know those words would describe part of my night at Fenway 20 years after she, or the person the label got to write her lyrics, wrote them. Except that it was a really hot night.

I was standing next to a group of guys in the standing room area on the third base side. The guy next to me looked up at the scoreboard and said "that's us" to his crew. The scoreboard read "Red Sox Welcome Sanford Mainers." As they were high fiving each other, my mind was racing: "Oh my god, that's the team Rich Gedman's son is on! Is it really them? It must be. Could one be Rich, Jr.? (Actually Michael.)" So I'm suddenly staring at these dudes, trying to see if one looks like he might be Rich Gedman's son. I really almost asked the guy next to me if they were really the Sanford Mainers. But none of them looked like Rich, so there'd be no point, really. What would I do, tell him to tell Michael that some random guy likes his dad way too much? It was weird, though, looking at them like I was Ray Kinsella or something, about to come face to face with the full-grown son of someone I still think of as he was in his playing days, when he was his son's age.

So I wouldn't meet any spawn of Gedman on this night, but I did kind of kick myself later. I should've at least got word to the Mainers that some people do indeed follow the Gedman family's exploits.

But the story doesn't end there! I'm going through my photos from the game right now, and in one of the BP shots, I totally spot the group that ended up sitting next to me, way across the field. I remembered one had a baseball shirt with a town name or something. And there he was in the shot. The shirt said "Cortland Baseball." I check the Sanford Mainers roster, and sure enough, one dude's college is SUNY-Cortland. So it was them. You can see them in the pic, which is a very-much cropped shot of Tavarez. It was those five guys and one of their girlfriends. Brendan Rowlands is the Cortland guy (gray shirt, second from left). I should've talked to them. Oh well. Watch for the rest of my pics from tonight soon.


A few days ago, Joy mentioned a story about how Papelbon hates stadium pitch-speed indicators because the batter can look right up and see if the pitcher's off his game. I'd never even thought of this. Great call, Jon, I said. (To myself in my living room at 2 AM, probably.)

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that as long as there's a radar gun, the opposing team is going to know how fast you're throwing. Even if they only allowed the pitch speed to go to the TV audience, the other team could still easily get this information. Maybe they should ban radar guns, except for scouts, and maybe have a private gun that releases all the info at the end of each season.

Or how about this to even things out? A bat-speed indicator!

I'm back at Fenway tonight with KC in town. Everyone keeps talking about how the Yanks are playing all these shitty teams for the rest of the year, forgetting that we're playing those teams, too. If we can play like we have been, we're not getting caught. (Note to Tito: To "play like we have been," we need the whole team on the field.)

Blue Vs. Red, 7/15/2007

Click each pic to make it big.
I had Monster seats on this hot, windy Sunday. No batting practice, so I wasn't too pissed that a group of 500 had to pass through the Monster seats before we were allowed to go up there. My girlfriend and I just hung out in the shade of section 32, waiting for Reb and Kristin to arrive, and watching the few players who were out on the field. Above, some Jays explore the inside of the scoreboard. They were also fond of firing balls at the scoreboard, getting that loud, metallic sound. I finally realized they were trying to throw a ball into the door from as far away as possible. Someone did it, almost from the infield dirt.

The few seats in the park that are both blue and in the modern style (non-wood). Also, the Gulf ad and the Monster from a cool angle.

I've always loved how you can see trees behind the grandstand around the park. Here are some behind first base. I also liked how Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium had trees beyond the outfield wall. I'd dream of living out in that mysterious "forest," climbing trees, watching the games for free, and having all the home run balls to myself. I later had my dreams dashed when I found out the trees were within the grounds of the stadium. Oh well, I lived in Connecticut anyway.

Okajima and a pole.

Okajima and the retired numbers.

A forest of poles. From here you can see the championship flags out on Yawkey Way.

A rarity! With no BP, some Jays figured they'd take a good ol' fashioned infield practice.

Here they turn two.

Now we're up on the Monster. We actually had standing room--I don't shell out the 140 per seat when I can get standing room for 30. Manny appears to have no arms in this photo.

Papi in the dugout.

Close-up of a light tower atop the Monster.

Manny after his nice catch in the first.

Beckett on the hill. He did well today, but it wasn't enough, as we could only plate one run, despite 11 base hits.

Papi with Manny on deck.

Manny after being stranded. (He swung on 3-0 on this at bat!)

Hinske makes a catch in right field. Also, SNACKS!

I have a thing about taking pics of bat-people collecting broken bats from the field. This was Reed Johnson's bat, in pieces, from his ground out to the left side. The guy next to us yelled, with such know-it-allness, "Cue shot!" Whoa, ginga. I'm a huge fan of cue shots. When one happens on TV, I always root for the announcer to say "cue shot." This, my friend, was no cue shot. You can't pull a ball and have it be a cue shot. And a bat isn't going to break in half on one, either. How does this guy play pool, by hitting the balls with the middle of his stick? Terrible job. I wanted to correct the guy, but I let it go. This time. Look, people, if you have no idea what you're talking about, don't yell stuff out in large crowds.

From 40-something feet up, you have a good view of the drains just past the infield.

Rem and Don, and some kind of body outline. Castiglione? He seems to be MIA....

The Citgo sign, reflected many times, each one cooler than the next.

These two Ortiz fans look on as David bats in the eighth.

The Pru from the back of the Monster seats.

Beyond the Monster.

It was so windy up there, you had to hold your hat, like on the Flume at Canobie Lake. One kid lost a five-dollar bill. After it flew up and out, it floated down to Lansdowne Street. A lone dude was walking by as we all yelled down to him. Money! Right there! Left, left! Cold, colder, warm, warmer....look down! This guy just wasn't seeing it. He almost gave up, but any time he'd try to walk away, we'd give him the "trust us this is no joke" yell. He finally saw it, picked it up, and yelled up to us, "Thanks," before continuing on down the street. My girlfriend gave the kid who lost the fin a couple of bucks.

Lugo basically did the Tavarez-bowl on a grounder today. It's a pretty safe move, I have to say, as long as you get enough mustard on it. (Yes, I know some shortstops were big on purposely bouncing throws to first, but it was usually done on turf.)

I'm still frustrated by all the resting. Look at this game--it's the type you say, If our lineup had a little tiny bit more to it, we would've won. Well, a third of it was on the bench! We heard that Tek got banged up the day before. But he couldn't have pinch-hit? Drew was basically given an extra day to make sure he's okay. But they said hitting wasn't a problem. So, again, no pinch-hit? And Pedroia? Are we just giving Cora some playing time? Because he needs to stay fresh? Because million-dollar athletes can't do well if they don't play for a few weeks? So, lots of rest is bad, and no rest is bad. How about we just play nine guys and realize that they're not babies and that there are plenty of built-in days off throughout the season (including a three-day vacation last week!) as well as five months off every year?

It also says a lot about Wily Mo that in a situation when we need a homer to tie, and we've got Mirabelli and Lugo coming up, we still don't use him.

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