Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ignorance Is Fluff

Know who that is? Freakin' Cindy, that's who! Cindy Brady herself, Susan Olsen.

Kim and I were selling soap at the Fluff festival in Somerville, and since Susan does Fluff-related art, she was the belle of the sticky ball. I grew up with The Brady Bunch (it was in reruns by then, I'm not that old, sizzlechest), so meeting any Brady is always a big deal. Actually, I'd never met any others. And I chickened out on meeting Cindy, so I guess I don't really know what it's like to meet one. But I did take a few candid shots of her.

At 4 something, I checked the score. 0-0 in the second. I reloaded the page on Kim's iFin, and the Yanks' 0 turned into a 6. Shit. Oh well, I thought, keep getting those other teams to lose. But both the Rays and Angels won. So we lose a game, now 1.5 up on the Rays with a DH Sunday. Huge day. We could go 3 up, or be tied. Or something in between. Below, a few more pictures I took at What the Fluff? It was a really fun day, and the big early Yankee lead allowed me to not be tied to the scoreboard.

Did anybody get the iFin joke?

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'd Like To Congratulate The Milwaukee Brewers

Because how often do you get a chance to do that?? They won the NL Central tonight.

The Rays lost against the Jays at home, so we're up 2.5 on them. They've got 5 left, we've got 6 thanks to our rain-out tonight. Our doubleheader will be Sunday. I say let it keep raining and let these other teams keep losing till we've clinched.

The Angels are down 1-0 in the 7th.

12:39 a.m. update: Angels lose. So both Rays and Angels fall a half-game farther behind us, with us not even having to take the field. Great day for us! Up 2.5 and 3.5 with 6 games left for us, 5 each for them. We're in good shape.

Seattle Weather

The Yankees have already rescheduled tonight's pre-game ceremony. Not a good sign for baseball being played tonight. Forecast shows rain through the whole weekend. Mess probable.

That's okay, it gives me more time to listen to Nevermind Radio, which starts today. All kinds of crazy stuff going on for the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's breakthrough album. There's an interview with Krist and Dave (hosted by Jon Stewart) which airs tomorrow night. Tonight a few channels (check you local listings, tough guy) are showing the Halloween show from 1991, which is also being released on DVD as "Live at the Paramount." And then you've got the 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind, which seems to have 4 discs and which I'll end up spending upwards of 100 bucks on.

We Nirvana fans are in Nirvana nirvana.

I'll never forget buying that cassette in 1991. Trevor Lucas and I went to the record store in the mall and got it for $6.99, with me paying him $3.50, and him (for some reason) getting to keep the original, while I made my own copy, writing out Nirvana in the Nirvana font on one side, and Nevermind in the wavy Nevermind font on the other. Or attempting to, anyway. Talk about "wearing out" a tape. We listened to it on every car ride, the whole time, but more importantly, we never fast forwarded or rewound. That had never happened to me before. Even bands I'd loved before that had clunkers and lots of 'em. This was the first time I loved every single song on an album. So as much as I'd want to hear Breed over and over, or skip right to it, I couldn't, because I'd be missing another song. So we'd just go right through side 1, flip it, side 2, and on and on, all winter long.

Did we ever think that 20 years later there'd be all this fanfare about its anniversary? Absolutely.

[Editing fun: Forgot to add that I just got the DVD of 1991: The Year Punk Broke which I've had on VHS all these years but just went to DVD this month. Great footage of Nirvana/Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr. and more on and off stage. There are a few extras on the DVD, including what amounts to a 40-minute extension of the film.]

The Final Six

Angels lost in 12 innings. Rays went up 13-zip on the Yanks and held on 15-8. The Yanks used pitchers Brackman, Betances, and Kontos*. Hopefully they continue that tradition against us the next three days. (Hilariously, before those guys, they went with Colon, then Proctor, then followed up the two assmen with Laffey.)

Anyway, we're 2 up on Tampa, 3 up on the Angels, with all teams having 6 games left. Magic # is 5 over the Rays, 4 over the El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula People who Died but Now Have Wings and Float Around with Harps And Shit if You Believe That Kinda Thing of Campo Alemán.

*I have a Cape League jersey of this guy. I had seen that he was taken from the Yanks by the Padres in the Rule 5 whatever thing, and was psyched about that. Apparently I missed when they had to give him back! Anybody want that rag? 100 bucks. ($1,000 if you're a Yankee fan.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

June 21st, 1987

I had forgotten all about this. I would get in the local paper in the Little League write-ups, but getting your picture in the paper was a huge deal. Not sure if I ever made it in on an action shot, but I noticed this picture of my whole team, as its former coach was recognized. And there I am--at far right, in the "let's get on with this" pose.

Since none of us players made it into the caption, I've done it below. (Not sure about the Mullins, and I don't know who's next to him, though it could be Brent Ryan or Jason Mattausch, but the rest I'm positive on.)

This ran in the Ridgefield Press, June 25th, 1987. I am assuming the pic is from the previous Sunday, the 21st. And now I'll actually type out the names, in case any of these guys is Googling his own name: Andy Christ, Peter Heisenbuttel, Pete Williams, Doug Jarrow, Andy Jonic, Dan Mullins.

I Hate Sour Cream

This picture will be the entire gallery from Fenway tonight. Had a few other good shots, but it's just too depressing to show them. We had a 4-1 lead, and Beckett was kroozin'. It felt like 8-1. The game was over in my mind. At that point I planned to go down to the dugout for the final inning so I could be there with everybody else cheering on these guys so they'd know they'd have our support in New York and Baltimore.

Silly me. This is the September 2011 Stank Socks. The game was over, all right. Once again, the baseball gods sprinkled that magic dust on "the team playing the Red Sox." I mean think about it. If winning was losing, this would be a truly magical run. Instead, it's an assload of anti-magic, and fuck us. So by the time we'd fully blown the game, I was where I intended to be, and still was prepared to give the final regular season farewell should they get a walk-off win, but, no. Instead I left muttering profanities, wondering why there wasn't more booing. Three of four lost to the Orioles. Have you been this mad at this team this century? It's not like we're some talentless squad who's giving it its all but falling just short. We're supposed to be a 100-win team, but we look like a giant pile of hippo shit covered with tsetse flies who are tsetse-fucking the hippo shit's brown mounds. With sour cream lube.

Then I got to listen as the Yanks clinch the east on the way home. At least that means they won't do it against us. And it means they've got nothing to play for against us this weekend. But Jesus, the Orioles are 30 games out and they treated us like a whore who pays you. Anyway, the other good thing about the Yanks winning was that it kept the Rays 2.5 behind us. Kinda funny how the Rays only give a shit when they play us. It's like, Guys, try that hard against half the other teams and you'd be 122-40. They've lost three in a row to New York after leaving "their World Series" in Boston, with one more to play in the series. The Angels are also 2.5 back. Those two teams have 7 games left, we have 6. So we'll be either 2 or 3 up with 6 left.

Therefore, despite the massive shitburger with rat cheese we've been slowly grilling all month, I do believe we are making the playoffs. We only need to win a couple of these games--just by showing up and rooting for bad calls in our favor we should be able to accomplish that--and beep beep beep ourselves into the postseason's loading dock in the middle of the night.

And at that point I still say it's a new season, with everybody at 0-0. And our team--not the bizarro hologram versions of us you've been seeing lately, but the real team--is one of the best in the league. Everyone keeps saying, "all they've got is Beckett and Lester as starters and Aceves, Bard, and Papelbon in the pen." Well, that's actually awesome. They're human, so they have individually fucked up, but I'll take those guys. And hopefully Buchholz. Then we've got a great lineup who can put up 15 runs any given night. Again, those nights have been few/far between this month, but this isn't the playoffs.

And who would we be playing? Maybe the Tigers, who we've dominated this season, and then maybe the Yanks, who we've also dominated this season. The Rangers, not so much, though we do blow them out when we beat them.

So to summarize: Pissed! Boo! But, optimistic about rest of reg. season since even a semi-shitty finish should get us in. And, ready for new life when the playoffs begin.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Huge Day

Yanks-Devil Rays playing right now, then tonight. We play O's tonight. The key: win our game.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Terrible Job By Us

You can talk about Bard/Pap coming in early and blowing the game all you want, point is, we should have had many more runs in this game, instead of desperately clinging to a one-run lead.

Like I said, the Yanks were trying, because they shut out the Rays. We get something good out of either result in that series, so we'll take still being 2 up in the WC. Now we're 6 out in the division, though, with 7 to play.

So at this point, we're almost screwed, division-wise, but that doesn't mean I'm not pissed at TC and Don and everybody for not even mentioning the division. They mock us. They just say the Rays lost and here's the wild card scenario and the only good news is that the Yankees won. Well fuck that. They KNOW what the division lead was going into tonight. They KNOW we've got three to play against the Yanks. Hell, they even still worry about the Angels, who were 4.5 back of us--when we were just 5 back of the Yanks going into this game! Fuck these fuckers. And Don Orsillo has become so horrific at announcing, I'm ready to start petitioning for a new guy for next year. I love when he and Remy joke around and stuff, but that's "the only good news" when it comes to Don these days. Anyway, Don even said he thought we went to Bard in the 7th because we saw the Rays were losing. He's telling me that our manager had given up on the division! Yes, it's almost impossible to catch the Yanks AFTER tonight's results, but all these announcer types had thrown in the towel before the game. I need to start muting more.

3 Days Until The Battle For The Division

We've got two games left before the series in NY, while the Yanks have four. We're five out, so, best case scenario, we're 2 out going into 3 vs. NY. If we win these next two, and the Yanks split, we're 4 back going into those 3. Very realistic.

The media (who have told you to forget the division and root for the Yanks) are wondering if New York is "trying." I said above, if they lay down for the Rays, they're two Sox wins over the Orioles away from being up 2 with 6 to play, 3 of those against us. If they want to win the division, they have to, ya know, TRY! They're also 7 up on the Rays with 7 games left against them--they're trying!

So why be all upset if they were for some reason to stop trying? That's what will keep us alive.

Anyway, if the Yanks end up beating up on the Rays, well, hey, that should put us in the playoffs that way. In other words, beat the O's these next two nights, and sit back and relax, knowing we'll either be just about locked in for the playoffs, or alive for the division.

Edit: I made this easier to understand:

If we beat the Orioles these next two nights, we're in great shape:

If the Yanks get swept in 4, we go into NY down 2 with 3 to play against them, 6 total games left. (Up 1 game in WC.)

If the Yanks/Rays split, we're 4 back going into those 3--we'd almost need to sweep the Yanks to have a shot at the division, but we haven't lost there this season yet. And we'd be 3 up on the WC with 6 to play.

If the Yanks sweep 4, we're 5 up on the WC with 6 to play, all but clinching a playoff berth.

The Great Mariano

601. It is a number every baseball fan--no, every living creature--has lodged in his mind like a yowling cat stuck in a chimney. For 50 long years, this number has stood like a great colossus. Unflinching, unyielding, unsomething else. Set in stone. Fifty years. Warriors and kings lived and died, empires rose and fell, but 601 withstood the test of time like a yowling cat in a chimney who not only yowls but has the ability to withstand time-tests. 601? No poet has or dare I say "hath" come up with a sound so sweet. But after a half-century one great, noble moundsman came along and with a tiny arrow (after eight innings worth of other dudes had weakened it) and slayed the beast of 601. And fifty years of history came crashing to earth.

Fifty years.

Wait, what?

Fifty weeks?

The 601 save record stood for just fifty fuckin' WEEKS? The save rule hasn't even been around for fifty years?

Forget I said anything.

I Was Appreciated!

Left Providence at 4:00 after game 1 ended. Got to Boston a little after 5:00 using my "anti-93" route, and parked at a meter on Beacon Street on that bridge that goes over the Yawkey T Station, steps from Fenway Park. Meter ended at 6, and I went in around then, since I knew there'd be no batting practice between games.
First thing I did was get a shot looking right down the foul line at the pole. Why? Because Don Orsillo incredibly brought up the "misalignment" again in game one. The guy actually thinks they just screwed up, and that the line on the wall doesn't match up with the foul pole, simply because the line hits the wall at an angle, therefore from left field, the wall line and the pole appear to be far apart. I clarified it with pics in another post, but now I'm showing how the line and pole do line up when looking right down the line. (With the slight difference due to how the padding sticks out from the wall.) It pisses me off that Don doesn't understand this--and that as long as he does think it's a horrible error, he's not calling the league offices/wondering why it hasn't been "fixed." Moving on.

On the subject of Pesky's Pole, here it is from an angle I don't think I've taken a pic from before.

And turning around from that spot, the Remy's roof deck is finished.

Look how they show the score of game one in the 10th inning slot on the Monster scoreboard.

Plane going behind the Pru. (Or tiny plane going in front of it.)

I'm always seeing members of the front office around Fenway, but it seems like they're always extra visible on the last homestand. Here's John Henry in a special room.

So the game began, and I started watching from the standing room at the third base deck. After the top of the first, I was thinking about just walking out of there and not watching this team till April. Lackey was really pissing me off. 3-0 O's after a half inning. That was the low point. Then a Fenway employee came up behind me and asked if I was alone or if I had friends with me. What now, I this guy about to tell me this section is for couples only? I told him I was alone. He then handed me a ticket. He was giving me a seat. I was in shock, as I looked at the ticket and noticed it was in a low-20s grandstand section, which I knew to mean home plate. He said it was part of his "fan appreciation week" duties. I shook the man's hand, thanked him, and bolted for my sweet new seat...! Sure it was toward the back of the grandstand, and sure there were some empties at this game anyway, but to suddenly have a seat I knew no one else was gonna take, behind the plate, blocked from wind, with no poles in the way? Score!

And then the Red Sox scored four runs. Then two more. Then five more. It was 11 to 5. The moment that guy gave me the new seat, things turned around. I've been waiting for a moment like this for weeks. There it is. World Series, here we come.

It was a long game--9:00 and we're still in the top of the fourth. Lackey did try to give this thing up repeatedly. It was actually 11-8 when he left (to booooos), but we would pull away. Great job by Atchison coming in and stopping the blood flow.

In the 7th, Jacoby hit an inside-the-park homer, and then Conor Jackson hit a grand slam. We had seven runs before an out was made. And that would be your final, 18-9.

I finally did go down to dugout seats since there were so many empties by the eighth inning, what with the blowout, the school night, and the cold(ish) weather. These Orioles were talking to fans, and I think signing autographs during the game.

That asshole, Kevin Gregg.

He pitched to Papi but no crazy stuff happened.

Bowden holding the 9-run lead. Oh, and like they've done in the past, there were other "fan appreciation" things, like whole sections getting prizes and stuff. I've never scored with that stuff, but I got a huge win tonight with that seat upgrade. It really does happen.

Got to my car quickly ready to beat everybody out of there, but had to stop to get this shot of the moon by the Citgo sign.

Blurry-ish close-up in case you didn't see the moon in the previous pic.

And since I had the camera out--the lights of Fenway from my free parking spot, with all the $40 spots in between.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Afternoon Action (Updatin')

3:56. Booooo. 1-2-3 9th, we lose game 1.

3:54: Two VERY quick outs, we're down to our last out with Jacoby....

3:51: Sox down 6-5 going bottom 9, looking to pull off the International Talk Like a Pirate Day Miracle....

3:15: 6-5 Orioles after 7. The Twins class-A team is squandering left and right against the Yanks, trail 5-4 after 5.

2:44: AG double and Pedroia triple each knock in a run, with two outs in 5th. 6-4 Orioles after 5. (Papi hit ball right down line after that which hit wall right by Pesky Pole, ruled foul. With NESN's ONE angle of it, I really couldn't tell if it hit right or left of line (despite Remy inSISting he's seeing it hit on the fair side). With no shadow of the ball, I can't see where it's hitting. Granted, it should change direction, but from the RF cam, you don't see a direction change (though Remy says you did).)

2:22: We get one back on a Salty triple, they immediately retaliate with another dong. 6-2 O's in the 5th. Yanks up 5-1 in 4th.

2:00: We're down 5-1. What a crazy third inning for Darnell. He was inserted into the lineup just before the game, and is out in the sun field, which is left/center at this hour. After Weiland had retired every batter to that point, there's a lazy fly to left. Darnell shields his eyes, and seemingly watches it into the glove, but it hits the glove and falls to the ground. Next guy hits a liner to Darnell's left--he runs over, and again, doink, off the glove. Second and third. Then, a third consecutive fly to left. He goes back to the wall and leaps, but it's just out of his reach. I feel like if he'd gotten back there sooner and was able to leap off both feet instead of off of one foot on the run, he may have gotten the height to catch it. But, it's a 2-run double, and suddenly Weiland was down 2-0 without doing much wrong.

Then in bottom 3, Darnell leads off...and hits a dong! Unfortunately, in top 4, Kyle gave up a 2-run dong and then a solo, so it's 5-1 O's in the 4th. Yanks up 3-0 early. What a shitty, shitty day so far.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top 10

4.5 back with 10 to play after losing 3 of 4 to Tampa. With a doubleheader against Baltimore Monday, we could cut that lead to 3. Then all we have to do is stay even with the Yanks until Friday, when we play them 3 times in New York, where we are 6-0 this year. And there will be our chance to take the division. That's the main goal. If it doesn't happen, then worry about the WC.

The perfect scenario:

We cut it to 3 after Monday, also putting us 3 up on the WC. Tuesday, we win, and Rays beat Yanks, so we're 2 out, Rays 5 out. Wednesday, we win, Rays sweep Yanks. We're .5 out, Rays 3 out. Thursday, Rays beat Yanks. We're tied for first, Rays 2 out.

We then sweep Yanks to go 3 up (now 2 up on 2nd-place Rays), while Rays sweep Jays and go 1 up on WC. Then in our final 3, we take 2 from Baltimore while the Yanks and Rays battle it out for the wild card, with pitching staffs effed up left and right, and the Yanks falling out of it in the final day or two.

So basically we go 9-1 (8-2 will do) including a sweep of the Yanks, and the Rays help us out by sweeping 4 from the Yanks this week. Easy!

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