Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yanks Fail

Turned out to be a pretty exciting game, with the bonus of the Yanks "almost winning but still losing"--always a fun effect.

After a long rain delay, we jumped all over CCC, taking a 3-0 lead in the first. In the fifth, my TV came back just in the nick of time after a flash flood warning--I got to see the Gonzalez dong. Little did I know that Pedroia had gotten on base during the flood, giving me a bonus run. I thought it was a 2-run shot but it was really a 3-run blast. 6-1 Sox. But Lester finally had a bad inning right after that, giving all 3 back.

So it was 6-4 us, and in the bottom of the 8th, Padilla faced his racist arch-enemy and mine, Keidis Teixeira. And Tex won the battle, tying the game with a 2-run dong.

But in the 9th, we proved we weren't the team of zombified losers that Fox was making us out to be, while the Yanks proved another McCarverism wrong: that they aren't actually winning even when they're losing. But we got some help from the not-so-Grand Concourse. With Ellsbury on first, Ciriaco hit one over Curtis's head. He seemed to think the ball was in front of him. For a long time. By the time he started running back toward the wall, he'd gotten turned around and the ball just got over him as he fell to the ground. You knew instantly Ellsbury would score the go-ahead run. Then a Pedroia sac lunch brought home Pedro from third, and it was a 2-run Red Sox lead. Just when the Yanks fans thought it was classy-fest destiny that they'd win! Aceves shut the door. 8-6 Boston is your final.

A few things from the Fox-cast:

Cano, aka Sir Nonchalance-alot, got away with one in the 4th, and still got the royal Jete-ment from the Focks. Grounder to third, dude throws to Cano at second who drops the ball. Ump says it was on the transfer, and calls the runner out. Look closely at the play and you see the ball hit his glove, then slingshot out of it as he's bringing it around his body. He never even closed the glove. Using the three angles they gave us, it appears his hand never grabs the ball either. So basically he didn't catch it, nor did he transfer it. Ball hits his glove and bounces out. Runner should be safe. Now do you think Buck and McCarver even considered the possibility that the wrong call was made? No. All they could do is talk about how he's the ONE second baseman in the game who COULD have turned that double play. They were too busy talking about that to care that the truck was giving a super slo-mo shot from a new angle--that's the moment they were supposed to be discussing whether or not he ever had possession. Instead, McCarver's talking about how he was "in the act of throwing." Throwing!? He never had it in the first place! And Buck goes on to say how "unique" he is throwing across his body. They also brought up how he only dropped it because he knew he had to hurry. Freakin' Shoppach was running! All this on a play the guy blatantly botched and lucked out on getting one out. Meanwhile Pedroia's in the dugout going "Jeez, I at least would have caught the ball...."

Remember when Granderson hit those two foul balls down the line right before the Keidis dong? The first one was practically a pop-up, landing in the lower deck. Yet the cameraman was hopin' and a-prayin' it would be a dong, so he showed the upper deck, and missed the ball landing by the time he turned the camera down from the moon. So while it looked dangerous off the bat, it was just a 315-foot foul ball that wasn't even that close to the pole. The next pitch he hits one that really is well beyond dong distance, and really does just miss the pole. At which point McCarver says "that's about 800 feet of foul balls." Even if you make the second one 420 feet, you still need that first one to go 380 feet. But it was just a shallow fly ball! I just hate the fact that even after seeing where the first one landed, they're somehow still in the mind that it was a long, thisclose foul home run. It'd be like if I shot Jeter with a marshmallow out of a real gun, and he thought at first it was a bullet, then realized it was just a nice, soft marshmallow, but still went and started his autobiography with "Let me tell you about the time I almost died." You know he'd do that shit, too.

Did you see when Ichiro caught a routine fly and then slid for no reason? You know who taught him that move the minute he joined the team, right? Fox also did the usual BS about how Ichiro can choose to hit a home run whenever he wants, just like the old Wade Boggs myth. I guess he felt no homers were necessary out of his bat tonight. Let's hope he feels the same tomorrow night! (If he hasn't been released from the team due to extreme shittiness by then.)

One more thing on Ichiro--don't you love how people are breaking out all these stats like "No team has ever had this many hits in the lineup until now..." as if the Yankees somehow deserve credit for the thousands of hits Ichiro got with another team! Makes as much sense as announcers thinking players are afraid to play in Yankee Stadium because of all the "history," when that history has merely happened to the team who plays there; Babe Ruth didn't play 90 years ago in a park built 3 years ago.

Tim McCarver on Adrian's home run: "That was as high as it was far." A 380-foot high batted ball. That I'd like to see.

Even Smarty O'BowTie is coming right out and saying that "the second wild card has so many teams in it." Yup. Because under last year's rules, they'd be a HALF GAME further back and would have thrown in the towel by now. I really am wondering if MLB has ordered them all to say this. Then again, maybe it just seems so right that they think they're stating an obvious fact. As I've said, I do understand that there are two spots instead of one, despite that teams are still essentially the same distance behind as they would be with one wild card available, so maybe these people are just thinking that having two spots makes all the difference regardless of number games behind. But I kinda think they're just fuckin' up.

Finally, something from Friday night. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw NESN's "Producer for a Day" contest. My thoughts went from, "Oh Jesus, that's all they need, someone with even less knowledge in the producer's chair..." to "I should enter that" to "can we get some REAL producers to stuff the ballot box on this one so they can give NESN a really solid lesson?" But then I heard their explanation--it's more like "see all aspects of a broadcast." The winner would sit in on the pre-game meeting, get an inning in the truck, one in the booth, one with a cameraman, one with Jenny Dell, etc. So you wouldn't be doing any actual producing. But man, would I bring some notes with me on that day. I'd have a page for each place I go throughout the game! Wish me luck. If I remember to enter.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Three Dong Nights Are Supposed To Be Good

If you missed the game and saw the 10-3 final, don't think you missed frustration and thing-throwing. It was a 3-run game until 2 outs in the 8th when a grand dong gave them the 7-run win.

In the first, we scored on a Pedroia and had 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. Salty gets a hittable pitch on 0-2 but can't connect, and we strand two.

In the bottom half, they had 1st and 3rd, when Keidis grounds into what looked like an inning-ending DP. Pedroia starts to do a backhand flip to Aviles, but he changed his mind, either because he was too far away from the bag, or because Aviles wasn't there yet since he was actually starting from the 2nd base side of the base in the shift. That was delay number one. Dustin does a regular throw, and Aviles gets it, but for some reason, either thinking he had plenty of time, or to make sure he was actually at the bag (he looked down to find it), he waits a beat before throwing to first. Delay number two. And Horsey McCunt was safe by his chinny chin horse chin. So right there I'm going crazy knowing the inning should be over. Instead it's tied and they're still up. Next batter: dongggg. God DAMN it. 3-1 them.

In the 3rd, we cut it to 3-2 on a wicked line dong by Crawford, but they get the run back on a sack lunch. 4-2 them.

In the 4th, while NESN showed Joe Gi-fuckin'-rardi talking with the game in a small box, Salty hits a dong, leading the network to scurry to cut the Joe and get back to Don who's forced to make a mid-trot call of the homer. So we're back to 4-3.

AGAIN they score RIGHT after we score, a la the '96 Yankees against everybody. Or was it the '98 Yanks? I just remember it was a team that took lots and lots of steroids. Anyway it was a Martin 2-run dong. 6-3 Yanks.

But from the 5th through the 8th, we got only two guys on base, the whole time still with a chance, down by 3. It looked like we'd have one final shot, but with two outs in the bottom of the 8th, the grand dong happened and 10-3 was your final.

TC later called the Martin 4th-inning dong a "knockout blow," because, ya know, no team has ever erased a 3-run deficit in 5 innings, especially not one with one of the highest run totals in the league. But you'd expect that from him, as he and Eck are in full gloom mode, with Eck even saying how you don't wanna get swept by the Yanks BEFORE THE SERIES STARTED. They did that before that last Yanks series too. Do you think there's any other team in the league whose TV crew talks about the possibility of getting swept before series even start? How is that said at any point before a team is actually ONE win away from getting swept?

Being way behind in the race is really shitty. But you know how I'm looking at it? It's nice to not have to hear about an inevitable collapse and how "the Yankees are getting bigger in that rearview mirror!" because if we were ahead in the race you know that's the exact shit these people say. So we'll just have to be the one to make the comeback.

Lester against the pantload tomorrow at 4-ish.

FFF

From the folks who gave us "Allision Brown," it's a new Red Sox trivia sweepstakes! (You may have gotten an e-mail about this today.) Take a look and see if you can spot the SEVEN mistakes I found! Answers below....


Let's start with the factual error, then we'll move on to the spelling mistakes, and finally we'll tackle the grammar issues:

1. The Red Sox did not trade Babe Ruth. If you think they did, go ahead and tell me who they received in return for him.

2. Doerr has two Rs.

3. Foxx has two Xs, hence his nickname, "Double X."

4. In question 6, you need an S at the end of "team." Teams play games.

5. You could capitalize "Right Field Foul Pole" if you wanted to. Or you could leave it all lower case. But "Right Field Foul pole" makes no sense.

6. "Home run" is two words. But hey, it's a relatively obscure baseball term....

7. This is the funniest one, because it's in one of the "company trivia" questions. The word "destinations" in question 7 had me so confused. Until I figured out that they meant "destination," I had no idea what they were asking.

7a. "All inclusive" should be hyphenated in that same question.

Who's in charge over there, the NESN broadcast team?

In all proverbial seriousness, a lot of people wouldn't notice the grammar stuff (though it doesn't make it any more excusable, especially when you're a major corporation with endless resources available to you--also, you'd think they'd want to avoid portraying themselves as toothless yahoos), but if you do a Red Sox trivia contest, you better damn well know how to spell the famous players' names, as well as one of the most basic facts in baseball history. And if you don't, FUCKING LOOK IT UP. Or have an intern do it. They're sitting at a computer already and so are you. In fact, why the hell am I acting like this is a serious trivia contest when I know it's nothing more than an advertisement?

Baseball In Advertising (134 Years Ago)

I think it's hilarious how companies feel the need to use baseball in their ads, as if baseball fans don't understand any English other than baseball terms. "This donut is great" means nothing to us, apparently, but "this donut is a HOME RUN" makes us lose control. I always imagine a boardroom with twenty people talking about their mustard ad going into the baseball scorebook: "Should we actually think about this, or should we just go with 'It's a Hit!' and be done with it?" And everybody raises their hand for the latter idea so they can move on. Sometimes they get a little more creative, but they should just tell us about their product and leave it at that. We do understand non-baseball English.

But if you think that idea is new, think again. I found this ad in the Providence Morning Star...from 1878!


I had to break it up into three parts to keep it at a readable size. And I have to say, they really fit in a lot of terms. I like how they worked it into a non-baseball sentence in a way that might actually be believable to a non-baseball fan. Even "home run" refers to an actual trip back home after work, as opposed to just "the ultimate thing you can get."

Also note how Boston was "the enemy" to Providence back then, as each city fielded a team in the National League. And, hey, Westminster and Dorrance! That's right near that bar where the girls stand outside in their underwear that we walk by when going from the outdoor movie back to our car.... I think it's the type of place where singles go out to score. GET IT?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Unkool Moe Dee

People are constantly talking about how the trade talks are going to be crazy this year, since so many teams have a chance because of the second wild card.

But the #1 wild card and the #2 wild card in the American League are tied.* So as of now, every single team is exactly where they would have been under the old rules. (With the obvious exception that last year you would have had to jump over one more team than you do this year.)

So isn't it true that the fact that a lot of teams are "alive" has nothing to do with the new second wild card?

In fact, under last year's rules, a team a few games back of the wild card would know that if they got it, they'd have a five-game series, whereas now, that team would be the same number of games back, but they know that even if they become the FIRST wild card, they'll still be stuck in a one-game playoff. I'd think that might actually make more teams be sellers figuring it's not worth fighting so hard just to get to an elimination game.

I posted basically this same thing on Joy of Sox a few days ago, and since then I actually heard Wakefield agree with me about how you'd be less likely to want to sell the farm for a chance at one game that determines your season. I think MLB really botched this. Basically you're punishing a team who in the past wasn't punished, while adding the chance for more teams to join them in that same position--a chance teams might not even want to take. I like the whole "make the division race more important" aspect, but that doesn't even come into play in divisions with runaway leaders. Or in divisions where second place won't even get you into the playoffs.

But getting back to the original point: Why don't sportscasters/announcers recognize that the bunching up of the teams is what's responsible for more teams being alive at the trade deadline. (It's similar in the NL, with just 1.5 games separating the top two in the WC race.) Did MLB tell everybody to act like their new idea is working? Or are these guys just falling for something that if they took an extra second to look into, they'd see isn't true? Or do they think we're the dumb ones?


*Just a note on the way the standings are shown at MLB: They list the top two wild cards as being 0 games out. In other words, they don't show you how many games team two is behind team one, since it doesn't matter in terms of who's in and who's out. So you might look at the "games behind" column only and always think the two teams are tied. But the point is, the two in the AL are tied despite being percentage points apart, and the two in the NL are 1.5 apart, as of right now. (MLB has added a note about the top two teams making it and meeting in a 1-game playoff, but they still leave that weirdness with the top two appearing to always be tied. I would just put, for example, "+1.5" or "1.5 A" meaning "ahead" for the #1 wild card. Or something like that.)

Branded

Tough one to swallow, as we give up the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with 2 outs in the 7th. It kills me that if we'd just won a bunch of games we lost earlier in this ridiculous season, like maybe if we hadn't had half the team on the DL, we'd be in the division race right now, talking about how we played a pretty good series against one of the league's best teams, with each of the last two games potentially going either way (after, granted, a shitty game one). Instead we're still miring.

But look at the A's. Heading into this month they were 37-42. Their record now? 53-44! I'm not saying a 16-2 stretch is something you can do on a whim just because you think it might be fun, but a good stretch can turn a Chrissie Hynde into a Terry Malloy*.


*had he not thrown that fight

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wake Up And Smell The Odiferous Entity

Tim Wakefield is intelligent and well-spoken. Maybe during the pre- and post-game they could actually let him finish a sentence? It's almost as if TC and Eck are mandated to interrupt him every single time. I can see Eck just blurting out stuff, but both of 'em?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Polly Wanted, Got A Win

You know how I feel about Napoli. So when I saw he was due up third in the 9th with us up 2-1, I wanted us to get the first two guys out, walk Napoli, then get the third. And that's exactly how Aceves did it! Sox beat Texas, 2-1. It was Aviles's 2-out, 2-strike bloop in the top of the 9th that plated the eventual winning run. ¬°Boricua!

Buchholz turned in his second great outing in a row. Encouraging.

A few things about tonight's broadcast:

This is Cody Ross at the moment he made a catch on a Hamilton fly ball. Would you say he's on the warning track? Me neither. But that's how Don Orsillo called it. Moments later he reiterated it was caught on the track. I could mow a fuckin' fresco into the grass in the space between Ross and the track.

Remember how Salty doinked a ball right off the top of the wall in the previous game? Tonight, they showed the same little mark the ball made on the fence that they showed last night. It was the same. Just a slight tear in the material. Yet Remy said they'd done some "repair work" to it since last night. Yeah, by the "Like Old Repair Co."!

Odd play in the 8th, when Padilla threw over to first, got the ball back, and threw right back over. The ball got away and the potential go-ahead run went to third. Weird thing was, the runner was standing right on the bag. It wasn't like he wasn't paying attention. There wasn't much of a reason for Padilla to throw back over immediately (something I don't know if I've ever even seen before). So the question was Why? Or, more like "What the fuck is he DOING?" Yet Orsillo and Remy didn't ask it. I feel like the question begged to be asked. But it never occurred to them. Maybe because there was no answer, other than "because he thought he could catch the guy off guard"--but the guy seemed to be on guard. Or at least on bag. [Update: In post-game, Adrian explained it--said that Andrus would play with the dirt with his head down after every pick-off attempt. Adrian told Padilla to throw back when that happened--but Padilla did it the one time Andrus didn't do it! This is what Remy and Orsillo should have been trying to figure out!]

Then Padilla plunks Beltre in the helmet, at which point the crowd booed incessantly. I know these people are from Texas, but come on, you'd have to reeeally be from Texas to think that was intentional. Like, from the decidedly non-citified regions.

One thing from the night before, too. Remember when they showed a shot of Atchison in the clubhouse or runway talking about his injury? In the background, there was a framed Red Sox road jersey. From what I could tell, this was the Rangers' nod to the visiting team--put up each team's jersey as they come to town. But it was the pre-2009 road jersey. Now I talk a lot about the logo that was tweaked at the same time the jersey was changed. And one thing I always say when talking about how it makes no sense that people don't know about the logo change is how you'll notice the team never comes out onto the field accidentally wearing the old uniform. Yet here's an example that shows that some people within MLB don't even know that part of the team's changes. Which took place more than three years ago. They don't notice it's different than the jerseys they're unpacking a few feet away? Again--bring the Marlins into that clubhouse right now, and I guarantee they locate a new Marlins jersey and have it framed within minutes. But for some reason....

And no, there was no context for that framed jersey. Maybe it was specifically an old Sox player's jersey that for some reason they use in the Rangers' visiting clubhouse. But I can't think of why that would be. You might say that maybe it was a series of Sox road jerseys from all throughout history. Well that would be crazy--especially when the White Sox come to town. But also, it didn't appear to be part of a series. It seemed to be alone on the wall. And since it wasn't the first or most recent style, there would have to be another framed jersey on at least one side of it, and there were none on the side we could see.

Finally, there's a guy in our neighborhood who walks around with a beautiful parrot. This is the best pic I could get of it, unfortunately. But look at the size of that thing!

Stew On Guns

I couldn't agree with Jon more here:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
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I even heard a gun shop owner the other day say that the killer did nothing to raise any red flags. Because apparently having thousands of rounds of ammo sent to your house is just an everyday thing. You know, to a gun shop owner.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Proper

What is it I'm always saying about Yanks fans not knowing the difference between "your" and "you're"? This picture was the #1 post on reddit just now--I feel like I could just end this blog with this, it's so perfect.

4th Loss In A Row

A Salty Dong gave us an early 1-0 lead. But a weird Pedroia error was part of a Texas 4-run third. In the 6th, Napoli (who I really believe at this point has to be the all-time #1 Red Sox killer) put it away with a 2-run dong, before more sloppiness on our part gave them 3 more runs in the inning. 9-1 Rangers is your final.

I'll repost something I wrote here in April about Nap-ster and his legal dongloads:

Mike Napoli must be some kind of dong robot. This guy has more home runs at Fenway Park than any other (aside from the two parks that have been his home park where he plays half his games). And that includes the parks of his division rivals, where he plays 9 or 10 times a year, as opposed to 3 or 6 times a year in Boston. He has 6 homers in Oakland, where he has about 2.5 times more at bats than at Fenway, where he now has 8 homers. Overall against the Red Sox, he's got 15 homers in his last 27 games, going back to 2008. By comparison, A-Rod has 15 homers...in his last 62 games against the Red Sox.

Napoli in games against the Red Sox:

2008: 1 game, 1 HR
2009: 6 games, 3 HR
2010: 9 games, 3 HR
2011: 9 games, 5 HR
2012: 2 games, 3 HR

So if you're thinking this guy homers in "every game against us," you're actually about half right.


At this point all I can hope for with the guy is that he passes another runner or misses a base during his trot.

Ichi Butt

Fucking Ichiro is on the Yankees now? So much for rooting for him to break Rose's hit record (Japan + U.S. hits). Now I just hope he fizzles out and is forgotten by everybody.

1912 Red Sox Season Update

We left off in early June. Boston was three games out of first. However, between June 5th and July 4th, the team either gained ground or stayed even on all but two days. Pretty much a solid month of moving up in the standings--and all but six of those games were on the road! They went from 3 out to 7 up. At one point they won 9 in a row, all away from Fenway, outscoring Chicago, New York, and Washington by a 71-27 margin. They also played a six-game series at home against the Yanks, winning all but the last game, when the Yanks beat the Red Sox for the first time in 15 tries in 1912, 18 overall. Then between July 5th and 19th, they found themselves exactly 6.5 games ahead in first after every game they played except for two.

100 years ago today, the Sox start the day 7 games ahead of Washington. They'll play the next 3 games at home against Cleveland, before hitting the road again for a 16-game trip. At this point, through July 22nd, 1912, they've scored more and given up fewer runs than any team in the league. Only the Giants have scored more runs--they are running away with the N.L, 11 up on the Cubs. The two teams seem to be on a collision course....

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Wept

That was pretty sweet when Gonzalez hit a mega-dong to get us right back into a game we faced an early deficit in. But the sweetness pretty much ended there. Lester dropped a mound on the mattress on the mound again, and we lose 15-7. Swept by the Jays. This headline made me feel better, but then again, it's also frustrating to know we could have gained some serious ground this weekend.

Tek Honored, Jays Top Selves

The Herald summed it up perfectly:

In reality, the Jays did win, but did not also lose. I listened to the mostly action-free middle section of this game, then got updates as our 3-1 lead became a 3-3 tie and then a 6-3 deficit. Depressing. Cook was cruising and then it just turned. 7-3 loss. At the beginning of this Jays series, we'd come off two series wins, and were told that the Jays had none of their hitters left, and had just been swept by the Yanks. I thought we were looking at an easy sweep. Now we need to win Sunday to avoid getting swept.

My human mom and my deity son were at Fenway for this one, and got to see the Varitek ceremony. They found a great spot for it. Here are two pics Joey took:


Nice job!


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