Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mom @ Fenway South Today

Photo credit: Charlie

Today's Screw-Up

I don't get these guys. How can you see a ball hit high off the wall and think it was actually a pop-up that landed in front of the wall and bounced miraculously back toward the infield?


Prelude To A Something

Last preseason game today! Off tomorrow (no halfway game this year--I just invented that term), then it starts for real in New York Monday afternoon.

Today's game is on NESN Plus at 1:35, but if you're out of the area, MLB.tv is free today.

And my mom will be at the game! Pictures to come, hopefully. (Maybe this will somewhat make up for the pics I promised from my own trip to spring training. Long story short, my trip never happened. We'll do it next year. In case you were wondering, the game I would have seen was the one against the Marlins in Jupiter.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Couple Olds

From the latest issue of Paw Sox Patter. Old logo. They also used the old Spinners logo, which was also altered after the 2008 season.

And we're still waiting on MLB GameDay to make the change. They've got the Marlins' two-year-old logo:


But, of course, nobody told the people at MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL that the Red Sox changed this logo more than five years ago:

I'm still wondering if I'll have to make these posts right up until the time they make another logo change.

Buchholz finished the spring with an 0.79 ERA tonight. And everybody's saying JaBra will make the team, but it's not official yet.

And I don't know how popular this got, but just in case you haven't seen it yet: That's not Manny!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Re-act

Yesterday I was mind-writing my annual (if I write it every year--do I?) post about stories that are guaranteed to be written this baseball season. Like how every month some doofus who's never lived in Connecticut says how the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is dead. One of the things I was going to say was "the Red Sox will do something they've done every year, but people will assume it's being done in reaction to something." Sure enough, the Red Sox put some fuckin' food items on sale in April and it's "all Red Sox tickets and food now free cuz they suck!!!1"

The point is, the team always tries to do family-friendly stuff, especially in the cold months. I'm not gonna try and tell you they didn't have last year's horrific record at least somewhat in mind when they said Here's some cheaper shit for you for innings 1-3 in the April games, but it's not new for them to do stuff like this. For example, in 2009, coming off a world championship followed by reaching Game 7 of the ALCS, the Red Sox offered discounted food to kids, froze all concession prices, and added a bunch of other April-centric family features. But it didn't lead assholes to say, "See, nobody's really going to games at Fenway and the team actually stinks so they have to mark down the food, haha, Yanks rool!" The problem is, people don't pay attention. And any time things go bad, they search around for reasons. And reactions that aren't really reactions. I wouldn't be surprised if one year some player is accused of committing adultery (or, for sake of the joke, some crime that starts with B), and the next day the papers all tell you how the team has admitted the player's guilt by placing a scarlet letter on the front of his hat. And everyone believes it and tells you about it at the water cooler, at which point you note that they've worn this "scarlet letter" for 80 years.

Lester's line today: 4 innings, not a whole heck of a lot given up. Miller (my favorite current Red Sock--I almost forgot about that) and Bailey also with scoreless innings. Jonny Wad Gomes with a solo dong, and we lead the Marlins 1-0 in the 6th.

Yesterday In Newport








Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tix

Yeah, I know, you can get some Fenway tickets cheaper on the secondary market than from the ticket office right now. But if you want Green Monster standing room, redsox.com has them on sale for April games. Face is $35. The secondary sickos have them for upwards of $70, some even going for almost $300 each. So, be smart. (And if you wanna buy me one, I'll go with you. Just no eye contact, please.)

Jackie Bradley had another great game yesterday. And I still wonder why the outside world has forgotten about Middlebrooks. I saw a list of the odds for 2013 MVP and HR king, and he's not even on there! Terrible job, Vegas.

Opening Day Less Than A Week Away

What better time for this?!



(Uploaded by me a few years ago. Credit: Whoever the fuck made The Baseball Bunch.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

RPSTMOTD #29

Kids in the Dominican playing ball. Batter with Nomar shirt. Photo by...unknown, found on a site called definitivecaribbean.com.

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One Step Beyond

The other day, a guy selling stuff on the sidewalk saw my Sox hat and started yelling about how optimistic he is and how he thinks we're gonna win the east. Good to hear. And why not? The Yankees are a turd factory in the making, though you can never assume they're out of it, the O's can't possibly duplicate that one-run-game-win-athon (can they?), the Rays are supposed to be some kind of sleeper but I'm not buying that, and the Jays...are good on paper but the rest of us are just assuming there's no wolf. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have good pitching and good hitting. So we win. Right?

Today Jackie Bradley went deep, on TV, opposite field, off Cliff Lee! Apparently this dude wants to make the team. And Castig said today that he's named after Jackie Wilson, not Robinson, which is cool because it's less obvious. If he were a singer, I'd prefer he was named after Robinson.

The Yanks got Vernon Wells. And they're saying Jeter will probably start the season on the DL. The boos for Noony on Opening Day will be a little louder than normal, that should be sweet.

As for Smarch Smadness: The Zags lost. Kim and I always root for them since she shares a last name with the school, but this year, with them being a legit top-notch team, I went ahead and picked then to go all the way. It stinks to lose your champ the first weekend. And the rest of my final 8 are alive! But without a champ, I'm probably dead. Unless maybe I get no more losses the rest of the way, and Florida Gulf Coast wins it all so nobody gets any points for having the champ. Anyway, it was that inbounds play that killed the Zags. And the network missed it! And the announcers never explained what happened! I'd say 90% of people watching didn't know why suddenly the ball was given to the other team after they scored to take the lead. What happened was that one Zag gave the ball to another. That guy thought he was going to inbound the ball so he walked out of bounds with it, ready to throw it in. But the guy who gave it to him was out of bounds. Meaning that was the inbounds pass. We at home saw somebody's parents in the crowd instead of this. And got no explanation.

The Davidson ending was crazy on Thursday. I actually had them for $1000. Which means I bet them to win it all for $2, at 500/1. And they had that game in the bag, but threw the ball away while basically trying to run out the final 10 seconds. Other team gets it back, makes lay-up as Davidson forgets to play D. I still would have been five wins away from the grand, but that would have been a nice first step.

I hope you used my Vegas theory in your pool. In the 5-12 games, I nailed them all, and three of them were won by the 12s. All because Vegas told me in those games that the 12 wasn't that much of an underdog.

This year's tourney HQ was a bar in SoNo called Bradford's. I always base bars on how closely they resemble the mythical bar atmosphere I learned about while watching Cheers as a kid: well-lit, quiet, roomy, and smoke-free. Turns out the person who created Cheers had never attended a bar. Anyway, Bradford's had the room and the lighting, and of course smoke's jersey has long been retired, but some shitty DJ was playing shitty music at a shittily loud level, so I had to scream all night. Plenty of TVs which is good for my Smadness needs. Oddly, though, they seemed to have no waiters. Even in the half of the establishment that was clearly made for table-style dining. We finally asked at the bar and they sent a waiter over. About 45 minutes later I got a pizza. At least it was good pizza. Place was mostly dudes watching games, and everybody kept to their own groups, not much stumbling or fake-machismo fight threats that never turn into real fights. So it was okay, if a little Yankee-centric. And I got to see my old pals.

So I guess from here on in I'll root for Gulf Coast and former MAAC members LaSalle


Sunday, March 24, 2013

RPSTMOTD #28

Looking through the palm fronds at Nats camp, circa last year.

Photo: Julio Cortez/AP/Corbis

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A Blog Post 10 Years In The Making

December 2003: I was sitting at the bar at Zen Palate (awesome vegetarian restaurant) in NYC with Gumby and Chan, when a surprise guest came in and sat down to eat right next to Chan. It was Andre 3000 from OutKast. Seeing a celebrity is cool; having one sit next to you is cooler than bein' cool; and having it be the singer of the current #1 song in the USA, one which, for a change, you actually love, is ICE COLD.

Gumby, always on the cutting edge of technology, had a...get ready for a term whose life came and went in a flash...camera phone! So of course I start trying to get him to snap a clandestine pic of Andre, after my futile attempt to explain to Chan who was sitting next to him without using my out-loud voice. We got the shot, and I ended up asking for Andre's autograph, using the "it's for my girlfriend" excuse to seem less creepy. He was a true gentleman, personalized the autograph, and said "tell her I said hello."

Meanwhile, I've been waiting a decade to get a look at the picture. Gumby has been all over the world since then, so I rarely see him, but I always ask him about the pic, and he's always assured me it exists somewhere. But I gave up hope somewhere around '09.

Cut to Thursday night. I'm in Chan's apartment on my annual NYC/Norwalk March Madness trip, and he's going through all his old photos. He asks, Remember this one? And proceeds to show me...THE picture:

There they are! Chan at left, and Andre (with hat--the one he's wearing in this pic, I believe) and his buddy. (Not Big Boi.) So he e-mails the pic over to me, and, bonus, there's another shot with me in it too:

Too bad you can't see his face in that one. But check out my crazy devil beard!

Anyway, you gotta appreciate this whole Hey Ya situation: It was and still is so rare to hear a song on the radio you actually like, so this was a weird time where I loved that song and so did everyone else, and I could flip on the radio at any time and know I was gonna hear it. I'd be like, "it's the top of the hour, somebody's gotta be playing it"--and they'd ALL be playing it. And it wasn't like this was some group out of nowhere. I used to annoy Bruce at my job at the record store five years earlier by singing the line "Kast keeps it jumpin' like kanga-ROOS" constantly. Then in '02 I loved that song "The Whole World"--I remember talking to Pat about the Randy Moss reference in Tim's driveway at Pac-Men practice. Those guys were talented and deserved the success they ended up getting. And right at the height of it, there's the dude, two seats over at Zen Palate of all places. Here's the song in question, in case you forgot. (Even if you burned out on it, it was ten years ago, you can re-enjoy it. Come on, make it fun!)


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