Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Uber-Pen Is Breaking Up

I hope you didn't give up on either game tonight. If you did, you missed a comeback win by the Red Sox and a blown game by the yanks.

Right about at the same time, both games turned around. We started hitting bombs to erase a 7-2 deficit, and win 14-9. And the yanks blew a 3-0 lead (which they had due to some bloop hits), with Gagne saving the 6-3 win.

I love listening to the Red Sox at 1:00 am, when they're tacking on insurance runs, and Castiglione is psyched, and I feel like everyone else has gone to bed. I don't know, there's something cool about it...

Earlier tonight, I was in New Haven, and some stranger on the street saw my hat and just started talking to me about the Sox as if we were best friends. He said exactly what I've been saying, which is, "I'd rather root for the Sox, even when they lose, than for the yanks when they win." Later, I got another "Go Sox" from someone else, and realized how much cooler New Haven is (Red Sox-wise) than Danbury. But again, show the Sox on TV in Danbury, and we'd win over a lot of on-the-fencers. I hate how on the Sox' web site, there's a little ad for that says, "Transplanted Sox fan? Get" etc. etc. Uh, hello...I was born in New England, and have never left, and I've never been able to get the Sox on cable. Maybe I'll write them about that one.

Now, down to business. A few months ago, Joe Torre called his bulpen the "best since '96." With a bullpen like that, you wouldn't think they'd have be trading any of it's pitchers away in June, but today, the yanks traded Gabe White (ERA of 8+) to the Reds for a minor leaguer. Felix Heredia's ERA is also upwards of 8. Quantrill's given up 46 hits in 40 innings. Gordon's still doing good, I'll be the first to admit, but I'm not giving up hope on his old, injured ass. And Rivera, eh, alright, he's doing good, too. But this is not some kind of super-pen. And with their starters pitching the way they are--hey, why are we behind this team??

Anyway, I'm still saying we'll be passing them soon, and then we need to put 'em behind us for good. And it can be done: We've got our lineup almost at full strength, our pitching is better than theirs; they do have all the dumb luck, an endless supply of cash, and the umpires in their pocket, as well as many players, managers, and coaches on other teams still on George's payroll...add it all up, I say we're still winning this year. 3 1/2 back now, and the magic number is down to 101. And the Devil Rays are in third place. Weird.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Enthusiasm Curbing

Man, is this team frustrating. The only thing that got me through the morning today was thinking about the good things in my life-my new band is about to play it's first show, I'm writing a lot, etc... but c'mon, that real life stuff only takes you so far before you start thinking about BASES LOADED NOBODY OUT...ughhh.

Last night, I listened to the mega-static-y game for a while. Turned it off when the Rockies went up 5-3, then saw on the ESPN ticker it was 7-3. So to sheer myself up, I watched some Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes. I just bought the DVD of the second season. I think it's the funniest show on TV. Anyway, I put on the radio one more time, and heard Castiglione and Trup' talking about how dreadful the team was playing. I didn't even wait for the score. I turned it off and went to bed. It was kind of late by then anyway. Today I find out we had the tying run on in the ninth. But still lost. So I made either the right or wrong decision, depending on how you look at it.

But fortunately today we finally took advantage of that mountain air (Ortiz better make the All-Star team), and Lowe seems to be back to the good version of himself. So despite that 1-2 series, I'm STILL staying positive. But, man, I sure was on the brink of baseball suicide this morning.

And I noticed something weird. When the Red Sox lose, the yankees win.

Every day that the Sox have lost this season, except for THREE times, the yankees have not lost (i.e. won or not played). Now obviously that means that when we win, they lose, except for however many games, when added to that first stat, puts us five back of them. But it's just frustrating, that when we lose, I think, Well at least there's a chance the yanks will lose, too, and the magic number will still drop by one, and we'll hold our ground. But they always win! I may be wrong on this, feel free to double check, but based on my magic number calendar I keep at work, it's only gone down 3 times on days we've had an "L."

ESPN Classic was showing the half-hour highlight shows of the College World Series. I caught the '94 version, with Nomar and Tek in the Championship game vs. Oklahoma. They both homered in the game, and Tek got into a huge fight with the ump after a bad call on a play at the plate. Tek also made the last out(it was like 13-4), which I never knew, all the more reason to get those guys a (real) championship. I remember rooting for GTech that year, not that I follow college baseball that much, but just because I went to school at the University of Nebraska (including that year). I did get to see Erstad play, and I got a home run ball, which may or may not have been hit by him, but let's just say it was. (If you've ever seen the highlight of the homerun to left field that breaks the window of a car driving by, that's the Nebraska baseball field where I got the ball--a little to the left of where that car was--also, I'm talking Lincoln, not Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium, where the College World Series is played.)

So now that you know a lot of useless stuff, here's more: The magic number is 104, but we better get on a roll or the tragic number count might have to start...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


If you want to read about my two Fenway experiences from last week, scroll down...

In the meantime, I've been reading a lot of panicky Red Sox fans' fears about how the yankees are "nearly unstoppable." And I'm here to say, Don't worry about 'em.
That team is eeking out one cheap victory after another. They continue to make bonehead plays all over the field. Brown is now on the DL. They need pitching to win and they don't have it. I watch them way more than I should, and I'm telling you, their fans are the ones who should be worrying. The point is, it's in our hands. If we want to beat them, we can do it. (This is the Red Sox "we" I'm using.) Not many teams can do it, but we certainly can. We've proven that we're not afraid of those bastards and I'm still seeing a ten game lead (for us, not them) on the horizon.


Okay, I'm calm.


Alright, yes, you can look back on the message boards from any other year and see this kind of talk. And I know it's always turned out the same.

But it's no fun to go Wee Wee Wee all the way home, so I'm gonna root my ass off for my team and this year it's gonna be fun right up until the end.

Look at it this way, we get to root for Pokey "Smilin', laughin', jumpin' 20 feet in the air, busting his ass every day" Reese, they get to root for Derek "B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T" Cheater.

Magic Number thru June 15th: 105.

Fenway Park, Sat., June 12th

The Red Sox have taken 2 out of 3 in their last two series', and I was there for the loss in each series. But it's always fun to go to Fenway. Here's some highlights from Saturday's experience versus the LA Dodgers.

Saw Vin Scully for the first time in my life. He and Joe Castiglione and Manny were hanging aroumd the cage during BP. I love going to Fenway right when gates open. Castiglione is a fixture down by that dugout. It's always good to see the face behind voice that I've listened to for over twenty years now.

Another guy walking around on the field pre-game was that guy that sits right behind home plate for every game at Fenway. Who the hell is that guy?? Should I know? Someone please tell me. He was walking some kids around, shaking hands with Terry Stankonia and some players, while carrying a briefcase. You know who I'm talkin' about? Watch the Red Sox next home game, (if you're lucky enough to live in a part of New England that's actually considered New England by MLB) and look behind the plate, a little to the right, I think. Middle aged-white dude. Moving on...

The Dugout Wizard himself, Tommy Lasorda, threw out the first pitch.

The game looked good for a while, especially when we had Weaver in trouble, and we were all chanting "Weea-verrr." I hate that friggin' guy. I'm so glad the fans didn't forget who he was.

Unfrotunately, the team couldn't capitalize and before we knew it, it was 14-5 Dodgers. There were lots of Dodger fans there. This one couple in the RF grandstand, which we have a view of from just across the gap in the bleachers, had a "Go Dodgers" sign. It always makes you a little mad to see fans of the other team in your home park, but then, you gotta think of it from the other side. I've been to a lot of stadiums to watch the Sox, so I should know how it feels. So I just thought, good for them, I give 'em credit for supporting their team. Until....

The guy decided he was gonna hold up his sign facing AWAY from the field and toward the fans. Terrible job, guy. The stuff thrown at him was well-deserved at that point. F the Dodgers.

Sadly, the best part of the game, topping Manny's deep blast over the Monster, was the fact that we got to see David McCarty pitch the ninth. He retired the side in order, and we gave him a standing O.

The cool thing about a blowout is, you get to move to good seats toward the end of the game. I like seeing the different sections of Fenway and comparing them.

We started in the bleachers, with all the college-age types and twenty-somethings. It was a hot, crazy, wave-startin', beach ball-batting bonanza as usual. Then in the ninth, we were up behind home plate, with the more "adult" types, some of whom had towels wrapped around themselves, as they'd been in the shade the whole game, while we were getting sunburned.

That's a whole other post, though, if I wanted to go through every single section of the park. So, uh, watch for that.

One final note: Interleague play is dumb. There's no reason two leagues should be playing each other when they don't play by the same rules. It's all done for New York's sake, and even they think it's too much at this point.

Fenway Park, Wed., June 9th

What a great day it was, except for the game...

As I've said before, my favorite kind of weather (just edging out a paralyzing December blizzard, the first day of the fall that it's cold enough that you can smell fireplaces, and the first spring day where you can go outside in a T-shirt) is the sweltering summer day that culminates in a cleansing thunderstorm.

We got an early June version of that day at Fenway last Wednesday.

I got some good pictures (assuming they come out) of Nomar before the game by the batting cage. Including one of him and Dwight Evans, one of my favorites from the childhood days.

Ronald McDonald threw out the first ball. Then an environmentalist threw out the "second" first ball. If that dude were a little younger, I think he could've taken Ronnie down if he'd had to.

After baking in the bleachers for a while, some of the darkest clouds I've ever seen came rolling in from beyond the Monster.

But not before we were lucky enough to see Nomar's return. That was a great moment. Nomar handled it well. And then got a base hit. In his second at bat, he hit a rope to left that was caught. He also made a great play in the field, but the throw wasn't handled by Andy "Dominique Won't-kins," who then threw the ball into the stands trying to get a guy out at home. (Note: Andy is now back at Pawtucket as I write this.)

Then the wind picked up to the point where the flag, still at half-mast during Reagan's seemingly endless death-a-thon, was just about taught. And finally, the rains came.

We sat out in it for a while, as did a lot of other folks. It felt great. Then we stood under the stands for a while, which was really cool. Something about the lighting under the bleachers that made it feel like we were in somebody's damp basement, only with a welcomed cold breeze hitting the back of my neck, while the rest of my body was still hot and sticky. We saw a lot of lightning, too, which is why the game was held up for so long.

On the scoreboard, we got to watch the end of the yankee game (without sound), which ended badly. I thought it was funny how when Quantrill was on the mound, the camera kept switching to a shot of Gordon sitting in the bullpen. (See rest of this blog)

After about an hour and a half of waiting, we decided we had to go home. We all had to work the next day, and we live 2 1/2 hours away. So we made the only call we could have, and took off.

Fortunately, we didn't miss much, as the Sox went on to lose to San Diego. Had we stayed, we probably wouldn't have gotten home until 3 am. So it all worked out. Sort of.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States