Saturday, April 23, 2005

Again With The Bittersweetness

Dear Curt,

What did you forget to do? Come on, you know...

That's right, waste a pitch.

Please don't forget next time.


If you are new to baseball, I'll explain this as briefly as I can. In Little League I learned that when you are ahead of a hitter with a count of no balls and two strikes, you should throw a pitch way out of the strike zone. The batter knows that he or Stephanie Sharlow is down to his or Stephanie Sharlow's last strike, and they must "protect the plate." So if you throw a pitch right down the heart of the plate, like Curt did tonight, they're more likely to swing--and therefore hit the ball--than they are at any other count. So throwing the ball outside the strike zone on this count makes the hitter more likely to "chase" the pitch--i.e. swing at a pitch that's harder to hit, giving them a better chance of missing the ball, thus, striking out. And having three balls to work with gives you the luxury of being able to waste a pitch--or two--or three, before finally throwing one over the plate.

Giving up a hit on 0-2 is unacceptable.

Giving up a game-winning hit on 0-2, with two outs, to Chico's Bail Bonds when you've been pitching in the league for, like, thirty years is unforgivable.

Unless you just pitched us to a World Series championship a few months earlier. But still, I don't want to see that 0-2 nonsense any more.

Good to see David go deep and deeper, though.

And the sweet it is. My new goal is "boos every game." I want to hear them get booed at least once by their home fans during every game. Their pitching is bad enough to make Steinbrenner finally succumb to whatever illness he has that's making him slowly wither away. However, today was kind of bittersweet, since the last thing I wanted was for Jaret Wright to miss time on the mound, what with his huge ERA and all. But I'm sure whoever they come up with as a replacement won't be much better. Or hey, how about a four-man rotation of Wrinkled Johnson, Bagged Moose, Wall-Punchin' McGee, and Carl "My mommy told me to play for the yankees" Pavano? That'll work. The beauty part is that Jeter's having a great start, average-wise, and it's going for naught. (I also just thought back to last year when Michael Kay would say things about Jeter's season which may as well have been: "If you only count the time where Jeter wasn't slumping, he's your MVP." So out of touch with reality, our boy Kay.)

I like all this commenting about nicknames. Sam, you said "[I] Haven't come up with anything decent for Renteria yet".

Note that the Broseph solved this problem on December 15th, 2004. His nickname for Renteria is "Chopper." I started using it here myself, hoping that if people see it on two different websites, they'll just assume that's what "everybody's" calling him. I also did it kind of as a tribute to Bullshit Memorial Stadium. Because, normally, I just use my own nicknames, but since he (or in this case, his brother, the Broseph) came up with one right away, which made me immediately start thinking of Edgar as "Chopper," I thought I'd "borrow" that one, partly in the way you borrow your friend's clothes (I've never done it with a non-jersey item of clothing, mind you), and partly to try to help his nickname catch on.

Yesterday, I said that my dad's nicknames always need an explanation, but today I was reminded of one of his classics, that needs none: Alfonso Sori-asshole.

And I recently got an e-mail from a friend which referred to Alan Embree as Captain Cheese. It sounded so natural coming from someone else. Maybe she was humoring me, but still, I think this is another one that needs to catch on. It just fits so well. If someone who lives up in Boston could go around putting "Call Embree Captain Cheese" fliers up, that'd be great. Oh wait, we don't need fliers anymore because of the internet. Just put it on message boards, then. Thanks.

Yo D-Ray I Got Somethin' To Say

Jeez, Captain Cheese, can we enjoy the fact that we tied the game in the ninth for one second? One pitch and it was over. And poor Edgar, another line-out double play. That just killed us. As did Jason's DP. But those guys will make up for that stuff. Look for two wins this weekend.

At least the yanks lost. Let's all take a moment to laugh out loud at Kevin Brown. The guy got booed tonight before getting an out. And I always like when the yanks excite their fans by coming close to victory but still losing.

But at least they didn't lose to the f'n Dr. D-rays. Crap! We can't be losin' to them! Especially since this is their mascot:
Hey, kids! What the shit am I?
Heh, heh, no offense, Sam.

So here are some nicknames I've come up with recently:

Matt "Praying" Mantei (I started with the least funniest)

Jorge "Can Not!" Cantu "!"

Aubrey "-anna" Huff "-ington"

John "Johnny Wad" Gomes

Nickname my dad has come up with recently:

Scott "Georgie" Kazmir (This comes from the Seinfeld episode with the cashmere sweater, with the cleaning lady who calls George "Georgie Porgie." Riiight. I think my dad likes to come up with nicknames that require an explanation. I can never remember why he calls Curtis Leskanic "The Count." I'll ask him tomorrow and get back to you. Also, ever since we'd call Kevin Romine "Caviar," short for "Kevvie R.", he's caled every Kevin the Sox have ever had "Caviar," regardless of whether or not their last name began with an "R.")

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Monkey Muscle

Wow, I just heard Tool's "46 & Two" as the "coming back from commercial" music on the Red Sox game on the radio. I don't think I've noticed that one before. I still want to meet whoever chooses that music.

As I write this, we're three outs away from a 1-0 win.

Today, Mike & the Mad Dog were ripping Jon Sterling. It was great. They were--2 outs away now-- they were playing--crap, double for Javy Lopez-- various terrible calls of Sterling's. Before one of them, Francesa casually says, "We've got to play this one, because this is something that happened for the first time in baseball history."

One out away.

So they play Sterling's call: "It is high, it is far, it the wall....and it bounces into the stands for a grounds rule double."

So funny how he's always so concerned about proper grammar that he ends up telling us that a baseball hit off a wall but somehow bounced over that wall.

They were really getting on him, and laughing their asses off.

Come on, Foulke. Two and One. Of course, this gameday audio is like thirty seconds behind, so who knows what's really---oh, YEAH, 1-0 WIN!

Clement was awesome tonight. Two game sweep. Zero runs given up. Repeat '05.

So, my point is, the FAN is pretty anti-yankees. Imus claims to be a yankee fan, but makes fun of them plenty, and his crew makes fun of them as well. Sid and Joe are both Mets fans. Mike's a yankee fan, but Mad Dog's a Giant fan and leader of the "crack committee"--the members of the station who are yankee haters. Steve Somers is a Mets fan. Chris Carlin is a Texas Rangers fan, but he's usually pretty pro-yankee, actually. And the other people that do shows on there on weekends are usually Mets-types. So it's a good station in that regard.

Also, whenever I listen to sports radio in other cities, I realize that the FAN is just above and beyond in general. Probably because it had a big head start on everybody else. Most other sports stations may as well be Simpsons or SNL parodies.

Moving on, when you're on a subway or bus, do you ever feel like you're an actor in a movie made by a monkey-director about an advanced race of monkeys?

Me, too!

Note: I just realized that this post made sense after all, since the Tool song at the beginning is about evolution, and then the monkeys... Also, the effing chokers got a bs win, with Mariano doing his usual almost-blowing-the-save thing. They're going nowhere this year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wells Comes Up HuGe

Yeah, David. That's what we're looking for.

8-0 Red Sox win in one of our many hometowns, Baltimore.

Nice homer for the Captain, and Manny's still hitting the crap out of the ball. And we're getting close to having the best dilemma a baseball team could ever have: "Which one of these six awesome starters should get sent to the bullpen?" I will definitely feel bad for Bronson if it's him, since he earned his spot last year, and hasn't done anything to warrant losing it.

And Sam, of course you get credit for the Rays' win over the yanks yesterday. I have so many thoughts in my head that sometimes things I thought of don't make the final cut by accident.

How many times have we heard BDD rip ticket scalpers? It seems to be one of his bigger pet peeves. Now there's a huge ad for an internet ticket scalping agency on his site. I'm sure is responsible, but you'd think he'd at least say something about that.

Also, I disagree with him on Sheffield. I think if you're a player, and you punch a fan during a play, or ever, there's no reason why you shouldn't be punished in some way.

Red Sox Rock

This weekend, I was at my parents' place, and I noticed a rock that looked like a sock. I told my dad that we should paint it red, like the socks on the Red Sox logo. He said, "You can't paint a public rock!" in the way only a dad could. Note: This is the same man who wants to get a Red Sox flag, row it out to a little island a hundred yards off shore where there's a flagpole, and fly the Red Sox flag for all the coastline to see.

Anyway, I didn't paint the rock, but I tried to make a Sox logo out of it. Too bad that other rock is right where the "ST" in "BOSTON" would be. And too bad I had to draw in the other sock.

I wasn't working with the type of sand I'm used to, keep in mind. Had I been, this would have been a masterpiece.

Too bad there's nothing to judge the size by, but I think it was, like, five feet in circumference. (Photo taken from a balcony.)

This is the first in my "Red Sox logos in nature" series, as I also know of a tree with a mark on it that looks like the old English "B."

What I do with my life

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I had a bad feeling about Captain Cheese tonight. We've been using him too much. You don't want to Quantrillize this guy. And Foulke will still end up leading the league in saves, I'm convinced. Splitting a two game series isn't the end of the world.

I had my first full-game Gameday Audio listening experience tonight. Does it always cut out every five seconds? I hope not.

The good news was the yankee game. I was watching that on Gameday, and was just giddy when I saw this: "Aubrey Huff reaches on fielding error by shortstop Derek Jeter. Carl Crawford scores. Alex Gonzalez to 3rd."

It came at a key moment in the eighth, just after the yanks had cut the Rays' lead to one in the bottom of the seventh, via a rally which was killed by--a Jeter double play. The Rays went on to score twice more in the inning. Jeter also got thrown out stealing in the first. Despite these three negatives, he'll still be considered the yanks' "star of the game" for going three-for-four. But we know.

Really should have been an ultra-sweet night. But I'll take regulation sweet. Still 3 games up on 'em.


A little more on the yanks game from last night:

It's a good sign when the yankees get booed in their own stadium within minutes of scoring thirteen runs in an inning.

Mike Francesa today was saying that Torre said to Girardi in the dugout "One more blankin' hit and I have to pull him." That referring to shitty pitcher Jaret "'sRoom" Wright.

The Rays were a dinger away from actually making it a game after twice trailing by thirteen runs.

I really think Torre could've just left the park and not come back had they blown that lead, considering what George had said the day before.

But there's plenty of season left for Bronx chaos. Stay tuned.

Also, great moment between yankee radio announcers Jon "I'm literally doing all the play-by-play because Suzyn doesn't know how" Sterling and Suzyn "Listen for me to stumble over a word and/or make a factual mistake and/or misuse a word and/or contradict Jon because I wasn't listening EVERY time I speak!" Waldman.

Last night's incident involves the fourth option above. Sterling said that Travis Lee would not have gotten to a ball hit by Tony Womack which had hit the first base bag, had it not hit the bag. Suzyn followed that up by saying, "It's a good thing that ball hit the bag, because Travis Lee would've fielded that ball." She stated her opinion boldly, but it wasn't her disagreeing with him, it was her completely missing that he had JUST said the opposite was true. It sounded so ridiculous (and made it seem like they were watching different plays) that Sterling just let it go and moved on.

I'm glad we gave Timmy Wakefield a contract extension. It will be great to see a good guy like that have a retirement celebration at Fenway in a few years. Then again, this guy might have ten more years in him.

Mondale Got Old!

AP photo...of Pope-dale raising the roof

1984 presidential candidate Walter Mondale (shown here "raising the roof") has been named the new pope. Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first ever female vice-pope.

Congratulations Walter and Gerry!

Watch It Happen

Funny. Had the Rays actually scored the 17 runs I'd predicted, they still would have lost. Great job, male Sam. (You know you're taking the blame every time those guys lose to the yanks, right?)

No big deal, though. yankee fans can't even brag about their team's win because:

A. They don't know about it since they don't pay attention to baseball until October.

And that renders B through E useless, but they would've been:

B. We won, too.

C. We're 3 games up on 'em.

D. Biggest collapse in sports history.

E. Where's the tro-phy?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mark Of The Hell-Born

I'm officially retina-scanned, tattooed, and branded.

The high-quality Red Sox Nation card just arrived in the mail.

I'm below the 5000 line as far as member # goes. Too bad Silva bought up all those early numbers or I might have been even lower.

A rare Patriots' Day win. Maybe not that rare, but I definitely think of it as a losing day rather than a winning one usually. But things are different now.

My dad has a theory that Steinbreener's comments were purposely made right before a Devil Rays series, to make himself look good if they beat Tampa Bay. Probably true. The bonus is if they get swept by Tampa Bay. Then maybe that ass hole will fire himself.

We're 3 1/2 up as of this moment. I really want to have a division lead in summer this year, and see what all the stupid reporters say now that they can't use "As long as it says Boston on their chest, they'll blow it in the end."

Or even funnier would be if the yanks have a lead and everyone just assumes they will blow it...

How Double Sweep It Double Is

So I have a new theory as to why 1080 AM Hartford comes in so crappily in the Danbury area.

But a quick background for those who don't know. 1080 comes in all over the northeast. I've heard tales of people in the Carolinas who say "Thank god for 1080 in Hartford." And I've picked it up driving through Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, I can get the Baltimore station clearly every night (1090, it overpowers 1080), as well as stations from Cleveland, Toronto, Cincinnati, Philly, and Pittsburgh.

I've often thought that there must be a hill between Hartford and the Danbury area (where Ive always lived). Either that or Steinbrenner is somehow controlling it, continuing to keep the Sox out of Fairfield County.

But here's my new theory.

If you've ever driven through Waterbury, CT on I-84 (halfway between Danbury and Hartford), you've probably noticed a huge lit-up cross on top of a big hill. Or as I said when I was three, according to my mom, "It's not a cross, it's a lower case 't'."

It's there because some dude once recreated Bethlehem up on that hill and called the place "Holy Land." You may have seen the Hollywood-style sign up there, too. The remnants of it are still there. I've been there twice, and I have to say, it's one of the most f'd up places on earth. Go there if you want to be freaked out, but go in the daylight, as it's a notorious drug-dealing area.

Anyway, I now believe that Jesus, in retribution for all the years I've spent mocking him and his followers, has been punishing me all this time.

I think the signal leaves Hartford, flies through the air toward where I am, hits the cross in Waterbury, and goes splitting off in three directions like some kind of apocalyptic trident. Left, right, and up, in the shape of the cross. All the people to the east and west pick up their share of the signal, and the airwaves coming out of the top of the cross go up and over Fairfield County into the states south and west.

Here's my other story for tonight: (names changed because personal info is mentioned)

My friend Calogero got a new job where he's being immediately flown to the city of Narnia, where he'll spend four days getting to know his new co-workers at a conference. He was told that it's "okay to act like a retard" by his boss, Mr. Slate, since he's just starting out. On the first night in Narnia, they'll all get together and bowl. So tonight, "C," as we call Calogero, is bowling with total strangers, pretending to be retarded.

Tonight, while I was at my friend Keith Morris' house, Keith's girlfriend, Tatiana, came home. He asked her where she was. She said she was out bowling. I said, "Oh, weird, C's bowling tonight in Narnia." She didn't think it was that big a deal. Then she pointed out that "Well, this was with retarted people." (She works with the disabled.) I said, "Oh, well C's pretending to be retarded." She still didn't seem to care, but I thought it was a pretty weird coincidence.

Maybe tomorrow it'll hit her. Oh that Tatiana.

How much do you love Tim Wakefield? Another golden performance. Great job working out of the jam in the first. And Chopper with a mega-dong to the triangle.

And in the yankee game, which I had on radio (I was at the utopia of my parents' place, where the Sox are on TV and the yanks are NOT), in the bottom of the first, Jon Sterling says, "Kevin Brown is looking great, he's hitting 93, he's walking around the mound with a spring in his step..." Then BOOM, home run, BOOM, double, BOOM, single, 2-0 O-Birds. Then in the second, Brownie gives up a grand slam, putting the yanks in a hole they never dug out of.

David Wells was on the NESN post-game and was pretty funny. He said Kevin Brown might break his other hand after today. Then, upon hearing Steinbrenner's little speech of frustration today (always a much-celebrated occurence in my family), Wells said that it only makes everybody's booty a litle tighter around there, instead of making the new guys feel comfortable.

We are three ahead of them, and they've lost 8 of 10. Their starters stink. Their bullpen stinks. Their closer stinks. They don't hit for shit. It's wonderful to be alive.

The only bad thing about this weekend's dual sweeping action was that the yanks couldn't fall behind the Rays into last place because we kept beating the Rays, and we couldn't jump ahead of the O's because they kept beating the yanks. But I'm not complaining one bit.

I noticed that this dude Bell is pitching for the Rays in the Bronx tomorrow. On Saturday, he was the wacky guy for the Rays during their batting practice. In other words, the first dude to throw a ball into the crowd. Hence the guy everybody yells toward every time he gets a ball from then on, leading to a special chemistry between him and the crowd. Since he was "that guy" for the Rays, I'm predicting that it translates into a nice loose performance on the mound for him, beating the yanks. Let's say, 17-0. Why the hell not?

The World Champions play at 11 AM tomorrow, don't forget to pay close attention to the game instead of working. Priorities, everybody.

Oh, that's right, you Mass people actually get a day off for this thing tomorrow. Not fair. Connecticut needs a day like this. Whalers' Day? How about it, Rell.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Fenway Park, April 16th, 2005

I was just writing about how great it is to see Red Sox players hitting home runs at night at Fenway, and tonight I experienced it in person. Two from Manny, one a grand slam.

It's cool to see HRs from our seats in the bleachers, right on the edge of the gap between them and the grandstand. There's always the chance that the ball is way foul and it looks fair, but the Monster Seats help, because you can look at the fans up there and judge whether the ball is headed toward them or not. Manny's were sure things. Especially that first one. Over everything.

Great job by Clement tonight. I went in expecting ball after ball, but he came out throwing strikes. We should be beating the Devil Rays just about every time, and we're doing a good job of that so far.

It was so sweet when the scoreboard on the Monster went from 6-4 yankees to 7-6 Orioles. 4 out of 5! My theory is that they're now going to beat up on the yanks all year and lose every game to us.

Next week is a key week, with two against TOR and two against BAL, the two teams ahead of us. I'd like to jump ahead of them, and put them both right between us and the (4-7) yanks.

As for the non-baseball aspects of tonight's trip:

New traditions are forming, such as:

When the PA dude comes on before each game, he says, "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Fenway Park, America's most beloved ballpark." Then he pauses, then I say to Pat or whoever else is listening, "And?" And PA dude says, "And home of the World Champion Boston Red Sox."

On our way home, shortly after Hartford we pass a place with a huge, bright sign that says "Furniture City." As we pass it, I always say, "Spatula City," because it reminds me of that commercial in the movie UHF. "Cities" made up of items are amusing to me.

There's a garden near Fenway, with a path running through it, parallel to the sidewalk. We walk through it oon our way to the park. I call it "Shortcut Gardens."

On Saturday nights, WAAF (your home for an overwhelming amount of Alice In Chains songs) has the "Hair Ball," which is basically eighties metal hits. Since we're going to lots of Saturday night games this season, we'll be tuning in religiously after the postgame.

Tonight, Pat & I wanted to hear some music from the rare genre known as "Mid-to-late-nineties rock that was considerably more wussed out than the rock from a few years earier." Like Seven Mary Three, Sponge, Spacehog, Dog's Eye View, Live, Collective Soul, the Refreshments, and whoever did that song with the BB KIng sample.

We hated that crap when it came out, but now we like to hear it so we can make fun of it and reminisce about being forced to listen to it at a jon we worked at together back then. Needless to say we didn't find any of it tonight on the radio.

The rock from a few years earlier was what we were into, when it came to mainstream music. Like Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, Primus, pre-unecessarily weird Smashing Pumpkins, pre-trying too hard Pearl Jam, and some of those other Seattle bands.

Those bands were really influential. Case in point, tonight, an hour into our trip, we'd heard on the radio four bands from the Singles soundtrack, fifteen years after the fact. I know there's nothing more pathetic than a slightly older person talking about how great things USED to be, but come on, that stuff was good. And it was like the record companies had to catch up to what was going on, rather than just inventing something and pushing it in kids' faces, pretending like they didn't rip it off from a time before those kids were born.

I forgot to mention that Fever Pitch used a Nick Drake song, just like I did in my movie. They also used the Jonathon Richman song about Fenway Park, which was cool. And, of course, they used all the now-traditional Fenway Park songs.

I like how a lot of things at Fenway have become a tradition. Basically I'm just talking about the songs they play at the same point in each game. It's like Fenway has a soundtrack. There's a nice rythm at games now. Some constants to go along with the unpredictability of the game on the field.

The one thing a lot of people probably don't notice is how they'll play a song that relates to the visiting team right before the game. Like tonight, it was "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" in honor of Tampa Bay. A stretch, but come on, do you know any songs about Tampa Bay?

There's a place near Fenway called "Blue Cat Cafe." Just thought female Sam would like to know that.

Our super secret parking is still gold. 25 cents instead of 25 dollars. We leave the park and walk toward our car, watching as everyone else goes a different way. Then we hop on the pike in mere minutes. There's a certain spot where we've decided a zip-line would come in handy, but we still need to rig that up.

Don't Spare A-Rod

The A-Rod fake life-saving story situation is hilarious. I've been reading the threads about it on the two main boards, laughing my butt off.

The guy can't win. And I love it. He's like Frank Grimes.

"Surely if I tell everybody I saved a kid's life, they'll all love me." Sorry, buddy. You might as well try to give yourself a nickname.

In other news, I just donated a kidney to an orphan, I swear. And please call me Rocky McAwesome from now on.

I also want to bring up a funny conversation I heard at work:

Guy: "I'm leaving for Alabama tomorrow."

Woman: "Oh. Family, or...?"

Guy: "Nah, I'm takin' my kid to Space Camp."

Just cracked me up for some reason.

Also, thanks to the nice comments from a dude named Mike, who may have been the first person to mention the Butthole Surfers on this, or any, Red Sox blog.

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

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States