Saturday, September 24, 2005

Long Time, No Dance

When was the last baseball day that ended with me jumping around the room?

That was the type of game where you're standing at the start, and standing at the end, even in your living room.

Just got the call from mom at Camden: "That was the most exciting game I've ever been to."

And earlier, with Matsui and Cano making key errors, the yanks lost the type a game they've been winning TOO MANY of lately.

One more, then we go home.

"Let the party begin." --Bill Hicks (imitating David Lee Roth)

Me Like Win

That's the Tejada I've been watching for the last few days. It's about time we got a break.

We're basically at home the rest of the way, as tonight's Baltimore crowd proved. It seemed like a festive atmosphere down there. Constant noise. And Saturday will bring even more Sox fans to the mildly great state of Maryland. That includes my parents, who initially planned on hitting a Sox game and a Nationals game this weekend, but have decided the Red Sox need them too much right now. So they're in for Saturday and Sunday now. I am jealous. But I'll be at Fenway on Monday, where it will be just as electric as the division goes down to the wire for the first time in a while.

Bronson did a great job of bouncing back tonight. He got stronger as the game went on. When that guy finds his rhythm, he's Cy F. Young sometimes.

Love how Cora is coming through, and as a bonus, Turbo-ny Graf-X-nino will be back tomorrow. We've got a nice little setup at the former Offerman/Sanchez/Walker/ Frye/Barrett/Remy position.

I noticed that Trot has a 44 as well as a 7 on his helmet, in honor of his sidelined summer-me, Gabe Kapler. Nice job, Trot.

Alright, I'm gonna do an "if you'd told me..." I'm sorry. But here it is: If you'd told me last December that we'd be one game out of first to the yanks with nine games left, with the last seven being at home, and the last three being against the yanks, well, I'd call you a fucking genius because you'd have turned out to be exactly right. I'd be all, "Holy shit, you are absolutley amazing. I mean, just knowing what the schedule makers were going to do is crazy enough, but then to correctly guess the standings? Just, wow. I'm going to buy you an ice cream cone of your choice. You want red bean? Huh? Red bean?"

You get the point. Let's look forward instead of the other -ward. It will be exciting. Fenway with sweatshirts. That's my heaven.

Oh, and Ted, forget it.

Hey, click on the link at the right for "View From My Office." They've got a greenhouse in right field at Fenway. I guess people are picking up their Championship Sod tomorrow. (No, I didn't buy any after all.) There's also a colorful sign on the Monster that says "Storybook Ball."

Friday, September 23, 2005

Scroll Down For The Pretty Picture

yanks win. I'm pissed. Ho hum.

I met up with Chan down in Chinatown tonight. Our plan was to eat dinner in Chinatown or Little Italy, which are adjacent to each other, and then get ice cream, per BS Memorial's recommendation, at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

We looked at some Chinese restaurants, before deciding we'd rather have Italian. So we headed up Mulberry Street, inadvertently walking right into the Feast of San Gennaro. I'd heard news reports about this in the past, but had never been to it. It's a week and a half long street fair/celebration of food and...Italians, I guess. A half-mile of it, at least. It's a good way to hold on to summer now that it's fall. And it's cool to see a ferris wheel on the streets of Manhattan.

The booths with the "Fuggedaboudit" and "How YOU Doin'?" T-shirts are hoky, but you can get some nice, sloppy desserts. I quickly ate a Mozzerepa for "dinner" just so I could get to the dessert. I ended up just getting a cannoli, though, because I wasn't leaving that area without trying some of that Chinese ice cream. Chan got some meat things, and we headed back down to Chinatown. I got banana ice cream. It was very good. Chan got "red bean" ice cream. I asked him what kind of beans were in there. He said "Regular red beans." I said, "As in 'red beans and rice didn't miss her'?" He said it was indeed that kind. Weird. Oh, and I saw a Sox fan testing his pitch speed at one of those booths. He got, like, 51, but didn't seem to be trying very hard. Bit of a short-armer, too. But I was rooting for him. The hat looked moderately- to extra moderately-worn in.

Walking around after that, we passed a bar. We looked through the window at the yankee game. The O's had just put men on first and third, thanks to a ball going through Jeter's legs (I'm sure it was a bad hop that only YOU could see, Michael Kay). After a single made it 1-0 O's, and set them up beautifully, first and second, NO outs, we decided to keep walking.

You know that the whole time between that moment and the time we got home an hour later, I was thinking: Could the Orioles, one time, just one goddamn time, please get at least one more run out of this? And you know I'm optimistic, but I just couldn't convince myself that they possibly could do this for us. I got home, ready to find out about how some Oriole hit into a triple play because everybody thought the ball was foul, but it hit a magical forcefield and took a ninety degree turn, allowing A-Rod to touch third, throw to second, where Cano got it and made a bad throw to first, but since nobody ran, Giambi was able to track it down, pick it up, and throw it to Jeter, who covered first, receiving an award, upon reaching the dugout, for "Best Heads-Up Play that was Actually Just Fundamental Baseball."

I got home, and the yanks had just scored four in an inning, to take a 5 to--that's right--1, lead. So I checked the yahoo play-by-play of the inning when the O's had two on, no out. Not quite a triple play, but a line out, followed by a line out double play. Terrible. Then I tried to guess which Oriole made an error to allow the yanks to have a four-run inning, because there was no dobt in my mind that there was one. I went with Tejada. I was correct.

Later, after the O's came back from a 7-1 lead to make it 7-5, Melvin (cough, cough)* Mora homered with two outs in the ninth, to make it a one-run game. That was cool, because yankee fans had been standing and cheering for the last strike, and were shut the hell up, AND because it gave Tejada a chance. But as if to cap off his crappy series, Tejada grounded out on the first pitch, killing the momentum, and barely even running all the way down the line. For a guy who's supposed to be the star of the team, and who seems to care so much and get pissed when things go run, he sure does FAIL TO COME THROUGH quite often.

Speaking of being pissed, I would like to credit the O's manager for yelling at the umps after the yanks scored the other day on that play where Roberts couldn't move to pick up the ball. I always like to see those rare people who actually care about beating the yanks, especially when their team is eliminated.

And twice in the last two days, Cano has fielded totally normal ground balls, proven by slow motion replays, on which Kay has credited him for making a good play on a "bad" or "tough" hop. I seriously don't know how the guy lives with himself.

Anyway, Peter was saying something about how the yanks still win when they had to. I just refuse to buy it. In these last few weeks, I've seen shit that would turn you white. The walls of the 53rd precinct were bleeding. Seriously, Peter, if the Sox were winning with the blind-ass luck that the yanks are winning with, you'd be saying how we couldn't possibly win the division because we're not that good. I'm just saying, to everyone who says that the Sox have problems: I know. But so do the yanks. Every win of their sweep of the O's could have been a loss. I tried to warn everybody last year. Just letting you know that it's the same crap this year.

Finally, in honor of the Shit Birds getting 0 wins against the yanks in four shots, here's one of those alternate logos I made for them that fits perfectly:

*the coughing is a tribute to the late Doris from Rego park, long-time Mets fan and caller to WFAN, who struggled with throat problems. I think Mora was one of her faves. (Or at least she liked to say the name.)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

On Fans

I got a great comment here. It's from two posts down, comment # 13 I think. Here's a quote from it. (It's from a Sox fan in NYC who watched both games in Brooklyn last night):

"Maybe I'm wrong, but there is a trend among the less educated, more idiotic Yankees fans that I just don't see in other cities. Their affiliation with the Yankees, and the pain that the Yankees' success can cause Red Sox fans, seems to be the only source of joy and self-worth in their lives. As infuriating as they were last night, it was also sad. I'm a diehard Sox fan, and I will lose my shit if they blow this, but I don't think I'll ever maniacally march around a bar looking for ways to make strangers feel bad about themselves, in an effort to give my own fucked up existence a sense of meaning and purpose. Memo to those Yankees fans: cheer all you want... even if you win it all, Jeter still won't want to hang out with you."

Brilliant. This is how I've always felt. Yes, there are dumb people in every fan base. There are some "bad" Sox fans, and I know yankee fans who are smart, and who have always felt sorry for me as opposed to taunting me all those years. Then again, they are my friends. I wonder if these same people, when in public among Red Sox fans they don't know, abuse strangers out of the blue.

But it is interesting how yankee fans as a whole seem to emit this aura of being pathetic losers, who have grasped onto the winningest team in history. That's not a coincidence.

I think that's the test of whether one is a "true" yankee fan. If you are one, you should be happy for the most part, but humble. Like, if you see a Sox fan (and this is pre-'04 we're talking), you should feel bad, and not want to rub it in their faces. You know your team has won the most championships, and that should be good enough for you without having to taunt strangers who could have joined your side, but have chosen not to.

Whereas if some guy comes up to me on the street and makes some comment to me about my Sox hat (which I've been dealing with all my life), well, I know he's just latched on to the yanks. The reason? Well, tell a person who's got nothing going for him in life that if they do a certain thing, they are allowed to suddenly be "above" everyone else. Most are going to jump at that chance.

What kills me is how it's these fake yankee fans who can come right out this year and still be arrogant, still try to make fun of me (instead of noticing how I just walk right past them--albeit with a sly smile on my face--at this time when it's my right to make fun of them, and maybe learning something about life.)

It's as if last year never happened for them. They were told they'd be royalty by putting on a yankee hat. And apparently no wins or losses or GREATEST CHOKES IN HISTORY are going to change that.

On opening day at yankee Stadium this year, I was out in the bleachers way before the game, and a yankee fan came right up to the fence and started yelling at Varitek in the bullpen. Then he turned to the other fans and said proudly, "Let 'em know! Right from the beginning!" Let who know what? It's as if he thought the yankees had won the 2004 ALCS.

So I'll just keep ignoring those losers, and not let them bother me, and know that the smart yankee fans know the truth, and none of them are going to say anything to me about first place right now, because they're probably more nervous than we are.

Thanks for the comment!

Deadspin To Me

Hi. If you're coming from, please know that my quote was taken out of context. It's from my last post. I made the mistake of being a Sox fan and using the term "all is lost." If you read the entire post, you know I wasn't talking about the season. And if you read the rest of my blog, I'm a completely OPTIMISTIC Red Sox fan, and have been for my whole life. I am very psyched that yankee fans now THINK they've got it wrapped up, because, like last year, it will be all the sweeter when they choke.

Thank you.

And to the folks at deadspin, go fuck yourselves. To return the favor, I'd like to quote you: "' like...Michael...Kay...does."

Most of the other blogs you quoted were also talking about last night's crappy loss which just happened to be the one that put us in second place.

Terrible job.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Every Cloud Has A Silver Bomb That I've Planted In yankee Stadium

"And the Red Sox have suffered a crushing defeat." --Joe Castiglione

Was anyone else screaming at Francona for even thinking about taking Wake out? For me, it was the kind of pained scream you make when you watch someone pull the wrong wire out of a bomb, and you just know all is lost. (Are bombs really made that way?)

It's rare for me to actually believe that the Sox have no chance of winning a game, especially when they're ahead at the time. But, as you know, I have a theory called "Never Take Out Wakefield." He wasn't tired. He was one out away from getting out of it. If you have to take him out, let him finish the inning first. Then use Timlin to start the next inning--when there's no one on base.

The way I see it is: Hitters hate knuckleballers. The best thing you can do for a hitter in a key spot is to suddenly let him face a non-knuckleballer. No matter how good the next pitcher is, he's still just a normal pitcher. Which is what hitters are used to facing. In a baseball world where the last thing you want to do is have to get the bullpen involved, you should realize how special Wakefield is, and keep him in as long as possible. Yes, sometimes he doesn't know where the ball is going when it leaves his hand...but neither does the batter! That's the advantage of Wakefield. Leave him in. Always. For first place's sake.

The men left on base killed me tonight, too. When injuries force Hyzdu to have to start on September 21st, you kind of have to expect that some runners might be left on, though.

So now we'll have to catch the yanks again in the last few days, just like we did in '78. "But wait," you're saying, "it was the yanks who caught US in '78. Terrible job, Jere." Well, as has never been reported by anyone except my dad, the truth is that after we blew the 14-lead, we found ourselves down 4 in the loss column on September 17th. And we came back to tie it up, forcing the one-game playoff. And as we know, every time the yanks and Sox have played a one-game playoff, the road team has won. And if there is one this year, it'll be at yankee Stadium. Maybe this is the baseball gods' plan for us to systematically exorcise all our past demons over the next 86 years. And this year we'll have Alex Cora beat them with a cheap home run on October 3rd.

Also, a note on tonight's yankee game: The cheapest hit of all time by Matsui led to Lawton's two-out homer, giving them their only runs in a one-run victory. It was a bloop to center, and Tejada did his know patented "I'll miss it!" call, making all the fielders around him back away so HE could be the one to let it fall at his feet. I'm just sayin'.

Talked to my friend Brian tonight, who brought up my drawing of that Orioles logo, the one that says "We only try against YOUR team." Good call, Brian. So true.

Tomorrow it's--THE DAY OFF.

[Bonus stuff: Michael Kay, who has been pi-diddly-issing me off more than ever lately, came out with a beaut tonight. On the five hundredth blimp shot of the night, he proclaimed, "For some reason, yankee Stadium just looks better than most stadiums from above, especially when it's packed."

I sat there, knowing that Chan was just waiting for me to put my foot through the screen, silent. I waited a few beats, holding in my rage, before calmly saying in my nicest voice, "Maybe because that's how god wants it." I don't think Chan got it.

By the way, if MLB, and especially the yanks, care so much about the hurricane victims, how 'bout taking the money that it costs to fly a blimp around all night just so we can see the same shot of the stadium over and over, and sending THAT down to New Orleans...]

Jack Torse

Here in New York, there's a new radio station that plays music in the "iPod"-style format. It's called Jack-FM. ("Playing what we want.) I know from going to Boston that they've got "Mike-FM," which is the same deal. So, unlike the Geico salesman, I did a little research, and here's what I found:

Jack-FM is everywhere. It's in over 25 markets in the U.S. and Canada. (Mike-FM appears to be independent, as is one I found called Doug-FM. There's also a Bob-FM, which is also huge, and can be found in England and Canada.) And not only can it be heard all over the place, but it's the SAME everywhere. You can go to their website and see what's on the air right now. And it's the same for each Jack.

What's the deal with this? It seems so 1984 to me. I mean, I guess an iPod is a good idea, even though I don't have one, but why would I want to listen to one that was loaded and programmed by someone else? And is played exactly the same to everyone in the country. It seems like the all-time champion of "eating what's fed to you."

Isn't the point of radio for different types of music to be played on different stations, therefore giving US the power to choose what we want to hear?

But here's why it works: We're all lazy. I admit, when Chan and I play Scrabble, we put on Jack, and it seems like I like almost every song. But that's only because they play so much 80's stuff. If it was an iPod playing today's crappy P Diddy hits, I'm sure I'd never listen.

And radio stations are just as lazy. All they have to do is flip a switch, and boom, they're a "Jack." No more DJs to pay, no more work to do at all. I imagine some guys in black suits going around to radio stations, with just a clipboard and a pen. They hold them out to the station owner, and like Nan Adams in the Hitchhiker episode of The Twilight Zone calmly deciding to go along with the Grim Reaper, they sign away any soul they had left.

Also, why is the "Jack" in the logo wearing a crown? Don't they know it's the king who wears the crown? The jack wears the universally-loved jester hat. Why take that out of the equation? We need more jester hats and less crowns in this world, anyway.

Then, of course, there's the fact that all these stations have male names. (Unless you count "Aunt Jack" from Mrs. Doubtfire.) Terrible job. I tried searching for "Lisa-FM" and "Jane-FM," but found nothing. Then again, I don't really know the popular female names of the day. (Oh my god, I sound like Alice when she and Mrs. Brady went through Greg's "annual" and she wondered where all the "Mary"s went.) (And I guess another thing that shows my age is the Brady Bunch reference itself.)

So, my conclusion on the iPod radio revolution?

Terrible job.

But kinda good sometimes.

But not really.

Wake against "DUH-nuh-nuh, duh-nuh-nuh, DUH-nuh-nuh, duh-nuh-nuh" tonight.

Gold To My Ear

Not quite a no-no, but just the kind of win that makes everybody say how this is just what we needed. Including me. We're gold. The key is getting to the final seven games with the lead. Or even tied. Once we get to that point, we go home, while the yanks hit the road for the last seven. We should roll in from there. Even a one-game lead going into the last series means that one win clinches the tie. But we still have to go 4-0 or 3-1 in the four games before that.

David Ortiz has now hit more homers in a season than any other Sox player in my lifetime. And yours if you were born after 1938.

So I'm happy. However, here's a CAPITAL LETTER-filled alert about our friends the New York yankees. Hopefully this will give you an idea of how shitty they are, and how evil they are.

You may read something like this about tonight's game:

"Jason Giambi hit a high pop into short left field that shortstop Miguel Tejada called for but couldn't come up with, and Sheffield followed with his 10th career slam..."

Here's what Yahoo says happened (with what really happened in CAPS) in the yanks' five-run inning:

- B. Williams to second on balk (THERE WAS NO BALK. yANKEE ANNOUNCERS ADMITTED IT.)
- J. Baldwin relieved J. Maine

So don't be fooled, or think that the yanks are "creeping up" on us. Small's been shitty, despite still not having a loss. Their other pitching is shabby. They do nothing good, but still seem to win. They have Embree. They had to pitch Mariano in a game where they led 10-3. They will not beat us.

Also, Hanley had his first major league at bat tonight. And was royally screwed by an ump who wanted to go home. Horrible.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


The magic number is down to:
By the way, Stadium image courtesy Google Maps. Toilet image courtesy me. More on tonight after I beat Chan at Scrabble for the second time tonight.


Curt, on behalf of all Red Sox fans, I'd like to request a no-hitter that gives us momentum and sends us rocketing into the playoffs. Thanks.

In game show news, do you remember Scrabble? "Place the R, Chuck." "Ooh, stopper."

I thought of that one, and it got me thinking about a really underrated time in game show history. Around 1989, USA Network came out of nowhere with some seemingly Canadian game shows. Like Hot Potato, Bumper Stumpers, and Jackpot. BS was about figuring out license plate-related puzzles. In Jackpot, everybody had a series of wallets with riddles inside. And every once in a while, someone would open their wallet and say "Jackpawt!" Again, they all seemed to be Canadian for some reason. Weird, since it was USA Network. Anyway, if anyone else has any memories of the late-80s wave of game shows, please share.

Schilling vs. McTurd tonight.

(As in "The McTurd McClung to my McAss.")

Monday, September 19, 2005

Murderous Rage

I'd just like to blame that racist fucking idiot DirtDog once again for running Pedro out of town, causing us to have to watch that fat-head Wells self-destruct and whine and complain and get frustrated and fuck up in September against the Devil Rays.

And someone needs to throw Edgar's possessions out the window down to the street below.

I can't blame Papelbon because Hansen was doing great and should've stayed in the game.

My dad just got the Yes network today for the first time in a couple of years, after having watched the yanks for decades before that, since we lived in Fairfield County. And it's as if Steinbrenner knew this, and tried to refresh my dad's memory. Tonight was the classic horseshit yankee win.

I have a great idea for a zombie-killing-style video game. You're in yankee Stadium, it's a packed house. Their are several different bullcrap yankee wins loaded into the game, so you can maybe choose the team they play. Let's say, for an example everyone can relate to, Jeter gets a cheap-ass, inside out swing bloop hit to right field. You then, naturally, go around with, say, a piece of a metal seat, and just start stabbing yankee-fan zombies, ripping their empty hearts from their chests as they fall to the the pee-stained cement, and go rolling down the upper deck and over the edge, landing on some rich family from Westchester, killing them and their cracker-zombie-spawn.

Then an Orioles first baseman who weighs three hundred pounds forgets to cover first, two four-pitch walks, a hit batter and an error lead to a big yankee inning. You grab a souvenir bat and start knocking the heads off American flag-wavin', shirtless neanderthals who think that not only have the yankees done something great, but that they themselves have, too.

Then, after the fifteenth obviously paid-for strike call is made in favor of the yanks, you locate the celebrity section. You slam Penny Marshall's and Billy Crystal's heads together, and they explode. You do the same with Guiliani and Cheney, who appear at every game in this video game.

Once every fan is dead, you get to go to town on yankee players. I like the idea of making them kill each other. But you can get creative.

Earlier tonight, Chan told me he was afraid of me, and that he thought I might murder him. And I hadn't even told him about this video game idea.

Anyway, it'll all be fine. They'll choke in the end.


While I was gone, the magic number went from:
to this:
to this:

When thinking about the Red Sox' problems, remember that every other team has them, too. And to this point, only one team in the entire league has played to a better record than ours.

For having a 10-game plan at Fenway, as a bonus I get a shot to buy tickets to an ALDS game. Last year, I had tickets for Game 4, and since it wasn't played, Pat & I got to witness an ALCS game. Woohoo! ALCS! It was the 19-8 game... Today, I ordered this year's ALDS tickets. They choose the game, and the seats are determined based on season ticket tenure. This year, we'll be in the grandstand for "Home Game 2," provided there is one. Fortunately, ALDS ticket prices are the same as regular season prices. Unfortunately, the processing fee goes up by about a thousand percent. Oh well. You know I'll lie, cheat, and/or squeal for that money if I have to. Playoffs, dude.

This weekend I crowningly achieved one of my life's crowning achievements. I was being quizzed on 70s TV stars' bios by a friend of mine. (Endless thanks to them for meeting, and enjoying, my incessant requests to "quiz me.") This friend of mine, who we'll call "F.O.M.," asked, "Okay, where was Fred Berry born?" "Ooh, Rerun!" I said, excited to put my brain to work. "Let's see," I thought out loud, "he's got that dance background....St. Louis?" "Right," shouted ol'

Goodnight, everybody.

Note: The line above was to be the final line of this post. When trying to think of a title, I went with "Closer," as in, Me making that incredible prediction about Fred Berry was the "closing joke" of my act. You know the Seinfeld episode. But then I realized that it could also be prounced the other way, and refer to the fact that the Magic Number, discussed above, is getting closer to zero. In fact, I'm guessing that's what you, the human reader, thought, as you started reading the post, assuming you read the title first. So, since that worked out so perfectly, on that note, Goodnight, everybody.

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