Saturday, June 02, 2007

"You Know How I Hate Losin' To The Pie-ritz!"

Or in my case, the Yankees. Did anyone catch Drinkwater's [object]-toss to Kapstein in the sixth? Was that a water bottle? It happened right after we hit into a DP. Also, Kapstein was sitting with a man who looked an awful lot like him. Possibly a brother. It was like Kapper in a white wig.

Three highlights from tonight:

1. Any time the Yanks are up six going to the ninth, and they have to bring in Mari-ahhh NO Peg Rivera, that's a good thing.

2. Nice job by the "she-males" in the crowd. Even a grandma-looking lady got into the act.

3. A-Rod getting thrown out by Manny was fun. Again, anyone who regularly watches the Sox knew if he was gonna go for two, he was getting thrown out by the master of the Monster, Manny. Anyone who's a fucking idiot and thinks Manny doesn't know how to play baseball because he has weird hair is saying "Heyy, that's not Manny being Manny, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha."

The Assman was throwing at Youk. I don't care what Posada thinks. Wow, I'm watching Youk's interview and he's pissed. Lots of "no comment" action. Assman also says he wasn't throwing at him. I don't know, man. Terrible job. We're movin' on, though.

My mom's right: Jerry Remy is pretty blatantly anti-Red Sox. Many examples--One tonight, when he said the Yanks should be in the dugout, after a ball call went against them. Why didn't he say that about the Sox the inning before after all the bad calls the umps made against Wake? And tonight he defended A-Rod on the bush league play, even saying it happened to him all the time, and he tried it on others. Just sounds like "diffuse the situation" talk to me. This is a weird thing to say about your announcer, but I wish he'd stop commenting on the game and stick to having laughing fits and stuff.

The DPs were tough tonight. I feel like everybody except the hitter knows Wang's trying to get him to hit a grounder. And then they do it. We were down six by the time he started getting DPs, but they really killed any chance of clawing our way back. That crap was frustrating me. But we're still lots and lots of games ahead.

How did we all ever allow Wang to be called "Wong"? I say every announcer should just start calling him by his name. If he can't handle people calling him "wang" (his name), he should go down to city hall and change it to Wong. Isn't that so Yankees? "Oh, we can't handle reality, so we'll make our own rules."

Okay, on Abreu's slide into third: His foot hit the bag before Youk's glove hit him. Then, he continued on, leaving the bag entirely, before touching it with his hand. While he was off the bag, I think Youk's glove was still on him. It's tough to tell since NESN only focuses on when the foot hit. Am I the only one who noticed this? Abreu coming off the bag is why the ump called him out. Funny how Torre got ejected over this....

pic of Chris Collins by me, just because

Friday, June 01, 2007

Walkin' Around Frisco

Stuff I found in San Fran:

Carrying a ladder.

On a ladder.

Dog-walkin' ghosts.

Bondage shop.

Police, Tow Me Please. Free.


Giants fan.
Maybe I'll try to find one fan of every team... help me if you like. [Update: Yankee "fan."] [Update: Saw a Cubs-blue "Believe!" shirt and thought I had a Cubs fan. Then I noticed it was just a guy at a Jesus rally (check out the sign behind him.)]

Homeless dudes chillin.'

The SF map has better zooming capabilities than NY. This thing is getting crazy. I've been seeing it on the news...

[Update, 11:46 PM: I may have confused some people with this. I'm not in San Fran. I was just finding these things on the new Street View feature on Google Maps. When I said I've been seeing it on the news, I meant that there's a lot of talk about this new technology, what with privacy issues and terrorists. I'm still here in good ol' 1955, aka Boston...though it would be cool if you could put your OWN pics onto Google maps in the spot where you took them. Oh, and the reason I was "walking" around San Fran--just click and drag for the 360-degree view or click the white arrows to move along the streets--is because they only have a few cities so far, and the zooming is the clearest on SF. But NYC is still fun, even with weaker zoom, because I know it so well. I don't know crap about SF.]

Slappy Stinks

So now we know who A-Rod's she-male girlfriend is. And I could care less about that, but I'm still seeing these reports of how great A-Rod is playing. The last line of that article is

Despite all the controversy, Rodriguez is leading the majors with 19 home runs...

Shouldn't that read:

Along with the controversy, A-Rod is mired in a month-plus-long slump, having hit .235 over the month of May, and .225 (and just .383 slugging) since April 25th (33 of his 51 games played to date).

But back to this wifey-talk. What is going on? The wife is fine with the dude sleeping with other people? I guess if that's what they want to do, fine, but, terrible job. Good luck with that. Why get married at all if you don't even love a person enough to only want to be with him or her?

Random pics I've drawn/altered lately:

The first one, your more anti-Bush-ish people should enjoy. The second one--well, I was thinking of how JD Drew might want to ask Jesus to reach into his bag of hits and help him out. Yes, he has a really small head. It's hard to draw with Photoshop. The third one is Gordon Edes as the Riddler. No reason.

That Was Alex, I'm K

Nutty NECN sportscaster Chris Collins went off on A-Rod tonight about Slap III: The Yell. As well he should have. He even went as far as to say "A-Rod is an A-S-S." I finally saw the close-up replay where you see A-Rod yell right as he passes the fielder. And what is with A-Rod saying "I said 'ha,' and that's it"? Okay, you're admitting you did it, then. (He also said he was past third went he yelled, despite video evidence of him yelling waaay before that, again, as his mouth passed the ear of Clark. What a dick.) In all these A-Rod stories, I'm still hearing things about how he's having a great year. Which he isn't. Unless you only count the first 18 games of April when it's now June.

Giambi's finally going on the DL. It seems like every time I see him, he's hobbling. Damon, you're next.

We saw Calvin Johnson play live in Cambridge tonight.

Above: As we were stopped at a red light, right outside the gallery where the show was, I spotted Calvin inside. (Fortunately, I was the passenger.) The light stayed red long enough for me to get this shot, which just happened to feature a flier with his name on it. Perfect.

Calvin was good. Played a bunch of tunes with this other dude who he'd never played with before. Told us of his train travels from and back to Washington State. Sold T-shirts that said "Stop the Torture" and "Impeach" on them. It was a fun show. He even played first, so we didn't have to sit through an opener. (Although we still felt bad for the poor girl who had to go on after Calvin, knowing we, and probably almost everyone else, were leaving without even giving her a chance. But it was freakin' hot in that place.)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A-Rod: Video Evidence

Check out this thing I just made on some weird website.

Just now on the local news: Footage of A-Rod, smiling, with wife, also smiling, walking through Boston hand-in-hand. What a freak show. We'll see what happens. The key in all of this being him shitting the bed at Fenway this weekend.

I'll keep my eye out for A-Rod tonight while I'm out, but I kinda doubt he's going to the Calvin Johnson show. Unless some kind of cheating convention breaks out.

Trying Times

Check out Dave Stewart's opinion on Clemens' comeback. (Not the guy from the Eurythmics, the ex-pitcher.)

I love how the guy in the comments section defends the Yanks at all costs on this one. But note a very important phrase he uses about the Yanks:

they do whatever it takes to try to win.

Haha! I'd say this is a victory for baseball fans everywhere! You know what I'm talkin' about? In the past, it was always, "the Yankees do what it takes to win." This guy, finally coming to the realization that they haven't won jack squat since "Who Let the Dogs Out?" was popular, sneakily alters the saying to: "whatever it takes to try to win."

It makes me happy to picture the guy writing it the "old" way, then going back over his comment and begrudgingly add "try to" to it.

Of course, that they always did what it took to win was BS anyway--they didn't win every year. And honestly, I don't know how hard they're trying to win now. What is it with Torre and the pitching staff? It seems like when a kid starter is doing well, he takes him out way too early. When somebody's crapping the bed, he leaves him in until 8 runs are on the board.

I've never felt baseball managers are very integral to a team's success. (I'm talking American League--I don't know what the hell they're doing over in the NL...) So I always thought people gave Torre too much credit in the late-90s. But how come all I hear now is, "Torre's doing what he can, it's not his fault"? If you're gonna give him credit for the four championships, how about laying some blame on him when they do shitty? Okay, you say he only does what he can with the players provided? I see. So when he's given good pitching, he wins. When he's given bad pitching, he loses. So how does that mean he's doing anything at all? And by the way, he's got a lot of good hitters--a virtual All-Star lineup. And the team's still 13.5 out. Either he's doing something wrong now that he wasn't doing in the late-90s, or he's never done anything at all, good or bad. Which is it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Slappy At It Again (Updated)

Not satisfied with cheating on his wife (we assume--hey, it could've been his buxom cousin, needing an escort to a strip club and then to A-Rod's hotel bed), A-Rod kept the deception up on the field tonight. With two outs in the ninth and the Yanks up by two, Posada hits a high pop up to the left side. As the third baseman settles under it, A-Rod, running from first to third, supposedly yells "I got it" as he goes past the guy. So the guy lets the ball drop. He immediately starts yelling at A-Rod, now standing on third. Call it Slap III: the Yell. Slap II was the Pedroia slide thing. A-Rod, once again, proves himself a true Yankee.

Anyway, a run scored on the play, and the inning was extended. A single added two more runs, and that was the game.

If it comes out that A-Rod didn't say anything, I'll take it back. (Although that wouldn't make me despise him any less.) But I don't know why else a fielder would immediately start yelling at the guy on third unless he did something... Maybe A-Rod slept with the guy's wife, who knows...

Well, we finally lost. Now we go into the Yankee series without the pressure of a winning streak, or with them being "due" for a win. That's what I keep tellin' myself, anyway.

The Rays won, so the Yanks are still tied for last. And Youk's hit streak is now at 22. So he's got that goin' for him.

[Update: If it does come out that A-Rod did nothing "wrong," come on, what did you expect me to do? The guy's a big phony. It's not like I accused Michael Leggett of fraud or anything...]

[Morning After Update, 9:11 AM: Here's the "real" media report on A-Rod's bush league play. And here's the part where A-Rod's wife leaves the house with suitcases. Looks like I won't be taking anything back...]

Desperate Measures

Select up to any ten (10) remaining home games from 12:00 noon on Thursday, May 31, 2007 through 5:00 PM on Friday, June 1, 2007 and get each Premium Game Ticket at the Advance Ticket Price and all Non-Premium Game Ticket at Half-Price, in the Main Box, Main Reserved, Loge Box, Tier Box MVP, Tier Reserved and Bleachers, subject to availability.

Can you guess which team is making this offer? I got this in an email from the Yanks today. Half-price. Ten games. Those main box seats cost 63 dollars each. You could save $315. They don't care. Come August, they'll be offering free tickets. (And still counting those people in the attendance numbers--how convenient. They might even break last year's "record.")

While looking at the Yanks' schedule, I noticed they're playing the Pirates this season. Despite that the AL East is playing the NL West. So, between that and the two "rivalry" series, the Yanks play six interleague series, only half of which are against the designated interleague division. What's "fair" about all this again? Then I checked the Pirates schedule: They get the Yanks, White Sox, Mariners, Rangers, and Angels. I guess this has to do with divisions having more teams than others, but, again, please, let's end this nonsense.

About Charlie Moore, the "mad fisherman": Saying "I'm crazy" all the time doesn't make one crazy...

Sox vs. Natives, Dice-K on the hill tonight.

Holy Crap

Google Maps continues their world domination with "Street Views." They have it for NYC and a few other cities right now. No Boston yet. But check it out, my old building!

You can even zoom in on my old bedroom windows. See that air conditioner? That's where I took the pics of the birds mating or whatever.

Here's where I took the pics of Matt Damon. You can click and drag, just like on the map, to get a 360-degree view of the street. Or click the little arrows to "walk" around a neighborhood.

Here's La Mia pizzeria, where I'd get my sicilian slice and five garlic knots on my lunch break at work.

Here's the Cold Stone where I saw Jorge Posada and Tino Martinez on two different occasions.

Here's the Red Sox bar The Riviera, where AJM and I (before we met--a meeting which actually still hasn't happened) watched game six of the 2004 ALCS.

Here's The Enchilada, where Chan and I would get burritos every Thursday night at 7:15. This is addicting....

Pitch Imperfect

Looks like we're skipping over Tavarez this weekend with the Yanks in town. Why are we worried about lining up the rotation against a last place team?

They're not even worrying about that! (As if there was one person in the world who didn't know Clemens would avoid Boston at all costs--call it the Yanks' decision if you like, we all know the truth.)

About the Pop Gun, I kept hearing about him slamming his fist down during his press conference the other day, but I didn't see it. Then I read in this article that it was spurred on by this:

Earlier in the press conference, Clemens was asked by a different reporter about the negative reaction he’s received from fans in New York, where some consider him a mercenary, and in Boston, where many consider him a traitor. Fees later asked how Clemens felt, in light of those occasional negative comments, about the overwhelmingly positive crowd support he received throughout his minor league tour.

So this Fees dude asked about positive crowd support? And it made Roger go nuts? I don't get it. But I did find the video of him going off:

"I know I stink, I don't need you to tell me that." Is it any wonder he doesn't want to show his face at Fenway?

Vid courtesy TheUnrulyFan.

A Troubled Rod

In his first 18 games this season, A-Rod hit .400 with lots of homers and RBI. He was proclaimed Jesus, and, even more mysteriously, everyone seemed to decide (again, after 18 April games) that he was cured of the mental problems he has, which cause him to shit the bed when the pressure's on.

In the 32 games since, he's hit .224 with nine extra base hits and 10 RBI. Hey, "real" media, let's stop ignoring this.

The above two paragraphs were written by me last night, with the intention of posting them today. However, it looks like the "real" media, and everyone else, will have a new issue to focus on when it comes to A-Rod. When he got to Toronto Sunday night, he went to a strip club. With a woman who wasn't his wife. We'll see what happens with this one....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Tonight was the new usual, or as I call it as of this moment, the nusual: We win, they lose. The lead is 14 1/2 and my giddiness level is at a similar 14 1/2, on a scale of 3 to 14 3/4.

We had the Yanks on the computer on mute tonight. In the seventh, we glanced over to see that the crowd was on its feet, and the Jays had taken the lead. We readied ourselves for the replay, and as it started, I knew exactly what was going on: A Blue Jay had stolen home! Aaron Hill came sliding in with the go-ahead run, after sprinting toward the plate while Andy Pettitte stood on the mound, clueless. The coolest thing, by far, though, was visible on the replay from the angle behind A-Rod. As the runner is headed home, A-Rod is literally scratching his ass. Talk about taking the fielders by surprise: Pettitte's looking the other way, Posada's blocked by the hitter, and A-Rod's scratching his ass. Really hilarious stuff. A-Rod didn't do his showpony trot after that one...

When the Yanks came up in the next inning, though, Jeter and A-Rod reached on two consecutive errors, and they re-tied the game on Posada's bloop hit. In the past, this would've been the key to another cheap Yankee win. But this is 2007, so the opponents got the run right back in the bottom of the eighth (off of a pissed-off Proctor, aka the Assman), and shut the Yanks down in the ninth. Tonight's game-ender was Damon. It's fun when any Yankee ends a game, but some guys are more fun than others.

We won without Big Papi again. 31-15, nice. Youk has a 21-gamer, but even more impressive, nine straight multi-hit games. Beckett is back and is now 8-0. The Coco play in the first inning: Coco totally deeked (dec'd?) the runner, and got no credit from Remy and DO. He came in with his glove down. Had he raised it, the runner would've known to get back to first. Instead he kept it down, and even made a basket catch. That runner didn't know Coco would catch the ball until it landed in his glove. By then, he was screwed, ad Coco threw to first for an easy deuce. This begins a new feature here at RSF/PT. Coco gets the "Jere's Player of the Game" award, and gets the special "J" on his uni. This award will be given to the player who makes a cool or underrated or key play in a Red Sox win. This will also allow me to use some pics I've taken that didn't make it into a gallery. (And not always because they were blurry, like this one!) The award will be given either every win, or whenever I feel like it.

You know what I hate? When people say, "This is boring, it's not even a race." This isn't boring. It's fun-tastic.

Who was it in my comments section who said "15 game-lead when Clemens pitches at Fenway"? You may be right about the lead! However, as we all suspected, it looks like the Yanks will keep Roger out of the series this weekend. TC had a great line tonight: If they're going with three other starters against the Sox, when Roger is ready to pitch, doesn't that mean they're paying all this money for a number four starter?

Maybe they'll have Roger come in from the bullpen in the series, or have him start Sunday night as a last-minute replacement. That would be their last-ditch attempt to get some kind of dramatic boost. The most dramatic moment of Suzyn Waldman's life hasn't helped them yet.

Some Nerve

Jane Heller is an embarrassment to humankind. She's a novelist who recently wrote the above-linked piece for the New York Times, claiming that she is "divorcing" the Yankees.

My mom told us about this travesty yesterday as we waited on Yawkey Way to get into Fenway Park. My girlfriend asked, "what's she gonna do if the Yanks start doing well again?" I joked, "she'll get right back on board."

I've read the article now, and, of course, I was right about that.

Here's the deal: This woman decided that since the Yanks aren't doing well, she isn't going to like them any more. Two bad months. That's all it takes for these people.

I'm so glad this article was published. Maybe some neutral baseball fans will see why Red Sox fans (and fans of every other team) are better than Yankee fans. I've been saying this about them my whole life, and now one of them has come out and solidified it.

If you want to denounce the Yanks, go ahead. Do it. You'd be bettering your life. If you think they have too much money, if you think they're boring, if you don't want to be associated with the criminal, George Steinbrenner, fine. I'm all for that. But this lady can't stand to root for them any more, because they're not doing well. Remember, this is a team that's made the playoffs for the last twelve seasons. They get off to a bad start, and she's off the bandwagon!

She claims she's "heartbroken" and talks about the "pain." She says "it hurts. It really hurts."

Boo fucking hoo.

Every single Red Sox fan under the age of 89 went their whole life, until three years ago, without knowing what it was like to win the World Series. But we always came back the next year. "This is the year," we'd say. This nearly 60 year old woman has gone a mere six years without that feeling. Six years in which her team still made the playoffs every time. That plus two months of crappiness, and she's done. What a weak, weak, soul.

I've said it before: any person who lives a pathetic life, who "can't win," who's desperate for attention, will latch on to the Yankees. You get 26 championships, and the right to pick on everyone else. You go from worst to first: "I am a winner." Is every Yankee fan like this? Of course not. But most people like this aren't gonna become Brewers fans. Where would that get them?

Red Sox fans know that you don't always get what you want in life. Sometimes you fall flat on your face. Sometimes you do it a step from the finish line. But you get off your ass and you try again.

Heller says on her website that she visits people with terminal illness. (And notes how she gets a good feeling from it--I'm guessing that's the main reason she volunteers, to make herself feel better. The worst kind of volunteer.) I'd hate to hear what she tells these people: "Oh, you've got cancer? Give up now!"

She claims she's going to be a Devil Rays fan (one of her reasons: they're cute!). Of course, she mentions how if the Yanks start playing well again, she jump right back on the bandwagon. (Message to true Yankee fans if that does happen: lock arms and DO NOT LET HER BACK ON.) But what does she really want from the Rays? Like she says, a pressure-free existence. The fact that she's not fully closing the door on the Yanks means she's just giving herself a break. Call it "rooting for the Devil Rays" if you like, but it's no different that "giving up." For now. If she can't survive six non-World Champion years as a Yankee fan, she'll commit suicide after three months of the Rays.

Oh, and Jane? While you've been writing shitty "beach novels,' we actual baseball fans have read about ten million articles comparing baseball fandom to interpersonal relationships. Doing that is like, well, it's like picking the team with the most championships to be your favorite.

I'm also wondering--no, screw that, I know exactly when she started really liking the Yanks: 1996. She says in her bullshit piece:

When I first fell in love with the Yankees, players knew how to bunt. They knew how to get runners over and get ’em in

She was born in 1950. The earliest age for the average person to really get into baseball is about 10. (For me, it was at age one, but I'm weird.) The early 60s Yankees would've been borderline for her to have been "in love" with. The late 70s clubs were more of a grind-it-out squad. The team she's talking about has to be the Knoblauchian NL-style small ball Yanks of the late 90s. She is the classic frontrunner. The kind I grew up surrounded by. Again, I am so happy to see a Yankee "fan" prove why I always put "fan" in quotes when referring to them.

Let me sum up her article:

"I grew up in New York State, so I always knew that any time the Yankees were good, I had the right to suddenly start rooting for them, acting like I did all along. I only enjoy watching baseball when my team is in the championship, and about to win it. In the late 90s, the Yankees got this cute guy named Jeter, and my friends would point out to me every October that the Yanks were on the verge of winning it all. Fun! I partied a lot, knowing my team was the best. Lately, I'd go to the bar in October, but the Yanks would lose, sometimes before even making it to the finals. What's that about? This year, they dropped to last place. I wouldn't want to be associated with a team like that, so I'm giving up. But I'm hoping one of these Octobers, my friends will call up and tell me the Yanks are in the Super Bowl again!"

Tell her what you think of her here. You, too, real Yankee fans!

Perfect Night

It was my mom who thought of it first. The day it was announced that Trot Nixon landed a job with the Indians, she beat me to it: "When's the first Indians game at Fenway Park this season?"

So I found us the perfect seats, which she treated me, my girlfriend, and my dad to. Little did we know then that the four of us would have as perfect a Fenway night as you could ever hope for. Above: A smilin' Trot, and Trot hugging Kapstein.

And here, the Kap'n poses with some military types on this day of Memoriality. My mom wanted to say hi to her new friend Jeremy. I told her he'd probably be on the field, greeting Nixon. Sure enough, he was the first guy Trot saw when he came out of the visiting dugout.

Here's TC. Anyway, she didn't say hi to the Kap'n after all. Maybe next time.

I pulled out my old Nixon T-shirt for this game. It was incredibly wrinkled, as I'm not the best folder. So I asked my girlfriend if she'd assist me in ironing it. Okay, first I asked her if we had an iron. Then I had her show me what to do. It's just like on TV. You push it around and the wrinkles come out. That's right, I learned to iron for Trot Nixon.

You should've been clicking these to enlarge all along...

Trot catches up with old buddy Wake.

This kid went up to Trot, took off his outer jersey to reveal an old Trot Nixon Red Sox T-shirt. Then he got his picture taken with Trot:

Above, Trot and his wife are honored for their charity work for the Jimmy Fund. They showed a tribute on the scoreboard, and she got to throw out the first pitch, while weeping uncontrollably the whole time she was on the field.

Signs welcoming Trot back were everywhere.

We got seats in the heart of the T-Zone, twenty rows up the bleachers behind Trot. I was psyched that we'd get the bonus of getting to cheer him as he ran out to right field. It was a perfect night weather-wise, which made for a fun night in the bleachers. Party atmosphere. My dad, who is very proud of the fact that he has way more fun watching games from the comfort of his living room, even had a blast. Between watching the sleepig drunk man in our section, and watching the Blue Jays put run after run up against the Yanks on the Green Monster scoreboard, it was non-stop entertainment.

Oh, and awesome things happened on the field. Above, Kevin Youkilis emerges from a giant hand, after crossing home plate on an inside-the-park home run (!) The Manny blast got out in a hurry, that was freakin' cool. Pedroia with three more hits, and he's up to .298. The averages in May are pretty damn good. I forgot to mention Drew's key hit yesterday, and he had another today--maybe my Nixon/Drew motivation theory will be correct. Lugo continues his "invisible man"-style stolen bases. Except for Papelbon having a little trouble, it really was the perfect night. But I think we all willed Pap to get through the ninth. We'd decided we weren't going home sad.

One last shot of Trot out in right. I'm glad I got to welcome him back. (I'm also glad I was there for his last game.)

I even kept track of the Devil Rays' game, knowing that if they won, they'd tie the Yanks for fourth place. They went down 5-2 to Detroit, and it didn't look good. When we left, the board still showed them down 5-4 in the ninth. But hey, the night was perfect even without a D-Rays win. We got home, and I'd kind of forgotten about it, but the score caught my eye at the bottom of my TV screen: 6-5 Tampa Bay. They did win! Yanks officially tied for last place, 13.5 behind us. No team in baseball is further out of first place than the New York Yankees. (And the cheer that went up when their score went from 4-0 to 7-0 was beautiful.) Pure, 2004-karat gold. Or should I say 2007-karat gold?

Monday, May 28, 2007

9-1/2 Innings

I'll be in the right field bleachers tonight for Trot's return. Will be nice to see that ol' number 7 in front of me. Oh, wait, we've got that now--but I'm talkin' about the real number 7. I still can't believe Drew dared to ask for it, or that the team gave it to him, while 21 sits in a dusty closet.

I hope seeing the visiting right fielder cheered louder than him will motivate Drew to, you know, be good.

Pics of the nine inning love-fest to come later.

Was yesterday fun or what? I saw the last few innings of the Yanks on Proctor came in with a one-run lead and walked in the tying and go-ahead runs. Then, with the Yanks down one in the ninth, with two out, Derek Jeter came up. What a great feeling that is for me, being able to absolutely root for Jeter to come up as the potential game-winning run, knowing how sweet it will be if he fails, and that if he comes through, oh well, what are they, a dozen back? Michael Kay, with no other hope for the season, opted to go for the Emmy with Jeter up. He acted like it was the seventh game of the World Series. It was a fairly long at bat, I'll give him that, but was it "epic"? No. But that's what he and Singleton kept saying. Kay went as far as to say "neither man wants to lose." They really were trying to give the casual fan the impression that all things between pitcher and hitter, home team and road team were equal, and they both fought hard, but only one would be allowed to come out on top, unfair as that seems. And this was after Posada pinch hit, prompting Kay to say that the crowd of 53,000 roared its approval. Let me just set the record straight. This was a game in May between a first place team and a team that's a dozen games out. The crowd, which had dwindled to half its size--which wasn't as big as you'd expect on a sunny Sunday in late spring in the first place--, gave one last desperate cheer when they saw Posada, one of two Yankees who still knows how to hit. Then Jeter had a pretty good at bat against K-Rod, and flied out to end the game. That was it. No bullshit "battle of wills." Just the final piece of the Angels' sweep of a rundown bunch of Yanks, who promptly fled the country afterwards.

After all that, as if justice even needed to be served, we watched as Dustin Pedroia had the kind of at bat against Eric Gagne that Michael Kay wished he'd been watching. Only Dustin ended his by hitting a key home run, giving the Sox an insurance run that turned out to be crucial on our way to a sweep of Texas. We're now 11.5 up on second-place Baltimore, and 12 on third-place Toronto.

Arlington Gnashin'; A.L. Symmetry

Never in my lifetime had the Red Sox swept a three-game series in Arlington...until this weekend. This gets me thinking about the old ballpark there, in which we always had so much trouble, regardless of how well we were doing otherwise. I miss that old park. Arlington Stadium was her name.

There was something sensual about its simplicity. One could call it the definition of a cookie cutter, yet it seemed unique. Of course, I've never been to Texas, and my memories of games on TV at that park are aging, the place having been demolished over a decade ago. But it appeals to me now because in my mind, on the proverbial cold winter's day, when I think of baseball, I envision it being played at night, in scorching heat, set against that basic blue wall of Arlington Stadium. In 1985.

Sure, most baseball dreams take place in the cathedral of Fenway. But that's different. There's baseball and then there's baseball at Fenway Park. When I'm thinking just "baseball," my mind goes to Arlington.

After reading the story of the stadium, I'm even more fond of it. I hadn't known it started out as a minor league park that held little more than 10,000 souls. I also never knew it sat below ground level, in a "natural bowl," or that it was first known as Turnpike Stadium. These things make it seem even further from the circular 70s parks, despite its admitted symmetry.

My glorification of this drab diamond, now dust, has more to do with memories of summer nights a kid in the 80s.... Maybe it's the fact that you could see the heat on your screen, and it was nighttime! In the woods of New England, even on sweltering nights, you never saw the heat, because you didn't have baseball stadium lights in your yard. On top of that, those central time zone games were extra exciting, as you knew you'd get to stay up a little bit later.

It's sad that all the parks from my childhood are disappearing. Symmetry has been sent to the cemetery, which is good, but along with it have gone some inimitable road-side attractions.

1986 photo of Arlington Stadium courtesy

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fine Wine

As Ryan pointed out, Joe Torre and the Yanks are resorting to blaming the umps for their failures. This dude sums it up, although I don't agree with everything he says in the rest of his article. (I also didn't realize that guy helps run Red Sox Nation Dot Net, my favorite Red Sox message board. Note: I don't like message boards. I don't even go to that one any more. But I used to, and it's way less country-clubbish than SoSH.)

Whenever an ump makes a bad call that goes against the Yanks, I say "one one-millionth of justice is done." This is a team that's won World Series' because the umps were either sound asleep or in George's pockets. And in their recent stretch where they've had some bad calls go against them, there have been plenty of others that have gone their way. They should keep their faux-classy mouths shut and just play ball. They lead the Angels 2-1 in the sixth, as we are about to get started in Texas.

Punitive Damages, Here

Sox win, and Youk has an 18-game hitting streak. We're now 11 games up on Toronto, 11.5 up on Baltimore, who are percentage points ahead of the Yanks.

About the Yanks: Remember how last year everyone said how Derek Jeter should be MVP because when every other Yankee got injured, he was there, keeping the team afloat? Of course, I claimed bullshit at the time, but I think I'm proven right by the fact that this year Jeter is doing as good as he did last year, staying healthy again while others drop like flies, yet the team is 11.5 games out. He did not single-handedly win the division for the Yanks last year. If you said that at the time, you might as well say he's just not coming through this year.

From the beach today, I was able to pick up 880, and got to hear Sterling call the last of the ninth in the Yanks' loss to the Angels. Hilarious. It seems that at some point recently, he went from "everything will be okay" to "I give up." He just had that real nonchalant, disapproving voice: "Yanks haven't played well fact they've played quite poorly." Then when it ended, he told us that the Angels beat the Yanks "as usual," in a disgust he just couldn't disguise.

Damon is hurting as usual. Between him always being injured, and his overall shitty play, I'd say we made the right call not going overboard on a contract for the guy. But Yankee fans can continue to live in a dream world where he didn't win a World Series with the Sox, after they didn't come back from a 3-0 ALCS deficit to the Yanks, and then came to the Yanks to play for a "winner," and won the World Series for them. I'm not stopping them. In fact, they only like to dream about winning, because they can't handle actual winning, since they like to lose, what with that Calvinist attitude they all have from living in a cold climate. (I really hope anybody who wrote this shit about the Sox between 1919 and 2003 realizes how silly this all sounds--you know, I actually saw a story in the Times about a Yankee fan who wrote a book about Red Sox-hating. I immediately spotted the word "Calvinist" in the article, and that was it. Dis-missed. Go back and start again, asshole. We Sox fans like to win, not lose. The deal is, we can handle losing, while you'll all just throw on a Mets hat when the Yanks go into the toilet.)

Pedro talks shit about Roger. Nice.

Josh Hancock's father is suing everybody: The bar that sold his son drinks, the tow truck driver who Hancock smashed into, the driver of the car who needed the tow, the condom manufacturer whose product failed, causing the conception of that driver, the great grandchildren of Henry Ford...

How about this, Mr. 'Cock: Everyone who drove on that stretch of road that night doesn't sue you, even though your son risked each and every one of their lives. And you don't sue anybody either. Deal?

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Location: Rhode Island, United States