Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's Obvious

I'm so completely baffled by this: When ex-Red Sox return to Fenway, even 2004 World Champion ones, there are always some people who have some doubt as to how they'll be received. I couldn't believe when people said "I really hope Trot Nixon gets cheered." And with Dave Roberts, there still was that hint of uncertainty: "If he doesn't get a huge ovation..."

People. It's simple. We love our guys. If they do something stupid, like go to the Yankees, they're gonna get their asses booed. Because we hate the fucking Yankees. It's almost like after Johnny Damon returned, people think this is some crazy vote for each guy that comes back. Nope. No debate. Win us a World Series, or even just be a fan favorite, and come to Fenway, any time, and you'll be welcomed with open arms. Come on, we're the same fans that know to give an opposing pitcher a nice ovation for a good performance.

Okay, maybe I'm just bragging about the fact that I know who's gonna get cheered or booed at Fenway and have the blog to prove it--even though it seems like the most obvious thing in the world. I don't have my finger on the pulse of a lot of things--I still don't have a cell phone or an iPod and I don't have 47263 friends on myspace, as I prefer my friends to be actual people. But I know about this Red Sox stuff.

Please note: The large number above is not one of those "high numbers for comic effect," like when people say "reason number 8,235 why I hate pants" or whatever. You know me better than that. That's real commentary on the number "friends" people (think they) have. I've seen much higher numbers than that...

Friday, June 15, 2007

We Might Be Red Sox

We're up 8.5 again. A blowout win leading to the third night in a row of that security guy behind home plate having to do extra work.

And a quality Clemens start wasted. Beautiful.

Excellent job by Pedroia and Drew tonight. But Manny Ramirez, for his sweet catch, and his hustle on the grounder that knocked in the run to put us ahead to stay, is the JPotG award-winner tonight.

A Big, Big Love

Hey, whadda ya know? Remy defends the Red Sox. He was pissed about that ump tossing Papi, calling BS, and even adding "you can call that a homer call, but that's just facts." Nice job, Remy. I was paying attention...

Homers in the game so far:


The Roberts ovation was great, complete with Fenway playing "Simply the Best." World Champs! Us! It continues to have really happened. Thank you, Dave.

Funny how NESN showed a close-up of a sign with a picture of Bonds with the words "Tiny Balls" underneath.

The more I hear about the anti-Bonds stuff, the more I think of how he's singled out. Why not boo all the cheaters?

6-2 us after four. Mets leading Yanks 1-0 in the fourth, but should have more than one off of the fat, sweaty, soulless traitor.

[Update: With Manny batting, NESN started to show a replay of Tavarez' latest bocce incident from the previous inning. I could tell when they went to replay, the pitch was pretty close to being thrown. They're showing this replay, and I pretty much know the pitch is coming in. Then I hear a crack of a bat. Still replay. It finally ends, and cut to: third baseman just fielding ball, and throwing to first. This is inexcusable. Do they need me to come down there and sit in the truck and produce the game? I guarantee you folks you'll never miss a pitch. Write NESN. Make me producer.]

Barry Bonds (or) Mikey O'Kane's Favorite Player Circa '92

I won't boo Barry Bonds. I guess that sounds like a profound statement, but it's not meant to be. In fact, who knows, maybe I will throw a light boo at him once or twice. My point is that I really don't care about Barry Bonds. What did he ever do to me?

You all know my baseball priorities. Bonds isn't doing anything that gets me angry. Sure, I wish no baseball players had ever taken steroids. But why am I supposed to be all up-in-arms about some guy from the National League?

Oh, right, the record. Well, what's more important? The Red Sox winning, or statistical lists? There's no debate on that one in my mind. So I'll boo Jason Giambi, loudly, if I want to boo cheaters. His cheating cost us a pennant in '03. My team. My kids were on that beach, Martin, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Is that why Bonds is so hated, while Giambi gets lauded for his total bullshit "manning up"? Because of "the record"? Since when are people so gung-ho about the sanctity of baseball? Pete Rose was gambling on the sport, and even his biggest detractors don't talk about stripping him of his records. If I cared about "the sport" above all, wouldn't I do things like, I don't know, root against a guy with a 55-game hitting streak? (The only time I'd root for a Yankee-held record not to fall would be when another Yankee was about to break it.) Or try to get the designated hitter rule abolished? (I don't hate interleague play because I'm a traditionalist, I hate it because I think it's stupid.)

A lot of people say they're a "baseball fan" first. I'm a Red Sox fan first, an anti-Yankee fan second, and...that about wraps up my list. I'd rather go to a minor league game than watch a major league game whose outcome has no effect on the AL East race. I love the game of baseball, not the business that is "Major League Baseball."

When I think of the great Henry Aaron, I do get a little upset. After what he went through, it's a shame to think of someone breaking his record with help from illegal substances. But if it were a clean player about to break the record, we'd have to deal with the fact that a great guy is losing that record anyway.

So when I'm at the game this weekend, I won't act much different when Bonds is up than I will when Jeff Kent is up. (Is he still on the Giants? See how much I care about the NL?)

I'll save my boos for the Yankees.

Retro-Post: October 16th, 1912

Holy shit! World Champs! Red Sox 4 games, Giants 3. (one tie) Boxscore and play-by-play here. This is the best belated negative 63rd birthday present ever! I can barely remember the Red Sox' other world championship, as I was only negative 72 back in 1903.

What a finish this was. Down a run in the bottom of the tenth, and Snodgrass drops the ball! Then he makes an incredible catch, but the tying run went to third. After Yerkes walked, our home run champ, he of the 222 hits this season, Tris Speaker knocked in the tying run. That guy's gonna have a lot of hits in his career. Mark my words. An intentional walk later, all we needed was a deep fly ball, and Larry Gardner, who only hit .179 in the series, gave us just that. A sac fly. Man, I was shitting my pants as Stevie sprinted down that line. But he made it, and we are World Champs once again.

What did I tell you about this new park? Fenway effin' Park, man. One year here, one championship. I expect a long, long life for this park with many championships.

Matthewson's losin' it, I'm tellin' you. Okay, a 0.94 ERA in the series, but he walked five today. Hang 'em up at this point, Christy.

Terrible job by those Giant fans that were celebrating in the top of the tenth. That's two chokes in two years, New York. I look forward to many more of those... maybe their AL squad can actually compete with us one of these years, so we can see if they choke, too. I hope I'm not jinxing anything by saying that. But come on, what'd we beat the Highlanders by this season, 55 games? Something like that. Maybe their name change (they'll officially be called the "Yankees" starting next season, as their new park won't be on high ground anyway--I always thought that was kind of arrogant when people called them the Yanks. I mean, we're all Yankees around here, right?) will change their luck.

So we now join the Cubs and Athletics with two titles, but only we are undefeated in World Series play.

You know, I feel bad about John T. Brush. We'll never forget September 11th, when he got into that car crash. I mean, he's not gonna be around much longer. And his stadium burned down last season. But I'll always be pissed at him for refusing to play us in 1904. And look what happens now. We finally get to play them and we kick their butts. I hope I'm still around in 2004, because I want to see us have another chance at an '04 title....

I just hope if we do win then, none of our players end up on the hated Giants. But, who knows, maybe we won't care about them 92 years from now. Maybe the hapless Highlanders will be our rivals, and we'll be able to happily welcome an '04 champion Sox back to Fenway (assuming it's still standing), even if he is wearing a Giants uniform, and the Giants come back for whatever reason. If that happens, I hope everyone remembers and brings up the 1912 World Series, the first (and only? we'll see) time the Giants played in Fenway Park.

So who do y'all have in the Balkan War?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"The Rocky Series"

Drew almost got that ball through the infield. It was this tough luck that prevented him from having a one for five night.

Our hitting's pretty crappy right now, but if these pitchers were doing as well as they can do, we wouldn't even be talking about the hitting.

We lost the series tonight, but none of these games count, because we're playing National League teams. In the middle of the season.

Friday, Dave Roberts returns. I did get to see him already at both the rolling rally and ring ceremony. But I'll see him again this weekend.

Breaking News!

NESN just showed highlights of Yankees while going to break on the pre-game. Last shot was dugout reacting to home run. Camera focuses on Jeter, fist high in the air. YOU CAN'T TEACH ROOTING LIKE THAT.

Hey NESN, it's one thing for other networks to show Jeter's dominant "cheering for stuff he didn't do"-style. Why can't you just let it be? Do we need to see it? Fine, show Yankee home runs if you must. But leave the PUKE-WORTHY BULLSHIT to their network. Please.

Derek Jeter: If you don't vomit when you see him, you're not human. Seriously, if I were the other players, when I got interviewed by YES, I'd say, Hey, when I hit that home run, why'd you show Jeter? I hit it, not him.

NL teams turning to drooling toddlers as they see big, bad Yanke Stadium update: I saw today's full highlights. They include Yanks scoring on a walk and a ground out after a sigle on a "soft ground ball to first." Another rally aided by a left fielder who tried repeatedly to pick up a ball but couldn't do it. Another one where Eric Byrnes took a headlong dive for a ball that was nowhere near him, and a throw into the dugout. All this complete with Yankee players with arrogant, cocky looks and bat flips. They will go down, and the world will cheer. Man, even Yankee highlights make me mad. I'm glad I don't see all their games like I have every year of my life until this season. It's much better for my health. Anyway, the new Yankee Stadium will make things so much better. We won't have to worry about the opposing teams (especially NL teams, if shitty interleague play is still going on in two years) being too busy picking their jaw up off the ground when they should be playing ball...

Edes, just now: "I'd love to be at Yankee Stadium tomorrow for Yanks-Mets." Go, then. This proves my dad's theory that many of these Boston reporters are just auditioning for New York jobs.

Drew Beginnings, Drew Beginnings, Drew Beginnings

On May 29th, I noted on Joy of Sox that for the Yanks to even get to .500 by the 4th of July, they'd have to play .625 ball over 32 games. They've played 15 games since, and have gone 12-3, an .800 clip. They're two games over .500 on June 14th with their win today. And they get to play the Doormets at home this weekend. (Note: I refuse to count games against NL teams in the standings.)

But we've got the best record in baseball, and an eight game lead on them.

JD Drew has been moved to leadoff tonight. I guess we're looking for an automatic out to start the game, you know, kind of like a handicap.

I like the way the guys who are hitting are positioned: Dustin the Wind 2nd, the usual two 3rd and 4th, Youk 5th, followed by Lowell and 'Tek. Maybe Drew will be helped by this...[he said all ho-hum-like, only because there's not much else to say about the guy right now....]


I've found some semblance of order in the streets of Boston. I'm passing these secrets onto you, with a little thing I made at GooMaps. Check it out. Click on the titles at the left for more info about each area.

Rockies At Red Sox, June 13th, 2007

Click each pic to enlarge.
It was my usual cold, gray, drizzly Fenway day...only it was mid-June. TJ, Mother Nature! I didn't do the batting practice thing, partly due to her antics. Was fitting to have this London-esque weather for the Fogg vs. Schilling match-up.

So suddenly the game has begun. I decide to grab a spot in the new standing room behind third base. Poles were aplenty, but I worked around them. Here's Youk on deck.

Here's their boy Fogg.

Here's Big Papi headed for the dugout. Am I the only one who pre-emptively refers to Logan airport as David Ortiz airport? I mean, eventually, right? Who's Logan, anyway? I think soon we'll all be talking about "flying in to Big Papi."

Here's Schill with men on, as was usually the case tonight. Yes, I blame Lugo entirely for a 12-2 loss. Did Schilling piss him off or something? This is two games in a row he's effed up for Curt.

Here's Lowell after hitting his homer. At this point, we still had a chance.

Papi on second.

Manny, Lugo, and Lowell.

Some Rocky Mountains.

After six, we were way down, and people stopped feeling the need to sit out in the cold. So I headed for better seats. I could see some between home and first, so I went there. Here's Youk on deck again, only now from a richer person's perspective.

Papi picked up a ball, causing lots of of humans to beg him for it.

Youk up. I love this view.

Papi up. Also, I still love this view.

Papi looking sad, as if the infield of his soul had just been raked.

Drinkwater. I think Kapstein may have actually left by this point.

Pineiro on the hill.

A lady with a crazy outfit, including Fenway Park on her head. I wish I'd gotten a better shot of her, but this is it. I brightened it for you non-Mac people.

After eight, a whole lot of people were probably already home in bed. So I went behind the plate and sat there, in mid-June, mind you, with my hood up.

Here's Timlin dealing.

Even the Pru had pretty much said nighty-night.

More Timlin action, as the rain started to fall, and I shivered like a really skinny dude.

A really weird shot of Wily Mo.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

TJ, Society

If I see one more grandma or animated zoo animal singing "Rapper's Delight," I'm gonna move to Canada.

This Crazy New World Is Still Frightening And Confusing Some

Go to this post and read the first comment. Just so I'm not repeating stuff. Although stuff like that (the Yankees being huge chokers, not us) seems to need repeating.

Bye, Hero

Mr. Wizard is dead.

The other day, I was watching one of those "I Love the 80s" shows. When they talked about Mr. Wizard's World, I was surprised to see they actually had Don Herbert, who played Mr. Wizard, on there talking about the show. It feels like it was a sign now--Mr. Wizard talked to me from the television one last time. Just now, while watching parts of Office Space (for the second time tonight) on the E! network, I saw a "news" flash run along the bottom of my screen. When I saw Don Herbert's name, I knew it could only mean one thing.

Mr. Wizard taught me more about science (let alone the quirks and behavior of Canadian children) than all the red pen-wielding science teachers I had combined. (Although Mr. Amend and Mr. McNamara were nice dudes.)

Thanks for everything, Mr. Herbert. I like to think you also taught us all a little bit about being passionate about what you do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Red Sock II, Rocky

I say we send a tape of tonight's Wakefield game to Wallace Matthews! That jerk's claims of Timmy not being good and taking forever to pitch were thwarted tonight, as they are almost every time he pitches. A game under two and a half hours, and Wake goes eight, gives up a run on four hits. Pap seemed strong as ever with the save.

D-backs made an error on the first batter tonight, and it was all downhill from there, as they lose 4-1 to Mr. Dunbar. Dun is still 9.5 behind us.

For making the Rockies not know what the hell to do in the field, and going three for three, David Ortiz is Jere's Player of the Game.

Update: Remember the other day I mentioned that Seinfeld thing? Cleveland 117, San Antonio 109? That episode is on right now, at the same time as the Cleveland-San Antonio Finals game. I'd say this is "amazing," but the world of Seinfeld leads to multiple coincidences per week, it seems.

Rocky III

Remember when you used to check Neil Hamburger's site every day? Wait, that wasn't you, that was me.

Red Sox vs. Rockies this week. The matchups:

Tonight, the "Wake and Bake" matchup: Cook vs. Wakefield.

Tomorrow, the "London" matchup: Fogg vs. Schilling.

Thursday, the "Guardian" matchup: Francis vs. Beckett.

There's something British about all six of these names, actually. I'll be there tomorrow, on what may be the coldest day of June. Terrible job as usual, Mommy au Natural.

100th Percentile, Medicine-wise

Read this piece on mascots by Samara, and laugh.

Dinosaur Jr. For Free? Are You Effing Kidding Me?

Dinosaur Jr. is touring again, with original lineup. I paid 40 bucks to see them in Central Park two years ago. Tonight, I saw them for free in Harvard Square. They played as part of this benefit for college-type radio stations, in, of all places, a clothing store. (Look at the pics and vid to easily tell which one.) Click here for a visual representation of our night on G-Maps. (You can do a lot over there nowadays.)

I feel like I've talked about these guys a million times on this blog. Since I started this, I've seen J Mascis solo, Lou Barlow solo, and each of them with their other bands. Those two dudes plus Murph equal the original Dinosaur. Search any of these names on this blog to read the old entries. The above shot is the only one I got where you can actually see Murph. Click to enlarge and see the legend or key. Murph happened to stand up and wipe his head with a towel, which you can barely make out when you huge-ify the pic.

J Mascis, looking like some kind of witch doctor. The line for this show went around the corner and down the street and then around the next corner. My girlfriend and I were about 150 down the line, and word had it they were attempting to squeeze 300 people in there. I'm always happy when older bands from the days when bands were good can still draw a crowd. I forgot to bring earplugs. Dinosaur is still the loudest band in the land, so I had to use tissue in my ears. But I forgot to bring that in from the car, so I had to use an old receipt in my pocket. Note to kids: Paper in your ears isn't nearly as effective in noise reduction as tissue. Also, I forgot to bring my ticket to the show. But since the "ticket" was just something you print out off of a website, my girlfried was nice enough to run and make a copy of hers while I waited on line. Despite my terrible job of forgetting everything I'd need for this show, we got in, had a blast, and I even took pics, having not, you know, "seen" the sign that said "no photography."

There was a pole between Lou and I, but I was able to snag this close-up of him.

They played a lot of the old classics. When they started playing "Freak Scene," I immediately thought back to the 1991: The Year Punk Broke video which we used to watch over and over back in the day. (Click there and then click the link to get that thing onto DVD!) I knew right then I was gonna recreate that moment when the crowd sings along to that one line. Here it is:

Just for the hell of it, I checked to see if their performance from the old film was on GooTube. Here it is. Skip to the 1:40 mark to see tens of thousands of people singing along to the line 300 sang along to tonight.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Stupid Lugo. Remember that inning yesterday when we got a guy on, then we bunted him over, and then Lugo grounds to the left side? Terrible job. This guy's average is headed for the .100s. I felt so bad for Timlin--I held my breath on his throw to first, knowing it was his first game back, and sure enough, he fires it the outfield. The only good thing about us not scoring any more runs is that maybe he won't feel so bad, since those runs turned out to be insurance.

In the ninth, I would've pinch hit Papi for either Lugo or Coco. What were they waiting for? You can't hit him for Youk or Manny anyway, get him up there, extend the rally, give us a chance.

Someone (who has a great blog) said in my comments that they thought Amalie Benjamin was in way over her head. Do I agree? Ehhh, no, Peg.

I've been following Amalie's reporting since this past off-season. I was probably late in discovering her, actually. But, honestly, I'm not that big on following what newspapers like the Globe say about the Red Sox. I did come across her stuff online, though, and kept reading because I thought she did a great job with her reports about the Red Sox. They were refreshing, like a York Peppermint Pattie blowing through my hair or something. Her voice (in print) sounded like that of a real person for a change. I'm happy to see that she's since made it into a more prominent role--an on-air, pre-game NESN reporter--while still giving us reports on the Extra Bases blog. From her on-camera reports she makes after coming from the clubhouse, I haven't seen anything that's suggested she's in over her head.

But this brings up a much-debated topic. I can't say "I like Amalie Benjamin" without the thoughts of the reader going to: "Does he just think she's pretty?" Now, I hate that we're living in this male-dominated society where this is even an issue. And I hate that the "sports culture" is dominated by males as well. I wish that people could do their jobs and no one would ever think about anyone differently because of their sex. (Or color, sexual orientation, etc, but I'm just focusing on male/female right now.)

Of course you're going to see someone and either find them appealing or not, but the point is, a man can get an on-air job without having to worry about that. That's what's not fair.

I liked Amamlie from the time I started reading her stuff. I'd never seen her face. She could've been a wart-covered ogre-woman, it really didn't matter. But, as a music critic said about Joanna Newsom, "I wish she'd been ugly." Because then her work would be what people focus on. But like Joanna, Amalie turned out to be pretty. Which leads to talk of her only getting attention because of her looks. Which only happens because men control the world, and definitely the world of sports. It's a shame. Because Amalie is good, I think. Of course, both men and females will wonder, any time a woman is in a position of visibilty, if she got the job thanks to her looks. That's where you'll find equality. But if females had half the jobs in sports, instead of a tiny percentage, it wouldn't be as big of a deal.

Recently there was a story on ESPN about sports radio. They talked about how it's as much "guy radio" as it is "sports radio." Again, I really hate this. A woman who wants to follow sports is told "sorry, you have to deal with this crap if you want to hear about sports." They say they have to talk about "guy stuff" (which apparently means "objectifying females") because the audience is mainly guys. Well, how about saying, "We're only gonna talk about sports because the entire audience is tuning in to hear about sports"?

I could go on forever about this (and I could probably start to make a little more sense a few years into that "forever" period), but I'll leave it at that for now. I'm just sick of everything about sports being a "men only" thing. You see it on sports websites all the time.

An example of this came the other day on UniWatch. I hate to pick on that site, since I read it every day and love it. But there was a guest writer, who sometimes fills in for Paul, on there, and he wrote this column. At one point, he mentions women's beach volleyball:

"Having concentrated on, um, other aspects of women’s beach volleyball, it didn’t occur to me until lately that they were wearing temporary tattoos on their arms. Having not watched any men’s volleyball [...]"

We get it. You're totally not gay. See what I mean? This is written to straight males only. Why? Women and gay people are reading your piece about tattoos in sports, too. Also, does he think if he doesn't specify that he's never watched half-naked men play volleyball on TV, even for a second, that people would think he's gay? Or that if doesn't make sure to interject that while he may have been looking at pics of scantily-clad women for research purposes, he was mainly ogling their bodies, that people would think he's less of a man?

At the end of his piece, he says

"Another gallery of athletes and their tattoos here (6 and 10 are personal favorites)."

Is there any doubt in your mind what sex the people in "6 and 10" are? I didn't even have to check. He's once again reminding us that he enjoys looking at the bare skin of females. Can you tell I'm just as pissed about the predictability factor as I am about the sexism and homophobia?

If you like looking at women's bodies more than men's, and you're a straight male, that's perfectly natural. But A. we already know and B. people who like to look at men instead of women are allowed to do that, too, and they are reading your piece. If you want to write a straight-male-only column, fine, but say that's what it is (and, preferrably, put it on a site made specifically for those people--"sports" doesn't mean "straight males only.")

I've talked about this before, so, I guess now's the time when we all have the exact same conversation about it in the comments as we did before....


For his two strike bunt (not his awesome pitching that night), Julian Tavarez is Saturday's winner.


For his leadoff HR the day after making my DTM list, and his pseudo-hidden ball trick, Julio Lugo gets Friday's award.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mid-Game Complaint

I'm sick of NESN treating every runner as if he's about to break the all-time stolen base record and must be watched and talked about at all times, even if it means not showing a pitch until it's almost reached the plate.

If a runner's going with the pitch, just tell us.

Sox Beat Bax

You all saw Tek giving Pap targets that were way outside or high when he had two-strike counts tonight, right? If Pap wastes 0-2 pitches to Orlando Hudson, why not to A-Rod last Sunday? Nice comeback win tonight. Not even Julio "Edgar Renteria" Lugo could stop us from winning. Does that guy know how to ruin it for pitchers or what? Twice Tavarez gets on base, and twice Lugo effs it up. (And those routine grounders are tough, eh, Julio?) Anyway, we delivered the bomb and we still have a double-digit lead.

Still trying to figure out why the Yanks, when the AL East is playing the NL West, get to play the Pirates. Yet another unfair thing about interleague play. I heard Roger pitched to a 4.50 ERA today--lemme guess, standing ovation followed by each fan individually massaging that living turd as he walked off the mound. Well, I'm sure I'm at least half right. I haven't seen any highlights nor do I want to.

Okay, Sports Desk just came on, right after the Sox win, and they give us a montage of Clemens, as if he's some guy we all love and want to see. Ooh, he rubbed Babe's head like the old days! Hey, fucking Roger, you fucking piece of shitty toilet paper, the "curse" is over! Keep rubbing Babe's head if you wanna blow a three-game lead in the playoffs. Uh, NESN, can we not play fucking choir music when we show Fatty on screen? I'd noted during Roger's comeback that people seemed to be treating him like Jesus. Do we have to get that shit from NESN, too? So, yeah, I just saw the highlights, even though I said I didn't want to. But I was typing through most of them, so it's okay.

Wow, who'd have thought Foxwoods could out-crappify themselves? They have, replacing the "Wonder of it All" song with a cheesy number that goes "everybody break out!" Terrible job.

Nice piece by Tina Cervasio with Manny and his haircutter guy. Cool to see Manny talking to the camera and stuff.

And great job by LeBron James in his press conference, answering a Sopranos question in depth. I've never seen the show, but the fact that it wasn't our average press conference was a good thing.

Okay, here' the new little poem for you, but let me warn you, it's a little wordy:

Beckett, Schilling, Wakefield, Tavarez, and Dice-K and pray for all nice days.

Tomorrow, you'll get your JPotG Award winner, and a post about males and females in society and sports, and stuff like that. Oh, wait, I didn't do a JPotG for last night yet. I'll just throw that into one of yesterday's posts tomorrow. Or whatever.

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