Saturday, August 04, 2007

Aaron Tied, Ahmad Of Bad News Bears Sad

Bonds hits number 755. If there is to be an assassin, he's probably just rolling out of bed now, about to head out to the ballpark. After a coffee run. You know, because he's San Diegan. And they're all laid back and stuff. "Is Barry Bonds here? I'm here to assassinate him." "Sorry, son, Barry's gone home, the game ended an hour ago." "That's cool. Whatevs."

Someone else reached a milestone today. The guy who's so selfish, he'll "swing up" to try to get a homer, risking his own team's fate, just to try to reach a milestone that really only exists in this base-10 society we live in. (Proof--all the fly balls he's been hitting, and the virtual pop-up home run for number 500. Have you ever seen him hit a homer that looked like that one before? And the fact that he was celebrating like he'd just won the World Series (would've been his first) on a home run in the first inning.) And I think he's still standing at home plate, looking at the ball, like some kind of...San Diegan assassin. If Manny acts anything like this on his 500th, you'll hear about it. But, still, seriously, how sweet is it that Barry ends up getting 755 a few hours after the A-Rod bloop-dong? And if A-Rod's 500th isn't forgotten about by Monday, it will be when Bonds hits number 756. He just can't win, that Alex. And that's the way it should be.

Last night I missed the first half of the game, tuning in just in time for Timlin's wacky, mistake-filled inning. One rule-related thing, which NESN made no mention of, at least at the time: The Lugo unassisted double play. Bases loaded, one out. Line drive, short-hopped by Lugo at short. He runs over toward second. He touches the bag, and also tags Ichiro, who had been on second, and who has come off the bag, looking unsure of what to do.

Now, had Lugo touched the bag first, that forces out the runner from first, but it cancels the force at third. So if Ichiro had stayed on the bag, and had Lugo touched the bag before tagging Ichiro, Ichiro would've been safe, remaining on second, while the runners at home and first would've also been safe.

What Lugo should've done, just in case, would be to tag the runner first. (He'd be out even if he's standing on his original base, as the force is still in effect.) Then step on second to force the runner coming from first, to complete the double play.

Honestly, I don't remember which Lugo did first, but it didn't matter since Ichiro came off the bag. He's out as soon as he's tagged in that case, and the force at second stays on regardless, so Lugo's able to get that out, too, by stepping on the bag.

I'd think NESN would've mentioned something about this.

We currently lead 2-1 over Seattle in the 6th. Yanks have won today, despite giving up eight runs to KC, so we need a win to stay 7 up.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Great To See Ya, Tommy

George Steinbrenner, as we knew, ain't doin' so hot.

Sometimes you hear about really good people getting awful diseases and you think about how wrong it is, and how they don't deserve such a fate.

Other times, you hear about a convicted felon who ruined baseball having the same thing happen to them, and you think, "Yeah. That seems just about right."

And you know that all is right with the world.

I was actually a little surprised at first to hear the New York tabloids slamming George's appearance, as if he could control what happens to the face of an old, deteriorating man. Then I remembered the treatment the events surrounding Ted Williams' death got in the media.


The playoff schedule, in case you missed it.

Day off between game four and five of the ALCS and NLCS. They've also made it so there will be a day off after game four of the DS's, which now start later. And all this means game seven of the World Series would be on November 1st. Fox only has the ALCS (lucky us) and the World Series. The NLCS and all of the DS games will be on TBS/TNT.

Hard to believe there are only 54 games left (as my dad points out). And we're eight games up. I like the way that looks. We can't do that whole "we're tired from the trip so we're gonna shit the bed for the next few days" thing, though. At Seattle this weekend, then down to LA, then to Baltimore. Yanks home for KC, then they go to Toronto and Cleveland.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

So Much Better Now

This day isn't quite as crazy as Butch's in Pulp Fiction, but it's close.

We ended up winning, with Gagne pitching the ninth. I really needed this, to at least ensure the Yanks don't gain on a day when they went down 8-0.

Now, the ChiSox are up 11-9 in the seventh. White Sox. Please. Come on, now.

That Mirabelli play. Wow. He leaves early, then goes back to re-tag, and gets thrown out at the plate. Good thing he redeemed himself. 7.5 up at the moment. Today's events have been (and are still being) captured in this comment thread at Joy of Sox.

Update: Yanks waste their 8-run comeback and lose, 13-9. Like I said, this is an awesome day. 8 games up.

Update To The Update To The Update

Is this all really happening?

Yanks were down 8-0, Sox were up 3-0, now 8-8 and 3-3. I feel like I'm bipolar. I ask myself almost every day: How do we survive 162 games of this? Every year???

Update To The Update

Jon Garland should be taken out back and put down. They give him 8 runs in the top of the second, he gives up 6 before getting the second out in the bottom. This is no longer an awesome day.

And now they're tied at 8. The fucking 8-0 lead lasted exactly zero innings. All White Sox dead to me, til end of time. 8-8 after 2.

Fortunately, the RED Sox lead the O's 3-0.

Clemens Update

Roger faces 12 batters in the second and finally gets pulled. 8-0 White Sox. This is an awesome day.

I love it, 8-0, two on, two out, and Joe puts in Myers for the lefty-lefty matchup! And Myers walks the guy! And then they go to Karstens. It's eight to nothing, Joe!

This is what happens when you sit Jeter. Ha! He must not be cheering hard enough from that classiest of all dugout steps, the top one.


"I enjoy watchin' your little second baseman." --Bobby Doerr

That was cool--that they not only honored Bobby, and gave him a new TV, but that they let him speak. I was hoping to get to this game today, but didn't make it.

Speaking of the little second baseman, he's leading off today. Sweet. Remember when he "became the new leadoff hitter," did awesome, and then they put Drew there the next day, and never went back to Dustin? And then started putting Lugo back there? Terrible job since that day--glad Dustin's back where he belongs.


I've been thinking about this bridge collapse in Minneapolis. It's the old "Chief Brody & the Mayor" syndrome. People knew the bridge wasn't in good shape, but they didn't do anything about it. Why? Because of money. It's people admitting that they care more about money than about other people.

If you look on craigslist right now, you can see this in action, as people try to sell tickets to today's Sox game at prices that sound like some kind of sick joke. "It's 10:45, gates open at 11, get to the game for ONLY 75 dollars. Standing room!"

Look at this post title over there:

Great RED SOX seats for TONIGHT! Roof Deck! Home Plate CLub!

This just pisses me off. Can you see something that gives away the fact that this person is not just some innocent dude with a few seats he's trying to get rid of? No, besides the exclamation points. Right--the fact that it's a DAY GAME today. They don't know this, because they're a faceless ticket agency, who probably puts this same ad up every day. You call them, and you get your 12-dollar bleacher seats for 75 bucks, plus a 20 dollar service charge.

All these evil ticket agencies have turned the regular people into ruthless businessmen. You don't have a friend you can sell the tickets to for face value? You're not even content to get just a little more than what you paid? It's horrible. A longer post on this is on the way.

In what could be called a "related story," my mom just alerted me to this article about Johnny Damon. "Sorry, Johnny, I meant to tell you you were out of the lineup for tonight, but I couldn't find you. You understand."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Than Youk

Finally some clutch hitting. A comeback win that we needed. Still up seven.

Two nights in a row now, a ball in the first inning hits the top of a wall and bounces way up and back into the crowd. And two nights in a row, Orsillo doesn't notice. This isn't a crucial mistake (especially tonight, on Pedroia's foul ball), but, man, I keep getting the feeling the announcers aren't seeing what we're seeing.

I have to say, nice sacrifice by Wily Mo in the third. You don't remember it? Well, at our house, when Wily Mo's up with a runner on first and less than two outs, we hope he makes one out instead of two. If he only makes one, he's "sacrificing" a possible two outs whenever he only makes one. Nice job, Wily Mo! Then he did it again in the eighth. Although in that spot, maybe a fly ball to the outfield instead of a popup, as an insurance run would've been big there. Seriously, what is this guy doing on the Boston Red Sox?

Could see on TV a guy in the crowd at Fenway wearing this monstrosity.

For the Yanks, after four tonight, they'd had 18 extra base in their last 15 innings. Ridiculous.

I am loving this A-Rod thing. Since hitting his 499th homer, he hasn't been able to connect for a long ball in 21 at bats. But that's not all--he hasn't been able to get a hit in those 21 at bats. Swingin' up, going for the dong, and flying out, over and over. (Hey, didn't I say something about him never getting another hit?) Any amount of pressure, and this guy chokes. But it's extra embarrassing when you're putting that pressure on yourself to reach a personal milestone, during a pennant race, and it's making you a detriment to the team. Well, it would if the rest of the Yanks would stop hitting! I think they've had 500 homers combined since Alex got his 499th....

Update, 12:26 AM: I've got the SF-LA game on, and I'm lovin' this Connecticut kid, Rajai Davis. Born in Norwich, went to HS in New London, college in Groton. (Which MLB calls "Groten"--but, hey, they also say his current status is "minor leagues.) Fast as hell. Should be good for whatever the hell it is they do over in the NL. Assman was just pitching for LA. Bonds on deck. If I haven't added to this post by morning, it means he didn't homer.

Monster Mania

In this post, I tried to find the exact date of Dick Stuart's supposed inside-the-park homer off the ladder on the Green Monster. Why didn't I try to find the other ITPHR mentioned, the Jim Lemon one? Well, I have now. Shaughnessy claims it took place in "the 50s," and Ted Williams was in left, and Jim Piersall was in center. I looked at Jim Lemon's career, and the only years in the 50s that retrosheet has game-by-game, play-by-play stats for are '57-'59. Lemon only got real playing time from '57-'59. So I was able to check those years.

No homers for Lemon at Fenway in '57.

One in '58 (August 7th). No mention of it being inside-the-park, but Williams was in left and Piersall was in center.

'58 was Piersall's last year in Boston. So the play either took place on the above-mentioned 8/7/58, or at some point in 1956--a year in which Lemon hit 27 homers. (With a slim chance it was one of the five homers he hit from 1950 to 1955.)

However, I checked 1959, just to see if Lemon had any Fenway homers, even though it wouldn't be Jimmy Piersall in center. He did, on May 23rd. I clicked on the boxscore, and saw this:

Lemon (11,11th inning off Wall 1 on 1 out).

That's it, I thought. I scrolled down to the play-by-play, and saw only this:

Lemon homered [Killebrew scored];

That's odd, no mention of the wall here. Then I read on, and two doubles (to left field, ironically enough) later, the Sox made a pitching change:


Jim Lemon didn't homer off The Wall. He homered off Murray Wall.


I guess we've still got no proof of either of these ladder-ific home runs. But people love to quote that Shaughnessy article when talking about the Monster. They'll mention the ladder and say "on at least two occasions..." the ladder caused an inside-the-parker, citing Dan's piece. Both Stuart and Lemon have died in the past five years, so we may never know. Jimmy Piersall and Vic Davalillo (whose noggin was involved in the Stuart homer) are alive, though. I'd really like to get a definitive record of all balls that hit the ladder. I've seen at least one in person.

The latest article to essentially cut-and-paste wikipedia's Monster entry (which took from the Shaughnessy article) is this one, from The (Toronto) Star. I remember seeing this linked at Joy of Sox, but I didn't click because, like Joy said, every visiting reporter does the same article about going inside the Green Monster at some point. But it came up when I was looking into Citgo sign articles. The reason I was doing this was because someone commented on an earlier post of mine, saying how he couldn't figure out why the Citgo sign looks so close to Fenway on TV, but when he was in the Monster Seats, it looked so far away. Here's the shot he was commenting on, from my July 15th gallery:

This was taken from atop the Monster. I started thinking, "I bet a lot of people think the sign is atop the Wall, or just beyond it." (The guy in the Star article did! As did many of us when we were very young kids.) I searched the web for evidence of this, and only found one instance. A British site said the sign was "across the street." (I assure you, I signed up for their site just so I could correct them.) So I guess it's pretty well-known that it's far from Fenway Park. But I measured it on a map site, and it's about 700 feet beyond the Monster. That Star article guy said he paced it off and came up with this:

And it's about 1,800 feet behind the Monster.

Way off, buddy.

O Tannenbaum

Hey, any chance anybody's gonna do my "yell red during the national anthem at the rockets' red glare part" idea tonight? Or next weekend in Baltimore? I still say we do this, to combat the O's fans shouting "O" on oh say does that star-spangled....

If anybody's got a better idea, let's hear it. (I was also thinking of taking their "O" and turning it into a "Go" and putting a "Sox" after it....)

Oh, and if you're thinking "it's dumb that they do that, let's just let them do it and be classy and yadda yadda yadda," well, that's no fun!

But back to more important stuff, like Dana Levangie. I've mentioned him here before--he was the Sox' bullpen catcher for many years. Having gone to a lot of games during his time in uniform (and often sitting out by the bullpen, being at the game way early, etc.), I got used to him being out on the field. After the 2004 season, he was, sadly, let go by the team, and that was the last I'd heard of him.

Yesterday I was watching Brendan Donnelly getting interviewed about his TJ surgery (Tommy John, not terrible job, though I grew up watching and listening to Tommy, and can report that he committed his fair share of TJs, including the time he made three errors on one play and later blamed it on the ions in his athletic supporter), and behind him was a locker nameplate that read "Claus/Levangie." I thought, Oh my god, Dana's back! Dropped down the chimney by Santa! So I did a little research, and TOMMY JOHN by me, because Dana's been back since 2006. Here's where Gordon Edes mentioned his imminent return, as a scout. He and former Sea Dogs manager Todd Claus are split-advanced scouts, as you can read here. (Although you have to pay extra to get the full article.) I remember reading this back in May, as some blogs had linked to it, but I somehow missed the Levangie connection. So I guess I skimmed it...

A year and a half late: Welcome home, Dana!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Frusty McGee

That was one of the worst experiences I've had watching a baseball game. This month, anyway. Remy and Orsillo were off all night, as was NESN in general. As were the Red Sox. We continue to lead the league in frustrating losses.

Their first batter: High fly ball to right for a homer. Note, though, that A. Wily Mo Pena trotted over and watched this happen, instead of attempting to catch the ball, which he may have been able to do, considering the wall is shorter than he is. This went completely unnoticed by Rem and Don. B. The ball incredibly bounced right off the top of the fence, and bounced over, when it could've gone straight up, or back toward the field for a double. This also went completely unnoticed by Rem and Don.

Our first batter: A line shot on which a diving catch is made.

And, though I didn't want to believe it at that point, that's the way the whole game would go for us.

So I was already pissed at WMP, on this night when I predicted he'd hit two homers, and then he goes and pulls up on a soft blooper in front of him. I'm pretty sure the crowd booed, but I couldn't tell because NESN was doing a "Talking Tina" segment. And I couldn't tell if he could've had the catch on the replay, because they didn't show one. Wily Mo did make up for it a little with the awkward diving catch, but he then negated that by striking out with the bases loaded and one out.

Lugo still plays the field more like Renteria than Gonzalez, doing very odd things on certain types of plays. Why didn't he make a real dive for Millar's grounder? He could've at least knocked it down. Then he follows up WMP's strikeout with the bases loaded with one of his own.

On another play, WMP had to hold up when Lugo hit a ball that had a chance of being caught by Roberts. Remy, despite that we saw the play several times, had no idea this is what happened, as he said it was the quickness of Roberts that led Pena to slide well before second base.

Varitek got hit by a pitch. Yet I never saw it hit him, nor did I see a replay, nor did our announcers mention it. An odd play that deserved at least an acknowledgment.

Theo looked pretty Corleone-y behind that curtain. You could tell he spotted himself on TV, though, and notified the people with him.

On a wild pitch, Remy noted that the Orioles' catcher had "no idea where the baseball was." In the comfort of my living room, I added "...and neither does our camera!" We had to assume the ball went out of play, because no one chased after it.

Orsillo noted that it was strange that Dodger fans boo Barry Bonds, as it's "tough to rile them up about anything." Fortunately, Remy clued him in to the little-known fact that the Dodgers and Giants have been heated rivals for over a hundred years.

So, yeah, it was a frustrating night all around, with the exception of Papi, who homered twice. It was fitting we'd leave the tying run on base to end the game--and that our last batter would swing at the first pitch. But the worst offense was committed by the fans down the right field line. When a foul ball hit by the home team comes toward you, and it's above your head, as opposed to out over the field of play, you have every right, and Jesus, it's your duty, to do whatever you can to keep that ball out of the visiting fielder's glove. That was a terrible job by those people. A person who grew up rooting for the Sox did catch the ball; unfortunately it was O's outfielder Nick Markakis.

Yanks win and close to 7 back with 8 homers. None by A-Rod, as he's stuck on 499. Think he's not thinking about his individual performance more than he is the game at hand? But that's his way....

Remember when I wrote about A-Rod sneaking his way, by default, into the all-time home run race, despite being over 250 homers away from the record, which will almost surely continue to go up anyway? This New York Times article, about A-Rod not getting a homer which would put him 255 from the record, mentions Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds, along with Alex, in paragraph two. (How about listing the other 18 players ahead of him while you're at it? As I type, I've got the Giants game on, and they're talking about A-Rod. Surprisingly, Joe Morgan is the voice of reason, saying it's a long way away. But they're still talking about him as part of someone else's chase for the record, and this is gonna piss me off more and more each day...)

Not Using The "There's A Game Tonight?" Question

Wily Mo, think about where you are in life right now. Then realize that you're in the starting lineup for the team with the best record in baseball. Tonight. After the trade deadline has passed. If that doesn't motivate you to hit a minimum of two home runs tonight, I don't know what will. (Hopefully, we'll only need one with Beckett on the mound--but the O's are hot.)

O's at Us, 7:05 post meridski.

Gagne With A Spoon

Okay, I'm moving into mega-psyched mode about this deal. The 'pen: Pap, Oak, MDC, Gag, Tav, Tim, Lop, Sny. Three of those guys can start (four if you include Papelbon). And I'd trust four of 'em to close. We're lookin' good. Pitching is key.

So now Murphy and Murton are gone. One helped us to a World Series (getting us Man-cave and O-Cab). We'll see what Murphy can do for us. Meaning Gagne.

Was really sad watching Gabbo have a long chat with his pitching coach, looking like he was gonna cry, and then being sent away with a pat on the back.

Now I'm thinking more about how Gagne just steps in as the closer on the day after Pap closes. We'd basically have one of the two closing every day. And if Gagne is lights out, maybe next year they revisit that "Pap as starter" thing. Lots of options.

Gagne *Officially* A Sock

Gabbard, Murphy, and Beltre (16-year old) for Gagne..... if Gagne approves the deal. (Update: It's official.)

Wait, so we're getting the 1999 Gagne, right? Okay, maybe I should've said 2002. This guy will help our pen (Although what's he gonna do, pitch the 6th? I guess he could be the Pap when Pap needs rest. Or the righty Okajima.), it's just too bad Gabbo looked that good. Tough to part with him now.

This is what I was talking about with Gabbo, though--why I was so surprised that the roto-geeks thought Lester would just kind of go by the wayside for now, either being traded or sent back down. People just acted like Gabbo was the man. When we clearly knew Lester was already the man, it's just that he got cancer, which is why he wasn't in the rotation all along. To think Gabbo was a lock was just like thinking Tavarez was suddenly a superstar starter and would be through the end of his career. And just like thinking we should stick with Cora and forget about Pedroia.

It's very simple--if a guy gets hot, or starts hot, that doesn't mean that's how he'll always be--especially, if like Cora and Tavarez, he's already proven over a long career that he's just not starting material. (Or in Gabbo's case, he just isn't ready for the bigs, despite that he came up early and showed great stuff). And it definitely doesn't mean you should push aside promising rookies who are just at the point of being major league ready, or guys who were out due to a freak cicumstance, like getting cancer. All this goes back to Timo Perez Syndrome. Never look at a guy's very recent performance and think this is what he'll always be.

Now, Gabbo could be great. But we just turned him into Eric Gagne, and we keep Lester.

I would say all that stuff above is common sense, but, on NESN a few minutes ago, a poll: Who would you rather see in the 5th spot? 40-something percent said Gabbo. 31 percent said the man who's been our 5th starter since last year (but was out with cancer, and has never done anything to show he shouldn't still be the 5th starter), Jon Lester. Come on people, imagine if we'd given up on Pedroia....


The Assman is gone! Proctor traded for Wilson Betemit. Meanwhile, Sox trade Pineiro for a nameless player. Also, scroll down or click here for the awesome Remy-Orsillo video. Trust me.

Rme Dgo At Teh Door

Back when I did this post about my 2005 trip to Cleveland, I had no way of getting video onto the web (that I could figure out, anyway). So I was doing a lot of filming, followed by posting still shots (which, as I recall, was incredibly exciting at the time).

With the recent popularity of Jhonny Peralta's dog over at Joy of Sox's glossary (scroll down to the "Ococ" entry), I thought I'd go back and find the original video that my still shot was from, so you can all see the famous pup come to life. But before I get to that, you may also remember my story about Remy and Orsillo, and the trouble they had getting into Jacobs Field that same day. I've just re-watched that video, and boy is it hi-larious. I've added some appropriate music. Here you go:

That's the Smiley Lewis of "I Hear You Knockin'." The song was the perfect length for my video, too. The one cut in the video was me stopping the camera, waiting--who knows how long--, and then starting it up again. I honestly can't remember how long they waited. But even with the cut, it was a good couple of minutes (of hilarity).

And now, the original intention of this post, the very, very brief footage I got of Jhonny Peralta's "dgo." Brak brak forever!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Saturday Pics From Tampa/RIP Tom Snyder

Dawn from Thoughts from along the Broken Road was at the Trop Saturday night, and was kind enough to share some photos with us. Thank you, Dawn! The above shot was taken in the 12th, with the Sox on the verge of breaking through for the win. Click these to enlarge.

As you can see, she had some killer seats.

It was Hippie Night, or whatever you wanna call it, at the Trop. I don't know whose scoreboard pic was the funniest, but this one's pretty good.

I love this shot. The kid going for the autograph.

Great view of hitters. Here's the now not-that-bad again Julio Lugo.

A couple of Lester shots.

Varitek hitting. For some reason, I feel like I never see his left-handed stance from this exact side angle.

Wally rival Raymond in a bottle-race accident, and silly-stringing a Sox fan kid.

Dawn took a lot more photos, and says she may post more at her blog, so check that out.

In the meantime, ARSFFPT or whatever I'm called would like to send out best wishes to the friends and family of Tom Snyder, who died yesterday at 71. We all know the Dan Aykroyd impression, which was great, but I really got to know "TS" in 1995, when he started doing "The Late, Late Show," which still follows Letterman's show today. (Creggers and the Scottish dude have hosted since Tom left.) His show aired from '95-'98, which was a fun time in my life. I was out of college (which doesn't necessarily mean I finished college), and back at home for that entire stretch. It was a lot of hangin' out with Gumby and Chan until all hours of the morning. (We hung out with an entire crew, who I'm still friends with, but it was just us three left standing by the time Snyder's show came on.) We'd watch Tom almost every weeknight, and we kind of felt silly at first, like, "I think this show is for, uh, olllld people." But we quickly realized ol' Tom was just as hip as anybody 40 years his junior. His interviews were really fun, and the show was absolutely frill-less. Just two people talking. Timeless, I guess. Of course, occasionally Tom would go off on his own tangents, suddenly turning an interview with a young actor into a soliloquy on the cigarette billboards of St. Louis in 1952.

I raise a webtini to you, Tom.

Leave A-Rod Out Of This

I'm so sick of A-Rod being the "default hero" in the Barry Bonds home run chase. Multiple people have talked about how Bonds breaking the record won't matter, because A-Rod will soon break that record. You know, as if that makes everything okay. What the hog? Gee, if only we could fast forward to the days where A-Rod is our king, then and only then will we as a country live in peace and harmony....

First of all, I hate how people think it's a guarantee that A-Rod will hit more homers than Bonds. That part is said as if it's already been decided. (Keep in mind we don't even know how high Bonds will go.) I do tend to think Bonds' record (assuming he hits two more) will be surpassed by someone from the current era, but to act like it's a given for someone who's over 250 homers away from what's still a moving target is going a little too far. Remember when we all thought Griffey would hit 756 on "batting righty as a joke" at bats alone?

But let's say A-Rod was guaranteed to eventually become the all-time leader. Why is this any better than than having someone who supposedly took steroids at the top? Are dads really thinking "I don't want my kid to think drugs are the way to go. I want him to be more of a sneaky ballplayer who no one likes. Oh, except for his mistress"? Gimme a break.

I actually heard a guy--on NPR of all places--say that he hopes A-Rod hits his 500th homer on the day Bonds hits his 756th, to steal Barry's thunder. You know what I hope? That A-Rod never gets another hit of any kind for the rest of his career. The only way A-Rod breaking the all-time HR record will put a smile on my face is if he's on some other team at the time, and that homer knocks the Yanks out of playoff contention. (But I'd still hope he trips rounding third.)

I'd also like to point out, as a general fact, that Manny's career numbers are as good, if not better than A-Rod's. BA: Manny--.314, A-Rod--.305. OBP: Manny--.410, A-Rod .387. SLG: Manny--.596, A-Rod--.576. A-Rod has 12 more homers--in nearly 200 more at bats. So for Manny to keep up with A-Rod homer-wise, Manny would have to play until he's an age three years older than A-Rod is when he stops, as A-Rod is three years younger. So, chances are, A-Rod will put up a bunch of numbers beyond Manny's, but as of now, remember, A-Rod's still no Manny. (I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's too bad Manny wasn't the one who broke into the bigs at an extremely young age.)

We're 8 games up, though 10 would've looked pretty sweet. We've got Baltimore coming in, and the Yanks have the White Sox. Before we go to New York at the end of August, we play Balty, the Angels, and TB at home, and the Angels, Seattle, Balty, TB, and the White Sox on the road. The Yanks have the White Sox, KC, Balty, and Detroit at home, and Tor, Cleve, the Angels, and Detroit away. That's four series (three on the road) against the top three A.L. teams who aren't the Red Sox. Meanwhile, two of our series are against the D-Rays, who they don't play. I think we should gain over that stretch. I want double digits going into that Yanks series. We'll see.

A reader sent me some pics from Tampa! I'll get those up at some point on Monday, so check back. She had sweet seats and got some great shots.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"If The Good Lord Had Intended Us To Walk...

...he wouldn't have invented roller skates."

After we left 'em loaded in the second, and left two on in the third, despite the 3-0 lead, I thought, We don't deserve to win this game. Then my girlfriend and I went to see Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Smell-o-vision. It was outdoors, and I could see a TV through the window of a bar, but it was really far away. I could tell the Rays had gotten a sac fly and a homer, and I saw Manny doing something at the plate. I also saw a Game Break which seemed to show Orioles rounding the bases.

At the end of the movie, we headed for the car, and I estimated we were up 5-2 in the eighth, and that the O's were probably on the verge of a win, since I knew they'd been up 2-0 before we went to the movie. Wrong. 6-6 in the tenth in the Sox game. We found out Pap had blown the save. And I thought right back to those stranded runners. Then Castig said "Meanwhile..." in that "uh-oh" voice. He told us that the Yanks had been down 7-1 going to the ninth, but now had the tying run up with none out. Great. My "9-games up" plan seemed to be flying out the window.

Then we sweated out extra frames, until Lugo walked with the bases loaded, and Youk put it away with a three-run double. And the Yanks' comeback fell short. Sweet Mercy's Mom.

I always love it when Yankee fans get to go through what we go through when crappy teams are handing them games on a silver platter. They went from thinking they were gonna close to 7, to the reality that they're now 9 games out.

Going back to last night, the Yanks got that suspended game, but the result seems to have moved back to the original date. So, officially, they've lost three in a row. That's stupid, I think. The result didn't become official until yesterday, so that's when they should act like the whole game was played. Either way, I was pissed about that game, as I had been when it was suspended in the first place. But it didn't matter, since we got a win, and the Yanks lost their regularly scheduled game. We picked up a half game, and now we've picked up another full game.

Great job by the O's, comin' through against the Yanks. Oh, and that was a crazy line drive Manny hit, eh? I'd love to make it double digits tomorrow.

More about Wonka, though. First of all, I realized that the reason "smell-o-vision" doesn't work is because you're concentrating on the movie, and anything you see on screen, you're going to "smell" in your mind. Just like how you don't need a person holding up photos while you read a book, you don't need people wafting scents at you while you watch a movie. (But if they are doing this, they should make the smells really, really strong, instead of unnoticeable--but I give them credit for trying. And hey, I got to see a classic movie outside, so I'm not complaining.)

Second of all--so many great moments in that film. What a great performance by Wilder. I love all of his deadpan lines. And I love how the whole thing is one big anti-asshole fest. Kid acts like prick, kid (and equally deserving parent) gets her/his due. Repeat, until the innocent ones are left standing. And win chocolate. Of course, the book is great, too, albeit totally different. My family's copy still has the library-stamped dates from the 50s in the back. I call this "the book my mom stole." But she claims "it just ended up with us somehow."

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Location: Rhode Island, United States