Saturday, May 10, 2008

One Rich Robot?

I guess my old theory that Hanley Ramirez "doesn't exist" is pretty much completely proven wrong at this point. But we did get Beckett and Lowell for the guy....

Red Sox at Twins, 7:10 PM our time.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ess Aych Eye Tee Tee Why

Tonight and two nights ago are type of losses that leave you hollow, but, more importantly, they don't make you think the team has any kind of fatal problems. You just have to move on to the next day knowing that this one is behind you.

But then you're like Clark Griswold going "Gah Dah Dah!"--we should have had this one...

Okay, moving on, forgetting about it, everything's fine...but road wins are tough to come by! Damnit!

All right, I'm okay now. I can see ignoring a runner in the ninth when you're up two. You say "that run doesn't matter." But in the ninth tonight, up one, we ignored the tying and winning runs. Not a big fan. Also, remember how last year my one worry was that we'd get to key October games, and Lugo will just lose his mind and make key mistakes? Looks like this year we've got the same worry, only he's making more physical errors than mental nowadays. Which get in his head, making him mentally and physically unsound. But he's got time to fix that. Again, we're a first place team, and we will be there in month number 10.

The Yanks pitched old buddy "No Dice" Kei Igawa tonight. He got shelled. They're under .500 again. The best part was that the Yanks had a comeback in the ninth and left the tying run at second. I love it when they almost win but still lose. Too bad we did the same tonight....

Thursday, May 08, 2008

See It Go Up And Down

The purple team returned to the site of its famous comeback...and crapped the cot. I did get a hit in two at bats, but I, along with everybody else, screwed up a bunch in the field. I think it was 21-7 red team.

On our way home, we went through Kenmore Square. Sitting at the light, I noticed something as I looked up at the Citgo sign. Within the stalk of the "T" in CITGO, a little thing goes up and down, up and down. I think it's a light being turned off, making it appear as if a little bug is rapidly crawling up and down the T. The weird thing is, sometimes it goes to the bottom of the T, and reappears at the top. Like the way you can go off one side of the screen in a video game and come back on the other. It was constant. Maybe you have to be that close to the sign to notice. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? (Kim also noted as we started to drive away that "there was something going on with the 'O,' too."

Red Sox lead 5-1 in the seventh.

Update: Sox win 5-1. Our pitching continues to be, for the most part, the kind that makes you feel like there will be October baseball. With winning. And Youk is a dong-machine so far this year. This should have been a four-game sweep. But we'll take 3 of 4.

Chokers Playing Now

Cleveland just scored 3 off Moose to tie it up in the fifth.

Update: Yanks win 6-3 and are a .500 team again.

Red Sox (Beckett) at Tigers (Verlander) at 7-ish.


That was a really difficult ending. Papelbon comes in with a one-run lead. First guy gets on an an accidentally-hit tapper on a check swing. Next guy grounds to Lugo who "Renteria"s the play, ironically with Edgar himself having hit the ball. Next guy bunts the runners over. Next guy ties it on a ground out. And the last guy gets a broken bat bloop barely out of the shortstop's reach.

The Yankees would've been proud.

Pap does not deserve that blown save. He still got pissed, O'Neill-ing over some water coolers. If anything, he should have taken out his aggression on Lugo!

I'm still completely baffled as to how a guy can be ready to let a ball roll foul but then happen to slip, causing his foot to kick the ball JUST before it crosses the line, allowing the runner to reach first, as Double-H did tonight. I just keep thinking that one extra Tiger hitter because of that play cost us the game. (Or saved it from being a ten-run loss, you just never know.) Great job by our O for not giving up tonight. But they never do.

All the other teams in the east lost except for Toronto, though. The Yanks were blanked by the Indians, the team who used to play in the stadium where Warrant's Jano Lane saw Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, Bob Seger, and more. Sorry, on our way home tonight, we heard Warrant on Rock Line. Same number since the 80s: 1-800-344-ROCK.

We watched the game at our friends' house, which is on the water up north of Boston. On our way up, we stopped here:
Jere Road! Last night I was checking Google Maps for things like Jere Road or Jere Street. (When your name's as unique as mine--it's just Jere, not short for anything--you look for this stuff. If my name was Main McGee or Broadway Davis I wouldn't need to do this crap. Then again, my last name's Smith, so once again I'm Even Steven. Which is weird because my mom said she almost named me Steven.) Anyway, I found there were three "Jere Road"s in the US. Incredibly, two are seven miles apart...and are both in my county! One's in Reading, Mass., the other is in Wilmington. There is also a Jere Street in Texas, a Jere Avenue in Tennessee, and a Jere Court and Lane in Missouri. So naturally our first stop on the Jere tour was Reading, where I snapped the above picture. We'll have to get Wilmington on a different day. It was pretty cool that this road was actually on the way to where we had planned to go tonight days before I got the idea to search for roads named after myself.

Above is the sweet view from our friends' place. The sun went through a band of clouds, and gave it this effect like it was an Alka-Seltzer just hitting a glass of water. I also like how the sky above the sun seems to never end. As the sun reached the bottom of the cloud band, it created this crazy galactic effect:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

World Totally NOT Shocked By Joba Blowing Game

I had seen that the Yanks were up 3-2 in the seventh. Wasn't really paying attention to them tonight as we watched the second half of the Celts after the Red Sox ended. Later I checked the final: 5-3 Indians. I thought, Ooh, this could be a Joba bed-shitting deal. I clicked for the story, and sure enough, I was delighted to see Terrible Joba's name right there in the headline. He'd given up a two-out, three-run dong to David Dellucci in the eighth.

Of course, the first line of the article said that the Yanks were "shocked." Why? Because a guy who's pitched 37 innings in his career didn't get everybody out? Oh, but he's hyped and we hear his name a lot, okay, I see. I'll give him this: He really is Cy Young...when you compare him to Hughes and Kennedy!

But the fact that I'm not shocked with his not succeeding doesn't make me any less ecstatic about it.

First place Red Sox win 5-0 in Detroit. Amazing job by Wake, going eight shutout innings. Papi and Manny went back-to-back, dong-wise. Manny's 497th came on Freddy Dolsi's first major league pitch. Ow.

Terrible job by a Celtics fan tonight. Guy was holding a big sign of Garnett's face. At the bottom you could see little triangles on his collar--a telltale sign of his old Timberwolves jersey.

Check out Michael Leggett's writing for Fenway Nation. I've grown quite fond of his unique writing style that we all have come to know through his comments and his own blog.

Oh, and my hometown is in the news, as a kid who lives there finally took off the Favre jersey he'd been wearing for five years. Thanks to Chan for the heads-up.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The First '04 Boston-New York AL Championship Battle

Do you know about the 1904 Red Sox? We all know that they won the American League, but weren't given a shot to play the New York Giants in the World Series. The Giants' owner, John T. Brush (from the staircase!), didn't want to risk losing to the champs of the "inferior" league, especially if that champ was his crosstown rival, the New York Highlanders, who were later renamed the Yankees.

But have you ever heard the story of how the Red Sox (who weren't called the Red Sox yet) ended up beating New York for that year's AL title? For some reason, it's hardly ever talked about. But it fits right in alongside all the other famous Red Sox accomplishments and Yankee failures over the years, haha.

The Yankees started as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901, and moved to Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan, for the 1903 season. That year the Boston team ran away with the American League, with New York finishing in fourth place, 17 games behind. Boston topped the Pirates, five games to three (winning the last four), to become baseball's first "world champions."

The defending champs started the 1904 season with a three-game series at New York. Opening Day saw a snowstorm, but 15,000 still turned out, and Boston lost, 8 to 2, with Cy Young getting touched for five runs in the first inning of the season. (Young finished the year 26-16 with a 1.97 ERA, with a league-leading 10 of his 40 complete games being shutouts.) Boston would win the next two, and go on to win 26 of their first 36 games.

By the 4th of July, though, the Highlanders were within a game and half of the first-place future-Sox. But Boston won three in a row in New York a few days later, with Cy Young outdueling Jack Chesbro--their third match-up of the season--in the third game. Boston scored in the ninth to win, 2-1. New York salvaged game four, but Boston left with a three-and-a-half game lead.

The two teams were a half-game apart going into a series in Boston in mid-September. Three doubleheaders would be played. The New York Times' story of day one of the series starts

Manager Clark Griffith and his Greater New York team lead for the American League championship, and Griffith says he will hold the lead until the end.

In classic Yankee style, their boast would be immediately foiled. The Sox had lost and tied in the first doubleheader in a downpour, but won and tied on day two, to get the lead right back again. "Until the end" would mean "one day." On day three, New York took game one, but Cy "Farmer" Young beat them on a day where Boston saw its biggest baseball crowd ever to that point, nearly 23,000 people.

On September 26th, Boston swept a doubleheader at Detroit, while New York was swept in Cleveland, giving Boston a two-game lead for the pennant. But Boston would lose its next four in a row, and the two teams were again tied at the top as the calendar moved to October.

The two clubss would play a five-game series to wrap up the season starting on October 7th. Boston won each of its October games up to that point, while New York won all but one of theirs, meaning the Highlanders would be a half-game behind going into the final five versus Boston. This was it. Essentially a best-of-five series for the American League--which, in 1904, was as far as you could go. This would be the closest thing we'd ever have to a Red Sox-Yankees World Series.

Game one was in New York. The later-Yanks won, 3-2, with fans rushing the field and carrying "Happy Jack" Chesbro off the field. The "Greater New Yorks" had just gotten off the train from St. Louis and had to play the home game in their road uniforms. New York was back in first by a half-game with four to play.

The next day, Saturday, games two and three would be played in Boston. We kicked Happy Jack's ass in game one, and took a shortened game two behind Cy Young when darkness fell. About the day, the Times wrote:

Baseball "rooters" are beside themselves with delight to-night because of Boston's double victory over New York, which may mean retention of the American League pennant another year. Nearly 30,000 people tried to get into the ball grounds, and 10,000 more gathered about the newspaper bulletins down town, watching for the returns. Every reserved seat was sold a week ago, and the bleachers were filled an hour and a half before play began. Temporary seats had been placed in front of the grand stand, accommodating several hundred. The outfield was black with crowded humanity. Every inch of standing room was taken, hundreds lining the fences. So dense was the crowd on the field that it was agreed before the game that a hit into the spectators should be counted a two-baser.

Boston victories of 13-2 and 1-0, and now, with two games left, the New Yorks needed to sweep a doubleheader back in Manhattan on Monday to take the pennant. One Boston win, and the champs would successfully defend their title.

The Times, October 11th, 1904:

Probably no such interest ever was taken in a baseball event in this city as was manifested in the double-header of yesterday. Some 200 Boston "rooters," accompanied by Dockstader's Band of this city, had the extreme left end of the grand stand to themselves, and with the aid of the band, megaphones, and tin horns kept a constant din throughout the nine innings.

The Boston fans were outnumbered, considering 28,000 people were there, but the rooting must have worked. After New York had scored two in the fifth, Boston tied it at two in seventh when New York second baseman Jimmy Williams, after missing a grounder earlier in the inning, threw wildly to home allowing two runs to score.

Boston had the go-ahead run thrown out at the plate in the eighth, and the two teams, with the pennant on the line, went to the ninth, tied 2-2.

Lou Criger started the ninth for Boston with a base hit. Pitcher Bill Dinneen (who completed all 37 games he pitched in 1904) bunted Criger to second. Kip Selbach moved him to third with the second out. Jack Chesbro (he started 51 games that year, completing 48) then threw a wild pitch, scoring Criger. 3-2 Boston going to the bottom of the ninth.

New York got two walks in the ninth, but stranded the pennant-tying and -winning runs when Dinneen struck out Patsy Dougherty. The Bostons were champs again. (The Yanks won the second game of the doubleheader in 10 innings to officially end the season 1.5 games back.)

That sounded like a great pennant race. Too bad it's rarely ever mentioned. And look at the interest in these teams--the Red Sox were only in their fourth year in existence. So were the Yanks, and they were only in their second year in New York. But people were nuts about their teams. Kind of like now. I wish they'd let us carry players off the field, though.

And, of course, the writing in those articles is so amazing. I recommend going to the NYT site and just searching through that stuff. The really old ones are free. Check out the April 15th, 1906 article--another Cy Young/Jack Chesbro battle. It's like reading Greek mythology. You'll also notice the Yankees are called the Yankees in that article. That's 1906. In the next few years, the Times was regularly calling them that, but the "official" records say 1913 was when they went from Highlanders to Yankees.

I also found a great obit for Bill Dinneen in the 1/26/55 issue of The Sporting News, which can be found at Paper of Record.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Three Dong Night

Red Sox win 6-3 with homers by Lowell, Youk, and Papi. Always good to beat that bully Bonderman. I say "bully" because he reminds me of the kid in first grade who pushes you and has snot running down his face and looks like Kid Rock only the mustache is made of chocolate milk. Scary.

Dice-K walked every batter nine times but gave up negative one runs. They finally replaced Tina. And it was lefty night in Detroit, as Bill Lee, Allan Wood, and Laura Kaminker were in the crowd.

Eck on Rocket: "I don't believe anything he says." Nice.

Giving Soccer Fans A Run For Their Money

She "doesn't brake for Red Sox fans."

In less "murderous Yankee fan"-y news, if Manny gets three dongs this week, he'll be one away from 500 going into the weekend. Friday we've got I'm a Sox Girl, Saturday, it's Novy, and Sunday, Nick. Come on, Manny, let's crown a champion.

Kwiz Hyzdu

In 1997, Pedro Martinez became the first player in Major League Baseball history to do what? (As per ususal, it's gotta be "what I'm thinking of...")

I Forgive You, Paul

I'm a regular UniWatch reader. You know I love that site. But sometimes somebody says something and you just cringe. Today, after a full year of the Red Sox bullpen doing the pirate thing, Paul asks, "does anyone know why the Red Sox have a Jolly Roger hanging in their bullpen?" Ouch. To me that's like asking "does anyone know what the B on the Red Sox hat stands for?" But then I realize, Hey, I guess if you're not a Sox fan and you don't obsess over this stuff on a daily basis year round, you're gonna miss some stuff...

Staat Head

Open Studios was fun. It's just great to meet other artists, and watch people react to the work you created. (I can't see your faces when you look at my pics online...) If you met me this weekend and are now checking out this site and saying, What the hell is this?, well, if you want to see more pics, check out the Photo Galleries section down on the right side. And if you want to buy one of the framed shots you saw, send me an email. Thanks. And thanks to everyone who came out.

I heard DeWayne Staats, announcer of the Devil Rays, in an interview with Joe and Dave before Friday night's game. He was going on and on about how the win over the Red Sox the previous Friday was one of the best in team history. And that their three-game sweep of us was the most important series they've ever played. I'm sure Rays fans are excited, but come on, those games happened in April. You're making an absolute fool of your self, D-Staat. O'Brien made a point to bring up what Staats had said today as the Sox were on the verge of sweeping the Rays. The funny thing is, Staats used to be a Yankee announcer in the MSG Network days, and he was one of my least-hated Yankee announcers.

Red Sox lead the division by three games. Second-biggest lead in baseball. Tied for third best record in baseball. Again, with the Japan trip, this is all excellent news.

We're about a month into the season, so let's take a look at the two completely inexperienced and unproven starters they started the year with: 1. 9.00 ERA, currently on the DL. 2. 8.37 ERA, currently in triple-A. I hate, no, love to say I told the Yanks so.

And yes, as an ad-saturation hating vegetarian, I'm doubly offended by the Houston ballpark's obnoxious Chik-Fil-A sign that runs all the way down the foul pole.

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