Saturday, September 20, 2008


First, congrats to Sam Killay--the only Rays fan (though he also was a Sox fan) I ever was really aware of. He was a commenter in this blog's early days ("male Sam" as opposed to "female Sam"). Your team actually made the playoffs--though I kinda thought they'd hold off on the celebration--maybe they're that sure they'll blow a 2.5 game in the final week!

Second, congrats to the Boston Globe on getting today's score nearly correct in the title of a post on their blog. Nice job!

Let me get the sequence straight here: Media makes fun of bloggers, accusing them of being losers in their parents' basements. Media realizes nobody buys newspapers anymore. Media suddenly turns all their reporters into "bloggers" to keep up. Media bloggers can't even get score of game right. That sound right?

NEIBA: Not Just A Word Said By Mushmouth

Today was the NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Association) trade show in Boston. I signed copies of Dirty Water for a half-hour. I had a fun time--my mom's at a wedding in a far away state, so I was flying solo on this one. This wasn't a public booksigning, so I had mainly owners of bookshops approaching me. Everyone was really nice, and despite my lifelong struggle with my "signature," it all went off without a hitch. And I brought exactly enough books for the number of people who were lined up to meet me. One dude asked me to sign for his fantasy baseball team--the Purple Scanties! Another person knew of our book from Surviving Grady's review, which is cool.

I'll keep you updated on events you can actually go to...

Am I Crazy?

People everywhere are talking today about how we can (could've, with today's loss) clinch a playoff spot. Saying "we'll need help," etc. We're way up in the wild card. We're 1.5 back in the division. How could you root FOR the team ahead of us in the division?? So we can clinch a playoff spot today instead of tomorrow or the next day? Are you scared we'll blow the wild card lead, so you'll root against us staying alive in the division so we can clinch right now? So, what, 1.5 is impossible, but 7.5, you're scared we're gonna blow it? I don't get this at all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Final Ninal

Why is it that when a grounder goes to Papelbon, he turns into a bumbling fool? He pitched out of his own little mess to get the save tonight. Rays killed Minny, so we're still 1.5 back with nine to play. Our magic number for officially clinching a playoff spot is 2. I'll take that in two wins by us, please, as we need to root for the runner-up against the Rays over the next two days. (Actually, the Yanks are tied with Minnesota now to confuse things further.)

Two wins by us in the next two days also eliminates the Yanks during their final homestand. We could also take them out tomorrow with a win and a loss by them.

It would seriously be great if we won the division--I just bought a ticket to ALDS home game 3, which won't happen if we're the wild card. The non-refundable fee is $15, so I essentially have bet 15 bucks that we'll win the east. And go to a game 5. If you wanna place the same bet, you may still be able to get singles--call 617 482 4SOX. The first two games are sold out (I'm going to game one anyway), but try for three. I got mine after 5, and they put them on sale at 3. I called at 10 and they still didn't have an "all games sold out" message. Oh, and infield grandstand are only 55 bucks for round one. Only a 5-dollar increase from regular season!

Please Do This

I just had a great thought. Wouldn't it be sweet if Kevin Millar hit the final home run at Yankee Stadium?

Sox tied at 3. Rays up 9-0.

Car Fire On I-93

Remember that game I went to with my parents recently? The game that tied the sellout record? On our way home, there was a crazy car fire on 93. I made my mom grab my camera and start shooting. Click to enlarge.

Here We Are Now, Round That Table

MVN's weekly roundtable is up. You can read my thoughts on this week's question over there.

Moo Swatch! Mike Mussina has never won 20 games in a season. He got his 18th last night. He'll pitch Tuesday, and again on the next Sunday--the final game of the regular season, at Fenway Park. A loss Tuesday would be no fun--that would end the drama too early. I'd prefer a win on Tuesday, then he goes into Fenway on Sunday, pitches 8 shutout innings and leaves with a 19-0 lead, and then the bullpen comes in and on strictly walks, hit batters, wild pitches, and Derek Jeter errors, gives up 20 runs in the bottom of the ninth to a lineup of back-up Red Sox players. Moose takes the loss, retires having never won 20.

No Wild Carrrrrd!

Remember all the talk of how we couldn't win on the road? You know only three AL teams have a better road record right now? And we've got the best home record. So...

I haven't thought much about final win total until now. We've got 89 with 10 games left. 7-3 ties us with last year's team at 96 wins.

I'm really psyched the Twins came through for us tonight. They're fighting for their lives, so it makes sense. They're in the same situation in the central as we are in the east, down 1.5, 2 in the loss. Only they don't have the wild card back-up, barring a miracle.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gaining Again

Twins score five in the ninth to beat the ShitFish, 11-8! We're 1.5 back.

Boy One-Sixth Genius

Just found this pic of me at Ridgebury school circa '81-'82. I'm pretty sure I only "solved" that one side. And I'd like to add that I spent a lot more time with Rubik's Snake.

And that shirt! Very close to my Holy Grail of thrift-store shirts--"HAWAII 80." If anyone ever sees that, please buy it and I'll give you..30 bucks for it? It's the same as the one in the picture only an 80 instead of a 79 ('80 and '79 are my two favorite years), and HAWAII above the number. They obviously sell these to tourists in Hawaii with the current two-digit year on them. Still lookin' for that 80.

Hey, Smith cousins, remember the Rubik's Cube at Nana's house? Efforts to solve that one included tearing its pieces right from their sockets, and changing around the stickers. Eventually it was rendered un-solvble by the fact that there'd be, like, two yellow stickers on two different center squares.


Do you enjoy ball of foot? Go over to cousin Kara's blog, and enter this contest. (LoveSac is her hubby's company. Oh man--we forgot to check them out when we were going through couch-buying fun. Crap. Hey, maybe they could use some anti-Ikea marketing. I'll try to think of some slogans....)

Grow Fins, Turkey

I've never much "liked" Paul Byrd as a human, for reasons I've mentioned here before. (If I based it strictly on on-field performance, he does have the old-time windup, so I'd probably like him, provided I didn't have to look at his face, which frightens me.) And I'm not big on rented guys who come to your team late in the year and are suddenly placed into a starting role, as if the team had just been waiting all year for the guy to come along. (When they come in and capture your heart and do awesome, etc., I sing a different tune, but, for the most part, I feel like they're gonna be the Dave Meggett of the '98 Jets--coming in out of nowhere and screwing up what had been working fine without him.)

So...I've been pissed at Paul Byrd. I went to that horror-game (the one where Vernon Wells was trying to kill me) and on top of being all depressed anyway, I have to see Paul Byrd start--and not only that, he gets his ass kicked. First pitch of the game was rocked, and the Blue Jays never let up. Manny Ramirez? No. He must go. But Paul Byrd? Suure, bring him on, just what we need. Oy. I admit he's done good for us and may be the key to our success in the playoffs for all I know, but for me, he's gotta be Cy Young. But instead, he tips his pitches! I watched the video a couple days after on Empyreal Environs, but now I see it's finally come to Byrd's attention. "Maybe" he'll watch it. Dude, just fucking watch it. It shows you sitting at the table holding your cards FACE OUT. Jesus. Yeah, Jesus. A guy you know quite well. The one who told you to be good and not do drugs. But then stood by as you went and took drugs anyway. And struggled with porn and see why this guy is just too difficult to deal with for a guy like me? The problem with coming out and saying how good you are as a person is that when all this personal info comes out, you look like an asshole. Or in his case, a ventriloquist dummy. And then we have to hear about how somebody told him months ago he was tipping his pitches! And he didn't fully fix it! Come on, Byrd! Get your head in the game!

In that article, Amalie says "The third inning, in which the Rays scored three runs off Tim Wakefield, Devern Hansack, Javier Lopez, and David Aardsma..." Aardsma came in and got the only guy he faced to end that inning. A little bit of an unfair statement there. However, he did go after that popup like a guy in a Big Bird costume holding a net trying to catch turkeys dropped from a chopper.

Got a comment today from the dreaded "anonymous" mocking the Red Sox, saying they were spanked by the Rays, and that I should "enjoy!" So we're the defending World Champions, headed for the playoffs, while the Yanks will be watching (hopefully not from inside their stadium, as it will soon be CRUMBLING TO THE GROUND), and I'm supposed to be on a ledge or something?

Trouble in paradise alert! My favorite new Sox blog is Soxlosophy, and I know that dude likes Paul Byrd. Hopefully he doesn't hate me for this anti-Byrd, ventriloquist dummy image-conjuring rant! But he seems to be a mature young man of sound mind so I think we can get through it with the help of our e-friends, e-family, and e-Jesus.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two In A Row For That Zack Dude

So I'm watching the postgame, and they show a fan catching a HR at Yankee Stadium last night and doing a dance. I immediately recognized him: The ball-snagging blogger! Zack Hample. Then they cut to tonight. Same spot, there he is again, catching another dong! And doing another dance. TC loved it, and they showed the dance in slow motion. You'd think someone at MLB would've noticed it was Zack, but no, TC had no clue. As of now, if you go to the link above, on Zack's blog, he has the post up about last night, but probably isn't even home yet from tonight's score.

Also, whole lotta seats released for the Indians series next week. (As per usual, I'm sure the ticket office will be closed from 11:30 to midnight. So wait till 12:01 if you're reading this between those times.)

Sox Lose Again To Most Hatable Underdogs Of All Time

Except for Pena. And Hinske. {Update: I forgot to say Baldelli. Baldelli! Thanks for the reminder, Ryan. I knew there were three--but I kept thinking, "but do I really like Cliff Floyd..."]

So...very weird how we went in last week knowing it's be Tampa/Toronto at home, then Tampa/Toronto away, on the same days both weeks. And the same thing has happened in each week so far. Win game one, poised to move into first, then lose barely and lose again. Since TB owns the tiebreaker over us, we have to play three games better than them over the last 10. It can be done. If not, we play the Angels, and move on to an ALCS where we have home field advantage in every game. If Tampa makes it that far.


I know a lot of you are into this, so, here you go, right from the equine's pie-hole:

Red Sox players' theme music.

Of course, some of those have recently changed or have been switched and then switched back or whatever, and not everyone's on the list, but it's a good starting point. Masterson isn't there, but Kim and I noticed last night he had a pretty cool song which I can't think of. Or maybe it was someone else, but it led us to talking about "Where is My Mind?", which Lenny DiNardo used to use, so it must've been cool.

Wakefield/Garza tonight, 7:10.

2009 Schedules Annouced

Remember last November, when I pieced together the '08 Red Sox schedule, waiting as each team's tentative slate was released, and then filling in the calendar over a period of weeks? This year, MLB has simplified it for us, releasing all the schedules today!

Here's the story on the Red Sox sked, and here's the sked itself, starting with April.

First of all--we open at home! Only the 11th time in my lifetime (going back to the '76 opener), and second time since 1995. After the opening series with the Devil Rays, we go right out to the west coast for the first of two trips there.

Interleague is pretty "normal" for a change. Both the Yanks and Sox play each of the five NL East teams, with the sixth series being a second with the Braves for us, and a second with the Mets as usual for them. 2009 will be our first trip to the Washington Nationals' park. It's a Tuesday to Thursday series in late June...but then we go to Atlanta and Baltimore. That sounds like a great road trip. Go down, catch the Thursday game in Washy, then, if you're up for it, drive down to Atlanta for the Saturday game, then back up to Balty for Monday. The ultimate long weekend! Or, skip Atlanta and just hang out on the Jersey shore over the weekend, with DC and Baltimore sandwiched around it. (The other to Camden series are weekends--late July/early August, and mid-September.) (And the Philly series is down there and on a weekend. VERY good setup this year for road trips of all kinds.)

We also play our final two preseason games at Citi Field, the first games at the new Mets' park. We go to Eau du Toilette (Ode to the Toilet) for the first time on May 4th.

The season ends on October 4th--it starts late because of the World Baseball Classic--at home against Cleveland. That series may prove easy to get tickets for, as many people will be fooled into thinking the season ends on the last day of September.

We're at home for the Mets on Memorial Day weekend (but on the road for the actual day, Monday, May 25th) and on the road for Labor Day weekend (in Chicago, right through to Monday, September 7th. (But home for Baltimore for my birthday the next day.) And we play at home against Seattle for 4th of July weekend.

THe World Series WILL take place partially in November, as Game 4 is scheduled for November 1st. Looks like Steve Finley will probably be replaced as "Mr. November."


Have you ever read my blog and said "I just can't figure out why this Jere guy hates the Yankees so much. I mean, what is it really? I know he says it a lot and cites examples, but I'm just not fully grasping it. If only there was one specific piece of, say, video, that completely and unequivocally shows just...what...the so utterly ridiculous and hatable about that one organization. One that makes you laugh out loud while bile flies onto your computer screen. One that proves once and for all that what they stand for represents the exact opposite of what he does. Is that too much to ask?"?

Well, you're in luck. Just watch.

It's got it all:

1. A fairly obvious error called a hit for a Yankee batter.
2. A record for the sake of records. (Had you ever heard a "most hits in a certain stadium" stat before?)
3. A league official clearly influenced by a loud Yankee Stadium crowd.
4. Overdramatization of an unspectacular, inevitable moment.
5. Michael Kay going for the Emmy.
6. Derek Jeter made out to be Superman for hitting a ground ball to third base.
7. Organizational self-importance.
8. Again, is anyone seeing anything other than a ground ball to third base?
9. Made-up shit. (Gehrig got his hits in the "real" Yankee Stadium, pre-'74-'75 "renovation," anyway.)
10. The team captain putting on a false humility routine.
11. Hey, do you think he'd have broken the record without all the other hometown scoring gifts he's gotten in the last 13 years? And does he also hold the "most cheap hits by any player in any stadium ever" record?
12. Has this list lost its way in the dark, Yankee woods? You get the point, though, right?

But they'll always be the classiest organization.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No Go

I'm obviously in no mood to do the call-in show. Nobody sent questions anyway. Send some if you want. Maybe tomorrow night I'll do the thing.

There is a Brian Regan special on TV, so that's cheering me up. Yet it's not a horrible situation, because of, of course, the wild card. I still got mega-frustrated with the heart beating and being super-pissed and all. But then I just think, At least if there was no wild card, I would've had a reason to have put myself through this. Instead, it was all for...I don't know, the point is, we're in the playoffs and I'm paying more attention to Regan than my keyboard so see "yous" later.

Come On

Again we're mere outs from first place and again more bullcrap happens. Real games start October 1. We can beat anybody.

Excite Bike

Beckett/Sonnanstine in less than two hours.

Here's your 2008 postseason schedule. Un-tentative-ified!

I don't know if I'm gonna do the call-in shoe tonight after the game. But if I do, I'll tell you about it here--or click the RSFPT/FFWCR link at right.

Just got a bunch of book jackets in the mail that I have to bring to a convention (not open to public). Woohoo! Actual, shiny, jacket of our book, in my hands. For an event that is open to the public, head over to the Dirty Water blog.

[Note: 88 seconds ago, I received the ALDS ticket lottery rejection letter. It's okay, I'm already going to an ALDS game thanks to my 10-ski. I'll hope for a win in the ALCS or WS lottery. Anybody become an ALDS chosen one today?]

Sara's All-Palin-drome Team

On Joy last night, I saw that Salas was in the game and noted he was on the all-palindrome team. I searched the 'net to see if someone had made a list. Found this one:

Mark Salas
Dick Nen
Robb Nen
Eddie Kazak
Toby Harrah
Johnny Reder
Dave Otto
Truck Hannah

So that's a good starting point. But you have to add the Salas from last night and another one: Juan Salas and Marino Salas. I found some minor league 'dromes, Dean Anna and Eric Sees. That's all I got for now.

We also talked about guys who hit home runs in cities with the same name as them. More on that later.

Thanks, Slightly Older Dudes

A quick congrats to two multi-champs on their recent achievements. No catcher has hit more dongs as a Red Sox than Jason Varitek:

No right-handed reliver in baseball history has appeared in more games than Mike Timlin:

Pics taken by me, and chosen based on recent-ness and previously unseen-by-you-edness, not quality.

Jorge Still Thinkin' About Pedro

Piece of crap Jorge Posada still has no idea what he's talking about:

"I thought he was going to hit me in the head with a bat, after we had the fight and he pushed Don Zimmer. It was ridiculous. I mean, he throws at Karim Garcia because he's losing the game. I mean, there's no class," Posada said.

Jorge knows that whomever says the word "class" most often is the classiest.

Update: I see on Joy of Sox now that Pedro has already reacted to the piece of shit. Nice job, Pedro! I still believe Pedro--unlike dufus Dan Shaughnessy who came right out at the time calling Pedro a liar, rooting for his little curse to continue, etc....

Monday, September 15, 2008

All The Way Back

Red Sox blow out Devil Rays. Tied for first with 12 to play. Exclamation point. Six-dong attack. And we throw Beckett at 'em tomorrow night.

Okay, I'm gonna have a live call-in show Tuesday night after the game. More details to come on Tuesday afternoon. But since I know a lot of you don't like to call in, or just don't have Skype or whatever, I'm gonna add a new feature. E-mail me your questions, and I'll answer them on the air. They can be about the Red Sox, '80s sitcoms, what happens to your soul after your body dies (I've got a great answer for that one--somebody ask it!), or whatever. Oh wait, I guess you could be doing this in comments anyway. Bahbahbahbah I'm not listening bahbahabah...quit ruining it! Just send 'em by email this time so we can do this show, okay? Address is Two2067 [at] aol [dot] com. You can also just call in.

[Photo: Did I ever tell you how we have one cat and one copy cat? It's at the point where Danzig will get into the same sleep-pose as Amazing Larry. Mirror cats!]


Kazmir vs. Dice tonight, 7:10. A win ties us for first place, but we'd still be a game back in the loss column. The Rays have no more days off, and have to play a doubleheader. We have one more day off, so that accounts for the Rays having to play two more games than we do through the end of the season.

Did you try Shortz yesterday? If not, spoilers ahead. The title was "Year-Round." Basically, each month was represented in the puzzle by its three-letter abbreviation. So, for Septemeber, you had a clue of "nativity figure" going across, and "wages, before overtime" down. Answers: J-O-(SEP)-H, and B-A-(SEP)-P-A-Y. Of course, you have no idea going in that these months have to be there, or that you have to use three letters in one square. It took me so freakin' long to figure this out. And since I was doing it online, I didn't notice that the positioning of these months were in one big circle in the puzzle, in order, until I'd filled in nine or ten of them. I knew something was funny right away when "Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction" had only three letters in it. I knew his name was Jules, so I was convinced Shortzie made a mistake--or remembered that line "My name's Pitt, and your ass ain't talkin' your way outta this shit," and thought maybe his actual name was "Pit." With one T. For more rhymes I've discovered in Pulp Fiction, see this old post.

Jays At Sox Photographic Galleria, 9/13/2008

Terry Francona billboard, I-95 northbound, north of Providence, RI. Click each pic for gordito.

On my way to Fenway for 10:35 AM gates. This was the make-up game I had a single Monster standing room ticket for. Game one of the day-night doubleheader. Parked in the Common garage. Above: the marker for the Victory Gardens. No wonder so much anonymous man-on-boy sex goes on in there--it's the Dick Parker gardens!

You know how I love scoreboard tests. This is from that spot where you can see the board from the street.

So I get inside--first one in through the gate that no one even knows is a gate. No bag check for some reason, so I'm right up to the Monster Seats--and, woohoo, the Jays are up early, taking batting practice. The Sox pitchers are out there, too. I'm only posting this unspectacular pic of Dice because I noticed later that I captured Castiglione in the dugout. Nice.

Some Blue Jays. So, you know how my lifelong dream is to be the only fan at a baseball game, and to just go around with a garbage bag collecting all the foul balls and home runs with no competition? And how short of that fantasy, it's to be in the Monster Seats during BP with as little competition for balls as possible? Well, I had the latter on this day. Balls were flying into the seats. One kid near me caught one right away. Fans kept arriving, and jays kept hitting. But I still had plenty of room to run around....

Scott "Let Your Hair" Downs. So, I'm up there, and Vernon Wells is up. At one point he hits one over everything, landing smack on the soft top of a BMW convertible. Then he hits a line shot, pretty much right at me. I wished at that moment I' brought a glove. If I had, it was an easy catch. The proof of that is that the ball slammed right off my palm, in that meaty spot at the base of my ring finger. I had a split-second to decide to go for it--this wasn't a lofted fly ball, it was a liner. I went for it, thinking I could ease it into my hands. Before I could even get the second hand up, the ball had smacked my hand as if it was a brick wall, and bounced away...

Wells in the outfield, about to toss a ball to the Monster Seats. So, I start to run after the ball, but it rolls right to some other guy--with a glove. He's all psyched, and all aloof-like, he asks me "where'd that hit?" I told him it hit my freakin' hand. He didn't care too much, and gave it to his kid. I ask you--if you're near a guy who tries to catch a speeding line drive with his bare hand, and it slams into that hand and rolls to you with your nice safe glove, would you give the ball to its rightful owner? This guy didn't. Oh well. What kills me is that if I'd just let it go, it probably would've bounced off the wall right behind me, and I could've just picked it up off the ground.

So I went through the rest of BP still trying for balls not only pissed off but it pain. The pain that wouldn't let me forget about my missed opportunity or that prick. Many more balls went up there, but I got nothin'. After BP, I wandered up into those Coke seats, and no one stopped me. Above is the view of the Monster Seats and section 33 from up there.

That camera way above the left field corner, and some of the Coke sign.

Same camera, with Citgo sign way back there.

Pretty cool views from that Coke section...Totally comfortable day, high 70s, and only hot when the sun came out, which wasn't often.

More from that area.

The field from Section Soda.

Remember, at this point I'm holding a bottle of water to try and stop the palm pain with little to no luck.

Did you know Tito tapes those lineups up himself? Here he is ripping off pieces of tape.

Looking straight down at those seats along the left field line.

The Sox in the dugout. Visible are Youk, Lowrie... et cetera.

Not a very protective railing up there.

Bay and that one kid looking left. Everyone else looking right. (Bay's at bat music is "Alive" by Pearl Jam, and Casey's is "Evenflow" by Pearl Jam. And they were back-to-back in the lineup! 91-derful!) The game's about to start, and I figure I'll just stay in the Coke section since it doesn't always fill up, so I can get a seat and have a better view than from the Monster SRO.

Somethin' about that Lowrie 12, I tell ya. And it's on the home, road, and red jersey. It's not only spaced out more, but the 2 always looks like it leans way right to me. I know these numbers have weight and will slightly move depending on how the uni is folding, but it still looks odd to me.

Byrd's old-timey windup in the first inning.

Jacoby swings the rod.

Hale pointing out some key info to Ellsbury.

Blue Jay jumps up against the side wall, missing the foul ball. At this point, my section has filled up, so I go back to the Monster Seats, and get a seat for some of the time.

Coco warming up pre-inning.

George Kottaras' debut! We were getting killed, so Tito started pulling the starters, giving them more rest for game two.

I've seen Hansack pitch twice at Fenway. His total line in those games: 8 IP, 0 ER, 0 H.

Kottaras' first at bat. He strikes out, but the ball gets away. He reaches first, gets to second on a botched double play, and scores the team's only run on a sac fly.

It's getting late in the game, even though it's moving so fast, it seems like people are still arriving. I make the move to get a seat near home plate, knowing we're down 8-1. It's still pretty full through the bottom of the eighth, so I hang out at top of grandstand, and get this shot of Kapstein saluting during Sweet Caroline.

We go to the ninth, and I go to the field boxes.

Hansack again.

Alex Cora. I think even saying "make your own 'priceless' joke" would be played out at this point. Or any point beyond 2006. 2005. Yeah.

Clam, Crab, Cockle, Lowrie.

Who's that at third base? Kevin Cash.

Mench up close.

Kottaras at bat.

The view from the sweet seats.

Overbay! Nice face! With Coco in foreground.

Chris Carter, one of the many non-starters on the field at the end, and I walk away with a bruised hand, an 8-1 loss, and no ball. And the Yanks couldn't help us, losing to the Rays.

But wait! The day gets better. I get home and Kim and I head out to our first WaterFire, which is Providencian for "nighttime gathering at river with flames." It was really cool. By chance, we stepped up to the edge of a bridge at the moment the little boat came by to light things. We had a lot of fun, walking around to the different booths and stuff. Just the right amount of people where it was a crowd, but you could still move around with no problem. Then we got to see/hear the end of the second game on TV/radio--a nice comeback win, while the Devil Rays lost. So at the end of the day, we were right back where we started, two games out of first. And with today's win and Tampa loss, we're one out heading to Florida for three big ones.

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