Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wash Away Today

It was a good day to miss the Smallball action, as I was up in my recent stomp-ground of Somerville for ArtBeat, helping Kim sell soap. She really sold a lot thanks to the awesomeness of both her soap and the weather. I got some updates from Castiglione, but they were always sad. We're two games up. Here's a story to help you forget about this day:

We were driving home, and a bumper sticker on the car in front of us read, "Jesus Will Give You the Victory." Of course, I started making "official scorer" jokes, as in, "you relieved the starter in the fourth, and your team never trailed, so you're supposed to get credit with the win--but the scorer can determine you pitched too poorly to get the victory. But when you make Jesus your personal official scorer and savior, he'll always give you the victory." And Kim said, "I bet Jesus wouldn't give Sandy Koufax the victory...."

Where Do I Sign Up?!

The latest "advertise for us" spam to show up in my inbox:

Dear Sir/Madam,

After visiting , our company, would be interested in an advertisement on your site. We provide consumers information about bettertrades in sports. We want ad on the homepage only.We dont want site-wide link.We dont want no-follow tags.Our advertisement format is generally 15 words long and it will contain one to three text links, which we provide. Please let us know how much your site would charge for an ad of this size.We look forward to your reply and the opportunity to work with you.

Thank you,
Jessica Moser

Ooh! Sir/madam! They must be avid readers! I'm sure they just forgot about the big "ad-free blog" banner for that one second when they were e-mailing me personally, while at the same time forgetting my name and gender. It happens. They're no dummies. They know my blog name is my url and that it has an extra space at the end. What, did you think they cut and pasted my url into a template? Come on. We're talking about some of the finest marketers in the industry. They know only a personalized, error-free e-mail (like the one above) gets the job done. I'm sure forgetting to put their own site's name in the e-mail was also just a one-time brain cramp. I bet it's normally in bold caps.

So, Ms. Jessica Moser, yes. Since you're such a big fan and you have correctly deduced that giving my readers "information about bettertrades in sports" is what I've been desperately, unsuccessfully trying to accomplish for over five years, yes, I will gladly break my "ad-free" rule and go against everything I stand for to put a link to your site (I'll just leave the name blank for now--you can tell me what it is in due time). How much do I charge? Usually, it's....well, let's see now, since I've never done this before, I don't have a set price, but I'll just go ahead and charge you zero dollars because, again, you've pinned down just what this site needs. In fact, to show my appreciation, why don't I pay you for the right to put your site's link on my page? I can replace that prime ad space where I've currently got the "ad-free blog" banner, as I won't be needing that any more.

Thank you, and God bless.


Friday, July 17, 2009


Double-H gets the job done! Along with SuperPen. Us 4, Canada 1. Youk dong, Papi 2-run double for our runs. Four-game win streak. I'm still hearing people saying Ortiz "just isn't the player he used to be." They're so mired in negativity that the two bad months are what they focus on, instead of the million awesome years. So it's not that these people only remember the most recent thing, it's that they only remember the most recent negative thing. Fortunately these types are slowly being phased out by the reality of the Red Sox being a contending team annually.

Hey, if I make fun of Sox fans, albeit a small, I have to make fun of Yankee fans even worse. Have you ever noticed that any time the Yankees do something different, their fans assume it's the move that will bring them back to glory? "Well, now we've got Bruney back, so...." And when that fails: "Okay, we've finally pulled the trigger on the Hughes-to-the-setup-role move, which, as anyone knows, is the one thing we needed to do to ensure a title. But we were just waiting, because...well, don't worry about that. We're champs!" You'd think fans with 26 championships wouldn't brag unless they actually win one, but it's just in their arrogant nature. "Ha ha, we're the Yankees." That's all they need. They could be in last place, and the Orioles could win 40 championships in a row, but the Yankee fan would still laugh at the Oriole fan, just because they don't have the inherent inner aura-glory that only a Yankee fan is given by the gods above.

Frankensteinbrenner just flipped on the rain machine after the Yanks finally got the lead. 5-3 in a delay in the eighth. If they hang on, it's still a three-game lead.

Base Ball To-Nite!

I have heard people complain about how baseball is the only sport where the winners shake each others' hands, as opposed to the opponents' hands. They say it would be a great example for kids to see the two teams greet each other like they do in amateur ball. But those people should keep this in mind: We're talking about an era where players are friends with each other, regardless of uniform. Where guys will hang out with each other on the field in pre-game, shaking hands and hugging. Where a player will reach first and get a pat on the back from the first baseman. Where players change teams so often, they rarely have a feeling toward any other team in general, even a rival of their own. All this stuff could have gotten you fined in kangaroo court as recently as two decades ago.

So whatta ya say we enjoy the odd moment of separation between our side and theirs? Take that away and we might as well be playing a friendly game of tiddly-winks. I'm not saying players should be less friendly and show less sportsmanship. I'm just saying, I like things the way they are. (Except for the players changing teams so often. That's horse shit.)

The now officially Lugo-less Red Sox finally play a game, in one hour, in Canada. Julio could frustrate me like no other on the field and I'm glad we're moving on. But he was always great to watch in pre-game--seemed like a great teammate. Too bad he never played at the level he was paid to...and as a bonus, went downhill from there....

photo of Lugo floating by Jere Smith, aka Me

Permanent Vaclaytion?

Clay Buchholz aka Double-H goes tonight in Toronto after the longest All-Star break in history. That's what it felt like to me, anyway. That fourth day is huge.

And Lugo may have been dropped off out in the middle of nowhere like Lloyd Bentsen. Which I believe has been my plan for him for some time. I'm sure by the time I get to write again this evening this will all be sorted out....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Post-Contest Era

I've been keeping up with the run totals even though the contest is long over. The current standings are here. Five teams have completed the 0-13 circuit. Every team has scored all the single-digit numbers except for the Red Sox and White Sox, who each still need a 9. Every single team is within two totals of having every total from 0-13 except for three: A's, Mariners, Padres. Of course, I never kept track of any scores above 13, so this doesn't tell the whole story. If there is a story. But I will say that the Padres have not scored more than 10 runs in a game all season, and it took them till the last game before the break to get the 10....


Just so you know, you don't have to provide the baseball cards for me to make your magnet for you. You can if you want, but I can and will provide the cards you want. All the details are on my Etsy page. Oh, and I called it "Back to Back Magnets." I thought about "Magnetic Pull Hitter" or "Magnetic Hamstring Pull" but they were too wordy....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


That Ted Williams documentary I mentioned a while ago is on tonight. 9:30, HBO.

Bugs! Bugs!

More from "Ready!", the TV show Brian and I used to do early this decade in Danbury. This is our old band, The Pac-Men, covering "Bugs" by Adrenalin OD. After the song, funny stuff back in our old apartment. That's me on bass (and all-important background vocals!) for the song, and in the yellow home-made Pac-Men shirt, mohawk, and Samuel L. Jackson new-Shaft-era beard toward the end.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NL Pist

The real league wins again. We haven't lost to those Fundamental Emmer Effers since I was wearing bell bottoms and leisure suits and driving my Trans Am to high school while playing Rush on the 8-track.

A few things:

Wake was screwed. We found out ahead of time he'd be "saved" for extra innings. Eat it, Maddon. This is another reason it stinks that the damn game "counts." And then he puts the best closer (Papelbon) in the seventh, and goes Nathan and Mo in the eighth and ninth. If his reasoning is to give Mo the ninth as a lifetime achievement award, why not start Wake? Or, maybe, pitch him at any point. As Brian's brother would say, Jee-sus! (But Pap technically got the W, which is kinda cool.)

Dear Fox, when the president throws out the first pitch, show where the pitch goes. I'm an armchair baseball broadcast producer, by if I'm in the truck, I'm all, "give me the camera that's showing what's going on." (Note: I guess there's a chance that people with widescreen TVs could see the catcher, but that still ignores a huge chunk of the public.)

Joe Buck, when doing your favoritism-heavy intros over the PA, you don't need to say "here we go, St. Louis," before introducing Pujols. They know.

You know who I bet gets really excited at these things? The coaches. They have to be psyched to going from coaching a good team to coaching all the best players in the game at the same time.

Well, every year I talk about the 1983 game that I watched with my dad at the Heritage Motor Inn in Old Saybrook, CT. So I'll keep the tradition going. I remember our room didn't have a TV, so we went to Cy (Si?), the owner, and asked if we could watch on his TV. We saw one of our favorites, Freddy Lynn, hit what's still the only grand slam in All-Star Game history. Do Lynn and the three guys who were on base get together for a mythical Champagne toast every year somebody doesn't hit one? Anyway, Fred felt like one of ours in '83, as he does now, so it was a really cool thing to see, and one of my favorite childhood memories.

My Ex-Boss' Third Cousin Is Getting His Car Simonized At Six

A real-life friend of mine in comments asked me why I don't do Facebook. I'll answer here.

If you told me there was a place where I could meet up with all the ex-coworkers, ex-girlfriends, and ex-classmates I ever had, and as a bonus, all of their friends, I'd ask you where it was so I could *sprint* in the other direction.

You lose touch with people for a reason. The people I care about already know how to contact me. Sure, there are some exceptions, but those people and I can figure out how to re-connect if necessary without it being a public thing. I have a great alternative to Facebook. It lets you contact anyone you want directly, and all the conversations are private. You can send pictures and other stuff to each other. It's called e-mail!

For me, this blog is enough of an online "persona." I also think I tell people enough about myself through this, and even that I try to limit to stuff people have a chance at caring about. On Facebook, everyone tells the world "I'm on my way to the store to get paper towels" constantly. I don't care! And I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to care about my daily activities. But even if I did, I prefer to keep that private.

Veggie Power

You may remember I was psyched to hear last year that Prince Fielder became a vegetarian. I have been one for just about ten years now. It's always good to hear about famous people who stopped eating meat, but when it's a baseball player, it's extra-rare and super cool for me as a baseball fan. Some people "worried" Fielder would "lose power" after giving up meat. Which is about as silly as thinking the sun has abandoned us when it sets.

Last night, Fielder put on a mega-power display, winning the home run derby over seven meat-eaters. Woohoo!

My Latest Creative Outlet

I've been making these awesome double-sided magnets out of baseball cards. I have an Etsy shop set up. Click here to take a look.

The deal is that I'll customize it for you--pick any two cards. [Clarification: I will supply the cards, though you are welcome to send your own, but they will be quite literally defaced.] The entire face of each card will stick to your fridge. I will post the ones I've already made (I have one up there, a Greenwell/Spike Owen), but it's more fun for you to tell me what you want. You could do your two favorite players, or one guy young and old, or two players with funny facial hair from the '70s, or even just the front and back (the stats) of the same card. Email me at Two2067 at and let me know what you want, or do it through the Etsy site linked above.

Bonus: Before even promoting this in any way, someone found my little store and placed an order! She wanted a Greenwell/Barrett, which I sent out today....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two Bates-Debut-y Galleries I Meant To Post Earlier

Lugo: I could kick myself for being so Lugoey! These are pics from the Nomar-return game. Before I only showed you the actual Nomar part. After these are some Pawtucket shots I never posted.

Aaron Bates aka The Motel on the field before his first major league game.

A walrus threw out the first pitch that night.

Nomar emerging from the dugout. This was in the first inning--the guy before him ended the inning so he didn't get introduced until the next inning.

But between innings, they showed a little retrospective of Nomar and formally welcomed him back.

The roof deck in some kid's helmet.

Nomar up for the first time. See my original gallery for the video.

Monster shot with vendors.

Yes, it's supposed to be this dark.

Aaron Bates' first major league at bat.

Kim was with me at this game, and we both thought this shirt was hilarious. Is that a golf club?

The bullpen parrot.

Did you know the garage door in the left field corner can be opened by typing in a code into the box visible to the left of the 310 mark? Either that or it's a key. But I had no idea. I've seen people go from scoreboard to side garage before, but I thought someone in the garage opens the door. But on this night, the guy left the scoreboard door, walked over between innings, and opened that box, making the garage door on the side wall go up.

Now, for the Pawtucket game from June, on "Legends Night."

Aaron Bates was making his AAA debut. I wouldn't have known, except that Kim and I ran into David Laurila there, and he clued me in.

Bates after making an out in his first AAA at bat.

People of the sun at McCoy.

The legends were Bill Monbouquette and an old favorite of mine, Brian Rose. I was convinced back then that Rose and Juan Pena would be taking us to the promised land.

McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI, just a few miles from where I now live.

You don't get this joke unless you know Providence.

Late in the game, after the place had emptied out a bit. They lost. I think.

Rice Sale?

They finally made tix available for that late-August weekend Jays series. Lots of sections as of now. That weekend is a candidate for a Jim Rice Day at Fenway. Just sayin'.

Hey, did you hear who's opening for Yankee fan Paul McCartney when he plays Fenway? A coupla drug kids from my state! (That group MGMT. I really like that one song but they seem like tools.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

3 Up At The Break

Jeter, Teixeira, A-Rod go down in order in the ninth with the Yanks down one, and the Angels win. Friday morning, the Sox and Yanks were tied for first, and Yankee fans (conveniently forgetting the last eight years of their lives) assumed they'd completed the comeback, and were already in the World Series, planning the parade. Since then, they lost their three games and we won our three games. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. Three games up, four days off.

The NYC Sox Movie

You know this "What About Sal?" movie they've been plugging on NESN? I didn't really plan on watching it, but I happened to leave NESN on after the game just now, and it started up. And what did I notice? The bar they show--at least the outside shot of it--is Pat O'Brien's! In New York City, a few blocks from where I used to live. It's a Sox bar on the Upper East Side, with a big sign in the window (they now have a second sign, I saw it recently when I was at Chan's place in the same area) saying "watch all the Red Sox games here." Click here for the street view. You can make out "RED SOX" on the sign to the left of the door. I think the inside shot was that bar, too.

And as I'm writing, a scene of a coffee shop comes on, and I think that was also an Upper East Side place! I guess it makes sense since the actors all seem to have New York accents. And there are many NYC people in it. And movies are often filmed in New York. But they are definitely trying to make it seem like they're in Boston the whole time. The guy goes to the bar, then to Fenway, then the coffee shop, then Yawkey Way, etc.

I also noticed the date on the scoreboard--5/17/08. I wasn't there that day, but I was the next day. Who knows if they were filming while I was there.

So how do I feel about this? Well, I'm happy they used an NYC bar, but why try to fake it? When I was living in NYC, I didn't write this blog "pretending" I lived in Boston.

Wait a minute. While writing that last paragraph, the movie ended. It lasted about a half hour. What was the point of this? You know, my mom and I wrote a book that involved the team, and they didn't want any part of it, worried that we craaaazy blog-types would slander the team and write about them killing people or whatever. But they go and endorse some ridiculous, pointless half-hour movie? I don't get it. For some quality Red Sox fiction, click here.


That's our all-star break record. Pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty....good. Close to the best record in all of baseball. We all hoped after the loss to KC in game one that we could take the next three and we did. Beckett with a complete game shutout today. No walks. And we beat Chen so it feels extra awesome.

Check it out: Papi's blog.

NYT article on Wake.

Buchholz starts Friday, in our first game back. (We have the bonus fourth day off this year.)

Yanks playing now--we'll be two or three up at the break. But they're playing the Angels so it should be three, ha. [Update: CC's given up 4 ER on 6 H through four. 4-1 Angels!] [Update: Yanks cut it to 5-4 in the eighth, but are leaving guys on base left and right.] [Update: Yanks LOSE. Ha! Three up!]

Remember, there's no break here at ARSFFPT aka RSF/PT formerly ARSFIPT. I'll be around with wild, wacky stuff.

Pedroia To Skip All-Star Game

Dustin Pedroia will stay in Boston to be with his wife over the all-star break. I know Kelli is expecting--hopefully everything goes well.

So get ready for everyone claiming he just doesn't want to play and that "his grandmother died again"--oh wait, Dustin's a white man who doesn't have weird hair or dress funny....

First Place At The Break

Sox win by six, Yanks lose by six. 15-9 and 14-8! Two game lead with one to play before the All-Star Break, so we'll be in first guaranteed.

Good to see Norman Bates get his first hit. I actually saw his AAA and MLB debut, probably the only player I can say that about. That Paw Sox game, and the Nomar game, I haven't posted full photo sets from yet, so you'll see my shots of Bates' debuts eventually.

Hey, what's with all this talk about how much action Wake will see in the ASG and who will catch him? How about this: Wake's one of the pitchers, we're gonna throw him as if he was any other non-knuckleballing pitcher, and if you happen to be the catcher at the time, shut your mouth, stick your glove out, and give it your best shot. After all, you're supposed to be an all-star.

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