Saturday, May 01, 2010

That Is Birdland

Happy New Month.

I hate that Kevin Romine's kid is a Yankee prospect. Here's hoping he's a player to be named later soon.

Dice is back vs. the O's tonight. Then Beckett vs. schoolyard bully Kevin Millwood on Sun. afternoon. I smell two find-a-way-to-make-it-gut-wrenching wins!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Night, Low And Wet

If you didn't see the game, here's the recap: Goddamnit.

Now I'll just talk about the stuff I was gonna talk about anyway while pretending I'm not pissed.

Okay, new NESN score box thing. The recent "pitch count" addition is now a permanent fixture. And the box is on the top left, instead of a long line across the top. You know what this means? Kapstein is back! In '08 when they wen to the long line, he, Drinkwater, and company kind of got covered up there. Now Kap will be completely visible again--but Drinkwater may be covered! We'll see on the next home game broadcast.

Behind the plate at Camden, there was a Stop & Shop Triple Winner game. (It was really there, not a digital cover-up.) I was like, Okay, interesting, I guess they have S & S down there, and they're using that game that benefits the Jimmy Fund that's been giving away coupons for 20 cents off maxi pads since 1991. Then I noticed something--the word "Giant" under the new S&S logo. Then it hit me--this merger of the two stores is what led to the end of the classic stop light S & S logo a few years ago. And now this new Giant/S & S hybrid is using the Triple Winner Game even outside of Red Sox country, presumably without the Jimmy Fund tie-in in those areas. The weird thing is, that "Giant" sign is right under where Drinkwater would be at home.

That guy that got his hands on Drew's first dong was wearing a Mattingly jersey! So a Yankee fan helped us get a home run, since the left fielder may have had a chance to catch that ball, even though it was over the fence. (Mattingly himself once benefited from a pre-cursor to Jeffrey Maier in the early 90s--I have Len Berman's Channel 4 sports report of it on tape somewhere.)

Speaking of Drew--earlier in the year I accused him of loligagging on a play in the outfield, which AJM disputed. Tonight, he did what he did that night. He gets the ball, then looks, then decides to wind up and throw. That's what I'm talking about. I will remove the lolli-tag and call it "unnecessary hesitation." It was on the play where McDonald fumbled the ball in center. Drew should have picked it up and fired to second. Instead, he takes a look first! Just throw. There's only one baserunner and one base he could be going to. Come up firing! You can at least do your look-see while winding up to throw.

Good job walking Markakis in that last inning. He would have beaten us, because he cannot be stopped.

Beltre. Dude. Fine job at the plate, and fine job hustling, and you sometimes make great plays. But you make mistakes in the field--and those will probably end, but...who the hell taught you how to run the bases? This guy is so often putting himself so far off of bases that if it turns out there's a play on him, he's screwed, in no-man's land. And it happened in two weird ways tonight. Once he slid past the bag at third and was tagged out, and once he was sliding toward the fielder to break up a double play, and just made it so obvious, and kind of slapped the fielder's leg, making the ump have to call interference. And what if he's been safe at second there because the ball was dropped or something? The guy just picks up the ball and tags him. He does it all the time. Sometimes he runs through the bag! At second! Dangerous stuff, and it cost us tonight. (And I was prepared to write this before the tag-out at third. But had Scutaro not swung at a pitch in his eyes on that 3-2 pitch, it would have been moot. No wait! It would've been bad anyway, because once Beltre had come off the bag, he still could've been tagged out had the catcher thrown, even though it was a walk. See what I mean?)

Drew's second dong just "sounded right." Ask Phil Rizzuto.

Don Stuff: Don is late to see stuff and I don't know why. Drew's first HR was clearly not caught, as you could see the fans going for the ball. But Don couldn't tell for a while. On the interference play, he should have been able to tell by Beltre holding his arms out and being all pissed that the call was going against us. And on Pedroia's dong, he and Rem didn't seem to know where the ball hit even though the camera was then focusing right on that railing. Then when they figured it out, it was like they didn't realize that railing was beyond the fence, and therefore a HR if the ball hit it. Maybe I should realize that they're sometimes watching the field while we're watching what the network is showing us and just shut up about it. Don and Rem do a fine job overall. Sometimes I just wonder why they seem to be so far behind us.

Rap duo rivalry action.

To sum up, terrible job tonight.


If you have a camera of any kind, do this on Sunday. (11 a.m. eastern time)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Failure To Launch

Chuckle chuckle.


Yanks tix for Fri and Sun just went up. Some side-by-sides available. I'm hoping they release some Sats.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mo' Lester

Fine job by El Cid tonight. Double-digit Ks. 2-0 win. So the one-run win thing ends. I did end up going back all the way to the beginning--1901--and 1922 was the longest one-run win "streak" at 8. So ours that just ended ties 1943 for second place.

11-11 now. Alone in third. Next step, the World Series. I mean, second. You know how many teams in the AL are more than one game ahead of us? Three. So...we're movin' on up. If the starting pitching stays the way it's been the last two nights (neither of those by Lackey or Beckett), any other problems or fake media problems aren't gonna look so bad.

In the first inning, I thought, Who is this person in the gorilla mask with the long hair in the second row? Finally, I realized their head was just down--okay, it's just a regular girl with long hair. Then NESN cuts to a shot of those "umps-in-the-stands," and notes that they're by first base, because the home plate seats are taken. Cut to...a shot of the gorilla's Geddy Lee! Don points him out, and Remy asks, "who is Geddy Lee?" Oy. Oh and if you're not familiar with those stands umps, here's the vid I shot of them last year at Fenway. See it again for the first time.

One Runny...

We heard yesterday that the Red Sox' 6th one-run win in a row made it their longest such stretch since 1943. I started going back further to find a longer streak. There were a few fives, a 7-of-8, and a 9-of-11, but I didn't come across another one-run win streak of at least 6 games until I got back to 1922. From July 2 to July 21, 1922, the Red Sox played 19 games, winning 8 of them. All 8 were by one run. The team finished 1922 33 games out of first. The 2010 team is two one-run wins away from matching the '22 squad. It's currently 0-0....

Side note: streaks like this don't tell you much. It's not like winning six games in a row, each by a run. The way I see it, as soon as you lose a game, your streak that involves "winning" is over. It's kind of like when everyone used to brag about the Yanks' "World Series win streak." They won four in a row to finish the '96 WS, then swept in '98 and '99. But people conveniently left out the fact that they weren't even IN the World Series in '97! That's when the streak ends. Technically, the way these streaks are worded, they're legitimate, but the more space in between instances of the thing your accomplishing, the weaker the meaning becomes. If I find a foot-long Sasquatch turd in the woods, then find thousands of dog turds over the next fifty years, and then find another foot-long Sasquatch turd, I'm not gonna go bragging about how I found two "consecutive" Sasquatch turds of at least one foot in length. Am I?

How Ar D Bryant Park Films Looking?

The wait is killing me. I've been dying to know what the Bryant Park summer movies will be in '10. They say they'll announce the lineup in late April. Which is now. I did see a news article that mentioned that the first film (June 21st) will be Goldfinger. I hope it's not a summer-long Bond theme because even though I'm an American male on the top floor of the 18-35 D-graphic, I'm not into Bond films. That same article said early May will be the unveiling of the sked, though. And it told me something else--that the movies they show are all at least 30 years old. I did notice what I thought was a "30th anniversary" theme in the past, but I guess the reason they showed those movies was because they had just reached the cut-off point. So maybe this year's grand finale will be from 1980 (my favorite year since around 1992). The ones that come to mind are Raging Bull and Caddyshack. But now I'll take a look at the list....Googling.....okay, we've got Apocalypse Now, that would be nuts. Oh, Being There, that's another one by that Harold & Maude dude (that's the one I went to last summer), and I like it just as much as H&M. Alien came out in '80, but in another surprise move, I've never seen it. Oh yeah, Airplane!! That would be cool. Coal Miner's Daughter, I could see them showing that. Superman II, that could be good, maybe not for the finale, though.... The Shining! Oh my lawd! If they show The Shining, I will camp out the night before in anticipation. Oh please Bryant Park, show The Shining....

So we'll see what happens. I like to go once a year still, even though it requires a day off from work and a 3-hour trip now. Oh, and imagine all those titles in italics. I'm not gonna go back and do them all...

Ghostbusters in 2014!

(Sox at Jays, Lester v. Cecil B. DeCooper DeViller, seven, oh seven.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

F Yes!

Another one-run win. Thank you Clay HH. Tonight looked, even for eter. optim.'s, like a possible throw-away game. No bullpen, in Toronto where we seem to have trouble, and Clay couldn't possibly keep outdoing all those aces we've got....but he did! Fine job. And when Beltre effed up that easy, easy play with no "the Fenway infield is bad" excuse, he kept his compozh, and got out of the eighth. And RamRam Meulens with a painless ninth! This win feels Xtra Awesome.

And we also owe it to this Gregg dude, who came in and walked in the winning run with the bases loaded. And then didn't know how many outs there were when he caught the liner to end that inning.

Our last six wins have been by one run.

Laugh-not-silently moment when that guy caught the bat in the ninth. He's obviously nine shits to the wind, and so the camera cuts away. But then they show a replay, and we see more of his blatant drunkenness, at which point Remy decides there's no hiding it and notes that the fan appears to be intoxicated. Which leads Don to say, "I thought it messed up his hat but that appears to be the way he's chosen to wear it."

$20 SRO and good side-by-sides for the Angels series next week.

Downeast-Game Update

A big furry moose plugging a car dealership. Megabucks. "Business route 4."

Do I fucking live in Maine? NESN thinks so! That moose--come on, guy, if you're gonna pretend to be a baseball player "sliding into savings" or whatever, you should really slide! What is this "lean back and stick one leg forward" crap? It's not like you're in your best pants, it's a moose costume. The fine folks at Maine Costume will understand if a moose suit comes back with a grass stain or two.

And what's with that Prime Auto guy? Is he a robot? He walks like Joe Torre. But with a big Talking Heads coat on. I had been hearing the ad in the background for a while, figuring it was local (to me) dealership, and never knew what town he was saying. It sounded like "Sucko." I was like, Saugus? Seacaucus? Garden State Brickface & Stucco? Turns out it's Saco, Maine.

Ooh, did you know Maine lottery agents made $16.5 million in commissions last year? I shouldn't.

The saddest thing of all, though, is that...Sofa's 'n' More in Rutland is closing it's doors forever! Yeah, we get a little Vermont action too.

Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 1. Top 7. Go us.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Best Of 25

Over a stretch of seven half-innings during tonight's game in Canada, the Sox and Jays combined for 21 runs. That's an average of 3 per half-inning to you and me, kids. A run for every out from the top of the third through the top of the sixth.

And the Red Sox prevail in the crazy b-and-f battle, 13-12.

The Dome of the Sky was very blue tonight, with "bloggers I know" seemingly making up 5% of the crowd.

But we got a W that counts like any other in the stand'n's. We're a game away from third place, which is the first step back toward normalcy.

Two ghastly calls in the last two days, one for, one against. Yesterday, the Oriole who made a nice play fielding a grounder while on second base, and throwing to first for a DP. But the ump, looking right at it, says safe at second. You could have blurred your eyes on that one and made the right call based on body language. Tonight, Youk slides into home, his foot clearly crossing the plate before a tag, which was high on the leg anyway, giving the ump two reasons to call him safe. But Umpy, looking right at it again, decided to go the out route. Maybe he was "rooting for the play," which they do sometimes. These guys need to go. At the very least, any call that can be clearly corrected by a camera should be allowed to be.

Here's another one for you: Why does NESN think we must see every run cross the plate? If there's a play at another base, and Don has already told us the run is coming home, and the throw is going to that other base, show me the place where the action is! If you must, cut to shot of guy heading home, so we know he's scoring, then get right back to that other base. It's not like we're gonna wonder whether a man trotting toward home scored or not when we see the ball going to another base.

Anyone know what that logo on the field was in Toronto? Beyond the bases in foul territory. Could be a team logo or an "I Live For This"- or "Opening Day 2010"-type logo, but I'm really hoping it's not an ad.

Oh, and you like Richard Clarke right? Me too. But now, check out his hat!

And, lots o' whales!

Aren't you glad you can sleep tonight? That would have been a horrible loss.

13 - 9 = 4 Christ's Sake, Can We Just Be A Normal Team?!

Sox lead 13-9 in the 6th. They're toying with our emotions. We're the families of miners, being told our trapped loved ones are alive. Then aren't. Then are. Then maybe. Then most of them are--but whoops, they meant aren't.

More on this rollerfuckster later, obv.

Edit, five seconds later: Five seconds after I hit publish, a home run. 13-10. I rarely, no, never, reach the "I can't even watch this anymore!" point, but I'm getting a little antsy. A lot antsy. Okay, bye till later.

Missing Piece

A while ago somebody called FAN and asked Francesa if he'd seen the way MLBN does their highlights. Apparently they just let the announcer's call play. The guy said it was all refreshing and shit. Neither Francesa nor I had seen this, and we both thought it seemed pretty cool. I still haven't witnessed this, but...NESN is doing it this way: TC sends us to the highlights of the game, and we see them, in order, with the original announcer's call of each. What's wrong with this picture? No set-up. We need to know the situation, you can't just show a series of highlights. It's not a montage, it's supposed to be a summary. And you're leaving out a vitla part of it. Hey, wanna see my vacation pictures? Here they are, bye! But did you get in this elephant's moouuuuthhhh?? Come baaaack....

Now I will grant you that as a lifelong baseball fan, I can quickly look at the score box on the screen in each highlight and pretty much figure out what's going on. But they should not be relying on us to do this. And it's such a lazy way to do it, too. I bet TC, despite having less work, is secretly thinking, These highlights must be set up! I'm sittin' right here!

It's like they finally had a good idea but overthought it, leaving us with crap. If anyone has seen how they do it on MLBN, let me know if it's like this or what....

Also, the opening of the NESN pre-game show starts with a close-up of Beckett's crooked sleeve sox!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


For three straight days, we stood on the dugout with bullhorns, telling the Orioles that wins were there for the taking. Finally, they take advantage of our generous offer, albeit barely. Why did Tito take Wake out? Did he look tired to you? Was he doing that thing where he takes him out with two outs so he could get a nice ovation? Terrible. Lots of other terrible-ness, but I clearly don't feel like talking about this shitty, shitty, loss.

It'll Just Be The Three Bulls

I hate the current state of pitching in MLB. Specifically, the way the bullpens are used so much--which is necessitated by the fact that starters are treated like children. I think I threw more innings in my last year of majors in Little League than the average MLB starter now throws in a season.

So every team ends up with hopefully one guy who can get you those final three outs. If you're lucky enough to have that guy, you then need a few more guys who also for some reason can only seem to pitch one inning at a time, and never two days in a row. And that's where games come undone, because you need a lot of innings out of those guys, even when you have good starting pitching.

Therefore, whether you win or lose a game can be complete coincidence! If you have a shitty reliever who happens to pitch one inning without giving up a run, and then another guy does it, and another, and another, and then you get to you get to your closer, you can get a win with mostly shitty pitching. Know what I mean?

Last year, the Red Sox' short relievers were awesome in the first half. Then they weren't any more. This year, they're bed-shitting in April, but the point is, no matter how good or bad you are, if you can get three outs before giving up a run, and everyone does it more often than not, you win games.

So it pretty much comes down to talent, right? And we've got a shitload, so I think it all will come out in the prov. wash and we'll be battling for the div. in Sept.

Wakefield on the A-Rod-free Circle today.

(Note to AJM--I saw your comment re:bullpen, and yes, they crapped last night but were saved by me playing Scattergories and willing the game to end before the O's could tie it. But Blogger is giving an error message and I can't publish comments right now--they are being stupid lately, messing with my archives, having numbers show up wrong, not letting comments show up right away even when they do publish, etc....)


The O's have now won 2 of their first 18 games in 2010, and are something like 2-21 in their last 23 against us.

Key dong by Scutaro, and then Youk's puts the game away. We win. In a blowout. Because in that last inning, I was playing Scattergories and had the game on mute and sure there may have been some Orioles circumnavigating the bases, but eventually we celebrated. So I'm considering it a 7-3 win. Almost back to .500 now.

And Jonathan Van Every is back. So....

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