Friday, June 03, 2011

Very Good Job

We go down 4-0 in the first. We come back to take the lead. We go down a run again, we come back again and win 8-6. Hopefully the Angels can hold their early lead and we'll be a game back in a few hours.

[Update, 1:00 a.m.: Yanks lose! We're one game out of first. The Rays lost and the Jays won so those two are tied for third, three behind.]


From NESN's pregame tonight:
Forget about the confusion that might come from saying "2008" and then calling the next three seasons the "previous" three. How do you turn Dice's 18-3 2008 record into 18-8? TJ, NESN. That's Terrible Job, not Tommy John.

A's @ Sox, 7:10.


When I heard Okajima asked to be traded and didn't want to pitch for the Red Sox I was pissed at him. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and read the article in which he said these things. Not the reactions to the article in other articles, but the original source.

That would be Michael Vega of the Globe. The article says that Okajima said, last night, that he wouldn't want to be called up "in this situation." Meaning to replace Rich Hill who just got hurt. I take this to mean that he'd rather not have seen the other guy get injured so that he can replace him. Vega even noted he said it with empathy. (Also note that everything Okajima is saying is through an interpreter.)

Then the article says

In fact, Okajima said he hoped to move on after being designated for assignment on May 20,

and adds a quote from Okajima:

"It's definitely a new start for me," Okajima said. "I'm in a new position. It's all about pitching well and hopefully along the line another team will show more interest in me and I can be traded."

Doesn't this sound like Vega is referring to what Okajima said at the time of his going to Pawtucket? And isn't that a fairly normal response to having your team leave you out there for anyone to pick up, and then have no team claim you, and have to play in the minors at age 35?

It took a while, but I found an article with quotes from Okajima from right when he landed at Pawtucket. You can see he's saying just about the same thing as the later quotes in the Vega article. From the Pawtucket Times, May 27th:

“I have to get myself in a position where I’m pitching well and possibly get called up again or possibly even traded sometime later this season,” said Okajima. “I’m just looking forward to continue playing baseball.”

I'm guessing Vega's second set of Okajima quotes were referring to what he said a week ago, not last night. (Note that nobody got huffy about Okajima mentioning a trade on May 27th--it wasn't until the Globe used these quotes with the headline "Hideki Okajima looking to move on from Red Sox, not get called up" that everybody got mad.)

I could be wrong about all this, but that's my story and I'll stick to until Mayor Vaughn makes me change the autopsy report. And if I am right, I blame the Globe headline writer.

Outside, Providence

Kim just sent me the Providence outdoor movie schedule. I will now live blog my reaction to each movie as I see it. Note: Though Bryant Park will always be my favorite, the Providence one is fun (as long as that ass-hat homeless dude isn't starting fights and being his dick self), much closer, and has movies that are more often ones I like. I respect how Bryant Park likes to class it up, but I'll always be more Groundhog Day than Gone with the Wind, if ya catch my drift.

Here we go--actually, I already heard Rain Man would be last night's opener. I've seen most of it but never all the way through. I'd like to do that someday but Kim had no interest in seeing it again so I'll have to see that one indoors someday....okay, here we go for real:

June 9: Almost Famous. Dammit. Kim had given me one clue, saying next week was a "definite." A definite for her maybe. She tricked me! I saw most of this film (because she wouldn't let me change the channel), and it just didn't do it for me. But I guess I'm gonna have to see it again, eh?

June 16: Casino Royale: I hope it's the original, not the remake. I never did see that one, and it's got Peter Sellers so it has to be good, right?

June 23: Flatliners. Interesting. I think that movie pretty much bombed but I kinda wanted to see it at the time. I was a little too young though. I could see going to this, so long as I get my Gordito Burrito and my Like No Udder vegan shake.

June 30: Midnight Run. Okay, for some reason I forget if I finally just saw this, or I didn't. DeNiro, right? But is this the one where he's gotta get money to somewhere and he's driving around and stuff? If it is, yeah, I liked that one. I'm going.

July 7: Batman Begins. I can't even distinguish between the Batmans at this point. This is the one where he sees his parents killed, right? Eh, I guess it was as good as any of 'em. Okay, let's get to some classic Jere films, please....

July 14: The Godfather! Woohoo! Nuf Ced McGreevey.

July 21: Outside Providence. Okay I guess this is that Farrelly Brothers movie that was shot around here but didn't really do well. I'll see it for the Rhode Island footage at least.

July 28: The Last Samurai. Uh...not into those. But maybe I'll give it a shot.

August 4: There's Something About Mary. Saw it in the theater. A little overhyped but it almost lived up to it. And Jon Richman is in it...

August 11: Dogday Afternoon. Another one I never saw, but want to.

August 18: The Hangover. Wow, that's a pretty new one. Despite it's kind of silly appearance, and seeming similarity to all the other comedies of the day, I thought it kinda looked funny. Then I saw five minutes of it and had to change it. But I may be willing to give it another shot.

August 25: Mad Max. Never did see those Mad Max movies. That's another maybe.

September 1: The Lost Boys!!!!!!! I'm always game for 213 "Michael"s.

September 8: For my birthday, it's...Notorious. Wait, is that the one about Biggie or Bettie Page? Or neither? Or both!?

September 15: Saturday Night Fever. Sweeeeet. All-time classic. Will be weird to see the families slowly start to leave with each uttering of the word "cunt."

September 22: Pineapple Express. I had to look this up. Stoner comedy? Don't really have time for those.

September 29: Purple Rain. That's your closer? Come on....

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Good Thing Yaz Didn't Play That Day

I clicked on the link at for the 1918-style jersey auction. The first thing I saw was a list of players/coaches. Then I noticed the first name on the list, Adrian Gonzalez, was spelled with an S at the end instead of a Z. I knew at that moment they had no chance at Buchholz, and sure enough, Clay--the very next name on the list--had his name spelled with a double C instead of a double H. Surprisingly, they nailed Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Aside from putting a "Mac" in Darnell McDonald, it appears they got all the other ones right. (They go with the lower case M in DeMarlo but I've seen that one spelled both ways. Though I'd say capital M is correct.)

When you click on each name, you see that guy's auction, and the names are also wrong there. So I'd guess whoever was in charge of making that list just copied and pasted the names from the individual pages. Which means that more than one person should be fired.

Is it too much to ask that the people who run the official site of the Boston Red Sox know how to spell the names of their superstar players?

Unrelated: I didn't think to put on the NBA Finals game until it was almost over. And what I saw was an amazing choke job by Yankee LeBron and friends. Awesome.

B-News 4 The A's

Since the Athletics moved to Oakland in 1968, the Red Sox have gone 269-218 against them, with a 154-88 mark at home. We've outscored them 2,288-2,181 in that time.

We've played the Athletics 1,920 times including their time in Philly and Kansas City, beating them 1,050 times and losing 860. That .550 winning percentage is our second-best against any of the original AL teams. (We've beaten the Orioles franchise at a .55137 rate, and the A's at .54974. (Ties count in total number of games, but not when calculating winning percentage.))

We once won 18 straight games against the A's, between 1940 and 1941.

The longest game we've played against them was 24 innings (1906).

The A's dominated us between 1927 and 1932, winning 104 of 129!

By June of 1933, they led us by 58 games in the all-time series, having erased what had been a 45-game deficit in 1924 (though we had come back from down 33 games before that). But on September 11th, 1939, we caught up to them, tying the series at 416. In the teams' next game, the Red Sox won and haven't looked back, holding the edge on the A's for over 70 years, steadily increasing the lead to 190 games as of today.

In the first American League season, 1901, the two teams split the 20 games they played. (Runs: Red Sox 126, A's 125.) They have also split the 20 most recent games against each other. (Runs: Red Sox 99, A's 93.)

Except for 1998 and 2004, when the Red Sox won the season series 9-2 and 8-1, no team has lost fewer than 3 games in any season series. The most either team has beaten the other is 19, when the Sox won the 1950 season series 19-3, outscoring the A's 190-84 and averaging a 8.6-3.8 win.

The first Red Sox-A's game was played Monday, April 29th, 1901, in front of 3,421 people at Philadelphia's Columbia Park. The first pitch was thrown by Bill Bernhard to Boston left fielder Tommy Dowd. The A's won by the "interesting score of 8 to 5," as the Philadelphia Record put it. It was Philly's first-ever win. Boston was still waiting for theirs. The boxscore shows the game's only home run coming from Fred Ketcham, though the article noted that he actually "made the round of the bases" on an error by Dowd. (Retrosheet/Baseball Reference support this, showing Ketcham with no career dongs.) The Baltimore American also covered the game, and also called it interesting. But their boxscore was correct, no HR given to Ketcham. There are other differences--the number of players left on base is different for both teams in each boxscore. And the Baltimore paper gives the A's one more hit than the Philly paper. Hard to get the stats straight when you've got different papers reporting different things....

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Lost Or Stolen Items

Got a front row seat in CF section 36 a few days ago from Above, the kid in white in row one is in my spot.

And here was my view. Was a little worried about the people who would be passing front of me. But with 34 and 35 closed for the afternoon game, only the people in the left side of 36 were passing, and they mostly kept it to between innings. The key is, there was never a logjam, so it was rare someone would cross right on the pitch. Plus, I have a working neck, so....

Video I shot from the top of the bleachers. The wind you hear was great because it was the only thing cooling us down. The sun was blazin' through the thin cloud layer. All I kept hearing from fans around me was "tornado warning." Later, they hit Springfield. I'm sure you've seen the crazy video of the tornado crossing the river.

Reddick in right. Oh, so there was the most obnoxious person in the world right next to me. I was ready to just leave the area--but fortunately she did pretty quickly, and two average quiet Joes sat next to me. For some reason, lately (last few years) no one thinks to stand for the 7th inning stretch. They wait till it's announced that they should stand. Today, right when the top of the seventh ended, I stood, prepared to do the extra-fun "turn around and lean against CF wall" thing that only the front row gets to do--and the guy next to me did it too. So I knew that probably meant that while I was constantly correcting the idiotic comments from fans around us in my head, he was too.

"My day" superstar Harold Baines in the ballpark. Pat used to call this guy "Blind and Deaf" when we were little. And I'll leave it at that.

Tim Wakefield throwing the game's first pitch. I had the "Yankee Stadium '79" view. Wake was staked to a 3-0 lead but sadly we did not win. But Tim did add some days to his "all-time oldest Red Sox player" record, which he set earlier this year.

Omar Vizquel? Next thing you're gonna tell me Tim Wakefield's still playing!

While Fisk was watching himself wave the ball fair on the board (note, before they cut to the live shot of him using the camera you see in this pic), he went into the full Fisk wave motion! I have three shots of this, I should do a series.

The ump screwed us in this game. After we went up 3-0, the White Sox got one in the fourth, and then the fifth was a mess. Wake walked the first guy. Next guy pops up down the right field line. Pedroia goes over and misses it. (Sure enough, looking at it now, it was called a single. Maybe I'm wrong, but from where I sat, all the ball did was hit him in the glove.) Then we get a double play ball, but the throw to first is low and Adrian can't scoop it out. First and third, one out, still 3-1 us. Then the runner bolts for second and we were ready for it with a pitch out. If you've ever played Little League, you know a first and third situation can lead to a national disaster for the defense. But, we were able to pull it off, getting the guy in a rundown while keeping the other runner at third. Pedroia finally tags the guy and we're in business. Except the fuckin' ump calls him safe! It looked like they practically collided, I don't see how a tag wouldn't have been made. After getting home and seeing the replay, I see where maybe the ump could be fooled by the sweeping tag, thinking Dustin just missed the guy's back. But I can't see how he didn't notice Dustin's glove smashing into the dude. Terrible call. Our reward for successfully pulling off a difficult play is no out, and a runner moves up. Then we get what should have been the fourth out on a ground out that scores a run. And at some point, a pop-up lands harmlessly by the visitors' on deck area. Salty took a wrong turn. So there are five outs for ya. Then Quentin doubles in the tying run before we finally get the sixth out.

Granted, after they took the lead the next inning, we did tie it on a Papi dong, before the White Sox added three more for a 7-4 win. But that inning is what changed this from Wake's 182nd Red Sox win to a pukebarf.

After that great road trip, we get the ChiSox at home, and get swept. Meanwhile the Yanks have to go west, but they win every single time. Not the way we planned it at all. We're two back but still in second.

Second Place. Sad Face.

If you gave up early on this one, you missed it go from 10-1 to 10-7, and had Adrian gotten on base with two outs in the ninth, we actually would have had the tying run at the plate. But he watched a borderline strike three to end it.

Don and Jerry weren't at the top of their game tonight. Two plays in particular. We now begin tonight's lesson.

Okay, man on first, less than two outs. Runner going, batter flies out to left. Runner slides into second base, gets up, still unaware of where the ball is, and leaves second base, taking a quick step toward third before finally realizing the ball's been caught and he needs to go back to first. As we learned as toddlers, the runner must then re-touch second base on his way back to first. You must retrace your steps. You can't skip bases whether you're running them forwards or backwards. Without this rule you could (along with hitting a ball and immediately stepping on home plate and claiming you just hit a home run) be all the way to third, realize the ball's been caught, and zip across the pitcher's mound to get back to first quicker.

We all knew this. Except, apparently, for two people. Longtime baseball announcer Don Orsillo and former professional baseball player Jerry Remy. When the above event happened with Carl Crawford tonight, there was confusion in the booth. Don and Jerry seemed bewildered by Carl's slight left turn at second. It was more of a flinch that took him off the bag--but it certainly wasn't a move back to first. By doing it, he was "past" the bag and needed to retouch, which he didn't. So when Remy explained you need to retouch, Don, thinking he was seeing a retouch (since Crawford kind of bounced when he reached second, touching the bad twice before leaving it and then not retouching it), asked Remy "so it matters whether he touches the front or the side of the bag"? Remy, now confused himself, then says that it must have been that the catch hadn't been made yet when Crawford had retouched. Or something. The point is, one of these guys thinks it matters what part of the base you step on, and the other thinks retouching has something to do with the timing of the catch--as if you could round second and go back to first without retouching second, so long as you do it after the ball's caught! I guess what it came down to is they just missed the fact that Carl had passed second when he made his flinchy left turn. But why they wouldn't have even thought of this as a possibility--before coming up with theories seemingly straight out of their asses--is what I don't understand. Seriously, if you heard a guy was called out for not retouching second, and that's all the info you had, wouldn't you imagine a guy rounding second and then going straight to first? I doubt you'd think, Hmmm, I wonder if his foot touched the wrong portion of the base....or...hmmm, I wonder if the ball was still in the air when he was rounding second. Because neither of those things matters and probably have never even been thought of by anyone in history.

It's like the time I heard some talk show caller ask why sometimes a run counts if the runner crosses home before the third out is made on the basepaths and sometimes it doesn't. And the host was flustered, and started embarrassedly babbling about the rule book before changing the subject instead of just saying "if the third out is a force out the run can't count." I think these guys sometimes just choke when they're put on the spot. It's like asking Chad Finn where the All-Star Game is with two seconds left on the Globe 10.0 clock. Zing!

Lost in all that commotion was the fact that Crawford would make such a mistake. As long as I'm criticizing the guy, I'll use this paragraph to bring up the fact that despite his fine defensive skills and ability to make the great catch, balls rolling or bouncing verrrry slowly to him seem to cause him trouble. Tonight there was a standard double down the left field line. Once the ball gets past the boxes, provided it misses the garage door, it's pretty easy stuff. Even with a fast runner, you're just gathering up the ball and getting it back in, knowing the guy's already got a double. Once you know there's no chance of throwing out the guy at second, take your time to make sure you get the ball and get it back to the infield. No need to sprint after it and slip or kick it or overrun it and turn a double into a triple. Manny knew this, though it would cause the average fan-next-to-you guy to sarcastically say "take your time, Manny," making his drunk friends laugh, not realizing that Manny's doing the exact right thing. But Carl, tonight, somehow found a way to bobble the ball all the way in the corner, to the point where the cutoff man shifted all the way over to line up with third base instead of second (with no one else on base). And it's very hard to go home to third on a ball hit about 200 feet past third base so a play at third shouldn't even be a glint in your eye. There have been a few other times when Carl just couldn't seem to pick up the ball this year, too. I'm guessing it's from "everybody's watching me now" syndrome, which he will fully emerge from soon. Or maybe it's just random. Or maybe corner outfielders just have more bobbleable balls to deal with. Bobbleable!

Okay, as for the second Don/Jerry issue:

Fly ball right near Pesky's Pole. Right fielder misplays it, jumps, and the ball's behind him, but still right about even with the fence. Fan touches it, and it lands on field. Batter gets two bases (though a sprint would have gotten him three, I think). Once Don realized a fan touched the ball, he said that if that was indeed the case, it's a home run. For some reason, he didn't consider the possibility that a fan could reach out over the fence and touch the ball, which would make it...not a home run. Another thing he should have pointed out was how the fan was in the second row, which makes it harder to reach all the way over, giving the home run theory more credence. After a pitching change, they've regrouped and now Don tells us they've decided one of two things could be the case: either it's a home run, OR the fan reached out and touched it, making it an out. What? You almost had it, Don, but then you lost it. If a fan interferes with a player, or if the fan touches a ball about to be caught by a fielder, sure, the ump should call the batter out. But Hey Don, in this case, the fan's hand was BEHIND the fielder. The ball actually passed the fielder's glove, then hit the fan's hand. So the fan did prevent a would-be home run (if the ball was going to clear the fence, no angle did ever definitively show this), but he didn't prevent an out. Therefore, the ump could have called it a fan interference double (or placed the runners where they would have been had he not touched it). Just like when a fan reaches out over the Monster--it's not "a home run or an out," Don. So, again, I just don't see how these guys don't consider these possibilities. It seems pretty obvious to me.

To add bullcrap to crap, right after our game ended, I switch to the Yanks on MLBN, and Jeter grounds the first pitch of the game to second, and the guy botches it. But in today's baseball society, there are no errors. If the home team effs up a play, the scorer says, Eh, it was a tough play, base hit. Wouldn't wanna give our own guy an E. And if the road team effs up a play, Eh, it was a tough play, base hit. Wouldn't wanna deprive our own guy of a hit. Yes, we've discovered my latest pet peeve. To watch a man blatantly make a mistake, and then to hear that another person in charge of recording fucking history said, Nah, that's not what happened...well, I feel the same way I did when those two fat dudes would cross out the news stories in Good Morning Vietnam. (And imagine how pissed you'd be if those cross-outs led to...success for Derek Jeter!) Anyway, the next guy hits a dong and as I type this, the pieces of living turd lead Oakland 10-3 in the 9th. And now it's over. And even on the A's feed, as soon as the last out is made, they cut to Jeter. Well, hey, he did go two for four with two singles to the second baseman, so I'd say he's the fucking star of that fucking game. One day that guy's gonna screw up, and when he does, I'm gonna be front and center, laughing my fuckin' ass off. He'll cheat on his taxes, or pretend to get hit by a pitch that didn't touch him, or....oh wait, he did do those things. But go ahead, dads of Boston, keep telling me how you want to model your kid's game after him, because you've heard other people say it.

Day baseball Wednesday. 1:35. No sweep.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Humber/Aceves at Fenway, 7:10.

More nice work from Hauls of Shame (though in this case it's someone else post they're picking up). Another Barry Halper scam under the spotlight.

Oh and remember that article I mentioned where the guy said "many people" thought the Red Sox season was over after 12 games? What I forgot to add was how he also said what they've done since "has not exactly been remarkable." Here's the article in question (from just 6 days ago), and, here are some facts about the team's recent success--you be the judge of whether it's remarkable or not.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Now Tied For First" Said In A Negative Tone For The First Time In '11

So we lose and we're back into a tie (percentage points behind) with the Yanks. Too bad Lester's been struggling and too bad the O couldn't pick him up again tonight.

I only saw a little of the game on TV (caught a lot on radio) but for the first time, I kind of liked the stars/stripes hats--but only from afar, not in the closeups. The white panel hats were a staple of the cheesy baseball uniform era, and the ones I ended up being stuck with throughout Little League and beyond. Every single year in the 80s it was your color on the brim and back of the hat, and a single letter in a foamy white field in front. I also had a Pac-Man hat like that. Baby blue. It's not my fault assholes took this style and ruined it years later.

As for the actual stars and stripes thing, I'm still just not seeing why all this patriotism has to be tied up in knots with sporting events. Why can't people go to a parade, do the Yay America thing at the designated time and place, and then go to the ballpark for just a ballgame? One which might involve players from different countries and even entire teams based elsewhere anyway. Even if I was super patriotic I think I'd still feel this way. I mean, does every event have to take place in conjunction with salutes to that country's flag? I know baseball is America's pastime and all that, but people have been, for example, urinating since the beginning of people, and I don't salute the flag every time I take a leak. American cheese is America's cheese, but when I eat it, I don't even think about troops or "our freedom." Are those some awesome and relevant examples or what?! Any fan has the right to go to a game decked out in their country's colors, but I'm sick of the whole thing being forced upon all of us. It doesn't make sense--I go to dinner, I just ingest food. I go to a Broadway show, I just see a play. I go watch men hit a ball with a stick...and I'm told to take off my hat and sing songs about deities I don't believe in and listen to yahoos say "woo" really loud when they hear "land of the free" as if we're the only people in the world with a desire to make our own decisions in life, many of which involve horribly ill-timed texting. It's not like the patriotic stuff is in the rulebook--it's just something someone decided to do once, and it caught on. I like my country. Like, Dotty. Maybe one day I'll love it unconditionally and wear a tri-cornered hat to work, and maybe one day I'll despise it and just move to Tahiti or Greece or Vermont. But no matter how I feel about it, I'd just prefer to separate sports and state. If anything, use the opportunity to promote togetherness, not standoffishness. Fat chance, I know.

Fun fact: Today isn't even a holiday in Canada, yet MLB makes the Blue Jays wear special patriotic hats. I wonder if they're really forced to wear those, or if they're FREE to just wear their normal hats. See how I capitalized "free" there?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

AM Sun/PM Clouds

So the Yanks end up gaining a half game on us today. We're a game up heading into a series with the White Sox at Fenway. Our problem in game 2 tonight? Going down by 2 early against Verlander.

Game Two WILL Be Televised

Don and Jerry just announced it. ESPN makes the right move and allows NESN to show game two tonight at 7.

In game one, we're tied at 3 in the 7th.

Update, 4:25: We WIN game one. After runnin' the picket fence at 'em with three straight one-run innings to start the game, HH gave the three runs back. But Big Papi hits a pinch-homer in the 9th, and Pap saves it for Albers. 4-3 win. Two-game lead over Tampa and the Yanks at the moment. But the Yanks just started their game and we've got another tonight. No matter what happens, we come back to Boston late tonight alone in first place.

First Place Red Sox Rained Out

Night worked out perfectly, got to go to the first full WaterFire of the year, and when we got back to the car, we found out that all we missed was a rain delay, before the game was called.

That seems like a long time ago. Now it's 1:46 in the morning and MLBN is showing the Yanks-Mariners. And not the stupid Yankees feed for once! It's the bottom of the 10th. Yanks just stranded two in the top half.

Tomorrow we play a day-night doubleheader. And since it's Sunday, and game two is during ESPN's exclusive Sunday Night Baseball window, it will not be televised. Wasn't I just saying something about a system needing to be overhauled?

Mariners out in the 10th. I'll update this when that game ends.

Update, 2:30 a.m.: Bottom 12th, tied at 4. Mo came in, got the first guy, then gave up a bloop single and a double. They intentionally walked the next guy. Adam Kennedy up as I type...bloop single to center! Yankees lose!!!! So we're 1.5 up on them. (2 on Tampa.)

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