Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday, Things Turn Around For The Red Sox

We lose a short shitter, they lose in the 9th. We'll catch 'em.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Concert @ Fenway Stuff

"I missed tonight's Red Sox game because I was at Fenway Park" is always weird to say. But it's true, I lucked out--didn't have to see tonight's loss. Once again the Orioles give us a chance to gain, and once again we fail. Still 2.5 back.

We were at Fenway for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Dropkick Murphys show. A gift from Kim to me. They released extra tickets the day of the show, so I got us some new ones, right in front of the stage. Matty's gonna kill me, but we missed the Street Dogs. Didn't see any of the other opening bands, either. I don't even know where the other stage was.

It was still light out when the Bosstones started. I hadn't seen these guys since Lollapalooza '95 in Hartford, on the side stage. I've liked 'em ever since. Well, maybe not in any kind of active way, but still. I feel like they're the band that "could have been" the Murphys, in terms of Red Soxiness. Know what I mean? But it was a good call by DKM to have them open at Fenway, since it was the Bosstones who they used to open for when they were starting out.

Dicky was steaming. I tried to get a shot of that. And here it is. And yeah that one guy still just dances around. That guy's great. Kind of weird seeing a band twice but with 15 years in between--and to think that they were already 12 years old when I saw them the first time.

For this stage set-up, it appears they removed part of the bullpen roof. Look to the right side of this shot and you can see where it's cut off.

And then the Murphys played and stuff.

And a Bruin brought the Stanley Cup on stage.

Ken Casey did a cool thing for their closer, Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced. Video below:

Then Kim wanted to go to a bar. Obviously we weren't gonna go to the Cask or the Works or any place with 5,000 people about to jam into it. So I started driving toward the city, and then I thought, "I know a bar!" And soon we were sitting inside Cheers. Of course, if there's one single fact that every northeasterner knows, it's that "the inside of the 'real' Cheers doesn't look like it does on the show." (It's also not the Bull & Finch anymore, as it was bought by the "Cheers" franchise which has other locations.) But it was cool to approach it, walk down the stairs, and hang out there. It was pretty quiet and well-lit. The bartender told us stories of Rhea Pearlman and showed us a book about the show which for some reason was signed by several seemingly random people. Me, Kim, and the British guy next to me all signed the book.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lunar Shuttle Tickets! Lunar Shuttle Tickets!

We're going to the Dropkick Murphys/Mighty Mighty BossTones/Street Dogs* concert at Fenway TONIGHT**. I just upgraded our tickets. So I have 2 I'm not using. They cost me $30 plus fees but you can have 'em both for $45 total***. The stage is in front of the bullpens and these tix are in section 37, so it's a pretty weird angle but they get you inside the park.

Send me an e-mail if interested. Two2067 at aol dot see oh emm. Can meet at Fenway or in Brookline before the show.

*Matty! Did you know Street Dogs made the cut for these shows??
**Tix are for tonight, Thursday (they're also playing Friday night)
***Price set in honor of Pedro Martinez

The Year MM

I heard the Florida Marlins will be called the Miami Marlins starting next year. You hear that?

Prefontaine against Ricky Romero, 7:07 p.m.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


We had a 3-0 lead. We blew that, but then took an 8-5 lead. But we gave up 5 in the 8th, spoiling another shot at 200 for Wake, but more importantly, a chance to move to 1.5 back. Bard had nothing. Walked the ballpark. And hit a guy. I feel like when he kept doing the fake to third throw to first move, he was telling Tito to get someone else in the game. He finally put in Pap, and...wait, that's not Pap, it's Albers. And Albers gives up a three-run double to make it 11-8. Adrian donged in the 9th, then we scored another run, but Aviles, as a pinch runner, got thrown out stealing with Reddick up to end the fuckin' game. God emmereffing damn it.

Bottom Eleven A-Live (& No-Hit Attempt)

5:52: Liner to right, base hit. Booooo. End of no-hit attempt.

5:50: Called strike three! The guy's 4 outs away.

5:49: Line SHOT to second, caught. No-hitter for 7.1. (He's up 7-0 by the way.)

5:38: No-hitter thru 7 for the A's guy.

5:33: Idiots at MLBN breaks into game to show 1st out of 7th in no-hitter, while the potential last pitch of this game was thrown. And--who cares, it's over, cheating Yanks LOSE! We gotta win tonight now to go 1.5 back. 7:07 @ Toronto. Moscoso no-hitter thru 6.2 now....

5:31: Ump's been giving the Yanks every pitch on the corners. O's don't swing--auto-strike. Now this pitch hits the inside corner on Granderson, he calls it a ball, would have ended the game. Now the fucker singles to right. Tying run on 3rd, 2 out.

5:28: nonChAlaNt...O up. This field is soaked. The infield is mud. Fly out CF. One damn out away.

5:25: 0-2 on Teix. Also, the A's pitcher has a no-hitter in the 7th in their game. 2-2 now to Assface--line out to right. One away.

5:22: And the O's asshole walks the first fucking guy.

5:20: Orioles finally get a run, they lead 5-4 going bottom 11th in The Bronx. On MLBN. (Of course it's the YES feed--does NESN or MLBN or anybody else know that the Yanks' opponents also broadcast these games?)

Surprise Surprise: Another Maier Weiner

Yanks beat Orioles because fan reaches over fence. Only this time umps have the ability to overrule it. But they still don't! (And of course there's the fact that the Yanks built a whole new stadium and had a chance to fix their little "problem" but still didn't.)

Yankees cheat as always. I bet Thurman Munson and Steinbrenner are currently playing the longest poker game ever in hell because they just keep cheating each other so nobody ever wins.

(Did anyone else notice that guy from Zack Hample's site who has all the jerseys on the replay? Ben Weill or something? He had an orange O's jersey.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

STORSTOP Leads Way In Rock Brigade Blowout

Storstop? That's not even close, NESN!

Anyway, we kicked some butt tonight, 14-0, after putting up an all-weather radial yesterday.

Ooh! I interrupt this broadcast to note another commercial that pretends to know baseball but doesn't. It's for lightbulbs, and it's got kids playing a baseball game in the yard. A kid is shown using a tree stump as a pitching rubber. Announcer says "we've somewhat got a pitcher's mound." Okay, fine. Then she says, "home plate is that dirt patch that seems to get bigger as each day of summer goes by." And they show a play at the plate, and on that dirt patch is...a real home plate! The whole point is that you don't have one, so you have to use the dirt patch. These ads need to consult with me.

Moving on, we're now 2 games out. The Yanks are still waiting for the rain to stop, 3.5 hours after the game was supposed to start. [Update 12:19 a.m.: They started. Yanks up 1-0 in the 5th.]

This new NESN show hosted by one of my favorite guys, Michael Showalter, is about to debut. This is not a show I would consider watching if he wasn't hosting it. I don't know if he'll be able to save this one, though. And now I worry people are gonna get to know him as "the guy from that ridiculous local show." He's done so much great stuff. Remember that time I linked to his site? The fake "weekender" ad? And the Michael Showalter Showalter? And The State and Wet Hot American Summer and on and on. [Update 12:20 a.m.: Watched the new show. What's the point of hiring a comedian as a game show host if you're not going to showcase his comic talents? That's all I'm sayin'.]

Monday, September 05, 2011

Final Old Vs. New Logo Fan Sign Summary

(You're gonna kill me, but) I went back through Sunday's "sign day" game and took pics of every sign that used the Circle Sox logo. My initial inner-brain count was right--13 old to 2 new. Except for one thing--I since realized one of the olds was actually a new. So the official count is still an (expected) blowout in favor of the old logo, 12-3.

So here they are, starting with the three sign-makers who were aware that the Red Sox tweaked this logo in December 2008. (Or picked randomly and got it right.)

This is the one that I changed my mind on. Hard to tell here, but looking very closely at this on my TV proved it to be the new logo. This chicken person had it in two places on the sign.

Another person who used two logos, both new. I liked this pair of signs in general, but the bonus was the one guy being in the few, the proud, the new logo brigade.

And one more new I spotted, on the sign peeking out from behind the "rox" one. Can't even tell what this woman (at left) had on her sign, but she makes MY top three, for logo awareness alone.

So there you have the only three (to make it on TV anyway) to use the new.

Now let's look at the TWELVE signs with the old version of the Circle Sox logo:

Two signs next to one another, two old logos. The one on the left was one of Jerry and Don's three finalists. Funny how they based this on the phrase "rock out with your cock out/jam out with your clam out" and not only got on TV but almost won the whole damn thing. Despite, of course, the old logo whose oldness was, predictably, not noted by Don and Jerry. (Just for new people, who also don't know about the December 2008 change: the old had BOSTON in blue in a different font, the new has it in red and in the same font as RED SOX. Also, the positioning of the stitches on the background ball changed.) (For regulars: Sorry you have to hear this again and again, but come on, this post proves 12 out of 15 Sox fans don't know.)

This ended up being Don and Jerry's winner. They live right near me in Rhode Island, and worked on it the night before (as opposed to using the park's sign-making stations). They got to go to the booth, and they won the free tickets and other stuff. Congrats on your win, but, come on, you all seem to be huge fans--know your logos!

The logo on this one was drawn. Too bad they drew the wrong version.

This one had SIX old logos. Terrible terrible terrible terrible terrible terrible.

Ah, Bill James's bizarre quantification of how "hot" a player is--flanked by old logos. Cold!

Rem and O-lo liked this one. Again, these people seem like they care about the team a lot, yet somehow their brains haven't grasped this crazy new logo floating around that somehow seems different...

Ahead: a few more olds:

In the one above, the guy would have it up between innings and you'd see the top of it if a lefty led off. I looked very closely. It was an old.

So that makes it 11-3. But there was one more that I classified as old:

It's got the socks in front of a baseball, with words curving along the top and bottom. I say that's absolutely inspired by, if not a version of, the Circle Sox logo. And what was their color scheme on the words? Blue above, red below--them's OLD logo specs! Along with the old logo stitch positioning. I absolutely consider this eligible in my game, and playing for the wrong side.

So your final score is 12-3. Eighty percent didn't know. Pretty much what I thought. Recently, Red Sox Diehard suggested they just bring the old logo back. That it was better anyway. I agree I liked it better, but it's too late now to go back--they really have to just keep using it. The road uniforms changed at the same time. We all know what they look like because they wear them every road game. We need a spot where they can put the new logo up where everyone will see it all the time. Maybe their achilles heel was "changing" it as opposed to making it an "alternate" to he old. At the same time as the logo and uniform changes was the addition of the on-field Hanging Sox cap. Even when they use the alternate Friday jerseys, I don't even think they wear those hats anymore. But that's not a problem because those didn't replace anything. But the logo change is on a visual item they still use and don't plan on stopping, as far as I can tell. So they need to keep showing it to us. As I've said before, how can we ever use the old version as a "retro logo" if no one realized it went extinct?

Here's something interesting. We got a physical copy of the Providence Journal today, and I noticed they are still using the old logo (as is the Boston Herald). I was going to put a picture here at the end of this post. Then I decided to look at ProJo's coverage of the day when the logos/uniforms changed. What they said was

The Red Sox are also changing their primary logo. At the moment, it is a pair of hanging red socks inside a circle inscribed with the words “Boston Red Sox.” Now, the circle and the words will be gone, and the socks will be the primary face of the franchise. It will be used on everything from marketing materials to the team’s alternate baseball hats.

That's one way to say it. Another more correct way would be to say that while the Hanging Sox on their own became the primary logo, the old logo WILL REMAIN, in a tweaked form, as the secondary logo, along with the red B from the hat. It's as if their writer didn't catch that part of the press release/conference. But they're going by their own story, why in 2011 would they be using the old logo at all, instead of the Hanging Sox? And if they really somehow don't know a new logo exists because they only know of what they themselves report, surely they would have come across this foreign logo and asked a friend or associate if they had any dirt on it.

I just wonder what happens in the brains of "Oldies" when they see the new logo. I assume it's:

A. What are you saying to me? That's the same logo they've had for decades. I see no difference. I'm not a math person. I haven't had my coffee yet. Go away.


B. Hey, look at that funny logo. It must be from the 1940s or something, an older version of the one we all know and love today. (How's that for irony?)


C. Oh right, they did change it a little. [But brain decides the info isn't important enough to retain.]

Go Screw, Life

If the Orioles are gonna score 10 against the Yanks, they really should go ahead and win the goddamn game. (Then again, Mo's strike zone is wider than Michael Kay's Yankee Pleasure Orifice, so even when he's not sharp, it's still hard to do anything--they ended up leaving runners at second and third, losing 11-10.)

But we had a chance to keep pace, locked in a 0-0 game in extra innings. Beckett left early--he suddenly couldn't put weight on the right foot, then popped [something] back into place, but they still have to take him out. Team MVP Aceves threw some innings, and Bard and Pap also didn't allow any runs. But with 2 outs in the 11th, Wheeler gave up a large dong--1-0 loss.

We left 2 men on base in several innings. And one time, Scutaro couldn't stay in a rundown long enough to get Ellsbury to second--they threw him out for a DP. Who knows, that could have been the inning we scored in.

Anyway, this blows donks. We're 2.5 out. Fuck.

Spoilers (And Awesomeness) Ahead

It's been a pretty good Curb Your Enthusiasm season so far. It was a bit of a slow-ish (for them) start, as I waited and waited for Larry to get to New York. But he finally did, and there have been some great episodes since. Tonight was the much-anticipated Bill Buckner episode. Sox blogger Mighty Quinn wrote about his experience with Buckner during the filming over a year ago. (He dabbles in appearing in things that are filmed.)

After my first viewing, I went back and watched the crowd in the fire scene Quinn wrote about, and....there he was!!! I took a bootleg screenshot...

That's John Quinn, on the left, mouth open, on screen with the great Larry David! And reacting to, of all things, as he told us last August, Bill Buckner catching a baby. Frame that frame, Quinn!

Aside from that whole deal, it was a fun episode, featuring Robert Smigel as an intense softball captain. It's funny--a year or two after the Buckner play, I played in a softball game in Central Park, at age 12. It was my dad's Peace Corps reunion, and we had a huge game on one of those fields on the Great Lawn. In the bottom of the last inning, a ball went through my legs at second base and into right field. The woman in right had it get by her, too. The winning runs came all the way around to score. Game over. Of course I was kinda pissed at the woman for not "picking me up," but without my error, hers would not have been possible. I accept full blame. Okay, near-full. And now, almost a quarter-century later, Larry David, in a park in New York City, has a ball go through his legs to lose the championship and gets called a "Buckner," only to get the chance to meet Bill shortly after.

I had one huge issue with this episode, though. While Larry is hanging out with Buckner, Bill is repeatedly yelled at and mocked by NYC Sox fans, with Larry defending Bill. Obviously Bill has had a rough go over these years, but even the Red Sox fans who were cruel enough to mock him in public stopped in 2004. And I still feel like most Sox fans all along would have only said hi to him and felt sympathy. We all know how well he's been treated at Fenway since '86, both before and after 2004. I would think if Bill walked around NYC, he'd have maybe a few rude Mets fans "thanking" him, plenty of Yankee fans mocking him, and every Sox fan greeting him warmly. None of us need Larry David or anyone else to tell us we've won two championships since then and to lay off Bill. Also, Jeff Greene's character is supposedly a huge Mookie Wilson fan, yet seems only mildly familiar with Buckner, going through the teams he played for and listing the Sox third!

Don't get me wrong here--I love that Larry did any kind of Red Sox-themed show, and used Bill Buckner as a hero. I've been wondering if he's become a closet Sox fan, often going to Fenway games. In an episode earlier this season, I noticed two Fenway pictures in his office. Granted there were other parks on his wall, but the Fenway ones were right by the door and very visible in the scene. I just think he needs to learn a little more about the situation. I mean I know he was going for the "It was all my fault and I wish I had someone to relate to" thing, and who better than Buckner to be that guy--but the theme doesn't work for me in a post-2004 world. Then again, Bill played along with the whole thing.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

1.5 Back

Lackey was allllmost not that bad. Kinda. He left down 3-0 with the bases loaded. Doubront came in, and soon all those guys had scored and more. A 7-run inning and we went down 9-0. We cut it to 9-4 in the 8th, but that was it. They tacked on two dongs in the 9th. Napoli, who has homered in an inordinate amount of games against the Red Sox, hit one off the back wall in straight away center. Look where this ball hit:

That's the moment it made contact with the wall. That's a little left of dead center, about 385. But add to that it hit over 30 feet up on the wall which is several feet behind the CF wall. My measurements show the base of the 40-foot wall at that point at around 413 feet. So my final estimate is 433 feet. We'll see. 11-4 final, and we're 1.5 out.

As for the "sign day" thing: As I knew, the old logo won out easily. I was keeping the tally in my head so it's not exact, plus I could have missed some, but by my count it was old log 13, new logo 2. And one of the new logos was in a wide shot of several signs, peaking out from behind another sign. They narrowed it down to three finalists, and two of the three used "Circle Sox," both old. And one of the olds won. So utterly disappointing.

Maybe it's the team's fault. Maybe they don't use Circle Sox enough. Maybe the fact that they made the "Hanging Sox" the primary really screwed Circle Sox, because with less visibility, less people notice the change. Bruins fans picked up on their logo tweak, right? That was maybe a year before our tweak, I think. I know how to spot the current Bruins logo compared to the previous one, and I don't even watch or care about hockey. Eh, I think I'll just forget about this whole thing. Just kidding! I shall fight to the death.

Blockin' Out The Scenery

Sox/Tex 1:35.

It's that day where fans are encouraged by NESN to make signs--the winner, chosen by Don and Jerry, gets a prize or whatever. They even have "sign-making stations" at the ballpark. This should be hilarious. It'll be like a mix between the Rally to Restore Sanity and a Tea Party rally--some amazingly creative signs and some god-awful ones.

Be assured I'll be keeping tabs on misspellings and outdated logo usage. It's a guarantee we'll see more of the old version of "Circle Sox" than the new, it's just a question of how big the disparity will be. I wouldn't be surprised if the sign-making stations have boxes of the old logo ready to stick on your cardboard.

World 12-7?

It was a little touch and/or go there early, us down 3-0 and Fox telling us how many thousands of innings it's been since we scored a run, but we put up an 8-spot in the 4th and cruised to the 12-7 win. Nuyorican Mike Aviles had the go-ahead single, and then Crawford followed it with a grand slam to put us up for good. We remain a half game out of first.

Thingz & Stuffs:

The Rangers pitched a guy a named Hamburger. I was happy to see Allan post some of our jokes about the name from the game thread on his game story at Joy of Sox. He also noticed the bullpen cop giving the HR signal on Crawford grand dong well before the ball reached the stands. High-larious.

Tim McCarver saw the wave and was surprised, saying you don't see it at Fenway. People, I go to 20 games a year at Fenway, and there's at least one wave at an average of 19.5 of them. But even if you watch on TV, you know it happens just about every game. Tim is a guy who witnesses games at Fenway Park quite a bit, and usually for wave-friendly day games. I guess he's just in the bathroom for those few minutes every time. Oh wait, maybe it's just because he has a very, very unreliable memory.

Did you see the foul ball that hit the vendor's empty diet Coke tray he was holding over his head? Dick and Tim did, but they only seemed to notice that some other guy caught it on the ricochet. The ball landed right in the tray! Granted, it bounced out, but to me, that was the impressive play. Of course somebody's gonna catch it on the easy bounce out of the tray. But no mention of the vendor.

Early in the game, there was a play where the Texas first baseman went over to the fence for a foul pop, and Stockton's call was "...and it's out of play." The guy then proceeded to come back away from the fence and catch the ball for the out. Stockton's attempt at a recovery was to say it was a "great catch." I guess he figured that since he was looking 20 rows back for the ball and the fielder ended up with it, it must have been a great catch.

Pedroia hit a 3-run double. Stockton's call: "and the Red Sox lead ten to three....eleven to three!" So he corrected himself quickly, I have to give him credit for that. Except...the score was twelve to three! He did finally note that three runs did indeed score, but did not actually say "twelve to three," probably because it's embarrassing to take three shots at the score of the game you're calling even if you know the third one is right.

I am a fan of Dick Stockton. The guy announced the Sox for years, and called the '75 World Series for NBC. But at some point you gotta pass the torch. (And would it be too much to ask to light McCarver on fire as long as you're holding a torch?)

One last thing: Remember the play where Adrian caught the bunt while running in toward home on the failed squeeze attempt? He was so close to home, and so was the runner, that AG just decided to tag the guy instead of risking a wild throw to third. The guy had already stepped on the plate, then started to retreat, did a little juke move to try to avoid the tag, but Adrian got it on him while laughing at the dance. But here's what's interesting. Let's say the juke move worked, and he got away from the tag and was running back toward third. Adrian still has the easy out, just by tossing the ball to third where Youk touches the bag to officially double the runner off. But--let's say he does throw wild and the guy gets back to third. (And if you want to take the fantasy further, then has enough to time run home again to score a run, kind of a crazy-ass "sacrifice fly.") The point is, the guy had touched home when he initially came from third with the pitch but didn't retouch it on the way back to third. So he still would be out, provided the Red Sox appealed before the next pitch. Isn't that weird? You rarely see a situation where a guy would need to retouch home. And the appeal throw would also go home. I guess I think it's odd because when you pass any other base, you're still in the baseline. When you pass home, you can go wherever the hell you want. You could be all the way to the edge of the dugout, realize you need to get back to third base, and you'd have to run from the dugout to home to third. I'd like to find out if this has ever happened. Example: Fly ball to the right field corner with one out. Guy on third thinks there are two outs, runs through home, sees the catch, and, somehow not hearing the shouts of his teammates, takes off his helmet and walks toward the outfield (assuming a teammate will bring him his hat and glove for the next inning). He finally realizes there was only one out, and the fielder has crashed into the wall and is lying there unconscious. Now the runner has to run that crazy path to third via home plate amidst chaos. He also has a chance of then racing for home again after he's retouched home and tagged up at third. I gotta figure the same rule applies to all the bases, but maybe once you're past home you're considered outside the basepaths. Like how if you get to the end of a level in Super Mario Brothers, sure, you're still alive, but you no longer have access to the stuff on that level. If the fielders don't do anything about it, your run counts, but if they are scrambling to throw to third to double you off, you're screwed because you've already pulled down that flag (at a time ending in 1, 3, or 6 if you want the extra points from those fireworks) and entered the castle. Hmmmm, no, probably not. It's probably like any other base.

Okay, that may have been a long paragraph, but look at what the article said about it:

On the third pitch, Gentry went squeeze again, but first baseman Adrian Gonzalez snuffed it out by catching it in the air. Torrealba had no chance to retreat back to third in time and was tagged out by Gonzalez.

Where's the explantion? The fantasy? The passion? The Mario? This guy has you wondering how a first baseman could tag a runner who was on third!

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