Saturday, June 23, 2012

Players Listening To My Plea!

In February, I called for players, along with the rest of us, to boycott the media. We all know Papi's anti-assholes, but Youk has taken it to the next level (quotes taken from this post at Joy of Sox):

I just stopped talking [to the media] because enough's enough. You get tired of it. You're just like, This is the same question and I have no answer for you. I'm done. If they're just going to keep asking it over and over again I just have to stop. ...

I tell the guys just don't talk. [If] you don't feel like talking that day [then] just don't talk. There's nothing in your contract that says you have to talk. Guys can use Twitter. They're in the method now where you can voice your [grievances] out to the public. I don't condone it but [it's an option]. ...

The thing that the athletes don't understand is [the media is] not on your side. They're not your friends. ... They're not there to make you look better.

Sox vs. Braves, 7:10. (This is one of those games where not just Fairfield County but much* of Connecticut will get screwed, forced to see the Yanks-Mets game on both the NY and CT Fox station. Imagine living in Hartford, CT in 2012 and having literally no way to see a Boston Red Sox game.... Great job as usual, MLB.)

*I'm still not sure if some eastern CT areas pick up the Boston Fox station, but the point is, basically anybody in the country outside of the Boston TV market is stuck seeing a different game with NO option to see the Red Sox game. Same with fans of all the other teams. When Fox puts a whole bunch of games on at once, all out-of market fans can't watch their own team, not even on But with Connecticut, Red Sox fans get extra-screwed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

We Lose, Mets Help

The good news is the Mets proved me wrong, at least for one night. But it wasn't easy. After taking a 5-0 first inning lead, they fell asleep. By the ninth, they were holding a 6-4 lead, with the guy who called the Yankees a bunch of chickens coming on for the save. The first guy hit a deep fly out, the next walked, and the next singled. But he got the last two. Mets WIN.

The Red Sox were facing Jair Jrjrjjrjjjjjns, who stunk earlier this year big-time, then went to the minors. He came back up and shut us down. We didn't get a guy to second base till the 8th, and lost 4-1. Lester threw more innings and gave up fewer runs than Dice last night, but it was a completely different game, with us being behind most of the night. We were out-hit 13-3.

We remain 5.5 out of first, but we're back in a last-place tie with Toronto.

Weekend Of Fun. Fingers Crossed.

Good to hear Tom Werner defending the team tonight on the pre-game, with TC bringing up "all the talk" about the clubhouse (gee, I wonder where that comes from.....). Shame it has to come to that, but again, I'm happy to finally see the anti-media backlash taking shape. We can't let the momentum die! Keep it going...

Sox v. Braves, 7:10, or as soon as the tarp comes off....

Note to the Mets: Once again, you're given a chance against the Yanks. You're hot, they're cool. Can you please come through this time, instead of making it a brick wall for yourselves and a springboard to glory for them? Please? I'll give ya five bucks. Why do I get the feeling that we'll see RA Dickey walking off the mound before even getting an out Sunday night? I just can never trust that team when they see the Yankee uniform in front of them. And even when they do show up, the Yanks always get a ball hitting off the top of a Met's head and going for a home run or some shit. This time, I hope to see the opposite of the usual. But I'm not expecting it. As Principal Skinner said, "prove me wrong, children. Prove me wrong!"

Jesus, now TC is talking about the offseason "feeling" of the Red Sox being "unlikeable" again. These fuckers. Yeah, YOU make people "unlikeable" when you tell the public lies about them. That's the worst part of all of this. How they make something up, then talk about how "everybody's talking about x." Just like when they tell us we're all "panicked." They want the world a certain way, so they write about it as if it IS that way, then report on things based on the world they created. It's such bullshit. I beg you, every time you go to Fenway, bring a sign, or write something on your shirt, let 'em know their reign of terror is over!

(You know what, maybe I should be glad TC was trying to disprove the "unlikeable" buzzword--but to me it just brings legitimacy to something that was never true. I tried to ignore this stuff for so long, but eventually you have to do something about it. Whereas I feel like TC just likes to stir the pot the same way these other guys do.)

Bright Side Of The Moon

1988. Fitzgerald Field, Ridgefield, Connecticut. It's the bottom of the fifth in a six-inning Little League game between Rotary and Village Bank. Pitcher Jere Smith has yet to allow a base hit. Bank's light-hitting John McAuley grounds one slowly to second. Smith turns see a gaping hole in the infield, the second baseman way out of position. The ball scoots through to the outfield, and Smith would be forced to settle for a one-hit shutout.

That second baseman was the son of one of the coaches, put into the game for his mandatory three innings not in the outfield where it could be argued he belonged, but at second base. Where he proceeded to station himself right near the base, a common mistake which could be blamed on the position's misleading title.

That player's name? Mike "Moon" Mullen. (Only now do I see there was a major leaguer in the 1940s with this moniker. Mr. Mullen obviously had high hopes for his boy.)

I wouldn't go so far as to say "I've never forgiven" Moon Mullen. I was 12, preparing for high school; he was 10, fresh out of elementary. I doubt I ever saw him again after that summer, or if I did, I didn't recognize him. And I'm sure he's a stand-up guy who knows better than I do where to position one's self in life. But I was pissed. How often do you get a chance to throw a no-no?

Flash forward to this month. I wake up one morning to find a comment on my photo gallery-post of the Worcester Tornadoes game I went to. "Ha, somebody got my 'Virtual Insanity' reference, awesome," I thought. (I'd compared a Worcester pitcher's follow-through to the spastic dance moves seen in the cutting-edge 1996 video by Jamiroquai.) Then I read the comment more closely:

As a huge fan of Jamiroquai, I never really realized how much that music video may have influenced my follow-through until just now.

Wait a minute. His follow-through? This wasn't some random Jamiroquai fan, this was the pitcher himself! And though I neglected to mention his name in the original post (I've fixed that), I did include it in the description of the video I posted of him: Mike Mullen. I don't know if they call him Moon or not, but I'm just happy to have reclaimed the positive side of the name "Mike Mullen" in my life. And I'm honored to have finally, for the first time in eight-plus years of doing this blog, had an actual player write in with their thoughts. The RSFPT family will be rooting for ya, Moon-- er, Mike! Thanks again for your comment.

(I'm also wondering if he noticed the Rich Gedman collage at the top of this blog and let his teammate, Rich's son Mike Gedman, know that his dad has an obsessed fan....)

Bonus video from that day. Here's one I shot from on top of the parking garage--even from that far away, you can tell it's Mike Mullen on the mound:

The Fun Continues

I'm not saying a game in June could ever equal a World Series game, but Middlebrooks's dong tonight made me think of Bernie Carbo. Bottom of the 8th, dead-center, and it tied the game. (If you're young or whatever, and you know about Carlton Fisk's famous 1975 World Series homer, Carbo's was the homer that made Fisk's possible. Watch all of Game 6 and you'll see what an incredible moment that was.) We got one more run in the frame to get the comeback win and complete the sweep.

Dice was pretty himself-ish tonight, with a rough first, then a Cy Young stretch, and then, after we'd come back to tie it after being down 3-0, he gives up a dong, and that was his night. Again, not great, but this is your number 5 starter after all. And we got the win. We're 5.5 out of first, and 2 out of a playoff spot.

I saw Psycho tonight outside here in Providence, so I DVR'd the game. I remembered to record the next several shows this time and it paid off. But my stupid remote's batteries are already dying even though I just replaced them. So fast-forwarding between pitches was tough, as sometimes I'd be stuck on FF, leaving me to cover the screen with my hand while pounding the play button over and over, knowing that even when it did kick in, I'd have to quickly hit rewind so I wouldn't hear the announcers give anything away. So this was a nerve-wracking game for me in a couple of ways. But we got the job done.

I did notice Don and Jerry talking about the Papi thing early in the game so I watched all of that. And perfectly enough, they did exactly what Papi and I have been pissed about: they took a situation and created some bullshit from it. Instead of talking about how the media is indeed made up of shit-stirrers who make playing in Boston no fun, they focused on (and obsessed over) WHY Papi decided to say something today. They had the same tone as whoever that one reporter is, as he was acting like Papi was a dick for bringing this up during a hot streak, like he was really mad at him. And Don and Jerry turned this into the story. "WHAT'S COME OVER PAPI?" So stupid. "What set him off??" He's telling you point blank, and you're either not listening or you're afraid to admit what assholes the media are. But either way you're missing the point. So to answer Ryan's comment from the previous post (as I just now reached the end of the recorded game), yes, I heard Don and Remy discussing it, and yes, you're exactly right.

Can't wait to see how the media spins this one. I'll guarantee it won't be "Papi's right, we do need to shut the fuck up and leave them alone."

Fenway homemade sign suggestion: THE ONLY THING TOXIC AROUND HERE IS THE MEDIA.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Papi: FUCK THE MEDIA. His actual quote was "leave us alone." The fucking douche with the microphone got all pissy and asked him why he isn't having fun. Well, duh, asshole, because of you fucking media idiots! And the fuckwad had the nerve to ask if it was the fans or the media. Papi answered by saying "who came out with the [the latest BULLSHIT report], fans or media?" and the guy goes "media," and Papi says "there ya go."

Thank you Papi! The REAL fans hate the asshole media too! WEEI is telling people that Red Sox fans HATE the Red Sox! Every fucking day! Hopefully this is the beginning of the true backlash I've been hoping for. We have to let these media fuckfaces that we don't like them and we need to let the rest of the country know that they and their brainwashed fake callers don't represent the best fans in baseball!

We've won 6 of 7. I purposely put on the beginning of the Big Show. They gave the cursory nod to the team--by talking about how the competition is bad and how the clubhouse is indeed toxic and how the public doesn't have high hopes for the team--before turning to Celtics talk. And Michael Holley, formerly the only good guy at that fucking station, is just as accountable for going along with that station's agenda. Fuck all those guys.

The Red Sox Are "Hot." GET IT?

"The Kim and I" parked for a few quarters and ate dinner in the Fens before walking through the soupy heat to the ballpark for game 2 of Marlins-Sox. Listen to what the organist played as the first song of the night in batting practice.

Check out those crazy Marlins colors. This, I believe, is Scott Cousins. I don't know who the woman is. (Anonymous commenter says it's his fiance Mandy Short--they even have an engagement page.)

Everybody loves Cishek! People were getting their pics taken with him like crazy, and we heard all kinds of cheering when he came in the game. Just looked it up and sure enough he's from the Cape.

At this point we stopped by Allan and Laura's seats. You know them better as The Joy of Sox and We Move to Canada. I'd met them before but it was Kim's first time. So that was cool. They live in, duh, Canada now so they don't get to Fenway too often. It's always good to see people in real life who you deal with almost daily, as I'm always interacting with them either on our blogs or on the nightly game threads.

We headed out to bake in the bleachers. Look at the way the Marlins bullpen rigged up their seed-shooting contest cup. This is a common bullpen game. If you ever see a bunch of seeds (or shells or whatever) on the warning track, those are the ones that went over the wall onto the field. At bottom right you can see one in flight. I'll never forget being above the Red Sox bullpen at Camden Yards, and after a while of watching this cup game, Varitek emerges, slowly walks toward the cup, and steps on it. Speaking of Jason, he was in the stands tonight. My pics of him from 500 feet away aren't worth posting.

The sun setting in Kim's sunglasses. It didn't cool off much when the sun went down. I think game time was something like 94 degrees. But up in row 47, we were the lucky ones who got a slight breeze.

Sun setting not in Kim's sunglasses.

I love this time of night....

I crazied this pic up a little.

Same with this one, obviously.

As for the game, we scored in big bunches. Aviles donged, so did Salty, and Papi hit a grand slam and also scored from first on a three-run double by CoRo. Middlebrooks would later add to the dong brigade in a 15-5 win. When we hit 12 runs, they played "Ballroom Blitz" initially. So I knew right then they'd have to play that 1-2-3-4-5 pinball song when the inning ended. Which is why I was ready to roll when it happened. The rest of the division lost. We're 6 out of first and ahead of Toronto. We've won 6 of our last 7. The Yankees have won just 5 of their last 7. Ha!

After 7, we moved down close. Here's Mortensen. I'm thinking by the batter's reaction that this pitch wasn't close.

The sweet view from behind the plate.

Salty looking stoic on deck.

We almost saw something super-rare in this game. John Buck--who needs to be calling himself JoBu--hit a dong, but you could see he pulled something on the swing. It took him so long to run the bases. Had he not been able to make it, we would have seen a pinch-runner enter the game just for the trot. It's happened before! On a later at bat, Buck saw one pitch and then had to finally leave the game mid-at-bat. So we really were that close to the rare pinch-trot.

Kim took this shot of me at that hydro-fan unit or whatever, on our way out of the park. (Side note: My "'Boston Police' in the Dunkin' Donuts style" is easily my most beloved shirt by the general public. So many people tell me they love that shirt when I wear it. It's blowing out all my other shirts in the compliment category, like 27-9 lifetime. I wish I knew the local artist I bought that from so I could give them credit. I know I got it at ArtBeat in Somerville but I don't know whose awesome idea it was....)

On the way out:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"You Had One Job"

The Boston Red Sox should know something: If I had been in charge of gathering up photos to use in the Fenway Park 100th anniversary campaign, every photo would have been A. taken at Fenway Park and B. of a Red Sox player.

You already know about the possible Yankees player and non-Fenway shots I've discovered in the background collage. But yesterday I went to the Red Sox Twitter page, and saw a different collage, made up of some of the same shots from the website background, and some different ones, all part of the giant cache of photos the team has wheeled out for this year-long celebration.

And guess what--the picture at the top left, the one with the 100 Years logo right on top of it, is of Cy a Cleveland uniform! In New York!

See Cy up there? Top left. The picture is from the Conlon Collection. It can be seen here. Still can't tell it's a Cleveland Indians (then Naps) uniform? A much clearer, gigantic version of the pic can be found at a closed Mears auction page here. On that page, click the pic and watch it explode. I've grabbed the key part for you here:

Compared to the pic on the Twitter page background, it almost looks like ol' Cy has a different facial expression, but if you look closely you'll see all the shadows, people, poles, etc. prove it's the exact same shot.

The Mears page says this photo is from Cy's final year in the bigs. Which would be 1911. This in not Fenway Park, which wasn't even built yet. It also could be from 1910 based on the uniform, but it's definitely one of those two years. I looked at all the A.L. parks, and Hilltop Park in Manhattan matches up best. This shot of Doc White is taken at almost the same spot, and if you compare the positioning of the poles and all the nooks/crannies of that grandstand, you can see it's the same place. In the Cy Young shot, I can't explain the structure to the right of the grandstand, though it could be something visible between the infield and outfield stands. But the point is, despite that Cy Young was a Red Sox pitcher for many years, this photo of him is neither a Red Sox photo nor a Fenway Park photo.

As for the rest of the Twitter background, it's another opportunity for me to play this "figure out the pic" game, but it would take even longer than the other one. I do see right away, though, that there's a triumvirate of non-Fenway shots right in the middle. You've got Boggs on the road (the same pic appears in the other collage) which I'm thinking might be Arlington Stadium now; Ellsbury in the current road uni next to him (new Yankee Stadium maybe?); and another Ellsbury above that, making a catch against a clearly non-Fenway fence (I believe it is a different angle of this catch he made in Japan in 2008).

Don't get me wrong, I love looking at all the old photos they've broken out, and obviously I have way too much fun figuring them out--but a Fenway collage should be Fenway photos. With Red Sox in them!

I will now send a Tweet to the Red Sox Twitter telling them about this. We'll see if they respond....

[Collage photo by the Boston Red Sox. Cy Young photo by Charles Conlon/Conlon Collection c. 1911, also listed as being a Wikipedia Commons media file.]


In case you need another reason to pay attention to the game instead of the wave:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sox Win Third Straight

We've also won 5 of 6. (Ask any EEI casual-fan brainwashed listener and they'd tell you we've surely LOST 5 of 6.) We're back above .500, and we're rollin'. We're gonna get real hot now! DO IT! No more effing around.

Tonight it was a 7-5 win over Miami. Papi hit a dong that went 380 feet in about [insert comically low number here] seconds. Cody also hit a dong in his return from the DL. Clay gave up a bunch of runs (ALL with 2 outs) but got the win. Kalish made two fielding goofs on deep flies, but ended up making up for them with two nice catches on two more deep ones late in the game. [Edit: he also made a really nice sliding catch in the first inning.]

Every time Boone Logan pitches against us, I make "Logan's Run" references that no one gets. But, of course, the dream would be that a guy named Logan wears #5, since "Logan-5" is the main character. Since I don't follow the NL, I didn't notice till tonight that the Marlins' Logan Morrison does wear #5! Awesome. (I guess I missed this last week when we played them.) I like to think he did that on purpose, but that movie was way before his time, so maybe not. Also, the guy can hit. Anyway, watch that movie--it's set in 2274, but it's the 1970s vision of 2274. I love the old future.

There was a hilarious moment from the game tonight. I'm gonna YouTube it. Stay tuned.

Dooley Or Not Dooley?

According to a release from the Red Sox before the season started, tonight is the night that the first annual "Lib Dooley Fan Award" will be presented. (I did a post on this a while back, and a relative of Lib commented--see the original post/comments here.) But there hasn't been a recent press release about this, nor is there any notation of it on the schedule. Hopefully they still plan on doing it.

If you go to the game tonight, let me know if they did or not. (Hopefully they do, and NESN talks about it.) Also, if you're a Joy of Sox fan, here's your chance to meet the author--he'll be at Fenway for tonight's and tomorrow night's games. He posted his seat locations here.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Who Is This Masked Man?

Last month I did a really long post about the pictures on the current background of Picture #6 (at the top, second from left) is a catcher. But unlike all the other guys shown, it doesn't seem to be a Red Sox player. In fact, I think it's...a Yankees player. Since this is the most intriguing picture, and since what I wrote about it was so far down the original post, I figured I'd isolate that text and show you the specific picture in a new post. At left is picture of the catcher in question. Below, my original thoughts on it. Please let me know if you have any opinions/info about this--we have to figure this out! (And if we confirm it's not a Red Sox, we need to tell them about it!)

6. Back to the top, to the right of Beckett: This one has proven to be quite controversial. We have a catcher in pinstripes. Yes, the Red Sox used to wear pinstripes, back before 1932. But I've been doing a lot of research on this, and the gear and the sleeve length tell me this is much later, like the late 30s at the earliest. Also, this "throw off the mask" pose didn't gain popularity until then--catchers up until that point were usually posed in a crouch. And by then, you pretty much had one team wearing pinstripes. That's right, I feel like this has to be a Yankee catcher. I don't see a sign of the NY or anything else on the chest, but it could be barely hidden by the chest protector. Call me crazy, but this looks like Bill Dickey. The face kind of looks like anybody's face when they look upwards, but it still seems to match all the pics I see of Dickey. In fact, from what I've seen, I might even go so far as calling Dickey the "father" of this pose. And the background looks like Yankee Stadium. Fenway back when the Red Sox wore pinstripes had its seats set higher up, almost on top of the fence. I also found a shot of Dickey at the Yanks' spring training park, and it also looks like this. But I think it's Dickey, at Yankee Stadium, circa 1941. Why would the Red Sox use a Yankee picture? I don't know, maybe they found an old catcher photo in their archives and assumed it was one of their own. I hope I'm wrong here, but all signs point to Bill Dickey, or at least a Yankee. Or at least not a Red Sock. Weird. Tell me what you think....

The entire collage-style background is shown in my original post, or (for now) at

Note: If you read the original post, you'll see I did use the reverse image search at a last resort with other pics--I did it with this too (along with all kinds of other searching) and couldn't find this same image anywhere. That would be key. Until then we're stuck using the clues within the picture.

2012 Hall of Fame Classic

For the second year in a row, I took my dad to Cooperstown for the "Hall of Fame Classic" on Father's Day weekend. (It's now Saturday instead of Sunday.) (For last year's gallery, click here.) There were six Hall of Famers in the game this year. From the pre-game parade, we've got, above, Ozzie Smith and Phil Niekro...

...Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez...

...and Eddie Murray and Bert Blyleven.

We had better seats this year. In the grandstand, front row, with only the PA guy and organist (and this fence) between us and the field. Dante Bichette wore that "turn ahead the clock" jersey from 1999.

Dmitri Young once again won the pre-game hitting competition. I can't believe this is him, though! I never would have thought the man pictured above is the same guy as the one who used to play in the majors. Even compared to my shot of him last year he looks totally different. He's disappearing! His hair, fat, and most of his facial hair have quickly gone away. He was always a fun-lovin' dude--now he's svelte, too! What a transformation. (He was wearing the jersey of his high school, Rio Mesa.) For comparison, below is a shot of him (I apologize for not knowing who to credit this to) five-ish years ago:
The whole time I was thinking, "I can't think of name of the guy who I thought was Dmitri Young." But this guy is that guy. (He's also the only guy who's played in all three games I've seen at Doubleday Field. This year, last year, and the 2005 HoF game between the Red Sox and Tigers. I'd link to that but all the pics are gone since they existed on a now-dead server--but they were still frames from video footage which I still have. One day I'll repost those '05 lost pics....) Moving on....

The teams. As it turned out, Carlton Fisk and Eddie Murray didn't play in the game. They were more like honorary captains. The real captains were Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith. No Bill Lee this year, sadly. That clown prince-type from the Tigers, Jon Warden, was back. Other notables from "my" era included Jesse Barfield, HoJo, Desi Relaford, Dennis Rasmussen, and Rick Lancelotti, who didn't wear his own 1990 Sox jersey as he did last year. He had a post-2008 version on.

Here's Warden clowning around with a squirt gun:

Original baseball blogger C.J. Nitkowski came up to the row above us. Apparently he wasn't on the roster, he just happened to be in the area for his kid's baseball tournament and suited up. (In a 2001 Mets jersey that happened to be in his car?)

The organist had his sheet music on an iPad. (Inside its cover in this shot.)

Fisk, with the PA guy announcing in the foreground.

Phil Niekro as you've never seen him before, briefly in the crowd during the game.

The Fisk team, captained by Niekro, won it in the bottom of the last inning on a 2-run single by Relaford:

This year we were able to go to the actual Hall of Fame after the game. I wanted to see the new "Fen-tennial" exhibit. Here's a taste--a Babe Ruth ball from 1916 with the newspaper box score pasted onto it!

The tickets to the Hall, featuring Santo and Larkin, and our tix to the game. It was a great day, with perfect weather. Next year, you should totally go.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rolling Rock And Rolling Rock

Wacky fielding night. Pedroia dropped an easy pop-up (called a hit because...the scorer wasn't watching?) to let the Cubs tie it at 2. Papi's dong made it 3-2, but then the fun really started. Matt Albers relieved emergency starter Franklin Morales in the bottom of the sixth. He would face six hitters. All six of them would hit infield grounders. Unfortunately, our fielders botched three of them. Fortunately, the Cubs only got one out of it. In the top of the next inning, the Cubs returned the favor large time. After an error, a bobbled ball that should have resulted in an out, and a successful suicide squeeze, the Sox had a 6-3 lead.

We tacked one on in the 8th, and despite Aceves putting the tying run at the plate with no outs in the 9th, we won the game 7-4, and the series 2-1. We're within a few games (4) of a playoff spot with months and months left and Ellsbury and friends on the way back soon.

Was fun to hear Tito on ESPN tonight.

And late in the game, I spotted my e-friend/real-life-friend Kelly O'Connor in the crowd! Here she is, to the left of Pedroia's head, camera in hand of course.

Check out her high-as-Snoop quality photos here.

About that thing I promised which you don't know about anyway and which I said was coming today: may have to wait a few more hours. Stay tuned. For the thing you don't know about. [Update: Post is done, is scheduled to go up at 9:30 a.m. Monday.]

Sid, Salt Trap Baby Bears

Wicked Sid Lester was great today, though a dong off him in the 7th turned a 4-0 breeze-schweeze into a 4-3 nail-nibbler. But we hung the hell on for a W. Salty was the offensive "hero." It was a challenge listening through the static from upstate New York. More on that tomorrow. Meaning today since as usual I'm posting at 2 in the morning.

P.S. Washington Nationals, can you stop fucking fucking* around and do to the Yanks what you did to us? At least when the Mets do their thing against the Yanks, I can take solace in the fact that I'm "used to it." But of you guys are gonna take the world by storm and stuff, you can't just turn back into the Expos again when you see the mystique and aura and ghosts and class and calm eyes and legends of today and traditions of yestermorrow and pride and power in the other dugout. Get your HEADS in the game!

*The first one is the adjec-curse, the second one is the verb.

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