Saturday, July 21, 2012


Tek night tonight. I won't be there, but my mom and nephew will be repre-proverbially-sentin'. If you're in Davis Square in Somerville today, stop by the Stella Marie Soap booth and say hi to Kim and I.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Run That Wasn't There

First, I forgot to post this last night--a pic from before Thursday's game of David Ortiz at his locker. Look whose locker is next to his. His son's!
I know D'Angelo and other kids hang out on the field with their dads in the summer, but their own lockers? Weird. But awesome! I wonder if this isn't just a prank on somebody--because little D'Angelo seems to have some adult products on a very high shelf. Who knows, maybe he really does get a locker; I noticed another one that was just labeled "Boston Red Sox," so maybe they've got plenty of extras. They must, for when the rosters expand. Maybe D'Angelo gets "sent down" when the Paw-kids join the squad.

As for tonight, we got 9 hits...and one damn run! In the first, after Don made an incorrect comparison between Rasmus and Carl Everett (Rasmus stands in the box with his feet on the inner line--Everett with his foot on the back line--terrible job, Don), the Jays tried to score from third on a grounder. We had the guy. Shoppach blocks the plate, makes the tag. Ump waits to see ball. Sees it. Makes the call, as all of Red Sox Nation has begun to celebrate.... Safe! The guy's hand never hit the plate. The ump had no reason to delay the call unless he was waiting to see the ball. But he must have changed his mind at some point, and made the wrong call. The Jays would add another run, and two more in the second for a quick lead that we'd never touch.

I only missed a little of the game, but the Joy of Sox folks said how Don and Jerry were again mocking the "live" blimp shots with no blimp overhead. I'd wondered how they would handle the shots now that the kitty's out of the carry-all. I guess with laughter. I love that now that they know, they're not trying to fake like they don't.

Odd ending to tonight's game. We were being shut out in the 9th. There was a near double play ball that would have ended the game. But the guy was safe, and we scored our first run of the game. 6-1 Jays. However, NESN couldn't grasp this concept. The score box made the runners disappear. The 0 did do the little explodey thing, but it didn't change to a 1, it just stayed at zero. It was almost as if two guys were arguing over what happened, each refusing to turn his key at the same time as the other. The play wasn't that close, you could tell right away he was safe, but even Don acted like he was ready to make the game-ending call. Knowing they'd fucked up, they took the box down. As the second pitch came in to the next batter, they got the box back up and running.... But it still said 6-0! As the third pitch was about to be thrown, they unceremoniously turned the 0 into a 1. Okay, we're all on board. 6 to 1. Three pitches later, the game ends, and Don says "and the Blue Jays have shut out the Red Sox, for just the fifth time this season the Red Sox are blanked..." before finally correcting himself. What the hell was going on over there? Why was this run the source of such confusion? While bitching about this on Joy of Sox, one of the other threaders over there, Amy, said she just got a text alert from WEEI. She was kind enough to forward it to me:

WEEI FLASH: Red Sox lose to the Blue Jays 6-0. Visit [web site] for
more. Text STOP SCORE to OPTOUT anytime.

What the hell is going on?? She said they later corrected it. I guess people want so much to do things right away, they end up leaping the Luger. In fact, the people at JoS who watch the games on see a lot of between-innings stuff while NESN is showing commercials, and they say that Don and Remy actually film the closing remarks before the outcome of the game has been decided. Gee, I wonder where they learned recording something ahead of time and passing it off like it's live later? (They also pre-record the intro--the CLOCK behind them is the dead giveaway, though that doesn't really bother me.) Why don't we just play all 162 games in one marathon month in January in the Florida Keys and then show all the games in convenient 2-hour format all year long. They could give the final score before the game so we wouldn't even have to watch!

Walk-Off Party Night

That title has a double meaning. Prepare for it. Cody Ross with a 9th-inning 3-run dong with the Red Sox down 1-0, blue liquid piranha hysteria at Fenway.

Tonight the plan was to go to a pizza place before moving on to a punk rock show: Holy Night, Knife Party, and OFF! featuring the legendary Keith Morris. I saw the first half hour of the game, and despite recording it, I decided to go the "follow along when possible" route, thanks to the car radio and Kim's smartphone.

In the 4th, at the pizza place over by Dead Girl Park, where they were showing Family Guy on the TV before the waitress came by and shut the set off presumably because the old couple that had just come in couldn't handle the potty jokes, Kim gave me the bad news: Chicago scored. 1-0 in the 4th.

It stayed that way through dinner, and then in the car, Castiglione described the crazy inning-ending double play Middlebrooks hit into with the bases loaded in the 7th. Still 1-0 them.

After Holy Night but before Knife Party, we had the game on the NESN app, and saw it was still 1-0, but that we had 2 on and 1 out in the 9th, and Ross up. It wouldn't update. We knew they'd just changed pitchers, but it was still showing no count on the batter. I kept staring at the screen, trying to will our 0 to a 3. End it with a dong, I kept saying. But it wouldn't update. We finally couldn't take it anymore, and Kim switched it to I watched her face as she audibly gasped. "What??" "We won." Sure enough, the 1-0 became 3-1. We knew it was either Ross or the next guy who ended it with a 3-run homer, but that long delay on Cody pretty much determined it must have been him. And it was. OFF! put on a great show--they were supposed to play Philly but something happened so they played here in Providence (meaning Pawtucket) instead. With only about 2 days notice, we packed the place.

Then I got home and saw Ross's dong, complete with jersey shredding from Punto and a blue sports drink shower--rare in the baseball world. was already going to be a an OFF/Party/Night, but it turns out it was also a walk-off party night. (I'd say "party-off night" but calling a game-ending hit a party-off hit kind of goes against my teachings that the winning team isn't going off, they're going on the field.)

But wait, there's more. A reader called "Daniel in Montreal" had left me a comment and an e-mail. His comment was on my July 6th post (one of the times I mentioned how NESN's overhead "live" shots are quite obviously not live, proven in various ways including the fact that there's no blimp in the air at the time), and it read:

the commentators addressed this issue...after an arial view of Fenway , one of the commentators said Where's the blimp ? and they admitted that it's wasn't a live shot..and they laughed was a funny moment

What!? They actually admitted it?

So I headed for my recording of tonight's game, and I found the spot. Unbelievable. Don and Jerry went on and on about the "fraudulent" behavior of their bosses! Remy started joking about how odd it was that there was no blimp, but noted that it was good how they at least made it seem like night was falling, as it got darker in each shot. Then Don said how the shots look like they're from April. They were having a great time rolling in laughter about it. I love it. At the same time, I went to the Joy of Sox game thread (where I'm constantly bringing up the fake live shots), and sure enough, they were talking about it, and about me. As you know, I have a lot of these obsessions, so it's good whenever one of them is actually brought to light outside my brain, proving I'm not crazy.

Funny how Don actually said he didn't notice the fake shots until Jerry pointed it out. Not sure I buy that--but it would be really funny if every time he was saying "beautiful night in Boston," he wasn't in on the fact that those weren't actually current shots of Boston. We'll see what he does from now on when those shots are shown. The cover is blown!

And you know what else? Don didn't do his incorrect usage of "walk-off" tonight! Maybe these guys are reading a certain blog I know.... But probably not.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Majerle And Me

From yesterday's lightning storm:

It's actually a still frame from a video I shot. At the moment the lightning strikes, the whole sky goes white, then you see what's above. It's weird because that black bar across the bottom is the top of the window screen, on the outside of the glass. So unless the bolt was actually inside my house, this must just be a reflection of it on the glass or off of my lens and onto the glass. So you don't see the true blinding brightness of it, but you do see how big and long that crazy double-bolt was. Maybe a photography expert can tell me why the bolt appears in front of that metal thing.

In other news, maybe the Rays, in retrospect, should have opted to bat in the bottom of the ninth last night! (Courtesy, later fixed.)

Tonight at 7:10 it's Buchholz vs. Quintana. Jose is not the son of Carlos, as far as I know. He shit the bed in KC and NY around a nice performance against Texas in his last three starts. Before that he'd been pretty freakin' stellar. Let's hope we get the Nay Jose and the Yay Clay tonight.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Before tonight's game, Remy said the Red Sox have been able to stay alive through the injuries "because of the second wild card." Maybe another case of MLB paying people to praise their new idea? Because a peek at the standings would have told Remy that we were only 4 behind the first wild card going into tonight. Now we're 3. (And 1 back of the second WC.) With 70 games left. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have thrown in the towel under last year's rules....

10-1 Monster win for the redder of the two socks tonight. In a 1-1 tie in the third, Ellsbury and Crawford did a phrase that will make lots of game summaries. That's right, they set the proverbial table. Cody Ross came up, and...DONG. In the very next inning, Cody came up again with two on, and again hit a 3-run dong. Adrian followed with a dong of his own (all of these went over the Monster), and as Warner Wolf would say, "you could turn your sets off there, folks." The New Englanders went on to win 10-1.

Doubie rolled, giving up just a run over 6, and the pen (Albers, Melancon, Miller) gave up nothing over the final 3. Speaking of weed, I was at Cumberland Farms tonight after the game, and I had the same thought that I always have when I'm at a convenience store at night: The clerk is assuming I'm a stoner! Late-night snacks are for straight-edgers, too! I don't know if it's the sideburns or the fact that my right eye is slightly more closed than my left or what*, but for some reason people generally assume I'm a stoner anyway. Add midnight potato chip buying to the mix and I'm fuckin' Tommy Chong in a 7-Eleven cashier's eyes.

Drug people, it's cool, I'm down with you doing your thing (man)--in fact, I seem to love movies about drugs, maybe it's because knowing I'm in no danger of ever trying them, I can watch with eyes wide open, well, the left eye anyway, and just enjoy--but I hate that you've taken control of the midnight-snack industry! It's kind of like how when I refuse offers to eat peanuts, everybody assumes I'm allergic. No! I just fuckin' hate peanuts, and every other nut for that matter. Now suddenly I'm one of "those people" when I say no to nuts. I'm just a man. A man who hates nuts and loves potato chips. But no sour cream and onion, Jesus! And what the fuck are chives?

I guess the moral of the story is, the Red Sox won. We're gonna get ahead of this wild card field and then set our sights on the complacent Yankees!

*or my writing style, perhaps

The Producers, Volume 3

My latest installment of The Producers. This time it's TBS guilty of the gratuitous Jeter shot.

Jeter had not batted in the inning, wasn't being talked about, and had no connection to the Yanks' record of going 0-fer in games when they trailed after 8 innings.

(I hate how there was a cut in TBS's audio during this moment, which might lead conspiracy theorists to think I faked this--but it's all real, they really did show Jeter for 12 seconds for absolutely no reason.)


If you watch all the Red Sox games on NESN like I do, you have the same annoying jingles and tunes running through your head all day long that I have. I'm actually rooting for someone to hijack a Southwest plane or hold up an Eastern Bank with the demands that they stop playing those stupid songs. One of these ad jingles is the source of much controversy within my mind, though. It's for a car company. Wacky dealers talk to hip young customers and then the song starts. When I first heard it, I assumed it was yet another "tame female vocal"-type song that's become ubiquitous in ads. But as I started to decipher the lyrics, I realized the song wasn't by some band from Wisconsin that moved to Brooklyn with a hand-picked, non-threatening, front-woman who would be considered "quirky" in the early 90s but is now completely average--this was an actual jingle written specifically for the commercial. The first line was something like "your local friendly Chevrolet dealer..."

But here's what "intrigued" me about the song. It would always get cut off at the end of the commercial right at what I would consider the "dynamic" moment of the tune. In the third line, she sings the word "favorite" in a higher note than the rest of the song, which just drones along. She's clearly headed for a different key. I'm thinking, "just as the song's about to go somewhere, they cut it off!" I had to know where that song "went"! It reminded me of the SeaLab theme. Imagine if that shit got cut off right when she goes "cuz that is where..." and you just never found out what came next? This was killing me. I just kept singing "make your FAVORI--" over and over, wondering....

I finally turned to our old pal El Internetio. I found talk of the ad campaign itself, which, it turns out, is based on the American version of the Office. What? Yeah, apparently advertisers do all this shit that people "in the industry" know about and appreciate, but when they run the ads, they don't actually explain it. So what looks to us like a dealer talking to a customer with supposedly witty, Twit-ified dialogue, is actually an "episode" of a would-be car-dealership sit-com. The dealers even have names!

On one page I found the full version of what appears to be the "theme" of the fake sit-com. Maybe if they had run this commercial first, we all would have known the premise of this kooky dealership. Or maybe I missed it. But anyway, the full song plays. So I got to hear where the song went. A huge relief. She's actually singing, "at the nation's FAVorite car com-pany..." (Here's that page--note they get that lyric wrong when they transcribe it.) Still a pretty crappy song, though.

But the saga doesn't end there! That all happened just before the All-Star break. Then, last week, after not having watched NESN and their repetitive tunage for almost a full week, I turned on the first game of the second half, and there was the commercial in question. But wait...something sounded off. The song now sounds like it's playing on a transistor radio...and guess what? Just as they get to "the line"...the lyrics stop! They just loop the music with no vocal! They play the first two lines, then the cut off the entire third line, which is the "favorite" line!

Obviously the cutting off of the song right at the key moment proved to be an issue. So instead of just lengthening it so we could all hear it, they cut it off before the line even starts. Was this fucking with people's minds, as it did mine, so much that they had to change it? And why did they lose audio quality? Isn't it weird that the one part of the one commercial I was obsessed with was altered? And shouldn't these fuckers just play the "Office" version of the ads so we know what the hell is going on at that dealership? The whole thing is so weird. I guess if you missed the original and you listen for the song tonight, you won't know what I mean with the cut-off lyric, but you will hear where the lyric now stops and the music loops.

Anyway, this post isn't a commercial. It's me talking about a commercial. That's different. I don't do ads. And just to prove it--if I really was shilling for Chevy, would I tell you that Chevy was actually behind the Pearl Harbor attack? No, I wouldn't. But they were.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Kind of a stupid game tonight. Youk hits a big dong to put us down 6-2 early, and we'd never recover. 7-5 White Sox.

Some News

The St. Paul Saints will be the "Mr. Paul Aints" for atheism night next month! Awesome.

Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts have decided they still don't want any gay people around, as it could be a distraction to their child molestation.

The other day, Tom Caron noted that MLB "has gotten what they want," as 21 teams are within 5 games of a playoff spot. You know how many teams would be within 5 games of a playoff spot under last year's rules? 20!* It's so funny how they give credit to the new system for a lot of teams being bunched up in the standings.

Red Sox vs. White Sox, 7:10.

*This was a few games ago (July 13), not up-to-the-day info, I just forgot to post this here then.

Red/White Sox Gallery: Youk, Ellsbury, & Crawford Back In Action At Fenway

Youk emerges from the dugout in his return to Fenway as a White Sock. More on this later....

A great win. All-around good feelings at Fenway. If you went, you left happy. Yet I get in the car on the way home, and the first thing I hear is a caller saying "I was at the game tonight. This team is unlikeable, let me tell you why." (His reason was that the White Sox stood along the dugout for the national anthem, while the Red Sox "played grab-ass" and "just don't get it.") If that's what you took from this electric night at Fenway, you should go kill yourself because you're already fucking dead. At least in this case even the host couldn't believe someone would say this, but remember, the screener could have hung up on the guy--but at WEEI they're under orders to put that call on first! If they're not paying the person to say it in the first place. (Nice touch using not only the "unlikeable" buzzword, but the "they don't come out for the anthem" bullshit that that pantload PeteAbe came up with last September to stir shit.) Anyway, I immediately turned off that station and listened to music the whole way home. I had not turned on Boston sports radio since last weekend's big protest--I always figure I'll put in on only on my way to and from games, but those three minutes I heard tonight might make me reconsider even that. Moving on!

Hot day in Boston. Still, I got there early so I parked far away for free and took a walk, getting an unexpected drizzle to barely cool me off. Above, Papi and three little scrappy guys.

I did the RSN early entry, and got THIS in center field! Somebody hit a rocket that doinked off an older man's head, and right to a teen ballhawk. He tried to give the ball to the guy, but he didn't seem to want it, and quickly followed the suggestion of everyone around him to go get his head checked out. I could hear it konk off his coconut. During the commotion, there's another blast--now me and the teen ballhawk go for it as it lands in section 35. I went for the ball with extreme confidence, and I think that made the difference, as I reached over a row (slamming my knee on a seat) and snatched it just before he could add to his collection of probably hundreds of balls. Crawford was hitting as I took the picture, but I can't be sure if it was him who hit the ball I got. I would have gotten 4 other balls, but some guy and his two stupid kids had already monopolized my classic spot between 34 and 35, forcing me over to the 35/36 aisle.

I then headed up to the Monster Seats. By random chance, this was the Monster game I chose when they went on sale in the off-season. (I also ended up with Monster tix for the 100th anniversary game, but I got those much later as that game approached.) Here's a Manny plaque.

Check out the balls on the roof across Lansdowne. I got no more BP balls--one I let land so close to me it almost brushed me. It bounced right back onto the field. If I had a glove, it was a can o' corn. In fact, I should have just made the easy bare-handed catch, but ever since Vernon Wells almost broke my hand I figure just let it land and then try to grab it before anyone else.

I knew Youk would come out to stretch and run, so I went down to this spot. (Notice that the scoreboards are turned off for some reason.) I thought when he came out, I'd notice while everyone else would be late to pick up on it. But no, everybody was ready to "Youk!" It was a great moment. He'd been on the field for BP, but this was his official in-uniform emergence, and the fans that were there proved that they'd been anxiously awaiting it, as you see in that top video.

A guy spray-paints the rubber. Or whatever.

Hawk Harrelson.

The weird sight of Kevin Youkilis on the White Sox.

And here's the moment when Kevin is announced in the starting lineup.

Middlebrooks kept making some sign at Youk.

Youk is waving at Papi here, not doffing his hat to the crowd, though he would of course do that too.

Papi and Youk.

Papi and Youk and two other ChiSox.

Youk and Papi parting ways--but I really threw this shot in to show you the NEW CLOCK at Fenway. I know, they already had a new clock, but it's now "tyco" instead of ADT, and it's now a circle instead of--a hexagon I think? This one also lights up, I don't think the old version did. The worst thing about this clock is that it's set back, so there are lots of spots in the park where you just can't see it. The digital clock is on the left scoreboard, but that one disappears when they're utilizing the entire board. Anyway, tyco? Wasn't that the CEO who killed his kids or something? Maybe Bill James pushed for the change....

The classic Youk stance.

I went back up to the Monster for the start of the game. Great to see Ellsbury back in the lineup!

And Crawford! Suddenly you listen to the lineup and it's like, "This guy's awesome. So's this guy! And this guy too!" And on and on. Terribly, we'd end up losing Papi for a few days as he rounded the bases on AG's homer.

Youk announced as he comes up to hit in the first. It was really fun--everybody was just lovin' Youk all night.

I don't think I've taken this shot since the new boards were installed.

I had a $35 standing room ticket, but found a great spot in the front row, which I'd keep until 8:15.

Crawford up. He started both our rallies tonight.

Looking down the wall at Carl.

Sam Horn on the Monster! As you know, I've seen this guy everywhere. At my local grocery store, on the street in Miami, at the 2007 World Series DVD premiere party, at the Yawkey Way Store, at Fenway as a player, and now on the Monster.

So it was 1-1 after 1, but then no runs were scored until the 8th. During Sweet Caroline, I noticed they turned the music down for not only the "oh oh oh" (or "ba ba ba" if you're in that camp--most people don't realize there is a camp other than their own) and the "so good so good so good," but for the words "sweet Caroline," too. It made for an extra good sing-along, and the crowd was amazing after that. I kept getting this great feeling, like, "summer is here" or something. At this point I had gone around to the third base deck, as I'd been relegated to looking over people's shoulders on the Monster, and I started snapping pics of everybody who came up/got on base. I felt like a magic moment was inevitable. Everybody seemed to know it. Add a pitcher who can't throw strikes, and you've got a recipe for extreme likeability. After two walks, Adrian stepped up....

I always use that joke "this was a home run, as far as you know," but this really WAS the home run!

See? I love watching the fans' mouths go from closed to open. It was a 3-run, tie-breaking dong. We added another, and then Ace closed it out. 5-1 win. It was only after the dong that anybody left, so I never even bothered going closer. Summer + great weather + close game + two key players returning + Youk = electric night at Fenway. I'm glad I was proverbially there.

Monday, July 16, 2012


This just in: There will be no more throwback games at Fenway Park in 2012.

Tail Swordfight

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Series Won

Beckett had his patented "bad first inning," then settled down. We quickly tied it at 3 in the second on an Aviles 2-run dong. Nava led off the 5th with a tie-breaking dong, and we never trailed after that. Despite loading the bases on 3 walks in the 9th, the Rays didn't score after the 1st. 7-3 Red Sox win.

Middlebrooks had 3 hits and knocked in 2. Ellsbury also had 3 hits.

The Yanks almost won but still lost, which is always worth it in the end.

Youk and the Blow-Town Hose come to Fenway for 4 starting Monday night.

Mad x 2

I've blogged about this before. You record the game, only to realize when watching it later that you forgot to record the show after the game, as it almost always runs over the allotted time. Tonight I set the game to record, thinking I'd be home from dinner by 8, so there'd be no problem. But then after dinner, our neighbor invited us over to watch Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park in the back yard. Of course we were up for that--but I forgot to record the 10:00, 10:30, etc. shows.

So after the movie, I'm home and I'm whizzing through the game. I'd had it on radio earlier and knew Clay was in a jam in a 0-0 game. Was glad to see he got out of it with just a run. We went up 2-1. They tied it on an Aviles error. We went up 3-2....and around that point I knew we weren't gonna wrap this up by 10 p.m. I just hoped we'd get a big lead, so I could then check the final pretty much knowing we'd won. But no. Albers walked in the tying run in the 7th, and a sac fly put them up 4-3. And the clock kept ticking....

As the 8th started, I was down to my last 12 minutes. Ellsbury doubled. Tying run on second, 0 outs. I'm thinking, Tie it and tie it QUICK. But my clock read 7:30. Ciriaco tried to bunt. Then he didn't. Then he did again, and popped it straight up, and the catcher caught it. If we're gonna bunt there, let's go ahead and have the guy square around, eh? I know it'd be good to have the speedy Pedro reach as a bonus, but as long as we're trying to get the tying run to third, let's just give up the out but let the guy square so he has more time to lay down a solid sac bunt. The clock read 6:00 as Papi came up, the tying run still at second. After a long-ass at bat, Papi takes ball four with just over 2 minutes left. Don't you hate it when there IS a clock in baseball?

And then they changed pitchers. Shit. A minute and a half left. That was that, as my recording ended before the commercial break even ended.

So there I was, with nothing. I could wait for the midnight replay (it's 12:25 as I write this and it hasn't started yet, so I would have been waiting even longer), and watched for almost 2 hours to catch up to where I left off. Or I could record that and watch in the morning. (Only to have it--you guessed it--cut off before the end since they started the replay late.) I could use various methods on the Internet to follow along with the last two innings--but it's a near impossibility to do that without seeing the final score flash in your face, ruining everything.

So I took a big dinosaur bone, bit down hard, and went to, hoping for a picture of some celebrating Red Sox on the front page. I saw Buchholz...and the word "loss." Fuck.

Turns out Ross and Middlebrooks flew out to center to end our threat in the 8th. Then Upton donged in the bottom half to make it 5-3. We had the tying run up in the 9th, but couldn't do anything. The Rays won it 5-3. The whole rest of the fuckin' division won, too.

Again, Verizon and all the other cable companies need to work something out where if you record a live event, you see that live event, in its entirety. Short of this, NESN could at least realize that thinking a Red Sox game actually fits into a 3-hour spot is ridiculous. And most of the games start at ten after, so we're already down to 2:50. You know how many Red Sox games clocked in under 2:50 last season? 34 out of 162. (16 of 88 so far this year.)

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