Saturday, April 27, 2013

Doing What We're Supposed To Do (Part 3 Of 4)

Another 'stros game, another win. Pretty much pressure-free again. 8-4 final. 12 hits, four guys with two each. Felix with frisky first but finds form.

So we now have the best record in baseball at 17-7. Our four-game winning streak is the best current streak in the majors. The rest of the division won, too, except the Jays, who fall to 8.5 back. Imagine that, the preseason World Series favorites 8.5 behind us and it's not even May yet. I love how after TC started the post-game by saying how Red Sox fans' expectations weren't that high going into the season, Jim Rice immediately came back with "well the media had something to do with that."

Did you like how Remy said Salty had "no chance" to throw out that guy stealing third tonight--and then after the replay showed that he was safe by mere inches, instead of saying, "okay, I guess he did have a chance," he decided to repeat his "no chance" theory? That's Jerry for you.

Two balls hit the ladder in the last two nights. I haven't checked, but I hope it doesn't lead people to bring up the old myth that the ladder was only hit twice in history or whatever. I wrote a post about it once that should clear things up for anyone who's confused. To sum it up, the ladder's been hit a lot.

Sunny with temps in the high 60s tomorrow in Boston, as Lackey returns and the Sox try to sweep four from Kenny Norris and the Astros at 1:35.

Doing What We're Supposed To Do (Part 2 Of 4)

Remember, no dancing*. It's only the Astros. Four-dong night for us. Ross twice, Papi, and Middlebrooks. 17 hits in the 7-3 win. Dempster finally has a win, Johnny Wad Gomes finally has an RBI.

The O's and Yanks won, staying 2 and 2.5 back. The Jays and Rays lost, dropping to 6 and 7.5 out. We're tied with the Rangers for the best record in baseball, at a Broadway Joe-ish 16-7.

The 1918 Red Sox are getting the shaft tonight. We just "passed" them for the team record for most days in first place (26) to start a season. On the '18 team's 25th day, they went in with a one-game lead, and lost while the second place team won, tying the two for first. They stayed tied with Cleveland for three days before moving into first by themselves again, where they'd stay until late June, except for one other day in early June where they fell back into a tie. They were only out of first three days that whole season and won the World Series. But going back to that 25th day--they had played more games than the team they were tied with, putting them percentage points behind. They were never more than 0 games out of first place until late June. If you count this as "not being in first place," fine, the 2013 Red Sox have broken the team record. But in the "games behind" style of baseball standings interpreting, they have to make it to July before we start thinking about them breaking it. Could happen though.

Saturday night it's Felix the Cat vs. Bradley J. Peacock.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Doing What We're Supposed To Do (Part 1 Of 4)

When you play the Astros, you just have to go out and get it done. It's like riding a 1/9 favorite in a horse race. Run your race and you can't get beat. And no need to do any dancing afterwards, just go the winner's circle, smile for the camera, and start getting ready for the next race. We did it in game one tonight, a pretty pressure-free 7-2 win in which we jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first.

HHolz had 10 Ks, Papi hit his first dong and is now hitting .550, and Carp had some more hits and is at .500. Bard pitched a scoreless ninth, and they even kept his old number warm for him.

The Astros hadn't been to Fenway since 2003. I think they might be the team I've seen in person the least in my life. Besides that exhibition game in Houston in 2011, and maybe once at Shea in the early 80s, the only time I've seen them is Father's Day of '03, a 14-inning game. I was sure to get a ticket for this series, but I did it so I could see the new uniforms. And to see them as an A.L. team for the first time. Anyway, I take it back. I think I've seen the Rockies only once. But I've never seen an Astros non-exhibition game in the "this blog's existence" era.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Welcome Houston Grasshoff, The New Kid In Town

The first three pitchers we face in the Astros series have the following ERAs over their last three starts: 8.78, 8.64, 8.56. They were able to pick up a combined one win in those 9 starts. At least their fourth pitcher has had a little success this year--but he's got a 7.04 ERA on the road.

Tonight at 6:35, Humber/BucHHolz @ Fenway.

Okay, unless you went to Ridgebury School in the mid-80s, you have no chance of understanding that subject line. We had this new student from Belgium in fourth or fifth grade named Kirsten Grasshoff. We called her "Houston" because she pronounced her name "kyew-stin" with a soft, breathy K. Actually, I forgot to mention her when I did that post about my theory that our school brought in robot kids from different countries just so we'd see something other than white faces in the halls. So since she was the new kid, and the Astros are new to the A.L., it all makes perfect sense and isn't weird or a stretch at all. Come on, I was gonna use that "Alex from Stroh's" reference from Funky Cold Medina. Would that have made you happy?

Endless April

I live in Providence but work mostly in Newport. Lately we've had a few nice weather days in Providence. I get in my car happy. But when I get out in Newport, any warmth is negated by daily gale force winds. It's ridiculous. I keep waiting for them to go away but they haven't yet. But the surfers don't care. I guess they figure they're venturing into hypothermia-inducing water anyway so what's the difference. Here are a few shots from yesterday at the beach.

I always try to get people in cold-weather gear in the foreground of these surfing shots.

I'm only at the "body boarder who wishes he was a surfer" stage, so I don't know all the ins/outs of this sport, but I kept wondering what these guys were waiting for. They let so many seemingly rad waves go by! So I was happy to catch anybody riding one.

Maybe the problem was the surf was so rough today, they had to spend most of their time fighting it to just get out there.

I call this "five-layer wake."

Tried to get artsy here--it would have been better if I'd gotten someone riding a wave in the background. I actually did but I like the way the mirror people look better in this one so this us your winner.

One of the people in the mirror shot is female--here's the surfer girl icon she had on her mirror.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Power Brings May Showers Of Yankee Tears

Fourteen wins already in April. Five games left in the month, four against potentially one of the all-time worst teams, the '13 Astros. Should be an April to compete with 2003, when we went 18-9--but were still three games out of first--and 2007, with the same winning pct. over three fewer games. We'd need to go 4-1 to top those years. But that still wouldn't top the start we had in '02. It would tie 1998, though. Look, we've had some great Aprils, let's just leave it at that. We've recently had some shitty Aprils, so we know we'll be going into May much happier than we have the last three seasons.

The O's and Yanks lost, making up for yesterday. We're back to 2 and 2.5 up over them.

In our game, we came back from down 3-zip, and then held off the resilient A's for a 6-5 win. We had 10 hits, five of them for extra bases. Lester got the win, Bailey got the save, Short-Haired Miller got a kew K. Good crowd energy. Fun stuff.

That ball Jed Lowrie hit with two outs in the 9th: Remy and Don did that thing where they sway everyone's opinion by calling it undoubtedly fair. I looked at it and thought, "Good, proof that it's foul," and then listened to them say the opposite. Leading TC to follow along on the postgame. Rice then said he thought it was "a pretty good call," before TC then made him change his mind too. Here's what I saw: Ball hits to foul side of line from left field view. Space in between ball and line, even. From right field roof, same deal, ball on foul side of line. Then they show the live close-up of the spot where the ball hit, at which point Remy went Ooohhhhhhh, and him and Don gave it the ol' "we got away with one" routine. Problem is, it didn't show evidence of a fair ball. It showed brown dirt covering the white chalk, with a dark mark clearly to the foul side of the line. The brown-on-white action was dirt from foul territory landing on the line. Not the ball itself landing on the line. They were under the impression that the ball "took a chunk out of the foul line." No. If the ball lands on the white chalk, it doesn't make the chalk disappear. To me, the mark where the ball hit (which is also confirmed by the shots of it hitting there from two angles) was on the foul side of the line. But when I say "the line," I mean the edge of the chalk trail, which doesn't include residual chalk which unavoidably lands on either side of it. If the A's manager said he saw chalk fly, it was a bit of that residual chalk. Do Don and Remy think the width of the ball is three times the width of the foul line? What do they think the ball-sized mark to the FOUL side of the line is? The only way brown dirt can end up ON TOP of white chalk is if an object strikes brown dirt NEAR said chalk, causing it to cover it up. I almost feel like they thought that close-up shot was from THEIR perspective, the home plate side, meaning they thought the left side was the fair side. But you could tell that shot was from the outfield side--you could see the foul pole to the left. I just might have to do a video about this....


Funny video of Michael Shannon reading a letter written by a the rest of her sororitarians.

(Michael Shannon is the guy who plays Nelson on Boardwalk Empire, and was the star of that effed-up movie Bug, and if you're a real die-hard, the newlywed guy in Groundhog Day who Phil gives the Wrestlemania tickets to.)

Red Sox vs. A's, 4:05 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The A's pulled the ol' "x = hit 13-run pool on Tuesday," as the Daily News used to say. I told you Aceves was batshit. But you knew this. I'm glad I didn't see it--I heard "the inning*" via Castiglione. He was pretty frustrated. And we didn't hit for shit. A 7-inning, 13-0 lambasting in the cold rain. Rubber game tomorrow at 4:05.

*Walk, single, walk, walk, strikeout, 2-run single, balked-in run, sac fly, play where Aceves doesn't cover first in time then throws ball away for a run, balk, routine grounder that Middlebrooks makes a bad throw on for a run, groundout. 6 runs on 3 hits. You could turn your sets/radios off there, folks.

Bonus Thing: I was gonna let it go. I decided if they misspelled a word/name on the B-Strong jersey auction pages, I'd just not worry about it for a change. But, I gotta do it. Because they spelled Boston without a T. In all 40 auctions. You'd think something like this would be important enough to warrant having ONE person peruse the text before throwing it up online. Even a skim. Can I get a skim? Maybe just the proper names? Anyway, here's an example. But it's on all of 'em.

Money Over People, The EEI Way

You know how the schmucks at WEEI have mocked the Red Sox for years for milking money out of fans all the time? Interesting how the Red Sox are selling the B Strong hats and giving 100% of the money to One Fund Boston, yet WEEI chose to plaster those B Strong cards they hand out at the ballpark with the EEI name/logo. Imagine that meeting? "Here's our chance, boys, everybody's gonna be holding these cards--free advertising! Thank you, Tsarnaev brothers! Bwahahahaha! .... We're all in agreement on this, right? Yeah yeah of course, just checkin'. Now let's hit the streets, and remember, logo side up, people, logo side up."

Don't be a terrorEEIst. Donate here.

Yanks Fall To Third

My mom and Charlie were in the proverbial house for A's-Sox, and they saw a tight game-turned-blowout-turned-kinda tight game. We were down early when Middlebrooks broke out of his slump with a 3-run dong. Napoli's grandmother slamfather made it 9-3, but you couldn't turn your sets off there, folks. A 3-run 8th for Oakland made it close, and they had the tying run up. But we held on, 8-6. So many ex-Sox on that A's squad, next thing you know they'll get Jed Lowrie and bat him cleanup...oh wait.

Yanks lost, O's won. So the O's are now 2 out and the Yanks are 2.5.

Red Sox:

Best record in the A.L.
Only team in A.L. to have won more than 6 of our last 10 games. (8-2)
Best road record in baseball.

I picked Pedroia in that mlb Beat the Streak thing tonight--he was the only guy in the lineup without a hit, 0-5.

Tuesday night it's another 6:35 game, Batshit against Fatshit. Then Wednesday, don't forget, 4:05 start. Then the 5-14 Astros come to town--we should end up with a nice lil' April record this year.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Swept By Royalty

William Assler ties it in the 8th with a dong, and Miller walks in the eventual winning run in the 10th. Another winnable game lost.

Went to check play-by-play in mlb's box score to refresh my memory on some things, but it ends in the 6th, with an "x" in the run slot for Boston. Are they gonna fix these nightly glitches or are they gonna make this be my New Complaint for 2013?

After taking the lead in the 5th we had second/third, one out. Should have added runs there. In the 7th and 9th we had a man on second, and again no runs.

Napoli went 3 for 5 and needed a triple for the cycle, which Don/Remy didn't mention, and it was possible if he had hit one into the Triangle. But no. Meanwhile Middlebrooks hasn't done shit since the Three Dong Night.

So we get swept in the doubleheader, and lose the three-game series "2 games to 3," according to Don, but we only lost a half game to the Yanks and O's today. They're 1.5 and 2 games back rspctvly. We're still tied for the best record in the AL, at 12-6.

2 5 3 1 2 1. That's how much we've lost by in our six losses. In our 18 games we've given up more than 4 runs in a game only twice. Much like Mary Lee's virginity streak, that's not a bad record for this vicinity.

Game 1 Loss

We scored two in the first and had two on in the second. And Santana's pitch count was way up. Looked like a victory. But we didn't score any more, and KC's 3-run fourth gave them the lead for good. It was almost a big squander for them, but with two outs, Stephen Drew (now hitting an even .100) couldn't quite reach a line drive, and two runs scored. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Salty had a 2-0 count, after Napoli walked on four pitches. KC's pitcher had yet to throw a strike. And Salty swung. Tapper to the mound, threat over. We lose 4-2.

I don't like when Don says "he needs something that doesn't include contact" when there's a man on third and less than two outs. We all know the pitcher in that situation wants a strikeout or a pop-up. Not a strikeout or a walk!

Don also screwed himself while doing his usual "start to call the play before it happens" routine. Grounder to the right side, " it's not through as the second baseman gloves it...." Why, Don? Why not wait a half-second to see if it goes through or not? We're watching too, we don't even need you to tell us anyway, but if you do, at least wait until it happens, what would be the reason not to?

And did we need to have a chat with two hockey announcers right in the middle of the action? That inning pissed me off, an then to add ITI, the screen froze on the last pitch of the inning, unfreezing only after the batter had struck out.

Game 2 tonight at 7.

The Seven Wins You CAN Say On Television

Best record in the AL, a half game behind the best record in baseball.

Buchholz' ERA more than 0.90! Papi returned with a key RBI hit. And Nava sent everyone into a frenzy with a two-out, three-run dong in the 8th, turning a one-run deficit into a two-run lead. We needed that extra run as Bailey was a tad Hanrahannish in the 9th. Red Sox 4, KC 3 in game one. Game two and game three Sunday.

Under the crepe-hangers' rules (like Pete "Dishonest" Abe), the middle of the eighth inning would have been a somber time today. The team was losing, so no fun would be allowed. The fans would have all sat in silence. Fortunately, the team doesn't listen to those assholes, and continued the tradition of playing Sweet Caroline, sung by Diamond himself, as a special tribute to people who died and helped and shit, the crowd went nuts and sang their hearts out, it kept a positive vibe going, and the team immediately rallied and won the game. I'm glad I don't read any of those Boston writers or listen to their radio because I don't wanna know what they're saying now. But I'm sure there's backtracking going on. Kind of like how the entire Boston sports media forced the Red Sox to get players THEY liked and brainwashed everyone into thinking it's chemistry that wins games, and after all that, the Globe writes an article right before this season saying "Hey Red Sox, it takes more than just chemistry to win." Lowlife motherfuckers. By the way, I heard part of an interview with Farrell, and when the host, thinking he was so smart, asked "why does chemistry lead to winning," Farrell said, "it's the other way around." THANK YOU.

Where was I? Oh wait, I won't go back there yet, since I've got more to say about media assholes. Tom Caron, after the game, talking about the pre-game ceremony: "It was understated, as it should be." Again, Shaughnessey and Co. brainwash everyone into thinking that the Red Sox had a bad year because the owners focus too much on ceremonies (ya know, like, god forbid, ones celebrating Fenway Park being the first ballpark to ever turn 100 years old, or Red Sox teams who won the World Series), and now we have to hear "Oh don't worry, this ceremony honoring people involved in one of the biggest events in American history won't be too big a deal, we all know we don't want that...." They're just batshit at this point.

Okay, so yeah, that was a pretty awesome day overall. I love how the FCC backed Papi. Maybe the T-shirt could read "It's our FCCin' city!" But can somebody get Papi a necklace with the updated logo on it?

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