Saturday, August 10, 2013

An Awesome Thing To Wake Up To

Went to bed knowing we'd lost, and that the Rays were winning 6-0 in the 7th out in Mannywoodn't. Just got up now, went to the scoreboard page FOOLING myself into thinking MAYBE the Dodgers had an amazing comeback win. I scrolled down slowly, saw the Rays had 6, and then verrrry slowly scrolled, saying to myself "seven, seven, seven, seven." And there was a seven! Here's your line score from la-squared land:

It really happened. Rodney's error (it was the classic: pitcher attempts to throw ball to second base and it ends up in the neighbors' yard) capped off the Dodger comeback, and instead of being just a game up, the Red Sox stay 2 ahead in the East.

As for our game, Napoli finally broke out of his swingin'-and-a-missin' streak with a tie-breaking three-run double. But then Kim and I flipped over to Comedy Bang Bang. When we flipped back, we noticed the same guy with pine tar all over his helmet was batting as when we'd left off. Yup, the Royals had batted around. A 6-run 6th turned a 3-run lead into a 3-run def-jam. And that was your final, 9-6.

The Yanks won in extras on a weak dribbler that snuck through the infield, but they're, ya know, 10 games out still. Weird how when they played a team who'd lost 10 in a row, they got swept, but now they play a team who'd won 12 in a row, and they take game one. Tigers better stop effing around and bury them. Balty closes to 4.5 back with their win.

And check out the guy holding the sign in this article. It's supposed to be anti-ARod and pro-classy Yanks, but he includes admitted PED cheat Andy Pettitte in the classy group! And he spells it wrong! That's kinda like the FAN caller yesterday who complained about how "all the teams the Yankees lost to in the playoffs were full of cheats," as if he somehow forgot about the five times they didn't lose with their own cheats!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Wanna "C" Something Funny?

Saw this in a local newspaper yesterday:

Ah, I see what they did there..."skate," because they're...wait, what? They're clearly going for a "skate" pun, because it's in caps. But what's the reference? I have two theories here:

1. These kids are holding skateboards, which were mistakenly cropped out of the picture, making the wordplay worthless.

2. This ad was designed for the place mats at some kind of skating center and they accidentally used it for a decidedly non-skatey newspaper.

Bonus theory: We're supposed to surmise that the kid on the right is whispering about skating.

As a side note, this being Rhode Island, I'm guessing the most common sentence at that office is, "I'm sorry, ma'am, the Accent Reduction class has been sold out for quite some time."

Sox/Royals, Peav against Erv, 8:10 tonight.

Sox Lose, You-Know-Who Effs Up

Was so happy to see the Royals know about our (not that) new (anymore) logo!
But later in the game, on the scoreboard, they went ahead and threw up the old one!

So do they know about the change or not? Did they just go to Google Images and get lucky with one and not with the other?

Another thing from the game: On the play where the center fielder didn't even get a glove on the ball, yet Don first called it a catch before changing to a drop and then to an "off his glove," they cut to the CF angle, and the throw was going from dead center to second base, and it appeared in the view. Here's Gomes with the ball in mid-air way out in the outfield but appearing to be on his face:

Then when the game ended, they put this up:
Sox shut out again! We just won our last two games to extend our lead to 2.5, finally getting a little breathing room, then we lose, and it's "Sox shit bed AGAIN." Sure, we got shut out three games ago. Before that, you have to go back 10 more games. To say it happened "again" is like in Lost Boys when grandpa got pissed that they were having company "again":

Mom: You haven't had company in this house since mom died eight years ago!

Grandpa: Right. Now we're gonna have company again.

But you know what I just realized? The final goddamn score tonight was 5 to 1 anyway! Here I am pissed about their tone and then it hits me that it wasn't even a shutout!

Anyway, about the game, well, it was a tad bed-shitty. We couldn't do much with Chen, but screw that guy. I'll never forget the time he was mean to Fenway fans for no reason. So the lead is down to 2. No other A.L. East teams played today.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Astronomical (Bootsy!)

Now that we're done with the Astros, can we talk about those names?

You've got a guy names Hoes. And a Peacock. Then there's Dallas. And Castro the Astro. Jake Elmore? That's practically both Blues Brothers. And Robbie Grossman sounds like he'd be the neighbor kid on any 80s sitcom.

Also, Wesley Wright throws left-handed.

First-place Sox go to KC for four starting tonight.

...And The Yanks Game Was Even Better

Red Sox come from behind in ninth to win! Mariano blows save with two outs and nobody on in 9th, Yanks go ahead in 12th, and again get first two outs, only to have White Sox come back to win! The Lead is 11.5!

Perfect timing, too--Sox game ends, then I flip to MLBN, and hear Hawk saying "come on, tie it up." Guy hits one over Gardner and two runs score, White Sox make Yanks walk off. Chicago had lost TEN in a row--then they sweep the Yankees. Even the team's own web site can't believe they won this game, check it out:

Stephen Drew was our hero tonight (called a little prematurely by Don, much like how he said the left fielder "leaps" before there was any actual leaping on the dong), hitting a one-out, 3-run homer in the top of the 9th to give us a 7-5 victory and a series win deep in the heart.

Something they didn't bring up: The Drake was pinch-running, representing the tying run at second with one out. Ball hit to deep right. Sound familiar? Remember that Nava play at Fenway? And guess what--The Drake played it incorrectly just like Nava did. In the wide shot, you could see him go all the way back to second base to tag up. Again, the move there is to make sure you score if the ball isn't caught, not to make sure you get to third if it is. It's not that much better to be on third than it is to be on second with two outs. Definitely not to the point where you'd risk not scoring the tying run from second on a double or would-be double. He actually did it worse than Nava--at least Nava wasn't all the way back at second. Anyway it didn't matter as the ball cleared the fence. A couple minutes later, UE was wrapping it up. We had trailed 5-2 after 6 and were leaving men on base left & right, but again we come back to win. We've been behind in 6 of our last 7 wins.

So NESN moved that text survey box over as not to cover home plate. Nice job. But....

Don and Remy had a terrible moment tonight. One of the worst ever. In a tie game with the bases loaded, Victorino ended the sixth on an appealed check-swing strikeout. Shane was pissed, and as NESN went to break they showed a replay, but it was from the useless front-angle. I waited for them to revisit it after the commercial, but no. They had plenty of time for a promo about fee-free tickets, but no time for a side-angle replay. Didn't bring it up again. The Astros would score three runs, and I was still thinking about how we may have been screwed. And Shane was too, because in the next inning, he gets tossed for jawing at the third-base ump (who called it a swing) from the dugout.

The problem? DON AND JERRY NOT ONLY COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHY HE WAS EJECTED, BUT ALSO DIDN'T KNOW WHAT PLAY WAS BEING ARGUED AND THEN REVEALED THEY HAD NO MEMORY OF IT. Why he was ejected was obvious immediately. Guy jaws back and forth with ump from dugout, gets tossed, happens all the time. But the fact that they had "no idea why" just masks the other thing they didn't know, which is even more obvious, that being the fact that Victorino had obviously been pissed on an iffy call in a huge spot. I watched in horror as Don desperately tried to think of what might have happened in Shane's previous at bat. The two of them wondered if maybe there had been a bad call at some point during the at bat. Finally Don actually says, surely after being told in his ear, that "it turns out" there was a check-swing call that the very ump who he jawed with (duh) had called him out on. "Turns out"! This was a play HE CALLED AS IT HAPPENED. Only after ALL that (about 30 minutes after the play) does Remy tell us that they're gonna do some investigating and see if they've got a side angle. They give us the head-on shot first (?) and then finally give us a side shot, that's actually from much farther back than a true side-angle, which doesn't prove anything, but which makes Remy think it's a swing as he probably has no idea it's not exactly from the side. I don't know who should be fired here, but I'm thinking everyone.

Rays updates in comments.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

That's Why We Pray

Look at this P-Mantis I found in the yard. It's kinda cool when they turn their heads to face you.

Sox go for a series win in Huey tonight at 8-ish. Their pitcher hasn't given up shit in his few major league starts, time to give him a dose of reality and whatnot.

Funny moment from last night: "The Drake" was on the mound, and Don Burgundy says something like, "it's not often a guy does this great right out of the gate in his career..." and I said, "Uh-oh, bring out the citrus train, somebody's about to give up a really, really long home run." And someone did within a pitch or two. Because we all know that stuff is totally real and based on scientific facts.

Thanks, Astros

Steven Wright had a constant feeling of almost falling backwards in his chair, as Lavarnway couldn't figure out how to catch his knuckler. Four passed balls in the first inning. Finally they replaced him. Wright, not Lavarnway. It was 3-0 Houston after one. 5-0 after two. 7-3 after four. But the Astros pulled an Astros, and soon we scored 10 runs in a row, 5 in the 5th, 5 in the 6th. Lavarnway's two-run, two-out double gave us an 8-7 lead. Gomes's pinch-hit, three-run dong essentially put the game away. Ellsbury homered twice and it was a 15-10 win for Boston. Didn't I say they'd score tonight?

Rays lose, so we're 1.5 up. Yanks lose and fall to 10.5 out and 5.5 back of the second wild card.

NESN needs to know that this is unacceptable:

Their stupid text survey stays on the screen for two pitches each time. And it covers home plate. Victorino had a big double during one of these, with the bat-ball contact obscured. My theory is that since at home, with the crappy head-on view, home plate is in the middle of the screen, so this box in the corner doesn't cover it up. But then they go to a road park which has the classic low-and-to-the-side cam, and suddenly home plate is covered. And they don't notice! Is anyone over there actually looking at what they're showing the audience?

And let's talk about Altuve's ball in the 9th. Tapper in front of the plate, he throws his bat into fair territory, ball hits bat, Lavarnway picks up ball and throws Altuve out at first. Now I'll give Remy credit for at least noting the ball hit the bat, and NESN for showing several angles of it, but was this a batter's interference call or not? And shouldn't they have asked this question instead of just saying, "hey, the ball hit the bat"? They just acted like it was a normal 2-3 putout. But you could see the home plate ump put his arms up--I think he was calling dead ball. Then the first base ump did NOT make an out call, he pointed at the home plate ump. I guess the rule is that it's a dead ball and the batter is out, unless it was completely unintentional. The box scores I've looked at just treat it as a normal putout and don't mention any interference. I wonder if they'll realize it later or maybe...I don't know.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Current "One Strike Away" Routine

You stand up and clap for the last strike of a win even in the living room, right? It's an evolving thing with me, and the latest version is:

Slowly start to rise off couch. Keep arms straight at sides, begin turning palms out. Bring extended arms slowly up like a snow-angel. As the hands meet high above head for the first clap, bring both hands quickly back down to front of body while clapping. We're now in clap mode. The only rule from here on out is that if you find yourself in a specific rhythmic clap, in other words if you're playing a song with your claps, you must revert to "random" clapping by the time the pitch is thrown. I don't know why this is, maybe it's just to show that the pitch is what matters, not the clapping. It's not about you! How can you play a song and pay attention to the pitch at the same time? It has to be a random, devil-may-care kind of clap.

I also make sure Kim, if she doesn't prefer to stand, gets at least one foot in contact with the floor.

Should the pitch not end the game, the whole routine doesn't need to be done again. Just the clapping part. You can rest your hands for a second or two after the non-winning pitch, but get back to clapping soon, and be sure to randomize before that pitch is thrown.

Some folks do different routines depending on the importance of the game. I admit, if it's 10-3, I might not be so dramatic with the arms to start it out. I do almost like a fast-forwarded version of it and get right to the in-front-of-body clapping. If it's a huge win, the big slow arm sweep is preferred, with the initial turning outward of the palms done one at a time.

And of course, for Yankee games, the stand-'n'-clap can begin when we're one OUT away, not one strike.

The worst is when you do the stand-'n'-clap and then your team ends up losing. And the only thing worse than that is when it happens at a game you're in the stands for. Happened to me at least twice, once this year against the Orioles (though the crowd decided to stand after the second out that night, very odd), and once at the big Joy of Sox gathering against Oakland a few years ago.

Then there's my dad's version, where he says "everybody up," and encourages all bipeds to stand, and all marine life to put themselves in a vertical position.

Anyway, I've tried to cut back on superstitions lately. You tell me if this counts.

Yes, I Can. If Frank Sinatra Says It's Okay.

Another funny line by Suzyn yesterday. She was addressing the issue of whether A-Rod's teammates might not welcome him back with open arms. She says how that's ridiculous, and how these guys are gonna "treat him exactly like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera tell them to."


I was sure she was gonna say how they'll treat him with respect or some shit, but no, she basically inadvertently admits that they might all be ready to throw firebombs at him, but that the only opinion they're actually allowed to have is what the Class Patrol (clAss patrHole?) tells them to have!

Reminds me of when Darnell McDonald arrived in the Yankee clubhouse to have Jeter tell him basically, "I don't like how you look," like the kid in class who's got the teacher's rulebook in his pocket ready to enforce it on the other kids.

We Lose, But Glorious Yankee Mess Easily Hides It

Before the first Astros series, I said we'd sweep and we did. I didn't say it this time, though. Because how you expect to take 7 out of 7 against any major league [sic] team? I decided I'd be happy with 2 of 3 this time. Less than that would be a huge disappointment. Castig disagreed, saying anything less than a sweep would be a disappointment. Anyway, we need to win the next two. Tonight we ran into the PitchMaster from 72 Whooping Cough Lane, Ken Ober-something. Even though it was to the 'stros, I don't consider it a frustrating or shitty loss. Lackey pitched fine. We just didn't score tonight. We will tomorrow.

The lead is a half as the Rays were off.

The Yanks got A-Rod back and got their asses kicked so we stay 9.5 up on them. I really thought we'd see people throwing shit at A-Rod tonight. Or maybe the opposing pitchers drilling him every time. It was just regular booing by the Chicagoans, though. And then a close-up of Jeter's face after every A-Rod at bat. (Suzyn's reaction to the first intro of A-Rod: "and there are a lot of people standing and cheering." Whatever you say, Grandma Georgina.)

Sunday, August 04, 2013


Biggest lead over the Yanks in '13, correct? We're also 1 up on Tampa and 6.5 on Balt as we take the series with Arizona today. 4-0 win, Doubie rolls.

I'm not into jazz at all, but I got to go backstage at the Newport Jazz Fest this afternoon. Check out the beautiful scene:

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Location: Rhode Island, United States