Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sox Beat CC As Per Usual

Saying "I predicted it" online or anywhere else is about as pointless as describing a dream, but I SWEAR I visualized that Sizemore dong exactly. I mean I was cheering for it before it happened. We'd been getting shutdown by Skinny Oprah, until Jonny Wadd slapped a johnson in the 6th to tie it at one. At that point I was thinking that we just need one big inning. Take a big-ish lead and get this win. Two men got on, and then it was Lil' Grady. And I made it happen with my mind. Three-run job and it was 4-1, and you could turn your sets off there, folks. Actually, you would have missed Koji NOT come into the game. We had to sweat through Mujica, but he made quick work of the Yanks in the 9th to preserve the 4-2 victory.

Then we cut to Tom Caron who went into full media-invented-crisis mode. Why do they pretend like they don't love this stuff? First he said "the Red Sox win but the focus of the next hour will be why Koji didn't enter this game." Then after John Farrell said he wasn't concerned and that it was just shoulder stiffness, TC came right back with "until I SEE HIM ON THE MOUND, I'm gonna be concerned." You could see the glint in his eye, almost as if he was excited to win a bet among colleagues as to who could start the next fake drama. At which point, we all sit there calmly while they panic, but tell us that we're the ones who are panicking.

I'm not saying that your closer not pitching when he's supposed to isn't a big deal, but Jesus, they were showing the guy. He was in the ballpark. He wasn't in a sling. He wasn't on his back. You could tell that whatever it was was minor, then the manager tells us it's minor, and then TC loses his shit over it. Who knows, maybe this minor stiffness is some magic bullet career-ending injury, but let's take it a step at a time, eh?

Some dumbass Yankee fan called the FAN today and said "beyond Pedroia and Ortiz, this Red Sox lineup is weak." He may as well have said, "I've watched exactly ONE Red Sox game and here's what I've surmised." Francesa had to let the guy know about Victorino and "Middlebury" being injured. And nobody mentioned Xander. Meanwhile, Solarte is in Monument Park already. We've got a Timo Perez Syndrome in the making there. It's so funny how any time a young or new-but-poor Yankee does well, you have these callers saying how great it is that the Yanks are this underdog small-market juggernaut, at which point Francesa notes "well they only spent x hundred million dollars in the offseason...."

Q. What's the best part about seeing one of those faux-tough guy drunken "'New Yorker' who's actually from Westport" Yankee fans celebrating in the stands in the "it's manifest destiny that we the Yankees will beat you the Red Sox" style?

A. Knowing that they know which team is the defending world champions, and which one has won a lot of times in the last decade-plus as opposed to one time. If you ever feel like that isn't killing them, simply remember that it is, and your day will brighten by three times.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Good Jeter column by the always-critical-of-the-stupid-Yankees Bob Raissman.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chocolate Doughnut

Well at least ClayHH rebounded, kinda, from his first start. We lose, 4-1 in NY. Heard some* of this one on the radio, and noticed that Castig does the "sad call" when Jeter makes an out. Terrible job, Joe.

*Saw the rest on TV. Figured I'd clarify since that line makes it sound like I missed most of the game.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Winning Via The "Mike"

My (Yankee fan) friend Mike's favorite thing* is when you're the home team, you're trailing headed to the bottom of the 8th, and you take the lead, meaning all of a sudden you're three outs from victory. That 8th inning changes the feel of the whole game. The Red Sox did that today. Peavy was great but we couldn't do much on O, and we trailed 2-1 after 7.5. Then Papi hit a mega-three-run-dong over the P. Pole and suddenly it was 4-2 and Koji Time. So we win the series and head to The Bronx.

I've probably said this before, but baseball on FM radio is so shitty compared to FM. Sure the announcers seem to have better voices, but I swear I can barely hear the crowd. I'm listening to that Papi blast in the car and wondering if anyone's in the stands at all! Freakin' FM.

*At least it was in '89 or whenever he told me. Who knows if he even remembers any of this or if he remained a lifelong fan of this 8th-inning thing.

Jere FAQ: The UConn Thing

Q: Jere, you were born and raised in Connecticut, you're psyched for this UConn thing, right?

A: No. Let me take you back to a year we affectionately called "1990." UConn's basketball team had last won an NCAA tournament game when I was less than a year old. All of a sudden, in 1990, when I'm in high school, they got good. Out of nowhere. Big East champs. Good for them, I thought, and our whole state cheered when Tate George made his last-second shot to send the Huskies into the Existential Eight. My cousin told tales of having babysat for the player who threw the baseball pass to George, Scott Burrell. The euphoria was short-lived, as Duke would give UConn a taste of its own 'tussin. Two days later (right?), Christian Laettner would hit a buzzer-beater of his own and the Huskies were done.

But then a weird thing happened. Before Tate George, there was no such thing as a "UConn basketball fan." Which is only a slight exaggeration. After Tate George, suddenly all these people from my state had a team to root for. And as you know, "because they win now" is not a reason to root for a team, unless you're a Yankee-loving, front-running, wagoner of band. All of a sudden, the halls of Ridgefield High were clogged with bulky, unflattering (remember 1990?) UConn sweatshirts. Oh no, I was not going to be a part of this. I kept on loosely following my parents' invisible Fairfield and Central Connecticut squads while all the other kids were default "winners," eventually celebrating four national championships, the most recent one occurring this week. Add to that the disgust of UConn's women's team being this all-time juggernaut, with a record of, by my estimation, 1,000-4 over the last few years, including another title...this week. What the fuck is that about? How did these teams get and stay so good? Is this ever going to end?

To add insult to injury for we who were happy for UConn but only for that one moment before they became a powerhouse, Tate George ended up in jail.

And before you go all "you're just like those people who like a band until they start selling enough records so that they can eat" on me, I shall say this: Fuck 311 too!

Sox Lose, Yanks Lose, Jeter Old, Slow, Uncaring

We were getting destroyed tonight, until two late rallies gave us hope and made it somewhat respectable. 10-7 LOSS. So we're tied for last place. But the good news is we're 1.5 out of first. And no team in the division is more than a half-game over .500.

Yanks got truly destroyed today, 14-5. I imagine the conversation regarding the choice of which player to picture along with the game story on going something like this:

"Okay guys, Yanks crapped the bed today, but we need a guy for the front page. Anybody homer today?"

"Yup, one by Soriano, one by Johnson."

"Hmmm, what else?"

"Solarte had 2 doubles, went 2 for 4, Ellsbury was 3 for 4 and also doubled...Beltran doubled too...."

"Just not doin' it for me..."

"Gardner knocked in a run....uhhh...Roberts 1 for 3..."

"What about Jeter?"

"1 for 4, no runs, no ribbies."

"That's our man!!!!!"

In fairness, it shows Jeter in a moment of frustration, but if you want to show a symbol of frustration, how about one of the two pitchers who gave up 7 runs?

Or maybe it was's wink to us, acknowledging that Jeter didn't hustle "for the first time in his life" for the second day in a row! He also looked like your great-grandpa on what should have been a double play grounder.

It's so funny, the FAN callers with the excuses. (This was about Monday's loafing, I know it's tough keeping track.) Guy calls up and basically says that a career of hustling means you're allowed to not hustle. Fortunately Francesa has a brain sometimes and told the guy exactly what I always say, that if everybody's gonna treat the guy like a god because he hustles all the time, then you can't just let it go when he doesn't.

Tanaka makes his home debut Wednesday night, while the Sox play at 4:05. Both matches are made of rubber.

Terrible job by Don tonight. On a shot of the Big Concourse in right field, he mentions the "wide concourse in center field." Yeah I know CF is next to RF but this walking shot started about even with the right field foul pole. He also emphasized "wide" almost as if to say this was some new concourse you need to go check out, despite that it's ten years old now and was well publicized when it was new. Take a walk around the park, Don, just once!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Jeter Does Something Wrong For The First Time For The Millionth Time

"You never see that," is what they say about Derek Jeter every single time he does something wrong. Every fuck-up is the first and last one of his career. Today he loafed out of the box and was inches from being thrown out at second on what should have been a stand-up double. Which led the world, including the Pride of Pedestria himself, to make jokey excuses. The article starts with

Derek Jeter took a few loping steps out of the batter's box, seeming to allow himself a little extra time to take in his final home opener at Yankee Stadium. Why not? The sweet crack of barrel meeting ball had provided the captain with that luxury.

Granted, it does go on to mention how lots of people in the park mocked him for his extremely unclassy, unfundamental play. But Jesus, that first paragraph--it seems to imply that on home runs, taking your time to run to first, the supposed opposite of everything this guy stands for, is okay! The video highlight, in which you hear Michael "Backwards" Kay embarrassing himself almost as much as Captain Anonymous If He Were Ugly And/Or On The Royals himself, cuts off right after the play, conveniently omitting the replay of the "loping steps."

This whole incident is more proof that "we" have decided the guy can do no wrong. I really do mean it when I say that if he gets caught doing performance-enhancing drugs, that will be the day it's decided that doing performance-enhancing drugs is the right thing to do. Either that or people just won't be physically able to hear the story, like how Native Americans couldn't see Columbus' ships.

You never see Jeter jackknife out of the way of a pitch that's nowhere near him to steal a strike call. You never see him try to sell a call at second base only to get away with it and then have a shit-eating grin on his face. You never see him pretend to get hit by a pitch. And you definitely never see Derek Jeter cheat taxpayers out of millions of dollars. Except when you do.

And you wanna talk about loafing? On top of today, I've heard two other Jeter basepath mistakes in the last month alone. On the one in Houston last week, watch here (click "Jeter Lines RBI Single to Right") as he gets caught on a play right in front of him, then slows to a walk and lets himself get tagged out. If it were Manny Ramirez, it would be the blooper of the year: "Watch as uncaring Manny stops playing mid-game!" Now maybe you think you're smart and you're like, "Dude, he was getting in a rundown to make sure the run scored, then when it did, he stopped running like he's supposed to because it didn't matter anymore at that point." Well you can't have it both ways. Either this guy is so super special because he hustles all the time no matter what, or he's an average player with a lot of bloop hits.

And here's another thing. Even if I came out and admitted that he really is this class-o-rific once-in-a-lifetime best-to-ever-grace-the-field golden god, I still would have every right to hate his guts. Are people just so in love with this guy that it breaks their heart to hear that not everyone in the world shares that love? Or do they think I'm lying? Do they think that for some reason I really, really love the face of my rival but I'm afraid to admit it, so I just say I hate him? This crap was disgusting already, but the YOU LOVE JETER JUST LIKE I DO stuff is growing exponentially as we head toward the collapse and cooling of our sun -- er, Jeter's retirement.

Hey, did you hear Jeter was running the scoreboard today and spelled Ellsbury's name wrong? First time he's ever done that.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Sox, Wife Both Win

Kim got to go on the warning track before tonight's game with her uncle (who knows someone who knows someone...) and meet Jackie Bradley, Jr. Said he was incredibly humble and nice. Got his autograph on a ball along with Xander! Bradley went on to be the star of tonight's game, making some fine plays in the field and hitting two ribbie singles. Then on his bunt that the Rangers didn't know what to do with, she was clearly shown jumping and clapping in the bleachers! Nice night for Kim and the Sox, who broke a three-game losing streak.

Lackey gave up 0 earned runs in 7 innings. The game was much closer than the 5-1 score. Up 2-1 in the 8th, Farrell went with Capuano instead of Tazawa, and the leadoff man singled, and it would have been a double had Nava not played the carom perfectly. But a lineout and a DP later, we were three outs away from victory, and we tacked on three in the 8th to make it easier for Koji.

Glad to be out of the weird free-swingin' National League Brewers zone. Top four teams in the AL East within one game. Sox a game out of first.

Opening Day/Ring Ceremony Photo Gallery

Four days after going to the season-opener in Baltimore, I was at Fenway with my mom and Charlie for the home opener, complete with ring ceremony and flag-raising. Above, the awesome new trophied-out 2014 schedule, in front of the 2013 banner.

Beautiful day. Cold, but we've experienced much, much colder.

Everything was moved up because of the ceremony, meaning the Red Sox finished BP before the gates opened. But we did get to see a few Sox while the Brewers were hitting. Above, Lester and Lackey.

Dempster showing off the golden B. Yes, he quit, but he was there to get his ring of course.

We were the first road fans to boo Braun in the post-suspension era. Was just regular boos, no extended chanting or anything.


A picture from underneath, just because.

Dropkick Murphys take the field.

I snapped this a second too late to show you some red peeking out of that box. But I was very excited when I got home and noticed it actually says "OPENING DAY WS FLAG" on the box. At this point we were in front of the blacked-out seats, hoping they'd let us stay there for the ceremony, instead of our much higher bleacher seats.

These official types waved up at the Monster Seat people, who had flag-dropping duties....

And they gave the special waving signal back.

The 2013 trophy, separated from its two friends for a change.

Starting to fill up and we were still in that spot.

Looking straight down at some Boston Strong people on the CF warning track. Finally, though, we were kicked out and headed up to row 24 of section 36.

Of course I totally knew going in that we'd have a rough angle at the Monster, but we decided to just enjoy it all from our real seats. Above, the 20th-century title flags dropping one by one.

Then it was '04, followed by '07, as per the tradition.

I wondered if maybe the 2013 flag would have the B-Strong logo or some other change, but they kept it the same as the other 21st-century ones.

This is the 2013 flag coming down. Notice how many people opted to watch on the scoreboard, missing the unique angle they had. Some people are even photographing the board. So they spend their money to go to a spot right near the championship banners dropping, only to turn away and take a picture of a screen showing the same thing from a different angle. Probably could have saved some money and watched it on TV....

Marathon victims/helpers taking the field, bringing the ring boxes. Newport's own "hard H. Abbott to break," Heather Abbott, is visible at right.

Russell Nua and other non-players getting their rings.

Andrew Miller giving an odd handshake while getting his finger-warmer.

Some of your favorite Sox waiting to raise the flag after getting their rings.

View from 36.

Papi got a ring, plus some special other ring.

The team raising the flag. Papi and Koji at far right.

Not much wind at the moment the American and World Series Champs flags went up.

But eventually the wind, much like the 2013 Yankees, blew.

The flags then went down to half-staff due to the recent firefighters dying. Here the team shakes hands with fire department types.

The flags lookin' pretty.

The Sox and the Brewers.

The mayor threw out the first ball, as lots of trophies looked on. I don't care about the other ones, just the ones Pedro, Varitek, and Lowell are holding.

Pedro holds it high.

First pitch of the actual game.

Xander up, Sizemore goes.

My boy Middlebrooks went deep, but we lost.

Briefly sat in the front row by the Brewers bullpen in the 9th. We would lose the next two and get swept by the Brewers. Goddamn.

Those two ladies from Still, We Believe and Fever Pitch. I always remember Jessamy's name but not the other one.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Opening Day Flyover

From Friday at Fenway:

I thought that thing was losing control when it banked toward us like that. My photo gallery from that day coming soon....

Lester snaps our losing streak today at 1:35.

Yes It Is, Pete

Worked till 8, got in car. Castig is not giving me the score but I'm estimating the Brewers have scored while we haven't done much. I'm thinking 1-0 or 2-1 them. After like 15 minutes, Napoli goes deep, three-run blast to his comfort zone and I'm thinking we're now easily ahead. Castig: "and the Red Sox now trail six to five!" Well all right, then. Buchholz had really crapped some bodacious bed in his '14 debut. We'd eventually tie it but it stayed 6-6 forever, until The Good Land notched an ace in the 11th, holding on for a 7-6 win. So we're 2-3.

Yanks were shut out in Toronto, so they're also 2-3.

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