Saturday, April 19, 2014

HoF Classic

The annual Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown will be Saturday, May 24th. Here are your players:

Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith will serve as managers/coaches for the Classic. Former big leaguers slated to participate include Vinny Castilla, Brady Clark, Jeff Conine, Adam Everett, David Eckstein, Steve Garvey, Alex Gonzalez, Luis Gonzalez, Scott Hatteberg, Livan Hernandez, Todd Hollandsworth, Todd Jones, Mark Kotsay, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Carl Pavano, Kerry Robinson, Ivan Rodriguez, Aaron Rowand, Kirk Rueter, Reggie Sanders, Mike Sweeney, Jim Thome, Dan Wheeler and Jack Wilson.

No Dmitri Young! No Bill Lee either. But some interesting new names in there. For my past coverage of this yearly event, do a search at the top left. Thanks.

Bud against Doobie in a smokin' matchup at Fenway today at 1:35. Yanks/Rays, 7:10.

Big Win the Rays, stopping the Yanks' 5-game winning streak. Yanks blew it, too, as they were up 4-0 early. The "trusted" Adam Warren couldn't hold the lead, and then they brought in a guy who hit three batters in one inning, getting himself ejected essentially for not knowing where the ball was going when it left his hand. Rays win 11-5.

Red Sox lose to O's. We had a few chances to get back in this one, but...end of sentence. Still, this division doesn't know what to do with itself. Once we start hitting, we roll.

When I got in the car after work tonight, I heard Castiglione talking about Markakis getting a double, and that this one was "a legitimate double." Click here to read the details on Joy of Sox about yet another blown call that still wasn't unblown despite an extensive replay system being in place.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Red Sox Win, 77-76 (Or Something LIke That)

Each ace had a no-hitter thru 5 tonight. Xander broke up theirs with a dong in the 6th, but the White Sox broke up Lester's too. A single followed by a double-that-Don-called-a-homer tied it at one. And we stayed 1-1 until the 9th. (In the 7th we threw the go-ahead run out at the plate, perfect relay by Pedroia. I've been hearing people say how his relay throws are an underrated part of his game, much like Michael Anthony's back-up vocal work with Van Halen.) Napoli got the slow-roller type of Jeter-hit, then Carp got the inside-out swing type of Jeter hit. Then World Series JMVP David Ross hit one down the right field line for a go-ahead double.

After an intentional walk to Nava, the Red Sox made a sneaky move, pinch-running Sizemore for Carp at third. Sure enough, a safety* squeeze was on, and Herrera dropped down a beauty, run scores. Don't remember Sizemore pinch-running? That's because NESN didn't tell us about it! We all found out he was on base when he was crossing home plate. Even on the post-game, they made no mention of it. I rewound to see when exactly he came in. It wasn't after Carp got on base, because we saw Carp run first to third on the double. Then there was the walk, then a pitching change. If you look closely on the wide-shot of the field after the commercial, you can see the runner on third stretching his legs. That's Sizemore, just in.

So that gave us a two-run lead, and Koji came in and saved it. We take 2 of 3 in Chicago. I love our pitching this season. I think the numbers were something like a 3.40 starter ERA and a low-1's relief ERA in this 7-game road trip. The hitting has been hazy but you know how it is with summer heat and bats coming alive. We're good. Three games out of first, a game out of second, with a hundred and forty-something games to play.

*Not a true safety squeeze, since the bases were loaded. The runner has to make sure the bunt is on the ground, but at that point, it turns into a suicide squeeze, because he has to bolt for home with the force in effect. There's no wait-and-see once the ball is on the ground. NESN misses another chance to explain interesting aspects of baseball. I guess that's what I'm here for. Except they get paid and I don't.

Rotary 4, Village Bank 2, 14 Inn.

Red Sox beat White Sox in 5-hour Little League-ish affair. We scored in the first, then didn't have another hit until the 9th. We trailed 3-1 after 7, but sac flies in the 8th and 9th (aided by about a hundred walks) tied it. Then we scored a run in the 11th and were one strike away from victory, but Mujica gave up a game-tying single. We got the first two guys on base in the next inning, but couldn't score. In the 14th, the White Sox basically forfeited, putting in a position player to pitch. But incredibly, our first two hitters made outs. Finally we realized we should just stand there. Two walks later, Jackie Bradley was up. The White Sox manager had come out and basically told the poor guy on the mound not to walk anyone else, using the "just throw it slow" method. So you knew Jackie was either gonna get a walk, or a pitch that even the mom from Alf could hit. He got the latter, and drilled it down the line for a two-run double. Chicago had the tying run up in the bottom of the 14th, but we held on for the 4-2 win, one that we really needed.

Speaking of Chicago teams that can't do much of anything, the goddamn Cubs couldn't score in either game against the Yanks today. Terrible job.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Goddamn Sonofabitch

Bottom 9, tied. Men on first and second. 2-2 count. White Sox dude tries to check his swing. Pitch is in the zone, and he clearly goes around. Home plate ump blows strike call. First-base ump blows appeal call. Now it's 3-2, easy grounder to short, Xander throws a one-hopper to first, Carp can't handle it. Since the runners were going on the pitch, run scores easily before Carp even picks up the ball. Adding insult to injury, both Don and Jerry say it's the White Sox who "walk off" while we're literally watching the Red Sox walking off the field and the White Sox running onto the field, and to add insult to that insult, Xander does that thing where you try to spit, but it stays hanging off your mouth and you're left to wipe if off with your hand, fooling no one.

Shitty, shitty loss. And the only reason Carp was playing first was because Napoli slid head-first into second and basically broke his finger in half. It took Don and Remy a very long time to notice this, as they first thought the ball hit him, and then, after all the viewers have seen Napoli wearing the extreme ouchy face and his finger Theismann'd in the wrong direction, they show yet another replay at which point Don goes, "oh, that's a dislocated finger." I'm reading now that X-rays were negative so hopefully he comes right back. Also, Pedroia pinch-ran in this game, will start tomorrow. Yanks and Cubs were rained out.

And here's what I wrote earlier in the night, in less shitty times. Spoiler: it's also about Don being bad at his job.

Does Don Orsillo know there's a baseball game going on? When he shows you his bad* behind-the-scenes videos, he's completely flabbergasted when they're cut order to get back to the actual game so we can see a pitch being thrown. Tonight it happened twice in a row, as he couldn't wait to show us the super-exciting ending to the video. It gets cut off and he's shocked. He then (presumably) realizes that's why it was cut off, then they cut back to the video, and again he's ready to show us this payoff, and again, because they rewound it too far and because everything has to begin and end with the "logo wipe" which wastes even more time, it cuts off. And again he's not just sad but genuinely surprised, as if something has gone wrong. No Don, they're cutting back to the game you're supposed to be announcing! Best part was, they never did get back to that video. Or if they did, I missed it, but they didn't do it right away, as, surprise, they had some other pre-planned thing to cut to.

*Are these supposed to look horrible, for that everyman, Twitterific, we are pharmers, bum badum bum bum bum bum, we-have-technology-but-purposely-aren't-using-it feel? Or is Don just that shitty at filming stuff?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Raiss Relations

One thing that will be fun about the Derek Jeter "One Last Bloop" self-announced-because-that's-the-(new)-classy-way-to-do-it tour: The Raissman articles. Here's the latest. If only the Boston media had some writers like that. Instead they just tell us how Jeter's god, and that Pedroia's and Koji's careers are over when they miss, like, a game.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Replay Replay

So here we are, in a world where MLB has replay...and it seems worse than before. I'm glad to hear basically the entire media agree with me that challenges are ridiculous. I thought that the first time I heard it even suggested. Getting the calls right shouldn't have anything to do with strategy, it should just be part of the rules of the game. So maybe they'll get rid of the stupid NFL challenge system. But even without it, we're stuck with the same incompetence as before, only by different people. One completely blown replay, followed the next day by a call being changed without indisputable evidence. And both went against the Red Sox, while playing the Yankees, on national TV. So yeah I'm pissed, but I'd be pissed no matter what the teams involved were.

And there are so many rules that are hazy, managers are going to be coming up with some weird-ass challenges. For example:

A batter-runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning or oversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base

That's how the rule is written. We thin of it as "...can't be tagged out after overrunning first base as long as he doesn't turn toward second. Also, he can take his sweet-ass time getting back to first after the overrun, as everyone does because they've never been called out for not immediately returning to the bag in the history of baseball."

How long is "immediately"? If it's Game 7 of the World Series and you're up a run with two outs in the ninth, and a guy beats out an infield single, have your first baseman wait five seconds and then tag the guy. Is the World Series over or still going on?

And what about a runner being outside the baseline before first base where they have that box? Any time a guy gets on, just claim he was outside the box, which they usually are. And do it all game long.

I think they need to write a whole new replay rulebook. Some manager is gonna find a way to tilt the machine and it's gonna get weird. (Probably Girardi, since Jeter will probably give him the idea.)

Live-Blogging Myself Reacting To The Providence Outdoor Movie Schedule

Kim just gave me the news: the schedule is out. As I say every year, the NYC movies at Bryant Park are my favorite, but they think a little too hard when choosing titles, whereas the severely scaled-down Providence one just says, "Okay, you're all children of the 80s, here's the shit you like. Again." And we eat it up. So here we go:

June 5th: The Breakfast Club. Those "rat pack" movies were a little ahead of my time. I mean I remember them coming out, and I remember some kids in my class (probably the ones who had kissed girls already) breaking the "rules" and seeing these R-rated flicks. I was sticking with Short Circuit and the one about the kids who somehow fly a Space Shuttle mission by accident. But eventually I came to watch and appreciate some of these movies, TBC being one of them. I ain't no neo maxi zoom dweebie. Good start.

June 12th: Thelma & Louise. Never did see it, because at the time, I was a 15-year old boy, not a 30-year old woman. But it might be good. People seem to like it.

June 19th: Amelie. Kim loves this movie, and after overhyping it for years, she finally showed it to me, and I just didn't see what the big deal was. Maybe I missed something. My neighbor's boyfriend says the director is really cool and has done some other even weirder stuff. Maybe I need a second try at Amelie, or maybe I should try one of his other flicks first.

June 26th: Cocktail. Wow, we continue the theme of "movies Jere was just a little too young/immature for when they came out." In the summer of '88 I was 12, and had no reason to see movies about bars (or whatever). Still don't. And unless Tom Cruise pulls a full McConaughey and sells his soul for some talent, I'll probably never see this movie.

July 3rd: Woodstock. Wow, interesting choice. I have to say, despite being anti-hippie (I'm anti- the free love, weed, trippy music, tie dye, and general barefootedness, not the politics or Hendrix), I'm completely fascinated by Woodstock. I've watched the doc a bunch of times. But I don't know if I'd wanna sit through the whole thing in one sitting. That's 3-4 hours depending on which version they show. We'll see.

July 10th: Adaptation. Nice! I love this movie, in which Nic Cage plays twin brothers. I love a lot of stuff Spike Jonze has done. The "push, push" line gets me every time. And nice job by Brian Cox in this one. And Chris Cooper, of course. (But that Meryl Streep is such a phony!)

July 17th: The Great Escape. I guess this is another one of those classics I missed.

July 24th: Reality Bites. Liked, kinda, didn't love.

July 31st: Smokey and the Bandit. Ha, this would be a good one to see outdoors....

August 7th: Moonrise Kingdom. Nice. You know I've loved Wes Anderson since the beginning. And this movie was shot in my state, including scenes at a beach I spend a lot of time at because one of my old people likes to eat lunch there. Oh, and I've been waiting to use this joke: Isn't it odd that MooKi is the first Wes movie without a Wilson? Ba-dum-bum. PS I just saw a car the other day with the license plate "MINOSO." The type of car? A Mini! I'm all for making a baseball joke with your plate that nobody would get even if Minnie Minoso were still playing, let alone now.

August 14th: Annie Hall. Can't go wrong with Woody. Or NYC movies. Double bonus.

August 21st: The Professional. I can't remember if I saw this. Is this the one where Natalie Portman is like 4 years old?

August 28th: The Wizard of Oz. That would be fun, I'll just have to remember to not watch it if it comes on TV in the months leading up. Because I feel like I've seen it so many times now that I have to wait a while between viewings.

September 4th: Dazed and Confused. Did I ever tell you my thoughts on this? I saw this movie in the theater in college when it came out in 1994. As you know, I love the late 70s/early 80s. And I had gotten into 1979's Over the Edge right around 1989 at age 14. It's great because it's authentic. (Bonus: Much later I found out that Kurt Cobain was inspired by it, as revealed in the Smells Like Teen Spirit video.) So I went in worried about a NEW 70s movie. Sure enough I came out saying, that wasn't about 70s kids, it was about 90s kids, dressed like 70s kids. Which is kind of how 90s kids dressed anyway, with minor comfort alterations. I remember at one point, during the school dance scene, the audience started chuckling. I couldn't figure it out. I finally realized they were laughing at the "funny" clothes. But I was so used to those from A. remembering clothes like that and B. seeing Over the Edge so many times, that it wasn't "funny" to me, just an attempt at authenticity which I respected. Anyway, I guess I still appreciated the movie. Have seen it maybe twice since '94. Would see it again. PS Of course I saw American Hustle (before I knew it would be "Oscar-worthy") based on the 70s-ness and my illogical crush on Bradley Cooper. And my logical crushes on Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. And it ended up losing out to McConaughey. Go figure.

September 11th: The Goonies. What movie says 9/11 like The Goonies? This is exactly the kind of movie I should have been seeing when it came out, but for some reason, I didn't. But I saw it later. Another fun one to see outside.

September 18th: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Here's another one I'm a fan of, saw it in the theater. I think at the time I hadn't given a crap about George Clooney since The Facts of Life, and OBWAT made me learn to respect him. Sometimes. Great soundtrack, too. (Cue comments about how it's bluegrass watered down for the mainstream, and that my favorite punk band must be Green Day too.)

September 25th: The Never Ending Story. Haha! Classic! To an 80s kid who was too young for the brat pack, anyway. Freakin' Bastian, man, he's so serious. Actually, so are the kids who played Atreyu and the Empress. Say my name! I bet the casting call for this film was weird, with adults in whatever the hell country they filmed it in being all stern and telling these child actors that if they're there to fuck around, they've come to the wrong place. (Remember when characters like Atreyu and Belle and Sebastian weren't band names? Those were the days.)

Wait, didn't it go into October last year? Oh well. Looking back up at the top of the article, I see that our nation's McConaugh-hay fever has led Dazed and Confused to be the top selling point. And I see the restaurant that has always hosted these movies closed! Oh well, they lost Kim's credit card one time, so to hell with them. Maybe we'll get a better host now. Also, Ghostbusters turns 30 and Ramis dies, and it's not on this schedule?


Frustrating shit this weekend. Will quickly follow this post with a one I wrote a few days ago about movies. Bye.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Shitburger of a loss yesterday. So this replay thing.... I'm not saying that one call cost us the game or anything, I'd be saying this even if it had been 15-1 and no matter which team got screwed: what's the point of a reply system if a replay shows an obviously missed call, the umpires look at it, and still don't change the call? Guy's foot came off the bag, glove is on him, how is he not out? (And didn't you love how the guys in the truck had to spell it out for Don and Rem before they even noticed, finally just putting up a still frame of the moment the guy was out?) And Don/Rem watch this happen and don't say shit about it! There was your chance to say "what in the world happened there?" and go on and on about how stupid this is, but they just moved right on. I don't know, maybe they covered it in post-game or maybe it's "being talked about" today, I have no idea. In my world, that play would be the top story of the next shitty 24-hour twitterverse intersocialstupidwhatever cycle.

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