Friday, May 02, 2014

Every Little Thing Was All Right Twice In A Row

Dustin hit his 100th dong, a grand slam, to give the Sox a 6-1 lead in the 6th. Your final was 7-1 us. After the dong, Victorino was announced, and everyone did the singalong. But then the A's challenged the dong, which doinked off the top of the shelf in left. The call was upheld, and Victorino "came up" again. And everyone got to sing again. With the promise of each small item being doubly fine, Boston cruised to victory.

A late A's kinda rally was ended when Jackie made a catch crashing into the wall, then threw to Dustin, who threw to first for a double play.

Buchholz, with his wife, the Marcia Brady-looking Lindsay Bucking-hholz, in attendance behind the plate as usual, gave up just a run over 6+.

Ortiz doc upcoming.

I have to get up at 5:50 tomorrow, so I'm leaving this Yanks-Rays game unattended. Will find out in morning. I'm pissed though, as the fucking Rays had to use a bunch of bums in the 9th since they pitched their closer twice yesterday against us. And when they were one out away from victory, they let Ellsbury single home the tying goddamn run. So now it's bottom 12, still 5-5.

Fun Trivia

Matsuzaka, Cook, Beckett, Bard.

Q: Which of these pitchers were starting games for the Red Sox less than two years ago?

A: All of them. Weird.

And Aceves, who was somehow on our team last year, is back with the Yanks in AAA, and may be getting called up soon.

Tonight at Fenway it's BucHHolz against the grAveyard: Lowrie, Punto, Reddick, Moss, Coco....

And then it's 1:35 games on Sad-dee and Sun-dee.

Ellsbury: 7 for his last 36 (.194)
Jeter: 6 for his last 29 (.207)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Worst Day Of My Life

I can't believe that just happened. After Tuesday night's awesome win, we play two today. Game 1, there's a controversial call* in the 7th as the tying run is cut down at the plate, and we lose a 1-run game. It ends with Papi up and the tying run at second.

Then in game 2, the bats are still sleeping and we trail 2-0, until we break out of it, and take a 5-2 lead after 5. But they score 2 in the 6th, 1 in the 8th, and 1 in the 9th. We goddamn lose.

Our 5-run rally ended when Sizemore was picked off, with men on first and third. (He had made an out on the bases earlier in the game.) So even though I felt like we had the game won, I was still pissed that we couldn't keep it going. Then right away, to start the next inning, there's a pop-up on the infield that six guys could have caught, but none did. A dong later in the inning cut it to one. I was super-pissed now, but we still had the lead.

Their 8th-inning rally started with 2 outs. A single and a double tied it. But we had a chance to get the lead back. Double, sac bunt, but then Middlebrooks starts swinging at pitches that almost hit his feet, and Pedroia then ends the inning on a grounder. It'll have to be a walk-off win, I thought, just get us through the top of the 9th, Koji.

Nope. An immediate dong and they take the lead.

Bottom 9, again we get a leadoff double, and again we move him over. But then Napoli watches strike three right down the middle, and a walk later, Xander looks at strike 3 himself. We incredibly lose both these fucking games, leaving the tying run in ScoPo both fucking times. Sw-fucking-ept. Mother pus bucket.

*I heard this whole thing in the car, and O'Brien and Castig were practically cursing on air about how egregiously bad this call was, saying "this kind of call is why replay exists." When I finally got home and watched it, I really couldn't tell if Pedroia's foot caught plate or not. Still, goddamn, even if we just hold him up at third, it would have been second and third, one out, down one...whatever, I'm pissed. Fin. At least Cano and Co. beat the Yanks again. Stat of the day: The Arizona D-backs are 3-15 at home this year. Which isn't much worse than our shitty 6-10 mark. Gotta do something about that. Okay, now fin.

April Zito Brings Mae Campbell*

Red Sox enter May with the division's longest winning streak (1 game) and the division's best record over the last ten games (6-4). We're alone in third place, 2.5 out of first and a half game out of second. Hopefully May's the month we take over and start to pull away.

Two games today: Pedroia bobblehead at 1:05, game 2 at 7:10. I predict a 6-3 with Peavy in the afternoon, and a long extra-inning game at night.

*Must have lived in Ridgefield in the 80s to even have a chance at getting either reference.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday Night At Fenway (Part 1)

Parked in the four-hour meters over by Simmons. A buck seventy-five in quarters and a mile walk for exercise, not a bad deal. Coming in from that way, we saw some major new buildings going up along with this nice billboard. Mom and Charlie went to Remy's, and I headed over to The Ballpark.

Hadn't yet seen the latest addition to the championships on the Van Ness side. Here they all are, and at far right....

2013, duh.

Came around to Lansdowne for the Red Sox Nation early entry. Note the back of the scoreboard.

Sox were taking BP despite the possible showers. Here's Jon Herrera and, I presume, his son.

Lester in the winter gear. I feel like this night was even colder than Opening Day.

The only other sign of humanity in the centerfield bleachers was this person. Look closely at her head....

It's a GoPro. I asked her about it, and it turns out she was Fenway Ballhawk. Check out her blog here. How cool is it to be recording your ball snagging from the hat-brim point of view?

There was a small crowd in right, and at one point Papi launched one out there. I figured I'd snap away in case somebody made a great catch or something...and someone totally did! I can't believe I got the moment he caught it, not blurred at all. Later I went and found the guy, got his e-mail address, and sent him the pic. Had to do it. He and his friends were psyched I captured the moment.

Why am I showing you this picture of first base coach Arnie Beyeler?

Because I got this ball from him, the 29th of my career. (Or 31st, if I end up including the two official MLB balls I got at the season-ticket batting practice event last year, time will tell....) Earlier I had yelled his name, and a few minutes later he looked up and gave me a nod. Knowing I'd established rapport, the next time he got a ball, I politely asked him for it, and he tossed it up. Always a little nervous when they try to reach you at 18 feet--and a couple random teens meandered toward me so I thought there might be a fight for a ball that Arnie had clearly promised me--but I was in the far corner by the centerfield camera well, so I knew nobody could get past me, and I squeezed the perfect toss before thanking Beyeler and mumbling something about Pawtucket that he probably didn't hear. Mostly clean ball, non-commemorative, but a little scuff and tiny grass stain, so that's something. A description of all the balls I've retrieved is in this post, updated through 2012. It stinks that when I showed them "all" at Zack Hample's blog, I only had 6 at the time. Maybe he'll do another "show us your balls" posts at some point. It also stinks that I never seem to keep track of who hit the balls (if applicable) that were tossed to me. Like this Arnie one, I'd guess it was a Papi liner that went to the wall which he picked up, but I can't be sure. I never seem to even try to make a note of where the ball had come from at the time. Oh well.

The corner spot where I got that ball--also note the banner on the floor which would later be thrown over the edge.

Now the Red Sox were done hitting, and, TERRibly, the Rays did not take BP. You can see how empty the park still was at this point.

This Ray had to get an errant throw that went under the stands.

Fenway Ballhawk got into her Rays gear and went over to the third base side, while I stayed in CF for a few more minutes.

I tried for a stray ball which had been sitting on the track for a long time, but a security guy illegally took it. I was left to take pictures from the absolute deepest part of the field.

The exact deepest point.

Slowly made my way around, and got this token scoreboard shot. What is BCH? A quick webby hunt tells me BC High played hockey at Fenway, so it's probably that.

My first time checking out the new bar at the 3rd Base Deck. Nice new blue paint job by the elevator too.

And tables along that wall where you can look out onto Lansdowne & Brookline.

Figured I'd get this classic shot while I was over there. Also note the banner in CF that I'd earlier seen sleeping.

Came all the way back to the bleachers to test whether or not it was worth sitting out there in the cold for the whole game. The test failed. Knowing there'd be some empties on this horribly cold night, I decided we'd try for good seats for as long as we could. But in the meantime, I got this shot of the championship flag and age-challenged glory.

Are the Yanks champions? I'm a frayed knot. Meaning flag.

As I went back toward the good seats for the final time, I got a shot of this Boston Strong jersey. I actually stopped into the Yawkey Way Store just before the game, and I guess that room in the back really is a "game-used/team-issued" shop now. There's some great stuff in there. It's like a year-round Yard Sale. It all makes sense, because they put that other '47 shop in right field, meaning this space--the original '47 space--was now available for something.

Check back for Part 2, pics from the actual game and the story of how I got my first-ever GAME BALL!

A Blog Post Written In The URL Bar

And screencapped:

By "down and to the right," I mean look at the logo they use where my name is.


After a lifetime of trying, I got a game ball tonight. Here it is with a batting practice ball I got before the game. You can really see the difference between the clean BP and the rubbed-up gamer. Details to come!

In similarly awesome news, the Red Sox won the game, and the Yanks lost, with Cano deliciously doing some of the damage. (Didja hear the one about the Yankee fan who got offended by a player leaving a team to go to another one because they were offered more money...)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sterling Silver

Silver just banned Sterling from the NBA for life. Nice job.

On both NY and Boston sports radio, I've been hearing a lot of calls that to me are the equivalent of:

"Didn't Rosa Parks break the law though?"

Instead of using the "I'm not racist, but..." preface, why don't these racists just say "I am racist, and that's why I'm about to say the following racist statement....."?

I think what they're afraid of is being outed (whether it be done legally or not). They know that inside their houses they talk just like that guy, and now they're worried that people outside their houses will find out about it, and it scares them to death: "You mean anyone can just record my blatantly racist views and play them to the world? What is this world coming to???" The easy solution: Don't be a racist in the first place and you've got nothing to worry about.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Is This So Hard For People?

Have you seen these commercials for that lawyer who calls himself the heavy hitter? In his latest ad, he talks about how knowing the rules is so important, yet when he shows the baseball player sliding into home...

He's coming from first base! The fact that home plate isn't square seems to cause this problem a lot. I think I've even blogged about a different commercial in the past which had the same problem.

Even on the David Ortiz bobblehead they had trouble. He's in the "hands pointing up, just touched the plate on a home run trot" pose, and yet:

Maybe he just decided to stop at the mound on his way from third to home.

Hollywood Errors Club Introduces New Member

Finally watched Dallas Buyers Club tonight. My review? They use that disclaimer with the word "fictitious" spelled "ficticious"! Or at least they cut/pasted part of it into their "true but not really" version of it. You may remember I talked about this before. Add DBC to "the list."

Red Sox lose in Toronto. I had something I needed to do at 1:30. Heard us take a 1-0 lead. Got back to car around 3:30...only to hear "kleballer R.A. Dickey gets the win...." What? How is the game even over already! Well, it was. A 2:20 game. So I didn't even get to use my rooting powers to will us to victory.

Then I missed the Yanks tonight because, as noted earlier, we were watching a movie. Checked and saw the bastids won by one. Went to play-by-play to do that thing where you get to see one by one the balks and errors the Yanks "rallied" with. (It's a fun game and it's true about 80 percent of the time, try it!) In tonight's case, it was bottom 8, tied, and I start scrolling down....



passed ball

hit by pitch which was challenged and went as a wild pitch with the run scoring

And as a bonus, the guy then hit the batter anyway. Believable. Rhode Islander Chris Iannetta seemed to be the real culprit.

With the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the eighth, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran walked against Michael Kohn, putting runners on first and second with one out. And suddenly Chris Iannetta had a hard time catching pitches from lefty Nick Maronde.

Iannetta dropped a fastball right down the middle for a passed ball that allowed both runners to advance, dropped a foul tip that would've gone for strike three against Brian McCann, then couldn't keep a pitch in the dirt in front of him, giving the Yankees (15-10) their first lead of the game.

See that 15-10? Same record the Yanks had last year after 25 games. Maybe Girardi can win the "first half manager of the year award" again!

Stat of the something: Every team in the AL East has an "expected W-L" record below .500 right now.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Don't Hem And Haw, Kate

Shortly after seeing a Mini with the license plate "MINOSO" (I swear), I saw another car with the plate "HAWK 8." They were going slow on the highway and I was seconds from passing them when I noticed it, so I didn't have much time to process what it meant, but in that short time I went from

"that guy must like hawks a lot"


"I bet this is some old guy known as 'The Hawk' whose favorite number is 8 or just wanted the lowest-numbered 'Hawk' plate"


"maybe he's a Hawk Harrelson fan, I wonder if he ever wore 8 when he played...."


"holy shit this guy has an Andre Dawson license plate!"

Now I was just about even with him, but of course it's hard to communicate with another driver, especially at night, which it was, that you understand the reference you're making with your plate, short of rolling down the window and yelling that sentence, which really wasn't an option here.

But there was a split-second left, and my mind was still frantically trying to come up with a way of letting this person know I knew. Luckily, Andre Dawson is one of the few people in the world who comes with his own salute! It hit me in time, and as I passed, I did the "we're not worthy" arm-motion as quickly and as safely as I could.

As I said, it was night. I couldn't even tell if they saw me do it. But if you've got a plate like that you'd better be looking for people who get your reference. Hopefully I gave them a laugh.

Sox go for the sweep in Toronto at 1:07. Lester goes against Cockey, who's been a walk machine this year. And who Middlebrooks hit two homers off of in a game on his way to a three-dong night. Or day.

Note: Second time I've linked to that same Wayne's World clip in the last few weeks! Excellent.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States