Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Notes from Friday

There’s a lot I have to pack into today, so I have to make this (relatively)quick.  Had a wonderful time last night.  I hung around near the field before the game, hoping to ‘meet’ Kevin Millar, but it wasn’t to be.  He DID come by to sign some autographs, but I was pretty much at the wrong end of the line (plus, I kept letting kids in front of me so THEY could get an autograph – I’m very uncomfortable asking for autographs…).

Rick Dempsey pulled out a bag of baseballs and started throwing them into the stands until they were all gone.  Daniel Cabrera threw quite a few into the stands as well.  I met some really nice Orioles fans…and was with them during the National Anthem, when all but one of them did that stupid (and I consider, disrespectful) "OH".  The one who didn’t is an Orioles season ticket holder who told me she HATES the "OH".  I have to agree with her there.

Sat in right field so I got to see a lot of Trot (haven’t looked at my photos yet – hopefully I got some good ones).  I’ve never seen HIM throw so many baseballs into the stands.  At one point, Dori called me to tell me she was holding up her "Theo re-sign Trot" sign and he saw it and threw a ball her way (she wasn’t the one who ended up getting it though).

Mike Lowell went 2-3, I got to see Mike Timlin get a save (and he came into the game to a massive ovation – it was really  nice to hear – the folks gave Trot one every time he came up to bat as well)…and I have now seen, in person, 3 of Julian Tavarez’s 5 wins.  🙂

Back to Fenway today with Kelly (the friend who got booted with me).  I’ll be bringing ‘the sign’ back today…so maybe I’ll get booted again?  (Here’s hoping I don’t!)

Two games left in the season…this summer just went by so quickly…

September 30, 2006 Posted by | Ballgames | 5 Comments

In other news…

…Pedro Martinez is going to miss the entire post-season.

Gee, who could have seen THAT coming?

September 28, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Good for you, Daniel!

(The original title of this post was "AL Leiter is an idiot".)

Leiter is on YES, going on about how ‘absurd’ it is that talking about a no-hitter jinxes it.

Michael Kay adds his agreement by saying "you can’t tell fans that".

Do neither of them get that it is part of baseball?  It’s baseball freaking lore, idiots who are supposed to know about baseball. 

Instead, it is apparently easier to make fun of fans bothered by the fact that the assw1pes on YES won’t stop talking about a no-hitter.

Al Leiter sounds genuinely pissed that people believe in the superstition of not talking about a no-hitter.

(Mind you – I’m not posting this until the game is over….this way, I’m just talking to myself and won’t affect the no-hit bid of Daniel Cabrera!)

The funniest part of all, though, is that Cabrera is taking this all in stride, fooling around in the dugout and Leiter seems totally annoyed by it.

(Sidenote…Kevin Millar has had 7 hits in this series – dude is a Yankee killer!)

Ah, I have to laugh (not at Cabrera, mind you, at the hypocrisy going on right now)…Robinson Cano just broke up the no-hitter and Michael Kay almost had an 0rgasm and the Yankees fans cheered for the no-hitter being broken up.  Where’s all the righteously indignant Yankees fans who were mad that Red Sox fans were happy about Carl Everett breaking up Mike Mussina’s no-hitter?

Michael Kay just said, "The Yankees lost BUT they broke up the no-hitter".

Nice way to keep neutral Mike.  Good work.  He and Ken Singleton sound practically giddy – Al Leiter is suspiciously quiet.

Congratulations to Daniel Cabrera for the one-hitter. He pitched a heck of a game.

September 28, 2006 Posted by | MFY | 12 Comments

Happy Birthday, Johnny!

Papihugsjohnnybdaysept27Too bad the Sox couldn’t get you a win – but it was still a special night!

I had my picture taken with Big Papi for charity.  Got to congratulate him and thank him.  And I got to wrap my arms around him!  🙂

I also saw someone right in front of me in line wearing a K Cancer shirt – turned out to be one of my friends from over at Numberfifteen.com (Hi Dori!!).

Red Sox Nation is a small, small world.  🙂Papihugsjohnnybdaysept27b

One down, three to go.  It was a beautiful night at the park.  The weather was amazing.  It didn’t really get cold until the ninth inning.  So, even with the butt-kicking they all got, I enjoyed myself immensely tonight. 

Pictures are from tonight.  More to come…I think I got a few good ones!

Take care, folks!

September 28, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Four at Fenway

PapinancifoxxcannadayStarting tonight, I’ll be at Fenway for the last four games of the season.  I’m very excited, but also a little sad.  Sunday might be the last time I see Trot Nixon in a Red Sox uniform (man, I hope not!).  It also might be the last time I see Mark Loretta, Alex Gonzalez, Doug Mirabelli or Gabe Kapler in a Red Sox uniform, if the sports writers have any idea what they are writing about.    I’m, obviously, a fan of the players.  I mean, my first allegiance is to the team, but I become quite fond of the guys on it.  So Sunday will be very bittersweet.

Hooray to Big Papi for hitting his 54th homerun last night (in front of Jimmie Foxx’s daughter and Babe Ruth’s granddaughter – he presented them both with vintage jerseys and autographed bats and they both seemed genuinely taken with him when they were interviewed about it later).  He also went 3-4.  So  much for the shift, eh Mr. Maddon?  (Oh, and the 52nd homerun ball?  Going up for auction today for charity.  Once again, Big Papi delivers.)

Curt finally picked up his 15th win.  It made me cry when Tito let him go out for the 8th inning just so he could take him off the mound and give the fans a chance to cheer him.  Congrats, Curt.  You better be back here next year.  🙂

For those who cared – the Red Sox are back in second place.  I don’t get the need for that from some fans, but whatever floats your boat.  🙂

Have a great day, folks!  I’m off to dig out ‘warm’ clothes for the game tonight!

September 27, 2006 Posted by | Ballgames | 4 Comments

When do I get my basebrawl?

Seriously.  What the hell?  If you’re going to lose 3 out of 4 to the Blue Jays, guys, you could at least start a fight.  Sheez, Wake was on the mound.  What better pitcher to incite a basebrawl with a hit batter?

Sorry, but I’m not going to cry about being in third place.  Unless you’re in Wild Card contention, second place means nothing.  Third place means nothing.  If you’re out of it, you’re out of it.  I’m bugged enough that their out of it…the position they’re in while they’re out of it really is of no meaning to me.

Besides, the Blue Jays play the Tigers and the Yankees to end the season…it’ll be fun to see if they keep that hold on second.

Ugly, ugly series.  Here’s hoping their saving up some good games for the final five.  I just want my boys to come home.  Then I’ll be happy.

Question for Blue Jays fans:  Why the hell do you boo Eric Hinske?  Did I miss something?  The guy was traded…and you boo him?  Guy was rookie of the freaking year and you BOO him?  We aren’t talking about a player who left for more money…so what is the deal?  Was he a horse’s behind when he was in Toronto and I never paid attention to it?  It really has me curious.

And before people start jumping in about Johnny Damon – the circumstances are completely different.  Short of Damon and Clemens  (and Jay Payton!) ex-Red Sox players get ovations in Fenway, not boos.  Mike Lowell and Alex Gonzalez got ovations in Florida.  So what up, Toronto?

I’m still convinced that Tim Wakefield is still hurting and sucking it up for the team.  He pitched well to start the game and then totally imploded.  Man is still playing in pain…you can see it.  I want him to come home and save it up for next season.

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times – I’ll be at the final four games of the season.  It’s something that I’m excited about and sad at the same time.  I get pretty emotional at the end of the season, knowing I won’t be in Fenway until the spring.  Hey, I invest a lot of time in this team…it takes a toll. 

And, for those who have asked, a brief blurb about Manny.  No one knows how his knee feels except Manny.  Gordon Edes, a writer I usually respect, kicked him when he was down, knowing that Manny wouldn’t respond because he doesn’t speak with the media.  Also  knowing that the Red Sox wouldn’t release any information on his condition.  So Gordon thinks he’s faking and that Theo should trade him.  Then Gordon gets all bent out of shape because someone had the nerve to call his home and complain about his article trashing Manny.  Gee, Gordon, if you’re going to insert yourself into a story by throwing claims around like Manny is faking and should **** it up like his teammates…you should be able to handle the heat you get for it.  Congratulations, Gordon, on turning into CHB Jr.

And, as far as other players playing through pain.  Well, it’s worked well, for the most part, for Mark Loretta…but Coco Crisp?  You actually used Coco as an example?  He’s the perfect example of why you DON’T always play through pain.  I’d venture to guess that he hurt the team more than he helped them this year.  Maybe if he had fully healed, instead of playing hurt, he could have been a bigger asset to the team.

Because I’ve made it known that I don’t read many other blogs, especially if they aren’t Red Sox-related, folks have taken to emailing me posts from around MLB.  I find it pretty humorous that some Yankees bloggers are still focusing on the Red Sox even when they aren’t any kind of threat.  Ah, but it’s the Sox fans obsessed with the Yankees…I get it.

After the letdown of no post-season ball in Fenway passes, I’ll be excitedly watching the playoffs.  I think it’s going to be one heck of a fun time this post-season!

Thanks again to all my blog friends who visited the other blog and put in t-shirt orders.  I really appreciate it. 

Have a great night folks!

September 25, 2006 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 8 Comments

David Ortiz

Papilaborday2006I’ve been busy over the last few days and focused more on this work than baseball…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching.

This past week, Papi hit homeruns 50,51 & 52!  He now holds the Boston Red Sox single season record for homruns, jumping over Jimmie Foxx’s record by (so far) two.

When Ortiz hit number 50, it was in a game that the Red Sox lost.  No matter, Fenway Park erupted as if the team just won the World Series again.  His teammates waited for him atop the dugout stairs and there were hugs and slaps all around.  Terry Francona put it best when he said "As good a hitter as David is, he’s a better person".

It’s because of that, I believe, that the fans who caught his 51st and 52nd homeruns didn’t ‘ask’ for anything in return.  They just turned over the balls.  (At the very least, what they got in return was to meet Big Papi!)

And what about that ball?  Homerun number 50?  Well, that is up for auction right now at redsox.com.  As of this writing, the bidding is up to $29,750.00.  All the proceeds are going to be split between the Boys and Girls Club of America and Plaza de la Salud Hospital de Niños in Santa Domingo.

So you will all have to pardon me if I think not only is Papi MVP this year of the AL, but of MLB as well.  🙂

With all the talk of Manny ‘being Manny" and the Boston writers looking to get their digs in on the team this last week of baseball, Papi rises above it all.  He’s a good person, with a good heart, who makes the people around him better as well (there is a story circulating that there was a meeting with his teammates where they discussed ways to do more charitable work).

David Ortiz is an inspiration.  We need more people like him in baseball.  And in life.

Five games left at Fenway Park this season.  I’ll be at four of them.  I’ll be there on Wednesday when they ‘officially’ honor Johnny Pesky and "Pesky’s Pole".  And I’ll be there for all three games over the weekend against the Baltimore Orioles (that’s a twofer for me – I get to be in Fenway and cheer on my team for the last days of the season and I, hopefully, get to see Kevin Millar playing!).

There have been so many emails to me asking me why I haven’t written about how the Red Sox tanked in August and blew their playoff chances.  Mostly from NON Red Sox fans, but a few from Sox fans as well.  My answer is, if you’re reading my blog and have to ask that…well, then you haven’t really been reading my blog.  They struggled and are going home early.  Doesn’t mean they aren’t still my team and certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to kick them when they’re down.

Have a great day, folks!

(Picture of Papi, taken by me on Labor Day 2006)

September 24, 2006 Posted by | Good Guys | 11 Comments

I ask you all to indulge me…

I had an amazing experience today and you all are going to hear about it. The indulgence by you comes because it’s going to be a long entry tonight!  🙂

Most of the folks who visit this blog know that on Labor Day I started another blog here at MLBlogs.  One to show support for Jon Lester and to promote cancer awareness.  I got the idea when someone close to Jon emailed me to thank me for the kind words I wrote about Jon here when he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  We started emailing back and forth, sharing pictures and stories and I told this person about my ‘sistahs weekend’ and how a bunch of us bought Lester t-shirts to wear to the game.  This person casually mentioned that it would be amazing to see Fenway full of Lester shirts as a sign of support.  I took that idea and promoted "Jon Lester Day" with the new blog.  Lots of folks showed up at Fenway on September 10th in their Lester gear or with signs – and my friend Kelly and I were tossed from the park for holding up our signs between innings.

While I was organizing "Jon Lester Day" I decided, based on the response I got through email from folks, to offer a t-shirt.  I knew it wouldn’t be ready for the  ‘day’, but I thought folks might still like one.  Since that time, the response has been overwhelming, in the most remarkable way.  Many people have ordered shirts (and still continue to do so) and some just want to send an email wishing Jon well or sharing their own story of survival with him.  I’ve read some heartbreaking things and I’m humbled that people have chosen to share their stories with me and Jon.

A few people who know Jon have emailed me about shirts, including Jon’s parents.  I received a couple of very nice emails from them thanking me for my work as well as ordering shirts.  Again, I’m humbled that they would take the time, especially with what they’re going through right now, to email me.

Based on the amount of shirts I ordered, I expected the shirts in today, MAYBE tomorrow…but, surprisingly, they showed up last night.  Knowing that the Lesters were in town, but that they would be leaving for Washington soon, I brought the shirts they ordered with me to work today and emailed them that I would get the shirts to them anyway they liked.

Mrs. Lester emailed me back, saying they were tying up some loose ends in Boston today and would be happy to come by and pick up the shirts, to save me postage.  That alone was overwhelming.  She also added, "Jon would like to thank you".  Now, reading that I suppose I didn’t actually comprehend it, because, much to my surprise, when Mr. & Mrs. Lester showed up at my office this afternoon, their son Jon was with them.

That deserves it’s own paragraph, I think.

Jon Lester and his parents took time out of their last day in Boston to visit me at my office to pick up their t-shirts and say ‘thank you’.

You all can imagine that not much makes me speechless…but this did (only briefly – I recovered in time to give them all the blow by blow account of Kelly and I getting booted from Fenway!  I can now say that I made Jon Lester laugh!).

They stayed for a few minutes, ten at the most.  They admired the Red Sox painting my boss had commissioned to commemorate the ’04 team.  They spoke approvingly of the t-shirt.  I got to ask Jon the question I wanted to ask, "how are you feeling?". (His response was "great!"  He also mentioned how happy he was to be going home.  He’s so young.  I couldn’t get over his poise and overall attitude, but he’s still so young.  I have no problem admitting that I cried when they left, thinking about what they’re all going through.)

They all said glowing things about the Red Sox fans, especially Jon’s mother.  It’s nice to know that the fans are acting as I expected they would.  🙂

As they were getting ready to leave, I thanked them for taking the time to stop by (and for buying the t-shirts – I didn’t want to charge them but they insisted on paying as soon as they put the order in) and they, in turn, thanked me for doing what I’m doing with the shirts.  Then Jon’s dad pulls a photo out of a folder he was holding (that I didn’t even notice he was holding until he did this) and it is a picture of Jon on the mound – and Jon inscribed it for me.  I really was surprised and told them so.  I didn’t expect ANYTHING from them.  They’re dealing with enough to not have to worry about some fan.  But both Jon and his parents insisted they wanted to thank ME.

I thanked them again and they were on the elevator and headed off.  Before he got on the elevator, Jon turned to me and said, "See you next year!".  I told him I hoped so and they were gone.

I’ve shared this story with friends and family and I’m getting a similar response.  This isn’t something you hear every day.  These are special people to go out of their way like this.  Some folks think it also reflects well on Red Sox Nation.  The Lesters went out of their way to reach out to one of the members of the Nation in a very personal way.  How many other fan bases have stories like this?

The person who emailed me originally (who knows Jon) emailed me again today.  I’m not comfortable sharing personal information I’ve received, but I am comfortable passing this along.  Many of the guys on the team (including Tito) are in contact with Jon every day, whether by phone calls or text messages.  Veterans, newer guys, they consider Jon part of their family.  Hell, so do I.  So does all of Red Sox Nation.

It’s something you can’t "get" unless you’re a part of it.  I  know how ego-maniacal that sounds, but it’s true.  I feel blessed to be a part of this fan base, because it has brought me so much.  I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had thanks to the Red Sox and their fans (you all read me refer to them as my ‘sistahs’) and I’ve met some amazing people outside of my sistahs as well.  It’s been a surreal yet truly wonderful last three years…and I’m very thankful.  As I wrote to one of my ‘new ‘ friends tonight, I would rather the circumstances of Jon’s life were different and I had never met him, but because they aren’t and I can’t change that, I’m very thankful I got the chance to meet him.  He truly is a remarkable guy (and his folks are pretty neat too!).

I’m still very emotional so I apologize if this rambles on.  My strongest hope is that God hears all the prayers coming his way and watches over Jon and gets him and his family through this all right.

I didn’t go into this expecting anything.  It isn’t what I’m about.  Getting the autographed picture was remarkable enough, but more important to me was knowing that Jon (and his family) knows how we feel.  Keeping with the ego-maniacal side of Red Sox Nation, we like our players to know that we’re behind them.  (Hence the postcard showers you read about here.)  So to have been able to look into Jon’s eyes and speak with him ‘like a real person’, to see that he knows how we feel about him, that meant a lot.  I was able to tell him that so many of us are praying for him and thinking of him every day.  You don’t often get to say something like that to someone face to face.  I did – and I’m thankful for the opportunity.

Jon has a great attitude and I think that’s one of the things that will absolutely help get him through this.  That and the obvious support he has from his family and loved ones.  And now you can add the love, support and prayers of a Nation on top of that, Jon!

I hope God blesses Jon and his family and watches over them on their trip home tomorrow. 

September 21, 2006 Posted by | Good Guys | 24 Comments

50!

Congratulations, Big Papi!

“Like I’ve said, I always tell my teammates that we have the best fans all the way around. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the game. It doesn’t matter if we’re winning or losing. They enjoy whenever we do good on the field.”

September 21, 2006 Posted by | Good Guys | 5 Comments

Oh for crying out loud

The Yankees lose to the Blue Jays but the Red Sox are trying their best to help them clinch.

Losses don’t bug me much these days, but one that gets the Yanks to clinch?  Ew.

Well, at least Joe Mauer in doing his best to stay ahead of Jeter in the batting race.

And Schilling pitched pretty well tonight.  That’s a plus. 

Well, anything can happen in the bottom of the ninth (if they ever get there!) but if the score (on the Boston side) doesn’t change, the Yanks will clinch on a Red Sox loss.

September 20, 2006 Posted by | MFY | 17 Comments