Some happenings only three days after the end of the World Series. The Sox have now confirmed the deal that was made with Mike Timlin. $2.8 million for one year with some interesting incentives including bonuses for games pitched and games finished. He’ll get $125,000 when he pitches in his 39th game, and again when he pitches his 50th, 60th and 70th games. Many folks are skeptical of this deal, even one of my sistahs, but I have to say I’m thrilled. As a fan of Mike’s, I like knowing he’ll probably end his career in Boston. As a fan of the team, I see this as a no-brainer. It’s a short contract, for pretty much short money. He isn’t going to be their close, or even their set up man. He’ll give them a few good innings in the games he’s in and he gives them a veteran presence in the bullpen. Given the age of the rest of the pitchers we have thus far, that makes me very happy. After his 81 appearance season in 2005, then the WBC and his ending up on the disabled list, Mike had a very off-year in 2006.
He’ll be 41 at Spring Training. Maybe last year was a sign of his age kicking in, maybe it was as I listed, the wear and tear on his arm in 2005, coupled with his training being changed due to the WBC and subsequently his visit to the DL. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here.
As far as Wakefield goes, it isn’t a surprise that the team picked up his option, for what he costs and what he brings to the team, it’s another no-brainer. From the A.P story:
Early in the 2005 season, Wakefield agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract extension through 2006 that gave the Red Sox the ability to keep their longest-tenured player for the rest of his career. The team can keep renewing his contract annually at the same salary.
Wakefield agreed to this because he wanted to stay in Boston and he said he wanted his son to see him pitch at Fenway Park. I’ve written about Wake many times here. The guy is the heart of this team. When he’s healthy, he’s effective. And he’s another good presence in the clubhouse. I like the youth movement but I’m happy to have the three 40 year-olds (including Schilling) in that clubhouse. Guess I’m a little old school that way.
Meanwhile, Doug Mirabelli, Mark Loretta, Alex Gonzalez, Gabe Kapler and Trot Nixon have all filed for free agency. No surprises there really. I like all these guys, albeit some more than others. But if I have to choose and I can’t have them all, I want to see Loretta and Nixon back in their Red Sox next season.
I didn’t get a chance to hit Faneuil Hall today to visit the Auerbach statue. Maybe tomorrow if I am feeling better (colds stink don’t they? you’re sick enough to be annoyed and sluggish but NOT sick enough to stay home in bed). The Celtics are going to wear black shamrocks with Red’s name on their uniforms to honor him. I’d be happier if they honored him by canceling the ‘dance team’ for the season. Even so, I like the idea of a black shamrock with his name in red. Nicely done, Celtics.
I think it was very kind of my body to wait until the night of the last night of baseball for 2006 to get sick. Thanks, body. 🙂 I’m going to go hit the bottle of Nyquil. See you all on the flip side.
We always had faith the team would go in the right direction with Red around. It seems almost fitting that he passed on before the first season of Celtics cheerleaders (something he was vehemently against) began.
It’s a sad day for basketball fans and especially the Auerbach family. 89 years isn’t long enough. It never is. God speed, Red, and thanks for all the wonderful memories.
I received two really nice emails today from Cardinals fans, "Marie" and "Derek", both basically saying I ‘had’ to live blog tonight to bring the Cards luck. While I think it’s sweet, I don’t believe for a second that I’m lucky (this past season’s live blogs will show you that), but who am I to mess with the beliefs of part of the fan base that is thisclose to a World Series Championship?
Sadly, Kevin Kennedy just said the Cards will win tonight. He doesn’t have much luck with this predicting thing. Let’s hope this time he’s actually right.
So, here’s the deal, I’m here again live blogging. Hey, if I wasn’t here, I’d still be watching the game…I’m home, bundled up and fighting off a cold so I might as well make myself useful. Well, not really useful to anyone but myself and the scattered Cardinals fan, but that’s what a blog is all about, eh?
So, as long as the cold medicine doesn’t knock me out…I’m here for the long haul. Go Cards!
8:17 – Hey, I forgot Billy Ray Cyrus was singing the National Anthem tonight! I know he’s the object of ridicule, but he sang "God Bless America" at Fenway this year and did a great job! I like him. 🙂
8:19 – David Eckstein is either singing or talking to himself. The guy is in perpetual motion.
8:20 – Nicely done, Billy Ray.
8:21 – The idea that this could be the last night of baseball until next season makes me a little blue. The idea that this could be the last night of listening to Buck and McCarver until next season makes me a little giddy.
8:23 – Someone has a sign that reads "Shock the World" which, of course, reminds me of Kevin Millar. 🙂
8:28 – And we’re still on commercials. Fox hates baseball fans.
8:30 – My how times have changed. Never thought I’d be actively rooting FOR Jeff Weaver (although I developed a soft spot for him even before the playoffs when he basically got dumped for his brother…)
8:31 – Jeff Weaver is only 30 years old? Man, it seems like he’s been around forever.
8:32 – Mr. Weaver just dispatched Mr. Granderson mightily.
8:34 – Weaver has two strikeouts. Hello, Jeff!
8:34 – Joe Buck in regard to Weaver, Joe thinks there are baseball fans ‘just checking him out for the first time". Oh, Joe, you make me sad.
8:35 – One, two, three top of the first. Nicely pitched, Jeff!
8:38 – In googling Weaver, I came across this. There are just so many funny people in the world.
8:40 – Eckstein makes the first out and the pitching coach’s son has a full count.
8:41 – Verlander walks Duncan to pitch to Pujols. Well, wouldn’t YOU?
8:41b – Right after Joe Buck mentions that Pujols took Verlander deep at the beginning of this World Series, Verlander throws wildly past Prince Albert, thus allowing the pitching coach’s kid to advance to second base. You’re a crafty one, Mr. Verlander. (Interestingly, with first base open they DON’T intentionally walk Pujols.)
8:43 – I suspect, when this series is over, that IRod is going to kick someone’s ****. ANYone’s ****…just some **** kicking will get done. He’s been beat to crap this series and now this kid is throwing like some wiggly-armed pre-teen.
8:43 – Pujols walks, bringing up my Cardinals boyfriend Jim Edmonds.
8:45 – We have three people on the mound trying to calm down Verlander.
8:46 – Joe Buck is saying that Kenny Rogers isn’t pitching tonight possibly because Leyland didn’t want to subject him to the fans after the ‘controversy’ last night. Is he for real? First off, St Louis fans are pretty laid back. Secondly, it’s the freaking World Series. You pitch the guy you think will win. You don’t worry about his gentle sensibilities. Sheez.
8:47 – Verlander went from a 2-0 count to a 3-2 count. One out, two on…
8:48 – My boyfriend, as Tim McCarver put it, "went after ball four". Two outs, two on…up comes the Cardinals Scott withOUT the soul patch.
8:50 – Another wild pitch and the runners move up. Rolen has a 3-1 count and Grilli is up in the bullpen. Yeah, having Grilli up should do wonders for Verlander’s nerves.
8:51 – Verlander just walked the bases loaded and Leyland so looks like he wants a cigarette.
8:52 – During the pre-game, Fox showed a piece of an interview with Kenny Rogers where Kenny said he didn’t talk to Verlander about pitching tonight because he "didn’t want to confuse him". I thought it was a little arrogant at the time, but now I’m beginning to understand what Kenny was talking about.
8:53 – Ronnie Belliard has worked a full count.
8:54 – Wow. Guillen just saved Verlander’s cheese. Sorry, Justin, you so don’t deserve that fist pump you just did. Not after that performance. No score after one. For shame, Cardinals.
8:59 – Sean Casey is my Tigers boyfriend. I’m just saying. I’m a sucker for the Irish boys.
8:59b – Weaver strikes out Magglio to bring up my new boyfriend.
9:01 – Who strikes out. Proving I have lousy taste in men.
9:02 – Another 1-2-3 inning for Jeff.
9:07 – After McCarver talked about how Verlander has probably calmed down, he gives up a hit to Yadi. And then he gives up a hit, that actually is an out thanks to Inge, to Taguchi. One out, Yadi on second.
9:08 – Weaver waves at the ball just to get his at-bat over. 2 outs, one on and Eckstein up.
9:10 – Eckstein gets to second on a hit and an error on the throw by Inge. 1-0 Cardinals. You know, before the series started, Rita the Astros fan, wrote in the comments section (in part) that if the Tigers lost it would be because of sloppy play by them. I gave her a hard time because the series hadn’t started yet and I thought it was being unfair to the Cardinals. Now, I still think the Cardinals are playing worthy of World Champions…but the Tigers DO seem to be helping them out a little, eh? Excellent call, Rita.
9:12 – Hitting coach’s son = Rally Killer. End of 2, 1-0 Cardinals.
9:16 – Weaver gets Polanco out, giving Joe Buck a chance to beat on him for not having a hit in the World Series. Inge, he of the error that brought the run in last inning, is up.
9:17 – As McCarver talks about how horribly Weaver did this season, he gives up a double to Inge who, Tim McCarver says, has ‘sneaky power’. He and Scrappy Eckstein should get together.
9:18 – Inge Schminge. He’s out in the run-down and there are two outs with Verlander on first, instead of Inge on second. Well fielded, Jeff.
9:20 – Curtis Granderson gets a single to second as Buck moans that Inge took a run away from the Tigers with his boneheaded running skills.
9:21 – Three outs. Brandon Inge is a couple of hours away from being Bill Buckner.
9:24 – Bottom of the third, Pujols up and Verlander tries to hit him. Are you kidding me? Even though I want the Cards to win, I’m kind of glad they’re doing it pretty much (thus far) without Pujols. I like it when it’s not all about one guy.
9:25 – Pujols smashes one into left. Apparently he was annoyed either by Verlander pitching too close in or Joe Buck **** about him. Either way, nice hit, Albert.
9:26 – And here comes my boyfriend. Buck better keep his tongue away from him. Oh, there goes McCarver dissing him "THAT was hittable". Strike one. For Edmonds AND McCarver. Don’t test me. Dang, 0-2.
9:27 – Verlander actually DOES look a lot calmer than he did in the first. That could be bad.
9:28 – And Joe Buck chooses to remind us how St Louis and Detroit both basically tanked at the end of the season. Thanks for the reminder, Joe.
9:29 – "The Experts are Idiots" reads a sign. Tim McCarver laughs and Joe Buck says ‘that is well said". They DO realize they are in that camp as well, right?
9:30 – Strike ’em out, tag ’em out because Pujols was running and then stopped. 2 outs. Three outs now, 1-0 Cardinals at the end of three.
9:34 – Weaver gets the first out. Magglio is up and the breeze is blowing through Weaver’s blonde locks. (Hey, it’s the shot Fox showed!)
9:36 – McCarver is trying to blame my boyfriend. He’ll pay…OH he’ll pay.
9:37 – Sean Casey is no longer my Tigers boyfriend. He just hit a two-run homerun. 2-1 Tigers. We will now beat ‘the error’ to death. And by "we" I mean, Buck and McCarver.
9:38 – Duncan catches THIS one and there are two outs. I hope Duncan gets the game-winning hit tonight. That’ll shut up Buck and McCarver. HEY let’s show the error again! Polanco is 0-16, Buck gleefully informs us. Oh Placido, how nice of you to try and take the heat off of little Duncan.
9:39 – 2-1 Tigers going to the bottom of the fourth. Come on, fellas, help the kid out.
9:41 – Belliard hits the first pitch right to Monroe to bring up Molina…and then Taguchi and then, possibly, Weaver. Oh happy day.
9:42 – Joe Buck tries to get Tony LaRussa to blame Jim Edmonds for ‘the error’ and he basically does. Up yours, Tony. God, he’s the one thing that makes me NOT want the Cardinals to win.
9:43 – Yadi tells me to stop being such a negative nellie with a single.
9:44 – So Taguchi tells me to have more faith in the bottom of the lineup by also getting a single. Two on, one out and the pitcher up. Egads.
9:45 – Does Verlander have special needs? They seem to baby the heck out of him.
9:46 – I honestly can’t believe what I just saw. On yet ANOTHER throwing error, this one by Verlander, on Weaver’s bunt…Molina scores. Game is tied with men on second and third with one out and Eckstein up.
9:48 – Taguchi just scored even though Tim McCarver can’t figure out how. Fielder’s choice, I’m guessing. 2 outs, Weaver on third. Time for Duncan to make up for the error.
9:50 – Duncan pops up for the last out while Fox plays "Oops I did it Again’ while showing the errors of the Tigers. Tigers fans, ther is time to make it to St Louis and beat these guys up, you know.
9:54 – Weaver gets his fifth strikeout. Here comes Verlander.
9:56 – And there goes Verlander. Down on three pitches.
9:57 – Tim McCarver thinks he’s being deep by talking about how Detroit hasn’t done the ‘simple’ things. When this game is over, I plan on watching the dvd of Game 4 of the 2004 WS to mark the day. I’ll have to listen to see if Buck and McCarver bad-mouth the Cardinals they way they are the Tigers tonight.
9:58 – Tigers leave one on. Bottom of the fifth coming up. 3-2 Cards.
10:02 – Why don’t McCarver and Buck just come out and say "Man, Verlander ****, doesn’t he???", instead of beating around the bush.
10:03 – Pujols strikes out while tryng to start a fight with Tim McClellan. Stop showing Pujols while my boyfriend is at bat!
10:04 – Including this at-bat, Edmonds is 4-16 in the World Series. I sure can pick ’em, eh?
10:04b – While interviewing Jim Leyland, Joe Buck LAUGHS when asking about the errors. Jim Leyland should rip off the headphones and shove them down Buck’s throat. But, he won’t. He looks like a beaten man right now.
10:05 – End of 5, 3-2 Cardinals. Well, if the post-season ends tonight, at least I won’t have to listen to John Mellencamp selling out any more.
10:08 – Hey, Joe Buck likes Sean Casey too! He just called him ‘red-hot’! (Guess he doesn’t mean it the way I do, eh?)
10:09 – McCarver having a fit about Duncan still being in the outfield. Man, I hope Duncan does something good tonight!
10:09b – Jeff Weaver = Defensive Genius. The anti-Tiger pitcher.
10:10 – "Their hottest hitter, Casey". Joe Buck shares my crush, I’m sure of it now.
10:11 – Crap. Duncan just blows the third out. Hey, the World’s Best Baseball Fans are booing Chris Duncan. For shame.
10:12 – Worse is that Duncan just proved Tim McCarver right. I think it’s a sign of the apocalypse. Official scorekeeper gives Sean Casey a double with IRod up.
10:13 – Strike one. Okay Jeff, keep it up. Don’t make this poor Duncan kid the goat.
10:14 – Strike two. STRIKE THREE!!!!!!!! Read these words carefully because I’ll probably never write them again: I LOVE YOU JEFF WEAVER!
10:17 – Oops. In my excitement I forgot to mention the score. 3-2 Cardinals in the bottom of the sixth. Belliard has a 1-2 count and Verlander is still in there.
10:18 – Verlander strikes out Ronnie and now we hear the insight of Mark Mulder on the Tigers’ errors.
10:18b – While we miss Yadi get his third hit!
10:19 – Let’s see those errors again, eh?
10:21 – Taguchi is out, Yadi is on second and Weaver is at bat.
10:22 – Weaver is out…3-2 going into the seventh.
10:27 – McCarver claims Weaver’s foot is a size 13 1/2. Lucky Mrs. Weaver.
10:27 – Two outs. Jeff Weaver’s favorite show is "Silver Spoons". I find that very endearing.
10:28 – Alexis Gomez is pinch-hitting for Verlander. So much for the rookie tonight.
10:29 – Three outs…time for "God Bless America" by "Varcity". Very nice of the Cards to give some unknowns a few minutes of national tv time.
10:35 – Aided by Guillen’s double-clutch, Scrappy Doo has another hit and Joe Buck tries to get us to vote for Eckstein for MVP.
10:38 – Fernando has a 3-0 count on Mookie’s pride and joy with one already on and no outs…
10:39 – And Preston walks. Bringing up Pujols. Pujols has 6 rbi in this series and Buck says that like it is a bad thing.
10:42 – Pujols pops it up. He’s not so good at this post-season stuff, huh?
10:43 – Speaking of which, here comes my boyfriend.
10:43 – I wonder if Tim McCarver knows the definition of ‘hyperbole’?
10:44 – Rodney has very pretty eyes. (Sorry! But Fox keeps showing them!)
10:45 – Someone made a sign that reads "Retaliate for ’68!". That was 38 years ago. Let the anger go, dude.
10:46 – How old is Fernando Rodney? He looks like quite the young-un. 2-2 count to my boyfriend.
10:47 – Jim Edmonds…take your seat and let the un-soul patched Scott take the plate.
10:50 – Rolen hits it just in front of Ordonez to score Eckstein! 4-2 Cardinals.
10:52 – Belliard ends the inning. 4-2 Cardinals at the end of seven.
10:56 – 1 out in the 8th. Weaver is still in there but Flores is up in the bullpen.
10:58 – Two outs. Holy cow.
11:02 – Buck and McCarver were oddly quiet while Weaver struck out Guillen. They didn’t even say anything going into the commercial. Did they both go to the bathroom?
11:06 – The series MVP gets a yellow Corvette. I think Weaver would look good in that thing.
11:07 – Yadi is out number 1. Fox just showed Jared Weaver yelling "One more" when Jeff left the mound. Alas, he won’t get to see Jeff pitch ‘one more" because Scott Spiezio is on-deck.
11:08 – Taguchi is out. They’re blathering on about the errors by the Tigers again. You know, the bats not getting hits can be blamed for the losses the Tigers have endured thus far as well. Let’s give some credit to the St Louis pitcher’s eh?
11:09 – The Cards were in a hurry to get out of the 8th inning. Three more outs, fellas, three more outs.
11:13 – If I was a Cardinals fan, I wouldn’t be able to watch the first two batters of this inning. Wainwright has a full count on Ordonez.
11:14 – Nice play by Ronnie B! One out.
11:15 – Sure, show Nate Robertson just to make me feel bad for him. (He has the rally chew in!)
11:16 – 1-2 to Casey.
11:17 – Don’t lose it Wainwright…full count on Casey.
11:18 – Once again, Sean Casey shows up when the rest of the team doesn’t. Casey gets a double with one out.
11:19 – Another sign of the apocalypse. I agree with Tim McCarver. Leyland didn’t need to take Casey out for a pinch runner. What was he thinking?
11:20 – 2-0 count on IRod. Chill out, Wainwright.
11:21 – IRod is out, Casey is still at second. The St Louis Cardinals are one out away from winning the World Series with 0-17 Placido Polanco at bat.
11:22- Strike one looking.
11:22b – Ball one. Brandon Inge is on-deck.
11:23 – Pop up…out of play…strike TWO.
11:23b – Low pitch…ball two. 2-2 count.
11:24 – Ball three on a wild pitch. Moves the runner along to third. Good God.
11:25 – Quite the outside pitch. Ball four. Men on first and third with two outs and Inge up at bat.
11:26 – 0-2 count…my fingers are trembling.
11:26b – HOORAY!!!!!!!!! Strike 3 on a huge swing!!!!!! Cardinals win the World Series!!!!!!!!!!!
11:28 – Chris Myers is interviewing my boyfriend. He says ‘we shocked the world’. Didn’t shock me, Jim. Not me. 🙂
11:29 – I really feel sorry for the Tigers. Good team, good group of guys. But good for the Cardinals for shoving it down everyone’s throat who disrespected them.
Congratulations to the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals!!!!! Way to go!!!
On the way into work today, I played my "Red Sox" playlist on my iPod. One of the songs is called "Sox Dreams". It’s Van Halen’s "Dreams" with highlights of the 2004 ALCS games 4-7 (including interview clips of the Red Sox). Someone online put it together after the Sox won the ALCS. Kind of a ‘get psyched’ song for the World Series. I still don’t know who did it because someone sent it to me.
It brought back a flood of memories from 2004. More than once since I’ve been on MLBlogs, Yankees fans have complained that "all Sox fans have is 2004". Taunted me with it, really, about ‘living in the past’. I suppose to fans of a team that continually go to the playoffs and have as many World Championship rings as the Yankees do, one specific World Series win isn’t that big a deal. But even if the Red Sox win 10 more in my lifetime, NOTHING will ever top 2004. And, as Red Sox fans, we’ve nothing to be ashamed of for remembering that season at any opportunity we can.
I remember exactly how I felt after games 1-3 of the ALCS. I was mad at Curt for pitching hurt. I was annoyed at the team for not backing up Petey’s great pitching with more runs and I was sad that Tim Wakefield gave up his spot in the rotation to take one for the team and eat up innings in a game that was lost practically before it was started. But then came game 4 and the historic comeback.
I’ve actually had folks take me to task for calling it that, as if I’m the first one to come up with it. No team in professional sports, let alone baseball, ever came back from a 3-0 deficit to win a championship series. None. (EDIT: Reader "Dave" emailed me to point out that, in fact, TWO teams in professional sports had done this exact thing. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders. And offers this link to back that up. My bad. Thanks, Dave!) But the 2004 Red Sox did. (Okay, so they are the only professional sports team outside of hockey to accomplish this – my belief is still the same that this alone is worth remembering, regardless of what the team does from here on.)
To this day, I still have the front page of the Boston Herald from the day of Game 1 of the World Series hanging on the fridge in the television room. It’s getting yellow (that’s okay, I have another copy of the entire newspaper in storage, as I do with all the papers from that post-season) and I refuse to let anyone take it down. In that same room is the team photo of the 2004 team. That never gets taken down either.
The World Series is a blur to me. I remember the pre-game stuff for Game 1…and I remember all the errors in that game. I remember Jeff Suppan’s brain cramp on the bases, I remember Mark Bellhorn’s homerun and I remember that final out. Everything else has to be tweaked from watching the dvds and reading the accounts of the games.
October 27, 2004 – I left work a little early so I could buy a bottle of champagne. I couldn’t believe myself. Normally, I would have considered that jinxing the team, but after ‘the comeback’ I didn’t believe in jinxes any more. So I bought a bottle of champagne and watched history be made. None of us at the house flipped out when they won. My father just sat there, watching the celebration, with a huge smile on his face. My mother was crying and smiling and I just kept saying "I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it" through my own tears.
Even typing that it seems unreal. But it happened and it can never be taken away from us.
Two years later, even with a terrible ending to this season and a disappointing ending to last season, the same exact feeling comes over me when I remember that night.
Living in the past? No. Appreciating and enjoying what the past has brought us.
As ever, thank you Red Sox.
The 2004 Boston Red Sox:
I actually wrote this up last year for the first anniversary and amended it a bit for this year. I still get choked up thinking about that night. And there are many aspects surrounding it that I’m thankful for, but none as big as being thankful that I was able to share the moment with my parents…diehards for a lot longer than I’ve been!
I watched the final game with my parents…and when it was over I drank an entire bottle of champagne and fielded phone calls and emails from just about every person I ever met. I watched all of the local coverage and ESPN until around 2am…and never went to sleep. I watched the Red Sox come home with the trophy on the early morning news, got dressed in my Sox gear and went to work to celebrate with the people in my office. We laughed and cried and did nothing all day but read about the World Series online and talk about the historic way the Sox got there.
That Saturday was the most amazing parade/rolling rally any sports town has ever seen…and I stayed home alone while my friends and relatives went into town…and cried for the entire length of the parade (luckily every channel in town covered it and I taped every moment of it). I thought about so many people I know who didn’t get to see this and I thought of my (then) 69 year old dad who waited his whole life for it.
It was the best October ever.
Red Sox fans are spoiled by that team. A quick exit from the playoffs in ’05 and missing the playoffs (and second place!) altogether in ’06 has snapped folks back to reality. Even so, watching this World Series (played by the team my Sox swept in 2004) makes me miss the excitement of 2004 – even with all the pain of the ALCS that year. .
I was worried that a new World Champion would take away how I’ve felt all year about the Red Sox winning in 2004 – but then I realized I was wrong. Nothing will ever diminish what the Red Sox did and how they made me feel. If anything, I love them more this morning than I did yesterday.
With the 20th anniversary of the ’86 series being thrown in my face, it’s amazing to have the feeling that no matter how many times that ball goes through Buckner’s legs, Dave Roberts is always going to be safe at second and Jason Varitek is always going to be jumping into Keith Foulke’s arms.
Can’t wait until we do it again!
Jeannie Zelasko just said this about Busch Stadium. The NEW Busch Stadium. You know, the stadium that opened THIS season. WHO calls it baseball heaven? Fox execs trying to drum up interest?
(I realize they could, quite possibly, call it "baseball heaven" in St. Louis…but that still seems a little odd to me.)
And the live blogging commences.
8:04 – Jeannie Zelasko just called Joe Girardi "Manager of the Year". Joe might be giving her an extra special birthday present after the game for that.
8:05 – "I had a friend, Paul O’Neill…", starts Joe Girardi. Who is this Paul O’Neill you speak of, Joe?
8:08 – As I ignore the Chevy/Mellencamp commercial (Good Lord when did he sell out?), I’ll take the time to congratulate Joe Girardi on probably getting Jim Kaat’s job.
8:10 – Oh my God they’re playing "The Hustle". I’d bet better than half the people watching the game (or reading this) don’t even know what the heck it is.
8:12 – Jeannie Zelasko is a big fat liar: "Scooter is back by popular demand."
8:13 – Both Girardi and Kennedy predict a Tigers win tonight. Jeannie isn’t allowed to predict anything, but she does get to introduce some blonde chick. (Someone else posted this on another blog…Jere maybe, but I forget who…let me know so you can get your props)
8:17 – Nico Smith (Ozzie’s boy) singing the National Anthem. He was on American Idol. I thought it was kind of stinky that the son of someone famous got to get on that show. He got booted, though, so it all worked out. His singing doesn’t ****, either, so I’m sure he’ll be fine. Let’s hope he gets a better sound crew than Fox has. (Nico, "free" has one syllable…thanks much.)
8:19 – They just started playing "Let’s Go" by Richie Valens. 2006, folks. 2006.
8:30 – Are they booing Curtis Granderson??? (Oh, wait, Joe Buck just answered my question. They’re saying "Soooouuup"!) My bad.
8:31 – Jeez, in the time it took me to type that, Granderson got out.
8:32 – I think, instead of blood, David Eckstein has Red Bull running through his veins. Two outs.
8:33 – Fox just showed a sign in the stands that read "Best fans in baseball". Um, St. Louis fans, it’s called humility. Look it up. (That pic of Pierzynski and Barrett is what comes up when you Google "Best fans in baseball"!)
8:33b – 7 pitch first inning for Mr. Suppan. Niiice.
8:36 – Eckstein is up. Already has two strikes on him. Bonderman is looking pretty intense already.
8:40 – After being pesky at the plate (or is it ‘scrappy’?), Eckstein leads the game off with a hit.
8:40 – Which goes for nothing since the pitching coach’s son just hit into a double-play.
8:42 – Have a seat, Albert. No score after 1.
8:44 – Big Papi’s Boys and Girls Clubs of America commercial about ‘never giving up’!!! I got my picture of me and Papi in the mail the other day. I look scared to death. I’ll post it eventually. It’s funny, I never stopped talking and they caught me in a moment when my mouth was closed. Oh well. It goes with the other pictures of me with baseball players where I look scared. (There are two with Kevin Millar…although the ones with Bronson and Timlin I looked pretty happy.)
8:45 – Hey, as I digress, Suppan gets out Magglio Ordonez. Nicely done.
8:47 – I like Sean Casey (according to Fox and ESPN, EVERYONE likes Sean Casey) so I’m happy he just hit a homerun. But I still want the Tigers to lose.
8:47b – The Greatest Fans in Baseball are silent. Someone needs to tell them that the time the team needs you to cheer loudest is when they are DOWN.
8:48 – Buck and McCarver give a collective sigh because Ivan Rodriguez just got a hit so they can’t talk about how he has no hits in the World Series any more.
8:49 – As if they read my blog, the fans now start chanting "Let’s go, Cardinals!".
8:51 – Okay, I have to admit that this is when I like the National League. Inge gets the intentional walk to pitch to Bonderman. Even though I’m rooting for the Cards, it would be very cool for Bonderman to do something here.
8:52 – Alas, the count is 0-2.
8:53 – I have to assume that MLB is behind those freaking towels we saw during the LCS and now at the WS, right? Whatever happened to just cheering and clapping?
8:54 – Bonderman now has a 2-2 count. Suppan knows if he loses this ‘batter’ that all the pitchers will make fun of him, doesn’t he?
8:55 – Bonderman got the bat on the ball…but he’s out. 1-0 Detroit, middle of the second.
8:56 – I have a Razr phone…I hate it. And I’m stuck with it until 2008. I hate T-Mobile.
9:00 – I can’t decide if McCarver and Buck aren’t saying as many stupid things as usual, or if my watching the game while drinking wine is making me impervious to their stupidity.
9:04 – Does Scott Rolen qualify as ‘scrappy’?
9:05 – Well, he might be scrappy, but he’s also out.
9:07 – McCarver on IRod, "That’s what happens when you get hit so many times, you get mad back there" – because Wilson hit him on the back swing. He gets hit a lot. Maybe it isn’t the batters, eh Ivan?
9:09 – 1-0 Detroit going into the 3rd.
9:13 – Granderson leads off the 3rd with a double. Welcome back, Jeff.
9:16 – Oh my God it’s the end of the freaking world. Jeff Suppan and Scooter. Kill me, kill me now.
9:17 – Joe Buck says it’s good to show Suppan’s personality. No, Joe, no it isn’t. Don’t make me root against the Cardinals.
9:19 – One out, man on second and Fox decides to show crowd shots.
9:20 – Make that one out, two on thanks to a walk. Here comes Menudo.
9:21 – Two outs with Sean Casey coming up.
9:22 – 2-0 Detroit on an rbi single by Casey. Once again, Casey has shown up to play.
9:23 – Pudge is up again. If he gets a hit, Buck and McCarver might cry.
9:24 – Rodriguez knocks in another run and Tim McCarver weeps silently.
9:26 – Cards fans are chanting "Let’s Go Suppan". Oh wait, they WERE when I started to type. Now they aren’t. have they given up in the third inning? It’s only 3-0. Not exactly a butt-kicking just yet, folks.
9:27 – Polanco helps end Suppan’s pain…3-0 Detroit.
9:31 – Already an out.
9:32 – Nice hit by the number 8 guy (he’s like the number 10 guy in the American League right?) to bring up Suppan. Hows about another homerun, Jeff?
9:33 – Remember that number 8 guy? Who is that, Aaron Miles? He’s on second right now. Very nice number eight.
9:35 – Way to help your own cause, Jeff, by striking out. Up comes Scrappy Doo.
9:37 – And damn if the song didn’t work! Eckstein hits a double to knock in number 8! 3-1 Tigers. You know, the way that Buck and McCarver seem to be servicing the Tigers tonight, I’m wondering if they were asked to tone down the Cardinals homerism.
9:40 – Holy cow, Bonderman just walked the pitching coach’s kid to pitch to Albert Pujols.
9:47 – MLBlogs just ate my last couple of entries. Albert Pujols killed the rally and Suppan now has one out. Mark (go see Mark’s World Series blog!) explained the "Baseball Heaven" thing in the comments here (and Suppan has TWO outs): "Welcome to Baseball Heaven" is the theme of billboards throughout St. Louis and right outside new Busch. Thanks, Mark!
9:50 – Jeff Suppan gets a second wind and makes quick work of the Tigers.
9:54 – My Cardinals boyfriend is up again. He’s "a .500 hitter this post-season when the count is 1-0". Thank you, Joe Buck, for a stat that will mean nothing when he gets out.
9:55 – Which he does. But not before Joe Buck gets to say ‘atypical’ again.
9:56 – Scott, I keep looking for a soul patch, Rolen tried to get himself thrown out at second, but actually sneaks in there after much hesitation from the Tigers outfield. Nice work Not Spiezio.
9:58 – Well, at least Granderson didn’t ground into a DOUBLE play. Two outs with Yadi up. Yadi! Yadi! Yadi!!!!! Two out double!!!!! 3-2 Tigers!!!!
9:59 – Number 8 gets intentionally walked to bring up Suppan. Eegh.
10:01 – Esai Morales looks disturbingly like "new" Johnny Damon in the photo I’ve posted of him here. Oh yeah, and Suppan makes the third out. 3-2 at the end of four. We have a game, people. Don’t mess it up, Suppan.
10:03 – I tell you, I honestly couldn’t care less whether or not grocery stores are allowed to sell wine. Really. (Anyone watching this game in Massachusetts will understand.)
10:07 – One out, one on. Hearing Joe Buck give the "Chevy winning number" makes me want to dig out my dvds of the 1979 World Series and watch a game without so much blatant plugging. I never did finish watching those games on dvd…gonna have to get back to that after the World Series.
10:08 – Nice strike thrown to Magglio, Jeff!
10:09 – The Triumphant Red Sox Fan (and
possibly hopefully our friend Pam) and I will be making our third annual post-World Series trip to Cooperstown next weekend. If you haven’t been to Cooperstown, you really need to find a way there.
10:11 – Sean Casey reads the bible every day. How does this jibe with his love of Dave Matthews?
10:12 – Sean Casey is 3-3. Somewhere, Reds fans weep.
10:14 – Nice way to get out of trouble, Supp. 3-2 Detroit.
10:17 – Jeez, Eckstein is up again. Time flies, baby. Eckstein is also out.
10:18 – Dos outs. What the heck, Cardinals? Do you NOT want to win this at home??? Pujols is up with a chance to tie this. Come on, Albert.
10:20 – Unintentional, intentional walk to Pujols. And, once again, my Cardinals boyfriend is up. (I don’t think I have a Tigers boyfriend. It used to be Bobby Higginson. I even have a Bobby Higginson bobblehead…but, alas, those days are over!)
10:21 – My foot will have to meet Mr. Bonderman’s **** if he throws another pitch at my boyfriend’s face.
10:22 – Or maybe it will have to meet Mr. Edmonds’ **** for striking out? 3-2 Tigers, end of 5.
10:26 – Mookie’s baby boy makes a nice catch for out #1.
10:29 – Inge gets a hit with one out and Bonderman up. McCarver thinks he doesn’t know the bunt sign. Does he really need the sign? One out, man on first, what else would he do?
10:30 – Sign or not, he bunts and is out. Man on second, two outs. Here comes Granderson.
10:31 – Top of the sixth, Cards only down by one and Joe Buck is lamenting that Suppan won’t be pitching again in this series. Can we get through this game, Joe?
10:32 – Nicely done, fellas. 3-2 Tigers going to the bottom of the sixth.
10:36 – Rolen starts the inning off with a double to bring up Preston Wilson. (Okay, if Braden Looper is a cool baseball name, Preston Wilson is a cool…accountant’s name?) Preston sacrifices Rolen to third. Nicely done.
10:40 – Bonderman seems a little out of sorts, eh? He just walked Yadi and looks a little wild. Number 8 is up again. Do you walk him to get to the pitcher’s spot?
10:41 – Bonderman looks oh so pissed about being taken out of the game. It’s the World freaking Series, Jeremy, what did you expect?
10:44 – Bonderman being a baby in the dugout. I’m sorry, this is for all the marbles…there is no "I" in TEAM…whichever cliche works for you. Get over it, kid.
10:46 – Number 8 has a 2-1 count with John Rodriguez in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit for Suppan. Number 8 now has a 2-2 count from Fernando Rodney.
10:47 – Fox just showed Jeff Suppan in the dugout. He was doing what I do when I can’t bear to watch. Looking down at the ground…ignoring the game. And Number 8 strikes out. Oh, Number 8, I had such high hopes for you.
10:50 – Fernando Rodney gets Rodriguez to swing away. I fear the Cardinals might have just blown their best chance of the night. 3-2 end of 6.
10:55 – Holy moly! Wonderful catch by Preston Wilson. The kind of catch you’ll see over and over again if the Cards win the series!
10:57 – Then it gets decided to walk Guillen. With Magglio Ordonez up. Great.
11:00 – Carlos steals second. Lovely.
11:01 – Magglio strikes out swinging. Sweet! Oh, except here comes Sean Casey to smash a hole in the hearts of Cardinals fans. Pitching change…now break.
11:07 – Chickie did a nice job on the song. Brava.
11:07b – Does HP really think our seeing what rich people do with their ‘notebooks’ will make us want to buy one?
11:11 – Scrappy dappy Doo, baby! Eckstein hits a double and Tim McCarver blames the rain for Granderson not making the catch. And now I have Milli Vanilli in my head. I won’t be surprised in the least if that song leads us into the next commercial break.
11:14 – What the hell was THAT Fernando??????? What it was, was right over Polanco’s head, and an error gives the Cardinals the tie (not the LEAD as McCarver just said). Sheez.
11:18 – Jim Edmonds is up for what seems to be the 15th time tonight and Rodney is about to get my wrath if he throws at him again.
11:20 – Edmonds takes strike 3. God, I hate that.
11:24 – Rolen also strikes out. Rodney is pitching a great game. His defense, well…
11:25 – PRESTON WILSON!!!!! Nice work, baby! RBI single, 4-3 Cardinals at the end of 7.
11:29 – Braden Looper in for the 8th against IRod. Who gets a lead-off double (his third hit tonight).
11:33 – I know advancing the runner is considered ‘doing your job’ but it always kills me to see a guy getting congratulated in the dugout for making an out.
11:34 – HEY Tony has taken off the glasses…the double switch is on. Man on third, one out…ah, the anticipation!
11:38 – Don’t you love it when they bring in a new pitcher and he gives up a run? Double by Inge, knocks Pudge in. 4-4…that was short-lived, eh Cards fans?
11:40- Very pretty strikeout, getting Gomez swinging. Two outs, man on second and Curtis Granderson up.
11:43 – Dang, caught him looking with a beautiful pitch! 4-4 going into the bottom of the 8th. Pick up your pticher, fellas.
11:44 – I love this Ellen Degeneres/AmEx commercial. "Although they WERE argyle". I saw Ellen live a couple of years ago. One of the funniest nights of my life. If she and Lewis Black had a baby, it would be the funniest human on earth.
11:47 – Zumaya walks Yadi on four pitches. Okay.
11:50 – Did IRod just give Zumaya a mock cheer for throwing a strike?
11:51 – Number 8 almost hits into a double-play, but somehow he is safe at first. One out.
11:53 – Well, that was interesting. Encarnacion is out, Miles is on second with two outs and Scrappy up at bat.
11:56 – Dang, Cardinals fans are getting their moneys worth tonight!
11:57 – End of 8 on Taguchi’s pop up. 5-4 St. Louis.
12:01 – Mr. Wainwright says "Have a seat, Mr. Monroe" and "Bring on Guillen".
12:05 – Guillen is out. Magglio is up with Sean Casey on deck.
12:06 – Wow. He swung at the first pitch. Magglio is out – Cards win game 4 and lead this series 3-1. Who’d have thought it, eh? Way to go, fellas, way to go!
Well, hopefully they’ll get this game in tonight. I mean, we can only hold out anticipation for so long during a series that isn’t all that exciting. I don’t mean that as an insult to either team, and I’m happy about the way things stand in the series, but the most exciting thing that has gone on has been Kenny Rogers and his pine tar. So getting these games in will benefit everyone, right?
I’ve written this before…I started this blog for me. And, I’ll admit, I amuse the hell out of myself. But sometime near the end of last season, I started getting emails from folks when I didn’t post for a few days. One person actually wrote me, taking me to task by writing "You have a audience that you’re responsible to and you should respect that". So I made a better effort to post more often, because I truly appreciate the good people who take time out of their day to visit my blog, and then I noticed traffic picked up and in February I started tracking that. I get a lot of comments during the season, but that doesn’t even cover the traffic I get. Again, thanks so much for coming to visit folks. It means a lot.
Anyway, my rambling point being, sometimes I focus too much on making sure I get something out than I do writing the way I want to. One of the things I do for myself, but that folks seem to enjoy, is the live blogging. Again I admit to amusing the heck out of myself. There are other things I’ve done with the blog that I enjoy too…so I guess what I’m saying is there will probably be more things here that I write for me. Some ‘flashback’ type posts…posts about my favorite players. The off-season seems to be a really good time for that stuff.
Having written that…I’ve decided to entertain myself, yet again, with another live blog. Hey, we have only so many baseball games left, I have to get in what I can. Besides, how can I resist the Joe and Tim show again – especially in the rain?
If you visit Fire Joe Morgan (no need to reinvent the wheel here which is why I’ve provided the link for you all to read their more humorous and involved take on this) they map out why Derek Jeter clearly didn’t deserve the Hank Aaron Award this year. (Click the link to see the numbers for yourself. Ken did a lot of work on them and I don’t want to steal them.)
Based on the stats, Travis Hafner, David Ortiz and, heck, even Jim Thome deserved it more. They all had a better offensive season all-around than Jeter. As remarked on over at FJM, Jeter was not only NOT the best offensive player on his own team, but not at his own position either.
Travis Hafner will NEVER get any respect while he’s in Cleveland, and everyone loves Big Papi except when he’s pitted against Derek Jeter. Thome got the comeback player award so he played himself out of the award, apparently.
Now, Yankees fans, and every other person who voted for Jeter to receive the Hank Aaron award…did you actually pay attention to any statistics this year or did Jeter win because he’s ‘most popular’?
We’re going to read a bunch of articles tomorrow about how deserving Jeter is of this award. But, heck, if this was the MLB 2006 video game, he wouldn’t have even made the top 3 in voting.
Okay, here’s the obligatory blurb on the anniversary of Game 6 of the ’86 World Series. I’m stealing from myself. I wrote this in the comments section of another blog. Truth is, as much as I think 2004 erased the pain, after writing this I realized it wasn’t entirely true and I couldn’t stand the thought of writing it again…so I copying and pasting my own stuff. I will add that every time they started to show ‘the clip’ yesterday, I turned the channel. 20 years and I still can’t watch it. I know Buckner was treated horribly afterward and I know now he capitalizes on it as much as he can…so I hope that has helped him get some peace. Me, I think I need to go watch the dvd of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS again…
I was 17 in October of ’86…and that night I was at a graduation party for one of my friends (we graduated in May, why the hell did she have the party in October? But I digress…). There were about 20 of us at the Diamond Head restaurant on Route 1, eating Chinese food and watching the game on the tv they had. When it looked like this was going to be the night they won, we all took off and made it back to her house…just in time for that fateful inning. The party ended shortly thereafter. (My most lasting memory was blurting out that I ‘love Jim Rice’ and having some pre-teen cousin or neighbor of my friend respond "but he’s black!")
I watched game 7 alone while the family watched in another room…and I cried with Wade Boggs all night.
Okay, so I do have more to add. Remembering that kid who was surprised that I could ‘love’ a black player makes me cringe. Man, it was 1986 and there were still kids who thought like that? I argued with the kid for a while, and then the drama within the game began and it was forgotten. I wonder where that kid is now?
Digressing again. In that same comment, I mentioned my dad. I’ve mentioned my parents many a time here, they’re my biggest influences in many aspects of my life, including my baseball fandom, but I tend to talk more about my mother than my father. So, because I’m in a bit of a melancholy mood, I’ll reprint what I posted there about my dad. The subject came up because the post I responded to was written by someone who has recently lost his father.
Every time you mention your dad, I get teary. I think of my dad and how much I love him and how much we both enjoy talking baseball. Nothing makes me smile like my dad calling me at work – which he doesn’t usually do because he doesn’t want to get me ‘in trouble’ – to tell me he just watched the Yankees lose an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium with no one in the stands. And I think about how sad it is you can’t do that with your dad any more and how amazing it is that he got to see 2004
On to current baseball! Shame on Fox or MLB or whichever entity decided to hold the fans at the ballpark hostage for over two hours last night. It was obvious to everyone in St Louis that there wouldn’t be a game. I understand it is the World Series, but it wouldn’t have killed to throw those fans a bone.
And get-well wishes to Terry Francona. The day I was going to post about his taking over managerial duties for the team going to Japan (since Ken Macha wasn’t eligible any more) they announce that he WON’T be going to Japan because he’s in the hospital with a foot infection. Tito, you’re way too young to have all this sickness. Take care of yourself!
There’s a possibility of no baseball tonight either. I’m enjoying this series more than I thought, I guess, because the idea of going two nights in a row without baseball is making me cranky!
Have a great day, folks!