Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Compare and Contrast

Jonl_1
Jon Lester is already in Fort Myers and working out with minor leaguers.  Just over a month after he was declared cancer-free by his doctors and eighteen days before pitchers and catchers are required to report.  He’s there without fanfare, without a press conference.  Just working hard to get himself in shape for the season.

The same day this news comes out, we get the story of Roger Clemens and his comments as the keynote speaker at St John’s winter banquet tonight.  Laughingly he said,

"I’m failing at retirement.  Let’s just face it. I’m failing miserably at it."

Yeah, Roger, it’s a freaking riot how you’ve made yourself the story of the off-season for two seasons in a row now.  How many months in 2007 are you going to hold MLB hostage this time? (Oh, wait, according to the article, three again.) What are your plans for the Astros, Yankees and Red Sox (reportedly, yet again, the only three teams you’d consider playing for)?  Will you insist on more videos professing love for you?  Or will Andy Pettitte calling you day after day and begging you to be his binky in New York be enough?  Maybe, once again, you’ll realize that you’re old and wearing down and if you want to pitch anywhere in MLB, your best bet is in the National League?

Clemens does baseball a great disservice by treating it as his own playground. ("None of the teams are interested in seeing me before May…" He says.  As if any of the teams would DARE expect him to show up when he’s supposed to.)  Some five months ago, when Jon Lester was diagnosed with cancer, he had no idea whether or not he’d be healthy enough to report to Fort Myers this year.  When it turned out that he was, he wasted no time in getting his butt to Florida.  Clemens spits in the face of every player in MLB who busts his butt to make the team.  He waves his hands and teams hit their knees for him.  And for what?  Possibly three months of mediocre pitching?  Last season was blamed on ‘poor run support’.  If he joins the Yankees or the Red Sox, he certainly won’t have that excuse to fall back on, will he?

Every day of the off-season, I eagerly await Spring Training.  And every day of Spring Training, I eagerly await the start of the season.  I won’t let Clemens ruin that for me.  But every season that he pulls this act, he gives me, and many other baseball fans, more reasons to detest him.

In spite of my best efforts to avoid it, I got hit with what is going around and still am feeling pretty punky…but I’m hoping to be back to form in the next day or two.

Oh and congratulations to Theo and Marie – and great work hiding it from the media!!!

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January 31, 2007 Posted by | Good Guys, Hot Stove, Jackasses | 18 Comments

Springing for a Cure – 2007

Boy am I late with this!  For last year’s SFAC I posted in November of 2005!

Well the time has come, again.  On Saturday, March 3rd, Susan, Tom and Dale will be presenting the annual Springing for a Cure dinner in Ft. Myers to benefit the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association (thanks for the correction, Tom!).

I’m going to cut and paste what I wrote last time, because I think it is a truly important point:

Regardless of how you feel about Curt Schilling, it’s important to know
that he’s a generous person who gives a lot of his time and money to
ALS charities.  This year is the third FOURTH Springing for a Cure
dinner – and Curt and his wife Shonda have shown up at the first two THREE. They were relatively small gatherings (especially the first year) but
he still took the time to be there.

My friends put a lot of time and hard work into this event and it always turns out wonderfully.  Unfortunately, again this year I won’t be attending, but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t go – or at least make a donation!  (And out of the four games being played that weekend, three of them are at ‘home’ in Ft Myers!)

Tickets are $100 per person and available to order here or here.  You can also click here for information on being a sponsor or donating an item to the night’s silent auction (I still have my autographed Lenny DiNardo ball and photo from the 2005 dinner – sorry Kelly!!!).

It’s never too late to do a good deed.

January 29, 2007 Posted by | Charity | 12 Comments

Sick Saturday

Drew
Too many people I know are sick today, so I’m in a sort of self-imposed quarantine so I don’t get whatever the heck it is everyone is getting. 

The JD Drew deal is done.  Finally!  I can really get behind this once I see him playing and not getting hurt.  Mind you, as I’ve been telling people, now he’s ‘one of ours’, so OF COURSE I’ll be supporting him.

He’s off to a good start, endearing himself to me with this quote: 

"When you play the game of baseball and you play in front of
passionate people, it becomes contagious. That’s where you get the
home-field advantage. That’s where a player really enjoys playing."

As I wrote somewhere else, why didn’t he just say "It isn’t that I was a lollygagger like everyone is saying…it’s just that the other fans were lousy!"  🙂

Regardless, I like the quote and I like the attitude and I hope he does a lot of good for the team this year.

Today was big ticket day at Red Sox.com.  My understanding is that most of the ‘regular’ folks waited hours in the virtual waiting room to either end up with no tickets or lousy tickets to any game they could get their paws on.  I waited a total of about 10 minutes in the virtual waiting room this morning and then figured out that instead of buying tickets to a couple or three games more than I already have, I could use that money and buy a ticket to opening day through one of the online ticket brokers.

Which is exactly what I did.  And, really, I saved myself some money in the process.

SO I have a seat IN the park for opening day.  In my favorite spot, left field. I have to tell you, I’m a happy chickie. 

This puts the total to 10 games, so far, on the season.  Opening day, two ‘group’ games in July and August (thanks Brad and Dale – yet again!),  a game that is still to be determined, because I ‘won’ it in a Christmas raffle (thanks MD! plus three games in September and three in May (including Memorial Day, AKA Trot Nixon’s return to Fenway!).

There’s also the possibility of a trip to the Bronx this year. I’m still waiting on the details.

None of these were purchased today on redsox.com. (Although, to be honest, five out of the ten I purchased through the Red Sox…just not today.)  It’s amazing what you can get when you don’ mind going to the games alone.  :-/

Oh, and I can’t wrap my mind around the Sox getting Todd Helton so I’m just ignoring it for now. 

I hope folks are avoiding this stomach thing going around and staying warm.

By my count, there are about 17 more days until TRUCK DAY!!!!!!!

January 27, 2007 Posted by | Hot Stove, Players, Tickets | 2 Comments

Bronson makes the big time

The banner at CincinnatiReds.com!  Congrats, Bronson!  
(This still won’t make him want to stay)

Brononthebanner_4

   

January 27, 2007 Posted by | Bronson | 1 Comment

Finally, some good baseball news!

So, according to Gordon Edes, the Red Sox are going to make the JD Drew signing official today.  And the only thing different than the original offer is there will now be an agreement in place to void one or both of the last two years of the
deal, if old JD’s right shoulder makes it impossible for him to play.

Cool.  That I can live with.  Nothing like having a little protection for your $70 million investment.

But the thing that makes me go ‘huh’ is, THIS line from Edes’ column:

Drew is not expected to be in Boston for today’s announcement.

Terribly excited about being a Red Sox player, are you JD?  You just signed a 5-year, $70 million deal and you can’t be bothered to come to town?  It’s not that big a deal, I suppose.  I’m sure we’ll get the obligatory press conference with the jersey and cap at some point, but if someone were giving me $70 million, I’d be on the first plane out to shake their hands.

Oh well…just another installment in the soap opera that is JD Drew.  Let’s hope this ends THAT.  Welcome to Boston, JD…don’t mess it up.

Great news for Red Sox fans not in the NESN area, you’ll be able to see plenty of the Sox on National television this year.  The Sox will be the focus of 9 games of Fox’s "Game of the Week" and they are scheduled for two Sunday Night Baseball games on ESPN with a possibility of three more (two of them Yankees games and the last one the final game of the season – I have tickets to the final game of the season and on one hand I hope it ISN’T an ESPN game, but on the other hand, if it is that means the game is meaningful!).

All this talk of finally having Drew and the national schedules coming out just reinforces for me how much I want baseball to start!  

January 26, 2007 Posted by | Hot Stove | 6 Comments

“Jen” rocks like Cleveland!

"Jen" works with Typepad and she and "Carla" have been trying to figure out the issues with my blog and tonight Jen did it. 

Here is where I admit that the issue was because of something I did, not typepad.  Apparently some script in the Truck Day typelist didn’t agree with the comment form script and was making trouble for IE users.

So the countdown, she is gone.

But I couldn’t care less since now folks can comment again.  🙂

Thanks, "Jen"!

January 24, 2007 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 8 Comments

Cranky Chickie

Markieb
Jeez, so much to complain about, not the least of which is having to watch the President bumble his way through a State of the Union address.  Guh.  Sit down people and let him finish his freaking speech.

The folks at typepad are still trying to figure out what the deal is with my blog.  If you are using Mozilla Firefox as your browser, you shouldn’t have any trouble commenting.  Another suggestion thrown my way is if you’re using any other browser, to make sure that you’re using the newest version.

Now, I’m not convinced that this is the real issue.  When I log in on IE, I can comment on other blogs, just not my own.  Ditto for some other folks who have tested it.  So typepad still has some work to do.  (The needing your IP address to get you on a white list isn’t necessary, but thanks to those of you who sent yours along.)

This business with MLB and Direct TV is another issue that annoys the he11 out of me.  Granted, I’m in the correct viewing market for my team, but I’ve purchased the Extra Innings package from Comcast for three seasons now because I love baseball.  Last year, I went to sleep many a night to the sounds of Vin Scully calling Dodgers games.  I watched every game that Bronson Arroyo pitched for the Reds (okay, some of them I did while flipping from Sox games).  I watched as many Yankees games as I could get in.  I love baseball and I want to watch as much of it as possible.  I happily paid whatever was asked of me to do so.  Not this time.  I enjoy my cable and have no issues with my cable company.  None that are major enough to switch to Direct TV for four televisions, that’s for damn sure.

With all due respect to people like our own Mark Newman who sing the praises of MLB.tv and Direct TV, I’m not paying for MLB.tv so I can watch baseball on my computer.  And I don’t see all the people losing Extra Innings going that route.  Once again, MLB shows the fans how very little they regard us.  Time and again people tell me about ‘the evils’ of MLB.  And, admittedly, I’ve done little in the way of protest.  Sure, I won’t purchase items from the MLB store, but I WAS paying for that Extra Innings package – and I pay for the space here on MLBLogs.  I also buy tickets to ballgames through the Red Sox (most of the time, on occasion I go the ‘other’ route).  So who am I to complain, right?  I keep bending over and letting MLB have their way with me so why should I complain now when, truly, this new issue doesn’t affect me?

I guess I’m just a hypocrite – and I’m happy to wear the title if that’s the case.  I have many friends who aren’t in the New England area and rely on the Extra Innings package to see their team play.  More people DON’T  have Direct TV than DO and that isn’t going to change with this monopoly being perpetrated by MLB.  I suppose one day I’ll have the fortitude to stop buying tickets to ball games and cancel my account here at MLBLogs.  That time hasn’t come just yet, but that won’t stop me from pointing out the ‘evils’ of MLB.  I might love the game, but I hate the entity that runs it.

Changing gears, here’s a quote from Jay Payton this week in the Boston Globe, on being excited about being back in the AL East (with the Baltimore Orioles):

"…I also get to reunite with Kevin Millar, and I think we’re all pretty excited around here about going up against the two Evil Empires: Boston and New York."

This is the guy who picked a fight with Terry Francona, probably the toughest guy in MLB to pick a fight with, just so he could get himself booted from the team.  And he thinks that Millar will share his view of the Red Sox?  Somehow, I don’t think so.  For cryin’ out loud, Kevin Millar still talks about how much he misses Boston.  Good luck to the Orioles with this guy.  Good player, big jerk. 

Man, there has to be something I can write about that doesn’t make me want to poke an eye out.

Okay, this is the best I can do right now:  Mark Bellhorn signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds and has been invited to training camp as a non-roster invitee.  Here’s hoping he makes the big-league roster in some capacity.  Regardless of that unfortunate moment when he wore pinstripes, this kid is one of the 25 and was a BIG part of the 2004 championship.  I wish him nothing but good fortune. (And just think of the HAIR!  Between Bellhorn and Arroyo, the Reds will be hairy noon and night!)  Good luck, Mark!

President is over and my eyes aren’t bleeding.  Good news all around, eh?

January 23, 2007 Posted by | Rants | 9 Comments

I AM a fan of the Patriots…

…but for the most part, I watch football to kill "sports" time in baseball’s off-season.  So, while I’m bummed about the Pats, it pretty much left me over-night.  (I’ll admit to probably avoiding the Super Bowl because if I have to see any MORE of Peyton Manning it will make me retch.)  This week it will stink to be Tom Brady and then he’ll remember he’s Tom freaking Brady and all will be well in his world.  It was a fun season while it lasted.

MLBlogs is still being hinky for me, but the folks behind the scenes are working at it.  My annoyance with this coincides with the announcement (left in the comments section, ironically, thanks Diane!) that we who usually get MLB’s "Extra Innings" via anything other than Direct TV are out of luck for, oh, the next seven years.

As if MLB doesn’t have enough ways to draw blood from its fans?

I’m beginning to understand those folks who love baseball but refuse to support MLB in any way. 

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

I’m not sure I could be more annoyed

Many people have emailed me this week to tell me they tried to leave comments and couldn’t.  Yesterday, from two different locations, I tried to leave comments – on my own blog – and couldn’t.  I figured there was something hinky with typepad so I contacted the proper folks for assistance and was told that ‘due to spamming’ many ‘legitimate’ ip addresses were banned and if I wanted MY OWN FREAKING IP ADDRESSES to be able to leave comments on my blog, I needed to send them back to the folks who run MLBlogs and they would put them on a ‘white list’ of accepted IP addresses.

So, needless to say, I’m on fire.  Not only are they banning legitimate IP addresses (seemingly only from my blog since I still have the ability to comment on other MLBlogs) but they never even bothered to alert me that this was going to happen.

I’ve mentioned before my personal conflict in how much I like being on MLBlogs versus how much I dislike some of the things about it, but this takes the cake.  I’m paying for a service that doesn’t even tell me when it has banned my regular commenters and ME as well.

I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do.  I have an ongoing-dialogue with a responsive enough person named Jen, but I’m not happy at all right now.  For the time being, if you can’t comment here and you would like to, send me your ip address and I’ll  have it put on the ‘white list’.  If you don’t know your IP address you can go here http://www.ipchicken.com/ and it will tell you what yours is.

I apologize to all the folks who want to but can’t comment.  This blog has NEVER been a victim of spamming and it makes no sense to me why MLBlogs and/or typepad would single it out.  Hopefully, I’ll get a more satisfactory answer than I have, but I’m not holding my breath.

Man, I hate drama when it’s connected to something that is supposed to be fun.

January 20, 2007 Posted by | Rants | 8 Comments

This does NOTHING to improve my mood this morning!

Trot_fairly_close_up_june_25_2005According to Peter Gammons, Trot Nixon has signed a one-year, $3 million with the Cleveland Indians.

Well, at least that only gives him 7 opportunities to rip my heart out against the Sox this year.

Good luck, Trot!  😦

(photo taken by me in Philadelphia in 2005 – Well, Kay, at least we had that Saturday with him!)

January 19, 2007 Posted by | Good Guys, One of "The 25", Players | Leave a comment