Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Sweet Sorrow

Photo of Clay Buchholz (just after he pitched his no-hitter and just before Tina made us all want to tar and feather her) taken by Kelly O’Connor

In a poll on, 86% of the voters said they’re relieved that the Sox aren’t getting Santana and the "kids" are staying put.

86 percent.

It’s a new world for us, Sox fans.  A world where we can acknowledge that Johan Santana is, arguably, the best pitcher around, yet also say, "Meh, but we really didn’t need him", and mean it. 

I had been mulling over what I would consider a good trade for him, and concluded that any prospects I would give up, the Twins wouldn’t want.  How ironic that they ended up trading him for prospects from the Mets, without even getting the most coveted prospects the Mets have?

Now, admittedly, I know very little about the Mets farm system.  Yesterday on ESPN, Peter Gammons said that none of the guys the Mets gave up would be in the top ten of Yankees or Sox prospects.  That could just reflect the difference in the quality of players on the National League v the American League (which I doubt) or  it could be proof that the Red Sox and the Yankees got tired of the games the Twins were playing, both pulled back, and left them with no choice but to deal with the Mets if they were to deal at all.

So the Mets win the lottery, the Twins fans get shafted, and Yankees and Red Sox fans both say "At least THEY (Red Sox or Yankees) didn’t get him.

The Yankees not getting him is sweet.  Johan Santana being out of the American League?  Sweeter.

Nice job, Omar. 

Also happening yesterday – the announcement that Tina Cervasio won’t be with NESN much longer.  According to (yet again), she’ll leave us at the end of March to go back home and spend more time with her family.  Story of my life.  I just get used to someone and they bolt.  I have never hidden the fact that Tina annoyed me.  (From her pre-game, giggle-fests with Amalie Benjamin, to her name-dropping blog…with a smattering of baseball ignorance thrown in.  – The night she announced that Red Sox fans might not know who Roy Halladay is because he plays in Canada will live in infamy for me.) 

But, as many have pointed out to me, the sideline reporter in baseball is a job NO ONE really deserves to have.  (Except Eric Frede.  Bring him back, NESN!)  They interrupt the game at crucial moments, they ask stupid questions at crucial moments (Tina Cervasio is also infamous for, inadvertently, making Clay Buchholz look a little dim moments after his no-hitter was complete, by asking him questions not many would have been able to answer in that situation) and they don’t add much to the game.  (Again, except for Eric Frede.  Bring back Fredo!) 

The fact that most networks seem to pick the person for this job based more on her looks than her talent continues to annoy me as well.

So, I say goodbye Tina.  Good luck in Jersey.  And, folks, check out Jere’s comments on Tina’s leaving.  He brings up an interesting question in regard to her baseball loyalties. 

(And, yes, I realize if the Mets don’t offer Santana the extension he wants, we could go back to square one…let’s not focus on that just yet, huh?)

15 days until pitchers and catchers report! 

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Johan Santana, Tina Cervasio | 9 Comments

Looking Back at Mike Timlin

I was looking at some of my baseball cards and other memorabilia.  Here’s one of my favorites, Mike Timlin circa 1990:



And another favorite, circa 1991/1992:


Dude has an earring!  Can you imagine the Red Sox version of Mike Timlin wearing an earring?

From the 1992 Blue Jays Yearbook (another earring shot):


I’ve liked Mike since his days with the Jays, but I can’t help but always think of him the way he is now…seeing him so young, was a nice trip to the past.

And for comparison….Mike in 2007:


(Yes, I could have gone with talking about Cafardo’s piece about Trot being a free agent or the Sox picking up David Aardsma, but that’s what everyone is writing about!) 


January 29, 2008 Posted by | Mike Timlin | 3 Comments

Leaving sports behind for a moment

Regardless of your political views, or your opinion of Bob Ryan as a writer, this is terribly tragic news:

An American diplomat in Pakistan has been found dead at his home in Islamabad after apparently committing suicide, Pakistani police say. The US embassy in Islamabad named the official as Keith Ryan. It said that his death would be investigated but were no indications of foul play. Mr Ryan worked for the Department of Homeland Security.

And from Bill Burt:

Word had circulated around the media room this morning that Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan’s son had died in Afghanistan.

 My prayers go out to Bob and his family.

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Bob Ryan, Boston Sports Media | 4 Comments

Live and Bootlegged

The most requested song at a Bronson Arroyo concert (that he usually doesn’t sing), "The Freshmen", can be seen here.

The things I do for you folks.  🙂 


One of hundreds of photos I took last night. 

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Bronson Arroyo | 6 Comments

Won’t you wear my ring…

Why, yes, Bronson, yes I will.


That’s me wearing Bronson’s World Series ring.  🙂 (Photo by Kelly O – played with by me!)

Got home around 2am…so I’m still beat.  But it was a wonderful night!  Bronson did a great show (in spite of the annoying, drunken chicks older than me sitting up front!) and then signed for everyone afterward.  He posed for pictures and let folks wear his World Series ring.  What a guy.  

AND I got to ask him about  his jersey number!!  He was very gracious in answering me.  I told him that I had been to Pawtucket and saw the display there for his perfect game.  (I geekily added "By the way, congratulations on that!  Good for you!"  Ugh.)  Then I asked, "Did you choose your uniform number because of that game?"

When I started off by asking him if I could ask him a question, he put his pen down, looked at me and said "Sure!".  He is certainly one of those people who gives you all of his attention when you’re speaking with him.  As I said to Kelly O and Cindy, I have no idea how I formed coherent sentences without adding a teenybopper scream in the middle of them.  But I did. 🙂

Bronson and I (oh yes, most flattering picture of me, I know!) discussing the important issue of his jersey number. (Courtesy of Kelly O)

He remembered that the game was Game 61 ("Oh, yeah.  You mean because it was game 61, right?") but then he fessed up.

"No," he shook his head and smiled, "that was just the number they gave me when they called me up.  Not much of a story, huh?"  

It might not be much of a story, but at least my curiosity was satisfied and he was a doll for spending so much time with me.  I got to wish him good luck for this season and we were on our way to try on his ring.

Incidentally, I also found out that my interpretation of his new lyrics for "Boston" was off by one.  

I wrote:

I said
I think I’ll go to Boston
I think I need to come back
I think I need a ballpark
Where all the fans are there
I gotta get out of Cincinnati
I’m tired of the
I think I need the Olde Town
To fill my heart again
Ah yeah

The "summer" line always stuck with me as not making sense.  He sang his altered version again last night, and  the word he sang was "suburbs" (at least that’s what it sounded like over the screaming, drunken, old ladies) which makes a bit more sense. 🙂

It was a great time.  Being there with friends (along with Cindy and  Kelly O, Dori, Dave and Dave’s girlfriend whose name I stupidly keep forgetting, were there!) made it more special.  And Bronson did his best to make it memorable.

I think I’m going to take a nap. 🙂 

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Bronson Arroyo | 4 Comments

I’m just going to ramble…

.,,while I prepare for my final installment of "Bronsonpalooza" for winter 2008.

Photo of Kyle lifted from 


  • I don’t care about the EMC patches on the uniforms in Japan as much as you’d think I would.  How can I complain about my team making money if I want my team to spend money?  I was one of many who protested back when MLB wanted to put "Spider-Man" ads on the bases.  And I’d protest if the uniforms had sponsor ads on them here during the season.  But the Japanese games are supposed to be "special" (and yes, this is me rolling my eyes about that) so whatever they’re doing to generate money and fans, well, let them.  I imagine some of my indifference is because, regardless of what MLB tells us, I’m having a hard time even considering these real games.  It’s almost as if the Japan games aren’t even happening for me.  That’ll change in April, I’m sure.
  • Unofficial SGers player-mascot Kyle Snyder signed a one-year contract yesterday for  $835,000 yesterday (with an additional $15,000 coming to him in bonuses if he can hit some benchmarks).  Kyle has come a long way in MLB.  From being a first-round draft pick, to being waived (both by the Royals) with a myriad of injuries and surgeries in between.  He’s toughed it out in Boston, had a career year for himself in 2007 (topped off by the ring he’ll get in April!) and developing a quirky but devoted fan base.  Like me, Steve the Ferret is, I’m sure, very pleased right now!  (Thanks to EVERYONE who knew sharing this with me would make me very happy!)
  • For some reason, The New York Post thought it would be a good idea to have Hank Steinbrenner write about the Super Bowl.  And he didn’t disappoint those of us who think he’s a young, only slightly less-senile version of his dad, with quotes like this:

I don’t want to be presumptuous, but the way Belichick has modeled the Patriots reminds me of how we’ve run the Yankees in the past. That kind of self-discipline, that kind of team attitude, that kind of expecting-to-win attitude, but working your butt off to get to that point and not just taking it for granted. He must have been somewhat influenced by the Yankees, especially in the ’90s.

Yep.  Has to be modeled after the Yankees.  Where else would anyone’s inspiration come from?  No other teams expect to win or work their butts off.  No other teams don’t take it for granted.  (Wait a minute, did he really say that the Yankees don’t take winning for granted?  He’s watched the team, right?  He saw the 2001 World Series?  The 2004 ALCS?  Does he even know which team he owns?)  Shout out to SGer Bellbabe for the heads up on this one.

  • I was hoping to get some idea of what to expect at Bronson’s show tonight – but so far I’ve heard nothing.  I’ll be interested to see if he decides to sing "Boston" again with his lyrics at the end.  Bronson never has been one to turn away from controversy.  I’m heading down with a couple of friends and have other friends who will also be there tonight.  It should be fun and pretty interesting to boot!
  • Have I mentioned my new Mac?  The Dell is in the dust bin.  (Well, not really, but I’ve kissed it goodbye!)  After being on a PC as long as I have been, it’s taken a little getting used to, but I think I finally have the hang of it all.  And, predictably, I’m absolutely in love with it!

Okay, I’ve wasted enough time.  I’m off to watch a 6 year-old take swimming class (yes, I’m the best aunt ever!) and then prepare for Bronson in January:  The Final Chapter!  (Here’s hoping I don’t get Bronson in trouble again!)

Have a great day folks!! 

(Incidentally, Red Sox tickets go on sale today.  I might be able to try for an hour or so when I get back from swimming and before I leave for Bronson – but my hopes are not high. It’s all right, though.  I can’t complain with the games I’m already going to!  Good luck to everyone in the virtual waiting room today!)

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Kyle Snyder, Ramblings | 4 Comments

Teach your children well…

Dusty Brown, Jed Lowrie and Michael Bowden at Pawtucket last Saturday (taken by me) 

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports (according to that:

"The Mets, and not the Red Sox or Yankees, remain the front-runner as the team most likely to succeed in pulling off a trade for Minnesota ace Johan Santana…"

Now, who knows whether or not this is even close to being true?   But, I’ll admit, as long as the Yankees don’t end up with him, the Red Sox not getting him wouldn’t break me up too much.

Make no mistake, Santana is a fantastic  pitcher and any team would be extremely fortunate to have him.  But the price for him is something I’m not necessarily willing to pay.

And we all know it’s all about me! 🙂 

Seeing some of the young ones (Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie, Michael Bowden…to name a few who have been mentioned in the trade rumors) this month has gotten  me very excited about the future for the Sox.  We’re coming off of a World Championship with the majority of the team in tact and as much as Santana would be a great addition to the team – he isn’t a needed addition.

So, truly, if the Mets pick him up?  Good for them.  Of course, while I want Theo to keep the kids, I also don’t want the Yankees to end up with Santana.  Although, I felt the same way about the Yankees getting ARod and look how well that has worked out for the Red Sox.  🙂

Bronson tomorrow night.  And then my off-season of baseball-related activities comes to an end.

Oh yeah – and there are 20 days until pitchers and catchers report! 

January 25, 2008 Posted by | The Young Ones | 5 Comments

Happy Birthday to Neil Diamond


I don’t know these people, but they crack me up. (Although the woman yelling "We don’t care" when they’re announcing lineup changes makes me cringe!) There’s actually a vid of my friends doing the same thing if you look hard enough! 🙂

It’s also Michael Ontkean’s birthday. Which is only relevant in that, because of "Willie Gillis", if I had blog in the early 70s, it would have been about him. 🙂

Dear God, bring us some interesting baseball news.


January 24, 2008 Posted by | Ramblings | 4 Comments

On your mark, get set…


Bronson pitching his perfect game

Single game tickets go on sale this Saturday morning at 10am. So be prepared to face your old friend, the virtual waiting room.

As usual, these tickets don’t include Yankees games, opening day, or any tickets Green Monster or right field roof deck tickets. You’ll have to in the ‘lottery’ to purchase those through the Red Sox.

It’s been a slow off-season for me, ticket-wise. I have tickets to 3 games while I have plans to attend many more (including a road trip or two). We’ll see how it works out.

LAST Saturday, I was in Pawtucket at their annual Hot Stove event. Since I’m playing around with the new Mac (Yay! Once again, I have a laptop that I don’t want to throw in the river! It’s been so long!) I put up a few pictures here of the guys from that day. Not many, but a few to hold you over!

THIS Saturday is Bronson at Mohegan – and then my baseball-related events are over until the season begins.

(Speaking of Bronson – there is a display in Pawtucket of his perfect game that includes a ticket from that night. It was game number “61”. At the time, Bronson was wearing number 33. Anyone know if he chose 61 because of this game???)

Pitchers and catchers report in less than 25 days – thank goodness!


Bronson today!

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Bronson Arroyo, Tickets | 4 Comments

Hopefully, the after-life brings him more peace than this one did.


I was one of the many who was totally taken in by “Brokeback Mountain”. It’s on my top ten favorite movies list. I saw it multiple times at the theater, bought a boot-legged copy of it while it was still at the theaters and own a copy of the ‘legal’ dvd that I watch often.

I joke on here about Jake Gyllenhaal and how “dreamy” he is…but the truth is, that film made me pay much more attention to the acting careers of both he and Heath Ledger. And I’m a fan of both men.

So the news of his death has hit hard…and it’s odd because most ‘Hollywood’ deaths make me pause and then move on. This one isn’t working that way.

I hope he has his peace. And I hope that there is something in the world that will bring his daughter peace when she gets older and it’s more apparent to her that losing a father isn’t something you easily get over.

Rest in Peace, Heath.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Off-Topic | 2 Comments