Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Take a ride on a West Coast kick

Photo of Wake last night taken by Jim Davis/Boston Globe

Photo of Wake last night taken by Jim Davis/Boston Globe

Live chat tonight, folks!

Wake v Halladay – Who ya got?

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 2 Comments

The kiss that's waiting for you

Don't be sad, Jacoby, you guys are in!!!  (Photo taken by me on Monday when just about all the Sox looked like this!)

Don't be sad, Jacoby, you guys are in!!! (Photo taken by me on Monday when just about all the Sox looked like this!)

Yep, I stayed up to watch all of the Angels/Rangers game.  And I don’t care if the Sox lost last night – they got into the playoffs and that’s the goal.  We’re rewarded for watching the last five shitstormy games with five games we don’t have to worry about at all.  This makes me very happy.

While I would have loved being able to see the Sox celebrate this by winning last night’s game, there’s a part of me that likes the idea that they celebrated alone (read: away from the prying eyes of the media).  No one can judge how much (or how little) they celebrated.  Of course, the likes of Amalie Benjamin can whine (via Twitter, on the Globe blog and then in her piece about last night’s game) about the lack of access:

But there was no way to know exactly what happened in the clubhouse during the post-clinch festivities. Reporters were not allowed in, including NESN cameras, as the Sox’ media relations staff rationed four English-speaking players to a group of approximately 30 remaining media members in the concourse outside the home clubhouse after 1 a.m.

I have to wonder if she was drunk, high or just really pissed about not having access (I sense that last one!) when she wrote that? What the hell would possess her to write “…rationed four English-speaking players…?”  (I actually asked her this via Twitter when she posted the link to her blog but, not surprisingly, I didn’t get a response.)  Seriously?  She (or an edit0r) omitted the “English-speaking” line out of the piece she delivered for the Globe but it still remains in the blog.  This team has enough idiots out there (looking at you, Ken Rosenthal) who love to try and convince people that they’re looking to create an all-white team.  The city is still considered racist by plenty of people (shout out to Amy K Nelson).  A crack by a professional writer who covers the team about “English-speaking” players on a team with many players who speak English as a second language is, at best, ill-conceived – even in a blog entry.  Amalie looking to compete with Gerry Callahan in the “Most Racist” category of Boston sports coverage?  Or maybe she’s being influenced too much by CHB’s snarky assholiness?  Sure it was a throwaway line but one that had no business being there (and with no purpose – without it would we have all thought Saito came out and answered questions in Japanese?).

Okay, I’m done being cranky.  Sox are in the playoffs and that’s all that matters on this lovely day.  The fellas got to celebrate last night with each other – and tonight they get to relax knowing if Wake gives up 5 runs in the first it really doesn’t mean a thing.  (But he won’t.  The no-hitter happens tonight!)

So to celebrate a meaningless game with Tim Wakefield and Roy Halladay pitching, tonight will be the final livechat of the 2009 season!

My plan, if it works out, will be to host livechats here for each of the playoff games.  MLB’s scheduling MIGHT prevent that – I’m hoping not.  They’ll be chats, not live blogs, so if you’ve participated or lurked at any of the chats we’ve had recently, you’ll know it’s more of a positivity train free-for-all than anything else.  So stop on by!

It’ll be nice to relax for a few days until the Sox head out to California!

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | 6 Comments

Confusion on the ground

Dustin Richardson made his Major League debut last night.  In 1.1 innings he gave up two hits, no runs and no walks!  One of the very few decent photos I took last night.

Dustin Richardson made his Major League debut last night. In 1.1 innings he gave up two hits, no runs and no walks! One of the very few decent photos I took last night.

Scenes from Fenway/September 28, 2009:

*  While waiting to get into the park, I notice a couple walking down Landsdowne Street holding hands and looking very much in love.  “Oh my God, do you see that?” a shrill voice behind me gasps to her husband.  “Well, honey, we are in Boston”, is his reply.  The couple, you see, happened to both be women.  I turn around and note that two people remarking on this are wearing Blue Jays gear.  The Blue Jays are from Toronto where gay marriage is pretty damn common.   Or more notably, as this website states, Toronto is “One of the world’s most gay-friendly cities”.   Fortunately, that was the only time, last night, that I wanted to punch a Blue Jays fan.

*  Still waiting to get into the park.  Another couple approaches.  The woman is wearing a Red Sox hat and the man is wearing what I think is a Yankee-hater hat.  As they get closer, I see that they are bickering and I realize the hat he’s wearing is a Yankees cap and I hear his girlfriend/wife bark “You just HAD to wear that cap, didn’t you??”.  Given that my reaction to his cap was “What a dink”  I was, again, pleased with my decision to not wear Sox gear to the Yanks/Rays game.  Normally, I think you should represent your team no matter where you are but walking into your rival’s house when your team isn’t there and wearing their gear screams “I’m an asshole who wants you to start a fight with me!”.

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September 29, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Right on time, you will arrive

Make it so, JPB.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Make it so, JPB. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

While I wouldn’t congratulate the Yankees if the lot of them cured cancer, AIDS and herpes all on the same day, I will ask this:  Why were people (read: some New York sports writers) complaining that they were celebrating yesterday?  They just clinched the damn division – I think that’s worthy of a slug of champagne or two.

Mind you, I didn’t watch one moment of the celebration (thank you, universe, for making sure they clinched on national television so the world could see it) but they earned it so why give them grief about it?  I have a list of things I’d rather bitch about the Yankees for doing or not doing – celebrating such an accomplishment isn’t on it.

So now that THAT is over with we can focus on what’s really important:  The Red Sox getting into the post-season.  They have yet another shot tonight to do it with a win over the Blue Jays coupled with the Angels beating the Rangers.  Unfortunately, the Rangers play in California so even if the Sox do win tonight, we won’t know if they’ve clinched the wild card spot until past midnight.

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | 8 Comments

I got the money if you got the honey

Pedro got the final word in 2004.  (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/Boston Globe)

Pedro got the final word in 2004. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/Boston Globe)

I spent the weekend with friends so the Sox losses were a little easier to take.  But if I’m genuinely looking for something positive to take from yesterday’s loss, I’m going with the way Daisuke pitched.   Throwing 115 pitches in seven innings was more than I could have hoped for.  Sure, he walked three in a row and we had flashes of disaster looming but he really showed what he has.  He seems like a new person and if this is what we’re going to get once the Sox are in the playoffs – I’ll take it.

I won’t be happy with a Yankees sweep but more importantly I don’ want to see the Yanks celebrate in front of the Red Sox.  So Paul Byrd – your time to step up would be NOW.

Besides, the last time the Yanks won the division and the Sox won the wild card spot everything worked out well for the good guys, huh?

After the game yesterday, I kept hearing Pedro’s voice saying “I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy” and I remembered how miserable we all were when that happened.  Then I remembered Pedro, in Yankee Stadium for Game 2 of the 2004 ALCS with the Yankees fans chanting “Who’s Your Daddy?”, pointing to the sky and telling the fans who his “daddy” was.  Many parts of the 2004 season were bleak yet the team persevered and we all got through it pretty damn well.  So I’m not inclined to worry myself about the Yankees prosperity during the regular season.

Sure this is a new season, a new team, all that…but if 2004 taught me anything it’s that anything is possible.  SO armed with that knowledge, I’m prepared to enjoy today’s game if the rain ever lets up in the Bronx.

But, yeah, I’d like the Sox to win a game or three and just clinch this post-season spot already!

September 27, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 1 Comment

Soon you'll all believe I'm right

It makes me sad that I get sad whenever Tek's in a game lately.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

It makes me sad that I get sad whenever Tek's in a game lately. Having written that - I despise the vitriol being spewed toward him. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Not going to lie…was absolutely sick after Lester got hit last night.  It was tough to invest fully in the rest of the game so I’m not going to worry about one crappy loss (and it was crappy – always hate to see them lose like that to the Yanks).  I figure I should just be grateful that Lester isn’t hurt as badly as it looked and leave it at that.

Of course, the Boston Globe is already in full “let’s panic the fans” mode.  Here’s what Amalie Benjamin tweeted just after it was released that Lester had a contusion not a break:

So … how worried are you all about the Lester injury? #redsox

Then she tweeted moments later:

Meant to point this out earlier: Right leg is the plant leg for a lefty pitcher. Does that change your panic level? #redsox

So I responded with:

Why is @amaliebenjamin hell bent on panicking the fans? Howsabout we just wait and see how Lester’s feeling tomorrow before we freak out?

Amalie responded with:

Not at all. Just wanted to see what the feeling was. We don’t know much at the moment, but it didn’t look very good.

See, I call bullshit. And others (including Bruce Allen from Boston Sports Media Watch) did too. This wasn’t trying to figure out how the fans felt, this was trying to stir up panic in Boston – yet again.  In looking for a story on how Lester is doing, I ended up reading CHB’s column today.  Most of it is fine, straight-forward even (seems that Jon was walking around the clubhouse after the game – this is a good piece of information to have) but Shaughnessy couldn’t leave it at that.  In this article he has to outline how the Sox lost the ’46 WS due in part to Ted Williams having been hit on the elbow before it started; the ’67 Series because the Sox didn’t have Tony Conigliaro; the ’75 Series because Jim Rice was injured and out and (wait for it), the ’86 Series because Tom Seaver got injured at the end of the season in Toronto.

So to make sure his theory of doom holds up (every time the Sox are in the WS they lose when a key player is hurt before the Series starts) he pulls Tom Seaver out of his butt.  How pathetic is it that he has to do that just so he can finish this off?   This isn’t a “here is some interesting and relevant information” piece.  This is “PANIC! PANIC!!!  THE SOX ARE GOING TO LOSE THE WORLD SERIES BECAUSE JON LESTER GOT HIT  IT’S IN THEIR HISTORY AND YOU CAN’T DENY IT!!!!”

How many of you out there blame the 1986 World Series loss on the lack of Tom Seaver?  Anyone?  Anyone?

The Sox aren’t even in the playoffs yet.  I mean, seriously, can’t he wait until the Red Sox make it into the playoffs before he starts setting the fans on fire?

No doubt that Lester going down last night made everyone think “There go our playoff chances”.  That’s not what I’m complaining about.  Once you hear that the injury isn’t serious, why force the issue (Amalie, CHB) and try to make it worse than it is just for the sake of panicking the fans?  For readers?  For traffic?  It certainly isn’t in the name of journalistic integrity.

4:10pm on Fox and they’re back at it…Matsuzaka v Sabathia.  Doesn’t look great on paper for the Sox but, hey, neither did last night for the Yanks.  Anything can happen and I’m not ready to curl up in the fetal position and rock myself to sleep just yet.

September 26, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | 4 Comments

She won't be coming down

Here's hoping Crabcakes kicks some butt tonight!

Here's hoping Crabcakes kicks some butt tonight!

“I feel good right now. I feel like the team, as a hole, is doing well and doing the little things they need to do to win a ballgame. That’s all it does, is it builds confidence when you’ve got everybody running at the same time.”

It’s a great quote, isn’t it? It’s what Clay told the media last night after his win over the Royals.  I don’t have the newspaper version of The Boston Globe but the above is taken directly from Boston.com.  It might seem like a minor typo to some but there’s a tremendous difference between the words “hole” and “whole” and that, after many comments pointing out the mistake (none by me), they haven’t at least changed it on Boston.com is ridiculous.

Spelling has always been a bit of a big deal in my family.  My father, who is retired, enjoys watching NESN or ESPN or CNN -any station that shows a ticker crawling across the bottom of the screen – and finding all the misspellings and typos that these professional stations let go out every day.  He’s found a lot of them.  I realize the world isn’t perfect and there are people who find things like proper spelling to be tedious.  I also realize spelling doesn’t come as easily to some as it does others – but in this day and age of instant information at your fingertips it isn’t that difficult to make sure you’re spelling things correctly.

Sure, I’m just a lowly blogger and I don’t know how difficult professional journalists have it – I get that.  But I don’t see why it is so difficult for ANYONE to use spell check or even just pop open another window in your browser and type in, say, http://www.dictionary.com just to make sure you’re spelling certain words correctly.

Everyone has their own voice so I try not to pick on grammar and usage since God knows I destroy many rules of grammar when it comes to my writing style on this blog – but when you spell words wrong that often stops a reader cold and they lose the flow of your words (and when I’ve written for outlets much more formal than a blog, I made sure everything is proper.  I was under the impression that part of being a writer was being able to write properly.  Silly me.)  If Amalie Benjamin wants people to focus on her writing you’d think she’d make sure what she submits is readable.  (I don’t know how newspapers work.  Do they even use copy editors?  I mean is there anyone who went over that column to make sure it was ready to go to print?  I know I’m nitpicking but I was really enjoying this particular piece about Clay and reading “hole” was like someone sticking a toothpick in my eye.)  God knows I’m not perfect and anyone could take any one of my blog entries and rip it apart for my liberal uses of dashes, ellipsis and parentheses or how I create a new sentence when I could just continue the last one and begin them with conjunctions (I know there are many more infractions on my part and I don’t have enough time to list them!).  Then again, I’m not making the big bucks from a outlet as huge and influential as The Boston Globe.  Also, a lot of my misuse of grammar rules is a style issue for me.  Again, it wouldn’t work in a newspaper, magazine or book – and it makes me crazy when people write that way in those places – but to me a blog is fair ground to play around.  As long as you try to spell everything properly!  😉

But I didn’t come here to rip on The Boston Globe and their poor editing skills nor even Amalie Benjamin.  I started off the day ready to write a “Oh ye of little faith” post about both David Ortiz and Clay Buchholz.  I’m basking in their turnarounds and how well they’ve been performing.  And now I’m getting quite giddy at the possibility of the Red Sox clinching their playoff spot over the weekend.  Hey, it could happen.  I have great faith that it will happen.  Tonight’s pitching match-up is Lester v Chamberlain.  It seems whenever I make predictions things go horribly wrong (well except for Daisuke last time out) so I’m going to hold off on them.  But I’ll just say, if I had to pick a guy to start my first playoff game and my choices were Joba Chamberlain or Jon Lester it’d be a no-brainer.  Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound Saturday against CC Sabathia sure seems like it should intimidate be but somehow it doesn’t.  I think that might be the most interesting game of the lot.  Sunday…well Sunday’s match-up of Paul Byrd and Andy Pettitte kind of makes me want to cry – but I’m trying to be positive so I’ll hold that all inside.

My plans for the weekend are to catch two out of the three Yankees games with some of the “sistahs”.  It’ll be doubly fun to be with good friends and watch the AL East rivalry in all its glory.  I received an email last night from a supposed Yankee fan telling me I “should be very afraid”.  First of all, regardless of what happens this weekend, it’ll take a pretty horrid meltdown for the Sox to not make the  playoffs – so the importance of it is all on us as fans.  WE want the wins but they aren’t imperative to the success of this season – not really.  And secondly, well, I’m just NOT “afraid” of the Yankees so telling me I should be only results in my being amused that even with such a healthy lead in the division some Yankees fans are still looking over their shoulders.

A series against the Yankees on this beautiful fall day makes for quite the playoff atmosphere, though, regardless of how important the games are or aren’t.

(Yes, given that I wrote this on the fly because I’m already late so I’m not using my best editing skills, I realize I’m opening myself up to typos and such!  Such is life when you choose to criticize someone for theirs, I know!)

September 25, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 5 Comments

I will catch your fall

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

There’s this rather disturbing practice that they’ve started at Fenway Park this year. Before the game begins, they show you evacuation routes out of Fenway in case of emergency. Now, generally speaking, this isn’t disturbing. As I go into most buildings, I look around for the exits and make sure I have an idea of where I am and how I’d get out if need be. But this is new to Fenway which gives it a creepy “something’s probably going to happen and we just want to cover our asses” feel whenever I see it. Prior to the trade deadline, I joked that folks out right field way were, essentially, screwed and if I was going anywhere during an emergency it would be toward the field, not toward the exits, because there would be less people. Plus, I could make my way to Justin Masterson in the bullpen and be saved with him given his connections to the Lord.

But Justin isn’t around to save me any more so I can’t use him as a buffer between the Almighty and myself. (And while some of what I say is in jest, I’ll say this seriously – I got to see Justin in action, this year, speaking at a church and where some of our beliefs might be different, I have a lot of respect for his passion and his talent for preaching. There’s no doubt in my mind that when he has to leave baseball he’ll find a successful and rewarding life with his church and for that I’m both impressed and a little jealous.)

My salvation lies with me and how strongly I believe. I pride myself on being a believer. In my faith, in my family and friends and in the damn baseball team I follow so closely. But they’re testing me, as they often do. Two straight losses…not just losses but ass kickings…to the Kansas City Royals? I’m not usually one to say “WTF” when it comes to a loss…a loss is just that and they’ll happen, right? Every team in MLB is manned with professionals so they’re all going to win a game or two against the Sox. But after Tuesday night’s loss “WTF” came out of my mouth a lot. (I’m not proud.)

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September 24, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 2 Comments

If there's a right way remains to be seen

Join us, won’t you?
Kansas City Live Chat

September 23, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | | 5 Comments

You wave outside to the blind

MDC at Spring Training this year.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

MDC at Spring Training this year. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

I won’t lie.  I had a few reasons for writing this post so late in the day but the main one is that I figured I’d be less fired up by now than I was last night.  I suppose I’m much more rational about it now.

Just don’t introduce me to Manny Delcarmen any time soon okay?   Confession time:  I really like MDC.  I think he’s a good kid, he does a lot for the community, everyone seems to like him and when I DID meet him in person he was an absolute doll.  I just don’t get the warm fuzzies when he pitches.  And it’s because I think he’s a good kid that I don’t want to rip him apart for what has been a horrendous September and a pretty lackluster season in general.

So I waited until well past noon to write today’s entry out of respect for Manny Delcarmen.  And that’s all I have to say about him today.

Rangers won and the Sox lost – this was not in my plan.  But no worries.  Three more games in this series for each team.  There’s still plenty of time for the Sox to wreak havoc.  One thing I neglected to mention yesterday was that the Yankees are thisclose to their playoff berth.  All they have to do is win a game (or watch the Rangers lose a game) and they’re in.  Given that their captain is on record with not liking celebrations for the wild card spot – I wonder how they’ll react when it happens?  Of course, the Rangers could sweep this week and the Yankees could lose all their games against the Angels and they’d have to wait until the Sox were in town to try and get that spot.  Please, God, if they’re going to clinch it this week, let it be before the weekend.  That’s all I ask.

I appreciate each and every message I’ve received about Kyle Snyder – apparently my diligence has worked and we’ve recruited more Kyle Snyder fans!  Sadly, I’ve found out bupkis.   I hope he’s back in Florida enjoying the sunshine but I wish he was in New York helping the Mets close out a painful season.  In any event,  any info on where Kyle ends up in 2010 will be greatly appreciated!

Paul Byrd pitches against Zack Greinke tonight!  (Like how I added the exclamation point to make it seem that I’m excited about this?)  I had plans for this evening.  Fun, happy, exciting plans that I had to cancel.  I’m terribly disappointed that I had to cancel and for my troubles I get rewarded with watching Byrd v Greinke.  The game wasn’t the reason I had to cancel plans but I sure hope it turns out to be worth it.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , | 2 Comments