Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

I'm NOT Sorry

Never Forget

This is how I was greeted tonight:

“So what do you think about whatshisname in the Herald writing that the Red Sox owe A-Rod an apology?”

I had no idea what he was talking about or who ‘whatshisname’ was.  So I was forced to go look. And I found this from Steve Buckley:

Bottom line: Failing to acknowledge A-Rod Friday night wasn’t as bad as the stunt Dempster pulled in 2013. But it was a failure nonetheless, and the Red Sox owe A-Rod an apology.

While I am tempted to use salty language, I will try to refrain. At least for now.

But is Steve Buckley freaking kidding me? Is he trolling us all? Is he now turning into a Dan Shaughnessy click bait machine?  I mean WHAT THE GOOD HELL?

Steve Buckley thinks that by not acknowledging that A-Rod is now tied for 4th place (With Willie Mays) on the all-time home run list that they have perpetuated some tragic miscarriage of justice.

Everyone knows what STFU means, yes?

(Also, I’d just like to say that if I ever meet Ryan Dempster he’s getting a hug, a kiss, and as many free beers as I can afford to buy him.)

I watched the game on NESN Friday night while also “watching” online via Twitter. A few reporters on Twitter immediately noted that Fenway Park did not mention the home run and seemed perplexed by this. My first thought about it was “Why antagonize the fans?”  Seriously. The home run that A-Rod hit, his 660th, tied him with Mays for 4th place but more importantly in the moment it gave the Yankees the lead in a game they ended up winning.  Red Sox fans already felt lousy enough. Why would their own team rub salt in that wound by making the fans cheer for the guy by announcing his milestone?

While I’m ranting about it, I dig Willie Mays as much as the next person but we’re talking about 4th place here. Where is it written that we have to celebrate you for coming in fourth?

But I digress.

Regardless of how petty others might think it is, there is a large contingent of baseball fans, the majority of them probably Red Sox fans, who flat-out do not like A-Rod. We could point to his suspension for steroids for the entire 2014 season. We could talk about his interview with Peter Gammons where he claimed the only time he used was in 2001-2002 while he was in Texas and that he didn’t even know what substance he used. Or we could talk about how he announced to the world that he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees during the 2007 World Series.  I could keep listing reasons why Alex Rodriguez is not popular in general, but specifically if there is a fan base renowned for hating him it’s the Red Sox fans. Steve Buckley, along with the rest of the baseball world, knows this quite well.

Some of our reasons are rational and some aren’t. Some are thin and stretch the limits of why we wouldn’t like someone and some of them involve the freaking 2004 ALDS and A-Rod slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand and then acting all surprised when the umpires got together and called his ball slapping ass out.

Red Sox fans do not like Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod knows this. Steve Buckley knows this. Most importantly, the Boston Red Sox know this. They didn’t ignore his home run on Friday to show solidarity with the Yankees. I’d like to think they ignored it to show solidarity with the Red Sox fans.

(For the record, Dr. Charles Steinberg claims the intent was to acknowledge it during A-Rod’s next at-bat but he didn’t get one in that game.)

There are many, many people who believe home runs 1-654 (we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for 2015 just for the sake of argument) are irreparably tainted. Good for you if you are not one of those people, but at least understand not only that people feel this way but why. And if you can’t figure out why then you with your head in the sand and your eyes blinded by Yankees pinstripes are part of the problem.

I will be terribly disappointed if the Red Sox do decide to apologize to him.

In my opinion, what the Red Sox did Friday night wasn’t to disrespect Alex Rodriguez it was to show respect to their fans. If A-Rod wanted respect he should have gone about it a completely different way. If anyone owes an apology it’s A-Rod. For pretty much everything he’s ever done. And he should issue it every single day of the rest of his life.

Because, really, screw that guy.

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May 4, 2015 Posted by | 2015 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pedro! Pedro! Pedro!

Pedro gives himself a big clap. As one does when they are as amazing as he is.  Photo by Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill and used with permission.

From 2012: Pedro gives himself a big clap. As one does when they are as amazing as he is. Photo by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill and used with permission.

Fair warning. This entry will be completely void of any kind of rational perspective. I pretty much adore Pedro Martinez more than half the people I’m related to…and I’m related to a boatload of people. So you’ve been warned.

Oh yeah…there will be language…salty language ahead. So there’s that too.

Continue reading

January 6, 2015 Posted by | 2015 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seems Like Yesterday

Good day. And welcome to part two of my walk down memory lane.

It won’t actually be a walk down memory lane. We did that in the last entry. But I do like to take a moment to remember what an impact October 27, 2004 had on my life.

I’ve written it before and I say it a lot – it sounds almost stupid to say that night changed my life…but it did. I approach being a baseball fan, the single biggest hobby I have, in a completely different way than I did prior to 2004.

The last time a baseball game made me cry out of sadness and frustration was July 1, 2004. You might remember the game. Yankees fans call it “The Dive” game. Red Sox fans remember it as either “The Game When Nomar Stayed on the Bench” or “The Game Where Pokey Reese Made the Same Catch Jeter Did but Didn’t Have to Pretend He Needed to Dive” – in any event, I remember turning the game off and crying myself to sleep.

Not my greatest moment, admittedly.

Then we got the trade, and then Kevin Millar telling all the reporters that he’d see them at his locker in October and then in October he told them not to let the Sox win tonight. We got the walk, the steal, the slap…and then October 27th.  And that’s all I needed.

I’ve loved baseball for as long as I can remember…at least 40 years, but I tended to lean toward being the stereotype of a miserable Sox fan. I never gave up on them, never, but boy I’d complain about them whenever anyone would listen. (I even incorporated complaining about them into  the speech I gave at my father’s retirement party back in May of 2001.) October 27, 2004 basically gave me the strength to not be miserable.  (Okay, admittedly, I had some miserable moments since I’ve been blogging, especially in the beginning…it took a while for it to take.)

Of course October 28, 2007 & October 30, 2013 didn’t hurt. I genuinely can’t understand any Red Sox fan who doesn’t just appreciate each season for what it is now. We’ve been so fortunate. After 86 years our team has three championships in a span of ten years. We have had good fortune dumped all over us and we’re rolling in it, regardless of what happened in 2014, and we should never, never forget it. To forget it would be a slap in the face to the rest of the fans in MLB who haven’t and won’t ever experience what we have.  It would also be ridiculously selfish of us.

So as I do every year, I want to say “thank you” to the Boston Red Sox. My happiness as a baseball fan trickles into all other aspects of my life. Shallow?  Maybe.  But definitely true.

I’m watching what could be the World Series winning game for the Giants tonight (or the World Series tying game for the Royals) as I write this and it’s fun to be excited for another fan base while remembering how much I love being a part of the fan base I’m in. (Go Royals!)

October 28, 2014 Posted by | 2014 | , , | 2 Comments

Ten Years of Remembering (well, almost ten years)

Yesterday social media was inundated with “Ten years ago today” posts. Well, for those of us lucky enough to be Red Sox fans anyway.  I purposely missed the window. This is a memory I want dragged out as long as possible (hell, the Boston Red Sox are still the reigning World Series Champs…I like to hold on).  So here’s part one of my two-part anniversary post.

Because of what was going on last year, it seems I didn’t post anything on October 27, 2013 to commemorate the anniversary. And because of a bunch of my posts getting sent to oblivion, I don’t have anything from 2012…but going through my archives, it seems I had a lot to say about this anniversary.

2005 – my first year blogging

I was worried that a new World Champion would take away how I’ve felt all year about the Red Sox winning in 2004 – when I watched Ozzie Guillen interviewed last night, 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.

2006 – I was so excited I wrote two posts about it

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.

2007 – with the Red Sox in the World Series (and having gone to Game One), I was too occupied to actually write anything

2008

2007 was sweet.  It shut up everyone who said after 2004 “You won’t win for another 86 years!”.  But 2004 was magic.  And unless the Cubs win the World Series, no other fan base will truly understand what it meant to Red Sox fans.  I don’t care how egomaniacal that sounds, it’s true.

2009 – I totally ripped myself off and just re-posted old stuff (sounds familiar…)

2010

My memory isn’t always the greatest, but I remember everything about that night.  I remember the moon. I remember the looks on the faces of my parents.  I remember my sister’s voice cracking when she called me after the final out.  While I hope that every sports fan can be as happy as we were on October 27, 2004, I believe that it will be impossible to ever duplicate what went on that October.  And for that, as well as the two World Championships in my lifetime, I will be eternally grateful.

2011

I’m not ashamed to say that the post-season of 2004 changed my life.  It did.  You don’t devote a significant part of your life to something like following a baseball team that hasn’t won it all in 86 years without being affected by it when they finally do.  Maybe I’m not richer, maybe I’m not any better a person than I was in 2003, and maybe the world didn’t turn entirely upside down but, at the very least, I’m a bit happier.  And that’s a lot to be thankful for.

October 28, 2014 Posted by | 2014 | , , | Leave a comment

I Can Feel It

Took this photo yesterday. Even Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings have Red Sox fever!

Took this photo yesterday. Even Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings have Red Sox fever!

If the Red Sox sweep the Cardinals…and I’m not saying they will (I’m also not saying they won’t)…they will do it on the 9th anniversary of the night they won the 2004 World Series…against the Cardinals.  I can dig that. I can also dig an umpiring crew that had no problem getting together and making the right call when one of their own completely messed it up. Much like they did twice in the 2004 ALCS.  I find it fascinating that there are so many little connections to that postseason. Heck, even Tim Wakefield, Keith Foulke and Kevin Millar have all said this 2013 team reminds them a lot of the 2004 “idiots”. And tonight, although Fox Sports will most likely not show it, members of that 2004 team will be throwing out the first pitch.

I’ll take the good karma anywhere I can get it.

Last night’s win was made even more special by the fact that it was pretty much stress-free. The umps reverse a bad call, the Red Sox start scoring and we get a non-nail biting, World Series win behind a masterful performance by Jon Lester*.

*Not even going to bother rehashing this morning’s whining about a possible substance on Lester’s glove. As many have said, what was or wasn’t in his glove didn’t cause the Cardinals to make 3 errors or force Cardinals pitching to give up 8 runs on 8 hits.

I will say this in support of Cardinals fans:  Throughout the ALCS, Red Sox fans complained because it seemed like not only did the Fox crew want the Tigers to win, but they talked more about and with the Tigers than the Red Sox during EVERY game, in Detroit AND Boston.  Last night, aside from a bit of focus on Carlos Beltran, it was pretty much all Red Sox all night long. If I was rooting for St. Louis I’d be more than a little annoyed this morning that Fox made it out like only one team was playing.

Okay…one more thing about Lester’s glove: Jeff Passan over at Yahoo Sports has an interesting piece up with this nugget:

Fact: Lester and his Red Sox teammates have used BullFrog sunscreen, which, when mixed with rosin, creates a tacky substance that enhances a pitcher’s grip on the ball. BullFrog was seen in the Red Sox’s dugout during the division series at Tropicana Field – a domed stadium.

Fact: Major League Baseball is well aware of this and does not consider it an issue despite rules about foreign substances because pitchers, hitters, coaches, managers and executives agree that a substance used to better a pitcher’s grip, as opposed to doctor a ball or make it dip and dive in unnatural directions, is within the confines of the rules.

So let’s move on to tonight, shall we? The Red Sox, with John Lackey on the mound, have a very good opportunity to go up 2-0 in the World Series. 2-0. Rookie right-hander Michael Wacha will try to make that difficult for them, and if anyone on the team can put the hurt on the Red Sox he can, but we were told to worry about Adam Wainwright and look how that worked out!

My hopes for this year were simple. I wanted them to win on Opening Day at Fenway and then give us an entertaining run that might include them flirting with first place for a while. When it became clear that they were a good team that was going to do more than flirt with first place, I wanted them to make the playoffs. When making the playoffs was a foregone conclusion, I wanted them to win the division. Once they ticked that off their to-do list, I wanted them to beat the Tampa Bay Rays.

From there it became really simple. The Detroit Tigers were a damn good team and if they lost to them there would be no shame in it. I was already thrilled with the way the season went and I could hunker down for the winter content in knowing the team had shed the ghosts of fried chicken, beer and Bobby Valentine.  Then they went and won the damn pennant and they were bringing us a rematch of 2004. I still don’t know what to do with this. I won’t consider this season a loss or a waste if they can’t win the World Series but after last night they got me hungry for it in a way I didn’t expect. I want to see the Red Sox win…win the whole thing. And as much as I don’t look forward to there being no MLB until February, if they won it in four games it would be so very sweet.

But I can’t get too far ahead of myself. Let’s work this one at a time. Lackey v Wacha. A pitcher rehabilitating his reputation against a pitcher just starting to form his. Lackey turned 35 yesterday and Wacha is 22…none of these things will matter once the first pitch is thrown tonight. So in the spirit of brevity, which I’ve already thrown out the window:  Just win.

October 24, 2013 Posted by | 2013 | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments