Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

And now it begins

Well it’s over and I got what I wanted (Kind of.  I mean REALLY in my perfect world that would be the Red Sox hoisting that trophy) with the Giants winning and Fox having to say nice things about them while Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton slipped sadly into the night.

Congratulations to the Giants and their fans.  It was fun for me to see the likes of Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, Freddy Sanchez and even Edgar Renteria celebrating last night. I’m happy that somewhere a fan base I don’t particularly dislike (aside from the whole Barry Bonds thing which, since he isn’t on this team, I’ll let go for now) gets to celebrate.  But I’m especially happy to be able to switch my focus back to my own team and be done with the Fox broadcasting crew until April.

The moment the game ended last night, the Player’s Association released the list of players who are free agents.  Apparently, there’s a new rule where players don’t have to file for free agency, it’s automatic once the season ends.  The Red Sox have Mike Lowell (er, isn’t he retired?), Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek on that list.  Then there are Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Felipe Lopez and David Ortiz on the “Players eligible for free agency if their options aren’t exercised” list.  So as fans, we have a lot to focus on this off-season.  Oddly enough, I’m kind of looking forward to it.  Usually I fret over what could happen in the off-season but as much as there are guys I don’t want to see leave, I’m excited at the prospect of the team changing things up a bit.  We’ll see how long I feel that way.

In my focusing on the World Series, I forgot to mention something fun that I did last week.  I mentioned it on Twitter but forgot to bring it up here.  The guys over at The Dugs asked me to be part of their weekly Hit and Run feature.  It was a kick and I thank Galen and Eric for inviting me.  Check out their website for baseball comics and general baseball fun!

November 2nd being the start of the off-season…I still have to get used to this.

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November 2, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | Leave a comment

Well, that was fun

So if there are baseball gods and I have any pull with them, I want them to know that I changed my mind. I don’t want this series to go seven…I want it to go five. I want the Giants to put the hurt on the Rangers for these next two games if for no other reason than to shut the talking heads over at Fox the hell up.

Next time I’m asking the baseball gods for a pony.

It’s certainly not over but I enjoyed the heck out of watching Bumgarner shut down the Rangers.  I felt a little sorry for the Rangers fans in the stands Fox kept showing who looked so devastated at what they were witnessing, but it did end the way I wanted so I’ll have to suck up my sympathies for one more game.

November 1, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | 2 Comments

Careful what you wish for

Okay, so I’m the one who wanted this thing to go seven games, right?  When I wrote that, I wasn’t really considering that the Rangers winning a game would just enhance the level of Fox’s asskissing.  The way Fox is hyping Texas, you would think that the Giants only made it to the World Series because every player on every other team in the league contracted cholera.  Cliff Lee is the best pitcher in the whole wide world and Josh Hamilton is the next Mickey Mantle.  There is, apparently, nothing the Rangers can do wrong (except get their asses handed to them in Games 1 and 2) and the Giants, well, yeah they’re here too.

For the record, Lee is doing better than Lincecum in the playoffs this year, but only slightly.  And I tweeted last night that Cody Ross is doing a whole helluva lot better in the playoffs than Josh Hamilton.  Doesn’t take away from how good Hamilton has been but I prefer Fox maybe live in the NOW and instead of talking about Hamilton like he’s a god, maybe mention his .220 average this post season.  Or his .361 on base percentage or his slugging at .540.  Ross, for the record, holds a .318 average this postseason with an on base percentage of .412 and a slugging percentage of .773.  He has one RBI more than Hamilton and three more hits and for all the bragging about Hamilton’s five home runs this postseason, guess how many Ross has?  Five.  Cody Ross is doing better than Josh Hamilton this postseason, and his team leads the series, yet all the fellas at Fox care about, still, is Josh Hamilton (and Cliff Lee and, pretty much, everyone on the Rangers).

So if there are baseball gods and I have any pull with them, I want them to know that I changed my mind.  I don’t want this series to go seven…I want it to go five.  I want the Giants to put the hurt on the Rangers for these next two games if for no other reason than to shut the talking heads over at Fox the hell up.

Nothing personal, Rangers.  It isn’t your fault that Fox decided to jump on your bandwagon.  But, really, I’ve had enough of the ballwashing and the sooner this series is over the sooner I don’t have to hear Joe Buck or Tim McCarver slurping all over you.

October 31, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | 3 Comments

Pitching what?

Happy days for Javi!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com and used with permission.

Happy days for Javi! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com. Used with permission.

Nothing like watching a well-pitched game, huh?

Eesh. So much for the pitchers’ duel. 18 runs, 25 hits and six errors in Game 1 of the World Series. It was both ugly (Cliff Lee looking like a pitcher I wouldn’t mind the Yankees picking up, in spite of the incessant ball washing of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver) and beautiful (Freddy Sanchez with four hits, three of them being doubles off of Lee, and three RBI). I was sad to see Vlad Guerrero floundering in the outfield but happy to see Javier Lopez pitch yet another scoreless inning. This World Series is a puzzle for me because I’d like both teams to do well. Last night, though, in spite of Barry Bonds sitting in the stands waving like he had anything to do with this, I was rooting for the Giants.

I’ve decided that I want this series to go seven games with the home team winning each game. That will be entertaining baseball and this way the deserving fans of both teams will get to enjoy it (at least at home)!

It’s an odd sensation, not having any true negative feelings for either team, but I’m getting a kick out of stress-free baseball…and we get more tonight!

A programming note: Fox starts these broadcasts now at 7:30 so if you’re expecting to throw the game on at 8:20 and see it just beginning, you’ll miss at least an inning of play. I think it’s great that someone finally realized if they start the show at 7:30 the actual game could begin by or before 8pm. Although it’s been pointed out to me by many that they are starting the weekday games late compared to the game scheduled for Saturday. Game 3 in Texas is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm. You’d think it would make more sense to schedule an earlier game during the week so more people could watch the whole thing than on a weekend but I suppose they’re looking at it as more people being able to make an 8pm game at the park on a weekday. In any event, I think it’s an improvement but they still have work to do.

I’ve enjoyed this postseason so far but, honestly, I still miss my Red Sox.

October 28, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six years ago…

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So after telling you all that the first part of the Jason Varitek special was on NESN tonight, I totally missed it.  (Hooray for the dvr, which I set up to record the Red Sox Report replay on Wednesday afternoon.)  I really am hoping it’s just a tribute a long time in coming and not goodbye.  Time will tell.

Tonight we get game 1 of the World Series.  I’m still not absolutely sure which team I’m rooting for.  I’m leaning toward the Giants because I can only think of one reason I really want the Rangers to win…Cliff Lee.  I could be dreaming, but I feel like Cliff Lee winning a World Series might help him in making a decision on where he’ll be in 2011.  Or maybe this will help:

The wife of Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee says she experienced some pretty abusive behavior from Yankee fans, including taunting, cursing, throwing cups of beer and even spitting from the section above.

“The fans did not do good things in my heart,” Kristen Lee told USA Today. “When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it’s hard not to take it personal.”

Now I know fans do idiot things to the friends/relatives of the opposing team in plenty of stadiums throughout sports.  I don’t get it, but I’m sure it happens in more places than Yankee Stadium.  I just think if you’re coveting a certain player, you might want to forgo the insulting of that player’s wife.

What will end up happening is the game will begin and something will happen that will either reinforce that I want the Giants to win, or make me reassess and decide that maybe I want the Rangers to win.  Honestly, I have no overwhelming feelings here yet.  I have to admit, it’s a nice way to go into the World Series.  Go baseball!

But my mind is not on this year’s World Series, really.  For today is the sixth anniversary of the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series.

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.

I post the below video a few times a year.  When I saw it for the first time at Fenway Park, I sat in the stands sobbing and it still brings a few happy tears but  I love to watch it and I think it’s a fitting tribute to mark the day.

http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1922500/red_sox_the_beatles_a_day_in_the_life.swf
Red Sox – The Beatles – A Day In The LifeMore bloopers are a click away

October 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Congrats to the Rangers and the Giants

My only real concern about the World Series was that we were going to be watching a Phillies/Yankees series…again.  Amazingly, the baseball gods decided not to put us all through that…again…and we get a Giants/Rangers World Series.  You won’t hear me complaining.

I can’t imagine that Fox Sports is too thrilled with this matchup but, really, screw ’em.  Baseball fans get to watch two absolutely deserving teams play it out and we get spared all the hyperbole that surrounds any Yanks or Phillies game.  For the first time in a while, I don’t have a team to root against.  I can just enjoy the games for what they are.  I’m looking forward to that.

I honestly don’t have a real preference here.  I like the story the Rangers have.  Never been to the World Series, only won two playoff games ever at home, they’re fans seem devoted and loyal…not much to dislike there (I am aware that my dislike of Josh Hamilton is not shared by most of the baseball watching public and I’m not letting it really affect how I feel about the Rangers in the World Series.  We’ll see how long that lasts).  As far as the Giants go, aside from their attachments still to Barry Bonds, I have no reason to root against them either.  I am genuinely happy that Javier Lopez is getting another trip to the World Series and there are a lot of likable players on the team.  Their fans seem pretty devoted without being jerky as well.  Javi really is what tips the scales for me.

Go Giants!  (But, really, the Rangers winning won’t be the worst thing to ever happen.  It feels so weird to REALLY not care which team wins.)

I hope it goes 7 games.  We need the season to be stretched out as long as it can.

October 24, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | 4 Comments