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

About last night…

Okay, so I get that I’m supposed to be more upset that the Red Sox lost the game than happy that Ryan Dempster did what I’ve wanted every MLB pitcher to do since Slappy started playing again, but I’m not. Can’t find it in me to be bothered to care.*

In a perfect world, that HBP wouldn’t have ended up producing runs and Dempster would have pitched better and the Red Sox win that game without seeing that arrogant, lying, POS round the bases. But we don’t live in a perfect world. If we did, someone facing the biggest suspension in MLB history wouldn’t be allowed to continue to play out the season before his appeal is heard.

But he is. While Ryan Braun (an equally arrogant, lying POS) sits out, Slappy is allowed to stomp all over MLB playing the victim while he racks up the stats. So if we are going under the idea of Braun being as bad as Rodriguez, at least Braun took his punishment.

*This isn’t entirely true. I never want to see the Sox lose, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to chastise Dempster for taking the opportunity. Joe Girardi can complain all he wants about Dempster and the Fenway fans who cheered for the HBP, but he isn’t fooling me. He knows why it happened and he knows why it made many fans very happy. You can be mad that someone threw at one of your guys, regardless of the circumstances, but don’t pretend A-Rod is an innocent bystander in some vast Major League conspiracy when the only person responsible for any negative treatment he gets is himself.

Regardless of what went on yesterday, the Red Sox begin a new week still in first place. They’ve struggled as of late but, hell, the way they’ve been playing this year (especially compared to last year) I’m willing to give them a little leeway right now.

Things could be so much worse. We could be rooting for the Yankees this year.

August 19, 2013 Posted by | 2013 | , , , , | 3 Comments

Friday Funk

Things I don’t care about but that seem to be what everyone is talking about right now:

*David Ortiz interrupting Tito’s press conference because he was mad about a scoring change:  I’ve seen very little about this as I’ve been offline for about 24 hours, but, really, I couldn’t care less.  As long as he doesn’t make it a habit, I can forgive an instant of him being rude.  He’s human, it happens.  I’m only annoyed because unless something amazing happens in tonight’s game, it’s going to be all Tim McCarver will talk about tomorrow.

*MLB investigating Alex Rodriguez for taking part in  high stakes poker games: Here’s a surprise…I don’t like Alex Rodriguez.  Because of this, there is no way I can garner righteous indignation for MLB going after ARod for whatever he might or might not have done.  Have at him.  Like I said, I couldn’t care less.  Now, do I think they should reprimand the players who get arrested for DUIs or the players with murder charges against them or those accused of domestic violence?  Of course.  As a matter of fact, I would prefer they lob some kind of punishments against those players as opposed to keeping tabs on Slappy’s desperate attempts to go Hollywood.  But, really, I will experience schadenfreude any time ARod’s name is connected to something negative.  It makes my black heart happy.

*Heidi Watney possibly leaving NESN: This might come as a genuine surprise to some of you, but I really don’t care if she stays or goes.  I think she has improved a lot since she joined the NESN team and most of the time actually sounds like she understands the terms coming out of her mouth (one of my biggest issues with her when she started was that any time she used baseball terminology she fumbled over it like it was totally foreign to her.  Not what I want from the person assigned to telling me what is going on with the team) and I have been guilty this season of occasionally being entertained by her visits to the food stands during road trips (although I could live a long time without ever having to see her choke down food…you don’t ask someone without legs to dance and I don’t think you should ask Heidi to eat fried food on camera). But if she were to find a job on ESPN or the MLB Network I wouldn’t celebrate nor mourn her loss.  I don’t think NESN will take a huge hit with her being gone but I would worry they’d try to replace her with some talking head who knows nothing about baseball but looks good.  Maybe the devil I know is better than the one I don’t?

Here’s something I do kind of care about.  Yesterday both Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted their displeasure of a sign they noticed in the Red Sox clubhouse that reads: “What You See Here, What You Hear Here, Stays Here”.  The sign doesn’t bother me.  It’s been posted in baseball clubhouses and at AA meetings for decades.  What bothers me is that, once again, the writers need to seek things out to write negatively about.  Amusingly enough, Peter Abraham brings it up in his blog entry from just after 11pm last night, and phrases it like this:

During the game, the Red Sox posted a large red sign in the clubhouse that says, ‘WHAT YOU SEE HERE, WHAT YOU HEAR HERE, STAYS HERE!” Apparently the Red Sox clubhouse is the secret headquarters of planning against terrorist networks in the Middle East.

In all seriousness, these are adult men. They really need signs with hackneyed slogans? The Red Sox should be more sophisticated than that.

When Abraham covered the Yankees, the people who commented on his blog would complain that he came across as if he didn’t like the team and they all blamed his being from New England on his dislike of the Yankees. Now that he covers the Red Sox, his hometown team so to speak, he treats the team with the same disdain he did the Yanks.  I think I’ve written this before, but I’m writing it again.  I’m fine with the writers who cover the team not being “fans” of said team.  But I think it’s completely unprofessional when the writers covering the team show so much outward hostility toward the team, and this is something Abraham does often.  It must be horrible having a job many would sell a kidney for covering one of the most popular teams in baseball history and getting yourself on television every night with millions of people listening to and reading your every opinion.  Tough to bring up any sympathies here.  God forbid writers actually adhere to any kind of code these days.

August 5, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Where I rant (mostly ramble) about the Yankees

Mariano Rivera - one of about a handful of ANY Yankees ever that I can honestly say I actually like (while wanting him to fail miserably every time he takes the mound). Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

Over the years, I have been asked one question probably more than any other question:  “Why do you hate the Yankees?”

(This question, of course, never comes from Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees fans, because Sox fans know the answer and Yankees fans think they know the answer.)

Usually it comes from someone I know locally who has never followed sports or someone I either meet at a ball park or connect with through the blog who doesn’t get (or know the specifics of) the rivalry.

So as the team storms back into the Bronx for the seventh game and third series between the Red Sox and Yankees this season, I thought it a good time to fill in the blanks for those who still have them (pertaining to ME, anyway).

I was born into my fandom.  My parents are big Red Sox (and baseball) fans and spent a lot of time not only watching games with me but teaching me the history of the game.  (They did the same with the Boston Bruins, New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.  There was rarely a day when a sporting event wasn’t on our television when I was growing up and I did many the book report on sports-related books.)  My mother was the one who told me about Roger Maris and how he was treated in 1961.  My father explained to me how Babe Ruth was once on the Red Sox but would always be considered a “true” Yankee.  Of course, making distinctions between Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio was table conversation many the night at our house.  I instinctively didn’t like the Yankees and being in a home where no one liked them just encouraged that.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s and, aside from the conditioning by my parents, I found my own reasons for my extreme dislike of the Bronx Bombers.  In 1973 I was too young to remember Thurman Munson crashing into Carlton Fisk and the ensuing fight, but hearing about it for years after solidified my childhood “hatred” for the Yankees and especially Munson.  I was old enough to remember Lou Piniella smashing into Carlton Fisk, the brawl that followed and Bill Lee being hurt.  Fisk and Lee were tremendously popular in both Boston and my house and, to this day, my family has our own names for Lou Piniella.  (Most of which can’t be repeated in polite company.) So the idea of disliking them was planted in my brain by my parents and the early 1970s Yankees didn’t do anything to change my mind.

And then came 1978.  After the Yankees clawed back from being 14.5 games behind the Red Sox in July and topped that by sweeping the Sox in four games at Boston in September in “The Boston Massacre”, they went on to take over first place.  The Sox came back themselves and tied the Yankees  for first at season’s end which (in the day before the Wild Card) forced a one-game playoff.  Thus brought us to the story (click the link because I choose not to rehash it) of Bucky Effing Dent.
I was nine and a half in October of 1978…old enough to know that the loss was gut-wrenching and that there would never be anything that could make me root for the Yankees, let alone even “like” them.

Any time the Yankees make the playoffs or the World Series, I actively root against them.  Doesn’t matter the team they’re playing against nor the circumstances. (Heck, who am I kidding?  Any time the Yankees play a game I actively root against them.)  In 2001, when it seemed everyone insisted through the months of September and October that we must root for the Yankees, I wondered why there wasn’t the same call to root for the Mets and decided that I could mourn what happened on September 11th without selling my soul.  When Luis Gonzalez hit that blooper against Mariano Rivera to win Game 7 and the World Series in Arizona I cried many genuine tears of joy. (My first visit to Cooperstown was in 2004 not too long after the end of the World Series.  At the Hall of Fame there is the World Series room where they display the current WS winner memorabilia and also have past World Series things in the room.  One of these things is a video player where you can select your favorite World Series moment and replay it, with the audio filling the room.  While we were looking at the 2004 Red Sox items, we notice many the Yankees fan in the room.  I can’t count how many times I replayed the Gonzalez moment while in there.)

Wade Boggs riding a horse in Yankee Stadium, Roger Clemens, well just being Roger Clemens.  The phantom Chuck Knoblauch tag. (The Clemens photo I linked to here reminds me that there are reasons not even related to the Yankees as a team that I don’t like them.  Paul O’Neill being an obnoxious poor sport comes to mind.  And George Steinbrenner is the ultimate reason ANYONE could have for not liking the Yankees, regardless of their team affiliation.  That anyone can defend what kind of person he was in and out of baseball – “But he donated to the Jimmy Fund every year!”  I hear a lot. – continues, to this day, to boggle my mind.  I mention him only in passing here because I could fill many an entry about how much I despise him.)

After the 2003 ALCS, I didn’t think there was any deeper my hatred for the Yankees could go.  And then the baseball gods gave me Alex Rodriguez.

Because I am one of those people who roots from an emotional level, I can’t fathom that any fan likes Alex Rodriguez.  His fantastic playing career aside (because, as with many players, there’s enough proof for me to question how much was genuine talent and how much was chemically-enhanced, even so, I can’t deny his career has been impressive), this is a man I would purposely lead children away from because I wouldn’t want him to catch his assholiness.  I find him to be a pathetic, creepy, schmuck of a human being.  He could hit 400 home runs in a season and I would still hope he tears a hamstring the next time he went up to bat.  From the moment he left Texas to his starting a fight he couldn’t finish with Jason Varitek to his slapping the ball out of Arroyo’s hand (and the ridiculous way he acted when called out for it) to his yelling “mine” against the Blue Jays to his public behavior with a stripper while still married to his hijacking the 2007 World Series to his self-involved photo shoot to his being fed popcorn on national television during the Super Bowl…the man is…well he isn’t anyone I’d want any part of.  Not in “real” life and certainly not on my team.  (That last part there was my being family friendly because the words I usually employ to describe Slappy aren’t really suitable for ANYONE’s ears…or in this case eyes.)

Then there’s Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira and Joba Chamberlain (good Lord, I can’t stand Joba Chamberlain) and John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman and Michael Kay and the majority of Yankees fans (though not all) I’ve either encountered or witnessed.  There are just a lot of reasons I will not only never like the Yankees but that my dislike for them or hatred…I’ve used hatred a few times in this entry so I guess I should be consistent…my hatred for them will seemingly only grow.

Well I’m glad I got that off my chest!

June 7, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , | 1 Comment

2010 Playoffs-Day One

Slappy before yesterday’s Yankees/Twins game:

“I mean, for us to be David in this situation, I think, is great. The Yankees are always going to be somewhat favorites because we’re the Yankees and that comes with the territory. It is something that we embrace and we like. But [if] they want to call us underdogs, we’ll take that role.”

A message left on a friend’s Facebook page this morning:

I sent my son to school today with his Yankee Jersey on so he could be dressed like the winner he is!

This, as they say, is why we hate you.

Continue reading

October 7, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dallas Braden forces another rewrite of "Harvey Haddix"

Screen grab from the game.  Congratulations, Dallas!

Screen grab from the game. Congratulations, Dallas!

It’s fun to have something exiting to write about!  Late this afternoon, Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden threw the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Not too shabby, eh?

Braden’s name might sound familiar to you.  He’s the pitcher who gave Alex Rodriguez the business earlier in the season when ARod used the pitcher’s mound as a shortcut.  ARod responded to Braden’s criticisms of his breaking an unwritten rule by saying:

“He just told me to get off his mound. I was a little surprised. I’d never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career … I thought it was pretty funny actually.”

Then when Braden held on to it like a bulldog with a bone and kept saying things about how maybe now the Yankees and ARod would respect the A’s more now (fat chance) ARod came back with this:

“I think Major League Baseball reads the same articles as we do,” Rodriguez said. “Now, look, I really don’t want to extend his extra 15 minutes of fame.”

I think Dallas just earned himself another 15 minutes without any help from ARod.

Now, in all fairness, Braden said some pretty pointed things about ARod (none that seemed to be untrue but definitely things you don’t often hear fellow major leaguers say about each other) – but that really just makes me like him more.  My dislike of Rodriguez is well documented and I think it’s about time players stop caring about how they look and tell the truth when situations like this come up.  So Dallas already won a spot in my heart.

How’s this for warming the cockles?  Dallas’ mom died from skin cancer when he was in high school and his grandmother raised him after that.  He credits her and baseball with keeping him off the streets, out of gangs and out of trouble.  He grew up in Stockton, California (area code 209) and today he bought the tickets in section 209 and brought all his friends out for the game – and his grandmother was there too.  It’s almost like everything aligned perfectly for Dallas to make this a historic game for him.

Word has it (I haven’t seen or heard this myself, just getting second hand info from A’s beat writer Susan Slusser) that Dallas’ grandma added “”Stick it, A-Rod” while answering questions after the game.  My own grandmother passed away seven years ago this month and I promise you if Dallas were her grandson, she wouldn’t have been so polite to use the phrase ‘stick it”.  So Dallas’ grandma gets points for being delicate.  🙂

The Oakland A’s broadcaster’s call:

“He did it! He did it! Dallas Braden has thrown a perfect game! Holy cow!”

Congratulations to Dallas Braden. So nice to have something in baseball that we can genuinely celebrate today!

May 9, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 3 Comments

He kept buttin' that dam

Boston Globe photo by Barry Chin and used without permission

Boston Globe photo by Barry Chin and used without permission

Ugly night in Boston sports all around.  I don’t even want to think about it.  The rain is coming down now washing away the disappointment of Friday night, ready to serve us up a brand new day.

Without wondering what the hell is going on with Beckett (I just can’t wrap my mind around it right now), I looked up some numbers.

This morning, the Yankees are in second place in the division, 1.5 games out of first place behind Tampa Bay with a record of 20-8.  The Red Sox are in second to last place in the division, 7.5 games out of first just ahead of Baltimore with a 15-15 record.  The Sox and Yanks have met 4 times and the Sox only won one of those games.

On May 8, 2009, the Red Sox were in first place in the division with a record of 19-11.  The Yankees were in third place in the division, 4.5 games out of first with a 14-15 record.  The Sox and Yanks had met 5 times and the Sox won all five games.

I am in no way comparing the individuals on each of these teams.  My point is this:  A record of 15-15  doesn’t indicate that the Red Sox won’t be successful this year.  Anything can and does happen in baseball and as agonizingly painful as it was to watch Beckett meltdown last night and as awful as it was to have the Sox lose so badly after coming off a four game sweep, it isn’t the end of the world, people.  If this team has done anything this year they’ve been consistently inconsistent.  We’re going to have to deal with it.

Since I’d rather remember the past this morning, I was thinking about a rainy Saturday back on July 24, 2004.  Going into the game on Friday the 23rd, the Sox were 8.5 games out of first place behind the Yankees.  That Friday night game was going to be a classic until Curt Schilling had his own meltdown and gave up seven earned runs in just over 5 innings.  The Sox came back to tie the game, only to lose it in the ninth when Keith Foulke gave up a single to Alex Rodriguez that scored Gary Sheffield.  Many Yankees fans refer to this game as the game where Curt Schilling cried – He didn’t.  He buried his face in a towel out of frustration but in 2004 we let the Yankees fans grasp on to whatever they can.  The two pitchers we picked up in the off-season to add the extra oomph the team needed to get past the Yankees had both imploded against them.  The Sox went into Saturday, July 24, 2004, 9.5 games behind the Yankees.

Given that 2004 was before the Red Sox had their fancy new drainage system installed, with all the rain happening Saturday morning, even though it wasn’t expected to rain during the game, no one thought there would be a game that day.  Quite disappointing for many reasons but mostly because 1) it was going to be on Fox and more people would be able to see it and 2) who wants to sit around and NOT have a game after such a soul-crushing loss?  The story we heard later that afternoon was that the game was being called and when they found out about it, the Sox, lead by Jason Varitek, mounted a protest and told everyone who would listen that there WOULD be a game that day.  Curt Schilling told it to Alex Speier this way:

We wanted to play, the front office did not. They were very concerned about the ‘gate’ and we were dead set on playing. I remember a “[Expletive] that, we want to play” response when they came and told us they wanted to bang the game.

The game did not get ‘banged’. (I also remember a story about the Yankees already being on the team bus in their civies when they got the call to get their butts back to the clubhouse. I still don’t know if it’s true, but I like it so I repeat it often.)  Bronson Arroyo makes the history-altering move of hitting ARod (keep in mind, this is before he became “Slappy”)  and all hell breaks lose.  For my birthday in 2004 (which is in December) my sister gave me what I call the “smoosh” photo – Tek asking ARod how his glove smells – and it is, to this day, one of my most prized possessions.  Long story short, the Sox give the Yankees their own soul-crushing loss when they go into the bottom of the 9th with the Yanks up 10-8 and end up losing with Mariano Rivera on the mound.  A double to begin the inning is followed by a fly ball, a single (which scored a run) and then the historic Bill Mueller two-run homer to end the game.

After that game, we thought the Sox were indestructible.  They came back to win the game on Sunday as well and the Sox owned the Yankees for the weekend.  More good things were to come (although it took some time for the Sox to really bounce back) and October 27th made all of the pain of that Friday night game (and the games prior to that which put the Sox in the 8.5 games behind hole they were in) totally worth it.

My point is, people, who knows what this year’s team is capable of?  I’m not ready to give into the idea that the Sox won’t be sniffing the post-season this year just because of a disappointingly slow start (and a frustrating inability for them to string together many wins – see, I do get how lousy this all has been – I’m just not giving up on this team).  Again, sure it sucks.  But I’m willing to accept the suck given the possibility of how great it could eventually be.

Great could begin today.  Of course the guys have to fight their way through CC Sabathia but with Clay Buchholz on the mound I dig our chances.  Adding to my “this feels like July 2004” mojo?  The game today is on Fox.  How sweet would it be for McCarver and Buck to have to eat all their negative words (and you KNOW there will be negative words) when the Sox embarrass the Yankees?

May 8, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And there's been a lot of broken dreams

Kelly O'Connor took this photo of Greg Montalbano at the Lowell Spinner's Alumni Dinner in January 2009 (Used with permission)

We lost Greg Montalbano in 2009. Kelly O'Connor took this photo of him at the Lowell Spinner's Alumni Dinner in January 2009 (Used with permission)

Just a note of warning:  This entry is long and although I want it to be all-encompassing, I’m sure I’ve missed  few things.  But this is pretty much how I remember 2009!

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2009 was a fairly eventful year for me personally in both the good and bad categories.  Sadly more bad than good which is probably why I initially avoided writing any kind of recap for the blog.  But while I was writing my recap of the Red Sox decade (and I’ll have that up as soon as I finish it!) I realized I should probably write something about the final year of the decade as well.  So here goes.

January:  I started blogging at WEEI.com.  Looking back on my entries for this month, I’m genuinely surprised I found so much to write about (it didn’t stop new readers from complaining that I was writing “drivel” though.  Should have been a sign!).  Personal highlights in January:  The ongoing Jason Varitek saga, the signing of Rocco Baldelli, Kyle Snyder getting picked up by the Mets, the beginning of the MLB Network and Jim Rice finally gets voted into the Hall of Fame!

February:  Bombshell of bombshells for MLB.  Selena Roberts exposes Alex Rodriguez as a steroid user.  The MLB Network cuts its teeth on this one and, unlike Peter Gammons and ESPN, doesn’t disappoint with their coverage.  Unafraid of losing access to the players (again, unlike Peter Gammons or ESPN), they go full throttle on this story and introduce us to their newest addition to the network:  Bob Costas.  I wrote a lot about MLBN in 2009 and a bit about Sl*ppy.  I would have written much less about the two, most likely, had this story not broken.  Personal highlights in February:  The Caribbean World Series on MLBN (I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it!), Truck Day, pitchers and catchers reporting and Joe Torre’s book about the Yankees.

Chapter 10: The End of the Curse. When asked by Regis Philbin the other day what happened to the Yankees over the past 7 years, Joe responded “The Red Sox happened”. That will go down as possibly my favorite Red Sox/Yankee-related quote ever.

March:  I spent a lot of March writing ‘rants’ and pointing folks toward baseball-related Twitter accounts.  Must have been resting up for April!  Personal highlight in March:  The WBC.  I spent a lot of time ranting about players getting hurt and how I didn’t care who won only to be totally sucked into it by the end.

April:   The beginning of the season!  Lots of liveblogging and picking up more WEEI readers (with mixed results!).  Personal highlights in April:  Going to both Sox/Mets exhibition games at CitiField, attending Opening Day at Fenway and high-fiving JD Drew and Hideki Okajima during their introductions, being at Fenway for the walk-off win against the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home on Andy Pettitte, Tim Wakefield taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning (thus setting the table for his All Star selection), watching Jonathan Van Every pitch while Javier Lopez floundered in right field then eventually getting DFA’d (watched on television, not in person), the Patriots Day game where Luke Scott got all pissy and some idiot fan threw a ball onto  the field and “Toeing the Rubber” getting nominated for a New England Sports Blog Award in the category “Best Red Sox Blog”. Relatively speaking, a great month except for one thing that really hit the baseball world hard and made the month miserable:  the death of Nick Adenhart.

But I don’t cry because of any personal connection I have to Nick. I don’t cry because a future baseball star is dead. I cry because parents lost a son today. Many people lost a friend. And the world lost someone who could have potentially been great. Not just at baseball but at life. No drunken ass has the right to take that away from us. This doesn’t “put things into perspective” for me. I hate when people say that. I’m forty years old for God’s sake, I’ve seen enough death and tragedy in my life to have proper perspective, thank you. I don’t watch baseball and think that what goes on down on that field is life or death and more important than anything else in my life. I’d argue that most sports fans, even if they act like they have no perspective, have exactly that. Baseball is an outlet to forget about the realities of life for a few hours.

May: Getting to see Daniel Bard’s first Major League appearance (after having seen him pitch in Pawtucket) was very special.  Finding out that Jerry Remy was recovering from cancer was sad and a little frightening.  Personal highlights in May:  Seeing Kyle Snyder with the Bisons at Pawtucket, Javier Lopez signing Steve the Ferret’s “Lopez” jersey (also at Pawtucket), Aubrey Huff fistpumping to Joba Chamberlain, appearing on “The Baseball Show” on Comcast SportsNet, crying (literally crying) over Big Papi’s first home run of the season, getting to meet metsgrrl and “paloozaing” with a huge group of people I love during the Mets/Sox series at Fenway.

Yesterday was an amazing day spent with friends (most of whom I haven’t seen in quite a while or hadn’t met yet!). There are many amazing tales to tell (but not here!) – my favorite being when our friend Susan noted that we could start singing “O Canada” except no one knows the words past “O Canada!”. Standing up and singing loudly and proudly, a group of us proved her wrong. That our serenade didn’t get us thrown out still kind of surprises me.

June:  This month brought us the end of interleague play, the end of Jonathan Van Every’s season (thanks to knee surgery), Tim Wakefield hitting ten victories with his torn labrum, John Smoltz making us all wonder why we were so excited to have him on the team while Dusty Brown makes his major league debut.  Personal highlights for June:  Derek Lowe returning to Fenway with the Braves, Nick Green’s walkoff against those same Braves, sitting in Fenway during a mind-numbing rain delayed game that turned into a loss for the Sox (okay, that one is a lowlight, really) and the Sox capping off 7 wins in a row against the Yankees with an eighth.

Continue reading

January 3, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Loud until the final sound

Brad Penny, tonight’s starting pitcher, and George Kottaras, last night’s only Sox player with more than one hit. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net in April 2009 and used with permission.

It’s just so very nice to wake up and think “Hey, if the Sox don’t beat the Yankees today I’m really okay with that!”.

I want the sweep. I’m hungry for the sweep. I want Joe Girardi and Company to leave Fenway with their heads hanging and giant tears of inadequacy rolling down their faces. I want the two-game lead in the East. I want a lot but I’ll be satisfied with the series win.

Regardless of what I try to convince myself of during any given Red Sox/Yankees series, the hype that the media and fans stir up does start to get to me. The anxiety kicked in last night (although it didn’t Tuesday!) and the adrenaline rush after the win left me hyped up for a long while after (only to crash from the exhaustion about two hours after the game ended – these games kill me).

(Neil Everett on Sports Center just called Mike Lowell’s home run off of Wang “Wang, dang doodle”. Oh man.)

Any game where the Yankees go back to back off of one of the better guys in the bullpen and the Sox still win…this qualifies as a good game.

Everyone in the Sox lineup ended up on base last night. All but Papi with hits (Papi walked twice). Meanwhile, the great Alex Rodriguez struck out twice and is 0-7 in this series. The Captain of the Yankees? 0-5 last night and 0-8 in the series. Hell, even Johnny Damon is 1-9 (the “1” being one of the back to back homers last night). Both Burnett on Tuesday and Wang last night went 2.2 innings. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again: One of these teams showed up to play…and win…and the other didn’t.

The Sox are 7-0 against the Yankees this season. Before you tell me it really doesn’t matter, remember 2005. Remember the Yankees celebrating on the Fenway mound because winning the season series gave them the crown in the AL East even though the Sox had the exact w/l record as the Yanks. Three more wins against the Yankees and the season series is won. I want this as well.

Kudos to Tim Wakefield. Many Yankees fans pointed out to me his losing record against the Yankees and even though he wasn’t technically “on” he certainly pitched well enough to win! Also, a shout-out to everyone who reminded me that “This isn’t the Yankees team the Red Sox saw in April”. Thank you for pointing out that, even with A*Rod back, they still have trouble beating the Red Sox.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by (and commented or lurked) the live blog last night. We’ve watched some good games via live blog and I appreciate the company!

Tonight at 7:10 we throw Brad Penny while the Yanks bring out CC Sabathia. I have an oddly calm feeling about this game. It’s a nice, stress-free feeling. It would be fabulous to see Penny pitch like Cy Young against this Yankee team and I’d love to see Sabathia pitch like it’s the playoffs. I’ll be satisfied with an exciting game, though.

Aw, who am I kidding?

Win, Brad. Just win. (And some runs would be nice too, fellas!) <– 3 for 3?

June 11, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | Leave a comment

So don't work your stuff

Jacoby keeping his hitting streak alive at 21 was the high spot for the night – and it happened in the first inning. (NESN screen grab)

I missed baseball yesterday. All of it. In the process I missed most of the American League East suck eggs. Which, in some cases, was good and in other cases kind of bums me out.

So my theory about Lester doing well when I don’t pay attention gets thrown out the window. Oh well. From what I can tell he was doing fine until he got himself into a little trouble and then he kind of caved. This feels like a growing pattern. When Jason Varitek keeps telling us that Lester is “young” and has some “maturing” to do I think we should be listening. I know I have been.

I greeted the morning by reading email. One message came from a Yankees fan who used to comment on my blog back when I was on MLBlogs. (A brief digression: MLBlogs tries to cultivate a community of bloggers, regardless of team affiliation. This resulted in my being criticized from different areas for, essentially, not being nice to the opposing teams fans by writing digs about their team – almost exclusively the complaints came in regard to anything I wrote about the Yankees. Back at MLBlogs I received more comments on my blog from Yankees fans than even Red Sox fans. Not surprisingly, most of them didn’t follow me when I left.) The gist of the message was to rub it in that Lester lost again and to REALLY rub it in about David Ortiz. This fan reasoned that Papi’s troubles come from his no longer taking PEDs. This same fan also mentioned how Alex Rodriguez hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the Yankees. Now maybe it’s just me but if you’re going to accuse someone who has never been proven (or officially accused) of using PEDs and in the same paragraph you sing the praises of someone who has admitted to using them, you might have a few issues of your own. True story, I tried to email this person back and my message bounced back. So I’ll say here what I was going to say in email. If we’re following your logic and Papi’s dramatic struggles are a result of his no longer using PEDs, wouldn’t that mean that you should attribute A*Rod’s outburst of productivity since returning to his still using PEDs? Makes sense to me. 🙂

Due to circumstances slightly out of my control (read: falling asleep after plying myself with NyQuil) there won’t be a live blog tonight. (This whole “my being home on Wednesdays and the Sox playing day games on Thursdays” stinks. I’d love to be live blogging in the afternoon!) Depending on how I’m feeling, I’m looking at possibly live blogging either the Friday night or Saturday afternoon game. We’ll see how my plans go.

The Baltimore Orioles are in last place but were the only AL East team to pull out a win yesterday. As of right now, the Red Sox are still a game up on the Yankees and in first place. It isn’t much but I’ll take it.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | Leave a comment