Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

So Again I Rant

I have two issues on my mind that are somewhat connected.  Issue number 1 is that MLB promoted a “Win Your Dream Job” contest as being for “all” baseball fans and they chose two men who could pretty much be twins, showing no diversity whatsoever.  The 2nd issue is that this dream job looks like it is going to really be a reality show about two frat boy-types who do fun things like hang out with underwear models.  The connection for me is that it shows me that MLB couldn’t care less about a huge part of their fanbase.  This post reflects my feelings on these issues and I switch back and forth between the two.  Good information to have as you read my rant.

So I’m on Twitter tonight because, hey, it’s practically Opening Day and this final game is a fun time to tweet with like-minded folks. One of my buds, who goes by the handle of metschick so there is no mistaking her priorities, tweets that she wants to buy this paperweight:

For the record, I want one too!

It’s baseball-related and it is being coveted by a woman.  AND IT ISN’T EVEN PINK, HEIDI WATNEY!!* It was a good night.  Red Sox were whooping the butts of the Houston Astros, there was baseball being called by Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo on my television and many baseball-minded tweeps were hanging out online.  And then it happened…someone tweeted something that got my Irish up.  I’m fickle.  Sometimes it takes a lot to get the Irish going and sometimes the fuse is very short.  Tonight that fuse was a bit short.

Some background to catch folks up:

Today MLB announced the winners of the “Dream Job” contest they ran last month.  (Many kind people sent me the link to apply…I did NOT apply.  While on the surface watching every game and getting paid for it while living in New York sounds like a dream, it isn’t quite mine.)  I won’t lie, my initial reaction was “Two guys…big surprise”.  But I have to admit, the more I read, the more I started getting annoyed not just because there was no one representing the women fans, but because they didn’t even have the decency to represent any fan that wasn’t white, male or a fan of an American League East team.  10,000 applications and they came up with two white guys who root for East Coast, American League teams?

As an aside, I have nothing against white guys who root for East Coast, American League teams.  Some of my best friends are white guys who root for East Coast, American League teams and I love them.  But there are 30 teams (and two leagues!) in Major League Baseball and you would think that, along with impressive applications, Major League Baseball might have taken that into consideration.

I know the world is not a fair place and it doesn’t exist to work specifically the way I want it to.  I know this.  But this “Dream Job” was advertised as a great opportunity for a baseball fan.  “Baseball fan” covers a wide variety of people and one would think that MLB would have set up some parameters to make it fair to all its fans.  There is nothing wrong with creating criteria that says since they were choosing two people they would pick one man and one woman.  OR one American League fan and one National League fan.  Is this unfair?  Would it have been so difficult to create something interesting this way?  Did MLB think they had to go the stereotypical frat boy route to entice folks to watch?

So my thoughts were all over the place about it today.  My final one being, it probably won’t be something that interests me but there could be something fun about seeing an Orioles fan and a Yankees fan trying to live together so maybe I’d give it a try.  Everything doesn’t have to be a fight, right?

That lasted until I logged on to Twitter tonight and read this tweet (from Aerys Sports Red Sox correspondent Cee Angi):

Opening Day at @MLBFanCave has Victoria’s Secret models. No wonder they didn’t pick a woman. Is it Fan Cave or Man Cave? #annoying

So I click on the twitter account for the fan cave and see that, indeed, their plan for Opening Day is to hang with a Victoria’s Secret model and they want fans to ask her questions (there is a connection, VS creates a brand of clothes for MLB that I won’t link to here, but they have witty sayings on their tops like “Meet me in the dugout” because everyone knows women only watch baseball in the hopes of a quickie with one of the players…but I digress).

Before I continue this rant let me also say this, as I have many times before:  Personally I have been quite lucky in my life in regard to how men perceive me and my baseball fandom.  I’m from a family with many more women sports fans than men fans so my knowledge or passion was never questioned there and I tend to surround myself with people who respect me (as I do them) so the majority of my personal relationships also include the understanding that I’m not some baseball groupie, I actually care and know about the game and the people who play it.  The men who read my blog seem to not care one way or the other which gender I am.  I love this.  But it changed for me when I blogged over at WEEI.  Some of the comments and emails I got while I was there just amazed me.  I’m not naive and I know how some people feel about women and sports mixing together but the hatred spewed was just unbelievable.  So while I’ve seen the bad first hand, for the most part my life as a woman sports fan hasn’t been that difficult to endure.

With that out of the way, it is impossible to write with a straight face that Major League Baseball appreciates their women fans as much as they do their male fans.  A few years ago maybe I could understand this better but last year it was revealed that women make up 45% of the fan base of MLB.  45% is no small potatoes.  I don’t pretend to speak for all women…I’m speaking for myself today…but I don’t think I ask for much as a fan.  I don’t need (or want)  pink or sparkly clothes but I would love jerseys and t-shirts cut to fit a woman’s figure without that figure having to be a size 2.  I don’t need (or want) free lipstick night or teach women about baseball night, but I could do with being acknowledged as being just as important a member of the paying fandom as men are.

Some will disagree, and many on Twitter have, but interviewing a Victoria’s Secret model on the first day of the “Fan Cave” screams to me that there was no intention ever of having a woman be one of the winners.   Having an underwear model be your guest on OPENING DAY tells me exactly what kind of viewers you want.  If your plan was that women would get involved since this model was going to be talking about clothes for women, why didn’t you just have them interview women baseball writers to talk about baseball instead?  Caryn at Metsgrrl has a great list of women I would tune it to hear talk baseball here.  You know what would be nice?  Your new, exciting experiment being about baseball.

This isn’t anything personal against the two men who won.  They aren’t the ones who created this and they’re basically at the mercy of whatever MLB wants them to do.  But instead of us getting exciting and original baseball content , we get a social networking rehash of The Man Show or The Best Damn Sports Show Period?  (In fairness, I base this only on what they have planned for the first day but, you know, usually the first impression is the one that reflects the road the program will take.)

Already this month I’ve written about women and their online presence on sports-related websites.  If Major League Baseball refuses to respect their women fans why should other sites?  I’ve been often told that many sites use pictures of half-naked women because it’s what the men sports fans want to see.  I don’t fully believe this.  I mean, I certainly know that men want to see half-naked women but I don’t think they would stop visiting their favorite sports sites if those sites stopped showing scantily-clad women.  Am I silly to assume most men watch sports for the same reason most women do…because they like sports?

I feel the need to mention this again:  Thursday is Opening Day and we’re being introduced to this gig with an underwear model instead of something related to baseball.  I have to type it out to wrap my brain around it.

This won’t be something I’ll watch and Major League Baseball knows this.  Major League Baseball doesn’t care about this.  All they care about is getting the eyes something like this attracts.  Yes, I know I’m spitting into the wind because I can complain about this until my fingers cramp but it’s not going to change.  It’s 2011 and MLB thinks this is the way to attract fans.  That sound you hear is my head banging against my computer.

Thursday is Opening Day for Major League Baseball.  My mind will be on wins and losses and pitch counts and such and, oddly enough, not on what a Victoria’s Secret model is talking about on a, supposedly, baseball-themed program.

*Tonight on NESN Heidi Watney told a vendor in Houston that she wanted her ice cream in a pink cup “because I’m a girl!”.  There aren’t enough words to describe how much it annoyed me.

…also, it’s fair to say I was very emotional while writing this.  I understand many won’t agree and some will but if I only wrote to appeal to the masses I’d be pretty damn boring wouldn’t I?

March 31, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

More important than the return of Manny…

Watching JD Drew play makes my heart happy.  I hope he's not too badly injured.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Watching JD play makes my heart happy. I hope he's not too badly hurt. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

…is the major league debut of Felix Doubront ending with his getting his first “W” in the bigs!  Felix pitched his five innings to be in line for the win and gave up six hits and five runs (three earned thanks to an error by, of all players, Felix Doubront!) in his debut.   He matched his walks and strike outs with two each.  Those strike outs?  Andre Ethier (he of the .330 average) and Matt Kemp.  Not too shabby, Felix.

As impressive was the work Scott Atchison did in relief.  (A brief side note:  Boof Bonser, we hardly knew ye.)  Last night, Atchison threw three perfect innings and struck out a career-high five batters (including, yes, Manny Ramirez watching strike three go by to end the 7th inning).  Atchison came up big for the team on national television last week when he was the literal last-minute starter replacing Daisuke Matsuzaka and I’m sure more than a few fans expected to be in the hole 10-0 when his work was done.  They weren’t.  Against Philly, he pitched the first three innings, struck out two and gave up two runs on two hits (the Sox went on to with the game 10-2).  Lately, he’s been a solid, go-to guy out of the bullpen and it pleases me to see the Sox using him like they did last night.

Another home run from Papi, the third of the “hitting the knee” homers from Adrian Beltre and a Green Monster home run that was originally called a double but overturned after watching the replay for JD Drew.   These things also made the game a fabulous one to behold.  There’s no word yet on JD Drew and his hammie (pulled while making a catch to put out Manny) but all in all not a whole lot to complain about is there?

The Yankees and the Rays both cooperated last night by getting beaten by the Mets and the Marlins, respectively.  This means………wait for it…………that the Red Sox are one game out of first place.  The Red Sox have the exact amount of wins that both the Rays and Yanks do and have two more losses.  Exactly a month ago today the Sox were 8.5 games out of first place (with not only the Yankees and Rays ahead of them but the, currently, 4.5 games out of first place Toronto Blue Jays ahead as well.

Back then, I posted a quote on my Tumblr page from Mitch Williams (currently working on the MLB Network) as told to Dan Patrick for Sports Illustrated:

You cannot win the division in April but at the end of the year the Red Sox are going to be able to testify that you can dang sure lose it in April because I think their season is over.

That a former baseball player could so easily fall into the trap of becoming a knee-jerk reacting talking head is sad.  The Red Sox certainly haven’t won the division in June but they ‘dang sure’ didn’t lose it in April did they, Mitch.  Say goodbye to your credibility.

Sox go at it again at 4:10pm ET today.  Yankees play at 1:10pm and Rays at 7:10pm.  Today could be the day the Sox sit atop the division after so many said it was over in May.  Make them all eat their words, BoSox.

June 19, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I got a feeling there's a miracle due

Dad with Luis Tiant in 2003

Dad with Luis Tiant in 2003

My father turns 75 years old today.  Eight years ago I gave a speech at his retirement party.  I’ve since lost the text to the speech but part of it touched upon his love for the Red Sox, his belief that every year is the year and his frustration with Jimy Williams (this was 2001, you understand).  This April we celebrated my parents’ 45th wedding anniversary.  When talking about a 50th anniversary party, my father just wants me to schedule it for a night there isn’t a Sox game.   The night of his retirement party there was a Red Sox game AND Game 7 of the Stanley Cup involving one Mr. Raymond Bourque.  My father was none too pleased we scheduled a party the night of a Pedro start, I promise you!

2001 turned out to be one of the most frustrating Red Sox seasons in recent memory.  Jimy Williams got fired during the season, Joe Kerrigan added fuel to the fire and basically destroyed whatever spirit was left on the team.  It was a God-awful time to be a Sox fan…yet we still were.  I won’t lie, when I gave that speech at my dad’s retirement party I was pretty much convinced the Red Sox weren’t ever going to give him a World Series win in his lifetime.  It was okay.  I was still a fan.  It just make me sad that my father had devoted so much of his heart to the team and every year the team would end up breaking it.

New owners, new GM, new manager and two World Series championships later… 🙂

So happy birthday to my dad!  Here’s to his seeing at least two more Red Sox world championships!

Back to 2010:

A bit of non Sox-related fun caused me to miss most of last night’s game.  So even though I’ve seen bits on replay, I still haven’t really seen Daisuke pitch yet this year.  I’m glad I missed the mock cheers, the booing and the four-run first (in the replay on MLBN I noticed the fans weren’t the only ones mocking Daisuke – Bob Costas and John Smoltz were engaging in it too – bitter much, John? – SO glad I missed that aspect of the game) and, really, as long as the end result is what it was, I’m okay with having missed it.

Four-game sweep of a team many had either sweeping the Sox or at least taking the series.  The Sox swept the Jays, got swept by the Orioles and then swept the Angels.   (It’s interesting to note that both teams came into this series coming off of three consecutive losses.)  Tonight we get Phil Hughes pitching against Josh Beckett.  This is the first Yankees series in a while that I am a little anxious about.  I’ll tell you what, I didn’t miss having this feeling.

Tonight the Sox are on NESN and MLBN.  Tomorrow they’re on Fox and Sunday they’re on ESPN (and NESN?  Is it ESPN2 again?  This new scheduling stuff is confusing me) so, of course, they make the series that much more tense by nationally televising EVERY game of it.

There’s the possibility that these games will be stress-free, right?

May 7, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Just a song cut off halfway

Positive vibes and good thoughts to Jed Lowrie.  Here's hoping he gets good news about his health!  (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

Positive vibes and good thoughts to Jed Lowrie. Here's hoping he gets good news about his health! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

Day 3 of gray, rainy days.  Yay.

At least NESN got their act together long enough for us to be able to watch the Red Sox beat the Twins (putting them up 3-1 in the Mayor’s Cup race).  We could watch sunny Florida on our televisions and forget all the rain.  It was nice for a few hours!

Luckily, the rain is going away and the rest of this week will be beautiful in Boston.  Unfortunately, today we’re not only stuck with the rain but with no way to follow the Red Sox/Orioles game except through MLB.com’s “Scoreboard“.  No NESN or MLBN, no MLB.tv, no radio…nothing but text to witness Mike Lowell’s first game of the spring (at first base no less).

If you’re desperate for some live baseball, the MLBN will be showing a Blue Jays/Tigers game at 1pm ET and then at 5pm ET an Indians/Brewers game and THEN at 10pm ET a Royals/White Sox game.  So there IS baseball to be had today…it just isn’t Red Sox baseball.

In the meantime, something more amusing than Johnny Damon in a Tigers uniform:  Caryn Rose aka Metsgrrl has launched a new blog today called “All Down the Line: Baseball Roadtripping” where she has reviews and photos of all the baseball parks she has visited.  She breaks them down by food, fans, seating, and other criteria in a way I haven’t seen anywhere else.  Caryn’s a great writer and an intense baseball fan and I think you’ll find her observations informative and entertaining.  Why not give her a visit?

2 1/2 weeks to Opening Day (night)!

March 15, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , | 1 Comment

But baby that&#39s a lie

I dig the Jay Bay but I'll be happy when we don't have to keep hearing about him any more (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

I dig the Jay Bay but I'll be happy when we don't have to keep hearing about him any more (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

Red Sox baseball on television today!

Unless, of course, you actually live in the Boston area.

If what they’ve done historically still holds true, the MLB Network will be airing today’s 1:05pm Sox/Mets game as long as you aren’t in the Boston area market (not sure about NY – do they get blacked out too?). I always hope against hope that someone, somewhere will forget to flip a switch and we’ll get the game – but I sincerely doubt that’s what will happen. The game is also being aired on MLB.tv (but, seemingly, not on the radio) so there are options out there for folks who want to see there first glimpse of Jason Bay v the Red Sox.

It’ll come as no surprise that CHB chimed in today on the Nomar “signing” and wasn’t impressed.  Much to my surprise, Sean McAdam wrote a similar (if not even more scathing) piece yesterday about how the Red Sox “jumped the shark” by signing Nomar so he could retire. It’s nice to see that while Nomar and the Red Sox can acknowledge that people are human and baseball sometimes has to be treated like a business, these guys can still hold a grudge.

If by doing something that holds a lot of meaning for the individual player and the fans is “jumping the shark” I hope the Sox continue to circle that shark tank and jump it multiple times.  They made a lot of people happy yesterday and it didn’t cost them a dime (Rob Bradford tweeted yesterday that since Nomar immediately retired the Sox aren’t on the hook for his $30 as outlined in his contract).  They didn’t make it any kind of big show (hell they didn’t even present him with a jersey and cap – and I was really hoping for that!), they just made the announcement, let Nomar talk a bit and ended it.  Warm feelings all around and bygones being bygones.  Whats the big freaking deal with that?  It’s good PR (how great did the FO look yesterday?), it made Nomar feel good, most of the fans absolutely loved it and it helped close a relatively ugly period of Sox history (I say relatively because his leaving the team led to the greatest moments in Sox history – that part was damn beautiful).  Stop pissing in our cheerios, fellas.  It was a nice gesture and you’ll find more fans who loved it than who didn’t.

Although that was always CHB’s problem – no matter how much he wanted the fans to hate whichever player of the week he was pissed at, they just wouldn’t.  Hell, I’ll bet you can find more Red Sox fans who like(d) Carl Everett more than they liked Dan Shaughnessy.

I’ll say it forever – Nomar loved US (the fans) and hated THEM (most of the sports media) and I’m perfectly all right with that.

So it’s off to Port St Lucie for the Sox today (a Kyle sighting perhaps?).  Every one of these “meaningless” games brings us another day closer to April 4th!

March 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The only way to go is to go away

Baseball back home in less than a month!!  (Photo taken by me)

Baseball back home in less than a month!! (Photo taken by me)

TWO Sox games yesterday.  TWO!  Okay, one of them I had to enjoy via Twitter updates from random media people at the game, but still, we got to see the Red Sox play (and win!) twice yesterday.  True it was against college teams but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of hearing the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd and the season’s first pitcher taking one off his leg.  Wasn’t really looking forward to that last one but Junichi Tazawa apparently felt the need to improvise (no worries, he’s fine).

The Sox play the Twins tonight at 7:05 but we don’t get another televised game until this Sunday (and that’s on MLB Network NOT NESN so I’m not even sure those of us in New England will get to see it considering last year they blacked out the Reds/Sox game that Bronson Arroyo was starting).

Yesterday Casey Kelly threw 10 pitches and impressed everyone who saw him throw.  (Again, unless you were in Ft Myers you aren’t on that list because he pitched in yesterday’s first game.)   Big Papi hit a home run, Jose Iglesias hit a three run double, and no one has anything negative to write about this morning.  Of course that will probably change after tonight’s game and the true beginning of Spring Training games for the Sox.  I so look forward to more of the  “Is Papi Done” “Will JD be able to stay healthy” “Will Tek/Lowell/insert veteran player’s name here be a distraction” stories that are already being written.  Nothing says “Red Sox Baseball” like the local sports writers trying to create drama instead of just reporting on the team.  It’s more fun watching Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy and listening to them destroy the surnames of college students.

The game isn’t on television tonight but you can catch it on the radio and/or Gameday audio.  So no Remy and Orsillo but at least you get Joe Castiglione!

Today the MLB Network is airing three different Spring Training games.  At 1pm it’s the Mets, again, this time versus the Cardinals.  At 7pm it’s the Yankees, again, against the Phillies (which you know the Phillies will end up winning this one…just to rub it in that they could have) and then at 11pm, the Angels against the White Sox in Tempe, Arizona.  I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a Spring Training game from Arizona.  I’ll be interested to check that one out.

I went to sleep and woke up to snow coming down (although not sticking around) so getting to watch baseball in sunny, warm climes is very enticing right now.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don&#39t think that it will be the way it was before

Sports Illustrated photos of McGwire in his rookie year and his final year.  Posted on Twitter today by @si_vault.

Sports Illustrated photos of McGwire in his rookie year and his final year. Posted on Twitter today by @si_vault (and used without permission).

“Baseball is really different now — it’s been cleaned up,” McGwire said. “The commissioner and the players’ association implemented testing and they cracked down, and I’m glad they did.”

Translation:  “I’m glad they did because this way no one will ever know the kind of pure bliss I had from breaking the Roger Maris’ home run record when everyone thought I was the cat’s ass.”

Until they test for HGH, until blood gets drawn to determine whether there are players using illegal, performance-enhancing drugs or supplements, well then there’s no way you can tell me that baseball has “been cleaned up”. Maybe there are less steroids (or at least less steroids that could be detected) than there were in 1998, but there’s too much other stuff players could be doing to call the game “clean”.

I wanted to greet the news of Mark McGwire admitting to steroid use with a huge yawn but I’ll admit to being a bit annoyed with it.  When he had something to lose, or so he thought, in that Congressional hearing, he just kept falling back on not being there to “talk about the past”.  When he could have actually tried to help MLB with this issue, he decided to keep his yap shut.  Now that he saw he got less than 25% of the Hall of Fame vote this year, now that he has another job in MLB, he wants to make nice with the world so people don’t throw things at him when he visits opposing teams and the writers might actually consider voting for him, he admits to what we all knew he did.  What’s the thought process there?  “Well they forgive Alex Rodriguez and they don’t even like him!  It’s Mark McGwire’s time to be forgiven – they want to love me again!”

I haven’t loved you for a long time, Mark.  And your wildly belated admission to something everyone already knew about you doesn’t endear you to me any more.

According to an MLB Network tweet, Bob Costas will be interviewing McGwire tonight at 7 ET.  I’m torn between wanting to watch it in hopes that maybe I’ll actually find some emotion for him that isn’t indifference or annoyance and just ignoring it because running to MLBN the day you make the announcement feels too planned to me.  How convenient for him that he can just jump on tv and start the “Forgive Me” tour.

I don’t want him to ask my forgiveness because I don’t think it’s up to me to offer forgiveness.  I can not like him and not get past what he’s admitted to doing without anyone else being bothered.  I’m sure he isn’t worried about some Red Sox fan in Boston thinking he’s an arrogant jerk.  Then again, I also don’t think breaking the rules, benefiting greatly from doing so, lying about it for years and then crawling back just so you can continue to benefit from breaking the rules (because 1998 was the bread and butter of his career) is any reason for anyone to welcome him back with open arms.

How welcoming would baseball fans, the media and ESPECIALLY MLB be if Mr. Barry Bonds had made this announcement today?

Had to make a last minute edit and add Curt Schilling’s comments about this:

Other than admitting it five years ago, he did it perfectly.”

See, to me, the whole not admitting it five years ago thing is kind of a big deal.  He had a chance to come clean and help deal with this in MLB and hid like a frightened child.  He gets no kudos from me for speaking up now.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

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!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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.

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

The sleeping pill I took was just a waste of time

A photo I took of Kyle this past May at Pawtucket

A photo I took of Kyle this past May at Pawtucket

It’s 2am (well 3am when I’ve finished writing this) and I’m wide awake and watching the MLB Network.  On October 29, 2009, Bob Costas had a sit-down interview with Bud Selig and the MLBN is re-airing it right now.  The only thing compelling me to watch this is that I can’t sleep and with 1000 channels there really isn’t anything better on at 2am.

Selig is one of those people I can’t stand to look at.  That isn’t to say I think he’s repulsive looking, it’s to say when I look at him my first thoughts go to something along the lines of my being glad I wasn’t next to him because I’d want to punch him in the face.  I’m not proud; I genuinely despise him.

When Bob Costas had the nerve to ask him about Mark McGwire coming back to baseball, all Selig could do was bang his own drum about all the wonderful things he’s done to get steroids out of baseball.  When Costas pointed out there is no test for HGH, Selig sidestepped the question and kept talking about how few players tested positive for steroids this year.  No acknowledgment that HGH exists and is most likely being used by plenty of players.  Until Selig is willing to answer to that, he can go fry his ass.   I’m unimpressed with his supposed desire to keep baseball clean.  As long as the money is coming in, he’s just happy no one is getting caught.  (Incidentally, I’m against Mark McGwire coming back to baseball.  His whole “I’m not here to talk about the past” crap in front of Congress has put him in a spot where I don’t think he deserves to be rewarded with a job in MLB.)   Given Tony LaRussa is one of his pals, Bud doesn’t see the problem.  Don’t ask him about Rafael Palmeiro or Barry Bonds, though, by his own admission, he only wants to deal with McGwire.  This entire interview is a waste of Bob Costas’ time – unless his desire was to make those of us who despise Selig despise him just a little bit more.  Christ on a cracker he’s now defending why the Yankees needed a new stadium.  He’s the person for which the phrase “makes me stabby” was coined.  He also said that the owners of the Pirates have done a great job with the team.  I think for that statement alone he should be stripped of his commissionerdom.  The only thing keeping me watching now is Bob Costas teasing me by saying the show will end with Selig talking about “his plans for riding into the sunset”.

On a more cheerful note, Kyle Snyder started for the Lobos de Arecibo on Saturday night and he pitched quite well – getting the win, striking out 7 out of 19, giving up 2 walks and 1 earned run on 3 hits in five innings.  Special thanks to friend of the blog Andy for making sure I’m getting the updates on Kyle’s time with the Wolves.  It’s been interesting trying to get any info past box scores from MLB.com – but I’m working on it.  Here’s hoping Kyle has more success this winter.

I was remiss in not congratulating Jason Bay on his Silver Slugger.   I’m very pleased for him because he definitely earned it (unlike a shortstop who won a Gold Glove this year)…and I hope the Jason Bay contract saga is over soon – regardless of how that goes.

Okay, Selig claims when he’s 78 (three more years!!!) he’s done so he can go write a book and teach.   I’m never one to wish away time but, damn, I’m throwing a party in 2012!!!!

November 15, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You gamble on everything

LaRussa’s mug shot from March 2007

I love Twitter and I can’t stand Tony LaRussa so there are some aspects of this story that make me laugh.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is suing the social-networking site Twitter, claiming an unauthorized page that used his name to make light of drunken driving and two Cardinals pitchers who died damaged his reputation and caused emotional distress.

Now I’m on the fence about making light of tragedy. On a personal level, I’m a huge fan of dark humor. I’ve never been to a funeral where we didn’t find something to laugh about (and, unfortunately, I’ve been to an awful lot of funerals). But I also feel like you need to keep a certain level of respect for the people left behind after a tragedy. So I understand that it could hurt someone to see jokes about someone they love who has died.

But I have a few issues with LaRussa “suing” over this. First off, it’s satire. Even if it’s bad, it seems to me that this would fall under that. Even if it isn’t covered under satire it’s still just humor, no? I never saw the original tweets of this fake LaRussa but based on what has been posted it seems to me that it was completely obvious that it wasn’t really LaRussa writing the updates. (The fake Michael Kay tweets usually are good for a laugh or two but even before he put up the disclaimer that the page was fake, you had to be a bit slow to not realize that already.)

There were three profiles I followed when I started on Twitter that turned out to be fake. Keith Olbermann’s, Stephen Colbert’s and Tina Fey’s (that tells you a lot about me, I know. Probably more than I should make public here!). Olbermann has absolutely no love for Twitter because of the fake profile but Colbert just created his OWN profile (instead of complaining about the fake ones) and Tina Fey has commented that, although it isn’t her, she thinks the person writing the fake profile is funny. (Although it should be noted that the person writing those tweets now calls the page NOT Tina Fey.)

I don’t think anyone should be allowed to dupe people into believing that person is someone else. So I understand LaRussa wanting Twitter to take down the fraudulent account. But suing seems ridiculous, petty, expensive and a tremendous waste of time and resources. According to the story I linked, there was a “warning” on the Twitter profile page that read “Bio Parodies are fun for everyone.” So if I understand the story, LaRussa is suing for being parodied because making jokes (and I’m not arguing whether the jokes were funny or not) about the tragedies that the Cardinals have dealt with and about LaRussa’s lack of good judgment when it comes to drinking and driving, hurt poor Tony’s feelings. So sad. Someone needs to call the wahmbulance.

What happened to Darryl Kile was tragic. What happened to Josh Hancock was tragic and, sadly, caused by Josh’s drunkenness. No less sad, especially for his family and friends, but I wonder if LaRussa is a little more sensitive to it because of his own alcohol issues? Maybe Tony has a bit of guilt because, unlike Hancock, he was fortunate enough to only have to endure public humiliation instead of a funeral? I mean what is possessing him to SUE over this? Whatever the case is, joking about the dead can certainly be considered bad taste but I’m not sure it’s worthy of a courty case. If I’m sitting on the jury that catches this case (although I’m going to guess that this case never sees the inside of a courtroom) I’d be PISSED that they brought me in for something so frivilous. Make them take down the page (which already has been done), get a thicker skin and get over it, Tony. (The faux Twitter profile, not the tragedies.)

Since I’m ranting, I wanted to point you all here. According to comments he made on the Dale and Holley show, Dennis Eckersley didn’t know he “couldn’t talk no-no”. Raise you hand if you believe him. Please, God, send us back Jerry Remy soon. Eck is fun but I really, really miss the Rem Dawg.

(Interesting, to me anyway, note: I’m watching Randy Johnson’s perfect game on MLBN. Mark Grace says “Randy’s been perfect through four.” And in the fifth inning he is making remarks about this possibly being a ‘special game’. He also said “I won’t say anything else” and then added “Yes, I will. I’ll have to.” So, regardless of my feelings about this issue, I’m interested to see how others look at it. Grace was right. It IS tough not to mention that the pitcher is perfect through so many innings. Does that fall under the tradition of not talking about it? The world might never know.)

June 5, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , | Leave a comment