Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

We should NOT be okay with a broken leg

Ruben Tejada playing for the Buffalo Bisons in 2010 - photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill and used with permission

Ruben Tejada playing for the Buffalo Bisons in 2010 before he became Chase Utley’s tackling dummy – photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill and used with permission

The next person who tells me (in person, online, in a text…) that what Chase Utley did to Ruben Tejada last night was okay by the rules of MLB so we shouldn’t blame him for what ended up happening is going to make my head explode.

Utley didn’t just come in with a hard slide and knock out the shortstop. He waited until he was practically on second base, ran out of the base path and then decided to slide and wipe out Tejada. (As Ron Darling puts it in the video clip below, “(He) Didn’t even start sliding until he was even with the bag.”)

You can watch it here because this is apparently a video no one wants us to embed.

There’s a questionable slide and Tejada ends up with a broken leg. As if that wasn’t devastating enough, the icing on this cupcake is that eventually the umpires ruled that Tejada didn’t touch the bag, the neighborhood play wasn’t in effect and even though he was originally called out, Utley was safe. After the game the umps said that Utley would have been out had any of the Mets tagged him as he left the field, leading David Wright to say:

Once obviously the player is called out, you don’t go tag him, especially when you’re lying there with a broken leg.

The Dodgers ended up taking the lead in this inning and the Mets didn’t come back so they head to Flushing with the NLDS tied at 1-1.

What everyone who is a Dodgers fan or who just wants to annoy Mets fans will tell you is that what Utley did is perfectly legitimate under MLB’s rules.  What I (and many other people) will tell you is that is utter bullshit.

It isn’t bullshit that it’s allowed in MLB. OBVIOUSLY it is. It’s bullshit that MLB allows it and that a player like Utley (who has done this before, just not with such horrible results) feels perfectly fine going in that way with the knowledge (regardless of what he says) that someone could get seriously hurt.

Hell, not only is this not the first time Utley has made such a slide, it’s not even the first time he’s wiped out Ruben Tejada.  When he did it in 2010, David Wright commented:

“We’re going to have to reevaluate the way we go into second base.”

That was five years ago. No reevaluation. No admission from MLB last night that something needs to be done. Just a young player in the playoffs for the first time in the hospital with what could very well be a career-ending injury. Joe Torre tried to sound concerned but if you read this transcript from last night his concern sounds  more for saving Chase Utley’s reputation and defending the umpires than worrying about Tejada or any other infielders getting hurt.

So I’m angry and I have no solutions except to stop allowing players to tackle other players. We hear all the time how bat flips or watching a home run disrespects the game.  None of those things will end up with a player being broken. How do you not believe going at someone with no protection and usually no way to avoid you is a legitimately clean play? Maybe it IS finally time that Major League Baseball does some evaluating? I’m not holding my breath.


October 11, 2015 Posted by | 2015 | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How about a free book?

So I’ve mentioned Caryn Rose and Metsgrrl many times on this. blog. I can’t remember now how I happened upon her blog but when I did I was immediately hooked. I wouldn’t consider myself a Mets fan (although I find myself rooting for them more often than not) but Caryn’s writing pulled me in and kept me going back for more. Caryn’s love for the Mets and baseball mixed with her writing talent made Metsgrrl one of the only other baseball blogs out there that I made a point of visiting on a regular basis.

And now you can enjoy Caryn’s Metsgrrl writings all in one place without having to even go online with “One Girl, One Team, One City: The Best of, 2006-2012,  an ebook available at  Normally this ebook would go for a reasonable $2.99 but for a limited time (ending on Monday, April 28th) you can get it for free!  Can’t beat that with a stick, right?

So follow this link to and download “One Girl, One Team, One City: The Best of, 2006-2012″ for some quite enjoyable baseball writing.

(For the record, I’m only promoting this for two reasons 1. I like Caryn and 2. I think more people should read her writing – I get no compensation from this at all!)

April 27, 2014 Posted by | 2014 | , , , | Leave a comment

The Mets lost the game and my respect

I’m not going to write about the Red Sox today because, well, I just can’t.  Okay, I will just say these two things: 1) It blows my mind that the fans and the media are writing things like “I guess they don’t care about winning” as if that is why every team goes through slumps…because they don’t care and 2) Unlike, seemingly, a lot of fans, I’m disappointed we have an off-day today because I really just want them to keep at it.  I suppose, in theory, off days can be good for the team but I don’t feel like that’s the case this time.  I’m eager for them to get back at it.

And that’s all I’ll say about the Red Sox this morning because I’m so mad about the New York Mets not being able to wear (and not fighting to wear) the FDNY/NYPD baseball caps for last night’s game that I had dreams about it all night.

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September 12, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“…it’s the Yankees I hate”

I don’t think anyone comes here looking for September 11th remembrances so I will spare you those.  What I will do is give you my opinion on the idea that the attacks on September 11th turned the New York Yankees into “America’s Team”.

I love New York.  As a child of the 70s I watched the movie “Godspell” and so wanted to go there to frolic in the fountain.  I read any book I could about the city and watched the “I Love New York” commercials (especially the ones featuring the Broadway musicals) like they were television shows.  As a teen in the 80s, I decided I should move to Greenwich Village.  I didn’t know what I was going to do once I got there, but I knew I wanted to go.  I never moved to the Village but I loved it from afar in Boston.  As I stated, I love New York.  I can’t adequately explain how I feel when I go to New York but I can tell you it feels like I’m at a second home and I get very sad when it’s time to leave.

Having written all that…

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September 11, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , | 4 Comments

Lunchtime baseball

Happy 36th Birthday, Matt Clement, wherever you are!*  (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission)

Happy 36th Birthday, Matt Clement, wherever you are!* (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission)

Know what I love?  Afternoon baseball.  Baseball was definitely made for a sunny, summer afternoon.  But we almost never get it.  Oh we get Sunday afternoons unless ESPN steals them away from us and we get the occasional Thursday travel day 2pm game but never real afternoon baseball on a regular basis.  In an effort to remind us of this, MLB has scheduled today’s Sox/Blue Jays finale for 12:37pm.  I’m torn between being pleased to watch the game in the afternoon and being reminded that, were I working a full-time job away from home, I wouldn’t be able to see the game.  12:30 just seems so early.  Sure it isn’t Patriots’ Day early, but early nonetheless.

I suppose the idea is that the Blue Jays need all the free time they can get to make the trip from Toronto to California for their weekend trip against the Angels.  And getting to Texas a bit early can’t hurt the Sox either.  It just seems an odd time to schedule a baseball game in August.

This roadtrip has been pleasing thus far, yes?  Two out of four against the Yanks followed by two against the Blue Jays with the possibility of a sweep today.  Regardless of how many want to bury them, our Sox aren’t dead yet.

Often when the Sox are struggling, I look around the league and find a team that makes me say “At least we aren’t [insert team name here] fans”.  Even with the Sox doing, relatively, well, we have that team today.  I know I could handle the Sox not being in he playoffs a lot more than I could handle, say, Jonathan Papelbon getting arrested or Jon Lester being accused of rape. Stay strong, Mets fans, because things have to look up at some point.

Watching both the Yankees and the Rays play lately, one word comes to mind:  Touchable.

*Last year Clement was hired as the basketball coach at Butler High School in Pennsylvania.

August 12, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , | 3 Comments

You know we're far from sober

One of the few bright spots on the team so far!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ ad used with permission.

One of the few bright spots on the team so far! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ ad used with permission.

I had work to be done last night and I watched the game with the sound off so I wouldn’t be distracted.  Every so often I would look up from the laptop and see someone running around the bases and think “it’s going to be a long game”.  I had no idea.

One of my favorite tweets of the night came from Joe Giza at WBZ:

All I know is the Yankees must be pretty ticked that the Red Sox would play a game at this slow a pace without them.

And that was, pretty much, the only amusing thing about last night.

(Let me digress for a moment…I noticed on the NESN website that there is an interview with Jonathan Van Every – welcome back, JVE! – conducted by Heidi Watney.  Is she back?  Am I so oblivious to her now that I didn’t notice her during the games on Sunday or last night?  To be fair, I only watched some of the game on Sunday and last night’s without sound, but still, I didn’t think I disliked her so much that I would erase her from my mind any time she showed up on tv.  I’m glad she isn’t injured any more but I certainly didn’t miss her.)

Anyway.  All of Red Sox Nation is ready to start the novenas for Josh Beckett but one Tony Lee over at NESN has some good(?) news for us:

If Beckett is searching for some sort of excuse, he could point to the issues he has had throughout his career at Rogers Centre, where his ERA after six starts now stands at 9.28. But even a casual observer could see that what Beckett was throwing Monday would not translate to success in his own backyard.

If he is looking for a pick-me-up, he could look to last April. The right-hander gave up 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings in April 2009, but was 15-4 with a 3.33 ERA thereafter. Eerily, he finished this April giving up 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings.

Everything that could go wrong this season, so far, has. Okay, not everything, it still could be worse.  I’d rather not think about how much worse the already ugly season could be right now.  But things are pretty damn bad.  Still, winning three out of these last four games, no matter how ugly they all were, has to be moderately encouraging.  The Red Sox are 5.5 games out of first place on April 27th.  That doesn’t sound as bad as I expected it to.

I’m not sure if I want to find out that there is something physically wrong with Beckett, so they can fix it, or if I’d prefer it’s just some whacked issue he and his pal Lester have about pitching in April.  What I really want, though, is to watch a Red Sox game where they get the lead, keep the lead, and the starting pitcher doesn’t get beaten up.  I’d like a few of these in a row, thanks.

Extremely jealous of Mets fans today!  They get a real doubleheader starting at 4:10pm because their game against the Dodgers got rained out last night.  I’d love to go to single admission doubleheader at Fenway Park.  I’ve been to one where they had to herd everyone out, clean up the park and the herd the new crowd in…it’s fun but I think a true doubleheader would be even more fun.

Tonight Clay is on the mound against Shaun Marcum.  There has to come a point when the starting pitchers (for the Sox!) all get their acts together, right?  We’ll find out together!  Tonight is the second Toeing the Rubber Live Chat of the season.  Hope to see yo there!  (So far we’re 1 for 1!)

April 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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/ 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/ 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 (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

His pop was met at the ballpark franks

Kyle Snyder at McCoy Stadium last May. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Kyle Snyder at McCoy Stadium last May. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

And now for the entry you all new would be coming (Cyn’s Edit:  Yes, it actually came earlier but I pulled the entry for various reasons.  Problem is, I liked the piece, LOVE the photo and now have official verification that Kyle has, indeed, signed with the Mets, so here it is again – edited with up to date info!):

For those of you who have been emailing me wondering what Kyle Snyder’s status was, I finally have some news!

MLB STILL has him listed as a non-roster invitee with no team attached to his profile but their “Game Notes” entry today has verified that the reason there was a Kyle Snyder sighting in Port Saint Lucie last week is because he signed a minor league contract with the team.  This is fabulous news and finding out it’s true makes me extremely happy.  Here’s hoping Kyle has a good, INJURY-FREE season with the Mets and Bisons.

It also gives me a reason to wear the Snyder Mets jersey I got off of eBay last week. (Hey, I couldn’t help it. Good price, Kyle’s name on it and the Citifield inaugural season patch on it. Plus it’s black, in my opinion, the best color ever for baseball jerseys!)

So, yes, that means I now proudly own 3 Kyle Snyder jerseys (two Red Sox jerseys: batting practice and road grey and one Mets) and I’ll fight you if you give me crap about it (ask the spelling-challenged dude in Baltimore who wanted to know why I was wearing a Duke Snider Red Sox jersey).

The Bisons play the PawSox at McCoy April 23-26…sounds like as good a time as any for my first trip of the season to Pawtucket.

(Is it bad form to wish various maladies on the Mets starting pitchers to help increase the chances of Kyle’s being put on the 40-man roster and finding his way to Citifield at some point?  Just asking.)

March 8, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | 2 Comments

Should&#39ve told her that I can't linger

Photo I took of The Big Unit in May 2006

Photo I took of The Big Unit in May 2006

I genuinely surprised myself with my reaction upon seeing Jason Bay in a Mets uniform.  It was a lot more negative than I expected.  Pirates fans still are the ones wounded the most here.  One of the only reasons they want to go to the park gets traded and they have to see him in a Sox uniform talking about his father putting him in a Red Sox onesie when he was a baby.  I probably would have punched a wall in 2008 were I a Pirates fan (I imagine, Bay or not, there are a lot of punched walls in Pirates fandom).  So I won’t pretend to be heartbroken or devastated that Bay is now a Met but it sure was weird to watch.  As I’m sure the Pirate fans felt about the Sox uniform, he looked odd dress in the Mets jersey and cap.  Initially, I thought the first photo I saw of him from his press conference was photoshopped.   He looked so stiff and unreal in front of the CitiField backdrop.  But, alas, it was real and Jason Bay is now a Met.  It was hard to watch.  Difficult to hear him talk about how he knew he wanted to play for the Mets.  Which struck me odd since I was (and am) okay with the Red Sox not really wanting him back.  Oh well.  I wish him luck and think the Mets have, on paper, a really good team for 2010.  Sadly, we’ve seen what the Mets do with really good teams.  I hope this year is different for them.

More interesting news, to me, was the announcement that Jacoby Ellsbury will be the starting left fielder come the 2010 season.  Unlike so many I know, I don’t have a problem with this.  Less wear on his body = more opportunities to steal.  Plus, the idea of Mike Cameron in Fenway’s left field didn’t leave me with the warm and fuzzies.  If Jacoby feels slighted, and Terry Francona’s comments indicate they tried to do all they could to make sure he DIDN’T feel that way, I’m sure he’ll get over it soon enough.  Could be worse, he could be Mike Lowell watching the front office build a team where they obviously don’t want to make room for him.

Adrian Beltre.  Admittedly, not the Adrian most Red Sox fans were hoping for but I’m not all that disappointed with this if it happens (only writing “if” since the Sox nor Beltre have owned up to it yet even though already has him on the Red Sox page).  The contract isn’t crazy (sorry, Mr. Boras) and his defense is amazing.  Take away my fondness for Mike Lowell and my desire to see anyone who hurts him hogtied and there isn’t anything to dislike about this deal.   Those who don’t like it (and we’re taking away the Mike Lowell component here) seem to be obsessing on his 8 home runs in 2009.  In 2009 Beltre had shoulder surgery.  I think we can give him a pass for the weak home run count for one year.  The last time he had a season with under 20 home runs was 2005, when he had 19.  Before that, it was 2001, and from 2006 to 2008 his home run totals were 25, 26, 25.  As long as that shoulder is healthy, I’m not worrying about his home run total being low.  (I only pulled out home runs because that seems to be the biggest worry of the naysayers.  I’m not one who thinks your offense lives and dies with having 9 guys in the lineup who have to hit 20 home runs or better.)  I guess we can’t “officially” welcome Adrian to Boston just yet  – but it seems that he’s already getting a taste of what the fans will be like and he hasn’t even put the cap on yet.

MLBN with a marvelous recap of Randy Johnson’s career. I did the Big Unit and can’t wait for him to get into the HoF.

Lovely typo from yours truly there, eh?  Well my intentions were pure.  Regardless of his mind-numbingly painful pit stop in the Bronx, Randy Johnson has always been one of my favorite pitchers.  I DIG the Big Unit and all of his grumpiness and pitching splendor and for him to be out of the game feels almost wrong.  Hell, though, 22 years is a long enough time for anyone to be doing what he was doing so I hope he enjoys retirement and maybe even smiles a time or two.

The 2010 Hall of Fame inductees get announced today.  How great is it to not be gnawing my fingernails in anticipation of Jim Rice being disappointed again?

January 6, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Now is the time for me to stand

Our battery today. Kick ass, fellas! Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/ in April 2009 and used with permission.

Dear Tim Wakefield:

See, here’s the thing: I was okay with the team losing on Friday. Daisuke’s first game back and all. He pitched well; things just didn’t work out. And last night? Well, Papelbon has been truly remarkable this year thus far. I was upset for a moment as I saw the home run but in the big picture knew we were bound for this to happen at some point. I’m not about to get all banged up on a night it looked like we had 2007 Josh Beckett in the house. Losing the series to the Mets sucks, but, all in all, I’m not getting too worked up about it. But today? See, I’m at the game today. (Yesterday was spent at An Tua Nua’s with 30 or so of some fabulous people!) I’ve never been in Fenway at the game of a sweep against the Red Sox and I have no intentions of starting now.

Think about the children, Tim. If the Mets sweep the Red Sox today, I very well might take out a couple of obnoxious Mets fans. Some of them might have kids. (Not saying all Mets fans are obnoxious. They aren’t any more than all Red Sox fans are. But I seem to attract the obnoxious ones at the park.) God help the Cowbell Man if I see him off of a Mets sweep. (Who am I kidding? God help the Cowbell Man if I see him at all today. Okay, not if I see him but if I hear him. My friends are scattered through the park this afternoon. I’m sitting alone. I’ll have no one there to remind me I should take the cowbell and shove it….well, never mind.)

Digressing for a moment: That Wiki page on the Cowbell Man says the Yankees also have a Cowbell Man to go along with the pan-banging Freddy Sez dude. Is it that difficult to make your own noise with your hands and voices that you need instruments? WTF? Wouldn’t it drive you batshit, Tim, if we banged cowbells all day?

But back to TODAY, Tim. Win. I know it’s unfair to ONCE A FREAKIN GAIN ask you to be our “stopper” but here it is. You need to stop this shit and stop it now, dude. If this means a complete game, so be it. A no-hitter? Do it. A perfect game? Come on, why not? The team needs a win so fans don’t go mental on Julio Lugo as the team leaves the park for the airport this afternoon.

Win Tim. Make the Mets cry. Silence their fans. Make sure I get to work on Tuesday instead of spending the long weekend in the clink. This is your calling…accept it and excel. Thank you.


Cyn Donnelly


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.

If people tell you that you won’t meet any good folks online, tell them they’re wrong. I’ve made some of my real-life closest friends online. The Sistahs, the LMOTFers and the SGers are groups I was a part of online that turned into many off-line, true friendships. For that I am grateful to the Red Sox (hey, all three were parts of Red Sox messages boards and or blogs). So I can’t begrudge them a loss or two when they’ve done so much for me!

May 24, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | Leave a comment