Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Wins will be good

I keep track of the W's and L's on this magnetic schedule in my office. More W's please!

I keep track of the W’s and L’s on this magnetic schedule in my office. More W’s please!

I am so ready for this Dodgers series.   I’m not ready for the rehashing of all the stuff from 2011 and “the trade” but putting the drama aside I’m just ready to see the Red Sox kick it back up.

Regardless of the gut-wrenching extra-innings, one-thirty in the freaking morning, my God why did I stay up for that loss against the Giants, that series was fun and successful and hopefully will help this team get back on track. Right now the Red Sox are 10-10 in the month of August. Not terrible but still too many L’s for my liking. I want more W’s and I want them to come courtesy of the Dodgers.

The Sox won’t be facing Zack Greinke or Clayton Kershaw in this series, although they’ll be facing pretty damn good pitching in at least two of the three games, so at least the Red Sox have a sporting chance here, right? I mean it should be easy to beat the team that is 19 games out of first place (hello, reigning World Champion San Francisco Giants) but the team leading that division by 9.5 games is going to be a bit tougher.

Regardless of how this season turns out, the fact that on August 23rd they are in first place when last year on this date they were 13 games out of first should make us all deliriously happy about this season.  I keep telling people this and, for the most part, I believe it myself. But, dammit, these bastards have made me greedy and I want it to keep on going.

If nothing else comes of this season I am absolutely convinced that John Farrell should win the AL Manager of the Year. Given what he has to work with (at the very least with his pitchers), that he’s brought the last place losers of 2012 to first place for the better part of the season in 2013 is damn impressive.

The only things I’m not looking forward to this weekend?  10pm game tonight (which isn’t horrible, at least it isn’t a school night!) and national games both Saturday and Sunday. (Suddenly everyone wants the Red Sox again – although there’s probably that whole blowback from last season where the networks thought the Red Sox would be sucking and they could mock “the trade” all weekend. Sucks to have to look for another storyline, huh?)

Now seems like a good time to remind local folks that you can listen to the Red Sox on WEEI instead of watching it on Fox or ESPN.

August 23, 2013 Posted by | 2013 | , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s help it get better

Sam Maden at Fenway Park

When I began blogging my life was much different than it is now.  It was easier to find the time to write every day and circumstances lent themselves to my being able to devote a lot of time to my blog.  Over the past year, the circumstances in my life have changed to the point where the blog often comes third or fourth on the list of things I need to do instead of first or second (where it had been for quite a long time).  As a result, the posts I write that make me feel like I’ve written something really good (or even important) are few these days and over the past few months I had seriously considered just pulling the plug.  Then we have a live chat and I feel like this blog serves some kind of purpose (and brings ME joy!) and the feeling goes away.

I mention this because I received a group of emails recently that made me think that I have a lot more to offer than just live chats.  I don’t often get personal on this blog because my belief is that you don’t visit a blog called “Toeing the Rubber” to read about the personal life or beliefs of the person writing it.  But I do put a lot into this blog and sometimes I think it’s worth breaking my own rules to get an important message out.  This is one of those times and this is your fair warning.

My family is large.  I have one sister and 48 first cousins on one side and five first cousins on the other.  I’m fortunate to have many generations above and below me still living and because of this my life is full of diversity.  My family is made up of different races, different religions, different sexual orientations and different gender identities. This has been my life for as long as I’ve been on this earth and I’m proud to be a part of the giant melting pot that is my family.  Because of this, I tend to sympathize deeply with many issues that some would call liberal.  I’m not ashamed of this, nor do I hide it. I prefer to think of my views as “pro-people” more than anything else.

With that all out of the way, I’d like to get back to the emails I received.  See, there is a 12 year-0ld Red Sox fan in Nashua, New Hampshire named Sam Maden who got the idea to petition the Boston Red Sox to do one of those “It Gets Better” videos as part of a “Make a Difference” project he was required to do for school.  Sam went to change.org and set up the petition and has over 7500 signatures so far.

The World Champion San Francisco Giants became the first sports team to produce one of these videos and there is no reason other teams can’t follow their lead.  The “It Gets Better” project was created to let LGBT youth know that the torment some of them feel (and receive) won’t last forever and as adults it does get better.  Knowing the Giants joined the project inspired Sam to push forward and ask the Red Sox to join in as well…and now I’m being asked to ask all of you to sign the petition to let the Red Sox know this is something their fans support.  While it might sound political to some, Sam doesn’t see it that way.  Hi’s belief is that kids need to hear that things aren’t always going to be as bad as they are and hearing them from people they look up to is a huge step in helping them get through what they need to get through.  I believe it would help the Red Sox decide if they knew that their fans supported this cause.

I’m not trying to begin an argument with people who don’t support my views.  I’m trying to help spread the word that there are kids out there who need our help, or at the very least support, and this is a good way to send that to them.  Also, it’s nice to share a story about a child doing something like this.  Knowing there are 12 year-olds out there willing to take a stand gives me much hope for our future.

The press release that prompted my writing this entry:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2011
Contact: Brian Purchia, Director of Communications, brian@change.org 202-253-4330

FOLLOWING GIANTS’ “IT GETS BETTER” VIDEO, ELEVEN BASEBALL TEAMS PETITIONED BY FANS TO MAKE VIDEOS AGAINST ANTI-GAY BULLYING OF KIDS
12-year-old Red Sox fan Sam Maden and ten other baseball fans start campaigns on Change.org urging their teams to follow the San Francisco Giants lead and produce videos supporting youth struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity

WASHINGTON, DC – Eleven baseball teams, including the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs, are being petitioned by their fans to produce “It Gets Better” videos and take a public stand against anti-gay bullying and homophobia in sports, following the lead of the San Francisco Giants. On Wednesday, the World Series champions became the first team in professional sports to release an “It Gets Better” video.

You can view the full list of petitions featuring more than 30 sports teams — all started by fans on Change.org’s open platform here:

http://www.change.org/#search/it%20gets%20better

Current baseball teams being petitioned by fans include the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Lifelong Giants fan Sean Chapin encouraged the World Series champions to make an “It Gets Better” video by starting an online petition on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change, following recent controversial incidents involving baseball coach Roger McDowell and basketball star Kobe Bryant. More than 6,000 Giants fans signed Chapin’s petition.

The Giants video features four current players (Matt Cain, Sergio Romo, Andres Torres and Barry Zito) and Giants hitting coach Hensley Muelens. The video delivers the “It Gets Better” message in English, Spanish and Japanese. The video can be viewed at:

“This is a watershed moment for baseball and for LGBT youth,” said Chapin. “By joining the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, the Giants are showing us why they are World Champions, both on an off the field. If every pro sports team joined the Giants in taking a stand against homophobia and anti-gay bullying by making these videos, it would have a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of kids and their families. It would also contribute to a safer playing environment for gay athletes, from high school to professional sports.”

Inspired by news that the Giants had responded to a fan’s petition on Change.org, 12-year-old Sam Maden came up with an idea to ask his favorite team on the planet – the Red Sox – to step up to the plate. Sam decided to honor his late uncle by starting a petition asking the Red Sox to make an “It Gets Better” video as well. More than 7,000 people — mostly Red Sox fans — have signed Sam’s petition on Change.org

Currently there are no openly gay athletes playing in any of the four major pro sports, as the New York Times recently highlighted in an article about New York Rangers hockey player Sean Avery announcing his support for marriage equality in New York state.

More than 10,000 “It Gets Better” videos have been produced since syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the project in September 2010, in response to an epidemic of teen suicides by gay kids and kids perceived to be gay. Through “It Gets Better” videos, President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and corporations like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Pixar and other major organizations and leaders have provided hope to kids struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity.

View Sean Chapin’s Giants petition and a video he produced supporting the petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-the-san-francisco-giants-to-make-an-it-gets-better-video

View Sam Maden’s Red Sox petition and current signature totals:
http://www.change.org/petitions/boston-red-sox-please-make-an-it-gets-better-video

View the full list of sports teams with Change.org petitions here:
http://www.change.org/#search/it%20gets%20better

Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 300,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

June 2, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , , | 5 Comments

And now it begins

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that was fun

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

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

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

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

Careful what you wish for

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

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

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

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

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

Pitching what?

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

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

Nothing like watching a well-pitched game, huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congrats to the Rangers and the Giants

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bleacher Creatures don't deserve praise

Well Major League Baseball seems to be going out of their way to make both League Championship Series interesting. While I would love to see the Phillies and the Yankees sent off into the sunset while the Giants and Rangers make their way to the World Series. But the truth is, if you dig baseball there is a lot of excitement in both series going to (at the very least) Game 6.

Having written that, I really hope the Rangers just get things done tonight and end it in front of their fans. I’ve really seen enough of the Yankees on my television this October.

But now I have to rant.

Continue reading

October 22, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

…a couple of anniversaries today

Lou Seal in his Tim Lincecum wig.  Go Giants!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com and used with permission.

Lou Seal in his Tim Lincecum wig. Go Giants! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com and used with permission.

Trying to avoid bad karma, I decided to forgo writing a gloating post about how the Rangers were owning the Yankees in this series.

So much for that.  🙂

It’s okay.  As  much as beating them on their own field would have been fun to watch, I think the Rangers fans deserve to see their team clinch a World Series spot at home.  So here’s hoping.

Continue reading

October 21, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pick One?

Good luck, Javi!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com and used with permission.

Good luck, Javi! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com and used with permission.

Still processing that the season for the Sox has ended.  Watching “Four Days in October” last night helped and hearing Don Orsillo calling the Rangers/Rays game does too.

Given that I don’t really dislike any of the teams in the playoffs except for one, for the most part I’m in the “Anyone but the Yankees” camp.  There are three games on television today, though, so I might as well make some picks (idea kind of lifted from Metsgrrl who mapped out her choices over at her blog).  I’m only picking by series, though, so here’s what I’d like to happen in the Division Series.

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays:  I’m torn.  I despise the cowbells which means I’m not fond of most Rays fans (not all, though.  I know a few I consider good fans and part of me is happy for them) so every Rays loss means we’re closer to no more freaking cowbells until April 2011.  That I can get behind.  (Also, I will always dislike James Shields for many reasons but mostly his dumbass nickname.  Once the Rays are out of it, no one will be mentioning “Big Game” James.  Who could root against that?)  The only thing I have against the Rangers is Josh Hamilton.  I don’t want to hear what a wonderful story he has for the next month.  Any time someone starts talking about Josh Hamilton and his issues, it makes me want to start using drugs.  That’s probably not what he had in mind when he shared his story, huh?  I’m going with the Rangers.  Cliff Lee making his way through the playoffs makes me happy.  I won’t be devastated if the Rays win, but if the baseball gods love us even a little than they will spare us the idiocy that is adults ringing cowbells.

Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies:  I don’t hate the Phillies but I’m really just sick of them.  The only things that make me not want to root for the Reds are Dusty Brown and Jonny Gomes.  If Gomes pulls something in his first appearance and can’t play the rest of the post-season, I’ll be a happy gal.  I’m rooting for the Reds. Gomes and Baker aside, I like their fan base and I think a fan base as loyal as theirs should get to enjoy more than one round of the playoffs.  It doesn’t hurt that Bronson Arroyo is with the Reds, not at all.  Okay, who am I kidding?  I want Bronson to get another ring.  I do.  I do.  I do. I do.  There, I said it.

New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins: I’m all about the Yankees.  (Man, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face!)  I don’t just want the Twins to beat the Yankees, I want Joe Girardi to get thrown out of every game.  I want Derek Jeter to throw his shoulder out while he’s fist pumping.  I want Slappy to tear a few muscles in the groin area.  I want CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte to all give up over ten hits and ten runs.  I want Mark Teixeira to bat .000 and Nick Swisher to have 17 errors.  I WANT THE TWINS TO DESTROY THE YANKEES!  That is all.

Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants:  Honestly?  I couldn’t care less.  There are ex-Sox on the Braves (Lowe, Gonzalez, Wagner, Hinske, heck even Ross) AND on the Giants (Lopez, Ramirez, Renteria, Sanchez), so I could develop a fondness for either team.  Do I have to pick one?  Let’s see, Tomahawk Chop versus panda hats…I’m going to have to give this one to San Francisco. Plus, seeing Javier Lopez in the post season makes me unreasonably happy.  Not exactly a good rationale for choosing the Giants but there you have it.

I’m watching the Rangers take David Price for five runs in five innings so far.  I hope every game today has a similar scenario!

October 6, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments