Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Return of The Closet, or When It Rains It Pours

First, The Fat Man manages to find a Fenway muskrat hole in which to mangle his foot. But I do not panic. We've got Halama to fill in. Wade is coming back soon. We can get through this, I say to myself.

Today, the universe says, hey, we've gotten tired of not fucking over Red Sox Nation.
Result: Curt McGirt reinjures the infamous ankle, 'cep this time it's a bone bruise. (In the "We Are So Plunking Lou Piniella In The Damn Dugout The Next Time He and His Punks Comes to Fenway" Department: It apparently happened in last weekend's Devil Rays game. Yes I realize they did not actually go inside his ankle and bruise the bone. I wish to blame them anyway; facts get in the way.)

I? Feel wholly justified in panicking now.
So Bronson?Matty? Wake? Wade, when you come back?
Meet Rodney Harrison.
You will be living in my coat closet till further notice. You may come out to eat, shower, and pitch your starts.
I am taking no chances. I may not be able to control on-field injuries, but I will take no chances.
No buts. Rodney will tell you, I am not a woman to fuck with. You four will stay intact, by god.

One good piece of news: The Buckethead, The Doofus, or Kevin when I am feeling affectionate, is now the father of two.
Everyone batten down the hatches. You thought he was goofy before? Now he has kids. (Named Kashton and Kylie. But I swore a vow to myself not to mock any names, as long as they were healthy. We'll see how long that lasts now.)
Congrats Kevin and Jeana.
And maybe we can get some New Baby Mojo for the Texas roadtrip.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Fucking Baltimore.

Fucking pitching staff.

Goddamn Keith Foulke.

Fuck me for caring about this stupid team, that when they piss away an 8-3 lead, then give up TWO HOMERS in one inning, and don't get it back, that it pisses me off so damn much. That I care so damn much. Even in fucking April.

Bad Timing

Dear Sox-
Your timing sucks.
You reel off your 5 game streak, 8 of 9 performance during the exact times I cannot stay home and listen to you. When I am immersed in this silly thing I call "extracurricular life outside my room".
Then you drop 2 to the Devil Rays. The DEVIL RAYS! Whose owner pays them in hot dogs, then bans people from his private bathroom! (I may be kidding about the hot dogs, but not by much.)
I do thank you for Sunday, which I could actually sit down and watch. It may have been a beanball war diguised as a baseball game, but it was still entertaining. Even though Big Papi charging like a pissed off elephant is one of the scariest sites known to man. As is the simulataneous presence on one TV screen of Trot Nixon's Death Glare and The Eyebrows of Doom. (Belatedly: CUIDADO!!!! HALAMA!!!!!!)
But yesterday. The second day in a row I could sit and immerse myself in baseball. What do I get? An asswhupping. And not in the right direction. David Wells, you have been redubbed the Fat Man. "But I..." No excuses. You were sucking before the foot got sprained. You go sit in your room. And don't come back until you're prepared to kick some ass.
Sam has her Blue Cats Corner of Shame; I have my Cookie List.

Cookie List, Weekend of 4/23-4/24
Jay Payton- We all say, during a beanball game, "You know what would be sweet sweet revenge? A grand slam." And lord behold, you went out and did it. And you hustle in right field like you were born to do it. Chocolate Chocolate Chip.
Unfrozen Caveman Outfielder ( Beardless Edition)- 7 for 8 with a walk? Good boy. And you have cut down on the media whoring, which I appreciate. Sugar Cookie With Icing
Blaine Neal AKA BJBBD, or Big Jersey Boy Bullpen Dude- First you restrained Trot on Sunday, preventing him from possibly eye-lasering Dewon Brazelton into smithereens. Or something worse. Then, you were a bright spot in long relief on Monday. Gramma's Oatmeal Raisin
Billy Mueller- You've been knocked on your ass by the flu this past week, and yet came into pinch hit yesterday. Chicken Soup
Buckethead and The Amazingly Demure Middle Infielding Duo- No cookies People who strike out too much/GI(numerous)DP/play lackluster left field compared to Manny have not proven themselves worthy of the cookie.

There may be hope for redemption tonight, and Matty of The Neptunal Nuts (tm SGMB) will make it on the list. Hey Matttty....I got Peanut Butter Cookies......

Friday, April 15, 2005

....And The Horse They Rode In On

So, the Yankees have gone their merry way, with the season series knotted at 3-3.
We managed to win our first series of the year.
But, as with always, not with a little controversy.

Anyone who knows me, my family especially, has heard me say this time and time again:
Why does ability to pay for field level seats seem to be inversely proportional to one's level of common sense?
Shouldn't they have psychological screenings before they let you sit by the third base line? Or at least put a clause in your season ticket contract, "If I reach over the wall, interfere with the ball at any time, whether it helps my team or not, I give my consent to be beaten severely about the head."

My take, and then I refuse to talk about it anymore: It was the fan's fault, but Sheffield reacted like an idiot as well, and hopefully we can move past it.

And sadly, it took away from what was an exciting game without them. And Chris House, the fan, replaced the real villain of the game :
Greg Gibson, the crappy ump with a Napoleon complex.
He was calling a strike zone which was alternately the size of a postage stamp and a refrigerator, which resulted in String Bean walking in a run when he SO should have gotten the K to end the inning.
And then, like all insecure tyrannical dictators, Gibson ejected someone for criticizing him, who turned out to be Ron "Papa Jack" Jackson, way over in the dugout. For talking, in. the . DUGOUT. Which necessitated our recently RELEASED FROM THE FUCKIN' HOSPITAL manager to come out and defend his crew. Violently yelling and gesticulating....and freaking out the tender hearts of fans everywhere who would prefer he take it easy. The best part of it, though, was Papa Jack storming out of the dugout himself, requiring 5 men to hold him back. 'Cause Papa Jack is a badass. (You're damn right.....)

(Apparently Tito missed Papa Jack so bad, that he went out to argue strikes an inning later, and got himself thrown out.)

Fortunately, Gibson was sucking bi-laterally, getting the Randy Johnson Death Glare more than a couple times. And I have no doubt he was responsible for the phantom tag call, very first play of the game, which robbed Tony Womack of an infield single.

Bright spots, of which there actually were quite a few:
*Three Sox homers, two multiruns and one solo by our Captain, off the supposedly intimidating Randy Johnson. To quote the eloquent Nelson Muntz, "HA-ha!"
*Our Yankee killer of a captain, who not only hit the solo homer, tying it up, but hit the two-run RBI triple which was involved in the Sheffield incident, and making the not-simple foul pop catch to end the game with the bases loaded. Let anyone who wants try to mock the C; I'll give them a complimentary ass-whupping.
*Chauncey, breaking out of his slump, with a two run homer and the go-ahead RBI double, finally knowing the passionate love of the Fenway crowd. And making me less likely to groan when he comes up with men on. Also because he can look just as awesome in the field as Lando.
*Kevin D. Buckethead, not as flashy as those mentioned above, but setting the table like a pro, and continuing to amuse the fans with his feats of physical comedy. Such as the unintentional head first slide, nowhere near the first base bag, on his wall-ball single.
*The return of the phrases "wall-ball single", and "wall-ball double".
*That Foulkie again gave us a heart-stopper of a 9th inning, but we WON anyway.

I'm actually glad that we have the Devil Rays tonight, one since I can't watch it, two because it would be nice to have quiet baseball for a change.

Monday, April 11, 2005

I Love Everybody Right Now.

The sun is shining, there's baseball at Fenway, and we beat the Yankees today 8-1; all is right with the world.

*I love Tim Wakefield, who, 6 months after he got to start the first game of the World Series, got the second honor, richly deserved, of starting the home opener. And proceded to kick ass all around the park. 7 full innings, 5 hits, one run, 5 strikeouts, and 9 Yankees looking absolutely silly. He's made it harder for me to advocate his move to the bullpen, because both he and String Bean have kicked ass in their first two starts. Can we have both of them, and put The Fat Man in the bullpen? No? Damnit.

*I love his batterymate, for sending the first pitch he saw from Moose Mussina into the Monster Seats. We have, bar none, the best backup catcher in all of baseball. DOUGIE!!!!!

* I love The Buckethead, The Idiot, The Doofus, plain old Kevin, who keeps on that clutch hitting streak, and is determined to prove everyone wrong who says he can't play first competently. And continues on his mission of spreading the Man-Love of The Red Sox to every middlesex village and town....

*I love Chauncey, who seems to be at last coming out of his shell..maybe he just needed the lovefest that was Fenway Park today.

*I love D-Lowe, The Dave Roberts, MENDOZA!!!!!, and Curtis "The Pitching Frat Boy" Leskanic, for coming back and letting us show them just how much we appreciated and still appreciate them. Especially The Dave Roberts, who has not changed a bit, and is still the best cheerleader for any team he's on. Mienkie, Lando, Kappie and Pedro-I know you couldn't be there, but trust me, we love just as much.

*I love the Amazing Managment Quadrangle, and Dr. Steinberg, for putting together a Opening Day celebration which had everything, just the right mix of appreciating the past and looking to the future.

*I love the Fenway Crowd, for providing the funniest damn moment of the baseball season so far, by giving Mariano Rivera a STANDING OVATION. And sending me into hysterics. I even love Mo a little, for grinning, and being such a good sport about it.

*And finally two words: JOHNNY. PESKY. ( Also two more: TEDY. BRUSCHI.)

Next up: The Return of El Bloody Sock. The Big Schill. If we could keep today's good mojo going for the rest of the week, that would be pretty cool, guys.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Why Does Keith Foulke Want Me To Go Insane?

Dear Bronson Arroyo-
Good boy, you get a cookie! Thank you for continuing the trend of our starting pitchers showing up to kick a little ass. I will forgive the solo homer, as it came early in the game, and you then proceeded to retire the next 8 batters in order. The hair frankly baffles me, but if it works, go with it. And you're the current wins leader on the starting staff-good job, String Bean.

Dear Keith Foulke,
I love you very much.
I will never forget what you did last October.
However, that 9th inning had me alternately throwing aspersions upon your parentage, or in the fetal position on the floor, whimpering. It was like you did "Blown Save Greatest Hits.":hits, walks, hit batsmen. It only needed a balk to be complete.
Fortunately, you sacked up, and fixed it, which is more than can be said for your Yankee counterpart.
9th inning rallies are not so fun on the other side.
Can we never do that again please?

Dear Chauncey,
You see that guy over on the other side of the middle infield? There is a reason that he is hitting .417, and you are hitting .150. Yes, he has 7 strike outs. However, the rest of his ABs? Hits. Why? BECAUSE HE TAKES A FUCKING PITCH ONCE IN A WHILE.
As other people have said, I really do want to love you. But you are making it VERY VERY HARD.

Dear Papi. Captain Tek, and Millar,
You're doing just fine; you get cookies too.

Dear Fat Man.
If tomorrow was a one-sided blowout-shutout for our side, that would be really really cool, 'kay? I like exciting seat-of-our pants wins as much as anybody, but not consecutively. Sigh.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Red Sox Will Drive Me To Drink.

I'm serious. I really don't feel like I can take 159 more games of this without chemical aid.

Opening Night, I could take, because apart from a couple scattershot doubles, it was clear from the 5th inning on that we were done. I could sit back, be numb, and mock it with relatively little stress.

Tuesday, however, was different. And don't even get me started on yesterday's game.

Game 2, they strung me along, then ripped my heart out. Matty Clement did not pitch nearly as badly as The Fat Man, but still couldn't last past the 5th inning. Chauncey the Demure Middle Infielder could not take a pitch to save his life, or field any grounder that hadn't been medicated first.
Manny was swinging away, and worse, looking silly while doing it. The only guy who was frickin' doing what he was supposed was Papi. Which was good, because if he was in a slump, I would have gone out and run naked screaming down Mass Ave.

But yet, there we were, top of the ninth, only one run down. And then IT happened. "Swing and a drive.."-you know the rest. Our captain, capitan, captaine, the rudder of our ship, hitting a home run in those darn right Yankee Stadium field bleacher seats. Off Rivera no less. And all was right and beautiful and true again.

Until the evil, evil though came into my head:"They've only done this so goddamn Tino "Second Coming of Gehrig" Martinez can hit a walkoff in the bottom half."

I will admit, I was wrong.

It was FUCKIN' JETER, who hit the walkoff.


So, fast forward to Wednesday afternoon. I have absolutely no expectations, because with Timmy, when it's on, it's on, and when it's off, it's ugly. I wasn't expecting our bats to wake up that quickly. And thirdly, I had class all afternoon.

But then Tito has to go and get sick. And there we are, me and the entirety of Red Sox Nation, freaked out that our skipper, the wondrous warden of this insane asylum we call a team, is in the hospital.

I got the requisite "Win one for the Tito" echoes in my mind. I didn't pay that much attention to them, except to listen to the beginning of the game while crossing to class.

But then a strange thing happened: Timmy's knuckler was on. On like white on rice-whatever the hell that means.
And the bats started waking up; the Chickenman, the Doofus, my boy Millar hits a two-run single into left. And there I am, supposed to be learning about the radicalization of the New Model Army in 17th century England, with one ear on the professor, and the other listening to this goddamn team. ( Mother- Before you yell at me, this actually seemed to help me with the learning process. Since I had to listen especially hard, I can recite every single relevant fact about the above subject. So, *phbbpbt*.)

I could not stop listening. All afternoon.Even with CTDMI hitting into a bazillion double plays, we were contending through the entire game. Even with absolutely mind-boggling calls by the umpiring crew. Even with the Doofus's knee inexplicably cramping up WALKING BACK TO THE FIRST BASE BAG.

Even when Gary "So Not Worthy Of The Isaac Hayes AB Music" Sheffield pulled ahead with a sac fly in the eight, it was back. The hope. The "pleasepleasewecanwinthisgameIknowwecan".

And lo and behold, they did.

They scored 5 runs. Against the greatest closer of our generation, most likely of all time. Whom we own like a cheap garden shovel. And then Foulkie held the line, proving who was departing, and who had arrived.

Would I have preferred 3 wins?Of course. Do I wish I could go back to Tuesday and move Foulkie's changeup a couple inches outside? Hell yeah. Would I give up yesterday's wild ride for anything? No fucking way.

I'm in for the duration. I'm just saying, I might not be able to do it completely sober. :)

Monday, April 04, 2005


Who ever invented balks needs to die slow and painfully. Damn you, Abner Doubleday!

Anyway, that was not the way I would have chosen to start the season. Though we lost the season opener last year, and look what happened.

I watched in the Quincy Junior Common Room, site of the most awesome bigscreen ever. I would have preferred to watch on the smaller TV at home with the Maternal Unit and the Sibling, but watching with my fellow people of Quincy House was nice too. Even the Yankee fans were articulate and friendly. ( I will cherish while I may, because we won't be able to share the same room come October.)

It started off reasonably plesantly, Johnson being, well, Johnson, and Wells being ugly but efficient. I thought it would be one of those down to the ninth nailbiters. Possibly even extra innings.

But then.

He stole two RBI from the Doofus with one whoppingly beautiful catch. Even though Jay-P eventually scored Papi on a single, something changed on that play. It was, as Damien The Yankee Fan pointed out, the type of play that went against the Yankees Games 4-7. The Hideki Matsui who had hid in his hole after Pedro's brushback pitch was back. Returned to his old terrifying ways, epitomized by his two-run squeaker homer in the 7th.

All down hill from there. The parade of Red Sox pitchers, though they got the outs eventually, looked scared, and owned. They alternately couldn't find the strike zone with a ten-foot pole, then found it all too well, serving up base hit after basehit. None more so than the Fat Man himself, who will not get his nickname back until he pitches better. ( And BullpenBoyfriend needs to get his control on, now.)

There were the pretty moments intertwined with the ugly. There was Demure Middle Infielder himself, Chauncey, though not able to take a pitch to save his life, but guarding the left infield like it was his teenage sister. One of his plays, trying to get the forceout while pitching face-first to the ground, had it worked, would have been the equivalent of Brady making a complete pass from the seat of his pants. If Papa Jack gets him a little more patient at the plate, Edgar is gonna fit in just fine.

There was Marky, quietly having a pretty nice game, ballet dancing over baserunners.

Also, has anyone noticed that Tony Womack looks like Sheffield's Mini-Me? Complete with mustache. And oh how sweet it was watching Giambi flopping around like a dead fish at first. Too bad they had to put Tino in to take way the fun and the hateableness. Tino, like Bernie, is one of those Yankees that I cannot personally hate. Matsui, too, even though he scares the heck out of me.

Note to self: the game is truly over once Remy and Orsillo get goofy, and start making fun of John Sterling's scarf.


But what made the game at all bearable, beyond the fact that it was meaningful baseball finally, was DTYF, saying next to me, " I would trade 5 of those runs, for one more run in Game 4."

And a strange calm came over me. It reminded me that there's 161 more of these, and then there's October, and anything can happen. Right now, I gotta just lean back and enjoy the ride.