Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Weekend In Baseball, or Summer Mom-Blogging, Edition One

Friday: Loss To Yankees, 6-3

EST: 7 pm.
Location: Amtrak Train 175, Somewhere Outside New York City

*Began listening to Sterling/Waldman on WCBS, and immediately go into Castiglione withdrawal. However, the conclusion is soon reached that though Sterling is a homer, he is nowhere near as bad as Michael Kay.

*Listened to several innings of Sox getting on base against Johnson, and then squandering. Freaked out seatmate rather badly with hitting of head against Plexiglass window. (Note: Mine, not his.)

*Cursed the maternal ancestors of the inventor of the AM radio for it's complete inadequacy in listening underground, resulting in sitting in Penn Station for an hour without baseball.

*8pm: Seatmate asleep. Woke him up again with Boisterous Dance of Joy as result of Jason Varitek's homerun. Apologized unsincerely.

*Spent cab ride home from Trenton Station angling insufficent radio so as to reach reception.

*Reached home domicile. Greeted by Maternal Entity with hugs, promises of pizza and a Sox lead. Reciprocated with the Yastrzemski number tee obtained at Fenway a week ago.


*Reproached Wake for being un-Wake-like; expressed extreme displeasure with Alan Embree for continued suckage, as evidenced by 3-run homer to Sheffield.

*Maternal Entity exclaims "Cuidado! HALAMA!!!" at appropriate time. Excellent.

*Had sincere discussion with Maternal Entity on subject of hating Yankees and hating Yankees. Agrees with me in regards to Matsui. However:
E:Sheffield. Especially with that GODDAMN BAT WAGGLE.
ME: But Millar does it too.
E: Well, I don't hate him, so it's okay.
ME: *look*

Saturday: Sox, 17-1

* Maternal Entity out grocery shopping. Brief loss of mental function, resulting in the watching of 10 unforced minutes of YES. Remembered that it was actually on Fox today.....prospect of BucCarver did not incite one to turn channel very fast.

* Run has been scored by time of tune-in. Matty strikes out side in top of the first. Moreover, makes Sheffield look silly. (Always important.)

*Pavano does not look as good. Only lasts until the 3rd inning. Score: 5-0. The Maternal Entity returns with groceries.

* Explanation to Maternal Entity of trade machinations resulting in return of Mike Stanton to Yankees. Subsequent debate on how much Felix Heredia must have sucked to be traded for this guy.

*Edgar hits a GRAND SLAM. Much dancing and scaring of the cat ensues. Score 9-0.

*Quantrill stays in. Gives up subsequent 3-run dinger to Trot Nixon. Stays in. Gives up subsequent 2-Run dinger to Jay Payton. Maternal Entity: "Is Quantrill being punished, or something?"

* WOTS is finally put in. Russ Johnson at third. Rey Sanchez at short. Scrub time. Does not stop Yanks from giving up 4 more runs. Final score 17-1. Am exhausted with glee, along with Maternal Entity.

*Decide to savor today's joy, as tomorrow looks to be awful.

Sunday: Sox Win, 7-3.

*Return from 2nd viewing (me) and 3rd viewing (ME and The Sibling) of Revenge of The Sith. Is as wicked awesome as remembered.

*Debate upon how Mike Mussina is the least Moose-like pitcher in American League.

*Mental preparation for the David Wells awfulness.

* Much ecstasy over the continued awesomeness of Edgar Renteria. Papi, with Edgar on base, hits into Yankee Stadium upper deck. Because Papi is hot like Mango Salsa. 2-0.

* Vitriol and hatred spewed at television as result of TWO FIRST INNING NEARLY BACK TO BACK SOLO HOMERS DAVID WELLS!!!! 2-2.

* Edgar homers into left field porch. Papi homers into black centerfield seats.
Result: Tuneless rendition of "Anything You Can Do We Can Do BETTER!" directed from living room towards Yankee dugout.

* David Wells's bacon saved by 1) awesome Johnny Damon catch ( without crashing into anything), and 2) two straight inning-ending double plays.
E: "He should go out and buy his infield a bottle of scotch."
ME: "Each".
E: "Because they just saved his butt."
ME: "Which was large and needed considerable saving."

*Scoring of 3 more runs off reliever CM Wang.
E: "How is he in the bullpen? He's in the rotation for Wright, right?"
ME: "Wang."
(Note: Due to off-days, Wang is IN FACT still in the rotation, ME's feeble attempt at puns not-withstanding.)

* Dicussion upon the merits of Kelly Shoppach's thighs vs. those of Jason Varitek.

*Expressed displeasure with Millar and his continued NOT HITTING. Also possibly said: "I miss Olerud already."

* Many plays which were met with the reaction:
"How about our third baseman, huh?"

*Contrite apologies to David Wells after a quality 8 and 1/3 inning outing. No promises to not re-hate him if he sucks next time.

Monday: Orioles Win, 8-1.

I choose not to write about this game, because
a) They lost
b) String Bean is my guy, and he'll get over it
c) CUIDADO! HALAMA! ( Who did well.)
but mostly

Friday, May 27, 2005


Imagine the above said in the manner of Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, and you will get a small hint of the frustration I felt last night.

(Note: the following is written from the computer in the Quincy House Lobby. And thus no longer with ANY pretense of not taking it personally. Because taking it personally is more fun.)


Wade.....Wade. I write you and Matty that glowing post. And then you go out and do.....that.

Where did Saturday's Wade go? Has he been sucked into one of those Canadian bogs? Was there some sort of Canadian mind control which meant you could not control your fastball? 6 first inning runs? I guess you felt we needed to even out our stats in that department.

However, the pitching was not all bad....well it wasn't great, but Jeremi Gonzalez did as well in long relief as could be expected, 4 IP, 1 ER. Yaaay Jeremi!

And Jeremi might even have gotten a win. But that apparently, like the last two games, was not to be. As most of our lineup seems determined to do its best impression of marble statuary.

Except, and especially except, Edgar "Formerly Known As The Demure Middle Infield Chauncey" Renteria. 3 hits, 3 palpable hits last night. And like everything else for the poor guy this season, happening at exactly the wrong time, since no one else seems terribly interested in driving him in. Even when he steals a base. A GODDAMN STOLEN BASE. Which we never do. Edgar gets a cookie and a hug.

Maybe I'm setting my expectations too high? Should I just hope, pray and ask that we take at least one game of this Yankee series? That we avoid the sweep and keep at least a little of our dignity? I really think we could take 2 of 3, since Wake seems to always do the best against the Yankees, and get in their heads, and is our best match up for now against Johnson. And with the groove that Matty has been in, I would seriously take him against Pavano. Wells.......I will concede that game right off the bat. I make no pretense against not liking the guy. If we were going to pay a person to suck, I wish it would have been D-Lowe. And right now, D-Lowe's actually having a pretty damn good season.

I know we should get our heads out of last season. But if there was one mental tactic that the team should take, it's one that we need to use this weekend.
Win tonight. Don't worry about tomorrow, don't worry about the next AB. Focus on this batter, this AB. Win tonight, and worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Play Like You Mean It

Dear Red Sox,

The past two days?
Not acceptable.

It's not even that you lost.
It's how you lost.
And who you lost to.
I could have taken a gritty, hardily fought pair of games. But that was not what occured.

The pitching? The pitching was at best, mediocre, and at worst, well, Alan Embree.
String Bean was back, but last night, he was not the String Bean we know and love.
Well, he was, but version 2004, completely with hit batsmen.

But the bats were worse. We could have survived the past two days, if it were not for the

Edgar's gonna start thinking he's part of some grand practical joke, what with him starting to hit, and just then nearly the entire rest of the lineup going cold. Don't play a practical joke on Edgar boys; he's got enough to worry about.

I am not mad. Well, I am. But what I am more of is disappointed. Because you can do better. And you have done better.
Boys, you're making a trip to the Tri-State Area this weekend, and so am I, though I am going home, and you don't get to go home till next week. It will the First Family Baseball Watching of 2005. It will have beer, and it will be a wondrous and glorious thing. You will have the hopes of not only me going for you, but the Maternal Entity and The Sibling.

And by then, you are to get your heads out of your collective asses, and play like you are damn well capable. You will play like the talented, well-balanced team that you are. Because you are better than this. You are not a bunch of overpaid underachievers. You are the goddamn Red Sox. So act like it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Our Boys

Edgar got the most money. David Wells got the most attention.

But so far, of the Red Sox Freshman Class of 2005, those two guys have earned the most love. And this weekend was their coming out party.

Wade Miller, at the beginning, was almost an afterthought. He was hurt. He had immense talent, but he was hurt. He was stuck in Houston financial limbo and snapped up by the Boy Wonder when he was non-tendered.

A million a year, for two years.

Compared to the financial drama accompanying Pedro's exit, we got Wade for a bucket of baseballs.

Of course, as much as he was an upside contract, there was a very real chance we might not get to see said upside.
They were not, come hell, high water, or plantar fasciitis, gonna rush him back. And even when Hell and High Water arrived, they did not rush him back.

But so far? He has been worth the wait. More than worth the wait.

My personal nickname, since seeing a couple pictures of him in spring training, had been Zen Master. Whenever he's working in front of the media, but especially on the mound, there is this preternatural calm about him. Nothing will break him out of his tunnel vision. Bronson has this same quality, but with Wade, it's different. With String Bean, there's a benevolent quality to it, often expressed in a smirk.

There is nothing benevolent in Wade Miller's mound presence.

You can see it on TV, obviously; but you can even see it from the second to last row of the third base grandstand. Where I experienced it on Friday.( Where I also met SAM!!! Eeeeeee.)

Even from Row 17, you can feel Wade's aggression, his composed fury, in the immediacy of his snap to the mound.
And the crowd knew it, and fed upon it, as he, I think fed upon the energy of the crowd. Because that's what competitors like him do. When he allowed his first hit in the top of the fifth, he got a round of Fenway applause, not sarcastic, but respectful.
Because we knew he could have done it. Because despite the verdict of No Decision in his previous starts, we feel that potential, that immense talent that he's working back to. It's what was behind the standing O he got when he left in the 7th, since we knew, whatever the pitching line was, how much of a victory it was that he got to the 7th.

When Theo signed him. the media and fans realized how much a victory it would be if the Sox got even a small percentage of what he gave Houston. But Wade Miller didn't want a small percentage. The man will not rest until he is back a 100%, until he can provide a solid argument to why he should be considered the team's number one starter. Because the Zen Master does not settle for second best.

And you know what? Neither does Matty Clement.
And he had a whole lot more walls to break down than Wade.

In his whole spring training, and his first few starts, Matty was battling against not only the other team, but a decent amount of ghosts as well. There were the ghosts of Pedro and D-Lowe: "You'll never be as good as us. You can't replace either of us in the heart of Red Sox Nation." There were the ghosts of Carl Pavano and Brad Radke: "You're a second choice. You wouldn't even be here if we hadn't chosen to sign elsewhere." There was even the ghost of Matty himself, of the Padres pitching phenom who had never quite lived up to his potential.

To look at Matt, you wouldn't think he had the strength to fight off all those spirits. He looked quite frankly, like the nerdy kid pushed into the frat house.That's why I started calling him Matty in the first place; I've known a lot of little kids named Matty, and he looked like an overgrown little boy at first. He's not all that intimidating on the mound, either. He doesn't have the physical presence of Wells or Schilling. He doesn't have the channeled fury of Wade, or the smirking insouciance of Bronson, or the deceiving calm of Wake and the knuckler. He crouches, and curls, and hunches over.

But that pitching stance belies the real Matt Clement. It disguises the strength, and guile, and sheer nasty pitching talent that he has. He will have his baserunners, he will occasionally go a little wild. But that is when he gets better. He displays his best pitching bravado when he's getting himself out of jams.

The difference on Sunday? That bravado which we saw in those pressure situation was there for NINE. WHOLE. INNINGS.
Which in this day and age of pitch counts and high class bullpens, is incredible.
He was in control. He did not let the brief issues of the 4th inning, or the initial impotence of his offense, knock him off his feet. 7 strikeouts. No walks. Nine full. And "Matty", which started out as a slightly mocking, but loving, term of endearment, turned into a magic word. I repeated it over and over at the TV, as if it would conjure 2 more outs for my darling boy.
And he did.

Both Matty and Wade came into this year, and this team, fighting against the ghosts, the expectations of last year. And they sent those ghosts a message this weekend:
"Screw you. This is our house. These are our fans, and we will win them over, and make them love us. We are their guys now."
And so they are. They are our boys, and we are as proud of them as any parents could be.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Zen Pitching Master of Doom

Hey Atlanta Braves. You come in here? With your new ace, all cocky and "Oh we're leading the NL East."?

You think , "Hey, these Sox, they've been kicked around, they're down, we can come in here, TO THEIR HOUSE, and beat them around."

You may think that. But you think that without reckoning with something very important.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
This?This here is Wade Miller. This is the face of an ass-kicking. This is the face you see smirking at you in the rear-view mirror of the truck that just run you over.

That roadtrip may have knocked us around a little. We may be down. But we are sure as hell not out.

Know why? 'Cause we're coming home. And if there's one thing that nothing can quell, that is the mojo of the Fenway crowd. Especially a Fenway crowd spiked with members of the motherfuckin' SG Message Board.. ( Which, by the grace of The Maternal Entity, will include me.)

Let me lay a little something on you, from that poet of the New England gridiron, the Tailback himself, Mr. Corey Motherfuckin' Dillon:

Not. In Our. House. NOT IN OUR HOUSE.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Descent into Madness and Violence

When they find me off Route 16, making nonverbal whimperings, with Edgar Renteria's button thread in my teeth, you may use this as exhibit A.

Kristen: (11:04:51 PM): Annette will yell at us all for having secret conversations. Heh, we're all planning to overthrow some monarchy.
Emma(11:05:02 PM): heh.
E (11:05:38 PM): If we do that, can we send Edgar as point man on our first suicide mission?
K (11:06:48 PM): yes, and we will cover him in honey and use him as a decoy for killer bears
K (11:07:02 PM): that doesn't even make sense, i am just frustrated with him
E (11:07:18 PM): And then give him a really loud cell phone..and call him in the evil lair.....
K (11:08:00 PM): ARGH
E (11:08:51 PM): Okay, Chavez isn' t cute anymore. I hereby give him the evil eye, and boils or something.
K (11:09:17 PM): also, papercuts
E (11:10:23 PM): And Durazo doesn't get to be named after a seraphim. He gets rennamed Azrael.

Though there were bright spots:

E (11:14:35 PM): They should make a superhero series starring Billy. With Youk as his youthful ward.
K (11:15:08 PM): Only if they wear capes and tights
E (11:15:52 PM): and tuxedos. Must not forget the formal wear.
K(11:16:05 PM): naturally


And moments of ratonality:

E(11:17:20 PM): The name Ginter always sounds sort of serial-killer-ish.
K (11:17:34 PM): I would buy that.
E (11:18:23 PM): *starts constructing a Eric Chavez voodoo doll*
K (11:18:54 PM): don't forget the bamboo shoots
E (11:19:14 PM): Ginter is one of those too unassuming, too normal Midwestern names, attached to people who end up having skin suits in their basements.
K (11:19:35 PM): yeah, he has a lotion basket, that's for sure


Along with moments that were downright pornagraphic:
E (11:24:54 PM): They need to make outfield walls made of jello, just for Johnny.
K (11:25:08 PM): JD sees something, another teammate, a wall, an otherwise stationary object, and he thinks "I wonder if I can move this with my head."
E (11:26:33 PM): I just had a very dirty but funny though involving Mrs. Damon and that sentence. In two separate ways.
K (11:27:16 PM): heee


Then came the audiovisual hallucinations:
E (11:39:49 PM): I think I have a ghost in my room. And he's pissed at the Sox.
E (11:40:24 PM): There's been random noises after pivotal at-bats.
K (11:41:04 PM): I have one of those too! Except it's in my ceiling.
E(11:41:54 PM): Actually, I think it may be Rodney. Because one just came from my closet.
K (11:43:24 PM): And Big Willie Style. he's in on it too
E (11:43:39 PM): Must not Forget Willie.

Punctuated by moments of self-awareness and reflection:
E (11:44:09 PM): Why do the Sox make me so violent?
E (11:44:25 PM): I'm normally a good Quaker.
K (11:46:03 PM): I was wondering that myself. I was having an existential crisi because they'd made me so tired with all the rage that I couldn't work up enough energy to be angry enough to throw things
E (11:47:00 PM): I forgot to close my window, so I probably freaked out any random person wandering in the courtyard. Fortunately, my roommate is not here, so I don't have to worry about that.

Around the 7th, there was a moment of hope, a moment of light:
K (11:54:46 PM): Now THAT is what we do with the bases loaded
E (11:54:47 PM): PAPI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
K (11:56:03 PM): you know what? b's not gonna lose this game. no matter what.
E(11:56:28 PM): That gives me the warm fuzzies.
E (11:58:28 PM): Ooooh....IBB for Trotter.....
Disrespecting the Captain....know what that means....
K (11:58:45 PM): They are disprespecting the Tek.
K (11:58:58 PM): Such bullshit. JASON VARITEK, MAKE ME CALL MY BROTHER!
E (11:59:18 PM): MAKE THEM PAY!!!!
K (12:00:01 AM): the jersey is on
K (12:00:05 AM): and i'm not even kidding
E (12:00:54 AM): bleah.

But then, the final pitiful descent into insanity:
E (12:01:56 AM): AGGGGGGH.
K (12:02:00 AM): I hate this team.
E (12:02:59 AM): If I were the Red Sox girlfriend, I would be arrested for domestic violence.
K (12:04:17 AM): i would beat all of them. each and every one
K (12:04:31 AM): oh wait, b's still in
K (12:05:04 AM): they have officially made me stupid
E(12:05:35 AM): b would not get beaten. because he's my Red Sox baby daddy. I decree it. He has replaced Mantei.


E (12:20:45 AM): okay. walks are good. baserunners are good.
K (12:21:22 AM): edgah will hit into a triple play. just for shits and giggles
E (12:21:43 AM): because he hates me and wants to make me cry.
E (12:22:51 AM): *shrieks*
E (12:23:01 AM): *does not cry*
K (12:23:20 AM): argh
E (12:24:19 AM): *on verge of pulling hair out*
E (12:25:03 AM): I am making noises not known to humans.
K (12:26:22 AM): what bloody inning is it?
K (12:28:02 AM): urhg


K (12:38:18 AM): someone will die soon
K (12:38:20 AM): by my hand
E(12:38:37 AM): and i will help.
E (12:38:52 AM): sharp and pointy and metallic.
K (12:38:59 AM): and dipped in poison
E (12:39:04 AM): plus bludgeoning.
K (12:39:21 AM): with something blunt
E (12:39:22 AM): with my textbooks.
E (12:40:44 AM): and don't forget the flamethrowers.
E (12:42:59 AM): crank up the lighter fluid.....
K (12:43:16 AM): hatey, hate, hateration
E (12:43:22 AM): manny's on the list.
E(12:43:41 AM): they are all on the list.

You see what West Coast Roadtrips do? The combination of late nights and FRUSTRATING BASEBALL TEAMS is not a good one.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blown Saves Bad, Walkoff Homers Pretty

I can't take these kind of games on consecutive days. Like Buffy, the above is basically what my brain can process right now.

And you know what? I have come to the conclusion, that it is mentally impossible for the Red Sox to win in calm, non-stressful fashion.

For instance, Matt Clement. On his worse days, he will walk and hit people, and then reach back somewhere and pull that strikeout of his pocket. He works better under stress.

Even the blowout on Monday? Made stressful by the inclusion of relief-ace-someday-but-not-quite-now Cla Meredith. Insurance runs are called insurance runs because YOU HOPE YOU WON'T HAVE TO USE THEM.

Yet, however they did it, the Sox ended up with the sweep. They are the definition of winning ugly. A trait that they seem to have acquired from the Patriots. Which my mental stability does not appreciate.

I did, appreciate, however, seeing THIS, IN PERSON:
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(AP/Elise Amendola)

Amazing, amazing game. The fact that I finally got to see my beloved String Bean pitch in person, was amplified by the fact that by the start of the 7th inning, he was pitching a fucking one-hitter. The boy really does have nuts the size Saturn.

The bats were not handling things nearly as well. I tried to encourage them, and got strange looks for my calls of "Let's go, Buckethead." "Knock some of those vowels out of his name."

Those defensive plays? Which you cringe at watching on television? Even worse in person, KEVIN.

However, like the consummate literary hero, Buckethead redeemed himself at the eleventh hour. With a crowd of 35, 00 urging him on. As much as a walkoff is cool by itself, it is amplified a million times by actually BEING THERE. It's like no experience I've ever had before. There is really nothing like being part of a a Fenway crowd when, as Joe says, we're trying to "will" a walkoff homer, or a inning ending strikeout. Because that's what it is: a physical and aural attempt to change the course of fate, a pooling of 35,000 people's love, hope and enthusiasm. Some people went off to their cars after the eighth, but most stayed. At first we didn't know quite whether it was a homer or not. There was a pause,. And then there was the opening chords of Dirty Water, and the realization came. It was deafening. 35,000 people's euphoria, joined in one.

That walkoff euphoria could have held me for quite a while.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
But that didn't seem to be the Red Sox's plan.
Or more specifically, not Keith "I will send each and every member of RSN into gibbering dementia" Foulke's plan.

We would have been perfectly happy with Manny's two-run homer in the 4th.
We would have been ecstatic with Matty Clement's 4th quality game in as many starts, 1 ER over 7 innings, only one walk.

And yet there we were, in shock from Eric "Smugger Prodigal Love Child of Tony La Russa"Byrne's two-run homer, which made it 5-4.

And like Tuesday night, Papi again drew an Octavio Dotel walk. Millar walking to the plate.Did we dare, asked RSN? Could we ask this much of the man, two nights in a row.

No, no we couldn't. Easy flyout to left. One down.

And then, bestriding the batter's box, like the deck of a battle cruiser, comes our catcher, father, confessor, our captain, Jason Varitek.
One of the earliest Jasons went off to find the Golden Fleece. Well, Tek has a touch of the mythical about him too.
With Fenway as his Argo, and his teammates as the Argonauts, this Jason brought home the Golden Fleece.

Sure, it's only May. But that's what's great about baseball. The whole season may be something more akin to the Iliad, a grinding war of attrition.But that doesn't mean that there can't be small moments of myth and wonder along the way. We just happened to get two in a row.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

DIRTY WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Due to certain wonderful people from the SG Message Board, I spent the evening at the greatest ballpark in the world.

I have no voice left.

I got lost looking for a T station home, which is pathetic.

I am exhausted.

BUT THAT WAS SO COMPLETELY WICKED AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(More tomorrow when my brain crawls out of the small corner of my head it has hidden in.)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Prose Ode To The Red Sox Rotation

They scoffed at you. They called you 4 and 5 starters, and spot starters out of the bullpen.
The national media gave you no credit. Said, "Oh how can the Red Sox ever survive with Curt Schilling, and David Wells?"
They wrote you off. But your manager didn't. Your team didn't. Your fans didn't. With Tim and String Bean, we knew how rock solid you'd been over the past month. With you, Halama, you quietly impressed with your stability out of the pen. So we went in cautiously, but with our full support at your backs.

In the beginning, there was the Honorable Halama.
Though "CUIDADO!! HALAMA!!" started out as a joke, it came true.
5 strong innings, 3 earned runs. No walks.
All we could have expected, and more.
Giving us a a quiet little weapon in the bullpen.

Then came the honorable M'Lord of Wakefield.
The God of the Knuckler. The Lord of The Flutterball.
7 innings. 3 earned runs. And baffling nearly all the Tiger hitters.
The Big Man of the Rotation, both in seniority and talent.

Finally, there was String Bean. Bronson of The Saturn Balls.
Taking a motherfucking no hitter into the seventh inning.
Screw Carlos Guillen. Though the score may have been 2-1, what will be remembered is the eight inning beauty spun by the String Bean.

They may have been surprised. But we weren't. And we still believe.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Mental Agita

This team gives me brain whiplash.

Of The Good:
Saturday Night- 9-2 vs. Rangers:

Bronson continues to repay my faith in him tenfold, turning in yet another quality start. I was telling someone, I don't remember who, last winter, "Bronson's on the verge of something. Just you wait and see." And he does not disappoint.
The bats. Oh the bats. For one night, they became what we all expect them to be. Johnny and Trot hit solo homers, and Manny and Ortiz get on base. And then there was the Teutonic God of Walks, the Professional himself, with 5 plate appearances, and only 1 official AB. In which he bopped a single. And we had a six-run lead, and Foulkie came in, and there was a 1-2-3 ninth. And all was right with the world.

Of The Okay, Though Slightly Infuriating, But We Won Anyway:

Sunday Afternoon-6-5 vs. Rangers:
Matty Clement, who does not get a cookie, though he earned the win. He is such a schizo pitcher. One minute, you have nasty, filthy, D.Lowe-In-Game4-quality sliders. The next, you have pitches that are so high and outside, they should be eating Cheetos and hanging out in Tibet with Rickey Williams.
The bats, slightly less impressive then before, but getting the job done.
Keith "Wants To Purposely Make Me Tear Out My Hair" Foulke- Gets the first two outs, no problem. Then, just for shits and giggles, decides to give up a hit, and then a two-run homer. AGAIN. Making it a one-run game. He then proceeds to get the final out, after he has fried every remaining neuron in New England.

Of The Completely Ugly, Frustrating And Downright Infuriating:

Tonight's fucking game.
Where my optimism was fired by Jeremi Gonzalez being decent, almost good at times, giving up 3 ER in 5 IP.
Where my patience was tested by our lineup being pathologically incapable of getting any baserunner not put on base after the third past third base.
Where my tolerance was absolutely snapped by our bullpen sucking beyond all reason. Beyond all space and time. If they played baseball on Alpha Centauri, our bullpen would suck there too.
This was supposed to be something we didn't have to worry about; it was our starting pitching that was supposed to suck. Now our rotation, even a FUCKING AAA guy, keeps us in games, which our pen proceeds to give up.
All apologies to Sam, but these are the Tigers. THE TIGERS. I know they're all young, and exciting, and potential-filled, but we're supposed to beat them. We beat them the last six times we faced them. As I think it was Red at SG said, we must stockpile these wins for going off to fight the West and the National League. And instead we crumple like a cheap card table. In all parts of the game.
It breaks the heart, and aches the head.
And yet I stay. That's the sad thing: I've got the little voice in my head that keeps me coming back.
I go to my bed now. But God help me, I will be following the game tomorrow, though I can't for the life of me figure out why.