Monday, May 08, 2006

Can We Come To Order Please?

(Scene: A random conference room deep in the bowels of Fenway Park)
(KEVIN YOUKILIS, J.T SNOW, MARK LORETTA, ALEX CORA, and MIKE LOWELL sit around a plastic card table)

YOUKILIS: As chairman, I call this meeting of the Red Sox Infielders World Domination and Cooking Club Club to order.....(notes Cora waving insistently) Yes, Alex?

CORA: I forget, why exactly are you chairman again?

YOUKILIS: Because I have seniority, remember?

CORA: All four of us are older than you.

YOUKILIS: Red Sox seniority, Alexander...

LORETTA: And the fact that he's hitting the best out of all of us.

CORA: Oh, right.

YOUKILIS: Now, let's see how the Club Offiicial Plan for World Domination is coming. Mike, what's your report?

LOWELL: (in dulcet German tones; think Alan Rickman from Die Hard) Indeed, Mister Chairman. I am highly pleased with the success of Phases One and Two.

YOUKILIS: AKA " Operation Reduced Expectations", and the current phase, "Operation Double"?

LOWELL: Exactly. By first emphasizing my vulnerability, and then going on a hot streak, I have drawn in that pool of fans previously utilized by Herr Mueller, leaving them ripe for indoctrination in to our army of WORLD DOMINATION! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

YOUKILIS: (bangs gavel) All right, Michael, calm down, calm down. And stop using that German accent, it's creeping me out.

LOWELL: (normal voice) Oh, you're no fun.

YOUKILIS: Watch, J.T, how are we coming on the scientific side of it?

SNOW: It's going pretty well, I think. Tito has played right into our hands, giving me all that time on the bench. I have been repeatedly able to slip out to work on our Brainwashing Machine, under the Third Base Concourse. It's looking splendid.

YOUKILIS: Good, good. Now, time for Mark's report. (notices LORETTA is not paying attention) Mark? MARK!

LORETTA:(looks up and over his hornrim glasses) Aw shucks, what? I just saw a really pretty luna moth for my collection.

YOUKILIS: (sighs) This is the problem, Mark. You're not pulling your weight, you're off with your beetles, when you need to be working on your hitting, drawing in new fans for indoctrination. This cold streak you've been on could have seriously damaged The Plan.

LORETTA: Oh, Kevin, please, don't kick me out, I promise, I promise I'll be good.

YOUKILIS: Well, all right, you better be, but for now, you're moving on to Cora's project.

LORETTA: The Subway Infiltration? Aw, but it's dark down there.

CORA: You're telling me...

YOUKILIS: (angrily) ENOUGH! I am the Chairman here. And trust me, I know what is best. Do you want to go back to being a normal infield, or do you WANT TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD? Becuase, we can do it, we have the power, we can bend the fans to our will, and mold them to our nefarious puposes. ARE YOU WITH ME?







(knock on the door) (everbody turns the lights off, runs and hides)

ALEX GONZALEZ: Hey, is anybody here? Yoooo-hoooo....Damnit.
There's something going on here, I just can't figure out what. (leaves)

(Nefarious chuckles emanate from the darkness.)



Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

In some ways, blogging about football is so much easier than blogging consistently about baseball. With football, you have one day, sixty minutes of information, and 6 times the time to process it. With baseball, it's information overload, and sometimes I feel I can't do justice to it.

Especially with this team. I feel like I have a handle on them one day, and the next they throw me a backdoor curve, (to use a football metaphor) give me a new look. And I'm flat on my ass again.

I mean, Wednesday, the offense went off the way we've all been hoping they would. Against Roy Halladay, what's more. With the way things have been going, you'd think we win that game hands down.

Nope. Because, whattaya know, the pitching staff chooses exactly that moment to hide under the bed. It was collective, the negative mojo extending even to our Boy Wonder, giving up his first ER of the year.

A game which you left cowering, shaken, unsure in what exactly this team was about.

And yet, going to Fenway the very next evening ( many many thanks to fellow blogger Twitch for the ticket), it looked like a whole new team. The offense again finally clicked, putting up 5 runs before we even knew what was going on. And, I can personally vouch, the rumors of Mike Lowell's demise have been greatly exaggerated. No one's Billy Mueller, but Mikey is doing his damnedest to quickly build up his own legend. My mother told me I would like him, and as usual, she was not far off from the truth.

And Youk.....ah, Youk. He does everything, and more. Best leadoff OBP in the league, and oh yeah, he can occasionally pop one out too.

My favorite part: personally experiencing the delicious tension of "Will or won't Manny make back out of the wall in time for the start of the inning?" Brilliant.

And while, the bullpen was again a little shaky, ( including the DEPRESSINGLY PREDICTABLE SUCK OF RUDY SEANEZ), Matty stepped up to the plate, taking a one-hitter into the 6th. The only truly scary moment was the trainers exiting the dugout en masse to check on Jon Boy, after a pitch to Vernon Wells. The people watching TV, and the people sitting in the field box seats, might have known what was going on, but to those of us back in the grandstand, it was a complete mystery, of the scariest kind.

We lost Wednesday, we won Thursday, and the same team looked so so different. Bipolar, even. And with Lenny the Other White Boy pitching this afternoon, there is an equal chance of briliance or darkness in this same team body. A highly stressful, highly enjoyable train ride, that's what this team has become. With all of us strapped into the seats.


Speaking of the collective "us", go visit Beth's for the Official Story of Iain's Visit to Boston( with Pictures!). Part of which was a supremely awesome Get-Together of the Sox Blogging/Grady Survival Peeps at Crossroads, in Kenmore Square, which I was lucky to be a part of. A bunch of crazy, hilarious and lovely people+ good food and beer= best Saturday afternoon ever.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Papi-Man and Rob-Bon Strike Again!

Heh. Apparently the team listens to me when I yell and use profanity. This is quite a poser. I don't like to overuse aspects of writing or words. But mojo is mojo,so:


Okay. That's out of the way.

That game was beautiful. Moreso, it was doubly beautiful. Containing two of the most awesome things on God's green earth.

There was, of course, David Ortiz hitting a 3-run homer, AGAINST a 15-mile an hour wind, TO the deepest part of the park. Oh, yeah, and with his usual clutch timing. I was watching on the big screen downstairs, and we had been teased all night with homers, good and bad.
The Wily Mo almost-grandslam, especially, was painful. So we weren't going to be teased; it brought us to our feet immediately, but we were not going to cheer until it definitively left the field of play. Which, yeah, it did, and there was much screaming and jumping.

It left the field, immediately caught and cradled by the other godlike figure of the evening. The young god of fire, the Agni of the Bullpen, Newest Bearer of the All-Powerful Vegetable Mojo. The transference seems to have worked rather well, thank you very much.

Yes, it wasn't technically a save situation, but with the Yankees, every lead under around 7 is unofficially a save situation. And that was a thing of beauty, right there. There's an expression in my house, a call and response, if you will: "What are the 6 most beautiful words in the English Language?" "Alex Rodriguez Goes Down On Strikes." And the picture was just as beuatiful as the words. He made A-Rod look overmatched. And then he did it to Matsui and Posada, and the game was over like that. Strike three, game final, let's go get some beers.

Of course, this doesn't mean everything's okay. While Sweet Mark did have the go-ahead hit, he's still struggling. Coco's not back. We have to keep up last night's momentum, which is not easy. But last night was certainly a morale boost, if nothing else.

7 PM! BACK TO THE BATCAVE! (If it doesn't rain.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Short Hits

*This Red Sox offense makes the baby Jesus cry. (It makes me want to pull my hair out.)

*You see, Curt? This is why you LISTEN TO TITO about such things as pitch counts. He's a smart guy, nearly as smart as you.

THANK GOD. Nothing against Josh Bard as a person, but THANK GOD.
This may not really do anything for the offense in the long run, but it'll definitely help out Timmy, which is always a good thing. It is also, at the very least, a spirtual boost. Because Dougie won't let the offensive futility go by without a kick in the ass to everybody else.

* I resent everyone who tells me I can't boo Johnny Damon. Yes, he did great things as a member of the Twenty Five. I cheered him last year for that. And I will cheer him when he goes to another team or retires and comes back for Old-Timers day. But right now, HE IS A YANKEE. That overrides everything else; you wear the pinstripes, and with very few exceptions, you get booed.