Monthly Archives: August 2006

Welcome to Crazy Bizarro World!

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Where you’re looking at tonight’s starting pitcher.

I figure, at this point, the least we can hope for is that he’ll bite someone for entertainment’s purposes.

Anyone else feel like we’re being punked?

Also, I’m not dead, just taking a few days. I promise they haven’t broken me completely. THOUGH THEY ARE TRYING THEIR LEVEL BEST. But no, I won’t let them break me. And if they do, my hastily reanimated corpse will be posting about football.

::turns eyes upon glorious football schedule::


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Where are we going so quickly…

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…and why are we in this handbasket?

Honestly, the loss is secondary. You don’t fuck around with David Ortiz’s health. You just don’t. We forget sometimes but the man is human, like the rest of us, albeit subsisting on a diet of rice, beans, drywall nails and motor oil. And as such, he needs to be taken care of. So let’s take care of that, because regardless of this season, we need David Ortiz around. He’s what makes baseball in Boston fun.

It would also be hilarious, if it weren’t true, that this team has Tito spitting up blood. As mentioned on the SGMB, if it were fake and he was just using it to rile the troops, it’d be the greatest motivational tactic ever. But it’s not. It’s real. Scary.

So this is where we sit, our manager coughing up blood, our star sluggers out with heart issues and a balky knee, our starting catcher rehabbing his own knee traumas and someone with the alleged name of “Kason Gabbard” starting games for us. Forgive me for bringing the New England doom and gloom, but things aren’t looking too rosy around these parts right about now.

But you know what I realized? This is what it’s like to be a fan of nearly every other team. You go into the season with the highest of hopes and your sights set on the brightest of futures but if you were being honest with yourself, you’d know that your team isn’t going to be playing baseball in October. And yet somehow, you still manage to watch and love the game. Because it’s not all about playoffs. And it’s not all about winning the World Series every year or the season’s a disappointment. Unless you’re the Yankees. And frankly, I don’t want to live like that.

I am sure some of you think this is a cop out on my part. “She’s throwing in the towel and conceding.” No, I’m not. Stranger things have happened. What I’m saying is, maybe I should just start watching the games, not as a means to an end, but as an end in and of themselves. Because baseball is still baseball. And we likely only have a month of it left. The cooler temps around these parts lately have reminded me that soon, it’ll be football season. And while I loves me some football, I realized that when it’s gone this year, I’m going to miss baseball tremendously. So maybe now I start watching it for the little things. Like the flawlessly executed double play. Or the hit and run. (Ha! Just kidding. The Sox haven’t executed a successful hit and run since the Nixon administration). Or the David Ortiz home run. Maybe the smaller things become the bigger picture. Because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we don’t know anything.

Apologies for the lack of snark today but the weather’s made me feel all transcendental and reflective or some shit and I needed to get that out. Also, I’m not awake yet and need to dive headfirst into a giant vat of coffee.

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In other news…

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(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Popeye, erm, I mean Junior Seau, would like you to know that he is PUMPED about the upcoming Patriots season.

Who wants to talk about the 41-0 drubbing the Pats dropped on the Redskins on Saturday? Yes, I know it’s preseason. Yes, I know it doesn’t count. Yes, I understand that there isn’t much you can tell from a preseason game. But it was certainly nice to see a local team lay the smack down, Red Sox.

Amy and I caught some of the game at the Pour House after spending the day at Fenway watching the little ‘uns play a doubleheader during Futures at Fenway. The highlight of which was either the entrance and subsequent reception to the Papel-Baby, Joshua Papelbon, the fact that Trent Durrington has “Sweet Child O’ Mine” as his at-bat music or Haverhill and Northeastern boy Carlos Pena’s 2-run homer which turned out to be the eventual game winner in game two.

It surely wasn’t the girls sitting behind us who spent four consecutive innings regaling each other with drunken sorority stories in which they had all participated. Nor was it Lenny Dinardo’s early exit after a mere three innings of work. At that, I called Marianne. “Confirm or deny,” I said, “Lenny Dinardo left after three innings because he had to attend the Justin Timberlake show at Avalon.” “Confirmed,” Marianne said, “although some people would claim it was a ‘rehab start’ and he was ‘on a pitch count.’ But I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive.”

Also, at one point during the game, the three small boys in front of us became downright entertaining as they formed an impromptu air band between innings. These kids were maybe eight or ten-years-old and they knew all the words to all the songs. John Mellencamp, Guns ‘N Roses, they knew it all. These kids were awesome. It was like seeing into my future because if I ever have kids, that’s the kind of kids I’m gonna have. I suspect mine would be the air drummer.

I should also mention that, because it was minor league day, there was all this between innings nonsense that I could really do without. But it was all made worth it when footage of Jonathan Papelbon demonstrating the Chicken Dance was shown on the scoreboard. This has to be on YouTube somewhere. I must see it again. You must see it. Everyone must see it.

I would talk about the performance of the big boys in Seattle, but honestly, why bother? As I said to Kelly, how many times can you say, “This team sucks donkey balls?” I’ve got to learn how to say that in other languages.

But the Patriots, ah, the Patriots. God, how I missed them. Also, mark it down: Ben Watson is going to be Tom Brady’s number one receiver this year. You heard it here first. We, uh, we don’t want to talk about the Deion situation.

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On a steel horse, he rides?

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Josh Beckett, gulp, cowboy.

How do you like them apples? Apparently Josh Beckett does not like it when I talk shit about him. Evidently it gets him all fired up and rarin’ to go. If that’s the case, does someone care to alert homeboy to all posts referencing “Fat Head” between now and…quite some time ago? Because if that’s all it takes, I will start showing up at his hotel room and calling him a Melon Noggin to his face. When I eventually get escorted out by security, I will stand on the sidewalk with a bullhorn and yell about the Planetary Cranium residing in Room 233. When I’m dragged away to the local precinct, I’ll have my minions take up my cause and begin a letter writing campaign. Oh, I have minions, don’t you worry. If by “minions” I mean “drunk friends.” But most of them would not turn down the opportunity to make fun of Beckett for the good of the team. What can I say? We’re givers.

So, once again, the West Coast is all messed up and things happen later over there so nary a pitch did I see. I fell asleep at 10 on the dot last night (thanks, Audobon martinis!) and didn’t know what happened until this morning when I sleepily pulled up Call me a pessimist but I fully expected to see another tick mark in the loss column. Something about the way Beckett’s been tanking of late and the Magical Mullet of Wonderment sported by Weaver did not add up to a Red Sox win in my mind. Luckily, my math was off.

Even more than luckily, we still have David Ortiz. (For the record, not talking about this.) And David Ortiz has gotten damn tired of losing baseball games. Also sick of it? Wily Mo Pena who, I hear tell, made something of a laser-guided throw from the outfield to cut down the potential tying run at the plate. And Papelbon, who has had just about enough of this “Varitek is his Magic Man” bullshit. Not that we don’t want Tek back because…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE COME BACK SOON, TEK!


Also, Manny’s MRI was negative which is possibly the best news of the day. A team without Manny picking dandelions in the outfield is not a team I care to watch on a regular basis. At least not without a strong sedative. And, as Red pointed out, without Manny, there is little chance that a Three Amigos for the Next Generation starring Manny, Papi and Wily Mo will spontaneously break out in the dugout between innings. And that would be a loss we’d all feel acutely.

Let’s hope the Big Schill feels showed up by the young’un tonight and comes in, guns blazing. I suspect the phrases “punk ass” and “no respect for you elders” might have been tossed around a bit. Get on it, Curt. Don’t let the boy make an old man outta you.

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It’s all fun and games until someone tears a meniscus.

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(photo from

David Ortiz laughs at your concerns. For he is David Ortiz.

Honestly, I haven’t watched the last two games. They’re on late. I need my sleep. I spend way too much time on the internet or in front of the television as it is, I can’t justify staying up until 2am to watch the Red Sox lose. Last night, they obliged with a win but I suspect that a game ending in a 5-4 nailbiter wouldn’t have aided the sleeping process at all. So it’s likely just as well that I turned on my computer this morning when I got out of the shower (yes, I realize I have a problem), and checked the score to see how they’d faired. Because I might be able to sleep not knowing how things were going to play out, but I’ve not yet reached the level of disconnect that would make it possible for me to endure the twenty-minute T-ride to work without knowing the outcome. Because the Metro doesn’t post late game scores. And dammit, I gots to know.

Looks like, once again, we owe it all to David Ortiz. And Wily Mo. Which should surprise no one because if there is one thing Wily Mo aspires to be when he grows up, it’s David Ortiz. I mean, just look at the dude. Same hairstyle, same facial hair, same mannerisms and you just know Wily Mo’s got a case of #34 Vitamin Water* next to his locker. But that’s okay. The young’un couldn’t have picked a better role model.

Especially now that we hear that Manny might be out for the forseeable future. (This is why I go to sleep. Thoughts of a Manny-less team gimping pathetically towards the distant horizon known as “the playoffs” would surely have kept me awake in a cold sweat.) At this point, it’s almost like a cruel joke. Who else can possibly go on the DL before this team has to start using cardboard cutouts from iParty in place of flesh and blood players? A-Gon is down now, joining Tek, Trot, Wake and Clement. Apparently, all the cool kids are hanging out on the DL. Except for Clement. He’s just there because he heard that’s where Tek was going and you know anywhere Tek goes, Clement is sure to follow.

“He’ll always be my true love, my true love, my true love! From now until forever, forever, forever! I will follow heeeeeem! Follow him wherever he may go! There isn’t an ocean too deep. (Too deep). A mountain so high it can keep, keep me awaaaaay!”

The Red Sox have actually inspired me to start singing show tunes. I’ll be checking myself into the safe place shortly.

Until then, I give you Fat Head (he has long since been demoted to “Fat Head”) vs. Weaver Version 2.0. He of the 1.95 ERA and 9-0 record. Awesome. Someone hand me that Vitamin Water.

*Speaking of, I would like to point out that Amy insisted that David Ortiz start endorsing Vitamin Water way back during last season sometime. Proving once again that we think it and it becomes fact. Also, I do not think it’s a coincidence that the Kenmore T station is now plastered with pictures of David Ortiz selling said Vitamin Water. Because there’s something about seeing Papi everywhere that makes you ever so slightly less likely to jump in front of a “speeding” T, no matter how bad the loss. That’s smart marketing right there as dead customers don’t tend to buy sports drinks.

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Delicious with breakfast, not so good with baseball.

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A visual representation of the Red Sox after this past weekend.

I’m not sure what else there is to say. You’ve read all about it. You know what went down. You’re probably still sifting through the carnage. I think everyone in my office is giving me a wide berth because they assume I’ll flip out and commit hari kari with a stapler remover. (At least, I assume that’s why since I KNOW I showered this morning). But really, I’m not going to. I’m kind of preternaturally calm. Very Zen. Very “what can you do? ::shrug:: Perhaps that’s why everyone seems to be observing me warily. Maybe they don’t trust it. They don’t believe that I can really be this un-rattled by a five game sweep at the hands of the Yankees. And frankly, I’m not sure what’s going on here either. This is very unlike me. Someone must have put Valium in my yogurt.

I worry about the eventual fallout too. I worry about Manny’s hamstring and Papelbon’s sudden fallibility. I worry about Trot’s future and Hansen’s attitude problem and the fact that our best pitcher lately has been Julian Tavarez. I worry that, for the second time in five years, this team has proven that no matter what else happens, it cannot survive the loss of Jason Varitek. And yes, I worry about our playoff hopes but right now, I just worry about making it through the next series without anyone actually dying. And for my liver. I worry about that too.

So we roll on. We do what we can. We make jokes about Timlin having a hunting “accident” with his crossbow or someone “accidentally” making Dougie’s chicken parm subs with low-carb bread. Because it’s all we know how to do.

See you in Anaheim.

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Two Thumbs Down

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It’s as simple as that, really.

Honestly, what is there to say? I realize that today’s game is still seven hours away and if there’s anything Curt hates (besides wallflowers and shrinking violets), it’s losing to the Yankees, so we could still salvage some of this series. But to level with you for a second here, I still don’t think I’ve recovered fully from Friday night’s debacle. I say “debacle” because I was there. In killer seats, thanks to Annette. Which not only means that I had an awesome view of the offense’s tenacity in the early goings and their unwillingness to go gently into that good night (oh, it’s Dylan Thomas quoting time, all right), but I could also see quite clearly Mike Timlin’s (with an assist by Craig Hansen), incredibly ill-timed decision to go tits up. Normally, I support Big 50 because who wants to anger a guy with a tendency to go batshit? But I raised an eyebrow when he called out the offense last week as I think the last thing this teams needs is infighting. So his 7-run 7th inning on Friday was very poorly timed indeed. Mike Timlin does not usually need to be told to sack up. But methinks the time has come.

I have to say, the most entertaining part of the game may have been watching the gentleman next to us shoot quizzical glances in our direction when Marianne called me sometime during the interminable 7th inning to ask me a burning question. He could, of course, only hear my half of the conversation. Frankly, I’m not sure he would have been less scared had he been able to hear all of it.

Me: Yes?
Marianne: In a fight to the death between a shark and a gorilla, who wins?
Me: I am so glad this isn’t about baseball.
Marianne: We’re not talking about baseball. Fuck ’em. So, who wins?
Me: Where is this fight taking place?
Marianne: On a subway.
Me: Is there water?
Marianne: There’s enough water for the shark to breathe and move freely but the gorilla doesn’t have to swim.
Me: Hmmm. I’m gonna have to go with gorilla.
Marianne: Interesting. Care to say why?
Me: Opposable thumbs.
Marianne: Good call. Okay, later.
Me: Bye.

This is why it’s important to have friends. So they will call you and distract you from the horror that is unfolding before you.

Of course, long about the 8th inning, the game took on a sort of perverse humor. Annette looked at me and solemnly declared, “We’re never getting home.” “I think we live here now,” I said. She shook her head sadly. “We’re going to die here,” I declared.

I was instructed to call Steve and send our regrets that we would not be able to make it to his party after the game as we’d planned. “Please tell Steve,” I said, “that we can’t come to the party because we’re being held hostages by motherfuckin’ ballplayers in a motherfuckin’ ballpark.” “If we see Samuel L. Jackson,” Annette said, “Do you think we could ask him for a ride home since the T stopped running about twelve days ago?”

Eventually, it became a matter of endurance. It wasn’t really a question of who was going to win the game. Mike Timlin had pretty much taken care of that one. But I wasn’t going to let them beat me. They were not going to drive me from my own ballpark. Because I always berate people for leaving games early. The T had already stopped running so I knew I was going to be walking home anyway and if I left, that was one fewer Red Sox fan amidst the entirely too many Yankees fans. I was not ceeding my ballpark to them. That will never happen. I became resolute when a Yankee fan in a Sheffield jersey, (the kind of guy asking to be punched on sight), sat a couple of rows in front of us and screamed out, completely seriously, “I love you, A-Rod!”

I turned to Annette. “Now, when you say something like that, and you mean it, is the situation either that a) you have no concept of reality and your place in it or b) you’re just that freakin’ stupid?” Annette though for a second, “What I think it is,” she said, “is that you take a lot of drugs.”

And honestly, I wish they’d shared.

I did learn a few things from the experience, however. For example:

Derek Jeter makes small children cry. This is fact. He hit a wicked foul ball into the section in front of us and all of a sudden, kids were crying and the paramedics were being called in. An oldish woman was being wheeled out in a wheelchair, holding an ice pack to her head, blood everywhere. And for serious, children were crying. So, to sum up: Derek Jeter hates old ladies and children. I really do hope that woman is okay, though. That looked nasty.

David Ortiz cannot always do everything himself. But as his home run off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth inning proved, dammit, he sure is going to try.

Craig Hansen likes monkeys. When Amy told me about this picture on Friday night, the blueberry beer in my bloodstream combined with the word “monkey” and I ended up with a mental picture of a gorilla. Which, I realize, is not a monkey at all. However, this did lead to a lively discussion while waiting for “Snakes on a Plane” to start yesterday about how it would be the highest of high comedy to see Craig Hansen mauled by a rogue silverback gorilla. Come on, you know you agree.

And that’s what we’ve been reduced to. Double features of “Talladega Nights” and “Snakes on a Plane” yesterday sandwiching pitchers upon pitchers of mango margaritas. Talking about Craig Hansen’s chances in a fight with a silverback gorilla. Discussing how the fact that Rudy Seanez was designated for assignment at least makes the weekend a moral victory. Yep, these are the days of our lives. Two more games in the series. I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.

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