Monthly Archives: March 2007

An Intervention

Dear Jason,

May I call you “Jason?” “Tek” seems so formal and all and I’m not sure we’re at the point in the season yet where I can call you “Captain Awesome: Sole Owner of the Thighs of Freedom” or the understated, yet effective, “Tek-Money.” So we’ll just go with “Jason” today. Besides, I figure my going with your Christian name and all might really drive the point home. And as long as you pay attention and listen to what I’m telling you, I’ll do my best not to full name you, Jason Andrew.

Anyway, I really didn’t want to have to do this. At least not so soon. But the thing is, I love ya, man. You know I love ya. My friends know I love ya. My family knows it. All the crazy freaks that read my ramblings in this place know it. In fact, probably people as far away as Burkina Faso are aware of the fact that I have a bit of an above average level of fondness for you and your baseball-playin’ ways. That said, if you insist on *heart*ing the Mendoza Line for much longer, it’s going to be a really rough season. No, not for you, although defending yourself against the construction workers from Revere and sheet metal workers in Southie probably won’t be pretty. But think of how I’m going to deal with it.

I mean, you’re you. You can have a game where you strike out three times, pop out to short and trip over Manny’s tricycle on the way back to the dugout and still go home and cry in your pile of money. Me? I gotta hear about it. I gotta hear about it nonstop. Because that’s the danger in having a favorite player. Everything they do becomes your cross to bear. It’s coworkers asking “What’s the matter with your boy?” and bartenders telling me, “They never shoulda signed your guy for that much money,” and my brother calling me at all hours of the night to insist that “Dougie’s better.” And sir, I do not make $10 million a year. I do not have vaults of money that I can swim in, Scrooge McDuck-style to ease my pain. At best, I’ll have a frightened cat named Dave Roberts who will run and hide under the bed from my wrath. And do you really want to do that to a poor cat?

So here’s what I propose: Just…stop…sucking. Just stop. Start hitting the ball. Get some electro-shock therapy to ween you off that whole high fastball situation if you think it’ll work. Watch the Karate Kid seventeen times and develop a “wax on, wax off” mantra for hitting if you have to. But for god’s sake, start hitting. Don’t do it for yourself, do it for me. Do it for the fuzzy Dave Roberts.

Because I am here to tell you, my man, that if we reach the All-Star break and the little woodland creature Dustin Pedroia is hitting better than you are, well, you might have to start paying for your own beer around these parts.

Okay, who am I kidding? You’re set for life. Fitzy wasn’t wrong when he said you were “carved from awesome stone.” But that said, don’t you want to earn it? It’s the honorable thing. And you, oh captain, my captain, are nothing if not honorable.

So do the right thing, man. Hit the damn baseball. You can do it. Don’t make me beg. It won’t be pretty.

Thanks and stuff,


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The Waiting is the Hardest Part

15 days. That’s just over two weeks. It’s less than a month. It’s practically no time at all. But it seems INTERMINABLE. 15 days until baseball returns to Fenway Park after a Very. Long. Hiatus. Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps the winter just seemed longer because the news during the cold months was more about Tom Brady’s baby mama drama instead of his fourth Super Bowl ring (I still don’t really want to talk about that, in case you’re keeping track). Maybe the winter hasn’t really been that long. But things are about to change.

Personally, I’m starting a new job next week and (fingers crossed), I’ll have a new apartment to look forward to. That’s right, kids, Basegirl Enterprises is lookin’ to move into her own swingin’ pad. Let’s hope the references check out. Y’all keep your mouths shut if anyone comes calling.

That said, there comes a point every spring where you get tired of the hype and want to see some damn games already. Yes, we know that Matsuzaka is throwing BBs and whupping ass and all that rot, but these games mean nothing and serve only to get us all worked up for actual baseball. Would it be too much to ask to actually recognize the third basemen by the fourth inning? And I don’t mean in the, “Hey, isn’t that the guy who sold you the last bottle of Jameson’s on St. Patrick’s Day” kind of recognition. Otherwise, you’re reduced to sifting through the Globe’s coverage of Spring Training games, learning only that Mike Timlin is hurt again, Coco likes to shop and catching up on the latest in the Schilling/Shaughnessy Odd Couple Soap Opera. Time for baseball, people.

Time for baseball because I can’t deal with things like this:

Amy: Lomo had shoulder surgery that revealed “fairly significant” damage. Thankfully baseball season is starting so we can pretend it isn’t happening.

Me: I hope they fixed the “fairly significant” damage while they were in there instead of just opening him up and going, “Hmmm, well ain’t that a pisser?”

Amy: For some reason, that was hilarious to me. And knowing the crackpot medical staffs our teams employ, probably… Hazel Mae is saying it was corrected.

Me: Well, she’s marrying a Blue Jays non-roster invitee. So clearly, we can trust her.

That’s what I mean. I can’t possibly be expected to deal with “fairly significant” damage to my favorite kickass running back. Not now. Not when baseball is about to start.

So boys, do me all a favor and step on it already, would you? I’ve been overly charitable to Yankee fans lately and we simply can’t have that. Although, admittedly, I did have a hearty laugh when I learned that Carl Pavano might be their Opening Day starter. Come on, in this cutthroat division, you gotta get your schadenfreude while you can.

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Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.

Truth be told, I just love when things happen involving Jonathan Papelbon because it affords me the opportunity to do a Google Image Search for pictures of the lad and sometimes, the things I find are just…phenomenal. Like that one up there. Just Paps, offering – nay – suggesting that you indulge in some delicious products from Barber Foods. C’mon, don’t you want a “broccoli” and “cheese” stuffed “chicken breast?” I know I do. Because one does not say no to Jonathan Papelbon. It’s simply not done.

That said, apparently Papelbon is getting his way with the whole closing thing as well. It appears, according to the Globe (and Curt Schilling who is apparently an official news source now), that Paps is returning to the bullpen in the closer extraordinaire role. Personally, I’m not sure if this was the team freaking out because the start of the season is getting closer and closer and they had no, you know, closer, or if it was Papelbon’s doing. But honestly, I don’t care what it was or why it happened. I’m glad. Ecstatic, actually. Since the thought of hiding under my coffee table in the ninth inning of close games all season when faced with the emergence of Joel Piniero/Mike Timlin/Julian Tavarez/a one-legged camel, et. al from the bullpen was not something I’d been relishing.

I think I might have realized how worried I was about this whole closer fiasco when I was at the gym the other day and NESN was showing the latest installment of “Walk-Off Sox.” I must have caught the only episode that wasn’t subtitled “The David Ortiz Show” as the heroics that evening were provided by Kevin “The Big KY” Youkilis. But what really started me panicking was the emergence of Rudy Seanez from the visiting dugout in Detroit. I told myself that I could stop running on the treadmill as soon as Seanez got out of the inning and, I swear to you, I clocked a full marathon before the side was finally retired. I had apparently blocked out the entire unfortunate Seanez Experiment from my mind. Which is probably best, considering the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder we’d all undergone. Honestly, I very nearly needed to be sedated.

This is, of course, all by way of saying that if Papelbon wants the closing job, I say we give it to him. If he wants the starting job, I say we give that to him as well. In fact, if Papelbon wants fourteen purple llamas delivered to his apartment at 4am, I see no reason why he shouldn’t have exactly that. After all, there’s a chance that someone will take a picture. And we all know how awesome that would be.

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Are Numbers Important Here?

Pretty much.

Hey, kids. The new InSite is out. I’ve got two columns in this month’s issue including this one, wherein I attempt to break down the AL East by comparing the ERAs of the starting pitching staffs. Yeah, I know, me and the statistical analysis. Not necessarily two great tastes that taste great together. But if you pick it up, there’s also another column in which I use the phrase, “wearing the blood of virgins around his neck on a string of rawhide.” Now if that’s not enough incentive for ya, I don’t know what to tell you.

Is it me, or is Spring Training taking foreeevvvvvvvvvvvvvver this year? Seriously, haven’t we been at this for like eleventy billion years at this point? Or is it just that – knock on wood – things have seemed fairly uneventful? It can’t be that we’re being sane about this. We’re Boston fans. We don’t so much do sane. Still, things seem to be – relatively – under control. That worries me a bit. I suppose it could all be a harbinger of chaos and mayhem once the season starts in earnest. Personally, I’ve only got tickets to two games this season so it’s likely I won’t be causing all of the mayhem my own self. Which doesn’t mean I won’t try. Of course, one of the games I’m going to is Dave Roberts’ return to Fenway. I cannot wait. Can. Not. Wait.

And speaking of Dave Roberts, when I move into my own place in June, I’m planning on getting a cat, preferably a fast one, and naming it Dave Roberts. Even if it’s female. Best idea ever, no? Now, where can I find a fast cat?

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Best. Dad. EVER.

It’s a dirty little secret of mine that I totally love Ben Affleck. I know, I know. After Armageddon and Pearl Harbor and everything. (Although I didn’t subject myself to Gigli). Obviously, out of the two Boston hetero-lifemates, I’m giving the acting edge to Matt Damon, but there’s something about Affleck I just like. First, he was smart enough not to marry that shrieky “singer” and “actress” Jennifer Lopez and instead did the wise thing and married Jennifer Garner who is just so adorable, I can barely stand it. Seriously, look at that picture. Don’t you just want to go out and have way too many margaritas with her and talk about boys? Anyway, now that I’ve alienated all of my male readers, I think the main reason I think of Affleck as a good boy is his inherent Red Sox fan-ness. Because I honestly believe that man is a genuine Red Sox fan. It’s not something he does to up his image or make him more popular with the people. After all, the Yankees are clearly the team the cool kids follow, right K-Fed? I mean, you don’t sport a Red Sox World Series hat while coming out of rehab all puffy and unshaven and looking like you just woke up in a dumpster unless the Sox are your boys. You just don’t. So I believe him.

So anyway, my closeted Affleck support could no longer be contained when Marianne sent me the following tidbit from the Globe:

Ben Affleck may have scored his best gig yet. The rabid Red Sox fan and father of 1-year-old Violet will be heard in the new kiddie DVD “Red Sox Baby: Raising Tomorrow’s Boston Red Sox Fan Today” when it comes out next month. The DVD promises to help teach “counting, spelling, and color recognition. It will also instill a love of the Red Sox in young ones,” according to a promotional blurb .

I’m sorry, but that is the cutest thing ever. Can you imagine, burly Affleck with the wee little one, going through the Sox yearbook and being all, “Oh, that’s Papi. We’ll teach you how to genuflect when you say his name.”

Yeah, not sane. Nope. Need further evidence?

Marianne and I have been watching an UNHEALTHY amount of Alias. From that, this discussion sprung:

Me: If I remember correctly from that “60 Second with Jason Varitek” thing on the Faith Rewarded DVD, ‘Tek admitted to being a huge Jennifer Garner fan. Dude, ‘Tek LOVES Alias.

Marianne: Dude, he did and he does.

Me: Which is one of the reasons I am delighted that she and Ben Affleck seem to be so happy together. And she looks cute in a Red Sox hat. And you know that Affleck has watched the Faith Rewarded DVD like fifty thousand times and he’s totally all, “Honey, ‘Tek has a crush on you. THAT’S SO FUCKING AWESOME!” Because Affleck has a total man crush on ‘Tek.

Marianne: Um, yes. All of the above.

Me: I would pay all of the money to watch that dinner party. With KTek all bitch-faced because Jason clearly has such a crush on Garner. And Affleck all geeked out about ‘Tek eating dinner with him and he’d be all asking him to try on his World Series ring and, “Dude, tell me again what it was like to punch that purple lipped pussy in the face!” And then Garner would be all nice to KTek and ask about drapes or minivans or something because she’s like the nicest person ever.

Marianne: Yeah, but really she just wants to hear the mitt sandwich story again too. And she wants to know what Papi is really like.

Me: Oh, of course. She’s a big fan. I mean, I get the sense that Affleck isn’t exactly subtle with the forcing his sporting interests onto his women. AND ‘TEK WOULD BRING LITTLE BABY VIOLET A TEENY, TINY VARITEK JERSEY!


Me: Awww, I love imaginary Affleck/Garner/‘Tek world. Except that it’s totally true. JENNIFER GARNER WOULD EVEN BRING ‘TEK A CALZONE, I BET.

Marianne: OMG SHE SO WOULD. She’ll probably research what his favorite flavor is too.

Me: Awww, I love Jennifer Garner. So thoughtful.

Marianne: I know! So much love.

Me: Most adorable playgroup ever.

Marianne: I agree. And we’re not even baby people.

Me: But come on.

Marianne: For reals.

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Sympathy Pains

Okay, so I’m having these bizarre arm pains. It feels like some sort of weird popping thing that’s happening except it’s not in the joint, it’s like, in my bicep or something. I have no idea what’s going on. But I have a theory. You ready for this? Okay, I’m fairly certain that my concern over the Red Sox current lack of a closer has actually made me start pitching in my sleep, to get myself in closer shape, should the need arise. And now I have dead arm or some sort of weird repetitive strain injury. This is what it’s come to with these Sox, me, preparing to take on the opposition all by myself if they can’t get their shit together. And the season hasn’t even started yet. This can’t be good.

What’s especially not good? It feels like a tendon popping every time I try to have full range of motion. You know what that means? I’m gonna have to suture it. (TM Amy).

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Spring’s the Thing

(Photo from The Lester Project)

I’m sorry. I had a whole list of things to write about, chief amongst them Jonathan Papelbon’s hair, and I was all set to Google a picture and come here and lay down the knowledge until an innocent Google Image Search returned that lovely picture above. And then I just completely forgot what I was going to say and lost my shit entirely. Because, I mean, come on, what am I supposed to do with that? I’d never seen that particular picture before and thanks to the good folks at The Lester Project, we can all view it in it’s glory. My life is now complete.

::gazes upon awesomeness::

Heh. Anyway, speaking of awesomeness, NESN rebroadcast Matsuzaka’s first spring training start on Saturday night which was awfully nice of them since I missed it the first time around because I was on a train next to That Guy Version 3.2. You know, That Guy. With the cell phone and the briefcase and the umbrella and the Very Important Things To Do? Yeah, That Guy. I hate That Guy. Anyway, he clearly felt that his conversation about stock market thiggidy wickets or something was way more important than the latest installment of Imaginary Baseball World that Annette, Amy, Marianne and I were in the midst of dreaming up. So he proceeded to talk loudly and get all pokey with his umbrella. Plus, he dripped on my shoes. Jerk.

BUT…because NESN is nice people, we got to re-live Matsuzaka’s start and watch the BC kid get a double off him and, as Amy said, can you imagine rooming with that kid? God, he must be insufferable right now.

But this whole Matsuzaka thing did kind of serve as the official, “Baseball’s Back and There’s Gonna Be Trouble (Hey Na, Hey Na, Baseball’s Back!)” start of the new season. Herewith, the Ten Most Awesome Things That Have Happened So Far:

10. Tek. The whole Tek…thing. I mean, for reals. I know I haven’t seen the man in months but he looks goooood. Like he’s probably put on some muscle weight. Annette also thinks he’s been exfoliating. Perhaps he’s just excited about his new Japanese toy. Whatever it is, this winter seems to have agreed with him and he looks ready to kick ass and take names.

9. The fact that Doug Mirabelli apparently has a weight loss clause in his contract. Oh, Douglas, fewer chicken parm subs for you, my man.

8. “Matsuzaka is adorable. In the way that stuffed animals and baby seals are adorable.” – Annette.

7. Manny just completely and totally not giving a shit. Like, at all. I know it happens every year, and I know we should probably all be over this whole “Manny’s a few French fries short of a Happy Meal” thing but, come on, shit’s funny. Personally, so long as the man keeps himself out of prison and still hits 40 home runs a year and drives in 130 runs, he’s free to wear a pink tutu on the field as far as I’m concerned.

6. Jon Lester, healthy and pitching. Badass.

5. The absolute, unbelievable wee-ness of Dustin Pedroia. Seriously, he is so tiny. He’s like a pocket person. I am confident that I could pick him up and put him in the front pocket of my hoodie and take him out whenever I needed to turn a double play on the fly. Seriously, he’s like the Mayor of Tiny Town. I want to sit him on top of my computer next to my Pedro bobblehead (which, I’m fairly certain, is bigger than Pedroia), and have him entertain me while I work. So wee!

4. Papi’s puppy. Seriously, the joy that man hath wrought. And now he brings a puppy into it? Come on, it’s almost too much.

3. Mike Timlin dubbing Jonathan Papelbon “Starter Boy.” It’s not terribly unique but it’s direct and to the point and slightly mocking and gives the impression that it will kick your ass if need be. So, vintage Timlin. How long before “#58 Starter Boy” t-shirts show up at Fenway?

2. Tim Wakefield is already in mid-season, “These fuckin’ guys” form. His postgame interview on Saturday? Priceless. Just ten straight minutes of the Tim Wakefield face. You know the one I mean. It’s the same one he gets on his face every season. The one that says, “I don’t know how I let them talk me into this again. It’s bad enough that I lasted through a couple seasons with Millar and his penchant for nakedness running around all the time, not to mention the time they traded away my catcher, replaced him with a butter-fingered 12-year-old, and got him back just in time for him to suck and get fat because of his emotional eating issues in San Diego. And now they expect me to share a locker room with the entire Japanese media and J.D. Drew’s hyperbaric chamber? Screw this noise, I’m taking off to follow Tim McGraw’s tour. His wife’s pretty hot.”

1. Papelbon’s hair. The Papelmullet, if you will. Remember when it was like this? Yeah, god help me, but I think it’s better now. I also think Paps might be challenging Manny to a duel of the batshit crazies. Should be good times for all.

Baseball’s back, y’all. ‘Bout time.

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