Monthly Archives: November 2007

Not for Sale

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Why are we even talking about this? Why are we even entertaining the notion? Just when I thought the re-signing of Mike Lowell meant that I could take a deep breath and relax this offseason, this kind of stuff gets thrown out there. Johan Santana is a good pitcher and all but…but…JACOBY! We can’t give up Jacoby! Is this one of those things where Theo listens to what the other team wants – in this case it’s apparently every farm-hand under the age of 30 plus Kevin Youkilis’s former goatee – thinks about it for a second and then walks away laughing? Right? RIGHT? Tell me that’s what’s going on here. Because I can’t deal with the notion that Theo might actually be considering trading away the Future of the Franchise for Johan Santana.

Okay, look, I know that around these parts we tend to romanticize our homegrown players and put them up on pedestals that often, they don’t entirely deserve. But as I’ve said before, I finally feel excited about the future of this team in the sense that there are so many good, young guys that we made ourselves out of gumption and sawdust and good scouting and drafting. And they’re ours. That, and I was proud of the fact that we were refusing to mortgage the future for the present. I’d like to continue to not do that.

The way I see it, if the season started tomorrow, we’d have pretty much exactly the same team as we had a month ago when we, you know, WON THE WORLD SERIES. There is no more “up” from there. There is no farther to go. You can’t win the World Series more. Margin of victory doesn’t matter. You win it and…you win it. End of story.

That said, if the Yankees want to trade away Philip Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Joba Chamberlain (but remain committed to re-signing Luis Vizcaino), well, hell, they should go for it. I won’t stand in their way. People are already getting bent out of shape with how this Johan Santana bidding war is coming down to a Sox/Yankees battle again and to that I have two things to say. 1) Duh. Second verse, same as the first, and 2) I’m over it. I’m so over the constant sniping and out-bidding and one-upmanship that goes on between these two clubs. I’ve written about it before. By and large I was really proud of the way the organization handled the whole A-Rod thing in that, on the whole, they refused to get involved. I don’t think doing the same thing here would be such a bad idea.

Because let’s say the Yankees over-trade for Santana and we have to face him. So what? That, to me, is not the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario would be trading away Ellsbury, Lester and maybe Buchholz for a couple good years of Santana. Look, he’s a great pitcher, I’m not denying that. But it’s entirely possible and actually quite probable that Lester and/or Buchholz have it in them to be great pitchers too. And Ellsbury is made of magic and puppy dogs and sunshine. You can’t trade away sunshine. You’ll never find a uniform to fit. Not to mention what playing on concrete every day would do to his poor legs.

What I’d like to see happen is for Theo to say, “You can’t have Ellsbury. Here’s what we’re offering. Take it or leave it.” And if the Twins leave it? So be it. We’ll still have our centerfielder and perhaps the Yankees will be up an ace. It wouldn’t be the first time the Yankees have ended up with something the Red Sox coveted. But recent track records will indicate that that’s not always a bad thing. Or does no one else remember Theo’s hotel room-destroying temper tantrum when the Yankees signed Jose Contreras and prompted Larry Lucchino to release the now infamous “Evil Empire” quote?

Point being, if the Yankees get Santana, we’ll deal.

I’m just saying, I think it’ll be a lot easier to deal if we have our speedy centerfielder out there, shagging flies.

Can someone get on a “Keep Jacoby” petition?


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Mustache Power!

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Amy: Just so you know, every time Tom Brady runs for yards and I’m not watching the game with you, I’m going to call you and sing the Baby Bumblebee song to you.

Me: Obviously, as that is Tommy’s internal monologue when he’s running at glacial speed.

Amy: (Singing)
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee.
Won’t Coach Belichick be so proud of me.
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee.

Me: (Watching Wes Welker’s postgame interview with Andrea Kremer) Tom Brady called Wes Welker a “Labrador?” I’m going to need a sound file of that interview, I think. Also, what is going on with your facial hair there, sir?

Amy: Mustaches are in, Krikri. (Only Amy is allowed to call me that, FYI).

Me: I prefer designer stubble.

Amy: I think the entire team should start growing ridiculous mustaches.

Me: You might be onto something there. I mean, Logan Mankins didn’t get in trouble, did he? In fact no, he pushed Lomo into the end zone for that last touchdown. Logan Mankins has a handlebar mustache (above). Wes Welker didn’t get in trouble. He caught all the passes. Mustache. This might be something…

Amy: Can you just imagine, facing the Patriots, AND their giant handlebar mustaches? I am not convinced Tedy can grow facial hair and Refrigerator Head (Gostkowski) probably isn’t old enough, but dude. It would be awesome.

Me: Well, Vrabes can teach an elective on proper facial hair maintenance and perhaps New Kicker can sculpt his unibrow into a mustache?

Amy: A facial hair graft, perhaps? It’s like having to face Magnum PI and his cronies in football!

Me: And that’s just gonna make you look silly. ‘Cause of how manly mustaches are and all.

Amy: We’re smart.

Me: We don’t sleep much.

Amy: Nope.

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By a Hair

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I’m tempted to say “all’s well that ends well” but I know better. And I know that if there’s one place I would not want to be, it’s in the New England Partiots locker room after last night’s game. As Amy put it, “They are going to be getting some humble motherfucking cobbler this week.”

Bill’s gonna be servin’ it up, y’all.

As well he should. I’m also tempted to ask who the hell A.J. Feeley thinks he is but that would not be showing due respect to one’s opponent and that would not be the Patriot way. And the Patriots have to know that there but for the grace of Asante Samuel, they’re talking about 10-1 and how they let this one get away from them and they’re watching the insufferable, smug 1972 Dolphins popping champagne corks down in Miami. We can postpone that celebration for another week at the very least but them boys have some work to do.

I do give a lot of credit to the Eagles, however, as they managed to do what no other team this season, including Indianapolis, has even come close to doing. For all intents and purposes, they shut down Randy Moss. Thankfully, the Patriots still have Wes Welker and, um, Jabar Gaffney, to, you know, catch things. Though the entire team could have benefited from a healthy application of Stick-Um last night, so frequent were the dropped passes. Or so it seemed.

Marianne, wisely choosing to watch the game somewhere other than with me, checked on me via email during the third quarter.

Marianne: Score?

Me: Still 24-21. But let me put it this way: apparently during practice, Billiam throws things at New Kicker while he is practicing his kicks. He should probably throw heavier things.

Marianne: Okay, honestly? I just got a mental image of Bill Belichick throwing a refrigerator at New Kicker.

Me: Now there’s an idea…

I don’t know what to say, football makes me violent. The Patriots now owe me about three years of my life and easily seven hours of sleep. And yes, I know they won and, as I said, all’s well that ends well. But anyone who tells you that each successive game this season isn’t magnified by about a thousand is lying to you. Yes, the Pats have clinched the division (before they played, actually, thanks to the Bills’ loss), and yes, they’re still the best team in the league, but this game certainly highlighted that there are many, many things for them to work on. In a sense, this was like the Colts game in that it’s going to put a stop to that “running up the score” talk for a little while as people (again) realize why playing sixty minutes of football is important.

Of course, if the locker room fixtures remain unscathed, I suppose that can be considered a victory in and of itself. Did y’all see the look on Tom Brady’s face last night? Did he not look like he wanted to kill someone with his teeth? Thankfully Asante Samuel and James Sanders and Wes Welker played damage control. Else I would not want to be a water cooler in that locker room.

And so now we exhale and remain confident in the knowledge that Billiam is going to spend the entire week kicking everyone’s ass from here to Kingdom Come.

I’m going to, you know, curl up under my desk and try to get some shut eye or something. And maybe wonder if the entire team should grow mustache’s like Wes Welker and Logan Mankins because there might be something to that mojo.

Oh, and I hesitate to really talk about it for fear of it gaining steam but Theo, so much as think about trading Jacoby and you will see riots in the streets the likes of which you’ve never experienced. I’m serious. That’s not an empty threat. Kthnx.

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Let Us Give Thanks

Because that dude is still our third baseman. Officially now.

Now let us all collectively exhale.

I remember saying during the parade and the rash of late night talk show appearances that followed that, in my memory, I don’t remember both fans and players alike campaigning so hard for the team to re-sign a player. “Not even ‘Tek?” Amy asked me.

“The thing about ‘Tek is, in retrospect, we all knew he wasn’t going anywhere. His value to the Red Sox was and is far and away greater than it would be to any other team. It was mostly a matter of seeing whether or not he and Theo could agree on what he’s worth. But with Lowell, he would have been valuable to a lot of places.”

So I’m just really, really glad the deal got done. These past few weeks have seemed like Sports Christmas has come early to New England, no? What with the Patriots continued destruction of all challengers, the Sox getting their free agent signings taken care of and, you know, the drama queen business happening in the rest of baseball, Messrs. Rodriguez and Bonds, I’m talking to you.

Plus, I saw ‘Tek on TV this morning and he was talking about how glad he was to have “Michael” back and how he called “everyone and their mother” when he found out. Which you just know totally messed up Curt Schilling’s phone tree. Because if you don’t think Curt had a phone tree in place for this exact thing, you’re high. Curt was to call Youks and Kyle Snyder and then they had to call Manny Delcarmen and Pedroia and they called three people and so on and so forth. There was a plan. Curt had a diagram which he emailed to everyone. It was color-coded. And ‘Tek messed it up. But probably Curt will forgive him because, you know, he’s ‘Tek, and he’s still apologizing to him for shaking him off while facing Shannon Stewart that one time.

Also, I refuse to believe that Theo’s nefarious plan to use Jacoby Ellsbury as a negotiating tactic didn’t work perfectly. You just know he told Jacoby to work Bertica Lowell as much as possible. That entailing, obviously, offers to babysit and showing up occasionally looking pained and hungry because he’s just little and doesn’t know how to cook his own food or do his own laundry and one time he even forgot to pack pants and had to borrow Clay’s (true story). And you know Mrs. Lowell was all, “Michael! You can’t leave! This poor boy needs some help. His mother is all the way across the country. Who’s going to cook for him if I don’t? Who’s going to wash his socks? Who’s going to tell him which fork to use? Plus, he’s so polite. So good with the girls. He’s the best babysitter we’ve ever had. That’s it, we’re adopting him. And you’re staying in Boston so I can keep an eye on him.” Well played, Theo. Well played indeed.

Continuing the theme with the brigade of awesome, Tom Brady was on WEEI this morning and was getting downright mad at people for their “running up the score” accusations. Now they’ve made Tom Brady angry. Fellas, don’t you know how stupid that is? He admitted to wanting to “kill other teams” but can you blame the guy? He’s playing this entire season under fire and the best defense is, clearly, a good offense. But he also made what I consider to be a good point. He said that when they go for it on fourth and 1 or whatever, they’re trying to get better. “Because what if next week we’re in a situation when it’s tied and it’s fourth and 1? We’re just supposed to worry about that then? No, you work on it now so you’re confident that you can handle that when you have to.”

I am the world’s biggest Tom Brady homer but the man makes a good point. It’s like I said a while ago when I mentioned that when games get out of control, they’re essentially training exercises for future games. Brady – and the rest of the team – seem to be operating under the theory that the second you let up is the second someone hits you in the mouth. I’m glad they’re still hungry and aren’t taking anything for granted. Those are my boys.

However, on a slightly softer note, can we maybe petition eHarmony to use Tom Brady and Randy Moss in an ad? It would be a hell of a lot better than the smug, simpering idiots they feature now.

Brady: “I never thought I’d find the perfect one. But then we traded a pick to Oakland and now I’ve found him.”

Moss: “It’s a hard life and it’s nice to be going through it with someone who gets you to be your very best. I’m so glad I found Tommy.”

Because yes, Randy Moss calls him “Tommy.”

Wouldn’t that be excellent? Warms the heart. Also, I’d rather watch that eleventy million times than be subjected to one more commercial where Peyton Manning is throwing passes to himself or something inside his own head while Marvin Harrison is cavorting with magical dream dolphins.

So yes, all good things are happening. It’s a heady time to be a New England sports fan of any kind (hell, even the Bruins aren’t embarrassing), and I think it’s a good time for all of us to remember not to take any of this for granted. So turkey and stuffing and pie and Mike Lowell and Tom Brady and Jacoby Ellsbury and what have you. All good things for which we should give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving, kids. Have a great one.

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It’s Tom Brady’s world. We’re just livin’ in it.

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Giants among men, indeed.


“Sure, it gets to you,” Bills free safety George Wilson said. “There was a situation like this against the Redskins a few weeks ago and some spoke up. I’m not going to do that. This is a 60-minute game and if they want to go for it on fourth down you’ve got to strap it up and stop it. This ain’t no pity party. In this league there is no remorse.”

“I don’t feel bad about it,” echoed Buffalo strong safety Donte Whitner. “This is football. Our job is to stop it if they want to go for it. There’s nothing against them. They play hard, they play the whole game. I don’t begrudge them. You have to stop it.”

Thank you, Buffalo Bills. Thank you for understanding the concept of football and athletic contests. Thank you for not placing the blame on someone else – the other team, the refs, the crowd, etc – and taking a defeat like men. Thank you for your good sportsmanship and for understanding that if the opponent is scoring 56 points against you, you really need to be looking internally and not externally for someone to blame. In so doing, you’ve cemented your reputation as an upstanding organization and I, for one, appreciate it. I’d like to think that if and when the Patriots lose a game (whensoever that might be), they’ll react the same way. That was refreshing.

Amy and I had an extended conversation at the bar last night – when we were still making sense and before we devolved into wondering if Belichick has started taking fashion advice from 13-year-old mallrats (more on that later) – about how the Patriots shouldn’t be blamed for ruining the curve.

“It’s like this,” Amy said, “In high school, I took an AP European History course and it was really hard. There was a lot of reading, a lot of it was boring and I worked my ass off. And then I did really well on the test and some girl said to me, ‘You did well? I hate you,’ because she was mad I ruined the curve. It’s like that. No. Don’t be mad at me because I worked my ass off to get a good grade and I ruined the curve for you. If you have a problem with that, work harder. It’s the same principle.”

“That,” I said, “is an excellent point. People are pissed at the Patriots for ruining the curve and, so far as I can tell, the point of professional athletics is to beat the other team, not to make sure everyone feels important and accomplished. We are not supposed to try to regress to the mean just so other teams don’t feel bad.”

Then we congratulated ourselves on being smart and awesome because sometimes we do that.

But the point came up again later on when James Sanders tipped Losman’s pass and it resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown.

“You know people are going to say they’re running up the score with that one,” I said, “probably it would have been nicer if we’d just handed the ball back to a Bills player and called for a do-over.”

Amy, several beers in at this juncture, made the point somewhat more emphatically. “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you give us the football do we not TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE?” She was sermonizing, y’all. It was a sight to behold.

This was, of course, nothing compared to the discussion we had over a plate of Buffalo wings (symbolic, perhaps?) about Bill Belichick’s deteriorating sartorial decisions.

“Billiam is wearing a headwarmer,” I announced.

“Oh that is fantastic. I wonder if the headwarmer is how he keeps the genius in,” Amy said.

“Additionally,” I said, “he also appears to be belting his hoodies now for reasons unfathomable to me.”

Amy squinted at the TV, “Are we absolutely certain that he’s not wearing leggings under there?” she asked. “Perhaps the kind with the lace on the bottom? Do we know that he’s not doing that?”

“Well,” I said, “I think he keeps his challenge flag tucked into his sock but I guess that doesn’t mean that he’s NOT wearing leggings. I’m just not sure I want to think about that.”

“We will have to await a full-body shot for confirmation,” she declared.

When one came, we were heartened to see that Belichick was not, in fact, sporting leggings but was instead rocking some wind pants.

“I still think he’s taking styling tips from 13-year-old girls in 1986,” I said.

“This is the thing,” Amy observed while watching Mike Vrabel and Matt Light laughing behind Belichick on the sidelines, “I’m pretty sure that Vrabes and Matt Light are the only people who get away with calling him ‘Bill.'”

“Oh, without a doubt,” I agreed, “In fact, I’d wager that they’re openly mocking his attire right now.”

“They’re so doing extra sprints in practice this week.”

“Oh yeah.”

We also noticed that Randy Moss had some incredibly detailed braid configuration going on and we theorized that perhaps he was making use of the Red Sox’ El Montro. Amy then proceeded to have a conversation – with herself – in which she played all parts and explained how Manny bequeathed El Montro and his services to the Patriots and Randy Moss for the football season. There was scant little mention of Manny’s pet unicorn but his well-publicized love for classic cars did come up.

Look, we’re simple girls. A few beers and some wings and the insanity starts rolling out.

Also, has anyone else had “The Tom and Jerry Show” theme song running through their head for the past twelve hours with “Randy” in place of “Jerry?”

According to Google, the lyrics go like this (adapted for the footballs):

Set your dial for a while!
Have a laugh, wear a smile!
It’s The Tom & Randy Show!
You’ll begin with a grin
When you first tune us in
On The Tom & Randy Show!

Introducing that world-famous QB…TOM!
And that magnificent pass-catcher…RANDY!

::instrumental solo:: (Matt Light and Mike Vrabel on air guitar)

Lots of zing, lots to sing!
Everything’s gonna swing!
So, get ready – here we go!
Big or small, short or tall,
You will all have a ball
On The Tom & Randy Show!

Do I…do I maybe need to cut back on the caffeine?

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The Once and Future Third Basemen

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Well thank goodness THAT’S taken care of.

Christmas has come early, kids. Let us give thanks.

More later, including thoughts on the local touchdown robots.

Edited to add: *fingers crossed*

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Pity the buck that crosses Josh Beckett’s path today.

(Photo from Herradura Ranch gallery)

Or feral pig. Or wild turkey. Or, you know, over-exuberant squirrel. I’m thinking Beckett might be a bit testy today, is the thing, having lost out on the AL Cy Young award to Cleveland’s C.C. Sabathia. I mean, he’ll probably claim that he doesn’t care and that he didn’t even know the vote was happening. “Oh, was that today?” he’ll say, feigning nonchalance and letting us know that he couldn’t possibly care less about some stupid little award. And then he’ll go out and shoot something. Possibly an unfortunate feral pig he’s named “Avulsion.”

For the sake of everyone involved, I just really hope Lester and Buchholz haven’t made their way south yet to begin Beckett Boot Camp. Otherwise, this is going to turn into Deliverance or “Lord of the Flies” or something and somehow Doug Mirabelli is gonna get involved (because he follows Wakefield everywhere, especially now), and then Schilling will turn up to try to broker the peace because, you may have heard, but he represents himself in negotiations and he’s sure he can work something out and if Beckett would let Dougie and the wee pitching pups go and come out from behind that camo blind where he’s holed up with fourteen cans of baked beans and backlogged videotapes of Leann Tweeden’s appearances on “The Best Damn Sports Show Ever” he’s pretty sure that things will work out for the best but Beckett will only talk to Tek and then only in code and he’s demanding to be allowed to drive past Sabathia’s house in his pickup and moon him out the window while trailing a World Series banner behind. And frankly, I just don’t want to have to fathom any situation that involves Doug Mirabelli, Curt Schilling as hostage negotiator, and firearms.

However, if Tek wants to take over in the Mike Lowell negotiations, I’m fine with that. We already know that he tried to lure him into staying by giving him candy. I like those incentives. I’m thinking he’s up to the task.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go barricade the doors in case Beckett decides to show up here. He might’ve heard that I called him “Fathead” that one time (or rather hundreds of times) and he probably thinks I’ve got something to answer for.

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