Monthly Archives: April 2008

Anything Roy Halladay Can Do, Jon Lester Can Do Better


(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

You guys? Jon Lester likes his coffee. And he does not like paying for it. So he developed this great plan to 1-hit the Blue Jays and make with the free coffee today, no problem. But then the Blue Jays had to go and counter with Roy Halladay with his show-offy complete games and whatever and that really screwed up Lester’s plans. Except that Kevin Youkilis also likes free coffee. And, let’s face it, he probably likes sandwiches as well. So Kevin Youkilis decided he’d just go on out there and win the game in the ninth with a walk-off single because he was unclear on the rules and whether or not he could still get his sweet tea if the game went into extra innings or what have you.

So, you know, quite the pitcher’s duel. This kind of thing is expected out of Roy Halladay. Seems he does this all the time. But it was excellent to see it from Little Jonny Lester. It was, in fact, reminiscent of a game Amy and I attended two years ago when no one really knew who this Jon Lester kid was and he threw eight innings of one hit ball against the Royals. A harbinger of things to come, perhaps?

Also, Lester’s eight full saved the bullpen, which…actually, you know what? Maybe that’s not the best thing. Although if the bullpenners think they’re being punished for the sucking, I suppose that’s a clear message. “Sit there and be quiet and think about what you’ve done. Oh, and you’re not getting any coffee either.” That seems fair.

As for me, for various reasons it was a night that necessitated vodka and tequila drinking and a midnight frozen yogurt delivery and the 4am discovery of an entire box of shredded tissues thanks to the resident Basegirl mascot so, you know, I can use the coffee. Thanks Jon and Youks!

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Of Rays and Chads

(Guess that tax refund came just in time)

So yesterday marked the first annual “Kristen’s 86-year-old grandmother and Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays fan sends her a taunting email about the first-place Rays.”

And, you know, that’s fun. Ignoring for a second the fact that my grandmother shit talks me about baseball which is, frankly, kind of awesome, the whole notion of the Rays and their softball uniforms actually being good at baseball is a little upsetting and disturbing and I’d prefer not to think about it. Basically it upsets the natural order of things for Joe Maddon and his “I work in publishing” glasses to be helming a team that’s capable of winning baseball games. Let alone several of them in a row. But I suppose this is what they mean by being the bigger person and giving credit where it’s due. It’s frustrating, naturally, because the Sox pitching was actually pretty decent, save the bullpen which, OH MY GOD, BULLPEN. What is your damage? Josh Beckett is going to hurt you. And I am NOT going to stop him this time.

If this whole bullpen implosion thing doesn’t stop soon, I am going to have words with Mike Timlin when I run this thing in June. Which probably means I’ll need to work on my speed, if I’m having harsh words with Mike Timlin. On second thought…

Anyway, blah. Baseball is sad and everyone is sick and I wish to speak of it no further. What I would like to talk about is the fact that when Amy and I were watching the draft on Saturday and taking notes for our eventual piece for InSite, we wondered why the Jets are so damn committed to Chad Pennington and, just out of curiosity, I checked to see if perhaps the already discounted The Chad Fathead had been discounted further. Dudes? IT WAS $9.95. Down from an original price of $98. So obviously, I had to buy it. Because no game next season will be complete without a rousing rendition of “Pin the T-Neck on The Chad.” And, I mean, I almost feel bad for the dude. All the other discounted Fatheads are as such because the player has switched teams or something. Kevin Garnett Timberwolves one or Daunte Culpepper Vikings. Shaun Alexander Seahawks. You know, that kind of thing. And even those are still $39.95. So really, Fatheads really misjudged their marketing of The Chad, I think. Or they were just counting on way more snarky Patriots fans buying them and creating party games. Which, you have to admit, is kind of genius. Although, don’t worry, The Chad won’t stay up during the week. It’s for Sundays only. You think I want to wake up at 3am and encounter a life-size Chad Pennington, complete with mock turtleneck and yachting haircut in my living room? Terrifying.

See? Isn’t that more fun than baseball?

Also? Oh, Roger. ::shakes head::

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Justin Masterson wanted us all to have free coffee. The bullpen felt we are too caffeinated as it is.


(Photo from Boston.com)

I’m sorry, but that picture up there looks like puppies and sunshine and puppies frolicking in the sunshine, maybe with adorable kittens holding tiny teddy bears saying “I love you beary much!” on their tummies or something. That is how adorable that picture is. Justin Masterson, ladies and gentlemen: Better than Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl.

And seeing as how Dunkin’ Donuts is still running their free coffee or tea promotion (with purchase, naturally) the day after the Sox win, I like to think that Little Justin Masterson (he’s 6’6″ so obviously we’re speaking figuratively) did the necessary research beforehand to make sure that it didn’t have to be Papelbon getting the win for the masses to get free coffee because, darn it, Clay gave us all a no-hitter that one time, not to mention that Jacoby won Tacos for America in the World Series and really, Lil’ J-Mast just wanted to contribute. He thought free coffee would be a nice way to say “Thank you for letting me pitch for your major league team, Boston. Thank you for not crying when the entire team came down with the death flu and the front office was forced to import Little Leaguers from Saugus to put warm bodies on the field.”

He sure did try his damndest.

The bullpen, apparently, thinks we’re all already too caffeinated as it is.

Speaking for me personally, they might have a point.

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Things You Can Tell About Craig Hansen Just By Looking At Him

(Photo, and lots more like it, from here)

So that is apparently a picture of Craig Hansen accepting a check for taking second prize in the Professional Baseball Gamers League, er, tournament. Or something. The league in which Johnny Damon evidently serves as commissioner and players routinely square off against Snoop Dogg. I am so not kidding. (Check out the site for additional pictures).

And yeah, absolutely none of that surprises me. Craig Hansen’s waaay into video games? Sure. Craig Hansen wears expensive “rawker” shirts? Totally. Craig Hansen is like totally psyched about the upcoming Nickelback world tour? DUDE.

These are things we just know, people.

But the thing about Craig Hansen is that he’s inspired a bit of a bet between Amy and myself. You see, Amy loves him. She wants him to do well. I’d venture we all want him to do well because he’s on the Red Sox but Amy has a special, vested interest in this. So we made a bet. If Craig Hansen finishes the season with a sub 3.00 ERA, I have to write a piece for InSite wherein I publicly apologize for making fun of him and cringing in agony every time he takes the field in a major league baseball game.

And we needed something for Amy to wager as well so equally ridiculous, I decided – after several beers, naturally – that JD Drew was going to win the batting title this year. (Possibly those beers were laced with something stronger than hops). And if he does, Amy has to write the same article, apologizing to Drew for calling him “Jessica” and insinuating that he misses a few games at the same time every month because of womanly troubles.

Said bets have been taken to a third party (New Friend Sean, the bouncer at our local) and notarized. And now they’re on the internets so we’ve gotta pay up. It’s up to you people to keep us honest.

Now, aren’t ridiculous, semi-drunken bets involving miraculous feats on behalf of the Red Sox more fun to talk about than the rare strain of Ebola currently affecting the Sox clubhouse? I think so.

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Tuesday Morning Shock and Awe…

…or the things that impress me this morning.

First of all, Abby ran the marathon. Like, the whole thing. All of it. And while that is certainly impressive enough on it’s own, she did it while raising boatloads of money for Dana Farber which is obviously beyond awesome. And when Amy and I saw her around mile 23, she didn’t even look like she was wishing for the earth to open up and swallow her whole which is really something. Between Abby and Katherine – who ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco back in October to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (and who called me from an orange-tinted bathtub full of ice shortly thereafter and proceeded to have one of the most amusing conversations of my life), these are some amazing women I know. Said amazing women have also apparently drugged me and convinced me to do this with them in November so stay tuned for updates on that lunacy. (For the record, I am only half as insane. Half marathon, half crazy, you see?) But now the unforgiving internet denizens know about it so I have to do it. That said, full congratulations and measures of awe are due to Abby today. Nice work, lady.

Secondly on the list of things that impress me: the Bruins. The way I figure it, those boys had no business even being anywhere near a Game 7 so that’s something to be proud of. Plenty of the time they flat-out out-played Montreal and turned in some fairly excellent hockey. That and with the nearly pre-pubescent Kessel, Lucic, Krejci, Sobotka and Bergeron, this team surely has the talent to continue to improve in the next few years. I think they’ve got a lot of promise and I, for one, look forward to watching them next season. Get ready for some more hockey in this space is what I’m saying. Trust me, you’ll love it.

And finally, Red Sox. Specifically, little Claybelline (TM Luna) who got his first win of the season and turned in quite a quality start against the Rangers, thus completing the four game sweep. And this without a healthy Tek behind home plate too! Tek apparently being struck down with quite a flu bug. So kudos to Clay for hitching up his big boy pants and getting the job done. And also to Ortiz, who has evidently decided that this slumping thing is not for him anymore and he’ll be hitting baseballs now if that’s cool with everyone.

Now, as for me, I need to go find some aloe for my sunburn. But you know what that means? It’s spring, you guys! Finally!

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Something in the Air


(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Let me get this straight. There’s a robotic camera on the Red Sox bench AT ALL TIMES? And we didn’t know this? It’s apparently operated by some unseen and mysterious cameraperson who can move the focus all around – the better to capture Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz pelting it with sunflower seeds as during last night’s game – but IT’S ALWAYS THERE? You mean to tell me that all this time we’ve been lamenting the fact that we don’t have a dugout feed constantly running in a picture-in-picture box in the top corner of our screen solely for our enjoyment if the game gets out of hand, WE COULD HAVE? This could actually happen and, in fact, is happening? WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?

Imagine all the Manny-administered noogies and headpats we’ve missed? Imagine all the shots of Josh Beckett being surly and taking out his frustrations on the water cooler. Imagine all the times Pedroia sat down next to Tito and starting giving him shit only to have Tito dump a cup of Gatorade on Dustin’s head and walk away? Not to mention all the Youkilis/Pedroia Strong Man competitions that have surely gone down with each trying to outdo the other in all manner of competition from footraces up and down the length of the bench to launching Buchholz missile-like towards an Alex Cora proffered target. IMAGINE ALL THE FOOTAGE THAT EXISTS FROM INSIDE THE SOX DUGOUT. We must get our hands on this. Now that we know that such a camera exists, we must do everything in our power to make sure that it’s used for at least 35% of any given game. This shit is GOLD, people. We need it.

‘Course, constant Sox dugout updates would likely cause Remy and Orsillo to be fired, oh, tomorrow. Did you hear those jokers last night? With Orsillo taking up the cause of Mrs. Remy re: the RemDawg’s use of a computer in the dining room and the ensuing old, married couple bickering? Not to mention their discussions of hand and “other body parts” models which lead Orsillo to remark that he’s seen Remy by the pool and he has “great feet.” Remy was in the – frankly foreign – position of being the straight man as Orsillo just kept throwing out more and more ridiculous bon mots. So to whichever intern spiked Don’s coffee, nice work. Keep it up. All this started when the game was still in question too. 4-1 is not insurmountable and usually the Broadcast Bozos don’t get their insanity on until the Sox are either leading or trailing by about eight. So this was something to hear.

Guess a David Ortiz grand slam will bring about the giddy.

Oh, right, the actual game. See? Didn’t we tell y’all that Papi was gonna be fine? You can’t keep a man like that down forever, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s a good thing they dug up that damn jersey after all.

But I’ll tell you what I’m really excited about and that is Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Ellsbury. After Lowrie laced a hit, Remy – in a rare moment of lucidity last night – remarked “He’s done nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing.” And he’s right. Which is remarkable because Jed Lowrie with his goofy ears and his giant, lopsided smile looks for all the world like an eleven-year-old who cannot wait to tell his dad that he met Manny Ramirez. Let alone is playing on the same field with him. “Dad! Guess what? I called Manny off a fly ball today! Yeah, that’s okay, he told me not to call him ‘Mr. Ramirez.’ But I called him off. And he let me! How cool is that?” Awwww, little Jedders. I see big things for that boy in the future. Julio who?

And Jacoby is just…he’s Jacoby. He’s like Flash Gordon out there. Though I’ve think we’ve decided for the purposes of awesomeness to refer to him as “Maverick” because of his “need for speed” and the fact that in an interview he admitted that “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is his go-to karaoke song. So Maverick it is.

Ken Macha (of all people) made an interesting, Ambien-drenched point during the post game last night when he mentioned that although Jacoby’s average isn’t terribly impressive (though haven’t we learned that batting average is a stupid stat? Billy Bean and baseball-hating computers taught me that), it’s incredibly important to have a guy at the top of your lineup who can get on base and make things happen with his feet. Apparently, during the course of a season, a baseball team will be involved in about fifty one-run games (give or take) and if you’ve got a guy who can wreak havoc on the basepaths and perhaps score from second on a wild pitch (for instance), you’re going to win more of those games than you lose. Interesting point. I had not considered the actual baseball game-winning implications of Jacoby’s speed other than “OMG SO FAST LOOKIT!” Sometimes it’s nice when your blind love is backed up by logic.

So we take game one of the series and look to tonight where Lil’ Jonny Lester looks to get things back on track. I’ve decided he can do it because he’s facing Jason Jennings which made me think of Jason Johnson which made me curl up into the fetal position and rock back and forth for half an hour. So based on that incredibly scientific reaction, I think Lester’s got this one.

Also? GO BRUINS!

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Damn right it was a good day.

(Photo from Boston.com)

Several things happened yesterday to make it excellent. Stellar, even.

Thing one: Manny Ramirez absolutely beating the crap out of Mike Mussina and stealing his lunch money. Just violating Yankee pitching, Manny is. It’s a contract year and all that (which, I mean, it’s Manny. Do you think he even knows that? Perhaps he’s been clued in by his “agent” Alex Cora?) But what Ramirez is doing is just otherworldly. He is a FORCE.

Thing two: Speaking of stealing lunch money, the Bruins. Or should I say, “Bruins, the Bruins what?” Captain Zdeno, Phil Kessel’s my hero and all the rest of ’em certainly took it to Montreal last night at the Bell Centre, and have made a series out of it yet. I left the bar after the second period when the score was tied at 1-1 and promptly started receiving text messages with updates. Eventually, it seemed like I was getting one every twenty seconds. It got to the point where I thought my friends were just messing with me. But then I got home and called my brother. He confirmed the score.

“Jesus,” I said, “I’m on the T for twenty minutes and they equal their total goal output of the entire series?”

“Better late than never,” Kev said. He then mused about his weekend plans. “I got a nice little Saturday planned for myself,” he said, “Got a hockey game to play at 10am, then another one at 3, be done in plenty of time, drive to Mom and Dad’s house and settle in and watch the Bruins in game six. Nice little Saturday.”

“Will you be going to Home Depot?” I asked.

“Not sure. Don’t know if I’ll have time.”

And finally, the third awesome thing that happened yesterday is that bars in Boston now have Sam’s Summer on tap. Which means summer is officially coming. It can’t get here fast enough.

Finally, if I may use this here space to pimp a few friends of mine, well, it’s my blog and I’m going to. First of all, See Abby Run. No, really, you can see her as she’s running the marathon on Monday for an excellent cause. You can read all about her training on her site which I’ve added to the sidebar.

Secondly, Sean at winking in the sincere light is funny and excellent and has some great stuff for you to read. And he even pimped this site despite my unapologetic Patriots fandom. So check him out. (Site also on sidebar.)

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