Monthly Archives: June 2008

Cash Money

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Do you think every time Kevin Cash does something well – like last night’s 3-run homer or the (gasp!) intentional walk – Dougie dies a little inside? Awww, that’s so sad, I’d rather not think about it.

What I would prefer to think about is Randy Johnson and the manner in which his season is unraveling. I don’t quite know why but seeing The Big Unit (are we still allowed to call him that?) struggle amuses me. I’m sure all pigeons out there agree.

I also appreciate Tim Wakefield stepping up and showing us all how it’s done. Wake has been, for all intents and purposes, throwing the same pitch for thirteen years, and if there are nights like last night where he can still confuse people and make them look like 6-year-olds playing dizzy bat as they swing and miss, I figure he’s still worth it.

Good thing he’s got that lifetime contract.

Now that JD Drew appears to be coming back to earth, there’s some cause for concern re: our offense. But if the mantle of Captain Offensive Contribution is going to continue to be picked up by the most unlikely of candidates, well, we couldn’t find someone less likely than Kevin Cash. Except perhaps Dougie. Who’s probably still practicing his naked cuts somewhere.

Does this mean that my brother is gonna have to stop instinctively booing Cash now? It’s nothing personal, you understand.

Also, for what it’s worth, there is very little I wouldn’t give for Kevin “Cash Money” Cash and Kevin “The Big KY” Youkilis to collaborate on an album of raps together. Maybe Coco can hook them up?

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Revisionist History?

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Okay so, maybe I’m hallucinating or something? Not enough sleep (totally possible) or too much coffee (probably not). But I swear that Dan Haren didn’t used to be this good. You know, back when he was called “Danny” and was sharing a dealer with Mark Bellhorn or something. I didn’t make that up, right? There was a time when Dan(ny) Haren looked like a cross between Dr. Richard Kimball and the lead singer of Nickelback, right?

Anyway, apparently he is over that now. More’s the pity for the Red Sox. Especially since Josh Beckett pitched well and managed to mostly save the overtaxed bullpen. But, you know, that’s why we play again tonight.

What I am slightly concerned about is Kevin Youkilis using his face as a backstop. No, Kevin, no! You are not wearing catcher’s gear. Maybe helmets for infielders? With masks?

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Walkoffs and Bulldogs. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Jason Varitek laughs at the preposterous notion that he can be defeated by a mere mortal. Honestly, people, he is Superman. His only known Kryptonite is the high fastball. But you think he’s gonna let someone like Chris Duncan get the best of him. For he is Tek, Captain of Awesome.

“Didn’t that same thing happen to a Molina a few weeks ago?” I asked Amy.

“I think he had to be carried off the field on a stretcher,” she said.

“With the understanding that I don’t want any Molinas to be hurt,” I added, “I think this means Jason Varitek is greater than a Molina.”

Amy mused, “You know how Banana Republic and The Gap and Old Navy are the same company but they use the good cuts of fabric for Banana Republic and the middle for the Gap and the crap ends for Old Navy?”

“Yeah?” I said.

“Jason Varitek is the Banana Republic cut,” she said. “Then there are other catchers who are the Gap cut, but most people are the Old Navy cut.”

“Apt comparison,” I said.

Anyway…Kevin Youkilis. Gettin’ it done. Like he told you he would. It’s just that easy.

Due credit should go, of course, to the Sox bullpen as well since, aside from some uncharacteristic Papelbonian hiccups, they were effective and got the job done.

Probably because of what I’m taking to be their mandatory presence on Saturday morning at the Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K Race to Cure ALS. I was there. So was Amy. So were many Sox bullpeners. Justin Masterson in particular showed up early, way before race time and stood next to Mike Timlin looking as though he was waiting to be told what to do. He appears to be a helpful sort, that J-Mast.

“Do you think I should tell him I’ve christened him the team ace?” I asked Amy.

“Oh absolutely,” she said, “And then slap him on his pitching arm and say, ‘No pressure, kid!'”

Luckily for everyone, I restrained myself.

Justin Masterson’s wife Meryl ran the race, as did Dawn Timlin. Both of them kicked our asses. But that was pretty much expected.

What wasn’t expected? Seeing David Aardsma and Javier Lopez positively geeking out over a tiny bulldog puppy after the race. Not that I can blame them. I mean, it was seriously the most adorable puppy I’ve ever seen. There was also an older bulldog who was very protective. Basically, we were living in this Petsmart commercial. And David Aardsma was angling for the best picture of said puppies on his iPhone. No lie. Maybe that’s what he’ll look at to psyche himself up now?

He also, by the way, knows that I know this about him since Amy and I were returning from the car and I was blabbing loudly and said something about “David Aardsma’s obsession with bulldogs” which made Amy start laughing for reasons I did not understand until I looked up and saw…David Aardsma about five feet from us. “Heh,” I laughed. “Maybe he’ll Google that phrase tomorrow.”

“And lo the many things he’ll find,” Amy added.

So yeah, the Sox lost two of three to the Cards but they won the third in dramatic fashion. Plus, Rick Ankiel fell down, Youks went on a tear, Tek demonstrated his superhuman abilities (Again. Some more.), Mike and Dawn Timlin raised tons of money for ALS research, David Aardsma got to bond with a bulldog puppy and I learned that Javier Lopez wears Converse All-Stars. So really, not a bad weekend all things considered.

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Sometimes I go a little nuts is all

Home Sweet Home?
Historical Landmark Provides Comfort, Shelter for Mets’ Forlorn

Stanley Mumphrey, the 73-year-old groundskeeper at Shea Stadium noticed something odd this past weekend as he was walking the warning track in center field checking for divots.

“I was walking along like I always do and got near the apple, see?” Mumphrey said, referring to the giant apple that rises from a top hat beyond the center field fence whenever a Mets player hits a home run, “and it looked to me like there was a light on in there.”

Mumphrey called park security to investigate, thinking vandals had broken into the historical symbol.

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” head of park security, Randy Chalmers said.

Only this time, it wasn’t vandals or teenagers pulling a prank. When Chalmers and his security team opened the trap door located at the base of the top hat, they found recently fired Mets manager Willie Randolph, asleep and surrounded by what appeared to be scouting reports.

Roused by Chalmers, Randolph was confused as to his whereabouts and appeared intoxicated. Several empty bottles of gin were found stashed inside the apple along with a Coleman camp stove and several unopened cans of tuna fish.

An agitated Randolph claimed he was “only staying for a little while” and “just needed a place to crash” following the recent 3am firing by Mets brass.

Mets general manager Omar Minaya could not be reached for comment.

When asked if, prior to his discovery, Randolph planned to stay in the apple for a lengthy period of time, he would say only, “I just figured they wouldn’t find me here.”

Pedro Martinez, the Mets future Hall of Fame pitcher, commented only that “it’s better than living under a mango tree. I did that once. Before I was a mega-gajillionaire.”

There were no reports yet on whether or not Randolph plans to undergo counseling for post traumatic stress disorder.

“I figured,” he said, “I can still be close to the team, right?”

“This apple’s pretty roomy. Maybe McLaren needs a place to crash,” Randolph added referring to John McLaren, the recently deposed manager of the Seattle Mariners.

When asked if other fired managers might find solace in the Stadium artifact as well – perhaps Yankees manager Joe Girardi, should he face a similar fate for helming the underperforming Yankees – Randolph shook his head violently. “(expletive deleted) that guy,” he said.

Yankees partial owner Hank Steinbrenner could not be reached for comment.

(Apologies to Sean as the original idea of someone (namely him) taking up residence in the Shea Stadium apple was his. And this was BEFORE the drinking at the wedding.)

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Marvel should get on this immediately.

You guys? I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I’m pretty sure J.D. Drew has been bitten by a radioactive spider.

I mean, I really can’t think of another explanation since his ridiculous stats and hitting prowess since Ortiz went on the DL are pretty much straight up science fiction shit. Even his “patch of suck” in right field has cleared up. (No lie, there was a dead, brown patch of grass out there where he used to stand). He hasn’t even missed any time lately with the menses. We’ve even stopped calling him “Jessica.”

So, you know…what? What is happening here?

“Too bad he couldn’t do that last year,” my mom said when I expressed my confusion at his performance.

“Well, I guess,” I said, “But I mean, it’s not like we could have won the World Series more if he’d been hitting better. I guess I’m just confused by the turnaround.”

“It is quite a marked difference,” she agreed. (My mom pretends not to follow baseball).

“Maybe he really is a superhero and he saw Papi go down and was all, ‘I’m needed!’ and then put on his super hero cape and started playing like Spiderman.”

“Okaaaaay,” she said. And then laughed nervously.

I don’t know. Maybe that is what happened. Maybe he’s actually an X-Man. Maybe he saw the new Hulk movie or something and decided to start playing angry. Or maybe he was hanging out with Tek and Lowell one day (’cause those guys are obviously super heroes. I mean, that’s just general knowledge, right?) and they let him in on their super heroe-y ways. Showed him the magical phone booth or something.

All I know is that while at Fenway last week, Drew cracked a base hit, plating a couple of runs and inspired the following conversation between myself and a woman I’d never met before.

Me (turning to complete stranger): Seriously, what is up with that dude all of a sudden?

Stranger: I think his wife’s been putting out more.

Me: Right?

And he hasn’t tailed off since.

You guys, I haven’t even moved the bobblehead from it’s place on the bookshelf or anything. At this point, I’m kind of afraid to.

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He would make quick work of that Flarke bookcase


Me: Can I tell you? I have a WICKED crush on Kevin Garnett. I kind of want to hang out with him.

Kerri: He is one of the most intense people I’ve ever seen. And I mean INTENSE. Could you imagine him trying to put together a pre-fab bookcase or something? Talking to himself the whole time and several chest pumps when he finished?

Me: That settles it. He is coming with me on my next trip to IKEA.

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Long Time Coming


(Photo from Boston.com)

Now, I’m not what you’d consider a huge basketball fan. I pretty much stopped paying attention to the NBA when Larry Bird retired. I got wrapped up in baseball then. And we all know how that’s gone. I have virtually no memory of the Celtics’ past days of glory since they won their last championship when I was six. But I do appreciate any scenario in which Kobe Bryant looks like a punk. I seem to have developed a wicked crush on Kevin Garnett (I do have a history of liking the sprawly, snarky ones), and I’m taking a surprising amount of pleasure in watching Paul Pierce, who always seemed so prickly to me, find a place as a member of a great team instead of as the team all by himself.

Plus, I’m from New England, geographically, these are my boys.

And I do know some Celtics fans who are no doubt completely thrilled this morning. I’m thinking specifically of Kerri and Big Mike and of Rachelle’s dad Lou. And of course Butchie and the Tin Knockas. (Now does that sound like a bunch of Celtics fans out of central casting or what?) So I’m totally excited for them. Watching your team win a championship – especially considering the turnaround from last year – is a great thing.

Hazel Mae just said, “There’s always room for another championship in New England.” And I know what people outside of our fair nation think – sometimes outspokenly – about our teams in this region. But you know what? No apologies. We love our sports. We love our teams. We love seeing them win – as would anyone enjoy seeing their teams on top. So we take it and we smile and we cherish the championships.

So good on ya, Celtics. Nice work. Nice to see you smiling, Paul. When you frown, you look like a catfish.

As for the Red Sox, they did some impressive work of their own. Since throwing his no-hitter, Jon Lester is in the business of being one-upped, it seems since his last start was overshadowed by the Fisticuffs of Fury involving Coco and the Rays and last night’s start will be largely relegated to sidebar material on account of the Celtics’ win. (As it should be. The Red Sox are the golden child in this town and can do with taking a backseat for a day or so). But we shouldn’t ignore the fact that Lester pitched admirably. The Phillies are a division leader and with Utley, Rollins and Howard, hitting is never their problem. So holding them to zero runs is nice work indeed.

Also, when I saw the Phillies were countering with Jamie Moyer, I assumed that Manny would take him deep at least twice since historically Manny holds ownership papers to Mr. Moyer. Imagine my surprise when I checked the score to see that the RBIs came about as a result of a Coco Crisp home run and a Julio Lugo double. Not really known for their offensive prowess those two. Crazy times indeed.

Of course, now we learn that Bartolo Colon has been placed on the DL with back stiffness. Which thing I guess we can’t really complain about because of the fact that we’re apparently paying him in cotton candy and well wishes. And Matsuzaka is coming back so…I guess we’ll be all right.

It’s a day game today which I find mildly irritating since I haven’t been able to watch an actual Red Sox game since the one I attended in person last Wednesday. Life, you know, sometimes gets in the way. So I’ll be Gamedaying and hoping for the best.

But today belongs to the Celtics and Green 17. Fire up a cigar for Red.

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