Monthly Archives: August 2008

Athens v. Spart Part Eleventy-One

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Okay so, I kind of feel like Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay are a study in opposites. Like last night you just know that Pedroia was strutting through the clubhouse all “Yeah, that’s right. Hit a grand slam. That’s four – count ’em – four runs at once. ‘Cause I’m the man. Don’t need no Manny Ramirez. You got Petey.” And Jason Bay was probably sitting quietly at his locker, neatly folding his uniform for the laundry people (because he’s polite) and just quietly accepting congratulations on his own four RBI night with a shrug and a head nod and some business about “just trying to help the team.”

I mean, I know Bay landed on the team with kind of a splash considering who the Sox gave up to get him (I guess that’s how we’re parsing it now), but despite the fact that he has been every bit the All-Star outfielder they anticipated, I sometimes forget he’s even around. He’s just so quiet and unassuming and goes about his business that I find myself thinking, “Who the hell bats fifth in the lineup? Who’s that guy? Oh, right. Jason Bay.” No fault to him, of course, it’s just, I guess we’re still used to someone a bit, erm, louder.

Not that Pedroia isn’t doing his part to make up the difference in personalities. My absolute favorite thing about Dustin Pedroia is how he has the same swing as Kevin Millar but is like half the size. And he absolutely will not back down to anyone. Didn’t he get thrown out of a game in Baltimore just a little while ago for arguing with either the umpire or Daniel Cabrera? Or both? Stellar. Lil’ Petey is a force and will let you know it. He’d probably also kick my ass for calling him “Lil’ Petey.” I just like that the guy plays with a grudge. It’s endlessly amusing. Plus also, he’s pretty good at baseball.

So, yeah. That happened. 11-3. I will take it. Also we got another example of Adventures in Yankee Outfielding thanks to the non-gymnastic work of Xavier Nady which is always fun and good times. And…we haz a Mark Kotsay? Sure.

Perhaps the Sox will sweep it up tonight and close down this portion of the rivalry at the Stadium in style?

Odds that Pedroia’s still strutting? It’s gonna take Youkilis shoving him in a laundry hamper full of dirty jock straps to shut him up, isn’t it?

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Athens v. Sparta, Part Eleventy


(Photo from Boston.com)

Except this time – you might’ve heard – this time Yankee Stadium is just weeks away from going ‘splody. So apparently that means…we’ve decided to honor the situation by pitting Paul Byrd against legendary Yankee Sydney Ponson?

Okay, not really. I mean, that’s really happening but I know it’s not a Yankee Stadium tribute or anything and thank god. Frankly, there’s enough Stadium wankery going around without everyone juggling their pitching staffs to have Luis Tiant facing off against Goose Gossage or whatever. Not that I’d put something like that past either team. Though, if we’re going with a classic rivalry matchup, my money’s on Carlton Fisk in the fight with Lou Piniella. Sure, Piniella’s got the dirt kicking and the umpire insulting down but have you seen Carlton Fisk lately? That man is in shape. Probably kick Piniella’s ass and not even mess up his hair.

ANYWAY, none of that has anything to do with last night’s game wherein we welcome Tim Wakefield back into the baseball playing ways and Johnny Damon becomes a giant pain in the ass. The thing about Wakefield is that every time I see him pitch at Yankee Stadium, I want to give him one of those affectionate chuffs on the shoulder because if anyone feels ghosts at that place, it’s Wake. Yeah, yeah, 2004 and erasing the bad memories and all that but still, 2003 leaves a mark and I can’t imagine Wake’s ever forgot about that. I give him credit for sacking up every time. I know he’s a professional baseball player and all that but I feel like if any member of the Sox comes close to understanding what all this madness means to the fans, it’d be Wakefield. The guy’s been around since 1995. That’s a lifetime in today’s baseball playing years.

I would also like to reiterate, apropos of absolutely nothing, that I continue to love Jed Lowrie. There’s that old sports adage that a starter doesn’t lose his spot because of injury but I wonder what Drew Bledsoe would say about that and if he’d have any sympathy for Julio Lugo. And I liked Bledsoe. I’m just saying, sometimes the backup shouldn’t be the backup. (Do not get any ideas, Matt Cassel).

So one down, two to go. Two more go-rounds at the Stadium. My rooting interests aren’t exactly secret nor subtle so I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that I will pop some popcorn and watch the place implode but hey, if Tim Wakefield wants to join me, he’s more than welcome.

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Back to your regularly scheduled blogging

You guys? I’m sorry. I owe you an apology. I’ve been, you know, distracted. Because I’m totally patriotic and love my country or whatever. (Sure, that’s totally it). But as the closing ceremonies, erm, close, I’m back. Promise. I won’t neglect you or the Sox any longer. I’m in it for the long run. Playoff push and all that.


So bring it, I’m all in. Let’s get this thing going.

And about those Olympics…are Amy and I correct in deducing that the only things you need for a successful closing ceremonies are Jackie Chan, $40 billion, and a shit ton of LSD?

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"Pitching out of jams all night."

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Honestly, “pitching out of jams all night” should probably be Matsuzaka’s middle name. So much does he love loading the bases and working full counts and walking guys that, by all reason, should have struck out, that it’s a wonder to me that he’s actually 15-2. Which is also why I called Lester the team’s ace yesterday. It’s just…even Tito thinks watching Matsuzaka pitch is frustrating. That was his word, “frustrating.” Probably because you can’t swear on TV. Unless you’re Josh Beckett apparently.

That said, I will take the result. Jason Varitek, clearly happy that he doesn’t have to suffer under the weight of his secret pain anymore, hit another home run and looks like he might, maybe, just possibly if we don’t look too closely, be remembering how to hit a baseball. Maybe. No guarantees. But that would be nice.

And frankly, if Kevin Youkilis doesn’t get some MVP votes this season, I’ll initiate a letter-writing campaign to MLB on his behalf. Won’t you join me? In addition to the hitting – both consistent and clutch – he’s also been playing first at a Gold Glove clip and is now playing third in Mike Lowell’s stead. I’d ask if there’s anything he can’t do but then I worry that Tito would get some fancy idea about him playing shortstop and honestly, I’m not sure I care to see Youks torn in two.

The fact that the game featured both Matsuzaka and Daniel “spells of wildness” Cabrera and ISN’T still happening is really a wonder and something for which we should all be grateful. Because I love Baltimore, I do. It’s one of my favorite cities and Camden Yards is a beautiful park and the fans are good people. But someone is going to die if everyone in attendance is forced to watch the starters walk the ballpark and pitch like they’re getting free candy with every ball. And for the Red Sox fans in attendance? I have one word for you: BEHAVE. Don’t be that guy. You know what I’m talking about. The guy who calls Camden Yards “Fenway South” and badmouths Dave Trembley and Nick Markakis because he likes hearing himself talk. Stop it. Also, Dave Trembley would probably kick your ass.

Now, I can’t be the only one excited about the possibility of Baltimore native Michael Phelps throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at an upcoming Orioles game and the subsequent friendship that’ll form between Phelps and Markakis where they’ll spend most of their time sitting around in their boxers and eating cereal while watching Sportscenter with occasional breaks for Wii bowling and Go-Kart racing can I? What about when it inevitably becomes a reality show on ESPN 40? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t watch that. The episode where they get tattoos is my favorite. It would be, as Kim pointed out, like that scene in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” where they get “Dude” and “Sweet” tattooed on their shoulders and spend like ten minutes yelling “Dude!” and “Sweet!” at each other. Awesome.

My head is an interesting place to be, people.

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Wonder Twin Powers Unite!

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

So apparently Jason Bay and El Capitan were engaged in a little game of “anything you can do, I can do better” last night against the Orioles. With Tek hitting what was evidently a towering shot – perhaps as his way of telling everyone that his personal troubles are none of our damn business and can we please focus on baseball now thanks? – and Bay smacking two, it was all Jason Power, all the time. Not bad.

Also, Jon Lester, who I think can legitimately be called the team ace right now. Especially considering how Beckett stunk things up on Sunday. Frankly, I’m assuming that Beckett and I were both suffering from a hangover brought on by toasting Michael Phelps with an entire bottle of tequila so maybe we should be glad Olympic swimming is over so Beckett can re-focus on pitching and being angry and downloading illegal Dave Matthews bootlegs. And so my liver can recover.

As for Tek, it really isn’t any of our business, his personal matters. But if it explains why he’s been circling the Mendoza Line all season, well, at least it’s an explanation. I guess I think of major league catchers – the good ones at least – kind of like football coaches. They spend all their time watching film and studying the opponents and learning tendencies and strategies that I can’t imagine they have that much time for a personal life. Which is not to say that it doesn’t suck for Tek, it surely does. But, you know, again, not our business. Though I suspect Papelbon better ready the Hide-A-Bed for when the Papelfetus makes it’s triumphant entrance into this world. Uncle Jason will need to be on call for the midnight feedings.

Tonight Matsuzaka goes against Daniel Cabrera which matchup has the potential to set the record for most walks allowed…ever. It could happen, right?

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Bromances for the Ages

(Awww, now that’s love)

Amy and I have a new InSite piece out wherein we explore the different types of sports bromances.

Not to excite you too much but Dunkaroos, the “Ninja Rap” and, of course, Air Supply are mentioned.

Enjoy.

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Rangers/Red Sox Unclear on Location of Track Meet

(Photo from Boston.com)

No, no, I get it. Totally understandable confusion. Boston/Beijing. Practically the same thing. Both, you know, cities. With…people. And…buildings. Oh, and cars. Sometimes cars too. Completely makes sense to me that the Rangers and Red Sox would therefore get confused and decide to stage an impromptu track meet at Fenway last night. Totally.

Plus, you just KNOW that Dustin Pedroia firmly believes he could be an Olympic sprinter if he “felt like it.” Probably thinks that Michael Phelps kid is a punk too. He wins gold medals, sure, but has he ever stood in against a K-Rod fastball? Didn’t think so.

Anyway, wild night at Fenway. The game is over, right? I’d hate to think that my friends who were in attendance are still there, forced to move into the bleachers and build a makeshift shelter out of discarded French fry containers and dirty beer cups. Wouldn’t want to see them fighting the pigeons for the stray sunflower seeds. That’d be tragic.

That said, how do we all feel about Charlie Zink? I feel like we’ve been talking about him for years – possibly because knuckleballers are an endangered species – so it’s good to finally see the boy called up. Not good that Wakefield is hurt but perhaps he’s just experiencing a little Old Man-itis and will be fine in due time. Plus, “Zink” is really kind of fun to say.

Also? Jed Lowrie. What did I tell you? Am I right or am I right? Actually, come to think of it, has anyone seen Julio Lugo and his Aptly Timed Exploding Quad around lately? Is he selling the aforementioned sunflower seeds at a concession stand along the third base line perhaps? That’d be about in line with his skill set.

So. That happened. But when the dust cleared, the Sox had prevailed. Finally. Amy called it the “Choose Your Own Adventure” school of bullpen management and she’s dead on. Perhaps we all need a nap before tonight?

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