Saturday, July 30, 2005

Wrath of The Vegetable Mojo

Dear Minnesota Twins:

We are very sorry for breaking Torii Hunter. We like him too, especially when he beats the Yankees, and we apologize on behalf of the center field wall.(Bad Center Field Triangle, bad! No more breaking anybody's center fielders.)

However, we are not sorry that String Bean made the rest of your team his abject slaves. With a little help from The Legion of Infield Superheroes,including its new member, Tony "Batman" Graffanino*.

The Boston Red Sox

*Obviously mortal, but with a utility belt of tools such as infield defense, strike zone patience and a strong arm.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


When he got here, I wasn't so sure about him. He was our contingency plan, the guy we went to after losing Pavano and Radke. 9-13 the previous year.

Even after the first couple games, I was wary to let this guy into my heart. He had great stuff, but seemed to go wild all to often, not lasting past the 5th.

But somewhere along the line, this tall gangly redhead with a beard like a Tribble became our ace. And more than that, he became the grown-up little brother of all of Red Sox Nation. The guy who could obviously take care of business on the field, yet seemed oddly vulnerable. The guy who, should word one be said against him, would have thousands defending his honor.

And with the flight of a baseball, the unintentional line drive of Carl Crawford, our ace, our darling boy, crumpled to the ground.

There was a play afterwards, but no one paid attention to it. Baseball was secondary, baseball, for the moment, was unimportant.

"No,no, no, no, no, no." Like if I said it enough, refused it it would undo what had happened. He was breathing, that much was certain, but he was frighteningly stone-still as they carried him off the field. And the lasting image for me, as it seems to have been for many, was Kevin Millar crouched over Matty, stone-faced.

Thankfully, Matty was apparently conscious the whole time. He was "awake and alert", and is in a Tampa hospital with negative CT scans.

I thought seeing Johnny Damon and Damian Jackson collide two years ago would be the most frightening thing I ever saw in a baseball game. That has surpassed it.

I thought July 24th would be the most emotional, rollercoaster ride game I would ever see. I was wrong.

Frankly, I would not have blamed the Red Sox if they had just sleepwalked through the entire game. And it seemed for a while they were going to.

However, thank god for rookies. And one rookie in particular. "Manuelito", is translated directly as "Little Manny". Manny Delcarmen, rather than Manny Ramirez, should rightfully be called "Manuelito".

His 95 mph heater, and his energetic 1-2-3 inning seemed to spark something in the Sox. And now that they knew that Matty was conscious and being taken care of, they could get to the business of winning the game. "For Matty" ringing as the unsaid battle cry.

And as most good comeback do, this one involved everybody. Captain Caveman, with the glove and the bat. Olerud, redeeming his slowness with his defensive range. Buelly, proving once again that he is the most clutch player EVER. And Tek, starting it off, hitting one out for his wounded comrade.

Matty's said enough times that it is Tek who has sparked his Renaissance this year. Last night, Tek repaid the compliment.

Last night certainly had enough similarities to July 24th. Let's just hope the result is as positive and that Matty can be a part of it.

Make this game matter.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I *heart* One-Run Games

But mostly only when they go the way they did last night, with the Mannylito winning one for us, and Vladi Guerrero pinning a one-run loss on the Yankees.

As I get from the box score, Matty (again) did not have a very good night. Not horrible, but not vintage May-June Matty. Snap out of it! Or Tek will not give you any more cookies. ( Healthy oatmeal raisin cookies, of course.)

However, as I did not even dare hope, the lineup gave a good pitcher, in the shape of Mark "Dead-Eyed Russian Bond Movie Assassin" Buehrle, fits. I like when they do that. Gives them an air of badassity. ( Yes, I know that's not a word.) Especially when Edgah is in on the fun, going 3 for 4 with a walk.
Sidebar-Wouldn't it be fun to have a fight, and see Edgar get in there? Given how big he is, I bet he would be damned intimidating. Of course, even holding someone else back, he could be intimidating.

It's also getting a little less surreal to check the game in the 8th or 9th and see "C. Schilling pitching to..." Although there seemed to be two separate Curts last night; the one who blew the save in the 8th, and the one who sacked up and pitched a scoreless ninth. The two-inning experiment worked-sort of.

And then there was the Mannylito. ( I am very proud of my Celtic heritage, which is why I add extra articles to their names. Just as there can only be one head of clan, "the Bruce", there is only one Manny, or one Curt. So there.) I won't repeat what all have said about the foolishness of giving Manny an extra swing, but I will say this: wOOt!!!!

I also have only one thing to say about A-Rod, Matsui, and Giambi( twice) going yahd, and the Yankees losing anyway: ha-HA! That is what happens when you run into the force of nature known as Vladimir Guerrero. Ah, the suckiness of the front end of the Yankee bullpen.

To widening that 1.5 game division lead.... *Celtic battle cry*

Football is starting soon, but it will, sadly, be starting without a fixture and leader of the Pat's defensive unit, as Tedy Bruschi will sit out the 2005-2006 season.
And good for him.
His kids deserve to have him more than we do.
We'll miss you, Tedy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Vegetable Mojo Strikes Back

The sweetest abbreviations in the world for me?

"Arroyo: 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H".

Mmmmmm. All hail to the String Bean.

And also all hail to the Curt, who since the Inning That Shall Not Be Named, has done pretty well for himself.

And weirdly enough, I have a sense of security going into today, knowing Boomer is on the mound. He has worked his way into my black, shriveled little heart.

Finally, welcome back, The Outifelder Formerly Known As Kristen's Chew Toy (AKA Hyyyyyyyyyzzzzzduuuuuuu), bienvenue to Tony Graffanino and his .298 BA, and *sniff* farewell to Alan Embree. Your name might well have turned into Alan "Uh-Oh" Embree in my house, but that doesn't mean l won't miss you. ( I will not, however, miss the two-run homers.)

Monday, July 18, 2005


I swear, I'm really not as bipolar as I may seem on this blog.
I just really have to learn to delay posting until about a day post-game.
Or else I get really maudlin and melodramatic.

The Sox may be hanging on by their fingernails like Timmy to a knuckler, but they are still up there.

And apart from Saturday, which unless proven otherwise I insist on taking as a fluke bad start by Matty, and the Inning Which Shall Not Be Named on Thursday, the starting pitching wasn't too bad.

For once, ( apart from Friday) it was the offense that stalled and sputtered. And that will not last for long.

The schedule reads six games with the Devil Rays over the next week and a half. ( Granted, there's the White Sox in the middle, but I'll ignore that for now.) Things have a every chance in the world to get going again. And after Curt's inning on Saturday afternoon, and Chadford's solid performance, I am more optimistic about our bullpen then I have ever been.

Boys, last time I yelled at you, twas back in May, before the Yankee series. And not soon after, you started playing like the Sox again.
So: Play Like I Know You Can. Are you gonna just take those defeats lying down? I don't usually go for this, but use the Dark Side. Channel your anger and frustration. Go beat up on the Devil Rays, and then show those upstart Sox from Chi-Town who the original Sox are.

A week and half's sleep is long enough. Get your asses back on track.

Win. Win. Win.

First They Toy With You, THEN They Rip Your Heart Out

Of course Manny had to hit a ninth inning homer.

Of course Buckethead had to draw a walk.

Of course Cano had to boot a DP grounder.

Of course The Cap'n had to load the bases, with the score 5-3.

Because this is baseball, and the defeat wouldn't be enough without the theater, the Greek tragedy of it. Because this is Red Sox-Yankees. They couldn't let the game end and let us numbly walk off into the mist. Oh no. There had to be one last ember of hope, so they could stomp more deeply into the ground.

This stupid game. This wonderful game. It's like a drug, and I am its junkie. And the thing is, I don't want to ever kick the habit. Even with the lows like tonight, because I know the highs can be even sweeter.

It's just really hard to see right now.

Friday, July 15, 2005

To Whom It May Concern

To The Strange Beings Known as Red Sox:
I am writing this on behalf of my pets, the one known as Emma, and the one known as Mommy. They cannot , or will not, at the present point, write it for themselves, due to the emotional effect of last night's game. So I must take the initiative, on behalf of all the residents of this house, and on my own behalf. I must say something.

Stop it. Stop it now. Noo. No! Bad Red Sox. Baaaaad.

You are making my pets very sad. And that is not good for anybody. When they are sad they do not pet me and stroke me. Instead, they yell, and scream loudly at one of you named Curt, and another of you named Mark.( Although one of you seems to be a cat, the one called Trotter, because they told him he was good a lot.) And the one named Emma tends to hit the couch a lot. I do not know what kind of a creature a bullpen is, but it sounds very evil.

They have explained to me that Red Sox are a lot like kitties, and that you are fighting beings called Yan-kees, who are a lot like the hated canine foe. Well, all I can say, is that if the dogs beat us like that, they would never let us live it down. But, maybe, like kitties, you beings have nine lives, and can give the Yankees a good scratching tonight.

Please. I beg of you.
Beat these hated Yankees tonight.
Make my pets smile again.

Sairey The Cat

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Seemingly Random Thingees*, All-Star Game Edition

* To the guy who yelled "Hail, Britannia" right after the moment of silence ended? Well played. That was kind of adorable.

* Does Mark Buehrle remind anyone else of that type of ruthless dead-eyed Russian assassin from the Bond movies? Albeit with a wicked changeup.

* Brian Roberts has such wide, dark eyes. You could stare into them forever and get lost. Maybe that's why he has "Hypnotize" as his at-bat music. He's really an alien come to take over the world, spending the first few seasons fitting in, and then putting his evil mind control plan into motion.

* Miguel Tejada is really fun to have when he's on my team.

* Said around 9:30 EDT: "Damnit! For tonight, I cannot despise A-Rod's girly batting stance. I can't wait until it's Thursday and I can properly hate him again."

* Vladimir Guerrero's plate coverage is simply not human.

*Neither is Ichiro's.

* And Bobby Abreu is just plain alien.

* Tito, around the top of the 5th, responding to Buck's question about late inning plans: "Well, I thought I'd bring Mariano out to pitch the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th. You don't think Joe'll have a problem with that, do ya?"
My love for Terry Francona grows with each passing day.

*What I like: Kenny Rogers being booed out of the bullpen.
What I don't: Kenny Rogers giving up a two-run homer to Andruw Jones, breaking the shutout.

* You know what I want for Christmas? Brad Lidge and his nasty slider. Hell, I want him right now.

* And Mark Teixeira for my early birthday present. Theo, I expect you to get this done.


* I would have Joe Nathan's children.

* For once, I can cheer for Mariano Rivera and not feel guilty. And be impressed with a 4 pitch game ending strikeout.

* Our boys made us proud: The starters went 4 for 8, with several RBI and runs scored, and though it wouldn't be a Matty Clement outing without at least one walk, I am very proud of him, and I'm pretty sure Tek is too.

Now bring that All-Star mojo home, and BEAT UP ON THE YANKEES!

*TM Television Without Pity/Glarkware

Sunday, July 10, 2005

And Now, The News

Good News: Matty Clement has been deservedly added to the All-Star Roster.

Uneasy News: The immediate cause of said addition is Roy Halladay getting whacked on the leg with a line drive, resulting in broken bones. Though he may be one of those pesky Blue Jays, he's a hell of a pitcher, and that shouldn't happen to anyone.

Shitty News: My employers at Generic Ice Cream and Candy Store fired me on Friday. Halfway through the summer. When no one is gonna hire me now since I have to leave in September. And the guy who fired me couldn't even tell me why, though I suspect they overhired for the summer. Because they suck and are evil.

I wish David Wells would beat them up for me.

Awesome News: String Bean pitched nails against the O's on Friday, 7.2 IP, 2 ER, obviously attempting to make me feel better. And it did. Because my boy loves me.

Sucktastic News: Miguel Tejada made Red Sox Pitching his bitches, Raffi Palmeiro beat up Wade, and the Sox offense more or less sleepwalked through a 9-1 pounding by the O's this afternoon.

Fantastic News, Part The First: The Indians hung on and beat the Yankees, on Old-Timers Day, pushing them back into third place.

Fantastic News, Part The Second: Ioan Gruffudd is still a sweet and sensitive hottie, Michael Chiklis is awesome, and Julian McMahon is very good at being evil. Oh, and and Fantastic Four rocked.

Split tomorrow? Please?

Friday, July 08, 2005

"....And pray for rain"

If I ever see Trey Wingo in the middle of my baseball game again, my head may just spontaneously explode.


And it's not even his fault.

It started out as such a good night too. ESPN was showing the opener of the Orioles series. I had made pie.( I'll just occasionally do that .) Hot subs had been ordered. Life was good.

Even having our B-Team lineup, lead off by Alex Cora (!) (more on that later) could not faze me.

Than the weather gods decided to intervene. As did Sutcliffe and O'Brien, who were intent on continously mentionining the 5-inning official game rule. Over and over and over again.

Which wasn't so bad. Until Boomer decided to give up two homers in the same inning. Along with our offense spontaneously and simultaneously wilting.

Now step inside my head. And hear the ticking clock.

Top of the fifth. Raining pretty hard now. Maternal Entity answers the phone.Cabrera, who had given up his only run on 3 walks and a wild pitch earlier, seems to be calming down. Until he gives up a single to Papi. Then a double to Trotter. 2 outs. Men on 2nd and 3rd. Sox down 2-1. Buckethead, who has looked horrible tonight, up to the plate. He's quickly down 0-2, but battles back, throws Cabrera off his rhythm, to the tune of a 3-2 count. Cabrera sets.


And Trey Wingo calmly comes on my screen, telling me about technical difficulties.

Which doesn't really get through, because I am screeching my fool head off. Beating the heck out of the couch pillows. And yelling at poor Trey Wingo, "BRING BACK MY BASEBALL NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!" For 7 solid minutes. (I think I traumatized the cat.)

When they finally switch to the NESN feed, it is the bottom of the 5th. And they will. not. tell. me. WHY.

Although in retrospect, I might have been better off not knowing. Because while Buckethead, saints be praised, worked a walk, the inning ended on Trotter getting picked off second .

No, not Millar picked off first. Trotter. Picked off second.

Yeah, I know.

Which unfortunately turned out to be the deciding play of the game, though he did his best to redeem himself with a nice catch in the next frame. The Trotter giveth, the Trotter taketh away.

And to switch from Bible to T.S. Eliot, this game ended not with a bang but with a whimper, delayed in the seventh, finally called a half-hour later. Orioles 3 Sox 1.

But I can deal. We just win the next three, 'kay?

-Good-bye Jay-Bird. And 'Quez. We hardly knew ye. I will miss your highlights, 'Quez.

-I wonder if Matty and Alex Cora have met in the clubhouse yet, and Cora's like, "Hey, about that whole '18 pitch-2-run-homer AB...thing', we're cool right?", and Matty's like, "Yeah.", but it brings back bad memories and Tek has to give him a hug and a cookie.

-Hello, Mr. Stern. Though you are without your first major league hit, getting your first ML stolen base makes a very good impression.

-I'm torn between being glad that what's physically wrong with Foulkie is getting fixed, and being mightily pissed off that something was not done about it before now.

-Schilling, Relief Ace?
(More on that later.)

What a long strange week it's been. At least I have Fantastic Four to look forward to on Saturday.
Yes. It's true.

Forced to choose between Wade Miller and Ioan Gruffudd, poor Wade will be banished to the bullpen. ( Or really just the VCR.)
(Sometimes one just needs to be very, very girly.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


There are almost no words. No ways to express that game. "Rangers win over Red Sox 6-5" doesn't seem to cut it.

You know how after Game 2 last year, Pedro said, approximately, "They beat my team, not me"? How he kept them in the game, but they couldn't back him up? This is the opposite. The Rangers did not beat the Red Sox tonight. They beat Keith Foulke, plain and simple.

However shaky and nervewracking it may have been, that was in fact a quality start from Wade Miller. 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 K. And it took them a while, but the offense woke up eventuallly too. They provided a 2 run lead going into the 8th. Last year, that's all it took. That's all it should have taken tonight.

But it wasn't enough.

After a hopeful pop-up, Foulke screwed up every conceivable way a closer can screw up. He even mixed a hit batsman in there for good measure. By the time Mench hit the actual game-winning single, the mourning process had begun. There was a sick, sad inevitability to the hit. I suppose we should perhaps be grateful that we were not subjected to extra innings before the fall of the ax.

My mother, as always, made the apt comment: "It's really just more tragic than anything else, how far and how fast he's falling." And it is. I've joked. I've yelled. I've beaten the hell out of our sofa. But always with the hope, the expectation that he'd come out of it, that he'd be Foulkie again. I found myself on the verge of tears tonight, hit full-on with the possibility that he's not gonna come out the other side of this.

And the possibility of Curt's return does nothing. Because he can't pitch complete games on end, and neither can everbody else. Because he will not change Keith Foulke. That only comes from Foulkie himself.

I try to be loyal. I don't want to be one of those fickle boobirds. But I find myself, like some sort of spurned lover, straying."What if we got Billy Wagner?" Because the bullpen can't keep on like this, and Theo knows it.

I remember during the doldrums of last year's July preparing myself, lowering my expectations . Thus the late run to the postseason was a nice, and eventually brilliant surprise.

Now we face it from a different position. Where as by July we had almost been dulled to the losing, the division lead casts a different pall over games like this. Each blown save, each loss hurts more acutely. Especially on a day like today, where winning would have increased the cushion between us and the Orioles, a cushion it is increasingly clear we are going to need.

It is, as my mother said, tragic. And not just for Foulke, but for the team. The team could be so easily, the classic tragic hero: quality in so many ways, but brought down by this inevitable tragic flaw.

Let's hope I'm just full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I really hope I am.