Friday, September 30, 2005


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Thursday, September 29, 2005

So We're Going To Die, Then?

"So we're going to die, then?
"Yes, we....wait, no, what's this (fiddles with switch) what's this?
"This, nothing, yeah, we're going to die."

-Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galazy, Douglas Adams

Ford and Arthur got rescued, highly highly improbably, by Zaphod, Trillian and the Heart of Gold.

Right now, though, we are Ford and Arthur waiting to be blown out of the Vogon airlock. And I'm increasingly less sure that there will an Improbibility Drive ship waiting to rescue us.

We have used up our finite quantities of Improbibility. And are just cruising along on blind fucking luck.

Excuse me a moment.


Phew. Got that out of my system.

1 game back. Tied for the Wild Card. 4 left to play, 3 with the Yankees . And Matty on the mound tonight. All adds up to me very much in need of a Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster. (Or at least some Jack Daniels.)

*buries her head in a towel*

Monday, September 26, 2005

Willies, Be They Wordsworth Or McGinest

I confess. I was yet again a bad Pats fan this week. I meant to watch the entire game, really I did. But school got in the way. And while Willie McGinest might be really disappointed with me for only watching a few minutes of the first quarter and 90% of the 4th, not reading and writing about "Willie Wordsworth" will get me in trouble with She Who Must Be Obeyed ( AKA my Hist and Lit tutor.)

Anyway, thanks to an initially rocky but then solid defense, and a mostly stillborn but then-clutch offense during the rest of the game, watching the 4th quarter was almost like watching a whole game. A lot more than I wanted to be. Watching the Steelers work their way down the field with 2 minutes and change left, wearing down our defense, was uncomfortably like watching the Sox bullpen work in the 8th and 9th these days. Waiting for something to happen. Namely, the bullshit PI call at about the 5 yard line. Once that happened, you know the Steelers were scoring, no doubt about it.

But when they kicked the PAT, and there was still 1:21 left on the clock, it was like seeing David Ortiz come up with the basese loaded with 2 outs in the 9th inning of a tie ballgame. Though Tommy had a not-so great game up to that point, this is where he works, this is his place of business.
And then there was Adam. And that is all that needs to be said.
Except that someone needs to find a way to let Adam Vinatieri and David Ortiz produce a child together. Because it would be the most clutch baby in the entire span of human history.



Thank you, Starting Pitching. This is a very nice time to have this kind of stretch. Keep it up.

Tomorrow: GOING TO THE GAME! Back when I bought this ticket, I assumed the race would be close. I had no idea. But Wake's pitching, and our offense seems to have gotten it together again. So I go in a with a certain measure of optimism.

RODNEY HARRISON! I take my eye off you for one second.....This is what happens when I let people out of the closet. NEVER AGAIN.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

God Help Me, I Love "Tessie"

There, I've said it. It's out. I know it's fashionable on the local airwaves to bash it, call it stupid, sappy, whatever.
But my heart beats a little faster and I smile a litttle wider when I hear it.
I loved it last year, listening to it after every win, and I love it this year.
Maybe it's because I'm a college student, and of the target age group for fight songs. And Harvard doesn't really have any good ones. (Except Tom Lehrer's "Fight Fiercely Harvard", and that doesn't count.)
Because that's what it is. A fight song. It's a unifying battle cry. And the perfect final chorus for this town and this team and this Nation:

"Don't blame us if we ever doubt ya
You know we couldn't live without ya
Red Sox you are the only
Only only......"

And it's true. I'll hit the walls, I'll jump around, scream, threaten shame and violence to the Red Sox' maternal ancestors. But they won't let me go. And I won't really let go, no matter how much I say I will. They are my only.

They make it even harder to leave when they play like they've played the last two games against the Orioles. Granted the pitching has not been spectacular. But it has been SOLID. Which is what counts. And the offense will leave its small villages of men on base. But they have come through in the clutch. Prime example?

Edgar Renteria. Though he's frustrated me no end, the guy won me over way back in June with that series against the Yankees. He may have mental stuff. He may be playing hurt. But last night, bases loaded, 1 out, he came through. Someone I was watching with said "Eh, it was a bloop broken bat single...."
I will quote to him, and to all of you, the great Wee Willie Keeler:
"Hit 'em where they aint."
And that's what Edgar did. And it won us the game, so I'm cool with that.

They grinded it out. They fought and they kicked and they scratched and they won these last two games. And they finally looked, for the the first time in a week, like the team I fell for.

It's 8 games left. Yankees 90-64. Red Sox 90-64. Everyone check for where your towel is, and hang on to your butts.

Friday, September 23, 2005

"They May Be Bums, But They're Our Bums"

Whenever a week like this goes by, Danny Kaye's words, though they be about another team and another time, always ring true.

Would it blow your mind, if I told you all the times this week that I've sat down to write this post, numbered in the double digits? Because I have. But the Red Sox have gotten in the way. Every time I thought I had a handle, thought I had a grasp on the character of this week, they threw me a knuckler.

Last week, baseball helped carry me through all the usual unusual changes of going back to school. If I got homesick, I turned on Joe and Jerry and, instant calm.

One would think it would be the same this week, that baseball might provide a respite for the tangible and financial crazy that is the first week of classes. As it turned out, class was a refuge from the Red Sox.

I've gone from angry to elated to sad to numb to hopeful to rationalizing to hopeful again all over the space of four days. And am not ruling out a similar journey in the next 48 hours.

It is something that only a few other sports cities can understand, like (from personal experience) Philadelphia. That somehow this team metamorphoses into something like a person. And if not a person, maybe at least a sentient being. Or at least we feel like it does. One that's capable of manipulation, love and betrayal, and everything in between.

For example A, see the Surviving Grady Message Board on the Monday night game. At about the 8th inning, things had gotten so bad, there was a mass threat to move to France. (Do not ask. We had our reasons, and they were good.) But the moment, Papi hit a two-out homer in the top of the ninth, hope flowed back into the words being written. Yet just as quickly, that hope dissipated with Manny's game-ending strikeout. But the fact that it was there says something very important.

One of the reasons that Boston is a complicated and difficult place to play, is that Red Sox Nation feels things so incredibly deeply. It's also a reason why it can be a great place to play, and why it alternates between the two so quickly.

But most importantly, it's why we stay. It's why we are so freaked out at falling a game back of first place.
It's also why we'll tell anybody who'll listen that when the dust clears on October 3rd, we'll be the last team standing.
We may not believe it as strongly as we did, but damn if we're going to let anyone else deny it.

String Bean v. Cabrera, 7:35. This would be a hell of a time for a little bit of that All-Powerful Vegetable Mojo, baby boy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

To Those People in Patriot Uniforms...

Who are you?

And what have you done with my football team?

Due to librarianism, I only got to see the first half of the game yesterday, but reading and listening the day after, I'm almost glad I had to leave.

Hearing the end total of 12 penalties for 86 yards was mind-boggling, but not all that surprising. It was sloppy, sloppy play, and very un-Patriot-like. And that 1st quarter touchdown, I attribute to the initially slack Carolina defense, more than any talent on Tommy's part. Oh, he has talent. But it just wasn't on display yesterday. No zip, no fire.

Boys, you play like this in Pittsburgh come next Sunday, it won't be 27-17. It'll be 42-3. So get back on the horse, gents. You have time to fix this.

As for the Sox. Well.


All I'm gonna say about that game. Oh, except this:



Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm Wet! I'm Hysterical and I'm Wet!

Well, actually, I didn't end being as wet as I thought, but last night's game certainly had more than enough to make me hysterical.

Okay, rewind: at this time Thursday afternoon, I was ecstatic and eager and all those other E words that mean happy. Why? Because due to unforeseen circumstances, JenGal from the SG Message Board ( that repository of all things Sox) had two extra tickets for the first game of the A's series., and I was going to the game with her and fellow messsage-boarder Deb. And Schill was pitching. And it was raining, but other then that, all was right with the world. I had my umbrella, and my large pink poncho which makes me look like either a Mario Bros. character or a fey Jedi Knight, and I was prepared.

Which, apparently, was more than could be said for Schilling. Or our OFFENSE.

So, Schill was schakey, our hitters sucked, we lost, and I'm not going to talk about it. Instead, you get a selection of Bleacher Bon Mots, courtesy of the warped minds of me, Jen and Deb. (Or at least those that I remember. Since there were three hours of them.)

(watching Edgar and Manny do the backwards running drill simultaneously)
Deb: Wow. They almost morphed into one person there.
Jen: I expected them to break into a Broadway dance number at any moment.

(staring at the bullpen waiting for the game to start)
Emma: Is it possible that Schill's new dye job looks even stranger in person?
Jen: It's even shinier when it's combined with the green of the field.

(listening to the rest of the crowd)
Emma: It's interesting comparing the relative levels of booing for ex-Red Sox.
Deb: Yeah, there's intense booing for Payton, while the booing for Hatteberg is more half-hearted.

(watching an ungodly amount of beach balls emerge from the bleachers around us)
(well, there really aren't any words for that)

(watching a proposal on the Hancock scoreboard)
(Papi comes up to bat)
Deb: Come on, Papi, hit a homerun for them. I mean, she just said yes, you have to. You can't have "i said yes, but then Papi struck out..."
(Papi pops up)
All of Us: Oh man.

(Having a Wave spring up in the bleachers, die in a certain section of the grandstand repeatedly, and the bleacher creatures boo the grandstand)
Emma: Oh, just do it once please, so they will SHUT THE HELL UP! (Pause) Waves are really annoying when we're losing.

(reading that one of the As has the second most homers ever hit by a player from North Dakota)
Jen: They've really started scraping the bottom of the barrel up in the info booth.
Emma: Yeah.
Deb: Next it'll be "which Libra has the most HRs with Venus ascending".
Jen: Well, somone somewhere must have crunched those numbers.
Emma: Maybe one night when Bill James was really really drunk...

(when we're losing wretchedly in the bottom of the ninth, and the umpires rule Billy's home run a double)
(everyone around us looks at me)
Jen: (pause) Way to remember the umpire's name.

So I ended up not too soggy, unhappy with my baseball team, but having enjoyed the company thoroughly. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

But, Red Sox: Doesn't mean I've let you off the hook though. 1.5 is too slim a lead.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

To the Papi-Mobile!

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We find our heroes in a tight spot, once again. They must save their defenseless teammates from the evil depredations of the evil Canadian gang known as the Blue Jays.

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"Bwahaha! Bow down to my evil power powers. Bwahahahaha!"

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"Holy high heater Papi-Man! A squandered 5 run lead! Extra innings on the road! We've got to do something."

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"Indeed we must, Rob-Bon. They have Commissioner Timlin tied up on the mound and will *dramatic pause* stick him with the loss if we don't do something."

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"What can we do, Papi-Man?"

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"I know what I must do."

Papi-Man uses every bit of his strength and cunning.....


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"Holy mango salsa, Papi-Man! A extra-inning homer! Amazing!"

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*pants and collapses* "That took all of my strength, Rob-Bon. I can do no more; it's up to you to save Commissioner Timlin and all of Red Sox Nation."

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"Papi-Man, I can't do this without you!"

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"Yes, you can, my youthful ward. You have more strength than you know. You....."

(Papi-Man passes out)

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Rob-Bon stands tall, and strides to the mound.

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"For Red Sox Nation, and for Papi-Man, I will win this fight."


As the dust clears, we see 3 outs upon the scoreboard, a 6-5 final score, and a lone figure striding off the field.

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"My young apprentice, this day, you have become a man. Now let's go home, and I'll cook you some rice and beans."

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"Aw shucks, Papi-Man..."

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"Uh, could someone untie me? Please? "

Tune in tomorrow, same Sox time, same Sox channel......

Monday, September 12, 2005

*head explody*

The above may refer to:

*The sheer number of intense sportage that went on this weekend.

*The REAPPEARANCE OF THE ALL POWERFUL VEGETABLE MOJO on Wednesday night. May it continue on its path of glory tonight.

*The Raiders scoring a TD in the first MINUTE of the FIRST FOOTBALL GAME OF THE YEAR (wooo!) Though the Pats pulled it out, the former act is something that should never happen again. In any football game. Unless the Pats are doing it against someone else.

*My joy at the first Rodney Harrison hit of the year. And of course, the first Brady TD pass of the year. And they now shine beatifically down on me from my Wall of Sports.

*Friday night's game. I feel betrayed, Boomer. I offered you beer. Not just beer. Newcastle Brown Ale. And we drank beer in your honor. And then I guess you decided you were not worthy of beer. So you proceeded to suck more than anything that has ever sucked before. (No one gets beer for that night.

*Saturday, and the return of The Curt. Not just Curt. He gets the use of the definite article for that performance. And while his pitcher got his groove on, Olerud channeled his inner Leif Ericsson, and went all Viking on the asses of the Yankees.
Ah, Olerud, I would make you a dragon ship, in which to hold your awesomeness, had I any skill at carpentry.

*How big and private and nice my new room is.

*How much our offense sucked on Sunday. I managed to miss it, thankfully, but reading the box score was bad enough. To paraphrase the great Harry Doyle from Major League: Zero runs on.....3 hits. That's all we got, three goddamn hits?!

Timmy, I love you, you're beautiful. Offense, I would not blame him one bit, if he took a weedwacker to you all. If you do that to String Bean tonight, I just might take one to you. Just when our starting pitching is finally getting its shit together is NOT the time to turn into limp noodles.

The Battle of The Flora, tonight, 7;07, due to Canadian weirdness. Be there, or be legumes.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Boys of September


Have I had seasonal amnesia or something?
Wasn't it just yesterday that we were tussling with the Devil Rays? And freaking out over Tito in the hospital?
And worrying about Curt's ineffective return? ( Oh, wait....)
And who are all these new people? Embree? And Bellhorn? YANKEES?

Summer has gone by really, rilly fast.
And suddenly it's the stretch run. And by some freak of God, luck and nature, or perhaps all three, we've been in first place almost continuously since June.
However it still doesn't feel real.
I go back to the PROC in less than a week, and the return of college means the return of freaking out over every single game. (Well, more than usual.)
And yet this season has an air of surreality to it.
Well, if that's what it takes, hook me up. Hook me up to this strange combo of hit or miss pitching, and freakishly strong offense, except against rookie pitchers that we've never seen before.
September baseball. Better than any artificial high one could ask for.


And whenever the above ends, there's always football.
Unfortunately, living in the Tri-State Area,inundated by TO tomfoolery, Pats preseason football has been going on in a remote, disconnected world. The passion has been slightly dormant.
But I knew it was back this morning when I got the year's first Pang of Righteous Indignation That Someone Is Disrespecting The Patriots.
Trenton Times writer Mark Eckel has the Pats going out in the first round of the playoffs. Beaten by Buffalo. BUFFALO! That cannot stand. It must not stand. The Patriots must make Mark Eckel look like an idiot.
(Though he did pick The Most Awesome Safety in All The Universe, Mr. Rodney Harrison, for his all AFC team. So he can't be all bad.)


Also, sad to say, I've been unfaithful to the Sox. Not with any major league team, mind you. Oh no, I'm robbing the cradle, and with the enemy, as well.
The Trenton Thunder may be the Yankees farm team. But they are my home team, my link to NJ sports, the local baseball team I grew up with. And by god, they have NOMAR's retired number on the facade of Waterfront Park.
Also, minor league baseball is just plain fun.
La Familia went to see them take on the Binghamton Mets last weekend. And apart from a wicked painful sunburn, acquired due to tank-top wearage, it was so cool.
The Maternal Entity manage to get field level sets, seven rows back, even with the visiting dugout. Eye-level view with the pitchers. We nearly could have caught a couple foul balls, if we weren't cowering under our programs. Good view of nearly everything. This included the sheer terrible spectacle of Waterfront Park's version of Sweet Caroline: public performance of the Cotton Eye Joe Dance. *shudders* Fortunately, that was outweighed by my introduction to He who is Now My Second Favorite Bronson: 2B Bronson Sardinha. Offensive sparkplug, defensively solid. And yummy.
For most of it, Jeff Karstens of the Thunder was cruising, and the Thunder offense was backing him up well,putting up a 5 spot. It got interesting in the 7th, when Karstens gave up 3 straight singles, and then Russ Triplett hit the quietest grand slam I have ever seen. It looked like a lazy high fly to left, but it kept going, and going, and BANG, off the left field wall over the yellow line. And it was 5 to 4. However, the Thunder did not let it get to them, giving Karstens and the bullpen some insurance runs, and then little Justin Pope came out with his zipping fast ball, and got 'er done.
We're going back tomorrow for the Labor Day season finale. The Thunder may have clinched an EL playoff spot by then. But it
won't matter. Nothing like live baseball, whatever form it may take.
(Plus 1 DOLLAR HOT DOGS! Whooo!)

I have a high opinion of you readers, so you probably don't need to be told this, but whether you're American, or not, the victims of Hurricane Katrina are your people. They need you. Go to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, any charity you want, but go donate.