Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Data Not Processing


No. No. No. No. No.

Adam Vinatieri cannot not be the kicker for the Pats. He can't be kicking for the Football Spawn of Satan, Indianapolis Chapter.

I swear, when Beth emailed this morning about her clairvoyant dream predicting this, it was amusing. I mean, even if he ended up going anywhere ( which at the time was far in the future), it wouldn't be with the Colts. Right? RIGHT?

But it came true. If I wasn't so shocked, the sheer eerieness of that would blow my mind.

And I've been trying to process it here for 4 hours now. And it just won't. It's like in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (book, not movie), when Ford tells Arthur that Earth has been destroyed. His brain won't deal with it, because it's just too huge to process. So he starts with smaller things, like McDonald''s burgers.

Maybe that would help.

Adam's cluch right leg is gone to Indy....no, not working.

His shoes are gone to Indy....nope.

No more Papa Gino's commercials......OH MY FUCKING GOD.

Did Theo and Belichick just suddenly get together this week and decide "What can we do simultaneously, to ensure the greatest portion of our fanbases' heads collectively EXPLODE?"

I wish it was not a horribly bad idea to get drunk on Tuesday night during midterms. Stupid responsiblity.

The Thing With Feathers

"Hope" is the thing with feathers-- That perches in the soul-- And sings the tune without the words-- And never stops--at all-- Emily Dickinson
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So you had no guarantees, Bronson. You had no written confirmations of your eventual fate. All you had was simple blind hope that they wouldn't, somewhere down the road, find a deal for you which they could not, in good conscience turn down.

You stupid boy. You stupid, stupid, sweet idealistic boy. You should have learned by now, I should have learned by now, that hope has no place in baseball. Well, at least not in contract negotiations.

I knew that. I should have remembered that, but I didn't. I was too wrapped up in the joy of your new contract to care.

And the thing is, I have no one to be mad at for this. It's just free floating anger, with no object on which to pin it. I can't be mad at Wily Mo Pena; I don't want to be. From everything I've heard, this is the guy you trade a little bit of pitching for. The young bit of clay, the mass of talent waiting to molded into a slugging masterpiece. The power is there, the speed is there. The defense isn't, but it could be. The strikeouts are worrisome, and yet a worthy project for a masterful hitting instructor such as Papa Jack. Heck, even the chemistry is partially there a little bit, with the news that Wily idolizes Papi, and Papi reciprocates the warm fuzzies. Everything says, this is a player who could work his way into the hearts and minds of Red Sox Nation.

And thus I can't blame Theo either. I say, we say so much, that we want a GM who will make these types of tough choices, who will not flinch from getting the rotten produce thrown at him when it doesn't work, whose head will not be inflated by the excessive praise when it does. Hypocrisy is one of my most hated sins. So I cannot clamor for the steely-eye gun-slinger, yet change my tune when the crossfire takes down one of my own.

Who's left? Bronson? For what, having faith in human nature? For loving my town as much as I do, for appreciating the energy his fans bring everytime we come to the ball park? For being stupid in exactly the way we want our ballplayers to be, except when we don't?
It's so incredibly amusing to me, that all of this is going down, while only a couple hundred miles to the South, Alfonso Soriano embodies evrerything so completely.. opposite. He's paid several times what Bronson is, and has several times the talent. But he sits there like a goddamn toddler, "I won't go to the outfield, I won't", performing the grownup equivalent of sitting on the floor, threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue.
And here is Bronson, jerked around like a rag-doll, rotation, bullpen, rotation, bullpen, peanut vendor... Yet nothing could break his hope, nothing could kill that thing with feathers within his spirit, the tune went on. He put on his cleats and walked where they pointed him, head held high, like a man. So now he walks west, with that same dignity.

I can't explain, quite exactly, what drew and draws me to him. I have no delusions about him. He was a 5th starter at best, a swingman, with a occasionaly magnificent, usually good breaking ball, and an incredibly inconsistent fastball. He was never ace-level brilliant, though there would occasionally be flashes. The 7 innings of a no-hitter he pitched last May. The time I saw him in Fenway, taking a one hitter into the 8th. The steady hand and contributions he made in the late innings, as a member of the 25.
Maybe it was just something in his presence on the mound. The quiet strength. But he grabbed my fannish heart by the strings, and would not let go, as hard as I might try.
I root for the laundry, not the men. That's just how you survive emotionally being a fan, especially in Boston. But only to a point. There are guys who creep their way in, and it hits you harder than usual when they go. Bronson was one of those.

Bronson, Guns' and Corn, Bron-Bron, Cornroyo. On good days, Bearer of the All Powerful Vegetable Mojo.

See you round, String Bean.

Monday, March 20, 2006


String Bean traded to Reds for Wily Mo Pena

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The Bearer of the Vegetable Mojo has gone into the West. ( Or really, the Central.) Namarie, my love.

I can't be as mad as I want to be, because at some superego, rational level, I understand the trade. It's too exhausting to be mad right now.
So for now I'll just be sad.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Jon-Boy, String Bean, and Tito

I find it highly unfair:
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.....that Jonathan Papelbon can both throw a fastball in the mid to high 90s AND look better in Kelly green than I do. Embarassment of worldly riches, is what I say.

I will manage to look past that though, since our boy seems to be finally getting his shit together, with that 5 innining shutout performance yesterday versus the Marlins. That he didn't get the win is immaterial. Well, not to him, since it probably would have been nice. But just the fact that he's improving and looking like the Jon-Boy from the middle of last season is enough for me. Makes this 3-something-1 Grapefruit League record a little harder to swallow.

The thing about Papelbon with me , it's something past the marvelous pitching and the adorablness. It's dare I say it, the fact that he's only 3 years older than me. I "get" partially the emotional state he must be channeling right now. He 's reacting how all of us youngens hope we can react to getting out into the real world. Even if that world of his is somewhat more fantastical.

It's gonna be really hard, when it comes down to it, to manage my established love for the String Bean, and my growing fascination with the Argyle Rockstar Pitcher (tm Sam), when it's time to throw one of them to the bullpen, or to AAA. The fact is, though Papelbon has loads more natural talent, they're very much similar birds in personality. Intense on the mound, but easy going, aw-shucks kinda guys in the clubhouse, who would cut off their left nut if it could help the team win. On a good day, the world as a whole is glad I'm not in Tito's position, but I especially would not want to have to make this decision.

But that's why there is Tito, and why FINALLY the Front Office gave him a much deserved raise while wrapping him up for the next three years. We all say sometime swe could manage better from our armchairs than he does. Truth is, would we want to? We'd love the glory after a win , but would we love the vitriol post-loss. Would our sanity last as long as Tito's has dealing with the agita of people like Pedro(godlovehim), Wells and Manny? Could we live with ourselves afterwards covering for the child-like behavior of highly-paid professional athletes? And would anyone put themselves in Tito's shoes having to make the roster decisions like he does?
But he does it all, with his charecteristic smile and snark.
So, he's still here, and for now, all is reasonably right with the world.
HAVE FINALLY GOTTEN EXCITED ABOUT THE WBC! Awesome stuff, even if the good old US of A screwed the pooch on Thursday. Who cares, when you have stuff like Cuba-Dominican Republic this afternoon? To see Papi like the rest of the world sees him: the scariest, the baaaaaadest motherfucker in town. (Oh, and a couple guys named Tejada and Pujols who ain't no slouches either.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Big Willie signs with the Browns.

I guess I was unclear on the plan. I thought the plan was to cut him, and then IMMMEDIATELY RESIGN HIM to a cheaper but still fair contract. Apparently I was wrong. The plan was to MAKE MY HEAD EXPLODE.

This is not an auspicious start to the offseason. Not at all.

*heads off to find a flamethrower and Mapquest the way to Foxboro*

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The (Lack of ) All Powerful Vegetable Mojo

First a brief shout out and digression for the entire one of you who both read this blog and watched the Battlestar Galactica finale (you know who you are, and props to your boy Gaeta):

"On behalf of the people of the Twelve Colonies, I surrender"?
In the words of Little John and Dave Chappelle: WHAT?! WHAAAT?! QUE?
Seriously, is how much I love this show. Such a mindfuck, but an enjoyable one.


Now, on to the important stuff: The All Powerful Vegetable Mojo seems to have taken a vacation. It has left its avatar a broken 19.34 ERA shell of a man. First, that mediocre outing versus the Pirates, which, come on. He needed to bring some bubble gum and his asskicking shoes, given how much he has repaid with vengeance their nonfaith in him by his performance with the Sox. But then to lose to Red Sox East, to that man-slut D-Lowe? Inexecusable.
(And I would like to say, to the reports of him being sleep-deprived the night before?
I was in Cambridge all week, and nowhere near the scene. ;)

And I must confess, I have been remiss in my support of String Bean this week, and haven't had time to do the Mojo-raising chants and incense-burnings as diligently as I should have. However, no more. I predict a return of the All Powerful Mojo within the week. Or at least a mysterious voodoo illness striking David Wells.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Passionate Celibacy

Near the end of The Importance of Being Earnest, when it looks like no one will get to marry anybody, Jack comments that it "looks like a passionate celibacy is all that any of us can look forward to."
There is no sex in spring training, at least none involving me as far as I can tell. But a passionate celibacy is really what it feels like as of now.
So much information, so much baseball, yet none of it really matters. It's all foreplay, with the real thing a month away.
Which is really bloody annoying.
My frustration may also be at the fact that school work has conspired against me to give me no real leisure time in which to celebrate my newfound legality. It's been 3 days since my birthday, and no time for debauchery of any kind. I feel postively Puritanical.

Being neither a Twins fan nor old enough to remember him in his heyday, the passing of Kirby Puckett doesn't hit as hard as it might. However, as a fan of baseball history, I do mourn his too-early passing. My heart goes out to the Puckett family, his friends, and to Twinkies fans. I may mock them and their Hefty Bag outfield on occasion, but they are a really a sweet and lovely bunch.


May I respond to the recent sordid chapter of the Barry Bonds saga with a hearty "sdfjaskfpsasdfajkpfaspd."
At this point, I just wish it would go away.
Not in the manner of the ostrich, hiding his head in the sand.
The thing I hate most about this situation is being stuck in limbo like this, the hamster wheel spinning around and around.
Until the jackass out and out confesses. which he never will, there is no possibility of catharsis on the horizon. There is no way to exorcise this demon of our sport, there is no way to atone and move on. It's just this cloud hanging there, which we cannot disperse.
It will not go away. Barry Bonds refuses to just go away. There can be all the buildup and eveidence in the world, and yet nothing is really going to happen until it happens. That is the nature of the beast, and though Bud Selig is a weenie, it's not his beast, its creation is far and above this small little man.
And so I choose to read the articles, be angry for a while, and then be happy for the good things in baseball. Live my life as a fan without twisting in knots over the things that just have to work themselves out .

David Wells is staying. Hoo-freaking-ray.
Though it should provide some more entertainment for this year.

Dear Team USA,
You got your ass beat nearly single handedly by Adam. STERN.

Dear Adam Stern,
Where was THAT last year?

Dear Guys Masquerading Briefly As the Red Sox While The Captain's Away,




Friday, March 03, 2006

Revenge, Taters and Imagination

Dear Shannon Stewart...
We know you are still kinda pissed at us, because our wall broke Torii Hunter last year. But we too were very sad when the wall bit him. We said we were sorry then.
We would very much appreciate NO ONE BREAKING JONATHAN PAPELBON. OKAY?
Go pull that shit with the Yankees and Jaret Wright, he's used to it by now.

Dear Rudy Seanez,
You are not my favorite Rudy right now. My favorite Rudy would be Sean Astin. My favorite coach Rudy would be Tomjanovich. But I don't even like you more than Rudy Giuliani. Yes, he may be a New Yorker. Yes, he's a Republican. BUT AT LEAST RUDY GIULANI DIDN'T GIVE UP TWO HOME RUNS IN ONE INNING TO THE GOLDURNED TWINS. I mean, it's the Twins. They would love to be even called "light-hitting". It would be the highlight of their week.

Dear Enrique Wilson,
A triple?
Well, okay.

Dear Joe and Jerry,
I love you. I love your voices. But I especially love the late innings of Spring Training games, when you have to send an intern to look up the name of whatever Single-A schlub is now playing right field for the Reds.
I like it even better when you give up on that and just unabashedly make names up.

Dear Coco,
1b. 2b. 3b.
Aw, hell yeah. Keep on keeping on just like that.
But you don't have to do that every game. At least not in Spring Training, or you'll use all the mojo up.
You got the first RBI of the Spring. Here's to you, you sexy, sexy man.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Things I've Learned This Week

1) Grapefruit juice and vodka, though it should be, is not called a Phillips Head Screwdriver; instead, it is called a Greyhound.

2) The best way to open a pineapple, if you don't have a machete, is not to poke it with the pointy end of a spoon. It is also not bashing it against a wall. The best tactic? Bashing it against the edge of marble sink. ( You see, the thing is Harvard students really aren't smarter than everyone else. We're just occasionally weirder.)

3)(hat tip to Kristen)

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Rookie Hazing is the best thing ever invented in the history of man. With Jonathan Papelbon running a close second.
(It's the near-unanimous High Socks which make it art.)

4) Johnny Damon?
When he calls this year's team boring? And implies that they hate fun?
He is completely full of crap.
(Because Beth, as always, can say it much better than I can. I'll just add, that while the 2004 team may have been Monty Python, this year's team seems like it will be the Muppet Show. A little tamer, less randomly absurd, but just as funny.)

5) We now know where Manny was for the past week:
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In the Star Trek Mirror Universe! ( With possibly a sidetrip to Jamaica.)