Sunday, September 30, 2007

67 years ago...


...two of my most favorite people were married. if it weren't for them, my father wouldn't exist, and you would not be reading this blog.

miss you Gram & Gramp...

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

how the Baltimore Orioles reminded us to believe

i had the whole blog post planned out in my head. i was going to talk about things like:
--Remy & Don's fascination with the moon. and how Don wondered out loud of the wind had any affect on the direction the moon would take across the sky. ::slaps forehead::
--the fact that apparently Matsuzaka took until July to adjust to the different texture of an American baseball. so... why does that appear to coincide with when he started his suckage?
--how Remy says he feels Mike Lowell is the glue of the Sox clubhouse.
--the point at which i wanted to slap Remy silly (it always happens once each season & we were *so* close to not having it occur this year) when he stated how Matsuzaka was really attacking the K-zone, and hadn't walked a single batter the whole game. and of *course* he walked the batter that was at the plate.

but none of that matters.
none of it.
i'm going to let the photos take it from here as soon as i share one blog quote:
"And if Theo doesn't start showing up at Mike Lowell's house with buckets of money until Lowell says stop, we're going to have a SERIOUS talk, me and him." (Basegirl)

and by the way?
the Baltimore Orioles *rock*.
no question about it.




















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Friday 5: September 29, 2007



Taken

1. What was the last thing taken from you without your permission?
my sanity. the clipboard from my desk. for the 382nd time. by the same person.

2. Who was the photographer the last time a picture of you was taken?
Daniel, when he took this photo of Nichole & me in the Temecula Valley. wine tasting. at Mount Palomar, i think...


3. When were you last taken by surprise?
last night, baby! i cannot believe the Orioles came back to beat the Yankees in the tenth inning & that the Sox clinched the division!!

4. When were you last taken for a ride (interpret literally or figuratively!)?
yeah... next question?

5. Where were you the last time you wished to be “taken away from all this?”
it comes & goes. sometimes one minute to the next.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

OMG! OMG! OMG!


OMG!!!

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not exactly as planned



ok. so on paper, it all looked good.

nutshell version:
1. Manny looks pretty comfortable running. doesn't look like he's feeling a whole lot of pain. so... anyone else ready for a reminder of what a Manny home run feels like?

2. i think announcers just like saying Boof Bonser. think i'm kidding? when was the last time you recall them calling a pitcher by his full name for the entire game? usually it's just the first time you see him, and an occasional sprinkling over the course of the game. but more often than not, they start being referred to by their last name (and once in a while, on a first name basis): Beckett. Schilling. Burnett. Kazmir.

3. Scott Kazmir is the strike out leader. too bad he couldn't pitch to win last night. against a heavily watered down Yankee offense, no less. once again, Kaz proves to be a thorn in our side once again & we weren't even playing the Rays.

4. wouldn't have mattered what happened in the weird artificial lighting of The Trop if Boston had done their job though. like not, once again, leaving bases loaded in a game we were losing by only one run with one out in the ninth. that is the very definition of maddening. ::shakes fist at the Boston bats::

5. it's amusing as all heck to watch our opponents chase wallballs all over the outfield. it never gets old. the ricochet that leaves them scrambling around like a dog when you throw three tennis balls at the same time. for the record though, it is far less entertaining when it's *our* guys acting like that. patience with the rookies though. they have a little while to learn the idiosyncrasies of Fenway, and how we use them to our advantage. makes me appreciate all the more how instinctively Coco seemed to understand center field.

6. Jacoby Ellsbury beat out a dropped third strike & was called safe at first. let me repeat that for you: Jacoby Ellsbury beat out a dropped third strike & was called safe. i don't know what else to say. that's just not normal. and he's *ours*.

so. that's it. we lost. they won. two game lead in the division. three games left to be played.

tonight we hope for the following:
--hits from the Sox
--the ability to not waste enough of those hits to actually win the game
--an appearance from pre-All Star Break Hundred Million Dollar Pitcher
--we continue to ask ourselves "who is... Kevin Slowey?"
--the Orioles relocate their magic and can rain fire & brimstone down on The Nemesis

p.s. Joshy? now is *not* the time to revert back to your 2006 self.
::picks up a glove & whacks Joshy upside the head with it::
ok. now i feel better.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thanksgiving in September



after all our bellyaching about the boys not playing up to potential & intensity... after all our fickle fandom, cheering for players when they're on a tear, and booing them the second they slip (oh, admit it, RSN is nothing if not impatient -- it's a byproduct of being so passionate)... after all the gloom & doom (myself included)...

we have a lot of reasons to be thankful -- and excited! -- about what we've seen of late.

1. that JD Drew is finally hitting. like for real.

2. that Manny is back. and dude. he is *back*.

3. that Youk may still be sore, but he's a gamer. and he doesn't care if he's playing hurt as long as his playing isn't hurting the team.

4. that Oakland loaded the bases. only one run scored.

5. that Sox loaded the bases. three runs scored. (yeah, i know. i was shocked too.)

6. that erratic outing or not, Lester threw some serious pitches for strikes yesterday.

7. that Mike Lowell doesn't appear to be seriously hurt after temporarily coming up lame crossing first base in the third(?) inning.

8. that Gagne got himself in a little bit of trouble (not entirely on his own) and then got himself out of it with back-to-back Ks to end the eighth.

9. that it didn't matter when the Yankees clobbered the Rays (as well they should with their ace on the hill against some pitcher no one's ever heard of before), because the Sox won their game 11-6, and they still have a three-game division lead. not that the Yankees care about winning the division title, of course.

10. that someone as wee as Pedroia can launch a baseball up into the Monster seats in about two-and-a-half seconds.

11. the mere existence of speed like Jacoby Ellsbury's.

12. that we have the good fortune of "package deals" the likes of Mike Lowell (He Who *Still* Needs A New Boston Contract, I'm Talking to You, Epstein, And You Owe Us For the Julio Lugo Thing!) and Jeemer.

13. that we're not involved in the eight-team division/wildcard battle going on in the National League, please pass the Pepto Bismal to your nearest Mets-Phillies-Braves-Cubs-Brewers-Diamondbacks-Padres-Rockies fan.

14. that with a Magic Number of two, the Red Sox have Commander Kick Ass starting tonight, and the Crankees will have to face Scott KKKKKKKKKazmir instead of JP Howell (who?).

15. that we get quotes like this from Big Papi:
What does it mean for a man who last year hit 54 home runs to hit the half-century mark in two-baggers a year later?
"You have to run a lot," quipped Ortiz. ...
But the Red Sox finally grabbed the momentum and kept it in the bottom of the sixth. Leadoff man Pedroia again was a catalyst, smashing a solo homer to left. Ramirez walked and Ortiz doubled to left, setting up Lowell for yet another RBI opportunity. The third baseman did not disappoint, smacking a two-run single to left.
Ortiz had just one complaint.
"Mikey, he's been putting it together," said Ortiz. "All I asked him was, 'Man, can you go deep so I can stop running?'"
(Boston Red Sox News)

16. that Cheerio Mouth will pose for photos like this. seriously. just try not to laugh. he looks like he shifted his gaze off Tek's sign to see the entire Sox bench has just mooned him over the railing.

(Sports Illustrated)
i'm telling you. i've seen this photo about a dozen times now, and it's still funny.

speaking of funny, you have to check out this Frank Thomas MLB commercial.

a bunch of people got their panties in a wad over it, but i'm sorry, it's funny, and i think we, as a generalization, need to lighten up.

now it's common knowledge that Red Sox fans tend to be a bit on the superstitious side. so i consider this to be good luck:
today i got a package in the mail here at work. it contained this:

a MLB issued (womens size) Mike Lowell All Star batting practice jersey that i won in a contest i entered around the All Star Break. and i never win *anything*. that *has* to be an indication of a good luck charm that it arrived *today* in time for me to wear it *tonight* right? (now i just need to hope someone gets a new contract so i don't have *two* jerseys of former favorite Sox... no... wait... we're talking about *good* luck here.)

anyone think that if i wear my two jerseys together that the Yankees will just spontaneously combust?

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

who says three is a crowd?



three is a beautiful, wonderful number.

take, for instance, Manny's three trips to the plate. he went 1-for-2 plus a walk. not too bad for his first game back in a month.

yes, i like the number three quite a bit today.
but we'll come back to that.

some random thoughts & observations about last night's game:

1. vintage Schill. most excellent. exactly what we need heading into October. sure, he gave up a home run, but as is his habit, it was a solo shot. nothing insurmountable. and, it turns out, the only run he would surrender. so even though i threatened to take his glove & slap him upside the head with it, it really was a performance that makes me feel good moving forward.

2. did you hear the angels singing? we loaded the bases with no outs last night & then managed to actually score *two* runs off that opportunity. bid deal, right? except that the whole season we've been loading bases & scoring *nothing*. so you see, two runs makes me very happy.

3. is it wrong that i found it completely entertaining that Ellsbury patted Papi's backside last night after his sac fly brought Papi home?

4. words cannot express how happy i was to see Youk on the field last night. i love Hinske's enthusiasm but he's not Youk.

5. Dougie & Tito were sharing a good laugh at something during the bottom of the fifth. i want in on the joke!

6. back to Ellsbury. he may have Coco's speed, and i may enjoy watching him play all aspects of the game tremendously, but as much as i like him, he makes me appreciate Coco in center. Coco plays the wall out there like he's been doing it his whole life.

7. two Lugos in one game is more than my brain should ever be required to process. especially this late in the season. heck, one Lugo is too many in most games.

8. another acceptable outing by Gagne. i personally thought that he had that third strike for the last out twice but got gypped on two close calls. i am pleased that Tito pulled him when he did, before he started getting too frustrated. not only did it likely save the game for us, but it prevented undoing the positive effect i hope his last two appearances had on him mentally. it's not fair, but lately it scares me more to see Jon coming in than Gagne anyway.

9. and the reason it isn't fair? because Sir Cheerio Mouth came in, bottom of the eighth, two out, two on, and ended it on one pitch. dude. nicely done. he was in & out so quickly, we didn't even get a good chance to see him exhibit His Face, so here it is for you now. all hail the Cheerio Mouth.


10. Pedroia Pocket continues to huge plays at second base. this time the over-his-shoulder catch to end the game.

11. i had the Sox on my computer, while i watched the Rays & Yankees go at it on the (muted) tv. things looked bad. bleak. a grand slam given up to Slappy & the Evil Empire took a 5-0 lead that they held almost the whole game. rumor has is that the Yankees announcers were crowing about how their win clinched them a trip to the post season. and then the Rays hit their own grand slam to take the lead. which the Yankees tied up in the eighth. and in the tenth inning, on a Dioner Navarro walk-off solo shot to deep right field, the Yankees were silenced. so much for counting your chickens before they hatch, huh?

and *that* brings us back to my favorite number: three. three games up in the AL East. three being the magic number for the Sox right now.

the Yankees are sending Wang to the hill tonight to start against some poor Rays pitcher i've never even heard of who has gone 1-5. what that boils down to is a must-win game for the Sox to maintain status quo. Lester is going to have to come out gangbusters against Joe Blanton, who has looked pretty strong in his last seven starts. The Kid has looked pretty good himself in September. he just needs to keep it up...

i'll be parked in my usual spot at 7pm 5pm.
c'mon Lestaaaaaah!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

just call me SportsCenter.

a couple of quick NFL comments and then i'm going to switch over to baseball.

1. Patriots are 3-0, baby! i'm not saying they'll go undefeated, but i'm loving what i'm seeing from this team! i hope i love what i see from them on Monday Night against the Bengals too. 38 points on the board again for New England?
2. Packers are 3-0 too!! as much as i love my Patriots, this is an even more pleasant surprise. the Patriots are built to start the season 3-0. i *never* thought the Packers would pull it off too! especially facing San Diego in week three. but this season has been chock full of the unexpected, young as it is.
3. so... Tony Romo isn't so much looking like a fluke, huh?
4. i know the Colts are undefeated too but... has anyone noticed that other than the Saints, they haven't really had what i would consider to be a dominating win yet? and to be fair, it seems the Saints are fair game for just about everyone right now, so i'm not sure that counts as a dominating win anyway. both the Titans & the Texans gave Indy a real run for their money. i'll be curious to see what happens in the games leading up to week nine.
5. speaking of the Saints. it is heartbreaking to watch them play right now. i really thought Brees had found a rhythm in the third quarter last night... and then it all fell apart again. it was painful to see. i really hope the bye week gives them a chance to shake loose whatever is plaguing them, and that they can start with a fresh perspective in week five.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

if one Sox off day kills me this much, what am I going to do when baseball season officially ends? i lament this every single year. i know i have football to fall back on -- and thank God for that! -- but it's only two nights a week. i guess i don't realize how much of my time is occupied by the Sox until the inevitable ending of the season.

but we're not ready to talk about that yet, are we?
most certainly not!

this season is not over.

i was all hyped up for a good AJ Burnett beatdown of the Yankees. and then he wasn't starting. that about killed my hopes for that pending half-game going in our favor. especially when it seemed the Jays were putting out rookie pitcher, Jesse Litsch. and then the Yankees switched from Rog-ah to Pettitte. (yeah. *sure* the Yankees are not paying any attention to winning the division.)

but Andy faltered and this Litsch kid pitched quite a game and all of a sudden the Sox are going into the last six games with a two-game lead in the AL East! a playoff berth is a sealed deal. let the battle for the division title begin! a little momentum to carry us into October can't be a bad thing, right?

anyway, not much else to talk about with the off day. hoping for some vintage Schill tonight. and hopefully some ManRam offense. and some good news about Youk. i'll leave you with some random Sox quotes that have amused me or made me nod along in agreement recently.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Now, I realize Yankees fans have an unquenchable thirst for validation. But those curtain calls for home runs of the slightest significance? Ridiculous. Just stop it. It reeks of yahooism and cheapens the moment when something truly meaningful happens. Shelley Duncan will still love you even if you don't demand he doff his cap when he hits his seventh career home run. We thought you were more sophisticated than this. Well, OK, maybe we didn't. But still.
(FOX Sports)

It's gotten to the point with Drew that I don't even get mad anymore when he inevitably does exactly what they don't need him to do in a particular at-bat; he's pathetic, and he's made me apathetic. I'm beyond having any expectations for him. I just want to know why, for the first time in his career, he's not hitting at all.
(Touching All the Bases)

going back in time to the White Sox series in Chicago:
Apparently the Red Sox were going college retro today, at least in terms of pregame meals.
Eric Hinske flashed back to his days at Arkansas by going for the ramen noodles. (Just to put this in perspective, it was just barely noon at this point.) He went for those instant lunch meals, in the styrofoam container -- the ones that just need hot water.
When his sodium intake was questioned, he went for the "I've got a cramp" excuse. Sure.
Manny Delcarmen followed with his own ramen lunch. To it, he added a banana and a Diet Pepsi. He was threatening to eat a Krispy Kreme too. Not sure if he made it to the doughnut. But it's a good thing that he's putting his nutrition at the top of his priorities.
(Extra Bases)

Nowadays Wakefield's knuckler flits around like a gum wrapper in a hurricane, which means we get the joy of watching hulking batters strike out on 66 mph puffballs. The other day A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox swung belt-high at one that the catcher caught in the dirt. "You're better off trying to hit Wakefield when you're in a drunken stupor," Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi has said.
----------------------
Wakefield himself, doesn't offer a lot of insight as why the knuckleball is so baffling to hitters:
How and why the knuckleball works is a mystery to Wakefield. His knuckler was hopping around like popcorn in a microwave at the start of the season, then went flat for most of May and June, and now it's back at its hiccupping best. But ask him about the pitch, and it's like talking to Tolstoy about writer's block. "I don't know, and I don't want to know," Wakefield says.

(Extra Bases)

a month ago:
P.S. Pedroia just called Julio "Loogie" in a postgame interview with Tina Cervasio. Swear to God.
(Cursed to First)

in reference to Joba the Headhunter:
I DON'T WANT JONATHAN TO HAVE AN EVIL YANKEE TWIN!!
(Cursed to First)

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Monday, September 24, 2007

wishin' & hopin'



ok. so yesterday's game.

i wish we knew what was wrong with our knuckleballer. i'm worried about Wakey. he's not himself. and if a loss at The Trop doesn't prove that, i don't know what does.

i wish i understood what some of those defensive decisions were all about. namely JFL's (which. thankfully, ended up in a run-down between home & third) & Julian's throw to home (which i know was an attempt to save a run, but it appeared from where i was sitting, that there was no chance of that happening, and that he should have thrown to second for a sure out -- instead we got no outs & the run still scored; split second decision required, i know, but this time it was not the right one).

i also wish that people who attended yesterday's game would learn to sit.the hell.down.
good grief. for fifty-plus dollars to sit in the section i was in, i have never seen so many people walk back & forth in my life. it was ridiculous. and always just as a pitch was released. might have been funny if i hadn't been, oh gee, i don't know... trying to watch the game?!

then there was the couple right behind me. it was like they were a short recording that would play out, rewind, and play again. over & over. first she would complain about the pitching & how Wakefield was terrible & get him out of there (until we got him out of there & she started complaining about Julian & how poor Wakey's back is hurting him). then Coco Crisp would come up & he would laugh & say "makes me want some cereal. Coco Crisp. hahahaha." to which the woman would announce to no one in particular "he's from Philadelphia, what does he know." they also wanted someone to pinch hit for Hinske. which would be nice & all in key situations, but hello! he is our only option at first base right now with Youk out, unless we think risking Papi at first is a better plan. ::rolling eyes::

and of course the Yankees-Jays game that started a full forty minutes before the Sox-Rays... and somehow by the time we were in the second inning, we were already deeper into our game than they were into theirs.

but enough of that.

let's talk about what was great about yesterday.
like the fact that the Sox battled hard, even if they lost.
and my seats.

i may detest baseball in a dome, but you can't argue with seats like these for what is really dirt cheap to see the Sox play.


while the third base "Sox" side of the field provided a better view of Mike Lowell may have been more animated & vocal during the game, the first base side offers a peek into the Red Sox dugout. here you may witness the likes of a deeply engrossed Dustin Pedroia in conversation with Jon Lester... Clay Buchholz staring out at the field... and Youk & Bobby Kielty hanging out over the rail.


oh look... Mike Lowell is batting... wait. what were we talking about now?

oh, Wakefield! i've never seen him pitch live before. it is crazy how slow that knuckle ball is. you don't get the cool camera angles that show you the flutter when you're actually at the game, but you get a real sense for just how much slower that pitch is.


let's see what's going on back in the dugout again. now Lester & Buchholz are having a discussion of their own, while Manny hangs out with someone i can't seem to recognize -- Royce Clayton perhaps? can't wait to see some Manny on Tuesday, let me tell you. hopefully he will be just the charge the Sox need for the remaining few games, and he'll have his swing locked in for October ball.


hmmm... what have we here...

ummm... oh! right!
here we have one Speedy McEllsbury on first base, chatting with Carlos "Why-Did-We-Let-This-Guy-Go-Again?" Pena. i had a great shot until Alicea decided to cut through it at the last second.


bases loaded for Big Papi in the sixth.

...and the Big Man on first base...

...where he prepares to break into a show tune?


finally, some Mike Timlin, because who knows how much longer we'll be able to enjoy our dwindling wearers of correct socks.

and this, my friends, is what happens when you are focused on said Mike Timlin, zoomed in nice & close... and he turns to fire a pick-off attempt at first that makes you jump because suddenly it looks like he's right in your face. =P


anyway. back to a game-and-a-half lead. Sox rest (which is good for our beaten up boys) while the Jays try to stick it to Satan's Minions one more time to hopefully split the series. the good news is that AJ Burnett is pitching for Toronto this afternoon, and he's been pretty impressive since he came back from the DL -- as he showed us last week. with any luck, he'll keep it up against Rog-ah today, and we will get the better end of that lingering half-game difference that separates the Sox from the Yankees.

buckle up. this last week of baseball is going to be a battle in the AL East, it appears.
the home stretch approacheth.
here we go, Red Sox, here we go!

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Sing Along: September 24, 2007

Does she talk
The way I do?
Is her voice reminding you
Of the promises?
The little white lies too?
Sometimes, tell me
While she's touching you
Just by mistake
Accidentally do you say my name?

("Jealousy," Natalie Merchant)

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

the most beautiful thing in the world



1. i was only half joking about the Crankees game ending before the Sox game began. turns out they were just heading into extra innings as Sonnanstine threw his first pitch to Ellsbury. Blue Jays couldn't hold on this time, so we knew very early on that the Sox would have to win to keep their two-and-a-half game lead. the way i see it though, those Jays aren't going belly-up. they are fighting like their lives depend on it. and i know that the way Joe Torre rips through his bullpen, the Jays are effectively tiring out his already weary staff. carry on, Toronto. keep on giving it everything you've got.

2. i've been meaning to mention this for a while now. i think of it every time i see him. don't get me wrong. i am not poking fun. i love this kid. but *what* is the deal with Jacoby Ellsbury's sleeves?! what is the deal with one long & one short?? some players prefer long, others prefer short. but one of each??

3. i am still struggling to understand why Papi was out at third in the first inning. or more like why he was trying to steal third in the first place. i guess we have to chalk it up to him never really needing smart base running skills before. =P

4. there was this awesome leaping Lugo play to end the first. i thought to myself: "there will be a JFL moment rearing its ugly before the game ends. always is." he did let one ball get past him later in the game, but that was an unfair criticism, even for me. i almost died when he hit a home run in the ninth. a huge two-run blast to left. the winning runs after Tek homered just a few batting spots ahead of him to tie it up. don't misunderstand. still not liking him. but i am appreciative of his contributions.

5. OMG. for most of the game, those of us subjected to Rays TV were forced to listen to Staaaaaats & Migraine belaboring a bad call on Coco in the third that would eventually score the first run for the Sox. on & on about how calls all go in the Sox favor on close plays just because the Sox are in the playoff race & the Rays are not. we talked about it for *innings*, people. and it wasn't until the bottom of the sixth inning, when BJ Upton was safe at first & then awarded a stolen base on back-to-back bad calls that these two fools decided that the score was finally even. thank God i do not have to listen to them today!

6. OMG. Tek! coming up HUGE, being all clutch & stuff. tying it up with a solo shot in the ninth. oh Captain, my Captain. =)

7. the Sox somehow blew a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning. i sat on my couch, shaking my head in frustration & disgust. because this team... *this* team does not come back. *this* team squanders opportunities. *this* team kills rallies. the game was over. the Yankees had reclaimed the game they lost the night before. and then the heart of the order went down 1-2-3 in the eighth. we had the scariest part of the line up coming up in the ninth. and then... they did it. they proved me wrong. they showed heart & fight & all those things i was missing from them. they not only had early game offense, but when the SHTF, they came up with a late game comeback. one that didn't fall short. this is the awesomeness we all needed! *this* is the team i want to see going into October!

8. Eric. Gagne. he pitched the eighth inning. in a game the Sox were losing by a run. when we needed him to come up *huge*. we needed him to stop the Rays from widening the gap. we needed him. and he pitched like a champ. like i've known all along he could. i don't know if this means he's over the hump or not but it's the first time he's had fist-pumping performances in back-to-back games for us. and that is something i am willing to celebrate.

9. is it wrong of me that i was a little nervous seeing Papelbon come in for the ninth? he's been lights out for us for so long. i suppose maybe that just like Gagne doesn't know how to lose & so it got inside his head, we don't know how to process Sir Cheerio Mouth losing, and so the doubt creeps in a little. but Jon was Jon. no Ks but he sat them down in order.

and with that, we head into Sunday afternoon. the series closer. we've won the first two games. we still have our lead in the AL East. we didn't give back the game we earned, deespite a Yankees win. we're back to having the best record in MLB. we've clinched ourselves a playoff berth of some sort. it feels like momentum. it feels like the pendulum has begun its swing back in the right direction.

but the smiles on the faces of my boys, which is what all that stuff leads to? *that* is the most beautiful thing in the world.

i'll be on the first baseline, cheering on Wakey & the rest of the Sox this afternoon. and there's nowhere else i would rather be.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

you smell that?



that, my friends, is the smell of victory. i had almost forgotten. like when the first sweet smells of Spring remind you of life & beauty, as the world wakes up from it's long Winter's nap, and you breathe deeply of the warm, fresh air.

i *could* lament such things as the fact we've now learned Speedy McEllsbury's weakness, not being able to lay off high fastballs. or how the Sox find themselves with multiple bases-loaded opportunities in seemingly each game they play, yet come away from them empty-handed with alarming frequency.

but nope!

today it's all about last night.
and winning.
oh, the winning.

1. there was Joshy's shaky start. fifty pitches over the first two innings. back-to-back walks. giving up his one-run lead as soon as he got it. but then he got angry, as only he can, and he went out there all Commander Kick Ass on them, giving up four hits, and two walks over his six innings pitched, but with eight Ks & only one vested base runner crossing the home plate he set out to protect tonight.

2. then there was the opposing pitcher. one formidable Scott Kazmir. who so often makes the Sox look foolish, dropping silly games to a cellar dweller. maddening. (Maddon-ing? never mind. i'm probably the only one who finds that funny.) as the illustrious Rays announcers informed us, pre-game, "Scotty almost always beats the Boston Red Sox." or well... he'd gone 6-4 before last night, which is barely better than winning half his games, but the fact stands that he still makes the Sox look like Little Leaguers much of the time. Kaz took the L for the night, after pitching only five innings, but make no mistake that he hit the showers with no fewer than *nine* Ks notched on the ol' Kane's strike out board. one more and he would have bought free Papa John's pizzas for everyone himself.

3. ok. seriously. so Youk is still out, after Wang plunked him on the wrist last weekend. and apparently because our walking target isn't available to be picked on, the Rays just decided to make everyone else pay? three hit Sox last night. *three*!! two in the same inning even! Hiske, Tek & Pedroia. thankfully everyone was ok, because we are running low on first basemen, we would later be thrilled by Tek's bat bringing insurance, and there is no question at this point that we need Pedroia's scrappiness. but enough hitting our players!

(3a. after Pocket took his HBP in the ninth, Francona & a trainer walked him down to first base, checking on him. the wee scrapper is tough though, and he was laughing & talking to Tito as they made their way to the bag. i would *love* to know what Pedroia said to his manager though, just as they arrived, because it resulted in a smack on the back side of his batting helmet.)

4. just like Joshy got off to an ugly start, so did the offense. (suffice to say i started this game rather discouraged.) at least the ugliness still afforded some runs though. the Sox couldn't hit the ball, but they could get hit *by* the ball. and they could collect walks, advance on throwing errors, and score on wild pitches. and then it was like the gears caught in the machine. Joshy started pitching like he meant it, and the Sox sunk their teeth into the soft underbelly of the Rays bullpen. Tek banged a solo shot deep into the right field seats in the eighth. in the ninth, Ellsbury drew a walk, and Pedroia took his for the team. and once again, i spoke to Papi via my Magic TV, proclaiming (more like pleading), "ok, Big Man, this where you take this one out of the park..." and there she went. which seemed to awaken something in my poor Mike Lowell, striking out again & again last night, even losing his cool and yelling at himself back in the dugout, because he watched Papi's ball sail out, and it was like a light bulb went off -- "hey! i can do that!" -- and he did. it absolutely melted me to see the ear-to-ear grin break out over Papi's face as he hurried out of the dugout to greet Lowell, all smiles, as Papi & Lugo sandwiched him, hugging & jumping & celebrating for him.

5. speaking of Papi & hurrying. (do not adjust your computer screens. those two words are, in fact, in the same sentence on purpose.) in the fifth, Papi actually beat out a throw to first, thus collecting an infield single. you don't see *that* every day. or like, ever. even with a busted up knee, Papi has hustle.

6. how about that Jacoby Ellsbury catch in the fifth! crashing through the Sox chairs, gear & benches bullpen, sliding through the warning track "dirt", and still coming up with the ball in his glove for the foul territory out. the way he shook his head, as he headed back onto the field, i am pretty sure he was seeing stars & tweety birds circling his head. man, can that kid play. the way he & Coco kick up the speed & cover ground to catch fly balls, it's almost like having that third outfielder is an unfair advantage for us.

7. i almost feel bad for laughing at this, but late in the game, Staaaaaaats (i think) said, "you know, when you have seventeen strike outs for the night, you'd think you would be winning." can you imagine...? the Sox struck out SEVENTEEN times, and still won the game 8-1. on the topic of strike outs, the Rays lead the league in both strike outs (pitching - Kazmir has collected the most strike outs for 2007, thus far) *and* striking out (hitting). what a waste of good pitching, huh? one more thing about Ks, then we'll move along: it was either the fifth inning or the ninth (i can't recall now & i wasn't taking notes, too busy praying for a win), one of the Rays buffoons announced that the Rays had just struck out the side. i found this humorous, simply because while they did in fact strike out the side, they also gave up runs as well. the triumphant way in which it was declared, you would have thought the Sox had gone down in order, not that the Rays had actually dug a bigger hole for themselves, despite striking out the side.

8. this little tidbit from Extra Bases is... gross. almost as gross as the clear shot i got of Tek coughing up a lung & then spitting it out. "There are two dead mice in the far end of the Sox dugout. The furry critters stepped in one of those sticky traps and expired. As of 6:20 p.m. they had not been removed from the dugout." seriously though, it looked like Tek was about to throw up a hairball. why did the camera man stay focused on that?? (i say camera man because no way a woman would have left the camera there. no.way.)

9. i had mild heart attacks when MDC & Javier Lopez were making their respective ways to the mound, which proved unwarranted as they got the job done beautifully. then when Gagne got the nod in the ninth, i was back to my fixation on the screen & willing those pitches to do what they were supposed to. i realize that we put him in with a seven-run lead & all, but i was thrilled for his clean inning, and hopeful that this could be the catalyst that sets him straight. something feel-good, something that *should* happen easily for him, but has eluded him mercilessly. something that can maybe set his train back on the tracks just when it becomes most crucial. in a way, his outing last night was like a microcosm of what i also hope this win was for the Red Sox in general.

10. what is the deal with Yankees games taking an infinity to finish when the Sox play the Rays? when i was at that game in July, it was like time had stopped in the Yankees-Orioles game. the innings began to drag out, longer & longer, as every Sox fan kept that score in their peripheral vision, waiting for that F to pop up in place of the inning number, each of us holding our breath as the Yankees added runs to the score... and the cheer when it *finally* ended with a Baltimore victory. last night's Yankees-Jays game did actually take several lifetimes to end though. what was once a 4-0 game for Toronto became a 4-4 game in the ninth... and the tenth... and the twelfth... i was dying a little with each Toronto out & clinging to each one made by the Evil Empire. fourteen innings it took to complete that game. and the Jays pulled it off with a Gregg Zaun solo homer!

you know what this means, folks? twenty wins for Joshy. TWENTY. the only one in MLB. and Wang, who pitched last night in the Bronx stays stranded at eighteen. but even better than that is to see the distance between Boston & New York increasing ever so slightly. two-and-half games is one better than we were feeling before the games started.

i don't know what it was: knowing our ace (oh c'mon, even Schill knows it's true at this point), our *stopper* was going tonight, Kazmir or not... knowing this team has too much talent (even with quite a bit of it sidelined with battle wounds) to keep losing for long... or maybe Tito's PTI interview, during which he stated with more passion than i've heard from him in a long time: "When we lose, I want everyone to lose. There aren't enough teams in baseball." anyway, whatever it was, something made me feel good about last night. that the buck stops here. the nonsense ends. the Sox would win. because it's go time & they have to.

or maybe i just knew that if we didn't win on Friday, things would look very bleak with Matsuzaka pitching on Saturday, and his season long struggles against the Rays, and Wakefield on Sunday, when he hasn't looked like himself since returning from his back issues. both Sox pitchers should be able to win against the likes of Andy Sonnanstine & Edwin Jackon... but there are no guarantees. it seems our biggest hope right now is in New York where Shaun Marcum (12-6) will face Phil Hughes (4-3) this afternoon (and please let *this* game be done before the Sox start at 7:10!); Dustin McGowan (11-9) will pitch opposite the reborn Mike Mussina on Sunday; and then the Sox rest on Monday while we pray AJ Burnett brings the same game he did against us when he is matched up with Rog-ah.

pass the Tums. this last week of baseball is going to spawn half a dozen ulcers at best.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

busy off day



Sox are off today. you'd think i would be happy about this, given recent circumstances, but now i find myself wondering what to do with my evening. here are some ideas i had:

1. offer sacrifices to the baseball gods

2. make a Yankee voodoo doll

3. find out where Mike Lowell ate a little over a week ago and have a full spread sent over to the Rays clubhouse at The Trop

4. arrange a phone call between Francona & Belichick

5. wash all my lucky Sox gear (whether i wore it or not), thinking perhaps i picked up some Yankee cooties in the laundry room last time

6. promise forgiveness to the Blue Jays if they will only keep up this pace against the Yankees over the next four games

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little bits of happy: September 20, 2007


Gracie Marie
arrived at 11:02am
September 19
7 pounds, 5 ounces
Mommy & baby doing well.

welcome to the world precious baby.
can't wait til i can kiss those adorable cheeks.

(hoping that Auntie Heather won't mind bringing along her camera when she visits our newest darling so i can see this beautiful girlie in something better than a pic from a camera phone! ::looks hopeful::)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

you hear that? it's the sound of my dreams dying.



how about living through some live-action hell with me tonight...

first inning
top: two walks for the Sox. two stranded base runners. ::sigh:: so this is how it's going to be tonight, huh, boys? spectacular.
---------------
bottom:this is my first time really getting to see Buchholz pitch. i am wow-ed, which takes a lot these days. he has a good arsenal, and he's using it effectively. of course, this is also the first time these guys from Toronto are seeing him, so we'll see what happens as they come around a second time.

second inning
top: Sox down in order. ho-hum.
---------------
bottom: i'm ok with walking Thomas as long as we get the guys after him out. which The Kid did.

third inning
top: Sox. down in order. again.
---------------
bottom: The Kid seems to show a lot of confidence for a rookie. Jays down in order too. Wells ends the inning as we start the second trip through Toronto's line up. i am still in shock by the play made by Lugo to get that out. too bad he doesn't play like that consistently. =P
(ugh. made the mistake of looking at the Yankees score. they're up 1-0.)

fourth inning
we come back from break to Remy's promo... and DonO giggling. and then we see why.

i'm going to miss these two jokesters when the regular season ends. it's always a long off season without them.
top: Pedroia & Papi down quickly. Lowell hits on to deep left... and it's caught. sheesh. could we hit the ball tonight or something?
---------------
bottom: freaking Thomas will *not* go away. he singles. but he's stranded. two more strike outs for The Kid!! not too bad this second time through. so far.

fifth inning
top: DREW! home run! please oh please let him find his stuff. this would be perfect timing for it all to come together. the last five-and-a-half months of angst & frustration would be forgiven if he gets it done from now through the post season. (everything except that number seven on his jersey, that is.) 1-0 Sox.
---------------
bottom: uh oh. i had to open my big mouth. bottom of the order is being pesky. a double & a single with no outs. let's see how The Kid does with some pressure on him... and the verdict is? a run scores, still no outs. =( and then the panic sets in. a bad decision to throw to Lowell on a ball hit back to Buchholz goes *over* Lowell & another run scores. but Lowell! heads up on the runner who moved to third base & before the ball was called dead, Adams picks up his foot & He Who Needs To Be Given a New Contract tags him out!! after walking Wells & ringing up Stairs for the third time tonight, The Kid is done. i would be lying if i said MDC coming in with two on & Rios at the plate doesn't scare me just a bit... whew. first pitch results in a fly out right into Kielty's glove to get out of it. i don't care to live through another inning like that. 2-1 Jays. the stupid tides turn so quickly...
(damn! the Yankees are still winning, 2-0 now... come *on* Orioles...)

sixth inning
top: back to being retired in order. this has *got* to stop. we need to win tonight... down by a run now means we need to step up. why can't the Sox figure this out??
---------------
bottom: MDC back in. ::deep breaths:: OMG. he just Kd Frank Thomas. (a nine-pitch a bat which i realized mid-way through, i was rocking like Tito. this cannot be a good sign.) Remy & DonO talking about hair color and Remy says: "We've got a ballgame going on here don't we." ::shakes head::

seventh inning
top: i wish we could get to Litsch like we did last time... but apparently we can only get to him to the tune of bases loaded, and then we leave them that way. JFL who didn't run hard down the line because he assumed he was out on a routine ground ball. what he did was *assure* he was out when with his speed he could have been safe on a badly fielded ball. he sure makes a point of proving me right when i keep saying that he negates every good play he makes by blundering somewhere else in the game. we're running out of chances tonight, boys...
---------------
bottom: i keep waiting for Bryan Corey to fall apart. residual from last season, i suppose. but that's unfair. he walks Wells with two outs & on one pitch another face from 2006, Javier Lopez, gets the last out. with Jeemer shut down for the duration of September with a tired arm, we're going to have to get used to these guys. at least they are better than last year.

eighth inning
top: twilight hours here, boys. and you're not getting any help from the Orioles. time to swing some lumber. ok, gift call gets Ellsbury on base. we need to do something with this. and of course, we don't. of course.
---------------
bottom: Timlin drills Rios. and Thomas is coming up. just shoot me now. fast forward. bases loaded, one out. bringing in Jon... and here we go. ::jaw hits floor:: a grand slam. anyone think Gagne is the only one to blame for sucking lately? because Jon hasn't looked so great either. so let's get this straight. the Sox load 'em up in the seventh & come up empty handed. we bring in our stopper with loaded bases in the eighth & the Jays get a grand slam. i don't even know what to say.

ninth inning
top: Sox retired in order to end the bloodbath. like Remy stated: "The Sox checked their bats at customs when they came up here. Hopefully they get them back before they play Tampa."
--------------
no need for the bottom of the inning. the Sox blew it. lost four straight. and the Yankees loom large a game and a half out of first place. as the other AL post-season contenders gain momentum, the Sox are rolling backward down a hill with the car in neutral.

the wheels on the bus come off, off, off...

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the cheese stands alone



i'm going to go out on a limb here & taking the far less popular view on Eric Gagne.

he didn't ask to come to Boston. he specifically said that he didn't want to go somewhere that didn't need a *closer*. and from everything i've read, heard & seen, closers have a certain mindset. Gagne is not "mentally wired" to be the set-up man. and before anyone gets all critical of that statement, look at what happened when we brought Cheerio Mouth in for the eighth inning against the Yankees: complete & total meltdown.

prior to last night, Gagne had not given up a run that ended in a Sox loss since August 17. he did give up one run to the Rays back on September 11, but it was in a game that the Sox were winning 16-9 at the time.

August 2 (vs Baltimore): pitched the 9th, gave up one run, Sox win 7-4.
August 4 (at Seattle): pitched the 8th, gave up one run, Sox win 4-3.
August 8 (at Anaheim): pitched the 8th, gave up no runs, Sox win 9-6.
August 10 (at Baltimore): pitched first out of the 8th, gave up four runs, Sox lose 6-5.
August 12 (at Baltimore): pitched the last two outs of the 8th, gave up the tying run & credited with a blown save, Sox lose 6-3 in the tenth on a Millar home run off Kyle Snyder.
August 14 (vs Tampa): pitched the 9th, gave up no runs, was credited with the Sox win 2-1, on a Mike Lowell walk-off homer.
August 17 (vs Anaheim): pitched the 9th, gave up three runs, was credited with a blown save & a loss when the Sox lose 7-5.
August 19 (vs Anaheim): pitched the 9th, gave up no runs, Sox lose 3-1.
August 22 (at Tampa): picthed the 9th, gave up no runs, Sox lose 2-1.
August 24 (at CWS): pitched the 9th, gave up no runs, Red Sox win 10-1.
August 26 (at CWS): pitched the 8th, gave up no runs, Red Sox win 11-1.
September 11 (vs Tampa): pitched the 9th, gave up one run, Sox win 16-10.
September 14 (vs NYY): pitched the 9th, gave up no runs, Sox lose 8-7 when Papelbon gives up three runs in the 8th and is credited with a blown save & a loss.
September 16 (vs NYY): pitched the 9th, gave up no runs, Sox lose 4-3.
September 18 (at Toronto): pitched the 8th, gave up three runs, credited with a blown save & a loss when the Sox lose 4-3.

the games in red are losses that can be linked in some way to Gagne's performance. while i would prefer there be none, of course, it is obvious that he has more games in which he does not cause Sox losses than games where he does damage. of the eleven games when he did not lose or contribute to losing a game, the Sox have won seven. the remaining four games, when the Sox lost, he came into an already losing situation, and gave up no runs. it's just those four glaring cases that he fell apart seem to be all people want to see.

i feel badly for him. if you watch him pitch, it clearly is not lack of effort or desire. i cannot imagine how supremely frustrating this must be for him.

let's look at something else:
Apr-Jul 2007: 16-17 in save opportunities, 23-25 in save opportunities
currently in 2007: 16-20 in save opportunities, 35-38 in save opportunities

Jon is clearly the better closer, but all i'm saying here is that he only has one fewer blown save than Gagne. it's unfortunate that we've not seen the caliber of reliever Gagne can actually be.

anyway.

the Orioles pick now to roll over & play dead against the Yankees. who are breathing their hot stinky breath down our necks. two-and-a-half games behind us.

hopefully Buchholz (this kid really needs a nickname!) can pull off another jaw-dropping performance in our favor tonight in his first away start. he's going opposite Litsch, who is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this year, and who has gone 0-3 with a 10.37 ERA in his last three starts, earning only one win over the last eight. if we can't break it open against this kid, i am pressing the panic button.

with the Yankees starting Pettite against Baltimore, tonight is Must.Win.Ball. for Boston.
it would be nice if the Sox could actually pull of a freaking win already.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

happy new baby soon!

no, not for me. =P

Alison (one of my closest friends) is in the hospital awaiting Baby Gracie!

just a matter of hours now...

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::shaking my head::

oh c'mon, Donovan. are you kidding me? you're being given a hard time because of the color of your skin?? how about because you're not playing well?! because you're a has-been?? or maybe just because you play in a city known to have a tough fanbase on any of its sports stars?

this is about results. this is about the way you're not living up to expectation. if it's all about race, how come Eli Manning and Rex Grossman are receiving so much criticism? they're about as white as they come.

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keeping the ol' chin up



i am scrambling for a reason to believe.
something to restore my faith in my red-stockinged boys.
a glimmer of hope in the rapidly closing season.

i'm looking to the kids.
the rookies.
the starstruck little faces.
(and Cheerio Mouth, himself, really no longer a rookie, but the leader of the youth.)
the names we already know & love.
hoping that their spark is contagious.

Dustin Pedroia.
Jacoby Ellsbury.
Jon Lester.
Clay Buchholz.
Jonathan Papelbon.

i'm hoping that the future of Boston can breathe life into the team of today.
starting with Lestah.
tonight.
7:07pm.
(what *is* the deal with that start time already??)

i'll be ready with my lucky Sox jersey on.
praying that they don't crush what is left of my spirit.
hoping that they can combine their Puppy Power with the strength of the one bat that has carried us all season.
(if you don't know that i am referring to Mike Lowell, i question if you've been paying attention here at all.)

please don't let me down...

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Unconscious Mutterings: September 17, 2007



Week 241

I say ... and you think ... ?

Rita :: Ciccarello -- from the Cledus T. Party
Comedy :: tragedy
Polar :: frigid
Idiots :: what i am surrounded by =P
Perception :: impression
Infected :: wound
Fake :: artificial
Relating :: associating
Distraction :: what all the controversy in New England last week turned out *not* to be for the Patriots
Gamble :: casino

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And I Quote: September 18, 2007

Mr. Big: What would you come back as?
Carrie: Someone who knows better.

(quote from Sex & the City)

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Sing Along: September 18, 2007

She's a fighter when she's mad
And she's a lover when she's loving...
("She's Everything," Brad Paisley)

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gloom & doom



let's talk about how much i hate the Yankees.
actually, maybe we can't. there aren't ways to measure anything that large.

so instead we can talk about Friday:

1. just the anticipation of a Matsuzka game makes me feel sick. i was sipping ginger ale an inning and a half into Friday's game. i wish i were kidding. (not sure if it was really the pitching or something i ate, but i ate the leftovers for lunch on Saturday & my stomach was fine, so draw your own conclusions.)

2. one of the few things that made Friday's game any easier to watch was the Captain Intangibles error and the sloppy Giambi defense.

3. speaking of Greasy McSquarehead... he really is the nastiest, scummiest, ugliest player in baseball. and they insist on showing him close up at least 42 times each game.

4. seeing Timlin walk out of the bullpen last season, i was dying a thousand deaths. this year he's back to being The Killer. this outing aside.

5. Friday night's game was four hours and 39 minutes long (i've heard varying reports on the minutes, but close enough). or for a comparison: the Phillies and Mets started their game at the same time the Sox and Yankees did. we were in the top of the sixth inning in Boston when the Phillies/Mets game went final -- in a *ten* inning game.

6. we learned two things Friday night, i believe: a) what happens to Oki when he throws more pitches than he ever has in a single season. and b) what happens when you take your closer & ask him to pitch the eighth inning instead. kinda gives you a little more sympathy for Eric Gagne and what we've asked him to do, doesn't it? ::shrugs:: it does for me anyway. and for the record, Gagne didn't allow things to get worse when he pitched the ninth.

or we could talk about Saturday:

1. Youk getting hit on the wrist was a good thing for Saturday's game, in that it seemed to fire up the Sox & unleash the fury of the bats... but i believe it will prove to be a terrible thing down the stretch. much as i love Hinske's enthusiasm, even slumping, Youk's bat is more potent.

2. Joshy is the only starting pitcher in the rotation right now that doesn't make me want to hide. Commander Kick Ass, indeed. nineteen wins.

3. Saturday made Friday's loss fade from memory.

4. much as Hinkse doesn't always come through with the bat, i have to believe he bowled over Posada & knocked him silly in defense of Youk, because he was out at the plate by a mile, and it might as well count for something. a nice clean hit which Jorge asked for when he blocked the plate. that makes me love Hinske even more.

*or* how about Sunday:

1. Battle of the Old Wind Bags. i thought they pitched an even game. the battle was actually won when Torre out-managed Francona by pulling his wind bag while ours remained in & gave up a huge home run.

2. one of these days JD Drool is going to kill Pedroia Pocket. i know he sometimes has the right to the ball, as the outfielder, but he has to open his mouth & *call* it already -- loudly -- or everyone is going to keep trying for it. let's review, Drool: you = big, Pocket = wee. big beats wee if you step on him & squash his wee self.

3. OMG it was 55 degrees in Boston when the game *started*. it was EIGHTY in Florida. 55... holy brrrr...

4. only thing i enjoyed about this game was that Joba has given up his first earned run *and* his first home run at the hands of He Who Really Needs A New Contract In Boston. (Mike Lowell, if you're just joining in here.)

5. another good inning from Gagne. i refuse to believe it's because it's a losing situation. i credit it to pitching in the ninth, like he's used to doing. after all, if he were as bad as he appeared his first bit in Boston, he would have given up more runs & dug us into a deeper hole, right?

6. Sunday's. game. stunk. not only did we lose. not only did we lose to The Nemesis. i saw something that scared me. our offense cannot get the job done. i know that they managed to come back & lose by only a run. but they left bases loaded with two outs & Papi up. any other year, we would have seen a walk-off. this year, nothing. we cannot win late comebacks. we cannot stop stranding runners. we cannot stop wasting loaded base opportunities. it's depressing. and what's even scarier is how obvious it is now that our pitching was what carried us all season... and it's fizzling out right before our very eyes...

or we can talk about what happened last night:

1. McGowan has some serious sideburns. they're just like the ones my dad had when i was born some almost 31 years ago.

2. Remy made me laugh. he was trying to score the Sox game but also switch over & enjoy some Patriots on Sunday night (Remy is a football fan!! i love it!) but with all the scoring the Patriots accomplished, Remy was dumbfounded that he didn't see a single one.

3. Frank Thomas needs to retire. =P or Wakefield needs to stop leaving fat pitches hanging in suspended animation right over the center of the plate.

in all fairness, i think Wake is not at 100% he is not the same pitcher from before the back troubles. and that scares me. our rotation is as follows: Commander Kick Ass. The Hundred Million Dollar Nightmare. Schill, who is suddenly eluded by the ability to win. Wakefield, who went from dominating to oh-so-hittable, damn that fickle knuckleball. and Lestah, with his control issues. our bullpen is wearying. our offense is dead. we are minus Manny. Youk's return is unknown.

but all of that doesn't scare me as much as one single thing:

last night, the Red Sox looked apathetic. last night, they looked like they just wanted the season to end so they could go home. i don't know what to do with that. how am i supposed to want them to win the whole thing if they don't want it themselves?? this was supposed to be our big chance. the Yankee had two stints with Baltimore, who despite all its other troubles, has been able to embarrass the Evil Empire mightily this season. after last night's loss in Toronto, and the Yankees' win, the Red Sox lead is a mere three-and-a-half games.

and they looked completely uninspired.

how far can a team with no desire to win go in October, even if they are all but guaranteed a spot in the post season? call it gloom & doom. or call it years of disappointment that's been bred into my bloodlines. but i need them to look hungry. i need them to give me a reason to believe. we need to stop this crash-and-burn right.freaking.now.

what we need is Kevin Millar.

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spontaneous implosion



this blog post brought to you by the smoking crater on the couch, where a girl once sat, trying to watch both the Patriots and the Red Sox-Yankees games, simultaneously. there is only so much stress that can be exacted upon one small brain before the whole thing just caves in on itself & becomes a black hole. it was like two exceedingly demanding children, both requiring all your attention, and both having screaming tantrums when it must be divided.

i am only one small girl!!!

but seriously. was there anyone home anywhere in New England on Sunday night? because both games were at home. and both were sold out. crammed full of New Englandahs.

this was certainly the cap to a very bizarre day in the NFL. the Titans almost beating the Colts. the 49ers beating the Rams *in* St Louis. the Cardinals defeating the Seahawks. Detroit starting the season 2-0. the Cowboys starting the season 2-0. Green Bay starting the season 2-0!! (pause for a quick happy dance) who are these Houston Texans?? and what on God's green earth went on in that Bengals-Browns game?!

i spent the majority of the day bewildered. and yelling at the Saints to please save my sanity & stop the Bucs. and trying to figure out how it is possible that i *finally* get Tomlinson on my fantasy team & he's been worthless.

but all that slipped from my mind as i watched what was supposed to be a team addled by the distraction of controversy... a team that would "surely have lost the edge gained by illegal advantage, proving that they've been nothing but a fraud"... a team that the Chargers were going to crush as they vindicated themselves of last year's playoff loss, and they were going to do it in the Patriots house.

so... with New England's every eye-blink under scrutiny by the NFL (and rightfully so), i have to ask:

since you can't accuse the Patriots of winning because they were cheating, what's your excuse this time San Diego?

because wow. just wow.

if the Sox are going to keep breaking my heart for the remainder of 2007, this Patriots team, despite the black cloud hanging over Foxboro right now, is built to take my mind off the pain.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

i just couldn't help myself

Fond of Snape posted this meme & there was a question here that sold me on having to participate. its mere existence just begs not to be passed over.

01. If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them? (Please feel free to be selfish, you do not have to save the world!).
invisibility. i would love to be a fly on the wall at will.

02. Were you to find yourself stranded on an island with a CD player...it could happen...what would your top 10 bloggers island discs be?
hmmm... Kenny Chesney's "Songs From an Old Blue Chair," something Jim Brickmam (i love piano solos for relaxing), some Five for Fighting, some 3 Doors Down, some Rob Thomas, some Natalie Merchant, matchbox twenty's "Yourself or Someone Like You," and then probably three mix CDs with random songs i like.

03. If you were a smell what would it be?
vanilla. no doubt about it. it's what i smell like all the time.

04. What bird would you most like to be?
hmmm... something small & sweet, like a dove or a nightingale.

05. If you were a bird who's head would you poo on?
::picks self up off floor from laughing:: someone the birds have already gotten to in this manner. i have to say, Karma? she bites hard. >=]

06. Are there any foods that your body craves?
fresh vegetables. if i don't eat enough veggies, i find myself craving them. and of course, ice cream and chocolate.

07. What's your favourite time of year?
up north, it's Autumn. no contest. everything about Autumn makes me indescribably happy. in Florida, it's March -- the second most perfect weather, following a New England Autumn. gorgeous foliage traded for the heavenly perfume of orange blossoms.

08. What's your favourite time of day?
very early morning or very late at night, when very few other people are awake. i love the quiet.

09. If a rest is as good as a change which would you choose?
a change is iminent... but for now we rest.

10. If you could have a dinner party and invite any 5 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.)
oh man... this is going to be difficult... so if i don't mention you, just know that i would invite you to the next dinner party, ok? or maybe to hang out with me at WDW? but they're limiting me to five... they're making me do it...
1. Nichole - she is an *excellent* hostess, and i know that if i had to attend to the cooking or some other need, i would absolutely trust her to keep things moving smoothly.
2. Daniel - hoping he wouldn't be able to stay out of the kitchen , so this is partly selfish & makes me a really bad hostess, but his culinary abilities are to die for.
3. my Gram - because let's face it, combine her cooking skills with Daniel's, and it would be an unprecedented bliss...
4. Mega - just so i could say *i* met the man behind the mystery... but i would fail to reveal his identity to anyone else. ;-)
5. Mike Lowell - hey, it's *my* imaginary dinner party, right?? LOL

like Janet said:
Anyone want to play, consider themselves tagged :-)

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

View From Along the Broken Road: September 13, 2007

it's not a clear photo but for some reason that makes me like it even more...


Disney's Electrical Parade
Disney's California Adventure
September 2007

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the verdict is in

my own personal thoughts:
i hate what Bill Belichick has brought down upon the Patriots, and yes, i hold him responsible. it's not fair to the players. it's not fair to the fans. and it's not fair to the game of football. he has taken what was a golden era in New England & dragged it through the mud. he has so blemished the reputation of this team, that i hope i never hear anyone claim the Patriots not being respected again. gone are the days of mystique & dynasty. we are now in an age of shame & suspicion, with no one to blame but the man we once looked at with awe for his genius on the field. enough with the drama. the consequences have been levied and i wholeheartedly support them. i only hope that the point has been made, the lesson learned, and that the nonsense will stop so we can get back to the business of playing football.
------------------------------------------
Here is the final ruling from the NFL:

Bill Belichick has been fined $500,000 by the NFL. That is the maximum amount under the NFL Constitution and By-Laws for violating league policy last Sunday on the use of equipment to videotape an opposing team’s offensive or defensive signals.

The Patriots have been fined $250,000 by the NFL.

The Patriots will give up their first-round pick in 2008 if they make the playoffs. If they don't make the playoffs, they will surrender their second- and third-round picks.

Belichick will not be suspended.

“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to the Patriots.

"I specifically considered whether to impose a suspension on Coach Belichick," Goodell also wrote. "I have determined not to do so, largely because I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first-round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension."
(from Reiss' Pieces)

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i smell a...

...trip to Yankee Candle coming on in my very near future! new Autumn fragrances! familiar favorite Autumn scents! the only problem is that i used to be able to hit up the flagship store at the start of each new season. the little dinky stores at the mall just don't cut it. sure, they have all the jarred candles, but what i miss is the huge room with row after row filled with unwrapped Samplers... and the votives are what i like to buy, because it lets me sample a variety of scents & change frequently, instead of committing to a whole big jar. (and also, i am not forcing myself to pick only one or two scents in jar form, when i can try more for my money with the votive size! you know how bad i am with decisions by now, right? LOL!)

i am especially intrigued by these four new scents. i am a sucker for anything apple-spicy, so Cider Donut and Fall Festival sound like they could be delicious. Autumn Woods bears a sniff. and my Gram used to make what she called Magic Bars, but they looked exactly like the picture on Coconut Cookie Bar.


my perennial Autumn favorites need restocking. Apple Cider... Warm Apple Crisp... Farmhouse Apple... (i *told* you i love all thing apple-spicy!) and Cranberry Chutney is the perfect blend of sweet & tart.


i'm torn between these though. Spiced Pumpkin is the original, and a definite signature Autumn scent. then they came out with Pumpkin Pie, and it just did not impress me. Frosted Pumpkin makes me wonder though... will it be a new addition? or a let-down, like i found Pumpkin Pie...?

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whatever happened to predicability...?



it showed up at Fenway Park Wednesday night, that's what.

i watched in an almost numb resignation as Lestah melted down before the game barely started. 4-0 after half an inning. even Matsuzaka manages to wait til at least the third inning. the Yankees score provided no solace. and Youk worried me for a minute when he argued a bad (in my opinion) strike out call, because he was covering third base tonight for a Mike Lowell with a very angry tummy, and we couldn't afford to have him tossed, justifiable argument or not.

the Sox stranded a base runner here, two there. despite a three-run Papi shot to right field in the third, the Sox still trailed by a run.

and they trailed.
and they trailed.
and they stranded runners.

Julian replaced Lestah in the fourth. and like a good little Julian, got the job done, not allowing any more runs to cross the dish over his three innings of service.
MDC elicited a mild wash of panic when i saw him take the mound in the seventh with one on & two out, but he also held off the Rays from causing further damage.
Oki was okie dokie, K-ing someone named Carl Crawford to end the eighth.

and they still trailed.
and they stranded more runners.
and they went down 1-2-3 in the eighth.
flying out.
swinging strike out.
caught looking.

Jon came in. non-save situation, but he did what Jon does.
sit down, please.
all hail The Cheerio Mouth.

bottom of the ninth.
Reyes has only two blown saves this season. (great.)
he walks Lugo. (i'm pacing hard.)
Pedroia Pocket flies out. (i groan & continue to wear a path in my carpet.)

and then, as Daniel is my witness, i change my Gmail status to say (we were "watching" together, exchanging commentary via Gmail status messages):
c'mon Papi... give us just one walk off home run this year...

ball.
ball.
foul.
ball.

and then Papi's bat thundered. in a way we haven't seen this whole season. i don't enjoy going into the bottom of the ninth, losing, but i can tell you that the jumping going on in my living room matched that of the group that awaited The Big Man as he lumbered home.

(photo from Yahoo Sports)

a day of rest to prepare for the arrival of the pinstriped nemesis. but they roll into town five games back, and we get the scariest match up over with on Friday: Matsuzaka & Pettitte. then comes the battle of the 18-win Cy Young candidates on Saturday: Beckett & Wang. and we wrap up Sunday with a game of which old wind bag will get tired first: Schill (but he's our wind bag & we love him) & Rog-ah (love to hate him).

get out your Sox gear. practice all your crazy superstitious Sox rituals.

this division race isn't done yet.

who said baseball wasn't exciting?! every nail-biting second of it, baby.

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