Friday, June 29, 2007

i apologize for thinking that "kill mode" was in any way metaphorical

Dustin Pedroia Almost Died

Seriously, I can't even. The ninth inning of tonight's game was the best thing I've seen all week, and I'm not just saying that because most of what I saw this week consisted of digital thermometers reading 99 degrees, mile-high stacks of paper on my desk and the Red Sox getting swept in Seattle. YOU GUYS, DUSTIN PEDROIA ALMOST DIED.

In the event that you missed Dustin Pedroia's amazing near-death experience: With two outs in the ninth, Papelbon was covering first and Kenny Lofton may or may not have beaten him to the bag. Paps was voting "may not" and got up in the first base umpire's face and had the look of person who was either going to rip out someone's jugular with his teeth, get tossed out of the game or both. And then, there's Pedroia! Throwing himself in between Paps and the ump! Just thinking about it, I'm so overwhelmed with delight that I can't even pick the appropriate cliche, but anything involving a getting between a jungle predator and its hapless prey or A-Rod and a muscular she-male type stripper would probably be appropriate. Also, Pedroia has never looked more like he's probably 5'4" in cleats.

So Dustin Pedroia, American Hero, kept Paps from getting tossed and/or committing a homicide, Paps hit the next batter and took 3.67 years off my life but all's well that ends with getting Michael Young out on a called strike.


To: Kelly
From: Katie
Subject: my boyfriend ...

... is so zen:

"I don't even think about [last year]," Beckett said. "It was one of those deals where I had a lot of good things come out of last year. There's a great quote that says, 'You can't be afraid to fall. You just have to make sure you fall forward.' I don't remember who said it. In turn, it means when you fall, you have to make sure you learn from it. There ain't no one in here who hasn't fallen. This is a humbling game. Every one of us has fallen at one point in our life. We have to make sure we learn from it."

To: Katie
From: Kelly
Subject: RE: my boyfriend ...

I sort of expect that quote to trail off into him saying, "And, you know, I'm glad I didn't know, the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance."

Additionally, Filed Under 'Unacceptable'

Great, Matt Clement is in town. Allegedly, he's going to throw a bullpen season. I say he should just throw on an Amarak shirt and sell some peanuts or something, at least try and make himself useful.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

little-known step six: functional alcoholism

I think I went through the full Five Stages of Grief during last night's game.

Denial: Um, okay. Runners on first and third with nobody out. This isn't great, but Batshit can get out of it. All he needs is a well-placed pop-up and to induce a ground-out double play. I'm sure everything will be fine.


Bargaining: I'll watch them get out of this inning. Then I'll watch to see how many they can get back in the next frame. If they can get two more runs off Weaver before they chase him out of the game, I'll keep watching.

Depression: I don't know, I mean, I guess this is just Tavarez ... regressing to the mean?

Acceptance: It's after one o'clock in the morning. They're most likely going to lose this game whether I keep watching or not. I'm going to bed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

"high performance shave gel!" "for his ass, right?"

Some things I enjoyed about this weekend:

1. On Friday night, when Coco got a lead-off single in the first inning, stole second and moved over to third on a sacrifice fly, so that there was one out with a runner on third? Yeah, they ended up stranding him, but I had a moment where I kind of understood why the organization once used the words "Coco Crisp" and "lead-off hitter of the future" in the same sentence. Like, "oh, that's how that was supposed to work."

2. Tito got thrown out of that game on Saturday night with all the enthusiasm of a kid faking sick so he doesn't have to go to school. He totally wanted to get thrown so he wouldn't have to keep watching. I don't know that this was necessarily enjoyable, but it was the only thing about Saturday night that made me laugh in a "hahah, oh, you," sort of way, not a nervous "please, just end this," way.

3. Papi scored from second on a sacrifice fly to right field and nobody died.

4. After a few inconsistent outings, Papelbon is totally back in kill mode. His two outing this weekend were just dominant, bring-out-the-body-bag stuff. My only concern is that he's going to break his own hand with the overly enthusiastic post-game glove thumping.

5. Everybody's talking about Clemens' relief appearance in San Francisco, and whether it showed that 1) Clemens isn't the asshole anti-teammate people thought and/or 2) Joe Torre has completely lost his fucking mind, but too many talking heads are overlooking the best part: it wasn't even an effective inning! He gave up a run! But seriously, after trying to convert him to a DH and a 1B and apparently unwilling to put him on the DL, I fully expect to Joe Torre to have Johnny Damon warming up in the bullpen any day now.

6. Josh Beckett looked so bored during his post-game press conference on Sunday night, I thought he was going to start napping in the middle of his 367th variation on answering a question without just coming out and saying, "Look, I know I sucked last year, but don't you read the fucking Globe? I'm a pitcher now, not a thrower. I rule the fucking school. Get used to it."

7. This web ad. Now with high-performance skin care? I can't EVEN.

Okay, now I gotta go drink six cups of coffee so I can make it through another West Coast game.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

from the land down under

I'm on this Australian teleconference and I keep drifting off to check the score or daydream about Josh Beckett and interestingly enough there hasn't yet been a moment when the awkward silence that follows a question directed to me can be filled with "Coco just hit a sweet homer" or "even Beckett's goatee is starting to grow on me!" Stupid teleconference...

Dudes, Beckett! I'm telling you he's even more appealing when I don't have to go look at DMB lyrics after his badass victory. Um... I loved the conversation between TC and Eck (who we'll discuss in detail in a moment) last night where TC was all overenthusiastic fangirl about how Beckett was "dominant" and Eck gave a more realistic summation of Beckett's so-so performance and yet still managed to see MORE impressed. And I guess that makes sense-- it's perhaps a greater feat to seem to dominate even when you're not bringing your best stuff than it is to actually dominate. He's just so confident these days. I love it!

Also on the list of things I love so much I'll stay up too late for them: Eck. Oh thank god he's come back to me! I mean, he may have been back for awhile, but I haven't had the opportunity to watch the post-game since the dangerously unpleasant days of Macha. The Eck was a site for sore eyes even though I'm pretty sure he repeated himself verbatim at least three times in the first ten minutes. Possibly because he did that. I practically leapt off the couch when I saw that glorious mullet and the beautiful apricot tie.

Katie: OMG, ECK!
CSPAN: Is it just me or is there more salt in that salt-and-pepper mustache?
Katie: I think you're right. In the mullet, too.
CSPAN: What's he been doing-- looking into the mouth of hell?
Katie: Pretty sure that's what Eck does every Saturday. Get up, have some breakfast, pick out a pastel tie, glare into the mouth of hell, call mom, comb the mullet...etc.

It was a good night for NESN personnel all around, really. The return of the Eck (yes, that is set to Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack" and no, I don't feel bad for getting that in your heads), the Cavernous Maw having one of the worst hair days in recent memory, and, of course, the semi-requisite Remy and DonO hysterics. I have to give them this one, though, that drunk guy was hi-LAR-ious. Dancing around in that Papelbon jersey, beer proudly waving-- that's pretty much who kelly is on the inside at all times. We're definitely adopting him as our unofficial mascot. Brilliant display-- it's too bad they'd all ready given the fan of the game award before the rain delay.

All right, my call's over, the score is 7-0 in the 2nd, and I'm willing to pretend Lugo isn't playing until he forces me to do otherwise, so I think it's time to take this can't-believe-I-live-in-a-world-where-I'm-psyched-for-Tavarez's-starts show on the road. I hope he demonstrates his bowling/skee ball ability again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

quick, somebody give me an update on jon lester.

Following the course of a baseball team for 162 games over 182 days is a little bit like an experiment in seeing if it's possible to self-induce schizophrenia (or an experiment in inducing alcoholism, but that's another story). This weekend was one of those great series: three wins, two offensive trips to the woodshed, one tight gem of a game with plenty of pitching heroics. We were at the game on Saturday, and thanks to Cspan we had fan-fucking-tastic seats right on the third baseline, the weather was gorgeous, I convinced some grandfatherly dude to help me circumvent the two beer limit, Papelbon was prowling around like a new god, things couldn't possibly get any better, right?

And then it's Monday night, and I'm back in my living room hissing obscenities at the television, and the Yankees are only eight games back and Schill's getting a precautionary MRI. Some notes about Monday night:

1. Curt Schilling's attempt to bunt in the third inning = comedy gold. The PM compared it to a gay man trying to feel up a woman. His hit in the fourth was equally hilarious, because it looked a lot more like he was trying to swing a golf club than a baseball bat.

2. I'm legitimately sad that Coco's second coming was overshadowed by the sucking power of that loss. It really drove home, though, how fucking good would this team be if Coco, Lugo and Nancy Drew were turning in even borderline average performances. Can you imagine if they could all raise their batting average to a collective .250? The Sox would be on target to win, like, 276 games at that point.

3. Look, I love Mike Timlin, I love him a lot more than I ever thought it would be possible for me to love a
homophobic Republican bow hunter. But his impression of a Major League Baseball Pitcher must be stopped. The worst part is that mixed in with the anger I feel when he gives up two runs and puts the game completely out of reach, there's a pained embarrassment, kind of like that episode of the Sopranos when Junior, the former mob boss, was in the nursing home and having chronic incontinence issues. That's how I feel when Mike Timlin sucks, and I want it to stop. Katie and I were discussing this earlier today, and we think he should be designated Matt Clement's personal life coach. (Because speaking of things that suck, Matt Clement still isn't being pursued as a reasonable trade for a bucket of balls/earning his keep at a coffee errand boy/dead.) As Katie said: "Well, yeah, it would work, since I'm pretty sure that Timlin's method for getting him in shape would involve camo gear, archery, and the phrase "if you think baseballs are scary…"

Friday, June 15, 2007

just another night with the ace killer

First, some housekeeping, a tragic comedy, in two acts:

Katie: I hate doing this thing with the Beckett starts. I bet everyone else hates it too. I hate Dave Matthews Band.
Kelly: I know, but we can't stop yet. We'll jinx him.
Katie: But I hate it. I hate getting "The Space Between" stuck in my head all the time.
Kelly: We have to keep doing it until he loses a decision. Then we can stop.
Katie: Okay. Except, wait, making this decision is probably a jinx, too.
Katie: [knocks on wood]
Kelly: [knocks on air near wood]

Kelly: God dammit.

So there you go, it's probably our fault that Josh Beckett sucked last night, and we're discontinuing the Josh Beckett Random Dave Matthews Lyric Performance Generator until further notice, but I totally reserve the right to bring it back later if a reverse-jinx becomes necessary. It's for the best, because I'm not sure I could bear to code Thursday night's pitching line. Although, screw it. He gave up six runs in five innings (including two long balls, Christ), but remember when Dice-K gave up five runs in the top of the first inning and the Sox turned around and answered with five more before the inning was over? What happened to that team? Why have they been replaced with this bunch of imposters who bat 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, who had two fewer hits but six fewer runs than the Rockies? Does Tito understand that putting Drew at lead-off puts Coco, Lugo and JD all in a row, creating a black hole so potent that there's a good chance that part of the line-up might create antimatter? And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, is there any explanation in this life or the next for why Manny has decided to start wearing high socks?

Seriously, you guys. Even though I spent last weekend watching the As sweep the Giants in a disastrous and devastating fashion (including the game where the Giants ran out of position players in the 10th and had to put a relief pitcher in right field, the highest of all high comedy), I am still eating nails about this series. Katie, Cspan, the PM and I will be there tomorrow afternoon, but since tonight I am, as per usual, sitting in my living room, drinking beer in my pajamas, and the Sox only play my wretched natal team on the rarest of interleague occasions, I might as well live blog:

Dave Roberts! So glad you're back! And, I … really should have seen that score from first coming. Barry Bonds! Welcome to Fenway! Have you met Pesky's Pole yet? Ya'll go get acquainted, I need to start chewing antacids.

My brother says that he read that the first time Barry Zito played the As, Jason Kendall sat the team down and broke down every single aspect of Zito's game. I imagine that would psychologically break anyone. And then: PEEEEEEEEDROIA. Only Dustin the Sea Monkey Pedroia would almost trip over his own bat while rounding the bases. He's very small! The bat didn't see him! And just like that, the Sox have scored more runs with no outs in the first inning than they scored in nine innings last night. Good times! Not good times: Papi getting tossed. Similar to the Ted Lilly toss from last weekend, where it was so clear that the ump was willing to toss him on perceived intent rather than action, which is bullshit, but whatever. Was Tito dipping when he got back to the dugout? I don't blame him, this would drive me to dip, too. MANNY. HIGH SOCKS. I MEAN. WHAT?

I was just excited that Julio Lugo managed to field a routine grounder. I fucking hate that guy.

Oh yeah, this is going be a fun night. Is it possible to get in a bench-clearing brawl with the umpire?

Do you think intentional walks anger Batshit Tavarez? I bet he thinks "But I could just drill the guy to put him on base." But he and Barry are old teammates. I bet they're buds. That's a wonderful mental image.

The PM suggests that Manny's high socks are the next step in his slow transformation into Jack Sparrow. I am so hungry for him to break the game open with bases loaded and no one out that I can taste it, but Manny has perhaps been going heavy on the rum lately, so I have to settle for a force out and a run in.

Molina hits it back to Tavarez, Tavarez manages to restrain himself from bowling the ball to first base. On the other hand, he'd obviously choose to imitate a different sport if he ever did that again. Maybe he'd shoot the ball toward Youk like a fadeaway jumper?

I admit, I fully expect that Julio Lugo will be unable to pass up the opportunity to go 0-for-2 in plate appearances and 2-for-2 in inning-ending outs, but I guess I underestimated Barry Zito's fragile psyche. Which then proceeds to crumble before my eyes. Blown pick-off! Bases clearing two-out double! 5-2! Pedroia's now three-for-three! 6-2! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Even another Wily Mo Mighty Strike Out Special can't get me down!

Okay, I stand corrected. Tavarez is clearly an avid bowler. I would love to see him playing Skeeball, actually.

The Tavarez skeeball 60 ticket shot gets shown five or six times. That's about all that happens.

Batshit gets out of a small jam, one out, runners on first and third. He manages to refrain from playing any carnival games.

See how much fun it is to be on base, Coco? You get to steal things! And score! It's awesome! Also, I swear to God, if the whole batting-Drew-lead-off experiment actually works, I will buy Tito his next packet of dip/bubble gum. Drew and Pedroia are now, amazingly, a combined 7-for-7.

The shot of the Cavernous Maw with D'Angelo Ortiz prompts the predictable reaction from the PM and myself, but where is his mother? Is the Cavernous Maw, like, babysitting him? That sounds like a bad idea. But it does remind me of a conversation we had earlier this year about Little Papi, and how he looks much more like the product of the genetic material of Papi and Manny than Papi and Tiffany Ortiz. At the time, the PM hypothesized that at one point, three and a half years ago, Theo came to Papi with a Dixie cup and said, "Look, I know you love your wife, but I love Manny more." Remy and Don-O discuss how Tavarez is clearly playing through the pain in some way, I have never loved him more. If you told me this time last year that, a year from now, aliens would have landed in Zimbabwe and I would be pledging my allegiance to Julian Tavarez, I would have been more likely to believe the former over the latter.

I don't know, it's possible absolutely nothing happened.

The Cavernous Maw gives a wonderful report about how Okie uses a stick of some kind to go through his warm-ups, which explains what Papelbon was doing earlier in the game, I thought he was trying to get a game of ping pong going out there, clearly missing the presence of gaming champ Tavarez in the bullpen.

All I'm sayin' is that somebody pitched 7.1 innings of shut-out ball in New York tonight, and it wasn't Roger Clemens. PEEEEEEDROIA is now 5-for-5. When I was over checking the score of that, uh, other game, I noticed his beaming little sea monkey face on the ESPN Top Performers header.

Joel, son of Kal-El, throws a modified one-two-three (base hit + double play) and the Sox pick up a feel good win coupled with a Clemens-owned loss from the Yanks. Also, there's a new Under Armor commercial and it features tiny children! Everything is confusing, terrifying and wonderful! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Exclamation point!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

fighting for my right to marry hazel mae (now all i have to do is get a non-roster invite from the blue jays)

Seen at the Statehouse this afternoon:

Rule #1: In Boston, everything always comes back to the Red Sox.
Rule #2: When in doubt, see Rule #1.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

you don't have a mullet OR a mustache

hello again you know you got it what I want

It's too bad Beckett doesn't have a little brother on the D'backs, 'cause maybe then he'd pitch a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts since apparently that increases performance levels three-fold. coughJ.Dizzlecough. But, it's okay, because he clearly does pretty well on his own. And I didn't see most of the game, so that's all I've really got to say about that.

For your reading pleasure, I present the best article ever written: "Knuckle Up for Luck". Seriously, the fist-knock cop is EVERYTHING I hoped he would be and more. Former Marine! Part of the anti-gang units! Bad-ass. I [heart] the fist-knock.

There was a period between meetings this week when everyone was standing around awkwardly with nothing to do waiting for something. It was boring and tedious and then, suddenly, one of the doctors is from RI and he started talking about how amazingly solid Jon Lester is going to be when he comes back. So the three of us from Boston obviously got right into the conversation and sure, all the Midwesterners hated us, but it was just instant camaraderie and delight. The Red Sox bring people together, man. Also, RI doctor totally thinks they're going to send Wake to the bullpen when Crab's ready rather than Batshit Tavarez. Interesting...

In conclusion, we hope that Theo Epstein was watching tonight when Papelbon struck out Helton and that Mike Lowell feels safe and secure when he settles down to sleep with that fancy thumb-brace on tonight.

Oh, and Justin Verlander is kind of adorable. He's totally my Tiger.


Friday, June 08, 2007

how i spent my summer vacation

I stayed in San Francisco last night, and took a bus up to the north bay where my parents live this morning. It's a bus that travels 45 miles but makes local stops the whole way, so the trip clocks in at almost three hours. I spent a good portion of the trip thinking about what to say about being at yesterday's game, and I still haven't got much more than "wow" and "damn."

I was there with my best friend from high school (happily clueless about anything and everything to do with baseball) and one of her good friends from undergrad (a Massachusetts transplant). I didn't realize what was happening until the Lugo error in the fifth, when the As fans in front of us started taunting, "There goes your perfect game!" at the top of their lungs. I thought, "huh" and then I looked at his pitch count on the scoreboard and thought, "huh." After the bottom of the sixth, I turned my friend-of-a-friend and said, "So, are we gonna start not talking about it?" and my friend said, "What do you mean?" and we both said, "We can't talk about it! We'll tell you later."

It was a weird thing to watch while rooting for the opposing team. I've never seen anything close to a no-hitter at home, but I can imagine that the superstitious Fenway crowd would get quiet, while the Oakland fans were screaming and shouting the whole way, doing everything they could to will their team to break it up. (And good for them -- rooting for the no-hitter for the love of the game while watching a random Cubs v. Cardinals game on Sunday Night Baseball is fine, but rooting for your team should come before everything else.) I don't know, man, I really thought it he had it. His pitch count was freakishly low, he actually had a Major League Baseball player in right field for a change (I kid, Wily Mo, I kid), but watching baseball has always been like watching a movie where the plot's being written by a slot machine, you can never guarantee that the big pay-outs will come when they ought to. And anyway, a win is a win, all that good stuff, etcetera. Still, wow. Damn.

(One thing that was obscured by the molar-grinding last half of the game: we were sitting up in the left field bleachers, and the bleacher creatures were in full effect, including their percussion band. And I swear to God, sometime in the bottom of the second inning, Manny was shaking his hips back and forth, dancing along to the beat.)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

the coliseum still looks silly with the upper decks tarped off

The best thing I can say about last night's game is that it was over quick: we stayed until the last out and by 9:45 we were already speeding down 880 away from the scene of the crime. (After the eighth inning, my Dad said, "So those Sox fans are leaving because Manny and Ortiz got out and they figure you have no shot?" and I said, "Are you kidding? Our two hottest hitters are up next inning!" Optimistic to the end. Yuck.)

Before the game, though, something did happen that made me so giddy that I was able to remain slightly upbeat until the Sox hit into their second double-play of the evening (825th on the series): We got there a little early, just in time to see the last Boston batting practice group, which included the man, the myth, the legend, his batshittedness, Julian Tavarez.

It wasn't until that moment that I realized that with Julian still in the rotation and our next interleague series approaching this weekend, he's going to have AT-BATS on Saturday. Can you imagine what kinds of things Batshit will do in the batter's box?

1. Strike out swinging and then proceed to argue the call with the ump, getting himself tossed in the second inning.
2. Step out of the batter's box to play traffic cop when another member of his team tries to steal a base.
3. Intentionally lean into a hit-by-a-pitch and then charge the mound.
4. Somehow manage to get on base, attempt to tag out members of the other team.

The possibilities are endless! Apparently he hasn't had a hit since 2002 (hitting .125 in 27 at-bats), but I'm sure that won't phase him.

Leaving soon for this afternoon's game. It'll be noon, the sun will be shining, I won't be at work, I'll be drinking beer, and I apparently only owe my friend $17 for my ticket. Good things have to follow, right? Right?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

to do: slides, tables, hippie jam band lyrics

life it seems a struggle between/What we think what we see

That game was days ago now and I can barely think of anything interesting to say about it. I like our namesake have already forgotten it happened. I can tell you, however that I am way more sick of DMB than usual and I have "The Space Between" in my head, so that's GREAT. I blame Jorge Posada. Just because.

So I'm stuck in DC for meetings and I'm still up doing work and I just realize I can't even watch the game to keep me awake. How do you people (and by "you people," I mostly mean my brother and anyone else who lives where they don't have NESN) deal with this pain? This is tragical. The As don't look anywhere near as awesomely vaguely stoned in their Gamecast pictures as they do on my tv. [sigh] Clearly this is a sign that I should stop working and go to bed, right? Hopefully good ol' Lenny DiNardo can lose this one without me...


Edited by the co-blogger to add: I figured that since Katie was out of town on a business trip (just to really drive home which one of us is the grown-up in our co-blogging relationship: we haven't posted in a couple days because she just left town for a business trip and I've been too busy slouching around my parents' basement and drinking all their beer) that someone should probably post about Sunday and Monday (It's hard to work up the energy to post about Sunday and Monday night's games, isn't it? It's sort of like realizing that you have to finish an already-overdue homework assignment about dead babies). But then she posted about Sunday while I was blathering on into Notepad about Monday. So in the interest of posterity, Monday night, or, I can't believe I watched the whole thing:

Although, really, I shouldn't complain. Because I was watching from the west coast, the loss that we were supposed to expect that turned into a loss that was really tough to stomach only held me hostage until 11:00pm PST. However, this meant that I was forced to endure the FSN Bay Area coverage, which meant watching the clip of the Buck homer off Papelbon from last month six or FORTY BILLION times. By the time the eleventh inning rolled around, I was so numbed that I couldn't even work up that much anger toward Kyle Snyder for giving up the winning home run. With the kind of fro that Kyle Snyder is sporting these days, is it really fair to count on him to do much more than serve you a veggie bagel sandwich at Bagel Rising? Probably not. (The Bagel Rising at the corner of Comm Ave and Harvard, obvs. I've noticed that they have quite a penchant for playing mid-ninties metal, which I think would appeal to Alice in Chains look-alike Snyder.)

One hilarious note: The Oakland announcers were convinced for a few minutes that Tek had pinch-hit for Dougie, and they were trying to figure out who our back-up back-up catcher was. Y'all who remember the dark days of the Tek/Dougie Double Injury of Doom '06 know that the answer is emergency back-up everything, Alex Cora! But Cora had already been pinch-hit for as well! I was rooting for Wake, personally.

That brings us up to real-time, top of the fifth inning, and the Sox are -- for some reason I cannot fucking fathom -- failing to take Lenny DiNardo to the woodshed. Lenny Dinardo! On the bright side, when Wily Mo Pena comes up to bat, my mother now says, "Is that the easter basket?"


Saturday, June 02, 2007

also, my parents have high-def, nice!

1. I think I'm going to start voting for Scott Proctor on the All Star Ballot. I love him. He's, like, my favorite player.

2. Too bad about the end of Youk's hitting streak, especially since that at-bat in the eighth was a bit of a gift. The bright spot is, I guess, that the streak ended mostly due to his patience (three walks). Maybe he'll blog about it.

3. I'm in California, as it is time once again for my now-annual trip to see my family around the same time the Sox come out to play the As. I'll be at Wednesday night's game with my folks and the Thursday afternoon game with my best friend from high school, doing my best to make the case for the universal home field advantage rule.

4. A veteran of the cross-country Jet Blue flight, I mostly like to get drunk and watch Iron Chef marathons, but last night I made the mistake of trying to monitor the game via the ESPN news ticker. Mistake! All the agony of watching the score creep from 3-3 to 9-3 over the course of one inning and none of the joy of seeing the bench-clearing ... stand around and do nothing. I saw a brief clip that showed that the bullpens ran in to stand around and be part of the ice cream social, and I can only imagine that we barely missed Papelbon shooting down Yankees like ducks, Okie throwing punches with his eyes planted on the ground, Brendan Donnelly daring people to hit a guy with glasses, etcetera. Clearly, the only reason the bullpen didn't notch three or four kills last night was that Mike Timlin is still in Pawtucket.

5. The Fox coverage this afternoon was actually pretty free of McCarverisms and other assorted crimes of broadcast journalism (although Pedroia was referred to as both gutsy and gritty during his first at-bat, which I imagine sent to the kids at Fire Joe Morgan into fits), but I really feel like they dropped the ball in the eighth by not pointing out that the crowd appeared to be chanting "Whe-ere's Rog-ah?" at a fairly deafening level. Remdawg and Don-O would have been on that.