Friday, June 27, 2008

81 games

With 81 games in the books and 81 games remaining, many of our fellow Red Sox bloggers have posted mid-season progress reports. Many of these have been well-thought-out and educational. This mid-season report is neither of those things. We are going to grade the Red Sox players' performance based on how we would react if the individual player was on fire.

ranked in order of VORPOF (value over replacement player on fire)

JD Drew, VORPOF = 27.4 If I saw that JD Drew was on fire, I would just assume it had something to do with the Rapture, and that after spending a season suffering for our sins, JD Drew was clearly the second coming of Jesus Christ. Too soon to start calling him JC Drew?

Kevin Youkilis, VORPOF = 24.5 I would be so enraged to see Youk on fire that I would throw my batting helmet in the base path, slam something very large and heavy into the club house wall, and scream loudly in Manny's face in hopes that one of these things would appropriately convey to the world that I was ANGRY.

Manny Ramirez, VORPOF = 24.2 Consult with team to see if there is a "Manny Accidentally Set Himself on Fire While Trying to Juggle Firecrackers with His Kids" protocol. There's got to be, right? Don't you imagine that this happens, like, once a week?

Jon Lester, VORPOF = 23.7 He survived cancer, came back to win the clinching game of the World Series, pitch a no-hitter and emerge as the 2008 first half ace. For him, being set on fire is probably the equivalent of being tickled by your kid brother.

Josh Beckett, VORPOF = 16.8 You know how sometimes guys who want to show that they are total bad-asses will lick their thumb and their index finger and then snuff the flame of a candle that way? I imagine Josh Beckett would do something like that if he was engulfed in flames. Unfortunately, he might then give up a couple homeruns, but the man just single-handedly saved himself from  immolation, are you really gonna complain?

Dustin Pedroia, VORPOF = 15.3 Approach cautiously. If this is some kind of behavior modification technique that will help him increase the number of walks he takes, I don't want to interfere.

Jacoby Ellsbury, VORPOF = 14.7 Jacoby is fourth among all rookies in VORPOF (second is Fukudome, and I'm dubious about whether or not he should count) and second among all AL rookies, so maximum effort should be made to assist him if he happens to catch on fire. (Maybe it occurred as a result of his lightening quickness on the base paths?) However, I am pretty sure that Jacoby's 286,598 future wives currently residing in the Boston Metro area (he is Mormon, after all) will sacrifice themselves to save him, so he'll probably be okay.

Mike Lowell, VORPOF = 14.0 Before attempting to put out the fire with the shield of my own body, briefly make sure that the line of succession is in place for the presidency of NHCaPRSFWPNtBiMH218i2010! (The propaganda machine formerly known as NDRaPRSFftEMRSoML).

David Ortiz, VORPOF = 13.9 Is this some sort of wacky holistic treatment to rehabilitate his wrist? At this point, I would be willing to try anything. Get well soon, Papi, get well very, very, very soon.

Tim Wakefield, VORPOF = 13.6 When a dude signs what's essentially a lifetime contract, you gotta figure he knows that eventually they're going to set him on fire, it's just a matter of when. Still, his zen-master old-dude acceptance of his inevitable fate doesn't mean I wouldn't use Craig Hansen's hair to beat out the flames.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, VORPOF = 13.6 Whether or not I would lift a finger to help put out the fire strongly depends on whether or not Daisuke had just taken an at-bat from 0-2 to 3-2.

Sean Casey, VORPOF = 10.2 Keep an eye on the situation, but briefly do nothing, wait around to see who comes to his aid, whether he's really the most likeable player in baseball.

David Aardsma, VORPOF = 10.0 If David Aardsma caught on fire, would one of the local papers finally write something about him? How is it possible that we still do not know anything about him, other than that his last name is a colloquial term for certain male grooming habit. Amalie Benjamin, I know that trying to tame your many flyaways is a full-time job, but can't you see the man is on fire here? What else does he have to do to get you to write a nice, folksy article about him?

Julio Lugo, VORPOF = 9.9 Two words: lighter fluid. And I don't care that, statistically, he is in the top ten among Red Sox position players in VORPOF. Julio Lugo is the one player who turns me into Joe Morgan as far as valuing sabermetrics is concerned. (Katie can't help but add: Julio Lugo's continued presence in this plane of existence makes me want to set myself on fire, so I would actually put the fire out so that I could revive his lifeless body and set him on fire all over again.)

Justin Masterson, VORPOF = 9.7Justin Masterson may have a Major League VORPOF of 9.7, but his VORPOF among players who began the 2008 season in AA ball is something like 262.5. Pretty spiffy.

Hideki Okajima, VORPOF = 8.4 Did you know that Okajima's pitched 33 innings, has given up 33 hits, and has 33 strikeouts? Does that seem creepy to anyone else? Is it possible the flames are a sign that he may have sold his soul to the devil? I mean, how else do you explain his performance last year? Not to mention that creepy song.

Coco Crisp, VORPOF = 7.8 Hmmm ... well. I mean. He's a nice guy, right? And he's batting over 250. Sure he whines a lot, but he rarely has the chance to bunt on the lead-off pitch anymore. Oh, wait, the flames have reached his catching arm. Well, I guess there's no point in doing much of anything, then ....

Jonathan Papelbon, VORPOF = 7.4 Silly, those aren't flames -- that's just a Dunkin' Donuts ad.

Javier Lopez, VORPOF = 7.3 If there's any justice, it's a case of self-immolation over the ridiculousness of his statistical VORPOF compared to his VORPHSBSOF (value over replacement player who should be set on fire), which is a stunning -97.8.

Manny Delcarmen, VORPOF = 6.8 I would put them out. Immediately. Have you seen the small child this man has to live for?

Alex Cora, VORPOF = 2.2 Surely his often-touted genius-level baseball intelligence will get him out of this?

Bartolo Colon, VORPOF = 1.9 He's going through a rough patch at the moment, but I would put out that fire as quick as his delivery to the plate. That's how much I love quick workers.

Jason Varitek, VORPOF = 1.1 No need for alarm. Varitek isn't afraid of fire, fire is afraid of Varitek. Fire is afraid of Varitek the way that I was afraid of his 2 for 27 slump.

Kevin Cash, VORPOF = -0.6 I would assume that he will emerge from the flames like the sword of Excalibur or some such, ready to hit 3-run bombs that land on the Lansdowne Street parking garage. Or any other explanation that makes absolutely no sense.

Clay Buchholz, VORPOF = -1.4 I don't know. The fire is probably just one in the series of mysterious injuries the Sox are using to convince him he could use a little more time in AAA.

Craig Hansen, VORPOF = -3.0 It's gonna be difficult to figure out this particular fire's source of origin. Grease fire starting with his hair? Tragic bong-in-the-bullpen accident?

Mike Timlin, VORPOF = -5.3 Tip my cap and wish him the best of luck pitching for the Styx River Dogs.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

but at what point will jerry remy day get me a day off work?

Tonight's game was --

-- the third game in a series of absolute failures in offensive production.

-- possibly, now that JD Drew's inhuman hot streak has cooled off, what this offense is going to look like without David Ortiz.

-- difficult to even recognize as a baseball game, it was so full of Remdawg Day shenanigans, causing my roommate to repeatedly ask, "Do they ever talk about the game?" and "Does he know he's on television right now?"

-- not was I was expecting when everyone said, "No, they're losing Ortiz at the best time possible, when they're going to be tearing through interleague play!

-- the kind of game where I was glad I was only listening from the kitchen while I made black bean enchiladas with from-scratch tortillas.


[falls over]

Sunday, June 22, 2008

and on eck's mustache day, we rest

Okay, I'm hungover as shit (Katie's birthday party last night, I made her a card with a picture of Josh Beckett that said, "Hope you execute a happy birthday") and the Sox are trying to avoid getting swept by the freakin' CARDINALS, it's time for a live blog!

(I'd like to dedicate this live blog to Uncle Bill, who says we don't post enough any more. If the Sox lose during said live blog, I will take this as a sign that we should post even less.)

I am saying right now before God Eck's mustache and everyone, I am thinking about Jon Lester, the former Mr. Inconsistent McInconsistency, and what I am thinking is, "Oh great, it's our stopper!" This should be interesting. I reserve the right to come back and delete this if he makes me look like a complete idiot.

rain delay
Jesus Christ. Do they not understand that I planned my entire hangover recovery schedule around this game starting at 1:35?

top of the first
Well, so far so good.

bottom of the first
Joel Piñeiro. Hilarious. Can we set up an exchange student program where we send our mediocre relief pitchers to the National League and we get them back six months later as serviceable back-of-the-rotation starters?

top of the second
Lester getting some very nice looking swings and misses.

bottom of the second
This ump's strike call is ridiculous. Is he calling a baseball game or gunslinging? Also, that graphic that showed Jason Varitek's batting average since May 24 made my eyes bleed. And just like that, he hits into a double play. Great!

top of the third
What the hell is that necklace that Brendan Ryan is wearing? It looks like it belongs on a lady who lunches ... in New Jersey. Meanwhile, Lester pitches around Ryan's fluky automatic double.

bottom of the third
Is this Joel Piñeiro evil twin Kal-El?

top of the fourth
Remy talks about how home/road split statistics make no sense, and there is no explanation for why certain players hit better on the road. Um, park factors? I guess they park factors didn't come up in conversation during the last episode of Sox Appeal.

In non-vitrol related news: That water slide catch that Jacoby Ellsbury made to end the inning is certainly a vote for the theory that the run prevention of the Ellsbury/Crisp/Drew outfield balances out a significant amount of David Ortiz's run production.

bottom of the fourth
Don-O talking about Joel Piñeiro's last complete game shut-out. Kelly wondering whether or not it would be problematic to resort to hair of the dog.

top of the fifth
Coco apparently has something to say about the power of run prevention. Two outs in the inning and I am now officially hoping that the game goes official before the rain starts so that we don't waste this great Lester performance. Lester then strikes out Larue and, oh yes, as I was so presciently saying a couple hours ago, Jon Lester is a motherfucking stopper.

bottom of the fifth
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. The worst inning yet. On the other hand, I just heard some pretty righteous thunder, so we may not have to watch this pathetic offensive performance for much longer.

Although, that reminds me, on Friday I was at home in Somerville watching the game and it was clearly raining pretty heavily during the duck boat portion of the pre-game and it was not raining in the slightest outside my window. I know Somerville is across the river and all, but I didn't realize it was in a different ecosystem.

top of the sixth
Shit. It all falls apart quickly, starting with back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning, and St. Louis scores twice. A two runs over six innings performance is perfectly good performance, but Lester is probably going to get the our-offense-sucks-goat-balls loss.

bottom of the sixth
Runner on second with two outs, JD Drew at bat. I think, "he could tie the game by going yard," and it doesn't seem completely preposterous. And then JD reminds me that there is still a Nancy lurking inside of him by hitting one right at Joel. Great. This is the worst live blog ever.

top of the seventh
Lester able to bounce back in the seventh. Only makes lack of run support more painful.

bottom of the seventh

top of the eighth
Lester back out for the eighth. Interesting. He gets one hit and one loud out and that's the end of his day. Nice standing ovation. Maybe the crowd could start hitting in the nine hole. This is followed by a really nice performance by Run MDC.

bottom of the eighth
HAH. Ankiel just fell flat on his ass trying to make a catch in center and Coco leads off the inning with a triple. If the Sox squander runner on third and no outs, I will proceed to light myself on fire. Lugo somehow manages to not ground into a double play (you know he wanted to) and the game is tied.

Pedroia gets a two-out hit! Pedroia steals second! JD takes a walk! Manny takes a four-pitch walk! Mike Lowell takes ANOTHER four-pitch walk and the Sox take the lead! I'm not even going to bitch about how they left the bases loaded. This is the best live blog ever!

top of the ninth
Ankiel strikes out so hard on that Papelbon fastball that I thought he was going to fall on his ass again. Molina proceeds to strike out looking. Four pitch walk? DO. NOT. WANT.

And then some other stuff happens that displeases me so much I cannot even talk about it.

bottom of the ninth
More stuff I cannot even talk about.

top of the tenth
Okie sucks briefly, sacks up.

bottom of the tenth
Ellsbury leads off with a double, Pedroia executes a great bunt and gets Ellsbury to third. JD strikes out, eliminating the possibility of a sac fly, and I want to light him on fire. Sean Casey pinch-hits, flies out. Garbage.

top of the eleventh
I love Craig Hansen

bottom of the eleventh
Bases loaded, one out and you can't score? I fucking can't even.

top of the twelfth
Kelly + Craig Hansen 4eva

bottom of the twelfth
Lead off double from Pedroia. Whatever. I refuse to get excited. They will find a way to screw this up, I just know they will. Yep, there we go. Inning ending double play.

top of the thirteenth
Oh great, Javier Lopez. Lopez sucks, predictably, but Drew throws a bullet from right field and Varitek makes a great tag at the plate, and the beat goes on. I've been half-dressed and wanting to go to the grocery store for, like, two hours.

bottom of the thirteenth
YOOOOOOUUUUUK! Youkilis realizes that this scoring on base hits shit is not going to work and hits a two-run homer to win the game. Yes! If I had sat through this entire debacle to watch them lose, I would have stabbed myself in the face! So my face and the Sox tired bullpen both live to fight another day. And I'm not even upset that Lopez vultured another win.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

about last night

Since all the other Sox blogs are breaking character and posting about the Celtics, here is my story about the clinching game:

Katie and I watched the game at Mike's in Davis Square. We got there a little early so we could snag a booth before it got crowded. One person who also got there early was a lone Lakers fan (who really, really strongly resembled Jaleel White, we spent the whole game trying to decide if it was actually him) who was wearing a Kobe jersey and loudly talking smack to anyone who would listen. The whole first half, I wanted to start jawing back at him, but Katie wouldn't let me, because it's her job to keep me from getting arrested. As the outcome of the game became more and more inevitable, he started to quiet down (except when he would try to start "Fire Phil!" chants with … himself), and when there were about three minutes to go, when the game was effectively already over, he tore off his jersey and shouted, "FUCK THE LAKERS!" Everybody in the bar cheered. As annoying as he'd been all night, that moment was totally worth it.

And then, you know, the Celtics won the NBA title.

Monday, June 16, 2008

fail boat

Now pitching for the Styx River Dogs, Miiiiike Tiiiimlin!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

this could all be settled with a simple big buck hunter tournament of champions

As seen, uh, everywhere, Papelbon attempts to make up for having not been caught on camera administering purple nurples during the brawl with the Rays by issuing fighting words here.

Two questions:

1. Other players have scheduled appeals with regard to their suspensions, pleading that their actions weren't really that bad, and they deserve to be suspended for fewer games. Do you think Papelbon tried to schedule an appeal to explain that he really was much more of an animal during the brawl than the camera managed to catch, and he probably deserves to be suspended for two or three games?

2. Doug Mirabelli memorably arrived to a game in a cop car in 2006? Will the next series with the Rays end with Papelbon leaving in a cop car?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

bizarro sox

Uhh ... JD Drew and Manny Ramirez, the best 3-4 combination in baseball? Yeah, right, and I'm abandoning this game in the fifth inning to go watch the Celtics play a NBA Finals game.


Hey, wait a second!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

some notes from the FOX Saturday afternoon game circle of hell

& I fucking hate Richie Sexton. Primarily because he attempted to kill my beloved Typo, but also because he's a human freak show. Everybody knows he's tall, but have you ever noticed that all his height is in his torso? I was walking him walk back to the dugout after he struck out swinging in the second, and I noticed that the distance between the bottom of his numbers and his waistband is about twice as long as everyone else on his team. Human freak show.

& The only thing more fantastic than Manny hitting a homerun into the deepest reaches of the parking garage is the fact that he's wearing one #24 and one #34 wristband today. Manny, you magnificent bastard.

& Of all the solutions that people suggested as a stop-gap during Papi's injury -- greater emphasis on small ball, Chris Carter, players like JD Drew stepping up their offensive production, Barry Bonds -- I would have predicted that Barry Bonds would be getting his XXXL size neck fitted for a Red Sox jersey before I would have predicted JD Drew going on a scorching hot streak. I'm seriously not kidding.

& Announcers confused that fans are chanting "BEAT LA!" when there is still the remainder of this game and tomorrow afternoon's game between now and Game 2 for the Celtics. Apparently they are unaware that Bostonians have been starting random "BEAT LA!" chants every day for the last eight days, at Red Sox games, on the MBTA, in the liquor store, etcetera. I started a "BEAT LA!" chant with myself in the shower on Thursday morning.

& Dear Youk: The best way to ensure that you don't go back to the dugout and slam the equipment around in frustration? Hit scorching doubles. See how much fun that is? It's a shame that Remy and Don-O aren't calling this game. With an 11-2 lead, they'd probably be giving themselves giggle fits role playing a Sox Appeal date, doing play-by-play of their Tic Tac Toe game or some other ludicrous nonsense.

& I know that the save statistic is a ridiculous and artificial statistic, but why does Papelbon always seem to give up garbage runs when pitching with a greater than three run lead? It makes me think there might be something to clutch situations. Fire Joe Morgan is going to take away my Blogger account.

& 9th inning blip notwithstanding, excellent win. Anytime you can put up 11 runs with five regulars out of the line-up is a day for puppies and ice cream.

Friday, June 06, 2008

not so triumphant return

Hello out there to anyone who is still listening! Katie and I apologize for falling off the map for a minute there, there was work and then it was springtime but now it's cold and rainy and like a Stockholm Syndrome conditioned resident of New England, that is the weather I associate with baseball, so let's play along with tonight's game and also catch up with the events of the last several weeks.

top of the first
Oh jeez, I hope we can blame these two runs on unlucky defense, because I am enjoying the Bartolo Colon era so much, I would hate to see the wheels come off.

(I have great affection for every member of the Red Sox rotation, active, on the DL, currently demoted to the minors and otherwise. Unlike my co-author, I even enjoy the blogging styles of Curt Schilling. But the rotation feels overly populated with slow workers: Dice-K, who needs to figure out if he wants to go 3-2, 3-1 or 3-0 before attempting to actually make an out, Josh Beckett, who just needs a little extra time to perfect his menacing glare and then, of course, there's Wake, who may not necessarily work slowly, but the speed of his actual pitches always seems to guarantee you a 3.5+ hour game. Coming into tonight's game, Bartolo Colon has been a strike throwing machine. He throws a strike, he gets the ball back, he throws a strike.)

bottom of the first
NANCY! Nancy is certainly blossoming in the three spot, but we'll say no more about it because then he'll go out next inning and break his fingernail and be out for five games.

(VERTIGO? I MEAN. SERIOUSLY. VERTIGO? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I would be remiss, of course, if I failed to mention the reason that Nancy is currently inhabiting the three spot, the wrist injury of David Ortiz. I know many people are gnashing their teeth over whether a -- god forbid -- season-ending injury for Ortiz might mean a spot on the roster for Barry Bonds, but I believe we previously discussed that I am one of the last three Barry Bonds fans left on the East Coast. The first rule of being a Barry Bonds fan is that you never attempt to justify for Barry Bonds fandom, so I can't really get into it, but it's an awkward position. If you think that's bad, wait 'til you hear about how I hate both Lance Armstrong and Magic Johnson.)

Also, do you think Papi has figured out how to bedazzle his cast yet?)

top of the second
Okay, three up, three down! That's more like it! I can't tell you how much I have come to love Bartolo Colon in such a short period of time.

bottom of the second
Here is my thing -- if a player is going to get upset because the second baseman is blocking the base, or because the pitcher throws at him, he should be upset because these actions aren't letting him play to his full offensive potential. Coco Crisp's at-bat with two outs with the bases loaded: fouled off home plate, fouled off own foot, fouled off home plate again, couldn't hold up on a pitch that was set up outside. If this is your full offensive potential, don't bother charging the mound.

(Which is not to say that brawls are not wonderful. I'm just disappointed that there wasn't a camera guy following the bullpen out into the fracas, because I have been wondering since the summer of 2005 how Papelbon would react in the middle of a full-scale throw-down and I rewound that sucker about 18 times on my Tivo and still don't have the shot of Papelbon giving Scott Kazmir a wedgie at the bottom of a pile that I have to believe exists. But let's give out a few brawl awards:

Player I was most surprised to see acting the peacemaker: Julio Lugo
Player I was most surprised to see throwing punches: Sean Casey (?!?!)
Player I expected to bite a few more ankles: Dustin Pedroia
Player who looked like a wimp when his attempts to pull people off Coco were limited to tugging at the backs of their jerseys: Jacoby Ellsbury
Former Red Sox player I missed the most during the course of the brawl, 1a: Julian Tavarez
Former Red Sox player I missed the most during the course of the brawl, 1b: Pedro Martinez)

top of the third
Have I ever mentioned that Ichiro has a really weirdly pear-shaped ass? Seriously, watch him the next time he's up to bat. It's weird. Weirder than Derek Jeter's surgical ass implants. The Mariners scored again this inning. It was lame.

(I'm loving this Josh Beckett titanium necklace commercial. He moves his head around way more than is natural when he's adjusting the necklace, and ends up looking like one of the characters from the "Night at the Roxbury" SNL skit. Fantastic.)

bottom of the third
How many runners must they leave in scoring position during the course of this game? Do they want me to drink Drano?

top of the fourth
I was told that the Mariners were terrible. I would really like to see more evidence of this. I realize that the results thus far might have more to do with the Sox three throwing errors and less with the Mariners' lack of suckitude, but I still do not care for this one bit.

(Clearly I picked the worst game ever to do a "Hey, I'm still here! I still love the Red Sox!" running blog. Without an appropriate segue, let's just cut to the highlight of our three-week absence, Jon Lester's no-hitter. I wasn't watching the game, I watch an unhealthy number of the 162 games the Sox play each year, I figured a good game to skip in order to have a boozy dinner with my friends Martha and Anne would be a Jon Lester Monday night start against the Royals. I was getting ready to leave their house and I said, hey, can we check the Red Sox score really quick and it was the end of the sixth inning and I was like, "Uh, I know you guys don't like baseball that much, but I'm not leaving your house until this is over." This is the third game I've watched with these two friends in the last year, the first one was five-run comeback against the Yankees last April, the second one was the sixth game of the ALCS. I hope they think it's cool when I show up at their house on a random night and demand that they serve as my human good luck charm.)

bottom of the fourth
Don-O is pointing out that the silver lining is that at least King Felix has thrown a lot of pitches. Oh, for Christ's sake.

(Speaking of announcer boy -- I moved in with a new roommate last September, and while we get along great and have a lot in common, she has zero interest in baseball. I have been slowly brainwashing her, and it's coming along well. I keep meaning to start writing down the questions she asks me about Remy and Don-O. She'll walk in the room, look at the television, they'll be giggle-festing about Sox Appeal or some such and she'll be like, "Do they realize that they're on live television?" From the mouths of babes, man.)

top of the fifth
I've pretty much given up on this game. I'm not going to lie, I spent this entire half-inning looking at pictures of Barack and Michelle Obama. Please regard their fist-bumping! She's pretty foxy, also.

bottom of the fifth
Well, at least we were spared the indignity of stranding a runner in scoring position.

top of the sixth
AAAAAAAARDSMER! Sweet! I have not managed to learn any new facts about David Aardsma since was last spoke. I feel like we're really overdue for an Amalie Benjamin puff piece about him, yes?

bottom of the sixth
Ugh, seriously, this sucks. After all the injuries, the suspensions, the bizarre slap fight between Youks and Manny, it sucks to see the team come out flat against freakin' Seattle. Maybe deciding to get back to posting was a jinx. Maybe I should delete this entire post. But I've already written about a billion words, if I delete them now, I'll never get back on the blogging horse.

(This is getting way too depressing for a team that's going to be first place in their division at the end of tonight no matter what happens. Let's talk about Manny's 500th home run! Katie and I were actually at Camden Yards for the game before the 500th home run game, the epic, ridiculous thirteen inning game. So I can report that the total Red Sox fan hegemony is completely accurate. The game we were at coincided with the sixth game of the Celtics/Pistons series, and there were many "Let's go Celtics!" chants at many points during the night, which is kind of douche-y if you think about it, but endearing. Manny? Manny is Manny. You know what I mean.)

top of the seventh
So Javier Lopez actually get a ground out double play, which will convince Tito that he's actually useful for another couple months, great.

bottom of the seventh
Can the Red Sox finally score a run? No! No they cannot!

top of the eighth
More Lopez times!

bottom of the eighth
Roommate: "But why do they sing 'Sweet Caroline?'"

top of the ninth
Well, Lopez shouldn't be able to pitch for about three days after this three-inning appearance, so I guess that's a positive.

bottom of the ninth
This guy who is pitching for Seattle has a very long name. Is this the Australian guy? Hey, it is! Sox have Casey on second with nobody out and can't even get him home for the dignity-saving run, they lose 8-0.

I'm sure we all missed my cheerful optimism. We'll try to get back to posting more often.