Wednesday, May 30, 2007

a lapdance to a dmb song is in order

5/29802.657.0032017I mean, you never know, maybe you're dreaming

Oh, Josh. That was just DELIGHTFUL. From where we were sitting (non-obstructed unless you count the steel post. Fenway of my HEART, yo), I couldn't see the batter, so I was forced to truly focus on Beckett-- he looked super-confident and did not appear to be having any finger issues at all. One criticism, though: I'm bored with the post-game interview wardrobe. I've seen the grey thermal shirt, hemp necklace treasure trove, sunglasses combo a few too many times now. I mean, it looks great and all, but I'm sure you have some other options. Isn't it all about impressing the ladies?

The other star of the game, Youk, becomes the second Red Sox player to have a blog: It's probably hypocritical for me to be excited about this given the sheer loathing I express for the notion of Curt Schilling's blog, but I never said I was reasonable. Besides, maybe if I say enough rude things about, he'll show up and berate me-- that would be fun for everyone.

A few Youk stats, from various parts of
His hitting streak is at 21 games and he's on a 9-game multiple-hit streak.

In the last 15 years, only two big leaguers have had longer streaks of multiple-hit games: Bernie Williams of the Yankees (2002) and Chuck Knoblauch of the Twins (1996) had 10 such games

In those last 9 games, he's batting .475 (19 for 40).

He's batting .513 (20 for 39) in the first inning, with three doubles and a home run.

And he's still rocking that wacky goatee thing. AMAZING.


An enjoyable, if more-of-the-same piece on the brothers Papelbon in the Hartford Courant


When discussing implications that he's not playing because of the lead rather than any injury, Papi said, ""I don't like no days off," per Christopher at the
Extra Bases blog. Which is amusing. But what I really don't understand is why there are such implications in the first place-- he's not Manny. If they were giving him an off-day, I think everyone would be okay with that and they'd just say so. I mean, JD Drew gets an off day every time he gets so much as stubs his toe. Clearly, Boston just needs the drama for drama's sake even if there's none to be found.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

bases on balls for the win

1. What I'm thinking is that if the Sox can prove that more than 50% of the fans in attendance are Boston fans, that they should just get to bat in the bottom half of the inning, whether the game is being played at Fenway or not.

2. I love Manny Ramirez. I'm so glad he finally showed up to Spring Training.

3. Does that Kinsler kid know that Mike Timlin is going to skull-fuck him for using "Black Betty" as his batting music?

4. Having Eric Frede and Jim Rice anchor the pre-game coverage and post-game show reminds me of that game last August when the starting battery was Kason Gabbard and Javier Lopez (and Youk was playing left field and batting clean-up).

5. Paps gets his first save opportunity in 3,452 years. Viva el Gasolina!

Friday, May 25, 2007

some people just don't like to separate their toes

We watched the game on Wednesday in an effort to make our days better. Wow. That plan went way off course. Thanks, Schill! When the score hit 6-0, kelly said "we may as well talk about the Celtics." Which was just mean, because unless the next sentence is "Isn't it awesome how they fired their sorry excuse for a coach?" I'm not exactly interested in talking about the Celtics these days.

We actually bailed early and went to discuss important issues over ice cream. And by important issues, I mean kelly said "What would you trade Wily Mo for?" Results of this discussion summarized below.

    Top 5 Suitable Replacements for Wily Mo Pena as Our Fourth Outfielder

  1. An Easter basket we put out in right field. Would probably catch more fly balls, just on the basis of probability.

  2. Another one of those cute ball girls. Again, would probably be better on the relay.

  3. Some sort of robot that's programmed to just swing at everything. Like a pitching machine, but with a bat, you know?

  4. Coco is always taking weird routes to the ball anyway, maybe he could just play both positions.

  5. Matt Clement. I'm not saying he'd be any good at all (is actively scared of a ball in motion, whereas WMP just seems to be allergic to it) but at least he'd be earning his keep for a change, right?
Re: item 5, I would like to state for the record that unless he finds a way to bring me coffee from the outfield, Matt Clement is still not on my team. Though, I have changed my opinion on him somewhat-- instead of a bag of balls, I'm thinking maybe we should trade him for extra five-toed socks for the people who actually know how to pitch? [link courtesy the PM who actually reads The New York Times like a grown-up or something]

So, did you know that Tavarez calls Papelbon "Gasolina"? Because I did NOT and while I didn't realize it at the time, my life was clearly empty without this knowledge.

"We call him 'Gasolina,'" said Sox starter Julian Tavarez. "This guy goes six, seven days without pitching and then he goes out there and throws 95, 96 without walking anybody. No panic with Pap. Once the game gets to the ninth inning, it's over. That's how we see it with Jonathan." (from

And now we can all feel more complete as we start our long weekends.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

the most enraged post you can possibly make after handily beating the yankees

Dear Jonathan,

We need to talk. First it there was the three-hit, one-run performance against the Braves this weekend, but tonight? Back-to-back walks? Two on and no one out in the bottom of the ninth in Yankee fucking Stadium? These two innings took years off my life that I'll never get back. And, yeah, I know, they were both non-save situations, and on Sunday you also struck out the side and tonight you got out of it without allowing a run, but I saw something tonight that I did not like one bit. JONATHAN ROBERT, I SAW YOU SHAKING OFF PITCH CALLS. WE DO NOT SHAKE OFF PITCH CALLS IN THIS HOUSE. Ask your buddy Josh what happens when you shake off pitch calls. You end up reeking of pachouli and getting taken deep so many times that you'll start confusing baseball games with your attempts to pull sorority girls.

Fortunately, you fucking own Derek Jeter's ass, to the point that I would not be surprised if you had tattooed "Property of JRP" on his left butt cheek at some point during your last six meetings. Did you shake off any pitch calls during that positively masterful clutch three pitch strike out? No? I DIDN'T THINK SO.


P.S. -- Tell Julian I said happy birthday. I ... never thought I'd be wishing Julian Tavarez a happy birthday.

P.P.S. -- Tell NESN that if they take the Eck away again, Kathryn Tappen gets it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

the last few days, we've been here in the tardes and the noches!

Hi everybody, hi! I know we haven't talked in almost a week, but Katie and I have had our faces eaten by work, and this has combined with October-in-May to make me feel like I haven't really watched any baseball this week either, which is totally unacceptable. Since we last spoke:

AAAH THIS TEAM. Because, hey, that's cool, the generally underused bullpen had to go eight and two-thirds innings in two games over the weekend (giving up just two runs), and even though the offense came roaring back to win both games late, that wasn't enough. The relievers looked like they needed a night off, so Dice-K was like, yeah, awesome, I'll just throw a complete game, no problem.

My boss: So, yeah, it's looking like we might need to stay … a little late.
Me: Whatever, I'll stay late. But starting at seven, I need to be able to monitor the score on someone's computer.

[later, circa 6:55pm]

My boss: Hey, Kelly, don't you need to start monitoring the game soon?
Me: Um, uh, hahah, I was mostly just kidding, I mean--
My boss: You know, I really don't think you were.
Me: You're right, I wasn't.

[later, circa 9:55pm]

Me: [still at work]
Me: [cranky, also fickle]
Me: Well, Jesus Christ, you guys, you could at least make me regret not being able to watch this.

Hey! Huge mess that kept me at work until ten-thirty last night and back in the office at seven-thirty this morning is over! I left the office on time! All I want to do is plant my ass on my couch and watch some baseball! And … we have ourselves a rain-out.

Interesting article in the Globe today, with Nick Cafardo writing that with plenty of quality starts and lopsided wins, the Sox have been using Papelbon particularly sparingly. Cafardo obviously neglects to mention that Papelbon stays in kill mode form during long stretches without work by biting the heads off live ducks.

Later: Work once again keeps me from the Sox, as I am unable to sneak out at any point during the afternoon to watch the game at the undisclosed location I tell our receptionist is my "other office." Am once again forced to follow the proceedings electronically, and since we aren't allowed to have Flash on our computers, when I say "electronically," I even don't mean Gamecast, I mean the ESPN Insider Realtime Scoreboard (the Papelblog thanks its ESPN Insider account sponsor, So watching Tavarez rack up quality inning after quality inning is not quite the thrill it could have been. However, is there anything more entertaining than the information that Tavarez's batterymate for this outing was Dougie? Why didn't I realize that until now Julian and Dougie were meant for each other?

But the pitcher's ERA does get updated with each batter faced on the Realtime Scoreboard, so I am able to watch Papelbon's ERA reduce itself from 1.35 to 1.26 over the course of the ninth inning, and yes, Jackie, you are absolutely right, Pap and Oki absolutely sounds like a kid's show involving puppets. Puppets that strike out little kids, take their lunch money and make them cry. You know, just like that.

Later still: There's baseball to be played, but the PM and I choose to toggle back and forth between the game and the season finales of The Office and Supernatural. I am, frankly, relieved that television season is drawing to a close, making these choices has been stressful. News of the Hinske go-ahead homerun (has been mentioned by others, but warrants mentioning again: deepest bench ever) comes via a score check during the middle of the emotastic Supernatural finale, again, not quite as thrilling as it could have been.

It has been a murderously terrible week, and I have tentatively committed to either going to Dyke Night at Toast or the mall in Saugus, but I'm not gonna lie, I'm thinking about blowing off both of those things to watch some baseball on the couch in my pajamas. But the choice gets made for me, because there is ANOTHER RAIN-OUT.

Okay, I'm back, I'm ready, I'm rested. I even got up early so I could go to Whole Foods and get the ingredients necessary to keep me a lean, mean, tuna melt eating machine throughout the three games I hope to watch in the next twenty-four hours, weather and my sanity permitting. First things first: it never stops being funny how the Red Sox are the orphans that nobody wants to adopt when it comes to regional rivalry series interleague play. It's vaguely absurd when their regional rivalry match-up is the Phillies, but the Braves? Seriously?

Afternoon: What sums it up best, I think, is that midway through the game, the ESPN MLB scoreboard top performers of the day has a bit of a theme going.

Interlude: I switch over from NESN to Fox just in time to see the Yankees' starter come out of the game with no outs in the first. SCHAAAAAAA-deeen-freude (bah BAH bah), good times never seemed so good.

Evening: This game was wet and ugly, and the less said about it, the better. But the Yankees fell to second-to-last in the division and we're still ten games up on the Orioles, so if this is what passes for my lumps, I'll take them happily.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Katie: "This was the first Beckett start I didn't watch this season. Clearly, I blame myself."

The Josh Beckett Random Performance Rating Generator Using Lyrics By a Band That Does Not Have Any Songs about Blisters, Not Even the Kind You Get When You Burn Yourself On A Glass Bong:

5/13702.664.0022027Where are you going?

The lyric instead summing up how I felt when it was clear Beckett wasn't coming back out for the fourth.

I don't even know, you guys. I spent a large portion of the last three games watching with one eye while grinding out my second-to-last paper in the history of my career as a graduate student. The paper was about malaria, which might explain why this series felt like such a fever dream. Did we take two out of three or did we very nearly almost get swept? Was the game over when Beckett came out after four innings with a omg don't call it a blister boo-boo on his middle finger or did the Sox actually score six runs in the ninth inning to win with on a walk-off error? Do the Orioles have the worst bullpen ever or do they have the worst bullpen ever?

Speaking of which -- when they took Guthrie out, I swear to Papi, I actually thought, "Well, that's one way to avoid allowing your bullpen to give away the game, only leave them 2/3rds of an inning and a five-run lead." Turns out, when you're dealing with the Orioles' $44 million dollar lemon, 2/3rds of an inning is all it takes. I have to hand it to the offense, though, the comeback in the ninth inning may have been the only thing that could have distracted me from rocking like Francona, muttering not a blister, not a blister, not a blister for the next four days.


* During his post-game conference, Beckett said, re: his finger injury, "The training staff, I'm sure, will keep everyone abbreviated." I guess the rumors of his limited vocabulary haven't been exaggerated.

* When Paps came in to pitch the ninth yesterday, was I the only one who thought, "Well, at least it's an opportunity to shave down his ERA?"

* With his artistically applied eye black yesterday, Papi bore a suspicious resemblance to Ryan Ross. (Katie is going to kill me for mentioning Panic! at the Disco in the Papelblog. Good times!)

* I enjoy her blog posts, but I am refraining from jumping on the Amalie-Benjamin-Is-My-NESN-Girlfriend bandwagon until she can sit next to Tina Cervasio's Cavernous Maw during the pre-game show and not look twelve years old. Seriously, Amalie, I know Hazel Mae and the Cavernous Mae cake it on a little bit too much, but for God's sake, run a comb through your hair! Put some lipstick on! (Also, stop looking so much like the first Yankees fan I had the misfortune to date, that might help, too.)


Saturday, May 12, 2007

i'm starting with the man in the mirror, i'm asking him to change his shoddy fielding

Here at the papelblog, we have an official rule book for living the life Derek Jeter imagines. And bit by bit, we'd like to share that with you, so we present Weekends With Jetes-- feel free to fist pump/routine throw to first right along with us.

From Chapter 3: "Finding Role Models" in The Life You Imagine: 10 Practical Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams:

"I don't know if it's odd or if it's weird and I don't know if it happens to Derek, but I'll be walking down the street and someone will come up to me and say, 'Hey, Derek Jeter,'" said Rodriguez. "I'll hear them calling me Derek. It's really weird to be so parallel to someone else. It's almost like looking in the mirror when I see the way he looks and the way he acts, it's crazy."

It is crazy, but it is true. In addition to being best friends, Derek and Alex have as many similarities as twins. [...] "At this point," said Alex, "Derek is like my brother." They talk on the phone constantly, gabbing and laughing like a couple of high school kids before junior prom. But, between the joking and teasing, the conversations get deep, too. [...] "We talk about getting old, gray and fat when our careers are over and just having a good time," said Rodriguez. "It's a weird situation for us. It's just like we're looking in the mirror. The only difference is I'm on the West Coast and he's on the East Coast."


When I called kelly and said I wanted something from the ARod sidebar for this first segment she was worried it would be hard to pick the best part without just quoting it all, but I think she did an admirable job. This segment is a sidebar, so it's written by Jeter's co-author, but I promise you, the majority of the book and the rest of the segments we'll be posting are all in the AMAZING narrative voice of Derek Jeter-- the book positively reeks of grapefruit.


In other news, people are all a-flutter about some guy named Barry. If you've taken a look at the sidebar, you know that kelly is a Bonds fan. And if you've read this thing, you probably know that I am (blasphemously, I know) not a fan of one Curt Schilling. So I think we're both particularly gratified by our boy Paps taking aim with one of his laser-scope hunting rifles right at the entire controversy on his weekly ice cream social with Greg Dickerson.


And since I've taken up the Tavarez apologist banner as of late (I don't know how it happened either), all I have to say about the game last night (which I missed as I was driving North to the homeland) was already said by Amalie: "But it was a serviceable outing from the No. 5 starter. And it wasn't as if the Red Sox didn't have base runners" (from here).

Stranding 13 baserunners? 13? [sigh]

Thursday, May 10, 2007

my dad sent me an e-mail saying he thinks schill is a jerk, so you know things have gotten serious.

5 things while I carefully arrange these chicken entrails to ensure that the curse of no run support is truly gone from this place

1. Last night, ho hum. We got to see what it's like when Dice-K doesn't have a one-inning nervous breakdown, and it turns out that he's ... good? (Sorry, much like Soxaholix, I have entered
hot streak jinx precaution mode.)

2. To my knowledge, the Mr. and Mrs. Papelbon Sox Appeal teaser aired exactly twice (once each during the first two games of the season, never to be seen again). But now it's finally up on the
website (click on the video link in the left-hand sidebar). Great commercial or greatest commercial? Why is this not in the NESN commercial rotation like a Jordan's Furniture ad? Is it because Paps' two-point plan to make chicks dig you (1. get tipsy 2. refuse to leave) was deemed not suitable for all-ages viewing?

3. I'm really bummed to hear that
Dave Roberts may have to have elbow surgery, which would keep him out of commission for four weeks and possibly jeopardize his glorious return to Fenway for the Giants series on June 15-17. Because, seriously, enough talking about whether Barry Bonds could possibly start mysteriously not being able to travel with the team once he gets close to the 755 mark break the home run record when the Giants come to visit for interleague. Is that really the most important thing that's gonna happen to Sox Nation that weekend?

4. Manny and the Graven Face of Mike Lowell have currently hit the exact same number (6) of home runs on the season.

5. Last night, I got into an actual, resulted-in-hurt-feelings argument with a friend of a friend who was trying to claim that Huston Street was a better pitcher than Jonathan Papelbon, and that it wasn't fair that people paid more attention to Papelbon because his team manufactured more save opportunities, and I was like, it's true, saves are an inherently non-comparable statistic, so let's compare their BAA,WHIP and ERA, shall we? And it turns out that Paps is pitching better in all those categories and, really, that's not the point. The point is that I'm a fucking irrational crazy person who shouldn't be let out of the house. And how many ducks did Huston Street shoot last winter, anyway?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

he was wheeling and dealing

I am SICK of the Blue Jays, man. Why have we already played them 100 times? Why won't Frank Thomas leave me alone? Dude. Which is not to say I don't enjoy pummeling them in a delightful fashion in order to keep Josh Beckett's streak alive.

5/8702.517.0051115Oh but tonight we're dancing in the fate light

So Kelly has taken to referring to Josh Beckett exclusively as my boyfriend. And maybe I did just spend a few minutes figuring out that if all continues as expected, Beckett should be pitching the next game I'm attending. And it's possible that CSPAN and I have had to delay our usual television programming so I could watch the Beckett post-game press conference more than once. But, what can I say? He's perfect. Still! In May.

Look, I know, I probably look like a bandwagon-jumper after calling him a pansy-ass all last season, but seriously, who wouldn't jump on a 7-0, 2.51 ERA bandwagon of awesome that smells vaguely of patchouli and pot and makes stops at all local college parties? I'm not even trying to resist that -- it's a force of nature.

Also, he goes around saying shit like this about the Captain:

"Tek's a good hitter. A lot of times, being a catcher is his biggest downfall. He's concentrating on me, Daisuke [Matsuzaka], Schill [Curt Schilling], everybody in the rotation, everyone in the bullpen except [Tim] Wakefield. If he were a DH and didn't have to worry about all the paperwork that goes along with being the best catcher in the game, he'd probably hit .315." (from

That's right, on JBeck's fantasy baseball team, Tek's the DH. Sweet.

In the other
Globe article about last night, it seemed like they weren't going to remind us that Beckett's a pitcher now, not a thrower, but thank god, Cardafo worked it in just before the end. It might have been his job on the line otherwise. I wonder if the paper's trademarked that phrase or something?

To, reluctantly, turn the topic away from my boyfriend, please be sure to check out the picture gracing the front of the
Sox page today before they change it. I'm pretty sure the SeaMonkey is incapable of lifting Papi off the ground, so I'm taking that picture as further evidence that Pedroia is the smallest person ever. Papi could crush him without even noticing!

Monday, May 07, 2007

day off

How I spent the off day when I wasn't bitching about why anyone would want to sign a 45-year-old probably-juicing wretchface who couldn't average 6 innings per start in the same division that produced the league's first 83 game World Series championship team.

When it's ten o'clock on a Thursday night and I'm watching the game at a bar somewhere in Kenmore, wondering how many hours it's going to take me to get back to Somerville on the train, I think, "Christ, I'm kind of looking forward to the next off day, maybe I can actually get something done." Then the next off day comes around and you can usually find me sitting on my couch in in pajamas, eating a tuna melt and watching Walk Off Sox.

So, that's ... cool, right? Tonight's Walk Off Sox was from September 29, 2005, and featured a wheels-already-coming-off performance by Matt Clement (Remember when he still played for us? What's that? Technically he does still play for us? Um, fuck that) and I remembered that a lot of things first have to go wrong to produce the opportunity for a walk-off win, and I was just getting ready to catch up on the Sopranos or re-watch the season finale of Friday Night Lights or something when this guy comes in for long relief, this rookie who was a mid-season call-up from Triple A, I don't know if you've heard of him?


I tried to tell the PM that he looked younger, and she was like, "Seriously, shut up, this was a year and a half ago." But he definitely had not perfected his kill mode routine of looking down at the ground, and then looking sloooooowly up to stare down the batter until the batter thinks he's going to piss himself. Mostly he just slammed the door and was bad-ass, getting the last two outs of the seventh and the full eighth and ninth innings, allowing only two hits and no runs scored. There was one sign of things to come, though. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the camera catches Paps sitting in the dugout with a towel over his head, looking like he just shot 342 ducks using only the power of his laser glare, and Remdawg says something like, "He's got ice water in his veins, nothing really bothers him. When he forced the hitter to pop up to end the inning, he just kind of walked off the mound, like, 'this is what I'm meant to do.'" Oh, Remdawg, if you only knew. If we all only knew.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The popular videogame "Doom" is based loosely around the time Satan borrowed two bucks from Julian Tavarez and forgot to pay him back.

5 Thoughts While I Contemplate the Fact That the Owner of Tonight's Only RBI was Dustin Pedroia

1. I'm thinking, if I have a valuable possession that I really want to keep an eye on, something I really want to make sure it stays put, I'll just put it on base in scoring position when the Red Sox are up to bat, because that way I know it probably isn't going anywhere.

2. I was nursing the slight back end of a hangover and looking for some background noise while I did my homework this afternoon, so I ended up watching the Yankees game on Fox. (Baseball = the best combination of incentive and white noise for banging out reading responses. I never would have made it this far through grad school without it.) This put me in the awkward position of actively rooting against a perfect game, but I was up to the task. Me and Tim McCarver, who didn't even wait until the end of the fifth before he started trying to jinx it. I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Tim McCarver.

3. Twelve stranded base runners? Do these players not realize what Julian Tavarez is capable of? Julian Tavarez doesn't sleep, he waits.

4. At least Papelbon was back in the saddle again last night, thank Christ. Also, Mike has a good explanation for how the team managed to keep Paps from busting out of the bullpen during the Mariners game. Between his total "what the fuck is going on?" face on Thursday night and the fact that I'm pretty sure the microphones picked up Papi shouting "This is bullshit!" on his way back to the dugout after his first strike-out in tonight's game, it's been a good week.

5. Also, we've never had reason to discuss this on the blog before, but Katie's two favorite things in the whole world are carnies and board games. We decided on Thursday night that we love Julian Tavarez so much because he kind of looks like he could be a carnie.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

a bunch of vaguely attractive stoners in white shoes

The Josh Beckett Seemingly Less and Less Random More and More Stone-Cold Bad-Ass Dave Matthews Band Lyric Pitching Performance Generator:

5/2602.727.0060327Surprise, surprise, you pay for what you get

Also, forwarded to me from the Globe sports page, the Josh Beckett Post-Game Article Mad Libs:

Josh Beckett is a pitcher now, not just a thrower. Last year, he was [adjective, synonym for irratic]. But the Josh Beckett of 2007 is a [adjective] [noun, pref. synonym for wild animal]. His fastball is still [adjective, synonym for fast], but his curveball is [adjective, synonym for filthy] and [adjective, synonym for nasty]. He's a pitcher now, not just a thrower. He's [adjective, synonym for mature]. Says [teammate], "[Vague supportive statement]." Says manager Terry Francona, "[Vague, mumbled statement]." Says catcher Jason Varitek, "[Vague, menacing statement]." He's a pitcher now, not just a thrower. He's a pitcher now, not just a [noun, synonym for person who throws things hard but with no precision].

(When Katie and I were on the phone today talking about Josh Beckett, she asked me to point out that every single member of the Oakland A's looks vaguely stoned when they come up to bat. This is true. I confirmed, as a golden state ex-pat (Randomly -- go Warriors!) that it's "just a California thing.")

And, uh, that's it! No other baseball was played this week! What's that you say? There was a game on Tuesday? Ugh. Fine. I'm just saying, you know things are dire when I'm finding comfort in the wisdom of
Curt Schilling: Needless to say the game was a bummer. I’ll take Paps in that situation 30 more times this year and like our chances. Also, the whole thing was maybe 23% worth it to see Paps try to murder that water bottle in the dugout during the bottom of the ninth.