Tuesday, July 31, 2007

do you think we could send wily mo down to texas to, like, deliver kason?

6 Thoughts a Little More Than One Hour After the Trade Deadline Dust Has Settled

1. The Metro article on the ten-year anniversary of the trade that brought Derek Lowe and Oh Captain Comma My Captain Jason Varitek to the Red Sox included
this amazing photograph of 25 year old Tek, who, minus the facial hair, doesn't really look that different than 35 year old Tek. You kind of get the impression that Tek came out of the womb looking about 32, and, of course, telling the obstetrician to get his ass down to first base.

2. Honestly, I would have been fine had the Sox made no deals at all, because the deals that I really want to make at the deadline are always things like "David Ortiz circa 2007 for David Ortiz circa 2005" or "Historic 2nd Half Mike Lowell for Historic 1st Half Mike Lowell." But since John Henry refuses to spend a few of his many millions on the Boston Red Sox Official Delorean, well.

3. That said, do you think Jonathan Papelbon is intimidated by the fact that glasses-wearing Eric Gagne bears a much stronger resemblance to Rick Vaughn? Because I'm thinking yes.

4. I'm much more torn up about beloved Typo's exit than I would have anticipated three months ago! Godspeed to you, little Typo. You were probably never going to find an everyday spot in our rotation, so I wish luck to you in Texas, where they appear to need all the help they can get.

5. Obviously, though, the deadline trade that upsets me the most is Scott Proctor to the Dogers. Now if I happen to glance at the ESPN.com scoreboard and see that the Yankees are down between four and six runs in the eighth inning, it's totally up to Kyle Farnsworth to blow the lead! Still, I have to imagine he's up to the task.

6. While on the phone with Katie, I said, "Do you have anything to add about the trade deadline?" And she said, "Not really. The usual." And I said, "Matt Clement?" And she said, "Bucket of balls, your mom, a cup of coffee. Change for a cup of coffee. That dead rat I saw in the street on my way to work today. They're all interchangeable."

Friday, July 27, 2007

i am concerned that kason might not be eating his crusts.

A couple weeks ago, the Red Sox lost a one-run game to the Blue Jays (you may recall, it was one-run loss #489 of 572 for the month of July) where Julian Tavarez only went four innings but left with a 5-4 lead. When it seemed like we might still win the game, Paddy McMurphy and I did some reading about who wins the game when the starting pitcher leaves before going five innings and learned that in the event that the starting pitcher goes less than 5 innings but leaves with the lead, the win goes to the pitcher that the official scorer judges as having been the most effective. Cue last night's game, in which Tavarez gets the win, having pitched 2 and 1/3rd innings after Kason Gabbard went 4 and 2/3rds innings (sadly, that pitching line, unlike his name, was not a typo). I imagine Batshit got the win because he went the longest in relief, but he also gave up four runs, so I don't know that I would call him the most effective, either.

And really, how are we measuring most effective, anyway? Don't you think there's a reasonable chance that Mike Timlin spent a large portion of last night's game sitting in the visitor's bullpen, stroking the pelt of an animal he'd killed with his bare hands, hissing in Julian Tavarez's ear about how there'd been some changes since the last time Julian was in the bullpen, and that this was a bullpen that was feared and respected now, and Julian, the prodigal son, was not going to come back and frig everything up, you hear? And the MDC was like, "Um, Mike, when you came back from the DL, didn't you kind of--" and, and Timlin says, "Shut the fuck up, Delcarmen, or I'll send you back to Pawtucket myself. From here. One-handed." And so little Manny shut up and he and Papelbon went back to playing Go Fish.

So in that scenario (in my opinion, 97% likely to be untrue), isn't Mike Timlin the most effective relief pitcher on the night?

Monday, July 23, 2007


Pulling out all the stops for Jon Lester's return to the majors, I engaged in my first blatant attempt on the season to cajole some good luck. I was walking home from the bus and thinking about how I needed to scrub the bathroom floor and how, last time it was my turn to scrub the bathroom floor, I did something that made the task slightly less tedious, but what did I -- right! I was listening to the Sox game from the other room! And that ended up being the Mother's Day Miracle game! So if I scrub the bathroom floor tonight, that'll be GOOD LUCK, RIGHT?

(Reminds me of the 2004 ALCS, when Katie, the PM and I spent so much time knocking on various wood surfaces in the living room of our apartment that I think I had bloody knuckles by the end.)

My Cinderella mojo aside, Jon Lester was both pretty good and pretty lucky tonight -- there were some hard-hit balls in just the right places, the infield turned some nice double plays, and there was the now-you-see-the-lead-disappearing-now-you-dont! bases loaded one-out jam in the fourth. The best part of the fourth inning magic act was Lester's parents, who, in an interview with Tina's Cavernous Maw in the previous inning (during which I am 62% positive Kathie Lester ROLLED HER EYES at Cavernous Maw, God bless her), were all, "baseball, shmaseball, we're just glad he's healthy." And rightfully so, obviously, but after he struck out Sizemore to end the inning, their fist pump action was positively Papelbonian. Fuck yeah!

Still, if anybody deserves a little luck, it's Lester. And now there's a chance that the Red Sox could have six healthy and qualified major league starters by the first week of August. I'm rooting for Lester and Gabbard to both put up no-hitters sometime in their next couple starts, so they have to have a wizard's duel to decide who gets to keep the fifth spot.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ka-son gab-bard (clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

Any time I'm spending Saturday afternoon lying prone on my couch and feeling like a crack whore because I spent all night reading the last Harry Potter book and the bad ass new god Kason the Super Typo Gabbard is pitching and I have to endure a Fox telecast, it seems like I might as well liveblog:

The bullet points on the Fox scouting report for Super Typo read "FINESSE, SCHILLING, MIDDLE INNINGS." Yeah, identifying the pitcher he replaced in the rotation is really the key to scouting his pitching strengths and weaknesses. It's … going to be a long afternoon. Kason induces three ground-outs for a 1-2-3 inning and Fox kidnaps my TV and sends us to the Giants/Brewers game so we can watch Barry Bonds bat with two outs and no score in the first fucking inning.

(Jesus Christ, I LIKE Barry Bonds and even I hate this shit. Record chases should be fun, but the home run ones always seem to be hollow and joyless. Any home run related record-breaking attempt always brings up the smelly, rotting albatross of steroids, and the most memorable record-breaking seasons seem to happen to guys who are playing on teams that are having lousy years. Mark McGuire hit 70 home runs in 1998 and the Cardinals went 83-79 and finished 19 games out, so who cares?)

Julio Lugo is forced at gunpoint to announce the Red Sox line-up, bringing a dramatic flair that includes referring to himself in the third person in the lead-off spot and, "and the pitcher, Kason Gabbard … pitching." Sox also go down 1-2-3. Barry Bonds is presumably limping around left field back in Milwaukee; Fox does not see fit to provide an update at this time.

Boring announcer who is neither Buck nor McCarver (ah, it's Joe Girardi and Thom Brennaman) drops a bombshell: "Wily Mo is never going to win any Gold Gloves." Seriously, I am going to start trying to arrange a trade for Wily Mo to an AL team that needs a DH myself. At some point, fans are going to have to step in, yes?

Fields hits a line drive to right, and Konerko, who never should have been on second base in the first place, scores easily. Great! Thankfully, Coco "I Will Patrol This Entire Fucking Outfield if I Have to, and Also the Outfield of That Softball Field Across the Street" Crisp makes a nice catch to end the inning.

But, hey! Bases loaded, one out, and I'm thinking, "Great, perfect opportunity to strand the maximum amount of runners by grounding into a double play." But, while making his rounds, Coco apparently located a nice spot in left field to drop down a single, so he does, and two runs score, and it's awesome, but then Wily Mo (apparently not aware that he owes me a run from earlier in the inning) grounds into a double play on the first pitch. At least … he only stranded … two runners?

Tito is forced to endure the dugout interview, looking like he will clearly be battling Julio Lugo to the death for the chance to make the team's next on camera appearance. He mentions that when he saw Papi's slide into second last night, he almost fell off his couch. I feel closer to Tito right now. It's like he knows what it's like for me to watch the game at home every night. Meanwhile, Super Typo settles down for another 1-2-3 inning.

We get one pitch into Julio Lugo's at-bat before being thrown in the trunk and taken back to Milwaukee. NOT ON, FOX, NOT ON. Can't they at least employ picture-in-picture? Barry Bonds hits it back to the pitcher, and when we return back to the game I turned on the television to watch, Lugo is standing on second base. No clue whether he doubled, walked/singled and then stole second or just shouted, "Hey, look over there, it's Barry Bonds!" and trotted over to second when no one was paying attention. Eventually, we get to see a flashback of a nifty double off the wall. I'm still angry. Lugo is eventually stranded at third.

Another 1-2-3 inning for Super Typo. The White Sox are hacking all over the place, through four innings, he's induced 10 ground outs. We get safely out of the inning without having to go to Wisconsin, but we do have to watch that Dane Cook "there's only one October" commercial, which makes me want to punch someone (hint: Dane Cook) in the face.

Red Sox also go down 1-2-3. Hey, I meant to say, last week Cspan gave me the best present ever, one of those "I [HEART] HAZEL MAE" t-shirts. I wore it to the game on Monday, and at one point I was on the way back to my seat and a security guard stopped me to say, "Hey, I love Hazel Mae!" and I said, "No, I love Hazel Mae!" and he was like, "No, I love her more!" in a way that I think was meant to imply that I couldn’t touch the Skinemax levels of love he had for Hazel Mae. I thought about trying to correct this assumption, but wisely just went back to my seat. He saw me on my way out and shouted, "I still love her more!"

A bunch of bad throws get made and two attempts are required to turn the double play properly, but the end result is another 1-2-3 inning for Super Typo.

Blah blah Coco, Wily Mo and Lugo go down in order blah, watching good young pitching is boring when it's against you blah blah.

I'm checking Super Typo's pitch count on ESPN.com (very efficient 52 pitches through five innings!) when that stupid "Bonds on Deck" pop-up, uh, pops up, so at least I'm prepared when we get whisked away from the second batter of the inning for Barrywatch. Going into this plate appearance, I think that I'll be irritated if they intentionally walk him and we still have to watch the whole at-bat. At the end of the plate appearance, I'm wishing for an intentional walk, because it would have taken less time than the 10 pitch unintentional walk that actually occurred. By the time we get back to Boston, Kason has apparently gotten the next two batters out. Either that, or they forfeited their at-bats to go watch the Barry Bonds at-bat on TV in the club house, who knows.

Manny's nickname is "Baby Bull"? They just make this stuff up, right? Right? JD Drew hits a nice line drive double to right, scoring the Baby Bull. Drew appears to be chatting with the ump at second, wonder if he's saying anything along the lines of, "sorry for completely fragging up that totally no-brainer call yesterday, I guess you guys didn't really need to win 12-3." I don't think they were arguing or anything, Drew almost looked amused. You know, if his face was capable of displaying emotion.

Chicago makes a nice force-out play at home, and Joe and Thom spend a THOUSAND YEARS talking about how Fields, the third baseman, played quarterback in college, which I guess would be interesting if he'd thrown the ball home with a spiral motion or something. Mike Lowell gets tagged out at home to end the inning, but the Sox pick up two runs.

Mike Lowell, our third baseman, did not to my knowledge play football in college, but he has three kills on the base paths this season, so really, who would you prefer to have on your team? Kason retires two, gives up his first walk of the afternoon but then induces another ground out to end the inning. He's thrown 86 pitches through seven innings, so he should absolutely be out for the eighth.

Eric Hinske steals second. So that's … different. My beloved Hazel did a segment with Pedroia on Ultimate Red Sox Show this week and when she asked him which teammate with whom he'd like to get stranded on a desert island, he said Eric Hinske, because he's a "funny guy." This is wonderful information. The Red Sox have one out and a runner in scoring position, so I think you know where Fox sends the game. I do get an answer to my question from the top of the sixth: THEY MAKE US WATCH THE ENTIRE INTENTIONAL WALK. We come back in the middle of an intentional walk to Manny, so I guess Dusty forfeited his at-bat to go watch Barry get intentionally walked on TV.

After intentionally walking Manny and unintentionally walking Youk to load the bases, Joe and Thom muse about whether the White Sox will go get a lefty to face JD, but add, "or, Guillen may leave [Wasserman] in to see what the kid can do." Which I guess is a nice way of saying, "or Ozzie may make a decision that's rooted in the fact that he's completely fucking nuts, we honestly have no idea." So they bring in Logan, the lefty, and he serves up my favorite thing in the whole world: a four-pitch base on balls to walk in a run. And what's better than two walked-in runs? TWO walked-in runs! And you would think that THREE walked-in runs would be two walked-in runs times nirvana, but at this point I'm worried that, with five walks in a row and two pitching changes, Super Typo will have been sitting too long to come back out for the eighth. Coco, sensing my concern but unwilling to concede the inning, quickly hits a base hit up the middle and two more runs score. If things get too much more out of hand, Tito will send Alex Cora out to pitch the eighth. Hinske, apparently also interested to see if Cora could add "relief pitcher" to his "emergency back-up everything" resume, hits a line drive to right and two more runs score. Seven runs have now scored in this half inning, and we're approaching the forty-minute mark. Is Kason even still in the dugout? Lugo, finally, produces a mercy strikeout.

As predicted, Kason does not come back out for the eighth. Tito, apparently not ready to release the awesomeness of Alex Cora, relief pitcher, on the world, sends out Lopez. But let's discuss Super Typo for a minute: Going into the Kansas City game, his ERA was 4.83. At the end of this outing, it's sitting at 2.97. If he keeps pitching like this, he can start calling himself Rhomas, Sichael, Tilliam, whatever. Meanwhile, Lopez gives up a couple hits but gets out of the inning.

Dusty says, "Maybe Dougie could come out and pitch the ninth!" and starts things off with a base hit. Manny says, "Screw this, I wanna go home and finish reading the Harry Potter book," and grounds out to third base. In the end, the White Sox get out of the inning without any further embarrassment. Probably for the best, I don't want to see Ozzie try to kill someone on national television.

Dougie comes in to catch, but sadly does not pitch to himself. Joe and Thom start reading the production credits with one out in the inning, so things feel pretty tense. A run scores at some point, Joe and Thom talk about nonsense, Pineiro notches a nice called strike to end the game. Ozzie is probably wondering if we could go to Milwaukee or something right now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

microsoft thinks it should be 'jason' too

Okay, okay. I give the Typo a point on this one. A complete game shut-out is not something to dismiss and I thoroughly enjoyed the pitching last night. It's possible the Typo is growing on me. Between the pitching and finally getting some Papi-and-Manny show action at home, I couldn't have imagined a better game against the Royals, a team that inexplicably manages to cause us far too many problems. The last time we were at a Royals game, PeeWee the SeaMonkey hit a homerun too, but we lost. And it was kelly's birthday. None of that last night, though, and all-in-all, it was a perfect night to watch baseball.

Something I didn't have the opportunity to investigate further last night (one of the advantages of tv over live is you can always get shots of Tito rocking in the dugout) but have been desperately curious about, so can we get a ruling on this: Is he dipping again? I swear last Friday when I saw a bit of the game, it really seemed like he was. Doesn't he know the kids are counting on him?

And I just got an email telling me that my Boyfriend has been making some unwise choices as to who he hangs out with:
Ja Rule. Seriously, aren't like 25 people trying to kill Ja Rule at any given time? And that's not counting the people who just want him dead for his crimes against music. But, um, I do know where I'll be heading the next time I want a dirty yet expensive night out.

And now, it's company picnic time! Fake smiles for everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

margin of error

I was supposed to help Katie move today, but it was fucking hot outside and we were both kind of hung over. However, we'd already rented a Zipcar, so we decided to drive to the Dairy Queen in Natick, listening to the game on the radio and enjoying the air conditioning. Um, wow, I'd seen various people mention that the radio announcing has really gone downhill since Jerry Trupiano left, and they ... weren't kidding. At least when Remdawg and Don-O go on a five minute tangent about bulldog breeding or whether Manny plays left field too shallow ** you can still observe for yourself whether or not the batter has been retired. But, speaking of Manny: in the third or fourth inning, when the wind pushed a fly ball out of his reach and up off the Monster? We were driving down the Masspike right past Fenway at pretty much the exact minute this happened and I seriously thought the wind was going to push our tiny Nissan off the road.

Not that today's abortion of a 2-1 loss was a game I particularly wanted narrated to me in any great detail. Between the two one-run games the Sox dropped to Toronto this series and the two one-run games they dropped in Detroit right before the break, it seems like this team NEVER wins one-run games, right? Since I am the kind of person who would drive forty-five minutes to a Dairy Queen so I didn't have to move some boxes of books three blocks, I just spent the last fifteen minutes tallying one-run wins and losses from the 2007 season so I would have an excuse not to go do my dishes. This is what I learned:

The Red Sox have played 91 games, and 28 of these games have been decided by a one-run margin. Their record in these 28 games is ... 14-14. At first, this seemed impossible, but then I started to remember the two games that bookended the sweep of the Yankees at Fenway in April, and the Mother's Day Miracle game, and Schilling's one-hitter in Oakland and the game Dice-K pitched against the Giants, and, okay, I guess they don't lose all the one-run games, but they've lost 11 of them since June 1.

Just like I thought that David Ortiz's spate of walk-off heroics late in the 2005 season was actually a symptom of the fact that the 2005 Red Sox team was not built to compete in the post-season except that they were being carried there entirely on Big Papi's back, I think that losing close games can be a symptom of good pitching. If your starting pitching keeps you in the game when your offense shits the bed and your bullpen keeps you in the game when your starter melts down, you're going to win some games that you had no business winning, but you're also going to lose some games close that probably should have been blow-outs.

Seriously, though, one-run losses suck balls.

** Whether or not Manny plays left field in Fenway too shallow is on the verge of passing Derek Jeter's grapefruit-scented intangibles as my least favorite pointless topic of baseball-related conversation. WE GET IT. HE PLAYS SHALLOW. I know that Manny is an idiot savant and all, but he's been playing here for eight years. If anyone on the coaching staff actually thought he was playing too shallow, don't you think somebody would have drawn a chalk line out in left field for him to stand at or something?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

the 2027 all-star roster

Manny Ramirez Jr. and D'Angelo Ortiz (projected contest winners, 2028 and 2031, respectively) watch the Home Run Derby:

We've previously discussed the Papelblog's suspicion that D'Angelo Ortiz is the result of an experiment conducted by Theo to combine Papi and Manny's DNA, but I didn't realize that D'Angelo is actually version 2.0.

Baseball resumes in slightly less than 10 hours, thank Christ. Although it was almost worth the three-day break to see Jorge Posada catch Jonathan Papelbon in the All Star Game and be so apparently flustered trying to catch a pitcher who wasn't trying to blow the game while close and late, walk in the winning run, etcetera that he was charged with a passed ball. Almost.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

bad-ass new gods: summer vacation edition

Okay, this may be the longest post we've ever written, but since we don't post as much this season, it probably all balances out, right?

For our mid-season review, we're using quotes from Wizard People, Dear Reader, which is a strangely intoxicating and incredibly hilarious alternate soundtrack to the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by comedian Brad Neely. This thing is also intimately linked in our heads with the Game (aka, the entirety of the 2004 playoffs) because we saw it for the first time at the Coolidge the night of the much-fated rainout during the ALCS and became our alternate soundtrack to the best few weeks in baseball ever. Basically, a good quarter of our vocabulary and a large portion of our speaking patterns come from this thing and, if you are aware of pop culture at all, you may know that it's a big month for this Harry Potter phenomenon. So, here goes…

I've got Harry frickin' Potter with me today, and we're doin' some shopping!
We are attempting to reserve judgment on Theo's off-season shopping trips for the moment. If you'd told us late last year that Josh Beckett would be pitching in the All-Star game in 2007, we would have laughed in your face, so who knows? Maybe Julio Lugo will win the Home Run Derby in 2008. Anything's possible, right?

God, I hate that shit. I'm here to learn, not watch a fucking performance.
Do you think there's any possible way we can convince you that maintaining his blog is what led to Schill's mysterious shoulder issue? Like, our shoulders totally hurt right now after coding this whole thing. That's got to be proof of something, right? [sigh] (It's possible that kelly's doesn't hurt, but mine does and I'm typing this paragraph, so my reality wins.)

I am gigantic! I am important and unavoidable!
We'd like to apologize to the Boston Globe, but unfortunately, there's nothing in Wizard People about being a 'pitcher not a thrower,' so we had to go with the next best option. Seriously, there is nothing we don't love about the Redemption of Joshua "Katie's Boyfriend" Beckett. Oh! Wait, no, there is one thing—no one's posted pictures of the inside of his apartment since he became a bad-ass new god; we kinda miss that.

His stockpiles of nuclear-level energy will be tricky to funnel.
He's good, he is. We're totally willing to give him a bit of a break as he hadn't faced most of these opponents early on. And he's definitely suffered from some run-support issues. But still, the one-inning meltdown show can stop at ANY time. We still think it was a worthwhile pick-up, but we hate the feeling of watching him pitch well and just knowing that at any moment he could lose it. Often it doesn't matter and he pulls it out, but still, our hearts can only take so much.

He then, after warming up the crowd, introduces the blood-eyed cat that is head of security, and then introduces the cat's manservant, Dazzler.
Oh, Wake. Sometimes he has a really bad game and we wonder if the Sox will make him join the ground crew or start selling stuff in the souvenir shop to finish out that lifetime contract he signed. And if they do, what's the groundskeeper/retail slave equivalent of not getting any run support? Most importantly, when they send Wake to the Aramark concession booth, will Dougie have to go to? We hope so, because it's about damn time we're able to get a good chicken parm at Fenway.

Oh, we don’t say his name, but know this. He is a badass. He could kill anyone, anything. A gorilla or a bear, whatever, anything.
Hands-down, no question the surprise of the season. If someone had told us last season that we would be deep in the thrall of Julian "Head Bus Driver" Tavarez, not only would we have laughed in their face, we would might have punched them in the face. Which, come to think of it, is probably a completely Julian-approved move. We love his dedication to the team, we love that he looks like a carnie, we love that as a number five starter he's really not doing too bad, we love the way he fields/bowls the ball, and we love the post-game interviews. His record is mostly beside the point because him winning two games is more than we ever expected and even if he had lived down to those expectations, the sheer entertainment value would have won us over.

This is the moment! I must make my move in this masking of a snowstorm and I will take one letter into my room and whisper it to my horses and see what they think.
He's two and one with a pretty nice gem of a no-decision in there as well, but we are contractually obligated to point out that his name is still a typo.

A man, who obviously has never heard the laugh of a lover, never heard the phrase “You are fine” from a doctor.
A man who, if we had the power, would have been traded for a bucket of balls, and then pummeled with said bucket of balls, while he winced and cried like a little girl, because he's scared of baseballs, and that's why he has to hide down in Ft. Myers, because he think the baseballs can't find him there.

Hey, you look tired, have you been tested for diseases?
We love Mike Timlin around here. Almost as much as we love Papelbon and mostly for the same reason—we love a guy who kills for fun. But the sad, sad truth is that Timlin is looking more like a dead duck than a badass duck hunter every day. It truly hurts us to watch, not just because it hurts when he blows a lead or gives up three homeruns or whatever sickening feat he's performing this time, but because we use to love watching him so much. It used to be an exciting moment when "Black Betty" blared from the sound system and Timlin came out with that "I'm going to fuck your wife" look on his face. The Timlin we see now is old and sad and, frankly, depressing. It's time for him to retire gracefully and become a pitching coach before he's reduced himself to the point where no up-and-coming reliever can take him seriously.

The God Wheel of Fate has stopped on yes, yes-in-fucking-deed you will be a wizard, and this moment is the first in a series of moments that no matter what feelings the moments embody, yes, yes is still the answer. Yes to life and yes to magic.
And the God Wheel of Fate says that yes, yes in-fucking-deed, you will have a reliable set-up man! And not just any reliable set-up man, but bridge-like structure of a bad-ass who will delight an entire fan base and make us forget we were ever bad-touched by Rudy Seanez. And really, what else is there to say about the hero in the dark?

I am a beautiful animal! I am a destroyer of worlds!
I am going to bean players if I fucking feel like it! I am the shark in Jaws! When I take the mound, my default mode is set at kill mode! I think 'get tipsy and then refuse to leave' is an awesome dating plan! I am a god damn grammarian! You might also know me as Gasolina or as my split personality Cinco-Ocho, but I am Jonathan fucking Papelbon and I rule the fucking school!

Um. You may have heard we're fans of this Papelbon kid?

Well, the club got strict; you had to love evil and not be shy about using murder spells, or else you’d be murdered.
Life in the second-best bullpen in baseball can be tough, man. Led by men who'd kill opposing batters as soon as look at them, you've got to be right there with them. If that's not your thing, you'll need to go to Pawtucket and work out your issues. Or, if Timlin's had a bad night (aka, pretty much every night these days), he might just shoot an arrow at you and see if you know how to duck. So, uh, be on the look-out for that and um, practice ducking on your off days.

Heaven is for those too scared of nothingness! I will go no further than my mortal flesh will carry!
Nobody could really blame him for expiring retiring from natural causes last season, could they? His continued corporal existence is gravy.

Harry explains to the Bear that subtly and patience are a great way to look pretty cool. The Bear has to agree, and they give each other Fonzie looks.
The hot corners! The secret power hitters! Honestly, where would the first half of the season be without these two? And while Youk may be the official (ghost) blogger, Mike Lowell gets our vote for best blog-that-never-was:
""My philosophy is, if Manny is willing to sell a grill for $20,000, I'll tell him just to talk to me, and I'll type a blog for him -- Mannysblog.com. And I'll pay him $21,000, he'll think he sold a grill, and I'll negotiate a dollar a hit. I'll be a gazillionaire, and Manny will be happy because he can buy a new barbecue . . . Everyone wants to know what Manny's saying, so all he has to do is give me two legitimate answers and after that I'll make up anything I want, and nobody will know the difference."
This paradox of babiness and power, right here on a frickin' Muggle's doorstep!
Earlier in the season, we had plans to do a first quarter report card after forty games, but then we got distracted by Josh Beckett, Miller High Life, etcetera. Had we remembered to do a quarter-season report card, we were going to name Dustin Pedroia the player we'd most like to trade for himself, fifty pounds of muscle heavier in the future. Instead, we got Dustin Pedroia: 150 points of batting average heavier in the future!

It unlocks the door and backs away trying to resemble what it thinks is a cool looking person, but in reality, it is freaking Harry and Hagar out miserably.
Freaking us out miserably is perhaps too mild an expression of the way we feel about Lugo. We decided we wouldn't talk about the alleged reasons we hated Lugo before he even got here because sometimes it's best to stay away from off-the-field controversy, but even though we despised him from the get-go, we didn't expect that his on-field play would be so terrifying. We don't even really have the energy to go into all the ways that Lugo has been a disappointment so far, so let's just note that Theo could have blown that money on whores and blow in Vegas and we'd be less annoyed with his decision-making skills.

Harry is totally disinterested in the next challenge. He runs through this problem like a set of crunches as his mind’s eye daydreams. He sees himself dressed as a conquistador, crashing in the phases of werewolves and bigfoots with an enormous telescope.
Is he taking the year off? Has he hit his plateau? Did somebody forget to tell him that the season started? Does he think he gets an extra cup of paste every time he hits into a inning-ending double play? We … don't even know.

Vanders, with a why-didn’t-I-think-of-it-before look, the look that everyone’s dad puts on when he’s trying to pick out shoes and clothes for their kid, even though they have had thought of this before, from the beginning in fact, they just want to draw out the afternoon with needless driving around and tryings on because they don’t know what else to do with their kids, well, he puts on that kind of look and music galore fills the shop.
A particularly long one for Coco, who is nothing if not a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a defensive predatory animal wrapped in a sub-Mendoza hitter wrapped in a batting stance that resembles a street urchin trying to pick a fist fight wrapped in a sore thumb wrapped in … our lead-off hitter of the future? The only thing more abrupt and unexpected than some of the paths that Coco takes toward his web gem catches was his June reanimation at the plate, and every time he leads off with a base hit and steals his way into scoring position, we certainly make a why-didn't-I-think-of-it-before sort of look.

'You like flying motorcycles?' 'Anything's better than crawling.'
Dude, JDizzle's still standing upright 6 days out of 7 and it's already July, so we're pretty much doing better than expected.

Master H is beginning to feel animosity towards his own celebrity.
Because you just know that when the Giants were in town, Papi and Barry totally had a sleepover and braided each other's hair tried on each other's ugly bling and that's where Papi got all these ideas from Barry about how he's not seeing the same pitches he used to and that arguing balls and strikes is a good way to look pretty cool. Make no mistake, Papichusetts could start eating hot dogs made out of puppies and I would still defend him, but, seriously? Seriously?

Some kids get letters, others get ornaments that quickly fill with mother’s blood, and some desperately wait for their letters to arrive, which shall never, for they are the type of kids that mothers never write to.
Emergency Back-up Everything has been a delight at every position (especially when he subs for the Wretch who usually plays short), but is probably well aware that he could be an everyday player on another team. The papers tell us that Hinske is totally fine with the amount of playing time he gets, so that's a sure sign that he's been complaining. And as for the Easter Basket, well, we keep being told he needs the playing time to get better, but it's hard to fit him in when he can't, you know, catch the ball. All in all, our bench is probably better than half of Tampa Bay's starters, but we still sometimes feel bad for them.

Clearly, sidekicking for Hagar would suck balls.
It's probably a bad sign when you can say "at least he hasn't been hospitalized for coughing up blood this season!" and mean it. This guy seems to take everything hard—even the wins. Tito needs something -- a vacation, maybe a pet dragon to cheer him up, maybe a date with Hazel Mae --and whatever it is, we'd be glad to make it happen, because it's gotta be hard dealing with this bunch of wackos, even when they are the best team in baseball.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

field trip

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for your utility knuckle ball catching specialist and the rookie mid-season call-up to produce RBIs in the clutch --

As of yesterday morning, I still didn't have any plans for 4th of July and, and, when they asked, I'd started telling my co-workers that I was thinking about coming into the office because I'm short-staffed right now and figured I could use the time to get caught up.

Eventually, I realized that was pathetic, and decided that I should use the holiday to take advantage of every Bostonian's patriot right to decide at a moment's notice that they want to try and go see a Red Sox game. Unfortunately, the spirit was willing but the wallet was weak, but since I didn't have anything to do in the five hours before the one o'clock first pitch, I braved the day-of-game ticket line and got the closest bleacher seat available. Beats the hell out of a Wednesday at the office.

From what I saw, the Sox completely dominated the Devil Rays in every way, but I did spend the entire top of the 7th inning visiting the first aid station, so that ... might have something to do with that. All that inherited runner lollypop crap did create a save situation and an opportunity to see the blog's eponymous beautiful best beloved, who has been busy since his near attempted manslaughter last week, cranking his K/9 up to 12.5, notching his second All-Star appearance, employing his Scrabble champ verbal skills to write poetic campaign slogans for Oki's own All Star bid (Get my man / To San Fran / It's closer to Japan), giving up junk home runs during non-save situations just to remind everyone that kill mode is not to be taken lightly, and, as I learned at the park today, lending his likeness to a LUNCHBOX for the Kid Nation fan club. God damn, I wanted that lunch box, but you have to join Kid Nation to get one, and, uh, you have to be 14 or under to be a member of Kid Nation. Screw that. Somehow, someday, that lunch box will be mine.

Anyway, Papelbon, you might have heard, needed just nine pitches to finish off the game, and it was the best 4th of July ever.