Inside my 26-year old body is a nine-year old heart. I'm a big kid. I still play videogames, still get a secret thrill from being able to play whiffle ball in the house, still watch cartoons, still like toys, still get literally enthralled by movies like "Finding Nemo" and "Babe." And I still look up to people like I'm nine and they're twenty years older than me, not five or six. Like my sous chef Dave. He's only a year older than me, but in my little kid brain he's way older and way wiser than I'll ever grow up to be.
Pedro is one of those people that I look up to. He's like a hero to me. I've totally idealized him to be the baddest, most in-control, confident, best pitcher in the Bigs. I neither know nor want to know much about his personal life - I already know that he parties with midgets and that's maybe a little more than I need to know - but watching him pitch, it's watching a master at work. It's not the goofy, blissful, feel-good ass-whoopery I get watching Manny hit. When I watch Pedro, he commands my respect.
The last four of his starts have been hard to watch. Is this how it's going to end? Is this how he's going to go out? Not Pedro, not like this. Mike text-messaged me while I was at work tonight about how Pedro worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no outs situation, and I whooped because I thought, "That's it, Petey, c'mon! Bring it back!" And then whatever "it" was...went away again. I want to fucking email him or hit him up on his cell or fucking sit at the end of a deserted bar with him and keep the bartender there past last call to assure him that it's okay and tell him that I still believe in him and that he's still the coolest if anyone asks me. I want to send him a Strip-O-Gram with baseball cards of all the Yankees players covering her naughty bits that he has to peel off with his mouth. I want to take him out to a Denzel Washington movie and buy him a bag of Twizzlers and a large fountain drink.
Pedro, you're the fucking Man, el Hombrón, and if there is a God (which there isn't but that's beside the point) and this is the way that it's going to end, then I pray that we all part ways with a bang and not with a whimper.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
"Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends." -Francis Bacon
The Red Sox get an ugly win against the D-Rays, 10-8 in eleven innings. Derek Lowe only lasted 2+ innings and was charged with six runs - whoooopsie! Not exactly what you want to see from someone who is about to be the third or fourth starter in the Sox's playoff rotation. The Sox managed to battle back and win, thanks largely in part to a three-run triple from Johnny Damon and a two-run homer from Millar in the eleventh that won the game.
Meanwhile, the Yanks and Twins were rained out with a doubleheader scheduled for today. The Sox are 2.5 back. Wouldn't it be so fucking cool if....if....eh, I'm not going to talk about it. I might inadvertantly draw the attention of the Baseball Gods who would, as they always do, come to the Yankees' aid in a time of need.
I think the playoff rotation should be 1. Schill 2. Sweet P. 3. Bronson 4. (gulp) D. Lowe, depending, of course, on matchups and which team the Sox end up playing in the ALDS. I love Wakey, but I want no part of that un-knuckling knuckleball thing in a game that really, really matters.
Sweet P. takes the mound tonight for the D-Bags, then it's off to Baltimore for the last series of the regular season (one game of which will be started by Pedro Astacio, apparently, ay dios mio.)
Oh, and Little Buddy rocks.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Sox clinch a trip to the playoffs in a strange game against Kazmir and the D-Rays, and my dream of seeing Manny Ramírez in a wet t-shirt contest is fulfilled.
I really have developed an intense dislike for the man they call Kazmir. I don't like his face, his smirk, or the way he makes the Red Sox look like a bunch of assholes at the plate. So I think it's safe to say that I wasn't exactly crying into my beer when that little punk got thrown out in the fourth after hitting two Sox batters in a row, especially since one of them was my boy Manny. In the bottom of the third inning, Arroyo hit Aubrey Huff and Tino Martínez, which is pretty fucked up, but remember that Arroyo has hit like a kajillion, trillion batters this year. Not that that completely excuses him, but the boy is wild. Bitch-ass Kazmir comes out in the fourth inning and hits Manny somwhere on the leg, gets warned, then promptly hits Millar in the side. After a long period of consideration, Kazmir gets tossed from the game. As the rules dictate.
I was fortunate enough ::coughsarcasmcough:: to be watching the game on Tampa Bay feed and got to witness the most glorious five innings of bitching, whining and outright personal attacks I've ever heard from two announcers who don't work for the YES network. It went from "what a shame, the kid didn't mean it, he was pitching a no-hitter and these umpires should be ashamed of themselves" to "only the homeplate umpire who is there in the heat of battle should be able to make decisions like that" until, by the end of the game, when their shitty excuse for a ballclub was losing 7-3, they stooped low enough to start picking on player's personal appearances, including but not limited to hairstyles, batting helmets and general physical demeanor.
Fuck you lame-ass announcers who aren't even fit to pick the peanuts out of Jerry Remy's shit; the Sox won, you didn't, why don't you save the energy you're expending on all your weltschmerz and use it to duct tape that piece of shit stadium back together again.
It's weird - I'm happy that the Sox are going to the playoffs, but it's sort of a holding pattern on the celebration because we don't know if they're going as wild card or divisional winners yet. Me personally, I'm sort of in favor of just letting this team get some rest for the remainder of the week. Ya, I know that would be quitting on the divisional hopes, but now that I know the Sox are going to be there in October, I want them to go deep into it, not just go down in the first round due to exhaustion. Does this make me a bad fan? I don't know. And in this vein, I am faced with the uncomfortable possibility of maybe needing to sort of start half-ass rooting for the Yankees to whip the motherly jesus out of the Twins and for Oakland to beat whoever it is they're playing (can't remember right now) so that it's the Yanks that have to play the Twins and not the Sox. The Twins scare me. The Oakland A's make me giggle into my sleeve. 'Nuff said.
Wow. I just contemplated rooting for the Yankees. I feel so....dirty.
Los Medias Rojas fueron los ganadores esta fin de semana - whoopeeee! Y Manny - ay, que lindo!
Two consecutive shower-rapes for the Yankees, nothing could make me happier. Nothing, that is, except if Tito hadn't gumped out on Friday and left Pedro on the mound in the eighth inning, after which Pedro subsequently browned his pants and had a complete mental breakdown on ESPN which I watched with a measure of dismay tantamount to a five-year old learning that there isn't really a Santa Claus. But aside from watching one of my heroes publically shame himself and break my heart all at the same time, things are going well.
I can't believe the season is almost over! Sunday was the last regular-season game at Fenway, with only seven more games left to play before the playoffs. Where did the summer go? Sox are in Tampa tonight, with Bronson taking the ball. Sox should clinch a playoff berth soon, too bad it didn't happen at home.
And does anyone else think this is kinda weird?
Saturday, September 25, 2004
I didn't get to watch the game last night because I was at work all night - what else is new - and by the time the shift was over I already had found out that they had lost and didn't want to watch anyway. But I did have a very long, very good, and very cathartic phone conversation with my good friend Paul, during which we decided this:
1) the team (especially Pedro and Varitek) is just plain tired due to Tito running them into the ground
2) fuck tito, he couldn't manage his way out of a wet paper bag
3) we want to adopt cabrera and spend hours dressing him up in little outfits (oh wait, that's just me.)
4) fuck pride, it's all about winning the World Series, not about the division at this point. So what if the Sox get in throught the back door again this year, they need to get to the Dance, by any means necessary, and if Tito runs them fucking ragged (Pedro in the eighth, you've got to be KIDDING ME) trying to chase this unimportant divisional pipe-dream then what good are they going to be in October??
5) Question: What if the Sox just resigned Cabby and let everyone else go?
Answer: Hmmmmm...maybe I would be okay with that. Seriously.
6) How is Francona gonna lose a game the night before because he was "resting his bullpen" and then go and blow the next game by overusing his starter??????? WHAT. THE. FUCK.
7) Tito's "hook" is slow to non-existant.
8) Overall, 2003 was more fun.
9) If they're going to the playoffs, then why do I feel so disappointed?
10) Terry Francona should be fired and/or wake up dead.
11) Let's just skip the next week and a half and get right to the agonizing heartbreak already since it's obvious that Francona has not ONE FUCKING CLUE what he is doing, and let's face it - we have all known this since the season started.
12) I have to go to work.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Sox lose to O's 9-7, split series.
But the good news is, check out my new mesh Sox cap. I love it, but all Mike could muster is a raise of his eyebrows and a "Mmmmm-hmmmmmm."
I'd love to take Cabby, Manny and Ortiz out to a strip club for beers and lap dances, my treat. Those guys deserve to be awash in a sea of tits.
On the other hand, Byung Hyun Kim deserves to be put inside a metal garbage can lined with extremely low-grit sandpaper and rolled down sixteen flights of concrete stairs. I'd rather see John Ritter's corpse come out of the bullpen in a close game. Byung Hyun Kim is f.u.c.k.i.n.g. t.e.r.r.i.b.l.e. and how many chances is Tito going to give him to prove it?
Anyhow, last series with the Yanks coming up. And, as always, yours truly has to work through every game except Sunday's. Last year I had this sous chef who would go upstairs to chef's office and check the scores, even on busy nights, but, since he was a Yankees fan, he would often lie to me about them which is really something you shouldn't do, even to your worst enemy. This year I'm relying on my cellphone, if I can sneak it out. I'm looking for a little redemption from Sweet P. tonight. Should be a good game.
I've gotta stop this "working second shift" thing.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
There are not enough words.
I saw it as he rounded second base, a smile fighting its way to the corners of Orlando Cabrera's mouth. He was glancing at his feet, pounding toward third base, then glancing at home plate, around which his team mates were clustered, waiting for him. Rounding third, he couldn't fight it off - a grin broke out heading toward home, and then outright glee, and Orlando Cabrera, a.k.a. Little Buddy, a.k.a. Cabby, was swallowed up in a leaping, bouncing, boiling mass of white jerseys. Both feet came down on homeplate, and then Orlando was swept away.
"How about that win last night?" someone asked me at work today. "It was awesome," I answered, "But I was so mad about the night before that they still have some romancing to do. They have to romance me."
Well. Consider it done. If two consecutive walk-off wins from two of my three favorite players (in case you were wondering, Manny is the third) can't do it, then nothing can. Not that I was ever gone, but the Sox were definitely sleeping on the couch.
Man, I'm so fucking geeked about seeing Cabby get a walk-off homer...that is the coolest thing ever. And I'm so fucking tired cause I busted my ass at work tonight, and all I wanna do is just go to bed, but I just can't stop smiling. Oh man....so many ups and downs. I'm just one person in a long history, in a legacy...just one person living out what so many people have before me - good, bad and ugly - I'm a little piece of a big tradition. When I feel bad I think about that and it makes me feel better. I'm not the first person to be heartbroken over this team. I won't be the last. I'm a penny in the pond, one little patch of memories and emotions in a great big sea of people who have also lived and died with this team. Usually I'm just consoling myself with these thoughts, but tonight I'm revelling in them. I don't know what's ahead, but I'm living it out, and it's exciting.
Fuck it. I'm rambling. Sox win! Sox win!
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
This is what this team is doing to me.
Mike had tonight off and promised to text message me with details of the game, so I went to work a happy camper, even though I had to go in early today. We're having a menu change on Thursday which means tons of extra work on top of your regular prep, plus I had to make family meal for the entire staff as well as needing to do a little butchery, so my work was cut out for me. I whipped through prep with no problem and also managed to make a bomb-ass batch of chicken curry for family meal which was hot enough to offend some of our scumbag servers, much to my delight. As Dave, Jonathan and I sat out at table 75 eating dinner I got my first message from Mike. "BK activated today." I groaned out loud. "Oh god," I text back. Byung Hyun Kim is officially my Least Favorite Red Sox Player. It's only 5:30 - an hour and a half until game time. I have to set up my station, cook my quail eggs, make my beurre blanc and have all my pans together by the time service starts at 6:00. Then I stand around and talk with Dave about the various and sordid things that line cooks talk about - bowel movements, how bad our hats smell, what kind of diarrhea we expect to be having after tonight's family meal, anal sex - you know, that sort of thing.
I had gotten my first few orders and had just started chopping up herbs for ravioli which we'll need to make tomorrow when I got another text message.
"nothing on offense schill is raping them"
Excellent, I think to myself. A little more business starts to come in and I'm temporarily bust with a few sea bass and an order of scallops. Then, having finished the ravioli filling, I get out a box of fingerling potatoes and start shaving them into coin-shapes on the mandoline. Another text message.
"pedro is on the new wheaties cereal box"
I laugh. Then I wonder if he's the first jerri curl to appear on a box of cereal.
"curt 4k thru 2" comes in.
I turn around and proudly tell Bob the dishwasher that Curt Schilling is mowing 'em down tonight. "I figured there must be a game on," he chuckles, "I seen you with your phone out!" He watches me work 5 nights out of the week and knows me a little too well.
Fingerlings are done and I move on to my next project, tourneing baby carrots.
"curt 6k thru 3"
"curt 8k thru 4"
And then silence. A long, long silence. Service ends. I send out my last orders and start tearing down my station. I'm putting away my parsnip puree when all of the sudden my phone goes crazy.
"lopez is falling apart"
"curt 14k so far"
"bases loaded forkevin one out"
"1 0 kevin sac fly"
"finally" I text back. I get all of my food put away and send my fish downstairs to the walk-in with an intern. Mike calls and, since the sous chefs are all gone, I answer.
"It's the ninth inning. They pulled Schilling, Foulke is in now, one out," he tells me as I walk outside and sit on a crate in the alley out back.
"Who's up to bat now?" I ask.
"BJ Sirhoff," Mike answers, and we make a few jokes about the initials "B.J." and how many people on that team have them and how this reflects upon the team's perceived sexuality.
"Oooh-oooh-double play-double-play-shit," Mike interjects.
"What happened? Fielder's choice? Who got out, the guy on first or the guy on second?" I rush.
"Guy on first. Ummm...Javy Lopez is up now......He's never gotten a hit off of Foulke."
"Ya, as soon as Don Orsillo says some shit like that, he goes and gets a fucking hit," I say.
"He hasn't mentioned it yet," Mike tells me.
I go back into the kitchen because there's a bum going through the garbage cans out back that we've already had several conflicts with.
"Fuck. Two-run homer."
"Are you serious?"
"For real, you're serious, it really happened?"
"Well, I gotta go ice the fish down, I'll see you in a little bit."
I trudge downstairs. The fish walk-in is a mess, as usual, and I am more pissed than usual about it. In fact, I'm furious. "I'm done," I'm ranting in my head. "I'm done. I have no more energy to invest in this fucking team, I've been ripped off, I hate them, I hate them." My phone buzzes.
That's something. I take all the empty lexans over to the dishwashers, dripping cloudy fish water all over my shoes. "Sarah, go home already!" Gary, the head dishwasher, teases me. "I'm going, I'm going," I say on my way back to the walk-in. Check my phone.
"mueller 2b no outs"
Now I'm getting interested again. I ice down the fish, cryo-vac the ravioli filling, grab my knife bag and step into the elevator to go upstairs to the locker rooms. The phone rings.
"Guess what just happened?" Mike asks. "Bellhorn with a 2-out, 2-run double."
"So they won??" I ask.
And as I'm hobbling my way home with my sore-feet limp that kind of makes me look like a pimp I'm floating on cloud nine again. "I love that team," I'm thinking. "What a great bunch of guys."
Okay, now I'm starting to get pissed off.
Which team is the real Red Sox? The team that had the smoking-hot April/August, or the .500 cluster-fuck team of June/July that appears to be making a "comeback," if that's what one could call it. This team is like Jeckyll and fucking Hyde - get an identity already.
One good thing about last night is that at least the offense didn't drop the soap in the shower and managed to manufacture some runs, but with Wayback Wakefield on the mound it seems like the offense has it's work set out for it pretty much from the get-go. Unless there is a fucking shoot-out like the one in Detroit (10 or 11 homeruns combined,) the Sox are virtually guaranteed a loss when Wakefield is pitching.
There are some players that suck so bad or do such stupid shit that I pray that I meet them in the street one day or chance upon their cellphone number so that I can tell them how pissed off I am and how much agony they have caused me (um, Byung Hyun Kim comes immediately to mind, Terry Francona, Dale Sveum, Gabe Kapler on more than one occassion.) Tim Wakefield is the only player who routinely makes me stick my wallet in my mouth to keep from swallowing my own tongue whom I wouldn't accost in the street. I guess I feel kind of protective of him because of that whole walk-off-homer thing last October...or maybe because he's kind of older and he's been a Red Sox for a long time and I'm just an emotional punching bag for the "nice guys" on the team. But Jesus Christ - why does he suck so bad this year???
I mean, goddamnit Wakefield!
Conversation in my living room last night: (Stop me if you've heard this one before,)
Me: Hey, Wakefield gave up a grand slam tonight.
Mike: Another one?!?
Yeah. Another one. What the fuck is Francona thinking leaving this guy in the game so long? I mean, is Wakefield on like a run count instead of a pitch count? Most guys it's like "Well, he's up to around 109 pitches, we should start to think about warming the bullpen up." With Wakefield Terry must be thinking "Well, he's only given up four runs, lets wait until he's got at least six on the board before we start to warm the bullpen up. The offense can make up the difference, right Brad? I mean, who's this rookie no-name on the mound? Surely a lineup like ours can make hay off of this puny little pipsqueak, right? Am I right, Brad? Just because it's the fifth inning and our team has yet to make it past second base, we're not in trouble. Nope. No sir-eeee-bob - whoopsie! There goes a three-run homer! Alright, Dave, go out there and give Tim a good talking-to. I'm going to just sit tight here and have a fucking stroke along with about 600,000 fans."
I weathered the Yankees series fine. But now I'm starting to get pissed off, and the stupid thing is that I knew it was going to go down like this with the Orioles. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, maybe the Sox will goddamn grow a pair and stop playing the Baltimore Orioles like a bunch of 75-year old nuns. I can take some losses to the Yankees in stride. But the Orioles?
And Manny, could you swing at another fucking first pitch?
::Insert exasperated silence here::
Monday, September 20, 2004
The venerable veteran.
Okay, it's a new day. No use crying over spilt milk, right? Turn the page. Find the silver lining....ummm, what would that be? At least the Sox didn't get shut out? At least they didn't get swept? The win on Friday was still a thing of amazing beauty which reaffirmed my reasons for being in love with baseball and with the Boston Red Sox?
I'm refusing to get negative. For once.
I mean, for one thing, the Sox have gotten incredibly lucky seeing as how the Angels have been losing just as much as the Sox have been lately, allowing the Sox to maintain a 5 game lead in the Wild Card race. For another thing, I'd rather the Sox get their little slump out of the way now instead of during October. For another thing, I have a hard time looking at the last two games as anything but a complete and utter aberration from the norm. I mean, how many times can you expect to see an outing like that from Pedro Martínez? Even though I didn't watch Saturday's game since I was at work, it seemed uncharacteristically shitty even for Derek Lowe. And I am of the mindset - no matter how ignominous that this sounds - of preferring to see the Sox win the Wild Card rather than the division and thusly face the Oakland A's in the first round of the playoffs rather than the Twins, who have scarier pitching. I know it's kinda fucked up sounding, but that's just the way I am thinking. It would be nice to win the division, but it would be infinitely sweeter to finish the job that Grady Little botched last year and defeat the Yanks in the post season. In my mind.
So tonight we have Tim Wakefield against the dreaded Baltimore Orioles. The Sox need to work the kinks out and get their shit together, especially the slumbering offense. And if anyone in the entire fucking world is due for a win it's Tim Wakefield.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Saturday, September 18, 2004
I have heroes.
Here's another one.
Last night, in that moment when Johnny Damon's bloop single dropped at the feet of Kenny Lofton and Gabe Kapler crossed homeplate as the go-ahead run, I felt like a kid again. Not just because of the simple, overpowering joy I felt watching the Sox come back and win against vaunted closer Mariano Rivera, but because at that moment the Sox stopped being mere mortals for a minute and became larger than life.
They're amazing, aren't they?
Friday, September 17, 2004
To Michael, love of my life, my husband, my best friend, who will be by my side forever:
-Who totally trashed Schilling for a month and a half?
-Who argued about how shitty Schilling was allllllll the way home from the bar that one night?
-Who said the words "fuck that guy" in regards to Schilling more than twice?
-Who disagreed with you every time?
-Who was right?
Love you, baby! Here's to #20! Now kiss me and tell me I was right all along!
Thursday, September 16, 2004
The rally cuff was successful - Sox defeat D-Rays 8-6.
But it wasn't my cuff that worked all the magic. After Leskanic gave up the two-run dinger that tied the game up at six I went to lay down in bed and just listen to the rest of the game. It's a new technique that I've developed - if I find myself about to get too angry due to events in the game, or if I've got that Sox-Are-Losing sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I go lay down in our bed, which is seperated from our living room only by a waist-high wall, and just listen to the rest of the game. Somehow it makes it easier if I can't actually see them fucking up.
Anyway, there I am, laying in bed, reading American Psycho and listening to the game. My ears perk up. Manny with a sac-fly. Nice. Sox on top again. Then almost immediately I start to hear the electronic polka that is my cellphone playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," meaning that I have a call. I answer. It's John Frakes.
"You know why Bubba did that?" he asks me. (Bubba is our nickname for Manny.) "Cause I rolled my pants up, right before that happened."
As usual, the real rally cuff mojo lies with Frakes. I'm not sure why, but it does. "Sweeeet!" I hoot. "Good job Frakes, keep 'em up!"
He calls again later. "You know why I'm calling you now?" he asks. "Cause the Iron Eagle has landed." (The Iron Eagle is our nickname for Mike Timlin, who is, for whatever reason, Frakes' favorite player.) "Oh no," I moan. "I don't think he did very well last time. What's your deal with Timlin?" I ask, my face scrunched up like I just smelled dogshit on someone's shoe. "Look, just watch," he says. And of course, he was right.
So how is it that so much good mojo can come from a good ol' Hebron, Kentucky boy who doesn't even like baseball? Whatever it is, better believe I'm going to be inviting him over to watch some of these Yankees games.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Rally cuff for Wakey tonight.
I'm over last night's game. I've put it behind me. As Manolito is so fond of saying, I've turned the page. A new game dawneth, and I'm fresh and full of optimism once again.
I checked out the lineup and it looks hot to trot, and if there was anybody ever ripe for giving up a whole country shitload of runs it's Brazelton. Lest I get too cocky, it should be duly noted that it could just as easily be Wakefield that gives up all the runs, but my ultra-scientific and reliable Gut Feeling is good.
One hour until game time. I'm watching one of the most fucked-up/stupid movies ever, Altered States, drinking Milwaukees Best Ice out of a can, and flipping through the "mejor y peor vestido" edition of People en Español. Please, don't be jealous of my glamorous, jet-set lifestyle.
Go Red Sox!
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Tito and Co., this means YOU.
Way to have a shitty fucking game.
Kazmir, ese jodido mamaguevaso, became the second opposing pitcher out of the last five to almost shut out the Sox. (I'm excluding Gil Meche because he actually did shut them out.) Nearly everything that had been going well for the Sox broke down today. Even Pedro with his nine strikeouts managed to give up a season high 5 walks and two homeruns. The defense was half-ass. The offense was downright angering (except Trot, who managed to bring my toe-tips about 3/4 of an inch back from the ledge with his two-run homer.) And thought the Sox were finally in the clear after that whole "everyone on the entire team goes on the DL this year" thing? Think again! Whoopsie - Bill Mueller got pulled after the fourth inning with a sore knee.
I want to say such vitriolic and hateful things right now that even I know that I don't mean them and I'll regret them later if I say them out loud. So I'm not going to. I'm going to show a little restraint. Or as my station partner, Trip, would say, while jabbing his finger in my face: "Show a little self respect, a little fucking dignity, will ya?"
Suffice to say that my confidence has been shaken. I'll just leave it at that.
p.s. I hate Gabe Kapler. No, he didn't do anything bad today - or rather, he didn't do anything worse than what he normally does - I just don't like the guy. How many times do you have to scream "JUST DON'T SWING AT A GODDAMN THING, ALRIGHT???" at your television screen before you just write somebody off as a lost cause?
Let's throw a Petey Party!
Here we go. The last hurrah. The final three weeks of the season (-where did the summer go???) Eight games left against the Orioles. Six against the Yankees. The Sox hold a 5 game lead in the Wild Card race but trail by three games in the division. Finally the Sox are where we all knew they should be - right in the thick of things when things start to matter. After a smoking-hot April, after three months of .500 baseball, after a month of invincibility, here they are, poised to make the final run for the post-season.
It's super fucking exciting.
Sox vs. Devil Rays, with Pedro on the hill. Mike and I both have the day off and will be able to watch it live. I ask you - does life get any better than this??
Sunday, September 12, 2004
What a miserable fucking game. I really have nothing good to say about this one beyond saying that Derek Lowe pitched a hell of a game and deserved the win, except for the fact that the offense rolled over and took it in the ass like a convict in a penitentiary shower.
Manny set the tone for this one by comitting a really fucking stupid baserunning error in the first inning: Damon is on third, Manny is on second after smoking a one-out double down the right field line. Varitek hits a ball deep enough to be a sac-fly. Damon tags up and makes for homeplate. Manny forgets how many outs there are and just takes off for third and the Mariners get a double play. Inning over. Run erased. And that was the only time a Red Sox player got anywhere NEAR homeplate today unless they were a) Jason Varitek squatting behind it or b) a hapless batter flailing away beside it.
Normally I want to put Manny in a comfy pair of flannel PJs with little airplanes or fire engines on them, wrap him up in big, clean, fluffy blankets and spoonfeed him Motts Cinnamon Applesauce while watching Dora the Explorer. Today I'd like to lock him in an elevator with Gilbert Godfried singing "Unchained Melody" over and over and over.
Not to be an alarmist, but I really hope that the July-era Red Sox aren't poised to make a comeback at just the wrong time.
p.s. Wait, there is something good to say: Trot and Pokey each got their first start off the DL today in right field and second base respectively. Trot got two hits - a double and a single, although fat lot of good that did in the end. Still, it's good to see him back. I'm a big Trot fan.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Starring Tim Wakefield.
Next time it's Tim's turn in the rotation, maybe they should just skip him and go straight to the bullpen in the first inning. Three innings from Mendoza, three from Terry Adams, one from Myers, Timlin and Foulke - I bet the Sox would have at least an equal if not better chance of winning. Don't get me wrong, I love Wakey and all, but he's been sort of Wasdin-esque this year, and on days when the Yanks win both games of a double-header the Sox don't need to be dropping games to roadkill like the Seattle Mariners.
I shouldn't blame it all on Wakey, however. The offense was apparently baffled by the Mariner's rookie pitcher whose name I don't remember but who I'm just going to refer to as Prison Tat. Either Prison Tat just had great stuff, or the offense came in ready to party after whipping the living shit out of Chokeland and instead of actually trying to work the count or get some hits, just offered up a collective shrug and went to sit back down on the bench. After Gabe Kapler grounded into that fucking double play to end one of the only chances the Sox had to get some runs on the board, Mike and I went to bed in disgust. We tuned into the Pats game on mute on the television at the foot of our bed and left the Sox game on in the living room so we could listen, and thus were spared actually having to see whatever horrendous error Manny made that allowed two runs to score. Unfortunately, we also missed Little Buddy's homerun in the ninth. Kudos to him for not phoning in a performance.
Yes, I know, they can't win every game. Yes, I know how hot they have been lately. But last night was a July/Francoma throwback scenario that I thought was over for good. Lose a game, fine. Lose it because you look half-ass, not so fine. Curt Schilling on the hill tonight. I have confidence.
It was pretty sweet watching the Colts lose on a last-second missed field goal. Nice and agonizing. Off you go, Peyton Manning, and have a miserable season.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Looking ahead, the Red Sox only play 6 games against a team with an over-.500 record -- those two series against the MFYs. The Sox's record against the Yankees, as we all know, is 8-5, and given the current state of the Yankees and their starting pitching, I like Boston's chances. But what worries me is that eight of the Sox's remaining games - roughly one third of the rest of the schedule - are against the Baltimore Orioles, against whom the Sox have an ignominous 4-7 record. Now, I'm not saying that the games against the Yanks are guaranteed wins and I'm completely looking past them and onto the rest of the schedule. And I'm also not saying that, given the way that the Sox are playing right now, they couldn't whip the tar out of the Orioles. But it's sort of unnerving to imagine the Orioles being spoilers.
I don't know, it's just been on my mind.
But, as Mike said, the Orioles are not the same team they were the last time the Sox played them, and the Sox aren't the same team either.
Anyway, onto the Mariners. Oh - and the Pats tonight! Whooopeeeee!
"The Colossi don't look at all colossal; on the contrary they are quite in keeping with everything about them, as if they were the natural size of man, and we were dwarfs, not they giants." -Florence Nightingale, "Letters from Egypt"
I ran across that quote the other night while looking through an Egyptology book during the game and just thought it was appropriate.
Mike and I had some friends over last night to watch the game, and while they were busy drunkenly arguing over which city had the worst economy - Detroit or Cincinnati - Mike and I were quietly watching Pedro rack up K's and the Sox offense rack up runs, every now and then catching each other's eye and giving meaningful glances and grins. When the two left Mike and I sat around for a little while by ourselves. "I don't know if I've ever seen something like this in my life," Mike said as we watched the game highlights on ESPN news. "It's unbelievable," I answered. "What are we witnessing here? I mean, can we even understand it?"
The cosmos must be shifting, and I'm not just talking about the Streak. It is incredible, but I actually enjoyed reading an article by Dan Shaughnessy. Best quote from Tito ever, r.e. Bronson Arroyo's new cornrows: "I will say this, though," Francona added. "I looked at Bronson yesterday and I thought he'd lost his mind. It's the first time I ever looked in the mirror and was glad I was bald." I can't say I disagree with the sentiment, but who am I to talk about anyone's hair? I've had a mohawk, blue hair, orange hair, green hair, white hair, and am now sporting what my husband calls "The Varitek Fade." So what do I know? (P.S. Mike: I'd rather have a Varitek Fade than the Bellhorn Mullet that you're rocking!)
Tim Wakefield takes the mound tonight against the Seattle Mariners. I think Wakey is due for his bi-weekly win. Let's go Red Sox!
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Sox defeat Oakland 7-1, thanks to a wonderful pitching performance from Derek Lowe, offensive support from Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, and Gabe Kapler (no, that's not a typo,) and defensive wizardry from Billy Mueller.
It's broom time.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Check out Papi Grande as he goes deep for the Sox in the third inning. Manny hit one out the at-bat before - BamBam and Pebbles ride again!!
I hate the Yankees, and I hate their fans. Obviously. The Yankees are the most repugnant group of human beings ever to don a uniform and form a professional athletic organization. I have actual and real contempt for the New York Yankees and the loud-mouthed, cro-magnon brained scum that seem to comprise about 90% of their fan base. But the way that I hate the Yanks isn't the same way that I hate the Oakland A's - probably my second least-favorite team in baseball. I loathe the Yankees, but I just think that the Oakland A's are too ridiculous to take seriously enough for an emotion like loathing. I hate the Oakland A's like you hate mosquitos when you're on a picnic, or the way you hate walking back to your car and finding a parking ticket underneath the windshield wiper. They're a silly, harmless nuisance. They are the biggest bunch of whiners and crybabies I have ever seen, and I was laughing with delight last night when the Colisseum turned into a circus of booing and thrown debris. Those people live like animals.
What started it? A blown call. The call was definitely blown. It was the top of the eighth inning and Mark Kotsay hit a ball that was headed for left field but dropping fast. In comes Manny, charging the ball, and my heart turned suddenly a-rhythmic like it always does when I see a well-hit ball heading toward left field. Manny dives, Manny rolls, Manny comes up with the baseball. "Holy shit!" I exclaim. But then comes the dismay from the Oakland bench and the NESN replay: the ball hit the field and bounced into Manny's glove. While it was a brilliant trap, it wasn't an out. But the umpire wouldn't reverse the call. The A's go down 1-2-3, the score remains 4-3. And the Sox go on to score four more runs in the eighth thanks to the complete inability of Oakland "closer" Arthur Rhodes to get anyone out. And just to twist the knife a little once it was already stabbed in, Mark Kotsay made almost the exact play that Manny did in the top of the ninth inning, only Kotsay wasn't credited with an out.
I do feel kind of bad about the blown call, but every sports fan has known the self-righteous indignance that comes from being on the wrong end of a bad official ruling. Shit happens. But I'm glad that the shit happened to the A's. Redman vs. Lowe tonight - I will be cheering harder for Lowe than usual, you can believe that.
Monday, September 06, 2004
Well if this guy isn't happy and settled in, then I don't know who is. Cabby (also known affectionately around our house as "Little Buddy,") went 2-4 in yesterday's 6-5 defeat of the Texas Rangers with a double and an RBI. Schilling had a 4-hit, one-run game going into the the ninth inning. Mike and I had plans to go downtown to meet Trip and his old man for a couple beers at five o'clock, and right as we were bustling around the house getting ready to go the ninth inning started. I looked at the tv. "Tito shouldn't have brought Schilling out for the ninth. There's just no reason for it! Bring some bozo out of the bullpen and save Schill's arm for another day." Mike agrees with me from the bathroom where he's primping in the mirror. I reluctantly pull my eyes away from the tv after Schilling gives up a basehit to Eric Young. We're literally in the open door, ready to leave, when we hear Schilling give up a two-run homer to Michael Young. Mike and I just stare at each other, then make mirror faces of disgust. And thank god we left then and saved ourselves the ignominous performance from Keith Foulke that followed. But the Sox held on, and they head off to Oakland with a near-perfect homestand behind them.
The Oakland series is going to be tough, but I think the Sox are up for it. Johnny Damon should be back in the lead-off spot tonight, whoopee!
Sunday, September 05, 2004
God I love this team. Even when they lose.
I trudged to work slightly disgruntled yesterday after Mike and I realized right before I had to leave that the game started at 1:20 instead of the customary 7:05. But Mike had something extremely rare and special in the world of second-shift linecooks - a Saturday off - and promised to text message me updates as the game was going on.
As I'm standing in the back of the kitchen blanching parsley in a steam kettle I get this message: "Sox losing 3 0." I dutifully roll my left pants leg up two times and carry on. I get back on my station and put away all the mustard greens, sugar snap peas and parsley that I've just blanched and go to work dicing some tomato concassee. I check my phone. "3-1" The Rally Cuff is working. I slice six cloves of garlic into paper-thin slivers. I bust out the blender and get to work on my parsley coulis, and just as I'm about to run it through the tamis I get this message: "wakefield is crushing now" Good, I think, Wakey's going to turn it around...now if the offense could just get going. But by the time I've put the blender back in pantry where it belongs and tucked my container of parsley coulis carefully back in our reach-in my phone vibrates and the screen says: "i lied, 5-1 now" Well shit.
Kevin and I go downstairs to the LaNormandie kitchen and break down a case of sole together, ripping their skins off, cutting off their heads and pulling out their guts. I check my phone. "Wake is a mess. 8-1." I'm starting to wonder how long Tito is going to leave him in there to fuck things up. I risk a text back. "How is the offense? Dead?" A minute later, Mike answers. "Yep. Ponson raping yanks" Well that's good news, at least.
Kevin and I go back upstairs. I puree a batch of tomato sauce that we cooked yesterday and which needed to cool overnight. Kevin runs it through the tamis while I sear off some pieces of foie gras. When the foie gras has cooled, I put a piece of foie on top of each piece of the hamachi tuna that Jonathan butchered earlier and wrap them individually in phyllo dough, a time consuming project (but with tasty results.) After I've finished the last little phyllo packet and brushed it lovingly with clarified butter I check my phone. It's been awhile. This is what I read: "yanks lose yanks lose" "bellhorn grandslam 8-5" "ortiz hr 8-6"
"Holy shit!!" I whoop. I run to find John Frakes. "Guess who just hit a fucking GRAND SLAM??" I ask. He looks at me non-plussed. "Mark Bellhorn! Woooohooooo!! Dude, I want to take this whole fucking team out and buy 'em a fucking beer! I love this team! Love them!!!" I rave as I return to my station.
Family meal is up. Rice and fish stir fry with lots of broccoli, yum. All the cooks retire out to the back alley to eat perched on milk crates. When it's over we sit around for a minute and bullshit. Those who smoke light up. I check my phone. The game is over. The Sox have lost. The streak has ended. But I still fucking love this team. Instead of being bummed out about the loss I'm just excited all through service about going home to watch Bellhorn's grandslam. When I finally get to watch it - well past eleven at night - it is everything I imagined it to be. Majestic. Brilliant. Glorious. The Red Sox weren't going to roll over and die, not on Mark's watch.
Did I mention yet that I love this team?
Saturday, September 04, 2004
ElVez keeps the win streak going with a seven-inning shutout over the Texas Rangers.
If you feelin like a pimp Petey, go and brush your shoulders off
Manny and Billy is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off
BoSox is crazy baby, don't forget that boy told you
Get - that - dirt off your shoulder!
Said the ladies they love me, from the bleachers they screamin
All the ballers is bouncin they like the way I be leanin
All the batters be hatin, off the corners I'm paintin
But all the hustlers they love it just to see one of us make it
Friday, September 03, 2004
Un. Fucking. Believable.
Nine in a row, ladies and gentlemen.
Thinking about it just doesn't get old. Nine in a row. A 4.5-game lead in the AL Wild Card. A 3.5 game deficit in the AL East. And a team that is on fire like Michael Jackson's jehri-curl after a Pepsi commercial.
Not to get into specifics, but yesterday pretty much sucked for me all the way around. One person close to me quit work, another person close to me got fired, and I lost my station partner to an unforeseen promotion. But goddamnit, the Sox won. It was the one good thing in my day yesterday, and just calling it "good" doesn't do it justice. I was home from work by the time Varitek threw the lead runner out with no outs in the ninth inning. And when Keith Foulke retired the final out on a pop-up to Cabby, there were tears in my eyes. And in Mike's eyes. We almost literally wept for joy. The last time we did that was when Ortiz hit that go-ahead double in game 4 of the ALDS, only that time we just openly cried/laughed. A sweep of the Anaheim Angels...and here I was, thinking that 2 out of 3 from them would be great...Unbelievable.
Tonight John Wasdin (yeah, John Wasdin,) goes up against Pedro Martínez. Let the good times roll.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
The Broom is locked and loaded.
I almost feel like I'm asking too much of the baseball gods - perhaps I'm being too greedy. I have to put the broom up, I just have to. But is nine in a row asking to much?
I say Fuck No.
After having watched the Sox drop 2 of 3 to the Colorado Rockies, after watching them get swept by the evil pinstripers in July, after watching Pedro give up a kazillion, trillion runs against the Angels way back before the All-Star break, after watching Derek Lowe implode unto White Dwarf status against the Atlanta Braves, I say we're all getting what we, as loyal, diehard fans, deserve: a team of fucking Warriors who come out and play-ay, that don't take no for a goddamn answer and who aren't afraid to get in the ring and bash a few metal folding chairs off of some skulls.
Last night's game was brilliant. Arroyo blows a 5-run lead in two and two-thirds innings, erasing a great first inning's work by Damon (single,) Bellhorn (RBI double,) Manny (walk, run scored,) Ortiz (RBI single,) Millar (sac-fly,) and Cabby (RBI triple.) Terry Francona sees fit to bring out none other than Mike "Touch-Em-All" Myers and lo and behold, the bleeding is stopped. And the miracles don't stop there. Terry frickin Adams goes on to pitch two innings of sparkling long relief. What are they putting in the bullpen water cooler these days? Before Curtis "Ted-Nugent's-long-lost-third-cousin" Leskanic closed out the ninth the score had gone from 12-5 to 12-7, but let's not split hairs. Major props to the bullpen for holding off a very tenacious and deadly team.
Speaking of the Angels, I think you could throw a fucking BarcaLounger at homeplate and Vladimir Guerrero would swing at it. I'm a big Vladdy fan, but jesus. That man never met a pitch he didn't like. And the way his body moves around when he runs and bats makes him look like some sort of broken marionette - yet he's one of the baddest motherfuckers playing the game right now. Vlad, you're alright with me.
And did you see Andres Galarraga in the dugout?? Christ, that man is like 5 days older than dirt!
Anyhow, the Red Sox offense continues to roll over opponents' starting pitching like Hitler and Co. down the Champs-Elysees - i.e. largely unopposed. Many players with multi-hit games last night, including Bellhorn with two doubles, Cabby with a double and a triple, and Millar with a single and a three-run quadrangular. Final game of the series is tonight.
The Broom is out. I want it all.