Sunday, September 30, 2007
Oh, goddamnit. Glavine...
Erg. And I saw John Maine pitch the best game I've ever seen in person yesterday. And...
And Philadelphia is a city in need of a championship, but that lack of success has made for some sour souls...
I'm looking at this picture and it looks sad to me, when I should actually be infuriated. See, I have a traumatic memory with a Mr. Met. It was a Binghamton Mets game. I was ten. Some kid was having fun with Mr. Met shooting a Super Soaker at him, which I did not understand was clearly something prearranged. So innocent Joshua Lee Drimmer, not yet jaded, sarcastic, cynical, or ever confused for anything resembling cool, thought, "Ooh, cool. And I've got this cup of water..." And yeah, so I kinda splashed him. And a voice came from Mr. Met like that ol' voice of death and ice cream, a scary fuckin' thing to hear coming from such a friendly, jovial, baseball-headed...well, not man...suit. You know, like Tom Carvel's voice...but angry...
And this voice was not offering me the crappy ice cream Patton Oswalt waxed not-so-nostalgically on a couple years back on Feelin' Kinda Patton. It wasn't friendly if creepy. No, it was saying, in a gravely, cigarette-destroyed yet LOUD voice,
"GET THIS KID OUTTA HERE!"
And I was taken out of the game, to great embarrassment since the summer camp kids I'd come with watched me leave, crying. They let me back in, but there's still a man somewhere in Upstate New York who I hope is suffering a very random stabbing pain right this moment, preferably in the taint. (Just one quick jab. I'm a kind soul:)
So you can see how sad I truly am for New York's "other" team. You know, the one that actually does deserve better.
And this is all I have to say about John Maine. I have seen the future. Maine's the name. Effective wildness (for now) is the game. Hey, it's worked before. And it can be solved.
But the present is nothing but pain. We Sox fans know this pain from a long history of collapse and near-misses. I'm so, so sorry.
From today's Herald...
"...The slugger’s .333 average would be the highest for a left-handed Sox hitter since Mo Vaughn finished at .337 in 1998..."
If you don't know which present-day slugger we're talking about here, but are still a Red Sox fan, I recommend reading a site closer to your intellectual speed. I love David Ortiz and Mo Vaughn for different reasons...and the same reasons. I can only hope that in 2015 I've got another big, slow, powerful quasi-first baseman with bat control to root for. Strongly agnostic as I am, that would be what I call a holy trinity.
Since 2004, I've shed a lot of superstition. I don't deeply believe in signs (or at least don't think we realize how many of these "signs" are actually Yield and Stop signs). I do believe that there is such thing as pure coincidence. But I also remember seeing Johnny Damon hit two home runs off Javy Vazquez in a June 2004 game at the Stadium, otherwise a miserable Derek Lowe experience, especially every time Javy struck a Sox out and the scoreboard flashed "Javy Nice Day." Complete with stupid 60s tie-dyed swirls and, you know, the Wal-Mart mascot. I wanted deeply to stab myself with my scorecard pencil; I settled for breaking it in six and burning the half-finished scorecard later. Goddamn it, Derek.
(I don't wear t-shirts like this anymore, but my is it brilliant.)
The point is game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. Johnny Damon and his two home runs. And, oh, the grand slam that basically shut the door until the Pedro Martinez Experience brought slight unfounded flashbacks of 2003.
You know damn well who threw that fat pitch that still hasn't landed (and never really will) in the happiest corner of my mind's eye. Yeah. Javy nice day to you too. Enjoy your 70s hangover while you're at it.
Is David Ortiz's amazing transformation into a genuine Triple Crown threat a sign? And the 12 years since 1995 thing?
Did this blog's creation make this happen? Does this mean that like 1995, we might (gulp) catch a bit of a whompin' from the Injuns in the ALCS if, new Mo willing, we get there?
No, not really.
But it's still giving me a grin as big as The Ritz.
A good day, and the last regular season game with any significance at all, thanks in part to J.D. Drew doing my initials proud with a blast of...power? Does that make...five, tools? (Stay tuned. Hell yes I want more!!!!!![?!?!])
So yeah, it's official. The possible ALCS matchup you probably don't really crave, Sox v. Injuns, would include four games in Boston. Best record in The league. And the leagues. Gold stars and scratch n' sniff stickers all around.
I'll take the time later to describe the greatest pitching performance I've ever seen live (and yeah, I saw me some Pedro) because a thing of beauty is a joy forever. My man John Keats said that. John Keats yo.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Yeah alright, I'm a little...nervous isn't the word. Tired, maybe, since I'd rather be focusing on the amazingly entertaining mediocrity of that AAAA league we call the National League (the Rockies haven't lost since September 15th!) then semi-sweating the last three games. Sure, Joe Torre showed some nice signs of not giving a fuck last night (your closer for the night: Jose Veras...and Joba's pitching the 8th instead of the 9th in that configuration...why?), but teams can stumble into victory, especially when the competition is the Tampa Bay Rays nee Devil Rays.
(Incidentally, Paul Lukas' Uni Watch is right: Tampa's new, no longer devilish look is borrrring. At least a crazy minor league look would be entertaining...and appropriate considering the franchise history.)
It's a different scenario thanks to the playoff system and the fact that, really, the Sox can't blow what matters: we're in. But the difference between facing the wounded Angels and trying to negotiate the tilted-cap Scylla and young Charybdis is...significant. And boy oh boy do the Sox have a recent history of collapse.
A little funk to pep you up for tonight, which will hopefully be at least half-magical. We are standing on the verge of getting it on, my people. Hold on.
Coco Crisp, meet Lance Broadway, fresh off his first major league win. Lance Broadway, Coco Crisp, nicknamed partially after the Cocoa Krispies monkey. You make the call.
(Shame he doesn't play for one of the New York teams.)
(Shame he doesn't play for one of the New York teams.)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Now that is true greatness. The Yankees' greatness transcends SPACE! Say what you will about the Yanks' impressive run from below .500 to the Wild Card, but the plotline we never saw coming was their entry into the AL West race.
Somewhere in a third-world country where shirts like this get dumped, there's some guy with an amazing collection, including Buffalo Bills World Champions gear and Boston Red Sox 1986 World Series Champions shirts. Mercy, mercy, mercy. (R.I.P. Joe Zawinul.)
(Oh, and thanks to Jim.)
Fun fun game last night. The offense came alive, thanks in large part to another big game by Manny "Christmas In September" Ramirez's big game, and Dustin Pedroia and Mike Lowell, one coming out of a slump, the other becoming the drug-free Butch Hobson in tying his record for RBI by a third baseman.
So I'm in love. I know I won't feel this way later, and I'm not fully comfortable with our #2 and #3 starters (Schill and Monster Zero) (Oh, has any announcer pronounced Dai-SU-ke's right this year? Maybe that SportsCenter guy who loves pronouncing Spanish names properly?) (How many parenthetical statements can I make in a row? About three.) in the playoffs. But a healthy lineup that can bash like this every now and then, an Okey-dokey bullpen in spite of the the queasy bespectacled mad Canuck's struggles and, yes, the SI curse (excellent article, by the way; really explains why the hop in Pap's fastball makes him so unhittable), and enough starting pitching makes me feel infatuated with our chances again. These are good times and a true delight to watch.
Scott Kasmir and Josh Beckett willing, tonight might be the night we party like it's 1995, one of the years the title of this blog pays tribute to, and the first year I saw the Sox in the playoffs in my real first days of true baseball fandom. Beware, Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles. Beware.