Wednesday, April 30, 2008

GAME TWENTY-EIGHT: Classic 1968/1881 baseball game/ show-down.

Luckily for the Sox, nobody could for Doc Halliday, Deadly Cy Young Doctor of the North. And wow, has his team continually fucked him. As badly as Bob Costas' "moderation" fucked Will Leitch. Four straight complete games for Roy Halliday (!), three losses (!?!&$@$#). His ERA is 3.26. His record is 2-4. Remember this the next time you hear an idiotic announcer talk about a pitcher's will to win: Halliday could have pitched a 12-inning complete game and still have lost.

(Although by that point, someone I do not trust in close games would have probably been on the mound, so maybe Roy should've just shut the Sox down another inning and then three more after that. Whaddaya, Doc, a pussy?)

Two runs in three games is disturbing no matter the high quality of starting pitching the Red Sox may be facing (wait, did I just call Edwin Jackson a quality starting pitcher?), but all the same, yesterday's game was taut, fun, brief (2 hours, 18 minutes) and ultimately fulfilling.

Jon Lester had his customary bunch of walks; he was also almost unhittable, and got through 8 innings under 100 pitches. Of course, Lester being Lester, you watched wondering if it was going to fall apart any minute, particularly feeling the pressure of Halliday's dominance continue (the first time in the game two base runners were on in the same inning was, yes, the 9th inning). Papelbon had a right to his relief after the amazing diving stop Pedroia made to save the game, and stop Troy Glaus from scoring on Vernon Wells' hot shot (almost) through the hole, a dive reminiscent of the one Dustin saved Clay Bucholz's no-hitter with.

And then, of course, Halliday proved mortal, and with his first walk of the day, a Manny Ramirez single to center that would have been a shallow fly-out if Wells wasn't practically playing on the triangle, and Youkilis' liner through the middle, his chance to win passed away. "This is funny," he remarked, looking at his boots lying at his bed. Good game, Doc. Not looking forward to the next time.

Monday, April 28, 2008

And on the 21st day, after the 5th loss, they rested.

“When they make the schedule like this, it’s not just that we play 20 in a row, we play (expletive) 8 o’clock getaway games in Oakland (sic), so there’s not enough (complaining) and moaning that goes on to get it changed, I don’t know what the (expletive) we need to do,” said Josh Beckett after a really amazing start spoiled by, you know, a complete game shutout by James Shields.

The schedule has been fucking brutal (you'd be a wee bit cranky if you had to work 20 straight days, no?) and the results have been accordingly flat. Two great starts wasted in a three-game sweep by Tampa Bay (and a winnable one by Tim Wakefield, if the Sox had exploited Garza's allergic reaction to the strike zone a bit more), part of a strange and dramatic death of the offense, which went sharply from an 8-game streak of scoring 5 runs or more to 4, 1, and 0 runs.

Enjoy the day off, Sox. Don't stay up late waiting for GTA IV to come out. And then please, please stop playing like this.

Tampa Bay's for real though, I should note. Let's go on a quick journey through great moments in D'Rays history:

March 9, 1995: Vince Naimola's Tampa Bay group awarded a Major League Baseball franchise.

April 27, 2008: Tampa Bay defeats Boston to end up in a three-way tie for first in the AL East, marking the latest in a season Tampa has ever been in first place.

That's all I've got. Kudos, again.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

GAME TWENTY-FOUR: Too angry to speak.

Justin Masterson was a:

But that didn't matter because the bullpen was:

Games like this make me want to drink a whole:

Then black out, and wake up like this:

You've been warned, Delcarmen.

GAME TWENTY-THREE: A Tale of Two Needles

This is a flu vaccine. Everyone should get them, especially major league baseball players. The flu that has taken down so many Sox and left us with the odd spectacle of Kevin Cash, everyday catcher, took down Daisuke Matsuzaka, bringing in Jon Lester on three day's rest. Jon Lester wasn't so good on three days' rest, although the game was in winnable range.

This is human growth hormone. He was on it when he had his one above average year, and yesterday, swung the bat as though he was back on it. Of course, its real effects are considered negligible, marijuana to steroids' heroin, except for surface-level aesthetic purposes. But still, when you think of Gary Matthews, you're thinking of either human growth hormone, the catch that made a 4th outfielder rich, or the contract itself:

Last night was a game that was winnable, in any case, but we didn't. Craig Hansen made a mistake to GMJr., but his slider looked like the one we drafted, so yes, I'm drooling at the prospect of him taking Mike Timlin's innings by season's end. Today, our rotation is still out of sync as we bring in Justin Masterson for his first start above AA; love the guy, don't love the timing of bringing him in against a team currently batting .300. Think we're gonna need a little more offense today. Think I need to stop writing now to listen to the game.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GAME TWENTY-TWO: Winning streaks are fun.

Not even Dustin Pedroia's drunken Everclear-fueled incident, or Josh Beckett's sore neck, or David Pauley's...existence, can stop the Sox.

It was the third significant comeback of this six-game streak, and when one includes the mammoth comeback in a losing cause on Wednesday, it seems this team has a predilection for the dramatic. The top two of the lineup killed Angel pitching to the tune of 7-10, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, including the game winning bunt hit (Ellsbury)/ RBI double (Bushwick Dustin) combination. Add in some solid bullpen work by ol' Pizzaface Tavarez, man of shadow Okajima, Mike Timlin's one-out win (it was a big out, though), and Jon Papelbon making the baseball bleed with 99 mph stuff.

This is fun. Not so much so for the Angels, who have had the Red Sox put a hurtin' on him since at least 2004 (see above ALDS victory celebration), or maybe ever since this guy pitched for 'em. Boss Vaughn enjoys it too, maybe because the Anaheim squad jettisoned him for cash and Appier right before that championship season, maybe not. If the Angels continue their free-swinging ways, Daisuke Matsuzaka, a pitcher who has never found a strike he wasn't willing to make less strike-y, will be right at home. Keep it rollin'.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Going, Going, Gagn-gone.

Eric Gagne's career blown saves total, before 2007: 6.

Eric Gagne's blown saves total, 2007-2008 (so far): 8, including another today.

Eric Gagne's saves rate in 2008: 60% (6/10)

Eric, have a nice Chartreuse out of the bar's private collection, and call it a day. God forbid some other team with bullpen issues thinks you can help them next year.

Sox are kinda good lately though, ain't they? More on that later.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Things You Can Do While Waiting For Tim McClelland To Call A 3-2 Pitch

--Scratch every orifice of your body
--Check your e-mail
--Play six hands of poker
--Lose $2500 making stock trades
--Knit a doily
--Read four chapters of a Richard Brautigan book
--Sign seventeen autographs
--Walk all the way to first base (As many Yankees and Red Sox nearly did last night)
--Run to second base (Jacoby Ellsbury/Julio Lugo only)

--Make crude Artpad/MS Paint drawings of Manny Ramirez dancing.
--Feed, like, two people. Three if you went to college an' shit
--Write three haiku
--Listen to the shortest song ever one hundred and twenty times
--(Start and) finish a bad screenplay. It is that easy!
--Check your bat for excessive pine tar, knowing your history
--All of the above, before you're at last called out on a borderline curveball.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Prognosis: Dislocated Suck

Admittedly, when you're throwing 82 mph fastballs down the middle to the dreadlocked wonder, there fuckin' better be something wrong with you physically, but isn't the timing on this more than a bit delicious? Mmm, mmm, sweet, sweet tears.

Not a game the Sox were supposed to win last night, which made it all the sweeter. And the savior was ol' pizza face, nemesis of the dream warriors (legitimately good sequel, this one, much some people fetishize the gay one), and, for a night, strikeout machine. 2.2 IP, 4 K, including 2 with the bases loaded of Lester's mess, and all hope of victory in the balance.

The starting pitching hasn't been sharp, but three in a row by any means is an opportunity to get the ship moving. As for Cleveland, it's been time for Betancourt to close for some time now, even if he hasn't been himself so far this year. Goodbye, Joe Borowski. The next close game we actually lose to Cleveland, I'm gonna miss you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New York City Tax Dollars at work! (Today's caption.)

"No, Mr. Steinbrenner, this is not below my dignity. No, no, please don't instruct my crew to kick the shit out of me. It wasn't sarcasm, I just need a drink."

Friday, April 11, 2008

The New York Post: News You Can Lose!

Yup, this is the front page story of a major American newspaper. It's a weak back page story, really, something for News of the Weird, but do read the article as a lesson in how to stretch a story with bemused quotes.

Additionally, curses are apparently easier to discover than ever: while the Curse of the Bambino wasn't properly "discovered" by this assclown until 1986, 68 years into it; however, 4 championship-less seasons into his time in pinstripes (2 MVP seasons, no matter my feelings on 2005), the Curse of A-Rod, says the article, exists. That's some clever stuff. So there's your solution. Trade A-Rod, and re-sign Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius (now THAT's a third baseman!) and Luis Sojo, and your problem's solved: new Yankee dynasty.

The Bostonian construction worker pulled a nice prank, even if by putting it under the visitors' clubhouse instead of the Yankees', he missed an opportunity to cause some real bad mojo. And that really matters, you know, if you're one of the people that was really riveted by the search for Babe Ruth's piano or thought the stint on the DL Pedro Martinez logged following his proclamation that he would drill the Bambino in the ass if he ever faced him was cosmic karmic payback.

In other words, this story matters if you're a fucking dolt. But it's amusing to see Yankees fans become the superstitious ones all the same.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Notes on the Ring Ceremony
1) No crazy championship uniforms? I know that the whole point of this was that it had been 86 fucking years, but, hey, you never know when this ring ceremony will be your last. EVER. And imagine how ballsy it would be to wear something like the 1906 N.Y. Giants wore (above) for a day. Now try that shit for a year. Damn.

2) As my astute reporter the 45 King noted,

you watching this thing? representing the 2004 world series champs:
curt leskanic, david mccarty, and daubach.

I'll give it to Leskanic because he pitched some shutout ball for us in the neverending game 5, but, yeah, representatives of a team should generally have played for said team that year.

3) The flags of the world ringed around the warning track in left combined with a saccharine "Theme to New England" by the Boston Pops (more like "Rejected Olympic Theme #4,080) reminded me of something I learned from living abroad half my life.

Q: How much does Sweden, Mexico, Germany, and South Africa really give a shit that the "baseball" franchise from distant Boston in the United States won a misnomered thing called the World Series?

I smell Lucchino and Charles Steinberg's self-aggrandizing ways here. But hey, it's only for a day. Ego trip away. Let's just try winning a game today too.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Designated...for death!

One of the few/only bright spots of a dispiriting three game sweep to Matt Stairs and a buncha psuedo-Canadians was this: Kyle Snyder's Sox career is as good as over. Because he's been designated for assignment. And we all know what that actually means:

Poor Kyle. He wasn't even good enough to be assigned for death by Mortal Kombat II. Or good enough for me to spend more than two minutes in MS Paint.

Some teams just come out more ready than others out of Spring Training, and let's just say we're not roaring out of the gate this year, partially because of the travel. One below .500 on a (gasp) seven game road trip (that also included five exhibition games) isn't good, but it isn't atrocious either. Bats are always the last thing to get going, you know, unless your bats are facing Kyle Snyder or Manny Delcarmen. Let's just go home now. And rather than think of what a scary team Detroit still might be when they wake up, think of this:


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today's caption.

Melky Cabrera, celebrating his first home run in 163 at bats and one of the thirty-five total home runs the New York Yankees outfield would hit that year.*

*Includes those hit by Damon/Matsui in outfield duty while not on the DH/DL with arthritis, bed sores, and other embarrassing ailments of the aged.

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