Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Nail, meet casket. Casket, nail.
If it's an even year, everyone hates A-Rod and he's only 2nd in the AL in OPS instead of MVP, so it's no surprise that here in New York, no one is talking about the Red Sox. Double Play-Rod is the phrase du jour.
So I'd love to talk more about what an enjoyable game yesterday's victory was, from its rekindling my love affair with Coco Crisp (timely bloop hitting, clever and incredibly daring baserunning to score from 2nd on an infield single, something I've never seen before and something Coco had to be thinking of at just one glance at the ol' Dancing Mustachioed Bear there at 1st base), Justin Masterson (one thing he can do is induce the ground ball), Hideki Okajima (the precision-thrown curve he struck his fellow Hideki out with was a BALLsy pitch on a 3-2 count), and Terry Francona (for reshuffling the bullpen and putting Delcarmen into the Aardsma role, the wisdom of which was promptly rewarded with two walks and a single).
Yes, I'd love to. But when in Rome, act like the Romans. When in Brooklyn, we contemplate all the nicknames A-Rod's stupid nickname has spawned, and what may be next. Yes, this is Alex Rodriguez, past and future, two or so syllables at a time.
A-Fraud (say the Mariners fans as he leaves for the $$$)
A-Yawn (the collective impact, in wins, of his Texas time)
Gay-Rod (Alex gets to make his first trips to Boston, Fenway fan base descends accordingly with A-Rod has AIDS t-shirts, I roll my eyes and open another bottle of Knob Creek)
Stray-Rod (she's kinda hideous except in a generic blonde sense, too)
Hey!-Rod (when this bullshit went down)
A-God (my friend Nick's name for him last season, fully justified; he was then promptly struck down by a bolt of lightning and A-Rod promptly sucked in another Yankees ALDS exit)
A-Bawd? (Alex Rodriguez's number found in Tampa madam's little red book; no charges filed.)
Overpaid-Rod! (NY Post headline at the conclusion of 2009 season, when he only hits, gasp, 32 HRs)
A-Mob (Yankee Stadium crowd attacks the field after Alex Rodriguez grounds out to end the last game of the season, putting the Yanks out of the playoffs for the third straight season. Alex survives with minor injuries, multiple foreign objects embedded in various locations.)
A-Slob (34-year-old Rodriguez shows up to spring training looking like Ray King. Has a resurgent power year in spite of "Fatty fatty fat fat!" taunts league-wide)
A-Hob(bled) (severe knee injury)
Kra-Rod (NY Post headline as "long-time good friends" Lenny Kravitz and Cynthia Rodriguez are wed. Editor who came up with this headline promptly fired.)
Blue Jay-Rod (or Ray-Rod, L.A.-Rod, Padre-Rod, or whatever pasture of the moment he is put out to spend his last years in)
Hall of Fame-Rod
A-Sob (In an interview with the New York Daily PostNews-Gazette-Shopper, Alex admits to not feeling his legacy has been appreciated. Interview followed with seven pages of scathing editorials making fun of him; rest of the paper, as is traditional for Daily PostNews-Gazette-Shopper, consists of hardcore pornography.)
Slay-Rod (Imagine your own tawdry murder fantasy.)
Monday, August 25, 2008
Ecstatic though I was to find that the White Sox had managed to take one game from the Rays (and thus, one game from their AL East lead), this video infuriates the shitting fuck out of me. Watch it the whole way and wait for when AJ not only finds a way to touch a fielder but creates his own momentum to fall down. Go to hell, AJ. Or get traded there.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Could we play the Rangers at Fenway the rest of the year? Please? This game we're playing isn't baseball, per se, but it sure is fun.
(And when Youkilis is hot enough that David Ortiz gets pitched to with an open base, this lineup sure is awesome. Even Crisp and Cora used their limited offensive talents: bloop single, hit batsman. Beautiful.)
Keep lighting 'em up. Even a ten-run lead clearly isn't secure this series, and hey, we get multi-ball if we score another 300,000 runs.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
1. Wow. So, that happened.
2. The fun-packed first inning reminded me of a game my girlfriend of the time got to see. To this day, that she (a Yankee fan) got to see that game and I didn't remains high on my list of resentments. Er, totally dead resentments.
3. Charlie Zink looked a lot more okay than the box score might show, giving up a ton of singles, but only giving up the biggest hits when he let his fastball rip. If you read this excellent Globe profile on Zink, that makes sense. Unlike Wakefield, a converted infielder who never really had much pride in his fastball, Zink is a converted pitcher, who could throw in the high-80s before the knuckleball became his primary pitch, and even throws a decent cutter. Thing is, Charlie, a mid-80s fastball isn't impressive unless you diversify very well. Just ask the shoulda-been 2004 World Series MVP.
4. Manny Delcarmen was worse than his box score shows. Much worse. When Gary Sheffield went on the waiver wire, I thought of how badly he claims to want to play for Boston and immediately concocted this trade idea:
Gary Sheffield and a box of rusted razor blades (to be locked in a room with Manny Delcarmen)
Cash considerations, a large bucket of baseballs, and weaponry to be named later.
Just a thought. The pay per view here could be excellent, especially if Kimbo Slice gets the winner.
5. Irrelevant, but David Ortiz was robbed of a three home run game. You already knew that. What was interesting was that Don and Jerry continued to believe that it was fan interference. Wrong though they were, the "nerve" to take an opinion against the home team just...filled me with more desire to kill Hawk Harrelson. Seriously, I should never listen to White Sox commentary again. The innocent might end up paying for it.
6. Ye gods, I just noticed a connection between this Sox-Rangers slugfest and the Sox-Marlins bit of brutality from 2003. Rupe be its name! (And no, I have no proof that former Sox hurler Ryan and Ranger righty Josh are brothers. So I'll just assume it. How zany! Eat that, Jayson Stark!)
7. The Paul Byrd pickup and its timing in the wake of Zink's last major league start for awhile is amazing. Old man with the old windup style has the second-lowest ERA among starters since the All-Star break, so there is absolutely nothing negative about this pickup. First benefit: Clay's start on Friday is no longer Clay's start.
8. Ron Washington's expression throughout this game, even as Texas came back, never changed, and never ceased to be priceless. Basically, it nonchalantly stated, "What is this bullshit we're playing here?" but better. Love that guy. Best character in Moneyball.
9. Some people have told me to rescind my concession of the AL East in the wake of Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria's injuries. Fair enough, but Longoria's effect is more or less negated by the loss of Mike Lowell, who can't be that fast a healer at his age. But don't worry, the lost space in the infield will be filled with some flip-flopping and someone else coming off the DL. Are you ready for some Lugo?!?
10. No? Me neither.
11. If the Rangers had scratched (or thwacked) out one more run off of Papelbon in the 9th, we might have had a 19-18 game. Four years ago, you might've gave a shit about that number.
12. Boo hoo hoo, Hank. Your team was actually at its flattest before the injuries (unless losing Hughes qualifies as a major loss considering his '08 performance), showed signs of life after your best pitcher went down, started sucking again, lost Joba, started drinking again. Yankee fans can only be happy with your assessment because it means Cashman ain't getting axed as you sit this October out for the first non-strike time since 1993.
13. What will happen with Yankees unused to having October off with too much time on their hands? Predictions:
--Derek Jeter paternity case; Ford turns paternity as a new way to win Jeter's Ford Challenge!
--Mariano Rivera nearly drowned, trying to find where those footprints are coming from.
--Kyle Farnsworth returns to new Yankee GM office with heavy artillery; opening of New Yankee Stadium delayed until 2010.
--Alex Rodriguez divorce settlement turns ugly when, with charts and graphs, he attempts to prove himself the greatest father since Ted Williams. Staff of Baseball Prospectus disproves his argument as deeply dependent on opportunity-based statistics like RBIs, batting average, and sperm count.
--John Sterling paternity case (on a very special episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Suzy is the mommy, murdered by a jealous Melky Cabrera!)
14. Even though, very similar to the Red Sox in divisional situation (with nearly identical records) I still think the Brewers are going to the World Series, with a chance of surprising anyone who gets there. Then again, I thought there wasn't going to be a dry pair of pants in Milwaukee last year. There wasn't, but that was due to a city-wide relapse, not any playoffs.
15. The basic frame of the rumored Boston deal for Johan Santana--Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, and Jed Lowrie for the rights to negotiate a massive contact with Johan--sure looks like an easy pass now, doesn't it?
16. Jason Bay has been sluggish as of late. With Lowell gone, that gots to end soon.
17. I'm going to make it to 19. I'm going to make it to 19.
18. If anyone owns a copy of the book above and could part with it for less than $16, you're not like the rest of the Internet. Contact me. It really should have been made into a 4th Shaft movie, with Isaac Hayes and Itzhak Perlman doing a killer theme song.
19. Writing imitates life. This post, like last night's game, was excessively, ultimately fulfilling, and not something I want to ever repeat again. May Lester return us to sanity tonight.
Monday, August 11, 2008
1) "He ain't gonna lose this one tonight. We gonna come back." does not constitute baseball analysis. Or commentary. Or anything else that is your role.
2) Slipping in your idiotic homerism into the commentary, as in "C'mon Johnny, get it in...and it's outside for ball two." doesn't mitigate it. At all.
3) "He gone!" has gone from being an annoying catchphrase with some novelty to simply an annoying catchphrase.
4) I'm embarrassed enough to find myself say "We got three runs in the 5th" because I'm not a member of the Boston Red Sox. You should be disgraced for actually saying "We haven't scored since the 3rd," former ballplayer and not-former ballplayer. You're so not part of the "We." Juan Uribe may have that right even though he sucks. You don't have that right and also happen to suck.
5) You make John Sterling seem professional.
6) You and AJ are the reasons I found myself rooting against the ChiSox in 2005 in spite of your considerable curse and myself. Go to hell.
Yours in Christ,
After an entertaining but disappointing loss yesterday, a thought occurred to me that I wasn't certain about. Then it stuck with it. Then it came back to me at noon, and then before I could write it myself, Yanksfan/Soxfan did. The AL East? We ain't winning it.
Now, not winning the AL East in recent years took us to the ALCS three times, and the World Series and a sweet, sweet championship once, so this isn't an end-all or be-all. The microphone god once said, it ain't where you're from, it's where you're at. As for the playoffs, it ain't how you (hopefully) enter the playoffs so much as it is how you (hopefully don't) exit.
The Red Sox are playing decent baseball since the exit of Manuel Ramirez, but the Rays are still on fire, so the most likely best-case scenario is, the Sox catch a little fire at the end but the Rays still finish a game or two ahead, sorta like the way the 2004 pennant chase ended. And it's okay. Hey, I love AL East pennants, and last year's meant a lot to me, since the AL East pennant before that was won with the help of the proprietor's MVP season. They don't mean that much, though.
And sadly, there's that other thing to consider: a wild card doesn't seem as painful when the Yankees aren't taking said AL East pennant.
It's pathetic. But it's true.
(Sigh. Now let's split this ChiSox series, please.)
Friday, August 1, 2008
Yankee fans, get irate. Apparently, your team tied, yet lost to the Angels. Sounds like some of that bullshit Rosie Perez spat in White Men Can't Jump.