Monday, April 30, 2007

Josh Hancock

Here are a few articles on Josh Hancock that I thought were well done...

Cardinal Nation Mourns; Autopsy set for today

Death leaves a family and a team in pieces

Pitcher's Death Hits Fossum Hard

Hudson mourns Auburn teammate



Being the die-hard Sox fan that I am, me, Kate, Amy, Paul and T went down to Pawtucket Friday for Lester's first AAA start. It was a great time (except it was freezing), and we had sweet seats 5 rows behind home plate. Lester looked great, didn't give up any runs and hit 96 once, and 94 a few times on the gun.

2/3 ain't bad...

Actually, 2/3 is pretty sweet.

*In case you were under a rock this weekend, the Sox took 2/3 from the Yankees.

*Bob Ryan says that despite protests from Cora, he is making a case to take Pedroia's job.

*Seth Mnookin has an entry where he says why he doesn't like Jay Payton and Kevin Millar, and also says that Doug Mirabelli is a jerk. Interesting.

*This Sox / Yanks recap has Tavarez going over and giving Lester a big hug.

Tavarez talked about how he went up to Jon Lester recently, when Lester was throwing on the side at Fenway Park. Lester has valiantly battled back from cancer and figures to take his spot in the rotation. "I gave him a big hug," Tavarez said. "I said, `I'll see you soon. Be better. You're going to be fine.' He's a kid. He has a big future."

*Josh Hancock, who came up with the Sox and made his first ML start with the Sox was killed in a car accident early Sunday morning. The news hit some of the Sox who came up with him especially hard.

"It was kind of shocking when I found out today," said Youkilis. "It was really tough, just more of a shock. I'm still shocked right now. It's just a sad story. I haven't really heard what the whole details are of the whole thing. It hasn't really hit home yet. To all of his family and his friends out there, you just have to say a prayer for them and hope they handle it all right. The St. Louis Cardinals lost a good pitcher today."

*The Patriots officially acquired Randy Moss yesterday in exchange for the 4th round pick that they got from the 49'ers when they sent their 2007 1st round pick to the 9'ers for their 1st round pick in 2008 (which, hopefully they suck next year). Anyway, here is what I think about Moss and Meriweather. Moss is going to make 6 million dollars less to play for the Patriots last year, he is a future Hall of Famer, and he ran a 4.29 and a 4.30 in the 40 for Bill the other day. He was the best WR available, especially for a 4th round pick. If he doesn't work out, we release him, and if he does, then him and Stallworth are our 1 and 2 recievers, aka, nasty.

I think that Oakland had to get rid of him because they have a young coach, and couldn't risk Moss fucking with him. I'd like to see Moss try to do something like that with Bill. He won't. In Mike Reiss's article above, Bob says he trusts Belichick and Pioli. And why wouldn't he? I'm with Bob on this one, when in doubt, take the best player available, and assume that your coaching and leadership will be able to get them into place. I, personally, can't wait for the first time Randy comes across the middle in practice and Rodney or Tedy lay them out for good measure. You know, just to let him know who is in charge.

Rodney had this to say...

"When Corey Dillon came in, everyone thought he was an outlaw. He proved otherwise. When I came in, everyone thought I was an outlaw, ruthless. I think I proved that otherwise. Let's get a chance to know the guy before we make any judgments. If he comes in and is selfish, there are going to be problems. But if he has the right attitude, it will be huge for us. I've always said, if he comes in, doesn't work hard, and acts like a prima donna, it's not going to work. But if he puts the team first and works hard, he has the talent to do special things for us. It comes down to the small things, and buying into what we're all about here."

As for Meriweather, he did stomp that guy in the Florida International brawl, and he may have once fired shots back when someone was shooting at him, but, he's only 22 years old, kids make mistakes, and I mean, who hasn't stomped on someone and fired return shots? I mean, really now. He hits nasty and was the best safety available...And in the AFC Championship game we were one stop / big hit away from winning our 4th ring, so, maybe he'll be able to bring that big hit if Rodney goes down again.

When does training camp start? Because I am very excited.

*Dan Shaugnessy has an incredibly predictable column about how the Patriots can no longer pretend to be morally superior to other teams. I didn't see this one coming a mile away, Dan. I like that Dan quotes Joe Buck in this. The irony is not lost on this girl.

*The Steeler's have a new mascot, who I think looks just like the custodian from the Simpsons. Yes? No? All I know is if I'm an 8 year old, I am not going near that guy.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Breaking News...

Just heard on ESPN that Randy Moss is in New England and will be a Patriot by the end of the day. He has restructured his contract so he can win a Super Bowl.

NFL Draft Party with Vince Wilfork

Yesterday me, Colleen, Katelyn and Katie made the trek out to Milford for Vince Wilfork's Draft Party. It was very fun. I love the NFL draft. It is one of my favorite sporting events of the year.

To steal from Peter King, here are 10 things I think I think...

*I think that if I was a top 10 NFL draft pick projection, I would absolutely not go to NY to watch the draft. I would do the Joe Thomas route and go fishing with my dad. Who wants to be the Matt Leinart / Brady Quinn (that was painful and I don't even like Brady Quinn) of the draft?

*I think the Browns got a steal with Quinn at 22 even though they had to give up their pick in '08.

*I think the Lions did the right thing taking Calvin Johnson with the 2nd pick. When in doubt, take the best player in the draft. Also, they took Drew Stanton with their 2nd pick, who I also love.

*I think I liked the NFL network's draft coverage rather than ESPN's. A Mel Kiper / Chris Berman-free day is a wonderful thing.

*I think I missed Sean Sailsbury and Todd McShay though.

*I think the Patriots did a good thing getting San Fran's pick in 2008. Now all we have to do is route against them.

*I think I'll just trust that Bill and Scott knew what they were doing taking Brandon Merriweather who fired some shots at an assailant and was the main stomper in the brawl with FIU.

*I think Brady Quinn dropped to 22 because he had on that vest. Franchise QB's don't wear vests.

*I think I liked Katelyn's suggestion that the time in between picks, at 15 minutes, is 8 minutes too long. Just make a GD decision.

*I think that the Lion's are trading a WR this week and that the Brett Farve must be thrilled that the freaking Packer's took a defensive player.

This is me and Le Kevin Smith, a black up D-lineman who was super nice and signed autographs and took pictures for at least an hour.
This is me, Col and Katie with Vince, who introduced himself to us, "Hi, I'm Vince". He couldn't have been nicer.
This is Vince and Greg Dickerson, who, won me over a bit yesterday. He seemed like a good guy.

This is from the live auction where there were all kinds of Patriots memorabilia and whatnot, and a bunch of things like, go out to dinner with Vince and his wife, go bowling with Vince, and all other cute things. Me and the girls were prepared to bid $1,000 for Monster seats, and were swiftly outbid when they sold for like, $2300.00. Gary Tanguay was there, but no pictures because um, he's a tool. Ty Warren, Kevin Faulk, Matt Light and a few others. Ty Warren and Matt Light are absolute houses.
It was a great way to spend the draft. (and it helped out a good cause!)

Friday, April 27, 2007

From the Onion...

MLB Credits Hank Aaron With 50 Lost Home Runs

MILWAUKEE—In what Major League Baseball officials are calling a "long overdue correction of a gross oversight," Commissioner Bud Selig announced Tuesday the discovery that Hall of Famer Hank Aaron had in fact accumulated 50 previously unaccounted-for home runs during his illustrious 22-year baseball career, bringing his once record total of 755 to an even higher 805 and putting the all-time home-run record perhaps forever out of reach.

Hank Aaron hits one of the 12 home runs he tallied during the 1973-1/2 season.

"Hank Aaron is a hero, an excellent man, and a great ambassador for the game of baseball," Selig said during a press conference to announce the findings. "We're proud to have finally set things right, hopefully once and for all. And I have to tell you, some of the home runs that we discovered were just monster shots. One was hit off of [Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher] Harvey Haddix that went 576 feet, and Hank wasn't even that big of a guy. Just naturally strong and gifted, I guess."

Haddix was unavailable for comment, as he passed away in 1994.

According to Selig, a committee of sports journalists and baseball historians was set up during the off-season to investigate, with Selig's oversight, whether there was any substance to a rumor that began circulating last summer concerning Aaron having hit more homeruns than those credited to him in the record books. Though Selig said he couldn't recall the date the committee was established, he believes it was in or around the time he approved the San Francisco Giants' highly publicized signing of Barry Zito.

The committee's 30-page report points out several key factors that combined to increase Aaron's home run total. For example, in 1958, home runs hit during both the first week of spring training and those hit in pre-game batting practice during away games in the third week of August were added to a player's career numbers. In addition, home runs hit during the 1971 All-Star Game should have been tallied.

Aaron, coincidentally, did hit a home run in that game.

"We are here today to the right the wrongs," Selig said. "This

is America's national pastime, and its players, fans, and all citizens deserve to have a record book in which they can take great pride. So if we didn't count Hank Aarons five-homer outing during 1964's famous 'Empty Stadium' game, I wouldn't be able to live with myself."

Furthermore, the report continued, a third of the home runs hit by players who participated in the television series Home Run Derby, a show on which Aaron appeared several times, should have been counted. In addition, during the second half of the 1962 season, balls that bounced over the outfield fence should have been counted as home runs, and foul balls that were hit behind the batter but cleared the netting intended to protect fans seated behind home plate were also home runs. That being the case, league scorekeepers now say Aaron had his best year in 1962, hitting 65 home runs—20 more than originally thought.

Though there has been some negative reaction towards the announcement of Aaron's new record, mostly from fans in northern California, the news has been received very well nationwide.

"This is the best thing that has happened to baseball in years," said New York resident Tom Plaitano, 63. "I remember watching Hank Aaron as a kid, and even though I don't recall a time when all home runs hit off Sandy Koufax counted for two, I don't really care. This decision just makes sense to me."


"The number 805 will go down as the most prestigious number in sports," said Selig, adding that there is a strong possibility still more of Aaron's home runs could come to the surface during this season, and maybe even the next several seasons to come. "It's not out of the question that Hank could have, say, 900 home runs by the time our investigation is all said and done."
"Either way, the all-time home-run record couldn't be held by a more dignified and honorable man," Selig added.

The committee's report has caused quite a shakeup to the list of baseball's all-time home-run leaders. Aaron, while keeping his record, is not even the biggest benefactor of the findings; as of now Aaron is first with 805, Willie Mays has jumped to second with 800, Frank Robinson is third with 798, Harmon Killebrew is fourth with 797, and Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Ted Williams, and Willie McCovey are tied for fifth at 796.

According to Selig, early results of another investigation may net Babe Ruth as many as 74 additional home runs, Mike Schmidt an estimated 124, and Ken Griffey Jr. a possible 200, while players such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and Barry Bonds will probably be knocked even further down the list.

Um...



Ryan Hollweg does his pregame routine. He's a forward for the NY Rangers.

As for the Sox, Joshua is dominating just as I knew he would, and hey, look at that, Wily Mo didn't strike out once. Good win, I'll take it. I wish that our rotation was in a different order for this weekend, but, Tavarez is due for a good start. Right? Due? Overdue even?

Even in April, doesn't get much better than that.

Matsuzka tonight, Vince Wilfork's Draft Party tomorrow, and then some more Sox Yankees for the rest of the weekend! And it's the weekend!

The Office...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

This morning, I no sooner sit down in my chair when wKatie rounds the corner into my cube and informs me that we have to eat buffalo chicken for lunch today because whenever she eats buffalo chicken the Red Sox win, and that by eating buffalo chicken, we'll be sending good karma down to Baltimore. I'm a big karma believer. Now all I have to do is decide if I want buffalo chicken on a salad, by itself, with fries, or in a sandwich. Decisions, decisions.

The Red Sox looked good last night. Curt pitched well, some timely hitting, and an appearance by the always handsome Brian Roberts. To be honest, I missed most of the game between being to far from the TV at Lucky's to see what was going on, to taking the T home after missing the bus (thank God for brothers who will pick you up), and falling asleep before the end of the game.

*As for the O's announcers who said that Curt painted his sock, I give you this.

and this...

"What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie. I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood." -- 4.25.07, Doug Mirabelli

*BSM has all the links from last nights game.

*Rob Bradford's new blog is here. (I was missing him).

*I am going to Vince Wilfork's draft party on Saturday. I am so excited. I love the NFL Draft.
This morning, I no sooner sit down in my chair when wKatie rounds the corner into my cube and informs me that we have to eat buffalo chicken for lunch today because whenever she eats buffalo chicken the Red Sox win, and that by eating buffalo chicken, we'll be sending good karma down to Baltimore. I'm a big karma believer. Now all I have to do is decide if I want buffalo chicken on a salad, by itself, with fries, or in a sandwich. Decisions, decisions.

The Red Sox looked good last night. Curt pitched well, some timely hitting, and an appearance by the always handsome Brian Roberts. To be honest, I missed most of the game between being to far from the TV at Lucky's to see what was going on, to taking the T home after missing the bus (thank God for brothers who will pick you up), and falling asleep before the end of the game.

*As for the O's announcers who said that Curt painted his sock, I give you this.

and this...

"What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie. I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood." -- 4.25.07, Doug Mirabelli

*BSM has all the links from last nights game.

*Rob Bradford's new blog is here. (I was missing him).

*I am going to Vince Wilfork's draft party on Saturday. I am so excited. I love the NFL Draft.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Also, Wily Mo reminds me of nothing so much as that puppy Marianne and I saw in Coolidge Corner earlier today who was brand new and clearly not in control of his big, gangly, puppy limbs. Like you can't really get mad at the puppy for playing with the ball instead of throwing it into second like a capable baseball player. And I suspect you couldn't really get mad at Wily Mo for getting nervous and peeing in the corner. But it's going to take a larger newspaper wack to the nose with that one. Additionally, the owner of the puppy had clearly obtained said animal for the exact reason that it garnered him much attention from twenty-something girls as he was extremely willing to allow us to pet the puppy and generally remark on its cuteness. So that begs the question: if Wily Mo is a puppy, who's wingdog is he?

from www.basegirl.blogspot.com

Sorry Vince...

I went to the Sox Monday night...yesterday, I was tired, cranky, and I didn't want to talk about it. I decided it was a classic let down game after sweeping the Yanks, I was giving them a free pass. Then last nights game came around. I hate Julian Tavarez, you know he's probably going to pitch like shit, and you're hoping the O can score enough to overcome all of his inadequacies. I feel like Denny Green after the Cardinals lost to the Bears, "HE WAS WHAT I THOUGHT HE WAS, HE WAS WHAT I THOUGHT HE WAS". I understand Lester isn't ready and maybe he's still a ways off, we'll have a better idea after today when he throws against AAA for the first time. Why not throw someone else out there. After 5 innings of no-hit baseball last October, I'm not taking out the anointing oil or anything, but at least if you throw Devern Hansack out there, you don't know what you are going to get. He might pitch great, he might not, who knows, but isn't it worth a shot? I don't care if it isn't Hansack, maybe there's some AAA stud I don't know about. Freaking bring up Papelbon's brother from A, whatever, I don't care, I just can't take Julian anymore.

And another thing, could Wily Mo look more freaking lost out there. The only place for him on the field is um, in the dugout as a DH, but I think last time I checked we were in pretty good shape in that position. Wily Mo needs a some months, maybe even a season, in AAA hitting everyday. Right now, he can't hit offspeed pitches and he can't hit high heat, and he can't lay off balls, so if everyone could just throw him fastballs right down the middle, that would be super. He only sometimes plays well when he is getting a ton of AB's, and he's not good enough to get a ton of AB's, and I'm pretty sure his contract leaves us with no options. So, instead of Bronson following Dice-K, he's in Cincy (wishing he was in Boston obviously), and we have a bench that can't hit or play D.

My question to Theo would be, in what ways did the Pena trade make us a better team?

My answer, zero ways, but other than that, good deal.

So, there we go, mark the date and time, April 25th, 9:21 AM, Sox Gal's first Red Sox induced freak out of the 2007 season.

A few things...

I may or may not be back with links later...

I was going to go to bed early last night, but then someone fell overboard on the Bering Sea and I obviously couldn't miss it!

Mike Lowell, how do I love thee?

Something I already noticed but that the NY Times picked up on. ESPN manipulated Theo's reaction to make it look like it was his reaction to Jason but really it was his reaction to Drew's HR.

Carrie Underwood and Tony Romo have been lying to me when they said they weren't dating. Carrie, I thought we were friends.

If anyone knows the local radio station in Rochester that you can stream online...let me know.

Friday yet?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Everyone needs to read Chad Finn's blog immediately. I love when I have to stifle my laughter at my desk.
*I love those NY papers. Hehe.

*Bob Ryan has a good one about the freaking amazing 3rd inning. Just for the record naysayers, I did call it. I told Paul that the Sox were going back to back to back to back. (I meant to say that Jason would hit one too and thought that they would hit 3 in a row, but I said it wrong.) But I did call it. So, if anyone wants to hear it directly from Paul, call my cell phone number only change the last number from a 3 to a 5. One more thing on the 4 HR's in a row. It's happened five times in baseball, and once Terry Francona's dad was involved, and TWICE, J.D. Drew was involved. What are the odds of that happening?

*I mean, I know it is early and all, but you can't ask for much more than what we got this weekend. Gordon has the game report.



*When Papelbon came on in Saturday and Wild Thing started playing...I mean, it was like a dream come true. We all new he needed a song. He is so bad-ass. I mean, the ovation he gets / everyone singing along. It doesn't get better than that. His face when he's on the mound so angry. The fist pump. I mean, I am starting to feel for him like I do for Tom, Rodney and Papi. How did we get so lucky to have them in our lives? I made a Red Sox mix yesterday with Barb O'Reilly (after searching for four hours for Teenage Wasteland / The Who on iTunes before Mr. C put me the in the right direction, Wild Thing, obviously, Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Caroline, Shipping up to Boston, Tessie and of course, Dirty Water, and listened to it on repeat in my kitchen for about 5 hour blaring it while I made dinner / danced around the kitchen like an idiot. It was so much fun.)
*So, the clip of Tavarez talking to Dice-K in the dugout is explained in the video at the top of Nick Carfardo's report on Dice-K battling last night. (Everytime I see Tavarez, he is close talking / touching Dice-K in some way. I think he might have a little crush - Then again...don't we all?). By the way, I'm expecting HUGE things out of Dice-K Sunday in Yankee Stadium. Anyone wants to drive up for the game and scalp tickets. I'm game. (but I can't go Saturday because 1. Tavarez makes me sick to my stomach, 2. I am going to Vince Wilfork's charity event.) I like getting my ass kicked.

*Dear ESPN,

A few things regarding last nights broadcast:

1. It would be nice if Jon Miller and Joe Morgan had a few stories I haven't already heard before, Sure, it's a national broadcast but all your little anecdotes were stories that Red Sox and Yankees fans alike already knew. (Although I did like Manny telling Joe Morgan he was going to hit a HR last night).

2. Can we get a camera so we can see balls hit to the left? Work on that for next time.

3. If you insist on interupting my game with stupid Sportscenter updates, please don't tell me the same thing ON ALL FOUR FREAKING UPDATES. Okay, Barry hit a HR and the Suns beat someone, whatever, I don't care. And, there is a ticker at the bottom that already told me those things, so really, I was all set.

I think that's all. Thanks for your time, and for continously screwing up my Sunday's by picking up Sox games for national broadcasts.

Love,
Amanda

*Jon lester was in the dugout yesterday (yay) and will start Wednesday against the Rochester Red Wings. (watch the video too...love him).
*A good one on our new "Pappy" from Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post.
BOSTON - The bullpen gate swung open just as The Troggs started tum bling out of the speakers at Fenway Park. They don't much care about keeping the iPod up to date here. They still play Neil Diamond in the eighth inning, letting the faithful stretch their beer-soaked vocal cords and shout "So good! So good! So good!"

The Red Sox haven't bother to find a 21st-century song for their 21st-century closer, either, so "Wild Thing," which first made the world's heart sing back in 1966, serves as the warm-up music for Jonathan Papelbon. It may not invite goose pimples the way "Enter Sandman" does for Mariano Rivera, and it may not cause chills the way "Hell's Bells" does for Travis Hoffman.
But the song has never made the closer. It's the closer that has always made the song. And so it is with Jonathan Papelbon. Less than 24 hours earlier, the man who ruled this profession for 11 seasons, Rivera, had come in with the mission of protecting a three-run lead against the Red Sox, couldn't do it.
*David in 42 was giving me Mo Vaughn flashbacks. (Take off that jersey please). Also, you heard it here first, David has a huge game tonight. He's due to break out.
*You know you love your closer when... You are slightly bummed out that you know he's unavailable (don't pitch him today or tomorrow please Terry) because he's thrown 80+ pitches over the past 5 days.
*Buster Olney had question and answer with David...
2. What is your thought process in late-inning situations?
DO: Well for one, I don't like extra innings so I want to do what I can to avoid it … I'm kidding, sort of. Honestly, I've always been able to relax and focus well in key moments … the thing is, I want to help my teammates. When I step up to the plate, I just try to stay loose, never tense. I tell you what, too, there's no greater feeling than pulling through for your teammates -- and doing it in Boston, for our fans … forget it.
*Buster also says that Barry Bonds is on pace to "break" Hank's record on June 20th in Milwaukee, but you know where the Giants are just before that. Oh yes, Fenway Park. Personally, I think that when he hits 755 everyone in the stadium should just stand up, turn around and say nothing. He's not worth the waste of time to boo.
*A Met's fan was arrested for using a high powered flashlight to distract the Braves.
*As you know, I'm a sucker for a nice story.
*Please enjoy the Wild Thing video below.














Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ramblings from my excedrine filled head from last night and a couple links...

*I'm pissed no one hit a Yankee last night after Pettitte hit Youk...Curt had the perfect opportunity to hit Mr. April and instead gave up a GD HR.

*My favorite chants from the night...the "Yankees Suck" chant after we took the lead...the loudest of the night. The "You're no Jeter" to A-Rod before lined softly to second, and "Ok-a-jima" when he was closing it out.

*Caught the highlights at Copperfields after...Coco didn't have a chance to get A-Rod's HR, A+ for effort though...Also, Matsuzaka's face was PRICELESS after Okajima got the last out.

*Katelyn and I had quite possibly the most annoying / stupidest man on Earth behind us.

*My favorite text from last night, "It's official Mariano Rivera is my favorite Red Sox" from KP.

*Good to see the Captain get the bat going (ours not theirs, obviously). (10 too!).

*I hate the hit and run with nobody out. Because if something gets screwed up...a la J.D. getting gunned out right before Tek's HR it sucks. Of course, Lowell hits a double and Drew scores I'm not making this argument (but, hindsight is always 20 / 20).

*I got some goosebumps during the Red Auerbach thing and Bob Cousy throwing out the first pitch. Seeing all those championship banners never cease to amaze me.

*Reasons I hate headline writers..."Crisp was man with a plan: Clutch hit makes up for missed catch". No way anyone short of Yao Ming could have made that catch, and even then I'm not sure.

*Gordon has a good game report, as always.

*I started reading Shaugnessy's article today...just to see what it said, and surprisingly, I liked it, I thought it was a good effort, then, I got to this...

There were ghosts of Yankees past rattling around the yard in the first eight innings. Schilling, who needs an editor more than he needs a pitching coach, coughed up a couple of gopher balls to Rodriguez (12 homers and 30 RBIs already, folks) and Boston hitters weren't able to do much with Pettitte, who last started a game against the Red Sox during the (gulp) 2003 American League Championship Series.

Seriously Dan? Are you 8 freaking years old? First of all, he doesn't need either. And secondly, could you please find more ways to interject yourself and your petty grudge match into more stories. You write a good lead, start off great, and then I don't even finish the article. I can't imagine that was your intention.

*I'm posting all of the Okajima interview, because it's pretty great.

April 21, 2007
Okajima interview
By Boston.com Staff

Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima, who picked up his first save of the season with Jonathan Papelbon unavailable Friday night against the Yankees, was interviewed by NHK television of Japan after the game. The following is an excerpt from the interview, transcribed by Masahiro Suzuki and translated by Globe staffer Daigo Fujiwara:

Q: Your thoughts (Yankees-Red Sox)?
A: It's like we just won the pennant.

Did you know you were going to pitch today?
No, I didn't. But was ready.

When were you told to get ready?
After we came back on top. (7th run scored)

First batter was Jeter, what did you think?
Good hitter. Not a hitter that you want to face, but I pitched with my feeling.

First two pitches, you look like you were nervous?
I was trying to pitch quicker, maybe. I figured I had to try something.

Then you went back to your regular focused face?
(Laughs) Is that so?

Then you faced red-hot A-Rod. What were you thinking?
I was thinking, I can't let him hit a home run.

You got him out.
Yes, I was lucky.

Lucky?
I was helped by his mistake.

Did you think you can get a save for the team this early in the season?
No, I did not. I did not expect it.

Are you happy to be able to pitch well against Yankees in Fenway Park?
Yes. But this is only the beginning. I thank fans for the support and the loud cheering.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I would be remiss if I didn't start the day with a big Congrats to Mr. April, Alex Rodirguez...

Also, Hi Johnny, how are things greating you in NY? I hope your cramps are better!




Here we are again, Yankees @ Red Sox for the first time of 2007, and thanks to Katelyn, I'll be in the grandstand for the game. (and, they are going to wear their green jerseys, which I am oddly excited about), and Mr. Cousy will be on hand to throw out the first pitch.

The links...

*Bob Ryan doesn't hate the Yankees.

*Gerry Callahan says that A-Rod will be wearing a Sox uniform on Opening Day 2008.


*Cora got even.


*This is from John Tomase's notebook entry from yesterday...I can't believe Tavarez once almost had a no-no...

April 19th, 2007

Tavarez is loose

Posted by John Tomase at 12:56 pm

Couple of observations on Julian Tavarez in the hours before today’s game. For one, he stopped during highlights of Mark Buerhle’s no-hitter last night to chat with reporters, unprompted, about his own near no-no with the Cubs in 2001. He took a no-hitter into the eighth against the Pirates on the final day of the season. With two on via walks and one out, Mendy Lopez chopped a meager single to left to end Tavarez’s bid.

Now most pitchers won’t even make eye contact on the day of a start, but here was Tavarez, chatting away amiably. Then, after batting practice, he was one of the only players to stop for a group of screaming kids demanding autographs (David Ortiz was another).

It was just interesting to see Tavarez so loose an hour before a start. It speaks to his personality. Maybe he’s due for a big game today opposite Roy Halladay.

*Devern Hansack got his first L of the season yesterday giving up 3 runs in 6IP. Craig Hansen pitched 1 2/3 scoreless. Lester will make his first start for the PawSox on April 25th against the Rochester, NY Red Wings at 12:05. It's about 6 hours away. Who wants to call in sick next Wednesday and go to the game, then drive home after?


*The D-backs had a handwriting analysis. This was pretty interesting.


*I love Jake Peavy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech

I've heard a few things about this speech but hadn't seen it yet. Gave me goosebumps.



if that link won't work...it wouldn't for some reason...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cSuidxE8os

Here is Curtis Granderson's blog entry from yesterday...

Remembering a tragic event
posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 Print Entry

One always hates to witness a national tragedy like the one that took place on Monday in Blacksburg, Va. A horrific event took place -- one of the worst in our nation's history. I can't begin to comprehend what the family members of the victims are going through.

I remember checking my e-mail early in the morning the day of the tragedy when I first heard about it, and the first thing that started popping in my head was when I was on campus at the University of Illinois-Chicago and I found out the events of 9/11 were happening. I remembered how scared people were on my campus and the reactions of all the faculty and students. Now try to imagine being on the campus of Virginia Tech as a student while this event was going on.

One of the victims of the tragedy was 25-year-old Brian Bluhm. I never had the pleasure of actually meeting Brian. In just a few short weeks, Brian was scheduled to earn his master's degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. A bright future was in the works for this Detroit sports fan, who on his own Web site admitted that he either works on his thesis or reads about the Tigers. Now that's what I call a broad range.

There were 31 other innocent victims on Monday morning on Virginia Tech's campus. Some were teachers and administrators; some were students. They are all cherished.

Detroit sports message boards have been littered with thoughtful comments and messages for Brian. He had e-mailed me a couple of questions for my Q&A in the past, though his questions were not yet selected. Here is one of those questions that I will now answer:

Brian Bluhm (Blacksburg, Va.): What are your personal and team goals for the season?
Curtis: It's hard for us as a team to set a goal and say we want to win a certain amount of games or win the World Series, because it's too hard to focus on one specific thing for so many games. Our team goal is pretty simple, though -- basically prepare ourselves to play for nine innings every day, every series and against every opponent. For me individually, it's more of just trying to play my role the best I can every day. One day I may lead off and start in center field, where I'll need to set the tone and cover and control the outfield. Another day, I may bat eighth or ninth and I'll have to set the tone for the big guys at the top of the lineup.

I may not always start, but I'll still need to be ready to come off the bench to either run, hit or play defense to the best of my ability.

Finally, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this senseless tragedy.
A few thoughts from last night and a few links...

*The GD shift pisses me off.

*Jerry sounds like he has chronic bronchitis.

*Curt talking to Dice-K and showing him the knuckleball yesterday was hilarious. Dice-K seems like a great time.

*Papelbon coming into save gives me butterflies...and not the nervous kind, but the, "we are about to kick some ass" kind. Also, I love when he throws a close pitch and stares down the umpire with a, "You better hope you never cross my path when I'm duck hunting" look.

*How about Dougie? Looks like he has single handedly taken care of the run support issues for Wake. Maybe we should have him catch Dice-K on Sunday. Actually, never mind.

The links...

*The Celt's lost their last game of the year with a last second shot by Flip Murray. I watched some of this game, actually. I love Big Al. I may even get a Jefferson shirt at some time. But I'm going to wait and hopefully get an Oden or Durant. Gary Tanguay was saying last night, he thinks if the Celt's get the #2 and get Durant that they are going to trade him. Sportsguy will absolutely hang himself.

*The knuckleball was in top shape yesterday.

*Dice-K is a hit on ebay.

*Here's a good one Adalius Thomas, the new LB for the Pats.

*Curtis Granderson's blog is outstanding. If you don't have ESPN insider, email me and I'll send you my password. He has an especially nice entry about a VT student who was an avid Tiger's fan.


Also, not to brag or anything, but I'll be bringing you some live coverage from Friday (thanks to Katelyn) and Saturday's (thanks to Kerry) Yankee's games. I'm still waiting for the Travis Roy Foundation to email me and tell me I won the raffle for the Dice-K tickets for Sunday's game, but when I do, I'll form some kind of contest as to who can come with me. I think they are EMC seats.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A bone to pick with SG...

The NBA from LVP to MVP, Part I

By Bill Simmons Page 2

First, the good news: We'll forget the lackluster regular season once the NBA playoffs kick off with a barrage of spectacular matchups, assuming everything breaks correctly. I don't need to sell you on the Spurs-Nuggets, Lakers-Suns or Cavs-Heat battles, but a Jazz-Rockets series works for any true basketball fan, and you don't like sports if you can't get excited for Nellie's run-and-gun Warriors battling his old Mavs team, or Toronto laying its feel-good season on the line against New Jersey and Public Enemy No. 1 (Vince Carter).


First of all, I am so sick of reading about SG's take on basketball I could poke myself in the eye. Secondly, I hate when columnists say stuff like, "you don't like sports if you can't get excited for Nellie's run-and-gun Warriors battling his old Mavs team, or Toronto laying its feel-good season on the line against New Jersey and Public Enemy No. 1 (Vince Carter)." Okay then, I thought up until now, that I liked sports, but, seeing I could not possibly care less about this and probably wouldn't watch the whole series if someone was paying me $100.00, then, well, so be it. You caught me SG, I don't like sports.

The links...

Dice-K is sadly a memeber of the Tim Wakefield school of run support. Overall he looked good though...Daisuke could have very easily gotten out of the 4th with the questionable call with Veronon Wells safe at first after Mike Lowell's throw, and, if that sharp grounder to Lugo had been hit to Gonzales instead of Lugo it's a double play. (Lugo's been good mostly with the D though). (also, I'm really starting to fall for J.D. - until the first pulled hamstring anyway)

It's okay though, I can't think of a better place for Dice-K to get his second win than this Sunday @ Fenway against the MFYankees.

*Devern has looked like the real thing so far for the PawSox.

*Edes's notebook has Gabe Kapler forgetting to put Lester on the scorecard the other day, and the pitcher had to miss his start. He ended up throwing a simulated game instead.

Gabe Kapler, who was willing to go to the low minors to learn how to manage, was caught by one of the game's technicalities, and it cost Jon Lester the third of his four scheduled rehabilitation appearances. Kapler's team, the Greenville Drive in the Single A South Atlantic League, played a game Saturday night that was suspended in the top of the second inning. When play resumed the next day, Kapler inserted Lester into the game in the fourth inning. But after Lester warmed up, umpires informed Kapler that Lester was not on the lineup card -- which Kapler evidently had not updated from the day before -- so Lester was not allowed to pitch. He threw a 75-pitch simulated game instead, and will make one more start for Greenville, Sox manager Terry Francona said, before a decision is made on his next step. "He took it real hard," Francona said of Kapler. "He texted me in between games. He really felt bad. I think it was more of a misunderstanding than him whiffing on something."


*The Patriots added Tory James at cornerback. He's been very durable over his career, something that the Pat's DBacks have not been in recent years. Mike has a scary tibit in his report:

The addition of James gives the Patriots more flexibility entering the April 28-29 draft. It also adds another layer of depth at cornerback, a position at which the Patriots have two players who have not officially signed their tender offers, Asante Samuel and Randall Gay.

Samuel, a starter who was assigned the franchise tag, recently expressed his displeasure with the progress of contract negotiations. Gay, a restricted free agent, visited with the Jets last week but has not been presented an offer sheet. NFL clubs have until Friday to sign restricted free agents such as Gay to offer sheets.

The Patriots currently have only Willie Andrews, Ellis Hobbs, Eddie Jackson (recovering from ACL injury, likely out until October), and Chad Scott under contract at cornerback. Safety Eugene Wilson is also an option at the position.

That is a very small amount of reliable corners without Gay and Samuel.

*The Celtics season mercifully comes to an end tonight. Peter May has 3 reasons to be sad it is over and 3 reasons to be happy.

My favorite is number #2:

2. The Lottery is May 22
This is unacceptable. We've had this date circled since Christmas, and now that the season is over, we still have more than a month to wait and no games to distract us from what looms as the most critical day in recent Celtics history. Seriously. The MIT guys have plenty of time to come up with every conceivable combination that will help the Celtics, but what are the fans going to do in the interim? There will be endless chatter as to what the Celtics should do should they win the whole thing. Danny Ainge says it won't be the end of the world if Boston doesn't get a top two pick. Do you believe him?


Imagine if the Red Sox sent out emails like this...

An Exclusive Thank you Offer

Dear Amanda,

Pitching, pitching, pitching. You've got to love what the Rangers showed the Red Sox in their first series of 2007 at Rangers Ballpark. Robinson Tejeda reeled off seven impressive innings in the home opener victory, followed by six strong from staff ace Kevin Millwood in Saturday's win. Vicente Padilla then took the mound on Sunday and produced seven innings of his own with only three runs allowed. Not bad. Not bad at all.

And, you know, as the weather heats up, so too will the Rangers bats. Michael Young, Mark Teixeira, Kenny Lofton, Hank Blalock, Sammy Sosa...that's an All-Star lineup if ever there was one. Yes, this is shaping up to be an exciting summer of baseball here in Texas!

Don't miss a single second of the action with an exclusive Grand Slam Pick 3 Plan with savings up to 50% off regular individual game ticket prices. Choose from ANY three games on the 2007 schedule excluding May 1-3 or 26-27, June 19-21, and July 4. Select from Upper Box for $9.50, Lexus Club Terrace for $16.00, or Lower Reserved for $17.00 (regularly $19.00, $23.00, and $25.00 respectively). By purchasing now, you'll also receive priority for 2007 postseason tickets and the opportunity to upgrade to 2008 season tickets.

To purchase your perfect ticket package and recognize savings up to 50%, click the Buy Tickets button below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Paging run support, paging run support...

How do you say, "no run support" in Japanese?
.

.

.

Daisuke.

some random afternoon things...

This is a pretty funny article about a Red Sox fan who ran the marathon with Yankee garb.

Joey Crawford was suspended for the rest of the season.

And just incase someone hasn't seen it yet...



Also, I did the ESPN draft calculator 8 times or so today, and got Oden once, Durant once, and Noah 6 times.

Some pics from Saturday's game...

First of all, no links today, I have spent all day looking at the Virginia Tech reports. Such a terrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with those poor kids and families today.

Here are some pictures from me and Katelyn's Red Sox outing on Saturday for Curt's start against the Angels. We had standing room but found a pretty good spot and a very nice and cute boy named Kevin who sat in front of us. As for the Sox, for the record, I don't think you can sweep the series when a game is postponed. I think if they win on the makeup then it is a sweep. I think MLB should stop scheduling West Coast team's one trip to the East Coast in April. Seattle has a roof and Anaheim is alway nice, why not start there. I think that I'm not engraving Josh's Cy Young yet. But I'm giddy none the less. I'm glad we are heading to a dome so we have a somewhat return to normalcy schedule wise / I have some time to watch games on TV rather than in person (that was not meant to be sarcastic, I am really missing Jerry and Don). I spent some of the morning researching a possible Twins trip the first weekend of May






Monday, April 16, 2007

Am I the only one at work today?


*The Dodgers paid tribute to Jackie Robinson yesterday wearing #42 (along with much of MLB) and had Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson throwing out the first pitches. It's important to note here I think that Hank Aaron could make it to this, but says he's too old to fly to San Fran for Bonds 755 or even to drive up to go to Turner Field if Bonds breaks the record in Atlanta. (I think we all know where Hank is on this matter). The Red Sox have now tried to honor Red Auerbach and Jackie Robinson and gotten rained out both times.

*I am very sick of hearing about the whole Imus thing, but I think this was very well said and well written and worth a read.

*Sox are throwing the top 3 at the Yankees this weekend.
*The Reds have put old friend Alex Gonzalez on bereavement leave while he is home with his 7 month old son who is in the hospital. :(

*Coco um, sucks says Tony Mazz.

*The Angels bus was supposed to leave the hotel for the game today at 8:00 AM. I feel so bad for them. It must be awful to get up so early.

*D-Rays rallied to beat Joe Nathan (my freaking fantasy closer). Derek Jeter has 6 errors in 11 games.
*From, one of the stories I wish had more information, Zach Grienke, the Kansas City pitcher who is coming back from anxiety disorders grandparents died in Kansas City after flying from Florida to see him pitch. One died Thursday night and the other early Friday. What are the odds of that? (especially since they were both healthy enough to fly to Missouri)

*Eric Wilbur has a story on a 350+ pound beekeeper who is going to try to run the marathon today.

*Chad Finn wrote for Fox Sports.

*The Blue Jays find out today if B.J. Ryan blew out his elbow or not. (not htat I wish ill to other teams, but we do play the Jays 19 times...and Ryan is very good).

*David Scott has some good info on Rob Bradford's move to the Herald, who might take his place at the Eagle Tribune, and where Chad Finn might end up.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Best thing ever

Conor told me about this last night...hilarious!

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Texas...

Here is Kerry's rebuttle to mine and Katie's Texas Recaps...

ok 1st things first it didn't matter what kind of car we had cuz as you remember we were with Colleen, and that suitcase wasn't gonna fit anywhere...

2. I tried getting out of the car but someone pushed me back into it (actually by my face) and I am pretty certain it was Katie!

3. You left out the fact that we are now gonna have to go to Laconia to kick some hill-billy ass

4. That even though Katie "made" herself throw up I am still the champ!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Filling in the missing pieces...

As I said...I missed a few things...here are Katie's corrections:

Considering you were comatose for a few days, I'm going to fill in the blanks for you/make some corrections:

1. Kerry and Colleen are the a-holes that wanted the PT Cruiser. Maybe if they had listened to us when we said the luggae wouldn't fit in the trunk, then Colleen wouldn't have been practically sitting on my lap on the way to the airport while she was vomiting.

2. I would gladly give up Youk for Mark.

3. When describing the scenary in TX you forgot to mention the Waffle House and Whattaburger. And the lack of cattle roaming free.

4. Humperdinks is the correct name. However, we took to calling it Tiddlywinks.

5. It might have been too cold to drink mixed drinks, but it was not too cold to drink beer. You should man up and try it.

6. You neglected to mention the sketchy friend who went to St Johns that we met at the Wyndham who swore that Peabody is a 10 minute drive from Boston.

7. We didn't ACCIDENTALLY park in the bank lot. We did it on purpose. We also danced to Baby Got Back in the middle of the parking lot while we waited for -- surprise! --Colleen to go to McDonalds.

8. I would say that you had more than 4 or 5 Smirnoffs. But don't quote me on that.

9. Humperdinks closed at 12 because it was Sunday, and we went to Clicks. SKETCHIEST. PLACE. EVER.

10. Our new friends were Chris and Brad. Yes, the second Brad of the trip. But this one was not as cool as Brad the driver.

11. I think you only had 1 shot of Jack. And believe me, it was one shot too many. But you took it like a champ, I was impressed.

12. I would like to set the record straight. I tried to get you guys to take a cab. You basically died in Chris' car. Kerry just didn't want to be slobbered on anymore. And Colleen apparently wanted to make out with Brad. I tried to steal the yellowpages that we ripped out of the phone book from Kerry so I could call a cab. I quickly realized the following: a) I had no frigging idea where the hell we were, and considering that the first cab driver didn't know where the bar was to take us there, that probably wasn't going to work. b) you guys were pretty dead set on getting in the cars and I figured I had a better chance of being found alive if I was abducted with at least one friend vs taking a cab by myself. So I allowed myself to be taken to the car, where I continued to be sarcastic, Brad continued to tell me I had a bad attitude, and I continued to tell him it wasn't my fault he couldn't handle sarcasm.

13. I did not make out with anyone. Not even a little bit, not even close.

14. The reason 3/4 of us puked was because I made myself. I felt amazing afterwards.

15. Not only did I make my connection, I had time for 2 beers, 5 cigarettes, and some lovely conversation while at the Kentucky airport.

16. By 10:30 EST on Monday evening, I was sitting at Kelly's enjoying a welcome home kid's chicken finger plate.The End.

Ramblings...

from the last 5 games...

*I think Dice-K was getting squeezed last night. I also think if I was the coach, I would have been tossed for arguing balls and strikes. You’re getting no hit anyway, may as well try to fire up the offense right.

*(non-Red Sox related), but Bridgewater State beat Newbury College by 57-1. If I was the AD at Bridgewater I would fire the coach, and if I was the coach at Newbury I’d be in jail for 2nd degree murder by way of baseball bat today.

*I don’t care if conventional wisdom tells you that it’s better to have a great pitcher pitch 200 in starting pitching rather than 80 in relief. After two annoying losses in Texas, it was a beautiful thing watching #58 run in from the bullpen.

*During the little scrum on Opening Day, Papelbon hopped over the bullpen wall, threw off his jacket, and sprinted in. I feel like you should know that.

*After Hernandez gave up the hit, he should have hit a Red Sox, especially after Dice-K hit Guillen.

*I forgot to mention this below, but the one time we almost got in a fight in Texas (except when Travis told me he was taking me out of the bar in a headlock) was with an ass of a Red Sox from New Hampshire (who now lives in Dallas).

*David’s two home runs were pretty great Sunday night, and made me wish I had made my “PAPI” sign rather than my “Go Red Sox”. Both were seriously considered.

*Pedroia looks like lost little bat boy out there.

*Maybe there is a little life in Jason’s bat after all. (belated Happy 35th Birthday, Captain, btw).

*Lester has had two good starts in Greenville = Excellent news. I can’t take much more Tavarez in my life. He makes me nervous.

*7-8-9 are going to give me ulcers before this season is over.

*I’m hoping Papi and Manny come around soon!

*I feel like Manny took a wrong first step on every single ball hit to him last night.

*There is no more delicious hot dog in life than the Fenway Frank. I’ve had two so far this year and they were both phenomenal.

Don't mess with Tex-ass


Okay, as promised, a Texas recap. Also as promised, giant bits of information are probably missing.


Friday

We started off Friday morning at 4:00, with Kerry’s alarm does not go off. Great way to start the day. Kerry and I had to get ready in 6 minutes. Clearly Colleen was not involved. We flew out of Manchester and arrived in Newark at 7:33 with exactly 33 minutes to go from Terminal C to Terminal A. Good work Expedia. (more on them and how I plane to take down their entire corporation in a little bit). Anyway, after nearly missing the shuttle bus, running up and down the terminals, we arrive at our gate. The Continental lady gives us a knowing look, “Manchester?”. We get onto the plane and the flight attendant greets us with a, “We didn’t think you would make it!”. We finally get to Dallas about 11:30, grab our bags (just kidding, Continental lost those. More on how I plan to take them down in just a bit).

After filling out the freaking lost baggage claim, we grab our rental car. (A PT Cruiser – not my idea and I was dead set against it – I want that known). We get to the ballpark area and follow the signs for parking, AROUND, and AROUND the ballpark. In the Rangers defense, they NEVER sell out except for Opening Day, so there is no real reason to have enough parking to hold your stadium capacity, especially when there is tons of land around the ballpark. Nope, no reason at all. We finally park at Hurricane Hell Hole or something like that and take a shuttle to the park. We get there to find Timmayyy pitching pretty well, but with no life in the Red Sox bats. (sound familiar?). We are sitting somewhere between Mercury and Venus in the upper deck. I guess you get what you pay for ($9.00 seats). The games end rather quickly with the Rangers’ closer coming in to secure the 2-0 win. Now, I don’t want to get all negative on the Rangers, but I have been in louder libraries. I mean, why would anyone want to play there? The two times the whole game they made noise was 1. when the colored dots had a race (seriously), and two, when their closer came in to Hells Bells. I had never heard of their closer before, but they went crazy, although, I’m pretty sure it was because they love AC / DC in Texas, rather than any special love for their ball club. (seriously Mark, I mean, we love Youk, but we could love you too. You just come on over whenever you are done with Texas okay?).

After dinner we went to some place called the Saltgrass something or other. We hadn’t eaten since 6 that morning, so we were pretty excited and would have eaten anything, but what we did eat was very good. After our U-turn filled ride to the hotel, we find the Holiday Inn – North Galleria in Texas. It was in um, not the bad part of town, but certainly not the good part of town. It was a very standard hotel, our room had the usual, two beds, bathroom. It overlooked the pool, which is very important when it’s um, 40 degrees out. We went and checked out the lounge in the hotel, I had a few white Russians. (cold weather = white Russians, warm weather = vodka tonics). We sat there and chatted for a little bit, before finally calling Mercy (is that a real saying?) and heading to bed at like, 10. (I know what you are thinking, wow, you’re wicked old! And what a bad time you are?...my answer for you is, we already know this. So just um, leave us alone.)

Saturday

We woke up at the crack of um, 9 or so. We take about 9 hours to get ready to do anything. Actually, it takes me a ½ hour to get ready, Kerry a ½ hour to get ready, Katie a ½ hour to get ready, and Colleen 4.2 hours to get ready to do anything. We decide to go out to breakfast, but by the time we are all ready it is more like lunch. Now, let me tell you a little about Dallas. It is a MASSIVE maze of highways, Comfort Inns, Budget Suites, Sonics and Jack-in-the-Boxes. We start driving looking for a place to eat, and we are afraid to go more than 15 feet away from the highway, because we were pretty sure we would never find our way back. Every time we made it back to the hotel we were so relieved that we weren’t going to spend the next hour doing U-Turns. (oh, one quick note, we saw Texas Stadium while we were there…what a piece of shit!). Anyways, we ended up at the Olive Garden. After lunch, Colleen decides she just has to go to the 99 cent store and run in. An hour later, we are on our way back to the hotel, (yes, an hour…in the dollar store).

Our hotel was like, 20 miles or something from the park, so it was going to cost us 80 dollars for a cab. Luckily, we had a hotel friend named Brad who dropped us off in the Holiday Inn mini van for 40 bucks. Quick story about Brad, he played football for the University of Oklahoma (and played in the Orange Bowl and hoped to turn pro but tore his MCL and ACL. His brother played in the NFL for the Falcons…this will be important later). We headed to Humperdinks (that could be spelled wrong or not the right name) for some pre game nachos and vodka tonics and cape codders, and during this time, met Katie’s hot step brother (she has been holding out on us). Now, here is another important fact about the Ballpark at Arlington. We were at one of the closest restaurants to the ballpark, and it was still a solid ¾ of a mile walk to get there, which ruined my buzz. We get to the game, and it so freaking cold I want to crawl under my chair and die a quick death by hypothermia. We throw some vodka nips in our sprite and find out seats again up in the 300’s, but a slightly better angle and we are a little closer to Manny than the previous night. It’s too cold to even drink our mixed drinks, so we are all slowly developing frostbite and sobriety. (bad times). By the time the game was in the 7th and the Rangers had stomped all over Tavarez, we decided to call up my new buddy Brad. We head back to the hotel, and the whole buzz losing / freezing cold / Red Sox loss had taken their toll, we close the hotel lounge and head off to bed.

Sunday

We wake up and go to breakfast at the hotel then head to the local Walgreens (not getting lost once, although accidentally parking in the bank) and Big Lots where we get some markers, poster board, and fleece blankets. We head back to the hotel, and Queen of the Nap (Colleen) takes a nap while the rest of us make posters. I made two, one for Q of the N, and one for me. One said, “Sorry I missed dinner Mom…Let’s Go 38) in Easter colors, and the other said the classic, “Go Red Sox”. Kerry’s said that she didn’t fly 2000 miles to be swept and Katie’s said something about Texas being cheaper than Fenway. Also, we were donning our rabbit ears in honor of Easter, which, ended up getting us all on ESPN looking ridiculous. Oh well. Now, here is the part of the night that it starts to get a little hazy for yours truly. Before the game, I had 3 white Russians, at the game, I had 4 or 5 smiranoff ice (I don’t even like those), after the game, I had ___ white Russians and some blue shot from our bartender friend / enemy Josh back at Humperdinks. Humperdinks closed at ____ and we went on a pretty long cab ride to another bar _________ with some kids we met named Chris and __________.

At the second bar, some kind of pool hall, there was University of Oklahoma flag hanging from the ceiling. I decided that I had to have it for my good friend Brad the shuttle bus driver. I asked Travis (I remember his name for some reason) if I could have, I asked Will the bartender. They both said no, so I started asking anyone taller than me in this bar if they could please pull down the flag for me. Literally, no person higher than 5’6 went without me bothering them. At this point, I go to over to a boy and tell him I’ll give him my bunny ears (apparently I still had them on?) if he’ll steal me the flag. He puts on my bunny ears and puts his baseball cap on my head. At this point, Boy’s girlfriend comes RUNNING over, pulls hat off my head, pulls bunny ears off Boy’s head, and starts yelling at Boy. I grab bunny ears and quickly scurry away, back to my friend Travis the bouncer, in hopes that he would protect me from Girlfriend. (he told me that I shouldn’t talk to other people’s boyfriends…at this point, Travis was starting to lose his patience with me I think). Josh asks me if I know how to take a shot…Do I know how to take a shot? Please. __?_ # of Jack Daniels shots later, last call has finally come around. Kerry and I end up with Chris and the other girls go with ______. Turns out __________ and Chris don’t even know each other. It’s always a swell idea to get into cars with random boys in random cities.

I drift in and out of death the whole way back to the hotel. When we arrive in the parking lot, I’m not sure what happened, but by recaps the following morning and the state of my clothes, there was a little bit of throwing up and a little bit of rolling on cars and the ground. In my own defense, Chris was very pleased I was able to wait till we got back to the good old Holiday Inn, the next couple of hours are pretty um, non existent in my poor little brain, but Kerry did tell me, “Amanda, I have never seen anyone throw up so much”. So, basically I was a terrible time. I guess over the next 4 or so hours the girls and Chris and ______ when swimming and talking and making out (rumor has it). I guess I kept waking up and throwing in my 2 cents / throwing up during this time, although, again, all am mystery.

Monday

The following morning, I wake up in bed and am still hammered. I kept cracking jokes and keeping everyone else up. At some point, I kind of sobered up and went from comedian to corpse. We had to leave the hotel at 1 and I was crying in bed telling everyone I couldn’t go home and that they just had to leave me behind. I finally mustered up the 3% of energy I had left, run out to the car and wander around the parking lot until Colleen, aka, slowest moving person on Earth was ready. I had two laundry bags from the Holiday Inn, one of which, Colleen was able to put to good use. (we were ¾ on the day throwing up, btw).

We get to the airport and the Delta guy tells us we have a snowballs chance in hell of making our connection in Atlanta, and that he can get us home the next day at 3:45. I have Opening Day tickets and am ready to cry. (during this time I call Expedia to ask them to find us a flight home from Atlanta on a different plane and they told us basically tough luck, which, they didn’t know who they were messing with). He tells us that instead he can get us to Atlanta Monday night and then to Manchester Tuesday morning. We get on the plane and head to Atlanta, wanting to kill myself the entire way. We do, as planned, miss our connection flight and therefore, added a night to our vacation at another Holiday Inn. I was relieved when I checked in that they didn’t have my name blacklisted after the condition in which I left the room in Dallas.

Tuesday

We end up on a 6:50 flight out of Manchester, getting a little past 11, finding our suitcases (Delta lost them in Atlanta but somehow found them for Manchester). I get home to the Wo about 12:30 and I walked into Copperfield’s at 1:30. I missed the Impossible Dream stuff but made it in for the first pitch. It was probably the longest 30 hours of my life from the time of the start of my hangover to the time I got to Opening Day (still pretty hungover, btw).

Anyway, as for the Ballpark at Arlington, the amenites are very nice, the park is beautiful, but there isn’t enough to do around it. I would put it as my least favorite road-trip destination so far. My current list, to be updated as the list grows, is.

1. Baltimore (great area around the park)
2. Tampa (2 reasons, Gulf of Mexico and Vinoy hotel)
3. Toronto (great downtown, easy to walk to)
4. New York City (always a good / terrible time all at once)
5. Dallas (boo)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Last night after flying from Atlanta and going to Opening Day at Fenway, I went to a charity baseketball game where some New England Patriots played my local police department. It was super cute. Ellis and Kevin had their kids with them. Those Patriots in attendance were: Bam Childress, Ellis Hobbs, Kevin Faulk, Don Davis, Logan Mankins, Russ Hochstein, and Santonio Thomas. I think that is everyone. They were all really good basketball players. I was amazed by how short Ellis and Bam were but how high they could jump.


Ellis Hobbs (very handsome) and Don Davis
Logan Mankins is a house of a man.

I think this guy is marrying someone from Assumption.


I don't know why they are so dark.

Ellis



someone's ridiculous Bentley or something outside.







Opening Day @ Fenway!

Oh, is there a prettier sight in sports than Fenway Park? I don't think so...
Going to take some getting used to seeing J.D. in right
My ridiculous friends




I'm currently working on a Texas recap (and it is harder than you'd think because of some um, blackout issues), but in the mean time, here are just a few links...

*BSM had all the links from Opening Day and Matsuzaka Mania.

*The AP is reporting all charges against the Duke lacrosse team are going to be dropped.

*I read this in the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday (one of my favorite airport newspapers) yesterday. Hank Aaron will not attend any kind of ceremony for Barry Bonds.

*Jeff Francour had 5 RBI's yesterday. I knew I should have picked him for at least one of my fantasy teams!

*Jon Lester had another strong start in Greenville.

*Peter King's MMQB had some good Pats and Sox stuff.

*This is kind of a nice story about how a bunch of Brewer's fans came out to cheer on the Indians who are playing some games in Miller Park b/c Cleveland is covered in snow.

I'll be back later with some Opening Day pictures, Patriot pictures, and whatever I can remember from Texas.

Post Game Photos...

Me and my friend, Josh the bartender, who quickly became my enemy after some shot (shots?)of Jack Daniels.

me and my new best friends Rob and ______?

Me and ___________?



Me, Kerry and a boy who appears to be 14 years old?




Some more Texas...

Curt walking in. I would have paid him 500 bucks for that parka.

Manny Again...we were in left field for the whole series. Literally and figuratively.



Here are a few picks from Texas...

The Ballpark At Arlington. Nice place, but I wouldn't want to live there.

I guess their fans didn't know there was a game that day?

Manny, David and Lugo love Sammy Sosa.

Plenty of room for everyone...

David.

So, I'm pretty much world famous, or nation wide anyway!

Yeah, um, that's us, the losers with the bunny ears, L to R, Colleen, Katie, Me, and Kerry.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

So far so good with Dice-K!

I'll be back Tuesday with a monster post and hopefully some fun stories from Texas!

One shining moment...

I kind of ignored Florida after the National Championship but I came across this today and liked the story so here it is...

CBS always ends its broadcast of the national championship game with "One Shining Moment" and everybody sees this marvelous video collage of all that's gone on during the last three weeks in the march through the madness. What fans couldn't see Monday night was the Florida Gators, sitting on the podium, arms draped over each other's shoulders, swaying back and forth to the music, singing along.

Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Jack Berry were there at the left end of the podium and they were all three singing along. Corey reminded me of a little kid at Christmas the way he looked up at the video board. You could see the reflection of the bright lights in his eyes, which were moist with tears as he mouthed out the words of the song. If Corey was choking up, Jo wasn't far behind. This was a special moment that they weren't ever going to forget.

Asked at the post-game press conference about what was going on his mind as he watched that video, Brewer responded, "One Shining Moment almost makes you want to cry. Second time I got to watch it, our team got to watch it, just to see what goes into people playing in the NCAA tournament. That's why you love college basketball, all the guys diving on the floor, everybody playing as hard as they can play just to be in this moment where we are right now. We're just very fortunate to win two in a row, just to win this one, we're happy."

My lasting memory of Corey Brewer will be the smile and the joy of playing the game that he never once tried to hide. This is a kid that spent his Saturdays working a trash route with his dad. Ellis "Pee Wee" Brewer wouldn't have minded if Corey had wanted to spend time working on his jump shot, but Corey volunteered to work with his dad just so the two of them could have quality time together. Corey always talked about the lessons he learned from his dad, about how anything worth having was worth working hard to get. Maybe that's why he always smiles when he plays. He understands hard, physical work and playing the game is sheer joy.

Unlike Taurean Green, Joakim Noah and Al Horford, Brewer's family wasn't comfortably secure with its finances. Pee Wee Brewer had a leg amputated this year and he's had several heart procedures. Last year when NBA millions were calling, it was Corey Brewer that announced to his three teammates that he was coming back to go for two. When he said he was coming back, the other three said we're there with you. He had more to gain from a financial standpoint than any of the others but he felt there was more to life than making money. He loved being a Gator and he loved being in school and he loved playing with his teammates. He knew the NBA would wait a year but if he left, he would never again have the chance to play
Read this story about a Red's prospect who plays with one kidney. Be sure to watch the slide show.

Imagine the arrogance, the wonderful arrogance of a man who needs two to tie and three to win and says, ‘Let’s roll the dice’.

Karma, sports, and secrets...

I’m a huge believer in karma. I’m currently about 90 pages into the book, The Secret. You may have heard about it, it’s been on talk shows and whatnot. Anyway, it’s about how you can view how you want your life to be, and if you believe enough, it will come true. If you truly believe say, that you are going to be rich then money will be attracted to you. The “secret” is that the power of positive thinking is enough for good things to happen to you in all aspects of life.

I’m no a huge believer in religion. I do believe that there is some higher power and that you should try to have good morals, help your fellow man, but I don’t go to church, believe all the Catholic doctrines, ect. As far as The Secret is concerned, I don’t want to say that I one hundred percent believe this in every instance. I don’t think that health is necessarily controlled by what you believe, or what you attract to yourself. I don’t think you can choose to be killed in an accident or lose a loved one. I think that some things are completely out of our control.

However, I’ve been realizing since I have been reading this book that “the secret” is exactly how I view sports.

I once wore the same pair of tall red socks in 2003 until Aaron Boone hit a towering HR to left field off Tim Wakefield. I had, up until that point of course, believed these socks to have special winning power (because they had never been defeated). I did, after that hit, throw them away promptly. Also during 2003, we watched a 1:00 start in our PJ’s. The Sox won, and we all, of course, had to wear the same PJ’s for the next game.

After wearing my new Richard Seymour jersey with mixed results during the season, I gave it one last chance against the Jaguars to get itself straightened out before the playoffs. It responded with big wins against the Jags and Titans, and I gave it my faith for the playoffs. After beating the Jets I had full, 100% faith in my shirt. A marinara sauce mess during the San Diego game wouldn’t soften my resolve. My shirt hadn’t been washed in four games and I certainly wasn’t going to start now. When the Patriots staked their lead against the Colts, I was confident that the game was in hand, after all, I had on my lucky shirt Then my family got in the way of a duck boat parade. They started making comments like,

4 Super Bowl rings in 6 years!

No one can beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick!

What are we going to do for the Super Bowl? We need to have a big Patriot’s party!

Peyton Manning makes A-Rod look clutch.

As soon as these comments started coming out, my panic attack began despite the 3 touchdown lead. If there is one thing that can screw you over it is planning ahead for the next game before the clock has run out. I couldn’t take it anymore at this point. I had to seclude myself in my bedroom because I was hoping I could avoid the wrath of karma. Of course, there is no hiding from karma.

Karma of course does not always work against you. Case in point, October 2004. I believe that karma is sometimes enough to sway the way a game is going to go. I believe that one person wishing for the World Series win isn’t enough, but maybe the force of an entire Nation, wishing to knock of the Yankees might be enough to find its way to the Bronx, or to Busch Stadium, and somehow will the outcome of a game.

Last night I was telling my dad how I got two pretty good seats for two different Yankee games this season. He told me I should put them on eBay for 500 bucks each and see what happens. The thing is, I’m pretty sure that David Oritz would foul a ball of his foot and break it if I was ever to do that. It’s not my place to make money of the Red Sox. That is Larry Lucchino’s job. I love them too much. The karma of selling the tickets to the game would be enough to end our playoff chances right there. Seriously. I have first hand experience in this department.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006, 7:05 start against the Cleveland Indians I had four tickets to the game. It was a 100 degree day and it was going to be a hot sticky night at the ballpark. After conferring with the other people who were supposed to go, we all decided it was too hot and we’d be better off watching the game from the comfort of our central aired houses. So I sold the tickets. That night, Loretta hit a walk off home run and it was pretty much the last great thing that happened to the Sox in 2006. The following weekend in Tampa, we won the first game (with David Wells pitching), and the lost the next two, the third with Papelbon blowing a save…then we couldn’t beat Kansas City, the MFY came in and took 5 games in one weekend (two of which I attended = bad times), Lester was diagnosed with cancer, then David started having stress related heart problems (and then inducing them on all of RSN), and the Red Sox limped (literally) into a 3rd place finish. Now, you may think this is all coincidence, however, there is a part of the story that I have left out. I was undefeated in 11 games leading up to that game. And suddenly the Red Sox season just unravels right before my eyes. This was not coincidence, but rather karma punishing me and my team, for being a baby and not going to a game because it was too hot. I’m completely serious.

I should have known better. After the disappointing seasons from both the Sox and Patriots (I know, a ton of teams would love to have their team lose in the AFC Championship, but they have a name for those cities. Jacksonville), it’s time for this to stop. The high experienced with the 2004 World Series and Patriots Super Bowl wins took the ache out of disappointing 2005 seasons, but that hangover is long gone, and I’m expecting big things in 2007…you know, just so long as I don’t change my socks, wash my shirts, or sell my tickets.