Saturday, June 30, 2007


Jacoby Ellsbury is starting for the Red Sox this evening!

(that is his facebook picture...I never said I wasn't creepy)
I know I slacked on Thursday and Friday, but who wants to talk about losses? or 32 year old guard? Not me. Anyway, the Sox came home yesterday and all was well in Red Sox Nation. Wake pitched great. Delcarmen got the job done. (How cute was it when Mikey went out to talk to him?). Then, Mr. Jonathan Papelbon came out to close things in the 9th in grand fashion. A K, a very long fly ball, then an extremely close play at first where it looked like got him on the replay, but, as we all know, ties go to the runner, Kenny Lofton in this case. Cinco-Ocho took exception, and had a few, er, many choice words for the umpire, until the little second baseman that could came over and pushed him away. (Thank God he didn't get tossed). He came back, hit Jerry Hairston on the hand. Regained his composure, and came back to get the K to end the game. I've watched the game twice, once in real time, once on the midnight replay, and now it's on again in the backround. One thing I do know is this. I'm starting to feel for Jonathan the way I feel for Tom. Like, that I am just so lucky to have him in my life playing for my team.

7:05 tonight, Beckett goes for 12.

Now I'm off to pack for my 2 country, four state, one providence, 1312 mile, 27 hour Sox road trip that begins on Tuesday at 6 AM.

Just because I'll know you'll miss me (although I may bring the laptop along for the ride) here's a new feature:

Where in the World is SoxGal?

Tuesday - Newfound Lake, NH
Wednesday - Newfound Lake, NH
Thurdsay - Cooperstown & Niagra Falls
Friday - Sox @ Tigers, Detroit, MI
Saturday - Sox @ Tigers, Detroit, MI
Sunday - Indians @ Blue Jays, Toronto, ON
Monday - Parts of Ontario, NY, and MA on a very long ride home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Soxgal 10.0

Last night NESN debuted Globe 10.0, hosted by Bob Ryan with special guest...Dan Shaughnessy! Now, I only caught a few minutes. But, who cares what Bob and Dan thing, when you can hear what I think! I wish they had done a "big finish" like PTI did. If you're going to copy the show, copy the show.

Is Mark Buehrle worth the price?

The rumor mill was swirling yesterday that the RSox were trading Lester and Ellsbury to the WSox for Buehrle and MacDonald. I was under my desk in the fetal position breathing into a brown paperbag. Now I know the wisdom behind proven talent over prospects, and Buehrle is a very good pitcher, he's a lefty, his career record is something like 100-70, he's durable. What we know about Lester is that he's been solid early in return, has struggled as of late, and was 7-2 with a high era and wasn't able to get out of the 5th a lot. But that doesn't matter. Because he's ours. He had us researching lymphoma and saying prayers and sighing relief when we finally got the good word in December. We want his next MLB start to be at Fenway, to an ovation I think will make Trot's and Dave's sound quiet. I am also completey in love with Ellsbury, who not only is from Oregon, where my cousins live, and him and I are facebook friends, so he, quite frankly, cannot be traded. Bad enough Craig Hansen deleted his facebook, but now I'll lose my other facebook friend? Not acceptable. Word has it the ChiSox leaked this trade, and that it was never even close. Anyway, I'd be willing to trade a top pitching prospect for Buehrle, but just one. The ChiSox are losing him after the season and he's saying he's signing with the Cards so we can't give up that great of a prospect for a three month rental.

When will Curt Schilling be back on the mound?

If I was the Red Sox, I'd keep him out at very least till after the All Star break, and even then I wouldn't rush him back. I'd hate to think the reason that Curt is so eager to get on the mound has something to do with his impending free agency.

Is Josh Beckett the best pitcher in the American League?

Well, here's the way I think of it. I LOVE Josh Beckett. We all know how I feel about him. That being said, I think Johan Santana is the best pitcher in the American League. When Santana is out there, you feel like you have a chance to see something really really special. When Josh is out there, I think I'm getting 7-8 strong and a run or two. When Santana is out there, I'm thinking I have a chance to see a no-no or better.

::hoping Joshua reads my blog, is angry, and throws a perfect game next time out::

Are the Red Sox being too careful with Jon Lester?

Jonathan Tyler Lester made his debut on July 10, 2006 at 22. Jonathan R. (why just the R baseball reference? I wonder if he has a hideous middle name? I'll get on it and report back) Papelbon made his debut on July 31, 2005 at age 25. If things hadn't gone completely shithouse with injuries and whatnot, then Lester would probably still be in Pawtucket just like any other player. And, I don't want this to come out the wrong way, but, if he hadn't gotten cancer, would we even be wondering about this? If he had just come up, gone 7-2, gone back down to Pawtucket and was down there now, would it matter? I don't think so.

Should the Celtics keep the #5?

If I was Wyc, I'd start off with a new coach and a new GM. For a GM, I want someone with a plan that can stick to it. And for a coach, I want someone firey who isn't afraid to scare the shit out of all the teenagers I have on my roster. I would be willing to discuss trades with Paul Pierce but not with Al Jefferson. If I keep the pick, I'd take one of the Florida kids in this order, Horford, Brewer, Noah. I would get rid of the cheerleaders. I would have used my millions to buy the naming rights of the Fleet/TD and just call it, The Boston Garden. Or, the Auerbach Auditorium, or something. And I'd buy bigger cups for the mixed drinks. Buckets actually. It's only fair for those who come to pay money to see my team and the Bruins.

What NBA Superstar will be traded this week?


Will former BC Center Sean Williams be a first round pick?

Yes. He's stupid, but he's got nasty skills. He'll go in the first round.

Is the AL East over?

This kind of question is just loaded with bad karma. I think that the AL East is a very competitive division, and the Red Sox are lucky to be this far ahead of all the superb talent.

Where does Ken Griffey Jr. rank on baseball's all time greats?

I hate to say this, but I don't know a ton about non-Red Sox baseball greats. But, I will say that I love Ken Griffey Jr. I think that he, when 100% healthy, is the best player I've ever seen. I also think that if he had been loading up on the HGH all these years, he'd be right there with our next question.

What if Barry Bonds was one of us?

If Barry Bonds was one if us, I'd root for him to tear his ACL every night. Since Barry Bonds is not one of us, I'll root for him to tear his ACL every night.

Onto the links...

*The Sox battled back continuously last night, but couldn't overcome the Mariners, as they lost 8-7. Kason Gabbard had an incredibly wild first inning. (He's still awful handsome).

*Amalie Benjamin has Mike Timlin trying to regain his old form.

*Old friend Trot Nixon remembers old friend Rod Beck.

*Christopher Gasper thinks that Nathan Vasher kind of screwed over Asante Samuel. (I love Nathan Vasher as a side note. I read a really cute article once on him and his mom).

Now, as for the article below, I want to add one thing. The Red Sox fans invade stadiums across the country. It's true. And I'm sure it can be very annoying for fans of other teams. That being said, it was a beautiful night last night in Seattle and one of the best young pitchers in baseball was on the mound against a team he one-hit last time out. And there were plenty of seats left. There is no reason why there weren't more Mariners fans there last night. So don't blame us for your own inadequacies.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Station this wagon
By Eric Wilbur, Staff

Here’s a memo to all the front-running, bandwagon, pink-hat-wearing fans that have infiltrated ballparks from Seattle to Atlanta: Find another team.

It’s been a nice ride. But frankly, I can no longer take your nightly dominating presence at visiting ballparks, a plague of obnoxious team pride that has little to do with actually being a fan of the team.

I understand success breeds contempt, but rarely does it divide members of the same rooting interests, a fine line that is threatening to secede the true members of Red Sox Nation from the card-carrying yahoos.

I’m sure there were plenty of honest-to-goodness Red Sox fans packing Safeco Field last night, when Boston fell to Seattle, 9-4. But please. Not that many. The term Fenway West isn’t even relevant anymore because it seems every ballpark is Fenway these days.

San Diego? Fine. It’s clear that Southern California is a hotbed for Boston transplants, so it stands to reason that fans would pack the stands of Petco this past weekend. Granted it’s cheaper to fly to Baltimore and procure a ticket to Camden Yards to watch the Red Sox play than it is to attend a game in your own backyard.

But at the rate Red Sox fans are multiplying like Mogwais across the country, biologists are going to start studying the patterns of our New England breeding habits.

“You've seen them,” writes the Olympian’s Eliot Smith in a nice little rip-job on these poseurs. “Take a pseudo-sports fan and inundate them with the latest and greatest feel-good story, and they can be swayed. One day they're the world's biggest Mariners fan and the next they're all about the Red Sox, because they spent a summer ‘back East’ at the beach.”

That couldn’t possibly be more dead-on.

It has to be embarrassing for true Red Sox fans to attend a game far from the confines only to feel like he or she is sitting in those outdated, rickety, wooden seats facing the wrong way. Time once was that was a special feeling, a bonding across the nation with fellow fans who have either relocated or traveled with the team on summer vacation.

Now, those people have to be surrounded by wanna-bes and frauds who just want to join the crowd and be a part of “Red Sox Nation.” These are the people that will make sure you know that have “Tessie” programmed on a loop on their iPod, only to be replaced by the sure to be just as annoying “Gyro Ball.” These are the people who had to ask yesterday who this Rod Beck guy was. These are the people who purchase "Roush Fenway" sweatshirts. These are the people who think Jerry Remy was immediately succeeded by Todd Walker at second base. These are the people who notice you’re wearing Big Papi’s No. 34 on your T-shirt, but can’t understand why it reads “El Guapo.”

As one Red Sox fan living in exile in the Bay Area wrote recently:

”I first experienced it a few years ago when I started going to Oakland A's games at the Coliseum. I've gone to a lot of random games, but each year, I made it an effort to go see a Red Sox game in order to represent. During the first few years, there were fans and Boston ex-pats scattered throughout the stadium. When we bumped into each other at the food stand or in the seats, we'd give each other the knowing nod and continue on our business. During the playoffs in 2003, I remember vividly being the only Red Sox fan in my entire section. When we eliminated the A's, it was easily the scariest walk I've ever had to take from walking from the 500 level to the BART station.

“The 2004 World Series changed all that. During the next year, I went to the entire Red Sox series in Oakland and I was surprised that over half the fans were Red Sox fans. Honestly. They literally appeared overnight. It became harder to get seats. Suddenly, instead of being the only Sox fan in my section, my friends were usually the only A's fans. Instead of seeing green all around the stadium, there were significant patches of Red, Blue, and the occasional pink. Yes, pink. If anything, that was a smoking gun that we now had bandwagon fans. It's those damn pink hats. Who really wears pink baseball hats? Not to be a snob, but true fans don't wear that.”

Not to continue the snobbery, but Red Sox Nation has been infiltrated by these “fans,” an annoying band of gnats that populate cities across the nation, showing off their latest Boston garb to prove their overall intelligence in choosing to root for the Red Sox. As if we didn’t have enough of them in Boston proper, forcing many a true Red Sox fan to their couch or local pubs instead of Fenway, they plague visiting cities, only to find the nearest phone booth once Boston leaves town and change back into their hometown gear.

Smith echoed the sentiments of the above fan, reasoning that five years ago, this mass of Bostonian presence did not exist in Seattle. To try and figure this out, he perused last night’s crowd of Red Sox “fans” for an answer.

”’Seriously, the Red Sox are like, the universal language of the people,’ says Sarah, who came to Monday's game from Spokane with her friends Christina and Jodi - all transplants from Connecticut. ‘You want to root for them - especially here in Seattle, because the Mariners suck.’
See, that's what tends to irk non-Boston folks. For a team with a storied legacy of losing, Red Sox fans can be cocky. At least Yankees fans have the hardware to back up their boasting.

The universal language of the people? Methinks Sarah has been taking speech lessons from Dr. Charles. Seriously.

And really, is there anyone else to blame for the current hypocrisy that has deflated the true spirit of what once was Red Sox Nation than the Red Sox themselves? Nobody is decreeing the fact that the Red Sox shouldn’t want to market themselves to as many people as possible, to sell their product to however many millions that they can on a nightly basis.

But at some point, there comes a tipping moment, when the true fans become just plain tired of the cheese and wine crowd that has become the norm at a park once known more for hot dogs and suds. When the team becomes simply just an arm of city redevelopment, creating more high-priced condos in a city desperately in need of affordable housing, you can understand how some people get put out by their omnipresence in our world -- political, entertainment, and athletic. No matter in what lot we turn to, the Red Sox are there, like a reminding beacon that they now own your soul. Not a fan of NASCAR? You will be once the Red Sox get through with you.

Red Sox fans these days are a different breed, the true followers overshadowed by the bravado of the bandwagon fan, all the more boisterous in the case you might not have noticed their stark-white “Schilling” jersey, a forgotten tag revealed when they raise their arms in the air to scream at the top of their lungs for the starting lineup. “See? I’m a big fan.”

It’s been real, but you’re no longer wanted. The Red Sox sure want you though, as their coffers are certainly no worse for the wear thanks to your need to flaunt your racket. But what team will you turn to when the Red Sox aren’t winning? And what fans will the Red Sox turn to when all their true followers have become ultimately tired of being lumped in with this embarrassing group of loudmouthed frauds?

It’s not me. It’s you. So maybe it’s just best that you move along now.

This guy's going to regret this one.

How about the play by the security guard? With the batting helmet? For cases such as these apparently. (You can fast forward through the first minute or so)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Who can resist Chris Berman in a tux?

I hate the ESPY’s. I think they are annoying, contrived, meaningless, and a blatant display of self promotion. That being said, I usually really enjoy tuning in, because, despite all my pleas, paparazzi usually don’t follow my favorite athletes. So, the ESPY’s are a great excuse to tune and see what exactly your favorite athlete dressed up and it gives you a chance to check out what the wife looks like. This always leads to fun comments like, “She was cute when she was a freshman in high school I swear”, or, “Time to upgrade to the 2007 model”, or “We clearly have a child born three months after we were married”. Hey, I never said I was nice.

So today I’m checking in, and I see a headline Colts up for Six ESPY’s Vote Now! Now, I hate the ESPY’s. They are fake. They are made up. I would never vote. However. The Colts are up for six awards. We all know how I feel about the Colts. I don’t even want them wining fake awards. So I decide that in between ignoring my data entry, checking email, and checking Deadspin, I can surely find time to vote for the anyone other than the Colts to win the ESPY’s.

Here are the categories, nominees, and who I voted for in bold.

Best Male Athlete

Roger Federer (by virtue of elimination)
LeBron James (didn’t win it all – not getting my vote)
Peyton Manning (sucks – not getting my vote)
LaDainian Tomilson (said the Patriots had no class / stole someone elses nickname – not getting my vote)
Tiger Woods (golf is a hobby, not a sport – not getting my vote)

Best Female Athlete

Lisa Leslie (don't do the WNBA)
Taryne Mowatt (actually knew who this one...she was a very good pitcher for AZ)
Lorena Ochoa (same golf rules apply)
Candace Parker (was actually a little torn with this one; I watched more of the softball than I did the Woman's March Madness, so I went with Taryne, but Candace was a strong choice)

Best Team

Florida Gators Basketball (I have a gigantic Al Horford crush okay?)
Florida Gators Football (also a good choice)
Indianapolis Colts (I don't want to talk about it)
San Antonio Spurs (boring!)
St. Louis Cardinals (proved it's better to be lucky than good)
Tennessee Lady Vols (already skipped on Candace Parker, might as well keep it up)

Best Moment

Tiger Woods, British Open - Tears of Joy (gag me)
New Orleans, MNF, Saints Return to the Superdome (goosebump central)
Tony Dungy vs. Lovie Smith ("Tonight, we're all winners" commercial ruined this one for me)
Derek Fisher, father first, Utah Jazz (a very nice moment, not the winner)

Best Championship Performance

LeBron James (if you count the Eastern Conference Finals, "championship" I guess he wins)
Jimmie Johnson (who? driving? Nascar? whatever)
Peyton Manning (never heard of him)
Serena Williams (tennis doesn't do much for me)

Best Record-Breaking Performance

LaDainian Tomilson - 31 Touchdowns (best choice - I'm a hypocrite, I know)
Bob Knight - Broke Dean Smith's record for wins by a D-1 coach (eh)
Michael Phelps - Seven gold medals in swimming (impressive)
Kelly Slater - Won World Championship of Surfing (nice work if you can get it)

Best Breakthrough Performance

Kevin Durant (I don't have it in me to give him an award...stupid ping pong balls)
Devin Hester
Ryan Howard (has fallen off this year)
Morgan Pressel (golf rules still apply)

Best Game

Oklahoma State over Texas in 3OT
Colts over Patriots (fuck you)
Fiesta Bowl

Best Finish

Dodgers 4 HR's over the Padres
Kevin Harvick at the Daytona 500
Division II Men's Basketball Championship (if you haven't seen it, youtube it. Unbelievable)

(**Quick interlude, I just had someone call for a user name / password from THE Ohio State University. That drives me up a wall. I am from, THE Assumption College)

Best Play

Boise State 2 point conversion vs. Oklahoma
Darrelle Revis' Return (I don't remember this, so it's not getting my vote)
Dwayne Wade Crazy Shot off the glass (they should really give you video, I don't know this one either)
Endy Chavez Catch (this was awesome, it was too bad they lost the game because otherwise it would have been right up there with Willie Mays).
Travis Pastrana Double Back Flip (eh, prob. not)

Best Coach

Billy Donovan (maybe if he didn't just dick over the Magic)
Tony Dungy (who?)
Jim Leyland (team unraveled in WS)
Gregg Popavich (NBA what?)
Pat Summit (May as well throw one the Lady Vol's way)

Best Upset

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankess (thank you boys)
Warriors and Mavericks
Gators and Buckeyes
Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Duke Blue Devils (all that Imus talk got on my nerves)

Best Sports Movie

Talladega Nights (only one I have seen)
We Are Marshall

Best International Male Athlete

Roger Federer
Didier Drogba (I hate soccer)
Dirk Nowitzki (team rolled over to Golden State)
Albert Pujols (A-Rod Pujols Jeter is my favorite just outside Fenway shirt)

Best International Female Athlete

Justine Henin
Lorena Ochoa
Maria Sharapova
Annika Sorenstam (I know she plays golf, but so don't the first two, and something about Maria annoys me)

Best NFL Player

Drew Brees (holy moley! who got the joke?)
Peyton Manning (not!)
Larry Johnson (3 years left on your contract and holding out? You need a new agent Sir).
Jason Taylor (he'd look so handsome in a Patriots uniform)*
Brian Urlacher (Paris Hilton? Really now Brian)

*There should be a write in option. Mr. Tom Brady please.

Best NBA Player

Carmelo Anthony
Kobe Bryant
Tim Duncan (when in doubt, I'll take the rings)
Lebron James
Steve Nash
Dirk Nowitzki

Best WNBA Player

Tamika Catchings
Lauren Jackson (she could suck, I hate no idea)
Lisa Leslie
Diana Taurasi (hate UConn)

Best NHL Player

Martin Brodeur
Sidney Crosby
Vincent LaCavalier
Scott Neidermayer
Bobby Orr

Best MLS Player (that stands for Major League Soccer; I had to look it up)

Landon Donovan
Jeff Cunningham
Christian Gomez
Matt Reis (he plays for New England. Who knew? Good luck Matt!)

Best Fighter*

Miguel Cotto
Randy Couture
Quinton Jackson
Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao

*I didn't realize how much typing this stupid idea would be. I'm getting tired fingers.

Best Golfer

Jim Furyk
Lorena Ochoa
Phil Mickleson
Tiger Woods

Best Driver

Dario Franchitti (I like him, he's married to Ashley Judd and she's great)
Jeff Gordon
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Sam Hornish
Tony Schumacher

Best Male Tennis Player

James Blake
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Andy Roddick

Best Female Tennis Player

Justine Henin
Jelena Jankovic
Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams (USA! USA!)

Best Male College Athlete

Ben Askren (he's a wrestler who was 42-0, and he isn't someone who could have been a Celtic)
Greg Oden
Kevin Durant
Troy Smith

Best Female College Athlete

Monica Abbott
Kerri Hanks
Kara Lynn Joyce
Taryne Mowatt
Candace Parker

Best Male Action Sports Athlete

Kelly Slater
Ricky Carmichael
Travis Pastrana
Danny Way
Andreas Wiig

Just winners from here on out. This is getting ridiculous.

Best Female Action Sports Athlete

Sarah Burke (there were some other snowboarders and shit, whatever)

Best Male Athlete with a Disability

Casey Tibbs (he's in the armed services, how does he not get my vote?)

Best Female Athlete with a Disability

Jessica Long (how do pick?)

Best Outdoor Athlete

An angler, two mountaineers, a runner and a musher. I went with the musher, Lance Mackey.
Best Track and Field Athlete

Sanya Ricards (this is the nomination that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend, some people started filling out the brackets not knowing what it was, and they continue doing it forever just because...)

Best Jockey (I'm serious. This is a real category)

Robby Albarando

Best Bowler

Norm Duke (Obviously, with that name, he had to be a bowler)

Under Armour Undeniable Performance

Wisconsin Badger's Women's Hockey (why not?)

Hummer Like Nothing Else Award

Kendrick Smith, Running Back, Hughes High School. (Scored 9 touchdowns in a losing effort.)

So there you have it, the awards, the nominees, and the winners, or, my winners, who will most certainly not be the actual winners. That was fun ESPN. Let's do it again. Never.
My grandparents on my Dad's side originate from Prince Edward Island in Canada, and, I have somehow become "Canadian" as far as my friends are concerned. But, I can't help that I love Canada. The people are nice, the cities are safe, Montreal might be my favorite North American city, and you get 30 cents on the dollar. Not to mention that the drinking age is 18, which, doesn't matter now, but mattered when I was 19.

Anyway, Sportsguy loves Canada too, so I'm passing along what he has to say.

Canada might be 15 years behind the United States in every respect -- this would explain the ongoing affection for Bryan Adams -- although that time-warp factor is also one of the reasons Canada remains my second-favorite country behind Australia. (Some of the others: the superb national anthem, Bobby Orr, the NHL draft, Molson commercials, the Edmonton crowd, the city of Montreal, John Candy, Canadian money, Canada Cup '72, the sneaky sense of humor from every Canadian not associated with the NHL, Phil Hartman, the Rougeau Brothers, the sweeping love of beer, Don Cherry, the nickname "the Great One," the way they kicked the crap out of the Soviets during the famous Canada-USSR junior hockey bench-clearer in '87, Norm MacDonald, and gambling at any Canadian casino because you always feel like you have 40 percent more money than you actually do. This should be its own column.)

Oh Stephen.

The Lowell Spinners had Stephen Gostkowski night last night (he was a baseball player in college), and he kicked footballs into the stand, and was, in a word, adorable. I knew this was going on but couldn't get tickets. Grr.

The Links...

*First off today, some very sad news out of Arizona. Former Red Sox pitcher Rod Beck was found dead in his Arizona home. He was just 38 years old. Foul play is not suspected. Some of the Red Sox remembered Beck yesterday.

*Sportsguy compares Durant and Oden. Will he ever write about baseball or football again? Probably not. He also has a diary of the NHL draft. I know, I'm as surprised as you are.

*The White Sox GM is unhappy with his teams play and is going to make some moves. Rumor has it that the Red Sox are first in line for Mark Buehrle right now. We trade Lester or Jacoby, Theo is going to have a very unhappy SoxGal on his doorstep. The big names that have come up so far are Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Jacoby, and Jed Lowrie. I guess also in the trade the Sox will give Buehrle a 5 year contract extension.

"I'm not a big Buerhle guy at all,” Eckersley said this morning in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “Talk about pitching to contact. Everybody hits him. The only thing good about him is that it doesn't take very long to pitch a game, one way or another. He throws a lot of strikes. I mean not to get on him, lefthanders have always amazed me how they get by. He knows how to pitch obviously, he threw a no-hitter, he's one of the best lefthanders around. I just... I'm afraid of him. I'm afraid of him because he throws too many strikes. I just, Fenway Park, I really don't know. You're only renting him for a couple of months, but beyond that, I'm just not a big fan of his because I think he's very hittable ... to me [Kason] Gabbard's like Buerhle, but younger and throws harder."

Well, Dennis that is reassuring.

*Oregon State won back to back College World Series.

*Really nice article by Chris Jenkins on how Red Sox fans invade stadiums across the country.

*From Chad Finn, In this space a week ago, we expressed some combination of skepticism and awe at the revelation in Phillies pitcher Jose Mesa's bio that he fathered a child at age 12. Well, it turns out that amid all the small type, as usual we missed the bigger revelation, which is this: Mesa's son Ralph, 12 years his daddy's junior, was apparently his second child. Yup, according to Mesa's official bio, he became a father at age . . . (wait for it) . . . seven. Mesa claims to have been born on May 22, 1966, while his daughter, Yamely, was born January 15, 1974, meaning that the 41-year-old reliever has a 33-year-old offspring. Now, this saga has understandably become something of an internet legend, with theories ranging from Yamely's birthdate being incorrect by a decade to Mesa lying about his age, but no amount of Googling seems to come up with the true story. But don't fret. Our crack staff of researchers here at Nine Innings vows to get to the bottom of this, though frankly, we're not really sure we want to know the answer.

*Josh Beckett has become the man.

*Al Horford impressed the Celtics in workouts. Too bad the worst case scenario happened for the Celtics and we won't have a chance to get him.

*There must be some Twins fans freaking out out there. Justin Morneau is still in the hospital after a home plate collision left him with bruised lungs and coughing up blood, but will hopefully be released today.

*Derek Lowe celebrated 10 years in the majors.

*Ken Griffey Jr. was welcomed back in Seattle with open arms. (hey, he didn't sign with the Yankees.) You got to wonder if things would have gone differently if he had stayed in Seattle.

*Larry also has a sweet myspace page, and a kool-aid designed SUV, and some sweet pictures with Chad Johnson. I really am not quite sure how I should feel about it. (make sure you click on that one)

A Tale of Two Aces...

As we all know, yesterday the best pitcher in the AL this year, Josh Beckett, faced off against the best pitcher in the NL, Jake Peavy. Peavy was out-dueled by Beckett, so this mornings feature is dedicated to two of the hottest pitchers in baseball (and I'm not just talking about their pitching).

Beckett: 27
Peavy: 26

Beckett: May 15, 1980
Peavy: May 31, 1981

Beckett: Righty
Peavy: Righty

Beckett: Righty
Peavy: Righty

Beckett: Spring TX
Peavy: Mobile, AL

Marital Status
Beckett: Single
Peavy: Married to Katie

Beckett: None that we know of
Peavy: Jacob Edward II and Wyatt

Draft Status
Beckett: First Round, Second Pick, by the Florida Marlins in 1999 draft
Peavy: 15th Round by the San Diego Padres

MLB Debut
Beckett: September 4, 2001
Peavy: June 22, 2002

Beckett: Blisters
Peavy: Shoulder tendenitis from over throwing / poor mechanics in the World Baseball Classic.

Legal Troubles
Beckett: None
Peavy: Was arrested outside Mobile County Airport for refusing to move his car on the way to a Goodwill Tour in the Dominican Republic. He was released on $350.00 bond. (This is not really legal trouble, but I think it's a funny story).

Career Record
Beckett: 68-46 (.596)
Peavy: 66-47 (.584)

Career ERA
Beckett: 3.77
Peavy: 3.36

Career K's
Beckett: 844
Peavy: 963

Career Batting Average
Beckett: .151 with two HR
Peavy: .164 with two HR

2007 Stats
Beckett: 11-1, 3.07 ERA, 79 K's, 1.055 WHIP
Peavy: 9-2, 2.14 ERA, 113 K's, 1.067 WHIP

They don't get much closer than these two huh?

Friday, June 22, 2007

I mean, how awesome are we?

found on Surviving Grady...

The Great Autograph Experiment

So, the other day I was reading my ESPN the Mag, and there was a section about the best way to get autographs. Now, I have to say, autographs have never done much for me. I'd much rather get my picture taken with the player then have them sign something that will end up in a photo album and then eventually get ruined when the basement floods.

In my autograph collection, I have Nancy Kerrigan (at Toys “R” us when I was maybe 12). (Funny side story, I need a piece of paper, so my dad handed me a notebook that we hadn’t bought yet, and I thought for sure I was going to get arrested. And then, my dad wouldn’t even buy the notebook that I had used to get the autograph, he just tore out the page and put it his pocket…and I was horrified we were stealing paper!).

My second autograph is ML Carr. My mom won some contest when she worked in the bakery at Shaw’s (I’m serious, she worked there). So my dad and I got to go play basketball on the court at the Garden. The real Garden, not TD Banknorth. This was the same year as Nancy Kerrigan I believe. Anyway, I used to get really nervous. So my dad lied to me and said he was taking me on a tour of a bread factory in Boston. Now, we never went to Boston, so this was a huge deal. So I got dressed up and wore like, a blouse and skirt and tights and dress shoes. And it turns out I was going to play basketball with the Celtics. There were a few other random people there from the Celtics, I don’t know who. So I just sat on the bench in my dress shoes, and watched my dad shoot hoops with ML. Who, I might add, was wicked nice. Anyway, my dad and I snuck off from the group to see the Celtics locker room. It was the offseason, so they were empty, but I did get to sit in Larry Bird’s locker. We went into the Bruin’s locker room too. And, I of course, thought for sure we were going to get caught and my dad was going to get arrested and I was going to have to call my mom to come bail us out. Also, on the way home, I dropped the autograph out the window and my dad had to pull the car over so I could pick it up. He almost killed me.

My third autograph is Jenny Meno and Todd Sand. They are figure skaters that never won much of anything except for the US title a few times. We had these awesome front row seats and I got to meet Jenny and Todd who were my favorites.

My fourth autograph is Tom Glavine. Tom was doing an autograph signing at the Burlington Mall and I took Paul and his best friend Chris. Tom was extremely nice, he took a picture with us, signed like, the 20 Tom Glavine cards we brought.

also, I did get every Disney character I could find when I went to Disney in 6th grade, and Cinderella's twice.

Anyway, that is the extent of my autograph collection. In the article in ESPN it mentioned Pat Neshek’s website. I linked to it last week, but it’s for autograph collectors, and they talk about who they’ve gotten autographs from, where’s the best place to get them to sign. One thing they were talking about was who you could write to, with a self addressed stamped envelope, and who would send your card or picture or whatever back. I read through them and was intrigued. Pat's site also mentioned this one, SASE Sports Sigs, which keeps track of what cards get signed and sent back. I knew my brother and I had a giant box of cards in the basement, so I’ve decided to try it out. I’m sending out 20 baseball cards to 20 major leaguers, a little note, along with a baseball card and SASE. I actually couldn’t find my baseball cards so technically I’m sending my brothers. I went through a few books and pulled out current major leaguers, and was surprised by how many players are no longer in the majors. So, I decided to send 5 to current Red Sox, 5 to current Yankees, and 10 to regular major leaguers. (they are the control group if I remember my scientific method correctly). I'm completely accepting of the fact that there is a very good chance I'm going 0-20.

I’m rambling today. Must be the ice coffee combined with the fact that it is FINALLY Friday.

We’ll start with the bad guys, move on to the neutral guys, and then onto to the good guys.

First up, Mr. Roger Clemens, (whose name I intentionally spelled wrong on the envelope for humor’s sake). I told Roger I liked watching him pitch as a Red Sox, and that “I hope your un-retirement works out just like I think it will”. As in, you average five runs and five innings a game while going 6-9. In A-Rod’s note, I wrote, “I really miss watching you play shortstop. I think that you would have been remembered as the best shortstop of all time”. Not that I would want to ruffle feathers between him and Derek. In Mo’s I told him that “Enter Sandman” was my favorite Metallica song and that I thought he was a great closer during the 2004 ALCS. In Jason Giambi’s, I told him I hope his foot heals faster than they think it will (because otherwise they will probably trade for Carlos Pena and I’d rather they didn’t). And, in Derek Jeter’s, I told him that he was a much better player than A-Rod. Those were very hard to write.

I told Barry Bonds that he has “set an incredible example for younger players”. If that’s not the truth. You too can cheat your way to 755.

Mike Sweeney, “you are my favorite player on the Royals”. That is 100% accurate. Of course, he’s tied with every other Royal for that position, but I left that out of my note.

In my collection (actually Paul’s collection), I found a sweet card with a very young Pedro and Ramon on it in Dodger Blue. Pedro looked badass and Ramon looked goofy and I’m pretty sure they both had mullets. I thanked Pedro for being so great for the Red Sox, and told him there was nothing like getting up in the morning and knowing we had Pedro going that night.

Edgar Renteira, “I’m sorry it didn’t work out here in Boston.” I am. Now I’m stuck with Julio Lugo who is more expensive and couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. I am sorry it didn’t work out. Your contract ends before his does.

Jason Schmidt and Randy Johnson got get well cards. I told Magglio Ordonez and Andruw Jones they were great outfielders and that I wished they had come up with the Sox. (Sorry Nancy).

I wrote to Pudge Rodriguez and told him he was a great catcher and congrats on catching a No-no and thanks for knocking the Yanks out last year.

Then came my notes to the Sox, which, were harder and took a lot more thought.

First up was Mike Timlin. I thanked him for ’04, and for being such a reliable set up man over the years and told him that us Sox fans were lucky to have him. (I left out that he makes me vomit slightly in my mouth)
I told Batshit Tavarez that it has been an absolute pleasure watching him this year and that we have the best #5 in baseball.

I told Manny that he was the best hitter I have ever seen (I sent him a card of him on the Indians, which, was the only one I have).

I confessed to Mike Lowell that he was my favorite Red Sox and that he really needed to resign with the Sox to keep my mental health stable. (well, I left out the mental health part, but I did tell him I hoped he’d finish his career with the Sox).

I thanked Tim Wakefield for being such a leader with the Red Sox both on the field and in the community.

So there the 20 are. I’m going to send them out with tomorrow’s mail, and we’ll see how many I get back.

Tonight we have Dice-K and Greg Maddux. I feel like I haven’t seen Dice-K pitch in weeks. I’m excited!

Koolaid? Really?

I'm going to have a real update in a bit but I didn't want you to wait on this. It's from Kissing Suzy Kolber, and is about a certain Patriot running back's facebook page.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

10 thoughts...

First, tomorrow I am going to introduce my kick ass sociology experiment. So you can all look forward to that. But keep in mind that I squeeked through Intro to Sociolgy with a C- because instead of actually finishing my final project, I went to the Dive and just passed in whatever I had already done the next day. It actually might not be a sociology experiment, but it is definitely an experiment.

Second, I'm glad to hear nothing is seriously physically wrong with Curt, and am glad that they are putting him on the DL anyway. We need him healthy in the fall. It's also important to note that I feel like a complete jerk about my letter that I wrote to him the other day.

Third, my fantasy team is trying to kill me. I have a guy on there named Doug Brocial. He plays for the Padres. I don't know whether he is a lefty or a righty or what he looks like, but I do know he's been very reliable this year. So when I come in to work this morning, I see I've dropped two points in the standings...I take a look and see the following. Doug Brocail, had a 21.50 ERA last night, while Mr. Zito, who I may put a hit out on, pitched four innings and had a 13.50 ERA. I hate you both. Okay, more so Barry because of those stupid, "Ask Barry" shirts he broke out during spring training. I'll ask Barry why he's such a dick after I'm done asking him why you suck so bad. The fact that he was always so laid back as he lost playoff games (mainly to us), and that he thinks the Giants don't want him surfing because he might get eaten by a shark. What good are you if you drown Barry? Well, probably not much worse than if you're alive. (I actually used to like Barry Zito, till he was on my fantasy team)

Fourth, I'm glad to see Josh being the pitcher we all he hoped he could be when we went Hanley packing. I think he should start the All Star game. Remember when Pedro struck out 5-6 to start the All Star game? (I think it was Roberto Alomar who got a little dink hit?) That was awesome. I hope someday I wake up and think...Beckett is pitching tonight. With the same excitement that I had when I thought, Pedro's pitching tonight. Nothing better than knowing you had Petey going for you every 5th day.

Fifth, how about Julian? Katie called him as her "sleeper pick" in the fantasy draft and lately he's living up to his name. Anyway, he pitched a strong 7 innings. After the game, he said that he didn't really feel like playing today because he misses his kids, who live in Cleveland and New York. The whole story is kind of sad, but didn't keep wKatie from stating, "so there's a person out there with half his genes. Probably an awesome bowler." I do feel bad for Julian, and I'll volunteer to fly to NY and pick up Julian Jr.* and then to Cleveland and pick up Julian II* and bring them out to San Diego.

Sixth, the Bruin's named a new coach. His name, whatever. No one cares anyway.

Seventh, I hope the Celtics stay away from KG and draft Brewer and tryin to add a veteran via free agency. I wish we had a shot at Horford.

Seventh, Part II. Everytime I read about Oden dominating a workout, it makes me a little sick to my stomach.

Eighth, Sammy Sosa hit his 600th HR. How many would Ken Griffey Jr. have if he used steroids his entire career? I bet he'd be closing in on Hank with Barry. I love the guys who had the * shirts and signs this weekend. Very clever.

Ninth, two weeks from today I head to the Ritz Carlton in Detroit to see the Sox series (and supposedly am staying in the same hotel). As the wise ESPN the Magazine once said, "There's a fine line between "seeker" and "stalker."

Tenth, Mike Reiss' blog tells me that Bill Bellichick and Chris Berman played golf together in a Pro-Am yesterday. They are really friends? Really? Not too many people on the planet annoy me more than Boomer.

*Made up name
**Made up name #2

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fantasy Update

As we are heading on into the All Star break, I decided to give you an update on my fantasy teams. One is horrible, and the other is just bad. We'll start off with the Sox Stalkers, who, unlike Papi's Posse, are in ICU, but not quite hooked up to the ventilator yet.

Sox Stalkers

C- Johnny Estrada (Much better than I thought he'd be. Batting .290)
1B- Gary Sheffield (.290 - 17 HRs - 49 RBI. And he's not a Yankee anymore. Very nice)
2B- Kelly Johnson (Just picked him up a few weeks ago, 2B has sucked for me all year)
3B- Mark Teahen (Also just picked him up, eh)
3B- Adrian Beltre (Acquired in the Manny / Mike Lowell for Peavy / Beltre trade. Eh)
SS- Hanley Ramirez (Hurts my heart a little he's so good. Does have 13 errors).
OF- Curtis Granderson (Not only a great blogger, but a solid 4th OF. Too bad he's my 2nd)
OF- Carlos Beltran (Needs so raise his power numbers, 9 home runs and 38 RBI...killing me Carlos)
OF- Randy Winn (Batting a solid .296)
OF- Trot Nixon (Hat is still very dirty)
Util- Mark Loretta (Picked up last night cause their regular SS broke his leg or foot or something)


Jake Peavy (A new stalker, he has yet to have a dominating start for me, but I think tonight is the night)
Curt Schilling (4.20 ERA...EEE)
Derek Lowe (Oh, you know Derek, I do too, and I don't know why I drafted him)
Barry Zito (How do you spell $120 million dollar bust? B-A-R-R-Y)
Greg Maddux (has better numbers than Curt, which tells you a lot about my team)

Jonathan Papelbon (16 saves, pretty little 1.85 ERA and 34 K's)
Doug Brocail (Solid little reliever)
Joe Nathan (Right now him and Papelbon are on average for 30 saves. Eh)
Pat Neshek (Great website and a solid reliever. Better ERA and WHIP than Paps)
Heath Bell (Another one of my Padres, great ERA and WHIP)

My two best catagories are average and wins, my two worst are RBI, saves (with Nathan and Papelbon, how does that happen?!), and WHIP (which has been the bain of my existence the entire season). I'm currently in 10th in this league, but, I'm only 12 points out of 6th, so, if maybe my starters could stop sucking, there is some room for improvement.

Papi's Posse

C- Johnny Estrada
1B- Ty Wiggington (I'm serious, he is my 1B)
2B- Chase Utley (a stud, batting .319)
3B- Mike Lowell (I think his thumb is bothering him more than he lets on)
SS- Orlando Cabrera (All the '04's will forever have a free pass in my book. Well...most)
OF- Vernon Wells (cold all year)
OF- Carl Crawford (poor guy wasting away in Tampa Bay)
OF- Adam Dunn (19 HR's...WHO KNEW!)
Util- Adrian Beltre (no escaping)
BN- Khalil Green (sucks), and Chipper Jones (old), and Curtis Granderson (blogger extroidinaire)

Julian Tavarez (batshit!)
Jeff Suppan (I have known you sucked all along dumbass)
Dave Bush (4-6...bad times all around)
Tom Glavine (300 may be harder than first thought)
Roger (I know, I know, but I even broke my "No Yankees" allowed rule my team was in such straits
Jon Lester (...still waiting...)

Scott Linebrink (I love my SD relievers)
Chris Sampson (6-5, eh)
Kevin Gregg (
Mariano (8 saves?!? I mean, really now)

This team, is um, 3470 out of first, and firmly in last place. Not good times.
Dear Mr. Schilling,

While I know you are a member of the Boston Red Sox, that is not your only team. You are also a member of the Sox Stalkers. I know your alliances largely lie with the first team. The one that pays you $13 million dollars a year. However, that doesn't mean you can just go right ahead and blow off the second one. Do you know what your ERA was last night? 12.46!! And your WHIP? 2.77!! And only 4 and 1/3? FOUR AND A THIRD!! Now Curt, you know I love you. I defend the blog against people who think you should just shut up. I think that Theo should have already resigned you, even though minus Oakland we haven't exactly seen domination. As manager of the Sox Stalkers, we need to work out some kind of deal. I need you to call me when you don't think you're going to have it. I've done a lot of work to improve our pitching staff. I acquired Jake Peavy. I picked up stud free agents like the entire San Diego bullpen (I think Kevin Towers is a stud. He knows how ot pick em). If we have any chance of winning this thing (and we probably don't), it's going to be our pitching staff to get us there. (Especially since I traded Manny for Jake).

Thanks again for game six.



PS. Go ahead and forward this along to Jason. I bet he knows when you don't have it too.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Somebody's got a case of the Mondays...

I wake up this morning at 6:45 and am incredibly tired. Exceptional tired. Unable-to-pick-my-big-head-of-the-freaking-pillow tired. I roll back over, even though the bus comes at 7:00, and of course, wake up at 7:10 (on my clock, which is about 10 minutes fast). Now I have missed the bus and am going to be late. I decide I’ll take the car, drive to Wellington and take the T. I brush my teeth, throw on a shirt, skirt, and flip flops, and run up the stairs. I get into the kitchen, and happen to glance at the clock on the stove. 6:15. I had, apparently, woken up at 5:45 (which, no wonder I was so tired), and then thought I had turned off my alarm in my sleep, which, I had not, and in reality, was ready almost a full hour earlier than I needed to be. So, I went back down stairs, climbed into bed and reset my alarm for 6:55, because at least now I was all dressed and ready to go. I hate Mondays.

Anyway, how about those Red Sox. I’d like to thank the Giants for stopping by, it was great to see them and they are more than welcome back anytime. How about that poor little 22 year old Matt Cain who has given up two runs (both solo home runs) his last two starts and has lost both games. I think Manny is about to go on one of his Manny tears, and I think it’s going make me regret trading him for Jake Peavy. Both the Sox and the Sox Stalkers got Curt on the hill tonight. I also have Kelly Johnson on my team, so let’s have Curt pitch 8, and only give up 3 hits, all solo HR’s to Kelly Johnson. Also, I’d like Mr. Papelbon to close it out.

Just a few links…

*Bob Ryan likes our team. Me too Bob.

*David Ortiz had a cool Father's Day gift. (I hope my dad doesn't read this one).

*Nick Cafardo posted a letter he wrote about Larry Whiteside.

*Chad Finn is clever. I highly recommend the live blog from Friday's Sox / Giant's game.

*Donnelly is going on the DL and Manny DelCarmen is taking his spot.

Bring on Mr. Schilling and the Braves please.

::depressed I'm not in Atlanta today::

ah Mr. Martinez

I'm going to have a regular, good old fashioned update later, but first I had to post this. It's from the blog, "The Soul of Baseball" by Joe Posnanski of the KC Star, and has made a list of the top 25 pitchers who would be likely to throw a no hitter on any given day. I had re-post the section on Pedro, because, there was nothing better than waking up in the morning and knowing we had Pedro on the mound that night.

3. Pedro Martinez
No-hit quotient: 390
Did he throw a no-hitter? Yes, sort of.
Did he have any close calls? Yes.

It’s easy to confuse Pedro’s amazing games. He threw a one-hitter against the Reds in 1997, but that was the game when Bret Boone got the only single in the fifth inning.

He threw the nine-inning perfect game against San Diego in 1995, but in the 10th inning he gave up a double to Bip Roberts (the Bipper!) and so that one isn’t in the record books as a no-hitter.

There was the game in 1994 when he had a perfect game going into the eighth inning, then plunked Reggie Sanders who – and I know he regrets it to this day – charged the mound. I say Reggie regrets it, but that was the year when they called Pedro “Senor Plunk” and though I’ve never asked him (I should) I’ll bet Reggie still believes Pedro hit him on purpose even with a perfect game going.

There was the Yankees game in 1999 when he gave up one hit in the second inning (a homer to Chili Davis) and retired the next 23 in a row – 15 of them by strikeout.

You could certainly say there haven’t been many pitchers more dominant than he was that day.There was the no-hitter he took into the ninth against Tampa Bay in 2000 – he finally gave up a single to John Flaherty (he actually led off that game by hitting Gerald Williams and then he retired 24 in a row).

There was the eight innings, one hit game he threw in KC – the one hit was by Mike Sweeney and it came right after a Boston error that should have ended an inning.

I was there that night – and I cannot remember a Major League pitcher toying with a team quite the way Pedro did that night.

We don’t have nearly enough time to go into Pedro’s two hitters.

Friday, June 15, 2007

When I was, eh, maybe 15 years old, I saw in interview with Barry Bonds and Steve Sax (I think that’s his name), and I was appalled by how arrogant, how condescending, and how rude Barry was. Then, Steve asked Barry who the greatest player to ever play the game was, and Barry replied, “I am, how can I possibly play this game if I thought anything different.” So let me get this straight Barry, the game is only worth playing if you’re the best? Well, if you are the best, then what is the point of everyone else playing too? I think every other major league ball player should probably just pack up and go home. And leave you to play with yourself, all your friends (0), and all your rings (0). Forgive me Mr. Bonds, but I think the mark of a great player is the ability to make his team better, himself better, and to win a championship. Sure, you need the stats, but more importantly, you should want the ring. That makes Tom great, it makes Papi great, it’s what made Bird great and it’s what made Ray ride off into the Rockies for a chance to hoist the cup above his head. I don’t hate Barry because of the stories of him cheating on his wife, cheating on his taxes, and of course, cheating on baseball. What bothers me the most about Barry isn’t any of those 3 things. It’s the fact that he’s a stuck up asshole. And that, is why I would boo him if I was one of the lucky 90,000 to see him at Fenway this weekend. I don’t hate him because he’s a cheater, but because he’s a dick.

So the Giants come riding into town with their ace, Barry Zito on the hill, we got our fifth starter who may or may not be certifiably insane. What I do know, is that we score runs for Julian, and that Zito has absolutely destroyed my fantasy team this season. So we just lost a series to a bunch of kids wearing royal purple and with names you’ve never heard of. It’s time for the Sox to get their bats going, time for us and them to get our mojo back, and time to get up, dust the dirt of our knees, and get ready to boo Barry Bonds till our throats burn. Listen here Fenway Faithful, I’m expecting all 36,000 of you to boo till you can’t breathe, I want you to be exhausted by booing. I don’t want you to be able to speak till Tuesday. Got it?

We, of course, have another fantastic reason for having sore throats tomorrow, that, of course being Mr. David Roberts, author of, “The Steal”, one of the greatest, if not the greatest chapters in Red Sox history. My life is basically separated into two sections, BS, (before steal), and AS (after steal). Before Steal I had Crunch and Munch poured on me at Yankee Stadium, where I had to listen continuously to old men with bad teeth shout, “Nomar “No Rings” Garciappara” at me every 8 minutes in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium, I had to hear “19-18”! I had to lay in bed for a week in 2003 coming to the realization that it was, in fact, entirely likely that it was not happening in my lifetime. After Steal anything was possible, the greatest comeback in the history of sports, curses could be broken, the Red Sox could not be denied, and bandwagon Yankee hats disappeared. And those that remained saw an entire Nation decked out in World Series Champion gear.

As the great, if not annoying, Kevin Millar once said, “Don’t let us win one!”, and he was right. One was all it took. All it took was the steal led to the hit which led to Papi’s home run which led to Curt on the mound with a bloody sock, which led to Johnny’s home runs which led to Petey leaving it all on the mound, to Timmy finding redemption in the late innings, to a sweep and to a duck boat parade 86 years in the making. But none of it happens without the steal.

So, Barry is going to stand in tonight, 9 home runs shy of one of the most hallowed records in baseball, and have boos rain down upon him, probably a battery or two, and some nasty chants tossed in his general direction. And a 3rd/4th outfielder, blessed with speed, hustle, a cheerful demeanor and not much else out will stand in and have a reception worthy of a king. I can’t wait to hear what the Fenway Faithful has for Barry tonight, but even more than that, I can't wait to hear the Faithful give a much deserved "Hello" to a deserving old friend.
Welcome home Dave!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A lot of people say to me, "Soxgal, where the hell did you find that out?" The answer of course, is on of my random links. I'm getting ready to move on from my job, and I didn't want to leave all the great links behind. So here is a list of all the great, albeit random links I love.

Newspaper Links

Boston Blogs

National Blogs

Celebrity Blogs

8.5 isn't nearly as pretty as 14.5...

You know how every once and a while in Little League, you'd end up with 8 kids, and you'd have to take an out in their place? That is how I feel whenever Crisp and Lugo are up. Like they are automatically an out.

Something is clearly up with Mike Lowell's fielding, and quite frankly, I blame Julio Lugo. How could this be Lugo's fault you ask? Well, Mike has spent is entire career playing 3rd base next to Alex Gonzalez, who, is a fielding wizard. Because Mike is now next to Lugo, who has the range of my stove (pun intended), he is going after balls that should be the shortstops, and therefore increasing his error total. Bullshit you say? I don't care. When in doubt, I am going to blame Lugo.

*I have spent hours reading all the stuff here, and I don't even collect autographs. Just an excellent time.

*Justin Verlander threw a no-no the other night incase you missed it, and he was hitting triple digits in the 9th. Crazy.

*This is the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

My heart clearly isn't into this entry, but I'll try to be back later with something exciting.

Joshua tonight as we try to win the series and go to 10 and zero.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Great game last night. I got to bed about 1:30 and got on the bus about 7. Never a good time, but well worth it to see Timmay dominate the Rockies and Jonathan come take care of buisness in the 9th. I promise to have a good entry tomorrow, but in the mean time, here's the best article I've read in a long time. I highly recommend tissues.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thoughts while hoping the knuckler knuckles tonight.

*To lead off today, we have some photoshop genius from BostonDirtDogs acknowledging some of the holes in our offense. Good thing they aren't batting first and second.

*So, as stated in yesterdays post. I had some inside info that Mike Lowell was at the Children's Museum yesterday. When I left work at 4:30, I followed my normal path home. I had a bit of a dilema. Do I swing by Au Bon Pain and get a water? Just incase Mike had the same idea? Do I maybe go admire the new construction? Just incase Mike was doing the same? I eventually decided that I would do the admirable thing and go home. I walked to the bus and got to the intersection of Congress / State and as I'm waiting to cross I'm 97% sure that I saw Brendan Merriweather. As I was waiting, a guy drives by me and I think to myself, "that looked just like Brendan Merriweather". After he passes, I check out the license plate, and it was from Florida. Of course, it was entirely possible it wasn't him, but I'm going with that it was.

*The Globe has a good piece on the police officer who often works the bullpen at Fenway.

*The always knowledgeable Gordon Edes has a mailbag.

Hi, Gordon. Don't you think it is ridiculous that the Yankees were actually jumping for joy when the A's broke up Curt's no-hitter? I consider a no-hitter to be a rare and special event that is good for the game of baseball. I can understand the Yankees don't want to see us win, but to root against something historic -- I'm just missing the point. Dan, Nashua, N.H.

A: The point is, Dan, the Yanks don't like Curt Schilling, and didn't want him to have that special moment. I'm sure Curt isn't losing any sleep over it, and probably wouldn't expect anything less. I'm a little surprised that the Yanks were so demonstrative in their reaction, but hey, maybe they were bored.

*Pac-Man Jones has dropped his appeal and will serve his on year suspension. I think that Roger Goddell should have suspended him 16 games, with a chance to cut it down to 10 with excellent behavior, and the knowledge that any off the field BS gets you another year. Tank Johnson only got 8 games and he served jail time!

*J.R. Smith's friend who was in critical condition yesterday has died.

*The former prosecutor of the Duke lacrosse case is facing possible disbarment in North Carolina.

*Nick Carfardo is dealing with What If's? With Todd Helton coming to town, Carfardo examines the "What If's" behind the deal that would have sent Michael, Julian to the Rockies for Helton. "Straight up, yes. Our numbers don't compare. However, I like me a lot more than I like Todd, and Todd is a good guy" says Michael, ""Not to knock Colorado, but I'm happy to be with the Red Sox. After the fact, I heard it wasn't as close as people made it out to be, but at the time it sure sounded like it. It sounded like it was a done deal and all they had to settle was a little bit of the money. I'd been involved with rumors before, and I just thought that one had some truth to it." He continues, "I really don't know the market, but I know there aren't a lot of free agent third basemen this year. I guess that's good for me, but I want to be here. Without a doubt."

My whole life would be sadder without Mike Lowell in it. I'm just saying.

Heading over to the Fens tonight to see Wake and friends. Let's hope the knuckler is dancing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Guest Column: Katie's Mike Lowell Story...

So I'm on the phone at about 3:15 doing an exit interview with yet another disgruntled employee who is leaving. I always shut the door to my office when I'm on calls like this because, frankly, I work with retards who will stand in front of me the entire time I'm on the phone to wait for me to finish. I'm so glad that working in HR, my workspace is private and people respect the confidentiality of my role. Awesome!

As I said, I'm on the phone, and my door is shut. One co-worker barges in and tried to get my attention. I point to the phone and mouth "come back later". A second one does the same thing, followed by a third, fourth, fifth, and finally sixth. Through my window that looks into the hallway in my office, I see that a small group has gathered. Finally, Julia (the girl I share an office with) goes out into the hallway to see what's going on. Five seconds later, she walks back into the office, shuts the door, glances at me, and sits down at her computer. My outlook makes the noise that tells me I have a new email. I glance at the lower righthand corner of my screen where the "preview" feature comes up -- you know, tells me who sent it, the subject, and the first few lines of the email. There it is. Sent with high importance, from Ms. Julia, is an email with just a subject heading and no text:


And then she whispers something to George, the CFO who also shares our office and runs out the office door, leaving me with my mouth hanging open, not listening to a word that the person on the phone is saying. For all I know, she was telling me that she planned to hack into our payroll software and steal all of our money. I really didn't care; Mike Lowell was in the same building as I was.

So I start sending emails to George (it's basically a well-known fact around my office that when it comes to the Red Sox, I have a serious illness) asking where Julia went. He said that she went with the other people who were trying to get my attention to find him, and that if I wanted to go, he was pretty sure that he could arrange for the phones to go down (the CFO is also the Director of Technology. Yay non-profits!).

What did I do? Did I get off the phone, claiming some kind of gas-induced illness? No. I finished the exit interview.

Yes, perhaps I'm insane. One of the most bad-ass (not to mention handsome) Red Sox players in quite some time was in the Children's Museum. Working inside the museum sucks. I have to hear crying children floating up the vents into my office. I need to get on the elevator with maintainence staff who have barrels that smell like dirty diapers. When I get my morning coffee downstairs at ABP, I need to wade through groups of ankle-biters and rugrats who are so excited to get into the museum they don't speak, they scream.

Once I saw Walter McCarty in the elevator. That was cool. He's really tall. The difference between seeing Walter McCarty in the elevator and scouring the museum to find Mike Lowell is that I ran into Walter by chance. Had I run into Mike Lowell (notice I can't say Mike? He's always MikeLowell) in the elevator, I would have done the same thing I did when I shared an elevator with Walter McCarty -- blush profusely and stare at the floor while sneaking sideways glances at him. I just couldn't justify stalking Mike Lowell -- while he was at the CHILDREN'S MUSEUM with his kids on his off day -- so I could turn an unflattering shade of red. He wasn't going to leave his wife and marry me. He wasn't going to sit there and shoot the shit about baseball while his kids were rolling around in the ball pit, he was going to enjoy an off day with his kids.

So I did the moral thing. I let the man have his day off with his family and sat at my desk (ok, I may have gone outside and glanced through the windows once -- but I didn't see him). It always makes me mad when I hear stories of ballplayers who are out to eat, or out having a drink and obnoxious drunk fans come up to them and interrupt whatever it is they're doing. They're out to eat or grabbing a drink after a long day -- just like you are. Leave them alone. If you happen to end up in the same place as them by chance (and if "chance" is defined as a great tip from a cabbie who tells you what hotel they stay at during away games, that's ok too), just be cool and let them do their thing while you do yours. If they seem approachable and friendly and you're feeling bold, go for it. Say hi. Steal sideways glances while you brush profusely and drink another Bud Light.

But Rule Number One of Professional Sports Players Stalking -- don't f**k with them when they're with their kids.

Soxgal: As we know, I work just two blocks down from Katie's work, and I think that you should all give me a little credit for not leaving a trail of dust behind at my desk. After all, he was with his kids. That, and I'm going to become best friends with him in Detroit.

Links Links everywhere!

*The Sox had a solid weekend in Arizona, although the bats are still quieter than I would like. Joshua dominated Friday, Julian took care of buisness, and Dice-K pitched good enough to win yesterday, says Jeff Horrigan. The Sox have today off, and get back at it on Tuesday they host the Rockies, and Soxgal.

*If you haven't read Curt's recap of his near no-no, please do so immediately.

*The Sox are now 40-22 on the season, and 9.5 up on the 2nd place New York Yankees, and 11.5 up on the last place Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

*After 6 weeks as #1 upon the ESPN Power Rankings, the Sox dropped to 2nd, with the Padres taking over the top slot.

*The Nuggets had a rough week, with J.R. Smith being thrown from a car during an accident and one of the passengers in the car having severe head injuries, and another Nugget DeeMar Johnson was tasered and arrested outside a night club.

*Julian Tavarez has his own cure to fix his own blister problem.

*Mike Reiss, as always has some good stuff.

*Chad Finn has a fun update. Including this tidbit via Peter Gammons:

"On April 20, Courtney Butcher of Worcester, Mass., a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, called her father, Jim, to talk about the Monster seats Jim had purchased for the family for the Sunday night game. Lowell was her favorite player. That night, right after Courtney talked to her father, she and three friends were killed in an automobile accident.

That Sunday night, Jim took his other children to the game. In the 4-HR inning, Lowell's shot went right to the Butcher family.The next day, a friend of the family called Sarah Stevenson of the Red Sox, who relayed the message to Lowell, and he signed a uniform with these words: "Courtney, May God Be With You, Rest in Peace." He also sent word to Jim Butcher that he would homer for Courtney. The wake was that Tuesday, April 24, and Lowell's uniform was draped over Courtney's coffin. That night, he homered against the Blue Jays."

*Jayson Stark ponders the question, is Curt Schilling the best pitcher to never win a Cy Young or pitch a no-hitter? I'm pasting the whole thing because I know not everyone has ESPN Insider.

Random thoughts, as we ponder the unique interleague magic of Rockies-Orioles:


Watching that Shannon Stewart single whoosh past Alex Cora on Thursday, I was struck by this thought: Can anyone think of a great pitcher who has done more specializing in the near-miss than Curt Schilling?

He has never pitched a no-hitter, but he has thrown three one-hitters. And among active pitchers only Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina (four apiece) have thrown more.

Schilling also has never won a Cy Young. But he has finished second three times. Among active pitchers, only Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine have more top-two finishes in the Cy voting than Schilling. But those guys have combined for 21 Cy Youngs, to Schilling's zero. In fact, according to, Schilling has the highest award-share voting score of any pitcher in history who has never won a Cy Young.

So if it sometimes seems as if all his great years have been trumped by someone else's great years, it's because they have.

He has won 20 games three times -- all of them in seasons when at least one other pitcher in his league won 20. He has struck out 300 hitters in a season three times -- two of them in years another pitcher in his league whiffed 300. And he has finished in the top three in his league in ERA nine times -- but never won an ERA title. So is timing everything in life, or what?

Have a nomination for some other great pitcher in the last 40 years (the era spanning the awarding of Cy Youngs in each league) who has never pitched a no-hitter or won a Cy? Send it along to We can do a ranking in a future blog of the best pitchers ever in this funky category.

*My favorite blogger not named Schilling has updated a few times recently, Mr. Curtis Granderson. He has all kinds of good stuff.

*How did this guy only get a mild concussion and a sprained ankle?

*Lester is coming up to Fenway to throw with John Farrell and figure out a plan for the next few weeks.

*This Arizona columnist talks about how Curt is a jerk for not talking to them on Friday, because he owed it to the fans. A few things here:

- In the column, he says that Curt was traded to the Red Sox. He signed as a free agent. Maybe he doesn't want to talk to idiots.

- He also says he owes it to "the fans". The highest attendence in Arizona history was...Saturday night against the Red Sox? With Julian Tavarez starting? They didn't even sell out the clinching game of the World Series? I wouldn't worry too much about those "fans".

*Roger Goodell's myspace.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A few thoughts while typing with my right and and furiously refreshing 38 pitches with my left...

So, turns out I didn't read much Sox news today. As great as Curt was, I didn't want to read about a near no-no. Anyways, Surviving Grady and Basegirl both did kick ass jobs recapping last night. Oh, and Katie and I had an IM conversation, and then exact contents showed up on Soxaholix. Because, I guess all great minds of RSN think alike.

My favorite line from SG,

Anyway, tonight we head to Areezonah where Beckett goes for number 9. Let's hope the bats show up. Especially Lugo's, as he's my second favorite player on the team. Of course, my first favorite is every other Sox player.

My favorite line from Basegirl,

But seriously, if I've told y'all once, I've told y'all a thousand times: Don't shake off 'Tek! The "y'all" in that sentence obviously referring to major league pitchers who stubbornly refuse to listen to me because I know that none of the lovely people that actually read this damn thing would DARE to shake off Jason Varitek. I mean, you're smart people. You know what's good for you. Curt may have learned. After the game they asked him about the shake off and what 'Tek had to say about it. He said, (I'm paraphrasing), "He said that's the same thing Pedro did when he lost his no-hitter. I should know better." 'Tek with the snark! Lookit that! Must be Mike Lowell's influence. But seriously, stop shaking off Jason Varitek. Just stop it. 'Tek said something similar in his own postgame. Or, at least, I think he did. The camera angle was wide and there were shoulders involved and something about sliders and pitching and biceps and awesome and I believe it amounted to "Stop shaking me off, bitch." 'Tek knows best.

Anyway, Curt's buddy Joshua tries to build some momentum tonight against the D-backs. Gave serious consideration to hitting up this trip but decided against it due to a lack of cash flow (Soxgal needs some sponsers) and Brad Paisley coming to town this weekend. So anyways, they'll have to get it done without me creepily walking up and down the hallways of their hotel with my shoes in my hands, sitting in their lobby, and drinking martini's one table over from Josh (ala Tampa Bay).