Monday, October 29, 2007

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog to OH HELL YEAH

(Globe staff photo.)

Thoughts to follow, when we can think again.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We do not drink Coors in this house

Thoughts We Thunk During Game 3 of the 2007 World Series:

1. The towel-twirling? Still pretty annoying. We've thought so whenever we've encountered them during this post-season--including the NLCS, which, in all honesty, we had no real opinions on other than a vague idea that late October baseball in Denver sounded cold*--so it's not just the Post-Cleveland Stress Syndrome talking here.

2. That Tulowitzki kid's a pretty damned fine shortstop, isn't he?**

3. Daisuke! With the hitting! We love to see an American League pitcher overcome his bafflement--"why is the ball coming at me?"--to give himslf run support. The fact that he wore his little jacket on the basepaths elevated it from fun to fabulous.

4. Were Caroline to design a Manny Delcarmen Band tour T-shirt, you'd all buy one, right?

5. John Farrell's been talking up Jason Varitek like crazy lately. In every interview we've seen/read/heard with him lately, he's all, "no, really, you can't overemphasize what he means to our pitching staff." We have concluded that this means that John Farrell is totally on board with our "Get Varitek as Pitching Coach When He Retires" plan. Viva!

6. Javier Lopez: still not a lefty specialist. Still not recording any outs. May still be good looking, but we were too busy hiding our eyes.

7. Dancing for Mike Timlin is a great source of cardiovascular exercise.

8. Yelling, "Catch that! Stop them! OMGWTF!" and smacking yourself repeatedly in the forehead also gets your heart rate up. As does yelling, "OH FUCK YOU FUCK YOU SO HARD, MATT HOLLIDAY!" when he hits a three-run homer (look, the combination of that and the towels and the no fucking outs might've lead to some crazy Cleveland flashbacks, okay?). These are obviously the sort of cardiovascular activities that lead directly into cardiac arrest, however, and they are not recommended by any primary care physician with a license.

9. Our rookies: let us show you them.

10. Mikey Lowell really did steal third there, right? I mean, we weren't hallucinating that or anything, were we?

11. Tim McCarver thinks Jason Varitek should be a sergeant major in the army. Or maybe he thinks Varitek is actually in the army. Silly McCarver. Everyone knows that Superman works alone.

12. No, really, our rookies. We want them to continue their little "anything you can hit, I can hit harder" game in the one-two spots for the remainder of the series and for years to come. They should also feel free to incorporate tap dancing.

*Nine out of ten Youks agree!

**Look, we know we've all said that about pretty much every opposing SS we've faced this season (with the exception of Jeter, who is, contrary to McCarver's belief, not a very good defensive SS), but in this particular case it's actually true, even though he could probably stand to cut down a bit on the Jeter Jump. That said, we give Lugo full props for some amazing defensive plays in this game.

Monday, October 22, 2007

We do not dance without moving our arms in this house*

Jonathan Papelbon has seen the 2004 footage and he knows exactly what happens next. He was getting ready for it all night long.

We confess, we were scared it wouldn't happen, what with the record-setting number of double plays and the untimely return of Julio Lugo's Baseball Blooper Escapades. We were making mental notes of questionable managerial decisions, in case we needed to post our objections here in excruciating detail. Even when Petey-Pie's home run put us up 5-2, we kept reminding ourselves that stranger things have happened, that no lead is safe until the last out is recorded, that goddammit, if you assume you are winning, you're setting yourself up to get hurt.

Well, that's over for now--until Wednesday.

All that is gone and replaced by joy--until Wednesday.

The nerves will come back, but the important point here is, we have a Wednesday.

And we have a Dustin Pedroia--as early adopters, we salute Julio Lugo for pointing out, "That little midget's the man!" We have a Kevin Youkilis, and isn't Billy Beane just eating his heart out? We have a Papi, we have a Manny, we have a Tek--Josh Beckett's "backbone"--who takes a running leap into Papelbon's arms, because this is our tradition, now. This is what we play for.

All those bloggers who talk about Red Sox fans losing their identity are missing one simple yet apparently elusive fact: this team just kicks too much ass not to love. Post-curse reversal, now the Red Sox are just awesome, both in terms of quantifiable athletic skill and in terms of goggles and hugs and Riverdances.

We vote for Keith Foulke to throw out the 2007 World Series first pitch.

See you then.

*We'd fall down.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We do not believe Jacoby Ellsbury when he says he isn't offended by the mascot . . . in this house

10/16/07: Red Sox 3, Indians 7

Notes on a scandal:

1. No, really, what was the point of showing the Aaron Boone HR from 2003 before the game?

2. First, the disclaimer: Jennifer admits that she has crazy psychological reasons for disliking the Team from Cleveland and is no way unbiased when talking about them.* Second, the question: if you were a Cleveland fan, would you carry a giant sparkly cut-out of the mascot as a sign or would you want to distance yourself from that particular symbol of the team due to it, you know, being pretty fucking offensive? Let's not even get into the Chief Wahoo face paint.

3. Bright sides: the back-to-back-to-back home runs, Jon Lester pitched well, Jason Varitek can't blame himself for the loss.

4. Less-than-bright sides: the fifth inning, grounding into double plays, the fifth inning, stranding people on base, the fifth inning, shots of sad Wakefield, the fifth inning, a complete inability to string together runs, popping out on the first pitch, the fifth inning, losing.

5. If 2003 was Cowboy Up and the 2004 squad were the Idiots, does that make the 2007 Red Sox the Sybils?

* For comparison purposes, let's just say that for her losing to Cleveland is roughly equivalent to losing to the Yankees if you're a normal Red Sox fan. Chat logs from the series thus far feature such highlights as, "I hate them, I really really hate them", "I think...Grady Sizemore might be my Derek Jeter", and "I am trying to at least be happy for the children, but then the players show up in their racist hats and play good baseball and make me want to cry."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We do not have a clipboard of fun in this house

10/13/07: Indians 13, Red Sox 6

We were really hoping for the Redemption Arc. When Eric Gagné came in in the 11th, ball in hand and determination in his eyes (which we knew thanks to FOX's freaky obsession with the dramatic close-up), we were hoping that this could be the moment he turned it all around, saved the day, and inspired us all to go out and buy his jerseys. It was going to be epic, a thing of legend, a tale for the ages. And he even struck the first batter out, which had to be an auspicious sign, right?

Yeah, it was late. We were tired, and possibly delusional. It was the Epic Tragedy Arc all along.

Eric Gagné, take a page from your fellow countryman Dave Coulier and, "Cut. It. Out."

Yeah, you know how bad the jokes on Full House were? This is how bad the 11th inning went for the Red Sox. It's Stephanie driving her dad's car into the kitchen, or everyone thinking that DJ drank a beer at the school dance. This was a good beginning that went horribly wrong, like Tanner Family Fun Night--and much like Tanner Family Fun Night, it will end with everybody walking the plank.

But as every half-hour is leavened by the brilliant comic timing of Kimmy Gibbler, at least there are things to take solace in. We learned that our guys can hit Fausto Carmona and drive him from the game as quickly as Cleveland got to a pitcher twice his age. And like the raw animal magnetism of Jesse Katsopolis, there was plenty of sex appeal provided by Mikey and Manny and the long ball. Not to mention that there's something we'll always treasure about the sight of Manny's third bases-loaded walk in two days. That's what we call not swinging at bad pitches.

Come to think of it, maybe last night's tragedy arc is really just part one of a very special two-part episode. The series is tied at 1-1, and there's still plenty of time left for us all to learn a life lesson, enjoy a group hug, and chuckle as Jonathan Papelbon says something precocious ("You're in BIG TROUBLE, Grady Sizemore!").

That's how it's going to end, right, guys?

Monday, October 8, 2007

We do not pimp our home runs in this house

It turns out that it's much easier for us to blog about the bad things--leaving everyone and their mother on base, grounding into double plays, leaving a starter in just one batter too long--than the good things. Like, and this is just off the top of our heads here, sweeping the ALDS against The The Angels Angels of Anaheim through a combination of sexy pitching, sexy long ball, and even more sexy pitching just to finish things off right.

Oh, we admit it, we doubted. We are doubting doubters who doubt. We doubted game 3 starter Curtis Montague Schilling v. 2.0, we doubted the team's ability to generate any sort of offense (we are still shocked that they didn't manage to lose game 2, to be perfectly honest, and considering the NyQuil™ haze through which Jennifer watched it, she's still not convinced that Manny's beautiful walkoff homer wasn't some sort of drug-induced hallucination), we doubted everything and then we doubted everything some more. We were wrong. This is a good thing.

But the man Jonathan Papelbon calls The Big Daddy not only brought his A game, he brought the drama and the fist-pumps. Papi and Manny went back-to-back for the first time this season. And, even more surprising to our minds, they managed to string together seven runs in the eighth without hitting a home run. We could do a complete play-by-play here, analyze the ways the pitching managed to keep the Angels from their running game and wax poetic about Manny's swing, but we're sure you all saw what happened. We're sure you all watched the same post-game interviews we did, heard Schill call Tek "flawless" and praise all the work John Farrell did with him this season, heard Coco call Schill "a student of the game," saw (and were afraid of) Cinco Ocho's crazy crazy eyes. We don't have to tell you what you already know.

So, yes, we doubted. We paced and knocked on wood and had minor cardiac episodes every time an Angel got on base. We'd say we'll never do it again, but there's another game on Friday and we're Red Sox fans. Worrying and doubting and second-guessing and beer are all in our blood.

But, for now, we'll just raise our glasses in a short toast before settling in to see whether or not Joe Torre loses his job tonight.

Guys, here's to making it hard for us to blog. Feel free to do it again anytime.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

We do not hold grudges in this house

The embargo on substantive posts continues (y'all, we have head colds and overpowering superstitions, and if you look over at the sidebar, better men and women have it covered). But we have a couple of notes:
  • Manny Ramirez, you are forgiven for the first eight innings of last night's game.
  • Jason Varitek, we ain't mad at ya for going 0-4, since the Globe brought this to our attention:
    "I remember when I came to the clubhouse today," Ramírez told Mota, "Varitek told me, 'Hey, you can't leave Boston without a home run.' I said, 'You know it.'
    Excellent game plan, sir.
  • Jonathan Papelbon, you are forgiven for putting your pants back on.
  • J.D. Drew, you are forgiven for not being Stephen Drew.
  • As far as we're concerned, David Ortiz has never done anything wrong, or we'd forgive him, too.
  • And, oh, Josh Beckett, for your Game 1 performance, we forgive you five to six bad relationship and/or facial hair choices. Don't make us regret it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

We do not call Dionne Warwick in this house

We have not been able to find it within ourselves to write a playoff preview post, for several reasons. Firstly, there are too many unanswerable questions (Ten pitchers, yet Kevin Cash and Doug Mirabelli are on the roster? Can someone explain this with small words and visual aids? The comments section is waiting for you!), and secondly, we are pretty sure anything we say or do would cause an irrevocable jinx. Also, we still haven't fully recovered from Jonathan Papelbon's hangover.

So instead, at this last hour of the last day before the drama begins, let's skip ahead a few pages in the calendar....

2008 Baseball Predictions

- The Cubs start off strong in defense of their division title, but tank when Lou Piniella takes up Transcendental Meditation and starts greeting umpires with garlands of flowers.*

- Tom Glavine returns to the Braves for his swan song; unfortunately, he spends most of the year playing poker with John Smoltz, and ends his season early by falling off Smoltzie's roof. To add insult to injury, Smoltz still makes him finish the gutters.

- Mike Timlin retires, but still hangs out in the Red Sox bullpen. During the first Sox game in New York, he kills all of Yankee Stadium's squirrels and roasts them on a spit.

- Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his 600th home run and is mercifully removed for a pinch runner.

- Johan Santana will be traded to the Mets for a payroll-shaking salary. Come opening day, his pitching hand will fall off and walk away like Thing in the Addams Family.

- Noting that the Colorado Rockies' improbable success followed after the team dedicated itself to Christian morality, the Washington Nationals convert, as a group, to the Rastafarian faith. Wily Mo Pena bats .500 and is named the league MVP.**

- Curt Schilling shocks the world by dropping his bid for a new contract in order to run for President of the United States. (He's working on a 20-point lead in the polls in October, but blows it by shaking off Jason Varitek.)

- Torii Hunter to the Yankees, Melky Cabrera to the Twins, Johnny Damon to a shopping cart in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium.

- The Kansas City Royals win 145 games, dominating all challengers in unprecedented fashion. Unfortunately, no one is paying enough attention to remember which division they're in, and the playoffs go on without them.

- Not to be outdone by C.C. Sabathia's tattoo (his own name, on his back, uniform style), Josh Beckett has Nolan Ryan's name tattooed on his back. He also lodges a complaint with Major League Baseball when he discovers he's not allowed to pitch topless.***

*Lou Piniella is the Walrus. Terry Francona is the Eggman. Goo goo g'joob.

**His AL counterpart is the Triple Crown winning Kevin Millar.

***Which is nothing compared to Papelbon's protest about the oppression of the pantsless in American public life. Seriously, theses will be written.