Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In other news, the Indians have racist hats. Discuss


We realize that you're losing just because we haven't been blogging. BLOG IN YOUR FACE NOW.

Ahem. We don't actually believe that. (Really.) (Not really.)

Let's just say, though, that it's awfully early in the season for us to be turning away from the Sox game in order to watch a show on Animal Planet about killer catfish.*

And no, mainstream media, we're not panicking; we know the sky is not falling; we're not flying paper airplanes into Theo Epstein's office with directives on who he should trade, where, for what bag of baseballs. We're actually quite tired of the narrative that Red Sox fans are freaking out that the season is over before it's even a week old. The truth is that none of us are panicking. What we are? Is not having fun yet.

Hang on a second. The killer catfish has a name. It's called "The Goonch." Okay, back.

Perhaps this is the problem with the amount of spring coverage we get here at the molten core of Planet Red Sox. The early games in March took the very edge off our baseball jones, allowed us to make all our "crack of the bat, roar of the crowd" comments and used up our relevant Bart Giamatti quotes. We got acclimated to the joy of having baseball back on tv with Jerry Remy pontificating in our ears. And now we want winning. Or at the very least, we'd like to see some quality baseball instead of the Keystone Kops version. And for the time being, the Red Sox are as bad at baseball as... as... as we are at finishing sentences. Put another way, Dan Shaughnessy is to journalism as... well, okay, maybe that's unfair to the team.

We believe this team will sort itself out. In the big picture, these 6 losses are a small percentage of the season as a whole. In the present, however, they're 100% of our baseball season, and that's just less fun than a guy sitting on a wet rock, waiting for a killer catfish to come get him.

That's right, Red Sox! We have betrayed you for a...catfish hunter!

Okay, now that we've reached the bottom of the pun barrel, will they start winning games?

A game?

An inning?

An at-bat?

...excuse us, we have to go get umbrellas. That piece of sky up there looks awfully loose.

*This show is called River Monsters, and it appears to be the love child of Charlie Moore Outdoors and No Reservations. So, you know, season pass!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is Not the Opening Day Post You're Looking For

No, really, we had an entire AL East preview post planned--err, by "planned," we mean that we talked about it all the time and cracked ourselves up doing so, but never quite got around to writing anything down--but this MLB Mancave Fancave Frat Boy Extravaganza Real World Reunion Tour 2011 distracted us from our plans. Heck, it distracted us from baking (for our men) while wearing heels and pearls and cleaning (for our men) while rocking a beehive and loving pink (for our men) and putting on makeup (for our men) and all the other stereotypically girly things MLB apparently thinks we spend all of our time doing.* Be assured, though, that we'll at least share the Red Sox and Yankees sections of the post, and hopefully sooner rather than later. Before the All Star Break at the very least.

And, hey, we'll admit that we basically mocked the initial contest concept--who could watch all the baseball? how would that person have time to, you know, shower? or actually physically go out to the ballpark to watch a game?--and neither of us entered. However, we know that at least one female fan did. So it's not like there weren't any female contestants from which to choose.** We didn't sit down and watch all of the video submissions, so we have no way to judge whether or not the ones that won were the best. We did watch the clips from the Yankees fan's submission that are online, though, and let's just say we were decidedly whelmed. We're pretty sure that MLB saw all the memorabilia he has and thought "KA-CHING, we have a winner. Oh, hey, and he probably does drunken impressions at the bar--just like us!" (No, we're not linking. We don't want to give them the traffic.)

But let's just say there weren't any "qualified"--quotes used more because the qualifications were maddeningly vague from the start of the contest than for the sarcasm they may imply--female contestants. It's possible. That doesn't mean that MLB needs to market this entire thing as a glorified mini-frathouse, complete with Z100's Greg T the Frat Boy. That doesn't mean that they need to interview an underwear model to celebrate Opening Day; we'd argue that even if the VS model in question is a hardcore baseball fan, that advertising the event as "interviews with an underwear model" rather than "interviews with this totally hardcore baseball fan who, by the way, happens to be a VS model" basically tells that MLB is pretty damned sure that their audience is male, straight, and into underwear models. When dealing with a PR-based initiative--which the Mancave surely is, wrapped up in Real World nostalgia and Jersey Shore mystique--perception is a huge part of the equation.

And, to a female fan right now, the perception is that MLB either doesn't care or doesn't recognize that female fans make up about 45% of their demographic. That's pretty damned close to half, or so we hear; we're girls, doncha know, which means we don't understand the complicated math.***

It's just, look, we're constantly being asked if we understand the infield fly rule, no matter how many times we're the ones in our section who can tell you the name and scouting report of that kid they just called up from Portland. We're the ones buying kids' player tees because the men's ones don't fit--and we're lucky because we're both shorter than Dustin Pedroia and can fit into kids' t-shirts, even if they don't particularly fit our shapes properly--and we don't want to wear sparkles or bangles or pink or PINK. And while it's nice to be told by the grandfatherly type two seats over that he was "relieved" when we "proved our knowledge" because he "groaned" when he saw us coming to sit near him because we "look like teenage girls," well. It's actually not. And we'd really like to think that MLB the Giant [redacted] Entity thinks better of us than that guy, you know? We'd like to think that maybe the fact that we buy tickets and the Extra Innings package and scorebooks and baseball cards might make our fandom just the teensiest bit important. The sparkles and the bangles and the pink and the PINK really should've been a clue.

Heck, and this is just off the top of our heads here so please bear with us on this, but if they want to start things out by bringing a beautiful woman into the Mancave, why not invite Alyssa Milano? We hear she's definitely into baseball.

*Please note that we mean no disrespect to anyone who does any of these things--we do some of them ourselves!--because all of these things are awesome too. Though as neither of us currently has a man, per se, we're doing them for ourselves. Because who doesn't love a delicious Iraqi cardamom whole wheat cookie? Or a really great pair of heels?

**We're not even going into the fact that both winners are white-seeming dudes who root for AL East teams. But, you know, both winners are seemingly white dudes who root for AL East teams.

***Actually, math isn't our strong suit. But that's because we're liberal arts majors, not because we're women.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Leslie Knope for President & Other Signs of Spring

Jim Leyland ruined all our "best shape of our lives" jokes. In fact, he ruined all of the "best shape of his/her life" jokes. Ever. Normally, that sort of thing would get him cult hero status in Casa de Respect the Tek, but the way he went about it was disturbing and offensive enough to kill that movement before it could get started. We're still going to keep calling him "Crazy Old Jim Leyland, Hmmm..." in our best Gaston voices though. Because we can.

But Camp Tuck is in full effect, Lil Papi's taken his cuts and high-fived his newest teammate, and it even feels like spring here in Boston for a couple of hours. We're ready for baseball season (and not at all writing this to step away from KaberleKaberle 2011: The Electric Trade Dance Boogaloo*). We're ready for Fenway Park, and overpriced beerwater; we're ready to stand up to see if that ball's going out, only to sit down again when it lands anticlimactically in an outfielder's glove.

We're so ready for baseball, in fact, that a few weeks ago, we bussed it down to Enemy Territory (aka Manhattan) to listen to people way smarter than us talk about baseball. Yes, that's right, we want to Baseball Prospectus's SABR Day event at Foley's. And we were ready to write about it that night, only we had a little too much to drink. And then we were ready to talk about it the next day, only we had to ride a bus all day, which required the taking of all the Dramamine in the land. And then we had to watch the Bruins. Or Parks & Recreation. Or we had to re-watch Parks & Recreation again and again during the intermissions of Bruins games.*

Of course, enough time has now passed that a) no one really wants to our recap anymore and b) we've forgotten most of the truly awesome stuff we were going to tell you. Still, here are a couple of tidbits too amazing to sweep under the rug just because we're lazy and also hockey fans and viewers of brilliant situational comedy.

1. There is nothing quite like the groan of a entire room of baseball geeks--including many a Mets fan!--at the mere mention of Jeff Francoeur's name. Except maybe the groan of an entire room of baseball geeks when a panel member dares to mention the RBI or the Golden Glove in trying to convince us all that Dale Murphy should be in the Hall of Fame.

2. We are possibly living in a golden--nay, chocolate wrapped in gold foil--age of baseball-related facial hair. Dennis Sheehan was rocking a killer handlebar during his discussion of the drool-worthy Kansas City system and baseball scouting in general. Jay Jaffe could give Ron Swanson a run for his money.

3. You just can't shout down a tech geek who wants to know what mainframe PitchFX runs on, no matter how much you want to ask about what PitchFX can do.

4. However, we did learn that FieldFX--which is designed to track everything that moves on a baseball field--is still in the works, and when it comes out the data will be made available to those of us who don't currently have our dream jobs in baseball ops.We're already planning a brand new website dedicated to tracking umpires and manager tantrums based on this new technology. How far off Country Joe West can Jim Leyland bounce? We may soon be able to calculate this figure to within 1/18th of an inch.

5. Sometimes, a player's mom will write a letter to the author of one of the approximately 70 billion out there prospect lists because she thinks her precious son should've been ranked higher. Have you seen his fastball?

6. The Mets should be a valid major league organization once again in 2023. Book it.

We also experienced a minor baseball miracle during the post-event pre-leaving-the-bar portion of the day, while mingling and staring at all the cool sports paraphernalia hanging on the walls of the bar. We stood around chatting about baseball with Mets fans, a Phillies phan, and a couple of Yankees fans, and no one lost a limb. Not even a pinkie finger. It was like Christmas, only with 100% less frankincense and myrrh!

Sso that got us through the winter and now that it's spring (sort of! not really!) we're ready to watch us some baseballl, with stats in our head and crazy Carl Crawford love in our hearts, with spreadsheets to the left, beer to the right, and a Captain Fenway hoodie keeping us warm on those oh-my-god, it's-still-April nights. And we're ready to tell you what we see. We're gonna do this blog up right. Because spring is all about new beginnings, blah blah cliche blah. And, besides, have you seen us? We're in the best shape of our lives.***

*We would officially like to admit that we are bummed to lose both Stu and Wheels, even if these trades do make the team better in aggregate.

**No, seriously, Parks & Recreation. We can't recommend this show highly enough. DVR it if your favorite sports team is playing that night: Ken Tremendous would totally understand.

***Do not test us on this; we just baked a cookie the size of home plate.