Sunday, March 29, 2009

Also, in the future, Robot Dice-K will thrive.

Yes, we promised you five Respect the Tek predictions every Friday until opening day, but we lied. This week, we have something even better. We have traveled to the future in our Tardis and brought back with us a few key quotes from Dustin Pedroia's future twitter account. (Yes, Dustin Pedroia will start twittering.* On July 14, 2009, if you want to be all specific about it, after he spends most of the All-Star festivities learning strange factoids about Barry Zito from Tim Lincecum.)

So, yes, we are late with this post. Our time machine malfunctioned slightly and we somehow skipped from Friday afternoon right until Sunday afternoon. We've been assured that this does happen occasionally, and that if the side effects don't go away in four hours, we should seek immediate medical attention. Anyway, on to Pedroia's Tweets of the Future:

1. @CCSabathia you suck! You got nothing! Next time we meet, that ball's going to be 95 mph going in and 200 mph going out!

2. "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?"**

3. Hey everyone I suck and I'm a midget and Jon Papelbon could totally strike me out a million times in a row so ha.***

4. everyone singing we are the champions whole flight home gonna blow chunks

5. @JPapelbon sorry your kid isn't a better pitcher than you were and that my kid had to hit that laser off her tonight. Go ASU!

We could have brought back pages with his insults to opposing pitchers alone, and once Kevin Youkilis' facial hair gets its own account, the back-and-forth between them is going to be epic. We don't want to spoil these things for you, though, so we're not going to post them here. And, no, we can't tell you when, exactly, #4 is from; we can't even reveal exactly what it's in reference to. Maybe our most valuable gunslinger just gets really excited about the Mayor's Cup.

Meanwhile, back here in the normal timestream and the real world, we're t-minus eight days to Opening Day, and we don't even need 140 characters to say this: YAY!

*Will start tweeting? Will become a twitterererer? Whatever the ridiculous terminology, Dustin Pedroia's going to be amusing the nation, one bon mot at a time. Like Shaq. You know, if Shaq was a small white dude who can't dunk.

**Pedey doesn't attribute his quotes, but we do. That's Vince Lombardi.

***This update mysteriously disappeared about fifteen minutes after it first showed up. The tweet that went up next is too profane for us to repeat.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How can I say goodbye to what we had? The good times outweighed the bad.

Remember how, after the end of the 2007 season, Curt Schilling left letters for certain teammates in their lockers?* Remember how Jason Varitek refused to read his because Schill wasn't officially retired and could very well re-sign with the Red Sox? (Okay, that one might be something we made up. We're not 100% sure. Just go with it.) Well, we like to imagine the following text message showed up on Tek's phone late last night:

Read the letter.**

All of which is our way of saying that Curt Schilling is many things, all of them contradictory, but for a while there he was ours. And, in some ways, he always will be. We will miss seeing him pitch every fifth day--even when we decidedly do not miss Tito keeping him in one inning too long--and we will always, always think of him standing on that mound in Yankee Stadium, ankle stapled together, silencing the ghosts.

Thank you, Schill. Have a wonderful retirement (and please do shut up).

*We'd link, but that would require actual effort, and we are vehemently anti-effort on Mondays.

**Or, you know, rd teh ltr. We wouldn't put it past Big Schill to use textspeak.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Josh Bard will look up and shout, "Save me." And we'll whisper, "No."

The Curse of Doug Mirabelli is alive and well and living in Fort Myers.

Just when we were starting to like Bard-o, too. Still, we're not gonna lie, we're excited that the PawSox Two are apparently getting an actual shot to win the gig. In fact, we're going to just throw this out there: we want a Kottaras-Brown backup catching tandem, people! Three catchers means we could, you know, pinch hit and double switch and all those National League tricks Bill James disapproves of so heartily. Make them uber-super-duper utility guys! Teach 'em to cover shortstop! Or throw a knuckleball! Heck, Dusty Brown was an outfielder once upon a time; we're sure all those innings crouched behind the plate haven't affected his ability to play right field when JD "Mr. Glass" Drew needs a day off.

So that's our cunning plan. Well, that or kidnapping Taylor Teagarden and telling everyone that he's Mark Wagner after extensive plastic surgery.

Anyway, it's time for some more 2009 predictions. We know you're all excited.

1. Jonathan Papelbon will hit a game-winning grand slam during interleague play.*

2. Julio Lugo will come back from his injury, and he will continue to play (almost**) as well as he did in spring training. Jed Lowrie will also continue to kick ass. This will be a great problem to have, no matter what you think about either player, and it will only make the team better.

3. We will never, ever, utter the words, "Man, I wish we'd signed Pudge Rodriguez." No disrespect to the future Hall of Famer, but there are plenty of other catchers we'll wish were on the Red Sox ahead of him. You can even strike Mauer and Martin from the list and end up with a strong Pudge-free top five.

4. Futures at Fenway will, once again, kick ass and take names. (What? We love FoF, okay, and we needed an excuse to point out that tickets go on sale this Saturday. Be there or be somewhere else. But somewhere else won't have baby baseball players taking each other's picture in front of the Green Monster while the Frisbee dogs run free.)

5. Every single team whose personnel have openly stated that they think they can be "the Rays of 2009" (We're looking at you, Reds, Pirates, and Orioles) will be bitterly disappointed. You know why Cinderella teams are interesting? Because they're really rare, like glass slippers. However, the national baseball media (now we're done looking at the Orioles, let's all turn our pointed gaze to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver) will keep this meme alive and anoint one of our lucky contenders "the Rays of 2009" around the all-star break--whoever it is, they will be instantly jinxed, and discover that they're the Rays of 1998-2008 instead.***

Tune in next week when we try to predict setlists for the bullpen band.

*Please ignore our footnote on this very issue from last week.

**Because no one actually hits .500, and we do not actually believe he will ever play error-free defense. This is not an insult, it is just reality.

***Or, dare we say it, the Devil Rays.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Robots eat old people's medicine for fuel.

All week, we've been puzzling over Daisuke Matsuzaka's stellar six-inning, no-walk, fewer-than-1,000 pitch performance in the World Baseball Classic. We've studied the tape closely* and come to the obvious conclusion:

Daisuke has been replaced by a robot.

Okay, our theory raises more questions than it answers. Like, when did AI get so advanced? Was Dice-K himself the mastermind behind Dice-3PO? Was it another nefarious World Baseball Classic plot like the one that's caused freak injuries to half the players on the Team USA roster**? Where is the real Dice-K now--lying on a beach somewhere with his beautiful wife, or strapped to a training table in front of a Clockwork Orange-type infinite loop of game tape?

We may not have all the answers, but we're pretty sure we're right about the robot part. Because a version of Matsuzaka who doesn't walk a single soul and tosses efficient ten-pitch innings around like they're Icelandic money? That is definitely something out of the Uncanny Valley.

Meanwhile, we're more than ready for real games, but the Greening of the Sox is a fun substitute. We particularly enjoyed the presence of an "actual" "leprechaun." It wasn't funny in and of itself, but it allowed David Ortiz to bring his Pedroia mockery to a new level. And Papi's given us so much joy in this life that anything which makes him smile is worth closing elementary schools, holding a parade, and drinking vile green beer.

Haters, please note that Jason Varitek was 2-3 from the left side, with a well-thwacked home run into the bargain. For Dave Magadan's next trick, he'll drive the snakes out of New England.

*That is, we watched it when it aired live, and even spent some of that time looking at the screen.

**We're still rooting for Cuba, but if the US makes it, we are sure David Wright's smiling face will make us feel better.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Oh, wow, time flies when you're under a deadline. Another Friday, another five predictions. These ones are short and to the point, just like us.*

1. We will mutter, "Man, I wish we'd signed Pedro" at least once this season. Possibly twice. No more than five times, though.

2. Lift the embargo! Free the Cuban ballplayers! (Okay, that one's not really a prediction, but c'mon. It's wrong and sad that the WBC is the only chance we'll ever have to see a majority of these guys. And it probably angers Mikey Lowell, too.)

3. Tom Glavine will--oh, wait, we did this one last year, and his BFF Smoltz is a Red Sox now. But Tom Glavine will still lose a ridiculous bet to John Smoltz this year, and he will have to do the chicken dance on the mound at Fenway Park.

4. "Yankees Suck" will be chanted inappropriately in the following circumstances: the Mets visit Fenway; the Red Sox visit Citi Field; the Nationals play the Braves; the Red Sox play the White Sox, who kind of look like the Yankees if you are squinting and/or drunk; the Bruins play the Rangers; Chuck Schumer gets into a fistfight with John Kerry on the steps of the Capitol. Actually, if that last one comes true, we promise to join in the chant.

5. Jonathan Papelbon will say something and Jason Varitek will tell him to shut up. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Hopefully, soon, we'll manage to post something a bit more substantive, but we're not going to get carried away and try to predict our own kooky behavior. That way lies madness, after all. In closing, we're forwarding a little PSA from our first baseman and yours, a Mr. Kevin Youkilis. Youk would like to know why you're not all on a flight to catch Team USA's next game in Miami. He wants your support, people, to drown out the Puerto Rican voices in the crowd and to celebrate the baseball team of a land so free even a crazy closer can speak his mind without fear of retaliation.**

We know why we're not going, of course: we've got jobs, bills, and a tendency to root for the Netherlands or possibly Cuba. But we could be swayed on that last point. If we were to call out of work by command of the Greek God of Walks, would that count as a religious holiday?

*By which we mean that we are short, but very rarely to the point. Also that we forgot about this until mere moments ago.

**Okay, that's mostly because he's a relief pitcher in the AL who will never, ever, ever get to bat. You hear that, Papelbottom? Never.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Our Predictions Are Slightly More Accurate Than CNBC's

In an attempt to force ourselves to post something every week, no matter how inane, we are introducing a new feature here at Respect the Tek. Every Friday from now until opening day, we're going to bring you five random predictions for the 2009 MLB season, based entirely on box scores, an obsession with the MLB Network, random other blogs, silly conversations, and our favorite poems. These predictions will of course come with a money back guarantee and a free gift with purchase.* So, without further ado, we bring you Respect the Tek's First Five Predictions for the 2009 MLB Season.

1. Judging by his three hitless innings against the powerhouse Team USA on Wednesday, Matt Clement will not only stage a comeback this season, he will win the Cy Young. The Red Sox will face both Clement and the Doc in every single Blue Jays series this season.

2. Just going by the hype, PECOTA projections, MLB Network's 30 in 30, and the fact that the sun always shines just a little brighter when he's around, Matt Wieters is going to be the first baseball player ever to win the Rookie of the Year, MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Rolaids Relief Man, Comeback Player, and Kansas City Royals Pitcher of the Year. He will place second in the Cy Young balloting.

3. Tim Lincecum will continue to account for 2/3 of all San Francisco Giants wins.

4. Greg Maddux will wreak his revenge on Glavine and Smoltz for failing to retire so they could go into the Hall of Fame all together. Details of his cunning and evil plan remain sketchy, but Maddux was recently spotted in a Phoenix-area bar, petting a hairless cat and muttering about how Derek Lowe "works for us now."

5. On the eve of the last game of the World Baseball Classic, we will kidnap Yu Darvish and make him our own. That's "we" as in "we, Red Sox Nation," not "we," your intrepid bloggers.** This will give us the strongest rotation in Major League Baseball. It also means that Pedroia and Youkilis will have to fight their way back to the team. Guys, start practicing your Karate Kid moves now.

*The free gift is our charm and wit. No refunds or exchanges.

**Okay, actually, it's just us. But not for any prurient reason. We'll be his agents. Please leave your fifty million dollar opening bids in the comments.