Friday, June 27, 2008

2008 All Star Game Selection Special!!! American League installment. Go!

okay, we get it. most hardcore baseball types think the All Star game is hogwash - an anachronistic, gratuitous exhibition that lost its interest-worthiness years ago. i can see the line of reasoning here: casual fans vote in the wrong players, prima donna stars don't bother to show up for the game, and managers play favorites when selecting reserves. (come on, Joe Torre. jeff nelson? paul quantrill? NO ONE wants to see middle relievers in this game. really. not even Joey from Brooklyn.)

but me? i LOVE the All Star game. i like voting. i like asking in the second week of April, "do you think so-and-so will be an all star this year?" i like watching the home run derby. and while people use to complain that the Game didn't mean anything, they complained even more when Bud changed the rules with the whole World Series home field advantage thingy. as a Sox fan though, you have to like what Papi and Manny did in the '04 Midsummer classic (the home field advantage-nullifying four game sweep of the Cards notwithstanding).

so for the first time ever, i am pouring through the leader boards and picking out my own all stars. here are my rules:
1. forget about current balloting results. i know he's a "star," but Junior Griffey does NOT deserve to be on the all star team this year. also, Varitek shouldn't even be sniffing the Bronx come July 15th. some form of ballot control needs to be enacted to prevent these sorts of travesties. (remember when David Bell almost started at 3rd in 2001 because of all the Mariners-obsessed Japanese going crazy?) the best players at each position will start the game.
2. forget about past performance. this might skew balloting, but i think it also skews the players' peer selection and the managers' reserve selections.
3. same rules for team representation and roster size. some people say it's dumb that each team needs to be represented, and for the most part i agree. although if i were a Pirates or Royals fan, i'm sure i'd feel differently. also, each squad has 32 players, the 32nd being voted in on that whole "last player selected" ballot they have with the five choices (usually ends up being a Red Sox player). i'm just going to select them all myself because i feel like our 4 readers would introduce some sort of bias into any online voting.
4. traditional (read: not always informative) and sabermetric stats will be used to determine the best players. to a degree. yes, mike mussina has 10 wins, but he's not an all star. a healthy batting average could get you in, though. if you're leading your position in OPS, i think you belong in. a good FRAA probably scores you plenty of tail on the road, so it should also help your All Star credentials. (sorry, Hanley.)

so, without further adieu, i give you your 2008 American League (aka the little big league - ya know, only 14 teams?) All Star Team:

SP: Ervin Santana, LAA - a Santana starting the All Star game, but probably not the one you expected. 9-3 record, 3.32 ERA (9th) , 1.07 WHIP (3rd), 99 K's (2nd), and hitters are OPS'ing a measely .616 against him (4th). granted his BABIP is an unsustainably low .257 (teammate Joe Saunders' is .230!!!!) so he might come back to Earth a tad between now and then, but most of his stats, including his peripherals, indicate he has probably been the best starter in the AL this season. i think this is a toss-up between Santana and Cliff Lee, but honestly, I don't think Lee will be around for the Cy Young debate in September. I think Santana will be.

C: Joe Mauer, MIN - this is a tough crop to choose from. posada's been hurt (and wasn't going to repeat last season, anyway), Pudge has been off the juice for years now, and Kevin Cash just doesn't play often enough to garner the necessary attention. [sidenote - that was a joke.] (Amazingly, while doing the research for this, i discovered that Jason Varitek doesn't even qualify for the batting title based on AB's. not that he has a shot at it obviously, and in fact only 5 catchers in the AL qualify. i wonder if this is why a catcher winning the batting title is so rare?) anyway, Mauer is hitting a healthy .323 with a .407 OBP, so it's tough to complain despite his 2 dingers. plus he's got those boyish good looks.

1B: Kevin Youkilis, BOS - this is a toss up between Youk and Ron Jeriambi. But since the latter is a cheater, we'll give it to Youkilis. also in his favor: .913 OPS, 13 bombs, stellar defense, and (somehow) facial hair that is less ugly than the Giambino's. generally speaking, AL first baseman are a wholly underachieving lot this year.

2B: Ian Kinsler, TEX - there's not even competition here. he leads amongst second baseman in OPS and homers, is second in steals and doubles, and also leads the league in first name vowel:consonant ratio.

3B: alex rodriguez, NYY - he's not as overrated as everyone thinks. this is another category without competition.

SS: derek jeter, NYY - i actually wrote "just kidding!" after that originally, but scouring the other shortstops in the AL, i sadly announce that derek jeter deserves all the votes he is getting. bad defense and baserunning aside, there's really no one else having a good enough season to shove him out of the way.(if Jhohnnhyh Phehrhaltha wasn't OBP'ing .294, it'd be his spot.) o, Jed Lowrie, where art thee?

LF: Manny Ramirez, BOS - this is a very close call between Manny and Carlos Quentin of the White Sox, but given how i feel about each of these Sox teams, the answer wasn't so hard. Quentin actually edges out Manny in most every category, with the exception of "joints smoked in the green monster."

CF: Josh Hamilton, TEX - he probably isn't not the reason i'm running away with one of my fantasy teams. he's a triple crown candidate and a really, really good walking example of why to stick to booze and gambling, and to lay off the crack pipe.

RF: J.D. Drew, BOS - i'm not just playing homeboy here. i've loved Drew since, like, forever (ask anyone - i swear i wasn't booing every 4-6-3 GIDP last season...okay, maybe i booed the 2,359,864th one.) his OPS is almost 100 points higher than the second place dude, Jermaine Dye, plus Jesus loves him. (this i know, for the bible told me so.)

DH: Milton Bradley, TEX - honestly, i was just scared not to put him on this list. although he leads the league in OPS, so...

The other 22:
Pitchers: Cliff Lee-CLE, Felix Hernandez-SEA (lone Mariners rep), Joe Saunders-LAA, Jon Lester-BOS, Roy Halladay-TOR (lone Jays rep, although Shawn Marcum makes a compelling case and should be on the team if there are any injuries), Zack Greinke-KC, James Shields-TB, Francisco Rodriguez-LAA, mariano rivera-NYY, Joakim Soria-KC, Joe Nathan-MIN
C: A.J. Pierjerkski-CWS
1B: jason giambi-NYY
2B: Brian Roberts-BAL
3B: Evan Longoria-TB
SS: Jhonny Peralta-CLE, Bobby Crosby-OAK (lone A's rep)
OF: Carlos Quentin-CWS, Jermaine Dye-CWS, Magglio Ordonez-DET (lone Tigers rep), Grady Sizemore-CLE, Nick Markakis-BAL

if anyone gets hurt, i say put Brandow Morrow-SEA on the team. i know he's a middle reliever (well, temporary closer), but his numbers have been nasty.

i'm looking for comments, suggestions, disagreements, and endorsements. bring 'em on.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mad Clown Part 2: The Sinister Laugh

Making our way to Fenway park on the T, we encounter a youth basketball team from Mattapan. I am quickly corrected, one player says “It’s Murder-Pan not Mattapan.” He then refers to the Savin Hill stop on the Ashmont line as Stab ‘n Kill. The team is discussing the game that they played that day including when one player tripped to the floor and started crying. The Muderpan kid asks Dubbschism, “Would you cry if there were chicks in the stands?” Dubbschism replies, “How hot are they? It depends do they like sensitive guys.”

Mad Clown 2: The Sinister Laugh

Already late for the game, Dubbschism and Zeitgeist are jonesing for Mojitos and get a quick Mojito at Father Dards while EF and Smarty Barrett enter into the game. Immediately we are greeted by the prescence of an old friend, the infamous, Mad Clown. There is an exchange between The Mad Clown and a food vendor at Fenway. The Mad Clown yells to the vendor “Got Pickels? Right here we got a pregnant lady.”(In Reference to his pregnant wife.) Again he makes a reference to his pregnant wife by saying, “She’s got one hot in the oven. Not even sure if it’s mine but I’ll support her.” His wife responds in a drunken slur, “ I’ m not even sure about the last two…”
In reference to the numerous guys at Fenway without shirts, the Mad Clown states, “ I would take my shirt off, but I didn’t shave my chest before coming to the park.” In reference to the shirtless fan issue, Ejected Fan shouts, “ Get skin cancer and die!” Dustin Pedroia and Curt Schillings wive’s do not approve of the preceding statement. Dubbshism, Smarty Barrett and EF have a bet on to the residence of the Mad Clown.
Smarty Barrett picks Dorchester while Dubbschism chooses Revere and Ejected Fan, Malden. Unfortunately for these bloggers, the Mad Clown and his constituency left during the fourth inning never to return to their seats. We hope to see a revival of the Mad Clown at Future games. Dubbschism has perfected his Mad Clown laugh and impression.

Smarty Barrett Photo Op with JD Drewwwww Sign Fans

The couple in front of us at the game were taking photos of themselves by holding their camera at arms length in front of them. Smarty Barrett took this opportunity to stick his head in with tongue out and then preceded to insert his middle finger into the photos. Upon reviewing the photos in zoom mode, the couple realized this hijinx and started to laugh. Another annoying trait of this couple was to hold up JD Drewwwww signs that were passed out at Fenway Park for St Louis player Jason Larue. When they called Jason Larue up to bat, these fair weather fans had no idea which team was at bat and decided to hold up their JD Drew signs. When they did hold the signs up for the real Drew earlier in the game, he did hit a home run so there was some level of good luck to the whole sign thing. At one point they held the signs in such a manner that Ejected fans vantage point was similar to a letter box movie.

Notable Quotes and Observations

  • A fan tells his wife among other BS that the temperature is in triple digits.
  • A drunken comment overheard by Zeitgeist “Duck you… say another thing to my friend and I’ll put you in a ducking Mayonnaise jar.” Smarty Barrett can only assume his last name is Hellman’s.

  • At one point EF tells a youngster not to go the long way down the aisle and informing him that next time he should go the other way later realizing the youngster was deaf. Later EF witnessed this fan holding this sign:
    Tickets: $500
    Soda: $4.50
    Gas to Boston: $100
    Driving my drunk family home: Priceless
    (By the way this child was about 12 years old)
  • Laney Boggs was the pitcher for the St Louis Cardinals
  • Smarty Barrett cannot remove the cap from EF’s pen. Ejected Fan responds “Dude, what the duck is wrong with you? It’s not the sword in the stone!”
  • There is a guy with a “Spitters are Quitters” T Shirt. Where are all the winners?
  • The 1985 hit Power of the Lover by Huey Lewis from and the News is Craig Hansen’s into song. Dubbschism quips, “Hansen was conceived to this song!”
  • Dubbschism in reference to the 9-3 differential states, “How Awesome would it be if they came back and won this game?” Smarty Barrett responds, “ I would light cars on fire!” Ejected Fan responds, “I would light babies on fire! A LA Rambo. I will toss them in the air and light them*.”

Because this game was such a blow out, we leave early to get food at Father Dard’s otherwise known as La Verdad to those not native to New Mexico. Friday EF will be blogging from the Pearl Jam show in Hartford. Also EF is planning a report from the Baseball HOF in Cooperstown NY. Stay tuned.

*Please note the ejected fan in know way condones the killing of babies even for sport.

Ejected Fan meets Red Sox Legend Brian Daubach


Friday evening (Saturday Morning at 3 AM) at Daisy Buchanan's on Newbury street in Boston Ejected Fan had the pleasure of meeting Brian Daubach. Here is the exclusive exchange for EF.

E.F: Brian Daubach, What are you doing here? (Shaking Daubach's hand)

Daubach: I'm here to watch St Louis...

E.F: Dauber, you had some monster home runs for the Sox. You are the man!!

Daubach: Thank you!
E.F high fives with fist knuckles...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My cell phone is like the internet's little sister.

dubbschism mobile blogging, watching Rays vs. Cubs (possible World Series preview?) from a restaurant. i've come to the conclusion that Joe Maddon looks like Gene Hackman's character Brill in 'Enemy of the State,' starring Will Smith, lots of guys with spiky hair, and...uh, Gene Hackman.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

FutureMr.EddieVedder


Randomly found this picture of the Ejected Fan on my computer today...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not only a client, the President

The first insallment of Smarty Barrett's "theme teams."  Today's theme - Presidents:

C: Dan Wilson
1B: Reggie Jefferson
2B: Adam Kennedy
SS: Russ Adams
3B: Charlie Hayes
LF: Craig Monroe
CF: Otis Nixon
RF: Joe Carter
DH: Reggie Jackson

SP: Randy Johnson
SP: Whitey Ford
SP: Dave Bush
RP: Jermaine Van Buren

MANAGER: Ron Washington


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I just want to put something to rest, once and for all.



i don't like the Chicago White Sox. i don't like their manager, i don't like their general manager, i don't like how they got lucky in 2005 and beat the Red Sox on their way to winning the World Series, i don't like "Ozzie Ball," i don't like "Smart Ball," i don't like the fact that every mainstream sportswriter liked to splooge in their pants talking about Scott Podsednik in 2005 when somehow he made the All-Star Team and placed 12th in MVP voting, all whilst OPS+'ing a whopping 86.

i
especially don't like that this piece of shit team as currently constructed is sitting in first place atop the AL Central (crappiest division in baseball, to be sure) and that Crozzie (crazy+Ozzie=Crozzie) Guillen is getting all the credit.

i'd like to find some tidy explanation as to why the White Sox are overachieving, but it's actually kind of hard. first off, they're actually
underperforming their Pythagorean W-L by three games. they're 6-7 in one-run games, so it's not like they have any good luck in that department. they do play the vastly underachieving Tigers and Indians 18 times each this season (including 7 and 9 games against them already, respectively), and of course they get to beat up on Kansas City for a good 1/9th of their games too. on the other hand, the Twins have all these luxuries as well but sit 6.5 games behind the South Siders.

so i guess it's pretty obvious that the Sox are winning because of Crozzie and his magical rants. right? i mean, they reeled of seven straight wins after his most recent tirade. so according to the laws of cause and effect, it is clear that because Ozzie Guillen said lots of swears on Sunday, June 1st, his team got their heads out of their asses and started playing baseball. (What nobody mentions is that on Sunday, June 8th, i lathered myself up with dish soap and repeatedly zoomed down a Pirates of the Caribbean slip n' slide, opening myself up to a variety of potential nipple injuries, and the White Sox won their next two games. imagine if i didn't use dish soap!) (also, what nobody mentions is that the White Sox were
already in fucking first place before Ozzie jumped off the deep end.)

if you follow the White Sox, or Crozzie, or Baseball, or Sports, or Crazy Lunatics, then there is a 99.99999% chance this isn't the first time you've heard about Ozzie Guillen lashing out at his team. the guy's words are newsworthy everytime he opens his mouth, certainly, but on several occasions he's ripped into his own team, just like on June 1st.

  1. May 28th, 2006, after losing to the Blue Jays 2-3 in the 11th inning (and stranding 13 runners in the process): "We're not executing," Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times. "If we think we're going to play like this, and they think they're going to be a contender and in the pennant race, well, they'd better look at themselves in the mirror. My job is to try and win games and that's what I'm going to do. If they don't like what I say, they can leave and do whatever they want to do. We're better than this. We're way better than this." White Sox record in the next 7 games: 3-4. Reason this rant failed: forgot to call out the hitting coach (by name) and threaten him with his job.
  2. May 30th, 2007, after losing to the Twins 6-7:"I'm going to get fired? Good. Is this team going to get better having me out of there? I'd be too happy with it. But as long as I'm here, we've got to play better. As long as I'm here, we have to play better," Guillen said after the fourth straight loss by the White Sox (24-24). "Offense, defense, pitching, manager, coaches, we all stink," Guillen said. White Sox record in the next 7 games: 2-5. Reason this rant failed: Not enough f-bombs.
  3. August 31st, 2007, after losing to the Rangers 4-5 in 11 innings: "Well, they're killing me," Guillen said. "They're killing my family. They're killing my coaching staff, killing the White Sox fans. They kill the owner. They kill everyone. I hope they feel the same way we feel." White Sox record in the next 7 games: 3-4. Reason this rant failed: He brought his family into it. (that's a big no-no in the world of inspiring ranting and raving.)
so there you have it. Ozzie has reamed his team before, on at least three different occasions, and they responded by going 3-4, 2-5, and 3-4. but this year, things are different. this year, Ozzie has finally honed his ranting skills to motivate his team to win seven straight against the mediocre/mighty Twins and Royals, moving all the way up in the standings from first place to first place. this year...ah fuck it. i still say the White Sox miss the playoffs.

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE, PLEASE STOP SAYING THE WHITE SOX WON SEVEN IN A ROW BECAUSE OZZIE GUILLEN HAS A POTTY MOUTH.

thank you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hot Town Summer in the City: Saturday Red Sox Crush Mariners
Game Report, 6/7/08 vs. Seattle Mariners

My record at the games I have attended at Fenway this season is 7-1. However, I am not so delusional as to believe that I have a direct impact on the outcome of any game. With the best home record in baseball, the Sox just play well at Fenway. Up until Friday evening the Sox had not lost a game at Fenway since May 1. However, today their line up was again atrophied by the absence of Ortiz for the sixth straight game, but they still managed to put up some big innings against Seattle pitching. The seventy million dollar man, JD Drew , is finally starting to hit the cover off the ball. Despite a tight hammy, Slap-happy (Manny Ramirez) is hitting the ball to all fields.

We start our day off at La Verdad. Not to be confused with the home of Celtics Player Paul Pierce, La Verdad is a Mexican Taqueria on Landsdowne street next to Jillian’s. We miss the first couple of innings of the game waiting for our food to be served. The TV is finally tuned to the Fox broadcast and we see a towering shot by Manny Ramirez that goes over everything. Due to the broadcast delay, we hear the applause about four seconds before we see Manny hit the home run. The Fox broadcast zooms in on a garage attendant who tracks down the ball in the garage on Landsdowne street. Dubbschism kids, “There goes the ball” as he points to Landsdowne street at our vantage point about 200 yards from that garage.

With the hype of the Celtics in the NBA finals, our focus shifted to discussion of the finals and how Kobe Bryant and Lebron James do not hold a candle to Michael Jordan. Knight Rider goes on to state, “Michael Jordan made moves in the air that I’ve only seen small kittens make.” The style of play in the NBA today is certainly different than it was in the eighties and nineties…

Breathalyzer Guy

After finishing our Mexican fare and buckets of Corona at La Verdad, we enter the park in the third inning and head to the pavilion standing room section of Fenway. Immediately upon entering the section we see a guy blowing into a breathalyzer. The Ejected Fan inquires, “Does that start your car?” Breathalyzer guy responds, “No, but it drops my girlfriend’s panties.” Ejected Fan wonders whether one can blow a 4.0 which, would be Summa Cum Laude by Blood Alcohol standards. Upon further research E.F has deemed this feat impossible because death almost always imminently occurs at .40 percent.

At this point in the evening EF was achieving probably a .059% BAC with mild euphoria, relaxtion, talkativeness etc…In reference to our blog monikers, Breathalyzer guy asks Double Dragon, “How did you come up with the name Double Dragon? Were you on a 6 day drug binge when later you found out that you did 2 chicks at the same time?"

Knight Rider Celebrates his Birthday
Today was Knight Rider’s birthday. He celebrated in a few different ways:

  1. Broadcasting Solo-Mad libs (Mad Libs done without the help of others) to a captive audience on the second floor of the Baseball Tavern.
  2. While at Baseball Tavern, “867-5309” by Tommy Tutone
    starts playing on the jukebox. A thoroughly inebriated (BAC .11-.20) Birthday Boy decides to dial 617-867-5309. He then leaves a drunken rendition of this classic 80’s song on the answering machine of a Boston area plumbing and heating company.
  3. A guy on the T has two stones. He shotguns a beer. In an act of protest, Knight Rider shotguns his beer, but does not quite finish. The guy with the Keystone Lights chastises Knight Rider for not completely finisihing his Bud Light...in an act of unity, a passenger who was inadvertently showered with Keystone Light says "what the hell?" and whips out a 40oz. he had in a paper bag and takes a swig. Dubbschism and Zeitgeist follow suit.
  4. Knight Rider's unsuccessful attempts to sell a birthday Menage a Trois to a couple. Dejected, he is turned down by the large pig tail girl.
  5. Armed with a tennis ball, another highlight of Knight Rider’s day is playing catch on Ipswich street.
  6. Interesting Trivia about Knight Rider: Upon discussion of the classic video game Double Dragon and the hair grab knee move, discussion shifts to Street Fighter. Knight Rider admits that he once wore a green sweatsuit to emulate his idol, Ryu from the video game Street Fighter.


    Double Dragon on Parenting

    Today was the hottest day of the year thus far with mercury topping out in the low 90’s. Luckily our group was under the shade of the roof overhang. Witnessing a toddler in a stroller with his parents, Double Dragon states, “I don’t know much about parenting, but I know that’s not good. A jacket on a kid in 90 degree heat! That’s child abuse. Look the stroller doubles as a stretcher….” E.F states, “Yeah your kids will melt.”

    It is tough to see the game from the Pavilion standing room section today. Fans along the standing room railing are dug in like World War I Germans in trenches. It is tough to get a view of the action on the field. Due to the extreme heat by the mid 7th inning, there is a lot of open seats around us. Fans who could actually see the game are treated to dueling knuckleballers R.U.A. Dickey and Wakefield facing each other.
    Todays game seems to fly by. Maybe it is the fact that it was a 3:55 PM start or that we had missed the first couple innings. The length of the game is 2 hours and 45 minutes which seems short for such a high scoring affair. Stay tuned in a couple weeks for next update from E.F at Fenway.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mariners vs. Red Sox, June 7,2008 *LIVE BLOG*

Hey all, SB here to live blog this Sat. afternoon affair on Fox. Hopefully, the Sox will do better this time than they did last time I live blogged one. Wakefield on the hill for this one, as he was the last time I kicked knowledge with you. Here's what we got for lineups:

Red Sox
1. Coco Crisp CF
2. Julio Lugo SS
3. J.D. Drew RF
4. Manny Ramirez DH
5. Sean Casey 1B
6. Kevin Youkilis 3B
7. Brandon Moss LF
8. Kevin Cash C
9. Alex Cora 2B

P Tim Wakefield

Mariners
1. Ichiro Suzuki CF
2. Jose Lopez 2B
3. Raúl Ibáñez LF
4. Adrian Beltre 3B
5. Jose Vidro DH
6. Richie Sexson 1B
7. Wladimir Balentien RF
8. Kenji Johjima C
9. Yuniesky Betancourt SS

P Miguel Batista

A few notes:
  • Both the ejected fan and dubbschism are at the park this afternoon. I will keep an eye out for them.
  • Dick Stockton and Mark Grace are your broadcasters this afternoon.
  • Manny back in the lineup. No Pedroia and no Lowell.
Let's do this.

Top 1
Here's Ichiro leading off. Hot day at the park today. Sox rocking the Red jerseys. I dig 'em. Ichiro hits a soft chopper towards the mound that neither Cash or Wakefield can get to in time, infield hit. That was like a swinging bunt. Money says he steals 2nd here. And he quickly does, his 26th steal of the year. And now Wake walks Lopez on 4 pitches. Great. Here's Ibáñez. And Wake gets him looking, 1 down. Nasty knuckler. Now Beltre with 2 on and 1 out. And Wake gets him swinging! Man, the Mariners are bad. Now Vidro. And he takes a huge cut at the first pitch and misses. What a bunch of hackers. And he grounds to short, Lugo flips to second for the easy out and Wake gets out of the jam.

Bottom 1
Batista on the hill, dealing with Coco first. Apparently he was in some sort of fight this week. And Coco cranks a hard liner but right at Beltre, catches it, one down. And now Lugo hitting second. And he hits an easy roller to short, two gone. God, he blows. Here's Drew, who has been an absolute monster at the plate lately. And he rips one to the gap in left-center! Ichiro gambles and lunges for it, misses and it goes to the wall, and Drew is into 3rd with a triple! Damn he is a good hitter, and fast too. Now Manny with a chance to put the Sox on top early. Mother of God. Manny UNLOADS on one! Over the Monster, OVER EVERYTHING! Mammoth shot, 2-0 Sox. Casey grounds to 2nd to end it, but Sox lead 2-0 after 1.

Top 2
Timmy working with a lead here, let's see how he handles it. Here's big sexy Richie Sexson, in my opinion one of the worst hitters in baseball. And Wake makes quick work of him, getting him swinging. 3rd K for Mr. Wakefield. Now Balentien, and he hits a roller to short, Lugo charges, gloves, and gets him by a step at first. Nice play. And here's Johjima. And he takes a big ugly swing at one and misses. Man, he looked foolish. No chance, 4th K for Wake, and a nice 1-2-3. 2-0 Sox.

Bottom 2
Youkie up first. And he goes down swinging for out #1. I'm sure he'll be swearing up a storm in the dugout. Watch out water coolers and bat racks. Just don't do it in front of Manny. I love Youk, but he can be a real crybaby sometimes. Now Randy Brandon Moss. And he pops one foul to 3rd, Beltre grabs it, 2 down. Now Cash money. And he gets ahead 3-1...and works a walk. Anyone miss Mirabelli? At all? I'm sure he's doing fine at whatever gas station hired him. Cora now with 1 on and 2 out. And he hits a chopper to 3rd, Beltre gloves and gets him and the 2nd is over. 2-0 Sox after 2.

Top 3
Hopefully Wake can continue his nastiness. This is a team he can really rock and roll against - lineup is full with a bunch of swing-and-miss candidates. Betancourt will lead it off. And he singles to left to bring up Ichiro. And he bunts, Wake gets to it but no chance, 2 on, 1 out. How overrated is Ichiro? Seriously. Guy has 2 ABs, has hit the ball a combined total of about 19 feet today and has 2 hits. And of course Stockton and Grace are lauding him. Lopez grounds to 3rd. Youk bobbles but stays with it and his only play is to first. Gets Lopez but runners move up to 2nd and 3rd with one out. Here's Ibáñez. "Anything in play will get the lead in half" says Grace. Really? Even a pop to 2nd? Dumbass. Well Ibáñez does slightly better than that. He rips one down the RF line that jumps into the stands. Two runs score and we're tied at 2. Blah. And Wake quickly responds by walking Beltre on four pitches. Thank God for Jose Vidro. He swings at the first pitch and pops to short. Now a tall man who is not very good at baseball is up. He grounds to Youk and this inning is over. But the Mariners tack on a couple runs and it's 2 all.

Bottom 3
Top of the order here. Just get this inning to Manny and let him do his thing. Coco starts off by slicing one down the RF line. Takes an unlucky kick off the wall and Coco has to hold at first. Here's Lugo now. Coco goes, and he steals 2nd! First pitch running...wow, close play on the replay. And Lugo bunts Coco to 3rd. Bleh, I hate bunts. Oh well, speed at 3rd with one down and here's Drew. Table is set here for him, but he lines out to short on the first pitch, 2 down. Bah. Stupid bunt. Oh well, it's Manny time now. Do they put him on? Nope, they're pitching to him. Let's see if he gets anything to hit. And after 2-0 they stand up and toss the remaining two balls intentionally. 2 down but runners at the corners now for Casey. See if he can make the M's pay for the IBB. He can't, and flies to CF. Stupid bunt killed that inning. Dual small ball, swing the bats. 2-2 after 3.

Top 4
Balentien leading off. I had admittedly never heard of this guy before this series, but he has good numbers. And he smacks one but right at Youk at 3rd, one out. Trivia question time! Who was the last rookie to steal 50 bases in a season? Let me ponder that a bit. Johjima up now. And he flies lazily to right, 2 gone. Now Betancourt, and he hits a soft fly to left, and a 1-2-3 for Wake, still 2-2.

Bottom 4
Time to drop my trivia question guess before they give the answer. Oh wow. Duh, I just realized it. It's gotta be Ichiro. Youk here, and he grounds to short, one gone. Moss draws a one-out walk now, and it's time to Cash in. And he launches one to center and Ichiro grabs it, 2 down now. Here's Cora. And he pops one into the gap in left center! Ibáñez tries to cut it off before it gets to the wall, and he bobbles it! Moss scores, and Sox reclaim the lead 3-2. How will they score that one? Double for Cora, but do they give Ibáñez an error? No, a straight double and an RBI. Now Coco, and he singles to center! Cora scores, and now it's 4-2. Very nice. Lugo now, so assume the scoring is done. And he tries to bunt (????) and he almost gets hit with the pitch. Right at his dome. And now Coco steals 2nd for another steal today. Now a hit for Lugo can get him home. And instead he walks. Very nice, now Drew with 2 on and 2 down. R.A. Dickey (hehehehehehehe) warming for the Ms now. Here's Drew, and he works the count to 2-2, and then scorches a liner, but right to Lopez at 2nd, inning over. A lot of hard-hit balls at infielders today from both teams. Sox tack on two more and we go to the 5th, 4-2 Sox.

Top 5
Ichiro leading off. Stockton and Grace might have consecutive orgasms if he hits the ball 14 feet for a single again. I think I'm going to order some sushi in a few. My decision has nothing to do with Ichiro...I just love it. Ichiro hits a soft bloop to short that Lugo snags, one down. And Lopez grounds to 2nd, two outs. Wake seems to be grooving now, looking for another 1-2-3 with Ibáñez coming up. And he pops to 3rd, Youk snags it and Ms go in order yet again. 4-2 Sox.

Bottom 5
Manny leading off here. And he works a long at bat and works a walk. Casey time, and he slaps a base hit to right and Sox put the first two guys on here. Youk now, and he pops one out to right-center. Ichiro grabs it, one down. Moss up here, still two on, now one out. And he gets ahead 3-0. We may be seeing Dickey very soon. Dickey! And Moss walks. And it's time for Dickey! Bases loaded, one out, Batista done, and here comes R.A. Dickey. dubbschism just reminds me via text that Dickey is a knuckleballer, meaning we've got two knuckleballers here. And Cash swings at Dickey's first pitch and pops to 2nd, two down. Crud, they could break this open, but now two down, and here's Cora. Now a passed ball! Manny scores, and everyone moves up a base. 5-2 Sox. And Cora ends up popping to 2nd. Dickey looks pretty solid, but the Sox tack on another one, 5-2 after five.

Top 6
Beltre leading off, swings at the first pitch and pops foul to Cash, one out. Thanks, Adrian. And Vidro grounds to short, two gone. Man, the Mariners offense is just really bad. Now to watch a tall man try to hit a baseball. He has actually worked a full count! And now strikes out on a fastball. Ugly swing, but not all that surprising. Another 1-2-3! Still 5-2 Sox.

Bottom 6
Top of the order here, and Coco already has 2 hits on the day. And he won't get his third here as Dickey gets him swinging. Lugo grounds to short, two gone. Dickey is taking care of business here. Ehh, not anymore. Drew crushes one to deep center and gone. What a bomb! 6-2 Sox. Jeez that was crushed. Hit just to the right of the yellow line in center. And now Dickey gets Manny swinging, as he was taking cuts that makes me think he was trying to go back-to-back. Inning over, but Mr. Drew has made it 6-2 after 6.

Top 7
Balentien leads it off against Wake, he has grounded to third twice today. He works it to 3-2, but then Wake gets him swinging. UGLY swing. Man, this team is just stacked with bad hitters. Give Wake his credit though; he's getting it done. Johjima now. Wake has thrown 102 pitches here and Hansen is getting loose. Kenji loops one into center, Coco charges but has to play it on a hop for a single. Cokes looked like he was going to make a dive for it, but he had no chance. Betancourt grounds one into the hole between 3rd and short, Lugo snags it on the backhand, throws to 2nd, Cora turns and throws to first, double play! Very nice play all around! And Wake has gone 7 strong, and it's still 6-2 Sox.

Bottom 7
I still have not seen dubbschism and the ejected fan on TV yet. Perhaps the ejected fan has already been ejected from America's Most Beloved Ballpark. Casey to lead off the bottom of the 7th. And Dickey quickly gets ahead 0-2. And he loops one to short, Betancourt plays it on a hop and throws out Casey, one gone. And Fox 25 just went apeshit, but apparently Youk singled. They show the replay, looks like Ibáñez tried to make a sliding catch but he got it on a hop instead. Now Moss, and he hits a slow roller to second, Lopez makes the play to first, two out, Youk moves up to 2nd. Cash fouls one behind the plate, Johjima grabs it right in front of the seats, inning over. Going to the 8th, 6-2 Sox.

Top 8
Wake out, Hansen in. Great job from Wakey today, the knuckler was dancing and he kept the hackers hacking and missing. Hansen has also been solid as of late, so let's see what he can do. Also, Casey out, Lowell in at 3rd and Youk moves over to first. Ichiro finally hits one of the outfield as he singles to right. Let's see if he's running. Hansen dealing with Lopez now, and it's 2-0 and he's having trouble throwing strikes. Great. And Lopez swings at a bad pitch and hits a slow roller to 2nd. Cora's momentum was taking him towards first but he throws to second and gets Ichiro. Risky play up four, but he gets the lead man, one gone. No chance to get Lopez at first. Here's Ibáñez, and here's another 2-0 count. And Hansen throws him some absolute GAS inside and Ibáñez shatters his bat and pops to 2nd, two gone. And then Beltre quickly grounds to short, Lugo to Cora for the force at second, and Hansen gets it done. Almost through this one, 6-2 Sox. Sweet Caroline time.

Bottom 8
New pitcher for the Mariners, Derek Mark Lowe, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today. Cora, Crisp and Lugo look to spoil it. And a BEAT L.A. chant breaks out! Ducking awesome. And Cora hits a grounder by the diving Lopez for a single. What a birthday ruiner. Crisp up now, and he hits a hard sinking liner to right, but Balentien snags it on a dive, one out. Papelbon getting loose even though it's not a save opportunity. He has 0 saves in non-save chances this year. Now Lugo hits another sinking liner to right, but Balentien can't get this one and has to play it on a hop. Single for Lugo, 2 on with one out for Drew. And he cranks a base hit through the right side! Cora scores, Lugo to 3rd, 7-2 Sox. Enjoying your birthday, Mr. Lowe? Runners at the corners with one down, and it's Manny time. He works a full count, and then walks, and now with Casey out, it's Lowell with the sacks drunk and one down. And Ellsbury in to run for Manny at first. That's good to see. And Lowell rips one down the line in left into the corner! Two runs in, Ellsbury stops at 3rd, 9-2 Sox after the Lowell double! Mark Lowe's day is done after that one - what a crappy birthday. The new Seattle pitcher is Ryan Rowland-Smith. The back of his jersey is rather crowded. And the lefty will deal with Youkilis with runners and 2nd and 3rd with one down. And it's quickly 0-2. And Youk hits one to left that will go all the way to the wall! Another double, another pair of runs in, and it's 11-2. Consider this one broken open. Moss swings at the first pitch and pops to short for our number two. Here's Cash with a runner still at 2nd. And he strikes out on a foul-tip into the mitt, inning over. But the Sox tack on five more and it's 11-2 heading to the 9th.

Top 9
We're still going to see Paps here, even with a nine-run lead. I hope he doesn't blow it!! In all seriousness, my biggest hope right now is that my sushi gets here soon. I am starving. Willie Bloomquist will hit for Vidro here and Papelbon gets him to ground to second. Cora flips to Youk...who drops it! The errorless streak is over! 233 consecutive games was the streak, and it's done. Wow. Now Miguel Cairo will hit for big sexy. And Bloomquist takes second on defensive indifference. What a dumb rule. A steal is a steal. And Cairo singles to center, Bloomquist scores and it's 11-3. Balentien will hit for himself here, but Jeremy Reed is already on-deck to hit for Johjima. Balentien first though, runner on first with no outs. And Paps gets him looking with some heat for the first out. The Chevy player of the game is Wakefield. It had to be him or Drew. Wait, did they ever give the answer to the trivia question? I must have missed it! Crap. Well here's Reed with one on and one out. And Paps gets him swinging with some high cheese, two gone. Wow, he just completely blew him away there. And here's Betancourt to hopefully make the final out. Maybe not, as it's 3-0. Strike looking and a foul ball makes it full, and they're on their feet. Fly to right, Drew makes the catch, and this one is over.

Great pitching from Wakefield, great offense all-around from a lineup that didn't look all that intimidating on paper, and the Sox take this one 11-3. WHERE IS MY SUSHI?!?! Have a good night all!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Red Sox of the Future

A guest blog from friend Ernie Dolan:

This is a golden age of baseball in Boston. Some may consider it the golden age for all sports here, what with the recent success of the Patriots, Celtics and local college teams, but for eight months a year, it is the Red Sox who dominate local discussion and provide the most excitement night in and night out.

In the past four seasons since winning the World Series, a youthful renaissance has busted onto the scene. First we were introduced to Kevin Youkilis and Jonathan Papelbon, the first basemen/closer combination of the future. Last season, we witnessed the arrival of the gritty Dustin Pedroia and speedy Jacoby Ellsbury, the later an instant heartthrob for women all over Boston, including my girlfriend. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and this season in just a few spot starts, Justin Masterson have made the pitching rotation one of the most promising in the major leagues. And coming soon to the local nine a boat load more of the brightest future prospects in the game.

Through skillful and visionary scouting and drafting, the Red Sox put together a farm system that is setting a new standard on how to go about winning World Series Championships. While the Evil Empire of Baseball went about the early half of the 00’s throwing money around and selling off players like Burritos flying off the counter at Bulocco, the Sox took a different approach. While not every prospect realizes his potential (names like Brian Taylor and Drew Henson come to mind) the Red Sox have largely been able to beat the house more often than not and it is through no string of luck. Boston is a city full of smart people, and the Red Sox are cornering the market on Baseball stat geeks and nerds. Through new ways of valuing talent and teaching different baseball philosophies, the Red Sox produced disciplined players like Youkilis, also known as “The Greek God of Walks”.

While I can’t offer the hilarity found in filling out Mad Libs or making off-the-wall bets, one thing I am betting on and I feel all of Red Sox Nation should be aware of is that the winning ways aren’t going away any time soon. As the Schillings, Timlins, Lowells and Variteks head off to pasture, fear not - for the line of new faces anxious and ready to take over is on the horizon. There are plenty of MLB ready stars in nearby Pawtucket, exciting ball players like Jeff Bailey (.318 16 HR 44 RBI), Jed Lowrie (42 AB, .310 AVG .340 OBP w/Red Sox & 73rd rated prospect by Baseball America), and Chris Carter (.320 8 HR 31 RBI) and hurlers like Buchholz (4th rated prospect by baseball America) and Masterson (2 GS, 12.1 IP 1.46 ERA w/Red Sox & 64th rated prospect by Baseball America), both not on the current big league roster. In Portland, get excited about Michael Bowden (94th rated prospect by Baseball America) and Daniel Bard (grooming to be a closer), both of whom may be getting their first look at Fenway during September call-ups. And in the lower Single A ball, are future power hitters Ryan Kalish (96th rated prospect by Baseball America), Jason Place and Lars Anderson (40th rated prospect by Baseball America), names to make up for the unthinkable loss of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in the far off future. The future is also bright for last year’s #1 draft pick Nick Hagadone, even though his development is slowed by a season ending injury this year.

In 2010, the Boston Red Sox could have a starting infield of Jeff Bailey, Chris Carter or Lars Anderson at first base, Pedoria at second, Youklis at third and Jed Lowrie at shortstop. In the outfield, we could see Ellsbury, Ryan Kalish and Jason Place. And a wealth of arms with a mix of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Buchholz, Masterson, Lester, and Bowden and possibly Nick Hagadone all fighting for five rotation spots. Daniel Bard may be setting up Papelbon. This would be a formidable team indeed with the biggest future question mark being finding a starting catcher. The 2008 MLB draft happens soon and one can only imagine what new potential prospects will be added to the wealth we already possess in our farm system. Perhaps a catcher or a five tool all around athlete (we miss you, Hanley Ramirez) is on the horizon. As the rest of baseball shudders and tries to keep pace, the new motto of Red Sox nation rings true, “In Theo We Trust”.


By Ernest Grover Dolan II

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hazel Mae's Takeoff Strip

you will be greatly missed. perhaps not so much by me, because i always felt you were greatly overrated in the looks department. and let's be honest, your position at NESN is and was always about looks. (upon further reflection, 2% of the position is about attitude. 98% looks, 2% attitude. which is why Jayme Parker just never cut it. she was just way too much attitude for SportsDesk.) although, i never saw the hair of your nether regions, so perhaps i am grossly mistaken in this evaluation. but i feel there must be more attractive alternatives.

like maybe this chick.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The ejected fan states there is a sperm ghost inside the stall.

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