Monday, December 31, 2007

Everybody watched the Patriots game

I don't really understand what TV ratings numbers mean, but apparently a whole lot of people watched the Patriots go 16-0 on Saturday night. Which is great. Let the world fear us. Let them tremble before us. Let them watch in awe as we continue to lay waste to those teams foolish enough to challenge us. Mwah ha ha!

Ahem. Apparently, the game's rating was the highest rating any television program this entire season has obtained. Which makes sense, because there's seriously nothing worth watching on TV right now, especially since "The Office" turned into a boring touchy-feely show about relationships. Guhh. I kind of can't wait for "The Sarah Conner Chronicles," though... is that weird?

Also, according to
Saturday's game was the first three-way simulcast in league history.

Three-way simulcast, eh? Sounds hot. Like the league maybe had always wanted to try it, was kind of curious (who wouldn't be?), but needed to wait for the right opportunity to come along. Oh, the league might be a little self-conscious about having done it for the next couple of days or so, maybe even regret it a bit, but in the long run the league should feel good that it was able to let its inhibitions down and enjoy something like that. It's ok, league, we still respect you and promise not to tell our friends (*snicker*).

Incidentally, I get that this whole Saturday Night Football thing is good for ratings, but I always thought that the point of football broadcasting was to legitimize the consumption of beer at times when it might not otherwise be socially acceptable. To me, a game is kind of wasted on a Saturday night. Then again, I did manage to get free drinks the entire night I was out on Saturday simply because I was wearing a Tom Brady jersey and the gentlemen around me were feeling magnanimous due to our victory. So that's always good.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mad Libs, the Gabe Kapler way

I really don't find it all that interesting that Gabe Kapler has decided to return to the majors. Of course, he will always have a special place in my heart along with all the members of that magical 2004 Red Sox team (except for you, Doug Mientkiewicz*), but this story really just doesn't have anything particularly compelling about it. So a journeyman outfielder whose career was steeped in mediocrity (.270 average, 64 homers over 850 games) gets bored after a year of coaching Class A ball in Hicksville, SC and decides to restart his career with a team coming off a season of blown potential and continued squandering of Prince Fielder's obscene talent. Yawn. Have fun hitting 9 home runs next season, Gabe.

What did catch my attention, however, was this little gem of a grammatical construction in a post about Kapler's return:

"As far as the question about burning bridges, it could not be further from the truth," he said. "My relationship with [Sox] baseball [operations] is stronger than ever."

That looks to me like some pretty serious liberty being taken with brackets in the second sentence there. By those rules, Kapler's sentence could be mutilated to say any number of things. Observe:

"My relationship with [furry] baseball [mascots] is stronger than ever."

"My relationship with [footed] baseball [pajamas] is stronger than ever."

"My relationship with [eating] baseball [shaped cereal] is stronger than ever."

"My relationship with [crapping out] baseball [sized lumps of glass] is stronger than ever."

"My relationship with [bald, somewhat reminiscent of a storm trooper in a purple-and-black vest, and yet undeniably attractive with his bulging forearms and chiseled features that remind me so much of my own] baseball [player Matt Holliday] is stronger than ever."

and George Mitchell's personal favorite,

"My relationship with [taking] baseball [steroids] is stronger than ever."

That last one really calls the value of Kapler's legacy of competent fielding and lazy fly outs to center field into question.

And he and Matt Holliday would make a cute couple, if only the right-wing fascists of the Rockies management would allow them to express their love. Curse you and your god-fearing ways, Clint Hurdle!

*Yeah, I spelled that right on the first try. You wish you were me.

Football on ice

So the above video is kind of impressive in and of itself, what with the running around on the ice and somehow not wiping out in spectacular fashion as I would most likely do. But the story behind how I found this video is actually much funnier. I went on to YouTube to look for more Australian football videos (I'm becoming obsessed), and started to type "football in Australia" in the search box. But then, Firefox did that little thing where the drop-down menu of past searches you've done that begin with the same letters as what you're typing appears, and the strangest thing popped up:

"football on ice"

Yes, that's correct. At some point in the recent past, I actually searched YouTube for "football on ice." I can't for the life of me remember doing this. What on earth was I thinking? What was I hoping to find? Did I find it?

Obviously, I had to perform the search again, and this is one of the videos I found. Nothing really that cool, though. Disappointing.

Stephon Marbury: liar?

Saying this might actually make me a terrible person, but isn't it just a little suspicious that Stephon Marbury's father just happened to die right at a time when Marbury is clearly pissed off with the Knicks and doesn't want to play? Marbury gets bumped from the starting lineup, storms out on Isaiah Thomas, gets slapped with almost $200,000 in fines that he is currently appealing... and now, oh-so-conveniently, his father passes away just in time to give him 2 weeks off from working the bench for a team that's already posted losses to Chicago, Seattle, and the Clippers? I don't buy this for a minute. I'm sure Marbury has a tearful phony voicemail message saying that he's at the funeral home while he's actually out having wacky adventures with his uptight but loveable best friend. He's clearly faking it.

Or maybe he killed his father.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Australian football players are awesome

So they play football in Australia. No, not like the kind of football that's actually soccer (get it right, every country in the world except America!), but a kind of football that bears no resemblance to any other sport you can think of. It's played with a ball that looks like an American football and can be kicked or carried, but not thrown, and the field has 4 field goal posts and is shaped like a giant oval. (See video above if you need a visual.) Like rugby, the players thrash the everloving hell out of one another and don't wear any pads, and the teams all have stupid names like The Magpies and The Roos. Basically, it's what you might see if you did a whole bunch of drugs and then watched a regular football game. The point is, though, that just like all Australian athletes (I can only assume from what pop culture has taught me), the players of this bizarre game are big dumb oafs. Yay!

An amateur Australian Rules football player celebrating a grand final win was rushed to hospital after accidentally swallowing a bottle cap out of a beer-filled premiership cup.

The 24-year-old from Adelaide inadvertently gulped down the serrated West End beer cap after downing the beer left in the bottom of the cup.

"They filled the premiership cup with beer and were passing it around among everybody,'' Royal Adelaide Hospital emergency department registrar Dr Robert Douglas said.

"He felt something in his throat, and it was a beer bottle cap in his chest, stuck in his oesophagus.''

Tests showed the man's blood alcohol concentration was almost 0.11.

Seriously? This guy sounds awesome. He's the type of guy who was so fun to hang out with in college because he was always so much more of a mess than anyone else -- you could count on him to be out in full form on a Tuesday evening, thereby legitimizing everyone else's being out.

The more I read stories like this about international sports tomfoolery (I feel like British/Irish/Australian sports talk should always contain one or more of the words "shenanigans," "tomfoolery," "hooligans," and "buttocks"), the more disappointed I am in American athletes and their failure to live up to international standards of sports-related idiocy. Come on, Sidney Ponson. Enough with the drunk driving/drunk speedboating/drunk walking down the street and terrorizing little children. I'm sure you could take a beer cap or two to the small intestine.

Also, I just Wikipedia'd Sidney Ponson. Did you know that he was KNIGHTED in 2003 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands? (Ponson is from Aruba, which is part of the Netherlands kingdom. Apparently, the Netherlands is Holland.) Thus, his full name is Sir Sidney Alton Ponson. Like... a knight. Can't you just picture Sidney Ponson riding around on horseback whomping on non-Christians with one of those dangly spikes on a rod? Eating mutton? Kidnapping, but then eventually wooing, damsels?

Ok, so maybe my only knowledge of what it means to be a knight comes from having gone to Medieval Times. Sue me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Playlist

Amateur blogging is difficult in this sense: no matter how time-at-work consuming, cathartic, or otherwise enjoyable it may be, every once in a while your life will up and make you busy enough that you realize that you do, in fact, have other things you can and should be doing. Such has been the last several weeks: a huge project at work, time with the family, partial identity theft (yay!), and even the occasional holiday-themed get-together with good friends in the greater Boston area. A girl really can't complain... but now I'm bored and putting off doing the dishes, so back to the blog I stealthily creep.

I don't have much to say in the way of local sports, since I'm trying not to jinx the Pats (and sleeping in my super-old Tom Brady jersey from high school) until Saturday at 8:15 pm, and the Celtics continue to be very good but kind of uninteresting. Also, the Mitchell Report can suck donkey nuts. I refuse to talk about it, even though everyone keeps asking me what I think of it. Yeah, Roger Clemens has been my favorite athlete of all time ever since I was a wee tot learning about The Curse and going on my first trips to Fenway with my uncle, and even though he's devolved into an egotistical attention whore (even worse than me!) in the years since, it fucking slays me that everything he's done might be called into question because of this report. But, I'm not going to talk about it, so there. Also, if you're a baseball fan with no real loyalties looking to settle down, I advise you to consider moving to Detroit before April.

So, not sports for now. It's the end of the year and all that, so I'm saving up for some sort of ingenious list like everyone else comes up with. Right now is not a great time to do that, though, since I'm pretty sure any kind of Top 10 (regardless of the topic) I tried to come up with at this moment would look something like this:

Item 1: Cranberry vodka
Item 2: The Futurama movie
Items 3-8: Cranberry vodka
Item 9: Those cookies from Trader Joe's with the candy cane pieces in them
Item 10: uhhhh what's on TV?

I really don't see enough movies to do Top 10 Movies, and most of the books I've read this year didn't come out in 2007 so a Top 10 Books list would just be a self-congratulatory Look How Sophistimacated I Am piece of garbage rather than a topical and timely literary review. Boo.

So, naturally, I turn to music as the thing that I know most about for purposes of list-making. I hate to do rankings, though, since my taste in music tends to fluctuate wildly. Hands-down, the best album of 2007 is "The Search" by Son Volt (YES. YES. YES.), but beyond that, I find that my "favorite" song, album, or artist tends to very much depend on my current mood, circumstances of the previous several days, and, most notably, the season. What I tend to do is create playlists by season and listen to them endlessly throughout -- so, rather than subjecting the musicians I love to pointless ranking that might hurt their feelings (as per the most recent South Park), here is my Winter 2007 playlist in order of play. It's different from a summer playlist: less folk music and Wilco, more emphasis on lyrics of regret (yeah it was that kind of November), lots of artists named Ben (pure coincidence). This summer was about The Kooks, but the winter is about piano rolls and angst. All of these songs belong on everyone's iPod this January, so soak 'em up.

  1. So Here We Are -- Bloc Party. Tell me those mournful rolls aren't the best way to start out a long drive through the snowy Massachusetts countryside.
  2. The Animals Were Gone -- Damien Rice. Saw him do this live last December at the Orpheum.
  3. Are You Nervous? -- Rock Kills Kid. Actually my favorite song right now. Holy crap this song is good. "This song is about MEEEE!"
  4. Brighter Than Sunshine -- Aqualung.
  5. Sunshine -- Keane. I'm pretty much the president of the Keane fan club, even though nobody else I know likes them... suck it. They're so underrated.
  6. Crown Of Love -- The Arcade Fire. Definitely directed at a certain someone.
  7. Lazy Eye -- Silversun Pickups. Kind of reminds me of what I loved about Nirvana.
  8. Nothing Happening -- Ben Kweller. Come on, this can't be ALL sad songs.
  9. Hideaway -- Rock Kills Kid. The only band duplicated on here, with good reason.
  10. Diamonds On The Inside -- Ben Harper.
  11. Lazarus -- Porcupine Tree.
  12. Half Light -- Athlete. This is such "hero in a movie realizes he has to do whatever it takes to get the girl of his dreams in just the nick of time" music... and god help me, I love it.
  13. Starlight -- Muse. Perhaps the most rock-out-able track on here.
  14. The Crane Wife 3 -- The Decemberists.
  15. Take Me To The Riot -- Stars. This album came out the day before my birthday, and I couldn't wait to have it. It's not as good as it could have been, I don't think, but this song builds up in the best kind of way.
  16. Methamphetamine -- Son Volt. Not 100% fitting with the rest of the indie-pop on here, perhaps, but this is the best song off the best album of the year. It's stark and lonesome, even though it's a partial duet, and does perfect justice to Jay Farrar's reedy drawl and twangy guitar tunings.
  17. Here We Are -- Creeper Lagoon. So emo it's embarrassing, but driving and pensive in just the way a winter song should be.
  18. Lightning Crashes -- Live. There's a great story behind why this is on here, but that's for another time. Suffice to say this: it's all about a boy (a boy in a Randy Moss jersey, as I remember him best), and that shouldn't surprise you.
  19. Landed -- Ben Folds. This song ends on the perfect note to end this playlist, and even though the lyrics are imbued with loss and regret, it's just upbeat enough to leave you feeling warmed rather than drained.

So that's the playlist... trust me, it's good. And now I really should get to those dishes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


What a craptacular day. I want to pull my damn hair out. Fortunately for me, there are like 10,000 videos of beefy guys in short shorts beating the everloving shit out of one another on YouTube. YouTube, we can be friends again... maybe.

Ho hum

My god, this day has been depressing. First, I didn't get any sleep last night because my stupid On Demand was broken and I had to watch regular late-night TV (insert audible Sideshow Bob-like shudder). Since Jimmy Kimmel makes me dry-heave uncontrollably, I flipped to an episode of Intervention on A&E, figuring that the soft sound of people crying would lull me to sleep. Instead, I was kept up until 2 in the morning watching a story about this alcoholic woman, and woke up a few hours later exhausted and VERY depressed. Then I sit down to read my ESPN feed and it's all Sean Taylor this and putting things in perspective that, which is actually sad to the point that there's nothing to say about it. And to top it all off, the Yanks are probably going to sign Johan Santana and I'll have to start hating him even though I actually like him a lot. This is going to be worse than when I had a crush on Tino Martinez in 8th grade and I used to undergo literally spasms of internal anguish every time he came to bat against the Sox.

To mitigate things, I'm sharing a news item from yesterday which is not actually that entertaining or relevant, but has an absolutely phenomenal headline:

Bucanneer Bachelorette Babe

Busted for Bopping Bass Fishing


The story behind that masterpiece of alliterative titleage above is that some girl who won "The Bachelor" who used to be a cheerleader for Tampa Bay got arrested for punching her fiance in the mouth. See? Really not that great. But just marvel at that headline, kids. It's like Dr. Seuss smoked a bunch of salvia and then started writing for the
National Enquirer. I bet the guy who wrote that copy is really, really proud of himself. Well, good for him. He certainly lifted me out of my funk this morning. Thank you, Anonymous Headline Writer Guy!

It's not lost on me, by the way, that "buccaneers" is spelled wrong in that headline -- nor should it be lost on you. Then again, maybe this guy is just TOO brilliant to be bothered with spell check. Would you have spell-checked the Mona Lisa? Or the Bible?!


RIP Sean Taylor


Monday, November 26, 2007

Ok one more thing

Apparently, some English singer I've never heard of did something embarrassing in a language I don't know at a soccer tournament I couldn't care less about when he accidentally mispronounced the lyrics to the Croatian national anthem:

Tony Henry belted out a version of the Croat anthem before the 80,000 crowd, but made a blunder at the end.

He should have sung 'Mila kuda si planina' (which roughly means 'You know my dear how we love your mountains').

But he instead sang 'Mila kura si planina' which can be interpreted as 'My dear, my penis is a mountain'.

"My dear, my penis is a mountain"? Please. If I had a nickel for every time that line got used on me -- particularly by those financial district weenies I inevitably find myself surrounded by when I go out in Boston -- I'd have a bunch of nickels that I could eat to make myself go blind (nope, no clip of the Family Guy episode I'm referencing because YouTube is, as previously discussed, a fascist state). Yeah. That's right. Also, I'm sad that the above picture was the most phallic-looking mountain I could find online. Damn you, Moderate SafeSearch!

So... busy... yet... so... unproductive...

To swamped to share anything but this moment of glory from Saturday's game. Yay!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Are you there, God? It's me, Curt.

In honor of the impending Day of Thanks, I have opted to hand over the reins for today's celebratory post to Boston's very own Curt Schilling, who had asked me if he might use this blog as a forum to give his very own special thanks for those things he is, well, thankful for. Hope you enjoy.

Dear Lord,

I know we talk all the time, and I'm sure you're busy right now dreaming up new ways to punish Michael Vick and stop anyone from taking pro cycling seriously -- because they shouldn't. That shit's not really a sport. Whoops, sorry Lord. Anyway, I wanted to take a minute today to give you special thanks for all of the many blessings you have showered me with this year.

Thank you, of course, for another year of inflated defense budgets and predictable Supreme Court voting. Thank you also, Lord, for smiting Barry Bonds, as you know I hoped you would do. Thank you for sending an army of children to be the starting rotation of the Red Sox so that a veteran like me looks like an attractive option to the front office rather than a fat, washed-up fastballer whose early days of glory are all being negated by slumping performance on the mound and diva-like behavior off it. Thank you for Hungry Man frozen entrees, Lord, especially the ones that come with mashed potatoes, although Thou knowest I can no longer eat those because of the weight clause in my new contract. So, in that case, I guess I should thank you for the Lean Cuisines my wife keeps buying me.

But above all, Lord, I am thankful for your deliverance of the Red Sox through our exodus from the misery of finishing a season behind Toronto in the division standings to being World Series champions. Thou knowest it was not an easy journey. First you assisted us in vanquishing those so-called Angels, lord, who claim to be emissaries of Thy kingdom, but lay down in the face of our breaking balls of righteousness. Plus, Thou knowest they were only there because the AL West is a pushover division. Am I right, Lord? Then, Thou sent us to bring Thy word to the red-faced heathen peoples of northern Ohio, where I faced the man who sold his soul to the very Devil, and we were once again triumphant in bringing news of Thy word, just as were our Pilgrim forebears on this very day so many years ago. Also, I am sorry I gave Ryan Garko the smallpox, and that I got Grady Sizemore to trade me all the land in center field for a handful of beads.

But, Lord, you had other trials in store for me: we were to face your supposed Chosen Team, those on whom you had, uh, made your Face to shine when they defeated the snakes in the desert (despite having failed to even secure the NL wild card in 162 regular season games, Lord, but I shall not question your divine plan). Yea, but they were false prophets, and Thou knowest that a team that couldn't manage to win more than 44 games before the All-Star break does not truly belong in the playoffs. Oh, wait, maybe Thou doesn't know that. Still, the Rockies too were conquered in the face of our righteously outscoring them 29-10, plus their starting pitching has no idea how to work through an AL lineup. Yes, we went to the top of the mountain, where you banished your Chosen (or, "designated") Hitter to first base for 6 long innings, but we came down from that mountain in a blaze of glory and Dropkick Murphys songs.

Yes Lord, Thou has truly blessed me this year, and for that I give you thanks today.

Also, thank You for Everybody Loves Raymond. That show is awesome.



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Big ups to the Gavster for letting me know Curt wanted in on this one. I'm getting up early to do a 5K with my mom tomorrow, so it's time to turn in. Remember to follow in Curt's footsteps and give thanks for all that you have this year, unless you're a Dolphins fan, in which you may want to consider making a pact with some sort of evil deity. It worked for Bill Belichick, and for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Being not a loser now apparently the same thing as being an actual winner

Hurrah for the Denver Broncos. By defeating Vince Young and the Titans on MNF last night, the team improved to 5-5 and is now tied for first place in the cesspit of mediocrity that is the AFC West with the San Diego Chargers, and we all get to enjoy an asinine Tuesday morning lovefest celebrating the Bronco's singular accomplishment of no longer being losers. Still not winners, mind you, but non-losers nonetheless.

After the game, Brandon Marshall was boasting that "It's always been our division. It's time for us to take it back. San Diego, Kansas City, they don't have the talent like us in the locker room. They have star players but can't get it done like us." Uhh... seriously? The Broncos are 5-5. You know who else is 5-5? The Redskins. The Bills. The goddamn Houston Texans. Both AFC wildcards will probably end up with better records than Denver even if Denver does manage to hold onto the division over the Chargers, Chiefs (shudder), and Raiders (double shudder). So, seriously, spare me the congratulatory prose.

In case you're wondering about the gargantuan man whose picture is gracing this post, he's there because a Google image search for "Jay Cutler" turns up not images of the freshfaced former Vanderbilt QB who's currently leading his team to uninspired not-victory-but-not-defeat-either, but rather this other Jay Cutler, who is apparently some sort of famed bodybuilder from Massachusetts (clearly a Masshole. Look at the size of his cranial cavity compared with the rest of his body. Oh I love us). Google Image will, however, politely ask, "Did you mean 'Jay Cutler broncos'?"

On another NFL note, are the Eagles seriously going to have to play the Pats without Donovan McNabb this weekend? The Eagles defense is allowing an average of 20.0 points per game this season, which puts them right in the middle of the NFL pack, but an average defense combined with a rookie quarterback (who has no actual season experience) against the Mack Daddy of all football teams, ever? Dear god. The spread on this game is going to have to be like 32.

Ok, the above rant about the Broncos hoopla is kind of mean, so here's this. What I really wanted to post was that South Park clip where they're in church and they all chant "Let's go Broncos," but since YouTube is now some sort of fascist state (In Soviet Russia, YouTube watches YOU!!!), I couldn't find it anywhere. So I'm posting the obvious clip from last week's South Park instead.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Michael Vick is in jail

Former Atlanta Falcons QB and dogfighting enthusiast Michael "Ookie" "Ron Mexico" Vick surrendered to authorities this afternoon to begin serving jail time as he awaits his December 10th sentencing. Some are speculating that this move is calculated to curry favor with the judge and thus perhaps earn a more lenient sentence. Remember, though, that Vick has already been under house arrest between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am since September after testing positive for marijuana. So, I'm pretty sure he's only turning himself in because watching Nick at Nite without being high got old real fast.


In keeping with today's theme of Baseball Players Who Aren't Complete Jackasses, I am THRILLED to announce that, as of 1 pm today, Mike Lowell has accepted a 3-year contract for between $36 and $38 million to remain a member of the Boston Red Sox.

In other big trade news, the White Sox traded ace/fantasy team underachiever Jon Garland to the Angels for Orlando Cabrera, and Tom Glavine returned to Atlanta in an $8 million deal. My lovely roommate Laura will be thrilled.

The AL MVP will be announced at 2 pm, but I'll only be posting about that if the player who wins isn't, well, a complete jackass. So you probably won't see anything on here.

Update: I've been advised by a co-worker not to get excited, as Lowell hasn't actually inked the deal yet. Must... not... get... excited...

RIP Joe Nuxhall

Cincinnati Reds legend Joe Nuxhall (the name is Latin for "Hall of Nuts"*) died following a long battle with cancer on Thursday night. Needless to say, I didn't read anything about this until today because the entire baseball news world was busy screeching about Barry Bonds and A-Rod, both of whom managed to monopolize baseball news for pretty much the entire season and apparently are not letting that status go without a fight. Joe Nuxhall had a career ERA of 3.90 over 15 seasons and still holds the record for being the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game -- he took the mound on June 10, 1944 at the tender age of 15. His debut was actually pretty terrible, given that he gave up 5 runs on 5 walks, 2 hits, and a wild pitch in just 2/3 of an inning (yep, that's a 67.50 ERA, which is probably still better than Chan Ho Park's career ERA at this point). He returned to the Reds in 1952 after spending a few years honing his skills and undergoing puberty, and went on to have a career that made him a 2-time NL All-Star and included a phenomenal 5-shutout season in 1955.

If I ever had spent any time in Ohio, which I haven't and hopefully never will, I would know Nuxhall best as the broadcasting voice of the Reds since 1967. He was known for his signature sign-off phrase, "This is the Ol' Lefthander, rounding third and heading for home."

In an era of giant-headed mutants who hijack the most esteemed of records and big-lipped pretty boys with massive senses of entitlement, it's nice to take a moment to honor someone who possessed not only an obviously tremendous natural ability, but a deep reverence for the game of baseball. Rest in peace, Joe Nuxhall. May the afterlife find you in a world where the Reds are still good, Pete Rose never happened, and baseball is about the love of the game.

* Note: not actually true.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A-Rod remains a Yankee, a douchebag

So Alex Rodriguez is staying with the Yankees. Whatever. I'm sure that was his plan all along, and this whole should-I-stay-or-should-I-go nonsense was just him being an attention whore. I'm over it.

In news I actually give a shit about, the Heat are heading to Boston tonight to assist the Celtics in going 8-0. Yes, Dwayne Wade (love... love... love him) is back from surgery, but the Heat still lost the other night with him playing, and I just don't see Shaquille O'Neal as a threat. He weighs like 400 pounds now. He's too busy fighting the earth's gravitational pull to score points. I'm pretty sure he has a small moon that orbits him at this point. In honor of the impending victory, I will be donning my glitter-fied Paul Pierce jersey and heading over to the North End for a celebratory beer or twelve.

Also, Barry Bonds got indicted. Wait, Barry Bonds did steroids?

Yeah, that's all I got. Also, some guy in London is having his leg amputated so he can qualify for the Paralympics, which seems a little extreme to me, but I guess that's why he's an elite athlete and I'm not.

Going out on Thursday night always seems like a better idea on Thursday night than Friday morning.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Congratulations Jake Peavy

This time of year, Major League Baseball reminds me of Tara Reid. In much the same way that Ms. Reid will resort to any number of drunken, titties-askew shenanigans rather than simply accept that her career peaked with Van Wilder and fade gracefully out of the limelight, the MLB drags out the GM meetings, free agent negotiations, and award announcements well into November (Is there only one November, too?) in a desperate bid to keep your attention as you inevitably leave them for the younger, hotter basketball season.

Apparently, their ploy is working on me, as I actually went to at exactly 2:01 today to see who won the NL Cy Young award. (I'd make a "Baseball, I can't quit you" joke here, but it just seems inappropriate given the whole Phil Jackson snafu.) Predictably, Jake Peavy won the award in a unanimous vote.

Here's my favorite Peavy-related episode of The Dugout to celebrate.

Eric Wedge received the AL's Best Manager award for overcoming the twin challenges of having a young, inexperienced team and having to play Jhonny Peralta at shortstop (which is arguably worse than not having anybody there at all). Also, I hear he threatened to curse the BBWAA with a plague of flies if he didn't win. The Diamondbacks' Bob Melvin won NL Manager of the Year, presumably for his ability to duck the flying garbage Arizona fans like to chuck when they get pissed off.

I have nothing to say about the A-Rod thing whatsoever. Seriously, I don't care.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Theme of the day: Nudity and Soccer

Lowell, just take the deal already

It shocks me, and yet intrigues me, to share with you this month's second piece of nudity/soccer-related news. A man in Duisburg, Germany, was standing trial for indecently exposing himself at a girls' soccer game. So, naturally, what does this bashful chap do in court? Strip.

'The court withdrew for deliberations and during the adjournment the man removed his clothes again,' said a spokesman for the court, in the western city of Duisburg.

'It appears he sees it as art, and views himself as a living work of art.'

The best part of that link is the little feature off to the side where you can read all sorts of different stories about "Weird Nudes." Best yet, this paper (a British tabloid, obviously, and yes I read those at work so don't judge) appears to have a series of stock nude photos that they enjoy trotting out. Good for them.

I am not particularly surprised that the above courtroom de-robing took place in Germany. I studied abroad in Munich, and let me tell you: those people have no qualms whatsoever about letting it all hang out. I used to try and study in the Englischer Garten and men would just wander over from the outdoor beer tents (yes, Germany is a great country) and play Frisbee in their thongs in front of me while I tried to read my Duerrenmatt and not stare at their ass cheeks. Hooray for nudity!

It really seems possible that "Nudity and Soccer" could become a regular feature.



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fatty Sabathia wins Cy Young; Boston fans demand recount

Dustin Pedroia won the AL Rookie of the Year, so I suppose it was too much to hope for that one of Boston's own also bring home the Cy Young award. Sigh. Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia edged out Boston's Josh Beckett, the ONLY pitcher in the majors to win 20 games this year, to win this year's AL Cy Young award. The logic, once I temporarily turn off the Masshole portion of my brain, is actually fairly straightforward: Sabathia pitched 40 more innings than Beckett and posted only one win fewer, all on significantly less run support. So, fine. I've said all season that there are plenty of pitchers in the AL with more raw talent than Beckett (Sabathia, Haren, Santana, Bedard, and even Wang before the post-season), and I guess the voting here bears me out. Given the fact that Ryan Braun won the NL Rookie of the Year over Troy Tulowitzski, Sabathia's win seems consistent with the theme of utterly disregarding the postseason in voting. Also, lefty aces are hot. So there you have it. Look how objective I am.

/slips back into Masshole mode
/reads last like 8 issues of
Sports Illustrated
/is vindicated

Also, a fun fact: the last time an Indian won the Cy Young, the year was 1972, and his name was Gaylord Perry. Heh. Hehe.

The NL Cy Young winner will not be announced until Thursday, but I'm assuming it will be San Diego's vaguely potato-like Jake Peavy, who had an incredible season that included a 16-strikeout game and an arrest for disorderly conduct at the airport. Brandon Webb is another candidate, although his numbers (18-10, 3.01, 194 K's) simply don't compare to Peavy's (19-6, 2.54, 24o (!) K's). I guess Brad Penny could also be a contender, assuming that dating TV actresses and being less of a waste of space than Jason Schmidt are voting categories. In which case I should also be on the ballot.

In praise of meaty quarterbacks

I'll admit: I was prepared for a dull weekend of football as my beloved Patriots took a well-deserved bye from whomping on the entire rest of the NFL. But, lo and behold, the gridiron rose to the occasion and offered up enough excitement to carry me through, ensconced as I was on my couch underneath my comforter and a pile of used Kleenex. Colds suck. However, I will say that being sick this weekend and having to spend my entire Saturday indoors enabled me to justify watching something like 9 consecutive hours of college football on Saturday. Hooray!

First came the unbelievable Illinois upset of previously un
defeated Ohio State. I love good underdog wins, so I'd be excited, except for the fact that the guy I went on the WORST DATE EVER with this spring went to Illinois and I am now permanently biased against anyone affiliated with said university. Yes, this is the guy who was rude to the waitress in front of me, then snuck away later to give her his number, then asked me to take off my hat "so he could see if I was actually cute or not." Oh, and then told me I had terrible taste in movies because I hadn't seen "The Grudge." Oh, and was responsible for the following exchange, which happened at the very beginning of the date and pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening:

Him: (orders two beers)
Me: (reaches out to take one) Thanks.
Him: Oh, these are both for me.
Me: (laughs, assuming he's kidding)
Him: (looks at me meaningfully, then sips slowly and deliberately from each of the two beers he's holding)
Me: Uh. Right. I'll just go ahead and order my own, then.

Yikes. Painful memories. Sorry, Illinois... you're on my shit list. Permanently.

Afterwards, I watched Florida State blow it in the 4th to lose to Virginia Tech, 40-21, then switched to BC vs. Maryland, which turned into the Eagles giving up another super-disappointing loss and everybody in Boston remembering why we never bother giving a crap about college sports outside of the Beanpot. Sorry, Matt Ryan.

I have to admit, though, that my attention was not focused on the BC game: on another field, miles away, my beloved Tim Tebow was having a career game in what is already a career season for the U of F sophomore.

The Gators rolled over South Carolina 51-31 as Tebow scored
5 rushing touchdowns (nice themed color emphasis there, eh?) and passed for 2 more for a total of 424 offensive yards. Dear lord in heaven. This kid is a beast. I think there may have been a few other players on the field for Florida, but you wouldn't know it; every time the Gators got within the 10-yard line, they pretty much had only one play in mind: let Tim Tebow run it in. I love this kid. I love watching him play. I love watching him drink from those little Gatorade cups with his big, hammy hands on the sideline. I hope he wins the Heisman for this year and every subsequent year, in perpetuity.

Speaking of quarterbacks I love, and transitioning seamlessly to pro football, HOORAY FOR REX GROSSMAN! It pained me so much to see my favorite (despite the incessant mocking I get) QB benched earlier this season, and nothing was sweeter than his spectacular 59-yard pass to Bernard Berrian with 3:11 left in the 4th to lift the Bears over the Raiders; the Bears would go on to win 17-6. I'm so happy. And so is Rex. Look at him smiling up there. Look how cute he is. Doesn't that make you happy?

Ahem. In other NFL news: the Colts LOST AGAIN, which I'm pretty sure was in some way caused by Randy Moss; Matt Hasselbeck looked decent on MNF; Adrian Peterson got hurt but will probably only miss one game; everyone trying to convince you that Cowboys-Giants would somehow be an interesting contest was proven wrong; Brett Favre remained successful in his season quest to prove he can still be a dominant QB as Packers fans remained completely batshit. (Yes, the story is old, but they're still batshit over there.)

Oh, and the Celts are 5-0 as of Saturday. Does winning 82 games sound like an unreasonable goal to anyone? It shouldn't.

Wow... I got through an entire post without mentioning baseball... wait! Crap! Does that count? Does mentioning that I didn't mention something count as a mention? Does mentioning that I mentioned not mentioning something, but without specifically mentioning it, count as mentioning, or mentioning a non-mention?

If you can explain that last sentence to me, you win half of a curried tuna sandwich. Or a packet of Splenda.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Trade rumors: Fun for the whole family!

I've resorted to following the GM meetings and associated trade rumors obsessively this week, only because my love life is so very, very stagnant and devoid of activity. (Unless I sneak over to go make out with my neighbor again, which, let's not lie, I will most likely do, but I won't feel good about it.) But, hey, the exciting world of baseball trades is just as fun!

Lots of rumors flying around now that Theo has concluded his meetings, and, surprisingly, A-Rod has drifted to the back burner. There's still the big question of Lowell, of course, and h
is decision to take or leave what is reportedly a 4-year deal with Boston will affect whether or not Boston decides to go after Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is a powerful hitter (.320, 34, 119) but drew lots of raised eyebrows when he returned from last year's offseason significantly fatter than before. Maybe he could explore the Curt Schilling route and work weight incentives into his contract? Heh. Hehe. Fat kids are funny. The other, more scintillating, rumor is that the Sox may be considering a trade for either Dan Haren or Johan Santana. Quite frankly, both of those rumors turn me on. Santana deserves to be on a team that will actually give him run support. Dan Haren is a badass. The current Sox rotation is exciting, yes, but very young, and while a trade for either Haren or Santana would surely mean giving up either Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz, the thought of following Beckett with a Haren or a Santana in the #2 is enough to get a girl pretty excited. Phew, is it hot in here?

Blah blah Brad Lidge blah blah. Yeah, the way to escape your demons is to move to the losing-est team in the history of baseball. Good luck with that.
And, in other exciting news, rather than attempting to trade for some big names or explore new management possibilities, Tampa Bay has apparently decided to forgo off-season trade maneuvering altogether and simply change their name and brand identity as the surest route to improving their ballclub. They will no longer be called the Devil Rays, but simply the Rays, and will be sporting the spiffy new logo below:

Um, yay, I guess? I mean, clearly SOMETHING needs to change down there. [Note: That's what she said.] Maybe this is the magic bullet the hapless Devil Rays -- oh, excuse me, the RAYS -- need. I was going to suggest something like signing some damn pitching, or at least teaching your players how not to get thrown out of games, but what do I know? At least one Ray is excited about the change:

"It feels like a fresh start," left fielder Carl Crawford said. "It's like that feeling of going to school on the first day. You get to wear the new uniforms. It feels good. You know what they say, 'You play like you feel.' We feel good, we look good, so hopefully, we'll play good."

Crawford has seen his share of losing, but with the team the Rays had at the conclusion of the 2007 season, he has a renewed optimism about the direction of the franchise, and said that he felt the changes reflect that new direction.

"Most definitely, I'm the most optimistic I've been," he said. "I get to play beside B.J. Upton every day, hopefully hitting in front of him, and Delmon [Young], too. If you can't get excited about playing in that outfield every day, then you don't have a pulse. ... I think this is the best potential we've had since the club came into existence."

Bear in mind that this "potential" Crawford is referring to has nothing to do with any actual trades or changes in the front office. This is strictly based on the name and logo change. Maybe this will become like one of those heartwarming family movies, where the Rays will play really well and make it to the playoffs with their new uniforms, but then something terrible will happen to the new uniforms and they'll have to play in Game 7 of the World Series without them, and they'll be terrified that they can't win without the uniforms, but then Wade Boggs or someone will show up and reveal that IT WASN'T THE UNIFORMS, THEY HAD THE POWER INSIDE THEM ALL ALONG and they'll win the Series and everyone will learn a valuable lesson about life and love.

But probably not.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In bed with Scott Boras: Always use protection.

Yes, it's that time of year again: Theo Epstein and Scott Boras are starting negotiations and playing footsie under the table down in Orlando. The big story here, obviously, is the possibility that the Sox might sign A-Rod... they're one of only a handful of teams capable of picking up such a huge contract, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Epstein make the deal. It's no secret that Epstein won't hold on to a championship team simply for the sake of keeping everybody together. The question is what will eventually trump what: Boras' insistence on getting his purple-lipped client a raise, or A-Rod's desire to play for a powerhouse team.

The other issues on the table are (a) Mike Lowell, whose coming or going is most likely dependent on the A-Rod deal (the Sox have reportedly expressed interest in a 3-year deal for Lowell); (b) Jason Varitek, another Boras client who may be looking for a contract extension; and (c) Eric Gagne, also a Boras client, who the Sox would have to be blind, deaf, and suffering from some sort of debilitating mental affliction to re-sign.

Epstein said in the afternoon that he was going to meet with Boras "to talk about [Eric] Gagné and his whole list of free agents. He's not a great fit for our bullpen right now, but I wouldn't rule anything out."

Not a great fit for our bullpen in the same way that chlamydia isn't a great fit for my lifestyle right now. Oh, Gagne, Gagne. I supported the Sox dealing for you over Jermaine Dye. I heralded your arrival in Boston. I even defended you when you immediately started eating it on the mound. You've just put me through too much. I can't do this anymore. Take your greasy hair and your stupid goggles and beat it.

Oh, and Scott Boras? You're still creepy.

Celts now 3-0, Boston fans still enjoy ridiculously inflated senses of self-worth

To be honest, I was kind of hoping the C's game against Denver last night would give me something interesting to comment on, but the Nuggets wound up getting absolutely thrashed and I am left with no choice but to perpetuate the never-ending douchebaggery that being a Boston fan entails these days. In case you missed the game (which you probably did because the only channel even showing it in Boston was Comcast Sports for some reason), here's a quick summary:
  1. Boston scores.
  2. Denver takes it down the court, shoots, misses.
  3. Kevin Garnett rebounds, makes everyone around him look small and helpless.
  4. Boston takes it back down, scores.
  5. Carmelo Anthony fouls someone.
  6. Celtics fans drink more, cheer for Kevin Youkilis.
  7. Boston scores again.
  8. Bob Cousy makes reference to Togo Palazzi. (Fun fact: Back in the day, when I was railroaded into playing basketball since I was one of those awkward chicks who hit 5'7" by 6th grade, I went to one of Togo's basketball clinics. I'm awesome!)
  9. Boston scores again.
  10. Eduardo Najera checks reflection in shiny surface of parquet floor to ensure that hair is still properly coiffed.
  11. Boston scores.
  12. Lather.
  13. Rinse.
  14. Repeat.

The final score was 119-93, and even that isn't really indicative of how much of an ass-whomping this game was. The Celts led 77-38 at the half and enjoyed a lead of 41 at one point. Whoo baby... BOSTON!

Incidentally, the Bruins lost to Buffalo in overtime last night, so there you go. We too suffer setbacks and face hardships.

Question of the day #1 -- Which is actually more asinine: to be a douchebaggy Boston fan, or to complain about how you really WANT not to be a douchebaggy Boston fan, but can't HELP it because your teams are all just so GOOD? (Obviously, I'm a fan of the latter.)

Question of the day #2 -- Should I buy this? (Correct answer: Yes.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The passing of an icon

A moment of silence, if you will, for the passing of the great Lillian "The Fabulous Moolah" Ellison, a female wrestler who was the first woman ever to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Ellison, who passed away yesterday, was 84. She started wrestling at age 25 (this is during the 40's, now, so she was bucking more than a few gender stereotypes along the way) and won her most recent title at the age of 76. Originally billed in the ring as "Slave Girl Moolah," Ellison eventually rose above those humble beginnings and changed her name to "The Fabulous Moolah." Yes, she was a true pioneer who paved the way for today's superstar female wrestlers like Chyna and, um, Chyna.

Seriously though? This broad sounds like the coolest woman ever. I can only aspire to one day be cool enough to pull off the nickname "The Fabulous Moolah." Not even just "Fabulous Moolah." THE Fabulous Moolah, bitches. Now that's a woman I can look up to. Sorry, Hillary and Sandra Day... I've found my new role model.

God, I feel so inspired.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Time for something funny

I'm really struggling to come up with anything funny to say. Blame it on the rain.

This is... kind of ridiculous, if not ACTUALLY funny. Apparently the coach of some high school girls' soccer team go so pissed off at his opponents that he could think of no other way to express his rage than to moon them.

A youth soccer coach has been suspended for allegedly going to the middle of a sports field in Windsor after a contentious match, pulling down his pants and exposing his buttocks to his opponents - a team of 14- and 15-year-old girls, authorities said Sunday.

I appreciate the story simply because -- and I think I'm not alone in saying this -- I have always looked forward to the day when sports coaches seek to resolve their disputes not by throwing out the challenge flag or thoughtlessly chucking pieces of the field at officials, but rather by baring parts of their bodies for all to look upon. I'm sure the refs would have stopped making all those damn pass interference calls on Sunday if they had been subjected for even one moment to the sight of Belichick's sweating, linty backside.

And a CURT SCHILLING UPDATE: Schilling has been offered a 1-year, $8 million deal that includes $2 million in "weight incentives." In other words, he gets extra money for not being a fattie. Will the promise of all that extra money be enough to pry the Triple Dip Strips out of Schilling's hand and get him onto a treadmill? Only time will tell...

Schilling back in 2008?

So the story to follow today is whether or not Curt Schilling will be back for another season with the Red Sox in 2008. Personally, I'm surprised that the Red Sox front office is even considering a deal with Schilling. Not that I don't support it, because I do, but because Epstein & Co. have established themselves as firmly opposed to keeping players on just because of their popularity when they become less of an athletic asset to the team. Pedro Martinez is the primary example of this, followed by Johnny Damon and Derek Lowe. (And soon, probably, Coco Crisp.)

I mean, Schilling does still have a 3.46 career ERA, and his career post-season ERA over 5 appearances is 2.23. I guess if you're a GM with his eye on Yankees-like Series domination over the next few years, that stat is going to grab your eye. The other thing is, of course, that to re-sign Curt Schilling right now is
not to re-sign an aging fastballer whose dwindling velocity makes him a liability on the mound (see Clemens, Roger). After losing a month and half to a shoulder injury in the middle of this season, Schilling has very much reinvented the way he pitches, relying on creativity and reading the batter much more heavily than he has done in the past. He can still shred the strike zone with fastballs for a couple of innings a game, but it's his ability to move the ball and draw swinging strikes, particularly with his changeup, that has become his signature in later months. Consider the rest of the Boston rotation for next year: Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, and Matsuzaka, all speedy young throwers who, with the exception of Beckett, have a great deal of maturing to do if they want to become 20-game winners. Suddenly, it makes a lot of sense to bring a shrewd, grizzled veteran who is less reliant on his fastball like Schilling in for the #3 or even the #2 spot.

Like I said, I'm for it. I guess the trade will be announced at some point today.

/tries to come up with witty commentary


Monday, November 5, 2007

Danny Ainge, second baseman

Fun fact of the day: Did you know that, prior to joining the Boston Celtics organization in 1981, Danny Ainge had been a promising second baseman in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system for four seasons? Red Auerbach bought out the remainder of Ainge's contract in order to bring him to Boston.

Wow, that's a lucky break. Rescued from obscurity in the farm system of a crappy Canadian baseball team (I hear Canada actually had TWO baseball teams back then) to become part of what is still the most revered sports dynasty in the history of, well, sports. Well done, Danny Ainge.

Now you know!

Back to preventing foreclosure. By which I mean looking at videos of hurling on YouTube, because Irish people hitting one another just isn't something you see every day.

I had to come down at some point...

No, I actually haven't been able to blog for the past week or so. Not because I've been busy, but because every intelligent post I tried to write still wound up deteriorating within the first 2 minutes or so into something like this:


and so on in that fashion. And no one wants to read that. Nor do I particularly want to subject my loyal readers (Hi, Mom! Hi, Mike!) to repeated bludgeoning with the obvious fact of my superiority as a human being by virtue of being associated with a winning athletic organization. So, having given the World Series victory (!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!) a week or so to mature and pass from immediate consciousness to the pantheon of things I can tell my grandchildren about (and for my brain cells to emerge from the beer-soaked haze that was Games 2, 3, and 4), it is time to turn our attention elsewhere in the world of sports.

I finally caught my first Bruins game of the season on Thursday: an exciting 4-3 overtime win over Buffalo. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see Manny Fernandez goaltend... apparently he stepped on a puck at the end of a practice last week and twisted his ankle. Um, really? Tim Thomas made 27 saves and looked great, though, so good for him. Unfortunately, the other two Bruins games this weekend did not go as well, as we lost to Ottawa (wow, I just learned how to spell that) twice, including a loss in a shootout (which we still get points for because the NHL is weird) last night. The B's are now 7-5-1, which should surprise you only inasmuch as I bet you had no idea we were already that deep into the hockey season.

The Celtics, by contrast, are only 2 games into their season, but they've won both of them. Last night's OT victory against Toronto was actually a pretty exciting watch; however, no one in New England cared, since it was going on during "Superbowl XLI 1/2" or whatever ridiculous name you feel like dubbing last night's football showdown. Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in overtime to give Boston the win, 98-95. On a somewhat less jubilant note, Doc Rivers was not on hand to coach the game, as his father passed away yesterday. No sarc here whatsoever: I hope the Doc is doing well.

I'm dying to talk about the Pats/Colts game, but dammit I'm supposed to be AVOIDING Masshole-ness. Guhh. In the name of humility, I should mention that BC golden boy Matt Ryan suffered his first loss of the season at the hands of Florida State this weekend. Sigh. Too bad Boston is such a pro sports town that this will barely register as a blip on the radar of the average local fan, sated with victory after sweet, sweet victory as said fan already is. I am never moving.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

2007 World Series, Game 1: Live Blog. Sort of.

Ok, so “live blog” is a bit of a misnomer here, since this is not being posted in any timely sort of way. The reasons for that will become apparent if you read on. I get points for trying… right?

Pregame shenanigans: You can see my apartment building in the opening aerial shots! Go me! John Williams, “the epitome of Boston culture” in the words of Joe Buck (I knew I could count on him to entertain me!), is conducting the national anthem. Annnnd the sickest thing EVER just happened, as the fighter jets just did their flyover and it actually made the dishes in my sink rattle. I am delirious with Red Sox fever. START THE GAME ALREADY. This is “baseball you can’t ignore,” according to some stupid car commercial. My goodness, that’s awfully aggressive. I love that the announcers deliberately refer to Boston as “pennant-winning,” but to Colorado only as “representing the National League,” as though maybe the NL managers got together and drew straws for it or something. Haha.

Ok, it’s 8:32 and there’s still no discernable baseball activity on my TV. AUGH. They’re playing that Soulja Boy song to introduce Josh Beckett… stellar. Superman them hoes, indeed. I think Beckett should take it upon himself to impregnate every female in Boston so we can all give birth to a race of powerful superbabies that will ensure the Red Sox championship wins in every season from 2032 to 2047. Eugenics is a beautiful thing.

First inning: FINALLY. Beckett opens with 3 scorching fastballs to Taveras. 4 pitches and he’s out for the first strikeout of the game. The announcers are making a big deal out of the fact that Denver is coming off an 8-day layoff. It’s not like they were sitting at home playing video games, for pete’s sake. They’ve been training aggressively and working out as a team. Enough with this. Second strikeout to Kaz Matsui, again on a fastball. And, holy crap, Holliday also goes down swinging in 3 pitches. I think I might already be pregnant. I need to go lie down.

Yaz introduces the batting order for the Red Sox, which is too cool to merit snarky commentary. Jeff Francis, the ruddy-cheeked lefty, also opens with a strike and OH SWEET MERCIFUL HEAVENS PEDROIA HAS JUST CLOBBERED A HOME RUN OVER THE GREEN MONSTER. I CAN’T EVEN BREATHE. I just lay on the floor hyperventilating for like 10 minutes. That was amazing. Ok, Kevin Youkilis is now on base, and Ortiz is… bunting?! Haha. I’d love to see Ortiz try and run down a bunt. Why on earth is Ortiz, who is notoriously dismissive of the value of the OBP statistic, bunting? Oh, Terry Francona, you crazy bitch. Ortiz is out at first, but Youkilis moves up. Dick’s Sporting Goods is sponsoring part of this game, and I’m definitely going to snicker every time the announcers say “Dick’s” for the rest of the night. Heh. Hehe.

Apparently, I’m supposed to care that Jeff Francis grew up playing street hockey in Canada (because that is what all good Canadians spend their childhood doing). He looks 15 years old tonight. I’m surprised at how far in Clint Hurdle has his infielders playing for this part of the lineup… and apparently that was a bad call, as Manny singles to bring Ortiz home. Jeff Francis just sent a text off his phone that reads “fuck manny singled brb.”

Ok, so I’m trying really hard not to get ornery tonight, but for the love I am SO SICK of hearing about how Colorado has won 21 of their last 22 games. Yes, that’s lovely, but THEY WERE ALL AGAINST NL TEAMS. Boston just took a series from the ballclub that tied them for best record in baseball, while the Rockies faced the perennial pushover Phillies (mmm… alliteration…) and the garbage-hurling Diamondbacks. Ooh, Brandon Webb. How scary. PLEASE. Let’s put this behind us already. Varitek is on base with a nice little hit, and J.D. “Grand Slam Bitches” Drew knocks Ramirez home. Fantastic. We’re already down to the 8th spot in the order as Julio Lugo steps to the plate. Forget good baseball. I want a blowout. The Rockies finally manage to get their third out of the inning, and will probably all go huddle in a prayer circle in the Dugout to plead for deliverance. Schadenfreude is coursing through my veins. Score: Boston 3, Colorado 0.

2nd inning: Beckett tosses another K to Helton, but Atkins gets on base with a double that juuuuuuuust misses clearing the Green Monster. Thank god for that big green wall. Beckett appears to be relying pretty exclusively on his fastball tonight, give or take a few sliders, which is interesting given that it was his terrifying curveball that proved so effective in the series with Cleveland. The fastball seems to be doing a pretty effective job of baffling the Rockies, though.

Guess I spoke too soon, as Troy Tulowitzki clobbers another ball off the Monster and Atkins crosses the plate. Pshh. I’m not worried. The Sox give Beckett ridiculous run support. Also, I love that the Rockies’ designated hitter is batting 9th. These silly Colorado bitches have no idea how to pad a lineup. The Red Sox are back up to bat as Francis takes the mound again. Francis’ hat appears to be developing a C.C. Sabathia-like crook to it. Must be a lefty thing. Fox is trying reeeeeeeeally hard to make the viewers care about Francis, as they are subjecting us to some stupid montage of his favorite things. Ho hum. Youkilis is walked, then HOME with some great base-running on a Big Papi double. Why on earth would you walk Manny Ramirez only to pitch to Mike Lowell, the team’s leading RBI scorer? The last time a pitcher did this, J.D. Drew hit a grand slam. Lowell’s out and the inning is over. Score: Boston 4, Colorado 1.

3rd inning: Beckett throws 3 balls to open the inning, but still gets the out. My roommate is asleep on the couch next to me… aww. It’s raining pretty hard at Fenway, but the grounds crew appears determined to keep the game going. Whatever… it’ll probably snow when we play in Denver. Another 1-2-3 inning for Beckett, and I’ve got to say that letting the Rockies bat at this point feels like a formality. My friends are texting me to get me to come to some bar. Hmm… HAHA Atkins just completely missed fielding a bunt right as the announcers were in the middle of another of those prepackaged spiels about how good Colorado’s defense is. Oh, the irony. Francis has gotten himself out of trouble, and I’m going to a bar. Toodles.

Innings 4-9 recap: Josh Beckett threw 7 strikeouts in the first 4 innings. I went to Lir, where my roommate and I briefly considered taking a shot every time the Red Sox scored. It’s a good thing we didn’t, because then the 5th inning happened. We decided to stop in at every bar on our block just to see if anything looked fun… went to Dillon’s and it was still the 5th inning, went to Cactus Club and it was still the 5th inning, went to Whiskey’s and it was STILL the 5th inning. 13-1, Boston when all was said and done. What a beautiful thing. We came home because the Back Bay is mind-numbingly boring on a Wednesday night, so I watched the rest of the game while eating chicken on my couch. A perfect night, if you ask me. Francona let Alex Cora play a little bit, and even Eric Gagne was finally released to pitch the 9th in a magnificent gesture of even-you-can’t-possibly-screw-this-up. The Red Sox emerged triumphant, and I jumped up and down in front of the TV screaming for about 20 minutes. Then I went to bed.

Hooray for live blogging! I should know better than to try this during a Red Sox game. Game 2 is tonight, and I will definitely NOT be live blogging it, since another bar down the street (yes, that is all we have in my neighborhood. Bars.) has dollar draft night on Thursdays. Wooo spring break and all that. Congrats on a stellar game 1, boys, but let’s not get cocky: The Mile High Stadium awaits us on Saturday. Let’s win again tonight – Curt Schilling (9-8, 3.87, 2.25 lifetime postseason ERA) takes the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4, 4.28, rookie, weird first name).

I will not count my chickens before they hatch.
I will not count my chickens before they hatch.
I will not count my chickens before they hatch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Coming tonight... more "live blog" goodness!

Well. Despite my resolution to blog more regularly, somehow the time since Game 1 of the NLCS has escaped me. Getting mugged and having all your shit stolen will do that to you, I guess. Nevertheless, now that my beloved Sox are starting the final push towards the Series tonight, I'll be back in full form.

For the record, the reason I've been holding off on the football posts is that it's just too easy to be a Patriots fan right now. I feel guilty. Really, I do. I don't want to rub it in everybody's face how far, far superior our team is to theirs.

Anyway, tonight will be juicy. Wakefield out of the rotation. Beckett looking to avenge the loss the Rockies handed him earlier this year -- incidentally, the Rockies won the only series they played against the Sox this year 2-1. It was a home series, too. We have the never-ending debate over whether it's SOXTOBER, as local bars would have me believe, or ROCKTOBER, as the Rockies PR machine is insisting. Chuck Meriweather, who called home plate in the final game of the 2004 World Series (who won that year? I kind of forget...) is calling again tonight, but he is notoriously inconsistent with his strike zones. Joe Buck, who can always be counted on to use bizarre figurative language when describing home runs, is announcing. Ellsbury is starting in center field despite the fact that it was Coco Crisp who got the spectacular game-ending out in Game 7 of the ALCS. Maybe it's because Coco can't FREAKING hit with RISP. And, best of all, we have some idiot commentary from Troy Tulowitzki just to get you (by which I mean me) good and mad going into tonight:

One of the reporters asked "Tulo" if the Rockies might become "America's Team."
"I hope so," he said. "I welcome all of America to root for us and get
behind us."

Guhh. I'm so sick of the Rockies and their purple batting gloves. I hope we sweep them in four so I can go riot down the street on Sunday night.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Tom Brady Stetson commercial

Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. Like baseball, which I am overdosing on right now. To offset the NL-lovefest I posted earlier, please enjoy the following, from the oh-so-fantastic LolJocks:

On a completely unrelated note the new ads for Halo 3 feature a clip from the middle section of Chopin's "Raindrops Prelude," which was one of my signature performance pieces at the conservatory during high school. It's always nice when little fragments of your dorkdom come back to haunt you in mysterious, gun-toting ways. Having lived through one semester of being a Halo widow in college, I am skeptical of the new game... but this commerical kind of gives me chills, in a good way. If I wasn't going to be so busy playing Robo during the Sox game tonight, perhaps I'd give it a try...

LIVE BLOG: NLCS Game 1, Colorado at Arizona

Ok, so this isn't REALLY a live blog, since I'm posting it after the game all at once rather than during the game. It's not like anyone checks this thing anyway, so I figure I'm good. But, for those of you who either a) missed the game or b) want to relive the glory that is 9 innings of mediocre NL baseball, please read on. Disclosure: I did go into this game rooting for Arizona, only because one of my closest friends (hi, Vik!) is a fan, and I want to be able to lord a World Series defeat over him.

And so, without further ado, I present: Rockies vs. Diamondbacks, God's Chosen Team vs. The Snakes, From the Mountains to the Desert: Game 1 of the 2007 NLCS.

1st Inning: Well, well, look who it is behind home plate: Tim McClellan, who, of course, is essentially responsible for the Rockies’ presence in this series, since it was his blatantly botched calling of Matt Holliday safe at home that allowed Colorado to score the game-winning run in their bizarre 1-game playoff-for-the-playoffs against San Diego. I bet Holliday high-fives him when he comes up to bat.

In case I was wondering, this broadcast is also available in Spanish simply by pressing the SAP button on my remote control. Good to know… whoa, that was quick. Brandon Webb just retired the side. Yeah, he’s decent, I guess. I forgot about NL pitching in all the brouhaha about Beckett/Sabathia/Schilling/Carmona. Honestly if I read one more headline or sports brief referring to Sabathia and Carmona as a “1-2 Punch,” I’m going to strangle myself. It’s like there’s only one sports copy writer in the entire continental U.S.

Bottom of the inning. Jeff Francis, a 26-year-old lefty with a solid 17-win season behind him, is pitching for Colorado. I really can’t take these Colorado uniforms seriously. The purple accents… the weird little vests… they look like dealers at the Trump Taj Mahal, not potential World Series champions. And, boom, Eric Byrnes has ripped a double down the third base line to bring in the first run of the game. The runner happens to be the oh-so-cute Stephen Drew, younger brother of J.D. Good for him. The inning ends, and it’s 1-0, D-Backs.

2nd Inning: I love it when Chip Caray calls the other announcers “fellas.” Webb is throwing a beauty of a breaking ball, but Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins both single. God, Arizona’s new logo is hideous. They are also sporting the same weird, aerodynamically vented batting helmets as Colorado. Basically, both teams’ uniforms SCREAM “expansion team.” Why do we even let the West play baseball? Uh oh, Webb has now loaded the bases, and it appears that the Rockies are taking a moment to meet in the conference room and discuss the launch of their new website… Whoops, nope, I’m actually watching tonight’s hour-long episode of “The Office.” Hopefully I won’t miss anything good.

Bottom of the inning and it’s now tied, 1-1. Thank god Ed Helms is finally getting some lines this season.

3rd Inning: It’s 4-1, Rockies. Guess I did miss something good. Also, Michael appears to have taken the pizza delivery boy hostage. Oh, the suspense…

5th Inning: That was a fantastic episode. Back to the game, and it’s still 4-1. Jeff Francis appears to have found his rhythm, and is displaying a Papelbon-like tendency to grab his nuts after every pitch. Did Justin Upton’s father just call his son fat in front of Craig Sager? Craig appears not to know whether to laugh or not.

There’s got to be a terrific anagram for Clint Hurdle. Thinking… thinking… wait, what is that ungodly noise? Is the stadium… rattling?! Oh, right, I guess this team is called The Diamondbacks and all that. Whatever. It’s still stupid. Stephen Drew works through a long, grueling at-bat, only to end the inning when he strikes out swinging. Ho-hum.

Got it! The anagram is “Linted Churl.” Now that I think of it, he does look kind of lint-y.

6th Inning: I’m pretty sure Chip just referred to Alyssa Milano as “our collegue.” Gahh. The D-Backs take the field again, and, now that I think about it, Justin Upton IS kinda chunky. Heh. Hehe. The rattling persists as Brad Hawpe reaches first, but is easily picked off to end the inning on what looks to be a trip over his own cleat. Brilliant. Glad that’s over, though, because I absolutely LOATHE the stupid 9-foot-lead graphic TBS insists on imposing under the base runners. What on earth is the point of this? Troy Tulowitzki and Kaz Matsui turn a spectacular double play, and the inning is over. There is no punishment worse than having to listen to Dane Cook talk about baseball.

7th Inning: Juan Cruz is in to pitch for Arizona, and while I remain firmly opposed to the first-base-lead graphic, I will admit that I LOVE the little flames that pop up on the pitch radar box whenever a pitcher throws 96 MPH or above. Yay! Cruz struggles a bit as Yorvit Torrealba walks, then reaches second on a wild pitch; he appears to be settling, though, as he strikes Willy Taveras out with a spectacular slider. Boom, there’s another great slider… “That was filthy,” chortles Bob Brenly. Gross.

Fun fact: Apparently, before he signed with the Mets, Kaz Matsui used to play for the Seibu Lions, which I’m pretty sure is the team that made Dice-K a star. [Fact check update: yes it is!] Matsui gets a single and then steals a base as Torrealba scores on a fielding error. Colorado appears determined to win this game without getting a single extra base hit. And now, Matt Holliday is up to bat, and we are subjected to some long-winded spiel about how he is the Ubermensch and all that blah-dee-blah. “The pride of Stillwater, Oklahoma.” God. Holliday walks, and it seems that will be it for poor Juan Cruz and his “filthy” sliders. Lefty Doug Slaten is in—he only needs to get one out to end the inning, and he delivers.

Arizona gets its first two men on base, and OH MY GOD. I HAVE IT. I found the ultimate anagram for Clint Hurdle, and kids, it’s DIRTY. In fact, I’m not even going to print it. Let’s just say that the first two words are “HE DRILL,” and those of you with a couple seconds to spare can figure out the rest on your own. Hahahahaha. I am amazing.

Wow. Fatty Upton has just plowed into Kaz Matsui while sliding into second base, and it appears the umps are going to call interference on him. Catcher Chris Snyder is still on base, but Arizona fans are PISSED OFF and booing the call hard. I love the awkward silence in the announcer booth whenever fans are being dicks. Now it appears that the Arizona fans are throwing garbage onto the field, since that always helps. More awkward silence. Clint Hurdle, he of the oh-so-anagrammable name, is making the decision to pull his team, and Bob Brenly breaks the awkward silence long enough to call the Arizona fans “knuckleheads.” That’ll show ‘em. Aaannnd cut to commercial.

Ok, we’re back now, but the Arizona fans still won’t shut up. Pinch runner Jeff Cirillo lays a perfect bunt down the third base line, and there are now runners at first and third, which will bring Jeff Francis out after 6 2/3 quality innings. The fans continue to boo rather than cheer for their own player who just reached base. Do I have any wine in the fridge?

Matt Herges is in for Colorado to face Chris Young, who is clearly swinging for a tater (anything less, and he’ll get booed) but ends up walking to load the bases. Francis looks concerned in the dugout, perhaps because he has just realized that he has no chin. Having failed to get the one out he was brought in for, Herges is pulled in favor of Jeremy Affeldt (best Dugout screen name EVER, incidentally). Stephen Drew comes to the plate, only to anticlimactically knock the first pitch he sees into the outfield for an easy out. Guess it runs in the family.

8th Inning: Thank god that inning is over. The new pitcher in for Arizona is a whopping 6’ 8”, plus he’s a fastballer so I get to see lots of flames on the upper right corner of my screen. I think I like this guy… wait, his name is Nippert?! Haha. It’s too easy. Nippert (heh) throws two 97-MPH-ers in a row and makes it look easy, then strikes Atkins out with a 98-MPH bullet. Boom, bitch. Tulowitzki reaches first, but no one else can hit the heat this guy is tossing, and the inning ends quickly.

Brian Fuentes is now in for Colorado. Eric Byrnes is called out on strikes, and the damn Arizona fans are booing again. Incidentally, I really hope that the Colorado bullpen gets shelled at some point during this series so that someone can run the headline, “ROCKIES HORROR PITCHER SHOW.” It’s funny, right? Oh, come on. It’s FUNNY. It’s… you know what? Fuck you. It’s still better than “1-2 Punch” for the 80 billionth time.

Aaannd another lackluster Arizona at-bat ends with a strikeout. My bed is looking good from here.

9th Inning: Tony Pena is in for Arizona. (No, I don’t know how to make my keyboard make the little squiggly thing over the N. Leave me alone, asshat.) Pena has a great breaking ball, but appears to be sticking to his fastball for now, which means more flames for me (yay!) and two called third strikes in a row for him. Whoops, there goes a third strikeout, and it’s Arizona’s last chance to overcome their 4-run deficit. Ok, D-Backs. I stuck around for you despite your obnoxious fans and that incessant rattling. Show me something.

Manny Corpas is in for Colorado. One out… two outs… and Miguel Montero actually manages to crank out a double but then MISSES THE BAG on the slide. An ignominious end to a dull and flying-garbage-filled game. I hate the NL West.

I can't wait for tonight. Highly doubtful that I'll be in live-blogging mode, but the action is all going down at 7 pm (right down the street from my apartment!) and I'm SO EXCITED I could pop. It's Josh Beckett and C. C. Sabathia, arguably the two best pitchers in the AL, as the ALCS gets underway at Fenway Park.