Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Patriots win the Superbowl

Um. Not to count my chickens or anything. But dear lord did the Pats look good last night. Coming off 2 ugly preseason losses, it was absolutely delightful to see them playing good football and embarrassing the hell out of the Panthers along the way. The offense was a tad wimpy at first, but had a turnaround about halfway through the 1st quarter when Belichick had them run it on a 4th down rather than going for the field goal, as if to say "ENOUGH MESSING AROUND YOU PANSIES." Immediately thereafter, the Pats pulled it together for a string of nice-looking 1st downs and ended up outscoring Carolina 24-7. Despite coming off what was undoubtedly a nerve-wracking couple of days, baby daddy Tom Brady threw some great passes and also let Maroney do that thing he does so well. Oh man, did I enjoy this game. And, despite Samuel continuing to hold out on contract nonsense and Moss' absence, last night really hammered home how many, many reasons there are to be excited about the Patriots this season.
  1. Our linebacker crew. Holy crap. Teddy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Rosevelt Colvin, and Adalius Thomas. Just writing those names all together gets me excited. These men are an unbreakable wall of defense. Just try and run one of your pretty little plays against us, Peyton.
  2. Laurence Maroney's running game. Watching Maroney last night, it was clear that he is still getting used to his increased role due to the departure of Corey Dillon, the seasoned Pats veteran who taught Maroney much of what he knows. Over and over in the first quarter, we saw Maroney getting taken down at the line of scrimmage as he struggled to plow through Carolina's defense. But he did have some great runs earning a total of 58 yards, and it was thrilling to see how obviously he relishes being Tom Brady's go-to man on running plays. After several weeks of no-contact practice, he was ready to take the hits and run his game. He is going to have a spectacular season, no question.
  3. All those options. Dante Stalworth caught some great passes last night, as did Reche Caldwell and Marcellus Rivers. Even Heath Evans mysteriously turned wide receiver on a play last night, running the ball a good 20 yards before he suddenly appeared to remember "hey, I'm a fullback" and decided to put his shoulder into a couple of players on his way down. Oh, and let's not forget Wes Welker, a recent acquisition from Miami, whose sure hands are a nice compliment to speedy WR Stalworth. When Brady finally decided to pick his head up and throw the ball, he had a plethora of options to connect with for some great plays. You'd expect there to be less of a passing game without Moss, and there was, but it was still clear that Moss will be only one more part of a controlled and efficient offense.
  4. Still waiting to see what Brandon Meriweather can do. The Pats' first-round pick did an effective job of shutting down Carolina's corners last night, but he's yet to be in a situation where we can see why he earned that first-round status. And I'm sure we will.
  5. Um, our quarterback is REALLY GOOD. Like, it's almost to obvious to be worth pointing out, but hot DAMN. Sometimes you forget that one of the things that has made New England the team of the decade is that we have such a clearheaded and accurate man running our offense. Brady's still got it, kids, and I am looking forward to see what he does with the Patriots this season, given the aforementioned awesomely good offense that he has to work with.
Other highlights of the game included: 22 New England first downs to the Panthers' 13; two sacks on Carolina, one from Vrabel and one from rookie Justin Rogers; Jake Delhomme looking like that guy at a bar who has really attractive friends, but is himself kind of awkward, so you get stuck wingmanning on him while your friends chat up his cute blond cohorts, but he buys you a drink so you feel obligated to let him think he has a chance with you; Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf's huge man-crush on Laurence Maroney; half a quarter's worth of solid play from backup QB Matt Cassel, who somehow manages to have even more impossibly chiseled features than Brady (and who played backup to both Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC, making him officially "that guy"); repeated use of the word "Sackmeister." There's one more preseason game against the Giants left, and then the Pats take on the Jets at home on September 9 for the season kickoff. Yeah, that should go pretty well.

And there you have it: my completely unbiased critique of the 2007 Patriots. I'm already ordering my custom napkins for the Superbowl party.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oh yeah!

So, it appears that Laurence Maroney (of Koolaid fame) will being seeing his first pre-season action tomorrow as the Pats head to Carolina (South? North? Who gives a crap?). In a little news item in the Patriots' website, Maroney chats about how this season will be different from his rookie season, and how it felt to finally take off his red no-hit jersey and start getting down and dirty in practice. Sigh... a guy nicknamed Koolaid... headline is "Maroney isn't seeing red anymore"... there's a joke there, I guess, but it's not that funny and I'm kind of lethargic right now. Disappointed, to, to learn that neither Asante Samuel nor Randy Moss has been at practice yet. But I'll be looking forward to seeing the always-entertaining Maroney play tomorrow. I'll be spending my time until then deciding whether or not I want to buy a Laurence Maroney bobblehead. (What? No rhinestone Koolaid pendant? Wtf is this?!)

Two Laurence Maroney-referencing posts in one day. Incredible.

I love college football

Every Day Should Be Saturday has a simply amazing entry up from yesterday: The Facebook entry of Marques "Grand Marques" (as billed by his own Facebook page) Slocum, defensive tackle for Michigan. Oh, this is even better than Laurence "Koolaid" Maroney's cryptic assertions that it's "bout time we got some construda in dis mothafucka." Some highlights off a quiz that Marques filled out:

Do you have any pets, and if so what do you have?

i got a fuck lion now come fuck with me

When do you plan on getting married?

it don't matta cuz i hope my wife know ima be a playa 4 life

Get the number or give the number?

i would have 2 say bof

Would you rather lose an arm or a leg?

what da fuck! i needs bof of my muthafuckin body parts

Do you eat cold cereal at night?

what da fuck is cold cereal

and my own personal favorite:

Where is Waldo?

i killed dat punk muthafucka he owed me money

I really don't even need to add any commentary to this. This guy sounds amazing. Please, please read the whole quiz over at EDSBS, because it's just too incredible for words. In fact, I'm going to Facebook friend him right now. Let's see if he accepts. And, now I'm more excited than ever for college football season to start. Michigan's season kicks off in just a little over a week against Appalachian State, and I literally cannot wait to see Mr. Slocum sack the everloving hell out of their unsuspecting quarterback. Oh, you can bet he'll be using his arms. Bof of them.

Apparently baseball is NOT on the list of things that Maryland does

Ouch. It's one thing to blow a 3-0 lead. It's another thing entirely to blow that lead and wind up surrendering 30 runs to the Texas Rangers in the highest-scoring game since 1897, when the Chicago Colts (who?) beat the Louisville Colonels (what?) 36-7. [Side note: I didn't even realize they PLAYED baseball in 1897. I thought all they did was twirl their enormous moustaches while saying things like "Consarn it" and voting for Grover Cleveland.*] But that, in fact, is what the hapless Orioles did at Camden Yards last night. Highlights included a 9-run 6th inning and a 10-run 8th in front of a stadium so empty you could hear the grass growing. This was only part 1 of a double-header, too. You'd think the Orioles would play like they had something to prove in Game 2, at least, but they still wound up dropping that one 9-7. Texas had a grand total of 92 at-bats last night. Dear god. If I played for the Orioles, I don't think I would be able to get out of bed today.

That smiling hottie, of course, is Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who went 4-6 in the clobbering last night, with 2 homers and 7 RBIs.

As for the Red Sox, apparently Dice-K didn't get the let's-give-this-one-to-the-Rays-just-to-be-nice memo that everyone else did, as the starter pitched a gem while his offense refused to give him any run support. What a waste. The Yanks finally figured out how to beat the Angels last night, so Boston's lead in the AL East slipped to 5 games. The Cards continued to stay in the fight for the NL Central title as Albert Pujols hit his 30th homer of the year in an 8-2 win over the Marlins.

Good lord. I still can't get over the box score in that Orioles game.

*Correction for the sake of historical accuracy: William McKinley was actually president in 1897. (Thanks, Google!) But Grover Cleveland sounds funnier. Because his name is Grover. He. H

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Something to take Atlanta's mind off that nasty dog-fighting business

Mark Teixeira banged out two home runs last night in the Braves' 14-4 victory over the Reds. In the 18 games Teixeira has played in since he arrived in Atlanta on the eve of the non-waiver trade deadline, he has hit 9 homers (according to my awesome powers of mathematical reasoning, that's a homer every 2 games. Holy crap. That's also just two home runs fewer than Coco Crisp and J.D. Drew have hit COMBINED, THIS ENTIRE SEASON. Hooray for the Boston outfield... and thank god for Manny Ramirez.) and 25 RBIs. Well done on that trade, Braves. Well done, indeed.

Tim Wakefield continued his dominance of the Devil Rays last night, tossing 7 shutout innings as the Red Sox cruised to a 6-0 victory at Tropicana Field. It's rare that I would describe a knuckleballer as "dominant," but I guess a 9-0 season record against a franchise merits that term. Plus, if any team is going to be dominated by a knuckleball, it's going to be Tampa Bay. They'd be dominated by a drunk baby throwing a tennis ball. (Which, now that I think about it, sounds awesome. Let get some toddlers sauced up and see what they can do.*) So there you have it... and in his quiet, unassuming way, Wakefield scooped up his 15 victory of the season to put him in a tie for most wins in the league with the Braves' Tim Hudson (also a winner last night), the Angels' John Lackey, and, OF COURSE, Boston's beloved Josh Beckett. Booyah.

While all this was going on, some jackoff in pinstripes hit his league-leading 40th home run of the season, but still didn't manage to help his team beat the Angels; Milwaukee's (Best) Prince Fielder answered with his 39th homer as the Brewers took command of the hotly contested #1 spot in the NL Central. And, for now, Jim Barr's 1972 record of 41 consecutive retired batters remains unbroken, as Bobby Jenks gave up a single to Kansas City's Joey Gathright in the 9th. Jenks still managed to get the save, however, and the White Sox eked out a win. Only 13.5 games out of first, guys! And finally (/most excitingly), Rick Ankiel cranked out his 4th homer since his triumphant return to the Cardinals to help his team beat the Cubbies 6-4. In another game highlight, Ankiel threw a bullet from left field to keep Ryan Theriot from scoring a triple. Damn, what an arm that kid has... maybe he should be a pitcher! Wait... OH GOD NO... *starts foaming at the mouth* WHAT HAVE I SAID!

(where are my babies, where did I put my babies)

A little football, a little baseball. Something for everyone today.

*Disclaimer: I do not actually endorse babies getting drunk. Babies make mean drunks. Take it from someone who knows.

Sexy Rexy is back in form

In one of the more anticipated (inasmuch as a preseason game can be anticipated, which is not very much) preseason matchups so far, Indianapolis squared off against Chicago in a rematch of last season's SuperBowl last night, with surprising results. Oh, wait: Nope, they weren't surprising at all. 3 fumbles (two of which were on snaps), an interception, and a sack? Yep, that's Rex Grossman, alright. Fortunately for the Bears (you know what I just realized? Cubs are baby Bears. How cute for Chicago!), the other Adrian Peterson scored on a 1-yard run in the 3rd quarter to give Chicago a 24-17 advantage, which Nick Novak followed up with a field goal shortly afterwards. Final score: Bears 27, Colts 24.

After the game, Grossman was his usual humble self, blaming the fumble snaps on the noisy stadium crowds (shh, dammit! I'm trying to play football here) and assuring Chicago fans, "I promise you it won't be a problem. It won't happen again." Sure thang, Rexy. Whatever you say. According to my
handy-dandy QB rating calculator, his 9-for-11 pass completion coupled with those stats above result in a dismal 51.53 rating for this game. Really, when you think about it, there's nowhere to go but up from here.

I should be honest here, though: I actually like Rex Grossman quite a bit. He's entertaining as hell to watch, since he can always be counted on to a) throw a spectacular long pass for a TD or b) do something outlandishly boneheaded that results in a turnover, both of which are fun to see as long as you're not a Bears fan. Plus, I am endlessly amused by his cockiness. As a New England fan, I obviously adore Tom Brady, but he's just so damn
likeable that I sometimes think it would be fun to have a QB that I could love to hate, rather than one who cuddles goats and has an infuriatingly adorable butt-chin.

And because no Rex Grossman-related post would be complete without a link to the greatest sports blog entry ever,
here it is.

What's that? I should throw a quick slant? Fuck that. That's gay.

God, football season is so close I can taste it. Pats/Panthers on Friday? Bring it. SuperBowl 2004, beeyotches. [Somewhat tangential note: WHEN are they going to stop naming SuperBowls with Roman numerals? It takes me like 15 minutes to figure out what game they're talking about. (
Rocky II + Rocky V = ... Rocky VII, Adrian's Revenge!) And I'm a freaking Ivy League grad. Surely a switch to Arabic numerals is in order... plus, the not-so-far-down-the-road SuperBowl L is just a really anticlimactic name for the 50th anniversary of The Greatest Single Sporting Event In The World. Let's let it go already.]

Fun football fact: As I was writing this, I got an email about season tickets to Princeton football. The cost: $25 for the season. Ha. Aha. Ahahahahahaha.

The perfect way to start your morning

Here's a little news gem to make you feel better about yourself: at least you didn't
glue your nether parts to a vacuum cleaner last night. I think my favorite part about this story is the guy's assertion that "this was the most embarrassing moment of my life." I feel like, as a side show midget in a circus who bills himself as Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf and includes a portion in his show where he pretends to vacuum the stage with his own penis, you've got to have a pretty high threshold for embarrassment. Right? Seems to me like this would fall under the "all in a day's work" category.

I bet Michael Vick would still rather be this guy than himself right now.

In other exciting news, Yellow Shoe Guy was back on the 86 today. He actually looked fairly dapper, and was sporting a slightly more understated (if still far, far more fluorescent than the average human being would tolerate) pair of electric blue sneakers. I wonder how many pairs of sneakers this man owns, and what his selection process for deciding which ones to wear every morning is. How about when he goes on a date? Is he like, "Well, the yellow ones are too aggressive, but the black ones don't make me look confident enough... the green ones do bring out my eyes... but the gray ones make me look suave and European..." Hee hee. I love this man. Don't ever leave me, Yellow Shoe Guy. We were meant to be.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ookie takes the bait

In breaking news today: Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to any and all dogfighting-related charges, in perpetuity. This comes after three of Vick's co-defendants had already decided to turn stool pigeon and agreed to testify against Vick in court. The plea, which is scheduled for a hearing on August 27 (Happy birthday, Dad!), could result in a prison sentence and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Not yet clear what kind of punishment Roger Goodell will be handing down, but one thing is for sure: this is Bad Newz (ha! see what I did there?) for Ron Mexico.

Also, seeing as how we're already in the thick of preseason shenanigans, I find it kind of sad that this is my first (and, thus far, only) football-related post. I'll get on that ASAP.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sox update

Buchholz pitched 6 innings, letting up 3 earned runs and 8 hits while striking out 5. The Sox are still up 7-4 after a huge 6-run first inning, so Clay will most likely pick up a win in his major-league debut. How exciting!

Sadly, Ellsbury did not get called up today. (Boo!) Instead, the Sox traded the disappointing Willy Mo Pena to the Nationals for a TBN minor-league player, thus leaving them room to add Buchholz permanently to the starting rotation rather than sending him back down immediately following today's game.

Hooray for Clay! Jacoby... I'll still be waiting for you.

Public Service Announcement: The students have descended.

Ladies and gentlemen of Boston:

The students are back.

Yes, it's that time of year again... I first noticed it this morning in Cleveland Circle, where I was puzzled by a higher-than-usual number of people wearing overpriced faux-vintage jeans and cargo shorts on a workday morning. And then it hit me... The glorious 2 months of summer when the big kids rule the city are gone, and bars will once again be packed with fake IDs and screeching groups of girls with identical hair and eye makeup, while the nightly line at your favorite takeout place/ice cream haunt/coffee shop triples and the B Line becomes a sweating mass of backwards baseball caps and Uggs. Sigh.

Fortunately, since I'll be living in the Back Bay this year instead of Allston (a.k.a. RIGHT SMACK IN BETWEEN BC AND BU), I anticipate an existence slightly less overrun by underage types. I will miss terrorizing unsuspecting students with the fabulous Laura at T's on Tuesday nights, however. Ah well... I suppose I can always pop over to Whiskey's, which is right next door, if I miss the collegiate scene that much.

And so, fair student-free days of summer, I bid you a tearful adieu. Boston belongs once again to the young, the loud, the drunk, the fratty, the backpack-toting, the obnoxiously full of pseudo-psychological musings, the clique-y, the Urban Outfitter-shopping, the so-hot-but-wait-he's-like-19, the loud cell phone conversation on the T-having, the subway pass-toting, the be-flip-flopped, the party T-shirt-wearing, the a cappella singing, the endlessly Family Guy-quoting, the cheap beer-drinking, the dance floor-hogging, the impeccably groomed and the deliberately disheveled-looking alike: the students.

Hide your Ikea furniture and your cheap vodka. You've been warned.

The Kids Are Alright

Red Sox Notes/Headline So Obvious It Wrote Itself for the day:

In Game 1 of what would otherwise no doubt be a fairly ordinary doubleheader against the Angels, two of Boston's hottest young prospects, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, will be seeing action at Fenway Park today.

Today's start will mark Buchholz's much-anticipated MLB debut; he will pitch against The Other Santana Who's Really Not As Good And Should Maybe Consider Changing His Name To Avoid Unflattering Comparisons Like This One. The 23-year-old right hander has struck out 163 Triple-A batters in just 117 innings and boasts a 2.15 (!) ERA with 8 wins over 21 starts. Boston's starting pitching has been remarkably stable this year, but, nevertheless, the thought of introducing some new talent (especially in the wake of letting Kason Gabbard go) is very exciting as October moves closer and closer. It appears that Buchholz will most li
kely be optioned back down to Pawtucket after today's game, but his debut today should certainly be exciting. Interesting factoid: the 2005 compensation draft pick that enabled the Sox to pick up Buchholz was part of the trade package that sent Pedro Martinez packing.

The smolderingly handsome Jacoby Ellsbury, of course, made his debut in memorable fashion against the Texas Rangers on May 30 of this year, becoming the first Major League Baseball player of Navajo descent. In 6 appearances, he posted a batting average of .375. I seriously wish I could find a video of the first single Ellsbury hit the day he made his debut... I've literally never seen anyone that fast out of the batter's box IN MY LIFE. His first at-bat, Ellsbury tipped a ball off a checked swing that dropped onto the ground; catcher Gerald Laird promptly scooped it up and tagged the bewildered 23-year-old out. (Insert stereotypically snarky "Welcome to the majors, kid" from umpire here. Preferably in a Brooklyn-circa-1930 accent.) In his next at-bat, therefore, when Ellsbury blooped a ball up to 2nd that, under normal circumstances, would have been a routine out at 1st, he was apparently determined that this time would be different. He took off for first base so fast he was really just a blur in a batting helmet, the little voice in his head no doubt screaming "NO DAMMIT NOT THIS TIME I'M NOT GETTING OUT AGAIN HELL NO I'M GETTING TO FIRST AND WHAT YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT" all the way down the baseline. And he made it. Not gonna lie: I really like this kid. Here's hoping he'll crack his first major-league home run off the hapless Ervin today.

Go Sox!

Mmm. Rick.

So let's get one thing straight: I do not like, nor do I in any way generally endorse the reading of, the Boston Herald. I hate its snarky headlines. I loathe its self-congratulatory columnists. I despise the way it fawns over local politicians with mob ties. I don't like the Boston Globe, either, to be honest, but I really REALLY don't like the Herald. In general. However, I will say this: The Herald has great sports coverage. Much better than the Globe. (And, since it's tabloid format, you can always just flip to the back right away to see the sports section.) Today, there was an absolutely fantastic piece on none other than my Betrothed, Rick Ankiel himself:

I love the reference to The Natural, which is a) a really obvious parallel and b) one of my FAVORITE movies. And, mostly, I just love to see my darling Rick getting good press. So read, and enjoy. Could Rick's incredible return be just in the nick of time (or maybe... the Rick of time? I hate myself.) to propel the Cards to the top of the NL Central? Only time will tell.

How To Fight Loneliness

  1. Smile all the time.
  2. Shine your teeth 'til meaningless.
  3. Sharpen them with lies.

...sorry. Like I mentioned before, I've been listening to Summerteeth a lot lately.

The real point is this: I've been in kind of a weird, anti-social funk lately. It's hot and sticky and I haven't been getting enough sleep, and things in general have just been kind of blah in The Life Of Raquel lately. Boo.

The good news: Today I saw something that completely brightened (literally) up my day. A guy got onto the 86 bus today wearing THE ugliest, brightest, most aggressively attention whore-ish sneakers I have EVER seen. I spent forever on the New Balance website trying to find a picture of said shoes, unsuccessfully, but honestly, I don't even think that any picture could truly do justice to the yellow-ness, the mesh-ness, the be-drawstringed-ness, the utter absurdity of these shoes. They were gloriously, unabashedly hideous. The guy, by contrast, was a fairly average-looking dude: tall, decently handsome, dark hair, conservatively dressed in gray shorts and a black polo. But he was wearing these COMPLETELY INSANE shoes. They GLOWED when he walked. He CUT A SWATH OF FLUORESCENT YELLOW as he strolled, it being a humid and overcast day here in Beantown. In fact, I like to think that he took account of the gloomy weather as he got dressed this morning, thinking to himself, "Man, what a gray and disappointing morning... wait! I know! I'm going to wear my BRIGHT YELLOW SHOES. My feet are going to RADIATE LIGHT. Ha! Take that, crappy August weather."

I literally had the biggest smile on my face the whole way to work because of this guy's shoes. Thank you, Anonymous Yellow Shoe Guy. You are truly an inspiration.

[Reality check update: As it turned out, the guy actually got off the 86 at the New Balance factory in Brighton. He may, in fact, only have been wearing the shoes because it's his job to test new products, not because he awoke with the overwhelming urge to defy the weather with his passion for brightly colored footwear. On the other hand, it is fully possible that this gentleman is actually a product DESIGNER for New Balance. Thus, he could, in fact, be the fevered genius whose bold vision and devil-may-care attitude actually brought about the conceptualization, execution, and, finally, the wearing of those magnificent sneakers.

It boggles the mind. I must find this man. And marry him.]

Sox notes coming later... it's an exciting day for the Scarlet Hose!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Oh my god. It's finally happened. And I was AWAY when it happened and I MISSED it until I finally, finally finished washing all the bug spray out of my clothes and detangling my hair, and sat down to catch up on my sports reading.


As an outfielder. Oh man. In fact, on Saturday he hit TWO home runs. This is like a movie. Like a dream come true. I literally cannot come up with anything insightful or even a little bit snarky to say about this. Just... oh man. Rick Ankiel, baby. They are going to make a movie out of this man's life. And I am going to buy it and watch it 3 times withing 48 hours of doing so, just like I may or may not have done with Dreamgirls. Long live Rick Ankiel.

I will most likely write more on this later. Right now, I just need to sit and think happy thoughts.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Canada was awesome

Just came back from a week of camping with my family in beautiful New Brunswick at Fundy National Park. It was killer. Spectacular hiking, great weather, minimal bugs... and, of course, a learning experience. Among the more valuable lessons I learned:
  • Everything is cooler in the metric system. You can drive 110 km/hr on most highways and gas is only $1.09/L. I think I would enjoy life considerably more if it were measured on the metric system.
  • Smores get EVERYWHERE. In your hair. In your sleeping bag. Under the cap of your toothpaste tube. Who invented these things? Damn the Girl Scouts and their nefarious plot to take over the world by gluing everything together with a thin layer of burnt, syrupy sugar and graham cracker crumbs! DAMN THEM!
  • In a pinch, you can make cornbread in an iron skillet. This is less successful if you don't grease the skillet beforehand.
  • No beer is quite as delicious as the one you crack open after a 14-km hike. (See? Isn't that more impressive than if I said "a 8.69919669-mile hike"? Hooray for the metric system! Also, hooray for Google Calculator!)
  • Not a lot of cute men in Canada. My sister and I counted a grand total of 7. I was kind of expecting more hockey player/lumberjack types, preferably shirtless. Disappointing. Maine men, on the other hand, are delicious. Note to self: plan next camping trip in Maine.
  • "Summerteeth" is a great driving album. Especially "A Shot in the Arm."
  • Bats are pretty cute. Like furry little squirrels with wings. Until they FLY IN YOUR FACE.
  • No matter how old or jaded or crushingly cynical you may become, you never truly lose your capacity to be absolutely awestruck by unfathomable, indescribable natural beauty.
  • A week without Facebook is a long, long, long time.
And, to be honest, I couldn't have left at a more opportune time. It was CRAZY hot in Boston, plus the Sox were sucking it up while the Yanks were on a hot streak. The stress of those two things combined might very well have killed me. [Please note, however, that I stand by my prior lauding of the Gagne trade, despite his recent woes from the mound (so very, very unfortunate, is it not, that his name is strikingly close to "Gag me"?), and will thus not engage in any Gagne bashing in this forum.] I'm very happy to see that Jamie Moyer got his 11th win, though; hooray for hometown boys! (And hooray for the Phillies! Hi, Justin!)

Tonight, by the way, the headline on the Red Sox homepage is "Wakefield, Sox happy to see Devil Rays." I mean... there's just something so gloating and vaguely menacing about that headline. I feel like it's the equivalent of the gleam the tough kid in the cafeteria gets in his eye when he sees that the skinny nerd's mother has packed a cupcake in his Battlestar Galactica lunchbox. Then again, it's August. Bring it on, Tampa Bay. Lord knows our wins column could use a little padding. Any chance we could get a little interleague series against the Nats going next week?

Friday, August 3, 2007


Off to Canada. Joe Mauer will keep watch over my baby blog for the week.

Only one more post today, I swear

Then I'll be away camping in Canada (eh?) until next Friday, thus sparing the world (i.e. the 2 people who read this... Hi, Mom and Dad!) from further bitching, moaning, and general inanity.

But this is really funny. And, since laughter is the best medicine, almost makes me feel better about the fact that I started both Clemens and Garland yesterday. Almost.

And as long as we're on the subject of twits...

This is bizarre

So I've been at work for 3 hours and thus far done nothing but read sports blogs. Whatever. Should you aspire to waste time at the epic levels I do, there's a crazy map up of how different baseball loyalties break down geographically here:

Needless to say, it's complete horseshit how small Yankees territory is... the Jerz is owned by those lousy pinstripers. Also, I think the map should be shaded somehow to represent fan density and/or intensity. For example, that whole Toronto region is really just a bunch of people eating french fries with gravy and waiting for hockey season to start. I doubt any of them have, say, a Lyle Overbay poster on their walls... thus their relatively large area of geographical dominance is visually deceptive when compared with, say, the localized but devoted nutters that are White Sox fans.

Back to "work," I guess. I promised my mom and sister (hooray for devoted readers!) that I would write about something other than sports, so I'll brainstorm something nice and rant-y later.

Just do it already

I can't take much more of the will-he-or-won't-he Barry Bonds shenanigans. I mean, it's obvious he's going to do it, so can some pitcher please just take one for the team, send him a nice little 85-mph meatball over the plate, and let him hit the damn home run so we can all move on with our lives? Bud Selig might die if this lasts any longer; plus, I'm getting sick of defending Barry and his giant head (and his beady little eyes). I'm not going to fight to the death for this one, but I agree with Bill James that Bonds deserves admiration for his natural hitting ability and his long career. Bonds was born to hit home runs, there's no question about that, and I think he should break the record. Him hitting 756 home runs shouldn't detract from the magnitude of what the great Hank Aaron accomplished, and it won't unless we let it. And anyway, A-Rod is going to break the record in a few years, so let's focus our energy on hoping he doesn't do it in pinstripes and just let Barry do his thing. But please, Jeebus, let it end tonight.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A retraction

Jermaine Dye is 4-for-5 today, with 2 home runs that netted him 3 runs scored and 4 RBIs. There's been a lot of Dye bashing around here lately (in all the 3 days I've been doing this), and I feel I owe him an apology. Sorry, Jermaine!

(too bad he had to go and hit those homers off Clemens. This is why my fantasy team sucks.)

Kurt Vonnegut was f-ing brilliant

Many people need desperately to receive this message: "I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone."

-- from Timequake

Just because. Also relevant, in a way, since I just finished "Mountains Beyond Mountains," which is simply fantastic and was great for me to read at a time when I'm feeling iffy about my determination to stick with the non-profit junk rather than selling out to a normal job that will actually pay me. Tracy Kidder is a very shrewd, but also very empathetic observer; Paul Farmer will make you feel shitty about the relative worthlessness of your own life but will inspire you at the same time. This isn't the best book I've read this year ("The Elementary Particles" by Michel Houllebecq definitely takes that cake, and I'll write about that at another juncture when I'm feeling crabby enough to really take on Michiko Kakutani's absurdly simplistic and unnecessarily dismissive review of said book), but I'm really glad I read it, and I recommend that others do the same. At the very least, it'll help you restore some of the brain cells you'll kill while watching "Rock of Love."

Pirates vs. Ninjas: Finally, an answer!

This is a bit long-winded, but totally worth it.

For the record, given the choice, I would definitely rather be a pirate than a ninja. But that's just me.

Also, last night I finally caught up on this week's episode of "Bret Michaels' Rock of Love," a.k.a. The Greatest Reality Show Ever. There have only been 3 episodes of this VH1 gem so far, and I still have no qualms whatsover about giving it that label. Those of you who aren't watching this show yet: WHY NOT?! [insert baffled look on face of bouncer at The Burren here] There's something for everyone here, whether your interests swing to music, romance, football, motocross, or gigantic fake tits. Highlights of the show so far this season include:

  • Bret Michaels making out with anything that isn't nailed down (and a few things that are)
  • Heather and Tiffany, drunk, arguing over the "proper" way to execute a pole dance
  • Bret having all the girls compete for who could give him the best phone sex, WHILE HE WAS HOOKED UP TO A PENIS READING MACHINE
  • Two girls getting in a fight over whose enormous, fake, circus-looking boobs were less fake and circus-looking
  • A big muscle-bound chick (Rodeo) putting another girl (Lacey) in a half-Nelson
  • My favorite line from any TV show, ever: "Don't threaten me with a good time"
  • Bret yelling "John, get my insulin!" every time the girls give him a lap dance or something and he starts getting worked up
  • Repeated use of the whole rose/thorns metaphor

And, while I am not happy about how this week's elimination went, I am still 100% on board for the rest of the season.

[Just like eeeeeeeeeeeeeevery cowboy sings a sad, sad song]

Also, here's a little feel-good news to offset that tragic Minneapolis story this morning: Shawn Thornton making an appearance at a kids' hockey camp in Franklin. While Thornton's arrival in Boston is not quite as exciting as some of the other athlete landings we've had over the past couple of days, it does remind me of one thing: I fucking love hockey. It's definitely my favorite thing to watch in the baseball off-season (sigh), for one reason: nothing beats watching athletes who love their game. The thing that sets hockey players apart from any other breed of professional athlete is that they would play hockey no matter what. They would play it for free. If something crazy (like pineapple) happened to the Earth and we all had to relocate to the sun, hockey players would find a way to keep ice solid at 9,600 degrees (Thanks, Wikipedia!) so that they could keep playing. Hockey players are OBSESSED with hockey. Anyone who's ever attempted to date an amateur or semi-pro hockey player knows this. (Tip: if you do attempt this, DO NOT under any circumstances let drop that you like the movie "Slapshot" unless you want the damn thing quoted at you non-stop for the rest of the night. Sheesh.) And that's what makes hockey so damn fun to watch. That, and the fights. Ha. I'll be going to a pre-season game or two and then most likely amusing myself with a pre-season Bruins writeup, so if you want to learn more about hockey (particularly Bruins and BU hockey), hooray!

I miss Wayne Primeau, so here he is (I especially love this photo because of the skeptical-looking fat dude in the Joe Thornton jersey behind him... this photo must come from right after The Trade. Awkward!):

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's Eating Gilbert Arenas?

Not sharks, apparently. From the man's oh-so-entertaining blog:

There Are No Such Thing as Shark Attacks

I know this is random, but I just want to clear this up for people out there.
There are these things called shark attacks, but there is no such thing as a shark attack. I have never seen a real shark attack.
I know you’re making a weird face as you’re reading this. OK people, a shark attack is not what we see on TV and what people portray it as.
We’re humans. We live on land.
Sharks live in water.
So if you’re swimming in the water and a shark bites you, that’s called trespassing. That is called trespassing. That is not a shark attack.
A shark attack is if you’re chilling at home, sitting on your couch, and a shark comes in and bites you; now that’s a shark attack. Now, if you’re chilling in the water, that is called invasion of space. So I have never heard of a shark attack.
When I see on the news where it’s like, “There have been 10 shark attacks,” I’m like, “Hey, for real?! They’re just running around? Sharks are walking now, huh! We live on the land, we don’t live underwater.”

Thanks for sharing, Gilbert. In response, sharks had this to say:


(Thanks Mike!)

Hi, Mom!

I promised my mom a shout-out. Hi, Mom!

In other news, work is boring, it's really hot outside, and there's STILL no Splenda in the break room. CHRIST.

I'm gonna make you girls a Hump Day treat!

Courtesy of Sandeep:

Something to aspire to as you head out for various Wednesday-is-the-new-Thursday-is-the-new-Friday festivities, anyway. My new life's ambition is to swim in the pool of the Four Seasons NYC restaurant.

Also, for my (not your) enjoyment: Things You Learn Riding the T.

  1. Trot Nixon still plays for the Red Sox. At least, that's what all the fat, sweaty, drunk bald men riding to Kenmore for the game would have you believe, since ALL of them, to a man, still wear their Nixon jerseys with bloated pride. (The only exception: occasionally, you may see one in a Varitek jersey.) Seriously, guys: It's time to let it go. I, like you, will always hold a special spot in my heart for any member of the 2005 Red Sox. But you don't see me wearing a damn Pedro Martinez jersey to games.

  2. Every guy in Boston is too short for me. I don't understand how this continues to be true. I'm only 5'9", for crying out loud. And yet, everywhere I look: short men. And the tall ones are all 19-year-old BC students. This, to me, is the definition of modern tragedy.

  3. Only people with really cool hair should own iPods, at least according to the new Apple ad campaigns.

  4. Still got it: no matter what I do, I persist in looking really, really unfriendly. Those of you who haven't heard me rant about this before should know that I have an uncanny ability to frighten people away from sitting next to me on the T. The seat next to me can be the only seat open, with like 10 people already standing in the car, and NO ONE will sit next to me. Yesterday, I actually overheard two guys (they thought I couldn't hear, because I had my iPod on [despite the fact that I don't have cool hair], but I DID hear them) who had just gotten on have the following exchange: Guy 1: "Look, there's a seat over there." Guy 2 [looks at the seat, then looks at me]: "Nah, I'll just stand." Wow. I wasn't even WEARING my Bitchy McBitch sunglasses! I've been told time and again that I just give off this vibe of Really Intimidating, and I don't understand it. Maybe I should start carrying around one of those big old-fashioned lollipops, or a puppy or a baby.

You can learn lots of things riding the T. Maybe I'll keep this going. In other news, everyone loses to the Orioles on occasion, and the Sox front office still haven't come out and announced who the Player-To-Be-Named-Later in the Joel Piniero deal is. So I can still hope. And here, without further ado, is the cover to the Memphis Redbirds comic book I was squawking about yesterday. (Hooray for Deadspin!) Rick is kind of hidden in the back, signing autographs and looking sexy. Comic books are fun!

And because I'm feeling kind of rant-y (no Splenda in the break room!), here's a quick entry from the Hate List: People who go to the gym and fucking WALK on the treadmills. While holding on to the handles. I just don't understand it! I guess I'm exposed to more of this since I belong to a chicks-only gym, which, while eliminating the sweaty-guy-breathing-down-your-neck-while-you-use-the-weight-machines factor, definitely ups the wuss factor. I just think, if you're going to spend all that money on a gym membership, that you should get a damn WORKOUT in when you go! Walking on a flat surface while watching "VH1's 100 Best Bodies" (a.k.a. The List Where Terrell Owens Beats Out Heather Graham, But Loses To Ashley Judd) is not a workout. Walking to the grocery store would serve you better. But you'd probably just buy ice cream and cookies, wouldn't you, fatass?

[Note: maybe this is why people don't sit next to me on the T.]