Thursday, May 1, 2008
Those of you who read me frequently enough (hi, Daddy!) to notice a change in the content and frequency of my posts may have seen this coming, but it's finally time to reveal my secret to the world:
I HAVE A NEW BLOG.
It's me and 5 fabulously witty/talented/knowledgeable dudes -- all from Boston, all utterly addicted to sports and all the pertaining nerdery. Our mission is to indulge our love of all things Boston- and sports-related without being, you know, Massholes. In the words of the site itself:
This site is intended, above all else, as a celebration of what we love about Boston sports. We want to promote discourse, to foster fandom, to rant, to indulge our homerism, and we encourage you to do the same.
I'm super-thrilled to be a part of this amazing new venture, and I hope you'll all come check me out! I'll mostly be covering hockey... now that it's the offseason, of course, I get to post dorky sabermetrics articles and pictures of Big Baby with braces on, which are both equally fun. To the handful of you who've read and commented on me regularly over the past (almost!) year, THANK YOU! I still don't quite understand why on earth you'd want to read the self-indulgent ramblings of an obsessive Boston sports chick, but it's been really, really fun.
Monday, April 28, 2008
That’s the first time I’ve actually typed that. This is a step forward. It was a great series. It really was. I expressed cautious optimism. I got swept up in the momentum. I refused to get discouraged. In the end, though, I was left weeping sloppily in my apartment with my roommate sympathetically attempting to feed me rice as Montreal coasted off with the series win. Au revoir, fuckers.
However, we’re still in the thick of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a thing like crippling depression or crushing disappointment keep me from enjoying the greatest month of the greatest sport in the world. BOOYAH. (Hey, and the Providence Bruins are leading their divisional playoffs series 2-0!)
That said, it’s time to pick sides among those who remain. My first loyalty obviously, inevitably goes to the San Jose Sharks, who cruised into the playoffs at the top of the Pacific Division with a whopping 108 points on the season. I get a little twinge every time I watch the Sharks play: god, I miss Joe Thornton. The Sharks are currently down 2 games to Dallas (GO BACK TO MINNESOTA YOU LAMEWADS) in the Conference semifinals, but I remain confident that my Joey will lead them into the Cup finals in a blaze of glory – or, at the very least, will pound the shit out of Steve Ott for being a dirty-hitting little rat. Observe:
Mmm. That goes down smooth.
My pick for the Eastern conference? Well, that’s a little embarrassing to admit. Obviously, I adore Sidney Crosby. This is not optional. If you love hockey, you love Crosby. People who whine about him taking dives and deliberately drawing calls don’t fucking know what they’re talking about. The kid is the purest incarnation of the sport we’ve seen since Wayne Gretsky. He’s obviously been coached to play cautiously and avoid the hit, since he’s a) the team captain, b) the strongest offensive player on the team, and c) an easy and obvious target for ice thugs. This isn’t football, kids. Crosby is god.
Speaking of ice thugs, though... you know who else I love?
Heh. I love Avery for the same reason I love Roger Clemens and Chad Johnson: he’s just such an unrepentant bastard. He loves playing the villain, and he does it gleefully and well. My favorite Avery moment ever came in an interview after the oh-so-contentious series with New Jersey, when the much put-upon Martin Brodeur (understandably, perhaps) refused to shake Avery’s hand following the final game. Avery’s response: “Everybody talks about how unclassy I am, and fatso over there forgot to shake my hand.” BAHAHA. I would totally go drinking with Sean Avery. I freaking love Sean Avery. So, here we go: LET’S GO RANGERS!
Is it a coincidence that both teams I’m pulling for have blown 3-0 game leads in the playoffs already? Ah, well. A Sharks/Rangers final series would be scrappy and entertaining as hell – and virtually guaranteed to go 7 games. Bring it on.
The Conference Semifinals: EIGHT TEAMS ENTER. FOUR TEAMS LEAVE.
Not so catchy?
(Avery picture unabashedly stolen from Melt Your Face Off)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
David Pauley: 24-year-old righty. His MLB debut was on May 31, 2006; he ultimately started 3 games for the Sox that year and posted a 7.88 ERA (eek!) with 10 Ks (not bad) over 16 innings. Not likely to ever be above a 4th starter, but reasonably consistent and a good fielder. His best pitches are his sinker and his curveball. His fastball is low-90s. He started 26 games in Pawtucket last year and posted a 4.33 ERA over 153.2 innings, with 110 Ks and 49 BBs (blech, buddy, throw that shit OVER THE PLATE). Pauley took Beckett's start on Tuesday against Anaheim/Los Angeles/whatever, where it became evident that his sinkers sometimes don't, uh, sink. Pauley's real weakness, apart from his control issues, seems to be a tendency to give up HRs. He's back in Pawtucket now. FUTUREMRS SAYS: Not clear more time in AAA will develop him significantly more, especially given his tendency to walk batters; if anything, time in the majors will help him learn how to work more seasoned batters. He can throw strikeouts, so let's stick him in the bullpen and let him work the 6th and 7th for a while.
Craig Hansen: 24-year-old righty. Being groomed as a reliever and, ultimately, a closer. Throws comfortably in the mid-90s and is rumored to possess a nasty slider -- his ability to throw that consistently will make the difference between his minor-league and major-league careers. His MLB debut was ON MY BIRTHDAY in 2005, and he worked 38 innings for the Sox in 2006, striking out 30 on a 6.63 ERA. He was called up for yesterday's loss to the Angels, where he was plunked into a tie game in the 6th. His pitching looked speedier than it has in the past and he was able to retire 2 batters, but was ultimately ganked after giving up a solo HR to Casey Kotchman that would go on to win the Angels the game. Like Pauley, Hansen was shipped back down to Pawtucket immediately following the game. FUTUREMRS SAYS: I see this kid getting shellshocked if he spends too much time in the majors right now. Let him keep working on his speed in Pawtucket; he could ultimately be a nice complement to lefty Okajima in September.
And finally, today's man:
Justin Masterson: 22-year-old righty. Masterson is making his debut TODAY at Fenway. Woo! The lanky sinkerballer is 1-0 over 4 starts with an other-worldly 0.95 ERA in Portland this season. The strength of his sinker is said to be the variation with which he can hurl it, fluctuating between mid-80s and mid-90s and thus baffling hitters. Masterson only converted to starter last year in single-A Lancaster; he started 10 games for the AA Sea Dogs in 2007 and posted a 4.34 ERA with 59 Ks and only 18 walks through 58 innings. The stat I really love is his 16.50 K/BB ratio over 31 innings pitched in Lowell in 2006. Yowza! No wonder Boston is all a-twitter about this young lad taking the mound for Dice-K today. FUTUREMRS SAYS: I really don't see the rush to make this kid a starter yet, but if he's going to develop as a starter he needs to stay in AA for a while before making the permanent move to Pawtucket. Averaging 5.8 innings per start isn't going to wear him out, but it'll give him a chance to acclimate to working lineups (the kid only has 27 career starts, for pete's sake) and developing his pitch arsenal. The worst thing to do with talent like this would be to force it before he's ready.
Bring it on! Game at 1:35 pm today. I'm predicting a sharp decline in productivity. Thanks, MLB Gameday!
Update: Masterson pitched beautifully, allowing just 1 run (a solo homer to Mike Napoli in the 5th) and 2 hits over 6 full innings while striking out 4. However, the Sox bullpen combined to do a neat little job of blowing a 3-1 lead and ensuring that Masterson wouldn't pick up the W in his major-league debut. Maybe they were all jealous of how much attention he's getting. Unless something awesome happens in the bottom of the 9th right now it's going to be 7-3, Angels.
More update: Something a little bit awesome happened when Jacoby Ellsbury reached base and Ortiz then hit a 2-run ding-dong to make it 7-5. Manny came up to bat but flied out to Torii Hunter to end the inning so I got all excited for nothing.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
So, to recap from this weekend:
- The Sox swept Texas in a 4-game series at Fenway, outscoring the hapless Rangers 30-14. I still wish we'd held onto Kason Gabbard instead of trading him for that no-good sack of crap Gagne.
- The Celtics took Game 1 of the first-round playoffs series against Atlanta behind dominant performances from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce (who hit 3 3-pointers within the first 5 minutes of the game). I've literally been waiting for this series to happen since last July. It felt good.
- Something like 40,000 people ran past my apartment in a spectacular display of tenacity and athletic prowess while I drank beer and sat in the sun.
Yep, so that's it for sports in Boston this weekend!
Friday, April 18, 2008
So I tried to write a post on the Bruins' 5-1 thrashing of the Canadiens last night. I really did. And all that came out was "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Last night was amazing. Last night was the kind of game that rewards true fandom, where the heavens seem to be smiling down and handing you a moment of pure glory to make up for all those regular-season losses to Montreal; for that 10-2 drubbing by the Caps; for that end-of-the-season slump that threatened to knock us out of playoffs contention altogether.
If (when?) we win this series, the crux of it all will be the second goal of the third period, when team captain Zdeno Chara unleashed his laser beam of a slap shot on a slowly crumbling Carey Price to score his first goal of the post-season and put the B's up 3-1. In baseball, the "go-ahead run" is the run that gives a team the lead; last night, though, it was Chara's goal that served as the true go-ahead, spurring an absolute frenzy of Bruins offensive activity that would ultimately result in 2 more goals before the final buzzer rang. That goal, coupled with a phenomenal save by Tim Thomas (31 saves on the night) immediately beforehand, represented an unbelievably crucial shift in momentum in the game and possibly the series as a whole. You could SEE the crowd at the Bell
A sampling of the text messages I got last night:
Pinch me this is too good
and the oh-so-eloquent
Holy shit !!!!
Game six tomorrow, kids. This shit's about to be epic. GO BRUINS!
Oh, the Red Sox beat the Yanks too. Sweet!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The Back Bay T Stop on the Orange Line, near Copley Square is also a convenient stop to access the Back Bay as it is just to the south of Copley Square, and approximately halfway between Arlington Street and Massachusetts Avenue. In this area, you'll find plenty of red sox fans, wearing the uniform, with their beer bellies and whorish wives, and bratty kids. If you tell that the red sox suck dick, you'll probably get beaten to death. Your best defense from the mindless mob of drunken mediocrity is to stay inside on game days. Traveling in backbay on game days is dangerous for non-conformists. Good luck.
My goodness. I mean, I've got my issues with the Hynes stop too -- the Boylston Street entrance is always closed, which is massively inconvenient to me, and there are always like 300 Berklee students carrying things like upright basses and harps onto already-packed cars. But this isn't the stop for Fenway Park, dude. That's Kenmore, or Fenway if you feel like stopping at Bed Bath and Beyond first. Do we think this person is a Yankees fan? If so, has (s)he seen the guts in the upper levels of Yankee stadium? Perhaps (s)he is merely opposed to the shackles of traditional family structure. Yeah, there's nothing I hate more than the sight of a family enjoying America's Pasttime together either, brah.
I think I like the idea that "Traveling in backbay on game days is dangerous for non-conformists" the best. It's like Yawkee Way is actually Tiananman Square or something. "In Red Sox Nation, baseball watches YOU!"
"I was on my way to the airport last year at this time."
We can pile the Player of the Week honors on Kevin Garnett. We can laud Doc Rivers as the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month. (Actually, no we can't, because I don't want any part of that, but you can do whatever makes you happy, pumpkin.) But the person I personally was happiest to see strolling out of the Garden following the Celtics' 66th and final win of a spectacular regular season was Paul Pierce.
It's simply impossible not to love Pierce. He's not the kind of player you just like. You LOVE him. The 6-time All-Star has suffered through almost 10 goddamn years of Celtics ineptitude and disappointment. He came back from being stabbed 11 TIMES and needing subsequent lung surgery to emerge as the team's unquestioned leader. He's still responsible for the biggest 4th-quarter comeback EVER in the NBA Playoffs. He's the first member of the Celtics since Larry Bird to top 2,000 points in one season. As His Royal Shaq-iness so eloquently put it: Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth.
It's been easy this year to get distracted by the visceral, hypnotic dance that is Kevin Garnett on the court or the breathtaking, buzzer-beating 3-pointers of Ray Allen. But behind it all, Paul Pierce is still the motherfucking truth. He's averaging 19.6 PPG with 4.5 assists over 80 of 82 games this season. Moreover, he's looked so freaking HAPPY at every game this year. The beaten, hangdog look Pierce used to wear on the sidelines belied the ferocity of his play; watching him in years past, it's been almost impossible to understand how he continued to play the way he did for a team that was so obviously holding him back from the championships he deserved. Not this year, though. Pierce's enjoyment of his new team has been evident every step of the way. He'd physically slimmed down with the intent of becoming a more effective defender in the offseason, but there was a mental lightness in his step as well. The Truth doesn't always have to hurt. The Truth had been set free.
The Big Three weren't in for much of last night's win; their lone appearance was a 3rd-quarter cameo that wound up being less than impressive as they allowed New Jersey to go on a 17-4 run. But there's no question that they will be the explosion that everybody turns to watch when the playoffs kick off on Saturday. And nobody will be happier than Paul Pierce to be at the center of that explosion.
And, just 2 weeks ago, he became a daddy.
Congratulations, Celtics, and congratulations, Paul Pierce. You've earned your way here. Now show 'em what you've got.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The long-anticipated (by me, anyway) debut of Red Sox SS/3B prospect Jed Lowrie at Fenway Park last night was nothing short of dazzling. Yippee! First singling Jacoby Ellsbury home in the 5th and later knocking in two with bases loaded in the 7th, Lowrie was responsible for all three Boston RBIs on the board until a pinch-hitting Jason Varitek knocked in a solo homer in the 9th to give the Sox the lead. Final score: Boston 5, Cleveland 3, "Lowrie" shirts to be worn by female bartenders at Whiskeys and Cask & Flagon 87.
No, I did not just put in a claim for Lowrie on the waiver wire in one of my leagues. What kind of silly gal would I be if I did that?
Charity time! I will be doing the Walk for Hunger on Sunday, May 4. If you'd like to sponsor me as I walk 20 miles around the city of Boston and raise funds to feed hungry families in the area, please shoot me an email.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
This game could have gone either way.
No, seriously. That's such a lame thing to say, I know. I ripped on my Colts fan roommate for a week after the Colts-Pats game this season for insisting upon that very same statement. "Sure, it COULD have gone either way... but it DIDN'T. BOOYAH!" Eh, I was young and reckless and we were in the throes of the best season in the history of professional football. Let it go.
But seriously: this game could have gone either way.
Game 1 against the Canadiens had most people around town singing gloom and doom. Yes, in a lot of ways, that game was nothing but ugly from a Boston fan's perspective. Montreal skated circles around us offensively, out-shooting us by a solid 2:1 ratio and ultimately beating us 4-1. For playoffs hockey, that's a thrashing. As the Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont wrote, "It had the look of the first day of school, the Bruins as students, the Canadiens as teachers."
Am I crazy? Somehow, I didn't walk away from that game as depressed as I should have been. I saw two things in that game that, despite the scoreboard, served to bolster the guarded optimism I'd previously indulged in. First, we shut the Habs' killer power play down, holding them 0-5 on the power play through 3 periods of play. Second, our goaltending was SOLID. I mean it. I've betrayed my undying admiration of Thomas' netminding style before; technically unconventional though it may be, it's dazzling and clutch when he's on. The question looming over the playoffs, obviously, was would he be on? And by god, Thomas was ON last Thursday. When you're getting absolutely rained on with shots the way he was, 4 goals are going to happen; Thomas still had 28 saves (including 7 out of 7 on power plays) on the night. That's hot, kids. That's playoffs hockey. That's a goalie.
Since that night in Montreal, the Bruins have stepped up like few would have believed. In game 2, we out-shot the Habs 39-31. We took another loss, sure, but it was clear that game 1 was far from being an indication of what was to come in the series. Thomas notched another 28 saves, and the Bruins looked ready to skate with the Canadiens for the duration of this round. Then, of course, came THE WIN: a dramatic Marc Savard (Savard is my current vote for MVP of this series, by the way) goal in OT to lift Boston over Montreal and blast the Bruins back into contention. The hugeness of that goal cannot be overemphasized. Years from now, that goal will echo in the minds of Bruins and Habs fans alike. Boom, bitch. WE'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.
Sigh. Then we had tonight. Again: THIS GAME COULD HAVE GONE EITHER WAY. This was playoffs hockey at its finest, as both teams flew back and forth across the ice and defensive lines on both sides fought back with all their might. So swift and clean was the play, in fact, that the 3rd period saw not a single penalty called. Lucic, in particular, was electric: he dominated the ice in Game 3 and squared off in in a ferocious physical game against Montreal's Mike Komisarek tonight. The goaltending, too, was spectacular. I've raved about Thomas, but a tip of the hat is certainly due to rookie goalie Carey Price, who's been unflappable in the net for Montreal. This game was as beautiful as hockey gets. The loss didn't feel like the punch in the face that Thursday night's did; it cut as sweetly and devastatingly as a blow from a saber. Series advantage: 3-1, Canadiens.
But we were there. We skated with them. We held them. We had 27 shots on goal to their 28. We played this game without Phil Kessel, without Patrice Bergeron, and with everything to lose. We played our asses off, and we emphatically showed Les Glorieux that we are not to be counted out. Say it with me now: THIS GAME COULD HAVE GONE EITHER WAY.
My point, ladies and gentlemen, is this: don't count us out yet. DON'T YOU FUCKING COUNT US OUT.
Plus, anyhow, any good Boston fan knows a 3-1 series deficit in the playoffs only means more games for us to watch.
Charity time! I will be doing the Walk for Hunger on Sunday, May 4. If you'd like to sponsor me as I walk 20 miles around the city of Boston and raise funds to feed hungry families in the area, please shoot me an email.
Hotshot Tampa Bay rookie/my own personal anointed one Evan Longoria hit his first major league home run off Yankees reliever Brian Bruney at Tropicana Field last night. Nice job, Evan!
The run came in the 7th amidst a veritable flurry of homers -- BJ Upton and Carl Crawford also went yard -- and tied up the game at 7, which is pretty exciting given that the Rays had been down 7-2 heading into the 7th. Sadly, Robinson Cano being what he is, the Yanks went on to win the game 8-7 behind a classic 4-out Mariano Rivera save. I have to imagine that sending in Rivera to close at this point is like using up the last of a bottle of lotion, where you keep shaking it and shaking it trying to get the last little bit out, and your sister keeps asking, "Why didn't you just buy more?" and you keep saying "NO dammit I KNOW THERE'S STILL SOME LEFT," and enough comes out that you feel justified in not having gone out to buy more but secretly you know you were just being lazy because you didn't want to miss the first half of "Rock of Love."
Fun fact: Longoria has been dubbed "The Dirtbag" by the Rays Index because of his aggressive playing style and the mascot of his college baseball team: the Long Beach State Dirtbags. Somehow, it's not as catchy as, say, "The Ignitor" or "The Hoosier Thunderbolt," but I guess we can run with it.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Boston.com reports today that the Red Sox have called up shortstop prospect Jed Lowrie from the PawSox. Although not on the roster for tonight's game against the Yankees, Lowrie will be in the dugout wearing number 12.
The soon-to-be-24-year-old (his birthday is on April 17!) Lowrie honed his skills at Stanford (smart cookie!), was a first-round pick in 2005, and has played stints in Lowell, Portland, and Pawtucket. He's noted for his speed on the basepaths and his remarkable plate discipline -- a rare quality in a rookie. Scouts say he needs to work on his throwing accuracy, but he fields well and has good throwing power.
Awesome. I'm so sick of Julio Lugo I could puke. PUT IN JED LOWRIE!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Let’s cut right to the chase.
The eighth-seeded Bruins face off against the top-seeded
The realist says: We’re toast.
The fan says: We’re due.
Nah, we’re not the Big Bad Bruins that tore up the NHL in the early 70s. We’re not even a terribly great hockey team, to be honest: our goaltending is patchy at best, our much-lauded defense tends to fall apart within 30 seconds of an OT period, and our offense is much too heavily reliant on the slap shot. But I’ll be damned if this hasn’t been an exciting season. The loss of Patrice Bergeron in October seemed to doom our playoffs hopes before they had even begun to materialize, and yet we’ve fought through the season to somehow hang onto a playoffs berth. Sure, we skidded across the line panting and last-minute, like a fat kid in gym class. Sure, we looked frazzled and weak in the regular-season closer against Buffalo. But you’re crazy if you think this team doesn’t have momentum, especially as Bergeron and goalie Manny Fernandez return from months-long injury hiatuses. (Bergeron will not be playing in tonight’s game, incidentally, but has been cleared as an option for the remainder of the series.)
Montreal? Yeah, they look scary. But they’ve got a rookie in goal – a talented rookie in Carey Price, to be sure, but a rookie nonetheless. Montreal’s offense is powerful and efficient. They’ve scored 4 or more goals in 28 of 82 games this season (only one of those games resulted in a loss). Their power-play is league-leading, and their defense is tight. The Habs’ big weakness, though, is their inability to stand up to rough, physical play. The combination of Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, and Shawn Thornton (xoxo) could be just the ticket to bringing down Alex Kovalev and his glimmering blonde hair. The offenses of both teams will score, but it’ll be the defense on either end of the ice that determines this series. If the Bruins can’t keep up with the Habs’ speedy, graceful offense, we’re toast; if we take the Habs to the boards every chance they get and never give them the few
Now, that’s a big if. I’ve expressed skepticism about this series all along, and I’m not going to play the homerism card and call the B’s to win this series just because I’m insanely excited about it. A lot hinges on tonight’s game, though, and there’s no question that two different teams will skate off the ice tonight than skate onto it. It’s all about momentum here, folks: a win for the Bruins could rattle Montreal past the point of recovery.
Incidentally, lest you somehow think that being consistently stronger than us has dampened Montreal’s enthusiasm for the rivalry, I invite you to check out the Canadiens’ website, which is simply laden with tidbits on the history of Bruins vs. Habs. They’re foaming at the mouth for this up in Canada tonight, and you’d better believe it.
I could describe the excitement of this series in terms of Red Sox-Yankees to you, and then you’d get it. But I’d rather not. I’d rather tell you that this is exciting hockey. Playoffs hockey. Hockey in the crucible of THE most bitter and storied rivalry the game has to offer, playing for the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. (Suck it, Lombardi!) The true spirit of a Boston fan is that of an underdog, and right now the Bruins are as underdog as it gets.
Can we beat the Habs? I don’t know yet.
But god, I hope we do.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Let's play a little game.
The following is a series of snippets of writing taken from various locations around the Web. Your task, dear reader, is to determine whether each of these tidbits is talking about Bartolo Colon, portly Red Sox pitcher; the colon, a lovely (if generally misused) bit of punctuation; or the colon, a section of the large intestine reaching from the cecum to the... well, you know. Sounds like fun!
[Note that all uses of "colon" have been capitalized, and all indefinite articles removed, to make the challenge slightly more difficult.]
- Colon is not necessary
- Think of Colon as a gate, inviting one to go
- The wheels started turning and Colossal Colon was born!
- You will find differing advice on the use of Colon
- A healthy Colon is essential
- Once Colon gets fully stretched out
- Stuffing ourselves with good food is something that we all need to do once in awhile, but if we want to keep our Colon healthy, and in top shape, we have to do a little cleansing afterwards
- On the fast track? Colon solid in debut
- Colon really does only one thing
Bonus fact: A History of the Naming of Colon, MI.
This town was founded in the mid 1830’s by the Schellhouse family, one of the first to settle in the area. It was named by Lorensie Schellhouse when he opened a dictionary at random and saw the word: "colon."
(no I am not making that up)
Update: Others find this as funny as I do. Thanks, Kevin!
After a grueling 18-day road trip that included stops in 3 different countries (and severely disrupted my sleeping schedule), my beloved Red Sox are finally, finally returning home to kick off their season at Fenway Park this afternoon. Quite frankly, I'm freaking out. Like a little kid on Christmas. Like a 14-year-old at a Jonas Brothers concert. Like a fat kid finding a 2-for-1 frosting coupon in the Sunday paper.
Obviously, every radio station in Boston will be playing "Sweet Caroline" at least 12 times today, so this isn't THAT much of a coincidence... but yes, I did wake up to the melodious tenor of Neil Diamond issuing from my clock radio. If I said I wasn't curled up underneath my covers and fist-pumping along with every, "SO GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!", I'd have to punch myself in the face, because I'd be lying.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who's already notched one win over two solid performances against Oakland this season, takes the mound against mall food court fried chicken magnate Kenny Rogers and the currently 0-6 Tigers. No doubt Detroit will be looking to snag their first win of the season and thereby somehow justify all the ducats they dropped in Florida during the offseason, but sorry: No chance, boys. THIS IS RED SOX COUNTRY.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Just in time for the first-round playoffs series with Montreal, the dashing Bergeron has been cleared by team doctors to return to play. Bergeron has been practicing with his teammates for several weeks, but while wearing the red "no contact" jersey. The return to play will mark the first time Bergeron has taken the ice for the Bruins since October 10, when he suffered a concussion following a nasty hit against the boards in a game with Philadelphia. Although it's still not clear that Bergeron will play in Thursday's series opener, his return will undoubtedly have a significant impact on what would otherwise have been a very lopsided (methinks) series.
More on the B's playoffs outlook when I'm not in bed with a fever/getting acquainted with my On Demand selections. It pains me that "Daddy Day Camp" is the third-most requested movie on Comcast Digital, incidentally. I sincerely hope the overlap between the "Request Movies On Demand" and "Plan To Vote In Upcoming Presidential Election" circles in the Venn diagram of the American public is small, because I'm not convinced that either a wacky soccer-playing cat or a particularly moist Twinkie can successfully unify this country.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Anyhoo, I mention Hatteberg in order to transition (seamlessly and effortlessly) into an introduction of Kevin Cash, the catcher who will be starting behind the plate as Wakefield takes the mound in Toronto tonight.
And guess what? He sucks at offense too. His CAREER BATTING AVERAGE (granted, only about 100 or so major-league games, but still) is .167. Really? We jettisoned Mirabelli for this? Still, Cash had a
Poor Josh Bard. It's got to suck to be a talented prospect for a World Series-winning team and know that your only shot at ever playing is contingent upon learning how to catch some goofy pitch. If this were a movie, a magic talking goat or something would teach him how to catch knuckleballs just in time for the big game, and we'd all learn a valuable lesson about being true to who you are and always following your dreams. But because this is the real world, instead his ass gets shipped to the Padres and we end up with some dummy who'll be flirting with the Mendoza line all season.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Blech. What an icky taste in my mouth after that sudden-death shootout loss to the Devils last night. Like waking up the morning after a tequila bender, except I still know where my pants are. Honestly, even a win eked out in a sudden-death shootout (i.e. what happens when a team fails to win after regulation time, a 5-minute OT period, and a 3-round shootout) is a lukewarm accomplishment at best. By comparison, losing after all that is the hockey equivalent of flirting with someone at a bar for a solid three hours and then having them leave when you duck into the powder room to fix your hair.
Perception bias being what it is, it feels like the Bruins are simply incapable of winning in OT/SO situations. At the Florida game I went to earlier this year, I remember getting all amped up for the OT period only to see it end literally 25 seconds in on a Florida goal. I had just gotten a fresh beer, for chrissake. In reality, though, the B's are 3-5 in overtime games (not great, but not awful) and 6-7 in shootouts, leaving them 9-12 in games that go beyond regulation time on the season. What's frustrating about that, of course, is that it does not bode well for the playoffs, which are all about the fast goal and the clutch play.
A win last night would have clinched a playoffs berth for the B's. Now, it'll be up to the black-and-gold to seal the deal against Ottawa on Friday or Buffalo on Saturday. To speak frankly, though, no possible playoffs scenario looks good at this point. The 7th seed we're currently toying with would have us pitted against 2nd-seed Montreal since the Penguins took over the conference lead; given that we're 0-8 against the Habs on the season, I'm less than optimistic about our chances in this series. Slipping to the 8th seed under the Flyers would mean a first-round series against Pittsburgh and a healthy Sidney Crosby and Marion Hossa. Boston is 2-1-1 on the season against the Penguins, but neither of those wins were against a team with Hossa or Wunderkind (the February 28th win, immediately after Hossa was traded, saw Hossa injured after about 5 minutes of play).
In other words: playoffs berth or no, it's highly unlikely the B's are advancing past the first round. Still, a trip to the playoffs coming off a year that saw no playoffs action whatsoever is an important step forward and blah blah blah. Playoffs appearances are important to a franchise, regardless of the outcome. The Phillies got swept in the first round after getting ridiculously lucky last year, and the way they talk you'd think they'd won the damn pennant or something.
Monday, March 31, 2008
It's like Christmas, Valentine's Day, and the last day of school all rolled into one. Actually sitting down to play with my fantasy teams' starting lineups this morning was perhaps the greatest feeling ever.
My best opening day ever was Opening Day 2005 at Yankee Stadium against my Red Sox, which I went to with my Yanks fan ex-boyfriend (I know, I know...). I wore my "Insoxicated '05" T-shirt and MLB Fitted Authentic and got the living daylights abused out of me for 3 straight hours. I loved every minute of it. Oh, and we won.
If you want coverage, I will direct you, as always, to Walkoff Walk.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
"I'm a Yankee fan, buddy."
'Nuff said. Boston and New York are ready for baseball, that's for sure.
OK boys and girls. Bring in the patio furniture and stay clear of your glass windows: it's ranting time!
I'm fully aware that not everyone likes hockey. And that's OK by me. Personally, I'd rather gouge my eyes out than sit through a tennis match. My loathing of tennis is such that I've deliberately refused to understand how the scoring works; every time someone's attempted to explain it to me, I tell them I honestly don't want to know. Tennis can suck it. And if you want to tell me that you'd rather watch back-to-back episodes of "My Name Is Earl" than sit through a period of hockey, that's cool.
But one thing I simply cannot take that I've been getting absolutely inundated with lately is the EXCUSE for not being a Bruins fan. People who tell me they don't like hockey are one thing, but when I meet a supposed Boston sports fan who's ready to fill my ear with "justifications" for having jettisoned the Bruins from their loyalties? I call bullshit. BULLSHIT, my dears.
As a frame of reference, imagine that you just met someone from Boston who claims to be a big sports fan, but doesn't like the Red Sox. Doesn't make any fucking sense, does it? That's how I feel about these everything-but-the-Bruins fans.
Here's a sampling of some of the excuses I've been getting lately (to be read aloud in the whiniest voice possible -- and no, I did not make these up):
- The season is too long!
- I haven't been able to watch since the strike!
- I haven't been able to watch since the Joe Thornton trade!
- There are too many goalies!
- The front office doesn't know what they're doing!
- I don't know any of the players!
- I'd rather watch the Celtics!
and the absolute, bottom-of-the-barrel worst:
- They're just going to lose anyway!
Some of those excuses are just patently stupid. Don't know the players? Well for pete's sake. Stop reading Fleshbot and click your way on over to the Bruins website, which, SURPRISINGLY, has information on the players! Got issues with the strike? Well, buddy, the NHLPA isn't the first group to call a players strike -- and all the guys you see playing today are playing under the salary cap without complaining. So why the hell should you care?
My real issues, however, lie with the excuses that seem to imply that a franchise that is not flourishing does not deserve fans. They only serve to validate the #1 criticism of Boston fans: that we are bandwagoneers who distribute our loyalties according to the most recent championship or blockbuster trade. NO NO. PLEASE NO. I suffered through too many flop Red Sox seasons, too many games with Parcells on the sidelines, and too many disheartening press conferences with Chauncey Billups. The fact that every other Boston-area team is super nasty good right now is all the MORE reason that the Bruins should get fan support. Being a fan should involve investment: a commitment to hope, perhaps even to the point of suspending your disbelief, that your team will do well. You're not investing anything by giving your support to a defending World Series champion, a 3-time Superbowl winner, or a best-in-the-league juggernaut. The team to invest in is the Bruins, and the time to do it is now.
Yes, I'm going to say it: If you are a Boston sports fan, YOU SHOULD WATCH THE BRUINS. That's it. Plain and simple. If not, you're not a Boston fan, and that's the goddamn truth.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I absolutely love when athletes turn out to have the exact same personalities that you imagined/hoped they would. To wit: Dontrelle Willis, who is exactly the same slightly arrogant yet goofy and adorable person I've always known he was. Here he is hanging out with Ryan Howard and David Wright on the set of their new Topps commercial. I saw Dontrelle pitch at Pro Player Stadium during his unreal 2004 season and it was awesome.
Oh, and if you need another reason to love the Dontrelle: He's a blogger.
Friday, March 28, 2008
A three-seed and a two-seed? Surely, there's a game to play.
But when the Vols were down by nearly twenty?! Champs, my ass:
A pall-like silence fell upon this erstwhile chatty lass.
Oh, somewhere out in Louisville the sun is shining bright,
The Cardinals are laughing, and the students' hearts are light,
And somewhere someone's entry in a pool is free of doubt;
But there is no joy for this girl -- now the Volunteers are out.
(do your homework)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
5:45 AM. I woke up 15 minutes ago. I'm still not quite sure why. The song my alarm clock selected for purposes of waking me up was "Say It Right" by Nelly Furtado. At the time, I remember thinking that this particular song was strangely appropriate to the point of humorous. I'm going to have to tell someone about this, I remember thinking. I have no idea why I thought that. I hauled ass out of my toasty warm apartment to go get coffee only to discover that my Starbucks was closed. Heathens. HEATHENS! I had to go to Dunkin Donuts instead, where the guy behind the counter looked as unimpressed by me as I was by him. Lord help me, this is turning into a Peter King column before I've even gotten started. I'm wearing a T-shirt my brother gave me in honor of the occasion that reads, "It's not over 'til the Big Papi swings." I am not wearing pants, because it's too FREAKING early for pants. Apparently, 5:30 AM makes me write like Ernest Hemingway.
5:52 AM. I have suddenly become convinced that this entire "Japan" game concept is simply the universe playing a colossal prank on me -- me! -- for the sole purpose of making me look like an ass, and that at 6:05 my TV is going to Rick Roll me or something. Aha, there's the proof: the analysts just tried to convince me that Scott Kazmir is going to win more than 15 games this season. Now I know this is all just a big joke.
6:09 AM. I am being forced to listen to Mike and Mike debate whether or not they care about this game. You know what, Mike and Mike? I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU.
6:19 AM. Where is the baseball?!
1st Inning. I am a moron, because the game here is being shown on NESN and not ESPN2. All my conspiracy theories have gone out the window. I come in late -- Dice-K is pitching to Jack Cust and appears to have already let up one run. Guess the Sox did nothing in the top of the inning. One on, one out. I wonder what they sell in the stands at Japanese ball stadiums. I have visions of shouting, "Hey, Sake Man!" Ooh, nice changeup. Yikes! A wild pitch will advance the runners -- 2 men in scoring position, and still only one out. This is less exhilarating than I would have hoped. Matsuzaka has now walked the bases loaded, and the 7th batter for Oakland is Bobby Crosby. I have to admit that I don't know much about the A's this year, as they got distinctly less interesting once they traded Haren and Swisher, but I have always thought that Bobby Crosby looks like kind of a douchebag. Matsuzaka is able to field a hit towards the third-base line and throw Crosby out at first, but a run scores. Finally, a strikeout, and we have an end to an 18-minute, 30-pitch half-inning.
2nd Inning: Mike Lowell is on base, and my fantasy team collects its first hit. My dad just called me to ask if I was in a bar. Give me a LITTLE credit, Dad. Joe Blanton, the current pitcher for the A's (I'm assuming that Rich Harden is in the hospital recovering from massive hemorrhage following a paper cut), has a truly bizarre delivery. Inning over on a double play. I'm not entirely convinced this was worth waking up for.
Oakland opens the bottom of the 2nd with yet another man on base. OK THAT WAS A STRIKE YOU DIPSHIT UMP. Travis Buck looks like the archetypal fratboy wankoff at some East Coast liberal arts school who all the girls assume is deep because he's from California and wears flip flips even when it's cold, man. I have decided to eschew all legitimate sports commentary in favor of poorly constructed ad hominem attacks on each of the A's in turn. I am the Rush Limbaugh of sports blogging. Hey, guess what I'm not doing right now? Facebook-stalking my ex-boyfriend's vacation pictures. Nope, definitely not wasting my time on that. Kurt Suzuki is holding on at 2nd with 2 outs as we are back to the top of the A's batting order with Mark Ellis. ANOTHER walk from Dice-K.
News on the Boston catcher front, courtesy of my NESN crawl: Dusty Brown has been optioned back down to AAA, and the Sox have purchased the contract of Kevin Cash. Cool, I guess.
ANOTHER GODDAMN WALK. WHAT IS GOING ON?! John Farrell is (finally) out to the mound. Something seems legitimately wrong with Matsuzaka's delivery. I've seen him rebound from situations like this before, though, and I remain optimistic (bases loaded 2 outs eeeeek). Strike one. Strike two. Julian Tavarez is warming up. Ball one with a high changeup. Foul tip. STRIKE THREE CALLED! Ellsbury, Lugo, and Pedroia are up.
3rd Inning: Ellsbury down, but Lugo sends a fastball up the middle for a single. Pedroia ALMOST hits a home run. Youk up with 2 down and 1 on. Apparently the "YOUUUUK!" cheer has reached international proportions. Youkilis beats out a hit to first and Ortiz is up with two men on. My T-shirt is happy. It's really been killer how great Manny and Papi have looked this spring. Eh, and on that, Ortiz is out at first.
Matsuzaka opens the inning with two down. Dude, he pulls this every time he starts. He'll be fine. Jack Hannahan sounds like the friend who would get killed in a movie about the Irish mafia, leading the main character to thirst for revenge. Oh, except now he's apparently the guy on first. Amazing jumping backhand grab by Lugo to end the inning. That will silence my "PUT IN JED LOWRIE" catcalls... for now.
4th Inning: Note that the Sox are actually outhitting the A's 4-2 even though we're losing 2-0. Manny is up. Manny will hit me a home run. Manny loves me. Nope, just kidding, he hates me and decides to fly out to Travis Buck (guhh) instead. I am going to take a loss by the Red Sox this morning as a personal affront. Manny looks great, by the way. Like in really good shape. Oh, Manny, I can't stay mad at you. Lowell flies out. Brandon Moss (who looks eerily like Bobby Kielty) is out at first. I think I need a shower.
FINALLY, a 1-2-3 inning from Dice-K. Shower time. Maybe that will make me feel less like a zombie.
6th Inning: Uh, it's now 3-2, Red Sox. I knew that was going to happen. It's been scientifically demonstrated that the Red Sox like to score the minute I leave the room. You can thank me for that later. Alan Embree and his giant wad of cheek mush are in for the A's, pitching to Varitek with 2 down and 1 on. Tek out on a foul tip into the catcher's mitt.
Kyle Snyder is in to pitch to Crosby, of whom I have become quite sick. What do we want to bet these people from New Hampshire being interviewed in the stands at the Tokyo Dome have never been to Europe? Also, I wonder if anyone in Oakland is even watching this game. Freaking Hannahan hits a 2-run home run off of Kyle Snyder. Well, that was over quick. Someone needs to teach Suzuki how to bunt. Rich Harden looks brooding and green-eyed in the dugout... mmm. Suzuki makes two down, and I'm going to have to leave in 10 minutes to go to work. UGH. Inning's over, and it's 4-2, Oakland.
7th Inning: Ellsbury is on, and then Lugo grounds into a double play. PUT IN JED LOWRIE.
Do they not have a Seventh Inning Stretch in Japan? Bwahaha I forgot Keith Foulke signed with Oakland. That makes me mildly more optimistic. PUT IN KEITH FOULKE! Snyder is out, at last, and I've got my fingers crossed hard that we'll see Okajima, which is making it really hard to get dressed and do my hair. Nope, just kidding, it's Javy Lopez. Who is cute. Yay. Out number 2. Lopez tosses a strikeout to end the inning. Heroics are coming up, most likely as soon as I leave to go to work.
I can't BELIEVE I have to leave right now. Someone call me if we score... please?
10th Inning: Oh man! I made it here just in time to catch Manny Ramirez knocking in Lugo and Ortiz with a double! Not quite as thrilling on MLB Gameday, perhaps, but hot DAMN. I was a fidgety mess on the T the entire way to work. 6-4, SAWX! Apparently it was Huston Street that let up those runs, that posturing pretty boy. He's out in favor of Lenny DiNardo, who I think was supposed to be in the A's starting rotation this year.
In case you're wondering what you (and I) missed, Brandon Moss (who the hell is Brandon Moss?) hit a game-tying home run in the top of the 9th. He spent most of last year in Pawtucket, but did play a couple of games in the Big Leagues... and looks to be off to a promising start this year. Moss actually scored in the 6th as well. Good for him.
Papelbon (obviously) is doing his thing for the Sox, and for my fantasy team as well. This was actually a pretty decent game, although I still resent MLB for making me endure it. Papelbon appears to be struggling to get outs, as Daric (is that really how he spells his name?) Barton walks. Jack Cust strikes out swinging, and we're two outs away from our FIRST victory of 2008 (and me getting a cup of coffee the size of a kiddie pool). Emil Brown is out at 3rd, but has knocked a run home. WHAT IS PAPELBON DOING?! 6-5, Sox. Smarmy-looking Bobby Crosby is up and singles on a line drive up the center. Now Hannahan (that spoiler) is up again. I'm already sick to death of this Oakland lineup. And, holy crap, Hannahan singles too, and there are 2 on with 2 down. Too bad no A's fans are awake to enjoy this. I bet Papelbon hasn't seen this many singles since the first taping of "Sox Appeal." (Ba-zing!) Kurt Suzuki is up. 2 balls (heh) from Papelbon. THANK GOD, Papelbon gets the out, and a whopping 9.00 ERA to start my fantasy season off right.
6-5, Red Sox! It wasn't pretty, but I'll take it. I'm just so happy there's real baseball on TV again, I could kiss someone.
Thanks for the handful of you checking in this morning. If you get a chance, the boys at Walkoff Walk double-teamed this game today as well, so check it out. And, with that, it's time to, uh, work. Sighhh...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Join me then, if you will, in a chortle at this gem of a mangled idiom from an ESPN.com article on New York's Shelley Duncan, who is currently appealing his 3-game suspension following his participation in a brawl with the Rays last week:
"To give Bob Watson and Major League Baseball a chance to hear the story from my eyes is pretty important to me," Duncan said, according to MLB.com.
Phenomenal, Shelley. Apparently your eyeballs can talk. Wouldn't it be fun, indeed, if all ballplayers' body parts could talk? What do we think Akinori Iwamura's meat-and-2-veg would be saying to Duncan's cleats in this picture?
I'm guessing something along the lines of, "YEAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOO!"
Monday, March 17, 2008
One of the things that worries me about the prospect of death, though, is that I fear there will be no sports in the afterlife. I mean, everyone is supposed to kind of get along and junk once we've shuffled off this mortal coil, right? How is the prospect of eternal bliss in any way compatible with having to share said eternity and bliss with a bunch of dumbass brotards from the Bronx wearing Derek Jeter jerseys and arguing about how Chuck Knoblauch belongs in the Hall of Fame? (HE DOESN'T.) I'm not sure I'm comfortable with having to leave my homerism behind, even if it does mean a perfect life in an incorruptible body while participating in the transcendent spiritual good that underlies the universe. Damn it all to hell... wait, no, that's not what I meant.
Anyhoodle, it appears that MLB, forward-thinking body of spiritual assuagement that they are, has already anticipated this crisis of faiths, and has accordingly licensed a series of commemorative caskets and urns so that you can be buried with your love for your team.
Check out the full line at the company's website here; note that you can also buy Precious Moments and Star Trek caskets, should you feel so inclined.
Note: This story is actually pretty old, but it only showed up on The Sporting News yesterday, and I don't usually bother watching Outside The Lines because I don't care about human interest stories about how female high school wrestlers are brave for breaking gender stereotypes and blah blah blah.
Friday, March 14, 2008
BECAUSE MY LITTLE BROTHER JUST GOT IN THERE.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The brouhaha started yesterday, when Yankees catching prospect Francisco Cervelli's wrist was shattered during a home plate collision with Rays infielder Elliot Johnson. (Note that, just days before, Carl Crawford had plowed into Astros catcher Humberto Quintero at the plate in another game. It seems that the Rays' plan for domination this year consists of taking out members of every other team one by one. That may be their only chance at a playoffs run, anyway.) New Yanks skipper Joe Girardi called the hit "uncalled for," but insisted that retaliation would not be in his next game plan. Rays manager Joe Maddon, however, appeared nothing short of gleeful at the crash, saying, "I loved the hardball." [Ed. note: Didn't we all?]
Today's matchup between the two teams, however, saw the tension escalate to a new level, as a high inside pitch thrown by pinstriped pitching prospect (whee!) Heath Phillips at red-hot Tampa Bay outfield prospect Evan Longoria resulted in Phillips' ejection. Later, Yankee Shelley Duncan (god, I feel like I'm a high-schooler filling my BFFs in on the hot gossip from the weekend!!1! omg 4eva) made an over-aggressive slide into second base [Ed. note: a technique I'm all too familiar with] -- and that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. The result: A bench-clearing brawl that ultimately saw 5 players tossed from the game.
Man, I'm exhausted just from typing and hyperlinking that. Here's hoping these two lame-ass teams wear one another out by fighting all season, leaving my Red Sox to cruise effortlessly to another division title.
Next week: will Nick Markakis' secret finally be revealed? Will Vernon Wells' evil twin show up in time to stop the wedding? Tune in to find out... this is All My AL East Children.
Oh, and one final note: Evan Longoria (see below) has officially been added to my List Of Athletes I Love. Any other Yankees bitches trying to take him out this season will have ME to answer to. Seriously, this kid is hot (although some disagree with me). He'll be the future of Tampa Bay, as long as we can keep him from starting some half-assed and honestly kind of creepy charity...
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Accordingly, here is my (ahem!) glog of the 2nd period of the Bruins game (it's currently the 3rd, which makes this a LIVE glog):
That is all.
Instead, I think I'll spend the day practicing my Canadian accent in order to better hurl epithets at my television during the Bruins/Senators (that's Les Sénateurs d'Ottawa for you French speakers) game tonight.
Tonight's game, as with basically every game we have coming down the stretch, is A Big Deal. If we beat Ottawa, our point total will increase to 82; the Senators currently have 83 points on the season, while the division-leading Habs have 85. In other words, we're within striking distance of winning our division, which is probably more than the Leafs or Sabres (sorry, James) can say. However, given the highly competitive nature of the Atlantic division (the Devils have 86, the Penguins have 85, and the Rangers have 83) it could prove more difficult to actually win a 4-8 seed than to win our division. In other words: we need a friggin' win tonight.
Our last matchup against Ottawa on February 26 resulted in a 4-0 victory for us behind Tim Thomas' 22 saves and 2 goals from Zdeno Chara. Hopefully some of that sweet, sweet lovin' coming his way will help Thomas regain his magic in the goal tonight -- if he plays, since Coach Julien is playing his cards awfully close to his chest and not revealing who the starting netminder will be. No word yet on whether Chara, who missed Sunday's shootout loss to the Rangers with an upper torso injury (a broken heart?), will be back in action for tonight. I know many of you are simply dying of suspense, so rest assured: I'll check the updates after the B's morning skate at 11:30.
Update: Zdeno Chara will NOT be playing tonight. Marc Savard plans to score 7 first-period goals to make up for it. Alex Auld will be starting in goal.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Despite the confusion of Daylight Savings, I still managed to drag myself out of bed this morning in time for my fantasy baseball draft. Hooray! My team's name is PronktablyUnbeatable, named for Travis Hafner's winning fantasy football team last year (yes, I read too much Sports Illustrated). Here are the picks:
- Prince Fielder. Dude. Even with the 11th pick out of 13 teams I still got the Prince. Hawkins taking Miggy before Fielder? Pshhh thanks for the free RBIs, suckah.
- Josh Beckett. Santana was the only starter off the board at this point, and I did get some accusations of being a homer for this pick, but we'll see who's laughing when I'm leading the league in wins.
- Derrek Lee. I'm planning on playing Fielder at utility, so the opportunity to grab Lee at 1B was too good to pass up.
- Jonathan Papelbon. I decided I was going to beat the closer rush this year. I feel no need to justify this pick.
- Jason Bay. Good outfielders go fast in the first rounds. I had to make a move.
- Joe Mauer. I couldn't BELIEVE he was still available in the 6th round, especially with a Twins homer like Boyle drafting before me. Plus, he ups the hottie factor of my team significantly -- an important factor frequently overlooked by my male counterparts.
- Fausto Carmona. I struggled on this one -- did I want Roy Halladay instead? Ultimately, I opted for Carmona on the grounds that his team is significantly more likely to give him the run support for a win. Plus, he's looked great so far this spring.
- Jacoby Ellsbury. I was trying hard not to overload my team with Red Sox... but come ON. Ellsbury still on the board in the 8th round? It would have been foolish not to take him. He's going to be a huge boost in the more elusive offensive categories.
- Josh Fields. I LOVE this pick.
- Trevor Hoffman. Koller put it best: "40 saves is 40 saves."
- Jhonny Peralta. Thank god we're not in a defense league. Honestly, Jeter was still available at this point, but I just couldn't do it.
- Jered Weaver. Weaver is going to win 14 games this year. You heard it here first. Do the sabermetrics.
- Orlando Hudson. Damn, I am loving my infield at this point.
- Jeremy Hermida. Here's hoping he can do for an entire season what he did for the second half of last year. I love the combination of Bay, Hermida, and Ellsbury in the outfield.
- Andy Pettitte. No, I didn't want to draft a Yankee, but Pettitte is money. Honestly, I think he was a steal at this point in the draft.
- Rick Ankiel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Ryan Theriot. Wow. Another great pick. He can back up at both 2B and SS, and he likes to steal bases. I like that.
- Adam LaRoche. I've said before that LaRoche is always drastically undervalued in fantasy drafts. This draft was no exception. He's already off to a hot start this spring, too. The obvious issue here is that I've got nowhere to play him, since 1B is the position I have the most depth at. He's great to have, though, if only for trading purposes.
- Greg Maddux. Oh god he's like 100 years old. I still think he'll be an asset.
- Mark Buehrle. Eh, I'm not thrilled with myself for freaking out and drafting 2 pitchers in a row this late in the draft, but I had so many extra innings left at the end of the last year that I felt the need to overcompensate this year. I should have taken another 3B. Ah well -- Buehrle is a workhorse, and he rebounded surprisingly well last year after that less-than-spectacular 2006 season.
- Paul LoDuca. Considering I'll only play him when Mauer is out, and Mauer generally bats every day since he DH's when he's not catching, this was more insurance than anything else. There's nothing worse than scrambling to make a trade for a decent catcher when no one wants to trade theirs... and then you get stuck scooping up John Buck from the free agency pool and hating yourself for a month. Nooo thanks.
Yeah, I fizzled a bit in the later rounds (I was drafting for Tim, too, so I was switching back and forth between my rankings and his, and it got tough). The only real bummer was that I didn't get Evan Longoria. I made the mistake of mentioning that I was interested in him, and Boyle had to go rain on my parade. I LOVE this team, though, and overall I think I drafted well. I've got another draft in a couple of weeks, but for now these are my boys. Let's go Pronks!
Update: I changed my team name back to Bobby Kielty's Homer, which was the name I originally signed up with, and which is a nice double entendre given that I just pulled off a ridiculous trade for Mike Lowell and now have 4 members of my home team on my fantasy team. Now THAT is a homer.