Saturday, July 21, 2001

First place

The Red Sox are back in first place, albeit a first place tie with the Yankees. Still, it's late July and the Red Sox are in first place in the AL East. Repeat it to yourself often throughout the day.

Meanwhile, Nomo continues his amazing run:

Nomo (10-4) became the eighth pitcher in the AL to reach double-digits in wins and improved to 4-0 since Pedro Martinez was lost to a shoulder injury. He also demonstrated once again why Boston hasn't lost more than three games in a row this season. The Red Sox are 9-0 when Nomo starts after a loss, and he improved to 7-0 in such situations.

``Like Earl Weaver said, momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher,'' pitching coach Joe Kerrigan said. ``The guy battles. He doesn't give in and he knows how to pitch with runners in scoring position'' (The Boston Herald).

Reminds me that my wife and I have tentatively scheduled ourselves a trip to the Far East next summer, including a stop in Tokyo. I've never been to that part of the world, and now with Japan, and even Korea, becoming a major source of talent in baseball, it'll be fun to try and catch a game over there. (Actually, my chances of dragging my wife to a Tokyo Yomiuri Giants game are pretty slim. She tolerates the trips to Fenway and Camden Yards, but this would really be pushing it. I'd be happy, though, just to see all of Tokyo come to a standstill when Ichiro is on TV.)

Friday, July 20, 2001

''They killed my father, and now they're coming after me.''

Writer David Halberstam attributes the quote above to his friend and former Boston Globe editorial writer Marty Nolan. Halberstam calls it the greatest phrase he knows to describe being a Red Sox fan, and I have to agree. When I read the quote, especially when reading it out loud, I just can't stop laughing.

Speaking of Red Sox heartache being handed down from father to son through the years, the one thing my dad and I always have in common is discussion of baseball and the Red Sox. (For whatever reason, on most other topics we just don't really connect that well.) And I'm always amazed at how much knowledge and experience my dad has with the game, even though he isn't what you'd call a die hard fan. (I think they killed him, so to speak.) For instance, when I made me visit to New England a couple of weeks back, my dad started reminiscing about the times he and his brother would take the train to New York to see Red Sox v. Yankees series in the Bronx. I never knew that. My dad never mentioned it before. And here I was thinking just how cool it would be to go to NY next summer and see some games at Yankee Stadium and my dad has already been there, done that. Makes me wonder how many other tales of the game he has that I'm naive to.

I need to spend more time talking to my dad.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Worst deals

ESPN's Page Two is running a piece on the Most Lopsided Trades in the history of sports.

According to readers, guess which team comes in at #1 and #2?

No surprise, right? The trade of Babe Ruth (and the beginning of the Curse) is the all time, all sport #1. And, of course, the Bagwell for Anderson deal ain't far behind.

Good Times Rolling

I'm completely out of synch with regard to making a posting today. Generally, I write early, just before or after breakfast, around 6am, after reading the online sports and various other weblogs; however, today I had to bust it at work, so came in early and skipped my usual writing time. Now it's lunch hour and it just feels odd. I'm like a guy who has spent the season as a starter only to find himself coming out of the bullpen as a middle reliever. Difficult to adjust.

Also, things are going well. At the moment (fingers crossed) there is no real controversy or lingering sense of doom. Cone got the job done again last night and Garciaparra could be with the PawSox by Monday to begin the final stages of his rehab.

And, as vengeful as I am, I think it's wonderful that Roger Clemens picked up his 13th win last night, and became the first AL pitcher to do so this season. See, I'm hoping the Yankees use Clemens as a crutch to keep them going through the season only to watch Clemens fall apart in the post season, as he always does. Despite a bit of success last year against the Mets, when it comes down to it Clemens cannot win the big games in October.

Oh, that reminds me of what I wanted to quote from The Boston Globe today:

All those World Series rings Cone won with the Bombers? He keeps them locked in a safe at home, and has rarely had them on his fingers.

''I'll wear this one,'' Cone said last night after yet another come-from-behind win by the Sox, this one by a 5-4 score over the Toronto Blue Jays. ''If we get there, I'll wear this one.''

Now that is priceless.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001


In the summer just after I graduated from college, when I was working for Filene's Basement in Warwick, RI and living in North Attleboro, MA, I used to drive right by McCoy Stadium where the PawSox play every day on my way to work. I'm embarrassed to say that I never once attended a game there. Of course, the year was 1986, so the big club had all of my attention.

Still now that I'm no longer living in the area, I see it as yet another lost opportunity.

For any of you lucky enough to live within driving distance of McCoy in Providence, I'd recommend getting over there on Saturday to see Saberhegan's rehab outing. Heck, then after the game you can go up to Federal Hill and have some killer Italian food. (No pun intended wiseguys.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

The Spaceman Cometh

According to the Globe, in Montreal "Spaceman Bill Lee motored up from Vermont for the game and made a cameo in the press box." That is awesome. The Spaceman has always been one of my all time fave Red Sox players.

Now if we can get J.D. Salinger to make an appearance, I'd say we have some good omens lining up.

There does seem to be some magic in the air: The talk now is that Saberhagen may come back after all! Can you imagine?

Monday, July 16, 2001

I'd rather not read this kind of reporting

OK. Here we again. Another occasion in which Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy writes something that really bothers me.

In this week's edition of his for fee column in the Globe's @Bat Insider, he refers to Jose Offerman:

Is anyone else tired of watching Jose Offerman? He's hitting in the .260s now, has no power, no speed, and is a liability on defense. Too bad the alternative is Mike Lansing. Offerman's top asset at present his ability to be the interpreter when Kerrigan comes out to talk to Rolando Arrojo. Notice you'll always see Offerman join the conversation on the mound. I'm betting he's not relaying the whole conversation . . .

He's betting Offerman is not relaying the whole conversation? What is that supposed to mean? What evidence does he have?

Is it me or does that come across as totally unprofessional and sophomoric? Geez, maybe Shaughnesssy should lobby Congress to pass an English-only law for ballplayers. Then you wouldn't have to cast aspersions on a player because he happens to speak a different language. This is the same kind of crap you hear from the culturally-deprived who say things like "I don't like it when they speak Spanish because I know they are talking about me and saying bad things about America." Give me a break.

If this were just an isolated incident, I'd let it pass, but this guy consistently passes off innuendo and rumor as reporting; moreover, he's hypocritical about it, consistently blaming stupid fans as the source of such weird theories regarding the Red Sox.

I could read stuff like this all day

While the Red Sox have always had a strong fan base all over North America, this year things really seem to be intensifying. Evidently, yesterday's game in Montreal had the largest attendance at Olympic Stadium since Opening Day, with a majority of the fans rooting for the Sox:

You should have seen it.

You should have heard it.

When Boston broadcasters Sean McDonough and Jerry Remy were pictured on the center field scoreboard, they received a loud ovation from the crowd of 32,965. Starting and winning pitcher Hideo Nomo received a standing ovation when he singled in the fifth. Reliever Rich ''El Guapo'' Garces was given an ovation that could have awakened all of Canada when he bunted in the seventh and hilariously began charging toward first base. It was like watching a locomotive gain speed before quickly deciding to bring all action to a halt (The Boston Globe).

And reports suggest that Sox fans were out in full force at Shea as well. It seems Yankee Stadium and Jacob's Field are the only two parks where the local team's fans don't get drowned out with cheers for the Red Sox.

I know that last year when I went to Camden Yards to see a Red Sox v. Orioles series in May, the entire section I was in (nosebleed, upper deck) was entirely made up of Boston fans. Even when I was in Texas and would go to watch Boston play the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington (unlike Montreal or New York, Dallas is not within easy driving distance) I'd run into many Red Sox fans.

The Globe article suggests that right now this road trip fan base is at an all-time high, and is due to fans' empathy with the current team's makeup: not many superstars (with the exception of Manny and the notables on the DL), just guys with lots of heart and hustle. I think that is so true. This is really an incredible team. Even if things don't go as planned (I don't think post season play will ever be a lock the remainder of the season), this is a Red Sox team very worthy of our adulation.

This is a great season to be a Red Sox fan.