Saturday, May 11, 2002

Can't win 'em all

I'm disappointed the Red Sox couldn't get the first one against the Mariners, but it doesn't change anything. Our team is still very good:

Any doubt that the Red Sox are being taken seriously was erased when Mariners manager Lou Piniella divulged the theme of the report submitted by Seattle advance scout Stan Williams.

''He said Boston is the best club we'll see this year,'' admitted Piniella before the start of the three-game set between the teams with the best records in baseball (Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe).

Let's see what today brings.

Friday, May 10, 2002

Those who know history …

``Every time we win, do something to thrill them, we help erase some of that doubt.''

Grady Little speaks the truth.

As for that doubt that lingers like a stray black cat, Dewey says it better than I can:

''Two outs in the last inning, two strikes on the hitter, nobody on base. I happened to glance over toward left field, and there it was on the scoreboard, `Congratulations Red Sox, 1986 world champions,' first time since 1918.

''Bloop single, no big deal. Next hitter single, no big deal. Two strikes on the next hitter, another single. Ah, you know the rest of the story. That's it. I don't even want to talk about it anymore.''

Evans, perhaps more than anyone else wearing a Red Sox uniform yesterday, understands who will be the last to be convinced of the worthiness of a team off to its best start in nearly a half-century (Edes, The Boston Globe).

That's not to say I'm not absolutely wide-eyed and near hysterical over this win streak. Like anything, there are shades of doubt.

Even if the Red Sox were to be swept in their upcoming three-game visit to Safeco Field, they'd be returning to Fenway with a 7-3 record for this road trip (Buckley, The Boston Herald).

I'm slowly coming to grips with the fact that this team is good and that they most likely will continue to be good. A whole lot of day dreaming is fair game at this point. No one will scold you if do. And that's all well and good.

But we know, having lived it, that there's many a flub betwixt the ball and the glove.

So doubt until the last out.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Giving in to temptation

This says it all:

The way these Sox are surging, the temptation to ignore decades of futility and allow even the murkiest dreams of postseason glory creep into New England's collective consciousness builds by the day (Hohler, The Boston Globe).

I'm wearing down. My cynical been burned before with scars to show for it side of my fan personality is in remission. I couldn't stop watching the game last night, and today, tired as anything, I keep catching myself dreaming little postseason daydreams …

I try to resist. Try to tell myself not to fall for it, like a woman who keeps going back to a man who beats her … I keep thinking, no, this time it's different and I read thing like this and I know for sure that something special is taking place:

… There have been times when Hillenbrand will glide to his left, snag a ball headed for the hole, and look back and see Garciaparra standing behind him.

''I'll say, `Nomie, why didn't you call me off that ball?''' Hillenbrand said. ''And he'll say, `Because I like to see you making plays''' (Edes, The Boston Globe).

I don't remember it being like this before. Maybe just maybe this is the … no, I still can't say it. I'm still in recovery. One game at a time.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Operation Infinite Justice?

Whoa. Nixon suspended for 4 games while Rupe, who happened to hit 2 Red Sox batters and started the whole friggin' thing, only gets a fine?

What a joke.

Yeah, it's probably a good idea to send a signal to other players that bats shouldn't be thrown:

… hitters just shouldn't be throwing their bats at pitchers. And to nip this in the bud right now, MLB, by suspending Nixon, sends out the message that bat-throwing isn't going to be the game's hot new trend. Even baseball purists who will agree that throwing at hitters is part of the game will agree that bat-tossing is not part of the game (Buckley, The Boston Herald).

But what did Castillo do to get 5 games suspension?!

Even Rupe is amazed at this Watson's idea of justice:

Rupe, who insisted to reporters that he didn't know how much he'd been fined, said he was surprised that Castillo and Nixon were punished. So did McRae.

''They might have gone a little overboard,'' Rupe said. ''I'm not sure'' (Edes, The Boston Globe).

Everyone is appealing, of course. But, as ill fate would have it

No hearing has been set by Watson, but according to one major league source, no action will be taken while the Sox are on the West Coast and it may wait until the end of the month, when the Sox are in New York to play the Yankees. The suspensions will be pending until the outcome of the hearing (Edes).

But, hey, no time to be glum. The Red Sox won last night. One down, five to go.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

[Insert cliche here]

Not much I can say at this point that doesn't come across like a cliche: The Red Sox first big test of the season? Now the games mean something? Oakland and Seattle are the elite of AL? The west is the best? Go west young man? Let's not forget what happened in Oakland last August? It's still early?

Whatever … that part of the schedule is here and the games need to played.

Am I nervous? Holy shit, yes, I'm nervous. This season has been a cake walk (another cliche!), and I've gotten pretty damn used to the euphoria of winning.

The worst part of all this for me is I'll be getting up in the middle of night to go check the results of the late games on the left coast. I can't sleep soundly without knowing. And then once I know, I can't fall right back to sleep either as I toss and turn wondering, win or lose, what's next.

"What's your road, man? -holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It's an anywhere road for anybody anyhow."

-- Neal Cassady as Dean Moriarty in On The Road

Monday, May 06, 2002

At the Tropa, Tropicabana …

``We're not going to be pushed around - by anyone.''

So said Trot Nixon. And I believe him.

An inning after Rupe hit Garciaparra and Hillenbrand, Nixon conveniently lost the handle on his bat, which landed on the grass just beyond the pitcher's mound, to the first base side …

``My bat slipped out of my hands. They can take it for what it's worth,'' Nixon said with a sly smile after replays indicated he clearly threw the bat intentionally (Massarotti, The Boston Herald)

Tonight's game should be interesting.

The only problem is now I can't get my own twisted version of that Copacabana song from Barry Manilow out of my head:

And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two
There was blood and a single gun shot
But just who shot who?

At the Tropa, Tropapacabana
The hottest spot north of Havana

Heh heh heh.

Oh, I really should stop picking on Tropicana Field and all the other MallParks scattered around the nation. As Tim, a reader who commented on my most recent snideness, wrote, "… what you put on the field is really a lot more important that [sic] what happens around it." Good point. And I'd be the first to admit that the Fenway (old park) experience cannot really be replicated outside of a city that shares the same historic charm.

That is even if you took every brick and seat from Fenway and transported it to the Arizona desert or Disneyfied Orlando, it wouldn't work. It'd be even more goofy and out of place than a swimming pool behind the center field fence or a rock climbing wall.

On the other hand, a MallPark in Boston would be a travesty. It just wouldn't fit the feel of the city, nor would such a park reflect the culture of New England, where there is a certain sacredness attached to the past.

Different cities have different needs.

(As an aside: I never was able to place my Derby bet online Saturday, thankfully. I would have lost all $50 I had planned on betting!)