Thursday, July 25, 2002

Vacation (again)

OK. I'm taking a few days off again. The Red Sox are now 0-8 in games played while I'm on out of town on vacation and not posting. Time to break that jinx tonight, with Pedro Martinez on the mound.

I'm hoping that being at the game tonight in Fenway combined with visiting family and friends deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation while waxing nostalgic will counter any eerie coincidences.

Speaking of nostalgia, growing up playing sandlot ball and whiffle ball, it was a given that when one of us launched a long ball we'd follow it with "Mercy!" in mimicry of Red Sox announcer Ned Martin. It's sad to hear of his passing.

Regular postings will resume Tuesday, July 30th.

Go Red Sox!

Worry Beads

At the risk of receiving a rash of e-mail's describing me as a quitter or giving up on the team, man no very little faith, I'm going to say that I'm unsettled.

``We only lost these last two games,'' Garciaparra said. ``We played well over the weekend, we easily could have taken all three. We're not doing anything wrong."

Horseshoes and hand grenades anyone? (Where close is good enough …)

I know the players and manager have to remain cool, have to make positive statements to the press, but know I'm not the only fan who is tired of hearing about what a long season it is and how one or two losses don't mean to much in the big scheme of things.

As Jim Traficant might say: Bullshit!

Four and one half games behind the Yankees … behind Oakland for the wild card … September is right around the corner and soon it'll be Aesop's fable of the grasshopper and the ants.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Surprise, surprise, surprise

Wow. I haven't ever had an afternoon at work listening to a Red Sox game before! 22 runs? The 10 run 3rd put me into a drunken state. The whole thing took a fuzzy, is this real? aspect after that.

Funny thing is this is the Red Sox lead the major leagues in most double-digit innings. I didn't know that. I never would have imagined that.

But the stat that most sticks in my head from yesterday?

Garciaparra, 29, became the first major leaguer to have a three home-run game on his birthday, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician (ESPN).

I'm not sure what is more surprising: That Nomar belts 3 homers on his birthday or that Elias keeps stats on how many homers players have hit on their birthdays over the years!

And the losing in the 9th inning to the Devil Rays in the night game? I'm letting it go. I'm just in too good a mood.

I started another run a few days off from work today, and that's always a good feeling in the summer. Better still I'm headed home to visit family and this includes a trip to Fenway on Thursday … And guess who is scheduled to start? Oh, yes, brothers and sisters, Pedro Martinez is slated to go to the mound on Thursday evening. I've never seen him pitch live before.

It's all good.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002


Two against Tampa Bay today, including the matinee at 1:05pm.

But before a sky-is-falling mentality seizes a region that tends to throw in the towel long before the team it professes to love does, the schedule-maker has delivered an almost guaranteed remedy. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are coming to town for four games … (Edes)

Throw in the towel? Who me? Heh heh … Of course, this coming from the Boston media, who are infamous for their venomous stories against the team, is kind of a case of the pot calling the kettle black, eh?

I've already put last weekend behind me. Let's play some baseball.

Got Stories?

The folks at Fandemonium are seeking stories from Red Sox fans for possible publication in a forthcoming book. If you've got a good one (and I know many of you do from bits you've sent in email and/or left as comments), contact Dan Wright:

Speaking of stories, I enjoyed this blog entry about a first trip to Fenway.

Fenway Farewell

image of the number 9

Some of you surely attended the Ted Williams tribute yesterday at Fenway Park. It's so cool that the Red Sox are going to change the name of the 600 Club to the .406 Club in honor of Williams.

The Globe's Ted Williams tribute photos are a must see.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Not always

It's worth noting after my post earlier that the Yankees don't always beat the Red Sox:

Except, of course, for 1946, when the Red Sox won the pennant. And 1948, when the Sox knocked the Yankees out of the race on the next-to-last day of the season. And 1967, when the Sox finished first and the Yanks finished ninth. And 1973, when the Yankees were favored to win the A.L. East but instead lost 14 of 18 to the Red Sox and finished fourth. And 1974, when the Sox swept the Yankees in a doubleheader at Shea Stadium and knocked them out of first place for good in a race they wound up losing by two games. And 1975, when the Yanks were again favored to win the division but lost three out of four to the Sox at Fenway in late June to fall out of first place for good, and three out of four to the Sox at Shea in late July to fall completely out of the race. And 1986, when the Sox finished off the Yanks -- and everyone else -- with a September sprint they are allegedly incapable of (capped by a 7-2 win in the Bronx on a Friday night that buried the Yanks once and for all). And 1987, when the Sox knocked the reeling Yankees out of the ring by winning two of three at Fenway from Sept. 7-9, dropping them 6 1/2 games out of first and out of serious contention. And 1988, when . . . (Art Matone, ProJo)

It just seems that way, especially after debacles like this past weekend.

Trying to contain my excitement

``You can call 'em heartbreakers if you want to,'' manager Grady Little said of the losses. ``It was one of the most exciting weekends I've had in baseball.''

Exciting? Really?

Nothing against Grady Little, but that's a bunch of bullshit as far as I'm concerned. Of course, in his defense, I wouldn't want Little to say any different. I mean I don't expect Donald Rumsfeld or Condi Rice to hold a press conference and say, "You know what? We are losing the war on terrorism. Hell, we are getting our asses kicked."

Those in the leadership roles always have to crank up the positive spin machine.

But exciting isn't among the dozen or so words I have in mind to describe the way the last two games played out in the Bronx.

And of all the words kicking around the empty cavity in my chest, the worst one, the most hurtful one is not "excited" but "expected."

Remember that song by the Godfathers from the late 80s called "Birth School Work Death"? Well, for Red Sox fans it should be rewritten as "Birth (Lose to the Yankees) School (Lose to the Yankees) Work (Lose to the Yankees) Death."

The Yankees win. The Yankees always win.

And one can scoff at the idea of a curse, be it Bambino's or Dr. Evil's. But, curse or no curse, the end result is the same: The Yankees win. The Yankees always win.

And let's not even try to blame the economic system in place in baseball:

In the end, George Steinbrenner's massive checkbook didn't beat them. Nor did umpire Charlie Reliford, who somehow saw things that 55,000 other folks did not. The Sox are four games out of first place this morning - instead of being tied for the top spot - because they couldn't get out of their own way when it mattered.

… Boston and New York are virtual equals when it comes to talent. The difference over the weekend was that the Sox had more moments when you screamed aloud, ''What are they thinking?" (Holley, The Boston Globe)

Curse? Coincidence? Choke? Chaos? Contretemps?