Saturday, August 26, 2006

...But You Hit Like Shit

Timely offensive production. Seems to be consistently escaping these boys. We score a lot when our pitchers are terrible (hence Beckett's win total), but can't seem to bail out a decent to good start (hence Schill's and Wells' hard luck lately). Although Schill wasn't sharp last night, would've been nice to put a few on the board. A few RISP hits, and a little help from the 'pen and he should have 17-ish wins.

I leave the Sox in your capable and grumpy hands for the next seven days, as Clan MattySox will be journeying to Hilton Head, SC tomorrow for a week's vacation. It'll be the farthest south I've ever been on the east coast, and I'm expecting nothing less than to walk into a foreign drawl-filled country...we'll see. And I'll have no internet (or TV, I think), so I'll be relying on stray newspapers and box scores to keep me filled in. Or maybe I'll just ignore the Sox for the whole week, get back next Saturday and find out we've surged into the wild card lead. Or are 10 games out. Not sure which I'd bet on at this point...

So have yourselves a nice week, I shall return tanned (as much as possible for this Mick), rested, and hopefully pleasantly surprised at the turn in fortune for my nine from the north. Later...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Credit in the Sox World

Thank you, Josh. There, I hope anyone who might be lurking about this webtrocity noticed that. I think Josh Beckett pitched well last night. There I said it. A compliment for Josh Beckett. Did everyone notice?

Ok, that said, can Papi get a little help? He's hitting the ball and running the bases so much it's messing up his heartbeat. And for the love of God, Timlin is killing us. I hate to say it, but has Ol' Daddy Time finally caught up with Camo Mike? I'm not sure, but I was amused how the Globe said he came on "and finished the walk" like it was a matter of course, a little something to take care of before throwing the obligatory wild pitch and giving up the oh so predictable RBI single. His percentage of inherited runners to score the last two years is 327%. I looked it up. (And I'm hiding this in a parenthetical notation, hoping no one will notice, but did you see where Francona (!) said, regarding Beckett's cut finger, "I'm glad we sent [Wallace] out there. I don't think [Beckett] would have said anything." After giving up a walk, going 2-0 on the next hitter in a 2-0 game, during the most desparate stretch of the season, when Beckett said to the coaches, "I can't grip my curveball or my fastball," the manager has to worry that his pitcher wouldn't have said anything about it. There. Eighteen people read my blog and saw me call Beckett the dumbest pitcher in MLB. Francona just basically told the same thing to millions of people throughout New England and beyond. Somebody go yell at him.)

Regardless of Beckett's intelligence, how great does it feel to win two in a row? Is this not the greatest two-game winning streak ever? If we can go 6-3 on this trip, who knows? The Central has to play a lot of games against itself. Maybe we can sneak in the old attrition back door whilst they pound each other. Sort of like how we did last year when Cleveland collapsed...see what a little two-game streak'll do? Now I'm just talking crazy talk...

Oh, and does Bob Ryan's column today sound just a little familiar in tone? Hmmm... I seem to recall those "unpopular" sentiments from somewhere...probably just a coinky-dink.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Unpopular Post

I'm sick of Red Sox fans.

Let me rephrase. I'm sick of Red Sox fans who blame every little teeny tiny thing, like a five-game sweep, on every single possible outside force or reason, without really understanding that all the blame lies with the Red Sox owners, management and players. I'm sick of the persecution complexes and the conspiracy theories and the out-and-out whining. I'm sick of being surrounded by people unable to have a discussion about baseball because they can't see past their own hurt feelings and sadness. I'm sick of the act of being a baseball fan being relegated simply to throwing sand in the eyes of someone you don't like. I'm sick of baseball not being fun.

Ask my wife: nobody has ever hurled as many off-color, impossible-sexual-move-suggesting, vulgarities at Derek Jeter as I have. Because he makes me madder than just about any baseball player who has ever lived. And you know why? Because he's really, really fucking good. And he's really fucking clutch. And he has won a lot. At our expense, especially. But he's a great player, having maybe his best season yet. The idea that you can string together 2,000 consecutive "cheap" hits to create this fraud of a career is a pathetic notion, one that discredits anyone who makes this assertion look like they've never been a real fan of baseball. So Pokey's catch was better (and it was); does that make Jeter's catch bullshit? No. So Papi and Manny put up their own huge numbers; does that make Jeter's numbers or contributions to his team meaningless? Of course not. Guess what folks...Papi's not gonna let you put his MVP trophy on your mantle at home. Neither's Manny, if he even took the time to go pick it up if he won. The Red Sox have fans who celebrate Manny's consistently selfish, lackadaisacal play and plaster "Manny Being Manny" on t-shirts and signs. That's bullshit. McAdam in the Pro-Jo today said that Manny was so upset about what he thought was a hit Friday night being scored an error that he lobbied MLB to change the call, and threatened to sit out Saturday's game in protest. In the middle of a fucking pennant race. That is fucking embarrassing to anyonoe who has ever worn the scarlet letter.

The Red Sox are fronted by three conspiratorial, thin-skinned whiners, general managed by an overmatched and overrated "whiz" kid, and managed by an apologist of the biggest kind. Nothing's ever anyone's fault. Cano's double yesterday shines the biggest spotlight on the difference between these two teams right now. He pulls a ball in the whole between first and second, hustles all the way; Loretta makes his usual 110% effort to get to it, it gets by, and there's Pena, loafing in right field, not aggressively backing up the play. And it turned a single into a double. If Pena's charging hard on that ball, anticipating that it might get by Mark, then he probably holds Cano to a single. And Abreu doesn't drive him in from first with his hit. But there it is. Cano took the chance, was agressive and heads up, and caught us slacking. So who's gonna step up and say to Pena, "What the fuck, dude?" My guess is no one. Somebody will say, "Well, you know, Loretta makes that play 9 times out of 10, and you know, it's Wily's bat that we need right now, and you know..."

Theo had a chance to step up and take responsibility for our horrendous pitching staff. Did he? Not really, he sort of deflected it on to the Holy Grail of RSN, the salary gap. Did he say, "Ya know what, when it comes to pitchers the last two years, maybe we haven't really been as good at evaluating talent and value as we thought. And that's my fault." No, of course not. Because it's not his fault, right? He just can't spend as much money. Not that the idea of just spending the money you do have more wisely has anything to do with it. Maybe not throwing $40 mil at Edgar, or whatever ungodly sum we're paying Clement, or maybe being able to see the anomaly that Seanez's numbers were in the NL last year and not overvaluing Tavarez's contributions to another NL team. Maybe not throwing what will most likely end up being a horrific contract extention at the dumbest pitcher in MLB, Josh Beckett. Maybe keeping a half-decent minor league catcher in reserve who can actually, I don't know, catch the ball, and maybe hit .250 in the process. Maybe not undervaluing key members of your own team, and I'm gonna finally come out and say this: losing Damon was a colossal mistake, not just because of how he played this weekend, but because of what he meant to the team. Of course Crisp makes the whole thing look much worse by comparison, but still, we are developing this pattern of low-balling key people, and then spinning them off as traitors when they leave. Dr. Charles makes sure the Red Sox look like the spurned lover, left at the alter for the richer enemy. Spin control like that makes sure nobody upstairs has to take responsibility for shitty personnel decisions.

With all that hot air coming from Yawkey Way, it's no wonder that such a large portion of our fans end up spouting the same worthless rhetoric. When did it become so hard in America to admit that somebody is just plain better than you? We rail on people like DaaaaYankeesWin, who is obnoxious sometimes, but sounds like a baseball fan, making salient baseball points. When did the dialogue become so poisonous? I have several Yankee fan friends and yeah, we trash talk, but we talk about the game mostly; the numbers, the trends, we argue for our favorite players, and rail against the ones we despise. But when they make a great point, or when their team just flat hands our ass to us, we make a point to acknowledge the other team's accomplishment. We don't just say, "Yeah, ok, you swept five in a row, but you know, you suck because your starters' ERA was high." Who cares if the Yankees starters' ERA was around five for the series; WE JUST LOST FIVE GAMES IN A ROW TO OUR MOST BITTER RIVAL.

It hurts. But don't blame it on anything other than us getting out-pitched, out-hit, out-hustled and out-managed for five straight games. Don't blame it on money or injuries or umpires or annoying rival television announcers. And don't diminish or refuse to acknowledge the accomplishments of the victor, because it comes across as cheap whining, sore losing and it diminishes your stature as a fan of the game. It relegates you to the sort of fan we always decry, the one who only roots to be on the winning side, not one who roots for the love of a the best game there is. We've all been guilty of being the former; would it kill us to remember how much fun baseball can be when you concentrate on being the latter?

Monday, August 21, 2006

I Am Always Right

Terry Francoma is one of the worst manager's I have ever seen in my entire life. I know lots of you out there will argue this till you're blue in the face, but he is absolutely balls-out shitass team-killing Bubba Gump retarded stupid sucking bad. I have never seen anyone fuck up the last two innings of a game like he did last night. Absolutely horrible. I didn't even stay up for the tenth. I turned it off and read a book. I didn't have to stay up. I knew that Hansen would cough it up, because he should not even be here; he should be in Pawtucket, working on control and building confidence, not continually thrown into overmatched situations that will eventually kill it. But you know, that would require a decent manager and a GM who understands people, not just numbers. 95mph is worthless without knowing how to use it.

Back to Francoma. Going to sad sack Timlin in the 8th was fucking idiotic. I love Camo Mike as much as you, and I don't not appreciate his contributions to our team the last few years, but it's a terrible decision here. Paps hadn't pitched in 4 days, and only threw like 7 pitches against the Tigers for his last save. Francoma said he didn't want Paps to throw 40 pitches. He ended up throwing 42. But if he starts the 8th, I think it would have allowed him to be more aggressive rather than nibbling and trying not to be too fine about everything. Once Timlin shit the bed, go right for Paps. Why the fuck are you bringing in Lopez, our "lefty specialist" (please, he's been up from the minors for a month- specialist huh?) to face Abreu, but then you pull him without pitching to Lefty Giambi? If you're not gonna let him face both lefties, then don't use him at all!!! Just bring in the Kid with only two on. Just hideously handled. Really mangled. Then with two on and no one out, the bunt call. I know lots of you, again, will argue with me about this, but WE DON'T FUCKING BUNT!!! EVER!!! It's not what we do, it's not how we play the game. I hate when managers, who worthlessly do nothing the rest of the game, suddenly feel like they need to prove to a national television audience that they've read the "Official Book" on baseball managing. Who the fuck cares that every schlomo NL team would bunt in that situation. We NEVER do it, so why the fuck should anyone expect we'll do it well? Should Youk be able to lay down a decent bunt in theoretical, fantasy land because he's an MLB player? Abso-fucking-lutely. In real Sunday night Fenway world did anyone smarter than Francoma think it was going to work? Fuck no. Let him swing away. Let him work a walk. Let that Panamanian douche bag work out of bases loaded no out. Don't give up the outs intentionally. I hate that more than anything. You only get 27 outs a game, 23 if you factor in Mirabelli's fucking worthless Single-A at bats, so don't fucking give the outs away. If Youk grounds into a double play there, I'd handle that better than watching him lay down a terrible bunt when the guy only has ONE sac bunt in his whole major or minor league career. Joe fucking Morgan sitting up there saying, "You have to bunt here," and Jon Miller taking his mouth off Morgan's wang long enough to say, "Of course you do." No you don't. I can't say it loud enough. BUNTING SUCKS!!! IT'S NOT 1906 ANYMORE!!! FUCK BUNTING!!!

I haven't been this mad at this team since Millar weakly bounced out to second early in game 2 of the '04 ALCS, when I tore my jersey open and popped all the buttons and threw it in the corner. On a night when Schilling once again became the wheelchair for our parapalegic season, to watch Francona just throw that performance in the toilet, that was worse than watching the blowouts and the overmatched minor league pitchers of the last couple days. Today, as I sit here, the embarrassing thing isn't that we've lost 4 in a row. It's that we're rapidly becoming one of the most ineptly run and managed teams I can see. Considering the resources we have to work with, and yeah yeah yeah blah fucking blah 200 million Yankees bullshit whatever, we have a lot more to work with than all but one, and we are pissing it away. Paralysis by analysis. I'll have the game on at 1, but man, I don't know why.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Proverbial Stone and the Proverbial Hill

See September, 1978, but it's five games this time. Our pitching staff playing the role of Crispus Attucks, of course. One if by blowout, two if by embarrassment. Will anyone respond to the lights in the Old North Fens this time?

Rancid

So I watched just bits and pieces yesterday. And man, am I glad for that. Until the ultimate kick to the gear last night; left the restaurant, we were up 10-7, got in a cab, went to the Black Cat to see Rancid, got out of the show and found out we lost 14-11. Which is also rancid, but not nearly as enjoyable as Rancid. Who put on a really good show. Hadn't seen 'em in awhile, and they were pretty good. The Cat is a much better venue for them than when they used to play Nation. Great old-school set list...really, not a bad song in the bunch, but they only played 70 minutes, my only complaint....

And not that anyone has been wondering but here's the answer to my question from the previous post regarding "Progress" singing people looking like shitty pitching people... Peter Garrett, the frontman for Midnight Oil wrote and sang the song "Progress," and he kinda looks like a really white Julian Tavarez...and while trying to find a picture of Peter, I discovered that he's now a member of the Australian Parliament...wow...that makes so much sense...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's Like a Plantetoid. It's Got its Own Weather System.

So the last score I saw for the Yunks-O's was O's up 3-2 in the 8th...and I just knew to the core of my being that the Yunks would come back and win. Just knew it. And I just checked the score and doncha know they didn't. Birds 3-2. Thank you very much, mono-syllabic closer Chris Ray. Nice job.

And we won. I'm trying not to talk about it too much. See, I don't watch, and we win. Maybe I'll just stop talking about them altogether. Then I'll see all of you at the parade. So if you don't hear from me this weekend, don't assume I'm dead. (Well, pretend if you want, you know, if you hate this blog or something). Just assume I'm helping the team in my own little way. Actually, that will be my way of dealing with the fact the five most important games of the season (so far) start Friday at 1:05, and I should be able to watch, oh, about an hour and a half total for the series. TJ, my job.

Oh, and don't know if you caught this. Interesting. I wonder how they'd classify Fat Ass Wells...planet, pluton or Garces...I say pluton; he's at least as big as Pluto, that fake planet, but without the out and out rotundity and gravitation-altering girth of El Guapo. Craft stores everywhere are wondering where they'll stock all the new styrofoam ball sizes. Last minute science fair projects will never be the same. Text books are oblivious. Get new science texts. While you're at it, get some history books that tell us how the Korean War ended, and math books without all that base-10 crap in them. "Some say that's progress; I say that's cruel." And on that note, what Red Sox pitcher resembles a Latin version of the singer who sang that line? And no googling, cheaters.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So Yummy

Papi. My Daughter can say, "Papi" now by the way. That's how amazing he is. A half-asleep 18-month-old can say his name...that's how amazing she is...2-2...

Yummy

USDA Prime, dry-aged, 14oz New York Strip Steak, shallot and red wine sauce, parmesean-basil mashed potatoes, 2004 Susana Balbo Malbec, Sox down 2-1 going bottom 8. What part of that sentence tastes bad?

IH8NYY2

On our way home from the grocery, we saw the following VA license plate:

NYYH8ER

And she had several Sox and Pats (including Pat Patriot) stickers in the rear window. Hope that bodes well for Schill and the boys tonight...

Been busy the last couple days, but looking forward to a nice quiet evening with me and the Sox, as My Wife will be out with the girl from the Land of Wind and Cheese. I'll check back in later. Enjoy the game H8ERS...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Friend of My Enemy Can Be My Friend Too. I Guess.

It's no secret to anyone how I feel about David Wells. I've been pretty clear about that. I will never share Peter's boundless optimism regarding the fat one, but that said, he really turned in just what we needed last night. And for that I'll ungrudgingly say, "Thank you." That's all I have to say about that.

Didn't see any of the game as I was at the restaurant till 11:30, and even though it should have been a "local" game here, it was on Comcast (the Angelos cartel), and the restaurant has DirectTV, but not the baseball package, so no dice. Just as well. It seems like they do better when I don't watch. At the very least, I do better when I don't watch. So for that reason, I will listen to Troup and Joe on mlb.audio at work, instead of "doing work" at the bar and watching it on FOX, which would be painful enough, even if the Sox scored 10 in the first.

Really awesome gift alert!!! If anyone wants an hysterical, personalized, as-read-by-Samuel L. Jackson invitation to go see "Snakes on a Plane," let me know. My Wife sent one to me and it's absolutely priceless. So let me know...you'll be glad you did. All I need to know is what your occupation is, what a hobby might be, and one personal appearance characteristic. Or you just let me guess...that might be more fun...oh yeah, I need your email address, too. If you don't want to publish that in the comments section, just email me directly at mattysox9@yahoo.com...

Enjoy the game, enjoy the weather, and here's to hoping JJ can be wells today...oh, and Mike Lowell can be my big brother anytime. Love that guy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I will always love REM

That's great is starts with a joint's creak, Trot and Tek's muscles are sore
Jon Les-ter knows ball four...1,2 lets go

Willy Mo Pena's dreams, listen to Francona scream...
Timlin's camoflage uniform, pen-burning, run-letting
every pitcher analyze, trading deadline paralyze,
Theo and Luchino's in the wrong , wrong,
Julie T is psychotic, winning is so episodic, we feel fine...

It's the end of the Nation as we know it
It's the end of the Nation as we know it
(time a pitcher lasted nine)
And we feel fine...

The Red Sox Suck. Wrote a Song About It Wanna Hear It Here It Goes...

Here' s my day in a nutshell...got to work late. Restaurant deathly boring all day. Got a shitty bonus check for the second quarter. Assumed Sox couldn't possibly get swept. Find out Sox did get swept. First three game sweep by Royals in KC since '91. Schill first pitcher to give up 9 doubles in a game since 1935. Learned unable to use pronouns or articles.

Then I read Michael and Peter and Jere's blogs. Honestly, I've been reading all you guys for over a year, read all your archives. This is my 72nd post since I joined, like 2 months ago. We are some depressed motherfuckers. Seriously. FINY has it right. Go to Minnesota and get wasted. And Liriano is shut down indefinitely, so I'll bet most of MN is getting drunk right now. Jere, you're missing out. Drunk is the only way to live with this team.

To Peter, your indomitable sense of optimism is both annoying and life supporting. Michael, your arcane Mets references bring a smile to an unbreakable face. Jere, you make me the most sad. Nobody believes in this team more than you. I am the biggest cynic of the group, except for maybe BSM (time to post again, btw. you have too many opinions to just comment, ya know, just in case you're reading...) And yet, we all sound terrible. Jere's mom tried to cheer us up fer chrissakes...

So we come back home after a 1-5 trip against the worst teams in baseball. To play the Orioles. Which means I can watch them at home, on the TV, not the computer, because Peter Angelos rules the world. I wish the Sox were playing the Nats. Thanks to the same Peter Angelos, I can bearly watch the Nats. I'm not sure what the best case scenario is here. I think I need a vacation from the Sox. After every rock bottom I've always wanted the next game. Now I just want a day off.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Killing Blow

I said to my friend, Larkin, tonight at work, that this morning was rock bottom for us as Sox fans. He's a Sox fan, he reads my blog, he said, "I know, this is as bad as it gets."

The last score I saw on the TV at work was 4-3 Sox. I watch the end of the Yankees game. I was so upset that with the bases loaded and no one out, two straight pop ups and then the fly to Melky. I am super psyched over the 3-run jack to get to 7-6 (we were so dead tonight, hence the time to watch the game). I was so mad at Thome for grounding out, into a force to Jeter, so he could clench his fist the way he does when he mistakenly thinks he himself caused all that created the win. Sickening.

I just got home a little bit ago. I crack a beer. I had a really bad work night. I thought we won 4-3. I check my email. Michael Leggett left a message that said that even Papelbon was in a funk. I get sick again. I check the score. I am defeated and heartbroken.

I read Jere's blog. (Sorry for the Hemingway-esque sentences.) I've never read Jere sound like that. He's where I'm at Wednesday, last morning. I read his comments. Some ex-Iraqi Marine or something vet says it's not life and death. He's seen that. We're only three out of the lead. My Kid cries in her crib and I go and hold her and she falls asleep on my shoulder and I put her back to bed. Fuck the Red Sox.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Moving On

Just for the record, I'm still not pleased with the direction we're headed, you know, baseball-wise. However, that did not prevent me from snagging tix to the Sept. 12 Sox-O's game in B-more. Hopefully it will be an incredibly important game...otherwise, I'll just enjoy my pre-game Oliver's ESB, my sausage, and my 3rd row club level seats behind the plate purchased at $50 under face for the pair.

Also, in the world is multi-faceted news, great news out of New Jersey today for those who call themselves Bouncing Souls fans. The Gold Tour kicks off right here in D.C. on October 12 (12's are wild today) at Le Chat Noir. With them, the Street Dogs. And the pre-sale was today and we have tix to that as well. My Wife will be the 7 1/2 month pregnant lady most likely wearing all black and white, yelling at the posers and complaining that "the kids have no pit etiquette, little fuckers..." And she's right. They don't.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gag

If A-Rod sucked any more, he'd be his own internet fetish...nice work giving Dye an extra swing by pussying out and not wanting to ram his hermaphroditic parts on the wall by actually catching a foul ball. ThaaaaaFuckingYankeesLose....start spreading the news, New York...

Remember That Really Sad Royals Blogger?

That guy gets to go to sleep tonight with a smile on his face. How 'bout you?

Blind Squirrels and Shit

I still hate Tavarez.

See-ahn-yez...See-ya-later...

Observations as I prepare to watch Tavarez put this game completely out of reach for us...I love how the KC announcer calls us "The Bostons." Very turn of the century. I love the roar of the crowd, even in KC, when someone, anyone who's not comatose on our bench comes out to yank See-ahn-yez, and then gets really quiet when they realize it's Freddy coming in to replace him...has Francoma reached Keith Hernandez status and I missed it? As in, "I'm Terry Fucking Francona and I'll pitch Seanez and Tavarez any goddamn time I want..." Ok, back to the debacle...

Que el deuce?

Oh, and probably late to the party on this one, but after an off day, how is Seanez our 2nd pitcher out of the bullpen? Just wondering...you know, because apparently Francona couldn't give less of a crap...

Doin' the Jimi

I'm about to throw up in my mouth and more than likely choke to death on my own Kansas City Royal blue vomit....if anyone is out there paying attention, please roll me over onto my stomach...at least the White Sox just came back...

Monday, August 07, 2006

We Play Big Balls

Has anybody registered the site, FireAlNipper.com yet? What is the fucking deal with pitchers who are unwilling to use their off-speed stuff? Beckett has suffered from that all season...measuring his dick by trying to throw heat by everybody. Then yesterday, Papelbon strikes out Norton, goes 0-2 to Navarro on heat...then the split? No, he goes heat again, to a guy who was just missing the fastball, and bang, game tied. The fucking arrogance of these guys, coupled with the fact that their pitching coach was a hoser when he played and nothing more than a rainy-day replacement hack now is killing this team. Nobody on this team besides Schilling knows how to pitch. To paraphrase Crash Davis, the Red Sox are full of million dollar arms and ten cent heads. And it is going to cost us the division. Again. Second place again. Get used to it, sports fans. The die has been cast for the 2006 season. And it feels like shit. I'm sick of looking at ugly stats, like Timlin's four homers allowed in his last 5 2/3 innings, or that Tavarez has 3 of our 5 extra inning losses, or that Papelbon has 4 blown saves in his last 14 chances, after starting out 20-20. Or that we haven't had a basehit from a catcher since May.

This is not the team I thought it'd be. This team is a weird combination of old and brittle and young and dumb. The situation we're in right now with practically zero positional depth and a bloated, ineffective pitching staff is absolutely inexcusable from a front-office perspective. My skepicism of Theo and co. has only been proven even closer to spot-on with the nonsense of the past week. Everybody else suffers from injuries, and some teams (Yankees), have to deal with serious injuries. It's not like we've been without Ortiz and Ramirez, our top two run producers, all year. Losing Tek hurts, from a pitching perspective, but we should be able to cover his meager offensive contributions. We're not, and frankly, never have been, a team that overcomes adversity very well, 2004 playoffs excepted, of course.

So maybe this is the rock-bottom, depressing entry that we'll all look back on and laugh at in October. I know I'm not the only one out there who is seriously worried about this team. I still think there's a very good chance we'll be four or five back by the time we get to the five game series with New York in another week and a half. Here are some simple facts, that to me, and maybe I'm panicking, say that we're not as good as we'd all like to think:

We're 16-2 vs. the National League, 49-43 vs. the American League.
We're only 26-21 vs. the East; the Yankees are 26-16.
We're 3-5 in extra inning games; Yankees 6-2, Toronto 6-0, Minnesota 8-3, Oakland 6-3.

Finally, Schilling/Beckett/Lester; do we like our chances in a short series against Santana/Liriano? Or against Bonderman/Verlander/Robertson/Rogers? I know how I feel; I'd love for someone to convince me I was wrong. I just don't think there's evidence enough to prove that. I'm gonna go try to breathe now...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Kissing Cousins

Just got off the floor of my restaurant and the last I saw, it was 5-4 Rays. Now it's 8-5 Rays. Is it too much to ask for the bullpen to just keep us in a game? It's not just a hold situation when you're leading. We get one in the 9th, and the game should be tied. I can't wait for the papers and certain bloggers tomorrow to say, "We should've let Hansen go for Andruw Jones." And they're wrong, but you know what knee-jerkers most of us are in RSN. Too bad. The bullpen and the hitters have to know that in every Wells start, you have to score at least six runs to win. That's just how it's gonna be. Although from the looks of the box score, I guess the defense let him down tonight. Can't wait to not see the highlights of this one. Losing to Tampa Bay is like kissing an ugly friend who you later find out is your cousin. It doesn't feel right at first, then it just gets worse.

McAssery

Just reported by McCarver during today's Phils-Mets Fox-ruined telecast:

He was talking about Ortiz, and how the Yanks have publically said they wanted him and then comes out with this: "Several Yankees players told me that before game 4 of the 2004 ALCS several Red Sox players came up to them and said, 'Good luck in the World Series.'"

If true, what an amazingly audacious, nefarious plan to set up the Yunks for the ultimate choke that was yet to come.

Then again, it's McCarver. Perhaps on Planet Tim that happened, but probably not on Planet Fenway. I seem to recall Millar telling anyone who would listen, "Don't let us win tonight, etc." So it wasn't him. Who could it have been? My money's on Damon. Only he would have been stupid enough to say such a thing, while at the same time being cunning enough to start paving his golden road to New York. So he's one possiblility...now it's up to you, readers. Who else would have uttered such a ridiculous statement? Or is McCarver just a bigger moron than we ever thought possible? Discuss.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Winning Evil

I know some of you will argue up and down with me about this, but behold the finish to tonight's game: (all with two outs, mind you) HBP, HBP, Walk, Double

That is what some of you would call "a typical Yankees win." Except maybe it needed a two-base throwing error on a dropped third strike or something...either way, no wonder those Yunks fans are so smug. Winning a game like that, which your bullpen tried to give away after a valiant comeback, on a night when your starrest, clutchest player takes the worst 0'fer in baseball, well, it feels kinda good.

It takes those kinds of crazy, giveaway wins to build a championship season. It takes playing Cleveland, who in my mind, haven't been able to get out of their own way since the last week of last season, to build that sort of season. The Yunks have been banged up and winning cheap all year. Maybe now it's our turn. Remember back in games 4-7 of '04 ALCS? For those four games, every break seemed to go our way: fortunate ground rule doubles, overturned (correctly) ump calls in the Stadium, borderline pitches, Olerrud's freak foot injury. Well, that's what we need now, because I don't know about you, but I'm worried right now. We're in second, with two starters to the DL, questionable at best middle relief and ostensibly three starting pitchers (two of whom are in the top 5 in homers allowed). The Yunks have weathered their injury storm and, again you'll all argue, they got better at the trade deadline. Not a lot better, but better. So we need wins any way we can get them. Jeter said it best last night, upon moving into first place. He said, all that means is that we don't have to rely on other teams; if we win, we'll be fine. So there, Boston, if you win, you'll be fine. Doesn't matter how the wins come.

Know Thy Enemy

Which one is the Yankees fan?

1. Pants and polo shirt a little too baggy; sneakers are very new and very white; cap is fitted New Era wool, free of lint, in perfect condition, with very straight brim; gold chain is evident; face is clean shaven and smug.

or

2. Jeans and old player's t-shirt are broken-in; sneakers are worn and comfortable; cap is fitted cotton, sweat-stained, with seriously curved brim; face is scruffy and hopefull(y) wary.

We all know which one is the Yanks fan; it's #1. And yes, it's completely built on stereotypes, and yes, not everyone fits into one of those two categories. Even without a cap or a team-defining piece of merch on, I still think I could look at 10 guys and tell you which five were Yanks fans and which five are Sox fans. And if I couldn't tell on sight, I'd ask some Yankees trivia. Probably 7 out of 10 might know the answer, and five of those seven would be the Red Sox fans.

"I guess the umpire saw me out there, so I think they know that sometimes I take close pitches," Abreu said.

That's what the Yankees new mercenary said regarding his 9-pitch (2 strikeout) checkswing walk last night. The arrogance contained in that statement, which basically implied that he's Ted Fucking Williams or something and that if he doesn't swing, IT MUST BE A BALL, is so representative of your typical Yankees fan. There is an element of "you owe us this" contained in Abreu's statement that is woven into the fiber of every god-forsaken satin Starter Yankees jacket. And the fact of the matter is their fan-base is not as savvy or as knowledgeable as they think, just as ours isn't, thanks to all the johnny and jenny come lately's brought of the woodwork by '04. The core fans know their team backwards and forwards, but it's usually not core Yankee fans with whom we're having these arguments (scroll down to see the idiot in the comments section). It's the tag-along bandwagon meatheads whose serious allegiance probably only goes back to '98. Those sorts of idiots probably don't even go all the way back to '96, because at the time that was considered an anomaly, not the beginning of a mini dynasty.

And Jere's right when he says they're quiet when they're losing; they never speak up. We all (and some of you much more than I) have those Yankee friends who blow up your cell with texts every time the Yanks beat the Sox, but you can't get them on the phone when they lose 19-6 to the Rays. They are the biggest-mouthed, thinnest-skinned friends you probably have.

Every thing has come too easy to the Yankees fan, to the point that he forgets one of the most basic facts about the game: it's really hard to play and win. Now, that fact lends credibility to the mythic nature of that magic cornerstone of the Yankees rhetoric: "26." But by forgetting that simple fact, it also robs the Yankees fan of the absolute joy that comes from winning. The joy they get is not from the winning itself, but from being on the winning side. See the difference? It is that sort of mob mentality, that sitting with the cool kids at lunch thing, that drives so many Yankees fans. It is an unattractive quality. Not that there aren't Sox "fans" who only follow the team so they're not left out of every other New England summer-time conversation. I'm sure there are, but in my experience they don't make themselves the most obnoxiously vocal, the absolute centers of attention. Because they know they're posing, and they'd rather keep that to themselves. As opposed to the Yankees poser who puffs up his chest and yells "1918" and hopes to win the argument on posture and bravado alone.

I'm not usually the guy to vent about all things anti-NY. I leave that to some of the rest of you out there. But DaaaaYankeesWin just got me incensed. And like a typical Yankees fan, he has nothing to say on his own, unprovoked, about his team. Yankees fans don't go out in the rain; they stay inside till it's nice and warm and dry and then they make their big appearance. And if you didn't get the metaphor there, well, make sure the brim of your hat is nice and straight, would ya?