Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cleveland

I am still cold. But here's some lame pictures that I managed to take before the hypothermia set in...

This picture is so misleading...it looks so nice and warm...the sun was shining, but it was a pretty weak effort; temperature at gametime was like 38 degrees or something. Got down to about 33 I think by the end.

This was my first time at the Ol' Jake, now corporately known as Progressive Field. Nice scoreboard...


Alex Cora near the batting cage; only a couple of Sox took BP. Most of them huddled in small groups in the outfield sun, trying to look ready to shag some flies, but really just trying not to freeze to death.


Here's Tito, walking back to the dugout, telling someone the president is on the move...


You're looking awfully Orsillish today...


Jacoby secretly laughing about Dice's faux hawk...


Jere would call this "The classic Papi batting with Manny on deck shot..."


Top of the 9th, Lugo gets ready to start a rally rather than strangle one with his own two batting glove-clad hands...


Manny touches home after pissing off the Indians' fans yet again...the replay of Manny's dong doesn't do it justice- that was an absolute rocket...


Bottom of the 9th, and Paps says, "Bring it on..." Game over.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

All is Not Forgiven

If I'm Bill Buckner, I pretty much tell all of New England to go fuck itself. That's just me. And if I read one more article or listen to one more talking head mention "forgiveness" and "Buckner" in the same sentence I'm going to set myself on fire. Again, that's just me. But seriously, if you were Billy B, why in the hell would you bother with any of this?

He was mercilessly booed on Opening Day in '87. He received a mixed, but mostly positive, ovation when he came back in '90. By '97 as the hitting coach of Pale Sox, he was an afterthought in Fenway. So why bring him back? Why come back? He didn't owe anybody anything. Did he just need to hear, finally, the ovation that slid under his glove, lo those many Octobers ago? Did 40,000 people just need to clap to make themselves feel better? I don't know. All I know is that the Red Sox front office is shameless in their constant pandering to the lowest common denominator fan. You just know, know it better than you've ever known anything, that when Buckner was invited, the thought process went just like this:

"Let's invite this guy who was a pretty terrific player for a team that almost won the Series, who the media and a small number of completely clueless fans turned into a pariah, let's bring that guy back for "closure" so that all the old wounds, the ones that never really existed except inside the orange, curly-hair covered craniums of the lowest of Boston sports scribes, can be put to rest in a fake outpouring of fake forgiveness for a man who had to move his family cross-country to the wilds of Montana so that his kids could escape the abuse heaped upon them because their father made a physical error in a tied game that had already been squandered by one in-over-his-head rookie, one over the hill career loser, one moronic manager, one overrated catcher, one lead footed, surly left fielder and one blister-prone blowhard. I'll bet that will get us the lead on Sportscenter, huh, Werner?"

Eric Wilbur said it right, in his column yesterday: Buckner wasn't the goat, he was the scapegoat.

Does anyone honestly believe that without the Octobers of '04 and '07 that Mr. Buckner would have ever, in a million-kajillion years, been invited to throw out a first pitch? Never. Yet so many blind sheep believe that on October 27, 2004, he was granted absolution from a sin that wasn't his because a team he said he didn't care about beat another team he didn't care about 18 years after a team he did care about collectively lost at the end of a game he shouldn't still have been in. Do I have that right?

After Tuesday, the media started backtracking from their mission to ruin Steve Bartman's life by suggesting that the Cubs should invite him to Wrigley for a big "cleansing" first pitch. Which, as any one who isn't a complete retard should know, won't happen until the Cubs finally win the Series. And when that happens, I sincerely hope that Steve Bartman tells the Cubs and all of Chicago, really, to go fuck themselves. Because a man, who tried to do what any other fan in the entire world would do, happened to get in the way of a ball that an overrated, cowardly left fielder finally said was uncatchable, he has been scapegoated for the mistakes of the Cubs' middle infield's inability to turn two, Mark Prior's inability to calm down and throw strikes, Dusty Baker's inability to manage a pitching staff, and Kerry Wood's inability to win game 7.

It's just easier to forget all that though, easier to sweep it under the rug to become Chicago's Gedmans, Schiraldis, Stanleys and McNamaras. Someday, when the Cubs are handing out rings and everyone in the stands is saying they never blamed poor Steve and all is forgiven, somebody will climb the steps of the dugout and stroll to the mound to throw out the first pitch. I just hope to hell that for the sake of Steve Bartman's dignity, it isn't him.