Saturday, April 19, 2008

Adventures in Chicagoland/Game Eighteen

With Big Papi seemingly awakening from his slumber, the Red Sox whipped up on the Rangers in Boston, 11-3.

Interesting day getting here to Chicago. Missed the airport exit while listening to the brilliant "Never Not Funny", then had to park in the Horribly Overpriced Parking Garage.

Flew to Detroit, where I saw this:

which is the coolest thing I've seen in a while.

The plane intended to take me to Chicago had mechanical issues, so they made us walk
to the other end of the terminal to take a different plane. Not a really big thing, but it was annoying. I guess I'd rather they do that than fly with the issue, though. But I got here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Game Seventeen: The Ramirez Strikes Back

Tonight at Yankee Stadium, Boston scored early and often off of the smoking remains of Mike Mussina. Manny Ramirez hit two home runs while Josh Beckett pitched 8 strong innings to pace the win.

My trip is tomorrow morning. I'm terribly excited, both to fly and to be alone for 72 hours. Hopefully, by the time I post again, I will be on my way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Game Sixteen

Game Sixteen-Boston @ New York

Buchholz vs. Wang

Boston gets on the board first-Pedroia works a walk, advances on a grounder, and Manny crashes a double to center to redeem the counter. 1-0 Boston.

But New York gets a 2 run shot from Abreu and a solo shot from ARod to go up 3-1 in the bottom of the first.

Then a single and two walks, followed by a FC, scores another Boston run. 3-2. We had the bases loaded with nobody out, though. We should have done better than that. Hopefully we won't regret not getting more than the one run.

Listening to Joe Morgan try to talk is painful. Like having dental work.

Short break to run to the store, now back to a 7-6 New York lead, top of the 5th. Great. Another 16 hour game.

Another short break, and its 9-9, bottom of the fifth. Eventually, the players have to get tired from running the bases, right?

Now 11-9 New York. Relief pitching, anyone?

The game seems to be settling in, so this might be a loss for us, the first since Friday. The Yankee bullpen is shutting us down.

These games are endurance tests for everybody-fans, players, announcers...

Well, now it's silly season-New York blows it open against Timlin in the 8th, opening a 15-9 lead.

Good night, sweet prince.

Why does distance make us wise?

Tried to upgrade my phone today so I could take pictures while on my trip, but my check for my last month's service hadn't reached them yet, so no dice.

I'm mostly packed-just have to add a few last minute electronic gadgets-namely, the ones I'll be using all day Thursday, then I print my boarding pass and I'm off!

I'm really looking forward to being by myself for 72 hours. I know that doesn't look good, but there you go.

I downloaded "The Last Lecture" as an audiobook. My paper copy is still en route via Amazon.

I was listening to Billy Joel's version of "Shout" while driving home. I believe it's from my Yankee Stadium bootleg, which reminded me of the show I saw there. I remember I brought a spiral ring notebook, so I could write a letter to my current girlfriend while I waited for the show to start. My friend, who organized the trip, asked drily, "That one goes out to the one you love"?

Of course, the next song was "The One I Love"(Live) by REM.

Next was "In Your Eyes", from Rent. I still tear up at that, even years after having seen it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Talented Mr. Lowrie

April 15,2008

If you haven’t started your taxes yet, it’s probably way too late to start.

XM is being finicky today, so no Red Sox. I’ll have to catch up when I get home. After the last two games, I’m pretty exhausted. XM is pretty neat for long car rides, but it gets annoying when you can’t get a signal. Like now.

Oh well, just when I was ready to give up, it comes in, Wakefield walking Franklin Gutierrez to open the bottom of the third inning. 0-0 thus far. In Cleveland, so I get the Cleveland feed. Their announcers are a little homey, but not bad. They do root, but not dramatically so. One of them is usually Tom Hamilton, who I assume is not the Aerosmith guitar player.

Aerosmith is coming out with a Guitar Hero version of their own. That should be exciting if it gets my son into the Smith, but I’m not sure if it will get me to pick the game up. I have tried it a couple of times, but I am terrible at it, and I simply won’t devote the time to get any better.

Gutierrez stole second, but Wakefield just spun and picked him off. Then he walked Casey Blake. Sigh. Wakefield being Wakefield.

Grady Sizemore, who is reportedly quite the hottie, now. Hell of a ballplayer, though.

Sizemore flies out to right.

Now a single from David Dellucci, International Man of Mystery, sends Blake to third.

STRIKE THREE CALLED on Travis “Pronk” Hafner, who hasn’t been good in about a year and half. Tim Wakefield and his Magic Flutterball survive to fight another day.

Paul Byrd is pitching for Cleveland, another guy who, like Joe Borowski, has used up 11 or 12 of his 9 baseball lives.

But it’s still scoreless after 4.

The announcers mentioned that Carlos Baerga is going to throw out the first ball in Cleveland tomorrow. When I was in college, I was talking to a woman in a humanities class who told me, really apropos of nothing, that she had had an affair with Baerga when he came into town with the Indians. I had confessed to being a baseball fan, I believe, and she asked me if I had heard of Baerga. He was an All Star a couple of times, I believe, and a very good hitter and regular player for one of Boston’s rivals, so I could hardly not have heard of him, so I said I had. So she told me that she had slept with him. Felice, I believe her name was, and she wore her hair, I think I remember, in one of those 80s style haircuts with curls on top but very short on the sides. She was fairly attractive, but then again, every female is when you’re 20 and single. The fact that she knew who Carlos Baerga was added to her attractiveness, but the way that she learned it subtracted a little bit. But only a little. I didn’t have standards when I was 20.

Boston has worked a run home, Ellsbury doubling and scoring on an RBI FC by Jed Lowrie, his first big league RBI.

The announcers have revealed that Borowski is hurt, having suffered a strained triceps, so he’s going to be out for 4 weeks. Ironically, that makes Cleveland better, because they will put a real pitcher in to be their closer now. Which also raises the question, if Joe Borowski was hurt and pitching poorly, how would you tell?

Wakefield’s in trouble again, 1st and 3rd with one out. Two run single to center by Victor Martinez, Sox trail 2-1. Wakefield gets a DP to escape the jam. After 5, Cleveland 2, Boston 1.

Uh oh. 1 out, bottom 6, and Lugo goes down in a heap behind second base trying to track down a ground ball. Yipes.

Cabrera, who reaches on an error, is thrown out stealing by Cash for the second out.

I heard a rap song today by a guy named Paris on Adam Curry’s show that I think I might download. I’m not a big rap guy, but I loved it.

Now safely home, my wife in a snit over a percieved snub, Boston comes back again in the ninth, breaking up a 3-3 tie with a Varitek homer and a Youkilis RBI single. The other three runs were knocked in by Jed Lowrie in his major league debut.

Welcome to the majors, Mr. Lowrie.

Too Late for Love

It's April 15.

If you haven't started your taxes yet, it's probably too late to start.

It's also Jackie Robinson Day, the day set aside to celebrate Jack Roosevelt Robinson by MLB. God Bless Jackie Robinson, who heroically endured horrible burdens that came along far, far too late.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Pap closed it out, of course. Very high quality win for us.

"There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do."

-Neil Gaiman

All Hail the Bad Man!

Trailing 4-2, Kevin Youkilis homers to tighten the game to 4-3, then, in the top of the ninth, Julio Lugo doubles off of Joe Borowski. Lugo moves to third on a bunt by Crisp, then comes home when Pedroia flies out deep to left. Ortiz manages to slap a bloop single to left, working against the shift, and then Manny Ramirez, the Bad Man, CRUSHES a hanging Borowski slider for a two run homer to give Boston a 6-4 lead.

I don't know why Cleveland continues to send Borowski out there. He's terrible and everyone knows it.

I really expected a loss, after last night's draining loss, but I'll take a win. Nice work by the boys tonight. Pap now on to close it, and it should be an open and shut case. Fun, exciting win.

Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)

I was too busy, and too lazy, to set up the XM tonight, so I'm catching up with the Sox in the 7th, trailing in Cleveland 4-1.

Lester started, yielding to Tavarez, who actually pitched effectively for once. An uprising now, Pedroia knocking in a run with an infield single, chasing Cool Hand Jake, Jake Westbrook. Rafael Betancourt now, to face Ortiz, who he strikes out. You would expect a lefty, but Wedge didn't go that way. The way Ortiz is struggling, I guess there's no need.

I hate like hell to admit it, but David doesn't look right.

Two runners on, with Manny at the plate and two out, trailing 4-2. Manny looks at called strike three to end the inning.

I listened to Elton John's "Kiss The Bride" on the way home, and I thought about what a perfect lyric it is. It jusr cries out to be included in the book I'm never going to write. Also heard "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)", which I am almost certain was about John Lennon. It made me think of my friend Josh, who had just died when this song came out on his "Greatest Hits III" album, which is where I heard it first.

Neil Gaiman Rules

Just started Neil Gaiman's "American Gods". I finished both Traveler books, only to find out the next one isn't coming until 2009. I will probably have to reread them then, too.

In between the Traveler books and the Neil Gaiman one, I read Jonathan Harr's "The Lost Painting". It was OK, but I wasn't really in the mood, though, so I finished it more out of obligation.

"American Gods" is outstanding, though, and I can tell already that I'm going to love it,even only 50 pages in.

"Shadow thought there was a lot to be said for bottling up emotions. If you did it long enough and deep enough, he suspected, pretty soon you wouldn't feel anything at all."

Game 13-postscript

Boston wins, 8-5, in nearly 4 hours of tense play. The 7-6 Sox move on to Cleveland, only to return to Yankee Stadium II at the end of the week.

After a Giambi homer off of Timlin to close the gap to 7-5, Javy Lopez V 2.0 gets Damon to hit into a DP with two on, and thats pretty much it. MDC comes on to strike out Slappy and close out the game.

I'm exhausted, and I didn't throw a pitch,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The First FInale-Game Thirteen

Game Three of Armageddon Illustrated, Yankees @ Red Sox

Game Thirteen, April 13, 2008

First Inning

Dice K pitching.

Walk to Damon. Uh oh.

Fly out to center by Cano.

Walk to Abreu. This is bad. Real, real bad. He can't do this and win.

5-4-3 DP from ARod. Sweet. But he lucked out, there.

Ellsbury up. St. Philip of Hughes is having trouble throwing strikes, too.

Walk to Ellsbury.

Ellsbury steals, and Molina II throws the ball into center, and Ellsbury scoots to third.

Pedroia frozen on a curve for called strike three.

Walk to Drew. This game is going to take 6 hours to play.

Manny works the count to 3-2, then singles to center, scoring Ellsbury and sending Drew to third. 1-0. Hail The Bad Man!!

Youk flies to center, scoring Drew. 2-0.

Sean Casey clubs a ground rule double into the right field grandstand, Manny to third.

And Manny comes home on a PB! 3-0! Disarray in Yankeeland.

And Hughes breaks off a gorgeous hook for strike three. Nice pitch. But I'm happy to grab a 3-0 lead.

The first inning took about 45 minutes. Gawd.

Walk to Matsui. Grrrrrrrrrr....

Posada fouls out to Varitek, after going to 3-2.

C'mon, Kaibatsu, throw some strikes.

Now the Giambino...flies out to left.

/John Adams break!

It's into the presidential years, with all the infighting and the XYZ affair and all that. The reviews have been lukewarm, but I think it's brilliant.

It seems the comments about the clean teeth of all the characters were ill placed, since the characters all seem to have dirty ones now.

The Yankees got one run in the third-double from Abreu scoring Damon from second.

3-1 after 2 1/2

The Alien and Sedition Acts are deeply meaningful, given the current climate.

Safety and security vs. freedom...sound familiar?

Adams agonizes over it, then signs the Acts.

Meanwhile, Youk singles in another run...4-1.

And Casey singles in another.....5-1.

So much for that Dominant Yankee Young Pitching.

2+ innings for the Talented Mr. Hughes. Wow. Even Buchholz was better than that.

Youk scores on a WP, then Casey scores on an Ellsbury single. 7-1!

Adams continues to lose control of his family and his administration. I can't understand why the critics dont like this show. The characters are tremendous, interesting and rich. The acting is excellent, the costumes amazing.

The White House is being built, by slaves, which the show does not shrink from.

The Wandering Molina doubles, scoring Matsui. 7-2.

The Attorney General singles in a run as well, 7-3.

This lead isn't THAT strong.

Damon hits a sac fly, 7-4.

(John Adams Break Over)

Boston loads the bases on two walks and a single in the bottom of the 4th with one out. This game really is going to take forever.

Varitek grounds into DP to end the threat. Hope we don't regret that.

Meta Fuss

April 13,2008

It’s April the 13th.

The Red Sox play tonight, the final game of the Yankee series, the 8PM ESPN game. Dice K, who Yankee bloggers seem unusually upset at, against Philip Hughes. Maybe it’s selective amnesia, but I don’t recall being so outraged about the happiness of Yankee fans between 1996-2000. They seem to take a wicked pleasure in any misstep we take, and to virulently degrade any success we achieve.

I completely missed the fuss over the Vogue cover-the Slate Cultural Gabfest covered it, reminded me of the other symbols behind the image. The cover is of LeBron James, facing the camera with an angry, perhaps post-dunk face, and Gisele Bundchen, looking suitably femme fatale ish. I had seen the cover, but it didn’t make an impression on me until the SCG pointed out that it is a King Kong image-Bundchen, of course, as Fay Wray.

It seems like the fuss was not so much a fuss as a meta fuss-people talked about whether or not there should be a fuss, rather than there being an actual fuss about the image being racist. The photo is by Annie Leibowitz, so, of course, its selection is no accident. An interesting sub genre of fuss is the fact that Vogue, a magazine by and about women, has a cover with a man doing something and a woman just watching and looking beautiful. Speaking personally, I would find the image equally compelling if it were Diana Taurasi looking fierce and Justin Timberlake looking on, but of course, the symbolism wouldn’t be there. And I wouldn’t be talking about it.

I also would probably violate the Blogger Code if I didn’t talk about Obama’s supposed verbal gaffe. If anybody supposes for a minute there aren’t embittered people in Pennsylvania, and everywhere, who are sick and tired of having it be stuck to them, every single damn day of their lives, they are out of their little minds. Reminds me of the Bill Hicks line about drugs only being illegal because they allow you to see, for a few precious minutes, just how badly you’re being fucked.