Saturday, August 16, 2008

Game 123: Gunned Down By The Doc

Roy "Doc" Halladay shot down the Red Sox with a complete game win today, defeating Paul Byrd in his Red Sox debut, 4-1. A Tampa win puts us back to 4 games out.

I saw "The Clone Wars" tonight. It's fun-the music is good, and the action scenes are excellent, including angles and sequences that seemed impossible to do with actors. The story is pretty straightforward-it's interstitial material between movies 1 and 2, I believe. But I enjoyed it well enough.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lying is not a viewpoint

In Boston, the Red Sox-Blue Jays game was rained out.

An imprint of Simon and Schuster, run my Mary Matalin, has published a book "The Obama Nation", which is apparently just as chock full of lies as the author's previous book, Unfit for Command, which was one of the weapons used to try to discredit John Kerry. According to the fact checking that has been done so far, it appears nearly every word in the book is a lie, including, as the old joke goes, "and" and "the".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Game 122: You want an Argument? Sorry, this is abuse!

In Boston, the Red Sox and Dice K swept the Rangers right out the door in a 10-0 win. Dice K went seven nearly flawless innings, and Ortiz homered again, and Farmer Jed went three for four...ah, life.

Summertime and the winning is easy.

Interesting fragment of news-the Patriots signed John Lynch. I thought Lynch was done, but he is exactly the kind of smart, heady veteran who can thrive in the Patriots' system.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Liveblogging Hard Knocks

Yes, it's self serving, and the Cowboys are obnoxious, but it's great television.

The Jones grandkids are running around, the players horsing around with them. Nice that they can relate like that.

Wade Phillips is Bum Phillips' kid? I guess I knew that, but I had forgotten.

Magic Johnson, Dennis Miller, Rob Lowe, Jamie Foxx-I guess that's what you get when you practice in California.

Keon Lattimore, Ray Lewis' little brother, is turning heads too, it appears.

It is interesting how involved Jerry Jones is in football decisions. He owns the team, so he's entitled, but that usually means something bad for a pro team.

The kid tight end, Bennett, is struggling mentally, it seems.

Danny Amendola, another undrafted free agent, is a Wes Welker/Don Beebe type-undersized white guy-hustle guy-special teams demon.

Ancient Zach Thomas is with the Cowboys this year-Tedy Bruschi type-undersized middle linebacker who just runs and hits.

Liveblogging Game 121: Lester is the Bester(7-9)

Top Seven

Boggs grounds out.

Davis flies out, high, a rainmaker, to left.

Lester's still dealing. Throwing 93-95, in the seventh.

Salty looks at called strike three.


Bottom Seven

Josh Hamilton, it turns out, has left the game because his wife just went into labor. Best wishes to them.

Bay grounds out. Still hustling, even in an 8-0 game.

Farmer Jed singles.

It's story time at the old ball yard, as Sutcliffe is telling stories about Yaz. It turns out, also, Jason Bay's dad is a huge Yaz fan.

The Mayor singles to the opposite field. Alex Cora is in to run for him. I guess he will play short, Lowrie will play third, and Youk to first?

Varitek strikes out on a 98mph heater. Ouch.

Crisp strikes out.

Top 8

Metcalf, who nearly pulled a Jeter going into the stands after a fly, but didn't get it, flies out to right.

Kinsler goes crunch crunch, sending one into the Monster seats.

8-1 Boston.

Young singles.

Lester is getting a little high in the zone as he crosses the 100 pitch mark.

Jason Ellison (no relation) cranks one down the line, high and deep but way foul.

Come on, Big Jon. Let's finish this.

Ellison chops an infield single, so high Lester can't get it over to first in time for an out.

Lester is done, as he gets relieved. Nice ovation.

Does anybody else think the women in the ED commercials are way, way hotter than the men? Or is that just me?

This game is so out of hand, they're going to let Mike Timlin pitch.

And 'Ol Light Em Up gives up a three run blast to center by Milton Bradley.

8-4 Boston.


And Byrd rips a double off the scoreboard.

I'm feeling a little nauseous.

Timlin's still throwing hard, so it's hard to know what's wrong.

Manager, catcher and pitcher meet on the mound.
Manager to catcher: "How's he throwing?"
Catcher to manager: "I don't know. I haven't caught one yet."

Timlin strikes out Boggs.


Javy (Not That One) Lopez on now.

Hard Knocks is coming on soon, but I'm scared to change the channel. I'm also scared to stay on this channel.

And Lopez gets Davis to fly out to end it.


Bottom Eight

C'mon guys, let's get six more now. Please. I'm not sure we can protect a 4 run lead. But let's get them QUICKLY, because Hard Knocks is coming on.

Nippert has 3 shutout innings, and only 3 hits allowed.

Drew grounds out to first.

DP lines out to right.

Ortiz pops out.

This Nippert kid isn't so bad.

Top Nine

Salty takes Bat Masterson high off the wall for a double.


Then he walks Metcalf, turning the lineup over. Ugh.

Ugh Ugh.

Kinsler hits into the 1-6-3 DP. BIG sigh of relief here.


Huge play.

Young pops out to first, just in time for Hard Knocks.

I love life.

Liveblogging Game 121 (Innings 4-6)

Top Four

Hamilton gets jammed, grounds out to second.

Bradley walks.

Byrd lines out to third, two out.

Boggs grounds out to end the inning.

No worries, mate.

Bottom Four

Crisp flies out.

Drew flies out.

DP flies out.

Top Five

Davis grounds out.

Lester is simply gliding.

Salty grounds out.

Metcalf sneaks a double into the left field corner.

If you're going to give up a double, two outs none on is a good time.

Kinsler strikes out swinging to end it.

Lester is making guys look silly up there.

Bottom Five

Ortiz pulls a single through the shift.

Youkilis pulls a ball past the leftfielder to the Wall for a two bagger, Ortiz to third.

Jason Bay walks.

FArmer Jed slams a double off of the scoreboard, scoring 2 runs.

8-0 Boston.

Nobody out.

Dustin Nippert is on to pitch for Texas. Nippert, a West Virginia native, pitched for Arizona last year, and so far in the majors, has shown no ability to get hitters out. Baseball Prospectus says, "Nippert`s a big boy who can pump gas in the 90s, but he has a reputation for being a nibbler, as well as someone who has problems repeating his delivery and retaining his command."

They are intentionally walking Casey to bring Varitek up.

As Sutcliffe says, did he not trust Mendoza to intentionally walk Casey?

Varitek grounds into a force out, and then Crisp flies out to medium center. They send Lowrie,(?) and Hamilton guns him down at the plate to end the inning.

Top Six

Young singles.

Hamilton strikes out.

Bradley strikes out.

Byrd grounds into a FC.


(Time out. Marlon Byrd is your number FIVE hitter? Wha? 298 with 8 homers? )

Bottom Six

Jason Ellison takes over in right field for Hamilton, Byrd moving to center.

Drew takes Marlon Byrd all the way to the center field wall, but Byrd runs it down for an out.

Pedroia beats out an infield single to third.

Ortiz hits into a FC.

Our Man Youk lines out to right.

Encore! (Liveblogging Game 121)(Innings 1-3)

Dustin Pedroia still looks like a little kid, only now he looks like a little kid wearing a beard.

Top First

Jon Lester pitching for Boston

Ian Kinsler flies out to left.

Michael Young singles to center.

Josh Hamilton grounds into a FC, Young out at second

Jon Lester blows away Milton Bradley to end the inning.

Gary Pettis coaches first for Texas. That makes me laugh somehow, since Gary Pettis couldn't hit water if you threw him off of the Queen Mary.

It makes my wife laugh that Mr. and Mrs. Bradley named their son Milton.

Bottom First

JD Drew pops out.

Texas' pitcher, Luis Mendoza, looks hopelessly wild.

Pedroia flies out.

Our first base coach, Luis Alicea, is an even worse hitter than Gary Pettis. So we can't say too much.

Ortiz lines out sharply to right to end the inning.

Top Second

What do you know? A scoreless inning!

Marlon Byrd flies out to right.

Brandon Boggs (no relation) doubles to deep center.

Chris Davis taps out to first, Boggs to third.

Jerrod Saltamacchia, the former Braves prospect, grounds out to end the inning.

Bottom Two

Our Man Youk slices a double into right center.

Jason Newkid slashes a nice hard single to left, Youk to third.

"Jason Bay can't produce the offensive numbers Manny Ramirez can."
-Rick Sutcliffe

Except, uh, Rick...he is. Bay was arguably hitting a little better than Manny when he came over.

Bay steals second, then advances to third on an error from Saltamacchia. Youkilis scores, 1-0 Boston.

Farmer Jed Lowrie strikes out.

The Mayor, Sean Casey, grounds out to first, and Bay scores.

2-0 Boston.

Copy editing drives me crazy. I just started "You Gotta Have Wa", a classic baseball book that I can't believe I never read before, and I read this: "Hiroshi Hiraoka, a railway engineer who had become an ardent Red Sox fan as a student in Boston, established Japan's first team, the Shimbashi Athletic Club Athletics, in 1883."

Uh, no. No he didn't. The Boston American League team didn't start until 1903, and they werent called the Red Sox for about 10 more years.

Jason Varitek walks. Varitek walks? I think the definition of "control problems" is "Varitek walks". The way Jason has been hitting, there is no reason at all not to throw him a strike.

Crisp blows a hit and run, and Varitek is hung out to dry to end the inning.

Top 3

Travis Metcalf flies out.

Ian Kinsler grounds out.

Michael Young takes called strike three.

Sutcliffe (the ESPN announcer) makes an interesting, though obvious, point-look at the moves Theo has made, dumping or dealing vets like Pedro, Millar, Nomar, Manny, Nixon-and without exception, every deal is at least a draw, if not a win for Boston.

Crisp lays down a drag bunt for a base hit.

Mendoza is a big, thick, tree trunk of a man. Seems to have trouble putting it together.

He fooled Drew, though, who strikes out.

Sutcliffe has a list of top five AL 2B-Pedroia, Kinsler, Brian Roberts, Iwamura, and Polanco. Much as I hate to admit it, Robbie Cano belongs on that list-he's been smoking the ball since the All Star Break, and is one heck of a player.

DP clouts one off of the Wall for a fly ball double, Crisp to third.

Ortiz is walked intentionally.

Our man Youk smokes one inside the third base bag, kicking off of the tarp and scoring two. I love it when a plan comes together!

4-0 Boston.

The Pirate Bay rocks a double off of the FW Webb (Represent!) Plumbing Supplies sign for two more runs.

6-0 Boston.

The kid Mendoza can't find the strike zone. The wheels are coming off.

Farmer Jed walks.

Andy Hawkins is Texas' pitching coach. I remember him as a Yankee signing back in the day, during the early 90s when Steinbrenner was giving out multiyear contracts like they were slices of pizza at a bowling party.

Passed ball advances the runners. A fairly easy fastball, up and in, just blows past the catcher.

Still one out.

The Mayor pops out.

Varitek, Outmaker Without Portfolio, grounds out.

Dan Carlin Makes An Excellent Point. Again.

Dan Carlin ( makes an excellent point about the Olympics. Not only is it creepy and wrong to pay homage to a government of thugs, liars, and murderers, when the hostilities broke out in Georgia, why isn't George Bush on his way back home? Does he not even feel he has to pretend to care anymore?

Mike Gets Laid (Up)

According to ESPN, Third Baseman/Greatest American Hero Mike Lowell is day to day, but other sources

say he is going onto the DL. This is not a deep tragedy, really-we have Kevin Youkilis, the One Formerly Known As The Greek God Of Walks, available to play the hot corner, while the Mayor, Sean Casey, can step in at first. Depth, in a swimming pool or a baseball team, is a good thing.

The streaking Rays are without Evan (The Desperate Rookie) Longoria, and also without Carl Crawford, so I would say they are certainly worse off than we.

But they're still up 3, so there's not much we can say until we actually, you know, catch them.


' "I can be in the outfield and play every day. I don't want to DH," Sheffield told the Boston Globe. "I don't feel like a baseball player when I DH. I don't know how to be the leader that I am from the bench. I can't be a vocal leader. I can't talk to guys from the bench because I don't feel right about it.'


Gary, you're hitting .219. You're only technically a baseball player right now. I guarantee you, if you were hitting .319, you would be playing every day.

It's one of those circular arguments-is he struggling because he's not playing, or not playing because he's struggling?

Tonight's Red Sox game should be interesting, considering the slopfest of last night's ballgame.

Before I forget (Atari Bigby update)

Green Bay safety Atari Bigby had 3 solo tackles in a 20-17 preseason loss to Cincinnati.

Atari Bigby is the Official Random Football Player With A Funny Name Of This Blog (ORFPWAFNOTB)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just another pitcher's duel in Boston..(Game 120)

So the Red Sox score ten runs in the first inning, in support of my new hero, Charlie Zink.

So its all good, right? Cruise to a win, right? No problem?


So Texas scores 2 in the second, and Boston gets two in the third. 12-2. Texas gets 8 in the fifth. Boston gets two more in the fifth. 14-10. Texas gets 5 in the 6th-15-14. Texas gets one in the 7th, pushing their lead to 16-14. Boston gets one in the seventh, 16-15, and then 4 in the 8th, 19-16.

Finally, Papelbon is on, allowing an unearned run before finally, exhaustedly, sealing a 19-17 win.


Tampa is on the coast, and New York wins, so at least we don't lose any ground. Except time, that is-42 games to go.

In a potentially unrelated move (ha!), Paul Byrd was acquired by Boston in exchange for A Player To Be Named Later. Byrd, at this point, may pitch tomorrow, because he's the only player who didn't pitch in today's game.

I'm not sure about this move, exactly-Paul Byrd is a real smoke and mirrors kind of guy, can't break a pane of glass, but somehow gets hitters out.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Game 119: Missing Persons Bureau

The missing Josh Beckett has been found, as Boston powers its way past Chicago, 5-1. The mighty Becks went 8 full, with 7 hits and no walks, to cruise to an easy win. Ortiz did not play, but apparently was just getting a night off.

In other good news, knuckleballer Charlie Zink will apparently be given a shot at replacing Tim Wakefield in the rotation. This should be interesting. Like Rob Neyer, I have a soft spot for knucklers, so I'm glad Zink is getting the call.

Tampa is off, and New York got shut out by the Twins, leaving matters as follows: Tampa leads the division by 4, and Boston leads New York by 5.

My feelings on the Olympics, courtesy Charlie Pierce

"I wish American television would stop using Tiananmen Square as a set. This is a freaking grave. This is a place where a really bad thing happened. We would not tolerate French television coming to New York and using Ground Zero as a backdrop for talking about how happy and merry New Yorkers are. The corporations that own and sponsor the US coverage of the Olympics have to tap dance around the Chinese human rights record, but my Lord, let's not use this place as a backdrop. People died there."

-Charles P. Pierce, on NPR's "Only A Game"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This is creepy

Dan Shaughnessy reports that MLB is investigating the end of Manny Ramirez' Boston career. The reports are that Manny was intentionally going at half speed, making it clear that he wanted out, and apparently they are believable enough to prompt the investigation. I don't know how you go about proving such a thing, but it is a little bit insulting to think that he would really do that.

In other's all over now, baby blue.....

Tim Wakefield is going to the disabled list with a shoulder problem. Wakefield, Boston's lone reliable starter at times, one of those times being, uh, now, puts another gaping hole in a team that needs win like John McCain needs a clue.

Speaking of the Bush Crime Family (h/t Mike Malloy) , Ron Suskind, whose book I picked up today to prevent my ever being in a good mood ever again, has posted transcripts of his interviews with one of the sources that allege the letter was forged on White House orders.

I finally watched Kevin Smith's "Clerks II" last night. I don't know what took me so long, but I finally did. I had to drive 90 minutes to Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank to get it, but I got it, and it was worth it. Very good.

This was one of the previews on the DVD-"Fanboys". It looks cute.

Oh, Moan and Misery...(Game 118)

Another bad day at the Cell, as Chicago pulls out a 6-5 win over the Red Sox. Cowboy Clay gets beaten from pillar to post, and Matt Thornton, Octavio Dotel, and Bobby Jenks spin 3 2/3 shutout innings to hold the lead and seal a win. With Tampa winning and New York tied with Anaheim, nothing good can come of this.

I am steadily beginning to think this isn't going to be our year. I hate to admit it, but I can't see us beating the Angels or White Sox in a playoff series, even assuming we make it that far.

This makes me think back on l'affaire Ramirez. Could they have avoided the conflict and the trade? Would a Mannyfull team be playing better? As the narrator used to say on the Charms blow pop commercial, the world may never know.