Saturday, August 01, 2009

Game 103: Attention V Mart Shoppers...

New Sock Victor Martinez made himself some new friends with a hit, a run, and a run batted in in Boston's 4-0 win today. Our Men Youk and DP went yard, and with all that support, that was all Commander Kicka$$, Okey Doke, and Danny Ocean needed to lock it down for an 8 hit shutout.

A year ago, I wouldn't have said...

According to the Blogger Code of Ethics, I am duty bound to have an opinion about the issues of the day, so here goes-

Michael Vick, for those of you who have been living on the moon, is a talented professional football player, who was convicted of running, or allowing someone to run, a dogfighting ring, or gang, or whatever it is that they call them, from his house. He went to prison, and has now been released, and is now, apparently, eligible to play in the NFL again. The question of the day seems to be, should he be allowed to play? (Not really relevant, since it’s not up to us.)

Any thinking person finds dogfighting, training and breeding animals to fight and making them do so for sport, abhorrent.

But Vick has paid his debt to society-not only a prison sentence, but also the loss of more than a year’s income for a man who, however many millions he makes, faces a very limited time to make his life’s income. However repugnant his acts, everyone deserves a second chance. Could it be that someone committed a crime, was punished, and is now going on with his life, a chastened, wiser person? Could it be that simple?


I’ve started rereading Dracula by Bram Stoker. My brother gave me his old IPhone, mostly to shut me up from whining about it on Twitter, and one of the free aps on it was a Barnes and Noble EReader. It came with Dracula, which I read in high school, I think, as part of a paper. It’s a really good read. I don’t typically like novels from much before A Farewell To Arms, but I am enjoying this one.


Someone in my organization thought an appropriate song to motivate the workforce contains the words, “I love to work at nothin’ all day”.


On Baseball HQ Radio, a weekly fantasy baseball podcast I listen to, the host mentioned a thread on their message boards that asks you to complete this sentence,

“A year ago, I would never have said…”

I think my answer is obvious.

What’s yours?


There is a rumor whipping around the Twitterverse that the Killah from Wasilla, Sarah Palin, is getting divorced. Now, this, of course, is based on a blog post, and it was repeated by, among others, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, and at this time, I can’t check to see how reputable the blog in question is. This will be an interesting case study-Palin loves to scream and yell about how the media is making things up about her. Again, according to Twitter, a Palin aide has already answered and called the story untrue. If the story is true, of course, then it isn’t something they “made up”-and since divorces are matters of public record, the truth will eventually emerge. If the story isn’t true, it will be interesting to see how far the media pushes it.

Now, I can’t imagine that anyone could have any interest in this fact, but were you to ask me, “Are you getting a divorce?”, my truthful answer would have to be, “Not that I’m aware of.” (Implying, as any careful scientist would, that there is always a slim possibility that my wife is preparing to divorce me, and I’m just not aware of that fact yet.) (And, my wife would hasten to remind you, some days that possibility is less slim than others.) I’m always a little curious why that isn’t their first answer. “Are you getting a divorce, Governor?” “Nope-at least, not that I’m aware of.”


Friday, July 31, 2009

By the way...

...THIS is why I call Jonathan Papelbon the Lord of the Dance.

Game 102: Wheelin' and Dealin'

On Trade Deadline Day, the last day on which baseball trades can be made without asking waivers, the Red Sox pushed their chips in to the center of the table. It wasn't going all in, necessarily-Cowboy Clay, Danny Ocean, and Big Bad Lars Anderson are still here-but Boston sent away Bat Masterson and his bat dodging wonder pitch, along with lesser lights Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price, for Victor Martinez of the Indians. (They also traded one overrated first baseman for another, sending Adam LaRoche to Atlanta in exchange for Casey Kotchman.)

The 30 year old Martinez is a strong hitter, and can play catcher and first base with passable efficiency.

In short, this was really something they needed to do, and they did it.

On the playing field, Boston survived another shaky outing from John Smoltz to pull out a 6-5 win over the Orioles tonight. Our Man Youk struck the winning blow, a 2 run seventh inning homer. RR, Okey Doke, and the Lord of the Dance finished up.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Something I didn't know yesterday,,,

While listening to This American Life today, I learned something pretty interesting.

When you read a lot of rock biographies, as I do, you often run into tales that seem true, but at the same time seem too outrageous and stupid to be true.

Supposedly, Van Halen used to demand, when they toured, that brown M and Ms be removed from backstage. Typical rock star craziness, right? It became a joke in Spinal Tap, and something to be imitated by younger bands like Guns and Roses. You would hear about this story, and think it could be true, but probably was an exaggeration, right?

Well, it was true, but not for the reason everybody thought.

It turns out, according to David Lee Roth's autobiography, that the band did it for a very good reason. When Van Halen toured, they had a tremendous amount of equipment, and the contract would lay out exactly how much power they needed, how many lighting people, etc, etc. The brown M and Ms, it turned out, was a test to see how closely the venue paid attention to the contract. Roth said he knew that if they missed the brown M and Ms, they probably missed something else, and Van Halen would have to double check all their technical setups to make sure the show would go off without putting anyone in danger.

So you really do learn something new every day.

Game 101: Calling All Superfriends....

In an act that is somehow both more and less meaningful than it was yesterday, David Ortiz hit a 3 run homer to move Boston ahead of Oakland, pushing them into a 6-5 lead that led to an eventual 8-5 win.

You had to know this was coming.....

ESPN is reporting that the New York Times is reporting that a lawyer told them that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003.

How's that for fourth hand news reporting?

Assuming this is true, which I think it is, I find it a little sad, but not overwhelmingly so.

As I have said before, steroids color this era in baseball. The dead ball colored 1901-1920. The color barrier colored 1876-1947, and arguably another 10 or 20 years after that. It is now, and ever shall be. Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GAME 100: In theory, we can't lose them all.

But that theory is being sorely tested.

Boston dropped an 8-6 decision to the Oakland A's at Fenway today, Brad Penny's 5 run first inning choke job setting the table, with a nice too little too late triplet of runs at the end of the game to make the final score respectable.

Let's hope Roy Halladay, if he ends up here, can hit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Game 99: In response to problems with hitting, we get.....

...someone who can't hit?

Boston trades Mark Kotsay, who is what we in the trade call a Professional Hitter(TM), from a team who desperately needs hitting, to Chicago for outfielder Brian Anderson, who, as a young, fleet outfielder, we don't need, and oh yeah, CAN'T HIT.


On the field, the Fail continued unabatedly, as Cowboy Clay Buchholz, who according to rumor was just too valuable to be traded away, pitched 5 2/3 innings, handing a nice, healthy 5-2 lead over the Oakland Athletics to the vaunted Boston bullpen.

The vaunted Boston bullpen promptly sets fire to the lead, including a ninth inning meltdown by the Lord of the Dance that prominently featured two errors by Nick Green, Infielder Without Portfolio. Hell, if we wanted that kind of performance, we wouldn't have traded away Julio Lugo.

So the freshly tied game moves into extra innings, where MDC and Sensei Saito give up two runs in the 11th. Trailing 9-7, Boston gets two hits in the bottom of the 11th, but only musters one run because...well, I don't know why. Let's just say we screwed the pooch. Again.

Things look grim with Game #100, a getaway day finale against the White Elephants, coming up tomorrow, followed by a trip to Inner Harbor to see those pesky Birds again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Say what now?

"While looking for change in my jacket pocket, I pull out a piece of paper which, to my consternation, reads as follows:


Underneath this psychic health warning was the address of a website which, presumably, will help to undercut much of the above advice, just as cigarettes undercut the health warnings on the packets. I turned the piece of paper over and found that I was actually holding a simple London taxi receipt. Blimey."

From Nick Hornby's blog (

Like Hornby, my response to this is mostly, uh...what?

It is certainly true that an affair is not an alternative to working on, and perhaps eventually ending, a marriage. I would say an affair can damage any marriage, not just a good one.

But the penultimate sentence is the last one-"select your partner wisely"? What the?

I don't have any patience for infidelity. I really don't. If you're having problems, you owe it to the other person to try and work it out. If it's broken, then you split up. But it is an act of profound disrespect and cowardice to run around on one's partner.

Game Ninety Eight: The Commander Takes Over

Commander Kick A$$, Josh Beckett, kicked butt and took names on his way to a 8-3 win over Les Athletiques at Fenway tonight, Beckett's 12th win of the year.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Games 96 and 97: Ketching Up Again

A quick catchup post: Jon Lester was utterly dominant on Saturday, taking the helm and leading the way to a 7-2 win, including Adam LaRoche's first Boston homer.

John Smoltz, the lesser of two Jons, was not, getting shelled in a 6-2 loss today.