Saturday, August 15, 2009

Game 116: Speed Kills (In More Ways Than One)

In Texas tonight, the Rangers stole everything that wasn't nailed down on their way to a 7-2 win. The team had 8 stolen bases, a team record for one game, and Texas prospect Neftali Feliz blew Boston flat with two innings of hellacious relief at the end of the game to make sure a repeat of last night's implosion did not take place.

A Really Nice Piece

A really pretty blog post about a woman and her epistolary relationship with the late John Hughes.

If you oppose health care reform...

Please read the article above and tell me again how everything is fine and we don't need health reform.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Game 115: Better Late Than Never

Boston, in the heat of the Texas night, game back from deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 by scoring six runs in the top of the ninth, the key runs scoring on a long double by VMart into the right field corner. A Jay Bay homer helped fatten the bulge, and then The Lord of the Dance sealed it down for an 8-4 win.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Game 114: Justin Verlandered

The Red Sox got Justin Verlandered at Fenway Park today, the righty throwing 8 innings of shutout ball at the Sox in a 2-0 loss. Cowboy Clay pitched well, but was a victim of the Verlandering.

The Red Sox head to Texas and Toronto before returning home to face those damned Yankees again.

As Wile E Coyote used to put it, Yipe!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Game 113: Zach Miner's Daughter

Behind homers from Jason Bay, the suddenly revitalized Canadian, and Fountain of Youth drinker Mike Lowell, Boston beat the Tigers and Detroit righty Zach Miner at Fenway tonight, 8-2.

William Shatner, Attempted Murderer

The Bloggess (@thebloggess) on why William Shatner destroyed her marriage and tried to kill her husband.

(No, not really.)

Heavy Doses

Heavy Doses

Heavy Doses is the name of's new blog on health care. Portfolio was a magazine from Conde Nast that shut down recently-it was best described as an "Esquire for business"-it was slick, but had some great writing, and deep, informative articles, and it was the first place I saw any reporting on the enormous derivative crisis that nearly killed us all.


Route 1 in Princeton, NJ is a disaster. If you're going to let a big company build a large hotel in your town, you have to widen the roads near it. You HAVE TO. That's just what you do.


Kevin Youkilis and Rick Porcello are both suspended 5 games for the brouhaha last night.

This introduces several flaws in justice, baseball style.

1) Porcello is a starting pitcher. If he had done his normal work last night, he wouldn't have pitched for 4 of those games anyway. If you're going to suspend a starting pitcher, you need to do it differently from a position player.

2) 20 years ago, teams took care of this on the field. You hit my guy, I hit your guy, we move on with our lives.

3) If pitchers get warned about potentially hitting batters, it fundamentally changes the game. If pitchers are afraid to come inside, they can't then effectively utilise the outside corner, and the hitters just lean over the plate and it's bombs away.

4) On the other hand, you can't have headhunting going on.


Jason Calacanis is a entrepreneur and general all around smart guy. He has stopped blogging, but offers an email list for his occasional thoughts on technology and things in general. It's worth your time. Just go to to sign up.


On The Media ( had an interesting point about the health care protests, pointing out that the astroturf ralliers are simply taking a page out of the old lefty Saul Alinsky's textbook-thus pointing out that it is hypocritical to complain when your own tactics are used against you.

That's true.

But Alinsky wanted to challenge power in order to help the powerless. The astroturf protesters are challenging the government (which they elected) on behalf of the powerful.

I have less respect for that.

Game 112: Postscript

Boston did beat the Tigres last night, 7-5. Curtis Granderson's 9th inning homer off of the Lord of the Dance tightened the game up, but Paps held on to seal it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bill Simmons on the steroid era

An excellent column by Bill Simmons on the steroid era.

GAME 112: Temper, temper...

At Fenway Park, the Red Sox sent youngster Junichi Tazawa to the mound for his first US professional start, and, other than a rough first inning with a blown double play by the Infielder Without Portfolio, Nick Green, Tazawa did fine. However, he did hit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera with a pitch, and when Detroit's Rick Porcello hit Boston's Kevin Youkilis in response, it was on. Benches were emptied, kerfluffles were fluffed.

But thanks to two homers from Mike Lowell, American Hero, Boston took a 6-3 lead into a rain delayed 7th inning. At present, they are emerging from the rain, so the remainder of the accounts and descriptions of this game without the express written consent of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball will have to wait until the morn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

GAME 111: Licking Their Wounds

At Fenway tonight, the Red Sox greeted the Tigers with a narrow 6-5 win, helped along by Nick "Please Don't Replace Me With Christian Guzman" Green, the Infielder Without Portfolio, who knocked in two runs with a homer and a sacrifice fly, knocked in what proved to be the winning run.

Teenage Suicide: Don't Do It!


That, of course, is an imagined hit song from the movie “Heathers”. The joke, I assume, being someone (an adult,presumably) thought that promoting such a song might work at actually preventing teenage suicide. I have been having that thought a lot recently-looking at a marketing campaign or an advertising slogan and saying to myself, “Really? A group of sentient beings sat in a room and THIS was the best idea they had? How bad must second place have been?”

The same principle works for sporting events, too. Terry Francona sent up David Ortiz as a pinch hitter last night, replacing a guy who already had two hits with a guy who has given very little evidence he can hit anyone. Ortiz drew a walk, I guess sort of proving Francona’s point. But I still don’t see the reasoning. They lost anyway, so all the reasoning in the world doesn’t amount to much.

I just finished a book about suicide, so I guess it is inevitable that my thoughts turn to it now. Then again, the book before that was about owning a record store, (what a quaint notion THAT has turned out to be!) and the book before that was about professional soccer, and the book I am currently reading is about music. And I’m not thinking about any of those other things, so maybe it’s not so inevitable.

I don’t know if it still is, but they used to say that even thinking about suicide is a marker for suicidal behavior. I have always thought that was a bit of a crock. I don’t know how you not think about it-if only as a passing fancy, or as a theoretical revenge, or as a solution to a large credit card balance. Not to seriously contemplate it or plan for it, but you have to at least think about it, right? Camus, I think, once wrote that suicide is the first philosophical problem, and I think what he meant was, until you decide whether or not you’re going to get up tomorrow morning, all other problems pale in comparison.

Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve never been anyone else but me, so I don’t know what normal really is.


PERSON ON THE PHONE:(expressing surprise, I suppose, that I did not answer the phone within 2 rings.) You must be a little busy!

ME: (mock cheerfully)A little bit! (while inside my head, continuing, yeah, that and the fact that there are other people on Earth besides you!)

I really need a job where I can just sit somewhere and be smart and people give me money.


Kevin Smith, who would be my answer if asked, under penalty of bodily harm, the question, “who is your favorite director”, is making a live appearance in his hometown next month. It is reasonably near me, in the sense that I can drive there within an hour and a half or so. It turns out I’m working that day, but when I checked the page for tickets, they were $90. NINETY DOLLARS? Are you serious? I mean, the man deserves to be paid for his time, and you do get a copy of his book, but $90? Am I a completely out of touch old fogey?

The answer to that question, in my experience, similar to the questions, “Am I in the way?” and “Am I being a jerk?” is “Yeah.” If you have to ask, then the answer is “yeah, you are.”


Did you ever look at the people you are related to (either look at them rhetorically or look at them literally) and think, “who the hell are you people?”

Just remember they’re probably doing the same to you.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

GAME 110: Oh, just shoot me, already.

GAME 110

Red Sox (Lester) at Yankees (Pettitte)

Before this series began, I was willing to accept a split. A sweep would be better, of course, but we really had no right to expect to beat the Yankees every single time all season. But, 3 games later, we are humiliated, with 3 straight losses and 27 straight innings (as of this moment) without a bleeping run.

Pettite, who it seems like I have been watching since high school, is dealing with the Red Sox quite effectively with his usual assortment of curves and high fastballs, and Jon Lester is throwing a bit harder, but just as effectively.

They interviewed Luis Tiant in the announcing booth, which was hard to understand, but pretty cool nonetheless. Tiant's father, Luis Tiant Sr., was a pitcher in the American Negro Leagues, and supposedly had a pickoff move so exotic he would strike out batters with it. Tiant's father got trapped in Communist Cuba while his son went on to fame in the major leagues. I've always felt a sort of kinship with Tiant, because, towards the end of his career, anyway, he threw a wide assortment of pitches at different arm angles and different speeds. That's the way I pitched, too, and coincidentally, the way I am living my life. I don't have the good fastball anymore, so the only way I get anyone out is with guile, changing speeds and moving the ball in and out.

The Red Sox are running out of time. They have had numerous opportunities to score, and within another inning or two, the Yankees are going to turn it over to their bullpen crew. I have the slightly sick feeling that one of their great hitters are going to hit a homer, and we're going to lose another stomach punch game.

And once again, Alex Rodriguez ruins my day. A homer over the Stanley sign in left center, 1-0 Yankees. But the Red Sox, with a sense of occasion, take the lead on a two run home run from our new friend VMart. Then, of course, the Red Sox, with the same sense of atmosphere that made Lon Chaney such a fun guy, send in Danny Ocean, who gives up back to back homers to Old Friend Judas Damon and Former Flirt Mark Teixeira. Then Okey Doke gives up a desperate, flailing 2 run single to center by Nick Swisher, and all is once again lost.

His Majesty Mariano the Great shuts us down, and the game, and the season, is lost.

I hate baseball, I hate the Red Sox, I hate ESPN, I hate sports, I hate Joe Morgan, and I really really really hate Johnny Damon.

Nick Hornby

I don't why I keep rereading Nick Hornby novels. He's so good, that not only do I admire him, I want to BE him.

But I'm not.

" You need as much ballast as possible to stop you from floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets , or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one bloke on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then? I've got to get more stuff, more clutter, more detail in here, because at the moment I'm in danger of falling off the edge."

(From "High Fidelity")

Yeah, exactly.