Saturday, April 11, 2009

Games 4-5... Last night, I didn't get to sleep at all....

Actually, I did, that's why I had to wait until now to update the results. Last night, and into this morning, Boston fell to those pesky Angles, 6-3.

However, today in the City of Angels, Boston got 2 homers from our favorite Canadian, Jason Bay, and a strong starting job from Brad "Bad" Penny to give us a 5-4 win. That puts us at 2 up and 3 down on the year.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Game Fo', Partial Resultses

After 2 1/2 innings in Anaheim, the Red Sox trail those pesky Angles, 3-1. Timmeh is having a Timmeh sort of game-hits and walks and runs.


If I were in a better mood or less bone weary, I'd stay up and try to watch.

But I'm not.

More tomorrow, when I will lay out the sad effects for all to see.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Of Tempests and Teapots


This is not my original idea-I am inspired by the rant represented by the link above. The language is mine, the vitriol is mine, but the idea and some of the content comes from the above.

But I read this yesterday, and I've been thinking about it off and on since then, and I still feel this way, so I'm going to go ahead and say it. As always, accusations, questions, comments, threats, veiled insinuations, and theories about my parentage are welcome in the comments.


The Boston Tea Party, essentially, was petty theft. A bunch of high minded Bostonians decided one night, as a symbolic gesture, they would go onto ships in Boston Harbor, full of tea, which would not be unloaded until Bostonians agreed to pay the King's tax on tea, and dump the tea into the harbor. The tea did not belong to them, of course, so, essentially, they stole it.

Of course, it was more complicated than that. Boston was, of course, an English colony at that time, and England, like the rest of Earth, was run by force, more or less. The government controlled the weapons and the money and the power, and if you didn't like it, that was just tough luck, bucko. If you caused too much trouble for the powers that be, they kicked your door in and beat the crap out of you. It had been this way for approximately ever, and, for those in power, it, admittedly, was a pretty sweet deal.

Now these Bostonians, like Bostonians before and since, were a disputatious lot. (I can say that because I are one, to quote Jeff Foxworthy.) They came up with this radical idea that dammit, if you're going to take my money away in taxes, you should at least ask me first-give me some say, even if it is a tiny, unimportant say, in how it is raised and on what it is spent.

But even that tiny little concession was too much for the powers that be. "You should be happy I'm not kicking your door down," the King said, more or less, and the Bostonians were not soothed by these words. The tea was spilt, and then blood was spilt, and the Revolutionary War was fought, and America was formed.

Now there was more than tea at stake here-I hardly think that, if there had soon been a "Member of Parliament from Massachusetts", that would have been enough for these men. They would have battled again about something-these were disputatious types.

But they were also serious men. At one point (I think it was Adams, but I'm too lazy to check) they said they would pledge "their lives, their fortunes, and their Sacred Honor" to the cause. And they did. Men died, men suffered and spent their savings with no hope of repayment except a wing and a prayer. And, sitting here 200 plus years later, it is easy to forget what a near run thing it was. A few twists of fate here or there, and the whole thing is rolled up and over with-another rebellion against the sensible, sane rule of the King of All England snuffed. These men would literally be executed-Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Knox, Allen, Morgan-as traitors if the war doesn't go their way. So this was not a sure thing, and this was not nothing they were arguing about.

It was a new idea, and, in the history of humankind, these are few and far between. It is an idea that you don't get to be in charge just because your Dad was. You get to be in charge by earning your way there, by the people choosing you to represent them. And, if you piss them off long enough and often enough, you get to be kicked to the curb by them. The idea that everybody counts, and nobody gets left out. While the execution of this idea has been imperfect to say the least, it is this idea that animates our country to this very day.

So why the history lesson?

There are a series of protests being held around in the country called "tea parties" that have been in the news a bit lately. Fueled by part politics, part genuine concern and part pure nuttiness, these "parties" are supposed to "send a message" to the government. I can't really tell what the message is, since so many of the sponsors and founders and media lackeys that are spreading this virus seem to be mad about so many different things, but the general theme seems to be outrage about the deficit we don't have yet because of the money we haven't spent yet. Or something.

My objection to these tea parties is not to argue that they shouldn't be held. One of the most sacred rights that we hold dear is the ability to petition your government for redress of grievances. If you have grievances, by all means-express them. God bless you for it. Knock yourselves out. Petition for redress until you're blue in the face. And seriously-if you have an honest difference of opinion about the direction you think your country is headed in-by all means do something about it. That's why it's great to live here-nobody from the government is going to kick your door in because they don't like your blog post.

So let me be clear-you're a tea party person? Go for it.

But let me just ask you a couple of things.

First of all, have you written your Congressman? Your Senators? Have you written them AGAIN? Have you called them? Have you tried to visit their local office, or if you're near Washington, their Washington office? Besides attending your little pity party that you hope the local news will cover so that maybe Sean Hannity will call you a hero, have you done anything to really express your opinion? Like, with alternative proposals and things, and stuff? Even better yet, have you run for something? Or volunteered for someone who is? The real tea partiers risked their LIVES on a notion that had never worked before, in the entire history of everything. It is insulting for you to call an afternoon in the park a "tea party."

Second of all, just where the hell have you been? When your president said that anyone, anywhere, could be held in prison, forever, on his say so, without ever seeing any judge, violating the most sacred principle in the history of Western law, where were you? Where were you when billions-BILLIONS-of your dollars disappeared into a maze of cost plus contracts and shoddy workmanship that killed American soldiers, or just plain disappeared entirely? When your president lied to you and said that wires would not be tapped, and it turned out that any wire, any where, would be tapped for any reason or no reason at all, and you didn't even have the right to know, where were you? When the surplus disappeared, where were you? When an American city drowned while your president played guitar, where were you? Where were you when the PRESS SECRETARY said Americans had to "watch what they say"? Where were you when Americans who didn't agree with the president were called traitors and cowards and quislings and backstabbers? Where was the outrage then?

Or are you only outraged when Democrats are in power? Only when Rush Limbaugh says it's okay? When it is POSSIBLE-not even actually true yet, but just POSSIBLE-that the tax rate on people much richer than you are might creep up a percent or two? THAT'S when you get upset? When somebody decides that gee, maybe it's a good idea if we hire some of these unemployed people to fix up roads and schools and such, so they can take that money and buy their kids shoes and put tires on their cars and medicine for their arthritis, THAT'S when you get outraged?


Happy Birthday, Tom Lehrer!

Happy birthday to Tom Lehrer, who was a semi famous song parodist in the 1960s. Very witty and intelligent. I used to listen to my father's records of him for hours.

Game Tree: Meet the New Dice, Same as the Old Dice

Daisuke Matsuzaka turned in a Daisuke Matsuzaka-ish performance, 100 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, yielding 9 hits(3 homers) and 3 walks in a 4-3 loss to Tampa at Fenway Park this afternoon.

How do you throw 100 pitches in 5 flipping innings?

How does a 9 inning game take 3 1/2 hours to play?


Boston heads out west to play the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim of California tomorrow night.

RIP to Angels rookie Nick Adenhart, a promising youngster who was killed in a car crash this morning.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Game 2 2009: The Thrills of Liveblogging!

Top 1st
Lester pitching

Jason Bartlett strikes out on four wicked fastballs.
Carl Crawford grounds out , 3-1
The Desperate Third Baseman lines a double down the left field line.
Northeastern's own Carlos Pena strikes out on a high hard one to end the inning

Bottom 1st
Kashmir pitching
"songs that fill my dreams...."

Jacoby RIPS a ball at Pena for the first out.
Our Man DP works a walk
And Big Papi follows with a walk of his own.
Our Man Youk takes a couple of questionable strikes, then whiffs on a changeup.
The Pride of Rhode Island, Rocco Baldelli, whiffs on a questionable called third strike.

Yikes. I hope Lester gets these calls. Goodness.

Top 2nd
Pat The Bat walks (Really? A walk? Swinging strikeout is usually more Pat's speed!)
Dioner (Maker) Navarro strikes out looking on a pretty curveball that, truthfully, looked inside.
Ben Zobrist, organizational soldier, whiffs on another hook.
Gabe Kapler, teen heartthrob, also whiffs on a high hard one.

Bottom 2nd
The Pirate Bay fouls out on a nice grab by Pena
Mike Lowell, American Hero, aka The Other AL East Third Baseman With A Hip Problem, breaks his bat on a gentle popup to first.
Farmer Jed Lowrie takes a walk
El Capitan pops out to second

Top Three
Iwamura doubles
Bartlett knocks an infield single
Carl Crawford tries to bunt (?) and then singles in a run, which scores on a Youk throwing error (1-0 Rays)
The Desperate Third Baseman hits the ball off the end of the bat and grounds into a sweet DP, Lowrie to DP to Youk.
Carlos Pena grounds out.

Bottom Three
Ellsbury pops up
Our Man DP doubles
Big Papi strikes out
Our Man Youk singles, scoring DP, but getting picked off of first base.
(BOS 1, TAM 1)

Top Four
Pat the Bat grounds out
Dioner Navarro flies out to right on a fine catch by Baldelli
Zobrist flies out to right

Bottom Four
Baldelli flies out to right
Bay flies out to right
Lowell flies out to center, causing Kapler to have to break straight back on it, but he does run it down.

Top Five
Gabe Kapler, who was very popular during his time in Boston, especially among the distaff set, (supposedly he's Edward Cullen in spikes) walks.
Iwamura slices a nice little opposite field hit and run single, sending Kapler to third.
Bartlett bunts, but no play is possible, as the ball dribbles in front of the plate. Tek can't reach it, and Lester scoops it up, but it is too late to make a play. (BOS 1, TAM 2)
Carl Crawford sends a fly into short left, where it falls in between Lowrie and Bay for a base hit.
The Desperate Third Baseman grounds into a double play, 6-4-3, scoring a run for a 3-1 Tampa lead.
Pena homers to dead center. (BOS 1, TAM 5)
Pat the Bat grounds out to third


Bottom Five

Farmer Jed flies out to center
The Captain lines out to center
Ellsbury beats out an infield single
Our Man DP grounds to the DTB, who throws him out to end the frame.
Ah well.

I think Lester has to be done, here, as he hasn't really been rocked, other than the homer, but he has lost something after the early flare of strikeouts. The pitch count is getting up there, and it doesn't seem like sending him out there is going to do much additional good.

Top Six

Metropolitan District Commission on now.

"Dave" Navarro grounds out to first
Ben Zobrist grounds out to second
Gorgeous Gabe grounds to third

Bottom Six

Ortiz flies out to right
Youk loops a ball into short right for a single.
Rocco slides a single into right for another base hit.
The Pirate Bay gets called out-strike three on a frankly outside pitch.
Mike Lowell grounds into a force out to end the inning

Top Seven

New Guy Ramon Ramirez is on for Boston
Iwamura flew out to center
Bartlett struck out
Crawford flies out to right

Bottom Seven

Dan "Nautical" Wheeler on for Tampa

Farmer Jed gets called out on strike three on a ball that looked low.
The Captain flies out to the warning track in center
Jacoby flies out to left

Top Eight

Things are lookin' grim.

New Guy Takashi Saito, who is approximately 811 years old, on for Boston
He has Dwight Evans' old number, 24.
He also has a slow, Dice K ish windup, with a pause at the top and a slow wind and follow through.

But the Desperate Third Baseman takes him out, slamming a hanging slider into the Monster Seats for a 6-1 lead. Gulp.

But then again, Okey Doke gave up a homer on his first Red Sox pitch, and he turned out okay.

Pena fouls out to the catcher, Tek running almost to third base to grab it because the infield was shifted around the other way.

Pat The Bat pops out to Youkilis for the second out.

Navarro pops up to second to end the inning
Bottom Eighth

JP "Thurston" Howell on now

Our Man DP strikes out swinging
Big Papi guides a single off of the Monstah for a base hit
Youk rockets a ball off of Longoria for another base hit
Rocco whiffs badly on a ball in the dirt
Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay raps one down the left field line for an RBI double, scoring Ortiz (BOS 2, TAM 6)
Mike Lowell takes one on the elbow to load the bases.

Maddon comes to the mound, relieving Howell with Grant "Hope he throws" Balfour

Farmer Jed whiffs on a hardcore, 95mph outside heater.


Top Nine

The Other Javy Lopez on now for Boston, the final pitcher to make his 2009 debut for Boston.

Zobrist flies out to left, Bay making a nice running catch.
Kapler doubles firmly off the wall.
Iwamura bloops a single into short center, but Ellsbury, thinking quickly, guns down Kapler going to third. Kapler was trapped, because if the ball were caught, he would have had to go back.
Bartlett singles sharply to left.
Crawford singles off of the pitcher, and Iwamura sneaks home.
(BOS 2, TAM 7)
Longoria grounds into a fielder's choice, ending the inning.

Bottom Nine

Last Chance Saloon Time

Balfour still pitching

The Captain grounds out.
Ellsbury flies out to left.
Our Man DP flies out to center.

Ah, well. Ya can't win 'em all. Literally.

Top Ten Bands Not In The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

According to this Time magazine article, these are the top ten bands not yet in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame:

Now, firstly, the notion of a Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is a little bit silly-the whole idea of rock n roll should be, in a sense, opposed to the notion of things like halls of fame. And, similar to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the selection criteria are not super clear. But, here's the list, and my thoughts on each.


Not a fan, but important? Surely. Belongs in the Hall.

2.Pat Benatar

Not enough hits, in my opinion. Significant, maybe, but not historic.

3.Def Leppard

I loved Def Leppard, but one great album and a pretty good one should not be enough.


Nope. Lame in the extreme. Sorry, Jimmy Pardo. Nothing personal, dude.


Kind of the same as Def Leppard-I enjoyed them, but one great album and a pretty good one shouldn't be enough.


Not a huge fan until the "Invisible Touch" era, but their body of work should get them in.

7.The Doobie Brothers

No. No lasting impression on music that I am aware of.

8.The Moody Blues


9.Cheap Trick

Ditto again.


Absolutely. Like Bert Blyleven, should have been in several years ago. Hugely influential, with great music from first album to last.

This has always bothered me, too, Trent....

" 'One of the biggest wake-up calls of my career was when I saw a record contract. I said, Wait - you sell it for $18.98 and I make 80 cents? And I have to pay you back the money you lent me to make it and then you own it? Who the f**k made that rule? Oh! The record labels made it because artists are dumb and they'll sign anything' "

Musician Trent Reznor on record companies. I kind of get a sick form of satisfaction out of seeing record companies suffer, because I'm pretty sure they have been ripping us off for years. Did anyone else notice that CDs started retailing from $15-20 and never really changed?

I'm glad I'm not the only person that this bothered.

Happy Birthday, Betty Ford

First Lady, wife, mother. After confronting her own substance abuse, Ford helped found the Betty Ford Center for people with substance abuse problems. Say what you will, she helped a lot of people face their demons, to which I can only say, after a lifetime of glory and fame, she continued to spend her life making other people less miserable. I can think of nothing more noble.

Peter Sagal on Gay Marriage

Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me", from his blog (, about gay marriage:

"There are three arguments against same-sex marriage, summarized thusly:

1) God hates it.

2) It’s against thousands of years of tradition.

3) It’ll ruin marriage for everyone else.

To which the effective ripostes are:

1) Actually, He told me in a dream that He’s all for it.

2) So was abolishing slavery, outlawing polygamy, and making women citizens, and those have worked out pretty well.

3) No, it won’t."

Well said, sir.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Game The First, 2009: And here....we.....go!

Josh Beckett pitched 7 strong innings of one run, two hit baseball, and the Red Sox worked around a hiccup from the Okey Doke. Bat Masterson and the Lord of the Dance closed it out, and it goes in the books as a 5-3 Boston win. Our Man DP, fresh off his video game commercial where EA Sports doubts his ability, shut up the critics with his first homer, while El Capitan managed to muscle one out as well.

Even though my doppelganger lost on Jeopardy, it's a good day.

You can't go 162-0 without going 1-0, and we, my friends, are 1-0.

Lady Day Got Diamond Eyes

One of my favorite songs, U2's "Angel of Harlem", which was written about Ms. Holliday.

Oh, and by the way....'s this young lady's birthday today.

Making The Fielder's Choice

Not Cecil, not even Prince.

On days when I work late, I have this choice to make. After dropping my complaining teen at school, I come back home at approximately 840 AM. Do I slip back under the warm, warm covers, turn on The West Wing, and reemerge at noon to dress and face the world? Or do I get up and try to be a grownup for once in this series of unfortunate events I call a life?

Obviously, I chose the latter. Sorta. I'm not, like, dressed or showered or anything. But I'm trying to arrange letters to form words and sentences in order to trick my brain into thinking I'm awake until the Coke Zero levels in my bloodstream get high enough to permit actual functioning.

So, as the wags at Boston Dirt Dogs call it, ( it's Faux-pening Day. Tampa Bay Naughty Fish @ Boston, 4:06PM. Big Game James Shields against Josh Beckett. The 2009 season, for realz.

But, until we have actual balls and strikes and outs and stuff to bitch about, we can marinate in Yankee misery for a few more hours.

There's this, from the aforementioned Dirt Dogs, in reference to the Round Mound of Money, Mr. Carsten Charles Sabathia, his $161 million dollar contract and his dog's breakfast of an Opening Day start: " 'What a waste of hard earned money.'-Bernie Madoff "

Then there's the New York Daily News, with the following quote, Standard Issue After An Opening Day Loss, ( " 'I guess we can't go undefeated now,' Girardi said. 'You always want to get off to a good start, but it's where you are after 162 games, not one.' "

And he's right. This Yankee team is going to beat us at some point this year, probably more than once. And, probably more than once, we are going to be looking up at the wrong end of a Yankee score as they clear the bases after a key Posada double, and I will hope these words taste good, because I will be eating them.

But for now, you just feast your eyes on the carnage:

BAL 1-0
TOR 1-0
BOS 0-0
TBR 0-0
NYY 0-1

The last place New York Yankees. How about that?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Really weird....well, maybe not that weird. But still.

If you're a Jeopardy watcher, tune in tomorrow, if only for a minute. The current defending champion, I am told, bears a remarkable resemblence With more hair, and fewer pounds. But still, me.


I know, not that spooky. (I was told, back in the day, that I resembled actor Corey Haim a bit as well.) There are only so many ways to arrange your standard human features, so there is a fighting chance that any person has quite a few doppelgangers. But if it's so close even I can see it, then it is pretty darn close.

I wouldn't think that any just and fair universe would produce more than one of me. But what do I know?

Opening Dayus Interruptus

As my Dad so accurately pointed out, it rained and rained and rained some more in the Olde Towne, so Ye Olde Openinge Daye for the Olde Towne Teame has been postponed until tomorrowe at 4 of the clocke.

In other news, CC Sabathia of the Evil Empire couldn't find home plate in Baltimore with a map and a compass, leaving in the fifth trailing 6-1. But the Yankees have battled back, and now trail only 6-5 in the 8th.

In other other news, is a new baseball magazine, available online today for the first time, and the premier issue contains an article by little old me.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The balloon goes up...

Tonight in Philadelphia, truly meaningful baseball action begins again as pitches are finally thrown in anger for the first time since October 2008.

Old friend Derek Lowe threw 8 2 hit innings, and Mike Gonzalez, shaken by his presence on my fantasy team, nearly blew a 4-0 lead, but the Braves held on to defeat the Phillies for a 4-1 win.

Nearly every game from now on counts in the standings. (they still play the Hall of Fame Game, but in season exhibitions are very rare these days)

The Boston Red Sox begin play, theoretically, tomorrow, but the forecast from the Boston area is poor-rain and wind all day tomorrow. So it would not be stunning if they have to move the game to Tuesday.

Longtime readers of this blog, both of you, will probably remember that I blogged in some form or another, a liveblog, or comment, or at least a brief summary, about every Red Sox regular season and postseason game during 2008. I plan to do that again this year. So for those of you that don't care about baseball, you benighted souls, you, I will try to label the posts somehow. If I don't, or if (more likely), I forget..sorry.

It's a free Internet.

The Bonfire of The Vanities

Just started reading this. Had to pay to renew my library card, for stupid political reasons I won't bore you with, and am now resuming my Star Trek fetish.

For some reason, I picked this up a couple of days ago, and finished it late last night. It had been long enough since the last time I read it that I had genuinely forgotten how it ended-so that made it an extra enjoyable read. Some of the images have stayed with me, of course-the attorneys biting their sandwiches and lunging forward to avoid dripping sandwich innards onto their ties, and the wonderful image of the hung over Peter Fallow with the toxic egg yolk of a headache dripping into his eye as he contemplates answering the ringing phone. Every time I get a headache like that, where you don't want to move your head, I think of Peter Fallow.

The passage that affected me most this time was the following:

"And in that moment Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later. For the first time he realized that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps, love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infintely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. And now that boy, that good actor, had grown old and fragile and tired, wearier than ever at the thought of trying to hoist the Protector's armor back onto his shoulders again, now, so far down the line."

That's an image that will stay with me, now. I have always felt unworthy of the armor, and goodness, it's heavy.