Saturday, May 23, 2009

Game Forty Three: Oh My, Oh My, Omir

The Guy Who Used To Be Josh Beckett gives up a first inning run. Boston answers back with two in the bottom half for a 2-1 lead off of Mike "Who?" Pelfrey.

Second first, same as the first? Not really. Given the lead, Beckett takes control, throwing 8 strong frames, handing off a 2-1 lead to the Lord of The Dance, Jonathan Papelbon.

No problem, right? Not really.

Papelbon walks Gary Sheffield.

Not a big problem.

Papelbon blows away David Wright and Jeremy Reed. No subtlety, no split fingers in the dirt, no variety-just pure, unvarying heat. Power against power. Ninth inning is the Lord's Day.

Then Omir Santos, catcher for the New York Mets, catcher for the New York Mets with ONE major league hit prior to 2009, catcher for the New York Mets with ONE MORE MAJOR LEAGUE HIT THAN I HAVE PRIOR TO THIS SEASON, homers over the Green Monster.

Not a majestic shot, by any means. A Bucky Dent special, in fact. One foot lower and it's a double. So questionable, in fact, that the umpire checks with the Newfangled Replay Guy in New York, but a home run it is. A half assed, wind aided, cheap Fenway homer, but a homer nonetheless. The Wall giveth, and the Wall taketh away.

So then we have a 3-2 Mets lead, and then we have a Series Of Unusual Events. (Not that) Ramon Martinez, not Pedro's brother but the other one, lines a vicious shot that Lowell somehow comes down with at third for the third out.

OK, so onto the bottom of the ninth, then.

Kevin Youkilis works a walk off of Emergency Backup Closer JJ Putz. (K Rod is, reportedly, out of the question due to his work yesterday.)

Jason Bay CRUSHES a ball, NAILS it, hits it on the SCREWS-but somehow David Wright at third knocks it down. He manages a weak, fluttery, off target throw to second base, where a corpse that used to be Luis Castillo makes a long, first baseman style stretch to just barely get the out.


JD Drew CRUSHES a ball to right, NAILS it, hits it on the SCREWS-right at right fielder Angel Pagan. Two out.

Sure, fine, no problem.

Mike Lowell CRUSHED a ball, NAILS it...and Ramon Martinez, who as recently as last night was the answer to the Michael Jackson joke due to his poor fielding, makes a diving stop, turns, and throws out Lowell to end the game.

So last night, the Mets can't catch a cold, and they win. Tonight, they get a wind aided butterfly fart of a home run followed by three ungodly plays in the field to steal a second win.

Life isn't fair.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Game Forty Two: Meet the new Kaibatsu, Same as the old...

Daisuke Matsuzaka made his return from the WBC-induced DL stint and turned in a Dice K-worthy outing-5 innings, 80 pitches-on the way to a 5-3 loss at Fenway tonight.

After Big Bad Gary Sheffield took him over the Wall for a 1-0 lead, Dice Man fell apart in the fourth-after a double and a walk to Sheffield, three RBI singles pushed across Mets for a 4-1 lead that Boston would not recover from.

David Ortiz continued to be frozen in amber, while Jason Varitek continued his resurrection with a homer and has his average all the way back to .246.

There's nothing to be ashamed of in losing to the Great Santana, but anytime the other guys commit 3 errors, you like to think you could win that game.

Ah well.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Game Forty One: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd Like To Introduce You To Jon Lester.

Jon Lester gave a very good impersonation of the Good Brad Penny, throwing 6 innings with 8 hits, but only one run. New Guy RR and The Lord of the Dance finished up the 5-1 win.

Jason Bay had the only home run of the game, and Kevin Youkilis, in his second game back, had his average slide all the way down to .402. David Ortiz actually had another hit. Huzzah.

Boston welcomes home the New York Mets tomorrow, with Johan Santana facing off against the return of Dice K from the DL.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thank Goodness

The FBI is going to announce tonight that they have arrested 4 men who they believe were attempting to bomb a Jewish temple in the Bronx.

First Thought: Thank goodness.

Second Thought: Isn't this one of the reasons why we're supposed to need torture? If we don't need torture to disrupt plots, what do we need it for?

Game Forty: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

The guys who make up ESPN graphics can relax now. David Ortiz finally clouted his first home run of the 2009 season, a fifth inning poke off of Blue Jay Brent Cecil to help Boston to an 8-3 win over the Torontonians. Jason Varitek hit two, and Mike Lowell and Jason Bay had one each, all off of Cecil, who obviously had a tough day at the office.

Brad Penny surrendered 9 hits over 6 2/3 innings, but only two runs, and got help finishing up from Metropolitan District Commission, New Kid Daniel Bard(nickname needed...Danny Ocean? I like that...), the Okey Doke, and Sensei Saito.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nugent on Dowd v. Marshall

The title links to Phil Nugent, who seems to be back in the blogging arena, talking about Dowd v. Marshall.

A point I didn't pick up on, but that Phil did, is the way Dowd is calling him "Josh", as if they are old pals. Nugent argues, wisely, that this is a subtle dig at all bloggers-they don't deserve the "Mr. Marshall" treatment that the Times gives to, well, everybody.

We've all had multiple windows open, and typed something here that is supposed to be over there. That happens.

But you're not supposed to be cutting and pasting blocks of text into a Times editorial unless you're pretty rock solid sure it's yours. No matter where it's from.

Game Thirty Nine: TIMMEH!

It occurred to me recently that I worked Mother’s Day, and I will work Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and Independence Day. That blows chunks.
I forgot to mention that I read David Plotz’ “Good Book”. I enjoyed it, but like the Bible, it gets a bit tedious now and then. Plotz, who calls himself an agnostic Jew, read every word of the Old Testament, and tries to pithily summarize and comment on each section. It’s very readable, except, as I said, in a few sections where you, like he, kind of lose interest a little. I would recommend it for all but Biblical literalists, who may find it blasphemous. Then again, if you’re a Biblical literalist, I’m not sure why you’re reading this.
In Boston tonight, Tim Wakefield tossed 8 innings of 5 hit baseball, allowing only a solo homer to old friend Kevin Millar, while RBIs from George Kottaras and Jeff Bailey pushed Boston to a fine, crisp 2-1 win.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh, really? "You didn't mean it?"

Politico's Michael Calderone on Dowd v. TPM.

Calderone quotes Times PR person Diane McNulty, who says, "There is no need to do anything further since there is no allegation, hint or anything else from Marshall that this was anything but an error. It was corrected. Journalists often use feeds from other staff journalists, free-lancers, stringers, a whole range of people. And from friends."

Ah. So she didn't mean it, so it's okay, then? Great. If I ever cheat on my wife, I'll try that defense.

McNulty is missing the point here. (I'm assuming Dowd didn't read TPM, click on the delicious phrase, put it in her column, change a couple of words, and call them her own (that would require a level of dementedness I can't ascribe even to her).) The point is, and continues to be, that Dowd took the words VERBATIM. It doesn't matter that much whose words they are (apparently, TPM has said it doesn't mind, as long as it is given credit).

Maureen Dowd is being paid, presumably a fairly healthy sum, to comment upon the news of the day. It is assumed that she is not cutting and pasting content from ANYONE-me, Josh Micah Marshall, Eric Clapton, Spongebob, her husband or boyfriend (or girlfriend), anyone-verbatim without giving credit. It is assumed she takes input from all these sources, except maybe Spongebob, and uses them to form thoughts and express them in her own words.

The problem is not the error, whoever it happened. The problem is the New York Times printed content under her byline that was purported to be her thoughts and was manifestly not hers-verbatim. Is the Times okay with their columnists taking content from anyone, word for word? An apology isn't enough. An "I didn't mean it" isn't enough.

No Game? No Game? Not even a hairy rosanna?

No Game Today, due to schedule. The Red Sox are off, traveling from their Lost Weekend in Seattle back home to face the mighty Jays. A few little bits of fluff and nonsense.


(h/t TWIT, This Week In Tech( ) is a "computational knowledge engine". Whatever that means. You put in, well, anything, and it tries to relate what you put in to other information. For example, you put in a date and it tells you how long it has been since that day, in years, weeks, months, and days, and what the phase of the moon was, and who had their birthday on that day, etc, etc. It's a fun toy.


The Baseball Chronicle ( has posted another essay by 'lil 'ol me.


Retweet: @happysquared Asking a horde of anchovies to show a little decency and form a neat, single file line probably won't work. But it's the polite thing to do.


My pal DMarks did this once, so I, being a copycat by nature, and obviously, in need of content today, I decided I would do it too. I installed Statcounter, and thus I can peek and see how people find their way to my little corner of the Bloggiverse.

Here are the interesting/intriguing search terms that brought people here.

"Tom Lehrer"-that's fair. I did post about him once. On his birthday, I think.
"Hints and Allegations"-that makes sense-it's in the bleeding title, you know.
"Alistair+Dawkins"-this puzzled me, until I drilled down and found that this request linked to a post where I talked about a podcast he was on. I was trying to figure out what Alistair Cooke had to do with Brian Dawkins.
"Jon Lester"-makes sense
"Rocco Baldelli"-ditto
"Obi Wan birthday"-I did post about Alec Guinness on his birthday. I guess that counts. I don't know Obi Wan's birthday, though.
""-Again, sensible. I just posted an entry from Simon's site.
"Free Speech hints"-A bit of a headscratcher. I am a fan of free speech. I'm not any better at it than anyone else, though. I don't quite see how that leads to my site.
"Dan Carlin"-Logical. I talk about Dan all the time.
"Swine flu New York City"-Questionable. I have written about both, but I don't quite see the link there.
"+234 703 334 7773"-This, of course, is Paul McCartney's cell phone number.

Seriously, I really don't have any idea what that is.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Phil Nugent On Torture

Phil Nugent rages again, this time on torture:

"I'm not sure what it says that, six months after an election that established that a significant majority of the electorate thinks we have serious problems that needed to be handed off to a new group of leaders with a different mindset and skills set, the big issue that keeps bubbling to the surface has to do with whether the people who ran this country for the first eight years of the new century happen to be war criminals. On the one hand, it might be seen as a hopeful sign that the media overlords who, not so long ago, were insisting that the country would have a nervous breakdown unless a winner was named in the 2000 election, pronto, and who even more recently eulogized Gerald Ford as a great patriot because he nipped the Watergate prosecution system in the bud, have been proven wrong in their theory that the people have no appetite for discussing whether some effort to call to account those who sanctioned torture is necessary for the country's moral health. On the other hand, it's pretty unsettling that it's the torturers themselves who want to keep the issue alive, not those who might be in a position to hold them accountable (and who, not altogether unreasonably, would rather not spend the next four years talking about the previous eight). It just shows you what we all know: if there's a cult of Dick Cheney, then it's based on the notion that the world's foremost mean old man has no interest whatsoever in what others think of him, and that this is an admirable quality even when it's taken to the point of nihilism. It's this same quality that drives us haters so crazy: unlike Nixon, Cheney not only has no conscience to nag at him but no feelings to be hurt. Or at least that's what we all thought, but watching him out there raging on the heath, it's shocking to see how much he does care, and how much he wants his name to be not just vindicated but celebrated. He wants the schoolchildren of America to be told about the brave old man who, by his willingness to tell others to get medieval on the asses of some insignificant dusky types, saved us from having more than one unprecedented terrorist attack on native soil during his watch. It's kind of touching if you think about, it without thinking too hard."

Simon says...

My new pal Simon ( has neatly summarized Round One of the Dowd/TPM dustup.

TPM isn't saying anything, whereas Dowd has constructed the inescapably lame excuse that she "was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent — and I assumed spontaneous — way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column. but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me. we’re fixing it on the web, to give josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow."

You're saying your friend read Marshall's comment to you on the phone, and you put it into your piece verbatim, from memory? You only changed two words into four. EVERY OTHER WORD WAS THE SAME. Not similar, not an echo, not just like it -the same.

Hell, we all borrow. I read once in a music magazine that all of rock n roll is just ripping off The Beatles, who were, in turn, ripping off Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis. Who were, in turn...blah blah blah blah....

Expressing the THOUGHT is not the problem-no one can lay claim to the idea that the timeline of events suggests that Bush and his minions were torturing to shore up the bona fides of their war. Someone thought of it, first, obviously. But the idea is out there. Just like no one can lay claim to the idea of writing a song about a pretty girl and a car.

Using the same bloody words-taking TPM's product and putting it under your name in the leading newspaper in the country-IS the problem. If you claim that you wrote "Maybelline", then you're a liar.

Game Thirty Eight: Oh, F&*K ME!

Boston tied the score at 2 with a JD Drew homer in the fourth, then threw it away again. In the bottom of the ninth, Ronny Cedeno, who is not as good as Cesar Cedeno, singled and reached second on a Nick Green error. After a sensible intentional walk to Ichiro, New Guy RR, mere seconds after getting the blessing of This Very Blog, gave up a game winning single to Franklin Gutierrez, who probably had a higher batting average than Ben Franklin.

F^&* My Life

via Twitter (@TAestP), a website with anonymous, horribly painful anecdotes from people's lives. Like a Curb Your Enthuiasm episode in text form.

This is rather interesting...

The title links to a blog post on Talking Points Memo involving Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, writing a sentence that, with two words removed and replaced by four others, is exactly the same as one Josh Micah Marshall, the creator of TPM, wrote on that site a few weeks ago.

It's a long sentence, so it's hard to imagine that its accidental. How do people make these mistakes?

Mo Rocca is an absolute freaking genius

Well, not really, but he just made a crosscut of two references that made me smile.

On "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me", he was told about a story from a Chinese school that was encouraging its students to blow off steam by punching dummies with their teacher's faces on them.

Mo's response?

....wait for it.....

"The Joy Fight Club".

Gosh, that's clever. I could have thought for a month and never come up with it.

Coco Who?: A Trip Down Memory Lane

"Of course, fan memory being what it is, I will immediately type "Coco who?" when Ramirez strikes out Jeter with two on and two out in a tie game at Fenway."
-From this blog, November 19, 2008.

In 19 games this year, Ramon Ramirez is 4-0 and has allowed one run (ONE) in 20 1/3 innings, for a 0.44 ERA.

As promised,

Coco Who?

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Steroids, performance, and evidence

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Steroids, performance, and evidence

A very compelling post about steroids and evidence thereto.

Game Thirty Seven: The Return of the King

Josh Beckett did a pretty fair impersonation of Josh Beckett last night, turning in seven innings of passable ball, and the three piece combo platter of the Okey Doke, RR, and the Lord of the Dance shut things down in the end to preserve a 5-3 win.

"This "win" you speak of-is that when the number after Red Sox is higher than the number after Bad Guys? Is that what we call it? I had forgotten. "

Yeah, it's a win. Put it on the board, as Chuck would say. (Fantasy Focus podcast shoutout!)(

This afternoon is the final game of the series, with Bat Masterson facing off against Jason Vargas. Vargas was part of the booty (ARRRR!) of the JJ Putz trade, and he is a lefty who, like Olson, has been a swingman this year. He allowed one run on five hits in five innings against Texas, a band of renegades who can hit the old pelota a bit, in his only start this year.

The road doesn't get much easier after today, as we go home to face the front running Jays starting Tuesday, followed by Interleague Madness Part Uno when we welcome the New York Metropolitans, who have also been playing some good ball.