Speaking of witch...

Juliana Hatfield says:

"I love Edgar Renteria's face. It's such a great face: beautiful eyes and such smooth skin. I like Lenny DiNardo's form. His wind-up and his extension are balletic. I know he's not the fastest guy out there, but speed isn't everything, is it? And David Ortiz is a genius. He's incredible to watch. Over and over, he hits home runs that are simply transcendent."

-- from Redsoxnation.net

For the record, I never liked J.H. Her self-loathing seemed really forced and her music wasn't really that great. Reading crap like this reminds me of why she used to make me roll my eyes. And I'll just BET she likes Lenny Dinardo's form!

She is right about Renteria, but don't tell her I said that.

I'm moving to the AL Central

I can't begin to tell you how bored I got with the Red Sox this year.

I made the decision last year after the whole thing went down that I was not going to go to Spring Training. I also decided I was not going to try and get any Fenway tickets. If I happened across them, fine, but I wasn't going to waste time, money and effort on trying to go to games.

I think even before the World Series I was getting sick of hearing Wink Martindale's wooden delivery of "The destination of this train is... BRAINTREE." while wedged into a steamy car with Quincy-Adams bound drunks.

Many times, I'd find myself watching Dodger / Diamondback games on ESPN because I was so freaking sick of looking at Johnny Damon or Curt Schilling or the Green Monster. The lethargic pitching and sluggish bats and inconsistant fielding. What was there to get revved up about? Oh yeah, the kids. Why do you think I spent so much time in Pawtucket? Because that's where the good stuff was, the exciting stuff. The prospects and potential call-ups.

I was watching a Cleveland Indians game one night and when they won... their celebration was so sincere and joyous... their hearts were young and gay... and I thought, why is my cable TV so limited that I have to endure yet another visit to Camden Yards with D.O. and Rem-Dawg? Why am I watching Braves game on TBS when I really can't stand Atlanta?

(Because I love it when Atlanta plays the Marlins. I love watching Dontrelle Willis pitch. I love Mike Lowell and Jeff Conine.)

I don't get to see too many NL games, and that drives me nuts. I couldn't name one contender for NL RoY. I probably couldn't pick Carpenter out of a line-up. Yet night after night, Red Sox baseball.

Oh, by the way, I cannot fucking stand Tom Caron. I absolutely adored Bob Rodgers
and I miss him terribly. I would suggest Eric Frede replace TC, but I understand he's got the hockey gig on NESN. How about this? All Eckersley, all the time. yeah.


I Love Jeremi Gonzalez 4-Eva

So I was talking to Bob From Work about baseball (no!) and he was dismayed that his good friend Manny Delcarmen, son of Mr. "Cookie" Delcarmen, seemed to be somewhat overlooked among Papelbon and Hansen et al. An "unsung hero" to use his words.

To which I countered, what about Jeremi Gonzalez? Here we have a man who came to us from the lowly yet lovable D-Rays and hung out in AAA until an injury got him a start with Boston earlier this year. And so it was... JG started and did very well.

And then... at times Gonzo was forgotten until a starter blew it all over the place or there was an extra inning game. And he came in and did either poorly or welly BUT HE DID IT AND WAS GOOD-NATURED ABOUT IT.

I know you're thinking "How do you know he didn't mind? Maybe he was a real dick about it!"

To which I say: You are obviously jealous and lead a boring life.

I love Jeremi Gonzalez. He's done a bunch of different crap this year and really been a useful, handy pitcher for us.



I know this post is going to be really scattershot, because this story excites me greatly.

The year was either 2003 or 2004. Probably 2004. I was leaving Fenway Park ( I think it must have been a day game ) and on the corner of Lansdowne I saw a nondescript fellow standing there, waiting for something. Just for one second. And as I looked away a light went on upstairs.

I turned to my stepmother and said, "Was that Squiggy?"

She thought it was, I thought it was, and it is not completely out of the realm of possibility that an actor of that "caliber" would go to a Red Sox game and just be hanging around by himself on a nearby corner. Without all the mobbing and the autograph requests.

But later in the evening, my brain went into "Naaaah" mode. And I didn't think anything more of it.


It was late one night a couple of months later. I was in bed reading Moneyball for the first time. And the part where Bill James is talking about the figurative origin of the species and the very early Baseball Abstract readership he mentions that one of its first raving fans was "the guy who played Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley".

I was so excited about finding this out that I started calling people who were less than interested. Like the time I met the town historian. Anyway. As it turns out, Squiggy is a baseball scout and henceforth and heretoafter I'll call him David Lander.

But how is this guy qualified to work for a MLB franchise and get paid for it? Apparantly, he's a hardcore baseball guy and dedicated records keeper and has a magnetic hard drive for a brain. Isn't that enough?

Or is being on a long-running hit sitcom an "in"?

PS: Loved that show.


"His curves are kickin'!"

Dude, you know the Devil Rays are getting all pumped up knowing Boston's coming. Teams like that dig spoiling everything, plus they pretty regularly brawl with the Red Sox anyway.
Have you even seen what Jorge Cantu's been up to lately? I wish I could show you, but I don't have time to look up Aug and Sep stats for him. I may even be wrong... I base my player judgement on highlight reels.

YES Boston lost today, but I may have been the only person who was pleased about seeing all the Pawtucket scrubs come in. Machado, Petegine, Hyzdu, DiNardo, and Shoppach all made appearances.

And Little Alex got his first hit, a double. It wasn't adorable or anything. And Shoppach is still hitless.

In all honesty, I don't think the A's'll be getting the WC. I would have loved that, though. Maybe they'll win the west. I'm rooting for them.

I walked ( a small dog ) by the park yesterday and it was deserted. Nothing there at all. I can remember driving past it during snowfalls in the early morning December hours. Waiting.

By the way, I could give a shit less what Foulke thinks of baseball. I just don't think he's helping the team right now and I want him back on the DL toot sweet. Timlin's masturbation-inducing performance yesterday really might be greasing the tracks. I love Keith Foulke, really. But I don't like the sweaty, nervous bitch imposter sitting in the bullpen.


Winstrol: the wonder of it all

After reading "Juiced", I have to say... there's something sincere and credible about Canseco. I know it's convenient and popular to snicker about him and question his motives and intents, but ... but... what if he's right?

I also love how he asserts that steroids are not dangerous at all and that they're wonderful and beneficial when used properly. I don't know if I agree with him but it's nice to have conventional wisdom challenged now and then.

As Mykel Board used to say... "You're wrong!"


The white... schoene.

Do you remember the 2002 Anaheim Angels? Oh, but they were darling!

That was a great WS for a lot of reasons. I won't soon forget that team. K-Rod's debut. Man.

Anyhoo, this Toronto series we saw a lot of Scott Schoeneweis, who's a sweet, sweet lefty.

And http://www.davetill.com/personal/writing/dwt_memoryproject.html

made me laugh this evening.

A Triple Shy

Do you remember the scene in Purple Rain in which Prince's father tells him to never get married?

Well, I have similar advice for you. Don't ever take the Fenway Park tour unless you've never been to Fenway. It was a 12 dollar rip-off. No Monster, no bullpen, no warning track. The only cool part was sitting in the press area. ( " Look at me! I'm Masserotti! I'm Gordon Edes! Wheeee!")

Also, if you're a member of the Baseball Writers' Association, there's a dress code posted on the door. YOU'D BETTER HAVE A COLLAR ON THAT SHIRT, MCADAM!

In other news, no one really showed up for baseball yesterday, but Phil altered my "swing" a little bit. Yes, with just a little more extension, I was able to hit for slightly more power. And the fucking grass needed to be cut badly. No sproingy ball hops on short, tight grass. Just me in the outfield trying to find the ball or charging a hit that stops like 10 feet in front of me.

Phil is the Papa Jack of our shitty little team!


Do you want your AAA team to be successful?

There're a lot of things I don't know about baseball. Things I wouldn't understand. Things I couldn't understand. Things I SHOULDN'T understand.

I was thinking about AAA franchise teams and wondering: Do their major league affiliates want them to be successful in their own rights? If the Pawtucket Red Sox had made the playoffs, would Boston have been unhappy because it would delay the harvesting of their best players?

Does HQ even care how successful the AAA teams are? Probably not. I think at that level they're more interested in the talent show aspect of it. Is Dave Berg hitting? Who's got a fat OBP? If so-and-so goes on the DL, is there a decent lefty we can get from Pawtucket?

It's a like a giant green waiting room that smells like fried dough with a mix of upstarts and washups playing ball to pass the time.

Not that I don't think Kelly Shoppach wants to win EVERY DAY. I really don't know what the players are thinking. Is it: "I'm stealing second base to win this fucking game" or is it "I hope everyone notices how good I am at stealing bases"?

Just so you know, I'm starting to go to little league games.

"Yeah, Pedro!"

I miss Pedro. I wouldn't have given him the four years, but I miss him. All the stuff that people hated him for, I loved him for.

In 2003, I think it was, or early 2004, I was standing for the national anthem at the park and during the brief silence after..." O'er the laaaaand of the freeeee....."

One lone male voice shouted, "YEAH PEDRO!!!!"

And the home of the brave.

I was talking to old Dad this afternoon about a few things and again he brought up how he'd occasionally walk to McCoy when he lived in CF. He said he used to sneak in a couple of baloney sandwiches and that NO ONE was there. So you could sit wherever.

Old Dad's not a New Englander and was a Dodgers fan, which I love about him.

I haven't posted because I've been working a wicked lot. Oh yeah, my phone got shut off.


Wow, Mom. Wow.

I'm tired and bored. Erin came into work and handed me Boston Red Sox tickets. I forsook my Pawtucket ticket and took my brother Tom. Clement pitched.

My seats were great, thanks for asking. Pawtucket lost, Abe "Glass Piece" Alvarez took it. No playoff chance, sorry.

Ooh, Schilling's really blowing Game 1. Better get him out.

It was really incredibly nice and amazing of Erin to show up at my workplace and give me the tickets. I can't say enough good things about her. One of the coolest people I've ever met.

The best part? I got to see Alejandro Machado's first ever at-bat in the majors. Yeah, he grounded out. But it was a very nice and respectable at- bat in which he took a lot of pitches. It was adorable!

NO, stupid, I didn't say adorable. I said durable. He's a durable infielder. GOD!

I'm bummed that I'm not going to either of the last two PawSox games. There goes my everything.


Angry Bill

When I first saw "Still, We Believe" in the cinema, I thought it was so-so.
Now, after enough time has gone by, I watch it and it's so hilarious and so perfect. Angry Bill completely encapsulates a certain small part of Boston fans.

The ending's still painful, though. And it's hard to watch the spring training stuff.

Pawtucket Red Sox v. Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons

It was a night.... just like tonight.

Tim Bauscher did not pitch tonight.

I'm a little distracted right now because I just got my Red Sox Post-Season DVD Set and I so very badly want to watch it, but okay.

Marc Deschenes of Lowell, MA was tonight's starter. I don't think his greenies kicked in until the 3rd because he gave up a walk, a single, and a homer before he started getting his shit together.

The Red Barons had Mike Bacsik, a nifty lefty, pitching. He set the Pawtucket batters down 1-2-3 in FIVE innings! But look out... in the eighth, he flamed out and gave up 3 runs. Mister Jeff Bailey hit his second HR in as many days. (Note: Hey, beat writers. If you're going to use baseball slang, for the love of god, DON'T PUT IT IN QUOTATIONS!!! There's this one Pawtucket Times writer who bangs out stuff like "Trot Nixon capped the inning off with a 'tater', driving in 3 runs". It looks horseshit. )

Pawtucket wins, 4-1. Nice job, Deschenes. Manny Delcarmen pitched GREAT in the 8th and 9th!

Coupla things:

1.SWB put in some crazy kid at short whose name wasn't even on the roster. Carlos Leon. Why can't I find a good freaking scouting report on this guy? Also, I totally forgot that Madonna had a boyfriend named Carlos Leon. I was reminded of this when I tried to do an image search.

2. In charge of charts, graphs, and radar tonight: Malaska and Alvarez. And Anastacio Martinez, possibly.


Dennis and Callahan

I think the first signs of my disgust with most of WEEI began with my inability to listen to D & C doing the news on my way into work in the morning. If you've ever listened to this, then you know how conservative and bitchy the show is.

On the morning of the 4th of July, after paying tribute to the troops in Iraq, they played a Toby Keith song. That's when they lost me forever.

I do still occasionally listen to Dale and Holley in the afternoon and the lovely and talented Mr. Sarandis at night, but mostly I stick with the Score 790. It's just a better fit for me.

There is one thing, however, that will keep my dial glued regardless of the station. And that thing is the exciting and mysterious Sean McAdam.

I love Sean McAdam. I love his sober rationality and intelligence. I love his sentences and paragraphs. I love that he secretly does dead on impressions of people that I'll probably never hear. I love that I saw him on the day of ALCS Game 4 ( possibly the most important game in all of Red Sox history that I went to and was at ).

I want to call him at the Providence Journal and ask him a random question about baseball just so I'll have the interior knowledge that I called Sean McAdam and he answered my stupid question.

I love his modest shirt and tie combinations. I love how sometimes you can tell he's biting back a little bit. I love the way he moves.

Anyhoo, fuck Dennis and Callahan.

Pawtucket Red Sox v. Syracuse Sky Chiefs (TOR) 9.1.05

Lefty Mark Malaska pitched 5 strong innings, giving up one hit and striking out 6. The heavily freckled and baby-faced Jack Cressand pitched the 6th, 7th, and 8th. Cressand was visibly pissed off and scowly when he gave up a two run homer to the slightly unattractive John-Ford Griffin in the 6th, but had better luck in the 7th and 8th, giving up two hits and no runs with one strikeout. Unfortunately, Griffin tied the game up with his dinger.

Pawtucket got all revved up in the 8th inning, scoring 3 runs on two homers (thank you Shawn Wooten and Jeff Bailey) offa Jason Arnold, about whom I know nothing.

Cla Meredith alarmed the few remaining spectators when he allowed 2 runners to score in the 9th, but the odd-looking former KC Royal Desi Relaford grounded out to end the inning. PawSox win, 5-4.

As far as the Syracuse pitchers... their starter, a small child named Jamie Vermilyea, did not make it out of the 3rd. I predicted his early departure in the second inning and I was very excited about being right. There are few things I like more than being right. This Vermilyea kid is a righty with a weirdish high sidearm delivery. I don't know what he was throwing but he had trouble finding the plate.

Francisco Rosario came in for him and although I KNOW last time I saw Rosario he was hitting the high 90's, he seemed to be throwing a lot of junk tonight. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT??!

Tim Bauscher, whose tousled hair and carefree smile add a few MPH to his repertoire, did not pitch tonight.

Other things:

1. Behind home plate with charts and graphs and radar gun tonight were Lenny Dinardo in a Pixies shirt he probably never washes and Tim "Chandler Bing" Kester.

2. Some guy with one of the most elaborate scorepads I have ever seen (seriously, he must have been an accountant) came by and ask me to help him score the last few outs, as he had missed an inning or so. I filled him in and as he walked back to his seat he said "You have beautiful eyes". He smelled bad.

3. My mother let me use her high powered binoculars and oh my god. They make mine look like a Cracker Jack prize. I saw Charlie Zink in the bullpen holding a "cigarette" under his nose... I'm sure he's got plans with Abe Alvarez tonight. If you know what I'm saying, and I think you do.

4. Yes, I have a tendency to keep an eye on the bullpen. Normally there is not much of anything going on but sometimes you see some interesting stuff. In my imagination I am a hideous redneck reliever... kind of a flamethrower with a control problem.

5. George Lombard hauled ass to 3rd twice tonight... in the first on a centerfielder error and in the 4th with a straight triple. His success relied much upon his thick, powerful thighs and rakish good looks.

6. Lucky and I used to like to call these guys the "Sky Chefs". Poor Ken Huckaby was catching tonight.

7. No Machado tonight, as he has been called up. The line-up will be missing his high on-base percentage, his slightly above-average fielding, and his soft, dark, Venezuelan eyes and long black lashes.

I'll be back at the park tomorrow night.