3.31.2006

Take that, Martha Smith!



Pawtucket dances the night away.

Overrated in Rhode Island (first in a series)


Have you ever eaten at Tortilla Flats on Providence's East Side? I have. Newsflash: THE FOOD IS WORSE THAN MEDIOCRE. The service is usually shitty, too. It's such a lame attempt at Mexican food. I guess the only thing going for it is that the cool kids drink there. But come on.

And how about the beloved Twin Oaks in Cranston? First of all, it kind of looks like Mike Brady designed it. It's a lot of amber glass and smoke-stained wood paneling and stiff, black and white pictures of dead Italian local politicians. And the Cranston / North Prov / Johnstonite patrons are straight out of central casting.

Is the food bad? No, of course not. But Twin Oaks is definitely overrated.

Finally, Wright's Farm in Nasonville (not a real city). Less a restaurant than a poultry compound, navigating the multi-tiered parking lot is the first problem. The humiliation continues when you are forced to line up and wait until you're escorted into a what resembles an airplane hangar filled with cafeteria tables. Then, you have to shout to be heard above the hordes of white people being served Family Style Chicken out of steaming vats. Slop slop, scrape scrape, chomp chomp, good night!

Last time I went there for a family party, my sister and I solemnly shook hands across the table and vowed we'd never return.

And the food isn't that good.

3.30.2006

Tom Caron still sucks.


I'm gonna throw a few names out atcha.

Matt White. Ryan Rupe. Chad Fox. Hector Almonte. Bobby Jones. Scott Sauerbeck. Ramiro Mendoza. Brandon Lyon. Todd Jones. Mike Remlinger. Blaine Neal. Terry Adams. Robert Person.

Mike Timlin.

I thought I wouldn't need any money or fame...(I wouldn't need it!)

I won a major award today! A guy from the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona left a message on my machine. See, while I was attending S.T. and possibly vying for a roster spot I participated in a wacky between-innings promotion.

Yesterday when I got home there was a Speedy Delivery envelope waiting for me from Two Guys. It was... my Home Opener Tickets! With gold leaf and all!

And today I got my Futures tickets. Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Don't like the look of this town


Congratulations to my old boyfriend, Roberto Petagine. The Mariners kept him on their 25-man as a bench guy / pinch hitter. Guess he had a great spring! Maybe I'll see you April 14-17th, k?

3.28.2006

Sunday night, Cleveland and Chicago!

Baseball is coming! Baseball is coming! Baseball is coming! Baseball is coming! Yeah, Pedro!! Yeah, baseball! America's Cup, YEAH!!



Hal Reynolds! Sexy Space Alien! El Azteca! Joe and Jerry! Section 12! Baseball! Yeah!






AMERICA'S CUP, YEAH!!!!

3.26.2006

How much does a Fenway?



They're calling it "Futures at Fenway" or something. And really, when you think of it, it's kind of pointless for me to go. I've been to Fenway enough times that I'm a little bored with it and I can see Pawtucket any time I like.

But I bought tickets today. God damn it.

PS You can now buy your Beckett jersey. But no Papelbon? How is that even right? JB has wack rims, ask anybody.

Soft as snow (but warm inside)


from ESPN Magazine:

Dan Patrick: Did you see Brokeback Mountain?
Ryan Dempster: I saw it with my wife. And dude, you know what? I'm thinking they could come out with Brokeback Dugout.

DP: So you're Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal. Who's your partner?
RD: Gabe Kapler. I'm not saying he's gay. I'm just saying, you know, he's a very good-looking, muscular dude.

3.24.2006

As you walk on by, will you call my name?



I'll never forget you, Todd Walker.

Milwaukee Brewers v. Oakland A's 3.4.06 Maryvale!



Girlfriend! All the cool kids hang out at Maryvale! My seats were very good (imagine that, being able to get good seats to a Brewers game) if you consider smack behind home plate good. I sort of don't, because you get no view of the batter.

What you do get to see is a whole lotta pitcher! And I couldn't help but notice the long, leggy Barry Zito prancing around the outfield, warming up and preening...well, stretching, but come on.

The best part was Ben Sheets. I have never gotten to see him pitch before and I was not aware of how freaking huge and ugly he is. He only pitched two innings, but it was awesome. If I had to face him and his extreme pitcher face, I would pee my pants.

The A's lost again, 9-7, but Sausage Race! They Sausage raced! And guess how much the ATM fee was? Four dollars! FOUR DOLLARS!! And for beer, it's Miller or... Miller.

Thanks, Maryvale!

3.23.2006

Jolines!

I want to be the girl with the Big Giant Trot Nixon Head on my car, consarn it!

Stupid fat Bellhorn

I understand erstwhile Boston heartthrob Mark C. Bellhorn has quit chewing tobacco? Is that why he looked sort of porky in Peoria?

Or is his embiggened body pure, rock hard muscle from a strenuous off-season?

I should scan my small photo of Portly McBellhorn in his stupid San Diego costume.

Meanwhile, this is Mark Bellhorn's pops:

Fuck Panera Bread.

And while we're at it, fuck the Christmas Tree Shop.

Yes, I know Panera bread is delicious. I know. You've told me. Your mom told me. I get it. I'm sure I'd love it, too, if I ate there. Yes, I'm being anti and contrarian. It's what I do.

But guess what? I'm not going. You'd have a better shot at finding me in Niketown or Abercrombie or BJ's or something.

Arizona is experiencing an unprecedented population explosion. Have you seen the metro Phoenix area lately? Well, you don't wanna. And the planned communities... I saw an ad in their Sunday paper for an exciting new family-oriented planned community that had... get this... a "Main Street"! Perfect for ice cream and evening strolls and wrought-iron trash cans and fake gas lamps! How freaking white is that? Hey, here's an idea... you already HAVE a Main Street! Oh, I'm sure it's not as CLEAN as the fake one and there may be some unwashed low-income people meandering around but hey! Embrace a non-climate controlled life once in a blue!

And fuck Panera Bread!

when i come around


If I remember correctly, I told about 60 people last night that I had just seen Papelbon strike out Johnny Damon. This morning I discovered it was the other blonde giant, Mike Timlin. Whoops, my bass!

It's funny how, for the most part, I don't give a rat's ass about Damon getting his hair did and going to NYC. At least until I see him batting against Boston and my corpuscles implode. But again, I'm not so much a Boston Red Sox fan as I am a Pawtucket Red Sox fan these days... and not even that, because I like baseball a little too much and love attending miscellaneous minor league games in which I have no stake in who wins. I just like to see some new people.

When I was a ked I thought the Pawtucket Red Sox were just some guys playing ball, guys from Pawtucket. What did I know? And now, how I wish they were an untethered team that I could just root for and know they were a real team instead of a development farm / waiting room / dying player hospice! I posted about this before. It's like, Boston is saying, "Hey, I noticed it's still possible that you guys could win the division... but pardon us while we take half of your starting rotation and a couple of infielders that we may use as pinch runners. Please enjoy the conversion of Malaska to starter!" (That worked. Bad example.)

When I went to see the Worcester Tornados I was surprised to see that a lot of the players were local folks. I was also a little pissed that I bought some of the more expensive seats for no reason... the damn park is so small it's not even worth it. It's like when you pay for top tier seats and find out you're just one row in front of the cheapies!

I am delighted and intrigued by the shoddy Red Sox spring performance. I think there's something neat about a hapless, hopeless team stumbling through a season. Like Cla Meredith having the worst possible experience ever in a major league debut, what can you do but groan and laugh and know things can only get better? I'd be a great Tigers fan!

I'm going to start describing this blog as "visceral". It sounds so much better than "poorly planned and haphazard".

The Morning After

3.21.2006

Mound of Pain

As much as I maligned Bronson Arroyo, I derive no joy from his exit. Although it is so awful that it borders on hilarious, I feel a little bad for that skinny bitch. Boston was his world! He was buying an apartment! (cough*divorce*cough)

My sister Lucky called me at work last night and she was fabbagasted when I told her the news.

One good thing to come out of this: perhaps Mister B. will be inspired to write some actual songs. Lucky suggested the post title as a good one. How about... Thrown a Curveball? 61 Tears? Crying in the Bullpen? Lenny, Don't Lose That Number?

I'm sorry. I do think he kinda got a raw deal. The Reds. Oh my god.

PS Haven't been around lately because I've been in Massachusetts for most of my waking life. It's unhealthy and ungodly and I swear I'll do better once I disengage myself from the shackles of salaried labor.

3.13.2006

If They Mated

I have been unable to see a single game of the WBC. I did have a random dream about Adam Stern BEFORE his ITPHR, but it was not particularly prophetic.

One more thing:


Joe Rogan

plus



Adam Sandler

equals



Our Mister Canada

Keith Foulke, you're my hero.

Sometimes I watch relievers and I think, how can they do this? What kind of freakish mental composition do they have? Because just watching it sometimes gets me all fetal.

I heard Alan Embree say once, "I like it when it's messy." He's also only happy when it rains.

Other times I watch guys like Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke and they look so big and fearless that I kind of almost get it. Mike Timlin who paces in the dugout between innings like a zoo tiger, even in spring training. And Foulkey, who half of the Red Sox fans are probably DYING to see fail.

I remember Foulke getting signed. I was on the way home from Christmas at Fenway and my first look at Schilling when they announced it on the radio. A couple of days later, I heard K.F. refer to his obligatory jersey-donning press conference as a "dog and pony show". I kinda liked that.

I also kinda liked it when he pitched 218 innings in the 2004 post-season. I liked that even when he threw strikes, he'd turn around and say, "Fucking STUPID!" to himself. En fuego! Foulke was not an attractive man but damn, was he hot. For a redneck.

And then, 2005. One of the most horrible things I've ever seen in baseball was Foulke trying to close a game in Texas and giving up hits and pegging Soriano and just coming unglued... wow. Boston soon found out what a bitter, bitter bitch Foulke could be. I thought it was great. God knows that round come noon on Friday, I was tuned into WEEI for the Keith Foulke Show. It was such a break from the usual boring bullshit you hear from MLB'ers.

I'm not optimistic about Keith F's abilities this year, but I do want him to succeed. I'm gonna make a bookmark for him that says "You will be happy".

3.02.06 Cubs v. Oakland A's (HoHoKam, Mesa)

I just wanna preface this by saying I LOVE domestic beer and I occasionally drink it out of a can.

The service staff at HoHoKam all wear these tragic bolo ties with angular chunks of plastic turquoise and they charge 5 bucks for parking. I saw some crazy scalpers as I turned into the park and I got a little nervous because.. okay, you're gonna laugh...I'd forgotten my Cubs tickets. And it was starting to dawn on me that this was their FIRST EVER SPRING TRAINING HOME GAME of the year.

The ticket window woman was thoroughly disgusted by my absent-mindedness but reprinted the tix for me anyway. I started seeing the little old ladies with their weird, homemade Cubs hats and Cubs seat cushions and hardy midwesterners in their jerseys and tees and with the banners and pom poms and the dirty caps and garsh, I guess I didn't fully anticipate the Chicago-ness in the middle of the desert. I may have been the only A's fan present.

Here's who pitched for the Cubs: Zambrano! Then Dempster! Then a lot of guys I've never heard of before, 'cept for Bobby "Bob" Howry, who has a habit of suddenly appearing in some AL Central team's bullpen and reminding me that he exists.

Danny "Dan" Haren started for Oakland. Also pitching: Saarloos, Street, and Witosek. And some other guys. Haren got roughed up and the Cubs led by 5 runs but then Oakland came back against the hapless... I'm guessing Khoury, although I don't even know if that's how you spell his name. His number was 99, so.

And here's the thing. I know it's spring training and they probably levy fines against overzealous High-A kids who tie up the game in the 9th, but I have never seen a play so blatantly botched in order to end the game. Oakland had an out at home to end the inning, but instead the infielder looked that way, spun around, and tried for the runner on the way to 3rd. Um, no. Of course the Cubs runner crossed the plate and got the winning run in and everybody left the field for showers and strippers or whatever those jockos do.

Player Notes: Uncle Todd Walker! Unproductive at the plate, but, hey! Todd Walker!

Huston Street signed a lotta lotta autographs. He also had way too many activist ribbon pins on his warmup pullover.

Felix Pie came into the game in the 8th and POW! Hits a triple. Like that! It was so cool...

Witosek and Ron Flores apparantly walked out the front door like I did. Flores didn't even bother changing out of his uniform, except shoes-wise. He carried his cleats in his hand and no one even noticed a couple of A's pitchers just kind of moseying through the parking lot.

Concessions: Lucky best hot dog toppings. Jalapenos, sauerkraut, onions... lovely. I bought an "Old Style" beer from the vendor because it looked so so classic. He gave me his card because he is a famous beer vendor. Okay. Is that what they drink at Wrigley? Old Style?

I love Trot Nixon and I would just die if he left. I proclaim this to be The Year of Trot. For me.

Whither Mike Cubbage?

Excuse me, but I am watching my first ST game of the year and Remy is already making me laugh by asking DO if he knows who "Kojo" is.

I was thinking about writing extensively about each game I attended in Arizona but I don't think I want to do that. I was planning on taking copious notes and assiduously scoring each game but it's really freaking hard when all you wanna do is sit in the sun and drink beer and admire, admire, admire.

A few people have asked me if I liked Cactus League better than Grapefruit League. I don't know, they're different. Cactus League seems more.. cohesive. Like you read the sports section and every day there're charts, graphs, and updates on every single team and directions to all the parks.

In Florida, the other teams get a passing mention, possibly a box score.

Sean McAdam had a really nice article on Gabe Kapler. I'm not just saying that because of my ardent, unrequited love for S.A. I should link to it, but you've probably read it already.

It's coming. Oh yes.

3.11.2006

I know you're out there, you're just out of sight.


Oh my god!

I have so much I want to post now but I can't, I have to go to work, and how bad do I want to skip it because there's some prelim BP today and tomorrow and I have to work all weekend? And the sun is out?

Why can't I be unemployed? Christ. I just got back from vacation and I hate work more than ever.

Oh my GOD!!!

I've been here for years?

Okay, I'm back now. Man, this team looks horseshit.

I couldn't glean much information considering I had no TV, no radio, no phone, but here's what I got out there:

Kirby Puckett. Pokey Reese flakes off, gets canned. Manny showed up.

And then I get back and I'd say the funniest thing that happened was Flaherty bailing out. I can't blame him. The man just couldn't handle the dancer.

One quick thing: seeing Doug Mirabelli in a Padres uniform was much harder than I thought it would be. I don't know, I just loved Mirabelli.