New Hampshire Fisher Cats v. Connecticut Defenders - Otis M. Awareness

Road trip! I took a quick jaunt up to Manchester, NH today for some AA ball. The Fisher Cats are the Blue Jays, the Defenders are the SF Giants. And, yeah, YOU'D BETTER DEFEND CONNECTICUT! (Connecticut was once voted 'US State You'd Most Like to See Eliminated' by several of my friends and family.)

I saw the Defenders when they were the Norwich Navigators when I was in Portland last year. So I was kind of rooting for them. And they won, 3-0. Their pitcher, lefty Patrick Misch, totally stymied the Fisher Cats. He had 6 strikeouts, but know what? I don't think K's are as meaningful at the AA level, because those kids'll swing at anything. At any rate, he held 'em to two hits through six.

Ismael Ramirez took the loss for New Hampshire. Guess those rosary beads weren't much help. OH, SNAP!

The park was... functional. I don't have a problem with that. I'm not one of those fans that needs schmancy. What I do find stupid is the name: Merchantauto.com Park. Are you kidding me? Do they really think people are calling it that? That instead of saying, "I'm going to a Fisher Cats game tonight", people say, "I'm heading over to Merchantauto.com Park after work" ?

Let's talk about something else.

1. LaBatt's beer at the park! Isn't that nice?
2. I love love LOVE the "I Just Made an Awesome Defensive Play" poker face. How can it be that when an infielder leaps and snares a smoking line drive all Pokey-like, he just tosses it in for a little around the horn without breaking stride? How can they not turn cartwheels or clap their hands or do the Cabbage Patch? Cool as hell.
3. How can there be more than one ceremonial first pitch? I understand that little Jenny and Jeff should both get the honor, but wouldn't that include the ceremonial second pitch? This is really getting out of hand.
4. The Rules and Regs often use the phrase "family friendly" at ballparks. Whose family? Obscene language is cause for ejection most times. Geez, my family always used profanity in front of the kids. Usually we just giggled. I think the people most bothered by swear words are adults.
5. Speaking of which, if two women go to the ballpark and one of them says to the other, "I fucked my husband last night", can she get kicked out?
6. I don't think I saw a single non-white person at the park today. It probably shouldn't bother me, but it does. It's creepy.

4.29.06: Paw @ Ottawa - You Can't Do That On Television

Ottawa WINS 5-2

Matt Ginter gives up 3 runs and 10 hits in six innings.

That Australian guy that was in the Boston system... John Stephens. He got the win for Ottawa.

I obviously was not at this game and cannot really comment further on it. I'm a little tired, Frau Blucher.


"I fucked Tim Naehring"

Many years ago, I worked as a soda jerk at McCoy stadium. In one of the ladies' rooms, someone had written in bold black marker "I Fucked Tim Naehring". It was there forever, at least one summer if not two. There was something so giddily proud about that statement that made me love it. And it was credible... I fully believed that the person who wrote it was so moved by having fucked Tim Naehring that they wanted to share it with as many facility-using ladies as possible.

I mean, just look at him.

Elijah Dukes scouting report from Cal Leaguers.com

Physical speciman with five tool potential. Built like Carl Crawford. Huge broad shoulders and upper body down to a tapered waist and strong chiseled legs and thighs. Incredibly strong in the forearms and wrists. Off chart athleticism. Raw offensive tools. Generates plus BS and lift.

Ball explodes off bat. Contact inconsis. now. Doesn't pound mistakes like he should. Very good raw power plays mediocre currently due to unrefined approach and some swing issues. Doesn't have much of a plan with anything soft or on the outer half. Pulls off and lunges too often, it's a testament to his strength that he is still able to force the ball thru the IF with his hands only and is strong enuf to check some pretty developed swings.

"Struggles with the little things @ this point, moving runners over and putting the ball in play in critical situations. Very good runner, runs up on toes. Plays very hard. Defensive tools raw as well but have a chance to be solid avg to + across board.

Routes are rough at this point, speed to outrun mistakes. Plus arm strength needs
to be harnessed. Will always have a rawness to his game which will make his skills play a bit below his tools and there are apparently some serious makeup issues ( I have seen nothing, plays as hard as anyone in the league), but the overall package is solid..."


4.28.06: P. Red Sox v. D. Bulls - The Man Who Looked Like Ralph Nader

Durham WINS! in ten 3-2

Marc Deschenes? Brill once again. Had a no-hitter going through 5. And you know what? He's kind of dirty and sweaty and has Massachusetts hair but he's got piercing blue eyes and maybe I'm falling in love with him. The ladies love a good pitcher.

Twenty-two year old right hander Edwin Jackson pitched for Durham. He also held Pawtucket scoreless through 5 and dazzled all the stupid jerks who kept talking about the pros and cons of satellite television and all the screechy kids who were blowing bubbles incessantly in the stands. The ladies love velocity.

Everyone knew Hansen was gonna show up and pitch. I wasn't expecting much, but he was throwing BB's, if the pitch speed sign is to be believed. (I have my doubts about its accuracy.) Everything was fine until Mike Holtz showed up and couldn't get anybody out in the ninth. Walked a guy, hit a guy, gave up two hits. Way to go, Holtz. Finally, Bausher got hustled in and allowed a game tying run, but ended the inning with a defensively nifty 1-2-3 double play.

Extra innings: Bausher again, not terribly sharp, and the Bulls get the run they need. Hansen should have gotten the win, but Big Ruiner Holtz blew that chance.

Elijah Dukes was not in the lineup. I found out later that he'd been suspended for an unnamed clubhouse incident. I also read that when he was 20, he was arrested for assault when he threw a remote control at the mother of his children. DAMN. No wonder they stomped the piss out of Pawtucket.

Enrique Wilson went 2 for 4 with a double and the game tying RBI in the 7th. He seems more out of place in Pawtucket than Hee-Seop Choi, but not in a good way. Is he ever going to play in Boston? No. As Chuckie said, I don't know much but I know that.

For the record, this was probably the best Pawtucket home stand I've ever been a part of, mostly because the Durham Bulls have some seriously talented yet mental players. Can't wait until they return in... oh my god, they're never coming back!

How far a drive is it to Durham?
I still hate Tom Caron.

4.26.06: PAW v. DUR - The Angelic Upstarts

Durham WINS 6-2

This was the Delmon Young game in which he repeatedly beat the umpire over the head with a shillelagh.

Jon Lester has been bitter and snitty about his pitch limit. Unfortunately, he's throwing a lot of pitches in early innings and so generally departs in the 2nd and 3rd. He was visibly pissed when he was lifted after 3 1/3. Don't blame RJ, it's an organizational thing. He only gave up one run, a solo shot by major appliance Elijah Dukes. Cla Meredith picked up the reins for a few. Mike Holtz followed, and then Charlie Zink threw the ball all over the place. Zink has a new handsome boy haircut and I didn't recognize him right away.

Jason Hammel started for Durham. Unfortunately, I remember precious little about his appearance. Snarling ball of fury Miadich closed it out. Seriously.

Regarding D. Young: Um, what? It was the first inning. How could he be that pissed off over being called out looking? Pawtucket catcher Corky Miller claims there were no words exchanged. It was startling.

Bulls catcher Shawn Riggans had some shitty luck in this game. The adorable blonde receiver got pegged HARD two times. The second time I can report that his teammates in the dugout laughed really, really hard at his agony. This was one of those hard shots when the umpire busily dusts the plate off while the catcher walks around saying "FUCK ME GOD DAMN IT" until the pain subsides to a manageable level. Get well soon, kid.


4.25.06: Pawtucket v. Durham Bulls - Seddon and Shut Up

Durham WINS! 4-0

Jimmy Serrano went 7 for Pawtucket, giving up 3 earned runs. Tim Bausher got flaky in the 9th and gave up the 4th run.

Slim killer Chris Seddon's lefty game was tight. He went 6 with 3 K's and one walk. He was also a lot of fun to watch. JB Miadich pitched the 9th and is evidently a psycho on meth. I'm talking chest heaving, veins popping, 95-mile-an-hour stuff. He vaguely resembles Jason Shiell, only less dumb-looking. I could not find a JB Miadich, but I did find "Bart" Miadich. Okay, dude.

Offensively, Pawtucket had a few scattered hits. The lovable Hee-Seop Choi had a nice double for himself in the 4th. Outfielder Tyler Minges was 2 for 4 with a double. And Rodney Nye had a pair of singles and deftly handled a Fernando Cortez bunt attempt in the 5th. Right on, Rodney! I also think I jinx Jeff Bailey, who's a decent hitter except when I'm present.

Holy crap, Elijah Dukes. The guy is built like a brick shithouse and went 3 for 4. The top of the lineup is: Darnell McDonald, BJ Upton, Delmon Young, and big boy Dukes. Crazy.

1. Welcome Corky Miller, our favorite AAA hooligan! Love the burns.
2. Machado dropped to 9th in batting order.
3. It's not real gold!


they get lucky sometimes

I was watching the Marlins / Cubs game the other night and the Marlins were ahead 3-0. Little fellers. I thought it was funny that one of the team leaders was Dontrelle Willis, all of 24 years old. I had to stop watching when the relief started blowing it...

I've always had a problem with losing team empathy. Ever since I was a kid. It's confusing. I'm rooting for the home team but I don't want the visitors to lose. I even felt bad for the Cards in '04. I'm not kidding. It's almost unbearable sometimes. I probably feel worse than some of the players do.

Remember Daniel Cabrera's disastrous start against Boston earlier this year, walking in runs and falling apart like a Chinese motorcycle? Unbearable. Terrance Long's stunned face as he struck out looking against that sweaty bitch D-Lowe in the '03 ALDS? Awful. Florida losing... what was it, 25-8? 25-3? At Fenway in '03, I think, when they went through 3 starters before getting out of the first inning. And then big bad Todd Walker hit a ball that pinged the pitcher in the head and he dropped like a sack of wet cement. Poor Jack McKeon. I wasn't even that mad when Grady Little apologized.

If I haven't been able to shake this at my advanced age, I can only assume it's uncurable.

Pawtucket lost last night, but it was a cool game. More on that later.


4.23.06: Paw v. B-Bisons - Shut the door so I can leave.

Pawtucket hoses Buffalo down, 7-0!

Matt Ginter was a ghetto superstar, pitching 8 innings while facing only 25 batters (do some quick math, girlfriend). One of the two hits was Andy Marte's and I am bitter about having missed his performance. See you this summer, Marte!

Dan Denham was damn dismal for Buffalo, pitching 4 innings and giving up 6 earned runs on 9 hits. He also walked 2.

Luke Allen report: Luke Allen hit a 2-run homer. Tyler Minges did the same, but let's face it: only his mother cares. Luke Allen is not a DJ. Oh, and Luke Allen has screws and plates in his face. Watch out for those wayward infield ricochets!

Ron Calloway hit .450 last week. What the hell do I know?

Durham Bulls will be our next guest. I'll be at three of the games, god help me.

Do you ever dream of me? Do you ever see the letters that I write?

Sean McAdam makes me stop spinning the radio dial when I hear his voice. Sean McAdam makes me do dirty, secret things like listen to WEEI.

I heard SA on the way into work yesterday and someone wondered aloud whether the Marlins should change their name if they move to Portland because technically, there are no Marlins in Portland.

McAdam said, "There's no jazz in Utah!" Brilliant.

How many times can you e-mail someone before you start looking like a stalker?



For the wreck, these pictures are so, so pretty.

Do you remember those cheesy little Red Sox player pins they sold at Cumberland Farms in 2004? Well, I bought almost all of them and collected them in the special pin-collecting folder helpfully provided by the Boston Globe. And at this point I have only a handful left. Today I wore Ramiro Mendoza. Before that I brazenly wore Keith Foulke because I Will Always Love Him. By the time June hits, it'll most likely be Scott Williamson or Mark Malaska.

In 2005 they had player pendants instead, which even I had to admit were heinous and tacky. Word on the street is some of the less popular players can be purchased cheaply at Job Lot these days. For the gal who has everything: a John Halama necklace. Sweet.

Boston won today, which was nice, but I secretly think it would be neat if Toronto won the division.

4.22.06: Paw v. Buffalo Bisons (CLE) - The Two Mrs. Chois

First and foremost, I gotta say the PawSox are a bitchin' organization. All the fans that hung around in spite of the dismal weather got a FREE ticket to Tuesday's game. Classy. And damn, yo, it was cold. I was shivering so hard that I couldn't hold my binoculars straight. It also didn't help that the game lasted 3 1/2 hours. Nine innings. When the Bisons' manager had what seemed like his 50th beef with the ump, one fan shouted, "Come on! It's COLD!"

Pawtucket WINS! 6-2

"Here are tonight's starting line-ups" :

Stern CF Gutierrez CF
Minges LF Inglett DH
Pedroia SS Garko 1B
Choi DH Insufferable Prick Cooper LF
Bailey 1B Merloni 3B
"Allen" RF Gautreau 2B
Nye 3B Francisco RF
Durrington C Flores SS
Machado 2B Diaz C

RHP Deschenes LHP Sowers

Macho Marc Deschenes was totally tuff on the hill, kicking off with a 12-up, 12-down first four. Hail, yeah. He gave up a pair of singles in the 5th to Stupid Fat Cooper and Lou Merloni (hoo, boy, the fans creamed themselves over that one). Sixth inning was uno, dos, tres with one K (his third and final). Tim Bausher gave up 2 singles and hit a batter in the 7th and 8th. Got my first look at clubhouse smarty-pants Craig Breslow in the 8th / 9th and he is a physical oddity I can only describe as knobby. The Bausher-inherited runners Diaz and Gutierrez scored in the 8th.

And now for something completely different: Buffalo pitching. A slender, trembling reed named Jeremy Sowers threw the ball with his left hand for 4 2/3 innings, giving up 4 runs. Awww. His relief was a six-and-a-half-foot limbsy hothead named Brown who wasn't a whole lot better. Finishing off the game was righty Hyang-Nam Choi, who really needs to work on his mean face.

Pawtucket O-Fence - Adam Stern stole approximately 40 bases and was 2 for 3. Naw, for reals, he had 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts. Crazy! First baseman Jeff Bailey was the mule of the game with 4 freaking K's. Dustin Pedroia had 2 walks and a double and is quite the little infielder, but let's face it. He's short. The world does not need another Eckstein.

The Bisons? I guess Joe Inglett was helpful with his 2 singles.

The Movie Star and the Rest:
1. I got to see Hee-Seop Choi! You look at him and you think, this guy does not belong in the minors.
2. Luke Allen Report: Luke Allen is burly and was a flailing mess at the plate last night. I'm assuming he doesn't do well against lefties, even if they haven't yet gone through puberty.
3. If you're wondering why the hell Trent Durrington was catching last night, join the club. It could quite possibly have been some kind of talent showcase. It's times like these I find myself frustrated by my limited baseball knowledge. It's also times like these when I want to just call McCoy stadium and ask for Ron Johnson and ask him myself. I mean, why not? Would they patch me through? Why can't I call and ask him? Maybe I'll write him a letter.
4. It was awfully cold last night. The vendors were selling hot chocolate instead of soda.
5. When pitchers are out there in 35 degree weather with little short sleeves on, is it to prove how tough and inured to the elements they are? Because no one's going to think any less of you if you put on a light wrap.
6. Abe Alvarez was charting the pitches last night and I almost felt bad for him. He looked really, really bored and cold.
7. Andy Marte didn't play last night, damn it.
8. I never liked Lou Merloni, but I reckon he's got a bright future in used car sales in Natick or Norwood or something.

I'll be at the park Tuesday and Wednesday night. See you there!


The vicious dirtbags at Nestle have gone and bought out Libby... or at the very least Juicy Juice, who made some of my favorite little juice boxes. And now I can't buy Juicy Juice any more. I'm already extremely limited when I go to the grocery store so this isn't really helping. Why, Libby, why?!

Apple and Eve, hang in there. Boycott Nestle!

Congratulations to Phil et Noelle the Volitile. I'm looking forward to a baby born with jet black hair, fierce love of humanity, and healthy hatred for the cool kids. I'm gonna be an auntie!

PS I hope it's a girl.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'M SORRY!"

I have a 3-game debt that I have to pay, so here goes. I'll make it quick.

4.18.06: Pawtucket @ Durham Bulls - Durham WINS! 9-6

The Durham Bulls are Tampa Bay's franchise team, and accordingly, they have some sizzling prospects there. Delmon Young, BJ Upton, Elijah Dukes. Rah, rah, rah.

Starter Matt Ginter gave up 6 of the runs.

4.19.06: Pawtucket @ Durham - Pawtucket WINS! 6-0

Jimmy Serrano started for Pawtucket. Choi and Buckley homered.

4.20.06: P@D - w: DUR 8-3

White-hot Buckley goes yard again, but all for naught. Lester started the game but don't get all weird and start thinking he blew it again. He pitched well. Blame the relief corps. More specifically, blame knucklehead Charlie Zink for giving up 3 runs in the 5th.

The International League web site looks exactly like the MLB web site. This is not a good thing. It's cluttered and flashy and not at all helpful.

Abe Alvarez goes tonight. Let's get Pawtucket out of the cellar. I have a ticket for the game tomorrow and I HAVE TO get out of work early enough to make the 6:00 start.


Cambridge & Columbia

I worked in Cambridge today and on the way home on the Pike we went past the park. It looked so cool from the highway and for a second, I got it again.

Then the car went under the bridge and all I could think of was how many times I've walked over that bridge after getting off at Kenmore and how the throngs of fans always elicit honks from the traffic below.

And now I wonder if I take it all for granted.


Ron Calloway will be 30 this year!

Do you want to make more Ron I. Calloway? Sure, we all do!

Ron Calloway is a left-handed outfielder. He was a bench guy on the Expos in '03. (Wow, remember the Expos? That was pretty funny.) He got his first hit that year during his first major league at-bat offa Greg Maddux.

RC was in the Mets system last year, playing for the AAA Tides.

Ron Calloway can't really hit.

This entry was written by Jenny, Grade 5.

Pedro Martinez am, is, was, are and be my eternal Red Sox hero. I will miss him in Boston forever. He deserved more ceremony, damn it.

Felicidades, Rey de Lanzadores.

Wow, I hadn't heard that.

Wait a minute... is that Loretta's first homerun? On any level? Really? Because I haven't heard that like a thousand times in the past 24 hours.


come back little raven and bite my face

At last, a Boston game that held my interest. I had to listen to it on a brokedick radio at work. I knew if the Red Sox lost, I'd be pissed. The old sick and disgusted feeling from seasons past started creeping in during the 9th and I missed the audio of Lowrider's walkoff. My boss kind of asided it to me about 6 minutes after it happened. Like, oh! By the way!

It's good to see a player becoved Nomar-style on a red jersey day. Very good game. Pawtucket's back on Saturday!

By the way, Dustan Mohr may be unable to connect with a baseball on a meaningful level, but don't let his poncy bat fool you. He's big and mean and red-eyed and will decapitate you for whiskey money.

4.17.06: Pawtucket @ Charlotte: Last chance for love

6-4 Charlotte

Paw starter: Deschenes
Char: Hideo Nomo

Loss gets hung on Orange Bumatay, who gave up 3 runs in the 6th, plumping up his ERA to 6.75. International Man of Mystery Luke Allen had an RBI double in the 4th.

Charlotte reliever Chad Bentz gets the win.

I'd also like to add that I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, but I'm disappointed that I can't find a lot of International League game coverage on the internet. I promise that I am going to try harder to provide accurate and informative and readable game summaries. I hired one person to attend home games when I can't do it. I'm not going to be able to do all the games, but I'll try and get as many as a can. And I'll also try to be a little more organized. I'd like to reinvent the box score, too. Yeah!

I'm unprofessional and amateurish and I plan on keeping it that way. We'll see how it goes.


4.16.06 Pawtucket defeats Charlotte 10-3

The loose-limbed Abe Alvarez does it again. Much like Jesus Christ on this day, the bats rose from the dead. Big thanks and a tip o' the lynch lid to E. Wilson, Popeye Machado, and Hustlin' Willie Harris (who I think I love already) for hitting home runs.

See you tomorrow.

Ever look at a flower and hate it?

I love Bill Haselman. I was really happy when Lynn Jones stabbed himself in the eye and Hass got to coach first base. I loved him in Pawtucket, too. And when I saw him today doling out tender and encouraging ass-pats to baserunners, I got to thinking. Shave his head. Yeah... shave it. And iron up a dupe Josh Bard jersey. Think about it. Who'll know the difference when he's all geared up? See? Instant experienced knuckleball catcher! Then just stick Ino or Jim Rowe or somebody out on first and say Haselman has a pulled trilateral rotator quad sprain that needs intense icing.

I'm looking forward to seeing Jermaine Van Buren in Boston. Dinardo can't pitch more than five innings, so I'm hoping Van Buren'll come out and play on Monday!

All my Easter plans were shot to hell today just because I forgot my locker combination. But good baseball! There was a NL game on the Atlanta Braves channel that was pretty good... saw the original two-faced reliever Alan Embree doing the Georgia devil / blue-eyed pixie thing for San Diego. And, uh, whoa, Mike Remlinger? Oh, Atlanta, you make it hard for me to hate you.

Since my brother's moving to the Bay Area, I'm thinking about flying out with one of my plane tickets and catching some A's games. They're visited by Boston in late June but I dunno. I think it might be more fun to see them play the Angels or something.

And as far as going to Rochester... Scranton-WB is so much closer. Mid-August tentatively.

4.15.06 Pawtucket @ Charlotte: More Lester Fellatio

Charlotte wins, 7-4

The Pawtucket Times has a terrible web site. Pawtucket is spelled "Pawtuckett" in at least one place. Furthermore, the Charlotte newspaper has precious few words for their AAA team. Could it be because they don't really play in Charlotte? Or even in North Carolina, for that matter?

Lester blew it all over the place again, giving up 5 runs in 2 1/3 innings. Am I worried about this? No. I watch the ripples change their size, but never leave the stream. I don't sweat losses like I once may have. New guy Luke Allen homered at one point.

Who is Luke Allen, you and I ask? How should I know? He doesn't exist! The linked article talks about his PCL time a little bit (Brad Mills knows him well) but there's fuck-all else about him on the internet.

Oh, wait, one thing. We have the same birthday. Me and him and Clemens.


I may have implied in an earlier post that I saw big, fat Walter Young playing first base for the Padres in ST. The first baseman in question was not in fact Mr. Walter Young, but the eerily similar- looking Mark Bellhorn.

Just kidding! It was Eric Young, another bench fatty. I apologize to any parties suffering emotional damage as a result of my misleading post. Go Pads!


Be kind. Don't go to Dunkin' Donuts tomorrow.


4.14.06 Pawtucket @ Charlotte: Good Friday or GREAT Friday?

P-Sox win, 5-4

Brainy McBreslow gets the dub, even though he only pitched 2 innings. Tim Bausher was outstanding in his relief work, in spite of having a blister-like blister the other night! I think he pitched 3 1/3. And know how I was wondering aloud about Hee-Seop Choi? Hit a home run. So did Jeff Bailey.

Hope they start hitting for real now.

The List: 2002

Here're the rankings from '02:

1. Nomar Garciaparra
2. Brian Daubach
3. Trot Nixon
4. Jason Varitek
5. Shea Hillenbrand / Johnny Damon
6. Derek Lowe
7. Manny Ramirez
8. Tony Clark / Casey Fossum (whoa)
9. Pedro Martinez / Cliff Floyd
10. Lou Merloni
11. Rey Sanchez / Tim Wakefield / Doug Mirabelli
12. Ricky Henderson
13. Carlos Baerga
14. John Burkett

I see your sister in her Sunday dress.

I was thinking that since I'm going to be all alone on Easter that I might go see the Norwich Navigators. It's a little more than an hour away, I think, and I've never been. Well, Good Golly Miss Molly, they don't exist anymore! They've been replaced by the "Connecticut Defenders" !

Neither team's playing Easter anyway, but the Seadogs are! I kind of want to go, but probably not enough to get up that early and drive the 2.3 hours.

I'll play it by ear, I guess.


for us, these are the days

Do you remember '03, the postseason, when Lilly was on the A's and Todd Walker, Adrian Brown, and coupla other Sox Staffers spelled out "LIL-LY" on the backs of their jackets when he was pitching? And everybody was so disgusted and talked about how bush that was?

Ted Lilly in very Neil Young-like fashion said he thought it was funny. And so did I.

Every time he knots up Boston hitting I think, Lilly is ice cold. He looks so benevolent but he is poison.

Who is this weird kid with the 'burns pitching for Toronto? Tallet?

Pawtucket won 5-0 today. Matt Ginter pitched 5 strong and Enrique Wilson hit a two-run homer. And that's the end of that homestand. God, they go by so fast.

By the way, what happened to Kason Gabbard? Is he still in Portland? And when can I expect to see Choi?

Pawtucket v. Roch 4.13.06: Durrington's Starting to Happen.

Last night while I was watching some educational programming my brother called me from Pawtucket. And I'm all, You're still at the game? And he's all, It's the Top of the 16th.

Pawtucket lost 4-3, yes, but that's okay. Outfielder Trent Durrington pitched 3 innings last night. Phil told me that he didn't clock higher than 74-ish. Before that, third baseman Rodney Nye stymied Rochester with his rusty little knuckleball for two innings. Why doesn't shit like this ever happen when I'm there?

Deschenes started for Pawtucket, Dennys Reyes for the Red Wings.

And Brooke is a total crybaby.


I don't know, Malaska.

Sources tell me that Mark Malaska had a rough spring and is considering quitting baseball.

I'll believe it when I see it. If it's true, uh, thanks, dude.

I don't hate the Yankees anymore.

Well, not really. I will never stop hating Alex Rodriguez. And Jason Giambi... bleeeaaghgh. But how can you not love the Sexy Space Alien? Or have mad respect for Torre?

I wasn't even really that upset when Damon crossed over. Of course, it sucks to lose such a great leadoff hitter, but there you go. I don't blame him for doing it.

My brother is a Yankees fan, but he's been that way since he was very small. He says it's because when he was a ked, the New York announcers seemed so exciting that he couldn't help but root for the Yankees. He's mostly good and rational about it, but I do have to hear about how disgusted he is with Red Sox fans. And you know what? There're a lot of disgusting, stupid, ugly Red Sox fans out there. It's easy to hate on Yankees fans, but come on. Try and objectively look around you and think about it. Walk past the Cask and Flagon on game day. Or take a ride on the Red Line to Quincy Adams after a game. And what about all those URI meatheads during the postseason? Or "Yankees Suck, Jeter Swallows"?

Next month I'm going to Yankee stadium for the first time with my brother and I'll be rooting for the A's, but only because I'm an A's fan. It's gonna be fun.

So, should I just drive there or what? Park and ride? It's a day game... I'd appreciate any tips / suggestions.

By the way, the Dropkick Murphys SUCK. They used to play at Lupo's and stuff all the time and all the Boston skins would come down and act like assholes. I guess they've progressed musically but... they suck. Fire up one of their old CD's and you'll see what I mean.

I also hate Wally the Green Monster. Just stop with that.


Pawtucket v. Rochester 4.11.06: The Real Minnesota Twins

The Rochester Red Wings have a new pitching coach! His name is Stu Cliburn, and he is manager Stan "Van" Cliburn's twin brother! Adorable!

This game was going on while I was a state away pigging out on a Cuban sandwich and drinking 38 Schilling Scottish Ale so here's what I know. Pawtucket won on a 2-run Jeff Bailey HR and that's the sum of the offense. 2-0.

My favorite Pawtucket lefty Abe Alvarez had a no-hitter going until the top of the sixth... Alex Romero led off with a double. Breslow pitched the last two innings and obviously did not allow a run.

Boof Bonser started for the Red Wings. He's big, durable, and may languish in the minors for all eternity unless he starts busting out.

As far as Alvarez, we all remember his crappy spot start in '04. His pitching in Pawtucket is good to excellent, but can he start in Boston? It must be hard to be in that position... sometimes you must feel like you're going to die in AAA.

Once again I'm thinking about going to Rochester at some point this summer for a Pawtucket game. I seem to remember it being... 6.5 hours away? I've always been a Twins fan and I'd totally be up for this. August 7-9 they'll be there. Hmmm.

I forgot to mention that yesterday's Red Sox home opener was sponsored by Verizon. Sometimes I hate MLB.

Sometimes just a kitten.


The skinny Jesus guy on the bridge with the sandwich board and the tracts is a spy.

Good game today. Sort of quiet and subdued, but good.

If you are relying on me to tell you what happened, then God help you.

I will say that Beckett's first inning was deja-vu all over again, walking in a run just like Lester last night in Pawtucket. Unlike Lester, Beckett settled down. Thanks for that.

Before the game started, a little Jimmy Fund kid in a wheelchair was rolled out to sing the national anthem. I do not know about the other park attendees, but I had a hard time keeping my composure. The same could be said for Foulke, but he was fighting back laughter, not tears. I love Foulke, but damn, he is a grade-A redneck asshole.

Mark Loretta's at-bat song is "Lowrider". Get it? Mark... Low-retta? Low...rider? Lowrider did nothing offensively today, unlike my handsome new boyfriend Mike Lowell.

As for Pena... Trot woulda had it. Trot would have ripped his glove arm off and held it up with his other arm to catch it if he had to. I know you know that. Don't make excuses.

Afterwards, we went to Watch City Brewery in Waltham. Vee and I are calling for a moratorium on your stupid fucking Coach / LV / Kate Spade / Vera Whatserface pocketbooks. You really need to stop with that shit.


Pawtucket v. Rochester Red Wings 4.10.06: Hey, Nineteen - Henry Bonilla!

5-0 Rochester

This may have been the most sparsely attended PawSox game I've ever attended, not that you'd know it from looking at my section. See, when a lefty pitches, I sit on the first base side to get a better look at the hands and face of the pitcher. But the thing I forgot about? Large parties of children sit on that side. That's prime Group Outing area. I thought I had a nice, quiet seat until the bottom of the first, when an entire middle school filled out all the seats around me. And, Lord, they are UGLY at that age. Bastard Kids!

Lester started but didn't last long. He wasn't throwing strikes. 2 1/3 innings, 3 walks, three hits. I do believe he can only get better. And the offense... two hits, both singles.

Got my first look at reliever Mike Holtz, a man about whom I know nothing. He did well for himself.

Obviously, Rochester's pitching was better. Josh Rabe had a great night, going 3 for 3! He also participated in the seldom-seen double steal with teammate Jason Bartlett in the 2nd inning. They made it look so easy, too.

The miscellany:

-Bullpen watch - Tim Bauscher was trying to light a bat on fire. He did get it to smolder. I guess that's what passes for entertainment during those long, cold games.

- When Delcarmen was taking the mound and getting a few warmup pitches in, they played a My Bloody Valentine song. I don't know the title. It was so incongruous that I may have to call the park tomorrow and ask to speak to a manager.

- Huckaby just gets right in there and drops his batch in the dirt. I've never seen another catcher get down like that.

- I noticed at the opening game that the players on both teams were giving the umps a load of static. The same thing happened tonight to a stronger degree. If I'm not mistaken, the International League umps are on strike and the guys I've been seeing are replacements. So are they just really shitty at calling games or do they just not get any respect because they're not exactly pros?

They're not very good at calling games. I don't know much, but I know that. If they keep it up, they're gonna get jumped in the parking lot. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying they need to be a little more careful.

- Jim Thome could possibly be dumber than Shea Hillenbrand. No joke, folks.

- Opening Day at Fenway tomorrow!


The All-Ugly Nine

Papelbon said on the radio yesterday, "It's really not that big of a deal."

Do you not believe him?

Also, am I supposed to feel sorry for Derek Lowe? And why is it such shocking news that he's a fuckup? I think everyone has known he's a basket case for years now. They don't print that stuff in the paper, but it gets around. Believe me.

Pawtucket Red Sox v. Indianapolis Indians 4.6.06

Winner: Pawtucket, in dramatic fashion, busting a 9th inning tie with a ground ball / shabby relay to home plate score. Yeah. 3-2. Thanks, Machado.

A lot of new kids playing ball this year, which means I'd better study up. My close friend and favorite Pawtucket pitcher Abe Alvarez started the game, which was great. Indy countered with a lefty of their own, Tom Gorzelanny. And he was pretty solid after a shaky first.

I didn't score the game, because I... well, I didn't have a writing instrument. I was too busy wrangling all the hats and scarves and mittens and blankets and boots to make sure I had one. So I don't have much to add other than that "Amazing Grace" played on bagpipes makes me well up.

Couple of things: Every time I see those old Pawtucket rats in their grubby caps and afghans I think... that is going to be me someday. I'll be the little old raisin lady with the pom-pom hat and the torn seat cushion. And I'll smell bad to boot.

I sat near Manny Delcarmen's parents and let me tell you. His mom is adorable. She was wearing his varsity jacket. They were so excited when he pitched, and they had every right to be. Delcarmen was great. DelCarmen. Whatev.

My seats were really, really good, but I don't think I like sitting behind a net. It makes me a little cross-eyed.

Here's to the season's progression and warmer days and Jermaine Van Buren and never paying for parking.



I like the San Diego Padres.

And it has almost nothing to do with the the former Red Sox players on the team.

I'm thinking about using my free plane tickets to go to San Diego. Who wants to come with me?

I like the San Diego Padres.


We are not your batting practice.

Whew. Everything went well today, although only nine people showed up. Sometimes I feel like we're a gypsy baseball team, roving from field to field, moving under cover of night and trying to avoid high school kids and meatheads and pseudo-authority figures demanding permits.

Some guys from an adjacent field sent over a representative to see if we wanted a little action. We agreed, and the next thing you know these five hulking he-men were taking the field. Believe me, their skill levels were a country mile beyond ours, and before it got too dark to play they were ahead 6-0.

It doesn't take a genius to figure why they wanted to scramble with a bunch of scrubs such as ourselves. I'll grudgingly admit that it was good practice for us, but if those gorillas think they can use us like that every Sunday, they have another thing coming!

Quick shout-out to Armando and Sons Meat Market in Pawtucket. I thought it'd be a darling little butcher shop in my neighborhood. I was not prepared for the crowds and the insanity and the hot, hot meat cutters. They have a cafeteria, too!

It won't be the same without you. Please come.

The time has come to say 'fair's fair'.

It seems very early to me. I'm not... fully awake but here's the pitch. We're having a baseball team kick-off barbecue THIS AFTERNOON at 2 and my phone rang this morning and let's just say I have to go out and buy, like, EVERYTHING. That includes a hibachi.

I called the manager of the team ( I like to call him Skipper ) and made it very clear that he needed to have a heart and go out and buy at least ONE THING!

Am I being a martyr about this? I hope so. This'll get me some serious Altruism Points.

I know what's gonna happen. Five hungover people are going to show up and we're going to have all this leftover crap and I'm not sure that I've ever used a hibachi before. But, hey, let's play some ball!

How do we sleep while our beds are burning?