7.30.07 New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) v. New Britain Rock Cats (MIN)

New Britain WINS! 8-7 (good game)

I was late for this Manchester, NH game. It started at noon but I didn't roll in until 12:25. As anyone can tell you, I am very, very weird about being on time for games. I like to be EARLY. Not freakishly so, but 15 minutes before game time THE LATEST. Even in Pawtucket. I'll be all, "You guys ready to go?" and I get, "Jen, the game is not starting for another two hours."

So I was mildly perturbed upon arrival. Especially since I was scoring it and I had to cobble together the first inning and a half. The Polo Clone golfer in front of me asked, "Are these guys in first place?" and I said, gee, I don't know. He couldn't believe it. "You don't keep track of that?"

No. I don't keep a close eye on the Toronto Blue Jays AA team. I'm a terrible baseball fan. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when he asked me if Red Sox tickets were hard to get.

Some nice back and forthness from both teams but when all was said and done, the Twins franchise beat the Blue Jays franchise and you may have noticed that I ell-oh-vee-ee the Twins. So I was happy, and not in any small part because of the nifty and seldom seen 1-4-3 and 3-4-1 double plays. YES!

Not much more to say except '07 Home Run Derby winner Sergio Santos is extra Mexican. You have to hear his muy tradicional at-bat music to appreciate how much. I sort of love him. It's better than the typical "I TRIED SO HARD, I GOT SO FAR... BUT IN THE END, IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER!!"

And then there's "GOT A MACHINE HEAD, IT'S BETTER THAN THE REST" like, let it die already. Only you and Bronson Arroyo like that song so knock it off.

After the game ended, it was early enough to attend yet another baseball game. I had the Nashua Pride and Butch Hobsen in mind but it wasn't to be, as they were in Worcester. So, hey, why not try the Lowell Spinners? You never know. If not them then the Brockton Rox, or maybe to the crappy little park in Worcester. Turns out I got lucky in Lowell. It even says so on my souvenir t-shirt.

7.30.07 Mike Lowell Spinners v. Brooklyn Cyclones - Mike Lowell Night

Brooklyn WINS! 7-2

I kind of accidentally and luckily and happily and whimsically attended this game in Lowell. I thought I'd give it a shot. I didn't even have directions to the park, I just hopped on the Lowell Connector (my first time on that most legendary of byways) and winged it. I didn't even remember the name of the park, just that it was weird. It was a windy route but signs pointed the way and unless you are hopeless you can get to it.

There was quite a car jam at the entrance so I parked on a side street and walked over to the park. There was a huge line of people! WHAT! And I knew how "impossible" it was to get tickets but I lined up at the window anyway. That's when a woman tapped me and said, "Here you go" and handed me a ticket. I KNOW!

So I went and lined up, not realizing that the line was for the promo giveaway. A chap with a polo shirt announced that anyone who didn't care about the giveaway could just enter the park at the other entrance. I didn't care and so I headed for left field, walking past some of the players who I guess like to sit on the sidewalk from time to time. I don't know.

I asked the dude at the other entrance what the gift hubbub was all about and he told me it was a Mike Lowell bobblehead. Oh, it had to be Mike Lowell. I then proceeded to do a very bad thing: I went down to the other entrance and came up behind the staff who were handing the things out and asked for one. And got it. Without waiting in that long-ass line. I still feel bad about that but it was Mike Lowell. All bets are off.

So as it turns out my seat is great, right above the dugout, and I sat with the woman who gave me the seat. Her name was Diana and she was a wealthyish season ticket holder with a little kid who befriended all the players. She knew a lot of the guys on the team and at times would have them over for dinner and such. She was a little... not dumb, but not smart. She talked my ear off. Diana told me that the games are never really sold out - you just have to buy a standing room ticket but there are always empty seats.

She also told me that her five-year-old son made his bed every morning. Man, that creeps me out, a little tyke smoothing his sheets down and fluffing his pillows and making hospital corners.

Finally, Diana's advice to me: Become independently wealthy and marry someone with a job good enough to ensure that you don't have to work ever again.

About the game: Good game. The Cyclones have great uniforms. Their players also have weird names like Eigsti and Vogl and Kawal and Waechter.



7.26.07 Pawtucket @ Toledo (DET) - Yesterday was July 26th!

Toledo WINS! 3-2 in ten.

RHP and world's biggest albino Curt Schilling v. RHP Dennis Tankersley

Schilling pitched five innings, giving up no runs and striking out eight batters. Attaboy! Craig Breslow pitched the next two innings and blew the save when he gave up two runs. See, a lot of people are clamoring for Breslow to come up to Boston, but I don't get why. He's been good, don't get me wrong. But not clamor-good.

Travis Hughes was uncharacteristically shaky and gave up the game-winning hit to CF Brent Clevlen. Yay, Tiger walk-off!

Tankersley pitched 7 2/3, giving up seven hits and one run. ONE RUN! He walked two and struck out three. Aquilino Lopez finished the eighth and pitched the ninth, giving up Pawtucket's tying run. Jeremy Johnson pitched the tenth and got the W, or the 'dub', as your mom calls it.

McEwing and Kottaras doubled. Jeff Bailey homered. Both Moss and Murphy were caught stealing, so that was a good job by Tank and Dane Sardinha. Murphy and Bailey were both 3-4.

Major pain-in-the-ass Andres Torres tripled off Breslow. I guess that's okay since he also struck out three times.

limit the sun, not the fun:
1. Ten thousand Toledo fans came out to see Curt Schilling pitch.

That's all for tonight. No photos. I'm going to bed.

drool pillow

You know how advertising represents children's writing by throwing in a few backwards R's and using bright, crayon colors?

I wonder what Arabic looks like in quasi-kid scrawl?


7.25.07 PawSox @ Toledo Mud Hens - don't bury me 'cause I'm not dead yet

Toledo just KILLS Pawtucket, 12-2

I haven't talked too much about Barry Hertzler. I should have pointed out that he isn't very good, but most of that sort of thing I waste on Craig Hansen. Maybe because no one EXPECTS Hertzler to be very good. He's 26 years old and pitching in Portland and has an ERA over 16. What does that tell you?

So Hertzler gave up seven runs in this game. He has been sent back down to Portland. He can commiserate with Chadd Spann.

Joel Pineiro started for Pawtucket. You may remember him as a Seattle Mariners starter. I'm sure he was in great mood and eager to meet his new teammates... perhaps after the game they all went out to one of Toledo's many hotspots.

Jamaica Plain pitched three scoreless with a walk and a strikeout. Devern Hansack got one out in the fourth inning and then was yanked. Why? Unspecified injury. Hansack gave up two runs before being replaced by Edgar Martinez, one of which was a solo shot by CF Andres Torres.

Getting to Edgar: Martinez gave up three runs in the two innings he pitched. He was replaced by Barry Hertzler. Then the seven runs. I guess RJ was sort of at a loss because Zach Borowiak pitched the eighth inning. Zach Borowiak is an infielder. Borowiak held the Mud Hens scoreless and struck one out, but they may have just been messing with him.

Righty Ron Chiavacci started for Toledo. Chiavacci gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings. Eulogio De La Cruz pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth. Justin or Jason or Josh Johnson pitched the ninth, also scoreless.

David Murphy hit a solo home run off Chiavacci. Michael tucker doubled. Jeff Bailey made an error, stole a base, and was hit twice by two different pitchers. Busy night! Joe McEwing was 4-5 with an RBI.

Dane Sardinha, Chris Shelton, and Mr. Mateo all doubled. MVP Timo Perez had five RBI. Wow!

So, yeah, crummy game for Pawtucket.

two things:
1. It's Jeremy! Jeremy Johnson!
2. I just realized that July 25th was not yesterday. Curt Schilling pitched yesterday but I am not sure exactly when that was.
3. Apparantly Barry Hertzler flipped the fuck out after this game. He threw some trash in the Pawtucket dugout and then punched the crap out of a door, destroying it. He is being billed by Toledo for the damages.
4. Chiavacci was pitching with a broken intestinal blood vessel. Sounds painful. What is he, some kind of tough guy?
5. The benches emptied when Bailey was hit the second time. In all my Pawtucket games, I have never seen the benches empty. Yet I see it happening occasionally in away games. Do they try real hard to be good when they're at home?
6. Chris Smith back in Portland. Brady Clark (OF) now in Pawtucket. Ellsbury and his groin are retro-seven day DL'd.
7. Oh, yeah, we have Brady Clark now.

I guess I'll get cracking on that Schilling game.


mike lowell is never going to call me

Not bad. Took me .5 hrs to get bleacher seats for Rhode Island day. And the Angels to boot! All Vlad, all day! I had such a good time at Rhode Island Day a couple of years ago. Papelbon's first start, Manny passes trading deadline and gets a game-winning single when he pinch hits. I'm going to tattoo an anchor on my arm... it'll say "HOPE" below. Like the flag.

By the way, I love how they tack on four dollars per ticket for "convenience" charges, then add seven MORE dollars for "delivery fees". Yeah, seven dollars ought to cover the cost of the envelope and the stamp used to mail four small pieces of cardboard. So that's 23 dollars. Pretty much the cost of one more ticket. Fucking typical.

You never have more friends than you do when you have Red Sox tickets.



as we dream by the fire

You know how Boston Red Sox/Yankees matchups tend to be long? And how it's usually chalked up to the players on both teams being very patient and taking a lot of pitches? I say BULLSHIT!

The truth is that they prolong the breaks between innings because they know how profitable the advertising time is when these teams play against each other. Go get yourself a stopwatch and compare/contrast.

In other news, I was selected in the Rhode Island Day lottery for the Red Sox and now I have an opportunity to buy tix tomorrow. I want to sit in the bleachers, preferable above the pen. I think that would be lovely.

I'm playing ball tonight and I can't wait.

7.24.07 Pawtucket Red Sox @ Toledo Mud Hens

When I got the music, I got a place to go! Pawtucket wins AGAIN! 3-2 thanks to big boy Brandon Moss.

RHP Mike "Peewee" Burns v. RHP Jordan Tata.

M. Burns pitched 6 2/3 innings: three hits, two runs, a walk and six strikeouts. How uncharacteristic it all seems. Burns led off the seventh by giving up a double to Hannahan, who got sac flied in by Brent Clevlen. Burns replaced by out-of-shape, inept loser Craig Hansen who escaped the inning without giving up any further runs. He then proceeded to pitch a scoreless eighth. It was crazy backwards day in Toledo!

Brian Corey handled the ninth inning with unparalelled panache and flair. Brian loves Toledo and its sweeping, glittering skyline.

Jordan Tata, who if his roster photo is any indication is exceptionally handsome, pitched for eight innings! Seven hits and two runs, struck out five. Much like the computer, Tata made an error. In the fifth inning, with Kottaras on second, Ed Rogers bunted and Tata made a horseshit throw over to first which resulted in GK scoring from second.

Righty Aquilino Lopez came in for the ninth with the game tied and couldn't hold the game. That makes me feel a little bad because I like Aquilino.

Brandon Moss was the Kid once more when he tripled in Michael Tucker in the ninth and that was that.

Toledo second baseman Henry Mateo homered off Burns in the first. It was his first of the season. I don't know why.

platos tipicos:
1. I can't believe I forgot to mention this: Chadd Spann was sent down to Portland like a month ago. Mostly Ed Rogers has been handling third base in his absence.
2. Trade time and players like Ellsbury and even McEwing have been mentioned. I only hope that Joe M. doesn't get moved before August 21st, which is my only chance to meet him.
3. I have been somewhat remiss in not mentioning Jon Lester's big league call-up. All of Pawtucket was rooting for the kid in his debut... they showed him on the big screen between innings at McCoy and all the players turned their heads to see.
4. The sociopath I work with asked me if I referred to Alvarez as "Babe Alvarez". I don't, but I might start now. Alvarez was moved to the pen when Buchholz got the call. I think this idea is stupid. I hate junkballing relievers, even if they are lefthanded.
5. Even though Ellsbury didn't join the team until May, he is tied for first with Rajai Davis in the IL for stolen bases. That is what he does, he steals bases. It's his schtick. Ellsbury is struggling with groin tightness right now and has been sitting out.
6. Mike Burns has done some substitute teaching in the past during the off-season. Damn, they'll give anyone a piece of chalk and a rickety desk these days.
7. I guess this past Sunday, the Mud Hens had to suspend their game with the Richmond Braves because someone called in a bomb threat. Are you kidding? WHO DOES THAT?? Way to ruin a pleasant day at the ballpark, Bomb Threat McGee.
8. Toledo's Timo Perez was elected AAA All-Star Game MVP. Congratulations, Timo!
9. Schilling's flying to Toledo from Cleveland Thursday to make a rehab start. The drive is like 90 minutes. You big-time prick.

Only three more Pawtucket homestands left. Sixteen games. Yes, I am short of breath. BYE.


hope your special day is special

Baseball players like to use the word 'special' when describing their teammates. Sometimes I think their brains are all linked to the same mainframe.

Oh, wait, I have a point. My Moms called me at work today and told me we'd been invited to a PawSox luncheon with the manager. I don't know what they're calling it. It's for season ticket holders and it happens to fall on MY special day!

"But, Mom," I says, "You're not a season ticket holder!" Nonetheless, she got invited and so in a Saturday or two I'll be seated at the right hand of the Lord. The Lord being RJ. The right hand being the general area of the ancillary seating to the right of the press podium by the staff entrance. YES.

I hope there's a Q&A because I have a few things I'd like to get off my chest.

un dia, mi padre me di un regalo tan rico

Sometimes, you grow up going to church and you perform all the routines and rituals and then as you get older you kind of grow out of all that and either you chuck it all out the window or you adapt and personalize it.

I'd like to think I've wholly ditched Catholicism etc since I believe in science and evolution and humanism and organized sports but I'm still compelled to give something up for Lent, I occasionally cross myself, and I find myself going home on Sundays to spend time with my family.

This Sunday my father, a man with a murky past, presented me with an old scorebook he'd found at that mad good second hand bookstore in Plainville. You know how when you buy checks, the printers helpfully stamp the first couple of numbers of the year where the date goes? Well, this one's date column has the first THREE year numbers printed: 195_. How shortsighted of those uptight, buzzcut, lawnmowing white men who worked at Wilson Athletic Equipment. (I'm talking to you, IRWIN M. HOWE!) Atomic Age my ass!

So thank you, Father, for the relic. But now I don't know if I want to write in it.


7.2.07 PRed Sox v. Louisville Bats - "You can do it, Votto! You can do it, Votto!"

Pawtucket WINS! 3-2 in ten damp innings.

Sometimes I forget about David Pauley. It's okay, I think. Nothing really stands out about him. But I get a little excited when he pitches because he really does a good job. And then I go to sleep and dream about parasitic worms and broken glass.

Pauley did a tremendous job, going 7 2/3 with six hits, two runs, and seven Ks. He also balked once in the sixth. DP had a few problems in the eighth when Anderson Machado bunted his way on and moved what's-his-face - Ryan Hannigan - over to third. RJ walked out for a Pauley/Kottaras/manager/curious infielder conference but left Pauley in. Bats shortstop Paul Janish grounded into a double play, which brough Hannigan home. Then California man Chris Dickerson singled and Pauley's night was over.

Travis Hughes who is psychotic finished off the eighth and then went on to pitch the ninth and tenth. No further runs scored. Hughes works pretty fast and does not take kindly to being squeezed.

Five guys pitched for Louisville. Let's start with the starter (a very good place to start.) Victor Santos! Santos only pitched 3 1/3 innings after giving up two Pawtucket runs. Lefty Jason Kershner made another appearance, finished off the fourth, tackled the fifth, and got the first two Red Sox outs in the sixth. Here comes Geoff Blum! Gary Majewski then pitched for a while. Then lefty weirdo Bill Bray and then AAA gadabout Brian Shackelford, who blew it in the tenth.

Joe McEwing might be one of my favorite baseball players of all time. Do you know who he is? He is Bill Mueller. He totally is. McQ homered straightaway in the first inning. Blammo! Michael Tucker Motherfucker got on base four times. Ed Rogers was three for four but got caught stealing twice. Both times it was rather deflating. George Kottaras' struggles are as eternal as Bruce Hornsby's 'Mandolin Rain'. He struck out three times and grounded into a double play. Bobby Scales had similar stats tonight but I forgive Scales because he's so much cooler.

I'd have to say, though, that the real Pawtucket hero was angelic outfielder Brandon Moss. Moss, who is second in the IL in doubles, batted in the winning run in the tenth. And they were so happy.

The Bats spent the first seven innings mostly grounding out or striking out. Did I mention the first four innings were hitless? Third baseman Aaron "The Principle" Herr doubled to bust up the fun in the fifth. He's lucky he's handsome. Centerfielder Jay Bruce tripled in the ninth, but T. Hughes did not allow him to score. YEAH.

Two things, dirtbag!
1. You know who loves Mark Bellhorn? The ladies. I am not kidding. I saw many a lady arranging herself with MB in the shot while her pal took the photo. Then switch.
2. Roosevelt Colvin was in the house with his charity crusade and he threw out the first pitch and then signed autographs. I don't know much about football, but Colvin seems like a really nice guy. He gave me directions to Rocky Point.
3. Jeff Bailey got the intentional walk in the eighth to get to Kottaras. That hardly seems fair.
4. Alex Prieto... I don't know. He's sort of squishy for a shortstop but not sluggery enough for first base. He's a misfit toy.
5. Mark Bellhorn is probably all done.
6. Last year, I almost always rode the third base line. This year, first base. I don't know what I ever saw in the other side of the park. The view's better all around, plus it's cool to be above the visitors' dugout.

Pawtucket's heading off to Ohio as we speak for some Mud Hens action. They'll be back August 1 to get trampled by the Bisons (with Lou Merloni feat. Felly). I'm going to go to sleep soon.



Yankees v. Devil Rays de Tampa Bay - The Asshole Club

Th. yankees win 7-2.

Kei Igawa v. Jason Hammel. I forgot how much I liked the Devil Rays. I haven't seen them in forever. I would love Crawford in the Boston outfield. How much? Yes. But CC sprained his damned ankle midway through the game and I don't know what's going to come of that.

I don't think today's game was as palatable as last time. I remember last year's fans as quieter, more gentle. Not the loud, shrill idiots of today. But it was a great day weatherwise and god, I could have been working. So shut up, me.

It is not easy to attend a Yankees game in their stadium. I feel assaulted by propaganda (The History! The Majesty! Jeter! Mantle! The Glory!) even before the game begins, what with the little movie where players past and present talk about what an honor and privilege it is to put pinstripes on. YUCK!

Do you know how much it is for french fries? FIVE DOLLARS! A bag of peanuts? FIVE DOLLARS! One slice of pizza? FOUR SEVENTY-FIVE! A hot dog? FIVE DOLLARS! I have to stop being outraged at ballpark prices. I swear.

Shelley Duncan got his first major league home run for New York. Whatever. Bossman Junior homered for Tampa Bay and it was great. And Delmon Young, all is forgiven. I'm sorry you guys didn't win. I really wanted it for you.


Iowa Cubs: A Summation

On July 15th and 16th, I attended 2.5 Iowa Cubs games.

Monday night my sister and I were walking up to the ticket window but some dude gave us his internet tickets. "They're like front row or something", he said, and indeed they were - front row over the visitors' bullpen, which was one of those foul territory pile of dirt bullpens. So the pitchers kind of stand around in front of you and it really takes all you have to not talk to them. Well, for me it's hard. I kept looking them up and whispering to Sister.
"Psst - that guy's name is Steve!"

So the cool part is that I noticed a familiar face in uniform (the Round Rock Express, that is). It was Ron Jackson! I couldn't believe it! I yelled out "Papa Jack!" and waved to him. He smiled and waved back... I was so glad to see him. He was sorely wronged by Boston. They should have just paid him what he wanted! ("Somebody's gonna pay! Somebody's gonna pay!")

The Iowa Cubs won that game, 9-4. Or 10-4. Matt Murton made some great plays in right field. Other I-Cubs: Eric Patterson, Felix Pie, Carlos Marmol, Ronny Cedeno, Geovany Soto. Their manager? Former PawSox blowhard Buddy Bailey! I guess he's the Lou Piniella of AAA.

Tuesday was a suspended game make-up at five, followed by a second seven-inning game. After driving through cornfields all day, I got to the park just in time for the make-up game. It was cool because the Cubs became the visiting team and everyone was put back on base and a couple of outs were put on the board, just like the game was frozen in time in Texas and then resurrected in Des Moines. And it was so hot that day.

Round Rock started the game behind, 7-3, but managed to catch up to Iowa. Extra innings, then Iowa won. Game two: Extra innings AGAIN, but Round Rock got this one. What should have been seven innings turned into thirteen.

Principal Park's pretty nice. I'd post my photos, but they're not great.

7.20.07 Pawtucket Red Sox v. Louisville Bats (CIN) - It's Great To Be Back In This Depressing City

Great game! Red Sox win 6-4!

Devern Hansack pitched six innings and gave up all four runs. Nine Ks, one walk. Craig Breslow, or "Creslow" as your mom calls him, pitched the next two innings and did a very nice job indeed. I just knew that big, crazy Travis Hughes would pitch the ninth and he did, veins a-poppin'. Not happy with the walk he gave up, or mainly not happy with the umpiring. Travis. HUGHES. Closed the game and we all win, yay.

Righty Richie Gardner started for the Bats (winged, not wooden). Gardner lasted only four innings because Pawtucket was banging him around. Six runs on eight hits and such. He was followed by back-to-back lefties Jason Kershner (two innings) and the rehabbing Bill Bray (1 1/3 innings). Gary Majewski pitched the bottom of the eighth and got the last two outs. The relief corps held Pawtucket scoreless, but it was too late.

Offense! Inning number one, Scales singles, Tucker singles, Moss singles and bats in Scales, then the lovable Jeff Bailey homered and drove in Tucker and Moss. And his own self. David Murphy also homered in the third inning. I am no longer doing Ellsbury-specific reports.

For Louisville, LF Chris Dickerson and 1B Joey Votto both homered. Former Yankee great Mark Bellhorn struck out twice and popped up to third twice.

1. I certainly did enjoy my delicious veggie burger. Mmmmmm.
2. Bats second baseman Anderson Machado. Not Alejandro. Very strange hair on that one.
3. Bellhorn was very nice and signed a few autographs and got some strong applause. As he should.
4. Once again, the pitch speed meter is not working.
5. No Joe McEwing! WHAT?! At least there was Bobby Scales, who is the mayonnaise.

I'm going to Yankee Stadium tomorrow, so I had to turn down tickets to tomorrow's game in which Schilling is supposed to pitch. And I don't have tickets to this sold out game. DO YOU HEAR THAT EVERYONE? Stop asking!



7.18.07 Pawtucket v. Ottawa - This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!

Pawtucket WINS! 9-4 and I AM BACK! It is four a.m. and I just got home after severe weather and flight cancellations and whatnot impeded my progress homeward but I just couldn't go to sleep without taking the opportunity to catch up a little on PAWTUCKET!

Your amazing and lovely starting pitcher was the well-known but sorely misunderstood studboy Jon P. Lester. JL pitched seven innings and gave up seven hits. He gave up three runs. He had 3 walks and 3 Ks. He walked off the field alone. The field was jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive. Craig Hansen pitched the eighth and yes, gave up the fourth run. Twenty-eight pitches, because I like to broadcast that kid's struggles. Nutmegger Craig T. Breslow pitched an uneventful ninth and was mobbed by the Cohasset Middle School band as he exited the stadium.

Righty Landon Jacobsen pitched seven innings and gave up all nine runs. Do you know this guy? I have never heard of him, myself. I will provide backstory as it becomes available. Iowan Joseph Bisenius kicked off the eighth inning by walked three batters. Post-yanking, PawSox fans were treated to an appearance by Kane Davis. The End.

So, okay, we do have the nine runs to figure out. I know that Kottaras doubled. I know because I read it five times and my vision did not unblur and the letters that spelled his name did not swirl themselves into the more familiar doubler "Michael Tucker" or something. David Murphy had a three-run homer. Ed Rogers had a pair of RBI as well.

Ellsbury and Scales were both HBP (Jacobsen). Bailey was caught stealing and Ellsbury was picked off.

Carlos Ruiz solo-homered off Lester.

That's all for now. I'll do a quick rundown of all the games I've missed and call it a damn day. I'll be at the park Friday night. Oooh, also I'll do the Iowa Cubs games I attended. Natch.



I haven't been posting because I am on vacation. I am out in the midwest. Sure is a lot of corn here!

I'll be back later in the week. I thought I could still write about Pawtucket but I guess not.



Does anyone really like Aramark? I know I sure don't. I hate when I go to a ballpark and see their logo. Gross!

My good friend KP, who is vegan, recently wrote a letter to John Henry pointing out that while Pawtucket and many other minor league ballparks offer vedge-friendly menu items, she was stuck eating french fries or fried dough or peanuts at Fenway. And whaddup widdat? She got a response from I guess his secretary which I may have to put up here. It was sort of a brush-off.

At McCoy, you can get portabella burgers and dogs, salads and veggie platters and smoothies. At Dodd last night, they had churros and veggie burgers (corny and carroty!) and cajun fries and nonstandard $3 slices. At Fenway...nasty fries and stale nachos (Tostitos and cheez gunk). Are you kidding?

In 2004, Larry Lucchino did a little Q&A during the XMAS at Fenway shindig. Well, technically it was '03, but Schilling was there and whatnot. And what got the most airtime was the food sitch at Fenway. The general consensus was that Aramark flat sucked. To his credit, LL thoughtfully took audience suggestions, but whatever. I'm sure a concession change is not in the cards.

I know, I know that to expect decent ballpark food is like expecting the Blessed Virgin to appear in my coffee grounds. I don't HAVE to eat at the park, now do I? Yes, I am being a little whiny. A lot whiny. But just think about this: vegetarians are not some freakish minority. Fuck Aramark.

Disappointed a Few People: Connecticut Hosts EL All-Star Game

Nobody WINS! when the East v. South game is called. In other news, Charlie Zink is an all-star!

Upon arriving at Dodd Stadium, I was immediately struck by the masses of white-uniformed sailors. Sailors everywhere, and babies all of 'em. Free t-shirt on the way in, courtesy of a sponsor. And hardcore baseball geeks everywhere. Like, worse than me.

Okay, Dodd Stadium is in an industrial park. Has a nice open concourse but not too much going for it. I say this all the time. Ample, free parking though.

As far as the on-the-field autograph thing, it didn't work very well. They just set up huge tables and lined everyone up so each person could go along from player to player and get the autographs. This was a very slow process as you can imagine and I don't think half the people standing in line got down to the field. I stood in line for about 45 minutes and then realized, hey, I am never going to make it. Not a big deal. But Pawtucket does it much better. They put players in pairs at separate tables so the fans can just line up for a specific player. Maybe you can't get everyone's autograph, but you can prioritize and get the ones you really want.

Following that, the alarms went off due to a ballpark emergency. A message was repeatedly broadcast to exit in an orderly fashion. And... everyone pretty much ignored it. False alarm. Let's get cracking with the home run derby. Sergio Santos won. Dodd has high outfield walls so it's hard to crank anything out. Santos hit only five to beat everyone else.

By this time, it was insanely foggy. The game started and it was pretty obvious that it wasn't going to work. Outfielders couldn't see pop-ups and kept losing the balls. Several fly-outs became triples. The pitchers couldn't see the catchers' signs. Game called third inning. Good night.

So that sums up my experience. I was home by ten.


Oh my god, wow. I am seriously 100 percent shocked.

how could his parents have lied?

Next week I'll be attending my first ever PCL AAA game in Des Moines, Iowa. The team is the Iowa Cubs, which is affiliated with guess who? I'm very excited about this. Less so about flying, which is seriously painful and tedious. I always get hungry but I will NOT eat the food at the airport. It's overpriced and gross. I'm always looking for the perfect food to bring with me onto the plane, but I haven't quite hit on it yet.

When I tell people that I am going to Des Moines for my vacation, they think I am kidding. Then they get real jealous, I bet.

it's in your head! it's in your head! it's in your head!

It would have been nice to see a few more feet of film devoted to other All-Star players last night and much less spent on ARod. ARod standing on third. ARod running back into the dugout. ARod smiling at all his little infielder friends. Disgusting.

I was kind of rooting for the NL last night so it was cool they almost came back. Almost. But it's hard rooting against Papelbon and K-Rod and Santana. I was watching the game at my brother's house in Mass and I pointed out Santana's huge Frankenstein shoulders. He is not fully convinced that it is not padding.

I missed the home run derby but I heard that when Guerrero won they essentially just handed him the trophy and said good night. End transmission. What, he can't speak English? Let him speak Spanish! Why are you depriving the audience company with one of the most beloved players in MLB?

Anyway, there were a lot of cool people on both teams this year, aside from the Yankee dreck. I did not know that Griffey has 30 home runs so far. Astounding!

The Eastern League All-Star game is today, finally. I'm off to the wilds of Norwich, Connecticut. I have tried to explain to people exactly where that is, but I don't think I even really know. It's not anywhere good.


Jen + Jeff

When they asked Jeff Bailey if he thought he'd NEVER make it to the big leagues, he was all, yeah, sometimes, but I get to play baseball for a living and it beats going back to school or working in the paper mill.

Which I of course thought was a figurative paper mill, much like a figurative salt mine. But turns out his pappy and his grandpappy both worked in the paper mill. Like driving forklifts and lifting those giant rolls of paper. So literally, a paper mill.

You wouldn't think a paper mill would be smelly, but man, they stink!

Guess who Bailey shares an apartment with in Providence? Kason Gabbard. Oh my god.

So congratulations, JB. All your Pawtucket homies are thrilled for you.

7.8.07 Rochester v. Pattucket - Last Game B4 All-Star Brake (by Billy)

Rochaster WINS! 6-4

RHP Davern Hansack v. rigty Nick Blackbur=n

Hasnack pithed 4 innngs giving up 4 runs, three earned. He wlaked one and struck out 5. then he got ejected He was followed by Edgor Martinez (two innings), Barry Hertzer (one scorless), and Craig Breslow. Breslow was a cceptionlly bad in his one inning of releief, giving up two runs

blackburn pitched seven innings and gave up 3 rtuns on 7 hits. He struck out four and wlaked nobody. Julio Depaula then came in with the game tied and he got the win. The Amazing Bobby Korecky pitched the nth and saved the game..,

Chadd Span was the DH and had 2 RIBS. Bobby Scales also doubbled and got caght stealing and picked of. Joe McQuing had no hits or nothing and struck out twice

Denard Span had a tripple for Rohchester and Brain Buscher had 2 RBIS.

odds and ends
1. Chris Heintz of the Redwings hit a ball down the line that was ruled fair. when Hansack arguud that oit was foul he was ejected. The reporter asked if he said the magic word and Hanseck noded.
2 Chris smith want back to Portland and he is being converted to releiver, so they think Buchholz is comming to Pawtucket
3. next pawsox game is Thursday in Syracuse.

bye everyone thank you


PawSox @ Rochester Game 2

3-1 Pawtucket. zzzz Seven innings blah blah Frontier Field.

RHP Mike Burns v. RHP Brian Bass

Ellsbury and Scales doubled and Ellsbury stole two bases. Freaking one-trick pony, that kid. "Oh, look at me, I'm a speedy on-base machine! I can't hit for power but I can steal up to five bases per game! Wheeee!"

Garrett Jones and Brian Buscher both doubled for the Red Wings.

Mike Burns did not allow the one run. I'm not kidding, it was Travis Hughes. The All-Star.

It's weird to have a Bailey-free lineup.


7.6.07 Pawtucket Red Sox @ Rochester Red Wings - Game 1

Pawtucket manages to win again, 6-2, in the first seven inning game of a double-header that was actually completed.

RHP Jon Lester started for Pawtucket. He pitched the whole shebang. Lester walked 3 and struck out 5.

Lefty Jason Miller started for Rochester. Miller pitched 5 1/3, giving up five runs on nine hits. He walked two batters and struck out four. Julio DePaula finished the sixth inning and gave up the sixth run. Brad Baker pitched a scoreless seventh. Hey, didn't he pitch for Pawtucket last year? Yes, but I don't really remember it.

Jacoby Ellsbury had three RBI in this game, one a solo home run. Bobby Scales made an error, but you know what? He doesn't usually play first base, so cram it with walnuts.

Garrett Jones hit an RBI double.

I just realized that I should have done game two first so that it all reads better. Oh, well.

the last to know

I tuned into the game tonight at almost EXACTLY 7 o'clock, right after getting my Enrico Caruso Club on. And right away I saw Jeff Bailey's mug shot.

I almost died. I am so, so excited for JB. I never, ever thought he'd get called up and I'm not really sure I understand why he was, but it is a beautiful thing. I got seriously verklempt.

I swear I will never make fun of him for being oafish or dumb ever again. Good luck, Jeff.

7.4.07 Pawtucket Red Sox @ Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees

This was the first seven-inning game of a doubleheader. The second game was rained out, just like last night's game. This is why all baseball games should be played in domes.

Oh, yeah, Red Sox won 6-5. But wait, there's more...

RHP David Pauley faced RHP Runelvys Hernandez. Wow! Already a fox v. hound scenario. David Pauley and Runelvys used to go to each others' cookouts, their kids' school pageants, they shot hoops together at the Pawtucket YMCA... the fans in attendance had no way of knowing the anguish of the former teammates as they opposed each other for the first time since the separation.

Pauley went 5 2/3 innings... seven hits, four runs, three walks and three Ks. I don't know. Travis Hughes finished off the game, giving up a solo home run. Raul Chavez hit it.

Hernandez gave up three runs over five innings. Chris Britton was responsible for the other three. Gee, thanks a lot, Chris! Sean Henn pitched the last inning and allowed no further runs, but what did it matter? Britton had already ruined everyone's picnic plans and he got nailed with the loss. His girlfriend also went and slept with David Pauley after the game.

Pawtucket doubled the hell out of this game. Here's the list: Scales, Murphy, Tucker, Bailey, Rogers. Yankees second baseman Juan Francia must have enjoyed having so much company. Or maybe he didn't... maybe he got tired of being asked, "Hey, where's a good place to get a beer around here?" Bobby Scales had two RBI. He has really been The Man down in Pawtucket. I can't wait to meet him.

The Chavez Brothers each had a home run: Angel, off Pauley, and Raul, off Hughes. They may not really be brothers. I may not really care. They also each made an error. Then they rode home on a tandem bicycle adorned with red, white, and blue streamers. Honk, honk!

feel free to review my phone records:
1. "Joe McEwing strikes out swinging. Wild pitch by pitcher Sean Henn. Joe McEwing to 1st." I'm having trouble picturing this play.
2. Chad Spann was replaced defensively by Joe McEwing in the seventh. Rogers took over at second and Prieto took over at short.
3. Runelvys Hernandez was released after this game. I guess one of their better pitchers returned from the DL. I can't help but wonder if Hernandez is an asshole or something... teams seem to be eager to get rid of him, but hang on to much lesser performers.
4. The second game plus last night's game will be made up August 8+9.
5. Buchholz is coming, I think. He looks like Jim Breuer after a long night of sniffing Krazy Glue.

Pawtucket's off to Rochester for some hot Twins-style lovin'. I am trying to get a vacation set up for like, next week. I was going to say something about iPhone here, but if you know me at all you can sort of fill in the blank.


Update on the Chad Spann story: one of the guys on the Charlotte Knights, Tomas Perez, is a switch hitter. He turned himself around and batted righty so his hits would pull over to third base, where C-Spann was a sitting duck.

I wonder if I should write an anonymous letter to Spann and tip him off? I could even tell him who the informant is. Like I said, he's a season ticket holder and I know where his seat is.

Chad Spann's at-bat song is "Bad Company". Til the day he dies.


7.3.07 Pawtucket Red Sox v. Charlotte Knights - Are they here yet? Are they here yet? Did I miss it? Am I late?

Pawtucket WINS! 7-1

Last game of the homestand. RHP Devern Hansack v. RHP Lance Broadway

Hansack was too fast for love, pitching 7 2/3 innings and giving up three hits and a run. He walked two Knights and struck out six. Six Knights. They use lances in lieu of bats. Craig Breslow elucidated the definition of effective relief and kept Charlotte scoreless up until fireworks time. Craig Breslow lives in Darien, poor kid, but his deck is gonna be so sweet when he finishes it in September.

B'Way pitched 3 2/3 giving up three hits and three runs. He also walked five batters. Five Red Sox. Does that sound yank-worthy? Take out the walks and it's not too bad. But the walks are there and it sounds to me like Broadway cannot play this here guitar. Then came Jason Childers who gave up two more runs. Then the enormous Jake Robbins. Then Shaun Babula, who gave up two more runs. Then Eduardo Sierra.
Do these guys know how to party or what? That is one seriously crazy bullpen.

Long, lean Texan David Murphy hit two doubles for Pawtucket. Jeff Bailey, who had a good buzz going by the fifth inning, hit a home run. Joe McEwing, who practices with Earl Snyder out in PA during the off-season, tripled. McEwing went 3-4 overall with a walk. He celebrated by pouring water over his head between the seventh and eighth inning.

No Ellsbury update because he is in Boston living la vida loca.

Outfielder Brian Anderson hit a solo home run for Charlotte.

True things:
1. I know someone who met Wiki Gonzalez and said he was a nice guy, gave his kid a baseball bat. When I say, "So-and-so said", I am not making people up to express my own hunches and opinions. GOT THAT?
2. Charlotte pitcher Jason Childers has a brother Matt. In 2006, Matt started for the Yankees v. Tampa Bay in a spring training game. Jason was a reliever on that Devil Rays team and rather good at the time. So they faced each other kinda.
3. I overlooked something awesome that took place at McCoy before Sunday's game: an olde-time baseball exhibition game. As in, flannels and no gloves and the "base ball" thing. You can read about it here.
4. The Marlins are allegedly circling Brian Anderson, possibly taking small bites of his calves as they consider an acquisition.
5. Please to also note that Kottaras did not catch this game, possibly due to being hit in the face a few days ago. By a fan with an ax to grind. Not really. I mean by a wayward baseball. Kevin Cash got the start instead. Cash got a hit and a couple RBI and if this were MLB, people would be clamoring for the benching of GK. "Why don't we get Cash in there?!" they'd say. But this is AAA and I know it's more important to steer Kottaras onto the right path, to develop and improve, to instruct and encourage. But what if he just sucks? Have you ever thought of that, Boston Player Development Guy Whose Name I Can't Remember? Brian something?

Do you think that in his life, Ronnie Belliard has been called "Ronnie Belly Lard"? Only by every teammate he's ever had, most likely.

PS Coca-Cola bought Vitamin Water.


when the Chad Spann's testifyin'

I don't like Chad Spann. I think I've made that pretty clear. I haven't liked him since I saw him making errors in spring training. I don't think he is what you'd call a talented baseball player.

That being said, there is a difference between not liking someone's performance and not liking a player as a person. Do I REALLY hate Chad Spann? No, I've never met him. I'm sure he's pretty nice. How can I hate someone I've never met?

So, anyway, like many other minor league ballparks, McCoy is considered 'family friendly', whatever that means. But like many other minor league ballparks, there are a few unsavory characters that frequent the stadium. I know a couple of them. I'm talking about the autograph wheeler-dealers and their binders and cards and balls. And today I found out that one of the worst of the bunch told a guy on the Knights that Chadd Spann was a seriously crappy fielder. The player said, "Thanks for the tip" (exact quote) and gave the guy a bunch of baseball stuff... cards, I think. This all went down before Spann's error-ific game on Sunday.

This could truly all be coincidence, the players hitting balls in Spann's direction. And I'm sure the Charlotte Knights knew that he was a weak infielder. But that's a really shabby thing to do to a team, especially when so many of the PawSox have given this guy countless autographs and stuff over the years. (The guy's a longtime season ticket holder.) And as much as I hate Spann, I wouldn't sell him out for a few crummy baseball cards.



Maine is the South

Some roster changes in Pawtucket: OF Bryan Pritz back to Portland. Oh, dear. I never got to see him play. RHP Chris Smith called up. Cool. Infielder Zach Borowiak called up from Portland as well. To play instead of who, now?

On the cable TV PawSox show, Bobby Scales said that Brandon Moss broke the clubhouse toaster. So they call him Mr Sunbeam. Apparantly, he tried to toast an entire PB&J sandwich. They call the segment "Weighing In with Bobby Scales". Okay, good title. Well done.

7.1.07 (Sunday) Red Sox v. Knights

Charlotte WINS! 14-2

Maybe the less said about this game the better? I knew strange things were afoot when I noticed Mike Burns warming in the pen. But the lineup sheet said Lester. But it was Burns. But he fell to pieces.

Mike Burns went five innings and gave up four runs. I would say he barely made it through five, since the counts were run up full on a lot of hitters. Edgar Martinez followed and gave up three runs, a couple under Breslow's watch. Craig Breslow gave up five runs, but most of that was not really his fault. I swear! Hertzler, who has been crummy since being called up to Pawtucket, gave up two more. Hertzler's ERA is 11.57.

Gavin Floyd started for Charlotte. Four relievers followed pitching an inning apiece. Wanna know who? Read about it here. Trust me, no one was interesting except Ehren Wassermann, who's got a weirdish name and whips the damn ball.

Jerry Owens had five RBI with a home run for Charlotte. Wiki Gonzalez was a pain in the ass as well, going four for five with a home run and three RBI. Obviously, everyone on the Knights had a good time, what with 14 runs.

Chad Spann committed three of the five Pawtucket errors. I can't even hate on him too much... he's the one who has to go home and explain to his wife and kids why Daddy let his team down again. Spann was also picked off and caught stealing and he struck out twice. Brandon Moss also made two errors. I know!

Michael Tucker walked three times. A few scattered singles, nothing much going on for 'tucket.

we were never being boring:
1. I have to commend a couple of the ushers at McCoy for tactfully preventing some perhaps illicit, illegal activity. I've seen a lot of shenanigans at ballparks and it really takes a lot, but I saw something that bugged me. I guess the ushers noticed, too, because they nipped it in the bud. Nice job!
2. Earl Snyder, back in Pawtucket. Got no love from the fans.
3. Judy Royal, Ehren Wassermann's mom, says: "It is great to see such kind words written about our son. We appreciate it and yes we track all mentions of him in newspapers and on the internet. He is a great son and has done very well and we are extremely proud of him. Thanks again." EW's dad says: "When we named Ehren the thought crossed my mind that he would have a pretty cool baseball name. You are the first to mention it. Thanks for the kind words. For an undrafted free agent signed out of a tryout camp he has done well, and we are proud. After 20 years it is just as much fun to watch him play as when he was 6 years old." I got this on a MVN website.
4. Fireworks tonight and tomorrow will make the ballpark unbearable, so I won't be attending either of the last two games of the homestand. SRO. I do not understand the allure of fireworks. Haven't we all seen this before? Flash flash, boom boom?
5. Joe McEwing was not in the lineup, but he was on the field playing first base coach. It was adorable.
6. Ellsbury! I recently mentioned someone telling me that Ellsbury would absolutely be called up. The guy was right. He fucking knew.
7. In case you need more reason to hate Craig Hansen: Craig Hansen used to park his sportscar in a non-parking spot, taking up a lot of room, parking so that no one could park in front of him or in back of him. I hate those people, don't you? I think finally someone asked him to park a little less pricklike. Maybe Rick.

See you tomorrow.