and it makes me wonder. and it makes me sad.

You remember
Junior Spivey
He contracted
Poison ivy!

(also resigned by Boston, yeah!)

Other new kids:
RHP Miguel Acensio
RHP David Thorne
C Steve Torrealba
OF Rich Thompson

Kyle Snyder is coming back... for a while. For a while. You wanna do some blow?

I'm not a loser.

I didn't manage to get any tickets for myself the other day, but that's okay. I only kinda sorta wanted Diamondbacks.

What I'm really looking for are a)opening day b)last series of year or c)monster seats.

I like to attend a game in the last series of the year, but this year it's the Yankees. So I'm screwed?

I know a great guy who loves the Red Sox but as far as I know has never been to Fenway. And I suspect it's not financially possible for him to do that. I would love to get tickets for this guy. And just say, hey, I can't go to this game, but you go and take your wife or brother or one of your kids or something. To me that would be better than going myself. I've been a hundred times and what's a pair of tickets to me?

This year I'm going to Buffalo and Brewer Park and Frontier Field in Rochester. And a Yankees game with my brother, which looks like it'll be an annual excursion.

In a related story, I've settled my cable TV debts and I'm now laying the groundwork for digital cable so that I may get the MLB package. And switch from dial-up to high-speed internet. Yes, I am still on dial-up. Yes, it does suck. No, I can't watch videos online.

Have fun this year everyone! Let's play some ball!


Dans Party 2008

New kids in P'tucket: Dan Kolb and Dan Miceli.

Both these guys are right-handed relievers. They're invited to spring training.

Kolb was an all-star in 2004. Seriously? I mean, I know he was on the Brewers... and the Brewers then are not the Brewers now... and can you believe the highest priced ticket you can possibly get(premium seat v. premium opponant) at Brewer Park is $60? That's like front row on a Saturday night against the Cardinals or the Mets or something. I can't wait!

Miceli was last in the majors in 2006 with Tampa Bay.

I can't wait to see what these guys are going to bring to the table! I mean, a 37-year-old former Devil Ray reliever and a 33-year-old Illinois Stater originally drafted by the TEXAS RANGERS? Oooh, sixth round! He must have at one time had a bright future!

THIS is the hot-stove action I've been missing! Can't wait for poster night so I can shake hands with these superstars!


Butch Hobson splits Nashua

Yeah, Hobson's not going to manage the Nashua Pride any more. He's got a job in the Atlantic League, it seems.

Nashua won the Can-Am League championship in 2007.


2008 Granite State Baseball Dinner: Better Luck Next Time

Oh, yeah, I went to that about a week ago. I got there pretty late due to a)inviting someone with serious time management deficiencies, b)traffic and c)weather.

I started drinking as soon as I got there to ease my guilt and annoyance and as a result, nothing really stands out. I've probably had more fun at wedding receptions. The governor spoke and I wanted to ask the woman next to me if he was doing a good job. Don Orsillo talked a lot. Pesky said a few words.

The one thing that stands out is when the shuttle driver was bringing us back to the car, I mentioned that there was no after-party.

"Oh, you would be SO wrong about that!" the driver said. I pressed for details but he clammed up. Rats!

I'll go back next year with someone else and stay away from the booze.

Benny Agbayani: Concepts, Contributions, and Reflections

Benny "Hawaiian Punch" Agbayani was a Hawaiian outfielder dude who played for Boston after being claimed off Rockies' waivers in August of '02. He was released during the 2003 spring training. He played in 13 games, batting .297 with an OBP of .395. No home runs or anything... just a double. It looks like he was intentionally walked in one game. I wonder which pitcher? I wonder which team was so terrorized by the mighty Benny A. that the manager called for the IBB?

Okay, it was Willis Roberts of the Orioles at Camden Yards. Who? WHAT?! The score was tied at the top of the 14th on September 23rd. God damn, Baseball Reference is fucking awesome.

Agbayani had previously been on the Mets and is probably best remembered for a walk-off home run in the 2000 NLDS. The opposing team was the Giants... wow. And then, the Subway Series! The Mets won only one game, and Agbayani drove in the game-winning run off El Duque. I know a lot of Mets fans are probably reading this, so pour a little out for Benny!

Currently, Agbayani is doing the Japanese thing with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Believe it or not, he's got an autobiography which I am going to buy immediately. It's called "Big League Survivor".

et Aaliyah:
1. Graduated from Hawai'i Pacific University. HPU. Not High Point in NC. Degree in Human Services. He actually took classes in the off-seasons to get his diploma.
2. Got married at home plate 1998 right before the AAA All-Star game in Tidewater (The Norfolk Tides [NYM] used to be the Tidewater Tides).

3. At one time, Kimo Bean Stores sold Benny Bean 100% Hawaiian Coffee (named after Agbayani). Wow, I love coffee!
4. Was paid $100,000 after being released by Boston. It's called termination pay. Don't you think that's a lot of money? Is there any other job where you get a fat bonus for essentially being fired?
5. There's a little internet fuzziness on BA after the Red Sox released him. Many sites have him listed as a Royal with no stats. And then I've read that the Reds picked him up that same spring.
6. Has been interviewed by both Regis Philbin and Howard Stern.
7. "Benny Agbayani, he has some pretty good numbers against Andy Pettitte," [Grady]Little said. I can absolutely hear Grady's voice in that one statement.

Thanks, Ben!


Mike and Javier

Right-handed crap pitcher Mike Burns has been signed to a minor league contract by the Pirates. Ooooooooh. I hope he pitches in Pawtucket and gets shelled. But only if I don't have to watch that happen because honestly, I'd feel bad. I mean, he's someone's son!

Lefty reliever Javier Lopez has been resigned by Boston, which most people think is a bad idea. Lopez has this weird thing where he's more effective against righties. I only include him here because he did a lot of time in AAA. He may return, I don't know. I bet he'd LOVE that!

Also signed to a minor league contract: righty Ben Howard. So in many ways, Mike Burns never left! HA!

Enjoy your MLK experience.

Joe McEwing Retires

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I loved Joe McEwing. Many, many Mets fan hated him, as you might hate a non-productive bench guy whose hustle is the only thing he's hanging onto. But I didn't know him on the Mets. To me he was a real cool veteran guy who worked hard every day when he really didn't have to.

McEwing already has a new job. He'll be the Charlotte Knights hitting coach. So in all likelihood I'll be seeing him at McCoy. That's great!

I know this is a photo of Mientkiewicz, but the guy in the Hawaiian shirt is McEwing.


2008 Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove Party

I attended the 2008 PRSHSP this morning after having breakfast at Don's Lunch with my fake daughter. And Elvis.

I like home fries.

Everybody came out for this! The kids, the old baseball ladies, the binder guys, your mom. It's Justin Masterson, really. He just draws you in with his talent, which you can see right under his skin and a little bit in his stomach in the shape of a ready-to-burst alien parasite.

Cast member by cast member:

Bill Wanless! Billy emceed the first Q&A in the home clubhouse (RJ, Masterson, and Van Every). A friend of mine tells me that when he calls you on the phone he almost always says "This is Bill Wanless."

Ron Johnson! I asked RJ about Jeff Bailey and whether he'd ever catch again. I thought I might be the only person in space who cared, but RJ said he'd really been trying to talk him back into it because it's his way into the big leagues. He also said they'd gotten back into it a little at the end of the year. I love the end of the year in the minor leagues when half the team's been called up! Anything goes!

Also, RJ's first question from the audience was from a 109-year-old man who told him he looked like he'd lost weight.

Dusty Brown! Dusty Brown was in the batting cage room. I must admit I did not recognize him right away. He's gotten a nice haircut and looks great. I was dying to ask him if he was ready to kick Kottaras' ASS and be the next Mirabelli or whatever but. You really can't do that. But that's what I hope happens.

No further information is available on D. Brown.

Steve Hyder! Hyder's the PawSox radio guy and he emceed the batting cage table (Bowden, Lowrie, Brown).

Jonathan Van Every! JVE's come to us fm. the Cleveland organization. Since he's been in Buffalo all this time, I asked him hhow cold it is in late April. The answer would be "very cold". Dunn Tire Park is right on the lake. It does not get warm until June. So be prepared. This is what he said.

Van Every said he went to junior college and it was easy. He made sure the kids all knew that. "So kids, remember. Junior College is easy."

Justin Masterson is a superstar, a valuable prospect, and a giant douche. If I ever met him at a party and spent maybe five minutes talking to him, I'd walk away rolling my eyes. You just know he probably took copious notes in his 'Dealing with the Boston Media' seminar at BC, because he was rather slick and phony. Pretty nice to my fake daughter, but seriously. Annoying. I feel bad for his teammates. The fans are going to love him, though.

Masterson claimed to have been a straight A student, except he got a B once. ONCE.

Jed Lowrie really impressed me in Pawtucket last year. It was nice to see him. He was dressed like a turbo-preppie privileged Connecticut boy, even though I think he's from Arizona or something.

You drink and drive, you lose. Jeremy Kapstein showed up later in the day. I'm a very busy woman and I didn't have time to talk to him.

Michael Bowden accompanied on the piano.

Bowls of snacks! Every year each room has a bowl of chips, a bowl of pretzels, and a bowl of cheese puffs (or "Jax"). The bowls never become empty! It's amazing!

The Dunkin' Donuts truck! Free samples!

Okay, see you April 3rd!


dos zurdos

The Boston Red Sox have just signed a pair of lefty pitchers to minor league contracts. They are Jon Switzer and Michael Tejera.

If you'd like more information about these two gents, you can click on the links. I'm not going to get into it until the first week of April and I get to see what's what. Or I suppose I could watch some spring training games, since they've both been invited. It's also possible I've seen either or both of them in Pawtucket with the Indianapolis Indians (Tejeda) or Durham Bulls (Switzer). I could end up hating them both! Can't wait to find out!

Side note: Michael Tejera is from Cuba. That is tremendous. I was looking at pictures of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba and it is stunning. Stupid embargo!

Also, happy birthday to my brother Tom, a lifelong Yankees fan. May he endure a loss during the potential annual trip to NYC. FINALLY.


miscellaneous SeaDoggery

Yes, please! Future Blue Jays shortstop... or pitcher... or spring training invitee of diminished value Sergio Santos watches a plane fly overhead. Please forgive me when I say I took this photo because he's insanely hot. One of a series.

This is a beautiful shot. The dude in the background with the bad Eminem hair is Zach Borowiak. I'm not sure who the player with the stylish man-purse is. Pardon me while I go frame this masterpiece.

This is probably Jeff Corsaletti. See how the baseball kids wear their pants these days? It's going to look so stupid and dated in ten years. Be like Alvarez and slap on the stirrups. Just don't front like you're a DJ.

This is undoubtably infielder Iggy Suarez. What a great photo I took!

A Sea Dog takes first base.

They might be a pitcher. Please don't look at his right foot too closely.

I really effed up here. I cannot identify half the players. Help me out.


If you give a crap about the Portland Sea Dogs

And you live in the Boston Metro Area/New Hampshire/lower Maine? Or if the drive to Manchester, NH is not a huge deal? You can get the Portland Sea Dogs package as presented by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Starting at just $112, you get:

1. all 14 Sea Dogs games
2. ability to add All-Star Game tix
3. ski passes to Pat's Peak (that's a real place?)
4. opportunity to toss first pitch
5. $20 credit at the gift shop
6. ballpark tour

Manchester's about 1.5 hours from me, probably less than an hour from Boston. Furthermore, Manchester's nice! It's got a slight edge over the other AA park I frequent in Connecticut. So that's something to think about.

Scott Atchison is a righty.

He's 31, he's from Texas, and last season he pitched for the Giants. Give it up for reliever Scott "Scatch"* Atchison!

Atchison left San Francisco with a 4.11 ERA and 25 Ks and 10 walks. That calls for the K/BB ratio, but I don't mess with that, son. That's slightly below league average. He was originally drafted by the Mariners in '98. That's the important stuff.

In super-trendy list form, here's the unimportant:
1. Middle name: Barham! I have never heard that name before.
2. Whoops... screeching brakes. Scott Atchison has peaced out of his contract and signed with Japan's Hanshin Tigers.

See you later!

*may not be actual stupid nickname

Birdland and Harry Carey

I'm a loyal Orioles fan? That's what my promo mailer tells me.

On Wednesday January 9th, you sir or ma'am are invited to a Baltimore ticket pre-sale. I'm giving you the heavenly hookup.

Your exclusive password is: birdland.

And what about Harry? Have breakfast in downtown Baltimore at Burke's and you'll find him there.