p. in z.

That was great!

PawSox '08:

Joe Thurston, who I thought was that big first-baseman in the Braves Org., is going to be so cool to see in Pawtucket. Scott Thorman, is that who I am thinking of?

Kottaras had a good night but I still think he sucks.

It turns out Brandon Moss only played first base once while he was in the Dominican. And they're going to keep sticking him there, I guess to torture him. It sure doesn't seem like a versatility showcase. Poor kid.

Jeff Bailey looked bigger. Like he did chin-ups during his break at the Washington paper mill. Unfortunately, he struck out during his only at-bat. I hope he figures everything out and doesn't get K-happy like he did in Pawtucket last year. Also, he has a beard, which does wonders for him. It beats the Jon Lester Patented Hardship Goatee.

Gil Velazquez has a mean, mean face. And mean, mean pride.

Jonathan Van Every! Dan Kolb! Lee Gronkiewicz! Keith Ginter! Chris Carter with unnecessary eyeblack!


Alejandro Machado is still alive! I'm pretty sure he can take down Nick Punto, who must be about 45 at this point.

Other notable Red Wings: On-base machine Tommy Watkins and Garrett "Velvet" Jones. Denard Span started! I'm so glad for him. Chris Basak! STILL!

Normally I avoid using this many exclamation points, but it's a special occasion. I have nothing in-depth to say. I'm just excited, is all. I promise in the future I'll scatter in a few statistical insights.


when it's cold outside

I hate when you're looking at spring training photo galleries and they put in a bunch of shots of people waiting to get autographs. "A lucky fan from Watertown, MA, has their baseball signed by Varitek." So stupid.

When I see the pictures of some player doing infield drills, I'm not thinking, man, I wish I were in Florida so I can see this. I'm thinking, I wish I were a baseball player! I'd love to be running around in the sunshine with a glove on my hand! It's not fair! I deserve it more than these assholes do! I'm a much better person!

But it's about physical ability, of course. So I need to get over it.

Friday night, tomorrow night, me and baseball are going to be reunited. Sure, I could watch the Twins/Sox game with someone else, but I think I need this time alone. It's been a long time, baby.

I'm Matt M and I'm back from the dead.

Former Red Sox great Matt Mantei has emerged from retirement and is now hanging out with the Detroit Tigers, wishin'. And hopin'. Dontrelle Willis makes small talk with him and then turns and asks Verlander, "Who is that guy? Is he with us?"

Good luck, Mantei! In the meantime, please enjoy a picture of his black car. I'm not a car person, so I don't know what kind it is, but it falls under the category of "Assholemobile".

In other news, Cecil Fielder's become a Can-Am manager. When the Atlantic City Surf comes to Brockton, be sure and say hello.

Do they call it Brock-town? Because I'm going to start doing that.


Manny Delcarmen and 'Sox'... they had a thing going on.

Saw Manny Delcarmen on the TV talking about his potentially increased bullpen role and all his hard work over the break. When asked about his late-season success in Boston, he mentioned the Stinko de Mayo Disaster in Buffalo as a turning point for him. Damn!

I hope I get the chance to bring this up again and again.


Plenty of t-shirts left!

Former PawSox great BK Kim has been signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Did you know that he was close friends with former PawSox jerk Hee-Seop Choi? I think enough time has gone by and I can tell you that Choi was kind of an asshole who sucked at the plate. I saw him dis many a fan. I probably mentioned that already, but it bears repeating.

From the Providence Journal:
"Pawtucket hosted an autograph session with its players on the field prior to the club's game against the Rochester Red Wings. More than a thousand fans gathered on the warning track around the field to meet with players, who were sitting at tables. The only player not involved at the start of the session was Kim.

When he finally emerged from the clubhouse, opened the door to the dugout and witnessed just how many people were on the field, his jaw literally dropped and he turned as white as the chalk in the batters' box.

He quickly took refuge in the trainer's room and it took him 35 minutes to calm down before a team official escorted him out to his designated spot to sign autographs."

I feel like BK got a bad rap. Everyone pegged him as a hostile weirdo, but what the fuck. God forbid a pitcher not be a meathead turbo-jock who drinks Coors Light and listens to Slipknot/Godsmack/Creed. I'm talking to you, every other pitcher in MLB.

Getting to know Argenis Diaz.

Argenis Diaz is on the Red Sox 40-man roster. It is CRIMINAL that I know nothing about him, so let's get back to the countdown.

Diaz is a shortstop who played for the Greenville Drive last season. He pretty much ripped it up playing winter ball in Hawaii... until he hit a slump.

What we are most likely looking at is a great defensive shortstop who doesn't hit for power. He should start the year in Lancaster and then we will see. And by we, I mean you. I don't keep track of the California Kidz.

El Barto

Wicked fat starting pitcher Bartolo Colon's been signed (sort of) to a minor league contract by the Boston Red Sox. Yeah? You can compare him physically to Edgar Martinez, but let's break it down:

RHP Colon: 5'11", 245. Age 34. In 2007, he had a 6.34 ERA. Won the AL Cy Young in 2005. Really?

RHP Edgar: 6'0", 222. Age 26. As a reliever in 2007, he had a 5.16 ERA.

I suppose Edgar is in marginally better shape. I realize I am comparing bananas to pears here. I have now found myself more interested in Edgar Martinez than B. Colon.

So EM was a catcher who couldn't really hit or get on base, but he could throw hard. In July of '04 while he was in A-ball, he was converted to a pitcher. Who made this decision? I don't like it when catchers are encouraged to abandon their trade. MARS NEEDS CATCHERS!!

I saw quite a bit of Martinez in Pawtucket and I liked him less than I liked Jermaine Van Buren (although looking back, I may have been too hard on JVB). He gave up a lot of home runs.... walked too many batters. I didn't like him as a reliever and I don't know where he is going, but I bet it rhymes with "show hair". He's just not impressive.

Best of luck to both guys, anyway.


two mints in one

Sad news: Trot Nixon has been signed to a minor league contract by the Diamondbacks. That's like seeing Aslan after they shaved his mane off... or like Superman getting his ass kicked at some truck stop diner (before he says, "That's funny... I've never seen garbage eat garbage before). Oh, Trot Nixon. Love will find a way.

Blogger has a new feature where your readers can click on something and call you. Whoa! At first I had images of random people calling me and saying, "Your blog could use some work.... let me tell you what you need to do so you can stop sucking." But come on. I know what's really going to happen. My MOM is going to click on it and say to me over the phone, "Hi, honey! I just wanted to tell you I'm reading your blog! I love you! I'm so proud of you!"

I don't get Kyle Snyder. He's still here? How did he manage that? I always forget about him.

Chris Carter updates

Chris Carter is getting to the complex at 5 a.m. That is early in ways I cannot conceive of. Chris Carter is working on his fielding, as he is considered an infield lummox who needs to work on his strike zone. (Remember that hit song "Workin' on Your Strike Zone" by Soul2Field? I used to get my freak on to that joint back in '99.)

Chris Carter may be trampling all over Sean Casey's bench job, but we'll see.

Chris Carter is nearly as fast a runner as Ellsbury/Crisp. Mmmm... Ells-berry Crisp ala Mode.

Chris Carter has had hamate bone surgery, just like Dustin Pedroia!

It sucks doing an internet search for Chris Carter. There are just too many of them.

March 1 v. Twins! Hansack and Pauley scheduled to pitch! I hope it's televised!

Can we get someone down there?

The Boston Red Sox are in Fort Myers for spring training. You can read all about Manny Ramirez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curt Schilling, Coco Crisp, Jason Varitek. Great coverage, everybody.

Hey! What about the minor leaguers? Oh, well, here's a few pictures of Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden. Look at the talent! Do you think Masterson will start the year in Portland or Pawtucket?

Would it kill someone to take a look at the non-prospect people down there? What about all of us Devern Hansack fans? What if I wanna see what Jeff Bailey's up to? Brandon Moss? Uhhh... Charlie Zink? Help me out! I'm trying to do this damn thing! Don't they have some crappy little newspaper in Pawtucket? Send down Brendan McGair or something!

Dusty Brown, not Kottaras. Put that on a sign or something.


I have a personal credo, which is: I Never Pay For Parking. (I also 'Park In The First Available Spot' rather than cruise the lot for something close.) But I do pay, at times, when I am in some strange land with no side streets and no non-resident parking. For the most part, though, I Never Pay For Parking. I hate it, I think it's stupid, I will park 12 blocks from my destination and schlep through the Providence Arctic Wind Vortex for my event du noir. Even those rare times I've driven to Fenway... I come up via Rte 9 and park near Simmons College. Probably a mile from the park what with all the Fens zig-zagging, but I'll be damned if I pay 20-50 bucks!

OK, I did a little Miller Park research and I guess there's no free parking to be had there. The fans are somewhat up in arms over the parking rate increase as well. And so when you buy your tickets online, you have the option to add the parking to your bill (it costs a little more on the day of the game). So I pick up the parking options and when my final bill is totted up, I see they've added a $2 convenience fee for the parking! Are you kidding me? Just when I thought I'd seen the most egregious forms of price gougery, they hit me with this! I mean, are you fucking kidding me?

I think what I am going to do is find out if they have a 800 number. Then I'll call it several times for no reason... maybe float around in their voice mail system as I reorganize my photo albums or balance my checkbook. Inflate their phone bill. That'll learn 'em!

Yay! I got Brewers tickets! YEAH SAUSAGE RACES!!!


The Station Fire: Five years ago...

As a Rhode Islander, you can't help being hit hard by the tragedy, even if you didn't lose someone. There are barely over a million of us... the people we lost were our family. People who sat with you in the stands at McCoy, or stood in line with you at Rocky Point, or went to concerts with you at the Civic Center. Did you ever listen to Dr Metal's Saturday night show on WHJY? I know I did, back in my high school metalhead days. And now he is gone, one of the one hundred.

Chuck Klosterman has written:

"This was not a bunch of hipsters trying to be seen by other hipsters; these were blue-collar people all trying to unironically experience music that honestly meant something to them when they were teenagers.
I remember everyone gossiping about the Station fire the day after it happened; people would concede that it was tragic, but no one could discuss it without a fraction of a smirk...
Somehow, it was socially acceptable to condescendingly chuckle at the death of the overtly uncool people in Rhode Island, sort of how you can immediately make a joke about a massive earthquake, as long as it happens in some distant place like Iran or China."

Anyway, these people are in my overtly uncool thoughts today...


What the hell. It seems like everyone should start playing baseball like, tomorrow. Instead the first baseball game I am scheduled to attend is April 3rd. April! That's 44 fucking days away! Yeah, I know they're doing it in Arizona and Florida, but how does that help me?

The Buffalo Bisons and the Rochester Red Wings have not even started selling single game tickets yet. ANY DAY NOW, KIDS!!! Brewers tickets go on sale Saturday and I can't wait. I'm wondering if there will be a VWR for Milwaukee. I heard it from a friend who heard from a friend who said they're mad tailgaters in Beerland, WI. I am insanely excited about going to Milwaukee. I have wanted go there forever... and not even for baseball reasons. Not to hang out with Alice Cooper or Andrew Squigmond. Only because it is beautiful.

February is agony. And when March comes, I won't even be able to enjoy the evolution of spring. Or the coming of Easter, since my Lenten sacrifice has been rather difficult.

Even my mother is attending a Cactus League game. Brewers v. Mariners with a side of Sausage Race. "HIC-(killme)-UP".

PS Coco Crisp may ask to be traded. Does that make a difference? "Can you please trade me?" "NO." "Okay." Or do they say "Let's see what we can do" and then make a few phone calls? Baseball is confusing and liarhead.

The Rochester Red Wings love you hard.

The Red Wings official site is excellent. Can't wait to go back to Frontier Field and freeze to death!

Ben Mondor and the International League Hall of Fame

The IL Hall of Fame is back! Nothing's been going on since 1964, but 2008 is the 125th anniversary of the IL. It doesn't have a permanent home, so the ILHOF will be making the ballpark rounds in '08.

Ben Mondor and 26 others, including Jim Rice and Joe Morgan, will be inducted this year. Party at McCoy Stadium!!


2.15.08 Providence Bruins v Portland Pirates - ???

Portland WINS! 4-2

Okay. I still don't understand the Providence Bruins. I mean, I guess I always knew there were people who liked hockey... people who like hockey more than any other sport. But I don't think I've ever seen one, you know?

And yet I go to a Providence Bruins game and there they are, in their hats and jerseys. Some bring cowbells. A few old-timers in their Providence Reds jerseys. Eight thousand plus fans, many of them passionate and involved. You should have seen the old woman next to me last night! She was SCREAMING and tossing peanut shells! FURIOUS with the Bruins' inability to score! At times, she was unintelligible. Man! She must have been from Woonsocket!

One thing I thought was neat: a players' stick got wedged between the plexi-wall windows. It stuck way out over the ice for a few minutes until a ref came and yanked it out. How does that happen?

Bobbleheads were given to the first 1500 fans last night.

PS Sean Curry is my favorite.

don't be afraid to care

Longtime Twins catcher Matthew LeCroy has been signed to a minor league contract by the Oakland A's. I would pay a lot of money (in Euros) to watch him catch Keith Foulke during spring training.

Although he spent most of his career in the Twins' organization, he played for the Nationals in '06. You may recall that he was removed from a game that year because the Astros stole seven bases while he was catching. Nationals manager Frank Robinson broke down in the post-game press conference. LeCroy fully supported the move, saying his daddy would have done the same.

I also found some old batting notes from his time in Rochester. For LeCroy, the notes mention "Yesterday: Danced on field w/Jimmy". What in the world does that mean? The notes also mention his last homer was off Charlie Zink. Wow, was I at that game?

He will be missed in the IL.


He can do it?

Manny Delcarmen might have to step up and be the closer from time to time. Or set it up Okajima-style. John Farrell talked to him and has challenged him with a role of increased importance. Let's hope for a big year from Delcarmen.

The PawSox souvenir shop sells game worn jackets. They're authentically dirty and have been authentically recycled, as evidenced by the Sharpied, crossed-out, and re-Sharpied numbers on the inner tag. I have a serious jones for the Jeff Bailey model, but at $200 I have to wait. The Manny Delcarmen jacket is $300, but is very large (almost...extra-large.)

February is short, yet long.


spring training

People are starting to show up to camp, which is good. It's like a resurrected corpse punching its way through the coffin, through the cold dirt, and you're in the cemetary to fool around with your boyfriend and suddenly an emaciated, bony hand explodes from the grave you're on top of. YEAH! It's a lot like that. YEAH ZOMBIE BASEBALL!

In a related story, baseball players are not looking forward to travelling to Japan. Oh, really, baseball players? Did I hear you lamenting the abbreviated games and practices? Because I seem to recall every single other year that you said "Spring training is great but it lasts too long. You're pretty much ready to go after a couple of weeks."

You think your life is hard? Someone gave me a little glass "Birthstone Bear" figurine. It's a bear holding a heart-shaped representation of my ugly birthstone. Also, the bear has wings. And it's sitting atop a little round mirror. It looks like something you might purchase with Skee-Ball tickets.

I still dig Doug.

Like iron-rich blood sinking to the bottom of a fluid-filled test tube, Doug Mientkiewicz's baseball career is similarly drowning. And so the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed him to a minor league contract. Hey, Doug, good news! The Pirates called! No, you're not going to Pittsburgh. More like Indianapolis.

Also a possible McCoy stadium visitor? Steve Trachsel! Norfolk Tides!


Foulke: Super-dope homeboy back in Oaktown.

Keith Foulke's back on the A's. There are many things I don't understand about all this, but okay, good for him. He's going to be a reliever, just like Alan Embree. I'm sure they'll have lots to catch up on!

I'm going to go buy tickets to an A's game in Boston now. What has two thumbs and loves Keith Foulke?

Hey, Mets fans!

The Mets home opener is Tuesday, April 8th, but maybe you might wanna wait and go on Friday, the 11th. Assuming Santana is your #1, that'll be the kid's first home game.


2.8.08 Providence Bruins v. Hartford Wolf Pack - Pastings

Hartford WINS! 7-5

This would be the best P-Bruins game I've ever been to, in spite of the loss During the first period, the teams beat the shit out of each other and many, many players received penalties. The Bruins were hit pretty hard and Hartford took full advantage by scoring like four goals in the second period.

The Bruins wore Providence Reds jerseys which will be auctioned off on Monday.

Also, Don Orsillo attended this game with the family. At first I thought, wow, he is slumming, but what the hell? He lives in Rhode Island and he's no different than the rest of us. Us Rhody folk. He probably had himself a coffee milk.


In the middle of a bath I call your name....

Oh, Johan!

The Mets? Perfect. Now maybe I don't want to see the Twins in Milwaukee. No Santana, no Torii Hunter, no Mientkiewicz or Pierzinski or Jacque Jones? No Corey Koskie? LaTroy Hawkins? The Twins as I have loved them are no longer.

I guess there's always Restovich and Cuddyer. And Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser. And Rochester...

I'm still going to Milwaukee, but now if I don't get Twins tickets I won't die.

Brewerfans.net is a great website, by the way. A lot of people around here seem to think that no other team has passionate, intelligent fans. Shut up, People Around Here.


Santa Clara U. grad Daniel Nava. Future goals include playing professional baseball. Coming to a double-A ballpark near you!

The 24-year-old Mr. Nava played for the Golden Baseball League's Chico Outlaws in California. He's a talented switch-hitting outfielder that'll probably play in Portland. What does this mean to me? It means I'll be checking out some Sea Dogs games in Connecticut and New Hampshire. I think this is going to be great. Can't wait to see him in spring training! Isn't he adorable?!

"You have no idea how excited I am," Nava said from his home in Los Altos. "I am so pumped ... all I really asked for was a chance, and now I'm going to do everything I can to take advantage of it."

I guess he's excited, too! YEAH BASEBALL!! Pop off the top and rock with my posse!

Another pitcher? Really?

Jacob Miller, RHP, signed by Boston Red Sox. Except he's really Matt Miller. And he's older than I am.

Here're the new (probably Pawtucket) people so far:

1. LHP Jay Marshall, claimed off A's waivers...wait, he was reclaimed by Oakland. (?)
2. OF Daniel Nava, top ranked independent league player, signed to Red Sox contract.
3. RHP Lee "Lee" Gronkiewicz
4. OF J. Van Every
5. 3B Keith Ginter
6. C Juan Apodaca
7. 2B Joe Thurston
8. SS Tony Granadillo
9. SS Gil Velazquez
10. LHP Jon Switzer
11. LHP Michael Tejera
12. RHP Ben Howard
13. RHP Dan Kolb
14. RHP Dan Miceli
15. RHP Miguel Asencio
16. RHP David Thorne
17. C Steve Torrealba
18. OF Rich Thompson
19. RHP Matt "Jacob" Miller

Wow! We'll have to see where everyone ends up after spring training. The Red Sox should make them all live in the same house and install a confessional and tape their lives.

I'll have to check out Daniel Nava, Mr. Independent. It is wicked, wicked hard to be scouted out of a non-MLB affiliated team.

Still on the PawSox:
1. Zink
2. Bailey
3. Chad Spann
4. Brandon Moss?
5. Kottaras and Breslow?
6. What?

Okay, I am going to stop right there because we are not finished with the off-season. Poor, dumb Brandon Moss... all that work at first base in the Dominican and now we go and sign Millar 2.0 (Casey).

JD Durbin

Last April, the Red Sox claimed former Twins minor leaguer JD Durbin off Diamondbacks waivers. I thought, OK, cool, I know him from the IL. But then Durbin was all, 'Tell my wife I love her very much' and he stepped outside the door.

So what happened? Well, Durbin was on the AAA Rochester Red Wings for a couple of years until the Twins DFA'd him last March. The Diamondbacks claimed him off waivers and he pitched the season opening series... but hey, they wanted Micah Owings to come up from AAA and start and Durbin had done a crappy job so he got DFA'd to open a roster spot.

And then... try and remember this... April in Boston and Mike Timlin's got an injury thing so we might need a reliever. Boston claims JD Durbin. Timlin's all, 'I was only kidding!' So within 24 hrs Durbin's career in Boston is ovah.

The Phillies picked him up and that is where he now resides. I knew everyone was wondering about this.


a football crumb

2002 was like, six years ago.

Things I learned from the PawSox 2002 souvenir program:

1. The murals: The walls of the entry ramps at McCoy Stadium are lined with paintings and photos of guys who played in Pawtucket. The original murals were painted directly on the walls, but were destroyed when the park was renovated in 1998. Fortunately, original artist Tayo Heuser had replicated the murals on 4'x8' boards. The 150-lb boards could not be rehung due to size issues, but were stored for future use.

The artwork was finally returned to the towers after being upgraded, lightweighted, weatherproofed and digitalized. I never realized how iconic they were until now. Iconic and at times, creepy.

2. The PawSox have an unofficial historian: one Mrs. Betty Johnson. Johnson has mad archives and you can check it all out by appointment. She is in Pawtucket's HOF.

3. Who dey? Tonayne Brown, Bry Nelson, Mike Kusiewicz, Jay Yennaco, Mike Drumright.

4. 2002 PawSox now deceased: Dernell Stenson, Josh Hancock, Casey Fossum. Stenson's picture would kill you. He looks very sweet and very, very young. Sad.

5. OMG, remember??: Sunny Kim, Angel Santos, Juan Peña, Andy Hazlett, Butch Henry?

6. RHP Derek Hasselhoff? Yes, they're cousins!

7. In 2001, first baseman Juan Diaz hit a record-setting 491-ft home run. It went out, up and over the house-looking thing in center. Into the parking lot! YES!

8. Youkilis' OBP with Lowell? .512

9. Gulf Coast Red Sox Player of the Year was 19-year-old Manny Delcarmen.

I promised to mention Nelson here. He lent me the program. Thanks, Princess. You left your movie tickets stubs inside, though. And now I know you went to the bargain matinee showing of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'.

It's all about the workplace.


our voices will ring together until the twelfth of never

If they win: I'll have to hear about it for like three weeks.

If they lose: two months.

For that reason only: go, team, go.



I have made almost no progress.

Someone told me about Sean Casey today. Instead of rifling through my mental catalogue of 'One Million Ways Most Baseball Players Are Bad and Will Suck in Boston' and ripping the signing, I said, "Oh my God! I LOVE Sean Casey! I love him! That's great! I hope he plays in Pawtucket! Sean Casey, alright!"

Not that people were like "OMG!!! FIRE THEO!!!"


Interview with Jon Van Every. He's got the tools and he's got the talent!

He also looks uncannily like a guy who played on our baseball team a couple of years ago. Chris, congratulations! He was like our best player.