Hang on, Stupid.

I just reviewed my links and whoa, a lot of people have quit the biz. I had to delete about 12 blogs. My sustained excellence is not going to get me a deserved invite to Media Day in Pawtucket, though. That's okay, because I think the whole point is to talk to players and I really don't want to do that.

Well, sometimes I imagine taking a Stuttering John approach and asking a couple of meatball questions and then blasting some minor league dope with, "Which players' wife would you most like to bang?" Brendan McGair would be so jealous. I mean, more jealous.

Maybe I'll change the name of my blog to "PawSox Heavy". Is that legal?

And to all the other people I link to: Please don't stop! I know it's hard, but it's worth it in the end when you can give yourself fake awards!

This year I expect to be a strong contender for 2011 Central Falls Blogger of the Year, Best of Rhode Island's Sports Blog of the Year, Dorothy Everton Smythe Award for Excellence in Sportswriting, and the Anti-Corporate Conformist Smash the State Award for Best Subversive Take-Down of Millionaire Phony Jock Assholes.

Mike Lowell gets smashed.

A few years ago, I did a very bad thing in Lowell.

Looks like I got my come-uppance, because my bobblehead is now in a million pieces. I am so saddened by this that I held his tiny head close to my face and kissed it on the lips.

Farewell, handsomery.

McCoy Mural #19: Steve Crawford

Steve Crawford is a dandy and a big righty who did some scattered Pawtucket time in the 80's. He pitched in 49 games, mostly as a starter.

1982- Crawford is 24 and starts ten games, going 1-4. He pitched 46 innings, so, what, 4.6 innings per game? I know my gazintas. His ERA was 4.11.

1983 - Crawford's now 25 and he starts 27 games with Pawtucket, four of them complete. Crawford goes 8-11 with a 5.18 ERA.

1984 - Okay, so Crawford's not much of a starter. He pitches in seven games for Pawtucket as a reliever. Maybe he is rehabbing, who knows?

1986- Five games for Crawford, none of them interesting. He could have made tonight a wonderful thing.

Two things:
1. Screw you. You try finding two interesting things about a player that don't include anything about the majors or other minor league teams aside from Pawtucket. I have to sift through a lot of search results to find maybe one tiny nugget of information. AND FOR WHAT? Do you know how awesome this undertaking is? I do it out of the kindness of my heart, like Derek! Maybe in the year 2000 my genius and dedication will be recognized, but for now, you're probably better off reading one of the other million boring Red Sox blogs.

I am really looking forward to my next guy. Who wants to guess who it is? Hint: I'm going in alphabetical order.


Do you like the Braves, Marshon Brooks?

I really wanted to go to that game.

The off-season sucks for baseball fans who aren't very interested in other, lesser sports. Over the past few years, though, I've been hitting up Friars basketball games and it's been helpful.

So of course I had to miss Brooks' big 52 point game. And he's been my favorite all along. I wish I could thank him in person for being exciting.

This is his last year, so sucks to that. I've got my eye on Kadeem Batts, though.

Ramp Champ #18: Scott Cooper

Scott Cooper is a third baseman who played in 261 games for the Pawtucket Red Sox between 1990-91. Which is when I was there, but we didn't like date or anything. Whatever.

In 1990, at age 22, Cooper hit 12 home runs in 124 games. Somehow, this only translated into 44 RBI. I wonder where he usually played in the lineup? Imagine a website with every lineup for every game ever played in the history of OB. GALACTIC.

Cooper fared a bit better in '91, leading the team in games played (137), RBI (72), HBP (7), hits (134!), and intentional walks (11).

But wait, there's more! Cooper was second in the International League for games played that year. AND HE WAS NUMBER ONE IN INTENTIONAL WALKS! Alright, Hamilton!

Two things:
1. Scott Cooper's backup third base-iness resulted in Jeff Bagwell being traded to Houston for uninteresting reliever Larry Andersen.
2. "[Russ] Davis is a nice little upgrade on Charlie Hayes, so the Giants gain a wee bit of depth. Sadly, Davis's career doesn't look like it will significantly outlast that of the man who arguably wrecked it: Wade Boggs. I guess he and Scott Cooper can kick back over a couple of beers and kvetch on the day the Chickenkiller is elected to the Hall of Fame." - from a very old transaction report

Scott Cooper is ready and waiting for you in the middle portion of the home plate tower.


Ramp Champ #17: Cecil Cooper

Cecil Cooper is a first baseman who played for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1971 and 1973. In '72, Cooper played for Louisville, which was the AAA team for Boston at the time. The next year, Pawtucket was triple-A. BAM, like that.

In 1971, Cooper batted .343 through 98 games. He also hit 10 home runs. Pawtucket was an Eastern League team that season.

In '73, at age 23, Cooper played in 128 games. He hit 15 home runs (team leader) and had 77 RBI (again leading the team.)

Cooper was tied for fifth in RBIs in the International League that same season. He was tied for second in doubles and held sole possession of third place in hits.

Cooper and couple of other bums have the highest all-time stolen base percentage for Pawtucket with 91.7.

Two things:
1. In September of '73, Cooper played an afternoon game in Pawtucket, drove to Yankee Stadium to join Boston, and got his first at-bat in the seventh inning.
2. Cooper and couple of other bums have the highest all-time stolen base percentage for Pawtucket with 91.7.

Cecil Cooper's mural is in the lobby of the first base tower.


Ramp Champ #16: Tony Conigliaro

Tony Conigliaro was an outfielder who played in 37 games for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1975. He was 30 years old.

Conigliaro went 25-37 that season with three home runs and 12 RBI.

He was hit by a pitch twice.

Two things:
1. Conigliaro's last games were in Pawtucket. He went down there in June and retired in August. "He was dropping easy fly balls in the outfield," said teammate Buddy Hunter.
2. Evidently, Conigliaro and Pawtucket alumnus Nomar G. have several things in common.

Tony Conigliaro's mural is in the upper portion of the home plate tower.


Problematic spring training photo captions from the Providence paper.

Come on. At least spell the players' names correctly.

1. "Josh Reddick, gets' ready for the bat cage."

2. "Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia makes the fans happy, with autographs."

3. "Picher Jon Lester talks with teammates."

4. "Left handed pitcher, Andrew Miller stretches."

5. "Che-Hsuan Lin, and Ryan Kalish work out."

6. "Pitchers workout in the background as ball are kept in the waiting."

7. "Jason Varitek signs autograph for a happy crowd today..."

8. "Leading the pack Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Varitek, and Louis Exposito, as the players walk to the field for the first workout." (Louis?)

9. "Players take turn at the batting cage."

10. "Reflection of the workout on Jason Variteck's helmet."

11. "New relief pitcher Bobby Jenks, works out as Josh Beckett is in back."

12. "Junichi Tazawa and Kyle Welland steach out."

13. "The media reflects on Josh Beckett's sunglasses." ("Maz, where have we seen sunglasses like that before? Hmmmm...")

I certainly hope it was a spastic, comma-happy intern in charge of the captions. And not... Paid. Sportswriters.


I read a book.

I am reading Doug Glanville's book. The best part about it is how he explains the logistics of being a baseball player, like what happens when you get traded. It scratches this deep, unceasing itch I have in my head... The part of my brain that can't get over the impossibility of being a professional athlete.

It would be like my boss calling me up and saying "You've been transferred to Chicago. Your flight is leaving tomorrow morning." But... WHAT. I have a house! And stuff! What about my goldfish? I don't get it! But, no... the ratio of cake... Wait! And then, what, do I have to get an apartment? How will I have time for this? Why is Curt Schilling still hanging out in Massachusetts? Do outfielders have a lot of mosquito bites? HOW DO RELIEVERS SHARE A TINY BULLPEN FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER AND NOT KILL EACH OTHER?! How is it reasonable that some ugly modefoque like, say, 75% of all baseball players gets mad ladies?! When I get traded to a new city, where can I comfortably get a beer after work? Where can I get a coffee? WHO HAS THE BEST BURRITOS?! Do they drive to spring training so they have their car?

I think I hate my job. Who's with me? More importantly, who wants to hire me?

Ramp Champ #15: Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens is a right-handed pitcher who pitched in a total of nine games for Pawtucket, scattered through '84, '93 and '95.

In 1984, at age 21, Clemens pitched in seven Pawtucket games, going 2-3. He started six of them. Clemens gave up three home runs and 14 walks. Let's see, that was 46.2 innings so say 6.6 innings per game. Except there was one relief appearance so this is getting into advanced math territory and I don't think algebra and baseball should be dancing together. It's like trying to cage a wild animal - sure, you can do it, but wouldn't you rather run into a Kodiak while you're making a snowman instead of throwing popcorn at it at the zoo?

Roger Clemens started one game in 1993 and one in 1995. I'm sure it brought the house down.

Two things:
1. Clemens had nothing but kind words regarding the loss of Ben Mondor: "Lots of prayers and hugs out to Ben Mondor's family. I am very thankful to have met him." (via Twitter)
2. Evidently, Clemens hung out here post-game while in Pawtucket. It is no longer there. Hey, I used to go there! They certainly never broadcast this information with autographed photos on the wall.

Roger Clemens' mural is in the lobby of the first base tower.


Jim Rice is a scumbag - treats kids like shit

I found this. Enjoy.

Ramp Champ #14: Rick Burleson

Rick Burleson am, is, was, are and be a shortstoppy/second base-type character who played for Pawtucket from 1972-1974. The Pawtucket Red Sox were double-A in '72, in case your mom never told you after her late-night stripper shift.

In 72, at age 21, Burleson batted .236 through 136 games. In '73, it was .252 through 146. Burleson was 13th in the International League that year for hits, with 120. He shared that accomplishment with three other people.

Burleson's crowning achievement in 1973 was leading the entire league in games played with 146. That would be every single game that Pawtucket played that year. Perhaps he celebrated with a beer or two.

Burleson played a mere 10 games for Pawtucket in 1974, going 14 for 41.

Two things:
1. "Red Sox shortstops are cursed. Not just the current lot, either. They haven’t had a shortstop start the majority of games at SS for six years in a row since Rick Burleson. He ended his string in 1980 when they traded him (and started Glenn Hoffman instead—looking at Hoffman’s lifetime stats, perhaps someone should have made him a pitcher too.) Theo Epstein has been proven (sort of) to be a rather crappy evaluator of shortstops. I had wondered why Orlando Cabrera, despite poor quality, wasn’t in this list until I remembered they traded for him in 2004 and he didn’t catch on." - posted by "morineko" on Brew Crew Ball (NOV 2009)
2. "My undernuts are itchin'!" - This has little to do with Rick Burleson, but when else can you use the word 'undernuts'?

Rick Burleson's mural is in the lobby of the first base tower. Learn it. Know it. Live it.


Baby Chris Carter smiles with his eyes.

"I've been thinking about my pose for the Pawtucket poster thing. I should hold a bat over my shoulder! No, that's too cliche. I should pretend like I'm swinging the bat. Nah, that might block my face. How about if the bat's across my shoulders and I'm kind of hanging my arms over it? No, no, Carlos Beltran already did that. What if... What if I'm propping myself up with the bat, like all casual... No, no, I think Nomar did that. Okay, forget the bat..."

Ramp Champ #13: Ellis Burks

Tonight I have the unparalleled honor of an Ellis Burks in Pawtucket feature. Ellis, give to me your leather, take from me my lace. Could you ever love a man like him?

Ellis Burks is an outfielder who played a grand total of 17 games with the PawSox and yet he's got a poster and fuck you, we are talking about this. In 1987, at age 22, Burks batted .225 through 11 games. He did hit three home runs, though.

Burks squeezed five more Pawtucket games into his schedule in 1989 and went 3-21.

And then, 15 years later at age 39, Burks played a June game during a rehab assignment. He only reached base once after being hit by a pitch. WHO DID THAT?? Damn it, why wasn't I doing game summaries back then? Oh, right, because I was too busy fellating Boston. That was a crazy year. Who wants to talk about it with me tonight at the Beer Library?

Two things:
1. Ellis Burks was a good friend to stolen Pawtucket man Darnell McDonald many years ago, advising him to turn on the jet fuel and hustle.
2. Who is Tim Burks? "Yeah, everyone knows that Tim Burks was the outfielder on the Red Sox in 1986. Unfortunately, he vanished off the face of the earth leaving no records of his existence. Coincidentally, a fellow by the name of Ellis Burks came to the Sox in 1987 with the same stastics that poor Tim had the year prior. Why this wasn't on Unsolved Mysteries is a mystery to me." - posted by "vgp100" on Dee-Nee Forums (AUG 2003)

GAH!!!! I want this picture so bad... Just imagine it up there, leading everything off. See it for real in the first base lobby. Lovers forever, face to face.


Ramp Champ #12: Oil Can Boyd

Oil Can Boyd is a right-handed pitcher who did most of his Pawtucket time in 1983, with a handful of games in 1984 and 1987.

In '83, at the age of 23, Boyd started 17 games and finished the season with a 4.04 ERA. 3.15 SO/BB, if you will. He pitched nine complete games. I'm like a broken Shangri-La's record going, "Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no no no no no" over and over without ever getting to the "Remember!" and the finger-snapping, but NINE GAMES! Evidently, 1983 is a lot like 1883, except Boyd wears a glove and doesn't smell like whore juice.

Boyd's smattering of other games, other seasons are of no import, so I've opted not to include them here.

Two things:
1. 1983 - Boyd's 129 K's place him third on the IL's strikeout leader board.
2. Boyd has two 15 strikeout games for Pawtucket - One in '83, the other in '84. He broke the 14 K record previously held by Burke Suter. Boyd shares his record with Jin Ho Cho. Such elite company!

Oil Can Boyd's mural is tucked away in the upper turret of the third base tower. I don't think I've seen it, so I'm going to wear a black robber suit and a black robber mask and a black robber beret and break into the park to take a look. I will tiptoe exaggeratedly up the ramp, and then perhaps slink off into the night carrying a sack with a big dollar sign on it. Which is way more exciting than some stinky football game.


Ramp Champ #11: Wade Boggs

Wade Boggs is a third baseman who played for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1980-81 from ages 22-23. As of this year, he is in the IL Hall of fame, which is located nowhere. Come on. Even Canada has a sports hall of fame. It's darling!

In 1980, Boggs batted .306 through 129 games. In '81, Boggs was the greatest player McCoy Stadium ever saw, playing in 137 games and batting .335 with a .437 OBP. He led the team in walks, doubles, hits, OPS, walks, runs, and intentional walks. Boggs' hands were never cold.

But if you insist on knowing my bliss, I will also point out that Boggs led the entire league in AVG, hits and doubles. You should have known by the tone of my voice, but you didn't listen.

Two things:
1. Wade Boggs is the motherfucker who tied the game in the 21st inning of the LONGEST GAME IN BASEBALL HISTORY.
2. In spite of being a golden god in Pawtucket in '81, Boggs was not called up.

Wade Boggs is in lobby of the first base tower. Not his portrait, it's really him. He's been waiting forever for you.


Ramp Champ #10: Todd Benzinger

Todd Benzinger is an outfielder who played for the Pawtucket Red Sox from 1985-87. His Pawtucket batting average (PBA) was .275 over that time. Damn, I should have used this stuff for the nine other guys! Too late now!

In 1985, at age 22, Benzinger played in 75 games and hit 11 home runs. He clung to that number, hitting another 11 in 1986. And then, WHAT, 13 in 1987! Through 65 games! ARE YOU FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW?

Two things:
1. "had a ball I got from a foul ball in batting practice at Riverfront Stadium in Cincy. Snuck down a few levels and got down by the Reds dugout to try and get it signed. Mariano Duncan(douchebag award recipient) keeps telling everyone to disperse in his latino accent. Todd Benzinger(Caught the winning out for the Reds in the World Series in 1990 and award winner for awesomeness) points at me and motions for the ball in my hand. I toss it down to him with a pen. He disappears down into the dugout for a few minutes, then he walks down to the bullpen. He comes back to the side of the dugout and motions for me to come down to the side of the dugout, where he gave me the ball. It had every single signature of what became the 1990 World Champion Cincinnati Reds, minus one signature, that douchebag Mariano Duncan. " - "Villiano 187" from the LOP Forums

2. Wait, did this really happen? "The Dragons were off yesterday celebrating Prince's 52nd birthday... in recognition of this special day, Dragons manager Todd Benzinger hosted a "Prince Party" at which members of the entire Dayton organization including players and front office personnel, dressed up in tiny purple clothes and jammed out to the pop star's laundry list of hit songs... the party's finest moment came when Dragons' pitching coach Tony Fossas, dressed as Appolonia, sang a roaring rendition of 'Lets Go Crazy'." - from the Reds Minor League Report, June 8th 2010.

Todd Benzinger's warrior-like mural can be found in the middle of the third base tower.