Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 61: Holy Hell, It's Hot! Oh and Ellsbury Stole Some Bases and Now He's Hurt. Surprise.

Jacoby Ellsbury had quite the game last night against the Phillies. He went 3-for-4 in the win, and set a new Red Sox club record by stealing FIVE bases. In a pretty cool move by the Phillies, they presented Ellsbury with the second base bag as a souvenir. He broke his own team record of four steals, which he shared with former second baseman, Jerry Remy. The only other Major Leaguer to steal five bases in a game is Carl Crawford who did it in 2009 against the Red Sox.

It was quite a performance by the 29-year-old who will be most likely hitting the free agent market at the end of this season. And you know, with Scott Boras (the king of douchebags) as his manager, he isn't going anywhere for cheap—even if he does have only had a couple good seasons under his belt. He definitely won't be pulling a Tom Brady and taking less money to stay with a team he loves. Ellsbury obviously has no deep feelings for the Red Sox.

I often wonder how someone goes about scoring a killer contract when, over your seven year major league career, you've only had a handful of highlights. In 2008 and 2009, he led the American League in steals with 50 and 70 respectively. He also led the AL in triples with 10 in 2009. He had his best year in 2011 and here's where you may have thought that he had finally come into his own. He led the AL in plate appearances with 732, and in total bases with 364, AND he had 32 home runs. (He had a combined total of 20 home runs in his first three seasons. Hmmm...) Ellsbury also won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award that season. But sadly, 2011 was flanked by injury-riddled seasons in 2010 and 2012 and then you just wonder if he's just a pansy.

So I had to laugh when I was perusing the recap of last night's performance. They're calling him the Man of Steal. Get it... Steal? I laughed out loud because he is SO not the man of steel. Because guess what? He was scratched from tonight's game against the Yankees with a "tight groin." Seriously?
Ellsbury told reporters, "But, yeah, I got here early and got all the treatment I could get, and it continued to stay tight, and I want to do the right thing so it doesn't get worse."
I read that as, "I don't want to risk making it worse and ruining my chances of a big, fat, new contract." He's currently listed as day-to-day but you know how it goes with this guy—he'll most likely be out until the All-Star break. I've renamed him Miss Little Flower Sissy Pants.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 60: It's Getting Hot in Here... Sox/Yanks Steamy Weekend Preview

The Red Sox and Yankees meet this weekend in the Bronx for the first time since the opening series of the season... where, by the way, the Sox took two of three from the injury-riddled Yanks. Needless to say, this weekend should be interesting.

Here's the deal. As of right this minute, the Sox have a slim one game lead over the Yankees in the AL East.  And at this very moment, the Sox are beating the Phillies and the Mets are just barely beating the Yanks. So there's a very good chance (fingers crossed I don't jinx the whole thing right here) that Boston could have a two game lead over NY going into the weekend.

When the two teams met in early April, the Yankees were crippled without the likes of Jeter, Granderson, Teixeira and A-Rod in the lineup. And no one thought they could even contend with the group of misfits they fielded. But surprise, surprise, even without those key players, they still managed to sit atop the division for several weeks. And reports have both Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis rejoining the team for the weekend series.

The Red Sox have suffered recently from some injuries so they'll be missing a couple significant players. Both Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino have been placed on the 15-day DL and are not expected back until mid-June. The only good thing to come from those two being out is the return of both Jose Iglesias, who is so much fun to watch in the field, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who was tearing up Triple-A. Clay Buchholz missed his last start because he slept wrong (that would totally happen to me!) but is probable for Sunday's game.

If you watch just one game this weekend, I'm recommending Friday night—a classic matchup between Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34) and CC Sabathia (4-4, 3.96.) But Sunday's matchup looks exciting as well, with Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73) taking on Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.39)—a real pitchers' duel in the making! Eeeep!

Predictions, anyone? I'm not allowed to make predictions. I suck and usually just end up jinxing the Sox.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 59: Matt Kemp Strikes Again. And Yes, I Cried.

If you missed my first post about LA Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, please click here before you read any further. And don't forget your tissues.

Matt Kemp is a total jerk. He keeps making me cry.

This whole baseball-player-with-a-heart-of-gold schtick had made me an official Matt Kemp fan... even though I can't stand the Dodgers. Kemp has taken a terminally ill fan under his wing. The boy, Joshua Jones, a proud recipient of most of Kemp's uniform a few weeks ago, was invited to Dodger Stadium to join Kemp and his teammates on the field.

Kemp flew Joshua and his dad down to LA for the game, brought the sick teenager onto the field and gave the kid the thrill of a lifetime. The Dodgers were playing the Angels and even Mike Trout got in on the action—chatting with Joshua and taking a photo with him. He also met Dodgers president, Stan Kasten and pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

I don't know a lot about Matt Kemp because normally the only attention I pay to the Dodgers is to find out how horribly Josh Beckett is doing, but he seems to me to be a real sweet guy. Someone who's just trying to make what short time Joshua Jones has left as special as possible. I wish more athletes did things like this for absolutely no reason but to make someone happy...

I'm waiting for karma to help you out, Matt. Maybe get you some more hits.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 58: Jeff Bauman Throws Out First Pitch at Fenway

You may remember the name Jeff Bauman from the April 15th Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. He's the young man made famous by a photo that went viral. The photo depicted a battered Bauman being helped by Carlos Arrandando—a complete stranger that risked his own life, running towards the blast site. Carlos picked up Jeff (whose legs had been blown off in the blast), put him in a wheelchair and kept him from bleeding out by holding on to his femoral artery. Carlos saved Jeff's life.

Jeff has become something of a hero around Boston. His continued upbeat attitude in the face of adversity is a testament to not only his will to live, but his will to heal, to get moving and to get on with his life. Bauman spent about two weeks in the hospital before he was shipped off to rehab—well before any other injured victim. Now he's home and getting ready for his new legs.

The Red Sox invited both Jeff and his rescuer, Carlos, to throw out the first pitch tonight at Fenway Park. In an interview with Dennis and Callahan on WEEI a few weeks ago, Jeff said he would do it only if Carlos did it too so they both took the mound. Prior to the first pitch, Pedro Martinez met with the pair and gave Jeff some tips on putting some action on the ball.

David Ortiz served as Carlos' target, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as requested by Jeff, caught his pitch—a fastball right down the middle. Jeff wasn't worried about muffing the pitch though. He told D and C this morning that if his pitch wasn't that great, Salty would frame it. Looked like no framing was needed for that one. Jeff even called it a strike!

Jeff Bauman is an inspiration. A Boston Strong inspiration.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 57: Giving Thanks On Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day. It's important to remember, it's not just the day that anchors the three-day weekend that (for most) officially kicks off summer. It's time to give thanks to the men and women who served in the Armed Forces and have given their lives so that we may live ours freely. And to be grateful for all my uncles and cousins and friends who made it home safely.

Across Major League Baseball, teams honored such service with camouflage hats and team names in addition to pre-game ceremonies. A tradition that I've always loved—especially back in 2011 when then Red Sox catcher, Jason Varitek, wore camo catcher's equipment that he raffled off after the game. The proceeds went to benefit the Red Sox Foundation Home Base Program which supports veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in New England.

Like a lot of major league teams, the Red Sox have had a few members ship off to war throughout their history. Three notables: Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doer.

Ted Williams interrupted his 21-season career twice for military service as a pilot—World War II, 1942-1946 and the Korean War, 1952-53. It goes to show you what serving their country meant to these players when Williams hits .406 in 1941 and then ships off to war the very next season.

Johnny Pesky spent three years in the Navy during World War II. He may have missed three years of baseball, but he did meet his wife, Ruth, in Atlanta where she served with the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.) Of his 73 years spent in the baseball in some capacity or another, 61 of those years were spent with the Red Sox.

Bobby Doer entered the Army in 1944 and was discharged just over a year later in December of 1945. He missed just one season while serving and went on to set Red Sox records for career games, at bats, hits, doubles, total bases and RBIs—all of which were broken later by teammate, Ted Williams.

Thank you Ted, Johnny and Bobby. And thanks to the present and future service men and women who will make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and free.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 56: Boston Welcomes Back Tito and Hands Him Three Losses

When the Red Sox were crushed by the Indians 12-3 last Thursday, I thought the weekend was not going to end well. I thought Terry Francona would waltz back into town and put a beat down on his old team. I mean the Indians were perched atop the AL Central when they arrived in Beantown and the Red Sox had been struggling with a Jeckyll and Hyde type of month.

Ooooh, was I wrong! (Thankfully!)

Friday night, the Sox came back with a vengeance, walloping the Tribe 8-1 behind the arm of John Lackey. You read that right: Lackey. Dude has been lights out in his last two starts. He pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball, while punching out eight little Indians. The Boston bats were lively with only one starter (Stephen Drew) held hitless. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury each drove in two runs, while Mike Carp nailed a three-run home run. But the weekend would only get harder...

Saturday afternoon, Jon Lester struggled for the second straight start, but this time he was lucky to end up with no decision. After giving up four runs on ten hits over seven innings, it didn't look good. The run support that Lackey enjoyed the night before had dried up and he left the game with his team behind. But the offense come through with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Sox pulled off a 7-4 win! Also, great news for a couple of youngsters—two recent call-ups, Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco, both went 3-for-4 in Saturday's win!

And then there was today's game. Would the Sox end the four game series with the Indians with just a split, or could they take three of four from their former skipper's team? Heading into the ninth and down to their final three outs, the Sox were down 5-2, the outlook bleak. The offense has struggled most of the day, squeaking out just two runs on four hits. But if you've watched this team at all over the first two months of the season, you know they don't go down easy. And today was no exception.

The Sox batters chipped away at the lead, scoring two more in the bottom of the ninth to bring them to within one. With two outs, Jonny Gomes walked, Stephen Drew singled (one of his three hits) and Jose Iglesias walked, bringing up Jacoby Ellsbury. With the count 2-1, the Indians pitcher came up lame prompting a pitching change. Ellsbury laced the first pitch he saw from the new hurler into the gap in left center to plate two for the win!

And with that win, coupled with a Yankees loss today, the Red Sox are back on top! (Ok, so they're tied with the Yankees, but on top none the less!)

Saturday, May 25, 2013


The Bruins won. Took the series against the Rangers in five games. Sent 'em packing! Goodbye Tortorella and Lundqvist and Nash and all you other panty-wads. I think if the B's had lost this game tonight, I may have had a psychotic break. For real.

You see... I happened to call for take out Thai at 6:55pm which was supposed to be ready at 7:15pm. I left to go pick up said Thai just as the second period was coming to an end. When I arrived at the Thai place to pick up my order, it was closed. What? There was even a sign on the door that said they were closing at 7pm tonight. Um... why did you TAKE MY ORDER THEN??? I seriously almost blew a gasket. And now that restaurant is banned. But I digress...

So let's just say I was already in a mood and if this series went to a game six, heads were going to roll. If you ask me, the only thing more stressful than watching your team when they're facing elimination is watching your team when they're trying to be the eliminator. Holy crap! All you can think is, "oh my gawd, if they blow this lead it's going to bad and everyone will make fun of them."

I didn't have to go there though. Instead, I reveled in the glow of Campbell's empty-netter to put the game away. I reveled in the anguish of one Henrik Lundqvist as he sat on the bench, helpless to stop the puck as it trickled into the net. And I reveled in the look of confusion and pain on John Tortorella's face as he realized he was probably going to be fired very soon. Yeah, I'm kind of a bitch like that.

Now I shall celebrate by binge eating the licorice and caramels I bought earlier today.

Bring on the Penguins!! I'm pretty sure bears would eat penguins—if they lived closer to each other.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 54: Congratulations, Tedy Bruschi!

The Bruins lost last night... so much for the four game sweep. I can't bear to even relive the events of that game because two of the Rangers' four goals were wicked soft. One was the result of lackadaisical defense by Chara, the other one I could've stopped. Back to Boston we go.

So instead, I'd like to congratulate Tedy Bruschi on his election to the Patriots Hall of Fame. It was only a matter a time for the fan favorite who played for the Pats for 13 seasons. Plus, how can you not love a guy who's name is Bruuuuuuuuschi? He was rewarded by his fans and earned enough votes in just his first year of eligibility. The ceremony will take place on August 11th when he and broadcaster Gil Santos will both be officially inducted. Bruschi will also be honored at halftime of the Patriots' home opener on September 12th against the Jets.

Bruschi was drafted by New England in 1996 and compiled some impressive stats throughout his tenure. He appeared in 189 games, including five Super Bowls (three wins!), and recorded 448 tackles, 30.5 sacks and had 12 interceptions. According to his Wikipedia page, he is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns and his career of four interceptions returned for touchdowns ranks second in Patriots history.

In 2005, Bruschi was named Comeback Player of the Year after suffering a mild stroke in February after the Pro Bowl. The fact that he never even missed a full season shows the heart and dedication he possessed. Bruschi was cleared to play in mid-October of that same year and back on the field later that month. He played three seasons after his stroke and retired from professional football in 2009.

Congratulations, Tedy! (And yes, I know this happened earlier this week, but I had to wait until Day #54... obviously.)

PS. Please don't wear your pink Kentucky Derby suit to your induction ceremony. That was not a good look.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 53: Fried Chicken, Sergio? Them's Fightin' Words!

Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods don't like each other. I don't blame Tiger one bit. I think Sergio is a whiny little douche who is just pissed off because he can't keep up with the big guy. And I guess he's also angry because he blames Tiger for his spectacular collapse in the Players Championship a couple weeks ago. Really? So you sucked and refuse to take responsibility for it? Well then, it must be Tiger's fault.

Photo from here.
I know a lot of people don't like Tiger—mostly golf purists who feel he monopolizes the airwaves and hogs the spotlight. (I'm looking at you, Dad.) Yeah... it's true, even if he's not even in the hunt, he's still on TV. But Tiger is a ratings bonanza for the networks that air the PGA tournaments and ratings mean mo' money. I like him. I like watching him play and I like what he's done for the popularity of golf. Sue me.

There has been tension between Garcia and Woods for well over a decade—since Sergio won a made-for-TV match between the two called the Battle at Bighorn back in 2000. Tiger didn't appreciate Sergio's victory celebration and according to golf commentator, Dan Hicks, it was then that Woods "added the young Spaniard to his list of Things I Will Crush 80 Times Before I Die." (OMG! I have a list like that too!) And it's been bad blood ever since.

And then it happened. Sergio just couldn't keep his stupid to himself and elevated the feud to DEFCON 1. Dude, why must you poke the bear?

Garcia, plagued by Fuzzy Zoeller syndrome this week, made fried chicken comments towards Woods that many deemed racist and prompted not one but two apologies. Fuzzy's poultry comments after Tiger won his first Master's in 1997 got him in some serious hot water, so you would think most golfers know that type of fowl language is forbidden.

Here's what happened according to Yahoo Sports:
Attending an awards dinner for the European Tour, Sergio Garcia was asked if he was planning on having Tiger Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open considering the way the two had gone at each other since the Players Championship, and his response went from war of words to downright ignorant. 
Garcia, channelling his inner Fuzzy, said, "We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken."
Oh Sergio, if you've learned anything in your 33 years, it should've been to keep your fat pie hole shut.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 52: Jerry Remy: Commentator Extraordinaire or Playgirl Pinup?

Here's something I bet you didn't know about the former Red Sox second baseman turned NESN color commentator: he posed for Playgirl. Excuse me? The Remdawg is my centerfold? Well, ok... he didn't exactly make that coveted spot, but he was part of a special Playgirl's Second Annual Baseball All-Stars in the July 1984 issue.

According to a recent article on, the 31-year-old Remy posed in the issue with other baseball notables such as George Brett (who looks like he's having about as much fun as a root canal), Rickey Henderson (holy thighs!), Steve Sax and Dennis Eckersley... some of whom posed with not much on except a strategically placed towel or bubbles. Remy kept it PG though, with just a pair of swim trunks and a chest-hair sweater. And still rocking the really bad hairdo.

I wonder how much crap he got in the locker room for that side job? Do you think his teammates might have had just a little bit of fun with that page of the magazine? What do you guess Playgirl pays for this type of gig?

Check out Remy's stat sheet... or should I just call him Sex God from now on? *gag*

I wonder if Playgirl still does Baseball All-Star specials? Who would you like to see sans uniform? I can think of a few...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 51: No Infection for Gronk... Phew! But Now Back Surgery? What?

Is it just me or is Rob Gronkowski turning into a baseball player? You know, those guys who can't take a shower without hurting something? Yeah, yeah... I get that he's a balls to the wall, smash-mouth type of football player who throws caution to the wind but holy cow, Gronk... or should I call you Porcelain?

Gronkowski underwent the fourth surgery on his left forearm to determine whether or not there was an infection around where the plate is attached. It's simple math: infection = very bad, no infection = good. Thankfully for the Patriots, yesterday's surgery revealed the area was infection-free and a new plate was installed. Phew! Now for the recovery and rehab which should take 8-10 weeks. So if everything goes ok, he should be ready to don the shoulder pads in late July, right?

Whoa! Hold you horses there, Tonto. There's a little more to this story.

It appears that the 24-year-old tight end has been battling a disc problem in his back for the past year and recently underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. In 2009, he underwent back surgery for this same disc problem—an injury that hurt his draft position. Oh dear. The doctor's will decide in another month whether surgery is necessary to remove the disc.

If Gronk does have this surgery, which all signs are pointing to, the recovery time, combined with the arm surgery, is approximately four months, and that's without any setbacks. Do the math, folks. That brings us to September and the start of the football season. Then it's all Coach Belichick's decision whether or not to place him on the PUP list and leave the Pats without their star tight end for the first six weeks of the season.

So this should be interesting.

[For more in depth coverage of this story, visit the Boston Herald.]

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 50: First Nine of the Season

I know... I know... I should have several rounds under my belt at this point in the spring. But that's not me. I generally takes me longer than the average golfer to get myself motivated (and daring enough) to swing the clubs. Most of my problem revolves around not wanting to get out on the course without hitting a couple of buckets to tune up the swing. Not that it helps much...

This afternoon I hit Val Halla with some girlfriends for some much needed golf (if you can call it that), laughter, swearing and beers. I'm wicked good at the last three, not so much at the first one. But it's fun and that's the important part, right? Because who doesn't enjoy chasing a little, stubborn, white ball around a finely mowed fairway, hacking away at it until it finally ends up on the green?

Hole #1 didn't set a very good tone for the evening. My score? A nine. After that hole, I was already exhausted. What? I have eight more to go? Thankfully, I pulled myself together for the next few holes. For me, that generally means I scored a five or a six or a seven. I'm happy with those numbers. I do not like nines. Or eights for that matter. And forget double digits. I'm definitely not a fan of double digit scores. 

But you know what's great about golf? You can have the crappiest round in the history of the game and there's always that one shot or one hole or one moment that gives you this tiny sliver of hope that you really don't suck as much as you think you do. I might have had a couple of those tonight. A six-foot one-putt, a bogie on a par three where I missed the green or just making it over that swampy area that eats so many of my balls. Little things. 

I'll never claim to be a great golfer. Hell, I'm not even a good golfer. But I love it and I have a blast doing it. There's just something about the pristine cuts of a golf course and the fresh air and the feel of the club hitting the ball when you hit it just right and making that fabulous shot that keeps you coming back for more. 

So I'll keep making my trips to the driving range to combat the nasty slice I can't seem to get rid of. And I'll keep getting out on the course to see if this is the time when it all (or at least some of it) clicks. But I'm definitely going to need some more lessons. *sigh*


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 49: A Good Week for the Teams of Beantown

It's good to be a Boston sports fan this week. The Red Sox have seemingly snapped out of their early May funk and the Bruins are on a roll in the second round of the playoffs against the Rangers. I love days like today... and weeks like this past one. Winning makes me happy!

Since my post on May 15 called "This Losing Crap is Getting Old," the Red Sox have not lost a game. Do you think they read it? I mean it's possible, right? They seem to have really picked up their level of play since my plea. It's nice to know they care about my well-being. Such a nice group of guys.

And today, they didn't disappoint. The Sox won their sixth straight and completed the three game sweep of the Minnesota Twins. John Lackey pitched a strong six innings allowing just one hit and one unearned run. Possibly the best outing of the year for Lackey, who lost a tough one to the Twins last week when his throwing error was partially to blame. The Red Sox are now a half game behind the Yankees and one step closer to taking back their rightful position back atop the AL East.

This game wasn't without it's frustrating moments. In the bottom of the seventh, the game was delayed due to rain... for three hours. THREE HOURS! And they didn't call it. Even Big Papi was getting a little frustrated...

And then we have the Boston Bruins, who squeaked into the second round of the playoffs with a crazy, come-from-behind, overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. They then tortured me again with yet another overtime win in game one in their series against the NY Rangers. But this time... I think they might be reading my blog too. I asked for a nice easy win and they cruised to a 5-2 victory. Seriously not sure my psyche could've handled another close game.

The series moves down to the Big Apple and Madison Square Garden for games three (on Tuesday) and four (on Thursday). Enemy territory... the Evil Empire... wouldn't it be nice to see a sweep and a celebration on rival ice? I won't complain.

Keep it up, Boston. Stay strong.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 48: No Triple Crown This Year... Again.

The Triple Crown drought is now at 35 years as Orb failed to win or even place or show in the 138th Preakness Stakes this afternoon. All eyes were on the three year old Kentucky Derby winner looking for him to grab the second leg of the ever elusive Triple Crown.

Instead, Oxbow took Pimlico under formerly retired and Hall of Fame jockey, Gary Stevens. Stevens, who has been on the back of three Preakness winners, had spent the last seven years in retirement and part of NBC Sports as their lead horse racing analyst. If it couldn't have been Orb to win this race, I'm glad it was Stevens.

Although it is a total bummer we have to wait another year for that special horse. It's not like we haven't seen special horses in the past, just not one who was durable enough to last all three races. The closest horse to do it in the last decade was Smarty Jones, who won the first two races, but came in second in the Belmont. GAH! And the most recent tease was 2012's Derby and Preakness winner, I'll Have Another. Unfortunately, tendonitis forced his team to scratch him from the Belmont and he never even got a chance to race.

If you were a horse racing fan in the '70s, Triple Crown winners were a dime a dozen and you thought it was no big whoop. Let's review: Secretariat won it in 1973 (after a 25 year dry spell), Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed just a year later in 1978. And not one since. It's becoming almost as hard as winning the Triple Crown in baseball—an accomplishment that recently just ended a 45 year drought.

Will we ever see another Secretariat?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 47: Bruins Win. Red Sox Win. Everyone Wins!

I didn't catch much of the Red Sox game last night, but I did manage to see the most important part. You know... the part when Will Middlebrooks laced a bases loaded double to left field driving in three and taking a 4-3 lead in the top of the 9th. The best part about it was Fernando Rodney's complete implosion in his save attempt (probably because he wears his hat stupid.) The hard-throwing righty walked the bases loaded... so really, he did it to himself. Nice work, Red Sox. Taking two out of three makes me almost as happy as a clean sweep!

Another cool thing that happened at Tropicana Field last night happened during the pre-game festivities involving an Army Lieutenant Colonel who sent his family a message from Afghanistan, where he has been for the past year. Both his wife and daughter were at the game and his daughter was invited onto the field to throw out the first pitch for the USO—or so she thought. Click here to watch the video! I'm such a sucker for crap like this! Baseball has been making me cry a lot lately.

So instead of the Sox, I put on the pink hat and watched the Bruins in Game 1 of their series with the NY Rangers. Yes, I said "pink hat." I like hockey but I don't watch enough of it to call myself a true fan. Sure, I can name a lot of the players and know that Tuukka is spelled with two u's and two k's. And I know I like to say "Tuukka." I also know that Jaromir Jagr is a puck-hogging has-been that needs to call it a friggin' day and retire already.

Hockey is stressful to watch, dammit. I'm not sure there are many sports that get my anxiety level as high as hockey. And if it goes into sudden death overtime, I really have a hard time handling that pressure. (It's almost like I'm on the ice... but I'm not, I'm on my couch.) It's so final—the next goal wins. I'm not sure how the players deal with that stress.

Don't worry, the Bruins won. But they took long enough to do it—over 15 minutes were played in sudden death. My heart can't take that kind of stress. Did you miss the winning goal? Maybe you had to get up early for work this morning. (Sissy.) Here it is...

Seriously. I'm in need of a nice easy Bruins win—next time, ok? Congrats B's!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 46: R.I.P. Dick Trickle

I've never been a fan of Nascar. I find watching cars go around and around and around incredibly boring. But every once in a great while I get sucked into a close race, or a spectacular crash, or even some hair pulling between drivers. I guess it's just the sports fan in me. Even though there's no ball involved.

So I feel I wouldn't be doing my due diligence if I didn't express my condolences to the family of former Nascar driver, Dick Trickle, who passed away today from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I had forgotten about the guy whose name makes me snicker every time I hear it until I saw him on a "funniest sports names" list just the other day.

The 71-year-old Trickle won somewhere in the vicinity of 1,200 races and was known as the winningest short track driver in history. In 1989, he was named Nascar Rookie of the Year—at age 48—hardly the normal age of a "rookie!"

A 911 call was received around noon today from a caller reporting that there would "be a dead body at the [local cemetery], and it would be the speaker's." Responders arrived at the scene to find Dick Trickle's lifeless body lying next to his pickup truck.

I'm not sure anyone (or at least anyone that's talking) knows what led to Trickle taking his own life, but it's sad... even if you're not a fan of car racing. R.I.P., Mr. Trickle.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 45: This Losing Crap is Getting Old.

I'm in a deep dark Red Sox depression. This losing crap is for the birds. How can a team that was so good in April, be so incredibly bad in May? Nothing changed... except for the stupid month and they've only managed to squeak out four wins. It's May 15th people. Four wins? That's something the 2012 Red Sox would do. Not this team.

The Sox have turned to Jon Lester tonight to stem their current three-game losing streak in a classic pitchers' duel with David Price. Lester is just the guy to get the job done as is evident by his 5-0 record. Lester is coming off a stellar one-hit performance against the Blue Jays last week—basically one of the very few bright spots this month. Now the offense just needs to start actually hitting the ball and scoring runs. (I'm happy to say it's the Sox are up 8-0 on the Rays in the 3rd. If they blow this lead, I'm going to snort some rat poison.)

I haven't been very impressed with the recent ratio of wins to losses. Since May 2, the BoSox have won just one game for every three losses. Seriously? Someone else in this starting rotation has to hike up their britches and pitch like it's their job. Because it is. The only consistently good pitchers have been Lester and Buchholz and everyone else is completely schizophrenic, injured or both. All this mediocrity is making me stabby.

Where are my May flowers, dammit? April showers bring May flowers and these performances lately have been anything but flowery. Maybe April wasn't rainy enough?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 44: Yet Another Dodger Surprise

I don't really follow the Los Angeles Dodgers, nor do I really care for them. I don't necessarily hate the whole team—more just a specific player. *cough* Josh Beckett *cough* (Who, by the way, is still winless in eight starts with a 0-5 record. And yes, this makes me happier than is probably socially acceptable.) But there are a couple players on their roster who have really have gained my respect recently.

Last week, Matt Kemp's interaction with a sick fan tugged on the heart strings of even the biggest Dodger haters. An act that was never supposed to be documented, except for in the memory of a boy who probably wouldn't live long enough to graduate from high school. If that video didn't get you misty, you must have one cold, black heart.

This week, another Dodger, pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu made the day of yet another young fan. According to Yahoo Sports, the recent Korean transplant played catch with a kid in the stands. Sure, you might ask what's so crazy about that? Players often toss balls to kids at the ballpark. This wasn't just a casual toss to a fan. This boy, who goes by the nickname Deuce (as in "drop a?") is a regular at the Stadium and scored big when Ryu played catch with him for a good five minutes, like Deuce was just another teammate! Too cute!


What I love about this video is this kids ability to throw the ball as accurately as the Major League player on the field who makes millions. Maybe Deuce has a future in the bigs. Looks like he already has his own uniform. What a thrill for this little boy... he'll surely be the envy of all his elementary school classmates. Although from the looks of it, he doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. He's cool as a cucumber!

This deed, like Kemp's, appeared to be completely unplanned and unattended by Dodgers PR. I'm not sure if the good karma points are going to get the Dodgers back on track and out of their current slump, but it definitely can't hurt.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 43: This is My Brain on Bruins

Watching playoffs in any sport is stressful—but what is it about hockey that keeps you on the verge of a heart attack for 60 minutes? Especially when it's Game 7. And even more so when your team is down by two goals with time ticking off the clock faster than it should. I'm starting to sweat a little and I'm just sitting on the couch!

The boys in black and gold are starting to look a little frantic. And the visiting team gains more and more confidence with each goal scored. I'd like to think it has something to do with the frequency of games played over the past four days—but then why would it only affect one team? Or maybe we can blame the plane trouble that kept the Bruins in Toronto and kept them from sleeping in their own beds?

Or maybe we can just blame the dark pall that has fallen over Boston sports since April ended. The badness started May 3rd when the Celtics were ousted in the first round by the Knicks. I don't think anyone was surprised. The Celts are an aging team that just looked exhausted by the end.

The Red Sox have kept the clouds dark this month by going 2-8 in their last 10 games. Yes folks, the team that had the best record in baseball and led the American League east at the end of April now have dropped to 3rd. Call it coming back to earth after being bolstered by Boston Strong if you want. Or just call it bad baseball. Whatever you want to call it, it sucks.

Now the Bruuuuuuuuuins, who were trailing by two goals just minutes ago, have tied up the game with 50 seconds left. Three goals in 10 minutes! Holy COW! And now... sudden death... in Game 7? I'm not sure my heart can handle much more of this. The anxiety is setting in. Overtime is going to send me over the edge.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod... my heart drops with every shot the Leafs take. Hyperventilating. There's a scurry around the Leafs net. Holy crap, holy crap...


Hold on folks, May might be salvaged yet—at least in one sport!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 42: Manny Just Being...David Banner?

Manny Ramirez is somebody else's problem these days. Actually he's some other country's problem. But his antics and complete weirdness has not waned over in Taiwan. Yes, Taiwan. When no American major league team showed any interest in the 40-year-old nutbag, he took his show overseas to the EDA Rhinos, one of four teams in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

(Photo credit: Videoland Sports) 
Did you know they do "rookie day" even in China? If you're not familiar with the rituals of "rookie day," it's a pretty regular event around major league baseball. Basically, the team picks something incredibly embarrassing for the rookies to do, similar to how fraternities haze pledges. Last year, Will Middlebrooks was forced to dress up like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz complete with dog-filled basket. In 2011, Jose Iglesias sported a pleather bustier. Don't google that...seriously, trust me. I wish I could un-see that one.

Despite Manny's track record in professional baseball in this country—12-time All Star and 9 Silver Slugger awards—he's still considered a rookie in China. According to the Taiwan news agency ET Today, the Rhinos had their own version of "rookie day" earlier this week. Let's just say Manny's costume didn't disappoint. He dressed up as David Banner's angry alter ego, the Incredible Hulk. Some would say it's a fitting costume considering some of the weird crap Manny did when he was with Boston.

I bet if you ask Red Sox Traveling Secretary Jack McCormick about Manny, he might say he looked a little green the day of their altercation. And not because he ate some bad fish.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 41: Dan Shaughnessy Broke David Ortiz

Boston Globe reporter, Dan Shaughnessy, accused Red Sox DH, David Ortiz of cheating earlier this week. He accused him of taking performance enhancing drugs—because how else would he be having such a great season after spending much of last year, the off season and the start of this season recovering from an achilles injury? And now David Ortiz is broken.

When the story was published last Wednesday, Big Papi was on a tear. He was in the midst of a 27-game hitting streak dating back to last season and he his batting average was an impressive .426. Since the story, Ortiz has gone 0-for-13 including the first back-to-back 0-for-5 performances since the 2004 season. See? Broken.

According to an ESPN Boston article, Shaughnessy flat out accused the 37-year-old Ortiz of taking PEDs right to his face:
"You fit all the models," Shaughnessy said he told Ortiz in the column. "You are from the Dominican Republic. You are an older player. Older players don't get better. You've had injuries consistent with steroid use. You showed up on the list from 2003. You fit all the formulas."
I can totally understand why Red Sox chairman Tom Werner decided to speak out. He's completely right—this reporter crossed the line. Sure, Ortiz was peppered with tough questions, all of which he answered without blinking an eye, but Werner makes a good point where the age of players is concerned.
"If that is defined as [Dan] Shaughnessy asking the tough questions, did he ask Tom Brady, who had two of his best years at age 34 and 35? Did he question the Celtics when they won an NBA title with a core of players that were in their 30s? Did he question Tim Thomas when he won a Stanley Cup for the Bruins at age 37? And how come he hasn't questioned Mariano Rivera, who is 43 and 11 for 11 in saves and has returned from ACL surgery without missing a beat?"
The media has this really annoying habit of accusing players, who are doing really well, of cheating. Sometimes it's warranted and other times, I don't know, maybe it's a slow news day in the world of sports and they feel the need to draw attention to something that shouldn't really attract any scrutiny. And then it almost seems like those players are afraid to do well for fear of keeping the rumor mill churning. Both Ortiz and Clay Buchholz are suffering from this syndrome—Ortiz with his recent 3-game hitless skid, and Buchholz is winless in his last two starts.

Stupid Shaughnessy. I'd like to throat punch that trouble-maker. Well, Dan, Jon Lester pitched a gem of a one-hitter last better accuse him of cheating too. Maybe he's been eating Popeye's spinach before his starts. Is that against the rules?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 40: An Act of Kindness. A Happy Fan.

This week has been long. Like way longer than five days. I'm pretty sure someone snuck another day into my work week, but I can't really prove it. Between the piles of work, the Red Sox recent skid and the accusations of PED use for Big Papi, it's been a rough one too. So... allow me to end the week on a high note. A note that shows professional athletes can have the biggest of hearts when it comes to making their fans happy.

I came across a video today that has restored my faith in humanity. And made me cry. LA Dodgers' outfielder, Matt Kemp, made a young fan's day. The act was unplanned, un paid for, and best of all, unselfish. The Yahoo Sports account of the events opened like this:
There was never supposed to be a video. Matt Kemp's uncommon act of kindness was never supposed to go farther than an ailing boy, his dad and the baseball star.
You just knew to gather up a few tissues before watching the video. That's your grab a couple of Puffs. Don't say I didn't warn you.


A boy, Joshua Jones, and his father, Steve Jones, sat Sunday night in front-row seats at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The boy was in a wheelchair. Early in the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, the father struck up a conversation with Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach. He said his son was very sick, that he was a Dodgers fan, and that his favorite player was Kemp. The boy, who has cancer, is unable to speak.  
"He just kind of looked at me," Kemp said.  
Matt Kemp made an otherwise forgettable trip to San Francisco extraordinary for one Dodger fan. (USA Today Sports) … Wallach brought them a baseball. Later in the game, he told Kemp about Joshua. And when the game ended – Kemp had made the last out in a loss, the Dodgers' fourth in a row – Wallach returned to the dugout and found Kemp waiting for him. He wanted to go see the boy in the stands. In the video that was recorded and uploaded by Tommy Schultz, a friend of Joshua, Kemp and Wallach walk together toward the ailing boy and his father. Kemp reaches out to shake the Joshua's hand, and instead he gets a baseball, which the boy had in his right hand.  
Seated below field level, the boy looks with wide eyes as Kemp signs the baseball. The boy beams silently. Kemp returns the ball and then, in a ballpark full only a few minutes before, as onlookers laugh and cheer, Kemp removes his cap and hands it to the boy. He pulls his jersey – No. 27 – over his head and hands that, too, over the rail. And he unties his cleats, pulls off the right and then the left, and gives them to the boy so that his lap is piled with most of Matt Kemp's uniform.
For the rest of the story, click here. It's worth the read but keep those tissues handy. I don't know a lot about Matt Kemp except he plays with a few former Red Sox that I don't really care for. I do know that he's a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner who seems to be struggling a little bit in the early days of this season. But then again, so is the whole team. The Dodgers are currently in last place in the NL West and are in the midst of a 7-game skid. For Matt, and maybe his whole team, this good deed won't go unnoticed.
"You have some good stories and some sad stories," Kemp said. "God puts them there to remind you."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 39: Hanrahan Lands on 60-Day DL, This Fan Rejoices!

What is it about closers? They can be so great—think Jonathan Papelbon in his prime, and they can be soooooo incredibly bad that you cringe when you see them start to warm up in the bullpen. Eric Gagne falls into the latter category in his one ill-fated season with the Red Sox in 2007. Hard to believe that same guy won the NL Cy Young in 2003.

Creepy closer twins.
Nothing is more disappointing then a blown save. Your team gets so close to notching that W—all you need is just three outs and your there. And then BAM! The rug gets yanked from underneath you, your dreams are shattered as the opposing team launches the go ahead two-run dinger over the Green Monster and all you really want to do is call Tony Soprano to come "take care" of the problem. I'd like to introduce Mr. Soprano to current Red Sox closer (and Gagne doppelganger), Joel Hanrahan. The guy just bugs me.

When the Sox signed Hanrahan, some folks were a little confused. It's not like he didn't have the stats to back up the signing, but was he worth the money? In 2011, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he saved 40 games and finished the season with a 1.83 ERA. But what was Andrew Bailey's role going to be? After missing a good chunk of the 2012 season, Bailey was ready for action. And then they go and sign this hard throwing nutball and relegate Bailey to set up guy.

But then Hanrahan had to go and hurt himself and Bailey came in and proved he could successfully close games and had a great April. And then Bailey goes on the DL and nutball comes back and then he hurts himself again. And lands on the 60-day DL. I sort of wish there was a 600-day DL. I really don't trust that dude. When he does get the job done... he scares the crap out of you. Maybe I'm just feeling bitter because May hasn't started out so hot for the Sox. I need a scapegoat.

Let's see how Junichi Tazawa can handle that role. But first we need the starting pitchers to not suck.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 38: Guess Who's Arm Needs Another Surgery?

If you answered Patriots' tight end, Rob Gronkowski, you get a gold star. Unfortunately, gold stars don't guarantee Super Bowls wins. I don't know about you, but just the mere thought of Gronk going under the knife, yet again, makes me very anxious. This is not a good development considering the recent changes to the Patriots' offense. *cough* Wes Welker *cough* This team can't afford to be thin behind Tom Brady.

Word on the street is Gronk's doctors have determined they need to go back into his arm to make sure there is no infection surrounding the plate. Best case scenario: they find no infection and we look forward to a healed Gronk for the upcoming season. I don't even want to think about the worst case scenario. If the doctors do find there's an infection, the recovery time will be waaaay longer and there could possibly be even a fifth surgery. And then who the hell knows when he'll be back on the field.

At least this time around there was no dumb ass dance moves and body slamming that could make his injury worse. The Patriots told him to knock it off and he seems to have taken that advice to heart. It would be a shame if this stupid broken arm was the beginning to the end of this nearly 24-year-old. I refuse to believe this will be career-ending, but if history is any indication, I'll be surprised if this kid ever plays a full season. For a big, tough guy, he's pretty fragile.

Imagine if Gronk turns out to be a lemon...that's some very expensive citrus.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 37: Stay Classless, Toronto!

Since the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15th, the displays of sportsmanship towards the Boston teams and the city of Boston has been more than anyone ever expected. Even from their most hated rivals. The gestures have been heartwarming and reminiscent of sporting events post-9/11.

Baseball teams across the country showed support by adopting Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" for one night. The rival Yankees posted a United We Stand banner on their stadium facade with both their logo and the Boston B. Sox jerseys were displayed with the 617 area code...bats were engraved with names of victims.

NBA teams like the Knicks, Rockets, Timerberwolves, Magic and Nuggets observed moments of silence before their games, as did teams throughout the NHL and MLB. The Philadelphia Flyers held a moment of silence before their game the night following the bombings, and also showed a tribute to victims and first responders during "God Bless America." Phoenix Coyote and Boston native, Keith Yandle wrote "Pray for Boston" on his skate.

Fans everywhere adopted the battle cry born from this tragedy—Boston Strong. This city needed to heal after those horrific events and staying Boston Strong was the way. No one complained. No one selfishly wondered why their town couldn't be "strong" too. Until this week.

Last night, the NHL playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs moved to Toronto for Game 3—the series tied 1-1. And one fan was keen on making the arena uncomfortable for not only his fellow fans, but for the men in black and gold. Not only was this one of the more classless acts I've ever seen at a sporting event, it's almost as if this man has no clue what he did was wrong.

REALLY?? Not sure if this guy has suffered a traumatic brain injury or if he's just comes by his stupidity honestly. What I do know is his douchebaggery knows no limits. You poked the bear, dumbass. Not smart.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 36: Tom Brady's Wearing White and Going Nuts

Tom Brady has won three Super Bowls. Tom Brady makes millions and millions of dollars playing football. Tom Brady has a supermodel wife. Tom Brady's supermodel wife makes millions and millions. Basically, between the two of them, they could wallpaper their entire mansion (all of them) with Ben Franklins and never even feel the impact.

So why all the hooting and whooping and hugging and tackling over $25,000? Because it's the Kentucky Derby, that's why! There's no two minutes in sports more exciting than this. Then there's the suspense of having a big wad of cash on one of the ponies—and if you're Tom Brady, you've got a $4,700 bet on the favorite. And when your mount crosses the finish line first, you'll hoot and holler no matter what your bet was. Heck, I hooted and hollered and I didn't even place a bet!

When Orb came from behind to win the Derby, the white suit-clad quarterback when absolutely insane, embracing the son of the horse's owner for what looked to me like an uncomfortably long time. As if hot and bothered by the prolonged hug, former teammate Tedy Bruschi, all dressed in pink, came barreling to join the party.

Brady's connection to Orb's owners is unclear, but it's assumed he didn't just meet them on Saturday. If he hugs people he just meets like that all the time... someone needs to introduce me. Stat.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 35: A Horse Named Orb Wins the Derby

The first Saturday in May... one of my most favorite days of the year. Most of you know me for my love of baseball and football, but the Triple Crown races make me ridiculously happy. I don't watch horse racing any other day of the year so when May rolls around, I park my butt on the couch to watch some good 'ol thoroughbreds run.

Churchill Downs is on the list of places I must visit before I die—and hopefully I'll get there on May's first Saturday one of these years. I've always said if I ever was lucky enough to win the lottery, I would buy race horses and the prettiest hat you could possibly imagine!

The 139th Kentucky Derby thrilled the crowd. I couldn't decide who to root for. Would it be Gary Stevens, who at 50 came out of retirement to ride longshot, Oxbow? Would it be Rosie Napravnik on Mylute to become the first female jockey to win the Derby? Would it be Kevin Krigger on Goldencents to be the first African American to win in over 100 years? Or would it be trainer Shug McGaughey looking for his first win in a horse named Orb?

When the mud stopped flying and the horses crossed the finish line after the sloppy 1 1/4 mile, it was Orb who stormed through the field under the careful driving of jockey Joel Rosario to win. A first for Rosario, a first for Orb and a first for McGaughey, who hasn't even saddled a horse in the Derby since 2002 when he trained 10th-place finisher, Saarland. I wondered if Orb was the shortest name of any Derby winner. It's tied for the shortest with Zev, who won in 1923.

Golden Soul was second at odds of 34-1, Revolutionary, piloted by 3-time Derby winner Calvin Borel, was third and Normandy Invasion, who had the lead for a brief moment before Orb shot past him, ended up fourth.

Now on to Maryland for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, on May 18th. Go Orb!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 34: Josh Beckett Sucks On Both Coasts

The City of Angels might be just what the doctor ordered for a couple of former Red Sox players. Last season, the Sox shipped off a huge chunk of payroll in the form of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to LA in a huge, multi-player deal. The Sox needed to unload some big contracts and some seriously dead weight, and the Dodgers were just gullible enough to take the bait.

We all remember how badly Crawford performed under the Boston pressure. In 2010, his last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, he led the AL in triples, made the All-Star team, won a Gold Glove in left field and a Silver Slugger award. He finished that season with a .307 average, the second highest of his career. But when he headed north for the 2011 season, it's like he lost all his powers. A guy that had led the league in steals four times over his career, could muster only 18 in his only complete year with the Sox, and he batted a measly .255. And now that he's with the Dodgers—he's batting .315. Go figure.

Gonzalez and Punto must love that LA smog too: they're batting .330 and .386 respectively. And yes, you read that second number correctly.

But that's not why I'm here. My real interest lies with one arrogant blockhead named Josh Beckett. Beckett was great once with the Red Sox. In 2007, on the back of a 20-7 record, he helped the Sox win the World Series. He finished second in the Cy Young voting that year. But that's as good as it would get. His subsequent seasons were just average and on the heels of the epic September collapse in 2011 where he led the chicken and beer brigade, he just plain sucked. Before the Dodgers trade, he mustered just a 5-11 record with a 5.27 ERA in 127+ innings pitched. *vomit*

So now, in his first full season in Dodger-town, he has shown that it wasn't Boston that made him miserable, he's just comes by it naturally. He has started six games this season and his record is 0-4 with an ERA of 5.24. This probably makes me a little happier than it should, but I blame Beckett for a lot of what went wrong with the Sox between the end of 2011 until he was shipped off in 2012.

When I looked back at Beckett's career, I realized that he wasn't as spectacular as he wanted you to think. And other than the 2007 season, he never led any regular season pitching category in any other year. Even his records weren't that great. So basically, his flashes of brilliance in the playoffs got him the recognition and the big bucks. He was named MVP of the 2003 World Series when the Marlins beat the Yankees, and also in the 2007 ALCS on the way to his second World Series championship.

I wonder how long the Dodgers will put up with his unpleasantries? If he keeps pitching like crap...probably not much longer. He'll be a free agent in 2015.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 33: Buchholz Cheating? What You Talking 'Bout, Morris?

Clay Buchholz was named American League Pitcher of the Month for April for his 5-0 start and stingy ERA—but it hasn't come without some controversy. And it's a controversy of ridiculous proportions. A controversy fabricated by a couple of stupid Toronto Blue Jays commentators who must be just looking to cause trouble because their team stinks and they have nothing better to do. They have accused Clay Buchholz of throwing a big 'ol spitball.

So what? Just because a pitcher is in complete command of all his pitches and obviously has his head in the game, he must be cheating? That's right, Jack Morris, of course he's cheating. There's no possible way that Buchholz worked his ass off over the winter and came into the season in tip-top shape, confidence high, throwing junk that no one can hit. Nah, that didn't happen. He MUST be cheating.

What the hell is wrong with people? I might have found validity in the accusations had the Blue Jays' manager, or one of the players, complained about Buchholz doctoring the ball. But no one said anything. It wasn't until someone pointed it out in some video that Morris went all tattle-tale-y and whiny over the whole thing. Sort of makes me want to punch him in his throat.

And they couldn't let it end with Buchholz. The following night they also accused Junichi Tazawa of having some glistening, suspicious substance on his arm. Seriously? But John Farrell stood behind his pitchers, telling reporters:
"It bothers me immensely," Farrell said. "When someone is going to make an accusation, and in this case, on cheating because of something they have seen on TV -- he has rosin on his arm," Farrell said. "I think rosin was designed to get a grip. The fact is that he has rosin on his arm."
I generally am not a huge fan of Dennis Eckersley as broadcaster, with his habit of trying to make up his own baseball catch phrases—most of which have something to do with cheese, but he really hit the nail on the head in his recent comments to
“Where’s Jack Morris been all these years, anyway? He finally gets a job up there in Toronto and he has to make statements like that and take away from what this kid has done? I think it’s wrong. He’s pitched long enough to know. Guys, you talk about stick-’em, whatever that is, pine tar. He knows that you go to something if you’re sweaty just to get a grip. It’s all about a grip. You saw the comment — that guy [Hayhurst] backed off a little bit, saying maybe it’s rosin, maybe it’s this, but if you just watch the game, you know: the ball disappears on you.  
 “When you throw a spitball, the ball falls off the table, and you know it right away. The hitters didn’t complain, but Jack Morris is. I think Jack Morris should zip it,” Eckersley added. “I feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this. I’m styling here, and you’re taking away from me, a guy that can’t even make it to the Hall of Fame yet, and he’s chirping over there — zip it.”
Who knows what the hell goes on on that pitchers' mound, but I'm standing behind the Red Sox on this one. And Morris needs to shut his fat pie hole.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 32: A Boston Strong Trio of Wins

I have a love-hate relationship with nights like last night—it's complete sensory overload for sports fans. The Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics all graced the airwaves and if you live in the northeast, your thumb got a real workout on the remote control. I didn't have a choice since I happened to be sitting in a bar with the Bruins on one tiny TV and the Celts on the other. I basically relied on my phone for score updates since I was too far away to see the scores! Not the best night to go out.

Remember that Tuesday night last week when the Sox got crushed by the A's 13-0, the Bruins fell to the Flyers 5-2, and the Celts dropped game #2 of their series with the Knicks, 87-71? Yeah, that didn't happen last night. Last night was the complete opposite and everyone was victorious!

The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 10-1 giving Clay Buchholz his major league-leading 6th win of the season. He tossed seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball and struck out eight—his ERA now at a scant 1.01. The Sox offense exploded for 15 hits, five of those homeruns and two of those off the bat of Mike Napoli. Daniel Nava, Mike Carp and Stephen Drew (what?) hit the other three.

The Bruins also faced a team from Toronto as they took on the Maple Leafs in the first game of the playoffs at the Garden and taught them one important lesson—Don't Poke the Bear! After an early goal by the Leafs, the B's buttoned it up and Tuukka Rask stopped the next 19 shots on goal to preserve the 4-1 win. Wade Redden, Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk scored for the Bruins giving them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

I'll admit, I'm a big pink hat when it comes to the Celtics in the post season. They dropped the first three games to the Knicks to dig themselves a hole no other NBA team has been able to get out of. And last night, the Knicks made a key mistake—they all brought black clothing for game 5. The plan: win the game to eliminate the Celts and wear all black to mimic a funeral. Poor taste considering recent events in Boston, but they also completely jinxed themselves. HA! The boys in green won the game 92-86 and has NY shaking in their high tops.

Phew, what a night!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 31: Almost the Best April Ever

The Red Sox won 18 games in April. Pretty damn good, right? Do you remember the last time the Sox won 18 in April? I sure don't...but for the record it was 2003. They fell ONE win short (damn those Blue Jays) of setting a franchise record for wins in the month of April. And this coming just months after winning a paltry 69 in the worst, non strike-shortened season since 1965. Have I died and gone to baseball heaven?

I hate to bring this up again in fear of throwing down a big ol' jinx on my boys, but the Boston Red Sox have the best record in baseball right now. There I said it. {{waits for lightening bolt}} The last time the Sox had the best record in baseball at the end of April? 2004 and 2007... need I say more?

I thank the baseball gods every day that John Farrell agreed to leave Toronto and come back to Boston and save us from that demon, Bobby Valentine. It's a perfect scenario of good vs. evil. Farrell and the Sox front office have put together a team that fans can actually like... a team that actually like each other... a team that performs like a team. Holy crap, what a novel idea! That happened ZERO times last year under that malevolent misfit of a manager.

How about a few April highlights?
  • Clay Buchholz is 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA.
  • They rank in baseball’s top 5 in many categories: Runs (135, #4), OBP (.347, #3), Slugging (.446, #3), Batting Average (.271, #3), Walks (97, #3) and Stolen Bases (22, #2).
  • They have either been in first or tied for first since the season started—a spot they never saw in 2012.
  • The pitching staff has held opponents to a .221 average, best in the majors.
  • They've struck out 9.94 players per 9 innings which ranks #1.
  • The starters have a combined 3.24 ERA (#5).
  • Big Papi might be the first person to F-word on live TV and not get fined by the FCC.

Sometimes it makes me so happy I could cry! My initial prediction for total wins in 2013 was 82. I think I might have estimated low... at least I hope.