Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Congratulations: The AL Wildcard Is Ours Again

I know, for talking to various people and reading various blogs, that I'm the only one not happy with this. Let me clarify - I'm perfectly thrilled to be in the post season, and I have absolutely no qualms about going in as the wild card... my problem is the way we won it. It just felt cheap. It didn't feel cheap in '04, though I will readily admit that those were different times.

Maybe I've become too entitled. Maybe I should just be happy and uncork some champagne and celebrate, but winning despite losing just doesn't feel right. The thought of the post-season doesn't feel right yet. Maybe it will. I'm hoping it will, anyway.

I'll be at Fenway at some point this weekend. I don't know when and I don't know where I'm sitting. I don't even know who's giving me the tickets. All I do know is that I'll be there, and it's supposed to rain all weekend. I don't care, I'm willing to sit through the rain.

Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing positive I want to say about last night's game. It was, in a word, awful. Or another word, painful. I could go on like this, but what's the point? The night inevitably ended in champagne showers so I'm not going to dwell on just how disgusting this team has looked in the last week or so. I'm going to put on my big 'ol smile and remember that this team isn't like the '07 team, who had invidivual parts that I absolutely hated. Same for just about every team since I started paying attention to baseball. There's always been that one cog that drives me up a wall. This team doesn't have that. I like every player on this team (of course I don't count Paul Byrd as being 'on the team' because I doubt he'll be making much of a post season appearance). Each individual piece is cool by my standards. Maybe that's why it feels different, because I like them? Who knows.

Congratulations to the 2009 AL Wildcard Champion Red Sox!

Now can we focus on getting your shit together and rememebering how to win, guys? Thanks!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Losing: It's Got to End

Enough, guys. Seriously, I've had enough. The magic number is one. ONE! If the Sox had just not sucked yesterday, we would have been popping champagne, too. I can't take it any more. First they make me suffer through a three game sweep by the Yankees, ending with what I'm assuming is an insane celebration right in front of our boys' faces (which I didn't bother to watch even a moment of, thank you). Now, they make me suffer through rain-drenched suck. That's the worst kind of suck!

I don't feel like being rational and reasonable and defending the wild card and talking about how resting players is good. I don't think it's good, I think it's lazy. I don't want these guys working on their swings in the batting cages, I want to see them out on the field. Because, and you'll forgive me if I'm a little unreasonable, time off seems to do these jerks* NO good! Post ASB? They sucked. After what felt like every day off this season, they lost. I know I'm exaggerating. I know I'm being completetly ridiculous, but come on. Can't we just wrap this thing up? PLEASE?!

*DISCLAIMER: I don't think any of them are jerks. Actually, I'm quite fond of the whole team.

Beckett's got back spasms and Binky's all bruised. It sounds like the beginning of a bad nursery rhyme... which, of course, is exactly what I was going for. Also, I want them to clinch a post season berth with a win, not with another team's loss. It just seems a little more undeserved if you don't win it yourself. But what do I know, I'm just a lazy, rambling, part-time blogger.

I'll be watching the game tonight... the WHOLE game. Because I want to see them win and celebrate on Fenway turf. How sweet is that going to be? Just make sure that Paps doesn't start drinking early.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gonzo: Sending Us All Home Happy

If you weren't at that carnival ride of a game last night, please change the heading to "Gonzo: Keeping us all home happy" or something similar. I could say plenty about this game, and I'm sure I'll say quite a bit, but I'll start with this...


Not sure there was any adventures this game DIDN'T include, except maybe having the teams run frantically out of the path of a giant boulder hell bent on destruction... but even that could have possibly happened in the third inning.

We had constant lead changes, we had the Sciocia face, we had silly substitutions, we had Remy and Don, we had blown saves and stupid plays, good pitching, bad pitching, squeezing, blown calls, you name it! Thoroughly entertaining!

Yes, ball four to Nick Green was actually strike three and I willingly admit that. However, it was only fair that the umpires gave us that run back, because they were very clearly (to me... since I'm obsessive) squeezing Daniel Bard in the top 9th. The game should have been tied at that point anyway. I think if it had been tied, Captain Planet would have been called out on the third pitch, but the umps knew they had done a great disservice to the Sox by squeezing our rookie.

Hey umps! No squeezing the rookies!

So, this of course sets up the brilliant bloop hit by Gonzo that absolutely should have been caught... or at least there should have been a dive attempt. No hustle out there in left field, I'll tell ya. But I'll take it. And I'll thank anyone who thought Gonzo showed up with no bat to go jump off the Tobin (or, preferrably, something far less fatal and much more humbling... but I can't think of any examples, so please be creative). Love. That. Man. The End.

Oh, and I don't want to hear at all about the stupid gaffe by Tek. Far as I'm concerned, it didn't happen. And it didn't matter because we won. We won without Youk, VMart, and Paps. We used almost every man off the bench, with the exception of Kottaras. And not for nothing, but the entire game was put in the hands of a triumverate of shortstops! And I didn't dislike ANY of them!

Now if only the stupid Yankees had lost, that would have been the perfect way to end the night. Oh well, it'll happen. Optimistic of me or not, but I'm still looking towards division gold. Or material, as I'm all but certain that they don't make the pennants out of gold. Maybe plastic? I don't know. Not gold though. So I'm eyeing division whatever-they-make-the-pennants-out-of. Yeah!

Commander on the mound tonight. Let's hope he's gotten that ship corrected now that his flu problem seems to have flown. Look at me, trying to be clever. Ok, that's enough out of me! Go cheer on the Sox! (I know, it's 10:40 AM, but it's never too early to start. Let 'em hear it! Intimidate some umpires!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daisuke: Not Your Mama's Matsuzaka!

I commend you if you understand the heading of this post, because I don't. It was literally the first thing that came to my mind... though I don't know how it could have figuratively been the first thing and... ok, I digress.

The guy who pitched last night was good. Don't know who he was, but he looked an awful lot like Dice-K. Weird. I hope that doesn't sound racist, just because the pitcher was obviously Japanese. He actually shared many physical atributes with Dice, so it's weird. I wonder where we got him.

All kidding aside, if you say that you expected that from Dice after the whupping he was receiving from single A players, you're a filthy liar. I know we're all happy about the results, but not even the most optimistic among us would have expected great results like that. Still only counts for a win, but any win is important in September. Or October. Or hell, August. You know what? I will willingly take wins in any regular season games. They all count equally to me.

Hope all is well with Victor and his family.

Gonzo is exactly what I've always wanted at shortstop. I'm happy. Do you feel the happy? I mean, he even started a rally that resulted in the Sox scoring the only two runs they would need. He personally scored the first. Brilliance. Brilliance! Just absolutely love Gonzo. My heartbrokenness over losing him the first time around was just another factor in my disdain for Lugo. I wasn't ready to let go (same thing on the whole #7, right field situation), but having Gonzo back is like being wrapped up in a high-quality blanket and given a cup of Bigelow green tea - the official tea of Terry Francona - before being read a bed time story. It's comforting. I love. See me filling with love? Well, no, you can't, but take my word for it. I am filled with love.

How can I scream at the shortstop when I love him so dearly?

Off-topic (not that I ever really have a 'topic' per se), I was discussing with a friend this morning the difference in Dustin when he's wearing a hat, and when he is not. Then I made a drawing of it. I'm a terrible artist, but I get a good giggle out of it. The concept is this.... when Munchkin is wearing his hat, he looks like he's 10 (especially if he's clean-shaven). When the hat comes off, he looks 40, regardless of the facial hair status. It is a very weird thing, because even other balding players don't have such a large gap in their age appearances. He is unique. If I ever get around to posting pictures again, I'll put that one up. And I'm apologizing in advance for it. Sorry, all.

That Papi home run last night? Made me feel October. Have you ever felt an entire month in one swing? It's intense.

Hoping for more of that feeling around 7:10 tonight.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hi September: It's Been So Long!

Um.... well. This is awkward. I know, dear blog, that we haven't talked in a while. And I know I've promised to check in with you, and tell you about all of my crazy baseball adventures, and go off on tangents about as many games as possible. But I haven't. I've been lazy, and I feel terrible about it.

OK - so it's not as much laziness as it is busy-ness. I'm in grad school, after all. And I work full time. Plus, I like to go and see my friends on occassion. So, just because I didn't write up a long review of Progressive Field, Wrigley Field, and US Cellular Field doesn't mean that I don't love you. I do, and I always will. Anyway.

Last night was my last game of the season. I don't have tickets for any other games and now that the weather is getting (staying?) cold again, I won't have any will to be at Fenway. Those cold games, I prefer to watch them from the warmth and comfort of my own home. Does that make me a bad fan? I don't know. I'd like to think not. This game, back to the point, worked out incredibly well for me. I was SUPPOSED to see Dahmer vs. Camel, and that didn't make me happy. I don't care for Dahmer, and I am absolutely disgusted by Camel. HOWEVER, due to my favorite rain delay of all time, Jon Lester's game got bumped to Sunday, and I ended up seeing him instead. Lester vs. Sharky. Yeah, I loved this match-up too.... and if you don't think that James Shields looks like a shark, then you aren't paying attention. Strangely enough, the best picture I was able to get for the night was of James Shields smiling and looking ridiculously un-shark-like. I missed Lester in the pen due to traffic, and when I got to the park, Shields was warming. Someone remind me, and I'll post that picture tonight.

I felt good about the game right from the start. Seeing Lester walk out to the mound with that Beckett-esque strut he has developed, I knew he was going to be good. And he was good. He was bloody freakin' good! 8 IP, 0 ER... couldn't have asked for a better outing. And Wags, nailing the door shut. Brilliant. Ew... Wags? That's a horrible nickname. That definitely won't do. I won't be calling Wagner that again. He hasn't prompted a nickname from me yet, but it definitely won't be Wags. Gag!

And oh.... my Varitek. I love that man dearly. There is no questioning my affection toward the Captain. Even I cringe when I see him come up to bat, especially with the bases loaded. He squandered 5 baserunners all on his own yesterday, but did manage to come up with a very lucky 2-run single. Oh, I screamed all right. Jumped right out of my chair, fists in the air. I don't care if that ball should have been a ground-out to end the inning. I was just thrilled that it wasn't. If this was the last game I will see Varitek in live, that was a great final memory of him to have. This time, I really think it's over. I don't think the team will pick up his option, and I think his pride won't let him pick up the player option. I don't even know if I'm really sad about it. He's way past his expiration date. Though, I have to say I want to see him stick around. I think he'd be a great bullpen catcher! Or coach. He'd make a fantastic coach, what with all his intangibles. And stuff.

I guess that's all I really have to say about that game. Great pitching matchup, great pitching PERFORMANCES (on both ends), offense where and when we needed it from the left field line (Bay, Lowell, and Tek), and perfect weather. You just can't ask for much more from Fenway Park on a Sunday in September.