Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hardball Cathedral in Rain Delay

Wells on the DL. Schilling on the DL. Who's next? I'm beginning to feel inclined to barf in my shoe.

Anyway, horrid stuff aside, I recommend visiting the Fenway area during a rain delay. Seriously, it makes you appreciate it all more. There weren't a lot of people hanging around, so all the details were more perceptible, and it made me realize even further how much I love Fenway and the entire atmosphere. The trees on Yawkey Way practically ooze of having witnessed so much of Sox history, something you could barely notice on a regular game day - but on a day like this it makes you take a step back and think about the history of the organization. And lazing in your seat in the park when its about one third full and everyone's just hanging around hoping for a game just lets you absorb the atmosphere of the park itself. Close your eyes, and its like you can hear the voices from the very day it opened on through to the moment you're sitting there.
Yeah, yeah, I doubtlessly sound fluffy and cloudy-headed, but I'm sure you'll get the same feelings if you go there on a day like this.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ripping the Media, But not Pitches

People who do the wave during close games deserve to be shot.

And please tell me I'm not the only person growing weary of Schilling's indictments against various groups/people. He ripped some media members and Lou Piniella earlier, apparently. Hey, um, Schil, I know you've helped the Sox win a World Series and all, but maybe you should be working on getting back to form as opposed to ripping people who don't really matter much to the Sox in the grand scheme of things.

And, for the record, I have a very high respect for Lou Piniella. I seriously doubt he told Lance Carter to throw at Ortiz's head. And if anyone made a comment about Piniella being an "idiot" on the field, I suspect it's an isolated comment - and from a player who doesn't get along too well with him. If anyone is an idiot in the Rays' organization, its obviously the ownership. (As for the "lose 100 games" comment, someone might wanna remind the player in question that he's not in Kansas any more.)

Hey, wait a minute... weren't we just espounding the upside of being an idiot just a few months ago? I seem to remember somewhere in the whole Sox '04 rhetoric there being something about a band of idiots... So perhaps the player meant it as a compliment? Perhaps so...

Falling Down the Well(s)

Well, if that wasn't a crappy game, I don't know what was. An ex-player (ex-journeyman?) who didn't pitch very well with them throws like an ace, two pitchers go down over foot/ankle sprains, two errors from one player (!!), and thus they lose in an entirely ugly fashion.

So Wells is on the 15 day DL, but could be out for longer. And Mantei's just floating around somewhere, can't find a thing on whether he's actually injured in a manner that requires significant time off.

Is this punishment for making fun of the Yankees' rotation troubles? Is this punishment for calling the Big Ugly Unit old and ugly? For hoping that Pavano had gotten hit in the arm when I heard that he was hit by a line drive? For making fun of Kevin Brown for being Kevin Brown? For cheering when Jaret Wright was placed on the DL? Is this the sort of thing I can only look forward to getting in return?

I'd wish we had Ben Sheets, except he has the flu, so that wouldn't be of much benefit right now. I guess things could be worse, huh?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pocket Change

The $60 mil the Sox saved when Nomar turned down that offer are looking better and better every day. Apparently, Nomar is down with what is apparently a groin injury after swinging at a pitch far too hard (he grounded into a double play, in case you were wondering). He couldn't stand afterwards and had to be carried off the field. Ah, what a good thing such is for dignity! Somehow I don't see Renteria straining his groin when attempting to get a hit, hmm?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Wonderful Day for "Our Fair City"

It is a grand day in the city of Boston. Wakefield has been signed to a contract extension, one that pretty much ensures that he shall play for the Sox right to the end.

Now, perhaps some question the wiseness of this decision so early in the season. Yeah, sure, Wakefield's been golden lately but its just the beginning of the season - he could totally crap out by July!

But recall how versatile Wakefield is. He can be used as a starter, a closer, long relief... he could probably even be used as a pitching coach if his pitching ability really falls off! This is a man you want on your pitching staff.

He's not going to cause trouble, either. He's not one of these immature, upstart pitchers there seem to be droves of these days. He's not the player who's gonna give you a head ache. He's the one who'll go out there and give it his best, and throw as much as you need him to.

He's a pitcher that there need to be more of.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hideo Nomo: Formerly No-No, Now Just Slomo

You know, originally this was going to be about how Japanese pitchers seem to get better once they leave the Dodgers. But then Nomo sucked, sort of ruining that opportunity. I also briefly considered talking about Randy Johnson's habit of picking his nose in the dug-out - and then going out and pitching with that very same hand. But I suppose I should've talked about that Friday since the game had been the night before.

So here I am, reduced to talking about how Jorge Cantu is Nomar's long-lost younger brother. I mean, look at those ears! And that nose! Either they're related, or the genes for nose-type and ear size are located on the same gene.

Speaking of making fun of Devil Rays players, why on Earth was the bill to Nomo's hat broken? A., he hasn't been with the Rays very long, and B., he's a freaking major league starting pitcher - can't they give him another one? Oh, oops, we're talking about the Devil Rays. They're roster costs $25 mil a year for a reason - tight-fisted owners. So now poor Nomo is going to have to cope with a bad ERA and a broken hat. Poor guy, you'd think after having a decent ten-year career (with some really hot spots, actually) would mean you could at least get a hat that was in good condition.

Oh, and if you were wondering where some of your favorite boy band singers of the 90's have disappeared to, we have found where at least one of them is: in the Devil Rays bullpen. Yes, Lance Carter, we have located you at last. And it turns out that you can neither sing nor pitch.

Now, the game is at hand so I will leave you with one last knock on the Devil Rays: look at their homepage. It says "Watch it happen." on the top bar. Watch what happen? The team suck and the ownership make stupid moves as usual? Watch the clearly masochistic Devil Rays fans faithfully attend games they know the Rays' will probably lose? Watch a team that has not been able to succeed at all despite the fact that their counterpart in the National League has won a world series title?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

86 Reasons to Hate Stuck-up Columnists

In Regards to http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=schoenfield/050412&num=1 a very irritating and hypocritical column.

"Dear Mr. Schoenfield,

Given how you eventually say in your recent Page 2 column how much it annoys you that so many Page 2 columns are about the Yankees and Red Sox, it seems odd that you would devote such time and an entire column to why you hate the Red Sox. In your last thirteen Page 2 columns on baseball, seven of them were on the Yankees or Red Sox. Hmm... seems to smell of hypocrite, doesn't it?

Now, perhaps you scowl at the screen whilst reading this, and then, with a smug smile, hit the delete button thinking that I must have no life to nitpick and research such an issue. And the answer is no, I do have a life. It just happens to be that of an unemployed college student.

- {insert real name here}"

Posted as sent. Comments on opening day later when this nasty geology homework has been completed.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Centre, not Center

An ugly game for the Sox today. Ted Lilly was top form, and it's always nice to see a pitcher pitch a good game, but it was, admittedly, ruined a bit by the fact that he was playing for the opposing team.

But the game itself did not warrant the outrage I feel. It was disappointing, yes, but I found my fatalistic feelings begin to slip in around the bottom of the 7th - even with a World Series ring, the view hangs around and creeps upon me. But, no, I didn't feel a large amount of disgust at the result of the game; my feelings of ill will were hurtled towards something larger than that, something about 55,000 seats larger than that...

The SkyDome's name change.

What the hell?! Rogers Centre?! What, did Roger Clemens decide to buy the home of a former team in the off-season? When did this happen?! Where was I? (Doubtlessly under a term paper due date.) That place is most certainly not a center - oh, excuse me, centre. It is a dome, there is no other word for it. Alright, so its mroe like a block of concrete, but its more of a dome than it is a "centre". A "centre" of what? Baseball? Hardly, the place doesn't draw too well, nor is there a hell of a lot of baseball action other than on-field (unless you wanna call what happens in the players' apartments "baseball" action).

I was told to just be happy they didn't re-name it the "McDonald's Center" or "Sears Center" (as if Sears has the money to buy that cavern, anyway). But the fact remains that the palce is now named after a company, an ugly thing even for such an ugly park. Corporate naming rights... yech, whatever happened to giving ballparks in America nice names that fit the location or were the names of former members of the organization? What is this, Japanese baseball?

What? You want to hear about the game? Alright, the highlight was this: Manny stealing a base in the 5th. Oh, wait, and Millar tripping coming off the field in the 7th. Yes, those are the highlights. Pretty much says it for the type of game it was.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Arizona Teachings

My trip to Arizona taught me quite a few things in regards to baseball. I attended both of the Sox exhibition games at Bank One Ballpark, and also the final spring training game that the Royals and Rangers played in.

1. Be Thankful for David Ortiz - It seems that it seldom occurs to Sox fans just how good Ortiz is. No, I understand that we all love him, but do we really appreciate him as much as we should? I had the horror of viewing the wrost waste of a DH that I've ever viewed in the form of Calvin Pickering, the Royal's DH. He hacked away at every pitch like he was playing golf, and the only way he found himself to first base was that the Rangers' relief pitcher hit him with a pitch. Pickering fanned four times in the length of the game. Ouch.

2. Fenway kicks ass - Enough complaining about Fenway, folks. Yeah, its small and it has a funky smell to it, but it has character, something Bank One Ballpark sorely lacks. From the marble-floored giftshop to the mall-like concourse, it was hard to believe I was attending a ballgame, much less pay attention. And baseball with a roof over your head? Erg, doesn't work the same. Sure, Arizona definitely needs it, but that doesn't make it feel any less weird. It was a nice ballpark, yes, but it made me want to climb into one of Fenway's rickety, narrow seats and see a game in the chilly evenings of April.

3. Baseball isn't the same everywhere - Seeing a game at the BOB was like watching a minor league game in a major league park. Far too many promotions, really to the point where it seemed that that was the real focus of the day, not the game. Don't they think we'll come otherwise? Well, maybe Diamondbacks fans wouldn't come otherwise - during the singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, people yelling "Red Sox!" definitely drowned out those yelling the name of the home team in the line "Let's root, root, root for the Diamondbacks!"

4. Not all Royals fans are psychotic evangelicals - Shocking, I know, but no one tried to give me a Bible or baptize me at the game. Guess not everyone in Suprise is out to convert or punish.

5. Wally, though not a really legit mascot, is actually really not so bad - Three words: Baxter the Bobcat. The only solution to the most annoying mascot in the major leagues? Shotgun.

6. What happens in spring training stays in spring training - Well... this was more evidenced by Wakefield's performance today in addition to his performance during the second exhibiton game. Six runs in less than an inning versus two runs in 6 and two-thirds inning... well, that's definitely a relief.

EDIT: It has come to my attention that, sadly, Earl Snyder is now within the Devil Rays organization. As a result, the name of this blog will have to change. Expect to see it become Tim Kester's Dead Ringer, since knuckleballers are, in my opinion, the best type of pitcher out there.