Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just a little trip to the pool

Took the little heathens to the neighborhood pool tonight after I got home from work, and just like I thought: it did the trick. Rakes and Trot were asleep as soon as their little heads hit the pillow.

Actually, only Rakes and Ciera got IN the pool: Trot is more interested in the shower you are supposed to use before you get in: kid will stand under it for 10 minutes, running in circles and just laughing it up. Try putting him in the pool? You know that sound Jim Carey makes in "Dumb and Dumber" when he asks the guy if he wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world? That's what Trot does: only imagine it 100 times MORE irritating. Then you'll get the picture.

It was quite the time: I put Trot in the stroller so Rakes and I could have a "water dun" fight, although my little pistol was seriously inferior to his Super Gun: between his mean streak and Joker-like maniacal laugh, I have a sinking feeling Juvenile Hall is in our near future. Ciera alternated between shrieking at the neighbor kid and yelling "Daddy-Make him leave me ALONE!" while I chased Trot around the pool in our own version of the "Rat Race".

Meanwhile, Angie the Wonder Mom, who is having a yard sale this weekend, has gone off to pound signs illegally on the side of the roads leading to our neighborhood. This in itself would not usually be a problem: however, we had ordered a pizza right before I walked the young uns to the pool.

Which means, of course, about 45 minutes later the pizza guy pulls up to the pool: me, being the idiot I am, did not get any money from Ang before she left, so I'm holding the squirming Trot in one arm and dialing Angie with the other. Surprise, Surprise, she does NOT answer her cellphone. So me, taking the bull by the horns, call my Pop, who says he's on his way.

You guessed it: he and Angie get to the pool at the same time.

Can we PLEASE have tomorrow night hurry up and get here?

I can't handle another Sox day off.

::passes out::

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Would YOU trust this face?

Angie described Rakes today as being like one of those characters from the 80's movie "Gremlins": you know, arms and legs flailing about, while jibber jabbering all the time. At the mail man, the pizza man, UPS guy, and the random "pretty dirl" walking their dog down our street.

After spending the day with my two Aunt's, both around 70, he came home good and wound up: this was the outfit he chose to wear to church tonight. Needless to say, the footies did not make the cut.

I came up with this title after hearing, for the umpteenth time today, a loud THUMP, followed by Trot's unmistakable wailing cry. Finding Trot sprawled on the floor, and Rakes a mere foot away, I ask "What did you do?" His response? "Nothing Daddy: him just fall down."

Now tell me: would you trust that face?

Daisuke took the hill vs. the Indians and Paul Byrd at Fenway tonight, and, well, it did not go according to plan. After taking a 2-0 lead, Daisuke left with the score 6-2 Indians. The Sox loaded the bases in the 7th with nobody out, but somehow, nobody scored. Papi missed a granny by about 2 feet, then popped out to end it.

Final score? 8-4 Indians. I hate to lose, but anytime you can take 2 out of 3 from the 2nd best team in the AL? It's a good thing.

Bring on the Yankees this weekend: I'll roll with Wake, Schill, and Beckett any day of the week.

Ramblings from the Sick Bay

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Stuck home with this cursed flu bug, I've been struck with some undeniable truths:

First, men, particularly THIS man, do NOT do well with being sick. I have reverted back to being 8 years old, whining and moaning, with the pinnacle being 2 nights ago when my poor wife went out at 10:30 to get her girly man of a husband a bottle of Gatorade. Bless you sweetheart: I don't deserve you.

Secondly, after watching the repeats of "Sportscenter" and "Baseball Tonight" for the 20th time in a row, there really is NOTHING worth watching on daytime TV. To offer proof, I'm currently watching the Scripps Spelling Bee. Seriously.

Finally, the Boston Red Sox are, without a doubt, THE team to beat this year. Into town roll the Cleveland Indians, with the second best record in the AL and scoring runs like they are going out of style. What happens? Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett happen, throwing back to back gems you expect from your ace(s). It doesn't get any easier for the Tribe: Daisuke Matsuzaka, he of the 7-2 record takes the bump tonight.

For the award "Best 1B in the AL NOT listed on your All-Star ballot" I give you Kevin Youkilis: Is there anyone who is hotter at the plate right now than Youk? Plus, he's playing 1B like he's been doing it for years. One word of advice Kevin: DO NOT shave that chia pet you have growing on your chin and upper lip. Trust me.

How hot is this team? On consecutive nights without Ortiz in the lineup, and with Wily Mo (God love him) playing RF, they have beaten a very, very good Cleveland team. Do you think the Yankees, with their poor pitching, dead bats, and now, the Arod "Stripper Gate" controversy, are looking forward to this weekend?

Wonder why Rogah is going to make his debut MONDAY in Chicago?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome Home

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Woke up yesterday morning feeling queasy, and by the time Trot took RF last night, I was running between the bedroom and the facilities.

Don't know where I picked up this flu bug, but it's pretty much kicked my tail the last 36 hours or so. Thanks to Tex for her get well card at her blog (Much appreciated sis) and my apologies to Oat Bran for causing him to consider an APB for my whereabouts.

In between running to the bathroom and peeking out from under the covers, I did get to see Trot take RF, saw the tremendous ovation Fenway Park greeted him with, and Youk's inside the park HR.

Thanks to everyone for the get well thoughts: just ate some soup, and so far, so good.

Maybe watching Beckett come back strong tonight is all I need to turn the corner.

::crawls back into bed::

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Return of the Dirt Dog

*Photo from the Boston Globe*

Tomorrow night Trot Nixon returns to Fenway Park for the first time, and I'm sure the sound the crowd makes for his first at bat will rival that of a large plane.

Why is a guy with a .278 career average and a medical chart the size of a small town phone book so beloved by RSN? Take a look at this picture: THAT is why the guy is a cult hero in Boston.

Every time there was a dust up on the field, Nixon was right in the middle of it: during the '04 brawl, Trot was right there mixing it up with the Yankees. This particular picture is from the "Pedro drills Gerald Williams in the 1st inning" game vs. the Devil Rays, I think.

He played the outfield like a 16 year old kid, diving for anything in reach and bouncing off the walls like one of those super balls kids play with. And while he never was a big time slugger, he had the knack for getting the key hit when needed. From hitting the walk off HR to keep the Sox alive in '03 vs the A's in the ALDS, to the 3-0 double that missed being a grand slam by 2 freaking feet in game 4 of the '04 World Series, it seems like he always came through when it counted.

I realize Trot, particularly in the past 3 seasons, was injury prone and his production fell off. And in my heart, I know that JD Drew, at this point in their careers, has a much bigger upside. I've got no problem with Theo deciding Drew was the way they wanted to go. Trot Nixon is one of my all time favorite players for the way he played the game, and that won't change just because he wears a different uniform.

One day I'll get to tell my little boy why I named him Trot.

Where should I begin?


I don't know who these 2 soldiers are, but I'd like to think the one standing up is a Red Sox fan: check out the 2 fingered "Manny point" he's giving the camera.

Just wanted to remind anyone who happens by here today that while we all enjoy our long weekend of cookouts, ball games, and time with our family, take a minute to remember our troops.

Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women who have given their life for this country in the past, and who continue to do so to this day. They do something that many of us, myself included, can't or don't want to do.

God Bless each and every one of them.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

And all was quiet: For about 16 hours

Had a great night with my better half last night: dropped the boys at my Mom's, Ciera at a friends birthday sleep over (she was invited 3 weeks ago, but decided 3 p.m. yesterday was plenty of notice), and had a nice, quiet dinner out.

Even the big fella upstairs was looking out for me last night: the Red Sox, who were supposed to start their 3 game set against the Rangers at 8 last night, were delayed until a little after 10. By that time, the missus was already asleep, letting me watch the game guilt-free.

From 6 last night until around 10:30 this morning, I felt like this picture: calm and relaxed. It was extremely nice not to have to say "Rakes-NO!" or "Trot-don't put that in your mouth" or "Ciera, how many times have I told you...". Amazing how one night can make that big of a difference in how you feel.

Today, we spent the afternoon at the pool, and the 2 Tasmanian devils I call my sons are passed out in their beds, recharging their little motors for the time between waking up from naps and going to bed, which always leaves me feeling like I am one more thrown toy away from complete insanity.

Great effort by Daisuke last night, going 5 innings with a serious case of the stomach bug, and the pen finished it out. The Yankees lost last night, and have just been beat 3-1 this afternoon, putting the Sox 11 games up going into tonight. A win tonight and the Yankees 2 games they made up vs. us is out the window and they are right back where they started.

Wakefield vs. Padilla, and let's hope Timmeh gets a feel for the knuckle ball early.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

School's Out

Rakes finished his first year of pre-school today in which he was sent off into summer in style with a picnic with his class at the local park.

He learned a lot this year: his A,B,C's, can count to 20 (maybe not chronologically, but he CAN do it), figure out which shoe goes on which foot, and a bunch of silly little songs which he likes to bellow out like he's Axl Rose in Madison Square Garden.

Other than several visits to time out, laying down in the road in silent protest like a hippie from the 60's because he wanted to keep playing, one attempted choke out of a classmate, and running around the music room like Coco going from 1st to 3rd, all in all he exceeded my expectations.

I have no idea what Angie will do for the next 4 months: she has viewed every Tuesday and Thursday as Emancipation Day, with Ciera and Rakes in school, even if his was just 3 hours. Thankfully, you can give him a bat and ball, take him outside, and he'll run and jump for hours, then collapse. That and take him and his siblings to the pool until they are ready to fall asleep head first into their lunch.

In a baseball related item, I talked to my Yankee buddy today, and even with them taking 2 out of 3 from the Sox, he was moaning and groaning about "The Sox get to go to Texas while WE have to play the Angels: that's some fair scheduling".

He's my buddy and all, but on a dreaded off day following a Schilling defeat, I gotta say the Yankee whining brought a smile to this Red Sox fan's face.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You can't win 'em all

*Photo from the Boston Globe*

I'm not going to let the fact that the Red Sox dropped 2 of 3 vs. New York, or the fact that Curt Schilling has looked, well, old, his last 3 starts spoil my birthday. I'm going to think happy thoughts like this picture and enjoy my day.

Would I have liked a win? Sure. But it's a 162 game season, and even with a loss tonight, the Red Sox are still 9.5 games ahead of the next closest team in the East, which just so happens to be the Yankees.

Bigger problems than that occupy the vast emptiness in my head: such as why has my manly office, with framed Red Sox magazine covers, a "Reserved for Red Sox Fans Only" parking sign, and World Series poster been taken over by a pile of clothes, toys, and junk for some future yard sale? Or why it is after 9 pm and Rakes should be fast asleep, yet the unmistakable sound of a toy laser gun being fired is coming from behind his bedroom door? Finally, I hope this yard sale with it's date TBD means I can get out of my car after pulling into the garage WITHOUT having to turn into some freak show contortionist as I climb around bicycles, plastic lawn mowers, TWO sets of golf clubs, and a little red wagon.

Thanks to everyone for the Happy Birthday wishes: it's been a good day, and my break for freedom is only 2 days away. As much as I hate off-days, tomorrows day of rest for the boys will allow me to finally watch the season finale's of 24 and LOST, so at least it'll be productive.

Down in Arlington, the Rangers are waiting for the Red Sox caravan to arrive: here's to a 3 game Red Sox sweep, coupled with an Angel beat down of the Yankees.

After all: it is STILL my birthday, and everybody gets to make a wish on their birthday, right?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

I arrived home today and was greeted with this: a Happy Birthday banner from Angie and the kids. Saying it made my day would not do it justice: Ciera and her Mom had written some really sweet things about me, and Rakes had told his Mom what to write for him.

"Thank you for playing baseball, soccer, kickball, football, basketball, tickle monster, and the claw with me Daddy". Think I have to worry about him wanting to be in ballet class some day?

My actual birthday is tomorrow, and while I'm not doing cartwheels about turning 37, I'm not gonna go out and buy a Corvette, put highlights in my hair, or start pondering the great mysteries of life either.

I've got a wonderful wife, 3 beautiful children, a roof over my head, food in the pantry, and Red Sox baseball every night: I'd say I've got it pretty good. Growing older in age doesn't bother me: it's growing old in maturity I want to avoid. According to Angie, I'm in no danger of that happening anytime soon.

Sox win 7-3 tonight. For my birthday, all I ask is a Schilling win vs. Pettitte. And he drills Slappy between the numbers for his bush league play of rolling through 2nd base and elbowing the Munchkin: first the girly slap of Arroyo in '04 and now this: he is without a doubt the biggest peckerwood this side of Billy Martin I've ever seen. Like little Russell used to tell Rudy on "The Fat Albert Show": Alex, you're like school on Saturday: No class.

Forget between the numbers: I hope Schill puts one in his earhole.

I can't WAIT to read the NY Post tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I AM Lincoln Burrows

I'm not upset that as I type this the Red Sox are losing 6-1 to the Yankees. We have an 11 game lead and a deficit that large is not made up over 1 night. I am calm, cool, and collected.

I am also full of crap: I HATE losing to the Yankees no matter what the standings are. I want maiming, destruction, carnage, and bloodshed whenever they play. That said, I realize that the odds of the Sox going 17-1 to the Yankees over the course of the season were a tad long. Wake not having any feel for the knuckleball did not help. I've said it before, I love Wake: he just gives me ulcers when he pitches, because he can look lights out one minute and like a single A pitcher the next. Such is the life of a knuckleball pitcher: I have full confidence he will bounce back strong this weekend vs. Texas.

Tonight, I feel like a prisoner about to bust out: I turn 37 this week, and as a combination birthday/Mothers Day present, my saint of a Mother is keeping the 3 apples of my eye, light of my life, and reasons for my pre-senior citizen high blood pressure for the night. The whole, entire, blessed night: meaning not to return until Saturday afternoon. Don't get me wrong: I absolutely ADORE my children: Dad just needs some "serenity now" is all.

So I look forward to a night of adult conversation, quietness, and romance with my beautiful wife.

I wonder if Angie considers Red Sox vs. Rangers as romantic?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Freight Train Keeps Rolling into the Big Apple

*Photo from the Boston Globe*

What is it about Tek's posterior that causes things like this to happen? At the risk of raising the ire of a certain young lady in Austin, TX, why this fascination with the man's rear end?

Chip Carey and Joe Simpson, the Braves announcers today, were commenting that the end of Tek's swing appeared "strange". No kidding: McCann is already preparing for his future career as a proctologist before Tek's bat even meets the ball on this bases clearing triple. Can you imagine where it was on his follow through?

6-3 Red Sox win, and Kason Gabbard came up from Pawtucket and went 5 innings and struck out 7. 30-13 with the closest team to them the Baltimore Orioles at 10.5 games back.

Someone tell Slappy that the train is coming: it's bringing as the next 3 starters an ageless knuckleballer, a certified lunatic, and a 40 year old ace who once said he could think of nothing better than to make 50,000 Yankee fans all shut up at once.

Let the "When will George fire Joe Torre?" watch begin.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Two for the Money

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

When this happened, I was hoping someone got a shot of it. After Julio led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run, he jumped into Papi's arms like Rakes would do to me. Classic Red Sox: 2 grown men acting like 6 year olds. Made me smile from ear to ear.

Mike Lowell was the star today: 4 for 5 with a grand slam and 3 singles in the early game. In addition to his and Julio's shot, Youk had a 2 run blast and WMP hit one that I think is still rolling down the Mass Pike. Final score in game one: 13-3.

Game 2: not so good. 14-0 Braves, and the boys could not get anything going vs. Smoltz, who went 7, gave up 3H, 1BB, 7K's and 0R.

Good news is this: the Sox end the day in the same position they started. 10.5 games up over the Yanks, who lost again today to the Mets.

Tomorrow it's Kason Gabbard vs. Tim Hudson: clearly in the Braves favor, but you just never know.

For me, game 1 makes up for game 2: watching all those balls leave Fenway was a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Next Best Thing

Next best thing to a Red Sox win? A Yankee loss.

With El Nino playing havoc with the weather in Boston tonight, no game was played at Fenway: instead a double header tomorrow if Mother Nature will quit screwing around and actually let them play a game.

3-2 Mets and George is having a fit as we speak: The Yankees are now 10, yes 10 games back in the AL East. On a night when there was no Red Sox baseball to be found, Willie Randolph and his Mets put a smile on my face. Speaking of Randolph, how do you think he feels about beating the Yankees? After all his years of service as a player/coach for the Yankees, without so much as a sniff at the manager's job, he goes over to the Mets and turns them into one of the best teams in baseball the last few years. Gotta be a good feeling.

Lastly, God Bless You Billy Wagner: all 5 ft 9 inches of you with your 100 mph fastball. Get Mr. April to ground out, strike out Posada, Matsui squeaks a infield hit, and you strike out Giambi swinging to put it away.

Well done young man. Well done.

Stepping Up

*Photo from the Boston Globe*

I have no clue why there is no comment link on the previous post: gremlins in the computer is the only thing I can come up with.

Erik Hinske was the hero of the day last night: makes a GREAT diving catch, with his head bouncing off the field for good measure, to save some runs early in the game, then hits a 2 run bomb to put the Sox up 4-2.

Donnelly, Lopez, and Okajima closed it out, and just like that the Red Sox are 28-12 with the best record in the game.

I love the look of unbridled joy on Hinske's face and Tito's almost fatherly pride as he congratulates Hinske after the game. I'll say it again: this team has the potential to be a special group.

Here's to hoping the rains stay away in Boston long enough for them to get this weekends games in.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Double Down

*Photo from the Boston Globe*

I HATE I missed the afternoon game: stupid work getting in the way of my baseball games. Listened to bits and pieces during the afternoon on the XM, and was especially glad I got to hear Pap close it out. I've got a feeling the other drivers were a little worried about the guy with the goofy grin doing fist pumps while driving down the highway.

Most of all I missed watching Julian pitch: win or lose, he is hands down one of the most hilarious pitchers you will ever see. Got to see the highlights on the pre game show tonight, and this picture does not do this scene justice: imagine a 6 ft tall preying mantis pointing like a traffic cop at second, then at first while the infield turned a double play. I also read today the Julian never attended any type of school and once considered a career in the "adult entertainment" business. That fact alone, when you consider Julian's looks, is enough to make you laugh 'till you cry.

For the Sox to get 7 innings with 1 run allowed out of Tavarez is HUGE: the starter for Friday AND Sunday is TBA, with Daisuke sandwiched in between on Saturday. This allows Wake to start game 1 of the Yankees series, and means Julian and Schilling round out the rotation for the Yankee series instead of starting one of the AAA guys instead.

2nd game? Schill gutted his way through 6 innings, and Erik Hinkse saved the day: with his balls out diving catch of a ball down the right field line AND his 2 run bomb that put the Sox ahead 4-2. Donnelly, Lopez, and Okajima were the insurance that the lead stood.

The Red Sox just took 3 out of 4 from the 2nd best team in the AL: that is impressive. Let's get through the Braves, and as my buddy Horshamscouse said earlier, we could possibly have a double digit lead heading into Monday's series vs. the Yanks.

It don't get much better than that.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

We interupt your regularly scheduled programming.

Sadly, the game tonight was postponed due to a real gully washer in Boston. I had my sights set on 7 IP by Tavarez with 2 HBP's and one good old fashioned donny brook where Julian goes all Micky Rivers on Scheffield. Guess I'll have to hope it happens tomorrow.

Day night double header tomorrow with Julian going in the first game and Schilling following him tomorrow night. Also, they made it official today: Beckett is out for Friday's game, to be replaced by one of the AAA lads. While I don't think Atlanta is as good as Boston this year, they ARE good enough to rough up a guy fresh from Pawtucket. Also, the way the rotation looks now, it'll be Tavarez, Schilling, and ? vs. the Yankees next week. I'm not exactly bubbling over with confidence.

On a positive not, tonight's rain out has allowed me to get caught up on 24 (Jack Bauer is still who I want to be when I grow up: season finale next Monday) and I'll get to watch LOST live instead of taping it. So I've got that going for me.

Finally, the Yankees lost the first game of a day/night doubleheader to the White Sox today. Which means that the WORSE the day can end today is Boston still 8 games up. If the MFY's lose tonight (scoreless in the 2nd right now), we can wake up tomorrow with a 9 game lead without playing a game today.

::dances a happy dance::

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Axis of Evil. Or 3 tiny Angel's. You pick.

Have you ever wandered into your kitchen to find a maniac sitting on the counter holding a foot long knife? Neither had I until the other day when I came out of my bedroom to find Rakes holding what I've since been told is the "bread knife", grinning maniacally and telling me "this is my sord Dad."

Angie topped THAT the next day by telling me she found Rakes in the dining room with said knife, waving it in Trot's face and shouting " 'Bere is Bendy Taptain Hook?" If you don't speak Rakes that means "Where is Wendy Captain Hook?"

Seems as if my 3 year old whirling dervish has developed an obsession with Peter Pan. Add that to Trot's climbing fetish, and Ciera turning 13 overnight, and my stress level is pinging at about 5,000 RPM's.

I honestly have no idea what to expect when I get home each night: could be nirvana, and it could be total chaos. I never really can tell. All I know is I would not change it for the world.

Raising children is the most stressful, nerve wracking experience in the world. It's also the most rewarding: I have no clue if I'll survive the next 18 years or so with my sanity intact, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

All I know is looking at that picture, and thinking about what kind of effort it took to get it to turn out as good as that, means Angie and I should win some sort of prize.

In baseball news, tough loss tonight: Wake went 7+ but ended up on the short end with a 7-2 loss. 2 HR's by the Tigers was the final nail in the coffin. You can't expect to win 'em all, but I'd sure like to try. Tomorrow is a new day, and a 8.5 cushion going into tonight is a good thing.

Tomorrow night brings Julian vs. 3-0 Mike Maroth: I'll be dreaming of hit batsman and knockout punches at home plate.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Dominator.

*Photo from the Boston Globe*

Boston's $100 million plus Japanese pitcher>Yankees $46 million plus Japanese pitcher.

Daisuke Matsuzaka just pitched a COMPLETE GAME, 6 hit, 1 run game vs. the defending AL Champions the Detroit Tigers.
Kei Igawa, the Yankees Japanese pitcher, just finished a corn dog at the concession stand of the Yankees Single A affililate.

Complete game, 6 hits, 1 run, 122 pitches = 26-11 record, 8.5 over the Yankees. Final score: 7-1 Red Sox.

Hugs and bows on the congratulations line was priceless. Never have I seen a man look more uncomfortable with hugging another man than I did tonight. From Crisp, to Lugo, to Pedroia, to Lowell, Daisuke clearly was hoping for some manly fist bumps.

I'm calling my shot on May 14th: this team has the potential to be SPECIAL. Special in a World Champion, duck boat parade having, confetti in the street kind of special.

I love this game.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Walk off. Or what a freaking ending. Whichever you prefer.

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Are you kidding me? Your stud pitcher leaves in the 4th inning with an "avulsion", which is painfully described as a "forcible separation or detachment as a tearing away of a body part accidentally or surgically" of his middle finger on his pitching hand. Beckett, being the Texan he is , hopes to make his next start. Good luck convincing Tito of THAT Beckett.

You have been shut down by Jeremy Guthrie ( I know: who?) for 8 1/3 innings, who entered the 9th with a 5-0 lead. Then: magic.

Ramon Hernandez drops Coco's pop up. Danys Baez ( Yes: I wonder where the other n went also) comes in a gives up a double to Papi, which scores Coco, then a single to WMP, making it 1st and 3rd, 1 out. In comes the O's closer Chris Ray, who promptly walks JD Drew to load the bases, THEN walks Youk to bring Ortiz in to score. That makes it 5-2, and things get REALLY interesting now.

El' Capitan doubles in WMP and Drew making it 5-4 with men on 2nd and 3rd, so they intentionally walk Erik Hinske to set up the double play. Lil' Alex Cora hits one off the end of the bat and Brian Roberts makes a GREAT play throwing out Youk at home. (Replay showed Youk actually may have beat the throw, but since they won I'm not ranting)

Up comes Julio Lugo, who hits a ground ball to Millar, who throws to Ray covering first: and Ray DROPS the ball! Cue Dirty Water, the Red Sox score 6 in the ninth and win the sucker: unreal.

Seeing a bunch of multi-millionaires jumping up and down while pounding each other on the head is a sight to behold: makes you glad to know they realize it should be fun. Even JD Drew joined in the fun and he's usually as expressive as peat moss.

Also, the Blue Jays AND the Yankees lost today, meaning the Red Sox, at 25-11, hold a 8 game lead over the O's and MFY's and a 10.5 game lead over the Jays and Rays.

Life. Is. Good.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

World's Greatest Mom

I've told her this before: I could not have gone to Hollywood and asked them to script me a perfect wife, and have it turn out any better than her.

So tomorrow when we celebrate the Mom's of this world, I want her to know that there is none better than her in my book.

I have no idea why I was chosen to be her husband: God knows I don't deserve her. How she puts up with an idiot like me I'll never know: I just thank my lucky stars she does. I'm not gonna get into all the stupid things I've done and said over the years, because I'm saving it for the book I plan on writing some day titled "101 Things to Hack off your Wife", but if you know me, you also know this woman deserves sainthood.

That's not even mentioning the wonderful, yet thankless job she does in raising our 3 children. An 8 year old diva, a 3 year old hellion, and a 1 year old busybody are not easy to handle, yet she does it with grace and love that I can only dream of possessing.

Doing all that, and doing it with patience, kindness, and gentleness day in, day out, takes a special lady. You don't have to tell me I hit the lotto: I already know.

Thank you Angie. Thanks for being the best Mother in the world to my children they could ever want. Thanks for sacrificing your career and putting aside the things you want to do in order to raise our children. Thanks for simply being you. I love you more than you'll ever know.

Finally, Happy Mother's Day to Tex, Carol, and Stacy, who all read this train wreck I call a blog on a regular basis. You all have done, and are doing, God's work by being a Mom. I hope tomorrow is the best Mother's Day you've ever had.

One day, my little Ciera will be a Mom. She'll have had the best teacher on the planet to show her the way.

Friday, May 11, 2007

All good things must come to a end.

Well, the win streak is over, and Julian goes to 1-4. All is not his fault, as WMP had a couple of "miscues" that can be chalked up to not enough time in RF at Fenway.

6-3 Orioles, and with Schilling and Beckett going the next 2 days I expect this nonsense to stop as of TONIGHT.

You can't win 'em all, and the Sox have had a pretty good record here of late: let's just hope the MFY's lose in Seattle later tonight.

BTW: Jon Lester can't get better soon enough.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Future Job? Mafia Enforcer

See that sweet, angelic face? That's the face of a 3 year old whose Dad is afraid will get banned from playschool. Yes, playschool.

Seems as if Rakes did not like "nonner" (Conner) pushing him down the other day, so he decided the way to settle it was to choke his little buddy out, UFC style. Needless to say, when Angie picked him up that day, his teacher Mrs. Kelly was not happy to deliver the news that Rakes spent 30 minutes in time out. In the director's office. Simply put, Ang was mortified.

We think he picked this particular move up, from all places, watching Toy Story where Woody and Buzz have a fight. This is not Rakes first rodeo with getting into trouble at school: "plays well with others" is not gonna be in his final report.

I have no clue what I am gonna do with this kid, other than love him to death and hope that this too shall pass. Sweet as he can be, fun loving and seemingly with no Empty in his tank, he's got a mean streak that Bob Gibson would envy.

In other news, there is now a soccer net hanging at the bottom of my stairs, our latest attempt to keep Trot from practicing for HIS future job as a stunt man by falling head over heels down the stairs. His forehead looks like a pro wrestler who has bladed himself for around 15 years or so. For those of you who know me and my neat compulsion, you can imagine how much I LOVE a soccer net decorating my living room. If it keeps Trot from needing a full body cast at age 1, it's worth it's weight in gold.

Finally, the Sox took the field tonight hoping to sweep the Blue Jays at Rogers Center.

Mission accomplished. Wake goes to 4-3, going 7 strong innings. 1 in the first, 6 in the third, led by Lowell's 7th dinger of the year, this one a 3 run shot to make it 7-0. Youk doubled in the 8th run, and Okajima and Romero pitched the 8th and the 9th.

A sweep of the 3 game series with the Blue Jays and it was never close: 26 runs for the Red Sox vs. 5 for the Blue Jays for the 3 games.

Back home for a 3 games with the Orioles, with Julian, Schilling, and Beckett this weekend.

23-10 with a 7 game lead sounds pretty good to me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

THAT'S what I've been waiting for.

I debated on whose picture to use for this post: you had Manny, Papi, Mikey, and Lugo going yard to choose from, and truthfully, any one of the 4 would have been a good choice.

In the end, I had to go with Daisuke, who, in my opinion, pitched his best game as a member of the Boston Red Sox. 7IP, 5H, 1R, 3BB, and 8K's. He never ran into the trouble he's found himself in the past 4 games, and except for a Lyle Overbay home run, pitched a scoreless outing. The fact that Overbay should have gotten one in the ribs is beside the point right now, but all in all, it was a VERY impressive outing.

Donnelly pitched a 1-2-3 8th, and Joel Piniero pitched the ninth, giving up 2 meaningless runs. Matsuzaka showing he can be dominant goes a long way in easing my mind about the starting rotation: Beckett has been lights out, with Schilling and Wake being extremely solid. If we can count on Daisuke to do what he did tonight, that takes the burden off Tavarez for now, and Lester for later, on picking up the slack. All they need to do is give the team 5IP and keep them in the game.

22-10 on May 9th is more than I could have asked for: the Yankees are still lurking, but if the Sox keep pitching like they are, Steinbrenner's stormtroopers have a LONG road ahead of them.

And I can honestly say, even taking the 2004 team into account, I've never had as much fun watching a team play ball as I am this team: the Papi/Matsuzaka handshake/hug after his night was done just confirms it.

Wake vs. Doc Halladay tomorrow: I ain't gonna sweat it tonight. I'm gonna enjoy this win and worry about tomorrow when it gets here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Your next Cy Young Winner

Lead-Off Home Run? No problem. Pressure from pitching in the opposing teams park, facing a lineup of Wells, Thomas, Glaus, and Overbay? Are you kidding me?

The 26 year old flamethrower from Texas was CRUISING tonight: 7IP, 1R, 1BB, 5 K's and the only reason he came out was the 20+ minute top of the 8th by the Red Sox batters. He is not just a thrower anymore: he is a COMPLETE Major League pitcher now, and unless he careens off the tracks, he is without a doubt the front runner for the AL Cy Young.

It don't hurt that Youk, Mikey, Tek, and the Muchkin all hit home runs, but when you are hot, that's the kind of things that happen.

Victor Zambrano failed to make it out of the 3rd inning, and that bodes well for the next 2 games: get into that bullpen tonight and they don't have as much depth for tomorrow or Thursday night.

I'm not gonna say I told you so: however, if you go back to the very first entry I made at this little pop stand, you'll see I've been a believer of Beckett from the get go. Anyone who can make the ghost's of Yankee Stadium shut up is a favorite of mine.

21-10 for the year, and with a team comprised of great pitching, timely hitting, and all around goofiness in the dugout, how can you not love this team?

C'mon and jump on board: the bandwagon has plenty of room.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Gonna live while I'm alive, and sleep when I'm dead.

I took this self-portrait a few minutes ago as I prepare to take a Ambien to go to sleep tonight. After 3 weeks of getting around 3 hours of sleep total a night, I finally agreed with the ol' ball and chain to go to the doctor today.

Of course, she went with me to "support me" which is code for "I don't trust you to tell him EVERYTHING, so I'm making sure you do". By the time we left, the poor Doc must have thought I was not only in need of sleep, but a 30 day "retreat" at the closest mental institution.

Well, I've got the magic pill and praying it works. While I agreed to go to the Doctor, I didn't tell Ang the reason for my sudden rebirth in my faith of medicine:

Truth is the Red Sox are off tonight, and I figured tonight was the best chance I had to give it a whirl and get some sleep.

I sure wasn't gonna try it tomorrow with my boy Beckett going for 7-0.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

One Month In

*Photo from*

After a 4-3 win vs. Minnesota, Boston sits at 20-10 for the year, 5.5 games up on the next closest team in the AL East, which just so happens to be the Yankees.

Roughly one month and a few days into the 2007 season, just a few observations from the knucklehead who writes this trainwreck.

Pitching, both starting and relieving, have been very, very good. Beckett sits at 6-0, Schilling at 4-1 after today, Wake is at 3-3, Daisuke at 3-2, and Julian at 1-3, but with a little run support Saturday could easily be 2-3. The bullpen, led by Pap, Okajima, and Donnelly has been a pleasant surprise for anyone who sat through last years travesty of a pen with Seanez, Foulke, Riske, etc..

With the warming of the temperatures has come the inevitable awakening of the bats. Papi has been solid from the get go, along with Lowell, Drew, Cora, and Youk. Now, Manny is starting to be Manny, and Coco Crisp, El' Capitan, and Lil' Dustin Pedroia are coming around as well. About the only guy scuffling right now is Julio Lugo, and I'm gonna attribute that to the "first year on a new team/trying a little too hard" syndrome. Talk to me in L. June, and I think it'll be a different story. Besides, any guy that runs that fast in such a goofy way was BORN to be a Red Sox player.

Which leads me to this: this team is EERILY similar, in a good way, to the 2004 group. While I'd like to take credit for this observation, it was actually brought to my attention by my good buddy Christine, who writes over at "Boston Red Thoughts", which is linked to your right. If you haven't done it yet, go check it out: home girl can WRITE, plus she's getting hitched later this year, so she needs the positive vibes.

Anyway, this group may be goofier than the '04 bunch: I've never seen a group of athletes, usually the most macho cat's on the planet, engage in as much man hugging, funky hand shakes, and after today's game, leading the league in petting each other's head like a cat. If you don't have NESN or the Extra Innings package, let's just say Manny, Julian, and Lugo in the dugout was QUITE the scene. I would not be able to describe it and do it justice, so just use your imagination. Unreal.

So with all that, images like the one I threw up here should be available all year: Ortiz bear hugging Manny while everyone else, including Tito, clap and applaud.

Finally, what this team DID NOT NEED is Roger: go to New York, win your 8 games, and go play golf while this band of misfits heads to October. I hope that $28 million pro rated salary keeps you warm in your retirement years Roger.

Man, do I love this team.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

That's the way the ball bounces

Can't say tonight's 2-1 loss fell on Julian: 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts should buy you a win every time.

Factor in Johan Santana was gone after 5 and the Red Sox had their shots to win this one. Manny ending the game striking out swinging vs. Nathan is hard to take, but Nathan is one of the best closers in the game.

I just feel bad for Tavarez: it's clear he enjoys playing in Boston, and his antics on the bench, particularly with Matsuzaka and Okajima, are worthy of getting their own NESN show. Once Lester is ready, Julian is most likely headed to the bullpen or the trading block, which would be a travesty for anyone who likes to laugh.

As you can see from the picture, Julian is a guy that any team would love to have: animated, funny, and does whatever Tito asks of him. Too bad tonight he got the dreaded "No run support for Wake" disease.

Schill takes the hill tomorrow, and I'm hopeful of a 2-1 series sweep, just like John at RSN NZ on my homepage said earlier today.

For tonight, I'm sorry the boys could not pull it out for Julian after a well pitched game on his part.

But, that's the way the ball bounces sometimes.

Captain Americo

*Photo from the Remy Report*

Dear Mr. Ortiz,

Thanks for the jaw dropping home runs, the clutch hits, and the general awesomeness you display on a nightly basis.

For the endless smiles, hugs, and "awww" moments you give us as we sit in our Barcoloungers cheering you and your boys on a daily basis, an entire Red Sox Nation is grateful.

As you displayed Thursday night vs. Seattle, you find new ways to make us smile: the spontaneous hug you gave to the Mariner on the base paths instead of depositing him into shallow LF made me, along with 36,000 plus at Fenway laugh out loud.

Finally, as a father of 3 young children, thanks for being the rare athlete that children can look up too. From your generous charitable actions, your random man-hugs of teammates and foes alike, and the fact you play the game the right way, you make me proud to be a fan of the game of baseball.

The world could use more men like you.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wacky does not BEGIN to describe it.

Daisuke gives up 5 runs in the top of the first, the Sox answer with 5 of their own in the bottom of the second.

Manny goes yard twice, and the Red Sox win 8-7.

What a weird, wacky game this thing turned out to be.

Bottom line? The Boston Red Sox DO NOT GIVE UP.

And the footage of Manny, Julian, and Julio Lugo from NESN needs to be sent to the Smithsonian ASAP.

Man: I love this game.

You are a BAD man, Mr. Crisp

As I watched him make this catch last night, I had this one thought: this freaking insomnia I've had for the last 10 days or so has finally made me lose it: I just had a hallucination.

However, after Orsillo went nuts, with Fenway going crazy a millisecond later, I realized it was real: he actually dove flat out, hovered 1 foot off the ground, and caught that ball.

That catch followed a equally unfreakingbelievable catch Coco made Tuesday night which was eerily like this one, except he was running toward LF instead of RF. An added plus to this defensive display of awesomeness is that Coco is starting to come alive at the plate, with an 8 game hitting streak in his back pocket heading into tonights game.

Beckett went to 6-0 for the year, giving the team 7 innings, followed by Okajima (AL ROOKIE OF THE MONTH) and the 9th was manned by Mike Timlin, giving Pap the night off.

Tonight, Daisuke takes the bump at 3-2 on the season: how 'bout we make it 4-2 with another Web Gem or 2 from Coco thrown in for good measure.

Sounds about right to me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

New Day

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

I was going to post after the gut busting loss last night, but with this freaking insomnia I'm fighting, I was just too wiped out to try. Glad I didn't now. It would have been all gloomy and mopey and I most likely would have said something idiotic like "why not make Okajima our closer now".

Today is MUCH better: got a little sleep (if you call 2 1/2 hours straight a little sleep) and woke up this morning to this realization: Beckett is on the hill tonight.

Suddenly, the Pap blown save, the ground out by Coco in the bottom of the ninth with men on 2nd and 3rd, and Papi, Manny, and Youk going down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10th was all forgotten.

Instead I remembered that flat out wicked catch Crisp made to rob Todd Walker, the 3 run first inning, and Oki making the A's look STUPID in his inning of work.

Beckett can do that for me: I have loved watching him since he came in with the Marlins, and getting to see him stomp, spit, and curse his way through 7 innings every 5 days is one of my greatest baseball joys.

So sack up and be the horse we need you to be Beckett: be the stopper and keep the losing streak at one.

It'd be REAL nice to see Beckett be 6-0 tomorrow morning.