Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rock, Paper, Scissors: the way to solve all problems.

*Picture from*

Somehow, this picture of Daisuke and Little Manny makes me feel better about gacking up an 4-0 lead tonight.

Final score? 5-4 Rangers, with Swinging Sammy Sosa's HR the difference in the game.

The Yankees already lost, and I'm hoping the Blue Jays will stay classy and lose to the Mariners: it's 0-0 in the 4th as I type this.

Because if they lose, it's a wash: we end the day the same way we started it.

Sorry the post is so short and sweet: I don't take losses well.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Another Maalox Friday Night

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

The lethal cocktail of Timmeh and my 3 hooligans has convinced my I'll leave this earth a relatively young man. Watching a Wakefield start is akin to watching someone walk a high wire across mid-town Manhattan: scariest thing you could possibly look at, but you can't take your eye's off of it.

GREAT start by Wake tonight: 6 2/3 inning's pitched, and he left with the score 2-1.

It stayed that way until the final out. Mini Manny provided the biggest punch-to-the-marbles moment: with 2 out and after walking the bases loaded, up came Sammy "I cork my bat" Sosa. MDC struck him out LOOKING to end the inning.

Okajima pitched a scoreless 8th (has there ever been a guy come out of nowhere and be this freaking dominant?) and in comes the Papelbot for the 9th.

I'm firmly convinced the Munchkin won the game tonight: if he had not jumped in between Pap and the 1B ump, who knows what would have happened. 103 year old Kenny Lofton hits a ground ball to Youk, and Pap and Father Time reach first at basically the same time. Ump calls Lofton safe, and the replay did seem to show he beat the throw, but calling it a "bang-bang play" doesn't do it justice. At any rate, Papelbon goes all George Brett on the ump, and I was seriously worried he was gonna get tossed.

Leave it to the 5 ft 7 inch 2B to restore some order: he gets right up in Pap's grill and pushes him away. Of course, Papelbon plunks Jerry Hairston Jr. to make it interesting, then strikes out Michael Young to end the game.

3 years off my life and 1 ulcer later, I'm a happy guy: the 3 game losing streak comes to an end, and Josh Beckett takes the hill tomorrow.

Is it too much to ask that Rakes doesn't start any international incidents between now and then?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Big Hurt punches his HOF ticket, and other off day rambling's

*Picture from*

Congratulations to Frank Thomas, who not only reserved a spot in Cooperstown today by hitting career HR #500, he got himself ejected in the same game. Don't think I've ever seen that happen: guy gets to a historic mark in his career and get tossed all in one day.

Big day at Ted's house today: for the first time in about 6 months, there is nothing blocking the bottom of my stairs. No ottoman, hope chest, or soccer net to have to wiggle around to get up or down the stairs. The only negative? Having your nerves jangled every time you look up and Trot is doing an impression of a bobble head on the TOP step. Only 2 bruises and one bloody nose so far.

Upon hearing that the Angels had DFA'd our old friend Shea Hillenbrand today, I immediately wondered when the Yankees would sign him. Yeah, THAT move will save their season: signing a clubhouse cancer who thinks he's better than he really is and who has napalmed every bridge he's crossed over in his Major League career. Stay classy New York.

Taking the week off next week for vacation: just not going anywhere overnight. So far, it's the zoo on Monday, local minor league team's game on Tuesday, fireworks on the 4th, drive in movie on Thursday, and Science center and Chuckie Cheese on Friday, with multiple trips to the pool mixed in. I think I'm gonna need to go back to work in order to rest.

Ciera has a new friend who moved in next door named Alexia. Her parents are Pedro and Nicole. They moved here from the Dominican Republic. They are HUGE Red Sox fans. My daughter has a friend 30 yards away whose Dad is named Pedro and loves the Sox: what are the odds?

Finally, the Oriole's took a 6-4 lead into the 8th inning over the Yankees, and it's now 8-6 MFY's with the game rain delayed still in the 8th. Freaking Oriole ineptness rears it's ugly head AGAIN.

Have I mentioned how much I despise off day's?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


What kind of world are we living in where a man murders his wife and child over a weekend, then kills himself? Where the same man has given his SEVEN year old son growth hormone because he wasn't growing at the proper rate?

This Chris Benoit story has blown my mind: I can't imagine a man killing his wife and son, then hanging himself 2 days later. What could possibly be so bad that doing that is the best possible scenario?

I just don't get it: and I know how blessed I am to have 3 healthy, happy children. And believe me, I hugged all three of them extra tight tonight. I just don't understand how a man can come to that point and decide that is the best course of action.

Lot's of evil in the world: I guess as a Dad it's my job to keep that from them as long as possible.

I wish I had an answer for why stuff like this happens: I don't. The world is a scary place, and it seems like it gets scarier by the day. I wonder what I'm doing raising 3 children in a time where the value of a human life means this little.

My Pastor told us last Sunday that it's OK to ask God why he let's all this bad stuff happen. That it's OK not to understand, as a Dad, how this Benoit thing can come about.

I think I'll take him up on that tonight.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The future is now.

*Photo courtesy of*

Tonight in Seattle, Kason Gabbard takes the hill for the Red Sox in his second Major League start this year. This is one of my favorite things about watching baseball: seeing the future stars get their shot.

It's a little easier watching a guy get his feet wet with a 10 game lead, granted, but Gabbard made 4 starts last year, going 1-3, but had a 3.51 era which isn't too shabby.

He's got his work cut out for him tonight: Felix Hernandez on the bump, and Ichiro at the plate. Best news I've heard all day? Lugo is getting the night off, with Cora getting the start at SS tonight. I know you can't break out of a slump sitting on the bench, but man, has he been a momentum sucking hole in the lineup this year. $36 million for a guy who looks as lost at the plate right now as anyone I've ever seen, including me in the fast pitch section at the batting cages.

Not good.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Me: 34 years ago.

Driving to get lunch yesterday for the family, I was trying to listen to the MLB channel on my XM radio. The little hooligan I'm holding in this picture could have cared less.

Singing "You dot a biend in me" from Toy Story, no other words, over and over and over again, was good enough for him. However, I noticed my XM was fading in and out, and 3 times the radio slid off the console. I turn around, and he's got the cord in his left hand, swinging it like a lasso, while looking out the window and singing at the top of his lungs.

I'm firmly convinced he is the 3 year old version of Manny: I've never seen a child march to his own drummer as much as Rakes. And just like Manny, I don't think there is a mean bone in his body: ornery, mischievous, and a handful to control? You bet.

I asked my Mom tonight if I was like Rakes when I was a child: according to her, I was, just not quite running at his RPM level is all. Raising this child is the biggest challenge and greatest reward I've had in my 37 years. Don't get me wrong, I love all my kid's the same: it's just I can tell that Ciera and Trot will be nowhere NEAR the challenge Rakes will be.

I'm looking forward to it though: the boy is going to be special.

Speaking of "special", Julian is on the bump in Seattle tonight.

If he comes out wearing a Mariner's cap and yellow rain boots I won't be surprised.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Candlesticks make a nice gift"

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

What kind of conversation do you think is going on behind the gloves of Beckett and Lowell after Josh gave up a 2 run double in the 5th to make it a 3-2 Red Sox lead? Is it a serious, "shake it off, you've got these guys" talk, or more along the lines of the scene from Bull Durham and Beckett is asking Lowell what kind of animal do you sacrifice to prevent bad innings?

Whatever Mikey said seemed to work: Beckett went from a man on 2nd and nobody out after giving up the runs to walking off the field 3 outs later and the score was the same.

Texas should be proud: the favorite son of the Lone Star State pitched himself quite a game today. 3 innings after giving up the double, Beckett left with the following line:

8IP, 2R's, 6H's, 1BB, 8 K's. One Papelbot save later, and he's the first 11 game winner in the major's this year, sporting an 11-1 record and hopefully the starting spot in the All-Star game, and if there is any justice, the AL Cy Young.

A Tek home run made the final score 4-2, and the Red Sox took a series against the best team in the NL, finishing off inter-league play with a 12-6 record. Not as good as last year's 16-2, but it'll do just fine.

Oh yeah: the Yankees lost. Again. It's now an 11.5 game lead on the third place MFY's. That's right Yankee fan: the juggernaut known as the Toronto Blue Jays is in second place.

Somewhere, Suzyn Waldman is crying.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


*Picture from the Boston Globe*

On a night when the Padres celebrated the 80's, the Padre's won the award for ugliest uniforms EVER while the Red Sox won the game.

Seriously, whoever came up with that brown, orange, and yellow color scheme of the old Padres uniforms was either dropping acid or eating 'shrooms: those things are HIDEOUS. Meanwhile, because of it being "Throwback Night", I had to sit there looking at the Sox wear the uniform just like the '86 team wore: thanks for the memories, San Diego.

I thought it was gonna be over before it started: Daisuke walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the first, but somehow escaped with giving up only one run. The Sox scratched out 2 on 4 singles in the 4th, and that's how it ended: 2-1 Red Sox.

Fittingly, on "Throwback Night", Papelon closed it out in the 9th for save #17: this cat would have been right at home pitching in the era of Gibson, Koufax, and Drysdale as much as he is in 2007. Old school all the way, right down to the stare he gives before throwing each pitch.

Shockingly, his reaction in this picture after getting the save last night looks a lot like mine when it happened: fist swinging and yelling like a maniac.

Somehow, I don't think the crowd at Petco Park was as upset with his reaction as Angie was at mine.

After all, it WAS 1:30 a.m.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Classic Matchup

Daisuke vs. Maddux: talk about a pitchers duel. This could be a clinic in San Diego tonight with the two of them on the mound.

Matsuzaka brings an 8-5 record with him into tonight's game while the ageless Maddux is at 6-3 with a sub 4 era.

If I can stay awake for the whole thing, it should be a good one.

In a game related note, I've notified the SD Police Department that Tex is in town. I told them to be on the lookout for a woman with a Texas drawl, carrying a Texas flag, and speaking REALLY loudly. She is thought to be accompanied by an Englishman with a New Zealand passport and the name Horshamscouse, and a mysterious someone who goes by the handle "Sox on the Beach".

And yes, I'm aware that a fiction writer in Hollywood couldn't have come up with that if they tried.

It's all true: I swear.

Have fun Tex, and I've got the bail money on hand if you need it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

All I know is Ward Cleaver never had days like this.

Did you ever have one of those days where you wish you could just crawl back into bed and pretend everything that went on that day NEVER happened?

Pretty much, that was my day: the highlight was sitting in a bank for over an hour, yet again signing part of my life away.

Picked my new/used car up around Noon, and let's just say the day went to pot after that: not 5 minutes after leaving the dealer, my insurance company calls and, because of a screw up on the part of the agent for the demolition derby driver who hit ME, they are going to stop payment on the settlement check they sent me if I don't get some paperwork their way, ASAP.

Mind you, I've been with these people for 15 years: think that buys me any brownie points? After spending the better part of the afternoon running from my insurance agent to the NCDMV (where the lady who "helped" me was about as friendly as someone in the Taliban) I THINK I've got that ironed out. Unless they find a new way to screw me over between now and tomorrow morning.

So, I arrive home to find my paper, pipe, and slippers laid out for me, right? Uh, no. What I DO find is Ciera has lost the ******** remote control again, and has somehow managed to leave 2 Mt Dew cans, a bag of pretzels, a bowl of grapes, and a half full glass of Dr. Pepper on her bedroom floor. Along with various books, clothes, CD's, and pencils laying about.

One of those pencils ends up in the possession of Rakes, who proceeds to color all over the banister leading down the stairs. As I'm reading him the riot act about not writing on the walls, he turns into Johnny Cochran and proceeds to tell me that "I NOT Bite on the wall: I bite on the dairs. DAT is a wall, Dad" while pointing to, well, the wall. I half way expected him to grab a pencil and say "If 'de ball doesn't bit, you bust aquit".

At this point, with Trot bellowing in the background like some wounded wildebeest because he wants to go outside, I'm considering three options: go completely postal, leave and head for Canada, or laugh inside, cover my mouth to hide my smile, and chalk it up to one more day being the Red Sox Dad.

As you can tell, I chose the latter. 'Cause my life is gonna make a fine sitcom someday: I've just got to find the right agent to sell this to FOX.


I hate travel days.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mr. Commando

Tonight at church, Rakes had this conversation with his teacher, Shannon:

Rakes: Miss Dannon, BERE is my underbear?

Miss Shannon: What?

Rakes: Me not have any underbear on: bere is it?

Yep: that's my boy. Going commando while at church.

I was wondering why he kept checking himself every 15 seconds before they left tonight: seems as if Rakes had an accident before nap time, and Ang just put his diaper on without putting his underwear outside the diaper.

Part of his "chores" is to take his diaper off after nap time and throw it away, and he can then just pull his underwear up and be on his merry, psychotic way. It works really well, except for when he forgets to put on underwear and doesn't think to tell us.

I'm just glad he didn't drop trou in class: public indecency before the age of 4 is NOT something you want on your record.

As for the Sox: tonight was a good night. Before the 1st inning was over, it was 5-0 Sox, and by the 3rd it was 7-0, thanks to a lead off HR by JD, a Coco 3 run shot after they walked Tek intentionally to pitch to him, and a 2 run shot by Big Papi. Manny added a solo shot in the 7th to make it 8-0.

I thought Tavarez may come out for the bottom of the 3rd sans pants, but thankfully, he was in full uniform, pitching his best game of the season. A Hinske HR, and it's 11-0 by the time the end of the 9th rolls around.

GREAT game and a huge win going into the off day: the Padres and Mariners come next, along with 10:00 pm EST starts. I'm just glad the first 2 Padre games fall on the weekend: going to work on 4 hours sleep = unproductive Ted.

In honor of the series win, I'm considering going commando myself tomorrow: if only to help Rakes not feel so bad. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Don't Worry: Be Happy

Yeah: Rakes wasn't too happy about the loss last night either.

Don't know what inspired this look of anger, but I'm grateful the boy is only 2 feet tall and weighs 25 pounds. If looks could kill, someone would be feeling some pain right now.

I watch my son with a clothes hanger tucked in his pants like a bow and arrow and I wonder: what will he do once he's unleashed on the general public? Blend in, make friend's, and be a productive member of society? Or will he keep this Napoleon complex he has, and just rage against the machine the rest of his life?

Whenever I start wondering if my son is destined for a life of crime, I think about this: the neighborhood we live in has a community pool, and being that Ang is a stay at home Mom, most days during the summer are spent at the pool, wearing the kids out. One of our neighbors, Robin, is also a stay at home Mom with 3 kids as well, and usually, the 2 are at the pool together.

Robin's middle child, Lexie, has Downs Syndrome: and Rakes, and Trot, think she hung the moon. That is all Rakes talks about when I get home: "Dad, Dexie did 'dis, and Dexie did 'dat". He doesn't care she is different: she's his "biend" and that is all that matters.

That's when I know, even with his destructive side, my boy is going to be OK.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Old School meets New School.

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

It sucks watching a great player turn mortal before your very eyes. Tonight, I saw a man who was scuffling and grinding to try to fix what was wrong, yet could not come up with an answer to the question.

Schill is NOT the same pitcher he was 3 years ago: he's 40 years old, and I wouldn't expect him to be the same: guy's like Roger and Bonds get better with age for a reason: I'll let you figure that one out on your own.

Schilling is the prototypical 40 year old, trying to keep it going, yet doing it in a new way: he's the first to admit he has to be more precise with his location and be more deceptive to get guys out than in his heyday of blowing them away with 97 mph heaters.

Tonight: 4.1 IP, 10H, 6ER, 2BB, and 0K's. Not his best night for sure: however, I DO NOT think he is done. I just think that when you have a 40 year old pitching to 25 year olds, unless he is perfect, games like tonight happen. I'll still take Curt Schilling over 90% of pitcher's in the game today.

Baseball is a game of failure's: you fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate, you're an all-star. You make 35 starts a year as a pitcher, and win 18, you had a great year. Being perfect is not a prerequisite to being a great player in this game: Schilling IS one of the best pitchers of this generation, bar none. Tonight was simply a case of an aging veteran not having his best stuff, no more, no less.

Tomorrow, young Skywalker follows Obi Wan: Beckett, looking to rebound after his last start, goes for win #10 vs. Tim Hudson.

Me? I'm putting my money on the kid from Texas.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wishes DO come true

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Last Friday, I commented on Carol's blog that what I wanted for Father's Day were no "bathroom incident's" with my boy's, a new book, and a Red Sox sweep of the Giants over the weekend.

Miracle of miracle's, all three came true. Rakes and Trot were, for them, relatively well behaved this weekend, with no major battles/injuries.

Thanks to Carol, her husband John, little D, and their very kind gift, I'll be getting that book real soon.

And today, with a 9-5 win, the Sox pulled out the brooms and swept the Giants out of Fenway Park. Wake pitched a good but shaky outing, and backed by Manny's second HR in as many day's, the Sox start a 9 game West Coast swing on a high note.

In the picture, Manny is giving some lucky Fenway fan a hug after hitting his shot over the Monster: for all the complaint's about Manny's effort, or lack thereof, I honestly think the man does not have one malicious bone in his body. Goofy to the nth degree? No doubt. But mean spirited? No flipping way.

In fact, I firmly believe that if we sent Manny to Iraq, sat him down with the correct people, that within 3 days the Sunni's and the Shiite's would be seen hugging each other and pointing their fingers at anyone who moved in the universal language of Manny.

All I know is a world without Manny would be a sad place to be.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day

While other Dad's were out golfing and fishing today, I was finally getting the kid's play set put up so Angie would quit yelling at me for my habit of procrastinating. In her defense, it has been a year and a half since we moved and I guess I'd count us fortunate the poor guy who bought our old house let us wait this long to move the freaking thing.

Our first year here we had NO grass in the backyard, so instead of having the boys look like Pigpen from "Charlie Brown" we never went and got it. The last 6 months: well, I don't have any excuse other than Angie married a REALLY lazy man. I somehow convinced my buddy Mike and brother-in-law Keith into taking a Saturday morning to go help me get the final piece: that fort on the end.

We got it back to the new house, and Mike, God love him, stayed until 4:00 this afternoon helping me get everything put back together. As you can see from the picture, it was a huge success: Trot is getting ready to topple headfirst over the swing, Ciera is playing on the slide in a way I'm pretty sure they don't recommend, and Rakes is on the rock wall.....well, not really sure what he's doing except it more than likely involves something he SHOULDN'T be doing. Yep: those are my little safety patrol members.

Rakes kept asking his Mom "when do we have to dake dis back?" and I don't think he ever finally understood it was his to keep. Bottom line? I'm out of the doghouse, at least on this issue, and Angie can take them out to play without having to have her head on a swivel looking out for speeding cars. So I've at least got THAT going for me.

Great game for the Red Sox today, winning 1-0, though my stupid FOX affiliate showed the Braves game, forcing me to "watch" the game on Gameday. Daisuke had, in his words, his best outing yet: went 7 inning's, struck out 8, giving up 3 each in hits and walks. Okajima pitched the 8th, and the Papelbot threw a perfect 9th.

The lone run? Courtesy of a Manny bomb in the 4th: I would have posted a picture here, but Tex keeps reading my mind and posting the same picture I'm planning on using first: STOP DOING that Tex. ;)

Bottom line: the Red Sox will do no worse than take the series, and should get me my Father's Day wish of a sweep, plus the MFY's end their day the way they began it: 8.5 behind the Sox.

And a special thank you to Carol, her husband John, and Baby D for my surprise Father's Day gift: you made this Dad's day.

Happy Father's Day to Scotty, Henpecked, Horsham, John, Carol's John, and any other Dad who reads this car crash I call a blog but has never posted.

We've got the best job in the world.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hard Headed. Thankfully.

Well, I named him after the right Dirt Dog: boy has so many bumps and bruises on his forehead that the scar tissue he is developing would make Dusty Rhodes green with envy.

Kids were playing in the garage today, and Trot was doing his "get into everything" act and climbed the garage steps. Before Angie could get to him, head first he went, cracking his head on the brick step.

You can see by the lovely purple colored goose egg in the center of his head that he took a direct hit. But while the step won the battle, Trot won the war: within 3 minutes he was up and at 'em again. I'm surprised Rakes has not taken a sharpie and played connect-the-dots with all the bruises on Trot's forehead yet: it's gotta be coming though.

Thanks to Aunt Stacy, who came tearing over on 2 wheels when Angie could not reach me: the fact the 2 of them were close to panic when I got home is beside the point: I appreciated the effort. Stacy said that the guardian angel's who look after my kids work overtime, and Sis, I think you may be right.

As for the Sox, tonight was a MUCH better night: Julian went 7 innings, gave up 2 runs, and waved, pointed, and hollered like an air traffic controller at JFK. JD Drew went 3 for 4 with a walk hitting out of the lead off spot, and Munchkin went 5 for 5 with 5 RBI's out of the 2 hole, including a 2 run bomb in the first to tie it up. That Francona: by gosh, he may know what he's doing after all.

10-2 Sox, and I hope all the doomsdayer's will all go sit and spin for awhile: Sox, still in first, now up by 8.5 since 67 year old Rogah got beat by the Mets tonight.

Order is now restored to the Universe.

I love Friday nights.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All good things come to an end

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

I knew it couldn't last forever. Knew that eventually, after 2 fantastic months, that they would have to come back to earth. Just didn't know it would feel like Mike Timlin reared back and kicked me in the marbles when it happened.

Beckett got roughed up as bad tonight as he has all year: 2 home runs, 1 a grand slam, fastballs that didn't move, curve balls that didn't break for strikes, and just 5 innings pitched.

Dead bats for what seems like forever didn't help: 9 lobsters through the first 5 innings just isn't gonna cut it. Lugo and Drew continue to look like busts: hope I'm wrong, but it don't look good.

My father-in-law kept the boys and Ciera today: Ang said he broke the land speed record leaving once she got home. I wonder why: they are usually so well behaved. Still, the house was still standing when I got home, nobody had any broken bones, and we've somehow avoided any issues with poop today. Miracle's will never cease.

Tomorrow brings Bonds and the Giants to town, along with Dave Roberts. I'm looking forward to all the replay's of "The Steal" that will be shown all weekend, reminding everyone with a soul of the best October EVER. After he retires, the statue of him stealing second needs to be put up, post haste. And the story of Dave Roberts needs to be put in all New England textbooks from here on out.

Finally, during Beckett's post-game press conference, someone asked him about some of his pitches tonight:

His response? "They were horses**t pitches, what can I say?"

Have I mentioned my heterosexual man-love for Beckett lately? 'Cause if I haven't, I love the big lug.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It sucks getting old.

*Picture from*

Schill looked every bit of his 40 years tonight: left after 6 with a 6-2 deficit, and the pen, and the bats, did not help the cause: 12-2 Rockies, and it was as ugly as it reads.

6 days after pitching a 1 hit shut out, Schilling got lit up pretty good. And that's gonna happen: he's not the same guy who could strike out 10 batters and dominate with power for 8 innings.

He's 40 years old and is having to hit his spots, throw more off-speed stuff, and get good defense behind him. Last week it worked: tonight, 2 errors and trouble finding his splitter did him in.

Every body's gotta take a beating every now and then: tonight was Schill's turn. He'll always earn a "get out of jail free" card with me for what he did in the 2004 postseason. NO WAY the Red Sox win it all without him sacking up and pitching with blood seeping through his sock. My man risked his career to help end 86 years of frustration: I'm willing to give him a pass in what is most likely his final year in Boston when he has his struggles.

Tomorrow is a new day, and Beckett takes the bump: 10-0 for this year's Cy Young winner is my prediction. It's a marathon, not a sprint, and the Sox are sitting in the cat bird seat.

Lastly, Rakes, Trot, and Ciera were, magically, well behaved today: no fires, broken bones, or international incidents to report.

Which makes me think tomorrow's blog will read like the Jerusalem News.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Princess and the Knuckleball Pitcher

Actual conversation from about 2 1/2 hours ago.

Rakes is in the toy room, I'm in the living room, watching the game.

Rakes: My baby has a beally bad poopee.

Me: Well, change it then. (Thinking I'm being witty)

Rakes: Me tan't Daddy. It's on the bloor.

Me: You have got to be kidding me.

Rakes: No, me not Daddy. Me not tidding you. It right dere, on de bloor.

50 hand washings later, I can actually write those words. I can't express to you how much that freaks a person with self-diagnosed OCD out. Just know that if it had not been my own child, I would be checking into the closest available "mental health" facility.

Thank God I've got this beautiful little girl to help me out on the roller coaster ride of raising 2 boys under the age of 3. Of course, in about 4 years I'm going to buy the biggest handgun I can find, hire one of Suge Knight's bodyguards to move in, and put up an electric fence around my house to keep them hooligan's away from my Baby. But for now, it's awfully nice to have a sweet, well mannered little lady around to help keep me sane. Ciera is helping me through the "terrible two" years before tormenting me with the "teenage daughter" years. And I'm OK with that.

As for the Red Sox, Wake pitched 8 innings of 4 hit ball, leaving with the score tied 1-1. Munchkin singles, Papi doubles, Manny is IBB, and Drew hits a sac fly, scoring Cora who pinch ran for Pedie.

Papelbot comes in for the ninth, and after striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faces, "Dirty Water" plays at Fenway. Wake deserved to get the win, and Pap was DEALING tonight. A very nice win against a good hitting team.

Schilling tomorrow, hoping to build off the 1 hit shutout he pitched last week. And I can go to bed safe in the knowledge the MFY's will be no closer to the Sox than when they started the day: 9.5 games back.

I'd call that a very good day.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Off-Day Ramblings

Notice the contrast: both ladies smiling and looking at the camera, while Frick and Frack are both looking in opposite directions, most likely for their next victim.

Angie found Trot standing on the kitchen table today: tying all the chair legs together in an attempt to keep him from climbing in them worked like a charm: it was the high chair that she never even thought about that helped him out.

Night ended with Angie putting Rakes to bed and him screaming gibberish for the next 15 minutes. I finally realized this is what he was yelling: "ME NEED A DIAPER ON SO ME NOT PEE IN MY BED!". Guess who forgot to put his diaper on after bath time?

::Raises hand::

Somehow, my wife deals with things like this all day: on the weekends, I'm a bundle of nerves, usually ending the night by rocking back and forth like Francona in the ninth inning of a one run game. Stay at home Mom's, and all Mom's, deserve to have a coin minted after them.

Red Sox vs. the Rockies for three games starting tomorrow, then Bonds and the Giants come in for the weekend. I think that is one of the reason's I love baseball so much: you know who is coming and when they are getting here.

On the flip side, I also think that's why I love my children as much as I do: you have absolutely NO IDEA what is waiting for you around the corner.

Here's to a sweep of the Rockies and Giants and no tumbles off the table from Trot.

That's not asking for much, is it?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sweet Caroline

Went to the 1st birthday party of the sweetest, prettiest little girl this side of my Ciera I've ever seen.

Caroline Ruth, my younger and much less handsome brother Matt's little girl, turned 1 year old yesterday, and we all headed down to Eastern NC today to help her celebrate her big day.

Normally, loading up my band of hooligans and getting in the car for a road trip is the LAST thing I want to do, especially with Daisuke vs Randy Johnson on the schedule. Clark Griswold, driving across country with his brood in the family truckster, I'm not. However, I would like to point out Clark didn't have a Rakes. Or a Trot. So, I've at least got that excuse.

As Caroline's favorite Uncle, however, I was more than happy to go to the party: and what a party it was. Let's just say that Matt's wife, Amanda, has set the bar so high for throwing a birthday party that I don't even think real live Circus animals and an appearance by Krusty the Clown himself would top it.

Highlight of the day for the kids? The release of 3,000 live lady bugs that the little one's got to capture and put in their own plastic tub. Of course, I drove all the way home with this one thought rattling around in my head: How long before Rakes opens that lid and I've got 25 lady bugs flying around my car while Ciera and Angie scream like they were killer bees?

Added bonus point for entertainment: the 2 box fans that Trot was determined to put his fingers in every chance he got, Rusty the Wonderdog spazzing out, and Rakes and Matt's nephew Scott fighting over a stuffed caterpillar during what I'm sure Amanda envisioned as a sweet first birthday moment. Leave it to my little hellion to turn it into Ultimate Fighting: sorry Amanda.

With Apologies to Neil Diamond for my horrible singing:

" Where it began, I can't begin to know when
But then I know it's growing strong
Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo
And spring became the summer
Who'd believe you'd come along
Hands, touching hands, reaching out
Touching me, touching you
Oh, sweet Caroline
Good times never seem so good"

Happy First Birthday Caroline Ruth

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Snake Wrangler's

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

After stumbling his way through half of April and all of May, JD Drew busted out in a big way last night: 2 HR's, 7 RBI's, and a one fingered salute (figuratively) to the people who doubt his ability. Guy has been GRINDING the last several weeks, and if the team had not been rollin' along, he would have been crucified in Boston.

Glad to see last night happen: the guy is too good, too much of a natural ball player, to keep struggling like he has. Let's hope last night is the launching pad to a great rest of the season.

Beckett goes to 9-0, and they best start engraving that Cy Young trophy right now: he is as nasty as he's ever been, and after struggling mightily last year, looks like the ace he was expected to be. 8 innings, 3 runs, 8 k's: Filthy.

Gotta love Lugo making like Tanner Boyle from the Bad News Bears and fooling the rookie with the old "hidden ball trick" AND leading the game off with a HR to get it started. Out of all Theo's big signings this off season, Lugo has been the one giving me an ulcer: your lead off guy has GOT to be able to get on base more than once a week. He's shown when he DOES get on that he can just cause havoc on the base paths and the pitchers head: Lugo's greatest skill, so far, is to run really fast while looking really awkward. Maybe last night will be a new start for him too.

Still, 39-21, with a 10.5 lead over the second place team on June 9th is not a bad place to be.

Finally, there's this: Julian Tavarez is pitching tonight. In a National League park. Which means he WILL be batting.

Imagine the possibilities.

Friday, June 8, 2007

From the venue formerly known as The BOB.

Took the kids to the pool tonight, just got 'em all to bed, and I look up and the game is about to start. So: short and sweet tonight.

I hope Papi hits one in that swimming pool in the outfield at Chase Field, JD treats Stephen like every older brother should by beating him down, and Beckett wins #9 tonight.

I need the memory of the first 3 games in Oakland wiped out of my mind like The Fresh Prince and TLJ did in "Men in Black" ASAP. Those low scoring games this past week? Just a blip on the run scoring radar, and tonight's the night they start on another swath of destruction through the NL like they did last year.

Lugo goes 4-4, Ortiz and Manny go back to back, and Beckett goes 8 strong innings.

Hey: it COULD happen.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Almost a no-hitter. Twice.

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Schill ALMOST pitched a no-hitter today. I ALMOST avoided getting in an accident today. Sadly, both things happened: Schill lost his no-no and I got the rear end of my car mangled.

Besides a Julio Lugo bobble no A's even reached 1B: no walks, no hits, nothing. He got the first 2 in the bottom of the ninth, then Shannon Stewart pokes one through. Question: why is it always guys like Shannon Stewart or Kelly Schoppach who always bust up no -hitters? You never see a Manny, or Bonds, or Pujols be the guy who ruins a date with history.

Still, Schill was the stopper we needed him to be today, and a 1 hitter counts the same as a no-hitter in the standings: after losing 6 out of 7, the Sox needed a win in a bad way. Papi hits a home run and Schilling does the rest: 1-0 win, and off to Arizona they go.

As for me, came to a stop at a light today that had just turned red, when 3 seconds later a lady in a F150 pick-up decided she wanted to play bumper cars with mine. One minor case of whip lash, a nerve jangling drive home which alternated with me cheering on Schilling on the radio and cringing every time my muffler, which now resides 6" off the ground, hit the road, and I was home.

It shook me up for sure, and I'm not exactly doing cartwheels over having to get it fixed: but I made it home in one piece to my wife and kids. The other folks were banged up but it seems like they will be OK. All that crumpled fiberglass can be fixed.

Gotta say: I hugged my babies a little bit tighter and a little bit longer tonight than usual.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sinks, losses, and hallucinations

Angie found Rakes and Trot sitting in the sink today.

Playing with my beard trimmer.

Thank God Rakes has not figured out he can cut his or his brothers hair with it yet, or I would have had 2 little Tito mini-me's. I don't want to know how Rakes got Trot up the 3 feet of cabinet to get in the sink: all I know is there is no shot of me making it 50 year's on this rock: not a chance.

Looks like maybe my mojo has swerved off the road the last 2 nights: another tough loss last night with Daisuke pitching his tail off and given a loss as his thank you for a job well done. How this team gets 2 hits off Lenny DiNardo over 6 innings is a question I can't answer.

Saw this picture from earlier, and if that doesn't get you fired up if you are a Sox fan, don't know what will. See, that's not Coco or Cora or Lowell going balls out, head first into second: that's Manny. Yep: the same Manny who people accuse of not caring, not trying, and having his head in the clouds all the time.

OK: I'll give you the head in the clouds, but a guy going all out like he is in this picture is a guy who cares, a man who wants to win. Hopefully, they all can give this kind of effort tonight, Wake will have 'em swinging at air, and we can get it going in a positive direction.

They also need to win quick tonight: my lack of sleep the last 2 nights is starting to catch up to me.

'Cause I'm not really sure I should be seeing 7 ft. tall squirrels in my peripheral vision.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Battered, bruised, and weary. VERY weary.

Woke up at 6:30 this morning to Classic Rock on the alarm and sun shining through the bedroom window. I rolled over, looked at my beautiful wife, and uttered these romantic words: "I've done screwed up another perfectly good day by staying up until 2:15 in the morning to watch the Sox LOSE".

In hindsight, my decision to put off a decent night of sleep to watch the game seems, well, a poor one. Could not help myself: from Papi hitting one out in the first, to Julian being Julian, and that makeshift lineup Tito threw out there, the game had me hooked.

After watching the Sox chip away at a 3-1 lead, then 4-2, they tie it up in the top of the ninth. Somehow, someway, they get out of a bases juiced, nobody out in the home half. By this point, my twisted logic and sleep deprivation has me believing that this is happening because, by God, I stayed AWAKE. When Ortiz JUST misses his 2nd dinger of the night and bangs it off the wall, I know, I freaking KNOW, Pedie is gonna score from second.

He was out by a country mile: and because for some inexplicable reason he decides not to slide, (Still woulda been out) he gets Jason Kendall's glove to his face for his trouble. Walk off HR by Chavez half an inning later, and it's one more in the loss column.

Still 10 up in the division to the Jays, who are losing as I type this. Still up 12.5 on the LAST PLACE Yankees. And Daisuke on the bump for tonight.

After around 4 hours of sleep, field day at Ciera's school, and hitting the pool with the kids tonight, I am whipped. It's taken me an hour to write this because I'm squinting from trying to keep my eyes open, and I know if I went and laid on the sofa, I'd be out in 10 minutes.

Screw that: there's a game on in an hour and the boys need the mojo. Besides, to quote the great philosopher from New Jersey, I can sleep when I'm dead.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Go west young psycho. I mean young man.

Checklist for tonight's game:

Caffeine? check
Lucky bat? check
Toothpicks for holding eyelids open? check

After dropping 2 of 3 to the Yankees, Julian and his band of misfits flew out to Oakland for the start of a West Coast swing: 4 in Oakland and 3 in Arizona.

I hate losing to the Yankees and I'm glad we won't see them again until the end of August: losing to them on a Slappy home run off the Papelbot is like a good hard kick to the marbles: painful.

Oakland reminds me a lot of the Red Sox: goofy personalities, wild facial hair, and a bunch of grinders and dirt dogs: always enjoy it when the 2 teams play. Plus, we are catching them at a good time: their pen is a mess. If we can get the starters out early, this lineup should be able to score a lot of crooked numbers against a pen without it's set up man and closer.

Julian is on the hill: it's a lot like Christmas morning. You have no idea what you are gonna get, and it gives you that warm little pit in your stomach.

In other news, Rakes stepped on a skateboard, and much like Yosemite Sam in the Bugs Bunny cartoon's stepping on a rake, it popped up and gashed his forehead, gave Trot a mule kick to the stomach tonight, and I got caught in a thunderstorm/traffic delay on the way home.

I love Monday's.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Tension in the air

Tonight marks the last time we'll see the Red Sox/Yankees until August 28th, and going into this game the Sox lead the series 7-4.

While there is a lot a ball to be played between now and then, my greatest wish is that the Red Sox be about 20 games ahead by then: a win tonight puts them 14.5 up, so it's not like it's beyond the realm of possibility.

A front runner for the AL Cy Young, Beckett takes the hill looking for win number 9 in what will most likely be a very chippy game. Lowell going all Mike Alstott on Cano yesterday, Youk almost taking one off the dome Friday, Slappy's elbow to Pedie, the benches clearing Friday night, and the constant yapping at each other almost makes it a lock.

Lowell, while making a perfectly legal play, left a message for the Yankees: the Sox aren't gonna be pushed around.

I'm getting a strong sense of desperation coming out of Yankeeland, so I've got a feeling I'll be hiding behind the couch waiting for the fireworks show to begin.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A letter to Alex Rodriguez

Dear Slappy,

As you were getting your lunch handed to you today at Fenway, I hope you were paying attention to the play of your fellow third baseman for the Red Sox.

Single, double, Home Run, with 4 RBI's and he had several outstanding defensive plays at third to get some key outs for his club. Finally, and Slappy this is where you need to take the cucumbers off your eyelids, your hands outa that bowl of whatever for your nails, and pay attention.

Did you see him try to knock your 2nd baseman onto the pitchers mound? THAT is how you try to break up a double play: on the base paths, BEFORE he's already thrown the ball, not after the fact. Notice the absence of an elbow to the marbles like the one you threw: notice his lack of dramatic eye rolling, arms flailing, and ladylike prancing after he was called out. Just like John Wayne after decking some yahoo in a bar fight, Lowell just strolled back to the dugout looking like he wished he could go right back out and do it again.

Before you and Cano get your pantyhose in a knot, guess where he learned to play like that? In the organization YOU play for: the Yankees.

So tell Robbie to put his skirt back on and that it's OK he thought otherwise: with the example you've set for him, it's easy to see why he'd be a little confused.

You've had quite the week, haven't you Alex? Stripper gate, honking off the entire Blue Jay team with your "MINE" call, and then coming to Boston to get unmercifully booed for the past 2 days. It don't get any easier you know. That guy you're facing tomorrow: the one with the 97 mph fastball, the nasty hook, and a mean streak the size of the state he calls home?

He's pretty good.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Devil came in the form of an Angel, right?

Angie called me at work today to tell me the latest antics of Beavis and Butthead: if I had been at home when this happened, I think I would be on my way to the nearest crack dealer to erase the memory from my mind in the quickest way possible.

Seems like Rakes, well, for all you parents out there, had "gone #2" in the potty. It also seems as if Rakes forgot the golden rule in Ted's house, which is ALWAYS close the bathroom door so the 14 month old holy terror does not wreak his particular brand of mayhem.

Next thing Ang hears is Rakes saying "Mommy-my baby is in the bathroom." By the time she got there, Trot had grabbed the, well, you know, out of the toilet: and had wiped it on the floor, the wall, his clothes, and basically everything but the light on the ceiling.

If it had been me at home? Forget it: I would have just curled up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere. God Bless her, Angie cleaned everything that needed cleaning and put the boys in the van to head out to her get together she was trying to go to. She goes back inside to get a water bottle, and upon opening the door to the garage, what does she see?

Rakes: taking a whizz out the door of the van on the garage floor. I kid you not: the boy was just letting it all hang out, leaning out of the door with, according to her, the same look he has in this picture. After getting HIM cleaned up, she gets back in the van and detects that particular odor one gets from an infant from time to time, and has to change HIS clothes again before she can leave.

Have I said how much it scares me these two are getting into this much mischief at 3 and 14 months, respectively? If not, I am SCARED TO DEATH what these hooligans will be like at 14 and 11: I've got to ask my Mom if Matt and I were like this. If we were, this blog may have a shelf life of about another 10 years, give or take.

As for the Red Sox/Yankee game tonight? Never happened. You hear me? It never happened.

Father Curt takes the mound tomorrow. And all will be right with the world.