Saturday, May 31, 2008
24. That's how many players in the history of the game have hit 500 career HR's. Since 1876, there have been a grand total of 24 players who have done it, including Manny.
It's safe to say he's the only one with dreadlocks reaching the middle of his back to join that list. Also, I'm pretty sure he's the only one who's gone into the Green Monster to take a leak to do it as well.
Yeah, he pimped it. And yeah, he should have. For all the great players who have taken the field over the years, he's one of the few who've reached immortality.
As far as I'm concerned, that deserves a little celebrating. To top it all off? I had friends at Camden Yards tonight who got to see it in person. Cyn, Kelly, Horsham, Beth, and Crystal? I'm jealous, but happy for you all.
Manny being Manny.
There isn't a more beautiful sight in all of baseball.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Remember that guy in that video? The one who was pitching like a modern-day Bob Gibson with a bad case of hemorrhoids? You know, that guy who cursed out Kenny Lofton for having the audacity to head to first on what he though was ball 4 but wasn't.
Or the guy that screamed at A.J. Pierzynski "F*** you, you're out!" after he flew out to CF (you probably got about 1,000 thank you calls from the rest of MLB after that game), tried to take on Ryan Howard in SPRING FREAKING TRAINING for pimping a non-home run, and answered reporters questions with the disgust dripping from your voice?
Can we have him on the mound tonight? 'Cause it's been one mother of a road trip so far; 1-5 heading into a 4 game set with the Orioles, who all of a sudden don't suck anymore. Guys are pressing, Wake probably is contemplating a lawsuit against the team for lack of run support, and Tito is most likely chewing TUMS by the fist full.
We need you, big guy. You gotta be the stopper we know you are, striking people out, screaming obscenities in the air, and getting that blond reporter from MASN's phone number as you take the field.
I want the last image I see of Brian Roberts to be of him sobbing uncontrollably in the dugout, Kevin Millar to strike out 5 times, and if you feel like hitting Jay Payton in the gibleys? Hey, who am I to argue?
They need a lift, man. Something to break the funk of this road trip, get Mike Lowell smiling again, and get Manny to man hug Tek, causing a moment of epic awkwardness.
In other words, just go out and be Josh Freaking Beckett.
PS: If you get the chance, could you punch Gary Thorne in the face? Thanks, man.
UPDATE: Sox win 5-2, thanks to 3 errors by the Orioles. It wasn't vintage Beckett, but I'll take it.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
So after staying up past midnight 5 out of the last 6 days only to watch a big pile of UGH, I needed a diversion from baseball. Just for the day, mind you. I'll be screaming profanities at Jay Payton and calling Brian Roberts a tool come tomorrow night. But today? I need some stress free downtime.
Tonight is the season finale of LOST and I'll be glued to the tv for the next 2 hours. It's the only thing on tv that consistently gives me goosebumps not named Ortiz, David and Ramirez, Manny and is also the only show my wife and I both watch. She's not that big of a baseball fan and I could care less what those bimbos on "The Hills" are up to.
Here's to the boys starting a 10 game win streak tomorrow night and to my mental break from the stress of a 162 game season.
Time to go get LOST.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Finally, Rakes and I read this tonight for story time:
I love being a Dad.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Lord, I feel for his coaches as he works his way up from T-Ball to Little League. Poor kid thinks flipping your bat and admiring your moon shot is the acceptable thing to do.
Maybe I shouldn't let him watch so many Red Sox games with me?
And due to popular opinion, here is Trot with his brand new haircut:
This was done right before the Sox/A's series. I blame Ang for the sweep.
You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't tug on The Lone Ranger's mask, and you don't cut Sampson's hair.
Monday, May 26, 2008
If you've never spent several hours on a boat with Rakes, well my friend, you just haven't lived. When we were able to get into the intertube and ride the waves, he was fine. When it was being used by Ciera and Edge's little girl? All bets were off.
One minute he's grabbing the rope he's holding in the picture, humming the Indiana Jones theme and kicking Mr. Leon in the back of the head as he swings across the boat. Or he's leaning over the edge of the boat trying to touch the water. Or standing up in the back seat and laughing maniacally at passing boats and the random bird we came across.
BTW, you've never known panic until you are out in the middle of a lake, 20 minutes from the nearest restroom, and you hear Rakes say the following: "Dad. I've dotta poop. BEALLY BAD."
The Red Sox start a 3 game set with Seattle in about 25 minutes after dropping 3 games to the A's. My only message to the boys?
See the ball. Catch the ball. Throw the ball. And above all else?
HIT the ball.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Now before this story reaches Paul Bunyunesque proportions, I figured I'd set the record straight for posterity's sake. Otherwise, 15 years from now the story could be Tex claimed she was a direct descendant of Sam Houston and DESERVED no less than a Limo to ferry her around Boston. Or Josh and I convinced the guy we were down on our luck circus performers just trying to catch up with "Larry's 3 Ring Traveling Road Show".
So, here is the REAL story of "The Night of the Limousine"...
Saturday morning, Rob, JD, Josh, hayes, Tex, and myself all packed ourselves into JD's Toyota and drove down from Burlington to Boston. Our master plan was to leave their car downtown all night because they could then leave for Vermont after the Sunday game. Other than trying to play a 55 mph version of Twister with 4 people in the backseat and violating about 23 motor vehicle laws, we made it just fine.
What followed was 3 hours at the Cask and a double header at Fenway, which ended around 11:30 p.m. As we trudged off to find a cab, none of us thought about whether a cab would take 6 people 20 minutes away when there were about, oh I'll just guess, a bazillion people who needed to go a lot shorter distances and thus the cabbie could make more money.
Guess what? They wouldn't. Not a stinking, single one. Not even with hayes, Tex, and JD batting their eyes at them, Rob being diplomatic, and Josh and I doing everything but climbing on the hood and declaring we were in it for the long haul. This goes on for about an hour and by this point, speaking for only myself, I was looking for a cardboard box and a heating vent to crash on.
Then, like some kind of pimped out miracle, this boat on wheels parks right in front of us. Now, if you know hayes at all, she's never met a stranger. So naturally she sashays on over, leans down into the drivers window and proceeds to have a lengthy conversation with the driver, who we later found out was Al.
While the ever practical Rob muttered "If it's over $100 dollars I'm not paying for it. This is ridiculous", JD continued to call various cab companies and tell our tale of sorrow, and Josh and I....well, I'm not really sure what we did. We definitely didn't help.
After a bit, hayes pops up, yells "Let's go; it's on me!", we pile into Al's ride and he cheerily drives us back to Burlington. During the drive we all took goofy pictures of each other which prompted Rob to utter the now classic line: "I'm just draining the battery, dude."
So it was we found ourselves after a 20 minute laugh-until-you-think-you're-going-to-wet-yourself ride back at our hotel, safe and sound. Oh, and there may have been a reenactment of the classic Whitesnake video "Here I go again on my Own", people standing up with their heads out the sunroof going down the Interstate, and 3 guys taking gangsta pictures that would make Vanilla Ice look like a charter member of N.W.A.
There you have it: how 6 tired, wore out, frazzled but happy group of friends ended up in a limousine driven by a guy named Al.
P.S. Al said he wanted to use the picture for the company brochure. I was afraid to ask if it was this one or the Whitesnake video.
*Picture courtesy of Tex*
Friday, May 23, 2008
Which we all know is a crock. At least the innocent part.
Notice his number?
The Original Dirt Dog has company.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Saturday was better, though. I got the championship banners out on Yawkey Way...
The player banners that I didn't even know were there...And even got a picture of the Ted Williams statue with Rob, JB, hayes, and Josh.
Caught the Gagne reunion during batting practice...Got my picture taken with Wally... (Sadly, not the REAL Wally)
I couldn't have asked for a better weekend; a 3 game sweep, great seats, and even better friends. I can't wait to do it again.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Great times with my little brother Candaon, a SG Palooza for the record books, and goosebumps every time I realized "Holy Crap: I'm in Fenway freaking Park".
Plus a no hitter being pitched by Jon Lester as I'm winging my way home last night, even though I had no idea until I got home.
I'm tired, wore out, and deliriously happy about the entire weekend.
More later tonight with pictures hopefully, and it was awesome to hug my wife and kids after being away.
But Boston is now in my heart for good. I can't wait to get back some day.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
6 LONG months after I booked the flight, it's finally here.
No urine in the football helmet in the toyroom. (Don't ask.) No other urine in the music box. (Again, don't ask.) No dirty diapers, no threats of corporal punishment, and absolutely no SpongeBob marathons.
Tomorrow morning I somehow get myself on an airplane aimed for Hartford, CT for a 5 day weekend of Red Sox games and Paloozing.
Thanks to Josh, hayes, Rob, JD, Tex, Kelly, and Cyn for all the free places to stay, tickets, and support; I honestly can't believe it's here.
Tomorrow, some downtime with my long lost little brother, then Fenway Park for 3 straight days. With apologies to Stephen King, Morgan Freeman, and my brother, I give you the following.
"I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it to Boston. I hope to see my friend's and shake their hand. I hope Fenway is as beautiful as it has been in my dreams. I hope."
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I'll admit it; I'm not a smart man. I have no clue about proper punctuation, couldn't tell you what the capital of India is, and it took me 2 years to complete 2 semesters worth of Spanish in college.
However, if you'd told me that Josh Beckett would give up 5 runs and 11 hits to the Orioles in less than 6 innings? I'd have told you that you were off your rocker.
Tonight in Baltimore though, that's exactly what happened. All of a sudden, my world tilted off it's axis; what's next? Barry Bonds gets a PR job with MLB? President Bush wins the Nobel Peace Prize? Hank Steinbrenner actually makes sense?
When it's all said and done, the Orioles win 5-4 with some cat named George Sherrill closing it out. Even though we lost, this is one of the reasons why I love the game of baseball so much. You can have a sure-fire Hall of Famer coming up against a journeyman pitcher, and the nobody wins the battle.
It's a marathon, not a sprint. Which is why I'm not tweaking too bad over a 3 game losing streak; this team could take off on a 10 game win streak tomorrow.
Tip your cap to the O's and get ready for the next game.
Josh? Get the grill ready.
It's less than 36 hours now, my man.
Elmerpalooza is imminent.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Congratulations to the only dread-locked member of the 500 club I can think of, even though it's not a done deal yet. Face it, it's only a matter of time.
Ciera got her tooth fixed today, and while I'm deciding whether to sell a kidney or a lung to pay for it (Hey: you only need one to get by) I'm beyond thrilled she got it taken care of and won't be humiliated going to school tomorrow. If you read about a flaming paper bag on the doorstep of the head of the UNC Dentistry School tomorrow?
It wasn't me.
Finally, if I ask REALLY nicely, do you think one of the flight attendants on Thursday will sit with me and hold my hand?
Sunday, May 11, 2008
While the dentist on call was giving Ang some song and dance about how it would be 30 to 60 days before Ciera's tooth could be filled, I was doing laundry and emptying the dish washer.
After Angie called me to tell me what was happening, and I railed about how they just wanted to use Ciera as a teaching tool for the students, Trot was emptying the contents of the Tupperware container with the green beans in it on our kitchen floor. ALL OVER the kitchen floor, while Rakes ran around in the background yelling "I'm Davy Jones! See my bullwhip, Dad?" (He watched the Indiana Jones movies all weekend, and is now obsessed with him; all I can say is at least it's not Star Wars).
I'm glad to say we found a dentist who will actually fill her tooth in so she won't be embarrassed to go to school, and they'll do it tomorrow. Also, I cleaned the green beans up and installed a zip lock on the fridge. Yes, I locked the refridgerator; what would you do?
Oh, and Trot looks EXACTLY like a deer in the headlights when I'm blowing my top; it's really uncanny.
3 more days.
3 more days.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
After dealing with Trot and his MRSA and Rakes and the killer allergies, I halfway thought we were out of the woods; I should have remembered these things come in threes.
Since the economy went in the toilet, I've been working part time on Saturdays to try and make a little extra money, with the only problem being Rakes and Ciera have practice/games in their respective sports leagues. I've snuck away for some, missed others, and have always caught the last hour and a half of Ciera's softball practice.
Tonight, we had customers in and I couldn't leave until 6, so I arrived at her practice with just a few minutes to spare. She'd been working with one of the coaches on catching pop fly's and couldn't wait to show me how she'd improved.
2 minutes later she completely missed a ball, it bounced off her face with a sick thud, and I vaulted the dugout fence like I was Carl Lewis going for the gold medal. Blood streaming everywhere, I'm pretty sure I dropped a few choice curse words but I can't be sure.
Bottom line? Her permanent front tooth on top looks like a saber tooth tiger and she lost a bottom tooth as well. Since the coach had no towels handy, my dress shirt came off, followed by the Old Navy T-Shirt I was wearing underneath so she could stop the bleeding. And I could care less that I exposed the world to my white, under developed upper body while I tried to help her.
Besides, it was only for a few minutes and that's what shrinks are for anyways, right? As I tucked her into bed tonight, I passed on all the well wishes from my friends at SG and told her for the millionth time the dentist would be able to fix it as good as new.
Still, the sound that ball made is ringing in my ears, and I wish with every part of my being it could be MY teeth messed up instead of hers.
How come all those parenting books you read never prepare you for times like these?
Friday, May 9, 2008
From: The Red Sox Dad
Amount seeking: 1 Kazillion dollars.
Reason: False advertising.
Dear who it may concern,
I received an angry phone call from my employer tonight, with him ranting and raving about "stupid tv is a LIE", something about it's about time they learned a lesson, and strangely a profanity filled tirade at that nice man who used to play The Beaver's Dad on television.
It seems as if he's a bit, well, miffed (I can't say the word he actually used; I just can't.) at the inaccurate way families, particularly families at dinner time, have been falsely portrayed all these years. I couldn't pick it all up, especially when he started breaking plates in the background, but I did at least understand the following. And I quote:
"I've been watching tv my entire life. And between that idiot Nelson family, the Brady Bunch and those 6 brats, and Cliff Huxtable and his crew, all I've ever seen on tv when they eat is a bunch of well behaved kids wearing clean clothes calmly eating dinner. There is no throwing of food, no cups knocked on the floor, and there has NEVER been shown a shot of the Dad slowly having a stroke with big, giant crocodile tears rolling down his face. It's false advertising I tell you!"
Apparently, dinner didn't go well tonight. Best I could make out Rakes spent the entire time with a piece of pizza in his hand while he made it dance and at the same time shouted out "Who let the dogs out?" over and over. Also, Ciera alternated between crying about her pizza being hot and rattling off some story about Jamie, school, and detention while Trot did his best impression of a chain smoker, only with a pacifier; Paci out, eat a bite. Paci in. Paci out, eat a bite. Paci in.
You get the idea. All this while my employer tried to eat his dinner and read his latest edition of Sports Illustrated while dispensing fatherly advice like "Quit doing that!" and "Do you WANT to go to bed without dinner?"
In case you're wondering, he didn't take kindly to my advice that maybe his wife would appreciate him not reading at dinner and actually talk to her; in fact, he became quite belligerent and kept asking me to tell him Donald Trump's catchphrase. Which I refused to do.
He gets like this every now and then, especially when a man named Jon Lester (I think he plays for that baseball team he likes so much) is pitching. I know this because I've gotten phone calls at all hours of the night with him screaming out things like "Why can't he throw a *&#@*&% strike?" and "HIT the mascot!"
Please take this for what it's worth; the ramblings of a tightly wound man who although he loves his family dearly, clearly needs a break. Thankfully, something called "Elmerpalooza" is happening next week and he seems really excited about that. Know that I realize this is a frivilous lawsuit, I only sent this because I need the job, and he really is a nice man.
Even if he is clinically insane.
P.S. Could you possibly procure an autograph for my employer from someone named Al Bundy? He really seems to like that man.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
*Picture courtesy of sittingstill.net*
That beard is magical. There is no other explanation. Even though it looks like a muskrat decided to crawl on his chin and die, Youk's mystical beard continues to amaze and confound.
Tonight, Youk hit his 7th HR and he's now on pace to hit 56 HR's and 200 RBI's. No, I don't think he'll get there, but it is nice to see him raking the ball this early in the season.
I also love the fact he goes absolutely bonkers when he strikes out or doesn't get a hit; I love the attitude that he can't stand not to get on base, even though he act's about as level headed as Rakes at times. You might not like it, but you have to appreciate the fact the man CARES, even if he looks like a sociopath when he goes off.
Ciera had her second softball game tonight, and once again I was the aggressive 3rd base coach sending runners with reckless abandon. Tonight was a much better night; 9 runs, nobody thrown out, and the cursing under my breath was at a minimum.
As locked up as I get during one of her games, it's a miracle Demarlo Hale hasn't tackled a runner as he flew by third base. Stressful doesn't begin to cover it. I have no idea how he hasn't gone Woody Hayes on Manny as he ignores the stop sign for the 50th time and runs toward home.
I have a new found respect for "Send 'em in Kim".
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Until stuff like today happens.
As Ang got ready to take the Dynamic Duo for a walk this morning, she found Rakes in the garage in front of the freezer. Shirt off, pants around his ankles, and him about 1.3 seconds away from going #2 on our garage floor.
First off, I have no idea why he has to take his shirt off to do this; he just does. Second, why he couldn't come inside? "I REALLY had to do, Mom". Of course he did.
Why does the image of Bluto from "Animal House" come to mind?
Finally, notice the Inspector Clouseau moustache he drew on himself at church tonight.
Me: "Rakes, did you draw a beard on you like Dad?"
Rakes: "No Dad. Dust a moustache. De dirls like a moustache, Dad."
I need a valium.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
They made me the 3rd base coach for some weird reason, and in a matter of minutes I was drunk with power. Like my good friend Nancy from SG suggested, I suddenly morphed into The Human Windmill Dale Sveum and was sending runners with reckless abandon. Final tally? 2 runners thrown out at home and one at third when I had her running on an infield single!
From there, I went to Rakes' T-Ball practice, where he continued to exhibit symptoms of being the next Manny. Dialed in during batting practice, he laced all but two pitches to the outfield, has a pretty good arm for someone 2 ft tall, yet could care less about his glove work. As long as he doesn't stand at home plate and admire his shot into the middle infield or start growing dreadlocks, I think we'll be OK.
I got home with Rakes around 8:10, turn on the game, and the Sox are winning 3-0, with Wake in the groove. 8 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, and 6 K's, with back to back HR's from Papi and Manny, the final score ended up 5-0.
If you're keeping score at home, that's 2 nights in a row The Large Father has gone yard, and Manny is now at career HR 497.
9 games over .500 on May 7th?
Sounds good to me.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Daisuke goes 5-0.
If I told you he walked EIGHT batters, went all of 5 innings, and STILL won? You'd say I was an idiot.
Yet, he did.
This only proves one thing.
God is a Red Sox fan.
Give me another explanation and I'll say you've got the benefit of the doubt.
8 walks against the most potent lineup on paper this side of the Ruth/Gehrig Murderer's Row?
I call Divine Intervention.
Plus, that David Ortiz home run late in the game?
Picasso couldn't have drawn it up any better.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
While I was recovering from The Bubonic Plague and watching the Red Sox game today, Ang took the Hooligans outside to play; somehow they convinced her to let them have a water gun fight, which resulted in Trot being what they picked for target practice.
It also gave us the following conversation:
Ciera: (While brandishing the Super Soaker water gun) "Feel my WRATH!"
Rakes: (Shooting a water pistol at random) "Feel my.... PENIS!"
Me: (Blank Stare) "He didn't hear it from me."
Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed.
Eventually it was discovered this came from the movie "How to eat Fried Worms" and something about a dingle bopper; I honestly couldn't make any sense out of it.
I DO know it sent Ang into a giggle fit, which she needed after a weekend of me in bed with the flu and the three of them apparently picking NOW to audition for the circus.
On the Red Sox front, the boys completed their 3 game sweep of the Devil Rays, winning 7-3. A play at home, where The Munchkin seemingly got a tad miffed at the way Scott Kazmir was blocking the plate, gave us the picture of Tito and The Elf.
Look at how proud Francona is of his balding second baseman.
Not since Ward and The Beav has there been a better Father/Son combination in all of television.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
By lunchtime, I was curled up in the bed, shaking like an addict quitting cold turkey while running back and forth to the bathroom every five minutes.
If you've never been sick and trying to rest while what sounds like a thundering herd of wildebeasts is right outside the door, count yourself lucky.
As I drifted in and out of sleep, the Sox/Rays game started after a 2 1/2 hour rain delay, and in between visits to the porcelain train I got to see the offense come to life.
Three things my fever addled brain could compute while watching the game with one eye open:
1. Edwin Jackson is NOT the second coming of Bob Gibson, no matter how much the media wanted us to believe after last weekends series vs. the Sox.
2. Between Pedie, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Moss, etc..., the Red Sox future looks to be bright.
3. Even with the flu, a day with baseball is better than one without it.
Sox win 7-3, I can actually sit down and type for a few minutes, and I've got Remy and DO coming on my tv screen in about 6 hours.
It could be worse.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
It also means I'll eventually turn into MY Pop, who I found this morning perched in front of the computer at the office (it IS his home, so I can't get too upset) composing a letter. Now, I'm naturally thinking this has something to do with the real estate business, his sisters, or he's just forwarding that "send this to 10 people in the next 10 minutes and you'll win a billion pigeons" or something close to it.
Instead, he's full of righteous indignation at DHL for sending him junk mail. Yes, junk mail. The man has a paper shredder, a trash compactor, and about 15 perfectly good trash cans, yet he's COMPELLED to send a letter demanding they stop sending him stuff. In addition to the letter, he's got some poor temp at DHL Corporate near tears as he tells her the following: "If DHL has YOUR attitude, I'm amazed they do any business at all".
All because he got a letter saying they'd like to service his account in a better way. The man is certifiable; when I asked him why he was so worked up, I got a response that included "arrogant people think they can get away with anything, they are just like the mafia", and a Yankee comparison, which I actually sort of went along with.
He got this way once before with the telephone company and apparently some guy named Darrin at the California office is responsible.
Ang, I'd like to apologize for anything similar to this that I'll do in the next 40 years.
You can't fight genetics.