Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why can't the Postseason start right away?

Tuesday September 30th, 8:27 p.m.

Rakes, with a grin a lot like the one in this picture, looks at me across the living room into the kitchen and utters the following:

"I just put a penny in my butt".

I need a Red Sox baseball game like you wouldn't believe.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Things that occupy my mind on off days.

I took Rakes to his buddy Brick's 4th birthday yesterday at Bounce U. And yes, Brick may have Rakes beat for most unusual name that I've ever heard. Plus he and his parents are die hard Yankee fans which is a double whammy. But they are great people, he's a wonderful boy, and he calls me "Rakes' Daddy". So he's good people.

Here Rakes is swinging for the fences at the baseball section with a look usually seen on the face of Kevin Youkilis in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded. I've really gotta get him to dial the intensity down a notch.

Finally, here he is on the last leg of the obstacle course where they tell you, in a video, to sit on your bottom and go feet first down the slide. Of course he's bouncing as high as he can before jumping off and meeting the slide about 2/3 of the way down.
I remain firmly convinced he'll be the first astronaut to do a back flip over the lunar module.

Red Sox vs the Angels Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m. east coast time.

I'll be stocking up on Mt Dew and Red Bull tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dear Commisioner Selig

To: Bud Selig

From: Miss Hathaway

Subject: Quit being a dink

Dear Mr. Selig,

Please understand I'm just the messenger; my boss, I'm afraid, has finally lost it. It seems he spent the last day of the regular season taking his young son Rakes (An adorable, yet somewhat hyperactive child) to a birthday party for one of his young playmates and I fear it pushed him over the proverbial edge.

Around 5:45 this evening I got a phone call from him which is the reason I'm writing you this note. Remember, these are not MY words, but I was told to transpose the following.

"King Dink. See that little old man clutching that baseball bat and hugging David Ortiz? He just got his number FREAKING RETIRED at Fenway Park today. He played with Ted flipping Williams, managed the Red Sox at one point, and in 2004 got kissed by Curt Schilling and had beer poured on his head at Busch Stadium when the Sox won it all. He's got more baseball knowledge in his middle finger (which I hope is extended toward your current residence) than you have in your entire body and he hit over .300 in his career. Which is approximately .300 more points than YOU have hit in the show.

It was YOU, not him who decided to cancel a World Series, ignore the fact the players in your league looked like WBF body builders rather than ball players, and let the All-Star game end in a Tie. A TIE, for God's sake. Why didn't you just make all the players just kiss their sisters and call it a night?

Yet you still deny this great ambassador for the game the one thing he wants more than anything in this world; to sit in the dugout with his family, the Boston Red Sox team, during the game. What harm is he doing? They want him there, he wants to be there, and I'm betting if you ask anyone associated with the game that doesn't have the last name Steinbrenner you're gonna get the same answer: Let Mr. Pesky in.

For all the lip service you give toward tradition, respect, and recognizing the history of this great game, you do a crap job of showing it. You can take your stupid glasses, your inter league play, and your Mitchell Report and shove it where the sun don't shine."

Again, I wish to reiterate these are not MY words: I've got a mortgage and a retirement fund to think about. Not to mention he keeps promising me a 401K and a retirement home in Vero Beach, so I hope you understand my dilemma. Just so you know, I didn't write down EVERYTHING he told me to; After all, I am a lady and in his defense, those children of his are quite the handful.

Finally, if I may speak boldly, you really MUST do something about the late start times for the playoff games. Number 1, my employer is NOT a morning person and staying up to all hours just means more work for me. Number 2, what casual fan of a game is going to stay up after that young Mr. O'Brian has already gone to bed. And number 3, do you realize how difficult it is for the following picture to take place when you don't start one of your games until it's past bedtime?

My employer, his 2 hellions, and relative peace all at one time? Do you think this picture is possible with 10 pm starts from the Left Coast? No. By this point he's put both boys to bed while threatening to take away their feeble inheritance and at the same time enrolling them both in Military School.

And while it doesn't bother him, MY work life sure does take a blow.

So help a playa out, will you?


Miss Hathaway.

PS: Can you check and see if Mr. Farrell is single?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What we've got here is a failure to communicate.

My only guess is Heaven needed a Hustler. Cool Hand Luke died yesterday at the age of 83 and one of my all-time favorite actors is gone.

Paul Newman decided he'd had enough of all this nonsense and somewhere above us, St. Peter is getting hustled in a game of pool.

As I get a little bit older every year it seems like one by one my hero's fall by the wayside. Today I found out the guy who I see when I hear the name "Butch Cassiday" joined the crowd. I've been a fan since I was 8 years old and saw "Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid" for the first time and made it a point to see every movie I could with him in it for the next 30 years, so I figured I'd just say my piece.

The fact he was married to the same woman, Joanne Woodward, since 1958 only added to my admiration for the man. Top it off with some dink asking him about infidelity and his response of "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?" and you've got a life long fan.

So on a night when the Red Sox/ Yankees were rained out, it's a done deal we're the wild card, and I imagine Tito is sitting at home wondering how in God's name is he gonna get everybody an a/b once the playoffs actually start I figured I'd give a man's man his due.

God speed, Mr. Newman.

And thanks for the memories.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Is it really a election year?

The MFY's are beating the Red Sox 13-4. McCain vs. Obama in a steel cage death match is on every stinking channel not named ESPN or Fox Sports. And as hard as I try to find it, "Stripes" isn't on ANYWHERE.

Boom shackalacka Boom shackalacka Boom shackalacka BOOM! is nowhere to be found.

As much as watching the Yankees hand us a beating at Fenway is working my nerves, I'm drawing some level of comfort from the fact that come tomorrow everyone will be more concerned with the latest Notre Dame football game than the clustermess that is American Politics. And no, I'm not proud of this fact. But it is what it is.

Can the freaking playoffs start already and I can get back to worrying about stupid games that don't matter one bit in the long run?

'Cause I'm WAY out of my comfort zone right now.

I HATE Election years.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Rally Monkey is no Jon Lester.

Picture courtesy of Kelly O.

Back on May 19th I was winging my way back to North Carolina after my inaugural trip to Boston and Fenway Park. When I got back to Raleigh and turned on my phone, there were roughly 137 voice mails ordering me to not turn on anything but ESPN. None of them told me the reason, but when I finally got the tv on I realized why.

Jon Lester had just no-hit the Royals. Which is why I was so jacked tonight; through 5 innings Lester was doing it again, this time against the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, lightning didn't strike twice and he gave up a hit to the first batter in the 6th.

Which means, in all reality, nothing. The Sox won 6-1, Lester was freaking brilliant, and this team is playing as good as I could have asked for heading into the post-season. 2 hits by Ellsbury, another HR by the bearded wonder, and a 2 hit effort by the Sox pitching staff.

There is also the SMALL possibility that the Sox can actually win the AL East if they win out and the Rays finally fold up their tents against the Tigers this weekend. Likely? No. But I watched this club come back from an 0-3 deficit to the MFY's 5 years ago so I ain't giving up until they tell me too.

Come next week, we'll most likely be in LaLa Land playing the Angels in the ALDS. And while all the talking heads are collectively flipping out about this development, I point to 2004 and 2007 for a little perspective. The team the Sox had to play in the first round in those years? The Angels. Result? Two 3 game sweeps.

Yeah, it's impressive to look at the regular season they had this year. But to paraphrase The Large Father; the Red Sox are a SCARY team to run into when it counts.

Besides, I'll take Beckett, Lester, and Daisuke any day of the week.

Twice if it's on Sunday.

Let's get it on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This is starting to look really familiar.

Beer flying everywhere. Champagne being sprayed on anything in reach, including MDC, Lopez, and David Aardsma running all the way out to the bullpen to drench the Boston Cop who, best I can figure, is there to open the gate and fist bump each relief pitcher who comes into a game.

Except for the notable absence of Pap dancing around the infield in his underwear, last night looked an awful lot like last year when the Sox clinched the AL East. Maybe since it was just the wild card Papelbon decided to keep it PG; doesn't matter. The Red Sox have made the playoffs for the 5th time in 6 years and Jeter, Slappy, and the rest of the MFY's are sitting at home for the playoffs for the first time since Moses parted the Red Sea.

At least it seems like that long.

As I watched the celebration last night and again on replays tonight, I couldn't keep the idiotic grin off my face. Guys like Jason Bay, who has spent his entire career playing for the Pirates, spraying alcohol all over his teammates with a grin usually seen on that guy who assaulted Ned Beatty in "Deliverance".

Pap handing bases out to random fans like some demented Santa Claus, Tek lapping Fenway Park while shaking anybodies hand he could reach, and Sean Casey grinning like a lottery winner and hugging anyone in sight.

Come October, there will be baseball played at Fenway Park.

And yes, I just got goose bumps over my entire body.

Screw you, Dane Cook.

I live for this.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funny, this is what it looked like in my kitchen.

Substitute the dude dancing with Pap and you've got the image of what it looked like in my house a little while ago.

Me, with goggles on my head and a cigar hanging out of my mouth on one hand and Ang with a confused look on her face while dancing with me.

The Sox are in the playoffs (as the wild card) and all bets are off.

Forget that 1-8 record vs. The Angels and the Rays most likely winning the division.

Like my Pop always says: It ain't how you drive. It's how you arrive.

October baseball with the MFY's sitting at home?

It really doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Cleveland. Josh Beckett says Hello.

The last time Josh Beckett saw the Cleveland Indians, it was Game 5 of the 2007 ALCS. Up 3 games to 1, Cleveland was practically popping champagne corks; then they screwed up.

To sing the National Anthem, they picked one of The Commander's ex-girlfriends. All Beckett did was pitch 8 innings with 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, and 11 strikeouts, plus give one of the all-time best post-game press conferences EVER. This was Beckett's response to the ex-girlfriend stunt by Cleveland. (Just in case you don't know Beckett, the clip is NSFW).

Flash forward to tonight; Red Sox are one win away from clinching the AL Wild Card and the only thing standing in their way is the Indians.

With Josh Freaking Beckett on the hill.

To quote my good friend Tex?

I'm ready for Joshtober.

EDITORS NOTE: We'll get 'em tomorrow. And God help the post-game buffet table when Beckett gets through with it.

And I offically hate the Cleveland Indians.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

DIrty Water: It's not just for Red Sox wins.

As a guy who gets grief for eating .88 cent tv dinners at work and planned a boycott of USA Today when they went from .50 to .75 cents a day for their newspaper, you could say buying books brand new isn't something high on my list.

Which is why I was thrilled beyond belief when fellow blogger Jere Smith sent me an advance copy of the book he and his Mom Mary-Ann wrote entitled "Dirty Water". For free.

Don't tell Jere, but I would have bought it at full price anyways. As an avid reader, especially of mysteries, I'd have been more than willing to shell out my $25 at Barnes and Noble; throw in the fact it involves the Red Sox and Jere, his publisher, and the printing company could have charged me th gross national product of Chile and I'd have bought it.

Thanks to his generosity, my wallet remains light and my reputation as a cheapskate stays intact.

If you enjoy a good mystery, combined with great character development and David Ortiz playing a prominent role in a work of fiction, get your credit card out and hit ASAP. From one of the most unique protagonist I've found in the last 20 years in Homicide Detective Rocky Patel, compelling story telling, and the unique twist of tying in the coaches and players of the Old Towne Team, Jere and Mary-Ann have crafted a story that is original, suspenseful, heartfelt, and adrenaline pumping.

By the way, you can purchase it HERE.

I just wish I could write a blog as well as they've written a book. If you like to read and you're a fan of the Red Sox, do yourself a favor and buy this book; you won't be dissapointed. And many thanks to Jere for letting me have a chance to read it early. In a related note, if you're a regular here, check out Jere's blog to see how someone who knows what in God's name they're doing when it comes to writing. It'll be time well spent.

In a totally unrelated note, I spent 7 minutes this afternoon laughing until I cried at the following YouTube clip.

God Bless Gustufson.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's The Simple Things That Matter.

Other than Red Sox wins, Yankee losses, and Al Roker not being able to read the teleprompter, nothing brings me more happiness than being able to take the terrible trio outside to play.

Top it off with the fact I'm not sweating buckets upon reaching the garage and you've got the makings of a fantastic night.

So when I got home from work and Ciera asked if I'd chaperone some random street chaos, I was more than happy to oblige; 65 degrees and a Carolina Blue sky to lead us to sundown.

She rode her Scooter, Rakes alternated between his Big Wheel and a Harley sportster, and Trot... Well, he proceeded to push a dump truck up and down the street while alternating between a gutteral roar and a primal scream.

We only scared 2 people and traumatized one dog who were walking through the neighborhood; I consider that a good night.

As for the Sox, Lester lost to Halladay today, which is nothing to hang your head over. The Rays clinched a playoff spot, the Cubs won the NL Central, and somewhere in NYC Derek Jeter is weeping.

Come tomorrow, Monday, or even Tuesday the Sox will do the same; all that's left is to figure out who wins the division and who takes the Wild Card. Bottom line? The Red Sox are in the playoffs and anything can happen.

The Red Sox are in the dance, the Yankees are looking forward to 2009, and Trot may be facing a court ordered restraining order from the Backyardigans.

Just another normal Saturday at the Dalton house.

Anyone got a valium they can spare?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just like I drew it up.

The Sox go into Toronto and beat the Jays in game one 4-3; Casey hits a 2 run double, Pap is Pap, and we take game one 4-3 in THEIR house.

Which is a lot like what happened at home today. Sara, my college aged neighbor, left her door open while Trot invited himself in and wandered around her town house while she was changing clothes.

Is 2 years old the record for getting arrested for trespassing or lewd conduct? If not, he set the mark today.

I have no idea what I'm gonna do; he's two, so I can't send him to jail. On the other hand, he really shouldn't be wandering the neighborhood and randomly entering houses as he sees fit. For now, my solution is to ban him to his room for the next 6 years and hope for the best.

Combine all that with some idiot neighborhood kid taking our bookshelf we've set out for the VA and putting it in the middle of the road, me chasing said idiot down the street while shouting random expletives and you've got a sitcom episode already made.

Funny. Jason Seaver never had to deal with all this.

Is it time for the playoffs yet?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes my kids actually surprise me.

Apparently, Rakes has inherited from me the genetic gene for OCD. After going to the library and picking out 15 different books, he wants to read the same 3 every night before bedtime.

One about a bunch of dinks riding a bus, another one that details the day in the life of a mouse family that hits the beach, and the third? Jackie Robinson, a young man in Brooklyn in 1947, and his Dad who just happens to be deaf, titled "Dad, Jackie, and Me".

I can honestly say I've read this book to him AT LEAST 29 times and tonight this particular paragraph finally caught his attention.

"As Jackie stood at first base, the Giants began hooting and hollering. They called Jackie names. Horrible names."

Rakes: "Why did they call him names, Dad?"

Me: "Well, white people didn't really like black people back then, son."

Rakes: "But why, Dad?"

How in the world do you explain centuries of racism to a 4 year old? The best I could come up with was they were all a bunch of idiots and steered him to bed. But it got me to thinking, which in most cases is not a good thing.

It makes me glad that the poster over my son's bed is of a black man of Dominican heritage named Big Papi. Even better, I thought about how a dude who used to sport corn rows roams CF and how the top three players in the game are guys named Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, and Alfonso Soriano. They don't exactly conjure up images of the All-American white guy.

The bigger picture is this; no matter what your political leaning, come November there will be an African-American on the ballot for the President of the United States.

Can we collectively flip the bird to all the David Dukes everywhere?

On a side note, Ang went to pick up the boys from my Mom's house today and after about 3 minutes found Trot.

Yelling his head off.

Inside the dryer.


Somewhere in all of this, I've got a potential best seller.

Now, if I could just figure out how to pull it all together.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm reaching. But bear with me.

Much like that whole "Bobby Ewing was never dead. It was all just a dream." season of Dallas, I'm gonna pretend tonight's game never happened. Just like Pam woke up with Bobby in the shower and JR still trying to run them into bankruptcy, I'm going to bed tonight convinced that Wake didn't leave after a little more than 2 innings and some guy named Willie Ayabar didn't hit a home run.

I honestly believe I'll wake up in the morning taking a shower, Ang will open the door, and it'll be last October with her saying she can't believe the Red Sox just swept the Rockies and they won it all. Again.

'Cause if that dink in the George McFly glasses and his band of rejects actually win a meaningful series in October, I'm pretty sure the world as we know it is coming to an end.

Which is why I'm clinging to a tv show that ended before my daughter was born and the main star is a guy who used to have a genie living in his house and has had a liver transplant.

Which if you think about it, it's oddly appropriate. One more series like this one and I'll have Larry Hagmans doctor on speed dial and wondering when he can fit me in. In a year when we finally have the Yankees performing like the overpaid has beens they are we've gotta deal with the Rays finally acting like a professional baseball team.

If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Excuse me while I kiss the sky. Or something.

8 innings. 1 ER. 7 K's. All by Josh Beckett.

On most nights, this would be all I needed to know that the Sox had won and I'd be looking at the potential lineups for tomorrow.

Tonight? It meant zip. Beckett and the Sox lose 2-1 and I'm looking for a win tomorrow by Wake and a vise I can strap my gibleys to for tonight. 'Cause that CAN'T hurt worse than the punch to the gut I felt when Dionner Navarro hit that ball in the bottom of the ninth.

This is October and these are the Tampa Bay Rays; they should be getting ready for an off-season filled with washing their cars and getting ready for next year, not fighting it out with the Red Sox for the AL East crown.

Yet here they are doing just that and here I am praying for a meteor to take out Tropicana Field tomorrow night; just once, I'd like an end of the year that didn't have me fighting off a bleeding ulcer and scouring the black market for mind altering drugs.

Maybe next year; 'cause it looks like the 2008 season is going down to the wire.

I just hope I can make it to the end of the ride.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny what pressure will do to a team.

13-3 Sox in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Papi, Lowell, Bay, Tek, Crisp, and Youk with Home Runs.

Scott Kazmir, the supposed Rays ace, doesn't last 4 innings and gives up 9 earned runs.

Wasn't this supposed to be the team the Red Sox were afraid of? The Cinderella story that was going to send the Red Sox home early in the post season?

Looks to me like they'd be better off worrying about how they are gonna make the playoffs, much less worrying about the Sox getting early off season tee times.

And after 5+ months of wondering where our Captain had gone, the past few weeks have given us glimpses of the Tek we're used to seeing. Tonight he got hit in his first a/b, and if looks could kill, Kazmir would have been at the morgue by now. Next a/b he hits an absolute BOMB and all of a sudden it's 2004 and Tek is back to being Tek.

So it looks like the premature deaths of Tek and the Red Sox were exaggerated; no freaking kidding. Everybody has an off year; Tek just picked his contract year to have his. Come October I have no doubt our Captain will be swatting rockets and leading his pitchers to victory; he hasn't proven me wrong so far, and I'm not about to start doubting him now.

I take a lot of comfort in the picture I posted; does that look like a man who's going to quit? Is he going to settle for second best? The man in that picture is looking for a face to punch, a set of gibleys to kick, and a division to win.

So screw the naysayers; I'm going with my gut and the Captain.

Sox win the AL East.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's amazing how sane we actually look.

From all appearances, we're just your average American family leaving church on Sunday. Dad, Mom, and three normal kids heading home to eat lunch and enjoy the rest of the day.

In fact, if Ward and June Cleaver had ever decided to have a third child, you'd have hard time telling us apart. Except for the fact that I'm much better looking than Hugh Beaumont.

The truth is this.

The beautiful little girl in the hat is on the threshold of being a teenager and I'm about ready to send her off to Europe in an exchange program. When did ten year olds become hormonal anyways?

The future criminal I'm holding is obsessed with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and channeled Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas" last night when he nearly shoved his brother down the stairs.

Speaking of his brother, he came about one more incident away from being banned from Sunday School today because of his temper. It's gotten to the point I don't even ask how he was; now, I just walk up to the door and ask if he's still welcome in the building.

Ang is without a doubt the most loving, prettiest thing I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. However, after a day filled with dealing with these 3 I'm lucky if I can avoid rants about birth control and questions about when I'm finally gonna get myself fixed and threatened if I don't.

Which brings it all back to me. As the figurehead in this great big cast of nut jobs, I reckon I'm supposed to be the voice of reason.

All that is well and good, until you take into account I'm the idiot laying awake at night wondering why Tito didn't pinch-run Coco for Tek, who is going to lay down his life and tell Mike Timlin he can't pitch in a close game EVER again, and has decided that letting the boys do whatever they want is the best course of action if I want to avoid a debilitating heart attack, stroke, or visit to the closest sanitarium.

I guess I'm no different than the next guy. Well, the next guy with John Gotti, Al Capone, and that bossy girl from "Little House on the Prairie", along with Cleopatra ruling the roost.

Tomorrow night at 7, the Sox take on the Rays in a battle for first in the AL East; and I'll be back in my element, ready to take on whatever comes my way. Until then?

Wish me luck.

I'm gonna need it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I think I can get a group discount on straight jackets.

While I was at work today, Ang took Huey, Dewey, and Louie to the zoo; and no matter how much she begged, they wouldn't keep any of 'em for educational purposes.

Upon arriving home, I heard story after story about the polar bears, gorillas, and lions. Rakes also happened upon 2 turtles mating, which brought up a series of questions Angie wasn't anticipating having to answer for another 5 years or so.

What I DIDN'T hear about, until she told me after the kids were in bed, was Trot running along a brick wall about 6 feet high and 8 inches wide while Ang screamed at the top of her lungs and some random stranger plucking him off of what was described to me as certain death.

While I'm fairly certain he would have sustained nothing worse than a knot on his head and MAYBE a broken arm, I've decided I'm glad I was at work and not along for all the fun. Especially after arriving home tonight and within 15 minutes Rakes pushed Trot backwards. Which wouldn't be all that bad if it didn't occur at the top of the stairs and only the fact a miracle happened and Trot having reflexes like Spider Man prevented him from breaking his neck.

Long time readers of my train wreck of a blog will remember he has gone down this road before; I'm just thankful we didn't have a repeat tonight.

Thankfully, the Sox won 7-5, coming back from a 5-2 deficit to take the win and send the Blue Jays off into the night muttering about what might have been with a 7-5 loss. Throw in the MFY's actually sacking up and beating the Rays, and we head into tomorrow 2 games back in the AL East. And while I'm counting on the wild card, I haven't given up hope of taking the division.

Those 3 games in Tampa at the start of next week are looming pretty freaking large; I just hate I'm having to count on the Yankees to make them meaningful.

It's like seeing your cousin in the kissing booth at the county fair when you put your two dollars down; you like the end result, but the getting there makes you more than a little sick to your stomach.

Only September baseball can make you this excited and this sick to your stomach at the same time. Well, aside from my previous cousin analogy, but you get where I'm coming from.

Lester vs. Halladay tomorrow; which reminds me to stock up on TUMS, nerve pills, and Johnny Walker Black.

Crunch-Time baseball.

I LIVE for this.

Friday, September 12, 2008

That isn't "Buenos Noches, Amigos" he's saying.

While watching the game tonight, I found Rakes and Trot laying side by side in my chair watching the game. Well, Trot was watching the game and yelling "Daddy, ball (several words I couldn't understand) bat!" while Rakes played with his Legos and occasionally muttered "God bless America, can you put him to bed?"

Trust me; he gets THAT from him Mom.

Wake goes 8, Sox win 7-0 and I can go to bed happy. Or as happy as I can be sitting 2 games back of the Rays with a double header looming for tomorrow.

With my local gas stations raising the price of fuel to close to $5 dollars a gallon, I'm not counting on anything being definite tomorrow morning. Well, other than the fact we just beat the Blue Jays 7-0 and Bartolo "El Guapo Jr." Colon is pitching one of the double header games tomorrow.

I'd REALLY like to be around a game back when we hit the Trop on Monday; whether that happens is still up in the air.

But hey; a guy can dream, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reason #568 I'm glad I'm working tomorrow.

Ang loves having a yard sale about as much as the Dad from "A Christmas Story" loved changing a flat tire or getting a leg lamp. To say she's excited does a gross injustice to excited people everywhere.

Me? I never have grasped what is so freaking awesome about selling your junk to a bunch of people who think it's solid gold, yet want to dicker with you on price, even if it's a .50 cent book. All it makes me want to do is throw a golf club at 'em and send them to the mall if they think it's too much.

Ang? It's like she died and went to heaven; some deadbeat wants to offer her a dollar for a 2 dollar pair of shoes and she's like some vendor at the flea market in her prime. God Bless her; I hope she sells out the place, and if somebody wants to rent Rakes and Trot out for manual labor? All the better.

I'm just glad I'll be at work for the next 2 days, far away from the freaks and wacko's who'll descend upon my driveway the next two days wanting to buy anything not nailed down.

Like I told Ang, if you need me I'll be at work, trying to sell furniture while I obsess about the Red Sox chances for the division and trying to figure out the magic number for the wild card. And oh yeah, I'll be plotting my campaign for Pedie to win the MVP while I'm at it.

As much as I hate the off-season, I've come to view it as a time to try and get sane so nobody in the family attempts to have me committed.

Finally, completely unrelated to this evenings rant, prayers to anyone who lost somebody 7 years ago today and God Speed to all the troops serving overseas as a result of the tragedy that happened on this day.

::Flips Osama the bird::

Never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Ulcer is telling me it's September.

Tight division games.

Pepto Bismal in Sam's Club quantities.

Ted pacing the living room floor muttering expletives under his breath and questioning the parental legitimacy of umpires everywhere.

All this must mean it's September and the Sox are in the midst of their annual playoff race with the Yankees.

Only this year, down is up, left is right, and it's the Rays, not the Yankees I'm worried about.

Which is the reason it's 10:24 pm and I'm raging against the machine while the Rays and the Sox head to the bottom of the 10th inning tied at 1-1. Would somebody tell these noobs that they are at Fenway Park, it's September, and they are supposed to roll over and play dead while we steamroll to the division title?

I've waited all year for them to finally FAIL in their attempt to win the AL East; I reckon I otta finally give credit where credit is due. But after all these years of sweating the Yankees out for an entire season, I was ready to coast into October.

So screw them, screw Maddon and his idiotic glasses, and screw all those blue hairs in Florida hoping they'll have playoff baseball next month. I want carnage, havoc, and mass destruction so I can go to bed and sleep the sleep of the victorious.

They leave Pedie stranded at third in the bottom of the tenth and I'm off to hit myself in the gibleys with a ball peen hammer.

Apparently, it doesn't count if it comes easily; I think I'll get a price quote on a full time shrink tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A break in the Madness.

In the middle of a pitching performance by Daisuke that reminded me to stock up on TUMS, Rolaids, and Pepto Bismal for the playoffs, I wandered into the toy room and spotted Rakes and Trot in relative quiet.

No sword fighting, no UFC chokeouts, and positively no atomic elbows off the top rope. After watching Daisuke give up 5 walks while throwing 1,265 pitches through 5 innings, I needed some peace.

The mental treadmill I walk every game would make most people either quit watching baseball all together or take up meth as a hobby; on one hand I've got DO and Remy calling the game with their usual aplomb while the other hand is usually dealing with things most mortals wouldn't wish on their worse enemy.

So tonight I was pleasantly surprised when I turned the corner, expecting carnage and havoc, and got two still children kicking back and watching Bill Murray completely bury his legacy in the movie "Garfield".

Which makes me realize how completely insane I am; it's 10:36 p.m., I need sleep like a junkie needs a fix, yet here I sit watching Troy Percival walk Mark Kotsay and thinking it's the greatest thing I've ever seen.

Meanwhile, I've got three kids asleep, a wife watching E News for entertainment, and my focus is on Jason Varitek and praying he hits a 2 run home run into the Monster seats.

I'm not sure how tonight will end. I hope the Red Sox win. I hope Troy Percival's right arm flies into the seats behind 3rd base. I hope.

Whatever happens, I know this.

I've got issues. And I'm not sure a shrink, a doctor, or that chick from "The Soprano's" can help me.


It's September; all that other nonsense can wait.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't ever move furniture with your wife.

7 2/3 innings.

9 K's.

0 runs.

I swear, if you'd have told me before the season started that Jon Lester would have been the stopper, I'd have pulled a "Coming to America" moment, channeled the dad from "Good Times" and told you to get off the drugs.

Yet here we are on 9-8-08; the Red Sox sit just a 1/2 game behind the Rays and we all have Lester to thank for it. For all the missed opportunities, ill-timed attempts to steal a base and a few random BAD decisions to try and stretch a single to a double, Crabcakes kept us in it. And that is about all you can ask for.

In an unrelated note, I moved a crap load of furniture with Angie today; with Ang's Grandmother being moved into an assisted living facility, Ciera got her furniture. Which meant Rakes got Ciera's furniture, which meant a whole lot of heavy lifting for me.

Bottom line? I found myself standing on my stairs, trying to keep a mattress from sending to a premature death, while Ang uttered the now infamous "I thought you were going to push it up" line.

There are 3 things married couples should NEVER attempt.

Don't ever attempt to pick paint colors together, do whatever you can to avoid the "which one gets the decisive birth control surgery" debate, and never, and I mean NEVER move furniture from one location to another without a marriage counselor, a bodyguard, and a keg.

Trust me on this one.

All's well that ends well; Ciera has her new furniture, Rakes is sleeping on a mattress that will take him into his post-graduate work and Ang is sound asleep. I'm left wondering what happened to my little boy in his crib and why time has to fly by so fast, but it's all right.

The Red Sox are a 1/2 game out of first.

Plus, I'm usually the last to know, so what else is new?

One day, this blog will be listed by the Government as an approved method of birth control.

When that happens, my mission here will be complete.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity .

Dear Tampa Bay,

Tomorrow night you arrive at Fenway Park for a 3 game series with the Red Sox. Trust me, this is NOT gonna be like any previous visit you've ever had at The Cathedral; this is big boy baseball at it's best.

35,000 plus chowderheads yelling their heads off, cameras flashing like it's Game 1 of the World Series, and you wishing MLB would equip every dugout with barf bags.

This isn't April when everyone has a shot. It's not June when you're feeling your Oates, throwing at Coco, and Jonny Gomes is still a relevant member of your team. This is SEPTEMBER, when it's crunch time and every game, every play, every pitch MATTERS.

In the last 10 games you've played you are 5-5. However, out of those ten you've lost 5 of the last 6. Boston, on the other hand, is 7-3 and just took 2 out of 3 from Texas after sweeping the Orioles in Baltimore.

Look, you boys have had one more run; I gotta admit, I'd have bet my house against Maddon's dipstick glasses that you'd have folded your tents and headed back to the bottom of the division by now. To your credit, you've played great baseball for 5 months.

Who knows? Maybe you'll be able to keep it up for one more. But to do THAT, you've gotta come to Fenway Park in September. And that idiot who yells all game long, those God-forsaken cowbells, and The Nasty Boy won't do you any good here, bucko.

This is Fenway, the division up for grabs, and the playoffs 3 weeks away. This is Lowell vs Longoria, Papi vs Pena, and Beckett vs Kazmir. Throw in Tek vs Navarro, Pedie vs Iwamura, and Tito vs Maddon and you see my point. No matter how impressive what you've accomplised this far is, you're going up against the World Champions, in THEIR house, with more than bragging rights up for grabs.

Pack a sack lunch, your hardhat and a steel encased jock, fellas.

Oh yeah; and bring earplugs.

Trust me, you'll need 'em all.



Saturday, September 6, 2008

I think I'm raising a puppy. Or worse.

Remember Animal from the Muppet Show?

I'm pretty sure he's been re-incarnated as Trot; when I arrived home from work today I was hit with a play by play of the days events that would have made a lesser man weep.

This is the headboard in my bedroom. Which he was standing ON TOP OF when he performed a perfect swan dive onto the bed.

Here is the armoire in my room, where he used the drawers like a ladder to climb up and completely freeze up the DirecTV Tivo. I have no idea how it got fixed; I was pushing reset and cursing under my breath while Rakes was pushing random buttons on the remote. Somehow it works; I'm going with divine intervention and leaving it at that.

My kitchen counter tops. Which he apparently learned to climb overnight, since Ang found him fiddling with the stove knobs and playing with the lighters we have in the cabinets today. It's a minor miracle he didn't blow the house up or set the kitchen on fire.Now, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to buy a birdcage and just keep him in it. Either that or lock him in the laundry room for 3 hour intervals.

And no, I'm not done. This is the chest in his room. Which Angie left unlocked and him alone for approximately 2 minutes and 23 seconds. In that time, he climbed to the top, threw all the baseballs inside the glass vase onto the floor, and proceeded to take a whiz, while standing ON TOP OF THE FREAKING chest, into the now empty vase.

Did I mention there is a toilet 3 FEET OUTSIDE HIS ROOM?I'm getting one of these tomorrow; I'm not sure yet whether I'm getting it for him or for me.

I'll keep you posted.

Seriously. How can you NOT trust this face?

I'm gonna go upgrade my life insurance policy now. I'm 99.9% certain there is no way I make it to 50.

EDITORS NOTE: After posting, I realized that in the final picture, Trot is flipping me the bird.

Of course he is.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Josh Beckett is not human.

Photo courtesy of Kelly O.

5 innings.

7 K's.

0 Walks.

4 Hits.

All in his first start back from the DL, against a Ranger team who can flat out rake.

I'm telling you, he's a cyborg; that dude chasing Sarah and John Conner has nothing on the Commander.

Ending the night at 2.5 games behind the Rays and leading the Wild Card race at plus 7 games?

Worth every penny the Sox have spent this year.

Doing it with Beckett healthy and dominating?


And all without charging anything to my MasterCard.

To paraphrase Snoop, it was a good day.

At least I think it was Snoop; what do I know? I live in NC; it could have been Bucky from American Idol for all I know.

:: hums Dirty Water as I head to bed::

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Had The Day Off.

Now I realize why Al Bundy just wanted to come home, unbutton the top of his pants, and flop in front of the television.

I'm normally off on Mondays, and since Labor Day took over my regularly scheduled day off, I was work free today; what follows is a log of what a day off consists of.

Up at 8:30, I took Rakes to pre-school followed immediately by me getting my oil changed and my car inspected. I should point out it was June when it lapsed, but baseball season just totally throws me off my game.

Ran home, took a shower, and ran a razor over my face in less time than it takes Papi to step out of the box, give the ump a "what in the world did you see?" look, spit on his hands, and step back in. From there, I went to school to eat with Ciera (I actually just WATCHED her eat, being that it was 10:45 a.m.), and went to pick Rakes up.

Came home, ate lunch, played Lego's with Rakes until it was naptime. When Ang took Trot up for his nap, Rakes and I retired to my bedroom to watch "National Treasure" and theoretically take a nap; never happened. Problem one was I forgot what a good movie it was and problem two was Rakes CAN'T SIT STILL.

We rush through dinner to get to his soccer practice on time, where he proceeds to score 2 goals and 1 assist in 35 minutes before we get to head home; upon arrival, he hits the bathtub and we settle down to read books while the Redskins game plays in the background.

At 9 O'clock, the 'Skins are down 16-7, he's fast asleep, and I'm reading about mice thinking snow is Ice Cream for 15 minutes until I realize he's already in tomorrow.

As a result of today's events, I've realized a few things. Number One? I hate off days even more than I thought. Number two? I have no idea how Ang does this everyday.

And Number three? I think I need to hire a personal trainer ASAP.

Either that or I need to enlist with Nationwide Insurance.

'Cause life REALLY does come at you fast.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This is what a sweep looks like.

Alex Cora, with his right arm pointed skyward scores the winning run on a throwing error by Orioles pitcher Jim Miller in the bottom of the ninth. Only thing that would make it better would be his middle finger extended and him yelling "How you like those apples?" to the fans of the Yankees and the Rays.

After taking 2 out of three games from what seems the last 12,000 teams they played, the Sox finally got to use those brooms they bought at the dollar store to celebrate a sweep.

Which means I've spent tonight in some sort of baseball Twilight Zone; Yankees playing the Rays and while I can't actually WISH for the Yankees to win, I'm not exactly upset they are in fact beating the Rays in the 9th inning.

I think I need a shower. Or get scrubbed down with a wire brush like people exposed to radiation.

Up is down, down is up, and I REALLY just want the Red Sox to win the division.

The fact the Sox need the Yankees help to make this happen has caused me to break out in hives.

Maybe Michael Stipe was right and it really IS the end of the world as we know it.

And no; I don't feel fine.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moving At The Speed Of Life

Rakes started his last year of pre-school today; next year I'll have my daughter in middle school, my son in Kindergarten, and no idea how it all went by so fast.

One day he's small enough to hold in one hand and the next he's one year away from terrorizing the local Elementary School. Don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but he's sort of a walking miracle; when they went to break Ang's water with him, there was no water to break. Sometime before we went to the hospital, she had leaked out all the fluid protecting him. PLUS the fact when he was being delivered, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. He was 5 lbs when he was born and 4 lbs 6 ounces when we brought him home.

We had no idea if he had suffered any kind of brain damage or physical harm, but the Doc kept telling us he would be fine; other than being in about the 5th percentile when it comes to height and weight, he IS just fine. Which is another reason why I love The Munchkin so much; he's the ideal role model for Rakes as he grows up. Undersized and counted out, he's leading the league in hits, average, runs, and trash talk; giving hope to short people everywhere is just a bonus.

Tonight, I kept trying to ask Rakes what he did at school today; the most I got was he had a cheese stick and yogurt for a snack, almost DIED on the playground because it was so hot, and is apparently a tad miffed he didn't get to go to the Scholastic Book Fair because, in his words, "The FIRST kids dot to do, Dad. I was MAD."

He did make me giggle by walking up to his Mom and asking the following:

Rakes: "You know who bears bomens underwear, Mom?"

Ang: "Who, Rakes?"

Rakes: "Derek Jeter" (followed by a giggle fit by him AND me along with a high five)

I guess the first day of school wore him out; Ang took this picture as she walked by us while I was reading "Dad, Jackie, and Me" to him at bedtime....

My favorite part of the picture? His left arm wrapped around my right.

Man, do they grow up fast; I need a pause button for my life.

Sox lead 11-1, Yankees are beating the Rays, Twins are losing to the Jays, and Rakes JUST about made me tear up.

All in all, I'd say it was a good day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

And the Wee one shall lead them.

Sox beat the Orioles 7-4.

Paul freaking Byrd gets another win, and the go ahead runs come courtesy of a Munchkin single late in the game, much to the chagrin of Gary Thorne.

Good; I hope that dink decides to go play in traffic on the Mass Pike tomorrow afternoon; go back to calling hockey games and leave the big boy sports to the professionals.

I'm signing the petition tomorrow for Pedie for MVP; and yes, I'm loving the fact the 5 ft, 6 inch second baseman is wreaking havoc on the playoff picture. You can have your Carlos Quentin's and Arod's all day long; I'll take the midget with the chip on his shoulder 7 days a week.

It's September 1st and a win is a win is a win; right now, I could care less how we do it.

Just make the playoffs and let God sort 'em out.