Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes. A GM 3,000 miles away is making me cranky.

This dapper gentleman's name is Ned Colletti. He's the General Manager of the Dodgers and I'm sure he's an all around good guy. Loves his kids, kisses his wife every morning, rubs the dogs head and gives generously to the local Red Cross.

However, tonight? I'd REALLY like to tie Trot to the tail of a rabid Mongoose, tie Ned to an ant hill and let nature take it's course.

Why would I wish such a horrific act on a guy who sports a grade A porn stache you ask?

Because he just gave Juan Uribe a 3 year, $21 million dollar deal. THAT'S why.

Granted, dude had one whale of a post-season for the Giants. And he did hit 24 HR's and drive in 85 RBI during the regular season. But he averaged .248 in the ever lovin' NL WEST where I'm pretty sure I could at least hit .150. Every other Sunday.

If you give Uribe $21 million, what does that say to Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth or Yogi Bear's little buddy Boo Boo? I'll tell you what it would say to ME if I were anyone of them? (Smart money would be on Boo Boo, btw.) It says JACKPOT. Forget 7 and $125. Let's ask for 5 and $150 with the option to opt out after 3 years or no playoff appearances, whichever comes first.

At this point it wouldn't surprise me if every other G.M. in baseball decided to storm Ned's house with pitchforks and light sabers, demanding he either resigned or be put in the stockade for a month.

Look, Ciera is bed with some wicked stomach bug, tomorrow is the first of December and the most significant off-season move the Sox have made is to let John Farrell leave to manage the Blue Jays. Trot still isn't fully potty trained and Rakes likes girls at the ripe old age of 7 and it's still over two months until pitchers and catchers report so you'll forgive me if I'm a little bit cranky.

Throw in Christmas is less than a month away and I can't screw in a light bulb without a manual, much less assemble a toy/bike/game in less than 3 hours and hopefully all that sheds some light on my state of mind at the moment.

But right now? If I saw Ned at the corner store buying a newspaper and a cup of coffee it'd take all of my control not to dropkick him in the marbles.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I AM Al Bundy.

"I guess the real reason that my wife and I had children is the same reason that Napoleon had for invading Russia: it seemed like a good idea at the time. "
Bill Cosby

What can I say?

It's been one of those weekends.

Thankfully, that little red-headed orphan is right.

The Sun is gonna come out tomorrow. And if the past 2 days are any indication, it'll probably burn my eyeballs, crack my driveway, and Huey, Dewey, and Louise STILL won't listen to me.

Truck Day can't get here fast enough.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game.

For all of us mourning over Victor Martinez (I'm looking at you specifically, Jr.) leaving for the Detroit Tigers and more specifically those of us (And I'm most definitely in this group; shoot, I'd still have Trot Nixon roaming RF and Keith Foulke still closing) who HATE the fact our favorite players leave year after year, I give you this scene from one of my all-time favorite movies.

It's a bit long, and most definitely NSFW, but at about the 4:00 minute mark you get the start of one of the all-time best scenes in a sports movie I've ever been witness to.

The fact that it's highlighted by noted thespian and former NFL player John "The Tooz" Matuzak, God Rest His Soul, is the cherry on top of the sundae.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Balance Sheet

One Frasier Fir, 7 foot Christmas Tree? $45 dollars.

Amount of gas spent driving to Tree Farm, back home, back out to In-Laws, back into town to my parents house, then back home? 43 gazillion gallons.

Level of stomach gas after eating 2 full meals in a 5 hour span? Bluto from "Animal House" level.

Times I yelled "TROT!" at the top of my lungs? Unknown, but definitely north of 1,200.

Detroit Lions losing to the New England Patriots? Expected.

Dallas Cowboys gacking up a 4 point lead with two minutes to go and losing to the Saints, giving the world the following image?


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Day of Thanks.

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving. A day to reflect on the blessings you have in life, and even though I'm not rich in money, I'm still rich.

I've got a wife who still makes me feel like a newlywed 18 years after the fact, a teenage daughter who still thinks her Dad hung the moon (check with me next year on this one. I've got a feeling this is a fluid situation that will change by the hour.) and 2 little boys who, if they don't kill me first, promise to give me more blog material in the next 5 years than most people get in a lifetime.

I've got both my parents still with me, In-Laws I actually adore, and 3 sisters and a brother who I'm close to. I've got a home, a job, a car, and enough blue jeans and Red Sox t-shirts to outfit a 3rd World country.

I've got friends in New England, California, Oklahoma, New Zealand, Texas, and all points in between. 2 of those friends, who I'm pretty sure could have been serial killers or at the very LEAST leaders of some sinister rebellion in another life are two guys I consider my best friends. Or to put it another way, I was willing to leave my house for almost a week and travel half-way across the East coast with them and if you know me? Getting me to go to the mailbox is a battle.

Some of my friends aren't with me anymore, but in reality? They're still here, just not like they were before. And I've got pictures and memories to remind me of them until the day I'm no longer here myself.

So tomorrow, as you enjoy the holiday with your family and friends, take a minute to reflect on all the things that make you feel grateful for in your life. For me it's Trot is almost fully potty trained, Rakes made it past the age of 6 without breaking any bones (I had 4 in the pool, btw.) Ang hasn't left me yet, and Ciera still doesn't like boys. (So she says. I'm taking it at face value and not asking any questions.)

The fact that I won't have to look at these two dinks every Sunday night for 6 months at a clip doesn't suck either.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From the mouth of a child......

While I was at work today trying to wrap my mind around the fact Rakes is now 7 years old and Victor Martinez is now a Detroit Tiger and trying to fleece the masses, my Mom was watching Trot. Sometime during the day the following conversation took place between the two.

Trot: "Nanny. I've REALLY got to go to the bathroom."

Nanny: "OK, let's go."

Trot: "I gotta poop. I gotta poop. I gotta poop."

Nanny: "OK. Let's get to the bathroom."

Trot: (After finishing) "Nanny, it's REALLY hard getting that to go back in your butt while you're waiting."

God love her, my 73 year old Mother laughed until she cried.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seven Years? Seems Like Seven Days.

My little boy turns 7 tomorrow and I don't know what is more surprising; the fact it's all gone by in a blink of an eye or the reality that I haven't gone completely insane. Yet.

One day he's this little baby and today he's running around in the backyard yelling about Pokemon cards and doing Jeff Hardy wrestling moves on the trampoline while singing "It's Time to Play the GAME".

I've loved every minute of his 7 years, even though I've made more mistakes than Trot would make in identifying the 50 states. I've yelled way more than I should have and been more impatient than he deserves and there have been more than a few nights when I went to bed feeling like I was the worst Dad walking the planet.

Tonight was shaping up to be one of those nights. A combination of a couple of neighbor kids hurting his feelings, Trot having an upset stomach and not quite making it to the bathroom on time tag teamed up with 4 pre-teen girls in my kitchen while all this was going on sort of set me on edge and by the time he'd asked for a certain bag of chips for the gazillionth time while we were trying to get dinner on the table I blew my stack.

I should mention here that Trot was having a meltdown to beat ALL meltdowns at the time due to the fact he didn't like Tuna. Never mind that we were actually going to be eating Turkey.

But by the time the 7:30 re-run of "Two and a Half Men" had ended Rakes was curled up next to me, fast asleep with his head on my chest after mumbling "I love you, Dad." about 20 minutes prior, it hit me that tonight WOULDN'T be one of those nights.

At the end of the day, we were right where we started it. I was his Dad, he was my son, and he and I both get to go to bed knowing each of us are loved.

If you ever read this someday Rakes, your Dad loved you whether you were asleep on my chest or peeing on the garage floor out the open door of the van.

It just probably didn't seem like it at the time.

Happy Birthday, Little Man.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'll let Bono say it for me.

Ang decided this morning was the perfect time to set the oven to "Self-Clean".

Only she forgot to turn on the exhaust fan on the oven, which resulted in me and the kids going to church smelling like we'd burned a tire in the backyard before leaving.

On the plus side, the Redskins somehow beat the Titans in overtime, giving them a 5-5 record for the year. In my heart I know this is going to end up like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown and I'm going to be laying flat on my back and wondering where it all went wrong come January, but for today?

I'm somewhat content. Or I'm as content as I can be with the fact the Red Sox have no starting catcher, Third Baseman, and I'm hearing rumblings that Theo may be happy to head into 2011 with Jed Lowrie playing 3rd which more than likely would end up with me having a mild cardiac infarction at some point before June 15th.

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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rakes and Me: At The Movies

Me: "Rakes, come here and watch Robin Hood with me."

Rakes: "Robin Hood? Where's Batman?"

Me: "Not Robin; Robin Hood."

Rakes: "Is Hood his last name? Where is Batman?"

Me: "It's not Batman, son. It's Robin Hood."

Rakes: "I KNOW it's Robin, Dad. Where is BATMAN?"

Me: (I realized at this point this is bordering on "Who's on First? territory) "Rakes, it's about Robin Hood. He stole from the rich and gave to the poor?"

Rakes: "Why'd he steal from Rich? He's your friend."

Me: (Wondering for the millionth time how I end up in this type of conversation on a daily basis.) "Rakes; it's a movie about a guy named Robin Hood who lived in Sherwood Forest and how he fought the Sheriff of Nottingham and had a girl friend named Marian."

Rakes: "I though the Sheriff was a good guy?"

Me: (Serenity now, Serenity now....) "Rakes. It's got bow and arrows, crossbows, spears, lots of fighting, and they ride around on horses. You'll like it; trust me. Now will you PLEASE just sit down and watch it?"

Rakes: "What's a crossbow?"

I've got a sinking feeling this is going to work out just about as well as the time I decided it would be OK for him to watch professional wrestling.

What could go wrong?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Commander of the KAB,

I made a bet earlier tonight with Jr that you'd win at least 15 games next year for $100.

I've got three kids, work on commission, and have a car payment and a mortgage. To say I don't have a spare $100 laying around is the equivalent of the U.S. saying a nuclear armed Iran is not an option.

In other words? You can carve it in granite.

So if you could be 2007 Josh Beckett next year?

I'd owe you a solid in return.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Desperate Times Are Upon Us.

It's Thursday, November the 18th.

There has been no official baseball on my television for about 2 weeks now.

Two and a Half Men is about all I've got to last me until Spring Training.

If Trot doesn't send me over the edge first.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hump Day Rambling

A. Ron Gardenhire won the A.L. Manager of the Year. And I'm fine with that. Every year me, you, the media, and the mailman count the Twins out and every year they somehow end up in the playoffs. What I'm NOT fine with? Tito placing 4th. I'm not going to re-visit the biblical like plague of injuries he had to work around plus the fact that for the majority of the year it was the baseball version of Gladys Knight and the Pips with Papi playing the role of Gladys and the Pawtucket Red Sox filling in for the Pips. 2 World Series wins in 7 years, the playoffs 5 out of 7 and consistently winning while not killing any member of the local media ought to count for something.

B. I still can't figure out why the Redskins gave Donovan McNabb a $78 million dollar deal that is in reality a $3.75 million dollar buy out after this year when HE WAS ALREADY UNDER CONTRACT FOR THIS YEAR. Dan Snyder somehow being a gazillionaire is just under "How do you explain gravity" for question of the decade.

C. The Oakland A's have reportedly offered Adrian Beltre $64 million dollars over 5 years while the Red Sox have set a firm limit of $52 million over 4 years. Meanwhile I'm wondering if I'll sell enough furniture this month to cover the DirecTV bill and the heating bill and will most likely attempt to take a roto rooter to Beltre's marbles if I hear him utter "I've gotta think about what's best for my family" anytime in the next 3 months. Take the $52 million and the adoration of Red Sox Nation and just sign already.

Trot's Indian name for his Thanksgiving program at pre-school was Crazy Horse.

Of course it was.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

They Eat Dinks Like Him For Breakfast.

My friend Cyn took her niece to the Justin Bieber concert at the Boston Garden tonight where he apparently thought it would be funny to wear a NY Yankee cap while he performed.

Thanks to my feeble mind, I've come to the following three conclusions.

1. Cyn is a much better person than me. If Ciera ever asks me to take her to a Justin Bieber concert I'm shipping her off to a convent, ASAP.

2. Whoever is managing this kid needs to have someone take a sledge hammer to his gibleys. Seriously? He's wearing a Yankee lid in Boston?

""all we need is one girl raised in Revere with an attitude to storm the stage and kneecap him""

Above quote courtesy of my brother from another mother and a FB post.

3. He ever comes close to where we live and I'm sending those two psychos in the picture, along with a catapult and some urine bags to the concert and letting nature take it's course.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lunch with Rakes

Eating lunch at school with Rakes is a little like Christmas morning when you were a kid; it's always fun, there's usually a lot of commotion going on, and you never know what you're going to get.

Today he was, for him, out of character. Quiet, reserved, and actually eating instead of talking. I figured part of it was the 2 little girls from 4th grade eating with one of their Dad's, so I waited until they left to try and find out what was up.

Me: "Rakes, you OK?"

Rakes: "Yeah, Dad."

Me: "You're being awfully quiet today."

Rakes: "I told my brain on the way to school that we were going to be quiet and listen all day".

Me: "........"

Rakes: "It's working pretty good, Dad."

Me: "Well, could you ask him if it's OK to talk to me during lunch and THEN go back to being quiet?"

Rakes: "I'll tell him that's what we'll do, Dad."

From that moment forward it was on like Donkey Kong; he told me about everything he'd done that day, asked me if I liked the Carolina Hurricanes (he apparently now likes hockey), and asked me to give him a hug BEFORE I took him back to his class lunch table so, and I quote, "I don't want to embarrass you by hugging you in front of them".

It's hard not to love a little boy wearing a WWE hoodie with his face and hands covered in Doritos sauce who thinks so much of you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just Because.

It's the beginning of a LONG winter that promises to be filled with excitement over new signings, some sad goodbyes to a couple of favorite sons, and most likely the agony of watching the Yankees sign Cliff Lee.

So I thought it would do me a world of good to remember a happier time.

Like when the closer of the Boston Red Sox put a pair of goggles on his head and danced a jig back in 2007.

Every now and then I need a reminder that it's just a game, being played by 13 year old boys in grown up bodies, and it's supposed to make you smile, make you laugh, and make you wish they were playing tomorrow.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is it Truck Day yet?

Along with my sister Sheri who is in town from Oklahoma for my Dad's birthday, I took the kids to the lake today where we hiked, skipped stones, and played on the playground for the afternoon.

Somehow, a picture of me in the background while my kids scream and yell "Keep going until we throw up, Dad!" is totally appropriate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11/2010: Ten Things I Realized Today

1. Never. And I mean NEVER schedule just two people to work in a retail store on a Holiday. I ate standing up, sat down exactly one time, and feel like I've been put through a suicide drill at football practice.

2. Based on number 1, my boss and I need a personal assistant strictly for the purpose to remind us to never do this again.

3. Joe Theisman should have stayed away from broadcasting football games. He still doesn't know when to Just. Shut. Up.

4. Reading about the Red Sox going after John Buck as a free agent drove home the point that Theo Epstein is someone I'll never figure out.

5. I'm old enough to remember Deion Sanders as a member of the Florida State Seminoles and tonight he got inducted into the Atlanta Falcon Ring of Honor. Which makes me an official Geezer. (Bite me, Jr.)

6. I've been blessed more than I could ever deserve; came home tonight to a beautiful wife, 3 healthy children, and a home. Which makes me richer than I could have ever dreamed.

7. Trot without a nap makes Mr. Wilson look like the Patron Saint of Patient People.

8. Ciera is growing up WAY too fast. I'll be looking into NC state laws on locking your daughter up in her room for an extended period of years tomorrow.

9. It's freaking November. Where in the great wide world of sports did the rest of 2010 go?

10. Rakes LOVES his new favorite word; Nuts. He's working it into every single sentence he tells me, followed by 3 minutes worth of giggling, followed by 3 more minutes of me trying to tell him not to say it with a straight face.

Bonus: 11. I love being a Dad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Courage Doesn't Have An Age Limit.

Josiah Viera is now officially my hero.

The next time I rant about Trot peeing on the floor or Rakes putting Trot in the Atomic Chicken Wing would someone remind me about this story?

Josiah is 6 years old.

Rakes is 6 years old.

I don't know why God allows this kind of stuff to happen, but when I go to bed tonight you can be sure I'll thank the Big Guy that he let me have 3 healthy children.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Every time I call it a business, you call it a game. And every time I call it a game, you call it a business.

I was 12 years old the first time I heard the name Marcus Dupree. Living in Yukon, Oklahoma at the time it wasn't long before I was doing what every other kid that didn't pull for the OSU Cowboys was doing, and that was pretending I was Marcus Dupree in the back yard while I played football with my buddies.

At the time, I didn't understand why a guy would play 1 1/2 years at one of the greatest schools in the country and then just go home. Throw in joining the USFL instead of the NFL and as a 12 year old kid, I thought he was off his rocker.

Turns out things in 1982 weren't all that different than 2010. Spectacular athletes crossing paths with everybody with their hands out combined with the sadly always present dirt bags wanting their share.

If you watched this and have followed the recent developments of Cam Newton, the phrase "The more things change, the more they stay the same" should be ping ponging around inside your head.

NCAA athletes, especially the ones who play football and basketball, are no more an amateur athlete than I'm Andre the Giant. The universities and television networks get rich off the sweat and blood and concussions and blown out knees and broken dreams of these kids and the athlete can't let the coach buy him a Hamburger off the dollar menu or he's gone.

I don't know what the solution is. Fact is, I don't even know if it's possible.

But if you can watch this documentary on Marcus Dupree and not get angry about what happened to him and countless others over the years?

You may want to check yourself for a pulse.

Monday, November 8, 2010

And A Nation Of Pin Heads Mourns


To paraphrase The Donger from "16 Candles"?

I've never been so happy in my whole life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming.

I saw Austin Collie get knocked out in a matter of seconds during the Colts/Eagles game this afternoon and it only confirmed what I'd pretty much already decided.

They will play hockey on the river Styxx before I let my boys play football.

I remember reading about Andre Waters committing suicide at the age of 42 and when they looked at his brain it was the brain of an 87 year old Alzheimer's patient. Merrill Hodge having to retire because of concussions. Steve Young, Wayne Chrebet, Troy Aikman, the list just goes on and on.

Then I see Jim McMahon in that video talking about not having any memory left and he's in his 40's and in the same breath say it's ruining the game and it hits me.

Roger Goodell and the NFL can make all the rule changes they want and the mentality of those guys going out on the field won't ever change. And it shouldn't. You can't play a game that violent and that aggressive and go out there playing timid; 'cause the first time you do? It's gonna be YOU getting hurt.

So I'll watch and I'll root and I'll cringe every time I see something happen like it happened to Austin Collie today.

But if I've got anything to say about it I won't have to hold my breath and pray that my son will get up off the field someday in the future.

I'm gonna let 'em stick to the safe stuff like giving each other Tombstone Piledrivers on the trampoline instead.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just a small town boy.

Caught a special on Montgomery Gentry on Channel 101 on DirecTV tonight, and much to Angie's chagrin I watched the whole thing. I'd forgotten how much I liked 'em due to the fact I spend my time in the car either listening to the Classic rock morning show on the way to work and Sports Talk on the way home.

The video I linked is one of my favorite songs, and reminds me that as much as I love the city of Boston and images of big cities lit up at night I'm extremely grateful I get to raise my kids in a small town where they roll up the sidewalks at night. A place where the police drive through the neighborhood 4 or 5 times a night (granted, it's because they have NOTHING to do but that in itself is a good thing), a place where my kids can play for the same coach in soccer every year, and a place where people actually smile and say hello and for the most part really mean it.

My Town.

Friday, November 5, 2010

One more time we'll trip the light Fandango.

Don't care if he's 35 years old, has trouble with left handed pitching, or plays the field as often as we see Haley's Comet.

And yes, I think the Red Sox overpaid by picking up his $12.5 million dollar option. But you know what? It's not my money and again, I don't care.

For one of the few times since John Henry and company bought the Red Sox they made a decision on a player with their heart and their heads and not with all the warmth and feeling of a box of rocks. From Petey to Damon to Trot to Manny, time and time again they have acted with the cold blooded nature of born businessmen and more times than not? They've been 100% correct.

It's not like they gave $12.5 million to Andrew Jones; Papi DID hit .270 with 32 HR and 102 RBI last season. Sure there's a risk here. And there is a risk that I could step in front of a bus tomorrow, but it won't keep me from going outside.

Henry and Epstein gave Papi a "Thank you" deal all the while hoping he's got one more big year in him for another WS push while at the same time letting the fan base know that sometimes even a heart made of stone can show a little love.

2011: Year of The Papi.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just another Father/Son Moment.

Having a conversation with Rakes is always a crap shoot; you never know what you'll talk about, how many questions he'll ask, and the ending is like one of those books you read as a kid where you picked which thing would happen to the characters and depending on what you picked they either got the girl or ended up being eaten by a bear or something.

So as I loaded him into the car after his year-end soccer party I was guessing during our 3 minute ride home he'd talk about his trophy he got or his pizza he ate or the good old standby we have about every other week called "Dad, why is Darth Vader's light saber red and Luke's is blue?"

Instead, he talked about playing T-Ball last year. More specifically, he talked about a certain moment that happened in one of the first games.

Rakes: "Dad, 'member when I played T-Ball for Coach Wendell?"

Me: "Yep."

Rakes: (Beginning to giggle) " 'Member that time I hit the ball REALLY hard and it went BAM right into Coach Wendell's nuts?!"

Me: (Stifling laughter) "Rakes, don't call them that. Call 'em marbles. Or gibleys."

Rakes: "Dad, do you call them Marbles because they're round?"

Me: (Still stifling laughter) "I guess so, son."

Rakes: (After several seconds of silence) "Dad, what's a gibley?"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

BTW? I've Never Liked Tea.

Now, in the name of all that is holy, will you please stop calling my house, my cell phone, my job, and my girlfriend from 1987?

I VOTED. Not straight ticket, not due to the fact you left some message on my answering machine, and definitely not because you accosted me in the parking lot at my local voting station with a nail file, a sticker, and a pencil. (FWIW? I threw 'em all away in the trash can when I got inside. Do I LOOK like a guy who files his nails?) I voted the way my head told me too; see, I'm one of THOSE people who actually pay some kind of attention to what's going on. I realize with 3 kids I'm the exception, but pay attention I did.

If I want to be harassed, ridiculed, and bombarded with inane questions I'll just walk in my front door, Thank you Very Much.

Hopefully I've got two more years until these idiots descend upon me like a pack of vultures again.

Election years make me long for the days of mass telemarketing.

At least those people had a sense of humor.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Edgar is Hurley. Or Something.

He's played for the Marlins, Cardinals, Red Sox, Braves, Tigers, and now the Giants.

Not so affectionately known by many Sox fans after his 1 year in Boston as E6 or Rentawreck, he's got an uncanny knack for being a pivotal figure in the post season.

He drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series win for the Marlins. He was the last out in the 2004 World Series for the Cardinals against Boston. He was the last out for the Red Sox in '05 when they got swept by the White Sox in the ALDS.

And now? All he did tonight was hit a 3 run bomb off the Immortal Cliff Lee (IF you believe FOX. Apparently Cliff and Jesus are the only two people ever to walk on water. I love the guy, but gimme a break already.)

It's the top of the ninth, Giants lead 3-1 in the game and 3-1 in the series and once again Edgar Renteria is right in the middle of it all.

I'm pretty sure this could have been a plot line on LOST.

Baseball is a funny game.