...with a greeting from my new favorite ecard site.
...with a greeting from my new favorite ecard site.
What would it cost to get this guy in a Red Sox uniform? Because whatever it is, I'll pay it. C'mon, Cards, everybody has their price. What do you want? Buchholz? Lester? Youkilis? All three? A black market kidney? A ticket to the Mir space station? Fine. I'll pay it, we'll work out the details later. Just sign here, son, and your #21 will be ready and waiting for you.
It is a privilege to be in the generation of fans that can say we saw you in your prime. Congratulations, Prince Albert.
(And btw, I would love to know which writer gave Yunel Escobar a fifth-place vote.)
Well, his Twitter account is, anyway, because he won't bow down to the Fascist Sports Network that is WEEI.
ESPN has punished Bill Simmons for writing tweets critical of Boston sports radio station WEEI. ESPN.com editor-in-chief Rob King wrote a blog post to confirm the news, writing that "we've taken appropriate measures."
ESPN Radio and WEEI announced a partnership on October 7, and Simmons has criticized the Boston station on his Twitter account at least twice since then. On October 26, Simmons tweeted: "WEEI's 'The Big Show' was apparently ripping me today. Good to get feedback from 2 washed-up athletes and a 60 yr-old fat guy with no neck."
So, due to some incestuous crap ESPN has going on with WEEI, their employees now criticize the station at their own peril. Well, let me tell both ESPN *and* WEEI (both of whom I despise) something they will probably find shocking: You suck. The Big Show is a complete clusterfuck most days, and I am stunned George Bush didn't find some kind of ceremonial sports czar position for the lying, moronic, bigoted, fascist Gerry Callahan (Dale & Holley is the *only* decent show on that station). I don't like ESPN any better-haven't really patronized them AT ALL since the over-the-top gnashing of teeth during Spygate and due to the fact that they still employ Gregg Easterbrook-but still, dudes-have you ever even actually listened to Dennis & Callahan? If you had, you would be giving Bill a medal and his own show, because that tweet nailed it.
Recent events have conspired against my regular blogging time, the worst of which is that my home computer has been in for repairs for nearly two weeks now. Bummer...but in a way, it was a blessing. I have enjoyed blogging for about three years now, but the fact is that over the past few months I have been losing interest. I haven't posted anything on my Red Sox blog for a month! But I still enjoy writing and need an outlet, so for the next few weeks I will be devotong my energies to this project here (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) . I know nothing about novel writing, never even attempted one, but it sounded like fun and definitely a challenge so I signed up. Will I finish? Who knows, but at least maybe I will be energized!
Once it starts, I will probably set up a separate blog site devoted to the process. I may even post here, since my novel will probably have a Red Sox theme. Watch for it!
I know what was happening in many a livingroom in the Empire State yesterday afternoon. The Yankee faithful had looked at the two starting pitchers and-after conveniently ignoring the fact that Burnett had been bombed in his previous two outings at Fenway-mentally put the game in their "W" column. After all, surely salary alone dictated what the outcome was going to be. What is league minimum compared to $82 million? So, after having prepared themselves for another joyous afternoon of watching Blackwater-er, the NY Yankees-shellack Red Sox pitching, Blackwater-er, Yankee-fans were stunned to find out every Sox pitcher isn't named Penny or Smoltz. One of them is named Junichi Tawaza, who is obviously destined to be this year's Johnny Podres.
Yes, I exaggerate, I know, and I certainly don't expect that type of performance every outing-but wasn't it great to see that $82 million shoved down the Yankees' throat by a guy who got to Boston two weeks ago and doesn't yet speak enough English to order off a McDonald's menu? Didn't it feel great to see ARod jump away from a pitch that dipped back across the plate for a called strike? Or ending Derek Jeter's much-ballyhooed eight-game hitting streak? (Eight games? BFD. Only in New York is an eight game hitting streak cause for a coronation.) The only disappointment of the day was Bard giving up that long ball to Swisher-I was reeeeaaalllly rooting for a shutout. But if that's the worst thing I have to complain about-at least for today-I guess I really ought to shut up.
Tim Wakefield comes back on Wednesday, if nothing else sparing us another episode of Tales from the Brad Penny Crypt. Is it coincidence that Wake going down coincided with the Sox slide from first? *I* don't think so. As you may recall, same thing happened in 2006, (when Wake was found to have broken ribs if memory serves) and the Sox ultimately wound up in third place. C'mon, Tim, and be our little goodluck charm, hey-hey-hey!
Mucho media drool over the pitching match up tonight, Beckett vs Sabathia on ESPN. Beckett sucked last time out, so let's hope he's pissed off enough about it ot throw a no-hitter.
...because otherwise, I might be really pissed off.
If I weren't such an upbeat, positive person I might be wanting to dump Brad Penny on the side of the road like a bagged-up Mafia hit right about now. I might be pulling my hair, screaming over and over and over again, "I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!! NEVER SIGN OLD BROKEN HAS-BEEN PITCHERS!!! IT NEVER WORKS!!!!" Just because Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli hit the jackpot a couple of times with retreads (retreads I *love*, btw), the Sox of late seem determined to build an empire doing the same. It almost never really works out, because while you may *not* get what you pay for (see: Drew, J.D.), it is almost a lock that you won't get anything more. Despite the sycophantic chatter, nothing is a "low-risk" signing in pitching. What you risk is performances that leave you in a big hole like Smoltz gave you and, more often than not, Penny as well. Although he hasn't been nearly as big a bust as Smoltz, most of the time the guy is a five-inning nightmare, a soundless scream. If per chance the Sox do make the playoffs and his name is on the postseason roster, I will waterboard Theo Epstein myself whilst wearing a black hood and Dick Cheney mask. It won't be pretty.
The next great white hope on the endless merry-go-round of Red Sox roster moves? Billy Wagner, another has-been who, like Paul Byrd, last had it around 1982. Marvy. I tell you, I have been wondering at times this year if I am watching one of the premiere teams in MLB or some parallel universe version of the Kansas City Royals (Amusing comment on the NESN site: "I see the Sox are earth friendly. Recycle and reuse.")
Yes, I know-a (nearly) 20-run beatdown is what sparked the great comeback of 2004. I know. I was there. But here is the thing about that-this team in many ways is reminding me more of the 2004 Yankees than the 2004 Red Sox (although the Yankees don't do anything on the cheap the way the Red Sox try to, not even lose). Shaky rotation. An overreliance on guys beyond their prime in the lineup (David Ortiz, Jason Varitek) or just underperforming for long stretches (Jason Bay, J.D. Drew). A circus act on the left side of the infield. While you wouldn't know it from last night, the Sox do have a much better bullpen than the '04 Yanks, but that is about it. The Sox don't have the lineup they had in '04 and the Yankees have much better pitching than they had in '04 and can still have their way with the bats. It's been building all season towards a perfect storm.
The best thing, though, is that, despite all the bombastic rhetoric, the game still has to be played before the outcome is determined. Key Igawa, er, Jinichi Tawaza vs. A.J. Burnett at 4:15 on Fox.
(Pic lifted from boston.com)
The Sox had an off day yesterday. Let's hope they used it to do something productive. I mean do something more productive than reminisce fondly about May, when they were actually a really good team in the American League.
Not so much anymore. They are 12-17 since the All Star break. While they have looked good in short bursts-their 3/4 stretch vs Detroit, for example, or that inspired ninth inning in Texas-for the most part they are playing as if they were pack mules weighted down with lead climbing Mt. Everest. It is now mid August. Despite all the assurances of Terry Francona in April and May, it is clear the old David Ortiz is not going to show up, probably never again. Neither, to any degree, is the old Jason Varitek-although in actuality he exited the building a couple seasons ago, his downward spiral into Marc Sullivan territory has still been impressive. Jason Bay has improved of late, but it is hard to say if it can make up for his two and a half solid months of breathtaking, lifealtering suckitude. J.D. Drew is simply fourteen million dollars worth of china doll useless (and if I hear another announcer squawk about how well he performed in June of 2008 I am going to hurl). There are *two* real starters on this team (Beckett and Lester and please, dear God, three days of rain). There hasn't beem a decent SS since the Clinton era, although you can probably count on AGon not to turn the position into the Chuck Knoblauch Comedy Hour the way Nick Green has. Theo, you can make a roster move a day, make five of them if you want, but you are just not going to find Mark Teixeira-probably not even Orlando Cabrera-on the scrap heap. This is *not* The Old Country Buffet. You cannot make up for poor quality with variety.
So, what's next? The Sox are seven games back in the division (imagine where they would be if they hadn't taken the first eight games from the Yanks!) and a game back in the wild card, and it doesn't get any easier going forward. The Sox start a three-game set at the Rogers Centre tonight, in recent years a surer death trap for Red Sox teams than the La Brea tar pits. There is a glimmer of hope tonight because Beckett is starting, but history indicates he's going to need to throw a no-hitter if he wants to notch another W., but all in all the upcoming stretch has .460 written all over it. Mr. Intensity himself, Kevin Youkilis, is back tonight. Maybe that will help.
And maybe someone just needs to put a glove in ARod's face again.
Fans point out that 2004 was not much different than this, that that team also played like shit pretty much up until late August, when they caught fire, cut the Yanks' 10-game lead to two, and then went on to make history. There is a real difference, I think, is in the makeup of the two teams. While Josh Beckett is currently playing the part of Curt Schilling, no one is playing the part of David Ortiz, the two guys from 2004 who made it their personal mission to put the team on their backs and carry it if they had to. Nobody except Beckett is doing that right now. And there is nobody in the lineup, even when operating at top speed, who gives you what Manny Ramirez gave you. Even when he was in a slide, his mere presence gave pitchers and managers pause. There is just nobody who fills those shoes anymore.
Bottom line? The playoffs will be an uphill slog, and the team needs to play with more inspiration than they have all year. For starters, it would help if they could actually throw out a basestealer.
But you have to start the comeback somewhere, and it might as well be with a win tonight. Beckett vs. Romero, 7:07pm, Rogers Centre. Be there.
...like any murderer, is the lowest form of scum. I have said it before, and the fact that he has served his sentence doesn't mean my attitude has changed. Yes, I have seen him on TV saying what a horrible mistake he has made, but I don't really believe him. As far as he is concerned, his horrible mistake was getting caught and having to cough up all that dough. As part of his probabtion, he should be forced to watch this on a loop every day:
Now, having said all that, I would be hypocritical if I did not believe that even a Michael Vick, having paid his societal debt, deserves a second chance-I am just immensely grateful that he did not sign with the Pats, and it is a testament to the desperation of the Eagles to win something in the McNabb era that they decided to take a flyer on this guy (Eagles fans are up in arms about it now, but win a Super Bowl and all will be forgiven, I'm sure). For the sake of society at large, I really hope he can make something productive of himself.
However, given his choice of mentor, I have no doubt that will not occur.
Have you noticed who has been showing up at Vick's side everywhere he goes, his protectant, his own personal Greta Van Susteran? None other than Tony Dungy, one of the most overrated coaches in NFL history and a full-fledged member of the right wing hate group Focus on the Family. With the pious Dungy by his side, the malleable Vick's path is now more predictable than Brett Favre throwing a pick at a crucial minute. He is going to "repent" and "turn his life over to Christ" (kind of like Josh Hamilton supposedly did, right?) There will be a lot of God talk thrown around. He'll get a license plate that says "JS SVS" and hold prayer meetings before Eagles practices. He'll go around to high schools preaching the gospel according to Tony. The guy who hung and electrocuted living creatures without remorse will ruminate on the evils of abortion. He'll make close friends with gay-bashers, and show up on Rush Limbaugh to tout his new-found Christianity. If it's good enough for Tony, it will be good enough for Mike, right?
I *suppose*, on a personal level, it is probably better to be a right-wing evangelical than a dog murderer, but not by much. After all, we have evangelicals and their fervent support of George Bush to thank for the illegal Iraq War and it's resultant hundreds of thousands of human deaths, not to mention the widespread torture and murder of detainees in American custody. We have right-wing Christian hate speech to thank for the murders of citizens like George Tiller and Matthew Shepherd. We have right-wing Christian rhetoric to thank for the obstruction of research into potentially life saving treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. When you look on the stage at Mike Vick and Tony Dungy, is one really any better than the other? I don't think so.
Michael Vick is at a significant crossroads in his life, and the path he chooses will determine the type of person he will become. I can only hope he doesn't channel his callous disregard for animal life and rights into callous disregard for human life and rights. He chose the wrong friends before. Let's hope, for his sake and ours, that history does not repeat itself.