Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Hate the Trop

Photo by Steve Nesius/AP
I can relate, Youk. This was how I felt after both your stolen HR and the game itself. Losing three games to the Devil Rays is not fun. Losing because of all kinds of weird events is even less fun. Like Youk's potential homerun. The ball would have landed on Landsdowne Street if we'd been at home. Instead, it caroms off a catwalk in that freaking Tropicana Field, is ruled in play - and caught for an out. Even weirder, it bounced off the wrong catwalk - if it had hit a different one, it would have been a homer. This on the heels of Ortiz being robbed of a homer in Minnesota three weeks ago - there, it went off a stereo speaker. As Francona said after the game:
``This putt-putt golf [stuff] has got to go. It's stupid. Hitting it around the windmill. This is a major league game. The bigger and stronger you are, the farther you hit the ball, it doesn't seem right. You get penalized."
There was other weirdness. Mikey Lowell intentionally dropped a liner, and tried to get a triple play. But the umpires caught on - didn't fall for his crafty play. As I recall, Mikey pulled the old "hidden ball" trick last year with the Marlins. Ooh, he's a slick one.

I had to watch the FSN Florida broadcast for the second night in a row - please let me get NESN tonight! If I have to listen to one more paeon to Carl Crawford, in the words of Sheridan Whiteside, "I may vomit." Yeah, he stole three bases last night - 2nd, 3rd, and home. Yeah, it's a bummer that he didn't make the all-star team. But you don't need to nominate him for a gold glove every time he fields a routine fly ball!

Deep into the Boston papers' RS notebooks, a note about Ortiz having a sore wrist. Perhaps aggravated by one of those scary slides he made into bases in the past week. He's got heating pads on it before the games, and ice on it afterward. He's still hitting HRs, but his production does seem to be off. I hope the HR derby and All-Star game won't adversely effect him.

So, we've lost three in a row. Time to kick some Devil Ray a**. (Do devil rays have one?) I'm trying to keep it in perspective. When we were in the midst of that wonderful 12-game winning streak, Curt Schilling was asked about how the players viewed the streak. He said something to the effect that our fans are always one losing streak away from jumping off buildings. The players just try to keep cool, keep it in perspective, and keep playing. Amen.

Finally, there was interesting feature on ESPN this weekend, an "all-access" report on the Astros as they headed off on a road trip. As fans, I don't think we always think realistically about the guys off the field. Taking off on the road for 10 days, leaving right after a night game and not arriving at their hotel til 5 or 6 in the morning. Leaving behind family. One of Astros talked about hanging out at the hotel for hours before a night game, trying to kill time. A bunch of the bull pen guys were showing hanging out at the park, playing baseball/golf around the field. One player talked about getting sympathy from NBA and NFL players, who can't imagine playing their games 162 times per year. It is a grind...

But as my sister would remind me at this point, Beth, how can you feel sorry for someone being paid millions of dollars, playing a game every day - and living every fan's dream??


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