Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bronx bombshells

Getty Images photo by Nick Laham

So, we've played the New York Yankees six times in the last two weeks - and we've won five of those games. I know it's only April - repeat, it's only April! - but I can still feel great, can't I??

Yesterday's game was the only low spot - we lost 3-1. The game was broadcast nationally on Fox - and I got to watch it! Never was I so glad to listen to McCarver and Buck! I just wish the final had been in our favor.

But today we turned it back on. Of the three games, I was sure this would be the dicey one - we had Julian Tavarez starting for us. I know he gets some negative feedback on the RS blogs - but, he's certainly an adequate fifth starter. He eats up innings, saving our bull pen - and he pitched 5 innings - 5 hits and 3 runs - which, against the Yankees, I think is pretty respectable.

We had three homers today. Two were no surprise - Manny and Ortiz. But, CORA?? His homer was a complete surprise - and then a triple?? I think Dustin Pedrioa is very talented - the future of our franchise. But how can you deny Cora playing time? He's definitely got the hot bat right now. Tito has some big questions to answer about who is our second baseman.

I had to listen to the YES Network today - that was the station of choice on Extra Innings. Michael Kay is a total homer - and incredibly annoying. But the other two announcers were (formerly, briefly, a RS) John Flaherty and pitcher Al Leiter (who is best remember for his stint with Fox during the '04 World Series). These two are really good - lend some real insights to the broadcast, and they play off each other in terms of information really well. Made wonder what it would be like if NESN got a former player to join Orsillo and Remy in the booth. (Calling Kevin Millar)

One of my fav moments: when Ortiz was batting, Kay starting asking why he's so beloved. He sounded so disappointed and confused that "everyone" in the league seems to love him. Leiter said that when he'd seen Papi earlier, Papi had enveloped him in a big hug and laughed and smiled with him. Leiter said, how can you not love a guy like that? Kay said, well, the Yankees have a player like that, who everyone loves. Oh - who is that? Jason Giambi!! Now, yes, Giambi is usually voted one of the Player Favorites - but he's hardly universally loved like Papi is!

So day off Monday. Phew. And nice that it was an afternoon game. Last week's Sunday night game put me at an incredible sleep deficit all week!

In first's only April, but I love it!!

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday afternoon - baseball!

Unbelievably, we actually have the Red Sox-Yankees game here. No blackout!! I actually went to the local Fox offices yesterday to find out what game - I guess when they saw that gleam in my eye, they knew which game to broadcast!

Of course, the trade-off is that I have to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Like fingernails on a blackboard. Oh well.

Last night's game was awesome. We were behind most of the game - but then the bats came to life. The final score was 11-4, and we are not undefeated vs. the Yankees. Yes, I know, it's only April, and you can NEVER count out the Yankees. Still, this is pretty damn sweet!\

And Mike Lowell has now extended his hitting streak to 14!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday night not at Fenway

Writing before the battle begins at Yankee Stadium

What an awesome game last night! I had kind of written off the game - we were down 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, and that expensive bullpen of the Orioles was taking over. However, our Offense had something else in mind! With the bases loaded, I'm yelling at the tv - "Pinch hit for Wily Mo!" But Terri Francona is brilliant. He left in Pena - who'd had a double earlier - and he delivered a grand slam home run Red Sox win, 5-2. It was sooo exciting.

It was almost overshadowed by "Sock-gate." While I was watching the game Wednesday night - forced to watch MASN's coverage due to a NESN blackout on DirectTV - I couldn't believe when I heard Gary Thorne matter-of-factly mentioning that Schilling's "bloody sock" was actually paint - "Doug Mirabelli admitted it later." WHAT? I asked on SG if anyone had heard about this - the responses were shocked. Well, as you know, it all blew up - all of the parties seem to agree that Thorne overheard Dougie giving it to Schill and thought it was serious. It was a crazy day all day Thursday - furious blog posts and talk radio discussion. Amazing that something that happened almost three years ago could still resonate so with fans.

So, tonight starts a three game set at Yankee Stadium. I'm worried that I'll have to watch YES - we'll have to see what EI carries. And after a week of phone calls to my local Fox station, I finally went in person to their offices this afternoon - and they claim they'll broadcast the Sox-Yankees game tomorrow. I have never been so excited over the prospect of hearing Buck and McCarver!

Off for tonight's game!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random Wednesday Thoughts

Actually had this post ready yesterday - which was, in fact, Wednesday - but forgot to hit publish!

A beautiful sunny day here - time for some ramblings:
1) I know it's only April but I can't tell you the joy I feel in seeing the Yankees in last place in the division. I know - they'll be back- but let me bask for a moment or two...

2)Finished basking - and hopefully, so have the Sox. The two games against Toronto were a real letdown - but I think they felt spent. I know I sure did. We're off on a road trip now - two games in Baltimore at Fenway South - and then three at Yankee Stadium. I can't imagine the weekend games could top the first three - but I'll be glued to the tv nonetheless. (Well, except for Saturday - I'm sure we'll get the National League game)

3) Mike Lowell is hot! Well, in general, yes, but also at the plate. He had two homers the other nght - has a five game hitting streak going. Amazing sometimes how being in a contract year effects ones production. It's amazing to think that last year he started as such a question mark - and he's really emerged as a team leader.

4) This year's pleasant surprise is pitcher Hideki Okajima (or "Oki," as Francona is calling him!) He flew under the radar - at his signing, we were more interested in that "other" Japanese pitcher. But Oki came out Friday and shut down the Yankees in front of a rabid Fenway crowd - and still was smiling. Looking forward to his performance this year.

5) Millar tonight! I really miss seeing him - I hope he makes an appearance or two on NESN. He would be a great presence in the NESN booth when he retires - he's absolutely hysterical!

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 23, 2007

A glorious spring weekend

Globe photo by Jim Davis
What an exciting weekend of baseball, Red Sox v. Yankees-style. Friday night's come from behind, Saturday's game which featured Big Papi homering - they were both overshadowed by Sunday night's game. Wow! Some of the more exciting parts:

*Well, of course, number one was the four-in-a-row homers by the Red Sox in the 3rd. Down 3-0, Manny Ramirez hit one over the Monster with two outs. I'd felt he was due to start breaking out of his "slump," so I took that as a welcome sign. Next up was JD Drew, who powered one into the bleachers behind the Bull Pen. Yeah, score now 3-2. Then it's Mike Lowell - another one into the Monster seats, and suddenly we're tied!. I couldn't believe it! I looked away from the tv for a second, and I hear Jon Miller making the homer call - and I figured they were replaying Lowell's homer. No, it was Jason Varitek following up with ANOTHER one over the Monster, and now we're ahead 4-3. I was screaming "Unbelievable" at the tv - scared the cat and, I'm sure, my neighbor! Then Wily Mo stepped up - and if anyone has the power to make it five in a row, it's him. Unfortunately, he struck out - Lowell said that when Wily Mo came into the dugout, everyone was saying "Yeah, you suck" to him!

This is only the 5th time a team has hit four consecutive homers - and the first time since 1963 they've hit four off one pitcher. The last time for the four homers was last year, in a Dodgers-Padres game. The Dodgers hit four homers off two pitchers to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th - a game won in extra innings with a homer by Nomar. And who hit one of those four homers? J D Drew - who hit the second home run in BOTH instances. Strange.

Even stranger coincidence is that in the previous time this feat was accomplished in 1963, one of the home runs hit by the Cleveland Indians was by our manager's father, Tito Francona. Karma, baby, karma.

PS - I love that photo. It's actually from later in the game -when Lowell hit ANOTHER homer, this time for 3 runs - but it shows all four of our "homers" together.

*ESPN had some great reaction shots to the homers. The best were the shot of Manny in the dugout and Theo in the luxury box. When Lowell's shot went out, they showed Manny leaping around the dugout, hugging everyone in sight. Say what you will about our Manny, it appears that his teammates aren't nearly as disenchanted with him as the press would have you believe. He was like a big puppy, bounding around to everyone's clear delight. And as for Theo - here's a screen capture I grabbed from "Surviving Grady" this a.m.:
Doesn't look too detached, does he?

*This was first three-game sweep of the Yankees at Fenway since 1990.

*Daisuke had a few control problems all night, most noticeably when he hit two batters. Of course, I couldn't think of two better batters to hit than A-Rod and Jeter! If Matsuzaka wanted to win the heart of RS Nation, that's one way to do it!

*I know - it's only April. We've got a long way to go. But an exciting series like this really makes you glad we have baseball back. And just whets the appetite for the rest of the season. We've got quite a week ahead of us - two games v. the Toronto Blue Jays; two games at Baltimore; and then three games over the weekend at Yankee Stadium. I hope the boys aren't too emotionally let-down tonight...

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Red Sox. v. Yankees - Round 1

I've been "out of pocket" for the latter part of the week. The annual Tennessee Library Association conference was all day Thursday and Friday - and I was on the Conference Planning Committee. Translation - a couple of VERY long days for me (Thursday from 6:45 am until 10 pm!) - and therefore, very little internet activity!

And of course this weekend features the first round of the Yankees-Red Sox games!

Friday night's game was - in a word - awesome! The Sox were down 6-2 heading into the bottom of the 8th - and they came back with 5 runs!! The unlikely heroes - Cora and Crisp.

And today's game - broadcast nationally via Fox to everyone except me - was also a great one. Beckett pitched, well, like we hoped he'd pitch last year. He's now 4-0. Cora and Crisp stepped up again - and our Big Papi is, well, our Big Papi.

One of the other unlikely heroes is Japanese acquisition Hideki Okajima. He's been referred to as "the other Japanese pitcher" - and he bacame a TRUE Red Sox last night. Since Papelbon was unavailable, Oki stepped in and closed out the game in the 9th. Today, he came in in the 7th with two on and two out - and struck out HGHiambi. I think there may be another Japanese heartthrob in the making!

Tomorrow - the final game of this three-game stand - and it will feature Matsuzaka. A later game - because it's on ESPN it won't start until 8pm. So I'm trying to schedule a little nap in the afternoon...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random Wednesday Thoughts

AP Photo by Adrian Wyld
Mid-week greetings!
1) The second tough game for Daisuke in a row. The Blue Jays - and Gustavo Chacin - beat the Red Sox last night in Toronto, 2-1. It was a strange game, in that it felt like a much bigger lead. I was taken aback when I considered wearily turning off the tv in the 8th, and realizing that we were still only one run down. But we just couldn't seem to muster the offense to bail out Matsuzaka. (all except Wily Mo Pena, who sent one 500 yards!) Which leads me to...

2) Matsuzaka. Yeah, I know he's 1-2 now on the year. But I am still really encouraged by what I'm seeing. Granted, he seemed to have a total meltdown during the fourth inning last night - walking in Greg Zaun to put the Jays ahead. But he somehow regrouped and struck out the side in the 5th. He ended with a total of 10 strikeouts (the last rookie pitcher to have two 10-strikeout games this early in the season was Fernando Valanzuela!). I think he's still adjusting to America, to the Majors, and to his new team. Heck, it took Beckett nearly a year to find himself after just switching to the American League! So, I'm not out on any ledges yet. And his next two starts will be intense - Sunday night vs. the Yankees, and then Friday night at Yankee Stadium. If he thinks he heard some taunts from the crowd last night...

3) Great stuff from Edes today:

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was astounded yesterday to learn of a common practice in Japanese baseball known as "kantoku show," in which a manager doles out cash to players he considers deserving of a little bonus after a victory. Something extra in the envelope, for example, for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

"You're kidding me," Francona said when told of the "manager prize," as it is translated, according to an article in yesterday's New York Times. "That's not happening here, with what he gets."

"It should be the other way around," he said with a laugh. "If I manage a good game, he should give me something."

Plus think about the salary disparity between Matsu and Tito!

4) Also some interesting things on the NESN broadcast last night, talking about how different the relationship is between player and manager in Japan vs. the US. I guess Matsu is having to learn different interpersonal skills - is even having a hard time calling the manager "Tito."

5) Tonight it's Wakefield on the mound for the Sox. I love this shot of him from the "Fever Pitch" premiere...
I hope those bats have been drinking coffee today and are alert!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Patriot's Day Game

Boston Herald photo by Matthew West
So, I got to see the Patriot's Day game on Monday - we ended up with a half day of school, so I was home literally as the Sox came to bat in the top of the first. And was that good timing - they scored 6 runs in that inning! That, coupled with another great outing by Josh Beckett, made for a wonderful outcome - final score was 7-2. The Sox outscored the Angels 25-3 over the three games. Our pitching staff looked almost unhittable - and the bats have awoken.

I was most surprised and pleased by the fellow pictured above - new SS Julio Lugo. I have to admit, I couldn't understand why the Sox Front Office - particularly Theo Epstein - were so hot to have him - they had been pursuing him for two years. But we saw some great defensive plays - especially two "web gems" in Monday's game. And he produced at the plate, too. He also just seems to be fitting in really well in the clubhouse - witness him with Manny above. (There's another great photo on the Herald site of Lowell hugging him). He and Big Papi have been friends for years, so you know that's helped him feel comfortable with his new team.

I also have mention the Pizza throwing incident. If you haven't seen the video, go look for it on YouTube. I didn't have the NESN broadcast of the game (for some reason, EI chose to present the Angels' broadcast), so I had to wait to see the reportage by DO and Remy. The best part is the absolute giddiness that overcomes them. Man, I love this team - from the ball players up to the broadcasters. I don't think there's a better regional broadcast team.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Game PPD

So, today's game was postponed - again due to rain, wind and some snow. (If it's any consolation, it's not much warmer here in TN - it was 49 when I went into church and 44 when I came out!). There's also talk of moving back the start time for tomorrow's Patriot's Day game (originally scheduled for 10am). But imagine if you were planning to run in the Boston Marathon tomorrow. Brrrrrr.

Surfing my 400 channels in search of anything to watch, it looks like Sunday afternoons are for cry-fests. There's "Eight Below" - the sad dog story - over on one channel; "The Lake House" - a Sandra Bullock-Keanu Reeves chick flick - on another. Or you can shed tears of joy over on NESN - last year's Patriot's Day Game, with the Loretta walk-off win. Hmmm

I'll sit instead and have a drink of..
...and imagine what yesterday's game looked like. You see, I have to imagine it because the jerks at my local Fox affiliate decided not to show the game - after a week of promos. I tune in at 3:55, and there's the Phillies game instead. And no one had the courage to answer the phone over there. Someone will get an earful Monday. They damn well better be showing the Sox-Yankees game next week!

Anyway, Curt pitched a great game yesterday - eight innings that was, according to Tek, "vintage Curt." And the bats continued their re-birth - the capper being an 8th inning homer for Big Papi. All the breaks seemed to go our way - a ball bouncing off Gary Matthew's glove in center, some great defense by Lowell.

Right now, the pitching looks great. I know there was pre-season speculation about our pitching staff, but right now, according to the Herald:
The Red Sox starters in particular - Josh Beckett in the opener, then Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and Schilling - have been outstanding, posting a 3-1 record, 1.55 ERA and 0.793 WHIP.
If they can just stay healthy...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

RS v.s Angels 4/13/07

AP Photo by Winslow Townson
Last night's game was so satisfying on so many levels. I'm so glad that Wake finally got some run support - the Red Sox exploded for 6 runs in the 8th, sealing the victory. I always feel so frustrated for Tim - he's such a good reliable pitcher, always willing to do whatever has to be done for his team. Who can forget his long walk off the mound after Aaron F*(&(*&ing Boone hit that home run in 2003 - or even better, him standing on the mound in 2004, enjoying the World Series victory?

Also of note last night was the re-awakening of Doug Mirabelli's bat. We all know the story of the BFFs - Doug and Wake. After Doug got traded to the Padres last year, his heart clearly still was in Boston. And Wake couldn't find another catcher who could corral that knuckleball. I'm still convinced Doug's return was orchestrated by Wake. Just put it to the Front Office that he wanted Doug back... And he's made some comments recently that leads you to believe that if Doug goes, Wake will retire.

So it was really great to see Doug have an outstanding game at the plate. A home run, three RBIs. It was like he said, hey, if no one is going to give my BFF any run support, I will. And they were both so cute in their post-game interviews - praising their bud's performance.

And speaking of BFFs, somehow the sight of Julian Tavarez and his new best friend, Daisuke Matsuzaka, fills me with both glee and fear. There were lots of shots of them in the dugout last night - Julian animatedly telling him some story and laughing crazily. As Don Orsillo said, do you think Matsuzaka actually understands anything Tavarez is saying? Remy: Not a word! In a game last week, there was a great shot of Tavarez standing with Matsu, with a Japanese phrase book clutched in his hand. Who could have predicted that crazy Julian would be taking Millar's place as class clown?

Also satisfying last night was Papelbon's appearance in the 8th. Once again bailing out the team, pitching out of a jam in the RS 8th. 6 pitches, two outs. He is awesome!

And it was great to see the offense come to life in the 8th. Just yesterday I had been telling someone that I didn't see our offense doing what they did in 2004 so often - come on strong at the end of the game. How many times in the past years have we seen the bats come to life in the 8th or 9th, saving or winning a game? I hadn't seen signs of this yet this year - until last night.

How to celebrate the victory? How about with a glass of....
I simply MUST have a few bottles of this!

And - warning - gratuitous shot of Mike Lowell in action....

AP Photo by Winslow Townson

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

I love Papi

Photo by Scott Clarke/ESPN
I love him more every day. Here's David Ortiz' new ESPN Sportscenter commercial. I think my favorite part is Wally's reaction!

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Random Wednesday Thoughts

Okay, I know it's Thursday. But I was so amped for last night's game, I couldn't settle my thoughts or my mind or myself! So, here's Wednesday's thoughts a day late...
Globe photo by Barry Chin
1) First, last night's game was great. Yes, I was disappointed that Matsuzaka couldn't get his second win and his first at home. It would have been a great victory for him - and I think he was equally disappointed that he disappointed the home crowd. But he unfortunately went up against a pitcher that was on his "a" game. Felix Hernandez was simply unhittable, and I have to admit, like most other true baseball fans, I got to a point around the 6th when I actually started rooting for him to get the no hitter. Hernandez figures to be a real force on the mound this year for the Mariners - I'm hoping we'll get to see him pitch this summer. Wouldn't it be cool if it was a rematch of this pitching duel?

And what I love about that picture? Schill greeting him at the top of the dugout steps.

2) Another thing about the game - the shot on NESN of all the flashbulbs going off as Matsuzaka threw the first pitch to Ichiro. It was blinding! Great quote from Mikey Lowell:
"I didn't want Ichiro to hit me the ball because you couldn't even see the ball there were so many flashbulbs going off," third baseman Mike Lowell said. "I was thinking, I hope he hits me a ground ball because if he hits a line drive right at me, I'm seeing stars."
3) According to the Glob, Josh Beckett is the first Sox pitcher to win back-to-back home openers since Dennis Eckersley did it in 1979-1980.

4) Jon Lester is doing some great pitching with the Greenville Drive. Tuesday night he pitched 4 scoreless innings, and hit 93 miles per hour. According to the Glob:
"He's the best text messager in the game," Francona said. "He text messaged me this morning, said he felt good. He's begging for more innings. He'll go five in his next start."
No matter what else happens this year, the Lester story has to be the feel-good story of the year.

5) Speaking of life on the farm, Mark Bellhorn continues to play well for the Louisville Bats, the Reds' triple-A farm team. I'm starting to think "the Bell" is one of the type players they discussed on last night's telecast (not sure if it was on ESPN or NESN - I was bouncing back and forth for a while). Anyway, they talked about the typical Japanese player being a "4-A" type player - one not quite good enough for the majors, but too good for triple A. I'm not sure there's room on the Reds for Bellhorn, but he clearly can't stay at the triple A level. So what should he do? Should he de-camp for the Japanese leagues? Selfishly, I hope not. Selfishly, I hope he starts playing badly and comes to Chattanooga and plays for the double-A Lookouts, but let's not delve into my fantasy life...

6) As for tonight's game - the scheduled start of 4:05 seems in question. It's raining in Boston right now, temperature is dropping, and there's a possibility of snow. However, as this is the only time the Mariner's are visiting Fenway this year, MLB is pretty anxious to get the game in. So I suspect they will wait as long as possible, and make every effort to get it in. Part of me feels sorry for those stuck in the inclement weather, waiting - and part of my feels very jealous. I'd love to be milling around Yawkey Way, sucking down the brews and dogs. Oh, well, the time for that will come....what, 3 1/2 months or so?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Opening Day

Globe photo by Jim Davis
So, before I get caught up in tonight's hoopla, I just had a few comments on yesterday's phenomenal opening game. Yes, I know that I said I hate watching taped games, but I did watch most of this one last night - after following on Gameday all afternoon. The team was clearly pumped by the crowd and the memory of Sunday night's victory, because they came out swinging. They sent the starting pitcher, Jeff Weaver, to the showers after two innings and 70 pitches. (As one blogger noted, he was on track for a 423 pitch complete game). And the bats finally showed some signs of life. Tek had 3 hits, JD Drew had 3 RBIs, and there were tons of doubles - 7 to be exact.

Of course, the game started with the always moving Opening Day Ceremonies. Team introductions, "America the Beautiful" by Harry Connick, Jr. and then the "Impossible Dream Team" of 1967 threw out the first pitch(es). It was so cool to see some the first Red Sox players I remember - Billy Conigliaro, Rico Petrocelli, Yaz. And when Johnny Pesky was introduced and yelled "Play Ball!" well, I'm sure mine wasn't the only moist eye.

So, the first home game is in the books - and it was satisfying all the way around. And now we can have our second game at home - the Fenway debut of the Japanese phenom.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The boys are back

Yes, today's the day, the Fenway Park home opener. Man, I wish I was there - instead of stuck 900 miles away, furtively listening on the computer via Gameday Audio. Of course, I've got the vcr cranking away at home, so I can see the highlights when the day is done. But I find I don't enjoy watching the games on tape-delay - I invariably cheat and peek at the scores, so it's anti-climatic. But couldn't justify another half-day of work!

Go Josh!! Beat those Mariners....

Monday, April 09, 2007

Recipe: Grape Salad

I haven't put up a recipe in a while, so here you go. This came from one of my Weight Watchers members - and I made it this weekend. Really good - very sweet, and would be a perfect dessert. One serving = 1 WW point

4 cups red grapes
4 cups green grapes
8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
8 oz. fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans.

Wash grapes and pat dry with a paper towel. (I sliced them in half)
Beat together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Gently fold in grapes.

Topping: mix brown sugar and pecans; top salad with brown sugar mixture.

Yield: 16 servings

[Notes: I made half the recipe for 8 servings]

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It's brry cold!

Two weeks ago, we had a record high of 88 degrees. This morning we had a record low of 27 degrees. The results are clearly seen on my hydrangeas:
I sure hope they can come back. I love my blue hydrangeas - they remind me of New England.

And after the first inning of tonight's game, let me add...

Review: Blades of Glory

If you're looking for 90 minutes or so of pure silliness and fun, then head to the multiplex for Will Ferrell's new movie, "Blades of Glory." Much as he did in his last sports film, "Talladega Nights," Ferrell becomes Joe Ordinary in the guise of a professional figure skater. The basic story: Ferrell - Chazz Michael Michaels - is banned for life from men's figure skating after engaging in a brawl with his rival, Jimmy MacElroy (played by Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder). The two decide to partner up, and become the first male-male pairs in skating history.

I kept thinking of "The Cutting Edge" - the 1992 cult classic with DB Sweeney and Moira Kelly as a skating pairs in a love-hate relationship - the relationship between the guys in this one is just like it!Credit to the writer and director for not exploiting the male-male aspect - the gay jokes are kept to a real minimum. Real-life husband and wife Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are hysterical as the rival team, a twisted brother-sister act. Tons of wonderful cameos by real-life skating icons, like Nancy Kerrigan, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano, and Sasha Cohen. Jim Lampley and Scott Hamilton are perfect caricatures of themselves - my favorite Lampley line was that the team "puts the bone in Zamboni."

And Ferrell is simply twisted, funny, outrageous - himself. He is becoming an expert at the ordinary-guy-in-not-so-ordinary circumstances. You watch him, and it's like he's winking at the camera the whole time - like he's telling us he knows this is all silly, but just sit back and enjoy the ride. And I did.

Simple mindless fun!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Dice K and Wake

Just a few tardy thoughts on the last few days.

Dice K lived up to my expectations. And I have incredible high hopes for his year with the Red Sox. I know there are a lot of things that can happen - injury, etc. But what I saw Thursday made me glad John Henry loosened up the pursestrings. 7 inning, 108 pitches, 10 strikeouts, one earned run. All the numbers were great. But the best part was watching him on the mound, getting into some trouble and bailing himself out. The cute exchange with Youk when they nearly misplayed a ground out to first. Manny giving him the half-bow, half-karate chop. His poise. And the very cube, cherubic smile. I can't wait for the Fenway opener on Tuesday, to see how he handles that.

I've love reading the gripes from the press corp in Kansas City. Apparently, the usual press room buffet had to be shut down - too expensive to run with all the Japanese media there. The poor press had to settle for box lunches. Bummer. One KC wag sent his condolences to the Boston press - too bad, pals, you're going to be stuck with the second rate meals all season.

Poor Wake. Why does the team hate him? He never gets the run support that the other pitchers get, and he probably needs it more than the power pitchers. At least he has Doug's shoulder to cry on again.

So the Sox are 0-2 on season openers. They lost to KC in their opener, and to Texas last night in their home opener. One hopes they'll fare better in their own home opener!

Tonight - "Batshit" Tavarez starts. You know, when he was pitching against us in the World Series, I hoped he'd go nuts. Now that he's pitching for us, I still hope he'll go nuts. I love to watch him - the way he directs the infielders on where to throw a ball. Awesome article in today's Boston Herald on Julian's various "home" remedies for aches, pains and cold weather.
Tavarez also has a bottle, covered with white tape on which the words “Yo Yo” and “51” (Tavarez’ number) are written. It includes a substance that’s more jelly-like than the snake oil, but just as vile-smelling. He applies that to keep him warm, and with cold, rainy weather forecast for tonight, he will use it (as well as liberal amounts of baby oil and Ben-Gay applied who knows where else).
He may be f***ing crazy, but he's our crazy!

Friday, April 06, 2007

It was a good omen

Yesterday's photo leads me to the best news locally in a while - I saw this over my breakfast this morning...

Dunkin' Donuts is undertaking a Chattanooga area expansion strategy with a goal of having 37 locations over the next five years.

The growth is part of an aggressive game plan by the Canton, Mass.-based company to increase its presence in Tennessee and the region, officials said

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sign of the times?

Snagged this from Brian Lewandowski's Flikr page

I keep thinking about what my Dad - a veteran of the South Pacific Theater in WWII - would have thought about Matsuzaka-Mania....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Random Wednesday Thoughts

For April 4th.

1) Starting off with a non-baseball note. Last week, we had a visit at school from an alum of the class of 1987, Jon Meacham. Jon is editor-in-chief of Newsweek - and he's sssoo smart! He was funny, engaging and erudite - and I remember him as a little 9th grader! What was coolest for me - he rubs elbows with presidents, kings, ambassadors, writers - but to him, I'm Ms R!

2) The weather??? Totally nuts. It was 85 here yesterday, 65 today, 55 predicted for tomorrow. At least we're not getting the snow they're getting in New England today.

3) Yeah. The season is finally re-starting tonight. How odd to have one game, then they get a day off. Although I see that the Braves had a similar schedule. Weird.

4) Josh Beckett pitching tonight. Fingers crossed - I really want him to have an awesome outing. If we're going to go anywhere this year, we need him to pitch strongly.

5) Opening day at Fenway sounds awesome. They're going to do a salute to the '67 Impossible Dream team - I think I read that they've got 20 members of that team attending. Yaz and Dick Williams, too. And I love that we've got Harry Connick Jr to sing the anthem. (One of the scarier moments in Monday's game - besides the team's performance - was seeing REO Speedwagon sing the Anthem. OMG, Kevin Cronin what happened to you??)

6) Finally, what I love most about the pre-game show on NESN:
Eck. Aaah..

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Back to reality, R S Fans

Photo from
Yes, that says it all. Instead of contemplating the mess that Schilling led us through yesterday (and he was not alone in the blame), I prefer to share with you this perfect dessert for Easter Sunday.

from a website called
It's called Mr. Fruit Bunny - and it's all fruit. Is that not cute??

Monday, April 02, 2007

Merely hours now

I've actually gotten some work done today - but it's taken a Herculean effort to stay focused on anything other than the first pitch at 4:05. Many bloggers have used the time to make their predictions for 2007. Instead, I'd like to share some of my wishes and hopes for the year. I hope that --

1. Josh Beckett makes his case to be the staff ace. A lot was written about Beckett's "down" year - but he actually ended up with some pretty good numbers. Now that he knows the American League and has some familiarity with the opposing teams, I look for him to have a HUGE year. With Schilling making noises about retirement, we need some of these young guys to step it up.

2. Papelbon has a lights out year as closer. Now that he's chosen the role himself, I hope he does become Mariano Rivera.

3. Tek bounces back for a much better year. He's got something to prove - that age hasn't affected him - and he's got the kind of inner drive to silence the critics.

4. Coco has something to prove too. And his recent interviews show that he knows people are going to be watching him closely. We saw hints of huge potential last year...

5. JD Drew stays healthy. Please make it so!

6. David Ortiz is named MVP of the American League. I hope those voters are starting to realize their past mistakes, and will vote for him. The man is clearly the most valuable player on this team.

7. Manny is still with us at the year's end. And please no drama this year at the trade deadline - although I'll be in attendance at that game again this year, so I can at least see the drama first hand.

8. A-Rod is in his last year with the Yankees.

9. The Red Sox win the American League East! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Now, if you're wondering what beverage to serve on game days..

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I forgot...

Just watching "Baseball Tonight" - I think it's the first of the season. Peter Gammons' World Series prediction? Red Sox lose to the Mets in 7 "incredible" games. Game 7 - Pedro Martinez vs. Curt Schilling. I'm getting goose bumps just THINKING about it!! (And PS - the host - can't remember his name - also picked RS and Mets, but picked RS to win!!)

Less than 24 hours

So, only 24 hours until the Red Sox open the season. Yeah! In honor of the upcoming season, I spent some time cleaning up all my photo files. Here's one I'd forgotten about - from People En Espanol's 2005 sexiest people issue--
When I scanned that picture a year ago, Mike Lowell was a HUGE question mark. We all felt that the Sox had been forced to take him in the Beckett deal. Little did we know that he would rebound and become an anchor for this team. He's become a real leader on and off the field - man, some of his plays at 3rd last year were awesome! I hope for more this year.

So, tomorrow at 4:05 on NEST (I hope that it's not blacked out!) and ESPN, we'll get the season opener, featuring this guy...
I'm hoping for some cool blog entries tomorrow after the game!