Sunday, July 31, 2005
  I'm Hoping Manny is Still Being Manny, Many, Many More Days
According to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald, per WEEI, Manny Ramirez addressed several members of the media in the daily, pre-game meeting in Red Sox (check!) manager Terry Francona's office.

He said he wants to play for the Sox (through 2005...). He said he has no problem with Tito. He said he needed "the day off" this past Wednesday. He said he did not ask out of the lineup yesterday.
Bottom line, to this pseudo-scribe? This should extinguish the little, short-term fires. It should tell Theo and the Trio to cool their jets and not trade the 2004 American League home run champion and the 2004 World Series MVP for a hot dog and a can of worms.

Does it mean that the front office can't pursue dealing him for something in the same universe as equal or comparable value? No. In fact, this might favor the Sox. It gives them something that they haven't had since the Verducci article in SI and the Wednesday "I don't wanna" flap in St. Pete: time.
Manny is not on the lineup card, as of right now. Who knows if that will change...but Manny took a step, albeit three days late, spoke up, and attempted to clear the air and unmuddy the water. He did that with the beat writers and, hopefully, the next statement from Manny can be made to his teammates, explaining to them that he's with them, that he wants to win day in and day out, and that he is One Of The 25.

To that end, the Red Sox front office should make a statement using Terry Francona as the vehicle and Carl Beane as the most readily apparent spokesman:

"Now batting for the Red Sox, the leftfielder, number 24...(dramatic pause)...Manny (another dramatic pause)...RAMIREZ (and trill the "R's").

p.s. - here's also hoping that Red Sox Nation can talk about the 7.0 innings of 6 hit ball, with 2 walks and 8 k's by rookie Jon Papelbon.
Friday, July 29, 2005
  The Long, National Nightmare is Ovuh
Well, it's not really long, or national, or a nightmare. It's actually more a short-term regional issue.

But regardless, I now own a new car. With brakes. And those brakes work, which is a plus.

2001 Volvo S60, loaded. And by loaded, I mean "brakes and whole bunch of other shit that, while is nice and convenient, don't stop the car when you want it to."

So good for me. Yay, me.
Well, I'm gonna go enjoy the outside. Hopefully whomever you are, whereever you are, so can you.

Thursday, July 28, 2005
  Just listen to your heart, that's what I do...
I started to write this post early this a.m., before I had to do that pesky thing called "work."

And then I check and see that, wow, I was sorta on point here. But listed below were my thoughts around 7:45 a.m.
I hate to say it, because I do like the guy, but Manny's not going to be a Red Sox (check!) for very long. Sure, the 20 mill a year contract is a bit tough to swallow, but if they can get someone to send them a proper package, I'm willing to bet John W. Henry would write that club a personal check for the balance of the contract.

Besides, he becomes a 10-5 guy at the end of the season and with 3 years and 57 million left on his deal, the Sox do not want to have their hands tied by his reluctance to be traded to certain locale, or anything that could toss the monkeywrench in a blockbuster.

For an organization run by PR and media people, who calculate their every move and reaction in the press (and even have a few divestments in tv, radio, and print media in the Boston area, but I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, am I?), Tito and Theo's comments yesterday were not ringing endorsements.

Tito: "I went to Ramirez after Tuesday night's game. We had obvious issues, but he said he still needs it (the day off), so I gave it to him," said Francona prior to yesterday's game, uncharacteristically electing not to publicly protect one of his players. Francona said Ramirez initially was going to have last Sunday off in Chicago. "But that was not a good day (for the team to be without Ramirez), in my opinion, so we came up with (yesterday), which would give him back-to-back days off (because today is an off day)," said Francona. The events of Tuesday's game prompted Francona to amend that plan, but Ramirez, who reportedly has asked to be traded, wasn't willing to do so. "He looked like he was tired, out of energy," said Francona.

Yeah. Tired. Out of energy. Francona, to his credit or whatever, would defend Lee Harvey Oswald as a "good shot" if he wore a Sox hat. This coming after teammate Matt Clement also looked tired, out of energy, and for a few seconds, dead.

Theo: ''We're in a pennant race and battling a lot of adversity -- injuries and otherwise. 'It's times like these when you find out about your team and your players. More than ever, we need all 25 players pulling together, putting the team first in pursuit of victory. It's our responsibility to get there, and I think we will. I have a lot of faith in our players -- all of them -- and in the entire organization."

All along, when asked about the trade market in 2005, Theo has repeated the refrain "it's a sellers market." He said the same thing to Bob Hohler a year ago, on July 30, 2004. Even earlier, on July 4, 2004, Theo said: "I'm not trying to trade him. I'm not trying to trade anyone on the club. But part of doing my job is making sure I check every opportunity if we can get better."

Then he went and traded "him, "a Boston icon named Nomar Garciaparra.

The issues raised in a July 24, 2004 notebook by Howard Bryant of the Herald is like looking in a mirror a year later...Manny's hamstrings, frustration in the clubhouse, veterans balking at his behavior and frustration abound by the team not performing up to snuff. The only thing different is the team's place in the standings.

Then you listen to Larry Lucchino this morning on WEEI. It's no secret that in the minutes after Manny signed "Manny" on his Red Sox contract, he's been unhappy. So on the topic of Manny's trade request, as reported by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated this week, Double-L said:

"As to were we surprised by a request, I don’t think it would be intelligent of us to be surprised because as I’ve said this is our fourth season and in each of those seasons, beginning the week before we took over, we were well aware that Manny had issues. In each of those years there has been a request for a trade."

And more... "It is the time of year when you consider all manner of trades. You know that we are not sentimental people, we try not to be, as much as we like and admire our veterans, you’ve got to be prepared to trade them if it’s in the best interest of the club. Theo is certainly willing to be bold and make moves that other GMs might shy away from, so this is the time for us to think about trades and certainly Manny’s name will come up from time-to-time I’m sure in the next 72 hours. We have until 4:00 on Sunday afternoon. I think that it’s hard (to try to trade Manny) because of the size of his contract obviously, it’s hard. There aren’t a lot of clubs that are going to be interested, but it depends how little you’re willing to take in return with respect to trades. I’m not talking about Manny specifically, although it certainly applies to him. If you’re willing to take a broken bat and a couple of baseballs and a player to be named later, I supposed that makes it more possible but there’s just a certain set of clubs that will never be interested because of the dollars involved, but then again that club may say ‘hey if he’s got a $18-20 million contract this year, and you pay 95% of it, you know, we’ll trade with you,’ but that’s not a particularly intelligent thing for us to do."

Um, and forgive the cynicism, but these words seems pretty crafted and contrived - kinda like it wasn't the first time Lucchino had discussed the issue, publicly or privately, or had a plan of action in place. And if past history is any indication, the team always has a contingency plan.

So stay tuned Sox fans...this could be just another shitstorm that is created, sustained, and condoned by the media, by the club, or some combination of the two. And it could mean a new left fielder.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
  Thanks to My Captain, I'm blogging the top of the ninth
Been a long night; I'm going nickname game on you.
"Captain" Tek leads off with a bomb.

"Much maligned" Millar singles. Adam "I'm NOT Dave Roberts" Stern pinch runs

Johnny "Get your bat and glove" Olerud singles.

Bill "I Heart RiSP" Mueller doubles and advances on the throw. Stern scores. For some reason, Sveum sends the slowest man in the American League to try and score from first.

Nancy Kerrigan asks: Why? Whyyyyyyyy? Dale? Daaaaaaaaaaale? It could've been 2nd and 3rd, one out, with suckty Baez on the mound. (in case you were wondering, that thud you heard was Danys' trade value and Chuck LaMar's phone hitting the ground, simultaneously).
Not to be. But regardless, it's tied. The Sox live to play another half-inning. Schill comes in, hopefully with a chip on his shoulder and Clement on his mind.
Damn, Schill tripped a little bit on the mound and hasn't looked very comfortable, despite retiring the first two batters. Had a nasty tailing fastball for strike two to Julio Lugo, but made the next one fat and he singled it into center.

Jorge Cantu Modeling School at the dish. An extra-base hit could score Lugo and send the Sox home with an L.

The pitch from Schilling...Swing and a drive...deep to center...Damon at the the wall...looking up...he leaps...and MAKES THE CATCH! WHAT A CATCH BY DAMON AND THE SOX GO TO THE 10TH!

(that's what it would sound like if I were still doing baseball play-by-play on the radio)

Same kind of play last night, except Damon doesn't look like a pregnant yak trying to chase a flyball. Huge play. Gigantic play. Play of the year.

One of those urban legends in baseball says that the guy who makes a great play in the field usually leads off and makes a big hit at the plate.
No sooner to I start to type that sentence, and the ball deposits itself in right field off the bat of...Johnny effing Damon. 9-8.

Edgar tries to atone for his then-game losing error with a single. Papi up next and F7's it. Manny up next.

Been a weird game for Manuel. Homers in his first AB. Singles in the next. K's ugly the next three. In the 10th, he grounds into a 6-4-3 double play...except that Lugo didn't tag 2nd and didn't throw it too good to the 1B. Everyone's safe. And all this on a day where another "Manny wants out of Boston" story surfaces.

You know, in an earlier email to DScott, I mentioned how the Boston press would probably capitalize on the misery of the game earlier. Losing Trot to injury. The horrific play involving Matt Clement. An error by Renteria (even though they didn't call it an error, I do). If people are looking for a "turning point" game, they have it. Except, it's bad.

Not anymore. Flip that script. This is a turning point game. And it's good. I don't care if it's against the Devil Rays. This team saw ghosts from innings 3-8 and I can't say I blame them. But they regrouped, rallied, and have staged a dramatic comeback in the late innings against a closer that - again, I don't care if he's a Devil Ray - hasn't blown a save since early June.

Captain Tek singled in Renteria for a little Geico...a little State Farm...10-8.

Stern and Olerud retired to end the top of the 10th, onto the closer. And as Lance Armstrong's son would tell him before the mountain stages in this year's Tour: "Make 'em suffer."
Fredo reports that Trot has a strained oblique. That's not good. Paging Gabe Kapler.

No other reports on Clement, but by all accounts, it sounds encouraging that no major injuries were sustained.
Schill works the 10th and, with a few speedbumps, gets through it.

Hollins singles, takes second on defensive indifference before Travis Lee doubles a tough, tough pitch away down the left field line, making it 10-9.

A four-pitch walk to Alex Gonzalez yields Joey Gathright - not a power threat. And an extra-base hit would most likely not score the winning run.

First pitch, pop up, left field side. Manny, Mueller, and Edgar converge. None come through.

But Gathright grounds to John Olerud, whose only play was a force at second. Game over, Red Sox win.
I have a basement apartment and my landlords, who are elderly and hard of hearing, live above me.

Right now, whether they like it or not, whether they can hear it or not, I have Dirty Water on 8.

I love that Dirty Water. (one)
  Clement Update
Not that TLBR is so globally read that it breaks news or anything, but according to NESN's Eric Frede, who read a statement from Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill, Matt Clement was awake, alert and the results of a CAT Scan were negative. Clement will remain overnight in the hospital for observation.

Given my semi-experience with sports-related head injuries, an MRI and X-Ray will follow. All precautionary, as well.
Shampooing Edgar Renteria just lost this shampooing game. Nice routine shampooing grounder. I'm shampooing pissed.
  Matt Clement
If you do the prayer thing, please include Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement in them. Clement took a nasty line drive off the right side of his face tonight in a game against the Devil Rays.

And if you don't do the prayer thing, do the concern thing.
But this just chapped my I'll temper the language with the "shampoo tool" - everytime I want to swear, I will replace said expletive with the word "shampoo." Here goes.

A guy gets shampooing drilled on the mound, you get worried that his life - not just his shampooing pitching career is in jeopardy - and that stupid mother shampooing happy heckler guy is still shampooing yelling dumb shampoo at Doug Mirabelli. Can you get any more shampooing lame? Pal, you're a shampooing Devil Ray fan. You go to Tropicana Field, the biggest piece of shampoo professional venue in the world, and you yell shampoo in a stupid shampooing voice at professional baseball players. But that's not enough, you've created some shampooing persona out of this. And curses to NESN for continually putting microphone near this shampoo head.

Get a life. Get a shampooing life, shampoobag.

I don't care about your book, don't care about your philanthropy, don't care what shampoo you say on the's not fun, it's not funny, eat a bag of warm shampoo, you suck.
  I need some air.
Ok, remember the story about the guy who used to seize when he heard Mary Hart's voice on Entertainment Tonight? I think I know how he feels, after reading Michael Silverman's Red Sox (check!) notebook in the Herald today.

One particular note just summed up:
1. Mark Bellhorn's rehab and how he believes he'll be ready when his stint is up on August 18. Why? I like the combo of Cor-affanino.

2. Gabe Kapler's ready to join the squad, too. I like Gabe, don't get me wrong, but it's not like he's Barry Bonds or anything. If MLB decided to make like the NHL and change the way the outcome of games were determined (overtime vs. shootout; extra innings vs. bench press or squat thrusts), then I'd be excited. Speaking of Kapler, was he the only MLB player to ink a deal with K-Swiss? Ever?

3. (and this is where I'm twitching)...Francona reported that Kapler saw former Sox reliever Rich Garces. That's not difficult. You can see the Great Wall of China from the moon. I suppose if you and El Guapo were both in Ft. Myers, you prolly would have a tough time missing him.

And it could get real confusing if his t-shirt said "Wal-Mart." Then there would be a bunch of folks trying to park their RV's on his tukkis.

But it gets worse. The following sentence fragment just gave me a sinus headache: who has re-signed with the ballclub and is currently working out for them.

I dunno what is more troubling or hard to believe. That Theo re-signed him, or that he's working out. Thankfully, Francona shed some light on this pressing issue: "I've heard he's big,'' and I heard he's throwing the ball great.''

The only El Guapo I want near Fenway is here. Scroll down to "burritos."

4. And the final tidbit in Silverman's notebook related to wacky slap-hitting first baseman Kevin Millar running an informal poll in the clubhouse about who is the fattest Red Sox. According to the paper, the candidates include Millar, Wells, Curt Schilling (named "worst body'' by a poll of players in Sports Weekly) and Doug Mirabelli.

I'd like someone to run an informal poll, or pool, "When will Kevin Millar have an extra-base hit?" or "When will Kevin Millar not pull the ball foul three times before flailing at a breaking ball in the dirt for strike three?" or "When will Kevin Millar and two-out RiSP be mentioned in a positive light in the same sentence."

But at least the notebook mentions the signing of Craig "mmm'bop" Hansen and the showcasing of Manny Delcarmen with the big club.

Until later, one.

Monday, July 25, 2005
  Ok, I guess I am blogging this mess
16. Mike Timlin really stinks with inherited baserunners. Really. Stinks.

17. Kevin Millar really stinks when he's at the plate. Really? Yeah, really. Stinks.

Why, if Lou Pinella brings in a righty, do you not bring in John Olerud? I am well-aware that Olerud is about 3 for his last 32, but it's the matchup. Not just lefty-righty, but sucky-not sucky. With Colome and Millar, it's a sucky-sucky matchup and that usually favors the sucky guy with the ball.

Plus, Lou has pretty much emptied his bullpen by the eighth. It's not like he can go back to a lefty.

18. And it's fodder for WEEI, but Millar...his "power" numbers and his "slugging" percentage in a spot in the order primarily for folks who can clear the wall and in a position in the field that generally yields home's killing me.

Now, to me, there are 1B that a: hit for power; b: hit for average; c: do both a & b.

Examples of a: Jason Giambi (don't laugh, he's having a great second-half), Richie Sexton; Mark Teixeira
b: Sean Casey, Nick Johnson.
c: Derrick Lee, Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado

As for Millar, he now falls under letter Q - named after former Sox 1B Carlos Quintana. Q was a career .279 hitter. 19 career home runs (came over three full seasons, so an average of 6+). Career OPS .712.

This year for Millar? .276 average, 4 HR, .754 OPS.

19. Adam Stern does not = Dave Roberts. Wow. That was, um, wow.

20. Bases loaded for the guy who leads the majors - and ranks second all-time - in home runs with the bases loaded. The pitcher throws very hard and very straight. What will be the outcome?
(the suspense is killing me, too)

21. F9. And the F stands for fu--, oh forget it. The 2-2 was the pitch to hit.
  Again, I'm NOT Going to Blog a Devil Ray Game

8. Memo to NESN: I don't care how many times you show me the commercial with the walkoff, er, "game-winning" home run vs. the Oakland A's. It's not going to make me like "Tessie" or "Kevin Millar."

9. However, the more you show Hazel Mae's "Red Sox Rewind" commercial, the more it makes me want to buy TiVo. I'd buy her a Coors Light and see how it goes, akin to the Silver Bullet I purchased for the girlfriend of a former Pittsburgh Penguin star a few weekends back.

"Oh, so your boyfriend played in the NHL for 12 years and is 6-5, 240? Cool. Can I have my beer back?"

10. Doug Waechter = Bronson Arroyo with a terrible lineup behind him.

11. Don Orsillo has mentioned the return of Javy Lopez about 11 times tonight. First off, Javy can't pitch. Secondly, it's Javy effing Lopez. Do you think Jon Miller went ga-ga over the fourth coming of Adam Hyzdu?

12. Why does Manny suck against those individuals that TL? He's supposed to be the best BR in baseball (coughcoughMIGUEL CABRERAcoughcough), or at least, one of them. I wonder what it would be like if he faced Dontrelle. At the very least, both those planets colliding would make one big ole fun planet.

13. With his signing his 5-year deal with the Two-Time Defending World Champion New England Patriots (soon to be a compulsory TLBR drop; once camp opens), Logan Mankins jumps onto the "Top 10 Guys I'd Never, Ever Want to Fight" list.

14. Commercials with talking bobbleheads aren't fun. They're not funny, they're not fun.

15. More notable Southwest Airlines' actor: the guy with the local gopher science fair exhibit, or the Philly taxi cab driver?
  I'm Not Going To Blog a Devil Ray Game...
...But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention these seven points:

1. The Rhode Island native/Bishop Hendricken educated, now-injured, soon-to-be-an-All-Star centerfielder Rocco Baldelli.
2. Boomer pitching his way into the D-Ray squander, after a 1st and 3rd, no out situation.
3. The effing Happy Heckler guy. He used to ride Todd Walker. Then Mark Bellhorn. Last time into the big, concrete airport lounge with astroturf d.b.a. Tropicana Field, he rode Edgah Renteria. Tonight, he chooses Big Papi. Best of luck to you, Heckler guy.

And on a side about the Heckler guy...the only thing more annoying than his incessant rambling is the fact that NESN all but mikes him up.

4. Tampa is also home to Mons Venus. Mons Venus, for the next three days, is prolly home to many of the Red Sox traveling party.
5. Did Trot Nixon's game hat pass through his colon?
6. Doug Waechter doesn't suck.
7. And in other Florida baseball news, I received my Dontrelle Willis shirt today. Dontrelle, by the way, TL.

That's all for now. Read the "Oooh, ESPN." Because it's about ESPN, I thought I'd shamelessly and tirelessly self-promote, just like the Worldwide Leader.
  Two Quick Workout Posts
First off, after you're done with this one, proceed directly to "Oooh, ESPN." You'll love it, trust me.
In case you're working out on a treadmill (powering through a mile and a half at 8:20 pace) and CNN is on, but it's on mute and you have an iPod in, be sure to turn to The Smiths' "Panic." It'll give you everything you need to know about Panic in the streets of London; Honey pie, you're not safe here; and burning down the disco (in Sharm El-Sheik). Eerie coincedence.
Ok, back to the workout. Hope you're all practicing hard - the Purple and Gold deserve a scare this year, maybe more. (Operation Stress Fracture, day five. Operation Off the Miller Lite, day 10).

  Ooh, ESPN's Coming!

Today's "50 in 50" on ESPN SportsCenter is none other than the Biggest Little: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Excuse me while I cough up a hairball in excitement for the arrival of George Smith or Kelly Naqi. If anything, Keith Russell, Steve Berthiaume or Jack Edwards should host it.

Either way, here's a quick online vote for people to pick their best Rhode Island sporting moments: I'll print the ESPN version, with my own additions below it in italics.
1) Most memorable sports moment?

2) Favorite sport?

3) Favorite pro team?

4) Favorite state team?

5) Best rivalry?

6) Best homegrown product?

7) Best in-state college or pro career?

8) Best place to watch a game?

9) Favorite personality or historical figure?

10) Have you been to Rhode Island?


On a side note, dunno how many of you listen to Dennis & Callahan in the morning, but thankfully Jon Meteparel is on vacation. Filling in for Meter, more than well, is Mike Adams. Mssr. Adams is one of the funniest sports radio guys to come along in a bit. He needs his own show, a column somewhere, and a TV spot. His Hazel Mae bit this a.m. had me in tears, which sucked because I was driving (not my car, rather, one with brakes that work when you press 'em - woo hoo!) and...oh well. As my man Big G would say, "it's dumb funny."


Sunday, July 24, 2005
  Le Fin Du Cycle

Congrats, Lance. Les Septs Victoires du Tours. Enjoy a full schedule of drinking beer, hanging out with your kids, and of course, Sheryl Crow.

You earned it, you deserve it.
Seven. (One.)
Friday, July 22, 2005
  They Didn't Work
Damn brakes. Went on me in New Haven.

I guess I can't complain - the old girl has had a nice run. 170,000 miles, 1992...oh well.

Might be a weekend full of exploring employee discounts at local cah dealers.
Well, enjoy your weekend.
  I'm On The Pavement, Thinking About the Government
An ever-so-brief post before I hit the road for God's Country.

*** I hope my brakes work. No, really. I really, really hope they work.

*** Made history this morning. First morning run in almost a decade.

Ok, so it was only a mile. And an 8:10 at that. But still.

It's like that Nike commercial with Tiger Woods, you know, the one where it shows his palacial living room with all his Claret jugs and trophies...his 194 inch plasma with Mr. Magoo...his bedroom where he and a blonde Swedish bikini model cohabitate...his money clip with $95,000 in it...and yet, he's still outside practicing hitting worm burners with his 2-iron.

It's like that, except I'm fat, broke, single, and slow.

*** The morning run - part of the aforementioned Operation Stress Fracture (which is now in its fourth consecutive day, I'm proud to add) - also had a smaller mission, called A.T., or "anerobic threshold."

The point of A.T. is to run at a point where your body has no more oxygen and sustain that pace for an extended period of time. So, roughly 15 seconds into the run, I was at A.T. And sustained that pace for the next 8:00 or so. Whoopie for me.

Then onto the arc trainer, which is like an elliptical except it mimics the running stride better, for a grueling 20 minute hill workout. I'm going to sleep now, I'll see you all Tuesday.

*** Happy about the Red Sox (check!) winning. Happy about the Yanks losing. And you know what, I'm happy about Jason Giambi and all the big, strong, tough Yankee players hitting home runs.

Name the last World Series champion that slugged their way through the playoffs...I'll time you...cue up the Jeopardy theme...humming annoyingly...10 seconds...7...6...ok, times up.
Did you say "the 2004 Red Sox?" Wrong. Sure, they had Manny and Papi going yard, but I believe it was Dave Roberts and Bill Mueller who kinda sorta played a role. And besides, both the Dominican dandies hit over .300.

The Marlins Pierre'd and Castillo'ed teams, while Beckett blew 'em away. The Angels ran through a title. So did the D-Backs. And even the Yankees in all their splendor had Luis Sojo and Scott Brosius with key hits.

No slugging team has won it in a while. And I'm not sure I've seen the Yanks manufacture a run this season.

*** Back to the workout. Today's total cardio time was 28:00. During said time, I have come to realize that I have an eclectic mix of music on my iPod. But as you skip through the Bocelli, Sinatra, and James Taylor, you'll get to some good workout music.

Australia's (check!) Crown Jewel, Kylie Minogue, helped me get through a particularly hard hill repeat. Of course, there is a price to pay for that - I'm going to have "nah-nah-nah" repeating, repeating...I can't get it out of my head.

*** Ok, folks, time to shower and hit the road. Enjoy yer weekends... and hold onto your hats.

Thursday, July 21, 2005
  Thursday Night's Alright for Reverse Blogging
This post is done backwards - to start from the first inning, go to the end of the post and work your way back to this point.
Pop up for pesky Posednick. One down.

Iguchi K's. Two down.

And Captain Carl K's to end it.

Big, big win for the Red Sox. And a fond farewell to the White Sox announcers. This weekend, I'll have the listening pleasure of Don-O and RemDawg...two folks who are certainly FOR the home team, but don't root like they're the fucking players wives.

Go Halos. Uno.
Schill on the hill and they're playing "Welcome to the Jungle." Isn't that his song?

Boy, kudos to the Comiskey D.J. I suppose the Standells are cued up.

Three outs to go. Mow 'em down.
Papi. Manny. Tek. Those are the guys you want up in the ninth.

Papi chops one off the plate, one down.

Joe Crede tries to get cute on Manny with a potential FF5. He drops it. Instant karma's gonna getcha, Joe. And quick. Manny says "Up yer butt, Joe-boo." Big fly. Left center. 6-5 Sox.

Tek shorthops the fence in left for a double. I like the way this is going.

Professional hitter, John Olerud up. And five words you don't say often - infield hit for John Olerud - comes to play.

1st and 2nd, one down for Trot. And he hits into the 6-4-3, to the sheer delight of Hawk.
Crap. Tied at 5. Tough at-bat, tough pitch. Going to the ninth.

I guess that's a blown save for Schill.
Groundout to Olerud. Two down. Four to go.
There's a puddle in Hawk's pants - Rowand got a hit. Yay! Squeal with glee! Clap hands rhythmically.
Now Curt's hitting 9o on the gun. Crank it up.
Nice third-strike slider to AJ Pierzynski. Five outs to go.
Schilling in 8th? Hmmm... Interesting.

This might be step one in getting him stretched out. Or maybe it's just that Mike Myers and Chad Bradford suck.

And these guys - Hawk and DJ - are literally rooting against Curt Schilling in their intro. What a bunch of douchebags.

Schill isn't blowing up the speed gun right now. Lots of splitters and balls in the mid-80's. Uh-oh.
Edgah ends up 3 fo fo...Onto the eighth. Six outs to go.
The brunette in the white is back. I like right handed hitters in this game.
Two outs, two on, and Edgah - who hasn't been retired yet tonight - comes to the plate.

Can he make it fo-fo-fo? Or stay at 3-fo-3?
Bill Mueller walks, which brings up 2B Tony Graffanino with one out.

Previously, in the Mark Bellhorn era, you could just put it on the booooooooooard...K! But T-Graff is able to line a basehit into right. Good trade, Theo.
Damaso the Yankees wish they'd held onto him.

The Red Sox - as opposed to the other tea, which Hawk and DJ refer to as "our Sox" - have pounded out 10 hits tonight. That's pretty good.
Mike Timlin gets out of the jam by popping up Providence's Paul Konerko. Onto the eighth. Six more outs.

And in typical fashion, CSN Chicago shows the same six or seven commercials all night, just like NESN. But they don't have Marty (and he makes better deals) from U.S. RV. But I have seen the Geico commercial with Tony Little a bunch. That dude is dumb scary.
So, in typical fashion, the guy who screwed up last inning hits a double.

Carl Everett up now. Which reminds me the low, low, low regard of which I hold him as a human being.
The Hawk's baseball chatter "get it goin' here, 5" is stupid. Timlin gets to Timo to catch the high strike. Eight more outs. (no, not Eight MEN Out...)
Is it too early to mention that Matt Clement is in line for the win; Mark Buehrle the loss?
Millar flies out to Timo Perez, who then guns down Papi, who is trying to tag up. Not good.

But what was good was Edgar Renteria plating the go-ahead run before Papi's 9-5 putout.

Good on Kevin for the sac fly 9.

It's Timlin time - hold this lead and give it to Schill.
For his career, Jason Varitek is only .222 with the bases loaded. Wow. That's pretty, um, awful.

And his average did not improve.

So now it's bases loaded. One out. Kevin Millar. Those three numbers keep haunting me...6...4...3...

Good time to use the commode. I've seen this episode of Law & Order, it's a rerun.
Well, I have to say...I'm happy about this game so far. Mark Buehrle is one of the top 2 or 3 pitchers in the A.L. and the ChiSox have the best record in the A.L. To chase him from the game in the 7th inning with a 4-all score is encouraging.

Especially since the Sox suck at - whoa, there's that brunette in the white again...OK, back to my original point - facing lefties.
And Papi delivers, with a little help from the Japanese second baseman. What is it with Japanese 2B who can't field the ball? Kaz Matsui sucks, and so does this guy. 4-4. 2nd and 3rd. No out. And they're walking Manuel Aristedes Ramirez.

Wow, don't pitch to Manny? Boy, someone stop the voting and give Ozzie Guillen the manager of the year trophy now.
Edgah still 3-for-3, walk...Papi up. If ever there was a time to take over the RBI lead over the #4 hitter, now would be a wicked cool time.
Damon aboard as the leadoff guy...3-for-3 Edgah up...Hawk complaining about not getting the inside pitch...Why do I have the numbers 6-4-3 in my head?
108 pitches through six innings...not stellar for Clement. But only four runs. This can be done.
And Clement walks the batter. This inning should be friggin' over.

This sucks. Whoa, who is the brunette in the white top behind the White Sox dugout?

That's what you get when you can throw/hit a curveball, I guess.
Edgah's only miss tonight? Aaron Rowand on the botched run-down. 2-2 pitchout to second had Rowand beat, except Edgah tried to chase him down.

He missed. And that sucked. Hopefully it won't cost the Sox and Clement.
Six words that do not roll off the tongue with any relative ease: Nice diving stab by Kevin Millar. -----
Hawk Harrelson still cheering. Hey pal, I don't care that the White Sox sign your check, how about a little professionalism? The press box isn't for cheering. Buy pom-poms if you want to root, root, root for the home team.
***Real world sports update***
TLBR's Honduran correspondent informs me that the U.S. National Soccer team earned a spot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final after a thrilling, 2-1 victory over Honduras tonight.

John O'Brien and Oguchi Onyewu each scored for the U.S.,

Oh, wait. The game was in New Jersey. So...let's recap...a guy in Honduras is telling me about a game off of exit 16W on the NJ Turnpike?

Yeah, I'm a little tunnel-visioned. But, nonetheless, still pleased with the outcome and that my man had it back home without bodily harm. They take that soccer thing pretty hard down yonder.
I can't stand the White Sox guys, but listening to Joe and Jerry 15 seconds after I watch what they did isn't doing it for me, either. Back to CSN Chicago.
Two squanders and it's up to Millar...who puts the K in squander. But it's 4-3.

Was just thinking...the White Sox have Jose Contreras. Jose Contreras has about a 62.00 ERA vs. the Red Sox. It'd be swell if they faced him this weekend...
After pulling a Cartwright on the 2-2, Papi nubs one into left and Edgah comes around.

Continue the not-squandering actions, boys.
Edgah! Three-fo-three!

Still a man on second. Still no outs.

Still do not squander...please.
Johnny leadoff double. Do. Not. Squander.


Do. Not. Squander.
***Real world news alert***

Does this story smack a bit like the point of the movie, Natural Born Killers? The term "criminal celebrity" makes me want to hurl.

Ok, back to baseball.
Come on out to US Cellular Field on Thursday, it's Hanging Slider/Gopher Ball night, sponsored by Matt Clement.

Crap. I wonder if Theo is thinking A.J. Burnett now?
Clement not settling. I jinxed it.

Of course, leading up to the at-bat by Providence native Paul Konerko, SOx radio man Jerry Trupiano happened to mention he was oh-for-his-last-seven.

Make that one-for-his-last-eight.
If anyone hears a question from a "Tilber" in New York on CSN Chicago, do let me know:
Oh boy, a graphic just came up on the screen, telling fans how they can email Hawk Harrelson and "D.J." in the booth. I'm crafting my tome right now.
Nice play in the left field corner by Manny...and gives the ball to a little girl...and people were questioning why there was a Manny-themed post earlier.

Manny is great. Red Sox fans really need to realize that. Plus, I think if he had his druthers, he'd have stood there and talked to the little girl.

Manny: "Chew like SpongeBob, too?"
The Sox are getting their chances and aren't doing great things with them.

But at least Buehrle is throwing pitches....oh crap, Millar, could you take a fucking pitch? You aren't hitting, so take the damn walk.
Attaboy, Edgah! Two fuh two.

And Papi didn't like the first pitch called a strike. He is like the Bill Cartwright of called strikes, always arguing the call.
Matty settling down a bit. Crap, did I just jinx it?
When I was growing up, there was a guy in the neighborhood that was a Sox fan...a White Sox fan...not the most common thing, but what the heck. Better than the Yankee fans. Anyway, when the ChiSox changed their uniforms from the batter guy to the red, white, and blue "C," he bought a new jersey and took it to the local sporting goods store, where they were nice enough to stitch "23 Mattingly" on the back for him.

Good story, huh?
Billy Mueller just said "trade this, Theo." (all praise be to God)
Millar and Nixon just had swings that, if it was not a ball and rather a Snapple bottle, would not broken it.
Buehrle delivers pretty fast...what, does he have a hot date or something?

You know what? If his ex is any indication, I bet he does.
The WEEI broadcast is about 15 seconds slow online. Crap-tastic.
First three pitches to Carl Everett were all snapped and terrible. Just like Carl.

And with that home run, the urging of it to leave the park, the "put it on the board....YES," and the fireworks, the television just went on mute.
The White Sox commentators are referring to the home team as "we." Did you have an at-bat? Did you make a catch? No? Then you are not a "we."
Ah crap, no NESN broadcasters on MLB Extra Innings tonight. I'm not going to be able to take nine innings of Hawk Harrelson.

I've hung out with Mark Buerhle's ex-girlfriend a few times. It really makes me wish I could either: a. throw a curveball --or-- b: hit one.

The organist at US Cellular Comiskey Park is playing the Cheers theme as Johnny Damon steps to the plate. Thanks, pal. Can you fire up Sweet Caroline in the middle of the 8th and Dirty Water if we win?

Quite frankly, Manny Ramirez has been TERR-A-BULL versus lefties this year. I'm just saying...[/stephen a. smith]
  It's a Manny, Manny, Manny, Manny World
Reports say there were four more bombs in London today...and I don't mean Steven Seagal movies. Luckily, it sounds like few, if any, were injured. All thoughts and well-wishes are with our neighbours.
Go out and buy Snow Patrol's cd "Final Straw." No reason, really, I like them.
Some company out there is offering to beam blogs into space. I can't make this stuff up, you'll have to read it.

But since the guy is sorta semi-serious, I wonder if TLBR would reach the golfing planet of Oookufukku that I invented last week.

Or the planet that Red Sox (check!) LF Manny Ramirez lives on. I bet Manny's planet is fun, chew know.
Need evidence of how cool Planet Manny would be? Check out Manny, Jr's room. If that room's any indication, Planet Manny would rule.

Especially if Papi was bartending and Jeanne Zelasko would be there.
Manny would also kick Roger Clemens' ass.

"Don't Mess with Texas?" My ass. Washington Heights, represent.
Sent in from a loyal reader; a headline he'd like to see for the Yankees' pitching staff: "Torre In Hole With Small, Wang; Big Unit, Moose Coming Next"

Pee-pee and fart jokes are hee-hee funny.

(More Manny.)
In the effort of fellow blog promotion, check out James Mathis' China blog: It's informative, refreshing, and most of all, funny. Day seven had me laughing out loud. Great job by all associated with it.
See if you can figure out which guy is Manny and which guy is an asshole.
More tonight, including a Hand? 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky.

(I'll let Manny sign off.)
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
  Hyzdu... Gesundheit.
In regard to my dinnertime post about Adam Hyzdu comes this fun fact from JB: "Adam Hyzdu has now been a member of the Red Sox organization on four separate times - this is his 2nd major league stint- and that ties with him with Steve Lyons for most tours of duty with the Red Sox."

Well, set him a table at Via friggin' Matta.
Now, I chase only Ty Cobb and Pete Rose.

Congrats to you all for my 4,000th hit on TLBR.

In honor of this milestone, I'm changing the masthead to reveal what exactly TLBR means. It's stayed virtually a secret, with the exception of the two people who figured it out and three people I told when I was drunk.

The interpretation of it can be taken many different ways - it's intended to be that way.

Good on ya, readers.
Attaboy, captain. First inning, two-out RiSP makes me berry, berry happy.
My new business venture - Operation Stress Fracture - had a very big day. A. Very. Big. Day. If this continues for the next eight weeks, I'm going to supplant Jude Law as the world's heartthrob. But I won't let the fame and my devastingly handsome good looks skew my in any way.

Actually, Jude may have just supplanted himself. The nanny? Not even if it were Fran Drescher the Nanny... As Mo Vaughn once said, "dumb stupid Jude Law, HE STOO-PID!"
Had a surf n' turf burrito tonight. Filet mignon. Shrimp. Lettuce. Cocktail sauce. Soft flour tortilla. Yum.
Hey, where has Neve Campbell been hiding?
What is the big effin' deal with two members of the Northwestern women's lacrosse team - Kate Darmody and Shelby Chlopak - wearing flip-flops to the White House? If they wore weapons of mass destruction, then maybe you'd have an argument, but flip-flops?

And according to wire reports, during an appearance on NBC's Today Show Monday, the two players who wore the controversial chausseurs - Kate Darmody and Shelby Chlopak - said they planned to auction off the flip-flops they wore to the White House, with the proceeds to go toward a fund for a 10-year-old girl with a brain tumor. Anybody think badly of their fashion sense, now?
Hazel, you know I love ya...but when you kick it back after a SportsDesk update, it's Don and Jerry...not RemDawg. Don't go down that dark road. And, to answer your question, yes...I can handle more.
Chris House in France?
Former Boston Herald columnist Michael Gee played himself. Plain and simple.

Gee made some off-color remark about the aesthetics of one of his female students in the summer class he was teaching at B.U. Was it lewd and gross? No. Was it left of center? Definately. Boston Sports Media columnist Dave Scott uncovered it all.

Now, in the effort of full disclosure, Dave Scott is a good friend of mine. And I support his writing about this situation.

Dave has a Friday column which I have linked to this site. Not just because he's a friend, but because he's a damn good writer. And he's after the truth. His column is about the sports media in the Hub. He's a sportswriter whose beat is sportswriters. This was newsworthy.

Did Dave blow the whistle? Maybe. Did Dave's inquiries get the ball rolling for the B.U. administration to terminate Michael Gee? Probably. Do Dave and Michael Gee have the best personal and professional relationship? Well, they're not having passover seder, if that answers your question...

But did Dave make a post as someone in a position of power - and teachers and students are indeed a power relationship - and sign his own name? No. Did Dave put that in a forum that is widely read and scrutinized? No. Did Dave have the power to fire Michael Gee? No. Did Dave lobby for that? No.

Michael Gee acted. B.U. reacted. Simple as that.
Once again, thanks for 4k. It's awesome. So are you.
  Once, Twice, Four Times a Hyzdu
The Red Sox (check!) just made a bevy of trades and roster moves.

1. Alan Embree (who "TL...") got designated for assignment. Which means you don't hafta go home, but you can't stay here. My heart feel bad, because like me, he TL...and he closed out the ALCS...and what the heck, he's Alan Embree. Not a bad guy. Just a bad pitcher.

2. The Sox also dealt AAA All-Star CF Chip Ambres (.294 BA, 10 HR, 50 RBI, .896 OPS, 19 SB) and Single-A pitcher Juan Cedeno (2-6, 5.49 ERA, 80.1 IP, 71 K, 33 BB) to Kansas City for utility infielder Tony Graffanino. If this means Ambres can play at the major league level everyday, then this is a winner no matter what the Sox get. Ambres is a great kid. Graffanino fills a role that the Sox desperately need. Cedeno is, um, from the Dominican Republic and his Mom and Dad love him very much.

3. Now, this one I don't get. The Sox send AAA reliever Scott Cassidy to the San Diego Padres for AAA OF Adam Hyzdu. Maybe this is the compulsory Sox-Padres trade that we've come to know and love since 2003. Theo Epstein used to work for the Padres. So did Larry Lucchino. Maybe it's a streak that we don't know about, or a fraternity prank.

But it's got to have some sort of explanation that makes no sense, because acquiring a career journeyman minor leaguer for the fourth time makes zero sense. Maybe Hyzdu is studying for his M.B.A. at B.U. and needed to do an internship, so he went to San Diego, er, AAA Portland for the year. And now that the semester is over, he needs to come back to complete his coursework.

Maybe Adam is ... oh fuck, I dunno.

But for all the rumored deals - Bill Mueller for JC Romero; the AJ Burnett "sweepstakes" - the Sox leave me scratching my head with the Hyzdu deal. What was it that he didn't show his first three times with the organization that Theo and the trio think he's gained?

I'm sticking by the internship/MBA track.

More later. One.
  There's a Hurricane...IN MY PANTS

Hey, I suppose if I were stuck in a hurricane shelter instead of being on vacation in Cancun with my blonde girlfriend, I'd do the same...

(who's your favorite Little Rascal? Is it Alfalfa... or SPANKY... sinner...)
  Toad. Frog. Lobster. They're all the same...
Well, I got a nice night's sleep, and this tanned and ready individual is less testy (see post called "Angry"). So let's go!
So the Red Sox (check!) aren't in first place, Johnny Damon lost his hit streak at 29, and ... what? Do you want me to kick my dog? Unlikely, plus I don't have one. Like Trot Nixon said, postgame, "Do we get an award for being in first tomorrow?" No.

But it'd be nice to hit the fucking ball. That's it. Give Casey "Blade" Fossum whiplash tonight.
Bob Halloran of Channel 5 and tells Red Sox Nation that it's ok to be frustrated, but don't think just because you slept in an un-air conditioned basement apartment or a Holiday Inn Express last night, that you're smarter than the boys at Yawkey Way.
Nice. Perspective.
Jude Law admitted cheating...on Sienna Miller? You know, maybe women are right, maybe us men ARE fucking idiots.

I wouldn't cheat at monopoly or scrabble against Sienna Miller. Well, maybe I'd try to sneak a common name by her, or something in french...maybe if I pull a fourth "E," I'd do a tile swap when she wasn't looking, but that's about it.

And Jude, don't you find that Sienna Miller is, apologies to Patrick Marber, disarming?

So if you're at a club tonight or tomorrow, and you happen to see Sienna, what makes me think she's after some "revenge."
Day one of Operation Stress Fracture was this morning, as I walked to work. I love these nice sticky, humid days. It was like walking through a two-mile car wash.

It was modus transportus from Australia (check!) where I walked everywhere with my trusty iPod. And with the iPod on shuffle play - and by shuffle, this morning, I mean two Oasis songs followed by something random, followed by two more Oasis songs. Not really a shuffle play, if you ask me.

And later today, I'm hitting the roads for a jog and the weightroom for some lifting. Eight weeks to go.
Good on ya, Cablevision. Last year, when Ii ordered the MLB extra innings package for $169, they billed me twice. Take it from me, it's hard not to poop ones pants when your monthly cable bill is almost as much as your rent.

So they rectified it, after about three months of calling customer service.

This year, same drill. I asked that they bill me in four easy installments. They billed me in one expensive installment, one again causing gurgling in my upper G.I.

I called customer service again and the woman said to just split it up into four payments myself. Only problem with that is the balance of over 80 bucks that I currently have on my bill prompted Cablevision to threaten to shut my service off - because of a mistake THEY made.

Well, calling to argue that point, the very friendly and super helpful customer service agent not only rectified my shutoff threat, but also knocked off the final two payments. so I got MLB E.I. for 80 bucks. Woo-hoo!
Hewlett-Packard is firing enough people to fill the Worcester Centrum.

And sadly, they'll reap a profit and call it success. Meanwhile, they can't figure out how to make a laser printer that doesn't burn through $150 toner cartridges in a month.
By all accounts, the 4-2 record that the Boston Celtics posted in the Reebok Vegas Summer League made for a successful venture.

And out of those games, second round pick Ryan Gomes (12.2 points, 6.2 rebounds per game in the RVSL), the All-American forward from Providence earned himself a guaranteed two-year deal, worth close to one million dollars.

But not to be lost in the mix was the play of All-American (TLBR voted for him, so he's an All-American) forward Taylor Coppenrath - averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, while shooting close to 60.0% from the floor in just about 16 minutes of play.

The big fella doesn't need to prove that he is a smart ballplayer and can score. He's done plenty of that in his collegiate career. But he did need to show athleticism that is absolutely compulsory at "the next level." Many say he did. Here's hoping T-Copp can join Ryan Gomes in the C's frontcourt. If so, I'm watching the NBA again.
Reports out of Minnesota have the Twins and Sox actively talking a JC Romero for Bill Mueller swap. JC Romero? Isn't he a member of N*Sync?

Oh, that's JC Chasez? Never mind.

(p.s. - don't make that trade unless it's Millar in lieu of Mueller.)
Have a good Tuesday! One.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Oh great, NOW we pinch run for Millar...would've been nice last night.

These guys can't hit Trevor Miller and Joe Borowski? What the feck.

Not going to be in first place tomorrow. Can't hit against shitty Tampa Bay. Can't friggin' win at home.

This absolutely, completely sucks. The optimist that used to reside inside me is about to catch a train.
  Monday Mid-Game Musings
From the "I guess you didn't learn your lesson, idiot," Kenny Rogers once again gets into it with a cameraman.

Kenny - if you don't want to be bothered with cameras, consider a job in the food service industry. Otherwise, put your head down, walk fast, and shut up.

I hope the player's union doesn't think it's still a good idea to sue Major League Baseball.
In no particular order,here are 10 songs - if I were a closer - that I would jog out to the mound from the bullpen to:
1. Climbatize - The Prodigy
It's a sort-of techno song that builds and builds. It's a sort of trance-sound until it gets to a trippy drumbeat about 47 seconds in.
2. Like a Song - U2
Great drum intro. For my money, it's U2 best drum beginning other than Sunday Bloody Sunday.
3. Dark and Long - Underworld
Another techno tune. I'm not trying to make my entrance to close out the game sound like the Ramrod on P-town...but this tune fires me up. It's also from the soundtrack to the movie Trainspotting.
4. Welcome to the Terrordome/Rebel without a Pause - Public Enemy
Terrordome was Mike Tyson's song, and it used to scare the shite outta me. And I wasn't fighting. It's arguably the best P.E. tune that's not on Nation of Millions. Rebel's constant "alarm" backline is also imposing.
5. Takeover - Jay-Z
That is, if there is a censored version. Otherwise, it would last about eight seconds.
6. Thrasher - N*E*R*D
See also "Takeover."
7. Clocks - Coldplay
Even though a prominent early lyric refers to "can't be saved," which would be diametrically opposed to my job as closer, the beginning piano riffs pump me up.
8. You are so beautiful - Joe Cocker
Maybe my entrance song needs to play with a little reverse psychology. Maybe the batter will think about his junior prom and how, maybe, Jenny from math class was the one that got away. And that maybe he should've treated her nicer and not played the role of being the big-time baseball star. Maybe he'll look to the crowd and see a Jenny look-alike, like when Roy Hobbs saw Glenn Close's character in The Natural and his head will be taken completely out of the game. This is a lot of conjecture, but this is a game of mental fortitude.
9. The Boy with the Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
Although this is not their song about baseball (Piazza, New York Catcher is a GREAT tune), it's a great background with rhythmic snapping and clapping that's bound to get the crowd amped.
10. Save You - Pearl Jam
Duh...I'm a closer...although, the language might need to cleaned up a tad
I'm shot. One.
  Are You Ready for Some Blogging? A Monday Night...Party!
Just finished a nice surf n' turf salad for dinner - some baby shrimp and filet mignon on a bad of fresh greens. TLBR does not, I repeat, does not get cheated when it comes to the vittles.

With my belly full and my mind more full up (huh?) , let's commence a post:

*** Nothing crazy to recap from this weekend. Friday was great, to the tune of 17-1. Saturday was eventful, but not crazy. It began with a speeding ticket from one of Jamestown's finest. Little fucker, he's probably a summer intern. And why pull over the good, hard-working people of Conanicut Isle, when there are scores of fucking Connecticut, New York and New Jersey tourists clogging our roads and drinking our beer? It turned into a 100 dollar haircut, as I was headed to Ken's Barber Shop for a quick buzz of les cheveux. After the speed trap and session with the clippers (not the Donald Sterling-owned, rather, the electric type), the Sox/MFY game was on the slate.

The lunch - southern pulled pork platter with crack sauce - bbq sauce and hot mustard mix. It's more addictive than crack, I tell ya. Second-best condiment, next to hot chilli sauce, which was a food staple during the three-week trip to Australia (check!). After watching Matt Clement mow the Bombers down in the 1st and 2nd, he couldn't find the effing plate, walked three, and served it up to the universally reprehensible Gary Sheffield and the equally universally reprehensible A-Rod. Glad he did it all with two outs.

After spotting those rat bastards six runs, Jeff and I headed to the local Showcase for a matinee of "Wedding Crashers." Of course, I had to drink the remaining half-pint of crack sauce on the way out. I tell ya, I'd put it on my corn flakes.

Wedding Crashers rules. It is Old School funny. Vince Vaughn gave his best performance since Swingers. Owen Wilson was great too. And it featured a cameo that was second-to-none, unless you're counting Lance Armstrong's bit in Dodgeball. There are three distinctive parts to the flick - the first half-hour is all the stuff you saw on the previews. The next hour is fall-off-your-seat hilarious and the final few minutes is a predicable twist, but not without laughs and certainly not disappointing.

Saturday night was a quiet one and Sunday was spent in between naps and sleep. When I wasn't sleeping, I was napping. When I wasn't napping, I was eating. When I wasn't eating, I was thinking about getting a bite and taking a snooze. To me, it was a productive Sunday.

*** Yes, the Red Sox were disappointing this weekend. If you're really going to bang your head against the wall about it - which a year ago, I may have - consider that the boys have lost six of their last eight and, if you drive through the Bronx, you'll still see the Red flag fly on the left on the facade of the Halfway House that Ruth Built.

That's fine with me.

If a few plays went a few different ways, it's a four-game sweep for the defending World Champs. There were a few bad decisions by the manager, but that's not why the Sox lost three of four. It's a reminder: these two were the last two standing in the American League last Fall. They both lost a few cogs and gained a few. They're still both the class of the A.L. Granted, the MFY have not played up to snuff, but neither have the Sox. And the Sox have done this - first-place in mid-July - without the use of last year's ace of the staff, Curt Schilling. And they're prolly going to have to do it without him this year.

A look at the next 10: 6, home and home, with the Devil Rays and 3 at Chicago. The goal is to go 7-3. 6-4 is bare minimum. Do that, and the Sox will very well see themselves 3-4 games up again.

*** I'm not going to miss Mark Bellhorn. Thanks for last year, here are some lovely parting gifts.

Derek Lowe is on the block, so I hear. I'd like to re-acquire him. Both parties need to admit their foiables and move on. He deserves his #32 back. And Jeremi Gonzalez, well, he also deserves a spot after throwing some good innings of late.

As for Halama, put him on the Acela back to Sunnyside, Queens.

*** Speaking of Queens, to paraphrase John Blutarski, "Was it over when the Germann bombed Jamaica?"

Heh heh's schadenfraude and I revel in it.

*** Tomorrow a.m. begins the new eight-week program to a better me. It also coincides with Fifth Annual Shawn M. Nassaney race. Take a few minutes to look at this website and if you're in the area come Sept. 25, come on down to run/walk/cheer/volunteer for this terrific event.

But I need to shape up for this hilly, helly 5k run. The goal is always just to finish without walking, which I've done in my three attempts (one year I was unable to run). Last year, I got blown away by two friends' significant others. My goal is to not let that happen this year.

So for the next two weeks, I'm undertaking phase one of three: Operation Stress Fracture.

As the phases go, I'll keep you all updated on my fitness levels.

*** Tiger rules, Lance rules. I don't care if they dominate, if their personality quirks are sometimes stifling, or if the Swoosh p.r. machine is working overtime.

They're the best in their professions. They put forth the most on the field of competition. And they win. To me, they can't win enough.

I want to see Tiger hit 19. I want to see Lance hit 7.

*** Have you heard the song "You're Beautiful" on the radio? Unless you're like me and tune into BBC One daily, you haven't. But the song is good - in a bubble-gum chick song kinda way, but hey, I have my guilty pleasures.

And it's written a former officer in the British Army. Read more about James Blunt's song here.
More tonight, potentially. Have a good one till then.
  Oops, I'm sorry, I just threw up in my mouth
Plenty to discuss about this weekend past and the week to come... But first this tidbit from the Boston Globe's "Buzz" section:

Sox take a look at old friend El Guapo
The Boston Herald reported that former Red Sox pitcher Rich Garces recently auditioned for Sox scouts in Fort Myers, where he is working out. Garces pitched well this winter, posting a 2.08 ERA in the Venezualan winter league. Although a Sox official gave the 34-year-old Garces a "1-in-10,000" chance of rejoining the team, Garces reportedly was throwing the ball well. Garces, who spent seven seasons in Boston and has a career ERA of 3.74, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2002.

If by El Guapo, they're referring to the overstuffed burritos that Nate and his friends at El Pelon produce, then I'm all for it. Especially with crema y enano verde hot sauce. But if by El Guapo, they mean the gopher-ball throwing Venezuelan, then no, no, no.

They should rub the nose of whatever scout thought this was a good idea in it.

No. Bad. Bad scout. Bad cross checker. Don't.

Thursday, July 14, 2005
  Baseball's Back... YAY
Watching game one of a four-game set between the World Champions and the American League runners-up. But because of the unfortunate lot of living where I do, I'm stuck with the YES Network, rather than NESN or even ESPN2. Such is such. Here are some meanderings of my mind during the broadcast...
Bottom 1: The Red Sox (check!) and Yanks on the tube right now. Johnny extended his hit streak to just 30 shy of Dimaggio. Edgah with the nice 2-3 Sac Bunt. Papi with the base knock. Manny with the good eye. Trotter with the big fly. 4-0 good guys.

When Mike Mussina and the Yankees are playing, there is not a high enough amount of runs that a team could score against that swarmy prick and his stupid, jerk-face delivery from the stretch.

(Mature? No, not really. But I don't care. )

Somewhere, Larry Johnson made the joke "Hey Mussina, how's facing all nine batters in the first inning working out for you?" to someone.

Bellhorn F8 to Melky (?) who almost corrides with Matsui in reft center to end the first. Four runs, three hits, two left.
Top 2: I'm not sure the bald guy in the pink shirt is Steve Bartman, but Trotter would've made that play if Kojak didn't try for the souvenir. HR for the cheater.

I can live with a solo shot if you can.

And then Bernie Williams hits a solo shot. One is fine. Two not so much.

So Kay is all puddles in his pants now that the Yanks (and he's yelling this, BTW) cut the Sox lead in half. Hey Mike, not for nothing, but the Sox lead off with their leadoff guy next inning. Why? Because they smacked your bitch up.
Bottom 2: The awful Kay and equally bad Ken Singleton returned to the YES Network propaganda list, gushing about the July 1, 2004 game where Jeter dove into the stands for a foul ball and the Yankees won in 13 innings. Me and my man Buzz were there.

The one thing that irks me about the Jeter catch - and in the effort of fairness, it was a heck of a play - is that Pokey Reese made a better catch earlier in that game. He dove into the camera pit. He caught the ball. And he didn't have to leave the game. Why? Because he is what Jules from Pulp Fiction has on his wallet.

Michael Kay is, backhandedly, suggesting that the Yanks throw at David Ortiz. Good idea, Mike. And then you should get a stick and poke a sleeping bear. Or remember that scene in Die Hard With a Vengence, when Bruce Willis had to wear those racially insensitive signboards on 125th and Lexington in Harlem USA? That's a good idea, too. (with apologies to Mo Vaughn, dumb stupid Michael Kay, HE'S STUPID!)

Sox let Moose off the hook. Onto the third. No more home runs, Bronnie. Please?
Top 3: Gary Sheffield hits a rocket, Johnny Damon misplays it, and the Yanks score again. Ugh. How long before people start pointing fingers at Arroyo's rock concert last night?

Answer: about 17 seconds, when Michael Kay brought it up.

K of A-Rod for the first out on a gross hook. Then hits the cheater with a 2-2 curveball off the knee. Craptastic.

Coming into the two out at-bat, Posada is 0-for his last-13, 4-for his last-42, 5-for his last-51...he ends the at-bat 0-14...4-43...5-52...
Bottom 3: Old news/propaganda about when Manny was put on waivers and not claimed.

Larry Johnson: "Hey Yankees, how's not picking Manny up off waivers working out for you?" Swings at the 3-0, grounds out 6-3. Crap.

Ken Singleton poking fun at waiting 86 years for a World Series trophy. Hey pal, try winning one this millenium and then you can walk around buck naked in your glass house.

Trot hits a shot that was just foul, narrowly missing a home run. He then goes the other way for a wall-ball single. But the unfortunate part of not hitting a home run for Trotter is that he's on first, he's slow, and Millar is up.

And Millar makes me eat my words, wall-ball double. Nice. Shut TLBR up, let the hits go, Kev. Come to the dark side.

RBI groundout, 6-3 for Varitek and the Sox tack one back on the board. Professional Bill up, looking for some two-out RiSP and pops one up.

Moose at close to 70 pitches through just 3 innings. A solid 4th for the Sox and it could be time for Worcester's Own.
Top 4: This is an inning where Bronson needs to settle down, start a string of retiring eight in a row or something. Gee, Wally, that'd be swell.

And no sooner do I type that...Bernie 6-3, Melky one-pitch pop-up, (Jeter basehit which we'll ignore), Canoe a pop-up, which you can score FF3 on your card.

Saturn Nuts is settling. And if you're a Yankee fan, that fact should be unsettling.
Bottom 4: Was thinking that you all deserve a Hand tomorrow...

Bellhorn, however, deserves no hand. You are awarded no points and may God have mercy on your soul. K's on five pitches. Turds.

Damon lines out to Melky. Double turds. Edgah pops up to Canoe. Triple turds. Mussina's retired five in a row. Time to pop open a can of cold, refreshing Sierra Mist.

In sharp contrast to my pissy mood post this afternoon, I wonder what Schill's closer music is going to be.
Top 5: Sheff leads off with a bomb. I hope he gets a fastball right under his chin next at-bat. I hope his kids get beaten up at school. I hope someone takes his mom out for a nice seafood dinner and never calls her again.

Nice job of preparation by the YES Network directors. When Kay was blah-blahing about how bad the Red Sox bullpen is (and yeah, the Yanks have such a strong foundation of pitching. ass), they were talking about Curt Schilling...and showing Mike Timlin...then talking about Chad Bradford...and showing Mike Timlin...then talking about how neither Schilling and Bradford were Timlin, then show Jeremi Gonzalez heading into the bullpen pisser for a quick one.

There goes your emmy, Filipelli.
Bottom 5: Moose gets Papi on three straight pitches. He's sat down six in a row.

His pitch count is probably close to 80, he struggles after 100. So a nice two-out rally would be a welcome...oh crap. Screw it. This inning ended before I could say anything funny. So I'll leave it to Mitch Hedberg:

"I would imagine if you understood Morse Code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy."
"I wish I could play little league now. I'd be way better than before."
"I like rice. Rice is great if your hungry and want 2000 of something."
Top 6: The slumping Posada leads off the sixth with Matsui's bat and snaps a 0-for-14, 1-for-20 slump. Now, as the genius Ken Singleton points out, he's 1-for his last-1.

Kenny, you're 0-for your last three decades. Please shut up.

Mike Myers warming. Let's see if this bullpen, as I have surmised, might shorten Red Sox games to 6-7 innings.

Mueller makes a nice grab in foul territory as the ball was playing tricks on him. Remember the Geto Boys? As they sat alone in a four-cornered room, starin' at candles, their minds played tricks on them.

Melky pops out to center for the second out and Jeter hits a shot to Pro-Bill, who makes a grade-A catch, a grade-C throw and Millar makes a grade-F attempt at catching it (fucking Ballbag). Tying run scores. F-tard. Bronson leaves with a no-decision...

Bronson's going to get blamed for playing guitar; my bullpen theory just got debunked; and Manny saves a run. Oh well. Onto the sixth. But first, more Mitch.

"I was going to get my teeth whitened, but I said screw that, I'll just get a tan instead."
Bottom 6: Will Kevin Millar break this 5-5 tie?

Will he?

Can he?

Dare he?

No. But he didn't get out and he didn't dead pull the ball. Holy cow. If I do recall correctly, it was this time last year against this very same team that he came around with a 3 HR game, which started a hot streak. Hmmm...

Tek adds another base knock here and perhaps the maligned, beleaguered, completely poopie-cockie-dookie Yankee bullpen is stirring?

Pro Bill hits a groundball to Jeter. Michael Kay called it "gritty." I call it "routine." But, then again, Jeter's not an all-star caliber shortstop, so maybe he needs all the kudos he can get. Especially if he wants to meet a nice girl someday.

So with one out and men on the corners, we have Mark Bellhorn. With some luck, he'll strikeout rather than groundout, although base hit into right center would be preferred.

But, alas and alack, he K'ed. See-you-next-Tuesday.

This could be a major league squander, unless Johnny can come through...

3-0 to 3-3. Looking. And something just got thrown. Onto the 7th.

"Alcoholism, is a disease, but it's the only disease that you can get yelled at for having. Dammit Otto, your an alcoholic. Dammit Otto, you have lupus. One of those two doesn't sound right."
Top 7: The Chad Bradford era begins. The Chad Bradford era causes a chopper in front of the plate. Chad Bradford throws a submarine pitch to first. Methinks that we need Olerud on first when Chad Bradford pitches because Millar ain't gonna cut it.

(someone call Guinness, I think I just set a new world record for most Chad Bradford's in a single blog entry).

Chad Bradford is now facing A-Rod. Chad Bradford walks A-Rod. Tito comes out to grab the ball from Chad Bradford. Good job, Chad Bradford.

So now it's Embree, the lefty straight fastball thrower vs. Matsui, the lefty straight fastball hitter. Super.

I just pooped my pants. Thanks Trot. Two outs. No thanks Alan. You're no Chad Bradford.

Embree vs. the lefty cheater? 4-3 on one pitch. Boy, that Yankee lineup sure does tumble off the cliff like a doomed lemming after the six-hole.
Bottom 7: After Fenway got up and strrrrrrrrrrrretched, Edgar gets up and K's.

What's the low fucking strike call all of a sudden, Hunter? Edgar on strike 2 and 3...Papi's strike 2...

And then...
Boom. Big Papi. Big inning. Big fly. Big run. Big time. Onto the eighth.

"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I'll never be as good a a wall. I played a wall once. They're relentless."
Top 8: Oh great...Embree vs. Posada, leadoff single. This is going to be fun, isn't it?

Tito comes to the mound and it's going to be Timlin. The Schill as closer era is almost on us. I feel like I'm watching history. Two more outs. Two outs till the Man Who Makes 55,000 New Yorkers Shut Up jogs from right field to the hill.

Bernie moves the runner along and Torre brings Ruben Sierra instead of the rookie Melky Cabrera. One out. Man on third. Can Timlin get out of this jam???

Nope. And not for nothing...why isn't Kevin Millar playing the line on that play? There's a man on third, one out.

So Jeter up, one out, man on second. And I'm officially worried. Thankfully, Captain Intangibles-but-not-an-All-Star grounded out 3-1 and Canoe pops up.

The Sox need a run. One run. Two runs, even. Then it's Curt. Because extra innings isn't good for anyone.

"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
Bottom 8: Are you done singing "Sweet Caroline?" Good.

WTF? Ok, this guy I know just emailed me and wanted to know if I'd be interested in buying his pair of Backstreet Boys tickets for 50 bucks. Are you shitting me?

Can Kevin Millar continue his hot bat?

Can he do it when it counts most?

Can he?

Will he?

He did. He walked. Now, I seem to recall a situation where, in a big game vs. the Yankees, that Millar walked and was pinch run for. Then the runner stole second. Then the Sox took the lead...

Well, that just sucked. Tek popped up. Pinch runner Adam Stern, playing the role of Dave Roberts, is still on first. One away.

Kay and Kenny are talking about why the Sox don't bunt (check the scorecard in the 1st, boys, under "Renteria") and Kay says it's because the Sox are a Moneyball team. Actually, no they're not. But heaven forbid you let accuracy get in the way of making your point.

Pro Bill moves Adam Stern to second and John Olerud pinch hits for Mark Bellhorn. Good to see that Tito's making moves. But Olerud grounds out. And we go to the top of the 9th and the Curt Schilling as closer era. The "Welcome to the Jungle" era.

But no...the fucking turds from YES cut to a McDonald's ad. I hate New York. I hate the New York Yankees. I hate their owner. I hate their arrogant, insignificant ways. I hope they ingest glass. I hope they find fingers in their chili at Wendy's.

Oh sure, they put it on after the inning. But I'd have preferred it live.

Whatever. I still have goosebumps. Fuck 'em up, Schill.
Top 9: Let's go.

Schill leaves the 2-2 out there, and Sheff hits it. I hope R. Kelly still has his wife's celly.

And the Curt Schilling as closer is just a few miles per hour faster than the Keith Foulke as closer era. And I'm going to go break stuff.

Actually, the velocity is about the same. I'm about as angry as I've been in, oh, say, three hours.

So they get to our closer. And, the "much-maligned by the Red Sox fans and players - including Curt Schilling" A-Rod hits a two-run bomb.

You know what? The Red Sox do a pretty fucking good job of getting to their closer. See you bottom nine, put the beer on chill, and de-electrify the pool. Top of the order coming up.
Bottom 9: Johnny up. Johnny down.

Edgar up. Edgar down.

Papi up. (foul ball, third base side, A-Rod touches a kid without the kid's consent. Perv.) Papi down.

No Dirty Water. Just dirty words.
This is the ONLY game the Yankees will win. Sox will take the next three, then their beer, then their women. Arriba! Good night.

One. Then two. Then three.

"And then at the end of the letter i like to write P.S.- This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated."
  So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet...
(In honor of the 137th Open Championship this week, TLBR will be gratutitously dropping Caddyshack quotes.)

*** Before I get to the bullets, I'd like to take a moment to call out the impetuous Steve Silva and his waste of bandwidth on - Boston DirtDogs. Not too long ago, when he was just a fansite, it was humorous. And a few times, I'd send him some graphic doohickeys that I'd make when trying to figure out how to use photoshop.

Well, lo and behold, my "We're Juice Guys" - the Nantucket Nectars' slogan with Sheffield and Giambi's mug shots - graphic is up today. Who gets the credit? Not this guy.

A few weeks ago, a friend made it to Fenway and saw that one of the many t-shirts that the muttonheads outside the park sell had the very same graphic. Ten bucks a shirt. How much of that do I see? Zero zilch nada.

So I'm calling Silva out - give the credit where credit is due or don't use it. It's a privilege, not a right.

*** Go Tiger. A 6-under 66 on St. Andrew's today. That's a little "F-U, good luck catching me..." to the field. He can't win by enough strokes.

*** And it's a big AL East weekend. Red Sox (check!) and Yankees.

Personally, I think it's nice of the Yanks to join the race, good thing it only took until the middle of July. But despite having a crap first-half, they're 2.5 games back and within striking distance. Conceivably, but not likely, if the Yanks sweep the four game series, then they'd be in first place.
On the flip, the World Champs have played semi-above-mediocre ball, and lead the division. With the addition of Chad Bradford and Curt Schilling in the pen - and I'm not going to debate all the pitches he needs to warmup or what fucking song he's going to trot out to, he's Curt Schilling and that's better than the alternatives - I like the chances.

The one thing I do not like, however, is having to endure some terrible (or as Stephen A. Smith says, "terr uh bull") commentators three out of the four games. Tonight, I'm stuck with Michael Kay and Paul O'Neill. Tomorrow, luckily, I get Don-O and Rem Dawg. But Saturday and Sunday's back-to-back cocktail (emphasis on cock) of Tim f-ing McCarver and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan might make me indiscriminately want to break stuff.

*** Is Chris House throwing out the first punch, er pitch tonight?

*** In watching the 137th Open Championship, I see that Foster's...Australian (check!) for a sponsor. Not for nothing, but I was over there for three weeks and didn't see the stuff. Even if I wanted to have a Foster's - which I wouldn't have - I couldn't have. But the commercials are still good.

*** I got nothing again today. This is lame. My deepest apologies.

I'll have more tonight. By then, Michelle Wie might just be three matches away from winning the Publinx and earning a spot in the field at Augusta. I'm rooting for her, too.

But most of all, I see that TLBR made it to 3,500 hits. More than I imagined. I've heard from many of you loyal readers and can't thank you enough for tuning in to and enjoying my little hobby.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
  How'd You Like to Make $14 The Hard Way?
It's easy to grin
When your ship comes in
And you've got the stock market beat.
But the man worthwhile,
Is the man who can smile,
When his shorts are too tight in the seat.
Got some stuff to catch up on, but here's today:

*** Listening to Joe Morgan's commentary during MLB's Home Run Derby on Monday inspired me to trim my nose hair.

Last night, during the actual All-Star Game, Tim McCarver's insight reminded me to use some scrubbing bubbles and clean a little of the mildew buildup in my shower.

And methinks that you'll be able to eat eggs benedict off my kitchen floor if ever my radio breaks and I'm stuck listening to the Michael Kay Show on 1050 ESPN.

*** The last two mornings - and full work day for that matter - have been slow, to say the least. Was in Pittsburgh this past weekend (details to follow) and it's taken me two whole days to recover.

Plus, the iPod alarm clock that randomly picks wake-up songs has also been on vacation. Bocelli and deep album tracks by the Smiths don't give me that get-up-and-go like, say, "Tell Me It Isn't True" by Dylan, which was this morning's "rise-n-shine, camper" tune.

*** Terry Francona, manager of the World Champion Boston Red Sox (check!) has grown on me.

He is articulate and PR savvy. He'll tell you what's on his mind. He's funny. He's loyal to almost a major fault. But he will back you up and never throw you under the bus publically. And he seems like a good guy to saddle up and enjoy a tasty beverage with.

In a tough town like Boston, he is doing fine. Of course, the paperweight filled with diamonds on his finger has bought him a little leeway.

But Terry's just fine with me. I hope he gets the extension he greatly deserves.

*** Call a cab, D-Bag...

*** Lance is kicking ass in France. And people are cheering "Go Lance!"

Michelle Wie is skating by in the Publinx. And people are saying "Go away."

"I don't think she should be here," said Danny Green, who tied for second in medal play after matching the tournament low with a 65 for a 2-under 138. "I think she should play in the women's tournaments because they don't let the men play in women's tournaments. I just don't agree with that, but it's not my call. She qualified and she is going by the rules. She's here and she is a great player. I've got nothing against that."

Thanks, Danny. Now it's my turn because it's my blog.

I don't know how I feel about her playing in men's tournaments. And it's nothing to do with what's "under the hood." It's a simple question of wins and losses.

Yes, she's a tremendous player, especially at the young age of 15. She hits the ball slightly farther off the tee than I do (250 to 305), is a little better than I am with mid to short irons (I suck to she's really good), and she gets the nod on her putting (I generally don't have a clue where it's going to she generally knocks it close, or in.).

But here's my thing: if you're a woman and you've absolutely dominated the game on the LPGA tour (coughcoughANNIKAcoughcough)...if you're putting tournaments to bed on Friday and Saturday...if when you enter a tournament, the other players try to figure out how to play for second...then feel free to move up a peg. Take it the the PGA.

But she's not there yet. Not to say she won't be soon, but again...15 years old...lots of time ahead of her... I don't recall her winning an LPGA event. Sure, she's come close. But so did Phil Mickelson for about 12 years in majors.

If there was a planet in the universe called Oookufukku, where everyone was a +10 handicap, then a few years ago when Tiger put double-digit strokes on the field at St. Andrew's and at Augusta, then an upgrade to a tour that you don't fit the "demographic" in would make sense.

A 62 by Tiger would be par at the GMC/Oookufukku Open and he'd compete with the best in the Universe, maybe make the cut, and the Oookufukkian media would treat it accordingly. But (where the hell am I going with this?) Tiger only earns the right to go to Oookufukku because he had nothing left to prove on the Earth tour. Michelle is not that dominant. Not even close.

(Then again, Michelle hasn't lost her swing, gone steady with some hunky blonde Swedish cabana boy and took him to Prom, and then fired her swing coach in a huff, either. But I digress.)

If she's looking to be the next ambassador of women's golf, then play in the LPGA Tour, clean up with trophies and paydays and endorsements, elevate the sport, and make it better than when she arrived. But this playing with the men thing isn't doing anything for her or for the women's game.

If it's a choice between just making the cut in the Publinx, or winning the Dinah Shore by eight strokes, to me, the choice isn't even close.

*** This weekend - it's Hump Day, it's perfectly acceptable to start planning it - is prioritized in this order: 1. Red Sox/Yankees; 2. Wedding Crashers; 3. beach.

Gotta do work. More later.
Monday, July 11, 2005
  The TLBR Home Run Derby Blog
While I'm not in Detroit, I was yesterday, so that counts. And since Joe Morgan can make any program teeter on the brink of unwatchable, here goes the Home Run Derby Blog:
End of the first round: I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. Might be time to hit the rack.
Andruw Jones: I missed the first few pitches to the representative from the Netherlands...I had to trim my nose hair.

#2 & 3 were pretty good shots. But all that is for naught as Jones doesn't make it out of the first round...
Papi: I wonder if he brought Ino with him...

Nice. Tek. This is a bonus. And he's very well-spoken...methinks he'd make a good color guy when he's done playing. Very insightful, good personality, intelligent.

I hope Papi makes this entertaining. I think it would be better if he had Paul Quantrill pitch to him.

Whoa! Jenny Finch sighting! More Jenny Finch, please!

#4 just went 8 Mile (get it? 8 Mile? Detroit?) And with #7, it seems as though Papi is getting warm.

Manny is waving the Dominican flag with gusto. I wonder if he knows he's from the Dominican.

#12 went real far. #14 went real far. (bold prediction) Papi will win this. And if he doesn't, another bold prediction: he'll have the most fun.
Mark Teixeira: Is the crowd at Comerica going to chant U-S-A???

I wish he was representing Red Sox Nation. But noooooooo, Dan Duquette had to eff that up.

Joe Morgan is trying to make a point about the Hall of Fame - non-U.S. born Hall of Famers. At what point does he interject that he WAS born in the U.S. and he IS in the Hall of Fame?

All the little kids out there shagging the non-home runs is cute...but where is Kelly Baron where you really need her?

Tex ends with two homers. So, when combined with the other American in the field, Jason Bay of Canada, the U.S. has two home runs.
Pudge Rodriguez: "Lost 20 pounds in the offseason." says Berman. Yeah. He did. Which is why he has six home runs this year and looks like Omar Vizquel.

"Johnny Bench was the greatest catcher ever." says Joe Morgan. And how long before he mentions they were teammates and won a few World Series' in the mid 1970's?

Home run #5 carried pretty well. Lots of guys, with the exception of Jason Bay who didn't have a #1, let alone a #5, have hit their fifth jacks pretty good.

That's not factual or particularly notable, but it's still better than the dreck that Boomer and Hall of Fame name dropper Joe "I talked to Kaline today" Morgan.

Pudge making some 'scarole for charity...nice.
Hee Soip Choi: What a treat. A non-home run hitter in the home run derby...Reggie Jackson...Joe Morgan asking stupid questions and being arrogant because he played baseball, (hey, I never knew Joe was in the Hall of Fame, because he's only told me 21,000 times. If Century21 really wants to make a donation to charity, they should cough up the $21k everytime he says something stupid, arrogant, or self-centered) ...Chris Berman asking stupid, suck-up questions...

And, Hee Soip just went yard, finally. And what was the analysis? "I could've hit one tonight." says Reggie. If there is a God in heaven, David Ortiz will club Mr. October to death like a baby seal.

#3 for Hee Soip went far. I don't know much about this guy, but I remember him smacking his head pretty hard in an interleague game vs. the Yankees when Clemens was trying to go for his 300th win at Wrigley.

See that? I can talk about meaningless, completely off the topic at-hand shit when Hee Soip is at bat, too. Dream Job here I come!
Carlos Lee: "How often does a general manager not lie to a team he's making a trade with?" asks Boomer?

Well, rarely...if said GM ever wants to make a deal again. Ask Theo, when it came to the Scott Sauerbeck deal.

Home run #5 was well-struck.

"That ball is not hooking, otherwise it would go foul." said Joe Morgan.

Morgan later added: "The ones that he is missing he is late on."

He should have to give back a prorated amount of his paycheck for tonight for those two comments.

Hee Soip Choi is warming up. Carlos Lee makes the first $21,000 for charity by hitting the Century21 gold ball into the stands. And you can buy your very own gold ball by logging onto, with portions going to charity.
Jason Bay: If I may name drop here, Jason and his very pretty wife sat in front of me on my flight from Pittsburgh to Detroit. That's not really going to help him hit any home runs.

What a letdown it's going to be for the 2004 NL Rookie of the do you match that? It's un-possible.

Out #5 was close. So was #6. Bay, who I found out thanks to this little tidbit from Boomer, hails from the same hometown as NHL'ers Adam Deadmarsh and Ray Ferraro.

"C'mon Jason, get one." says Derrick Lee. "Oh, that was terrible." says Jason Bay.
Abreu: Home run #5 by Philly's Bobby Abreu was a shot - 482 feet. Home run 10 was 517. I bet the people of Venezuela are stoked.

Joe Morgan: "Well, 10 would be an even number." Great analysis. When is he going to suggest someone bunt against the shift?

Less Joe, more Sam Ryan.

What was worse - the homo-erotic toweling off of Bobby Abreu's face by Pudge Rodriguez or the gratuitous Gatorade product placement???

"I just love how the Detroit crowd is going nuts for a Philly player." says Berman. He's not from Philly, Boomer, he's from Venezuela. C'mon, read your script.

All kidding aside, Abreu is killing the ball. Twenty-four homeruns? A broken bat? Unreal.

And he's on my fantasy team. Steve, his trade value just went up a lot. I want Halladay and Giambi.
Intro: What the crap was that intro? Some awful Creed-sounding band with Johnny Damon lip synching? Mike Piazza playing the cowbell? "Don't fear the reaper" might have needed more cowbell. This show needs less cowbell. Where was the newly penitent Kenny Rogers? Why couldn't he play the triangle?

And this international format has me puzzled. Sure, I understand that MLB is going to force this international format down our throats, but why do it to the one thing that MLB does well and the top skill competition of all the professional leagues?

It's a no-brainer that have Big Papi rep the DR and Carlos Lee rep wherever he's from.

But Andruw jones with the netherlands (whatever). Hee Soip Choi? Jason Bay? This reeks of Eddie the Eagle, every nation gets an entrant.
A daily - or every-other-day - account of all there is in my head
that's dying to get out, via my fingers.
(I vow to attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.)

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