Thursday, August 31, 2006
  Introducing Your Third-String Quarterback for the New England Patriots...
...Troy Brown.

Wide receiver. Cornerback. Punt returner. And now, quarterback.

John Tomase's PatsBlog on is a must-read, several times a day.

Nice to read JT's account of Rodney Harrison getting a chance to jack people up out there on the field. He might be my favorite New England-based professional athlete.

And from the "credit where credit is due" department, Julian Tavarez didn't pitch that bad. Not great, but not bad. Left giving up three earned, but I think if Coco Crisp didn't shampooing suck, then it might have only been one or two. Oh well. Best of a bad situation.

  Introducing Your Starting Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox...
...Julian Tavarez.

David Wells, tonight's probable starter, was just traded to the San Diego Padres in the first unofficial white flag being waved from 4 Yawkey Way.

And to make matters worse, Tavarez and the Sox will be facing Roy Halladay. And receiving Tavarez? Defensive gem Javy Lopez.

I'm watching this game tonight like some folks watch NASCAR: for the horrific crash and fires.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
  Yet Another Reason Bob Dylan Shampooing Rules
He makes a music video...gets Scarlett Johansson to friggin' star in it.


  The Week That Was
Watching a Hall of Famer Play from where a Hall of Famer used to Play:
Trip five to God's Country for the Summer of '06 began this past Wednesday with a tasty dinner with the folks at a more-than-capable and delicious Asian restaurant in South County, called Seven Moons.

I've had two meals there and, so far, it's 2-for-2. My folks go there quite a bit.

But the first highlight of many this past week came on Thursday night at Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium. It was the first night of the Pawtucket Arts Festival. C'mon, don't laugh...there's art in the Bucket. Unfortunately, it's mostly on bus stops and walls rather than pristine galleries or museums.

But this night, Bob Dylan was playing an hour-and-a-half set on a stage set up in centerfield of the Red Sox' AAA affiliate. I went with Jeff and Matt - two veterans of the live concertry of Senor Robert Zimmerman. I, however, was a Dylan virgin.

After dinner at Hope Street Pizza - featuring a sighting of my man Monge, his wife, and two kids as well; and Jen, the bizarro Jennie Finch bartender - we headed for McCoy. Dinner was good, the company as always, and the beer cold. (Yeah, a bar. I know. Shocking) As Jeff so adeptly pointed out, when we were contemplating whether to have one more before the road, "C'mon, we have to have another one. We need to break this tie with Philadelphia."

(by the way, my consumption this weekend goes on Providence's tab, not MKE.)

Our first perch for the opening act of Jimmie Vaughn (Stevie Ray's brother) was in a left field patio bar. (Yeah, a bar. I know. Shocking.) But the boys wanted to head down to the field for a closer view. I was not opposed.

So we stood in between shortstop and third base. Bob began with "Cats In The Well" and "Going Nowhere." And a few things hit me: a. about 43 years earlier, my Dad saw Bob Dylan's first major concert event at the Newport Folk Festival. And that he at age 19 in 1963 and me at age 31 in 2006 were both going to see and hear the same songs. **and** b. I was watching a Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer from right around the spot where a Baseball Hall of Famer, Wade Boggs, came up prior to becoming one of the top hitters in American League history.

Following those two songs, Bobby D went to "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum," before a terrific version of "Just Like a Woman." But then the fireworks started.

"Just Like Tom Thumb Blues" almost floored me and it's famous coda of returning to a certain Metropolitan locale due to being at the end of one's cord had certainly and certainly still is ringing true.

"Masters of War" remains one of the most powerful of all protest songs of that era. Dylan sang it with such an arrangement and the same sort of vitriolic passion and contempt of when the tune was recorded.

Back that up, quite capably, was "Hwy. 61 Revisited" (with no "wheeeeee" whistle) and "Shelter from the Storm." Closing out the opening set was "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," "Tangled Up In Blue," "Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," and "Summer Days."

For the encore, Dylan finally spoke to the crowd - prior to that, he had just literally just pounded out song after song. He closed with "Like a Rolling Stone" and "All Along The Watchtower." Both versions were astounding, as was the entire concert experience.
Sunni Daze, Sunny Days, and Wedded Bliss:
As for the wedding, I still can't quite adequately put it into words. Just a terrific two days. I come out of it just so happy for the bride and groom, relieved that I didn't shampoo up the toast, and with the realization that I have a real solid group of friends, both old and new.

One thing I did forget to describe is Sunni, the church's wedding planner. The Church Lady. Complete with Church Lady inflections in her voice, and plain, velcro strapped Church Lady shoes. I'm not gonna lie, they turned me on (I'm lying.)

I also come out of the wedding weekend ready for detox. (Yeah, from a bar. I know. Shocking.)

But seriously, and I've had convos with some of my friends about it, after this Labor Day, I'm going into a sort of retirement. My liver is ecstatic. Not to say I'm gonna be a dry county, but for the most part, this illustrious career of more than a decade is being dialed back. It's a salary cap casualty, like Lawyer Milloy.
Other Quickies:
Winnie's still got it. Strikingly beautiful. Unbelievably charming. A smile so warm that it could continue the growing trend of global warming...that is, if it really is happening.

A nice night to reconnect with an old friend, catch up on old times, recap some new times, and discuss everything from marriage, childbirth, jobs, working, and how some people just don't get it.
This week's mantra: it's almost Patriots season, it's almost Patriots season, it's almost Patriots season...
And a good point from a loyal TLBR reader, who is always on point, emailed this morning: "I hope Big Papi doesn't go to Reggie Lewis' doctors."

Harsh? Maybe. But I'm sure Dr. Mudge won't be reading those ekg's.
Look, I fly a lot.

Portable electronic devices, like iPods, DO NOT affect the plane's instruments, radio, radar, or anything in regards to the proper flight mechanism. The FAA and airlines want you to give your 100% attention to anything the flight attendant says in the two most common and likely points of an "aircraft accident:" takeoff and landing.

So they ask you to hold off on using them below 10,000 feet.

So look here, Abby, or whatever your name is...I have my iPod on. I have my Bose noise cancelling headphones (aka the "shampooing leave me the shampoo alone" headphones) on.

I'm listening to music, or whatever the hell comes up, because I have a toddler screaming its lungs off next to me.

Back to the bevvy cart for you. And I'll take a diet coke.
Spike Lee's HBO special on Hurricane Katrina is amazing. It's his best work since Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X.

It should be required viewing. (have a box of tissues nearby)
Ok, that's about it for now.

Monday, August 28, 2006
John Mark Karr?

More like John Mark Making the Whole Thing Up.

And, a little less than a week ago, your friends here at TLBR had that POS JMK pegged as FOS. (see the thread "Tuesday Night Turtles")

So, feel free to take "child-killer" off JMK's criminal CV. But be sure to leave "delusional, attention-starved, attention-craving, pedophile." That much we all can prove, without any DNA test.

  Ain't It Just Like the Night, Playing Tricks on You When You're Trying to Be So Quiet?
Just some quick hitters while waiting for a few emails, a particular phonecall, and checking work voicemail every 7-10 minutes...

- The wedding weekend was, well, I don't know. I don't want to say "great" or "fantastic" or "unbelievable," because I'm not sure those words do it justice.

It would be terribly understating it to say that "I had a great time."

So I leave it without words. Because that's how it's left me for the last 16 hours or so.

Oh sure, I had words. Early on in the day, I did. It was the best man toast. And the "theme" of that toast was that love - true love and that which the bride and groom shared - was indescribable with words. I'd like to think my words rang true, for anyone that was there and saw the wedding, the reception, etc. "You already's obvious."

As for the lack of words later on, well, I blame the red wine. But that's a completely different cord of cloth altogether. And the clock on that career is quickly and mercifully approaching its end. T-minus a week or so.

- I do have words for the Red Sox, most of which can be TLBR-translated into "shampoo."

Pert Plus, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Johnson's Baby (it's tearless), even Vidal Sassoon. Shampoo, shampoo, shampoo.

Thankfully the Patriots will be playing in early September. And, I surmise, with #83 lining up in the slot. You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off that ole Lone Ranger, and you don't try to holdout with Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick calling the shots.

- Will have a playlist coming soon. So get those iPods ready.

- The Kevin Arnold/Winnie Cooper reunion of sorts happens tonight around 7 p.m. Will be sure to update that. Other than that, nothing else is new.

Avoid the rain, and if by chance there are two readers in Maui, two things: 1. stop reading this and keep at it... **and** 2. wear sunscreen.

Saturday, August 26, 2006
  The Ringer
Just a quick check-in for the week so far.

It is T-Minus three hours until the wedding. I have the rings in hand, so the first of my two major responsibilities today have begun.

The week has been great. I'll go into more detail when time permits, but anytime you can combine Bob Dylan, good quality family time, a gigantic baked stuffed lobster, a wedding of a good friend, celebrating the engagement of another good friend, and meeting for a drink with your first girlfriend ever (Monday night)...lads and lasses, that's a good week.

Hope all your collective weeks have been enjoyable.

Be well and I'll check back later with some stories (I hope.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

YH&OS (ranch.)
  Tuesday Night Turtles
So, um, anyone else think it might be a little bit more than just Shea Hillenbrand in regards to the Blue Jays problems?

I mean, the Shea-hey kid is a colossal d-bag, but Ted Lilly? No one's ever had an ill word to say about the consistent lefty pitcher.

So JP Ricciardi, who is it gonna be? Lou Pinella next? Ted Rogers and the hoser Godfrey family aren't going to like spending all those looneys and tooneys on a team that's still in third place...

Willie McGinest, get on the bus with Johnny Damon big fella.

No, the Patriots did not resign you. Yes, they realize you have some gas left in the tank. No, they do not want to pay $4 a gallon for said gas.

It's a business decision. The Patriots made one. You made a corresponding one. Just like Johnny Damon with the Sox and Yanks.

So move on. No pissing and moaning about the team you USED TO PLAY FOR issuing the number you USED TO WEAR FOR THE TEAM YOU USED TO PLAY FOR to newly inkedPro Bowl LB Junior Seau.

And besides, that argument is a bit foolish:

1. Junior Seau. He of the 12 Pro Bowls and probably the best linebacker in the history of the game Seau's. It's not like Freddie Coleman got it.

2. While the system of numerical values is infinite, the NFL's system of numerics for uniforms goes from 1-99. And they're segmented. So you can't just hold 55 because it used to be "Big Willie's."

It's a little different in baseball, and I think you'll be hard-pressed to see Joe Cochran hand out 5, 21, or 45 any time soon. JD might have a semi-quasi-legit beef as Dustan Mohr and Jason Johnson - two of the worst Red Sox to wear a uniform in the last 10 years- both donned #18 this season. Then again, there was a foolproof way to save #18...stay with the Sox. But that's a whole different breed of cat.

John Mark Karr? Business class, champagne, and king fried prawns?

Shampoo that shampoo. Fly him home on the wing.

I just hope he makes nice with the boys in L.A.'s "twin towers" prison. Child molesters rank pretty low on the food chain in jail. Child rapists/killers even lower.

(p.s. - I think he's making all this shampoo up. One sick publicity stunt by one sick mameluke.)

"Lachrymose." It means you cry a lot.

But what does that have to do with the size of the peas in the pod?


But using it means you're a gossip columnist trying to impress your readers with 75 cent words:


More Lindsay Lohan, less vocabulary tests.

(p.s. - no, I didn't have to look it me my three quarters)

Buster Olney remarked in an column that David Wells cleared waivers and can be traded.

Good idea jeans: he's old, he's got a few bullets left in the chamber, so why not deal him to a team and get a just-about-ready for primetime player in return. At this point, he's a better pitcher than Jamie Moyer. "Hello New York Mets? I'll take Royce Ring. K, bye."

Bad idea jeans: if you trade argubly your second-most consistent starter right now, then they should replace the red flag that flies on over from the left of the Yankees in the Bronx to a white flag. And combine the highest ticket price in baseball with the rest of the season being sold out already at the smallest park in the majors, what would the public backlash be?

Kate Moss...rule #7 in weddings: don't marry a crack head.

Ok, C'est ça. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Monday, August 21, 2006
  Quoting Dylan and then Signing off
Last night was the first in my self-imposed boycott on the Red Sox.

I haven't seen a team - any team - fold like this band of ballplayers. So I refuse to watch. I refuse to get pissed off. I refuse to go to bed equally as pissed off.

So last night's game, which I did peek at a postgame story about, seems like the pick of the proverbial litter. Finally a quality start, before the bullpen just pulled down their uniform pants and made a big poop on the pitcher's mound.

On the iPod this morning, Bob Dylan is singing a song. And I think it takes the collective temperature of Red Sox Nation this morning.

"It's not dark yet, but it's getting there"

I'm not bothering to follow this afternoon's game, or those of the next week. Not worth staying up till midnight or beyond. Screw it. I'm done.

Saturday, August 19, 2006
  May You Be In Heaven A Half-Hour Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Longtime TLBR loyalist J-Malls dialed in with this observation, high about courtside at Down the Hatch in Greenwich Village, NYC:

"Today is an Irish wake for the Red Sox...fair thee well, '06 Red Sox, welcome '07 Sox...with Oswalt and Andruw Jones"

While I'm unsure of the transactions between this team and the one I'll watch next year, I think J-Malls is onto something here. Goodbye '06. Pissed away in the span of 26 hours.

Oh well, good thing there's just a million things to do in Milwaukee today.

Fox doesn't have Sox/Yanks on out here in the MKE. It's Cubs/Cardinals.

So I won't have to suffer through Josh Beckett trying to remember how to pitch.


Due to some pesky work and the Red Sox, I'm going to miss the singles night at my grocery store.

There goes weeks of material.

Friday, August 18, 2006

To: DeMarlo Hale, Red Sox third base coach

From: TLBR

Re: Mark Loretta

He's not fast. He can't score from second on an E-6.

So stop it.

Because it should be bases packed, one out, with Eric Hinske facing Brian Bruney.


Marion Jones tests positive for drugs

Also just in:

* Paris Hilton had sex last night
  Game On; Now Go Away
Yep, Sidney Ponson is still a pitcher for the Yankees.

5-5. Top 4.

Midway through the bottom of the third, I had some random person knock on my door. Now, as many of you know, the dee-luxe apartment has some level of securitry. Of course, at night, Vito the nightwatchman is usually Vito the bald snoring guy. So sleep tight 1100 Wells Street!

I didn't answer the door, but the person was nice enough to slip a note under the door: "Khalid - Wanted to see if you were home. ~ AM"

Well, "AM," couldn't you have called Khalid to see if he was home? I mean, if you guys were so close that you know where he lives, you must obviously have his cell phone, right? Well, if he doesn't answer, then leave a message. And if he doesn't answer the message, then, well, get the message...he doesn't want to talk to you.

I did not know what to do, so I didn't answer. Again, and not to profile anyone, but I keep getting some of "Khalid's" mail, and, well, I got Khalid on a list somewhere.
Good has gone from bad to worse in the 4th. The 5-5 tie is now a 7-5 Yankee lead and I am IMPLORING the Sox to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the beaning of Tony Conligliaro by giving Johnny Damon a bowtie.

Don't hit him. Just let him know you were trying but "missed." (and use the fingers as quotation marks)

Johnny D is like 9-10 so far in this twi-night doubleheader. Back him off the plate. Make him uneasy. Make him think about things. Like cheating on his wife and mother of twin daughters with some other woman. (sorry, inner moral monologue coming out there).

Crap...more mute for NESN. Last inning, it was Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. This inning, shampooing Donald Trump.

What happened to Lenny Clarke and Denis Leary?

It's funny, upon further review, folks in New England don't find Lenny funny. And of course, everyone harps on Denis Leary for being a Bill Hicks ripoff.

My opin: Lenny's funny; so is Denis.

What, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock aren't similar? They're still both hilarious and genius.

Leave it along. Masshole's are just pissed that Leary is making millions and they're still sitting at the bar at Clarke's, ranting how Menino sucks and that you can't get a ticket to Fenway for less than 100 bucks.

Have another pony glass, Sean.
Bases loaded. No out. Papi up. Pitching change. Trump in the booth. The TV on mute. Bob Dylan on the iPod Bose docking system. Hazel Mae on the commercial. Guinness in the glass.

(insert "Jamestown" or "Narragansett" anywhere in there, along with "steaming hot plate of 20 buffalo wings" and you're really onto something there...or in Melbourne, with a satellite TV and some Boag's...)
Oh yeah...the Brian Jonestown Massacre on the system...pumping loud (sorry neighbors)...

Papi up with the bases loaded...

No outs...

Full pint of Guinness...

You can score it: FC, 1 RBI
Manny up next. 1st and 3rd. 2 Outs. It's the Lefty Ron Villone vs. MBM.

And Manny is Manny. RBI base hit. 7-7. Yay!
New guy Hinske. K
Wily Modesto Pena up next. 1st and 2nd. 2 down.

Second Guinness also up next.

Wily Mo is not as tasty, satisfying, and as chock full of iron as Guinness is. Guinness is good for you. Wily Mo is good for at least 1-outta-3...and maybe for power.
Not so much. Back to the pinta.

(your humble and obedient servant,)
  Pre-Game; In-Game
So far, the Friday Night Blogging (sponsored by Tintara 2003 Shiraz) has been off to a rocky star.

The delicious Tintara fruit of the vine usually lasts until 10 p.m. CST or so. Thanks to the rocky start for the Boston Red Sox and Jon Lester, the vino is cashed at the end of the 2nd inning (8 p.m. or so).

So onto the Guinness.
When the score was 5-1 in that faithful 2nd inning, I conceded the AL East to a friend earlier this evening.

But, forgetting that Sidney Ponson is still a pitcher for the Yankees, it may have been a wee bit tad kinda sorta premature.

The boys rallied, and now it's 5-4 going into the 3rd. But Jon Lester ought to throw about 62 pitches this inning and be done with it.

Meanwhile, I've switched with high-end shiraz to Guinness. Which is sorta like putting diesel into an electric car.
The plan for the evening is still heading to the grocery store for more carrots (I cashed a two pound bag today. Today. Two pounds. Carrots. I fear I'm going to wake up orange. And with really, really good eyesight. And a cotton tail.).

Of course, I still need to hit the Metro Market for "singles night." How many "metrosexuals" will there be at the "Metro Market." And will it be compulsory for me to use quotes - or those annoying finger quotes when denoting quotation marks - when I refer to either "metrosexuals" or the "Metro Market."

I can't technically leave until I get some work done, which is neither here nor there, but regardless...I'm going to be on the internet tonight.
Did I mention the Guinness. It's glorious.

Gaelic for "genius."

And you can use that one with your friends. So long as you also use the finger quotation marks for "genius."


Your humble and obedient servant,
  Friday Night Blogging, Sponsored by Tintara 2003 Shiraz...ON THE ROAD
I might need to take my Friday night show on the road, to this:

Metro Market, 1123 N. Van Buren St., holds its first "On the Market at Metro Market" singles night Friday from 10 p.m. to midnight. Sample foods like chocolate covered cherries, mini pastries, shrimp mini kabobs and more while your mix and mingle and try to find that perfect mate. Send videotext messages to those that you desire. Excuse me, you in produce, is that a cucumber in your pocket ...

Maybe because I go to the yuppie grocery store, I've always noticed the high level of talent at the Metro Market.

Now, you get to meet the hot chick who always buys soy milk, hummus and fat-free cottage cheese.

Here's the press release.

Depending on how the night goes (aka - if the Sox get swept in the day-night doubleheader, I might not be one for social occasions), I'll bring you the hot gossip from singles night at the local food stop.

Clean up! Aisle three!

Your humble and obedient servant,
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
  Another Two Reasons Why It's Better to be a Red Sox Fan
Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke come into the broadcast booth on NESN:

Author's note: Of course, the poop-in-the-punchbowl folks at MLB had YouTube take this three minute bit of hilarity down for whatever stupid reason. But Seth Mnookin has the transcript of it. So go visit his blog and read it and turn on your inner Denis Leary voice.
Author's note, pt. II: Here's another link that has working video. Yay!

Monday, August 14, 2006
  Some Weekend Wrapup
Well, the Montreal trip/bachelor party went off without a hitch. Well, one small hitch on the way up...I got lost. And after a bit of a day, it caused a brief, minor meltdown on my part.

Not a big fan of getting lost in places where I have no idea where I'm going. Less of a fan of plastic bottles of piss flying out the windows and open doors of a minivan traveling at speeds up to 90 mph in Vermont. But that's a different story altogether.

Onto some moments from the weekend, as well as some other stuff that's grabbed my attention.

Roxanne - Roxanne was a "dancer" I met in a quiet part of a "club." Nice girl, good family. We spoke French. We even did the kiss thing that French people do (author's clarification: by that, I mean the peck on both sides of the cheek, NOT french kissing...)

Roxanne is a student who is helping to pay for her studies as an interior designer by "dancing" at this "club." But she was not alone. In fact, there was a very impressive and intelligent crew of entertainers at this place. Lots of students looking to help ease the burden of the cost of higher education by combining working and studying.

Nothing goes better with a thong than a stack of FAFSA forms. I really wished I worked at Sallie Mae, I could've taken care of a lot of student loans that night. Too bad they don't accept Pell Grants for lap dances.

Like Chris Rock said, "I've never seen a college that lets you pay tuition with singles."

Tatiana - The Russian bartender who worked the afternoon shift at (look up the name of the bar) before her "second job." She never embellished on what exactly that was, but she too is a student... All kidding aside, Tatiana - a native of Moscow who has traveled the world before landing in Montre-bec three years ago - was a great bartender.

Easy on the eyes, quick with a pour, and even quicker to join the boys for a few drinks... including the "Russian Roulette."

Smitty the cardshark - One of the bachelor party members had a heck of a night at
Casino Montreal.

And by heck of a night, I mean bad.

Puzzling. Funny. Incredible.

On the cab ride to the casino, Smitty made several boasts. But one that was made several times was, "we're going to make alot of money."

He's probably not the first person to utter such a phrase on the way to a casino...well after 3 a.m. ...after drinking for the better part of 10 hours ...

In one hand, he had a "tip sheet" which he printed from the business center of the hotel, which told you when to hit and when to hold, depending on your hand and the card that the dealer was showing. I've seen folks use these before, a few with some success, but mostly others with none.

That's why they call it gambling. If you want a sure thing at a casino with your money, your best bet is to leave and catch a cab home.

So Smitty scours the place, looking for a cheap table. With most of the tables running between 25-100 minimum bet, the cheap tables were both hard to find and crowded. But there was a spot with a seat, first spot to the dealer's left.

All bets in.

Dealer deals.

Smitty's first card: an ace. Good start.

Smitty's second card: an ace. Aces. Two of them. You know what to do, right?

(dealer shows 8...but so what? ...pair of Aces...two of know what to do...I don't even need to tell you...)

Smitty consults the sheet. Maybe he's being a bit overcautious. 30 seconds elapse. Maybe he's being extremely overcautious.

Smitty holds.

On two aces. On "two" - or "twelve." Two aces.

The story would be more funny/sad if the next two cards were royals, but I'm not really sure what they were.

Suffice to say, Smitty did not win his hand.

I'll reiterate: he was dealt two aces.

Montreal has great beer; why doesn't the U.S.? - Going to Montreal is like going to a whole different country. A country where they speak a different language, have funny looking money, and serve great beers.

(Canada is not a different's merely America's hat)

In America, esp. the MKE, you can go to a bar and be able to choose from Miller, Miller, Miller, Spotted Cow, Leiney's (Miller), or for a change, Miller Lite.

Up there, it's Boreale, Leffe brun or Leffe blonde, Kilkenny (Guinness' best beer), Smithwick's (and "real" Smitticks, complete with a nitrogen tap and everything), or any number of terrific brews.

Montreal is quickly turning into an annual trip - no small feat, considering they haven't had baseball up there since the strike-shortened season of 1994.

Random Quick hitters - Kudos to Bradley Airport for providing free wireless internet. Additional kudos to my Dad for not.

Apparently one of our d-bag neighbors in the JTN made a comment about how someone in the area had a wireless signal that he's been using. Pops laughed and mentioned it was his.

This was over a couple of beers that my Dad brought over while both were doing work in their respective yards on a Saturday.

The next day, same situation, and the aforementioned d-bag neighbor didn't reciprocate with a beer. Not a big deal, but still... Combine the no beer-back with the fact that he's a colossal d-bag and has been since the folks have been there for just short of a decade, and Operation Encryption went into play.

With a little help from yours truly, the signal now requires a network key. So for the price of one beer - domestic or imported, no matter - d-bag neighbor has to call Cox Communications for his high-speed internet, as opposed to ripping it off from my folks.
Big ups to the Sox for a big weekend sweep. Much needed play, even if it wasn't textbook fashion. Huge play from Mike Lowell and Wily Mo Pena. Granted it was after a few Leffe's and much distraction from Tatiana (see above), but I made the claim and will stick by it: Wily Mo will be the right-handed Papi in three years. Three full years of working with a great hitting coach (Papa Jack) and having the unofficial hitting coaches of Papi and Manny there
to guide him, it will only pay dividends. If WMP gets 500 at-bats next season, look out. Sure he'll strike out, oftentimes with gargantuan swings, but once he learns to shorten his swing, widen his zone, and go the other way with two strikes, also look out.

As for Mike Lowell, I don't much care if he doesn't hit another home run the rest of the way. I'm not sure his bat is the key here. It's his glove. He's just .002 percentage points behind Oakland's Eric Chavez in fielding percentage for all major league 3B. And that's with playing 70 innings more than Chavez. Barring a complete collapse, akin to a 3B Mackey Sasser, Lowell should win the Gold Glove at 3B.

Oh yeah, and he does carry a bat. Talk about a guy who deserves to be on the list of comeback player of the year. Lowell has shortened his swing, and it's no coincedence that he is among the AL leaders in two-baggers. This past weekend, after getting hit in the head with an Adam Loewen fastball, he went on to make a highlight reel catch in foul territory and knock in a run. Saturday, he went 2-for-4 and yesterday, he got the Sox off to a 4-0 lead behind his 1st inning Granny. If you had asked any Red Sox fans if his .287 batting average, 14 HR, and .800+ OPS
would be OK for a "throw-in" in the Josh Beckett, you'd have a lot of yes answers.
Tiger and Phil are set to play together for the first two rounds of this week's PGA Championship in Medinah. Something makes me think that they'll be playing all four rounds together. Which means in between the five Red Sox/Yankees tilts, I'll be watching golf.
The lawyer for former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett said his client was "struck" after being arrested early last week. Clarett, wearing a bulletproof vest, was driving an SUV with three semiautomatic pistols and an assault rifle. And he was taking swigs from an open bottle of vodka.

So he got struck? Good. I hope it smacked some sense into him.
That's all. Not too much longer before I board my plane back to the MKE. Be well. And Happy Victory Day (R.I. TLBR readers only)

Your humble and obedient servant,
Friday, August 11, 2006
  On Driving, International Travel, and the Fact that the Red Sox Suck Right Now
Leaving in a bit for the first stage of the Tour de Green Mountain State et Le Tour de Montreal.

So TLBR will soon become Jette Gauche, Pivote Droit, once this seven-man caravan hits the Province of Quebec in the Great State of Canada.

Will try to have some updates, weather permitting, as well as some really insightful comments and observations on the Boston Red Sox and how their sucky suck-ass players really suck right now.

Speaking of which, so does Jimmy Key. He sucks, Jack, he sucks. What's he, like 45? I could hit him. (p.s. - I think the Sox are about to sign him. No I'm kidding. But seriously. Can he be any worse than what we have now?)

Your humble and obedient servant,
(Vôtre serviteur humble et obéissant,)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
  A Modest Proposal (which does not include eating children, like Johnathan Swift)

The Red Sox have lost four straight to the two worst teams in baseball...the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and the Kansas City...wait, I'm sorry,I just puked a little...ok, the Kansas City Royals.

(light-headed...give me moment)


And now my thought: trade for Kevin Millar.

Yeah. Kevin Millar. Cowboy Up.
Now, those who are loyal TLBR readers are wondering just how drunk I am. And my answer: kinda sorta not. But kinda sorta maybe. Buzzed. Whatever. Hear me out.

At this point, the purveyor of the Cowboy Up phenomenon is hitting .234. His OPS is .708. I mean, the Sox could give up maybe a low-A ball prospect...or a bag of shit...or Julian Tavarez...

(pssst...the little fella Tito keeps forcing on us in the leadoff spot has an OPS of .706...and also pssst...Millar's on-base percentage is .344...wee bit Coco is getting to first-plate at a .322 maybe it's not just the Sam Summer typing...)

At this time of year, especially when the Boston media is gearing up to paint the five-game-with-the-Yankees-in-four-days next week as the most important thing to happen in baseball since Abner Doubleday decided to invent the game (sorry, Pittsfield, just going with the myth)...maybe it's time to have the slapdick Millar (slapdick = the only Midwest term I've adopted) in the clubhouse to dole out noogies, wedgies, rat tails with wet towels, or just being the wacky second cousin from downstate Illinois.

In two weeks time, maybe Trot Nixon will be back. Ken Huckaby will be back to allow the Sox to pinch hit for Mirabelli and be inserted as a defensive replacement. Dustin Pedroia might be his first cuppa joe in the show. Ditto David Murphy and Jacoby Ellsbury.

So Millar? He can sit on the bench with Johnny Pesky and tell jokes, fart, macrame, I don't care.

But I think the Red Sox need him.

Your humble and obedient servant,
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Rudy Seanez into the game in the seventh inning. First two batters, two hard hit balls. One was scored "F8, RC." The other was scored "HR, 420'."

Beer me.


Royals lead 6-4 into the 8th.
If you want a New England-biased football metaphor, this is the Buffalo Bills (Royals) taking a 21-7 lead on the Pats (the Sox) late in the third quarter on JP Losman's second TD pass.

If you want a Colonial American revolution metaphor, this is Aaron Burr on his seventh pace, ready to turn and fire towards Alexander Hamilton.

Your humble and obedient servant,
  Weapon of Mass Production
Wily Mo Pena just hit a ball to left field at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Wait, let me clarify.

He hit a ball to the absolute back of left field, about 45 rows up, into the hot dog stand. A photo (click on image for better resolution) from a home run tracking website had it at over 443 feet.

Royals PR staff had it at 445.

NESN's Tina Cervasio had it at 451 (for those who listen to her in-game segments and questions during "Terry's Take," you know she's a quantum physics major... so she's probably right).

But regardless...holy crap. Ball go real far.

I think he might be worth a look-see in the 5-hole. Youks, Loretta, Papi, Manny, Wily, Lowell, obligatory Red Sox catcher, Gonzalez, Coco.

(yes, Coco in the nine-hole. I'm working on some sort of SID-type useless stat/game note on Coco's inability to bridge the gap to Papi/Manny when he leads off an inning...)
Ok, that's it for now.

Your humble and obedient servant,
Sunday, August 06, 2006
  Yes, I'm Still Alive
...alive, just not blogging.

Nothing interesting to say...

Unless you wanted to be bored with today, which would read something like this: "I woke up and went to my couch and took a nap. I sat on my couch today. And by today, I mean pretty much all day. I took another nap. I woke up. I ate something for lunch. I went back to my couch. Wait, I'm lying. I ate on my couch. The bowl is still on my coffeetable. I should put it in the sink. It's beginning to grow stuff out of it. Julian Tavarez sucks. Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin did as well. Even Jonathan Papelbon. Javy Lopez also sucks. I took another nap. Well, I tried to. But I couldn't sleep. Too mad. I tried real hard. But the harder you try to do things like sleep, the harder it is to do things like sleep. So I imagined what it would be like if I had hit the god-damned Powerball last night. 204 million. I pretty much had it divvied up. One question would be how much to tip the guy who sold me the ticket. I think 10k would be good. And then I thought about how my financial ledgersheet is so not one of a lottery winner. And that made me mad, too. Not Julian Tavarez-shampooing-sucks-mad. A different kind of mad. So I got up and made dinner. I had a spicy little chicken number I've kinda perfected over the last few years. I'm a good cook. My belly's full. I'm sleepy. And I'm also trying to refresh my French as I'll be traveling to Montreal at the end of the week for TP's bachelor party. Alors, j'ai sommeil. Il fait chaud en ma apartamente. Je suis ennui. I nap more than narcoleptics who are addicted to Ny-Quil. I updated my iPod. I listened to a bunch of songs I hadn't heard in a while. They made me smile. They made me think. They made me miss people. They almost made me cry. But I don't mind. It's when you stop feeling when it's a problem. I heard a Ben Taylor song and that made me think of New England and the islands. And how much I missed not being at the Newport Folk Festival yesterday. Or how cool it would've been to hang out on Narragansett Town Beach and hear Sting play that guy's birthday party. I heard Coldplay's The Scientist and it made me think of 2001. It made me think about the cold water in the veins of success and the morphine-like affect of failure. It made me feel regret, longing, heartache, and the realization that my world has not been the same and never will be ever again. I heard Neutral Milk Hotel's song Ghost and it just made me think. I think when you stop thinking then you're really pooched. But I wanted to stop thinking. So I watched more TV. I watched the cult classic This is Spinal Tap. I thought it was overrated. Christopher Guest's other stuff is much better. I watched Wedding Crashers. It's still funny. I practiced the toast I have to give for TP's wedding. I tried to edit the toast, to make it easier to read and to improve the delivery. I suck at public speaking. I think the edits made the toast lose it's theme. I need to fix it. I'd post it, but TP reads this site. Can't give you a preview. Maybe I'll post it when it's done. But that would be a postview, wouldn't it? I need to do laundry. I also need to iron. But I most of all need to do something I've been waiting to do all day. And that's going to bed. Why have I been waiting for bedtime? Because it marks the end of the day. And I get to close my eyes, think about all the stuff I did today, and wish I had done it differently...if only I got off my couch."

More this week. I promise. A return to international blogging, as TP's bachelor party takes us to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I leave you with a video of one of the aforementioned songs I listened to. It's Coldplay's "The Scientist," performed live on Jools Holland's "Later" show. Enjoy.

Your humble and obedient servant,
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
  Just Like Anchorman re-runs, Archie Moore's wings, and Guinness...
...this Red Sox gamewinning hit business never gets old.

After Mike Timlin gives up a bomb to Travis Hafner in the 8th, and the Sox 3-4-5 hitters go 1-2-3, Jonathan Papelbon comes in for a spotless ninth.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Indians brought in Fausto Carmona to face the Sox' Wily Mo Pena, Coco Crisp, and Doug Mirabelli.

Pena K'ed.

Crisp K'ed.

Mirabelli looked, well, like the .170 hitter he is, but got the count to 3-2. He got hit by a pitch. Gabe Kapler came in to pinch run for him.

Alex Gonzalez got hit by a pitch. First and second.

Kevin Youkilis drew a walk.

Mark Loretta got a middle/middle fastball and hit it hit off the Monster.

Two runs plate. 6-5 Sox. Win Sox.
I hope for three things: 1. that I have thick walls; b. that my neighbors like The Standells; 6. that I hit Powerball.

Your humble and obedient servant,
  I'm Gonna Be a Millionaire
I spoke to my folks in the top of the 6th inning of tonight's Red Sox/Indians game.

I said to my Mom, "Manny is going to lead off the inning with a home run."

In the bottom of the 7th, Manny indeed led off the inning with a home run.

I went to Kampus Foods, a few blocks up the road, and bought Powerball tickets.
So, if I'm not at work tomorrow, you'll know I'm a millionaire. Forward my mail to:

The TLBR Compound; Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; Nantucket, MA, 02584


TLBR; The Green Monster; 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA, 02215


Your humble and obedient servant,
  When Wrong is Right...And Funny
A TLBR loyalist made this point to me just a few minutes ago, when I was a wee bit/tad concerned over the health of Red Sox catcher and captain Jason Varitek:

"Our catcher has a knee injury. It could be worse.

On this day in 1979, Thurman Munson crashed his jet. One of the great moments in NY history. Too bad Catfish, Murcer, Goose, Rags or Willie had other plans that day."

While we here at TLBR don't root for plane crashes, we do chuckle at Yankee jokes.

So Happy Thurman Munson is a Crappy Pilot Day.
The same reader goes further, making the point that Carlton Fisk is a Hall of Famer and Munson is not.
And while we're at it, I remember going to a game at the Toilet (Yankee Stadium) on Thurman Munson Day a few years back, and right during the moment of silence/Bob Sheppard just forgetting what he was supposed to say, a plane flew over. Someone muttered: "He shoulda just flown commercial."

Ok, that's it for the mid-day bit. If you're not at lunch, go. If you're just coming back, I hope it was tasty-delicious.

Your humble and obedient servant,
A daily - or every-other-day - account of all there is in my head
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(I vow to attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.)

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