Tuesday, July 31, 2007
  Gagne YAY
Theo must be reading TLBR...

Bienvenue, Eric.

  Deadline Day
I don't know what it would take to get Eric Gagne, but I'd be sure willing to find out.

Gagne in the 7th, Okajima in the 8th, Papelbon in the 9th.

You know what that means? The AL East race becomes a Little League game. Six innings long.
I'm not as enamoured with Octavio Dotel, but I think you could conceivably get three outs with the likes of Manny Delcarmen, Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez, and Dotel. Hooooooooooooooooolian Tavarez and Kyle Snyder are your long guys.

This move becomes a boon, especially as the Sox magic number dips under 50 tonight. Get the bullpen arms a little bit of work until the Sept. callups, then begin the process of resting and setting up your playoff rotation.
Kudos to WBRU and WMVY FM radio stations. On the drive in this a.m., the luxury automobile was rocking like a street blaster in a Miami Bass war.

Except, it was U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on the home for alternative rock in the great state of Rhode Island.

And later, on Martha's Vineyard's solid spot in the cyberuniverse - MVYradio.com - they provided another U2 classic: "Pride (In the Name of Love)."

If I hear "Gloria" or "Like a Song" at any point today, I'll retire from terrestrial radio - because it just goes downhill from that point...
RIP, Skip.

Friday, July 27, 2007
  Homeward Bound
Six weeks ago, a good friend almost died.

Now, he's planning on when he'll go on his first run.

Brendan Doyle -the RI State Trooper who suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) in mid-June - is set to be discharged from a Boston rehab facility.

Most stays there last up to 40 days. The doctors there expected his time to last into the first week of August.

Nope. Try 18 days.

A little short of three weeks. A little short of amazing.

To hear Buzz in his own words, and some photos, check out the multimedia slideshow - from the Providence Journal.

And, in Buzz fashion, do note that his physical therapist is young and quite attractive. Motivation has few limits.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
  He Hears the Ticking of the clocks; And walks along with a parrot that talks...
(author's note): There was a recent update on the website The Progress of Trooper Doyle, which deserves top billing.

"Just when you think you've heard the most amazing things about Brendan, there's another update that makes you take a step back and be impressed yet again. Today the physical therapists decided to take Buzzy on a little ride - on the Charles River. He went on a two mile canoe ride and he did most of the rowing. He was a little tired when it was over, but, hey, wouldn't we all be?

On Saturday PT wanted Brendan to do some stairs. So he did. Nine flights! The nurse could hardly keep up. Now who's kicking whose butt? ;)

Brendan is expected to be released from rehab late this week. He will begin outpatient rehab in Rhode Island immediately following his release.

He still has the feeding tube in, and it will remain in for at least two weeks as he continues to work hard to eat more solid food, but he is improving every day. The thinner the consistency, the more difficult it is to swallow (water just goes down too fast!) but today he was allowed to have some soup and drink some milk with the therapist watching closely and that went well, so that's a good sign that he is gaining better control of the muscles in his throat. He still has awhile to wait before he can eat more solid foods, but today he also had some ziti with red sauce."

Between Jon Lester (see post and original blog entry below) and Buzzy, a coyote could gnaw on my leg for an hour and I wouldn't care. Good news is the best medicine.

First of all, it doesn't matter which baseball team that you fancy as your favorite - you should be happy for Jon Lester.

The 23-year old southpaw returned to the mound just over 11 months after being diagnosed with cancer. From then to now, he'd gone through six cycles of chemo, spring training, rehab starts, and took the hill versus one of the top teams in all of baseball.

Lester threw 96 pitches over six innings, yielding just five hits - including a two-run homer from Grady Sizemore - while striking out six.

In the newspaper, the agate box will simply read: W - Lester (1-0); L - Westbrook (1-6).

But a sign held up by a fan, aired midway through the game on NESN, summed it up well, no matter the score: W - Lester; L- Cancer.
The Yankees are on a tear right now. They scored about 180 runs vs. the Devil Rays this past weekend and have won four straight, 9-of-11, and 11-of-15. They're at six-games over .500 (52-46) - the best record of the season and are just 5.5 out of the wild card (not to say they're 7.5 out of the AL East race).

I'm happy about this.

No, I'm ecstatic.

And before you send a doctor to my office to check my sanity, allow me to explain.

There's a meeting going on today in Tampa, with George Steinbrenner, the Tampa brass, and Brian Cashman. And with the Yanks within shouting distance of the playoffs - and let's not forget, the NYY build playoff revenues into their operating budget every single year - the Yankee braintrust (yeah, I just giggled a little bit typing that) is going to determine if they need to make any deals.

And they do.

They need to replace three starters who are 37-years old or more. They need to figure out how to re-sign their All-Star catcher. And the best closer in the game. They also need to figure out how to get to that closer, with a variety of lefties and righties in the right spots. Their 3B is also set to test the waters of free agency and make more professional sports history with his contract. The CF is old and broken down. The 1B/DH guy is broken. The LF and RF show signs of a little bit of rust under the fresh coat of paint (a.k.a. - Shea Stadium "renovations").

So other than that, they're good to go.

The Yankees traded a young pitcher for an older backup catcher. The names aren't important. The principle of it is.

If the Yankees continue that trend - young arm for old bat - and you know they will, then as much as 2007 seems to be a long-shot, 2008, 2009 and beyond will be even longer.

Nice to have Shelley Long or whatever his/her name is belting balls around the park soon after his callup. (Sam Horn says hi. He has a website named after him now.)

But here's hoping that after a meal at Malio's, they decide it's time to re-mortgage the future and trade for Torii Hunter, Mark Teixeira, and every other star player being dangled prior to the July 31 trading deadline.

Actually, it would probably be a reverse mortgage - a term I learned by watching NESN, with the infomercial talking about how old people can supplement their income. A perfect foil in the case of the too-old Yanks.

Joel Sherman summed it up nicely, as well
Lindsay Lohan busted again for cocaine and DUI?

No... C'mon. She went to rehab. She wears a bracelet.

And Roger Goodell told Mike Vick what he thought about #7 heading to training camp (n the lazy, hazy dog days of summer (sorry...couldn't resist) : "Don't."

Good move, Rog.

On an aside, ESPN.com had a poll question: which commissioner of a major league has it the worst, Goodell (NFL), Bud Selig (MLB), or David Stern (NBA).

Of course the answer is pretty obvious: Gary Bettman (NHL).


Because, thanks to his leadership, the NHL is no longer considered a major league. I'd argue MLS and NASCAR have both overtaken it.

As for David Stern (the right answer to the aforementioned question), he has some ‘splaining to do.

If he truly felt that it was necessary to send a PI after Tim Donaghy, to investigate his off-court behavior and whether or not it affected his actions on-the-court, then I believe it warranted some action.

That’s not a sometimes/maybe kind of question and answer session. It requires precaution at the very least, and termination at the end of the spectrum.

Due process? Yeah, later. Shoot first, ask later, I say.
This might not lead SportsCenter, but to me...it's pretty "now."

Nice to see U.S. distance running making a strong comeback. It would never happen overnight, but to get two medals at the Pan-Am Games, along with news of Alan Webb's new U.S. mile record, it's happening.
Ok, that's all from here.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, July 21, 2007
  On An Aside
JD Drew almost hit a home run.

Julio Lugo hit a grand slam.

The Red Sox won.

The Yankees lost.

Is everyone breathing? Is everyone ok? Is the sky still falling?
Like I said to someone calling into the TLBR celly this week, "it's not the panic line."

Guess what: seven games was a lot heading into tonight. Eight games is even more.

It's 10 days from the trading deadline. THAT's the unofficial end of the season. That's when teams make decisions: do I stay or do I go?

I'm still very confident in the Red Sox' chances. And in terms of having a "skid," is there a better time than early/mid-July? Why?

Because you expose your weaknesses and you have the time (and the period) to change it.

Ok, are the Sox going to trade Clay Bucholz for Mark Teixiera? Probably not. But that's what guys like Clay et al are there for, especially for a big-market team.

Clay is likely "untouchable" but the Sox front office has plenty of time to get their issues straightened. Perhaps they're already on the roster. Perhaps they're somewhere else.

But it's coming and it'll be fine.
Here's a humble blogger thinking that Craig Hansen's slider might make a return for the Sept. run. If there's a chance, it's very very slim that he'd make a postseason roster, but hell. He's 23. If he can make a strong September, it'll bode well for '08.

Friday, July 20, 2007
  PETA Is Stupid
Ok, PETA, we get it. You value the life of shampooing animals more than anything.

And you picketed the NFL offices to protest Mike Vick's indictment.

Great job, Dan Shannon. But I suggest you might want to do your homework. Here's a hint: the NFL didn't do anything wrong. It was #7 for the Atlanta Falcons.

It's like protesting at the Vatican because of Fr. Porter.

Personally, I hope all of you folks reproduce tons of children. Why? Because if you get your way, someone is going to have to test makeup & shampoo and ammonia & bleach. It can't possibly be a shampooing cat or a rat, right? How about your kids?

Dumb stupid animal activists, THEY STUPID.


(p.s. - I was supposed to be in the MKE this weekend, but had to pull out, so in honor - I'm getting MKE drunk and blogging).
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
  Oh, take me back to the start
A few quick points:

1. I'm not concerned about the Red Sox. They still have an eight-game lead in the standings, seven in the loss column. While that's not as much as, say, 14, it's still a lot. I'd rather not have the Sox lose to the Royals - or anyone, for that matter - but the last time the sky was falling, all turned out just fine.

The second-place Yankees had come within 7.5 games. Then, within a fart after a bowl of texas chili, it was back up to 12.5 games.

I'm still highly optimistic, I'm still watching the magic number go down and down (it's at 63), the Sox still have the 2nd-best record in all of baseball despite going 20-20 in their last 40 games, and if the Sox went 35-34 (.507) over the next 69 games, they'd win 91 games. For the Yankees to tie them, they'd have to go 44-27 (.620) over the next 71 games.

The Yankees are a team that JUST got to .500 at the 88-game mark. It took them 88 games to win as many as they lost. You mean to tell me they'll increase their wins by 12% over a smaller span? I doubt it.

Sure, the Yanks play teams with a sub-.500 record (of which they were a member of that club three days ago...) but so do the Red Sox. And barring another 2-1 loss in which Beckett pitches a gem, or any game in which Wakefield pitches and shampooing Doug Mirabelli catches, the Sox play those same teams and have the same sort of chances.

That being said, I would like to see Doug Mirabelli go to Tikrit or Tora Bora. I would like to see a RH bat off the bench that doesn't strike out (badly) most of the time.
I have a dog. I'm growing to be a dog lover.

With that in mind, I don't really like dog fighting.

And with Michael Vick now federally indicted for his role in that dispicable act, I hope he gets his just "reward."

But with that being said, I just don't see the hullaballoo. Pacman Jones shot a dude at a strip club. Mike Vick killed some dogs. Before anyone gets all ASPCA on my ass, it's a dog. Not a person. Some dogs are cool, some are companions, some are service dogs which help the blind, deaf, etc.

Not pit bulls. Those things are killers. In this case, killers got killed, maimed, etc. There is a difference. I shed no tears.

I can come downstairs in the morning for breakfast, and my nine-year old Irish Setter will roll over and let me scratch her belly. It's downright adorable.

If I came downstairs and it was a pit bull, I'd be breakfast.

There are bigger issues in the world than Mike Vick. He's a punk, he's involved in despicable acts, and that's a fact. But if there's any good to come of this, it is this: the Atlanta Falcons might be a better football team now. Paging Joey Harrington.
A Tour de France rider got caught with drugs? Really? Really.

This is a traveshamockery of a sporting event. It's like watching closet alcoholics. Everyone knows it's out there, everyone knows you're doing it, so instead of going to a bar, you swig mouthwash.

What a joke.

And for the record, I still think Lance was clean. Sure, to some people, it sounds like I'm saying "yeah, I still believe in the Easter Bunny," but I don't care. I think he did it on, pardon the crude pun, a bigger "set" than anyone else in the field.
I'll take drunken Jew-haters for $200, Alex.
A friend sent me Avril Lavigne's cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist." (you know how I know you're gay? you email people Coldplay covers...)

The verdict: it sounded like a Saturday night at Mike Vick's house.

Hi, remember when I used to be attractive? What the hell happened to this girl?

I quote Rick James: "Cocaine's a hell of a drug."
It used to be a certain Scottish fellow (who shall remain nameless) who made me feel better about the weight gain, but now it's switched.

It's Val Kilmer.

Remember when he was Iceman? Or Batman? Or Chris Knight (the single-biggest basis for my humor today)? Or the nameless dude in "Heat" that got shot up a bunch of times?

Now? He's just fat. Welcome to the club, we've got a seat waiting for you. And we ordered nachos.
Congrats to former colleague Jeff Ruland for landing the head coaching gig with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds.

Hopefully, the Big Fella will get to re-invent himself and get on the fast track to where he should be: on an NBA bench.

For whatever happened in the past is just that: the past. Here's hoping he leaves it there and gets after it in the D-League. Just like the players he'll be mentoring, it's his second and last chance, too.

At the very least, I'll be tuning into the post-game pressers.
Ok, that's all for now.

Friday, July 13, 2007
  My Man Buzzy

So those of you who read TLBR on a regular basis know Trooper Brendan Doyle. You know him personally, or you've read about him.

But in an update, simply put, he is progressing nicely.
Buzz checked out of the ICU unit at Rhode Island Hospital earlier this week and has moved on to a rehabilitation hospital in Boston.

Needless to say, tonight is the four-week "anniversary" - not that you mark such an event with a celebration, rather, a benchmark - of his accident in downtown Providence.

His brother Patrick helped to begin a website - The Progress of Trooper #47 - in order to keep all of his friends, family, and well-wishers in touch with his amazing progress so far, and his long and difficult journey ahead.

If you know Buzz, you know that he will tackle this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. And he'll live those words.

So log onto the site often, leave a message, and keep up the positivity.

Thursday, July 12, 2007
  Why I Love Kelly Clarkson: reason #772

Because she stopped by Sausage King on Lansdowne before heading to Revere Beach.

Maybe she'll stop by her namesake - Kelly's - for a little roast beast and a large fry.

(p.s. - the large fry is large.)
The head of County Sligo's largest crime syndicate sent along a missive, admonishing me for the lack of posts. When Straight Outta Sligo speaks, I listen. So look for the TLBR-ing to TLBR-increase.

And cead mead leithscéal, Godfather.

Saturday, July 07, 2007
  Checking In From Wedding Central
T-minus something, something. It ain't my wedding - my boy JVet4 is making the walk down the aisle.

Me? I'm merely the Best Man. Why?

Because I'm the best, man...that's why.

And so far, I'm proscribing the Best Man duties to a tee. Keeping the Groom in line. Of course, it has taken a 12-er of Sam Summer and Goodfellas, but such is.

We had the rehearsal tonight. And it makes me realize, for the umpteenth time, why I am no longer a practicing Catholic.

I mean, wow. Shampooing ridiculous.

More on that later. But somebody - for the good of those my age and younger - needs to sit down and figure out what Vatican 3 is going to be.

The 10 Commandments for Road Rage and a return to Latin masses...guess what, SFB?...that ain't the answer. Why not make a return to Sancrit? A 5,000 year old dead language. Get out. (name it).

But it is what it is, and I'm thinking the "it" is going to be fun. A good crew of groomsmen, a good bunch of bridesmaids (perhaps one more equal than the others, but I digress) and we're off.

No Chicken Dance, no Macarena. Just one kick-assed speech, a few dances, and a late night somewhere to celebrate.

But in the meanwhile, we're almost out of beer. Shampoo. I was beginning to forge a relationship, till death does us part. Or rather, until death...does us party.

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.)

05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 / 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 / 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 / 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 / 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 / 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 / 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 / 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 / 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 / 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 / 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 / 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 / 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 / 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 / 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 / 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 / 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 / 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 / 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 / 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 / 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 / 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 / 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 / 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 / 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 /

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