Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So Long, Brownie

From The Journal News:

... Brown, on the disabled list with a lumbar strain, is not making progress in his throwing program and general manager Brian Cashman doubts he'll pitch again this season, which would effectively end his short and ineffective Yankees career.

This makes me very sad. Kevin Brown AKA lookalike of Ray Romano's brother on Everybody Loves Raymond, will no longer be handing wins over to other teams. Darn.

Satan's Helpers

Because of the Bellhorn deal, I had a brief conversation with a co-worker yesterday about what it must feel like to be a New York Yankee.

When I see the Yankees celebrate a key play or win, they seem to go after each other in an aggressive, bully-like sort of way. The hugs are more like chests smashing together and pats on the back are rough slaps. Fists pump in anger, rather than joy. I don't detect the camaraderie. Maybe it's because I'm so used to watching our sweet Red Sox jump and smile and demonstrate genuine love toward one another. I see them joke and laugh and lift one another's spirits.

So, what's the appeal of the Bronx? A fat contract? A chance at the play-offs? These guys are willing to put up with agonizing boredom, fair weather fans, and intense pressure to win in exchange for these things? As an extra bonus, you get Billy Crystal to represent you. And soon Michael Rappaport, who I am convinced will be moving into the Crystal position when Billy tires of it (he's starting to look more and more like Cashman - I wonder if Steinbrenner's been getting to him, too). I don't understand the guys who go out of their way to become Yankees. The Johnsons and Sheffields. With their abilities, they could play anywhere, get paid handsomely and actually enjoy themselves. Instead, they choose hell. There are all these rules about hair length and facial hair, which I guess George is loosening up on a little, but still. Not only does your identity get stripped away, but you have to throw on these pinstripes, which symbolize prison cell bars to me (Sorry, White Sox, but it's true). You are subjected to the wavering loyalty of your fan base and the unpredictable whims of the head vampire himself, Steinbrenner. Who wants to play every game walking on eggshells? Surely, if and when Bellhorn strikes out looking too many times he will get read the riot act by Yankee brass. Or perhaps he will suffer a worse fate. Maybe the plan is to let the players imagine how bad it will be and sabotage themselves through their own fears. This will be punishment enough for a string of poor performances and front office doesn't have to do a thing. Oh, they are smart.

Anyway, I don't understand wanting to play for this dictator and I certainly don't understand wanting to root for a team of storm troopers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mellow Yellow

Poor Curt. I see him wiping his brow, no doubt still smelling the peroxide product, wondering why the hell he went along with Millar and his silly "Let's be like Brad Pitt" hair caper. The bleached look would be predictable enough for a Wooly Willy, like Kevin.

But not for Schilling. Two thumbs down from WCSG.

So it appears that Curt's getting a bit of a beating this inning. And after such a nice, clean 1st inning. How many times do I have to say it? The booing isn't going to help. Not to mention the fact that it's incredibly disrespectful. As a RS fan, I get really embarrassed when the jerky fans - the ones lucky enough to be at the park - decide to boo a guy who isn't having such a hot night. Unless, of course, they're booing the yellow hair.

Speaking of yellow, here is the season schedule I keep in my cube. I color each day with a yellow (win) or blue (loss) highlighter. There are purple areas (All Star Break, days off), however, I don't think you can see them in this shot. I am hoping that September will be a sea of bright yellow.

I think Schill's got all the hits out of his system. Now it's all about the K's.


Are you done with Embree? Gonna have any more of that Bellhorn? Can we have them now? Please? Please?

[Update:I realize that this seems really cold toward a couple of guys who contributed to our WS victory last year. It wasn't meant to. I am just in absolute shock that the Yanks have scooped up not 1, but 2 of our former players - and so quickly. Theo has good reasons for letting folks go. What makes Cashman think that our former guys are going to perform any better in pinstripes? Embree has already proven that he's the same struggling reliever. Do they think that Bellhorn will suddenly stop striking out? Or strike out considerably less? Last I checked, the Yankees' weak spot was pitching. Anyway, I am having a tough time picturing Mark in a Yankee uniform.]

Monday, August 29, 2005

Pin Head

If Brian Dennehey mated with a trout, the offspring would surely be Lou Piniella. And with the Red Sox and their 2 dongs at the bottom of the 1st, we may see those fishy jowls flapping around in a raging fit before too long.

Hey, have you ever seen this pic? Does he not know about foiling? So much less painful.

Rain delay.

Monday Night Mascot Fights

If we don't take advantage of these home games - particularly those with crap teams - I will seriously lose it.

Matty's record is superior to this McCowDung character's. Let's hope he proves it tonight. After this nice little winning streak, the Evil Rays are due for another humiliating loss, anyway.

I think we ought to set up a mascot duel to start things out tonight.

Furry Blue Crotch (thank Mo for nickname)

(pictured here doing the hokey pokey, putting his right foot in)

vs Wally

Who, me? Of course I could kick that mascot's butt! Would you even doubt it?

I think the answer is clear. This Raymond mascot (most unoriginal of names) has been taking it easy for far too long. The most he can hope for at this point is that Wally gets lost in all the crotchy fur around his face during the match. Maybe if Raymond the Devil Ray got off his duff and stopped all this lounging around (see below), he could motivate the Rays. But, sadly: no.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Crayon and on and on

At least the Yanks are chewing on wax, too.

3.5 games = Current Buffer. I am still not satisfied with it. I want double digits.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Witchy Whining

1. Hey - Manny - how about a little hustle, huh? Would it kill you to pick it up?

2. We're back on the fireworks. When are the men on stilts coming out?

Thank goodness we keep getting dudes on 1st, even though outs should have been recorded. (Thank you crappy KC defense.) Let's stop squandering the gifts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Muppets and Sox (and Sox Affiliates) - Part 2

Michelle Damon



Castiglione and Trupiano
(can you believe I couldn't find one of them together?)


Statler and Waldorf



Rowlf the Dog

The Newsman


Tom Caron

Tony G


Gonzo the Great




Mmmmmm Bop

I should probably be nervous about our bullpen and closing situation, but it seems that there are options. Timlin is ready to rock and roll once Curt gets back in the rotation on Thursday. I guess Foulke is still questionable, especially since getting smacked by a Trot hit during a simulated game. Did I hear this right? (Speaking of: Trotter is back for the attack after missing 22 games or so, and I don't mean that in a Dokken kind of way). I am guessing that we aren't going to get a lot out of him - at least not for a little while. So, I suppose that leaves the possibility of Craig Hansen coming up. And some people seem pretty excited about this.

His profile shot is sort of brooding:

He gets high marks for nicely manicured eyebrows. Here's his scouting report:

Hansen's fastball has topped out in the high 90s, and he consistently hits the mid-90s. He also possesses an excellent high-80s slider.  A fierce competitor who has an excellent closer mentality. Does not walk many batters. Named "closest to the majors" of all players in the 2005 draft.

I haven't seen him in action up in Portland, but I hear good things.

Then there's Papelbon-bon-bon. Could be used to start or to come out of the bullpen. So far, he's been performing well with a 2.25 ERA. I am comfy-cozy with him in the mix, at least while Wake is being watched and Wells is on suspension.

I am sensing the muppets coming on ... you've been warned ...

Friday, August 19, 2005

You Are Getting Verrrrry Sleepy

I hate watching Bartolo Colon pitch. He kills me with his slow pace. I've got a life to lead, here, Charlie. Let's get on with it. He's got 16 (including last night) freaking wins this year and I swear it's because he beats batters down with his slow-as-snails strategy. I imagine waiting for one of his pitches to be like watching the elevator numbers light up - ever so slowly - as your floor approaches. And then stop for long periods in between.

It was good to see Orlando, once again, even though he "fell down went boom" with a big swing on the 3rd or 4th pitch of one of his at-bats. He made up for this when he reached 3rd (after stealing 2nd) on Mirabelli's weird throw to 2nd and Edgar's inability to field it. Should have left well enough alone, Dougie Fresh. Well, he was driven home anyway, but still.

Millar's new approach, instead of tweaking or adjusting his stance (by now, I imagine he's tried every damn stance known to man, including the Buffalo Stance), is to try "not thinking about it." I guess this was the reason behind his RBI last night. Oh, and he got a new helmet and Trot threw some pine tar on it before the game. Thanks, Uncle Trot!

Wake's MRI came back nega-toid for breaks, which is good news. He's got a deep contusion, but he should be alright. *big sigh of relief*

So, tonight, we face Chris Knight, or Peter Brady (the grown up Peter):

ERA: 3.63
Record: 10-4

ERA: Mid-late 70's
Record: "It's Time to Change" (Most notable because he was the inspiration behind the song.)

Once again, I'll be away for the weekend. Which is why I am working right now. For the weekend.

Enjoy the night games, kiddies. I'll be back on Monday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Another Blog

So, I've actually started yet another blog. Technically, it's a place for me to post some writing I have been doing, although I will still accept comments.

In my so-called professional life, I am a "Project Manager." And to a lot of folks, this label is meaningless. It's vague and confusing. No one seeks higher education in the art and science of Project Management. At least, not intentionally. Some days, I question how even I landed here in this fun little world filled with spreadsheets and hot lists and mitigation planning. So, I embarked on a journey of self discovery, attempting to unveil those pivotal moments in my career that led me down this path.

So far, I've posted 3 things:

1. An Introduction
2. Chapter 1: Nashville, TN
3. The Professional Martyr’s Catalog (this isn't a chapter - I think of it as more of an "insert" or break in the action)

Oh, and don't worry. I've changed the names to protect the (not so) innocent and I would never EVER be foolish enough to include anything - good or bad - about my present employer. Additionally, none of the names of the companies or affiliates have been mentioned. I should be in the clear.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Another Blown Save

P.S. Yankees won. Happy Monday, people.

Centerfold - How Many Times Will They Play It?

I've counted 8 so far. Is there some significance to playing this during someone's at-bat? Add that to my list of Comerica grievances. Nothing at all against the Tigers.

Saturday at Fenway

Saturday at Fenway was unlike any game I've been to.

1. I got to watch it from the top of the Green Monster. I've only been there twice - both times at the end of park tours, and naturally, both times without the benefit of live game action.

2. This was the first time I've been in attendance when the game was stopped for rain.

It was a pretty special experience. I spied Shonda Schilling and got my picture taken with her. She's just as glamorous and sweet as you might expect. I mean, for a Republican (I just assume that she is, since I sincerely doubt that Curt would have it any other way). She had quite a crowd around her, but I got her attention before the "I wanna tell all my buddies I stood and talked to Shonda for a while" people showed up.

Here's Crazy Carl, who I still have mixed feelings about. I thought I heard something about him and his wife beating each other up, but upon further research, I discovered that he was charged with child abuse. Not inflicting the abuse himself, but sitting back while his wife disciplined their children "harshly." Nice people.

The unmistakable El Duque.

Coke. There's no substitute. By the way, every time I've ever taken the Pepsi Taste Test or Challenge or whatever it was called (remember these?), I ALWAYS picked Coke. Pepsi tastes like medicine to me.

I looked down and noticed that section 33 was right there. This is my lucky number. I took it as a sign.

It was pretty cool to witness Petagine's first homer. And all the lightning around the park. Stephen King, who attended the game, might have even been inspired by the eeriness. The rain did cool things down quite a bit, mercifully. The game had greasy face potential. I know I had it. But I don't think Shonda did. I don't think she sweats.

Great win. Great Fenway experience.

So, we are leading by a run in Kramerica Park. 5-3 (thanks to a sweet double from Johnny - good to have him back). I am seriously writing those people about the childish tiger roar. Are we men or little boys? I am sorry to complain about it as often as I do. Actually, I'm not.

Have you seen the new Bob's commercial? He's reached a new low. Picture this: A bedroom set, complete with 2 dressers and a double bed. The dresser drawers open and close to the sounds of a barber shop quartet singing "Migh-ty fine, at Fourteen Ninety Nine!" They've given animated life to the furniture, similar to the "chairy" character on Pee Wee's Playhouse. Who storyboards this stuff? Can I have this job?

(Rem is doing the Smedley laugh. I love that. I guess a couple of streakers found their way on the field tonight.)

Totally unrelated - any of you remember this horrible candy bar?

"Coconut Slices." Who thought this was a good idea? I didn't know one kid who saved their allowance to by this striped piece of crap.

On the other hand - how about the Marathon Bar? This is a Marathon Bar knock-off called The Curly Wurly. It looked like this, though.

Mmmm. Chocolate caramel braided goodness. You could freeze this, too, much like a Charleston Chew. Rip your teeth straight out of their gums. This was quite the recreational activity back in the day. Smashing caps with rocks and taking teeth out with caramel. Kids these days don't know from good times.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Racist Feller

Has anyone else heard/read/seen anything about the Bob Feller interview that was conducted by a St. Louis sportscaster that went terribly array? I heard the (replay of the) interview during the commute on WEEI yesterday morning and it was horribly racist and appalling. Feller bluntly stated that Caribbean players don't know the rules of baseball. He repeated this over and over, and grew angry and impatient when the sportscaster asked him specifically what rules all of the Caribbean players are somehow unaware of. Finally, Bob hung up and the sportscaster (who I believe is not white) accused him of being a racist on the air. Rightfully so. I cannot find a shred of information online and I just thought I would put this out there to you all, in case you've heard anything. Do I have the wrong racist baseball old timer?

This happened just days after the story broke about Larry Krueger in San Francisco.

Shame on them both.

I'll be away this weekend, but in attendence at Saturday night's game. Be back on Sunday night - and if I'm not too exhausted, I'll recap the weekend.

Anyone else think that Mark Buehrle

looks like:



By the way, I am really loving Graffanino.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tuesday Night Random Rambling

Game 2 against Texas

Jose Cruz Jr. = Gone to the West Coast. Don't let the door hit you, sir. Remlinger is very Billy Bob Thorton to me.

Soriano's at-bat at the top of the 2nd was far too long. 10 pitches? 11, maybe? All you have to do, Matt, is throw 3 outside pitches in a row. The dude swings at everything. Don't waste your time!

I wonder what happens when one of the umps doesn't do the finger point after an out is recorded. Does the out not count? I get the impression that the signal makes the out official.

They played "You Dropped a Bomb On Me" in the park when Mueller homered in the 3rd. 6th homer of the season! It's the clean "sport and shave Ken doll" look he's got going on. Here's my best guess as to the identity of the mystery music person at Fenway:

Adam, from Northern Exposure. And this Adam looks a lot like another Adam:

Speaking of lookalikes - I hate to say it, but sometimes Cora looks like Posada and this depresses me. No one has elephant flappers quite like Jorge, but there's a slight resemblance there.

Millar just sac-flied to give us the lead. 1-2.

Here's a little bit of the quiz I was talking about yesterday...

1. Woah!
2. Elizabeth! I'm coming to join you!
3. This is Carlton, your doorman.
4. Bang, Zoom!
5. Outta sight!
6. Dynomite!
7. This is my brother Daryl. And this is my other brother Daryl.
8. Dipstick!
9. Norm!
10. Something suddenly came up.
11. Ayyyyyyyyyyy!
12. ...and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids.
13. ....come in Olson....
14. Weezy!
15. Up your nose with a rubber hose

If you don't get every single one of these, I'd have to be extremely disappointed. These are embarrassingly easy. The next 15 will be much harder. I promise you.

Score is currently 2-2. Jason couldn't make the tag at the plate. Wah-keen Ben-wah is up to 100 pitches, I think. Actually, he's about to throw #100. Will Manny hit a homerun and win some schmuck a new car? No, but a nice line drive drives in a run and puts us on top. Sweet. Thanks again, Manny Claus.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Virginia Road Trip: Not the Reader's Digest Version

We left Salem at 6:00 AM. That's right. We intentionally left at the crack of dawn. We saw 2 interesting things before we zipped on to 128. First, we spied a very large rodent running across the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. Mo convinced me that it was a kitty cat, although I seriously doubted it. Second, we saw a rather tired-looking older gentleman stumbling along the side of the road, pointing vigorously in what appeared to be perfect synch with "The Power of Love" which was on in the car. I had purchased an auto adapter for my iPod so that we could rock out to some decent tunage, but soon discovered that I was missing a critical component (something called an FM transmitter), so it was the radio for the next 14 hours (or as Mo calls it: the element of surprise).

Mo's car is great - it's a little black civic with Hawaiian-inspired car seat covers and a Hello Kitty air freshener. We also took Wally on the road with us. Unfortunately, there was no A/C, so the atmosphere was much like a sweat lodge. This was okay, though, because it gave us plenty of reason to take in our daily recommended number of ounces of water. And then some.

New Jersey. One minute it smells like ass, and then suddenly, you're getting intense aromas of grape soda or grape bubble gum or something. I can't explain what I experience driving through the Garden State - olfactory-wise - better than this.

Virginia. Painful traffic. It took 2 hours to move about 30 miles.

Lyn's place was pretty neat. She and Pete live in a ranch-style house in a very rural area. Corn fields, hummingbirds, butterflies, ferrule cats, that sort of thing. Here's a shot of the land from the back of her house:

They showed us the future space bar location in basement. I'm pretty excited about that project - especially the illuminated glass bar that Peter described.

On Saturday, I purchased some interesting books from a local used book store. Here's a pic of Lyn's cool friend Liz, holding up one of the purchases (since there were duplicates, we each picked one up). Psychic Powers - one in a series of Time Life books from 1987. Not as good as the western series (where some gunslinger shoots a man for snoring too loud), but still, a rare find.

Look closely at the cover. A bald man wearing a sleeping mask, neon squigglies pasted on to his head. Sort of reminiscent of the old Halls Mentho-Lyptus commercials, huh?

Other books worth a mention: JAWS 2 (a book based on the screenplay - sure to be just horrible), TV Superstars 1979 (cover has pictures of Shaun Cassidy, Marie Osmond and Parker Stevenson), Starsky and Hutch novel (Two tough street-wise cops with a knack for finding trouble - and outsmarting it!).

The TV book purchases ignited conversation about catch phrases and their respective TV shows. I will soon create a blog entry in the form of a quiz. I'll list the catch phrases we came up with and you all identify the shows. Teaser: "Stow it, Dingy!"

Here's an adorable pic of Lyn in the car:

The ride home was much more pleasant. The weather was not oppressive and I bought the FM transmitter in Virginia, so the iPod was a' rockin all the way back to Massachusetts.

Hey, Kevin Mench is from Delaware.

Delaware - Who Do They Think They Are, Anyway?

Mo and I are back. I think I could attempt to summarize our trip in 3 sentences or less, but this might include inside joke stuff, which would be annoying to you and therefore not amusing. So, I will say this:

1. Total time down: 14 hours (Salem to Brandy Station, VA - door to door)
2. Total time back: 12 hours. A drastic improvement.
3. No A/C. But plenty of water dousing in the car.
4. Next time, we fly (we say this every time we make the trek to visit Lynanne, but road trip nostalgia gets the best of us when we plan the next visit and we conveniently forget about the sweating, the deliriousness, the back of the knee cramps, the lines for the ladies room, the gridlock, the trash smells emitted from NYC and NJ, the terrible radio stations in Delaware)

Speaking of Delaware, did you know that they have no "Welcome to Delaware" sign on the way in from New Jersey? This is after they gouge you with a 5 dollar toll. Mo was absolutely ripped about this and I must say, her anger was contagious. I mean, come on, Delaware. Apart from being the first state (ooooooo! the first state!) and offering tax-free shopping, what have you got to be so holier than thou about? We should make our own welcome sign for Delaware. Welcome to our good-for-nothing snore of a hell hole state! What do you expect from a state whose macroinvertebrate is the freaking stonefly? Is that all you got? Keep your stupid stonefly and put up a damn welcome sign! I vote to change their state motto from "The First State" to "The Rudest Little State" or "We May Be Small, but We're Plenty Ill-Mannered!" Why don't they just throw your toll money back at you the way the trees threw apples at Dorothy?

So, I am hoping to post more details of the trip later.

Incidentally, I am glad I missed baseball this weekend. It's pretty humiliating to get your ass kicked by a "twin." Awful name choice, Minnesota.

Oh, and we thought we heard something about an upcoming ban of offensive team names - at least in the NFL. I'm going to look into this. Let's bury the tomahawk, people. Once and for all.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Jason Finally Does It

He did it! He did it! I had a rare "yippy skippy" moment at work today when I found out that Jason finally enjoyed his first major league career grand slam. Okay, those of you who know me realize that it doesn't take much to launch me into a yippiy skippy state, but this was truly exceptional.

We were listening to the game on the radio and just as the 2nd base runner got on, the batteries died. Coincident with this, I had to walk over to Kerry's cube for actual work reasons. She was following the game via the internet, so when I approached her, she turned around and said "Can you belive this?" I knew we had some momentum going, but I didn't realize that the score suddenly peaked: 9-5, Sox. She started reading back the plays and at one point she said, "and Jason hit a grand slam." That's when I sped off like a bolt of lightening, not really knowing what to do with this glorious news. I was disappointed that I missed out on actually seeing it, but this made up for all the sadness I carried around for him after game 7 of the 2003 playoff series against the Yankees. So, Jason - I do hope you are getting some really sweet bedroom action tonight (with your WIFE, that is!). The only thing that would have made it better is if he had done it facing Mariano Rivera. That will come later in the season, folks. You heard it first from Witch City.

The Kansas City Royals with Cheese were just plain pathetic. There were women on my softball team that could give some of these jokers a run for their money. But, hey, I'll take the sweep. In fact, I'll take them both. Here she comes ...

So, tomorrow, Mo and I embark on our journey to Virginia. We are going to visit our friend Lynanne, one of the biggest Star Wars fans to grace this earth. She and her husband are in the midst of laying plans down for a "space bar" in their new home. I'm thinking it's going to be like that joint in Star Wars. I hope there's going to be a cardboard Boba Fett somewhere, peering around a corner or something. Or maybe they can mix it up and make it a little like the lounge from Star Trek, TNG. We'll have a lot to discuss, I guess. Seems that our road trip supplies are in order, too. A bag of Swedish Fish, a box of animal crackers, Pringles and Goldfish crackers (both original flavor) plus whatever delights Mo is bringing. I'll miss out on a lot of baseball action this weekend, but in return, I get a road trip with Mo. No comparison there. Road trip wins, hands down. Expect pictures and (hopefully) some good stories.

The 2nd muppet post will follow next week.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Schneider Pitches for the Royals Tonight

ERA: 8.59

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pizza Chat

I missed lots of tonight's game, but heard a couple of early innings in the car. Wake gave up 4 runs and we had zip when I left the car. By the time I walked into the pizza place nearby for my dinner, the score was tied at 4. And I watched us take it to 6 as I waited for my buffalo chicken wrap (which was pretty tasty - although the fries were less than fresh. I didn't finish them and that says a lot.) It was an exciting little tear bringing us into the lead.

The pizza guy and I had a nice little chat. "Come on, Renteria, home run, home run" he said to the TV, as he ladled tomato sauce onto the dough. He looked over at me and said (like many have said before - not to me specifically), "he gets paid too much not to hit a lot of homers." I thought he was a cute old man, so I winked at him. He took this as the comrade signal. Soon, he was walzing over to me to talk nitty gritty baseball. "You follow baseball, right?" (I nod) "This Giambi - you ain't gonna tell me a guy like him goes from not bein' able to hit to hittin' like crazy know...." (I nod with more purpose) I explain that I was just discussing this with a co-worker today, in lieu of Palmeiro and he did some emphatic nodding of his own. "Giambi ain't just chewin' gum!" he proclaimed, then pointed at the TV, as if Giambi was right there at the plate with those stupid lizard eyes of his.

Schilling just gave up a lead off walk. I'm sure he meant to do that. It's all part of his strategy tonight. Just like his balk, for instance. There's a greater plan we aren't aware of, nor should we be.

Gabe's going to be in the NESN studio tonight. I can't wait.

Thank you, Manny, for being so f'n great.

Monday, August 01, 2005

If I Were a Muppet

So, here is part 1 of the muppet Red Sox post ...


and Johnny Damon

Sam the Eagle

and John Halama

Ernie and Burt

and Rem and Orsillo

Cookie Monster

and Manny Ramirez


and Edgar

Guy Smiley

and Eric Frede

The Swedish Chef

and 1st Base coach, Lynn Jones

Big Bird

and Bronson Arroyo


and David Wells

When I complete this, I'm thinking of building Fenway Park with legos.