Friday, October 30, 2009

Vote for Pedro! (Part 2)

This morning, ran a story titled "Martinez comes up short for Phillies in Game 2." Ummm, excuse me, but Pedro did not come up short: #45 turned in a quality start, and the bats were silenced by the enigmatic (and expensive) A.J. Burnett.

Of course, the fans were their usual classy selves, but Pedro expected nothing less, having made his share of starts in (the Old) Yankee Stadium:

"It's a new Yankee Stadium, but the fans remain the fans," Martinez said. "I remember one guy sitting right in the front row with his daughter in one arm and a cup of beer in the other hand and saying all kinds of nasty stuff. I just told him, 'Your daughter is right beside you. It's a little girl. It's a shame you're saying all these things.' I'm a father myself. How can you be so dumb to do those kind of things in front of your child? What kind of example are you setting?"

What kind of example, indeed? And speaking of examples, where was Charlie Manuel in 2003, when Grady Little showed him how NOT to manage Pedro in the playoffs? Pedro will tell you that he's fine. This is a lie. His effectiveness drops off around 100 pitches. ARE YOU LISTENING NOW, MANUEL?!?! End rant.

As I headed off to class this morning, I expected Y-FAB to have some cutting remark about Pedro, and I was not disappointed. As soon I walked into the lecture hall, it started:

(Y-FAB): Last night was sort of like when Pedro played for Boston, huh? When he said "I'll just tip my cap and call the Yankees my daddy."

(Me): And what happened after that? Oh, right: he won a World Series.

: What was that, like nine years ago?

: It was five, actually, and how many World Series has Jeter won in that time? How many has A*Rod won, in general?

: *dirty look* And you guys won how many in the last hundred years?

At this point, I sighed internally, ready to dive into battle once again.
However, it turned out that I had an unexpected ally:

(Phillies fan boy): Seriously? It's so ridiculous when you guys try to bring up the past like that. It doesn't matter if you won the Series in 1953. Who cares?

: Well, we're about to win another one... And we'll kick Pedro's ass while we're at it.

: You just keep telling yourself that. With that payroll, you should win; and if you don't? It's a failure.

It continued on in this vein for a while: PFB and I tried to reason with Y-FAB, but, like many Yankees fans, he refused to admit his defeat (though it was obvious). When it comes to the audacity of Yankees fans, Pedro said it best:

"I know they really want to root for me. It's just that I don't play for the Yankees, that's all. I've always been a good competitor, and they love that. They love the fact that I compete. I'm a New Yorker, as well. If I was on the Yankees, I'd probably be like a king over here."

Too true. Now, we've all been guilty of rooting for the laundry to an extent, but when a player like Pedro leaves town, the majority of fans want him to continue to do well, so long as it's not within the AL East, and thus to the detriment of the Sox (hello, Johnny Damon). Again, I want to apologize to those Yankees fans who aren't shaped in the mold of Y-FAB: I know some of you are normal, rational human beings, and I feel badly that Y-FAB and his ilk reflect poorly on you. However, the point still stands: Pedro would be a GOD in New York if he'd ever worn pinstripes (and thank goodness it never happened). Even if you don't like him (*cough*KarimGarcia*cough*), he's earned the respect of baseball fans the world over.

Here's hoping he's on the mound when the Phils clinch it... the man deserves some more postseason glory.

[All quotes in this post are from I can only dream to have this sort of access someday.]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quote of the Day

Today's quote isn't from a professional athlete, a news outlet, or a celebrity, but from an anonymous hero among us: the man who made Y-FAB shut his face (temporarily). My American Presidency professor often starts class with baseball talk, and today was no different, as he gave us this gem:

"Do you know what the four most common words are in a FOX playoff broadcast? No?"

"Past a diving Jeter."

And then he started the lecture. Thanks, Professor: learning has never been so much fun. Here's hoping we hear it a lot tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Can You Believe It?"

Five years ago today the Red Sox shocked the world.

Well, sort of. Most of the shock factor had indeed been part of the miraculous comeback in the ALCS, completed a week earlier. In fact, after all of the drama of the ALCS, the World Series seemed almost a forgone conclusion. However, Red Sox Nation (in its pre-corporate-cash-cow phase) had been trained to expect meltdowns in big situations, and even contemporary fans can recite the incidents by heart:
  • Seven games losses in the World Series in 1946 (Cardinals), 1967 (Cardinals), 1975 (Reds), and 1986 (Mets)
  • Seasons that came down to one-game playoffs for the pennant, both of which the Sox lost, in 1948 (Cleveland), and 1978 (Yankees)
Names like Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone, and Bill Buckner will forever be part of the New England vernacular (at least for the remainder of my lifetime), no matter how many titles the Sox win... And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

In honor of the five-year anniversary, I decked myself out in Red Sox gear: Wakefield shirt (no one blames you for 2003, Wake!), Sox hat, sweatshirt, necklaces, and sneakers. All day, people asked what I was doing: "The Red Sox are out," they scoffed. I explained myself, but no one understood. No one ever WILL understand, save for other Red Sox fans and perhaps Cubs fans, when/if they finally win it all. Going without a title for so long, all while hearing the aforementioned years recited at gatherings and parties like a dutiful remembrance of not-so-fondly recalled relatives, makes 2004 infinitely more special than other titles.

Obviously, due to my age, I did not experience most of the heartbreak listed above. Hell, I wasn't even old enough to remember the cancellation of the World Series in 1994. I do, however, remember 2003, and the look on Tim Wakefield's face as he walked off the mound said everything.

In 2004, fans all over New England barely dared dream for what we thought was impossible. Even after the ALCS, we were warned to be cautious with our hopes, as they could be dashed in an instant. "It's not over til it's over," we said, ignoring the fact that Yankees great Yogi Berra initially coined that particular phrase.

And then? It was over. Four games, just like that. Red Sox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione said it best:

Eat your heart out, New York. None of your 26 past World Series victories can EVER measure up to 2004.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Earned Respect

I know that I used a recent post to outline the possible reasons that Jonathan Papelbon could be traded, but in light of today's article, I feel that I should clarify.

Papelbon is not untouchable, but he's not on the immediate chopping block, either. I want to emphasize once again that Papelbon's ninth inning blown save in Game 3 of the ALDS has nothing to do with any trade that might go down. He picked a terrible time for an aberrational meltdown, but Theo is rational, and as painful as the Game 3 memory is, his stat line looks like this:

2009: 66 games, 68 IP, 1.85 ERA, 1-1 record, 38 saves
2008: 67 games, 69.1 IP, 2.34 ERA, 5-4 record, 41 saves
Career (5 seasons): 268 games, 298 IP, 1.84 ERA, 14-11 record, 151 saves

Manny Delcarmen is right: fans take Jonathan Papelbon for granted. Aside from Mariano Rivera (who I'm quite sure is an android of some sort), there's no one I'd be more comfortable seeing closing out games for the Sox.

"What Paps has done here, you've got to give the guy a lot of credit," Delcarmen said. "Like the way people acted after the last game, it was surprising to me and to a lot of people because of what he has done here. Like I said, he deserves a lot of respect -- it's baseball and stuff happens. He gets it done 99 percent of the time and that was just one game."

Lord Cinco-Ocho, as he's called himself, has earned our respect. Papelbon is a valuable commodity - he's almost a sure thing every time the ninth inning rolls around - and that's exactly why I wouldn't be shocked to see him go. Theo is a big fan of buying low and selling high, and the Red Sox have done stranger things in the ninth inning than trust the job to a still-developing rookie (closer by committee, anyone?). The name Papelbon would open a lot of otherwise locked doors on the trade market, and you know Theo is sniffing out every possibility. I hope Paps is still with us come Spring, but if he's not?

Well, In Theo I Trust.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bandwagon Fans - Other Teams Have Them, Too!

As I was walking into class on Friday, I overheard a conversation between Y-FAB and a female friend of his. In the past, I'd seen her wearing a Yankees hat, but on this particular day it was a LA Dodgers cap. They were discussing the possible teams in the Fall Classic, and she said, "Well it will definitely be the Yankees, and it looks like probably the Phillies."

Thankfully, someone else in the hallway corrected her: "Umm, ACTUALLY, the Phillies are the only team to have clinched their spot." (I'm pretty sure he was a Phillies fan.)

Who are these people? I understand that some people wear the hats for their aesthetic value, and that's totally okay with me, so long as they readily admit it. However, it annoys me when people try to pretend that they actually know about the team whose logo is on their head. These people then try to start arguments with fans who really know their stuff, and more often than not it's THOSE fans who are the loudest.

Pretend to be a fan if you must, but PLEASE don't go walking around giving the rest of us a bad name: not every Red Sox fan is a whining, self-loathing wretch, just as not every Yankees fan is a spoiled brat with no sense of reality. There are rabid Royals fans and casual Dodgers fans, and as long as they're all polite I have no problem with friendly competition.

So it pains me to tell you, Yankees fan, that Y-FAB and his friends are giving you a bad name. After the snafu in the hallway, Y-FAB instigated the following exchange:

(Y-FAB): Are you seriously wearing a Red Sox shirt? Your team's been elimiated for like, two weeks.

(Me): You should know by now, I always represent my team. Also, it's Pedro (*points to #45 on the back*), and he's going to the World Series.

: What, so you're a Phillies fan now?

: I'm always a Pedro fan. And if it means they beat your team or the team that elimated the Sox? Then yes, I'll cheer for Philly.

Seriously? Who stops supporting their team during the offseason? Those people aren't fans at all. So take heart, Red Sox Nation: we aren't the only fan-base full of frauds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Great President? Or the GREATEST President?

As I was telling some of you about my American Presidency midterm this morning, I had to explain the course... Here are my exact words: "For the record, it's about the institution as a whole, not Obama, Buch, Lincoln, or anyone specific. Very non-partisan."

Of course, I noticed my Freudian slip pretty quickly: I meant to name the forty-third President of the United States, and not the presumptive fourth man in the Red Sox 2010 pitching rotation (don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE a course about the Sox, but this one is about the presidency).

However, that slip of the tongue got me thinking: what would it be like if Clay (or any of his Red Sox compadres ) were to take a seat in the Oval Office? What would their campaign be like? Who would their closest advisor be? Could they push their agenda through an unwilling Congress? And, most importantly, which takes precedence: the Patriot's Day morning game, or Presidential duties?

The only one with Presidential experience of any kind is, of course, Jerry Remy: honorable president of Red Sox Nation. So as I was finishing my midterm I posed the following question - "Jerry Remy: Great President? Or the GREATEST President?" Obviously, the Rem-Dawg is the inaugural President of RSN, so it remains to be see how great he might become... In the meantime, here's what I think might happen if some of our favorite Sox characters occupied the White House.

Jonathan Papelbon:
Paps would show up every day for work dressed in awkward lacy shirts, possibly with a Bud Light box on his head. He would be skilled in leading the country in high pressure situations, but would get bored if there were no problems and might pick a country to start a war of words with, just for kicks. Presidential quote: "Lord President Cinco Ocho has no comment about that situation."

Kevin Youkilis:Kevin Youkilis would support eliminating the age restrictions on buying alcohol, as long as those under twenty-one don't DRINK the booze, but dump it on Julio Lugo or Joba Chamberlain instead. His intensity level would be just as high during the Annual White House Easter Egg Hunt as it would be when dealing with Kim Jong Il. Presidential quote: "I'm not bald, I'm follically challenged. Let's be PC, people."

Jason Varitek:The Captain's first order of business would be declaring July 24 a national holiday: on that day, any MLB player (or fan!) wearing #33 is legally allowed to shove his glove into the face of anyone wearing #13. Every year, A*Rod and Tek will ceremoniously reenact the famous episode on the White House lawn. Presidential quote: "Please, I don't want to talk about my [hitting] speech-giving... most of my job is behind the plate... er I meant behind the desk..."

Mike Lowell:Before anyone gets the immigration authorities involved, Mikey was born in Puerto Rico, making him an American citizen, and thus eligible for the Presidency. Mike's agenda would be comprised entirely of invading Cuba, and democratizing the island. Don't believe me? Read his book. Presidential quote: "Suck it, Fidel!"

Tim Wakefield:Timmy would make it his business to eliminate gun violence, while still allowing for personal gun ownership (a man's gotta hunt!). His Vice President, Mike Timlin, will be his hunting buddy. However, Timlin promises not to shoot anyone in the face. Presidential quote: "Ask not what the knucklah can do for you, but what you can do for the knucklah!"

Dustin Pedroia:Pedey's first official act as the leader of the free world will be to order a booster seat for the Oval Office, followed shortly by a law that says every American must be filthy by the middle of their workday, or they're fired for not working hard enough. He'll immediately release his Presidential memoirs, tentatively titled Born to Prematurely Publish Memoirs. Presidential quote: "[Not appropriate for all audiences]"

Josh Beckett:Becks would start off with a bang by single-handedly digging Osama bin Laden out of hiding, then pelting him with 95MPH fastballs before turning him over to the United Nations. Josh would be only the second bachelor President, but hey, the guy likes to play the field... let's hope the Secret Service don't ruin his mojo. Presidential quote: "*ahem* Baseball Terms."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have two midterms tomorrow, and an extended essay due Thursday. Until I can get more than two free minutes to post, you'll have to content yourself with this picture.

Josh Beckett + Puppy = Inimitable Awesome

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

Today's quote of the day comes to you from our favorite Angel's center fielder, Torii Hunter (by way of When asked how playing at home in the warm weather will affect his play, Hunter admitted that it might help a suddenly shaky Halos' defense, but qualified that it would also be a boon to New York. The biggest difference, according to Hunter, is today's quote of the day:
"Now I can work on my tan again."

Torii, your current look is delicious: don't change a thing (unless you want to spell your name correctly). For clarification, here's a list of people who do need to tan, and drastically.

JD Drew

Manny Ramirez (and his grill)

Ian Kinsler

Jason (The Canadian) Bay

Tim Lincecum

Daniel (The Sexy Lion) Bard

Joe Maddon (he manages 81+ games INSIDE!)

Jason Varitek (and Captain Hook - Dude is PALE)

Baby Dustin Pedroia

Edward Cullen

Me (I'm the one on the left)

The moral of the story is that there are plenty of us out there who are in need of some serious UV rays, and Torii Hunter is not one of them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Adventures of Y-FAB

After the debacle of last night's game, I didn't get to bed until after 3 (for a variety of reasons, all ridiculous). When I finally woke up, it was no longer an appropriate time for breakfast, so I went to get some lunch with my roommate. At the Cave (on-campus sandwich place), I was once again verbally accosted by my BFF, Yankee-Fan Asshole-Boy (hereafter referred to as Y-FAB).

(Y-FAB): So did you watch the game last night?

(Me): Yes, in fact, I watched the entire thing.

: So you saw how it ended...?

: Your team won on an error... Congrats!

: *Dirty look, pause* ...At least my team is still in it.

: True.

And then I walked away.

However, the exchange got me thinking: who are these Angels, and why didn't THEY show up for the LDS? Anaheim made one total error in their entire three-game performance against the Red Sox (catchers interference in Game 1). In the last two games alone, the Angels defense has recorded five miscues against New York, including the game changer from last night.

What the hell, Angels?!?

You're playing against a team who shrugged off one of its pitcher's DUI conviction, while you still mourn a fallen teammate for Christ's sake! If that's not enough to make you angry enough to punch Joba Chamberlain in the face, I don't know what it will take!

Here's some more reasons for the Angels to hate New York:

A*Rod blatantly tackled your catcher in Game 1, and didn't even try to slide.

Jeter patronizes your teammates (and does unnecessary pirouettes).

And they pie each other in the face whenever they have a walkoff win.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A*Rod v. Manny

This morning (when I started this post), I was having a bit of writers block, so I decided on a picture post. What could be better than an awkward photo contest between one player from each Championship series? That's right, folks: this is A*Rod v. Manny - the best of the worst.

Manny starts the fight by exposing his tongue (and attempting to lick his goatee)....

...but A*Rod counters by exposing his moobs (and starring in the single most vomit-inducing photo of all time).

Manny shows off an impressively terrible hairdo...

...and Alex shows off his bad sportsmanship.

Manny's grill is for sale on EBay...

...but A*Rod's dignity is for sale to his teammate ("Please love me, Derek!").

Manny digs for affection from Manager Joe Torre...

...And Alex digs for gold in front of White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen.

Manny pretends he's an airplane...

...but Alex pretends he's attractive.

Manny sniffs his bat...

...and A*Rod sniffs a mirror.

Manny enjoys a bromance...

...BUT A*Rod wins, hands down, for the extreme stalkerish quality of this terrifying picture (credit to Center Field for this pic!).

(I did not take any of the above photographs, and the rights remain with their respective owners. All pictures are available via Google images if you type in "Awkward Alex Rodriguez" and "Awkward Manny Ramirez.")