Tuesday, July 31, 2007


*Photo from*

If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that the Red Sox would have essentially traded Joel Piniero for Eric Gagne, I would have done a happy jig.

Yesterday, the Sox sent Piniero to the Cardinals for basically money and a career minor league player to be named later, and today, the Sox sent Kason Gabbard and 2 minor league players to the Rangers for Gagne.

Now, the Sox 'pen consists of Lopez, Delcarmen, Timlin, Snyder, OKJ, Gagne, and Papelbon?

Bring it on, MLB. No WAY there is another team who can top this 'pen.

Plus, the Sox can ALWAYS use more goofy facial hair on the team.

It's like a requirement or something.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Payback is coming

With my family at the beach and the Red Sox on the way back home, I got to thinking about some of the really stupid stuff I did as a kid. It got me to wondering if my own 3 children would skip the cycle of idiocy and be halfway productive members of society as kids/teenagers.

Figured no place was better to start on this trip down memory lane than with actual photographic evidence PROVING my level of moronishness: witness the mullet. Looks like 2 squirrel tails curling around my head in the top picture: of course, I had to throw Matt and Scott under the bus with me. Mattie's 'do and his glasses make a nice compliment to each other, while Bub and his '70's porn 'stache just completes the shot.

In the 2nd shot, my old school Pop looks positively THRILLED to be having his picture made with his manly sons and their 'bitchin locks: I had just gotten my ear pierced not long before this was taken, so I'm sure he had some internal questions he was pondering when this shot was taken.

While reminiscing today, I remembered me and "Big Phil" stealing that flashing highway sign one night and leaving it in my buddy Johnny's driveway: for 2 years after that every time you pulled up to his house at night, the garage steadily blinked this bizarre orange glow.

I recalled the day young Matt and I were jumping off the top of the slide into our pool, while all the time not thinking the slide would get SLICK, and Mattie gracefully plopping onto the concrete face first, breaking BOTH wrists in the process.

Watching Johnny jump from the roof to the pool, over roughly 8 feet of concrete a few weeks after, it never occured to me until later in life that, after Matt, I REALLY should have advised him NOT to do that.

I never got arrested (though I should have), never got suspended or expelled, only got in a few fights (one pretty memorable: maybe a future post), and never got a girl "in trouble". Just thinking today though, I did a bunch of really dumb, idiotic things that I'm lucky never amounted to much.

As I think about my little girl Ciera and her two active little brothers as I recall some of the things I've done, I've come to the following conclusion:

I'm in HUGE trouble.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Head of the Class

*Picture from the AP*

Today in Cooperstown, NY, two of the greatest to ever play the game were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Two men who spent their entire career in one city, who played the game the right way, and who never, EVER, had a scandalous word spoken about them.

Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn are beacons of light in a sports world that is often littered with trash like drugs, cheating, and off the field behavior that would make a hardened criminal shake his head.

Cal, with his consecutive game streak, is credited for saving baseball after the strike of 1994: I don't know about all that. I DO know that the country was mesmerized those 2 days in Baltimore where he tied the streak, then broke it the next night. I remember watching and getting goose bumps seeing him go all the way around Camden Yards, touching as many hands as he could reach. But Cal wasn't just a guy who showed up everyday: when you have an MVP, 2 Gold Gloves, 8 Silver Slugger Awards, 3,184 hits, and a World Series ring, you are a bona fide Hall of Famer.

Gwynn gave me one of those "remember where you were?" moments also. In 1999, the All Star Game was played at Fenway Park, and before the game, Ted Williams was brought on the field to throw the first pitch to Pudge Fisk. In one of those unscripted moments you can't fake, all the players came out to shake his hand. It was Tony who led the nearly blind Williams to the spot where he was supposed to stand, then told him where Fisk was. If you saw it happen, and it didn't get a little dusty, you have no heart. He finished his career with 3,141 hits, 5 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers, and a career .338 batting average.

Their numbers alone make them no-brainer Hall of Famer's: the fact they are both quality human beings is a bonus. So today, with Barry Bonds, cheating NBA refs, and a star NFL player being investigated for being lower than human, lets celebrate the honor bestowed on two of the all time greats.

Standing ovation for Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, the two newest members in a very select group.

Living La Vida Loca

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

My first day as a wild and crazy guy went like this:

10:30 a.m. Saw Ang and the kids off with a kiss, a hug, and a wave.

11:00-1:00 Went to the bank, got a haircut, and returned my overdue Jackie Robinson book to the library.

1:00-5:00 Alternated between watching "Deadliest Catch", messing around on the computer, and vacuuming the carpet and mopping the hardwood floors.

5:00-11:45 Took a shower, ate supper, and watched the Red Sox play the Devil Rays.

11:50 Went to bed.

It's official: I am the most BORING single man I've ever seen. Thank God I've already found the love of my life, because based on yesterday, I don't know if I would EVER be able to get another woman's attention.

As for the game, the final score of 12-6 in favor of the Sox is a little misleading. The DRays just sort of hung around, and in the bottom of the 9th, Pap gave up a 2 run shot by Johnny Gomes to tie it up at 6 apiece.

It took a bases loaded walk by Lugo, a bases clearing double by Youk, and a 2 run double by Manny in the top of the 12th to get the Sox ahead, and Javier Lopez closed it out. To say the Devil Ray pen is horrible is an insult to all the truly horrible 'pens. They are brutal: watching that debacle makes me appreciate the job that has been done by pitching coach John Farrell and the Red Sox pitching staff all year: here's to ya fellas. Great job.

As for today, I think I'm gonna practice that trick with the water Youk is doing: looks pretty exciting.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I AM Kevin McCallister

Ang and the kids leave in the morning for a week long "holiday" (Thanks Horsham) to Myrtle Beach with my in-laws.

I'll be home by myself, working and watching the Red Sox all week, and eating dinners composed of pizza rolls, Hot Pockets, and leftover pizza.

I'll also have the whole house to myself, keeping the tv on NESN and ESPN unless the game is on AND getting on the computer before 9 at night.

Also, I won't have to pick up the same 100 toys every 10 minutes, referee the latest Rakes vs Trot UFC match, and listen to Ciera scream "GET OUT OF MY ROOM" to either one of the boys for a week.

Angie will have to fend for herself in getting them fed, cleaned up, bathed, read to, and in bed every night while I'll be at home living the life of a bachelor for the first time in 15 years.

And I already miss them, and they aren't even gone yet: this is gonna be a LONG week.

Have fun guys: and Dad loves you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

893 feet is a LONG way

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Manny hit TWO bombs tonight: 893 feet is the estimated distance of the two combined. That is some SERIOUS hitting: both hits went to the deepest part of the park.

Other than Rakes figuring out how to say WHY properly, this has been the highlight of July for me. Manny is back to being, well, Manny.

After back to back 1-0 games, one a win and one a loss, a good old fashioned 14-9 game was just what the Doctor ordered: though, if I had my druthers, it would have came without Gabbard morphing into Rick Ankiel in the 5th and Julian gacking up the 7th inning to make it so close.

Hopefully, Kason uses tonight as a life lesson, and bounces back next time: for the first 4 innings, he looked like a Hall of Fame candidate. Just don't let the meltdown get in your head young man.

Finally, as an added plus, the Yankees lost to the Royals 7-0, which means the Sox have a 7 1/2 game lead again.

All is well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What's good for the goose.....

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Complete game. 4 hits. 0 walks. 7 K's. 1 ER.

Should buy you the win, no? Not tonight: Beckett pitched his tail off, and the Sox lose 1-0. One pitch did him in: it just happened to be a home run.

What gets my goat is that Fausto Carmona, who we lit up like a Christmas Tree in Boston last year, has all of a sudden turned into Fernando Valenzuela this year. To his credit, he matched Beckett pitch for pitch, giving up 4 hits himself.

Games like tonight just harsh my mellow something fierce, and the Munchkin getting hit in the ribs AND having one go about 3" under his chin don't help matters.

Not much you can do after a game like this but tip your cap, check your marbles, and get ready for tomorrow. Beckett did his job, Carmona didn't give in, and you start praying for the Kansas City Royals to look like a major league club and beat the Yankees. As I type this, it's 2-1 Yankees, in the top of the 7th.

Something tells me we'll see Cleveland again in October: big difference is we'll have Father Curt back by then, and I don't care how good this kid looked tonight. You tell me we can run Beckett, Schill, and Daisuke out in a 5 game series, I say you better get your tee time scheduled, 'cause you have NO chance.

I'll take those 3 against any other rotation you wanna throw out there.

And Carmona: don't think Sr. Manny and Sr. Ortiz weren't taking notes tonight.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Did that REALLY just happen?

Yeah bud: I can't believe it either. The Sox just beat the Indians 1-0, with Youk scoring the only run and Lowell driving him in.

What a pitchers duel: Daisuke goes 7, with OKJ and Pap taking care of the 8th and 9th for the Sox.

Meanwhile, CC Sabathia and his crooked hat matched Matsuzaka pitch for pitch, with a couple of trapped balls being the difference. If I were just a casual fan, this would have been a great game to watch. As someone with a vested interest in the game, I need some Maloxx: STAT.

Just a classic game across the board, with near-misses and great defensive plays making up the difference: bottom line though, is a win is a win is a win. Doesn't matter if you win by 1 or by 10, it counts the same. Thankfully, the Sox came out on top in this one.

Beckett goes for win number 14 tomorrow: and not to toot my own horn, but go back to the first ever post at RedSoxDad and take a peek:

I called this year back in December: my next pet is getting named Beckett.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Welcome Back

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

As I eagerly anticipated the return of Jon Lester to the rotation tonight, I came home and found the following: Rakes, buck naked in his sisters room. Upon asking him what in the world was he doing, he pointed to Ciera's Barbie dolls on the floor and said "dey not have any toles on Dad". 45 minutes later, after explaining that boys and girls don't take clothes off unless they are bathing or going to sleep, I find this.

Trot, with a red cowboy hat on his head, and Rakes taking the string and making a hangman's noose around Trots neck: I honestly don't know how much more my heart can take. Thank the Lord Ang is heading to the beach on Saturday with her folks for a week. Otherwise, I was seriously considering investing in one of those portable cardiac arrest machines to keep around the house, just in case.

Seeing Lester make his return to the mound tonight was a "it's a bit dusty in here" moment for sure. 6 innings, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, and 6 K's. Not too bad for a guy diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago. Just a ballsy outing all the way around. Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez, and MDC finished it out, and the Sox win 6-2.

No matter what the MFY's and Blue Jays do tonight, it won't matter. The Sox will have lost no ground in the standings, and gained a bit in the "feel good" category.

Jon Lester kicked cancer in the marbles and came back to pitch in the big league's.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lil' Manny and taking 3 out of 4

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

After dinner at my folks house tonight, all us kids headed to the culdesac for a little whiffle ball, where Ciera, Rakes, Jared, Garrison, and Karianne played a spirited, rules made up as they go along, ball game.

Arriving home, I checked the pictures from today's game, found this one of Manny after his 1st inning dinger, and came to the following conclusions.

First, put up a picture from tonight's whiffle ball game of Rakes after he got ahold of one, and it's almost identical.

Second, his first T ball coach is going to rip me apart for all the hot dog moves Rakes has picked up watching the Sox games with me and seeing Manny and Papi in action.

As for the real game today, the Sox took 3 out of 4 from the White Sox, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Even though MDC and Pap turned a 8-1 lead into a 8-5 ulcer inducer, getting to see Manny and Mikey go yard is always a welcome sight.

Not even the fact that the Yankees scored roughly half a year's worth of runs in 3 games vs. the Devil Rays can take my joy away. How do you give up 17 and 21 runs like the D-Ray pitchers did on CONSECUTIVE days?

Off to play the Indians and see old friend Trot Nixon for the next 4 games, with Jon Lester getting the start in Cleveland tomorrow night.

From being diagnosed with cancer, to treatment, to working his way back to health in Spring Training and 3 months in the minor's, Lester's been an inspiration to anyone who knows his story.

God bless you Jon: It's good to have you back.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Gone Fishing

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Went fishing the past couple of days with my brother-in-law's Scott and Keith, joined today by my brother Matt. I came to a few conclusions.

First, there is no way the four of us should EVER, under any circumstances, go fishing on a boat together. There were more instances of hooks almost taking out somebodies eye than I could count: Scott, in particular is a little, well, nonchalant about who is nearby when he let's it fly.

Second, we are 4 of the biggest wusses in fishing history when it comes to taking catfish off a hook. The two small ones I caught were bad enough, what with all the stepping on the fish and grabbing it with a paper bag to keep from getting stung. Forget about the two Keith and Scott caught: Keith's looked like some pre-historic dinosaur fish with the head the size of a small child. Fortunately for three of us, and bad for Keith, his line broke as he was pulling it up the bank of the pond. Biggest catfish I've ever seen.

Scott's actually made it out of the water: it took him reeling it in, me with a bucket to catch it in, and Matt, Scott, and myself taking turns stepping on it and yanking at the hook at the same time to get it back in the water. Meanwhile, Keith has turned into some fish obsessed paparazzi person, snapping pictures with his telephone camera of this fish that is a legit 2 feet long and weighing about 10 lbs.

Which leads me to my final observation: the combined IQ of the 4 of us would come about 50 points shy of your average 3rd grader. We have this GREAT fishing story, and we take all the pictures with a phone that you can't download, email, or send by pony express any of the pictures on it. Oh well, it makes for a good story that I'm sure will reach whale like proportions in the coming years.

As far as the Red Sox are concerned, today went as well as last night did: following a 10-3 victory that featured a Julio Lugo grand slam last night, all the boys did today was win 11-2. Led by 7 innings of 3 hit, 1 ER ball by Kason Gabbard, and 5 RBI's by formerly embattled CF Coco Crisp, Fenway Park was a happy place to be this afternoon.

After all the doom and gloom about leaving runners on base, and not coming through when it counted, the offense has shown the last 2 days that, when running on all cylinders, they can score with the best of 'em.

Tomorrow, it's Wake vs. John Garland: My pick? Much like todays fishing trip, I'm betting on the old man to win.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is Angies birthday, and while I can't say how old she is, it's somewhere north of 21 and south of 85.

For putting up with her insane husband, pre-teen daughter, and Rakes and Trot, aka The Devil Dogs, she deserves a weekend away all by herself.

Instead, she gets dinner at Red Lobster and a night without kids, who are staying with my in-laws. Sorry darlin', we'll do the Hawaii trip in about 20 years or so. If you can figure out a way for me to pass out for 18 hours or so to fly in the plane.

So, a very happy birthday to the best Mom, wife, and friend I could ever have asked for. She puts up with more than she should have to, particularly from the supposed "other adult" in the house. If I had to do what she does on a daily basis, I'd end up wandering the street muttering "how does something so small make something that big come out of their body?"

Happy Birthday Ang: you're the best.

Now, can someone tell me how I can convince her that it's a present for HER if I watch Beckett pitch tonight?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back from the Edge

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

After a restful 5 hours of sleep, working all day, and having to endure listening to Stephen A. Smith sub for Dan Patrick on the radio today, you'd think I would still be, as Carol said last night, riding the train to insanity.

However, the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays earlier today, and all of a sudden, I think I may be back to normal: nothing like a Yankee loss and getting to hear their HORRIBLE radio guy John Sterling go into the fetal position to brighten your day.

So, even with the .500 play over the last 6 weeks or so, even with losing two of three to the juggernaut known as the Kansas City Royals, and JD out AGAIN tonight with a bad hammy, here are 5 reasons that the Red Sox are still making me smile.

1. Manny and Papi have been swinging the big bats since the All Star break, and are settling into their role as the leaders of the hit parade.

2. Pitching. Starting and relieving has been lights out, led by Beckett, Timlin (yeah: the old dog still got some bite left in him), OKJ, and Pap. Good pitching beats good hitting in the playoffs, and ours shows no signs of slowing down. A an added plus, Schilling is due back in around 10 days: how many teams can pick up a Hall of Famer at the trade deadline?

3. The emergence of Pedie and Youk as everyday, solid, good hitting, slick fielding ball players. You could see it in Youk, but I'll admit the Munchkin had me worried the first month. God Bless Tito for having more faith in him than me.

4. Mike Lowell has made me ALMOST forget about Billy Mueller and the great job he did in the years he was in Boston. Leads the team in RBI, makes the hardest play look routine, and rocks the baddest facial hair in the Major Leagues.

5. Finally, Manny being Manny. Seriously: he started making snow angels in the outfield the other night after catching a diving line drive.

How can anyone NOT love Manny?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wonderful World?

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night. And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces of people going by. I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do. They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll never know. And I think to myself what a wonderful world. Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The Royals beat the Sox tonight, and won the series, 2-1.

I have nothing left to offer.

Daisuke, right the ship tomorrow night, and put an end to my misery.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I'm 37 years old, have a wonderful wife, and 3 great, yet trying, children.

In addition, I have a job, a mortgage, 2 car payments, and spend more on diapers per month than some small countries spend in a year.

Our country has soldiers in Iraq, the 2 nut jobs running Iran and North Korea make Billy Bob Thornton's "Sling Blade" character look like a winner of the Nobel Peace prize, and gas is north of $3.00 per gallon.

So why in God's name am I so upset that the Red Sox are getting beaten like a rented mule by the Royals tonight? Seriously, I'm ready to go punch the mailbox, throw one of Rakes shoes at the TV, and contemplating wearing nothing but a bathrobe, ala Heff, for the next 2 days in some strange, yet exhilarating, form of protest.

That's why I posted the picture I did: to give me some sort of perspective. My job on this rock is to make enough money to support those three budding criminal masterminds. If the Red Sox win it all again, that's just gravy on top of my mashed potato's. Now I realize why my wife acts more civil to me in the winter: if I'm this big of a crab in July over a freaking Royals game, no wonder she virtually ignores me for half the year.

Sorry hon: I KNOW I'm an idiot: I just don't know how to stop.

Who's pitching tomorrow?

::looks it up::


Hi, my name is Ted. And I have a problem.

Monday, July 16, 2007


*Picture from the Boston Globe*

While I'm hacked I missed the Munchkin and Manny's HR's in the 4th inning because of a stupid thunderstorm knocking my satellite out, I'm happy to report the Red Sox won 4-0 tonight.

Along with the aforementioned dingers, Papi joined the fun with a 2 run shot that JUST went around the Pesky Pole in RF, and that was all the runs "A Man called Kason" needed.

Complete game shutout. 3 hits. 8 K's. Dealing.

After the game, Tek gave him a playful head rub and way too many pats on the rear end for my taste, but what do I know? It's not like I'VE ever thrown a masterpiece like Kason Gabbard did tonight.

A 4-0 win and a game over before 9:30 p.m.?

Who are these guy's and what have they done with my "no game must be shorter than 4 hours" Red Sox team?

Oh well. I'll just do my happy dance and head to bed.

Life. Is. Good.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Curly, Larry, and Moe

My brother in law/2nd father/ mentor Scott rolled into NC this past Thursday, telling stories, zinging insults, and dishing out hugs to everyone in sight.

Growing up, since he robbed the cradle and married my sister Sonya when she was the ripe old age of 18, Bub has been a part of my life for more than 25 years now. This next comment may cause him to enter rooms sideways from now on due to his head swelling, but I'd like to think that a lot of who I am comes from him.

My brother Matt, sitting dead center in the picture wearing a silk shirt made entirely of farm fresh spider silk and I sort of grew up under the watchful/tough love eye of Scott: Dad was a road rep and was gone a lot during the week, and Bub was a semi-role model for young corn seed and I. So, for better or worse, Bubba was who we looked to.

If I'm 80% idiot and 20% serious, then Matt is 20% goofball and 80% Socrates. Scott is just about 50/50. A guy who can quote scripture AND Richard Pryor is hard to find: I've got one for a brother in law. Mattie and I just took one side of Scott, took a hard left or right, and skipped the middle ground.

Can't speak for my much uglier sibling, but Scott has been a great role model for me as a Dad: he's got 4 children, 3 girl's and a boy, and is a great example on how to be a Father. Put it this way: he has 2 girls in college, and while they dress like Paris Hilton and that chick on the O.C., they are well adjusted, intelligent, grounded young women. He's got a 12 year old son who is NOT mad at the whole world, and a 9 year old daughter who is so quiet you have to look to see if she's even in the room. He's been married to the same woman for 25 years, and so far she hasn't made him sleep outside. At least that I know of.

Granted, my daughter is a bit more, shall we say, verbose, than his. And my two boys are well on their way to a life of crime: but what Bub gives me is hope. Hope that if you raise your children right, that if you laugh with them as well as get on them when needed, that if no matter how much you exasperate your wife (and believe me, he does this with alarming frequency), that come the end of the day, it'll all work out the way you want it.

So, I just want to say Thanks Bub: Thanks for being my friend, my role model, and recipient of various insults/jokes over the years. You've influenced me more than you'll know, shown me how to raise a daughter, and taught me what NOT to say when your wife is shooting bullets at you with her eyes. Glad you made the trip this summer, and I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks.

That's if these kids of mine don't kill me before it's over.

Tell me again, HOW did you get through the terrible 2's/4's?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Sheff

*Picture from The Remy Report*

I've got to admit, the picture has nothing to do with today's post: it just cracks me up. Especially Manny: I don't know why, it just made me laugh.

Gary Sheffield, in an interview with HBO, said the Yankees don't treat black and white players the same, and in so many words, accused Joe Torre of being a bigot. Now, I'm all for some good old fashioned Yankee bashing, but that? Sheff's always been, well, out there, but this MAY just cross the line.

Granted, Gary's burned more bridges with teams he's played for than Keith Olberman with TV networks. Just ask the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, and now the Yankees: Jim Leyland's cigarette intake probably tripled the day they traded for him in Detroit. However, this time, he's taking his craziness to a whole new level.

Said this about Derek Jeter: "just ain't all the way black." What is THAT supposed to mean? Because his Mom is white, his Dad doesn't count? Because Joe Torre called him on the carpet in a few team meetings, he's prejudiced? Somehow, I find it hard to believe that the whole time he was in NY, no white player ever got his marbles busted by the manager. And while I'll always enjoy muttering curses and giving the one fingered salute to Jeter whenever he plays, to question the man's ethnicity is just out of line.

Personally, I think he's got to play angry to play well, or at least he thinks he does: he's constantly fighting some sort of battle, either real or imagined. Just think: we could have had this wackjob playing RF for us someday: he mentioned how he would love to bat behind Papi and Manny sometime, and before you could say Barry Gordy, he was shipped off to Motown. NO WAY Steinbrenner was gonna let THAT happen.

I'd rather have JD Drew, glass -like body and street mime personality, included. Can you imagine that walking hand grenade Sheffield in the locker room full of goofballs on the Sox? It would have been a disaster of epic proportions.

I'll now type something you'll most likely never see me say again:

Dude, you owe Joe Torre and Derek Jeter an apology.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ask and you shall recieve

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

I left the house tonight after the first inning with the score 4-1 Sox: normally, me leaving during a game happens about as often as Slappy hits a HR in a clutch situation. However, my sister Sonya and brother in law Scott, with the two youngest kids in tow, arrived in NC around game time, so I figured I needed to get to my folk's house and give 'em a hug.

On the way over, I had a brainstorm: I need to give Dad the Extra Inning's package as a Christmas present this year: that way, whenever I have to leave the house to see my family, I'll never be away from the game. Think I'll start saving my pennies now so I can make this happen.

Upon returning home, it was 6-4 Sox and Ortiz was standing on second base: which leads me to the title of tonight's post. Yesterday, I wrote this: "The aforementioned Dynamic Duo to bust out the whooping sticks and start being the most dangerous 3-4 hitters in the game today."

Tonight, they went a combined 5 for 9, with 5 RBI's. After having a wife and 3 children, I've finally found SOMEONE who will listen when I speak: Thank you Manny and David: it's good to know somebody cares.

Wake gets to 10-8 for the year and has a decision, win or lose, in every game he's pitched this year. Which begs the question: is it possible for a pitcher to go 20-16 in 36 starts over the course of a year without having a no decision? Don't worry: I'm on it.

After getting swept by the Tigers, then having to sit through 3 days without baseball, tonight was a welcome relief. Still have a 10 game lead on the MFY's and now an 11 game lead on the Jays. Which makes me dance a happy jig for more reasons than you think.

Is it just me, or does Troy Glaus annoy the living crap out of anyone else?

Finally, I've got to wish Christine from, who comments here faithfully, wishes for a very happy Wedding day tomorrow. Not only is she inheriting some children, she has the guts to get married on Friday the 13th. I'm sure you won't see this Christine, but I hope everything goes off without a hitch, and that you and your husband have a lifetime of happiness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Onward and Upward

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

There they are: the 2007 Boston Red Sox All-Stars, minus Big Papi: Scenic Lowell, Manny, Beckett, Pap's, and Okajima. Congratulations boys, you earned it.

All in all, a decent showing last night: Lowell played a little, Manny and Papi about as much, OKJ, thankfully, did not get in the game, and Beckett, thanks to an Ichiro inside the park homer, got the win.

Best part? Not one of them got hurt, though reports of Papi going to Boston to get an MRI on his knee don't exactly warm the cockles of my heart. Word is it would be after the season, but now I've got his knee to worry about, AS WELL as his hammy, his back, his heart, AND his weight? How much am I supposed to handle all at once?

Heading into the second half of the season, what's my biggest and most pleasant surprise? No trade talk out of the Manny camp: it's like he took a 162 game happy pill before the season started and is seemingly content to finish his Sox career in a muted silence.

A 10 game lead. Coco and Lugo remembering they are ballplayers and not members of the walking dead. Breakout years by Youk and Pedroia. All that, and we are still waiting for Papi and Manny to be, well, Papi and Manny.

Here's hoping for the following things to happen over the course of the rest of the season:

The aforementioned Dynamic Duo to bust out the whooping sticks and start being the most dangerous 3-4 hitters in the game today, Beckett and Daisuke win 20 games each, the Sox clinch the division by September 1st, and a brawl break out at a Sox/Yankee game, with Arod being dogpiled by the Sox bench, led by WMP, Hinske, and Cora. Then let Dougie top it off by doing the Andre the Giant "butt drop" on his face, and broadcast that image all over the free world.

Let it be written: Let it be so.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Found: A FIFTH Horseman of the Apocolypse

Yep: that's my boy going commando while riding his hobby horse.

Notice the look of bewilderment his little brother is giving him: even the 15 month old thinks he's certifiable.

One of Angie's good friends brought her two boys over to swim today, and after only a short time with Rakes, you can see they get it as well: they are as far away from The Naked Cowboy as they can be and still be in the picture.

Right before they left, the youngest boy got some candy and told Angie: "Give this one to Ciera and this one to that naked kid"!

I can only imagine the story he will tell his Dad and Grandparent's about the crazy kid he saw today: I swear between all the bruises on Trots head and Rakes and his "streaker" compulsion, I have no doubt I'll be getting a visit from social services one day.

Watching the All Star game tonight, and while it's a glorified exhibition, I'll be hoping Papi, Manny, Beckett, Lowell, Okajima, and Papelbon firstly don't get hurt, and secondly, do well.

Finally, for all the criticism of MLB, from steroid's, to cancelling a World Series, to one of these same All Star games ending in a tie, they do get some things right. Giving one of the greatest living player's that kind of honor at his home park was a GREAT decision. It was a very moving tribute to a great player, and from all accounts, an even better man.

Hopefully, all the players on the field with him took the time to shake the hand of the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I Wanna go Back

THIS is how I want to think about my team during the All-Star break: just a bunch of goofy S.O.B.'s who are getting paid a king's ransom to play a kid's game.

Shoot, this could be me, Dayton Betts, Brad Webb, Billy Roberts, Ronnie Wylie, Mike Rose, and Perry Robertson 30 years ago: whooping it up over some goofball letting his pants fall down around his ankles.

Instead, it's Opening Day, 2007 and someone is cracking the rest of the team up: even JD has a smile on his face. Someone alert the media.

I've had this picture as the screen saver on my computer for about 2 months now, and it just hit me why: it reminds me of my childhood, when life was a whole lot simpler.

Maybe that's why I love sports, baseball in particular, so much: at it's very best, it's played by grown men who realize how fortunate they are to play a game for a living, and who enjoy every last second of it.

You can have the Yankees, the Mets, and the Cardinals: they play like the fate of the free world depends on them winning a game. I'll take the goofball lunatics, who play to win, yes, but play for the joy of the game as well.

HR Derby, All-Star game, 3 day break: it's all good. Just give me Wake vs. Doc on Thursday, throw in Julian doing something off the wall like interviewing his glove, and I'll be a happy man.

The Man is alive and well: he resides at Yankee Stadium and showed up at the HR derby tonight wearing a coat and tie in the form of Slappy: the inner rebel in us all plays in the cathedral known as Fenway Park and was last seen horsing around with Ichiro and sporting some mean looking dreads.

Who would YOU rather root for?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I know how you feel Son.

Evidently, Trot is as happy about the sweep of the Red Sox by the Tigers as I am. The fact he's more upset about not getting his ice pop to appear is irrelevant: his face gives the perfect visual for how I feel right now.

And before I get off the ice pops, what in God's name is in those things? He ate it at 1 this afternoon, and by 9 tonight, it STILL wouldn't come off his face. I honestly don't think a belt sander and industrial strength sand paper would touch it. Apparently, the FDA is as arbitrary about what it allows as that machine that picks the lotto numbers.

Back to the Sox. In a nutshell, the weekend went about as bad as it could go: a sweep sort of says it all. Friday's game was never close, but it's yesterday and today that are gonna stick with me until Thursday, when real baseball starts back up.

We get a solid outing from Kason Gabbard and leave more guys stranded on base than Ft. Bragg on Saturday night. Then today, with Daisuke looking VERY un-Dice like, we come back from 4 runs down to make it 6-5. Yet, at the end, we couldn't finish it off against 150 year old Todd Jones.

For Pete's sake, Julio Freaking Lugo was a triple away from hitting for the CYCLE: do you realize the odds of that happening are about as good as me waking up tomorrow being 6 ft 4 inches tall and looking like Brad Pitt? I mean, the poor guy has looked like he should be a recurring character on LOST next season for most of the year, and we let THIS performance by him just go to waste?

JD Drew was the last hope today, with the tying run on 3rd base, and he popped out to end the game. And just as I got ready to scream profanities in his direction, it hit me: like I could do any better than him? I never would have taken the bat off my shoulder, primarily because I never would have seen the stinking ball in the first place.

I heard or read or imagined recently that only 3% of minor league players reach the Show: 3%. Which means the best of the best are playing in MLB right now: and the team I love is one of the top 3 teams in the game, and one of the other 2 was who beat our brains in this weekend. So maybe this series should be looked at as a measuring stick to show where exactly we stand.

Hopefully, Theo and his minions made a lot of notes, and are right now feverishly putting into action the plan they intend to make in order to insure that what happened this weekend doesn't happen in October.

Because we WILL be there come October: A great philosopher named George McFly once put it best:

It's our density.

Friday, July 6, 2007

We can all learn from Manny Ramirez

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Much like the peace sign, the thumbs up, and the raised middle finger, I think the two fingered "Manny Point" needs to be adopted by this country as a universal symbol.

Think of it as a non-verbal "How YOU doin'?". Manny does this so often it makes you wonder if he points at the mailman, the kid delivering the newspaper every morning, and the senior citizen running the drive through window whenever he feels like a Happy Meal.

It wouldn't surprise me if this is how he greets John Henry whenever the owner comes around: just points, smiles, and walks away. Think of all the ritual's this simple act would get rid of: shaking hands, making boring small talk, and talking about the weather. Just give 'em the old "Manny point", wink, and continue on your merry way.

This could be the greatest development in the social fabric of this nation since the pat on the back for a job well done.

Once this becomes part of our daily life, I'm moving on to the next one: Man hugs.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hopefully, they got the number on that train.

Took the kids to the local city park tonight, which has a car ride, an airplane ride, a train, and an honest to God working carousel: first time for Trot and it was a huge success.

Along for the trip was my much less attractive little brother Matt, his wife Amanda, and his little girl, Sweet Caroline. We rode the carousel first, and something tells me Trot and Caroline won't want to get back on it anytime soon. For Trot, I think it was the horse he was on going up and down: I have no idea why Caroline didn't like it. For now, I'll blame her Dad.

Otherwise, it was a hit: Rakes rode the helicopter ride like he was some WWII pilot, Ciera was pre-teen dignified riding her Ostrich on the carousel, and I alternated between calm and harried, depending on where Rakes was at any given minute.

Best ride of the night? The train: it goes around the park 3 times, and as you can see from the picture, my youngest wasn't scared in the least: in fact, he jibber jabbered more on this ride than he did at any of the others.

It proved to be a good omen, as Beckett and the Red Sox treated the Devil Rays like a pinata tonight: 15-4 , with 21 hits. Beckett get's win #12, and with any justice, the starting nod in the All-Star game. When Coco hit the granny in the first making it 6-0, I relaxed. When Lowell hit the 3 run HR one inning later, I put on my slippers, propped up my feet, and relaxed.

No Tums: no nervous pacing: and no hiding behind the couch tonight for me. Just a good old fashioned beat down of the team we get to face 15 more times this year: yep, you heard me. 15 more vs the Rays and 12 more vs the Orioles. I'm positively giddy at the thought.

Somebody really, REALLY, likes the Red Sox.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Every so often, the MLB schedule makers decide it'd be OK for the Red Sox to play at home on July 4th: for some weird reason, either by choice or just some random coincidence, the Sox are rarely in Boston for the holiday. You'd think they would hold the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere in a little higher light, but what do I know.

Thankfully, it happened this year, and their opponent was the hapless Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Because of, well, general laziness, I wrote last night that Julian was pitching today. Lesson for the kids: this is what happens when you don't do your research.

Instead, Wake took the hill, and thanks to some fine hitting by Jacoby Ellsbury, JD Drew, and a monster shot from Mikey doubles, left the game in the 7th inning with a 7-1 lead, but the bases juiced. 4 D-Ray runs later, and we had ourselves a ball game. All was well though, as MDC and the Papelbot finished it off, with a final score of 7-5.

With a 52-31 record, the MFY's a nice 12 games back, and Beckett on the mound tomorrow, things are looking up. I'm a little melancholy though, at the realization Uncle Julian won't be pitching in this series: he's become my best hope for being the small spark that is gonna touch off a massive donnybrook, where in my head I imagine Donnelly and Timlin working some poor soul over in the corner in a way that would make Chuck Liddell green with envy.

I hope everyone who stops by this little corner of the world every now and then had themselves a great 4th of July. In between family and cookouts and friends, we sort of lose track about what today represents.

A lot of men and women better than me sacrificed their life for the freedom's we have: hopefully, we all took a moment today to say Thank you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Is it Half time yet?

*I may need an editor for this blog: It's July 4th, and I TiVo'd the game and just started watching it. Wakefield is pitching today, not Julian, and as you all know by now, it's a day game, not a night game. Any volunteer's for the job?*

I actually heard my wife, who is married to a man who watches a minimum of 162 baseball
games a year, ask me that question tonight. Can you tell she's not exactly a sports fan?

Took the family to the local minor league game, featuring the home team Burlington Royals vs. the Princeton Devil Rays. Thought it was a weird coincidence that the Sox started a 3 game set vs. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays tonight.

Anyway, it was quite the experience, and reminded me why I haven't taken the family to a Red Sox game yet. We get there, get our hot dogs and drinks, grab a seat and 2 minutes later a guy walks by and gives Rakes a ball hit out during batting practice. A very nice gesture by a total stranger and Rakes gives him a "nank nu" for his trouble.

Not long after, the Royals mascot, some undetermined animal named Bingo comes by and pretends to try and steal Rakes's hot dog: for the next 2 hours, every 3.7 seconds or so, Rakes would ask "Bere is Wally?" Try as I might, I could not get the boy to understand that Wally was in Boston and Bingo was who he saw. By the end of the night we had finally gotten to this point: "Bere is Bingo Wally?". I guess it's progress.

In the top of the 4th, I took Rakes to the restroom and saw the picture that accompanies tonight's post: above the urinal's are paintings of the jersey's of the player's who have come through the Burlington organization over the years. Prior to this year, they were the Rookie team of the Cleveland Indians before being bought by the Kansas City Royals.

As I showed Rakes Manny's jersey I tried to get him to go to the bathroom: he kept shouting "No Daddy: Dat Maaaanny's pottie", like only Manny could use it. We finally settled on Jim Thome's urinal as an acceptable alternative.

The next 30 minutes were spent looking for "Bingo Wally" to take a picture with him, Ciera, and Rakes: it ended with Bingo never found. Closest thing we got to an explanation was that Bingo took several breaks and it was his return was doubtful. Rakes sadly followed us to the car, only to forget his misfortune the minute I turned on "The Princess Bride" for the ride home.

Reaching home, I was pumped to see the Sox with a 4-0 lead, and it ended in a 4-1 win, with a meaningless Carlos Pena HR off the Papelbot in the 9th: it's all good, since Haverhill played for a bit in Boston last year, and had a memorable walk off home run in September '06 that I still smile about.

Daisuke is 10-5, the Sox are 51-31, and Julian takes the hill tomorrow night, the 4th of July.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Be careful: it's a jungle out there.

For anyone who saw and commented on my last post, just wanted to let you know I deleted it: somehow I screwed up my page with the double post of the pictures. As anyone who knows me will attest, I am an idiot when it comes to technology.

Ang and I took Rakes and Ciera to the zoo, leaving Trot at home with his Papa Alvis. We had a great time, with the only blemish being the one on Rakes forehead after meeting a guard rail at the elephant exhibit.

Getting his hard headiness honestly, from me, he was fine after about 30 seconds. Plus he ate the ice we got him to try to get the swelling down.

As for the Sox, they win 7-3 tonight, behind an impressive 5 2/3 inning's by Kason Gabbard. Lopez, Timlin, Syder, and OKJ finished the night out, and the Sox split the 4 game series with the Rangers.

Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays come to Fenway tomorrow for the first time all year. For some reason, games vs. the Rays lately resemble scenes from the movie "The Warriors" with bench clearing brawls always near the surface.

Sounds like a fine time for Tavarez to be pitching, following Daisuke tomorrow night.

To paraphrase Patrick Swayze's character Dalton in " Roadhouse":

Julian, take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he'll drop like a stone.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Don't think; it can only hurt the ball club

Hopefully, this isn't a harbinger of the future: Rakes on a wanted poster, however, is a very real possibility one day.

Coming home from church today, I told Ciera how proud I was of her for being so well behaved during service today, and Rakes pipes up "Me was good too Dad". Mind you, his shorts had paint on them from where he had sat down in it, his shoes wet from where they had to wash paint off of them, AND he swung his bag with his papers in it over his head like a calf roper as we made our way our of church. Good is relative, I guess: Nobody went to the hospital, so in his eyes, he WAS good.

Down at the pool tonight, he delighted in pointing his water gun at me and saying "put dour hands up": when I would, he would then say in a really spooky voice "do dead". Mercy is not a character trait he has learned yet.

Glad I took them to swim: took my mind off Lugo getting thrown out at third with 2 outs and Youk at the plate last night. Today's title, courtesy of Crash Davis, is dedicated to him.

2-1 Rangers for today's game, with Tavarez pitching out of his mind. Again. Sox had 9 hits and some walks, so scoring 1 run vs. the Rangers is a little hard to stomach. One way or another, they have GOT to start driving those runs in.

Thankfully, the rest of the AL East continues to play like some over 40 beer softball league: Yankees and Blue Jays lose again, so just like yesterday, we end it the way we started it. In the back of my mind, I wonder if we'll regret not stepping on their necks come October.

Hopefully, Tito went into the locker room after today's game, and re-enacted this scene from Crash's movie, Bull Durham:

"Skip: You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!

Larry: Lollygaggers!

Skip: Lollygaggers."

Somehow, I doubt it: but can you imagine Manny afterward?

Manny: Hey mang, what's a lollygagger?