Friday, August 31, 2007

Bad Week

*Picture from*

After a week of dealing with a school bus route that changes daily, Ciera in her first week of 4th grade, Rakes meeting his pre school teachers PLUS developing a heart murmur, and a Yankee sweep, I've just about reached my limit.

Tonight in Boston may have pushed me over the edge: down 9-3, the Sox came back to 9-8 in the bottom of the ninth, only to get punched in the jimmy by Tek's ground ball double play to end the game.

As much of a suck fest as that is, the fact the Yankee's lost sort of takes all the sting away: we started tonight 5 games up, and we end it the same way. THIS is what the people who follow baseball casually don't get: a 5 game lead is harder to overtake than getting the Shiite's and the Sunni's to reach a peace accord.

Papi's expression sort of sums up the entire Red Sox Nation's feelings: we aren't happy with the outcome of this game, yet tomorrow brings another day. Hopefully, it also brings a healthy Manny to help put a stop to this nonsense.

Tonight's M.A.S.H. total reads Manny, JD, and Dougie. This is NOT the time for the boys to start dropping like fly's.

Tomorrow brings the September call ups: welcome to the show Jacoby, Moss, and Bucholtz. We're gonna need you more than I ever thought possible.

Seems as if my worry free September was only a dream.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Swept in the Bronx

*Picture from*

I got out of my all day meeting today, turned on the car, and prayed for good news: what I got was John Sterling braying about WHY did they throw Joba out of the game with a 5-0 lead late in the game.

Well, John, the guy threw two consecutive pitches OVER Kevin Youkilis's head: this one day AFTER Roger drilled the Munchkin for no apparent reason other than he doesn't like guys who were born after he made his MLB debut.

The picture I wanted to use I couldn't find: from what I read, Beckett was standing on the top step yelling and cussing up a storm at Joba. Nice job rook: you just caused Slappy to take one to the ribs next month when Beckett faces the Yankees. Throwing at a guy late in the last game of a series sweep: yeah, Beckett will just let THAT go.

As for the sweep, it happened. I'm not happy about it, but life goes on. Last Monday we led the division by 4 games: tonight we lead by 5. Seems to me like we have gained a one game advantage over the past 10 days. With roughly 30 games left, that's not a bad place to be. We lost by 2 runs Tuesday, 1 last night, and going into the 8th inning, we were losing 2-0 today. Sounds like Schill did his job, it's just the bats didn't do the same.

Tomorrow starts a new day, and a new series with the Orioles. We could be back to that 8 game lead by Monday.

Plus it's the start of the always welcome "3 day weekend".

You can't beat that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


We've all been scared before: whether it was from something as stupid as a movie or a tv show, or a real life instance like 9-11.

For me, the most afraid I've ever been is when there is something wrong with one of my children and I can't do a stinking thing about it.

When Ciera was 2, she got so sick with a rotovirus she became so dehydrated we had to take her to the ER to get an IV of fluid. Watching my baby girl in that much pain was the toughest thing I had experienced at that point in my life.

Flash forward 8 years or so, and I had to carry my son Trot into the operating room to have tubes put in his ear. Yeah, I know, it's pretty common surgery: YOU carry your child into a room, watch them go under, have to leave them there, then tell me how easy it was for you to do.

Late yesterday, we were told that Rakes, my hard charging little hellion, has a heart murmur. Went in for his 3 year checkup perfect, and comes out with that. Now I'll admit, when Ang called and told me, I pretty much started to freak out. The doc said all the right things: it's common with young children, 99% of the time it goes away, etc....

He sent home a brochure that calls it a "Innocent Heart Murmur", and it goes over how they occur, what they are, and what to look for. It all sounds really comforting, and I'm sure everything will be OK. But when I looked at that little hooligan running around today, I had to fight back the thoughts that kept entering into my head.

When it's YOUR child, the words "innocent" and "heart murmur" just don't add up.

I've got a feeling I'll spend the last few minutes before I go to bed tonight the same way I did last night: standing over my son and talking to the man upstairs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And a Texan shall lead them.

*Picture from*

OK, we lost 5-3 tonight. Pettitte, some dude named Joba, and Fruitbat did the dirty work, and all of a sudden, the lead is down to 7 GAMES.

The horror: the invincible Yankees are now WITHIN 7 GAMES BACK! Screw them, and screw Jeter, Torre, and Slappy.

NO WAY those morons win the division this year: so they won a game where Daisuke wasn't at his best. Big freaking deal. Tomorrow is where they come to the realization that the only shot they have at the post-season is the wild card.

Joshua Patrick Beckett takes the hill for the Sox tomorrow: the same Josh Beckett who sauntered into the Toilet in '03 and won the World Series for the Marlins. The same guy who is going for his MLB leading 17th win tomorrow. And the same guy who idolized Roger for most of his adult life: if this was pitched as a movie idea, nobody would believe it.

For once, I'll embrace the month of September as one of happiness, and not of worry. A 7 game lead, Beckett on the bump, and the Yankees more worried about Seattle than Boston.

Is that the 7th sign of the apocalypse? If it isn't, it should be.

Back to 8 games tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Simple Things

Growing up, my Dad always wanted us to eat dinner together. Never could figure out why, since it seemed like all he did was fuss at us and tell us to be quiet. To this day, the man can't eat a meal unless you can hear crickets chirping in the background.

Plus, we had one of those booth type things, where we would all climb in and Pop would be at the end of the table, sitting in the only chair available.

I figured out the booth: if we were all packed in, there was no possibility of a random runaway from the table: we were in there until EVERYBODY was done. That I get: most nights, Rakes is up and down from the bar about as often as Joe Torre is waving to the bullpen. Not to mention when one of our neighbors rings the doorbell while we are trying to eat: usually that doesn't bother me. I'm more relieved over the fact Rakes or Trot hasn't defaced someone's home than I am bothered they interrupted dinner.

It's the being quiet I can't quite get: dinner time is when I hear about Ciera's first day of 4th grade (she loves it) or Rakes telling me, 500 times in a row, how "tool it bas to swing on the playset today". Trot doesn't quite talk yet, but by his grunts, points, and screams, I figure he had a pretty good day as well.

Dinner is also usually the point in the day where I get the rundown from Ang on who did what to whom and when, plus the daily "What damage did they cause to the house today?" report. Point is, hearing my kids laugh and giggle and tell about their day is one of my highlights.

Sure, some nights I'd rather read SI while I eat, or pretend I'm at some high class restaurant, or daydream about that trade of Kyle Snyder for Albert Pujols I've convinced myself would work, but I wouldn't trade dinner time for anything.

Well, maybe Pujols, but that's not happening, so why torture myself?

Life doesn't happen in big huge events: it happens when you eat dinner, or sit on the front porch swing, or spend 30 minutes listening to Hillary Duff. Sure, your ears or sanity may not ever be the same again, but you learn a lot about what makes a 9 year old girl tick.

I hope I never lose sight of the magic that takes place in the simple things: if I ever take for granted the few minutes a day where a life long memory is made, they should take away my Dad card for life.

Speaking of which, the Yankees lost 16-0 to the Tigers tonight: it's an 8 game lead going into the three game series tomorrow.

If that's not a life long memory, I don't know what is.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sweeping into New York

Guy on top? You expect big bombs from him: guy on bottom? He hadn't seen one of his hits leave the park since June 20th. Today, both of 'em helped the cause in 11-1 series sweeping win over the White Sox today.

JD got it started in the second inning with a solo home run, and Papi's came during a 4 run fifth inning. Bobby Kielty hit his first HR as a Sox player in the 6th, joining the hit parade with a 2 run shot, and the rout was on.

All year long the Sox have gotten by on excellent pitching and timely hitting: finally, in late August, the bats have caught fire and are seemingly on one of those beat down modes that make for a runaway September. This weekend, we saw what can happen when great pitching tag teams with a devastating lineup: 46 runs and a 4 game sweep.

All I could think of this afternoon is how dejected the Yankees must be while in Detroit: knowing the best they can come home to is a 7 game deficit to face the best team in baseball.

Only now, the best team resembles the ringer team in the local beer softball league: running up the score, flirting with your girlfriend, and flipping you off at the same time.

Come Friday of this week, my greatest wish is that the Boston Red Sox have pounded the final nail into the coffin of the New York Yankees 2007 season.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

41 is just a number

Tim Wakefield, 41 year old Timmeh Wakefield, won his 16th game of the year today in the Red Sox 14-2 win over the Chicago White Sox: that ties him with 26 year old teammate Josh Beckett for the MLB lead in wins. It also gives fellow graybeards like myself hope.

If Timmy can compete and be successful at the highest athletic level there is, then surely I can survive a week of schlepping furniture and conning money out of people that they don't really have to spend.
Another member of the salt and pepper set continued to remind fans, players, and hopefully upper management of his value: Mike Lowell went 4 for 6 with 2 RBI's, raising his season total to 92.

Yep: you read it right. The aging knuckleball pitcher won his 16th game, and the add on player we HAD to take to get Beckett has 92 freaking RBI's. Hopefully, Theo is taking notice: other than Slappy and his reported $35 million dollar asking price, do you see any other 3B options for next year that have been as productive as Senor Doubles? Yeah: that's what I thought.

79-51: 28 games over .500 with a 6.5 game lead over the MFY's going into tonight. The Boston Massacre of last year is a distant memory, and Torre and his crew of billion dollar babies need to realize that this year is different.

THIS year, we have Beckett being an ace, OKJ being dominant, and Pap morphing into the Rivera of the decade. Papi is back, Manny is Manny, and Mike Freaking Lowell has 92 RBI's.

It's finally going to happen: the Red Sox are going to give the Yankees their last rights this week.

I may TiVo it all for posterity: at the very least I'm going to call my Yankee buddy Shawn and ride him unmercilessly.

It's the least I can do.

Friday, August 24, 2007

21 Runs, 2 games, Awesome

Man, when the bats on this team come alive, they REALLY come alive: 11 runs in game 1, and 10 more in game 2. Beckett wins #16 in game 1, and Schilling had his best outing since coming off the DL in game 2.

Today showed the rest of the league how scary good this team can be when it's clicking on all cylinders: everyone, from the pitchers to the position players, contributed to the sweep of the double header today.

First game featured 4 RBI's from Tek, 2 from Kielty and Lowell, and Lugo, Hinske, and Youk chipped in as well. It also included Josh Beckett getting his MLB leading 16th win.

Game 2 had Schilling winning his 8th game of the year, 2 Big Papi HR's with 4 RBI's, and a scoreless 9th by Eric the Red. Again, contributions came from everywhere: Lowell, Youk, and "Straight Cash Homey" had 2 RBI's, and Manny, Hinske, and Coco added one each.

If the rest of baseball isn't scared of this 'pen, they should be: scoreless outings in both games,with Timlin, OKJ, and Gagne standing out.

I couldn't feel better about this team heading into New York next week: this year, WE get the last laugh and put the Yankees out of their misery.

Here we go Red Sox, here we go.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Little man, Big voice

How can you not love a movie that has the following exchange?

[man and woman walk by]
Harry: Ooh, look at the buns on that one...
Lloyd: Yeah, he must work out.

As fond as I am of that moronic movie, it does have one very HUGE falsehood: remember that part where Jim Carey asks the hood riding in the dog-van with them if he wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world, then proceeds to make the most God awful noise come out of his mouth?

It's a lie. It may be annoying, grating, and an assault on the ears, but it's not the most annoying.

Baby Trot has it beat by a landslide: braying like some deranged myna bird in heat that gargled with sand paper and rusty nails, he lets loose with this scream of agony whenever he is hungry, tired, needs a diaper change, wants a toy, or just for the heck of it.

I mention this because tonight he was in prime time form: I'm sure he's still aggravated over being sick the past 5 days, and since he can't speak yet, this is his way of letting me know he's not a happy camper. However, after having a rather crappy week at work, the actual sound makes me a tad bit jumpy.

Of course, it's in concert most of the time with Ciera talking IN A REALLY LOUD VOICE about the latest episode of Hanna Montana, Rakes re-enacting the climatic final scene of "Bibleman", and Angie telling me exactly what all three of them did that day: so by itself, it may not be that bad.

I love the boy to death, but when he lets loose with that other worldly sound, I'm looking for a chalkboard to run my nails down it, just to drive out the noise.

They just showed Chicago, and it looks like the 4th of July in the background with all the lightning: the game has been postponed, and somewhere Ernie Banks is smiling. They'll play 2 tomorrow, weather permitting, with Beckett getting the nod in game 1.

I wonder what kind of reasonable excuse I can come up with to make it home for the game?

Screw that, I'm self employed.

Friday is officially HERE!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jedi's, swordfights, and lobsters.

Lord help me: Rakes has discovered Star Wars.

Up until now, all his sword fighting has been imitating Peter Pan and Bibleman, the latter being a really cheesy children's series starring that dude that used to play Scott Baio's running buddy on "Charles in Charge". Bad acting but good lessons for the wee ones, especially my budding juvenile delinquent.

We have now entered Defcon 5: ever since I got home, I've been asked "but is a dedi, Dad?" and "bhy dat man dot horns on his head?", not to mention the 3, 279 times he's asked me if I "bant to dordfight, Dad?".

It's like he's been drinking water all his life, and all of a sudden we gave him a Jolt cola: instant freak out. He has watched "The Phantom Menace" 4 times today: he sits and watches when there is no fighting, but whenever the light sabers come out, he's up swinging his sword over his head like Conan the Barbarian.

I don't think this is a positive development for my walls, ceiling fans, or the two other children and their well being. And I'm questioning the sanity of my Mom for letting him borrow the DVD and my wife for letting him watch the stinkin' thing.

Down in Tampa, Daisuke gave up 2 runs on a BJ Upton home run: final score, 2-1 Devil Rays. I have no explanation for why the bats turn into useless pieces of wood whenever he pitches, but it happened again tonight. 14, yep, 14 freaking runners were LEFT ON BASE tonight. Makes me want to hit my nether regions with a 2 liter coke bottle to see that many potential runs handing their batting helmets and gloves to 1B coach Luis Alicea: poor guy needs a wheelbarrow to haul off the helmets, batting gloves, and assorted body armor for 14 men.

Still, we took the series while the best the Yankees can do is win 1 out of 3 from the Angels: we do that the rest of the way, the Sox are playing in the postseason and the Yankees are making tee times at Pebble Beach.

I wonder if Rakes can use some of his new found Jedi mind tricks and make the ball look as big as the moon to the Angel hitters tonight?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Record Setter

*Picture from*

Since Rakes and Trot have turned into vampires the past 3 nights, I'll be short and sweet tonight. Where in the parent rule book does it say that BOTH of them can be sick at the same time?

Sox beat the Devil Rays 8-6 tonight, with Jon Lester getting the win.

In the 8th inning, with 2 outs, Tito went to Papelbon to get the last 4 outs: get them he did.

Striking out 3 out of the 4 men he faced, Pap recorded his 30th save of the year.

He also became the first Red Sox pitcher to EVER have back to back season's of 30 or more saves.

Take a good, long look, Yankee fan: you are watching OUR Mariano Rivera for the next dozen years. Hope you enjoyed the Mo' era while it lasted: because the Red Sox time to have the BEST closer in baseball has begun. How you like THEM apples?

I can go to bed, content with the knowledge that the Red Sox have a 5.5 game lead, with the MFY's losing 4-1 in the second inning on the left coast.

Worst case scenario? I wake up with a 5 game lead.

My greatest wish? Yanks lose, and tomorrow dawns with a 6 game advantage in the win column.

Now THAT would be ahhhhright.

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's a start

*Picture from*

Gotta love Mike Lowell representing the rest of the prematurely gray men in the world, of which I'm a proud member.

For a guy who was considered a throw-in for the Red Sox to get Josh Beckett, he's done such a good job in his 1 plus years in Boston that it gets harder and harder to remember him NOT wearing the Sox uniform.

All he did tonight vs. the Devil Rays was hit a 2 run double, a solo home run, and a walk: for the year he's got 17 dingers and 85 RBI's. Not bad for a guy many thought was done 2 years ago.

Theo needs to sign him to an extension ASAP, because the longer they play, the more he's gonna be worth next year. And I, for one, don't want to imagine the hot corner at Fenway being manned by anyone other than Senor Doubles.

I was more than a little worried about Kevin Cash having to catch Wake and the knuckleball tonight: with Dougie out with his calf muscle strain (btw: who knew Dougie even HAD a calf muscle?) I had a bad feeling about tonight. And while he looked about as comfortable as a nun at a porno convention back there, Cash did what he had to do, and Wake got the win.

15-10 for the year: Timmeh Wakefield is tied for the league lead in wins. That has GOT to be a good omen if I've ever seen one. Getting a win on the first night of a 10 game road trip, that ends with the Yankees at the Toilet, starts the roadie off on a positive note.

Here's to a 3 game sweep of the Devil Rays before heading to Chicago to face the White Sox. As bad as a Devil Rays broadcast is, I may need some pharmaceutical help to make it through the weekend.

5 words for you: Ken Harrellson and Darrin Jackson.

My stomach just churned thinking about it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Split and on to Tampa Bay

*Picture from*

I think the look on Coco's face says it all: disgusted. Not with the effort: just with the fact that a 4 game split could have just as easily been a 4 game sweep for the Red Sox.

At least today it can't be blamed on Eric Gagne, who struck out the side with a hit mixed in: This Sox fan was glad, no, relieved that he pitched a scoreless outing. Poor guy has been gripping like there's no tomorrow since getting here, and it was good to see him do what he's getting paid for: get people OUT.

To be honest, going in I had a bad feeling about today: with Crazy Julian on the hill, I halfway expected a 5 run first inning, followed by Tavarez charging out of the dugout wearing nothing but his Big Papi shower shoes and doing the macarena.

After allowing 2 first inning runs, Julian settled down and actually pitched an outstanding game, going 6 innings with those two runs the only blemish on his day. All in all, there is not a whole lot else you could have asked from him.

Main problem? Lobsters. 6 men left on base by my best guess. When your starter gives up 2 runs, this lineup should, and usually does, win the game. But hey, life goes on: the Sox are up by 4 games, which is where they were going into the weekend, and we head to Tampa Bay tomorrow. Wake gets the start where he has a record that resembles Duke vs. Podunk Community College in basketball: Timmeh at the Trop is virtually unbeatable.

Finally, Jason Seaver on "Growing Pains" never had weekends like this: Ciera had a friend sleep over last night, only to wake up at 2:30 am, realize she's not at home, and call her Mom. 3:00 this morning, they arrive to pick her up. Trot decides he needs to wake at 5 with a fever, Rakes gets up at 6:30, and the day begins.

After taking Ciera and Rakes to church, come home, get them down for naps, and watch the Sox lose, we go swimming. This is followed up with dinner at 8, Trot running through his diaper on Ang and my bedroom floor, and Rakes THINKING he had a diaper on in bed when in fact his Dad forgot to put the cursed thing on him, resulting in him peeing all through his pajamas.

If I can con, I mean convince, someone to green light my life for a sitcom, I'm hoping the guy who played Bud Bundy on "Married with Children" gets to be me.

Seems only fitting.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Big Day

As a parent, you experience a lot of firsts: first tooth, first step, first word, and first time sleeping through the night.

Today, I got to experience another first: taking one of my children to their first organized sports practice. Ciera has never been interested in sports outside of playing baseball out in the front yard. Rakes has been BEGGING to play TBall since he was old enough to know what it was.

Down here in NC, however, you have to be 5 to play that sport: so when we told Rakes he could run around kicking a ball while at the same time getting as dirty as he wanted, he was all for it.

I could tell he was nervous on the way there: his stammering problem gets noticeably worse the more excited/nervous he gets. By the time we got to the practice field, he made Mel Tillis sound like a Julliard trained actor. Once he met "Doach Bendell" (Wendell for those not fluent in Rakesese), all was well.

Proud does not begin to describe my feelings: watching my little hooligan out there running around and yelling at the top of his lungs was a great thing to see. Out of the 10 kids on the team, he was head and shoulders better than the rest. 'Course, I'm his Dad, so I may be a TAD bit prejudiced.

After practice, the coach came up and said to me: "he's done this before, hasn't he?" After replying that no, he hasn't, he just loves anything to do with hitting, catching, throwing, or kicking a ball, Wendell commented that he didn't think it would take long for the boy to get the hang of things.

I don't know who had a bigger head the rest of the day: Rakes, who told anyone who would listen he did "beally good at doccer practice today", or his beaming Dad.

It's not baseball, but it's a pretty good start.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Girl

Tomorrow at 12:57 p.m. my baby girl turns 9: unless my wife has a BIG change of heart, Ciera will be the only daughter I'll ever have.

Before she was born I was what I guess you'd call a typical guy: keep your emotions in check and don't let 'em see you cry. Still am in most ways, but when I started getting teary eyed at that God awful "Butterfly Kisses" song, I knew things had changed.

She used to want to be where I was at all times, and while she still does to some extent, you're more likely to find her upstairs listening to Hannah Montana. She's at the age where she still wants me to tuck her in and say her prayers, but doesn't want me in her room until then.

When I'm in town, I take her to school every morning and walk her to class while holding her hand: once we get to the door though, she drops my hand and walks on in. And every time she does it breaks my heart.

With the two boys doing their best impression of a Tasmanian devil most of the time, having a daughter helps keep me sane. Not that she doesn't have her moments. (Puberty can't start at 9 can it?)

She looks like her Mom, acts like her Dad, and from the day she was born, she stole my heart.

Happy Birthday Sissy.

Dad loves you more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Teacher and Student

After all my hand wringing over Rakes and his antics, you'd think I would have been prepared for this.

However, Trot has exceeded myself and his mother's expectations when it comes to being ornery.

As you can see from the picture, Rakes, in the background, is intent on achieving Jedi Master status, while Trot is seemingly content with showing his Dad his belly.

The past week has witnessed the following: Trot, led by Rakes, belly flopping off the bed, falling off the bar where we eat, climbing on the kitchen table, and treating Angie's sewing room like his own personal jungle gym.

If the last 2 weeks is not an example of Karma, I don't know what is: and I have no clue how my Mom kept from strangling me as a child. If possible, this child will surpass his brother as "first choice to send Dad to an early grave" by Christmas this year.

I have no idea how Ang gets ANYTHING done during the day: you can't turn your head for a SECOND with this kid and not find him in a situation where you ask yourself if a visit to the local emergency room is not in your near future.

At the end of the day, I'm spent: and after about a 15 minute cool down period, I find myself laughing my tail off at the things he does. I'll never be able to figure out the difference between men and women: however, having 2 boys does give me a perspective that not everyone gets to experience.

As for my future daughter-in-laws? I'm sorry.

I did the best that I could.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mirror Image

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Funny, my face looked exactly like the Munchkins as I sat in my car and heard Manny strike out to end the game today.

Daisuke was, well, "pedestrian", to put it mildly today, giving up 6 runs in 6 innings, and left with the score 6-0. In the 7th, the boys started to chip away, getting a 2 run shot from Tek and a Lugo RBI double, and Manny added another run with a 2 bagger in the 8th.

Even though Crazy Julian gave them 1 2/3 and Timlin contributed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, the comeback was, sadly, not enough. Pedroia, Youk, and Manny struck out to end the game, with an Ortiz walk the only offense provided.

But hey: it's not all bad. Fruitbat Rivera gave up 3 runs in the 10th inning AFTER the MFY's had tied the Oriole's in the 9th on a HR by Shelly Duncan. Yeah, it's sorta funny a guy playing for the Yankees has a chick's name, but dude can hit a ball a LONG way, so for now I'm holding off on all the "Boy named Shelly" jokes I've got bouncing around inside my head.

So even with the loss, the Yankees kept pace, and it's like some weird time warp thing: today, baseball speaking, never happened. We started the day with a 5 game lead, and that's how it ends: somewhere, Jeter and ARod are drowning their sorrows in a couple of Cosmopolitans while getting a pedicure with Damon.

Now I've got to figure out how I'm gonna make it until Friday, when the Red Sox and Angels play a day/night double header, with rookie phenom Clay Buchholz getting the call up from Pawtucket for his first Major League start.

Maybe I'll organize my Red Sox wallpaper samples, dust all of Rakes and Trot's McFarlane figures, and finally finish that letter to Theo where I convince him he NEEDS to hire a 37 year old man with 3 kids to be the full time "make sure there's enough gatorade and sunflower seeds in the dugout" guy .

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Walk off

*Picture from*

Down 1-0 going into the 9th, I gotta admit I was worried. After Mikey hit the home run that tied the game, I was concerned for a different reason.

After I had fist pumped my way around the house, and in the process scared Angie and Ciera out of their minds and woke up Trot, I was worried I would spend the night sleeping in the living room.

I'm proud to say that once Angie realized it was a Sox related incident, all was forgiven, and I'm allowed back into the master bedroom

Jon Lester pitched his tail off, giving up only 1 run through 7 innings: MDC and Timlin worked the scoreless 8th, and once the 9th inning arrived, enter Eric Gagne.

Guess who got the win tonight? Gagne. After the disaster that was Camden Yards this weekend, Eric the Red ended up striking out the side, with a double mixed in, to work a scoreless inning. Talk about Karma: dude was booed on his way to the mound, and ends up slamming the door, setting up the bottom of the 9th inning heroics.

Mikey hits a bomb over the Monster, Tek bangs a double over the wall, and the man with the bitchen' fro hits a laser that scores the Captain: cue "Dirty Water".

The icing on top of the cake? The MFY's got WAXED by Baltimore 12-0 at the Toilet.

5 game lead. Yankee fans back to freaking out. And the Red Sox walk off with the win.


Monday, August 13, 2007

The Old Man and the Knuckleball

*Photo from*

Big Papi doing push ups at home plate was the picture I was hoping to use, but sadly, couldn't find one in time and I NEED to get some sleep.

After the ball busting weekend in Baltimore, getting a 3-0 win tonight was a welcome sight.

Timmeh pitched 8 innings of 2 hit ball, taking a no hitter into the 7th inning before giving up his first hit. Papelbon came in and took care of his business, striking out the first 2 batters he faced, walked a batter, then got the final out.

Meanwhile, down in the Bronx, Rivera blew the save, but the O's 'pen lived up to it's reputation and the MFY's won again. Bottom line? The Sox TCB and it doesn't matter what the Yankees do: the division is in their hands, and to paraphrase Mr. Schilling, you can't ask for much more than that.

Tomorrow night, Jon Lester makes his return to Fenway for the first time in over a year: here's to a 7 inning domination of the Devil Rays for the kid. 4-1 lifetime at Fenway for Lester sounds pretty good to me.

On the home front, I took Rakes to his first soccer meeting tonight: just basic stuff like when and where they will practice/play, what to buy, etc...

I'm looking forward to his in game debut: let's just hope he keeps all his clothing on and can figure out which goal to kick toward.

Photographic evidence of the next Pele will come Saturday after his first practice.

I hope his coach has a cup: I've got a feeling he'll need it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


How in the name of all that is good and holy did Boston leave Baltimore losing 2 out of 3 games?

How do you go into the 8th inning with the lead and the game's best bullpen, and end the day feeling like you've been drop kicked in the marbles by some drugged up donkey?

Yeah, Eric Gagne looked like some guy plucked off the local beer league softball team Friday and today, but he isn't responsible for all the lobsters left on base. And if you wanna know what in the world I mean by lobsters, head over to my friend Tex's blog. She lays it out for you in a clear, concise way. Nice job Tex, btw.

I am speechless at how 15 men were left on base against the Baltimore freaking Oriole's today: forget the Canadian giving up a home run to Tejada: stuff happens. Fact is, the game should have been out of reach by that point. Members of the Red Sox, the Yankees are a good team, and they are inching up, game by game. Put a stop to this nonsense starting NOW.

If not for Melvin Mora pulling play after play after play out of his nether regions today, we probably aren't talking about this right now: he made more game changing plays in one game than most guys make in a year. It got to the point where I was calling him names under my breath usually reserved for people named Jeter, Posada, and Rodriguez.

In the picture, Ciera, Rakes, and myself aren't watching the game. We are watching COPS. I made a decision after that debacle this afternoon to avoid any baseball related programming. Which is why we spent the rest of the evening watching America's Funniest Home Videos, COPS, and I'm finishing off the day by watching Miami Vice on the Sleuth channel. Figured the kids didn't need to see Dad wandering around the house muttering things like "how does Snyder throw a breaking ball in that count?" while cursing to himself for the next 4 hours.

Nothing like vintage Don Johnson in a teal jacket and white shoes with no socks to get your head right.

However, had there been a camera in my house when Millar hit the HR to win the game, my face would look EXACTLY the same.

Bring on the Devil Rays:

My blood pressure may be reaching DEFCON 1.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Ace

*Picture from*

After dominating for 8 2/3 innings, the Commander of the FU brigade was none too happy about not being able to get the complete game win, and he wasn't humble about his outing:

"I was mad at myself when I came out, but it's hard to find anything really wrong with that game," Beckett said. "They weren't exactly crushing the ball in the ninth inning, either. I'm very happy with the way I pitched."

Man, is watching this guy pitch a pleasure: after taking one in the marbles last night, Beckett came out and OWNED the Orioles today. Knowing you've got that guy who will be the stopper when you need to get a win is an awesome feeling, and Beckett didn't disappoint.

8 hits, 8 K's, 2 R, and 0 BB: and he got one out away from the complete game win. That is just flat out demoralizing if you were sitting in the other dugout, and he does it with style. Stomping around the mound, yelling and cursing to himself, and while he didn't show Tito up when he came out to get him, the look on his face in the picture is priceless. Sorry, I think it's OK that the ace of the staff is furious at himself for not being able to finish what he started: that's the type of mentality that'll win you a championship. Don't believe me? See Curt Schilling, circa 2001 and 2004: he's not sharing recipe's with Beckett when you see him bending his ear in the dugout.

Forget some of the bone headed moves Theo has made since becoming the GM: getting Beckett to agree to a 3 year, $30 million dollar extension last year looks like the biggest bargain since the Twins released Big Papi. The Red Sox have the only 15 game winner in MLB locked up for the rest of this year and '08/'09 at a bargain basement price for an elite pitcher.

Tomorrow brings Schilling vs. Steve Trachsel.

Me? I'm betting on Father Curt.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Losing ugly is still no fun.

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

How do you lose a game when you are winning 5-1 going into the bottom of the 8th inning?

Daisuke went 7 innings, giving up one run, and in the top of the 8th, the Red Sox remember they have the best record in the game and score 5 runs. Game over and start the party, right?

Sadly, no. Eric Gagne and OKJ combine to gack up 4 runs and all of a sudden, it's the 9th inning and a tie game.

A Brian Roberts double, a Corey Patterson sacrifice bunt, and a Nick Markakis sac fly, and the O's have the win.

Gagne, OKJ, and JD Drew misplaying a single into a RBI all take equal responsibility for the loss. According to the Eck, it's only happened 4 other times this year, so I guess they were due.

However, that does not help my blood pressure or bleeding ulcer deal with the cold hard facts. I want wins when the lead is by 4 runs. I want Gagne and OKJ to give me a no-worries bridge to the Papelbot. And I want the Indians to remember they are an elite squad and crush the Yankees in their home park.

Sadly, you can't always get what you want. (That's for you, Carol. :) And as I head to bed, the Sox lead over the MFY's is now once again 5 games.

Here's to Beckett being the stopper tomorrow. Here's to the Yankees choking out quicker that one of Chuck Liddel's opponents.

Here's to a 6 game lead come tomorrow night.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

That's My Boy

After staying up until well past 1 this morning, I celebrated the Red Sox win over the Angels by turning off the tv and going to sleep, content in the knowledge that the Sox were back to 6 games in front of the MFY's.

Rakes, on the other hand, had a rather unique way of expressing his joy: he streaked through a fabric store today, wearing nothing more than a smile.

Angie, for reasons unbeknownst to me, decided to go to the store with all 3 kids, taking only my niece Libby as protection. (I take Rakes with me to pick up a pizza, and by the time the 15 minute trip is over I feel like I've been inside the washing machine on spin cycle for an hour. So what do I know.)

I'm told things went well for the first 20 minutes or so, then nature called. After taking him to the bathroom, Ang left Rakes in the kids area where the store had a tv, toys, and games. Not 5 minutes after dropping him off with his cousin, she hears from across the store the words that strike utter fear in a parents heart: "MOM. I've dotta do POOPIE!" Running like Carl Lewis in the 100 yard dash, she got him to the bathroom just in the nick of time.

By this point, she thinks she's in the clear: I mean, they've basically covered all the bases, so to speak. However, Rakes starts hollering a short time later that he had to "do peepee". As she makes the turn around the aisle to go get him, she sees this short, grinning, naked child running as fast as he can across the store proudly showing the world what the good Lord gave him.

After wrangling him up and getting to the restroom, Angie wanted to know why his clothes were off. Looking up innocently (well, as innocent as the little bugger in the picture can look) he said the following: "Mom. You TOLD me not to det peepee on my tlothes: so, me take dem off". How do you argue THAT with a straight face?

How one child can make you laugh your head off and frustrate you to no end at the same time ranks right up there with what was in that briefcase in "Pulp Fiction" and the appeal of Ricky Martin as one of life's great mysteries to me.

All I know is that my life has been immeasurably brightened by having my oldest son and all that comes with him.

My toughest test is also one of my greatest joys.

Life's funny that way, huh?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Breakdown in the system

Due to the ineptitude of the goobah, who, while installing my neighbor's Internet connection cut MY line, I've had no access to the home computer since yesterday.

(Yes Tex: it WAS someone else's fault! Stacy was supposed to make that clear when she posted I would be web less for awhile. Anyone get the number of that bus she threw me under?)

I was told yesterday that the technician would arrive between 7:30 and 9:30 this morning. You guessed it: he showed up promptly at 9:29, just left, and I now have 100 yards of cable laying across my yard. When I asked when they would come bury it, I was told "in about 2 weeks", which made me think of the movie "The Money Pit" where all the construction guys would tell Tom Hanks their work would wrap up in about "2 weeks" and it NEVER did.

Meanwhile, my OCD already has me worried that the mowers will just run over the thing tomorrow and I'll be back to square one.

BUT: I've got the Internet again, at least for 1 day.

Ted is happy, albeit with a MAJOR problem.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Back where he belongs

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

I've used this picture before, but it seems sort of appropriate: coming on the heels of Beckett winning his 14th game, Schilling is back on the hill tonight.

7 weeks to the DAY since he last pitched, Schilling takes the ball in Anaheim to take on the first place Angels. A healthy Schilling makes this rotation one of the best in baseball, and according to reports on his rehab assignment, the old man is ready to resume his quest for the Hall of Fame.

Getting Schill back is better than any trade they could have made, and if he's got his stuff together, the Red Sox could put the division away by early September.

It's back to 10 pm starts, so I gotta go and do a keg stand on some Mt Dew: I'm way behind on my caffeine intake for the day, and I need to catch up.

Keep the train rolling boys: I want a beat down so epic they never get the chance to use those thundersticks and take that rally monkey out of it's cage.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mess with the bull, you get the horns

*Picture from*

After Manny hit his home run today and got back to the dugout, the NESN cameras caught some serious shenanigans going on with Manny, Lugo, and Wily Mo:There was Manny acting like his hands were horns, stomping his feet like some human version of Bocephus, with Lugo acting like his shadow doing the same thing.

Manny takes off and you see Pena waving a white towel like some deranged 6 ft 5 matador, only one with a pimpin' beard and some $50 sunglasses. Just when you think Manny can't get any goofier, stuff like this happen.

9-2 win today, and for the first time since '99, I believe, the Red Sox won a series at Seattle. The actual game was interesting, to say the least. It featured the following: Manny driving one out in the deepest part of the park, the aforementioned "Bull Fighters Gone Wild", Beckett striking out 9, and the Mariner Moose ran over Coco Crisp on some ATV.

Never have understood the concept of letting the idiot mascot's drive around on 4 wheelers while multi millionaire athlete's are running around. I bet Tito swallowed his plug when he saw that happen, which is probably why pitching coach John Farrell was the one screaming expletives at the stupid thing.

All in all, taking the series 2-1 against a team right in the thick of the race is a VERY nice way to start the road trip: tomorrow night features the return of Schill, and if he's anywhere close to how he looked in his rehab starts, this team is fixing to get a WHOLE lot tougher.

Finally, I was very glad the game came on in the afternoon. In addition to giving me a little break from the 10 p.m. starts, it also took my mind off the following:

Curtains and sheet rock torn from the wall, a gallon of milk busting on the hardwood floor, and a Rakes melt down that reached previously unknown levels.

I. Am. Spent.

And they've only been home one day.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Boys (and girls) Are Back In Town

After a LONG week of microwaved pizza, falling asleep with the tv on, and only the Red Sox games to keep my mind occupied, Ang and the kids came home from the beach today.

Ciera burst through the door to give me a hug, and Rakes and Trot were close behind. I knew I missed them, but until I picked them up and hugged their necks, I had no idea how much.

They all came back pretty much the same as when they left: except for Trot. He's now acting like that kid from the movie "Parenthood" who bangs his head against stuff all the time. So far, the ottoman, the floor, my leg, and a hope chest have taken a beating while he laughs like some little maniac.

Rakes gave me a blow by blow account of the vist to Medevil Times: "dey rode deir horses doing neigh, neigh, and dey bight wit deir dords Dad, and DEN dey go AAUUGH and ball down", all while swinging two plastic swords over his head like The Rock in "The Scorpion King".

Ciera made out the best: her Aunt took her for a manicure/pedicure, her Mom took her shopping for school clothes, and her Grandparents spoiled her like their was no tomorrow. Personally, I think they were just so happy that one of the three kids didn't act like an escapee from a mental institution they didn't know what to do.

As for Angie, I think she had a good time and I think she's glad to be home: even with all the help, it's hard to do by yourself when you are used to working as the married version of the Rock-n-Roll Express.

Me? While I enjoyed the single life for a week, I'm glad the house is back to being filled with noise, yelling, running, and laughter.

In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sleepless while they are in Seattle

With the Red Sox starting a 9 game road trip with the first 6 being on the West Coast, and two of the three vs. Seattle starting at 10:00 p.m. est, I'm glad today is Friday: I at least don't have to get up and go to work in the morning.

Coco Crisp has played CF the past 2 years in a way that would make Ken Griffey Jr. proud: plays like the one in the picture are a routine thing. Since they are playing a team with one of the best OF in baseball, Ichiro Suzuki, I thought I'd throw a little love toward Covelli. With his bat catching up to his fielding, I expect Mr. Crisp will play a big role in the fortune's of this team over the next 2 months.

As someone who gets to see every game, you almost start taking his play in the field for granted: that is, until he makes a play like this. Ball in the gap, running full speed, know where the wall is, and time the leap perfectly to make the catch. Something tells me the broken down former long hair who's hinting at a trade down in New York doesn't get to that ball. Not this year.

Tomorrow afternoon the ol' ball and chain and the three Tasmanian devils come home from the beach, which means my bachelor life is over for at least another year: no more quiet, no more watching what I want on tv, and it's back to picking up the same toys 50 times a day.

I can't wait until they get here.

A week is a long time to go without a goodnight hug.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Where there's a will, there's a way.

*Picture from the Boston Globe*

Gagne looks good in a Red Sox uniform, eh?

After taking it on the chin Tuesday night, the Sox rallied for back to back wins and took the series today winning 7-4. After being THE big story of the trade deadline, Eric Gagne made his debut as a Red Sox today, pitching a scoreless ninth, striking out 2. And while it's a bit disconcerting to hear a grown man say "dey" instead of "they", it's good to have the big man on board.

Went today to draw up a will for Angie and I: my children will inherit $1.75 cents and a completely worthless collection of Sports Illustrated going back 15 years. The biggest reason we needed to do this was to make sure who my ruffians would torture until they graduate high school should something happen to their parents.

We actually had a will drawn up about 9 years ago, shortly before Ciera was born. However, just like my youthful good looks, muscle tone, and savings account, it was lost a while back. So with the Grim Reaper knocking on our door at the ripe old age of 37, the wife and I decided we needed to update the thing.

Actually, our church brought in a company who would prepare a will for us at a very reasonable fee: of course, anyone with any real wealth would use a lawyer to make sure their substantial estate was managed properly upon their death. Unless you count a collection of Red Sox McFarlane figures and a mortgage as substantial, we don't qualify.

As I looked at what my children would inherit should their Mother and I ever pass away, I was struck by one thing: I've lived 37 years on this rock, and I don't have an awful lot to show for it. No big stock portfolio, no planes, and no investment properties. If something happened to us, they'd have a couple of life insurance policies, 2 retirement accounts, and a 2 year old house to count on.

On the flip side, they would have the memories of a Mom and Dad who loved them more than anything, more pictures than they could ever put in an album, and memories of laughter and smiles and a whole lot of hugs, kisses, and "I Love You". You wanna know something? I'd rather leave them with that than all the money in the world.

So, thanks to Scotty and Sonya for agreeing to take care of my babies should something ever happen: I know they'll be in good hands. And here's to that scenario never occurring.

Bub: if it ever does, you gotta promise me two things.

You'll get the Extra Innings package as a reminder of your favorite brother in law.

And you'll buy a REAL hat: blue with a red B.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Missing the sound of little feet.

For the past 5 nights, I've come home to the sound of crickets chirping: just complete, total silence.

No screaming, no crying, no shouting, and no fighting. The phrase "Guess what Rakes did today?" has not been uttered. Nor has "I told her to just wait until her Dad got home to find out what her punishment would be".

On the other hand, there have been no cries of "Daddy's home!" followed by all three of the little rug rats running toward me for a group hug. No kiss hello from my wife, and no laughing hysterically while Rakes drops trou and chases his sister around the house.

I've enjoyed my peace and quiet, but I think I'm about ready for a return to It's a Mad, Mad World.

No big beach stories yet: Trot managed to bust his forehead open 5 minutes after they got there, so it sounds like nothing much has changed with him.

Ciera and Rakes were having a track meet in Old Navy, where Angie thought they were going to be asked to leave the store, which sadly is par for the course.

Rakes is all excited about tomorrow night: they are going to "Medevil Times" where you eat dinner and watch knights ride horses, joust, and have sword fights, which should do wonders for his penchant for grabbing anything resembling a sword and shouting "Me donna dill you, Taptain Hook."

I guess if he doesn't end up on the floor with them and in the middle of the action, it'll be called a good night.

Writing that down, I just realized: I may need another silent night or two after all.