Friday, November 30, 2007

My Girl

Ciera just got home from her first dance a few minutes ago. To say I'm not happy with this development would do the phrase "not happy" an injustice.

Not that I didn't want her to go to the dance: the fact she's OLD enough to be going to dances is what bothers me. All I know is I'm not ready for all this: she's 9. And I'm aging 1 year for every day by now. Throw the fact there is a new female student in her 4th grade class who is 12 (My heart goes out to this kid, but I'm going to be LIVING at an Elementary School until this gets resolved, one way or another), smokes cigarettes, and apparently has seen more than your average inner city gang banger. I'm presently breathing into a paper bag and chanting "It's not a tumor. It's not a tumor".

I'm happy to report there was no slow dancing with boys: Ciera spent the whole time with her friend Taylor, and they left early to get back to Taylor's house to watch " The Polar Express". I've got a feeling this may be the last year something like that happens. I'm trying to encourage her to be friends with this kid named Jared, who is a bigger Red Sox fanatic than I am.

In fact, I'm thinking about arranging a marriage with his parents: he's polite, a Sox fan, well behaved, a Sox fan, smart, and did I mention? He's a Red Sox fan. This is my deranged mindset right now: the fact she is starting to go to dances and notice boys has me considering arranging a marriage based on the fact the boy loves the Red Sox. If I make it through the teenage years without buying a handgun and intense therapy I'm considering myself lucky.

Next, it took all of 4 years of being alive, but Rakes finally committed his first criminal act today: he tried to put his buddy Tommy's toy in his book bag at school today. Twice. Upon being asked why he was doing that by Mrs. Becka, his response? " I beally like dat toy, Ms Becka: By tan't I have it?" I've got a sinking feeling this is EXACTLY how Al Capone got his start.

I'm hoping this isn't a sign of things to come, however, I'm not going to hold my breath.

Did I mention Trot is cutting teeth?

To quote the great philosopher Frank Costanza:

Serenity now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's Time To Show Some Love

*Thanks to Kelly for the picture*

I really have no clue what Tito is doing to Pedroia in this picture: he's either giving him a neck rub, a noogie, or is measuring him to see if he's grown any taller. Whatever it is, it's a perfect picture of what kind of manager Terry Francona is: a players manager.

Oh yeah, he's also a winning manager: After an 86 year drought in Boston, all this guy has done in 4 years is win TWO World Series, and yet he remains one of the most underpaid skippers in the game.

He may not be the best when it comes to in-game strategy (though I challenge you to find one major mistake he made in the World Series and you can count on one hand the ones he made in the playoffs combined), he is more often than not loyal to a fault, and his arguments with the Umpires are some of the worse you'll see.

If you ask any player on this team what they think about Francona, however, I'd almost bet the farm you'd get a positive response. Well, Julian may still be a little miffed he was left off the post season roster, but other than him, I really can't think of anyone else.

Epstein has been on record saying that once they got all the on field decisions taken care of that Tito was next on the to-do list. I know there is still the tiny matter of trying to trade for Johan Santana still hanging out there, but I hope the second item on the agenda is inking Francona to a much deserved contract extension.

This guy has endured knee replacement, throwing up blood, trying to quit chewing tobacco, and Manny being Manny on a daily basis since he got here: and all he's done is WIN. Add to all that the fact that after EVERY game he's had to endure Tina Cervasio asking some of the most idiotic questions known to man and he's managed to keep from beating her about the head with the microphone so far, there is no question he deserves to be in the top 5% when it comes to pay scale for MLB managers.

Theo: it's time.

Time to show your manager some love.

After all, he's earned it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sitting in the Catbird Seat

In my mind, I can see Theo and Beckett cracking open a couple of cold ones, Beckett tossing out an F-Bomb every other word and the two of them laughing like idiots at the Yankees scrambling to sign Johan Santana.

How else do you explain the reports all over the World Wide Webs that the Twins are insisting on Master Jacoby as part of a deal for the Sox to sign Santana? Do the Twins honestly expect Theo to give up what turned out to be the catalyst for the Red Sox winning the World Series? For what? To get a great regular season pitcher who is basically Alex Rodriguez on the mound once the playoffs start?

I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong: Johan Santana is one of the premier pitchers in the game today, and any pitching staff with him on it is all the better for it. I just don't think you give up the future to make it happen.

Various reports have the Twins insisting on Boston to include Ellsbury in any proposal for Santana, and thankfully, so far, Theo is responding with a firm negatory. As he should: there are prospects and there are future legends. All this kid did was step into a win or go home situation in the ALCS and just roll right on to the World Series Championship: he's not a prospect anymore.

Really, do the Sox actually NEED Santana? No freaking way: they just won the World Series with Beckett, a 41 year old Curt Schilling, a Japanese import in his first year in MLB, and a kid one year removed from cancer. Would he make them a better team? No doubt about it. But he's not a NECESSITY. Which is why I think all this noise we keep hearing out of Boston is just that: noise.

All this posturing is intended to make George's egomaniacal son go insane: if Boston actually ends up getting Santana it'll just be the cherry on top of the sundae. Left is right, right is left, and the Red Sox have turned into the biggest bully on the block.

And I LIKE it: I REALLY like it. Let the Yankees be the team to bet the farm and give away their best prospects to mortgage the future for the here and now. It still won't do them any good: no way they get past the Red Sox next year.

I guess you could say the balance of power in the AL East has shifted, and the hunted has become the huntee. The Boston Red Sox have eclipsed the New York Yankees as the team to beat and somewhere Joe Dimaggio is crying.

All I can say is: it's music to my ears.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Another Brick in the Wall

24 years old. Father to a little baby girl. Dead of a gunshot wound that happened during a home invasion. Or so they say.

Joe Kennedy, 28 years old, also a father to a young child, dead of supposedly an enlarged heart.

Screw the world of sports for turning me into a cynic: first thing I thought of when I heard SeanTaylor had been shot and then passed away? His somewhat checkered past had come back to bite him in the end.

When I read of Kennedy's death, I'm sad to admit, the FIRST thing that crossed my mind was this: steroids.

I have no reason to believe that either one of these men died of anything other than what is being reported, and I feel like a first class dink for thinking otherwise. But when you've been reading and listening to the stuff that has happened over the past few years, it's really hard NOT to be a cynical S.O.B.

Barry Bonds, the all time Home Run king, has been indicted for perjury for reportedly lying about using steroids and HGH.

Chris Benoit, a professional wrestler, kills his wife, then his son, and finally, himself.

Rafiel Palmiero lies to congress, Jason Grimsley is apparently MLB's equivalent to Scarface, and Sen. George Mitchell has a report that is going to rock the baseball world. And those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scandals and the world of sports.

Growing up, I don't remember all this nonsense going on in professional sports. Athletes were heroes, and as such, deserved to be looked up to. At this rate, by the time Rakes and Trot are old enough to understand reality, I'm going to have to institute a ban on anything involving a ball and let them watch CNN and FOX News because the world of sports has turned into a cesspool.

Before you think I'm some naive yahoo, I realize the Mick was an alcoholic womanizer, L.T. was a coke head, and O.J. Simpson was a tad more evil than his Hertz commercials and The Naked Gun movies implied. It's just we didn't KNOW it: before the advent of 24 hour networks, sports talk radio, and the Internets, all this stuff just never got out.

I'm not mad and I'm not bitter that we find all this stuff out 1.3 seconds after it happens these days: I love the fact we can get news and get it quick, and I'm a rabid listener of XM radio and ESPN. Anger is not the emotion that I feel when I hear a story like the one involving Sean Taylor.

It's sadness I feel: sad that a father lost his life at such a young age, and sad that the culture of violence and lack of respect for human life has ingratiated it's way into our society in such a way that this sort of thing doesn't shock us anymore.

Sadness for my two boys: that they will never get to see sports as a special, magical thing. For them, the world of sports will be just another facet of life, with no demarcation line between fiction and reality.

Isn't that what sports is supposed to be? A diversion from our daily life, a welcome break from reality, where we can forget about all the pain and suffering in the world, forget about the bills and the mortgage and just enjoy a game of baseball for what it is? A child's game, played by grown men getting paid a king's ransom.

Thankfully, there are still people like David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, and Mike Lowell I can point out to my kids as people to look up to and admire.

In the back of my mind though, I wonder: what if one of them was exposed as being a phony? What if they were like all the one's we read about and it has all been just a front? Frankly, the thought of that happening makes me sick to my stomach.

Growing older and wiser has it's good points.

But sometimes it just flat out sucks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

West Coast Ramifications

Do you wanna know how far the long arm of the Red Sox has reached? Take a look at the Los Angeles of Anaheim Palm Beach Hollywood and Vine Angels. They just signed Torii Hunter to a 5 year, $90 million dollar contract.

I know what you're thinking: they did it to win the AL West.

Wrong: they did that last year.

Or they did it to upstage the other show in town, the Dodgers: nope. They never even made an offer.

Get this: they signed him so they can BEAT THE RED SOX in the post season.

So says the Wonderdog, Rex Hudler, color analyst for the Angels. He was on the MLB channel on XM today, and in his own words the Angels signed Hunter so they can counter the attack of the Red Sox offense once the playoffs begin.

In his own maniacal way, Hudler (if you've never heard this guy, he talks about the Angels the way a TV evangelist asks for money) said the Hunter signing was solely based on beating the Red Sox in the post season. He hilariously recounted how the Angels have beaten the Yankees the last 2 times they've faced them in the post season, and according to my Yankee buddy Shawn, he HATES seeing the Angels on the schedule.

So from all the way in Boston, the Red Sox have caused the Los Angeles Angels to pay Hunter around $18 million dollars more than the next closest team, reportedly the White Sox, were offering.

Can you imagine that? A team the Sox will play roughly 6 -9 times a year has committed to the equivalent of a small third world countries budget to a 32 year old outfielder who hit 28 HR's last year.

All because they can't beat the Red Sox, in their mind, without him.

Man, have things changed in the last 4 years.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

You Like Apples?

Ever since Mike Lowell re-signed with Boston I've been trying to come up with a visual that would show I how I feel about it. Today, it hit me: that scene in the movie "Good Will Hunting".

If you haven't seen it, Will is hanging out in a bar with his buddies when he meets Skylar. Will's buddy Chuckie is trying to pick up Skylar, when this dink in a pony tail named Clark steps in and puts him down. Will comes over, humiliates Clark, and as Skylar is leaving the bar, she gives Will her number.

When Will leaves the bar, Clark is sitting at the window with his friends and it's here one of the all time classic movie quotes is uttered:

Will: (banging on the window) You like apples?

Clark: Yeah.

Will: I got her number. How you like them apples?

Mike Lowell is Skylar: sitting at the bar, getting hit on by all these different teams in baseball, including the Yankees by all accounts. Getting all the pick up lines and promises of free drinks and a good time, when the Phillies(Chuckie) put the move on. The Yankees(Clark) arrogantly assume they can sweep Lowell off his feet with their big money offer when Theo(Will) steps in and puts the freaking Yankees in their place.

Or maybe not: it just works for me.

I'm happy Lowell will be manning 3rd for the Red Sox for the next three years. I'm glad to know our younger players will have a vet like him to look to and learn how to be ballplayer, and our collection of goofballs and weirdos will have a professional to hopefully keep them somewhat grounded.

Most of all, I'm proud Mikey made a decision not totally based on how much money he would be making: that he took into account things like a city, a fan base, and his current teammates when he made one of the most crucial decisions I'm sure he's ever had to make.
I guess I'm just glad Mikey decided he had to go see about a girl.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rakes Birthday, Part Deux

Even though his birthday was yesterday and we'd already gone bowling and played "dames", we had the boys birthday party today with our families. Here's the little bugger showing how old he is now. Either that, or he's thinking about taking Ric Flair's place in the 4 Horsemen.

You think he was having a good time? Who am I kidding: EVERYDAY is a birthday for this kid. 5 minutes after getting fussed at, he's right back to Defcon 5, whatever trangression he just committed erased from his memory. Sort of like The Govenator in Total Recall. Only the little people version.

Little brother Trot taking it all in.

Lord, does that kid needs a haircut. He looks like some demented 19th month old Albert Einstein. You have NO idea how much I hope he uses his fertile little mind for good.

Mom, Sissy, and Rakes checking out his Toy Story video game. Before today, I've only seen him this serious once: remember the mouse episode from the other week?

Rakes and I sharing a rare quiet moment.

3 seconds after this picture was taken, he was riding his new Spider Man scooter through the kitchen, hollering at the top of his lungs.

I'll take my Norman Rockwell moments whenever I can get 'em.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Man

Has it been 4 years already? Seems like yesterday we brought Rakes home from the hospital, yet today marked his 4th birthday.

He told his Mom earlier this week he wanted to "do bowling and play dames".

So, that's exactly what we did: and I'm proud to say the boy bowled a 76, which beat his older sister by 5 points. Dad, however, rolled a 138.

Of course, this was with lane guards that prevented a gutter ball, so in all likelihood, I finished with a 68.

My God does time fly: my oldest son just turned 4: where did it all go? He's gone from a small, crying baby to a miniature version of me, right down to the thick head of hair and the attitude.

It's hard to convey in words what I'm feeling right now: my first born son just had a birthday. My Mom used to tell me that time flies once you have kids, and now I finally believe her. The last 9 years have gone by in what seems like 9 months.

As weird as that seems, even more weird for me is Rakes turning 4. He's my little man: even though he's still very little, 4 years old seems like a BIG age. As my kids grow older, I want time to slow down even more: I mean, how did I get to this point?

Even though it's been a roller coaster, I wouldn't change a thing: how many 37 year old men do you know who can honestly say they are REALLY happy? If you're like me, not many.

So I'll deal with the ulcers, the stomach pains, and the high blood pressure: I'll go to bed tonight knowing that at LEAST 3 people love me.

Even if they don't know any better.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Even though the day started off with Rakes getting up at 6 in the morning, today turned out to be a fairly normal Thanksgiving Day. Well, normal is relative: nobody got a whipping, nothing was set on fire, and Trot only climbed onto the counter top around 20 times.

We ate lunch at the in-laws, got the boys down for what turned out to be a 2 1/2 hour nap for them and Ang and peace and quiet for me.

All the inside and outside lights and garland was put up, which is not the easiest thing to do with 3 kids running outside every 7.3 seconds wanting to know if you're done, how much longer, and what's for dinner.

As I type this, Trot is asleep and Angie, Ciera, and Rakes are putting the lights on the Christmas tree: so far only a few minor skirmishes, 3 shouts of "It's MY turn" and only 2 threats by Angie of bodily harm. MY job is finished: everything down from the attic and all the outside stuff finished. I can just sit back and watch the insanity unfold.

In the past, Thanksgiving has just been another day: this year, with Mom's cancer, it takes on a little more meaning. I've got both my parents still with me, a beautiful wife, and three little monsters who mean the world to me. I've got a roof over my head, food in the pantry, and other than the mental part, I'm relatively healthy.

For me, that's enough.

Here's to hoping that if you happen to stumble by and read this post, that you thought of something you're thankful for today.

'Cause I know I did.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's That Time Again

Ah, the holidays: getting together with family, giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives, and watching out your window as cousin Eddie merrily describes to the world that "the s******s full".

Rakes and I spent most of the morning getting all the Christmas decorations out of the attic while Angie took Ciera and Trot to Sam's Club for the monthly grocery run.

Let me clarify a bit: I took all the decorations out of the attic while Rakes went up and down the attic ladder roughly 45 times, talked nonstop for an hour and a half, and kept trying to convince me that the bunny we typically put out on the front porch at Easter would make the PERFECT Christmas touch.

If you have never gotten Christmas decorations out with an almost 4 year old practicing his future career as an auctioneer while worrying he will step off the 12 X 12 sheet of plywood that is keeping him from falling through the ceiling while at the same time holding a 30 pound box of ornaments because you are waiting for him to get down a ladder? Well my friend, you just haven't lived.

We got them all down: apparently that is the easy part. They are all still sitting in what used to be my office but has lately been taken over by my wife and sister in law's business, and now the contents of my attic. It's all good though: I've carved a path from the door to the computer so I can continue to feed my Internet addiction without any big delays.

On the Red Sox front, Mike Lowell is officially back in the fold, and Curt Schilling couldn't be happier. I'm still amazed by the fact that an athlete took LESS money to stay where he and his family were comfortable.

Long gone are the days of 25 players/25 cabs: THIS Red Sox team has turned into the model franchise that all the other teams hope to emulate.

Who could have seen THAT coming?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ted Nugent has NOTHING on us

Looks like that Thunderdome I predicted yesterday came true.

Sitting at the computer at the office (ie: My folks house) this morning, eyes glazed over from lack of sleep and caffeine, I heard the sound of little feet coming up the stairs.

Actually, it was more like a thundering herd of wildebeests charging full steam ahead: you guessed it. Rakes.

Mom was watching the boys so Ang could clean house for her lunatic Aunt, and by the look in his eye, big doings were afoot. Holding his cup of apple juice in one hand and a facial expression usually seen on people who have just won the lotto, he says:

"Daddy: dere is a dead mouse (pronounced the way Sylvester the Cat would do it: MOUSTHE) in Nanny's boom(broom) closet. And it's still MOBING (moving)! Tome on Dad, let's do see it!"

Of course, it was dead, but you would have thought he'd had found the prize in the box of Captain Crunch: he wanted to know where it's head was (the trap was upside down), what was in his mouth, and could he touch it. Could he touch it? I had rubber gloves on and was holding this thing like it was radioactive: no WAY he is touching this filthy rodent. Now remember, Trot is in the house too. He's 2 feet behind me with my Mom holding onto the waist of his pants, trying to keep him from grabbing the mouse and running to the closest toilet to try and flush it away, all the while yelling like some deranged myna bird.

As I'm walking to the door, the conversation goes as follows:

Rakes: What you donna do with it, Dad?

Me: Throw it in the woods, Rakes.

Rakes: Why, Dad?

Me: Because it's dead, son.

Rakes: You donna throw it by the tail, Dad? (I imagine he asked this because if HE was doing it, that mouse would be swung around in the air like a cowboy roping a calf for 20 seconds).

I told this story to one of my customers later on in the day. They wanted to know if Santa would bring the boys a hamster for Christmas. Like I would give those two a living, breathing thing to take care of. They'd have it's tail tied to the ceiling fan swinging a plastic bat at it within 45 minutes. Either that, or holding it's head under the water to see if it could hold it's breath.

Finally, Christmas came early this year: it looks like the Mike Lowell Saga has come to it's proper conclusion: Mikey back in a Red Sox uniform for the next 3 years.

Late Sunday night it sounds like the Phillies made it interesting, offering a 4 year, $50 million dollar deal: unlike others, it seems like Lowell decided being happy, on a winning team, and in a city that loves you is worth more than the $10-12 million extra. Senor Doubles appears to also be Senor Class.

Welcome back, Mikey.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's a Small World, After All

I spent Sunday putting kids down for naps, watching Hells Kitchen on YouTube, and seeing my Redskins come up JUST short against the Yankees of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys.

Seems like that 4 year offer from the Yankees for Lowell to play first was a load of horse manure: George's offspring seem content to give 36 year old catchers $52 million, 38 year old closers $45 million, and girlish third basemen $300 million. If you are counting at home, that's over $400 million for 3 players, the youngest being 32 years old.

This is just like 1982 all over again: If the Bronx isn't burning, it will be soon.

I think I'm going to LOVE Steinbrenner, Part Deux.

I was glad to see Mike Lowell at the head of the Disney parade: whether he comes back to Boston or not, he deserved it. By the way, I say he is playing third at Fenway come opening day next season.

That's all I've got tonight: remarkably, Rakes and Trot didn't attempt to burn the house down today, and Ciera spent the day with her friend Taylor. All things considered, it was a quiet day at Casa 'de Ted.

And for that I'm thankful.

'Cause I fully expect Mel Gibsonish Thunderdome tomorrow.

As it should be.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Written while humming "Cats in the Cradle"

I spent 20 minutes arguing with Rakes at nap time today about what clothes to wear. Seems like I missed the internal family memo where he takes off whatever clothes he's had on for the first part of the day, then randomly picks what he wants to sleep in.

Angie tells me I need to pick my battles, so for bedtime tonight I just went with the flow: here is Rakes in his new Star Wars shirt he got from his cousin Garrison and his dinosaur pants.

If you can take your eyes off that demented face, you can see his two new Star Wars lego toys in his right hand resting on top of his Race Car pad he also got from Garrison.

I'm struck by 2 characteristics Rakes is displaying here that are just like his Dad:

1. His horrible sense of fashion

2. His almost 4 year old uni brow.

What you can't see are some of the other things he and I have in common: both of us are loud, obnoxious, and have the classic little man complex.

Sorry son: you can't fight genetics. I wish you could be 6 ft tall and bulletproof, but it's probably not gonna happen.

Just do what I did: be friends with the biggest guy you know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It Must Be French: It say's "Fragile"

Ang and I went Christmas shopping tonight: the kids were at the in laws and we figured we would be able to take care of everything except what Santa was bringing in one fatal swoop.

And we did: however, I now need a shrink to help me get over the past 5 hours.

I don't know what did me in, though the rugrat laying on his stomach riding the skateboard at the Ross outlet is the front runner. Never have I wanted to stomp on the head of a child as much as I did tonight. That is until I came to the realization that if Rakes would have been with us, HE'D have been on the skateboard and I'd have already apologized 1,231 times for his actions.

Long lines, not enough cashiers, and one too many dingbats making exact change and I'm a raving lunatic that makes the Grinch look like St. Nick.

I don't think I'm cut out for Christmas shopping: my biggest clue is I'm not really sure you should be cursing your fellow shoppers under your breath. Can someone explain to me why on a Friday night there was no more than 2 cashiers no matter where we went?

Is the Friday before Thanksgiving typically a slow night? Did all the managers or retail stores in NC decide tonight was a Federal holiday? Or is this typical of Holiday shopping?

All I know is I'm bent: a grown man with no children for 24 hours has no right to be this angry: yet here I am, ready to stomp a mudhole in anyone who gets in my way.

Ah, Christmas. Peace, Love, and Joy.

It's obvious they never had to power shop for Christmas.

I need a stiff drink and a valium.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What an Asterisk

You know that great big elephant in the room everybody has been ignoring? Well, nobody is ignoring it anymore.

It came down this afternoon: Barry Lamar Bonds has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice, which just so happens to have a potential 30 year prison sentence to go along with it.

Anyone with half a brain and not blind knew Barry wasn't buying his supplements from the local GNC: we've all been thinking it, and the legal system must have enough on him to go forward. They've been looking into this for what seems like that past 20 years.

I have no clue what they know now they didn't know 3 years ago: I DO know his longtime friend and personal trainer was released from prison on contempt of court charges today. Charges made because he wouldn't rat out Bonds.

I'm not accusing anyone of anything: all I'm saying if this was a movie, Joe Pesci would be stopping off at his Mom's house to borrow a really big knife and a shovel.

Bigger picture? I'm worried Bonds is just the first domino in the box: you'd have to be Forrest Gump to think there are no past/present Red Sox players whose names aren't going to surface in all of this, and thinking about that, well, it makes me sad.

We also learned today what the price is for someones pride and dignity: $275 million spread out over 10 years. Maybe Gordon Gecko was right: Greed IS Good. Also, 2007 version of Steinbrenner is just as clueless as 1977 Steinbrenner. Not only have they committed to Arod, they signed a 36 year old catcher for 4 years/$52 million, offered a 38 year old pitcher $45 million for 3 years, and are trying to convince the world they'll pay a Gold Glove 3B $60 million over the next 4 years to play FIRST.

If you look up the word dink in the dictionary, you'll find the NY Yankee logo.

Is it Opening Day yet?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Full of Refreshing Hot Air

"In the back of my mind there's a sense of that I'm indebted a little bit and that I spent four years getting paid an exorbitant amount of money, and I really feel like I had one season that I really, truly earned it, and I'm OK with that," Schilling said.

It sort of takes you back, right? A professional ball player actually using words like "indebted" and "truly earned it" is about as common this day and age as the Yankees winning championships.

I was having a touch of the writers block, and wasn't really sure what to write about until I stumbled onto a piece on Shilling.

With all of RSN having heart palpitations over where Mikey is going to end up, 4 year contracts, and cursing under their breath, I thought this was sort of fitting.

Don't get me wrong: I'm in no way comparing what Schill did to what Lowell may do. Schilling is in his final year, while Lowell is trying to set up the next 3 generations of Lowell's for life. I have no problem with Lowell seeking a longer contract, and I also see management's hesitation to go more than 3. I've said it before, Schilling GETS it: he's creating a legacy in Boston.

Besides, Father Curt DID sign for $13 million (potentially): it's not like he's working at Dunkin Donuts.

On a positive note about the Lowell situation, it happened like I called it last week: Slappy is slinking back to the Yankees with his tail between his legs.

What a bunch of wishy washy mush mouths they are: both the Yankees and Slappy/Boras. One side is so brazen they won't start talking unless it's $350 million or bust, while the other side rants about "Yankee pride" and "we don't want anyone who doesn't want to be here". My greatest wish? The Yankees cave for about $280 million, and on Opening Day, Arod pulls a Mo Vaughan and falls down the steps to the dugout and breaks a nail. Or a leg. I'm not picky.

Also, Big Stein's kids are eerily reminiscent of the old man back in the day: glory hogging blowhards who appear to not have a CLUE how to run a ball club. The next ten years or so could be comedy of the highest order in the Big Apple.

To paraphrase the late Billy Martin:

"They deserve each other: One side is made up of a diva and a born liar. The other is the offspring of convicted".

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stop by sometime: I'll show you my ring.

I'm guessing this is how Beckett looked today when he learned CC Sabathia was named the A.L. Cy Young. I mean, all Beckett did was morph into a combination of Sandy Koufax/Bob Gibson/Jack Morris this post season.

Too bad the Cy Young voting takes place BEFORE the playoffs start: The Commander of the Kick A** Brigade would have won hands down. It's not everyday you see a pitcher flat out DOMINATE in the post season the way JPB did this year.

That said, I can't really complain about Sabathia beating him out for the award: he had a great season, led the league in innings pitched, and beat Josh in every category except wins. I know, I know: wins are dependent on run support, who the other pitcher is, and whether the moon was aligned correctly. I GET it. The disciples of Bill James can rest easy.

Bottom line is this: Josh Beckett won 20 games. He's the ONLY pitcher in the last 2 years to win 20 games. And he did it for the AL East and World Series Champions. I don't care what the voters said: he's the Cy Young in my book.

However, what do I know? I wanted Pedie to be named ROY(done), Tito to be named Manager of the Year, and Ortiz to win MVP.

I want Silver Sluggers for everyone(sadly, only Papi won this time), DO and Remy to win broadcasters of the year, and that statue of Manny erected on Yawkey Way ASAP.

If it was up to me, I'd have Papelbon and Schilling in the Hall of Fame already, Tek lined up to be the manager when Francona retires, and The Large Father would be next in line for Sainthood.

Not gonna happen: and I'm OK with that. Just like I'm OK with the fact Beckett didn't take home the Cy Young.

Why? While CC earned the individual award, Beckett has cemented himself as a Red Sox Legend for life.

Congratulations on the Cy Young, CC.

Beckett got the ring.

Scoreboard? Joshua Patrick Beckett.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day in the Life

Today was proof that no matter how much I say it, I'd never survive as a stay at home Dad.

This picture was taken by Angie at about 10:30 this morning, and yes, that's my little boy Trot playing in the FREAKING toilet. After turning her back for all of 2.3 seconds, he'd disappeared. She found him in our bathroom, commode full of toilet paper and one of my razors in hand, merrily swirling the mix around and around in the bowl.

Yes: the razor has been incinerated. When you have a tad of the OCD, things like this make you trash happy. Why do children, especially boys, have this bizarre fascination with the toilet? Any chance he gets, Trot is more often than not playing in the commode. He's SEEN what goes on in there: Why does he gravitate toward it?

Seriously, this is "Did Oswald act alone" territory for me: why does the filthiest room in a house attract kids like a fire fly to a bug zapper? WHY?

Following this incident, for reasons known only to her, Ang took the kids to the local Mexican restaurant for lunch: it was here that Rakes had to go to the bathroom. Not wanting to leave Trot with Ciera, Angie had Ciera take Rakes to the men's room. Upon returning to the table, Ciera informed her Mom that Rakes was going commando: no underwear. Seems like when she told him to go change out of his pj's, Rakes forgot to fortify the boys, and left the house the way he came into this world: sans boxer shorts. I've got to think that at almost 4 years old, this is NOT a postive development.

It was at this point Ang came THIS close to turning into the female version of Tito Ortz: seems like one of the other female diners turned around and said, and I quote, "You seem to be having some trouble controlling your children".

I've been married to this woman for 15 years: that chick best be counting her lucky stars she still has all her teeth. See, Trot can't or won't talk: whenever he wants something, he makes a noise that I can best describe as a Woolly Mammoth in heat: some guttural roar that can only be appreciated/despised in person. Well, it seems as if he did this, nonstop, today at lunch because, well, he was hungry. Anige politely informed this moron that it was tough with three children, to which the diva replied "Well, we don't have small children." Angie's repsonse? "I can tell."

I'm very proud of my wife for not knocking this idiot into next week: I realize it's annoying to have a braying Yak in the background while you are eating, but it's La Fiesta and the $3.99 lunch menu: you want high cuisine and a pleasant experience, go to the 4 star restaurant down the street. Otherwise, be ready for some rice and salsa to come flying your way. You don't like it, tough luck. My wife can kick your a**: sue me.

Like some deranged cherry on top of the sundae of life, this was how the day ended. Me, going to my room to change clothes and Trot at the TOP of the stairs: I swear I was only in there for a minute, tops. When I came out, he had somehow gotten down the stairs, pushed a bar stool over, and was sitting IN THE KITCHEN SINK picking up the dirty dishes and making the "KK" sound usually reserved for dirty diapers.

Other than putting them in a cage, I'm out of ideas: How do you convince a 3 year old underwear is a necessity? What do you say to a 19 month old who thinks toilets and sinks are the epitome of fun and excitement?

I'm firmly convinced I will never make it to 50 years old.

Frankly, I'm not sure it's not all bad if that happens.

Do you understand NOW why what happens with the Red Sox carries as much importance as it does?

Theo, for me: DO IT.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Fan

"The Green Fields of the Mind " by A. Bartlett Giamatti

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. "

Thanks to my good friend JET from SG for providing the subject for this post. Angie and my sister in law Amanda had their show today, and I was at my Mom's all day with the kids: I had no clue what to write about and had decided to take a break.

When I got home, JET had posted this at Surviving Grady: and it explains how I feel right now to perfection. So I bogarted it: I hope you don't mind, JET.

Yeah, I've watched football all day, and the Chargers/Colts game is on in the background as I type. I'm frustrated my Redskins gacked up a lead in the 4th quarter, and I'm equally frustrated the Yankees of the NFL, the Cowboys, are 8-1.

But I miss baseball. I miss Remy saying "Buenos Noches, Amigos", Manny pimping at home plate after a home run, and Youk slamming his helmet down after a called strike. I miss Beckett cursing at himself, Tek looking up at hitters in his crouch, and Papi's mega watt smile.

I miss Tito rocking back and forth, Lowell picking one out of the dirt at 3rd, and Coco making another circus catch in CF. I want to see that sweet swing of JD Drew, Lugo checking his cup for the 1789th time, and the Munchkin gobbling up an extra base hit at 2nd.

I miss Pap acting like a maniac after closing out a game, the bullpen jug band, and Daisuke waiting on the mound for the next pitcher to come into the game.

Bart Giamatti got it: he understood what a baseball fan felt. Because he was one, and a die-hard Red Sox fan at that. I wonder what the game would look like today if he hadn't had that heart attack 16 years ago, ending his time as Commissioner after only 154 days. Just 8 days after banning Pete Rose from the game for gambling, he was gone.

As you can tell from what he wrote, he loved the game: and he loved his Red Sox.

I'd like to think he's been looking down and smiling the past 4 years. His beloved Red Sox have won 2 World Championships, something they never were able to accomplish in his 51 years on this rock.

Rest easy, Bart.

They did it.


*Update: Bill James may be Nostradamus.*

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I've Lost My Mind

It's official: the furniture business is in the tank right now. And as sign of the times, I let my little brother Matt cut my hair today.

Actually, I blame the fact Mike Lowell hasn't signed yet for my temporary insanity, but my wife is starting to question whether I'm certifiable or not. So I've gotta blame it on something.

About the time my Pop took this picture, I was second guessing myself: for all the grief I've given the boy for 32 years, it's a small miracle he didn't shave his initials in the back of my head.

In a surprising development, it turned out pretty good: I've sort of got a George Clooney thing going on with my gray hair and how Mattie cut it. Well, IF I was good looking, richer than the Pope, and had supermodels knocking down my door, I'd have a George Clooney thing going on.

You get what I mean.

It's a big improvement over the last hair cut I had: that one was done with my beard trimmer. Word to the wise: beard trimmers DO NOT make good hair cutting tools. I looked like Gilbert Grape for about 2 weeks: Matt's at least was for actual haircuts. For $20 bucks, I'm taking the plunge and buying one: it costs $12 dollars at my barber, and we pay $10 for Rakes and $5 for Trot, so once I use it on all 3 of us, it's paid for.

Besides, like I said, we're not exactly a bunch of Picasso's from the get go: how bad can I screw it up?

Finally, a message for Theo: if you mess this Lowell thing up, all bets are off. I know you have this formula you use, and you were right on Nomar and Petey. BUT, you blew it on Lowe and the O.C. So at best, YOUR way works 50% of the time. Besides, whatever it'd cost you for a 4th year, you'll make it up on T shirt sales and limited edition Mike Lowell shaving cream.

So for the love all that is good and holy:


Friday, November 9, 2007

Hope: It's a Good Thing

Trot in cowboy mode, and Rakes with his "Official" Fireman badge after a field trip to the fire station today.

I've got hope: a glimmer, but still it's hope.

That one day, Trot MAY be riding horses instead of terrorizing defenseless animals.

And that Rakes could be fighting fires instead of causing them.

It ain't much: but it's all I've got to hold onto at this particular moment.


Oh, and Theo:


(My ulcer is starting to get an ulcer.)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Is he? Or isn't he?

According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have a firm 3 year offer on the table for Mike Lowell.

The closest thing to rivaling this in my eyes is the fact it seems like Scott Boras and Slappy may have backed themselves into a corner: I heard Buster Olney on the MLB channel today saying the interest in Arod at the GM meetings has been lukewarm at best.

Seems like all the GM's and agents are getting a kick out of Boras having to eat some humble pie. However, knowing him, that money grubbing dirtbag has a $400 million dollar deal from the Marlins or the Dodgers in his back pocket already and is just looking to drive up the price even more. Did anyone see Texas in the picture back in 2000 when he got the $250 million dollar deal?

Still, the thought of the two of them freaking out about having to go back to the Yankees with their tail between their legs is giving me a great deal of perverse pleasure. What would be more poetic than those two morons having to settle for LESS than the MFY were willing to offer in the extension they made? There's a saying about Karma....

Theo: Do It.

Lastly, to anyone who I've talked to, received an email from, or read a comment on a blog somewhere about my Mom, I can't thank you enough. She came through her surgery with flying colors today, with no apparent evidence of the cancer spreading to her lymph nodes or anywhere else. We'll know more the first of next week, but I gotta thank each and everyone of you. Your prayers, thoughts, PV's, and in the case of Tex, Rally Hoots were GREATLY appreciated by myself and my family.

I'm proud to "know" everyone of you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


*Photo taken by Kelly*

I was going to try and post about my Mom, who is going into the hospital tomorrow morning for breast cancer surgery. Even started a post twice, but couldn't muddle my way through it without tearing up: so I'm reverting to my comfort zone and going into seamhead mode.

Reports out of Boston say that the Red Sox have offered Mikey Doubles a 3 year deal, with an option on year 4. If this happens I'll send Tex to Boston to give Theo a kiss. Look, I like the guy and all, but there ain't no way on God's green earth I'm kissing him: besides, Tex'd be up for it.

He's only been in Boston 2 years, yet it's pretty hard to imagine Lowell wearing anything other than a B on his cap. In fact, if Tek retires after next season, it's not too much of a reach to imagine that Captain's C on the jersey of Mike Lowell: THAT is how much this guy has ingratiated himself to the city of Boston.

Theo: Do It.

As for my Mom, I'll post an update sometime tomorrow after we know a little more. For JET and Rob and Josh, who emailed me about this, you'll never know how much that meant. And for Donna: I heard you, if you didn't know it already. If you were one of the SG family who wished Mom well, the same goes out for you.

And if you weren't any of the above, and your Mom is still with us, do me a favor: call her up and tell her you love her.

I promise you won't regret it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One Final Time

I admit it. I had convinced myself that the Big Schill was gone, off to some NL team to pad his career wins and start calling some local sports talk show in Milwaukee as "Curt in the car".

So I was pleasantly surprised when I read online earlier today that he was possibly coming back to Beantown for one more year. As the day went along, ESPN radio was reporting that it was most LIKELY a done deal, then finally getting home and reading that it WAS a done deal.

$8 million in base salary, with anywhere from $2 to $5 million in incentives, depending on where you read it. Either way, it's a win/win for the Schilling family and for the Red Sox.

It's also a win/win for me, as I get some sort of perverse pleasure out of seeing Shilling yammering away during an entire game while Josh Beckett nods, spits, and nods some more, all without saying a word, while the two of them do a fantastic job of making sure the top railing on the dugout is secure. Makes me smile everytime.

Schilling came here 4 years ago with some pretty big talk about winning a World Series, shutting up 50,000 MFY fans, and leaving a legacy: it took him all of one year to accomplish those 3 goals. In the short time he's been a member of RSN, the Sox have won 2 World Series, reached the playoffs 3 times, and he's forever cemented himself as a Boston icon. I'd say he's been a pretty good investment.

Adding to all that, Schill seems like a guy who "gets" what playing in Boston is all about.

How many professional athletes, who have won 3 championships already, do you see walk away from millions of dollars? You could probably count them on both hands and have 3 or 4 fingers left over. Schilling could have earned a boatload of cash from some other team, gotten a multi year deal, and won enough games in a weaker league/division to make himself a slam dunk Hall of Fame player. Instead, he took LESS money, stayed in the toughest division in baseball, and showed some serious bollocks by taking an incentive laden deal.

Because he GETS it: he is leaving a historic mark on one of the most storied franchises in all of sports: 50 years from now little kids will read about the man with the bloody sock who willed himself to win. About the guy who's enormous ego was matched only by his huge heart. A player who dared to say he would never betray the reputation he'd built over 4 seasons to take the money and run to New York: I hope Johnny Damon was taking notes today. THAT is how you become a legend, Johnny. I hope that extra $12 million was worth it.

15 years from now, the name of Curt Schilling will be uttered in a reverent whisper by Red Sox fans, while Johnny Damon, who was invaluable in his own way to finally winning it all, will be just another footnote in the annals of Red Sox lore.

One final time of Curt making his FIRST start in his final year: Curt making his final start in Yankee Stadium: Curt making his final regular season start at Fenway.

Hopefully, Curt making his LAST start in Game 7 of the World Series: Hopefully.

If not, it's been a great run Curt. Thanks for leaving that comfort zone in Arizona to come to Boston. Thank you for embracing this team, city, and it's fans. All of us will be forever grateful for everything you've done since arriving in Boston.

In great part because of what you have done, thousands of children get to grow up without all the angst and agony that so many people before them had to endure: no more "curses", no more "will they ever win it in my lifetime", and hopefully, no more FOX sports pulling every bad thing that has ever happened in Boston out of their nether region in October again.

They will just get to be normal, everyday fans.

For that alone, I'm pretty sure the money you'll make this upcoming year is worth it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Me: 34 years ago

Me and my boy tonight, right before I put the little hooligan to bed. Notice my tired eyes and his bright ones, coupled with his maniacal grin and the toy of the day, a Hot Wheels car, in his hand.

Mom says I was just like him: short, hyper, and a chip the size of California on my shoulder. Just like his Dad was as a child, Rakes doesn't walk anywhere: he runs. Very fast, taking out anything and anyone (usually his brother Trot) that gets in the way.

The past few days he's wanted to start playing the PS2 after seeing his sister play Barbie on it. In a matter of hours, he's gone from not having a clue to what he's doing to mastering the world of "Crash Banitoot", blowing up robots and swirling tornadoes at will.

It amazes me at not yet 4, he can be so adept at playing video games and using the computer. This coupled with Ciera figuring out all the functions on my new cell phone I got today in about 5 minutes while I'm still on page 3 of the manual led to this realization.

I'm in SERIOUS trouble in about 2 years: I just got my first cell phone with a camera on it today, and Ciera already knew how it worked. How do they know this stuff? How can a boy who still wears a diaper when he sleeps know how to get online, find the sites he wants, and play all these games without an adult helping?

I figure I have two options: A. Turn into Bill Gates. B. Move the family to a deserted island and hermatize ourselves for the rest of our lives.

I think I'm going with plan B.

How much damage can they do on a deserted island?

In Red Sox news, or non Red Sox news, I've got nothing. Lowell still hasn't filed for free agency, Papi had a minor knee operation today, and Manny has been MIA since his appearance on Leno Friday night. I'm pretty sure he followed Jay home that night and has been camped out on his front porch ever since.

Finally, things just keep on getting better if you are a Yankee fan.

What a bunch of ever lovin' dinks.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Seems like yesterday

Hard to believe it's already been a week since the Red Sox won their second championship in the past 4 years: in case you're counting that's 2 in the 21st century.

Conversely, the Yankees have spent over $1 BILLION dollars in the past 7 seasons and have a grand total of 0 titles to show for it. Just goes to show that you can spend all the money you want, but unless you know what you're doing with it, you might as well invest the money in a Yak farm.

Same result: no championship.

Heading into the Hot Stove time of year, and the biggest issues for the Sox are Lowell, Schilling, Timlin, and can they find someone to take Coco Crisp off our hands: young Master Jacoby looks to be manning CF for the next 10 years or so.

We all turned our clocks back an hour last night, and when I noticed it was almost dark around 5:30 this afternoon, it hit me: baseball is REALLY over until next spring. No more games, no DO and Remy, no more Riverdancing. Just surfing the internets trying to find some bits of news about the team, obsessing over who will fill the backup catcher position, and wondering what exactly Manny whispered in Steve Carell's ear right before sitting down Friday night.

The mind boggles.



Just because it needed to be said.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

If it's good enough for Papi, it's good enough for me.


Other than that, I've got nothing. I've spent the night putting rugrats to bed and watching replays of Hell's Kitchen on YouTube.

I think you could say I'm in the post World Series funk.

All I know is that the Large Father, David Ortiz wants Mikey Doubles back.

As far as I'm concerned, that's good enough for me.

So Theo: listen to the Bedazzler.

Sign Mike Lowell.

Man, do I HATE the offseason.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Manny, meet Mr. Leno

Tonight, sometime between 11:30 pm and 12:30 am, Manny Ramirez will be appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

This could turn into one of two things: either the GREATEST segment in the history of late night television, or the biggest train wreck this side of Ms. Spears most recent MTV performance.

What in the world could he have to say? Will he invite the studio audience back to his hotel room for drinks, much like he invited the entire town of Boston to his house during the parade?

Will he finally explain why he stroked Julian Tavarez's head during an ENTIRE half inning this year? Are we going to get the final word on why he played mute for all of the regular season, only to turn into quote machine once the playoffs start? Will he finally admit his hat his too small for his ever growing hair and that next season he's getting the Barry Bond's sized batting helmet?

My guess? He walks out to a huge ovation, then spends the next 15 minutes giggling like a 5 year old while trying to convince Jay he absolutely, positively, HAS to sit in with Paul Schaffer and the band before he leaves while Leno futilely tries to explain that he's thinking of the wrong show. There is no way on earth my head is hitting a pillow until Manny exits stage left.

Finally, the Sox announced today they've exercised the options of Tim Wakefield and Julian Tavarez. Wake I get: he won 17 games last season and can be the voice of wisdom and experience now since it appears the Big Schill will not be coming back. Tavarez, on the other hand, is a head scratcher to me. He wasn't good enough to be on the playoff/World Series roster, yet he's good enough to pick up at almost $4 million dollar option?

Maybe they just want him around to keep Manny happy or Daisuke hasn't learned EVERY curse word in Spanish yet: I have no clue. Or maybe they did it so they can bring Schill back and trade Julian for some prospects. Who knows.

However, the possibility of one more year of the Julian Tavarez era in Boston has me positively giddy.

'Cause bowling the ball to first base will NEVER get old.

*I found the highlights of Manny on The Tonight Show and Big Papi on the Conan O'Brien Show over at the blog CENTER FIELD. Watching the video, it's no wonder these two have been embraced the way they have by RSN: Good stuff.*

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Kid Closer

Do you think Timlin needs the earplugs because he was on a Duck boat with the Dropkick Murphys?

Or because he was on a Duck boat with Jonathan Papelbon?

Pap was OUT OF CONTROL on the Rolling Rally, with the processional stopping 3 different times so he could Riverdance for RSN.

Watching him turn into the best closer currently in the game has been a pleasure to watch. Don't get me wrong: he's not Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman.


Seeing him act like a goofball, from the Bud Light box in his underwear, to waggling his fingers at Tek, to playing air guitar with a broom during the parade? Priceless.

Baseball, and ALL sports, need guys like Pap: players who realize they get paid an enormous amount of money to play a game intended for kids. Who understand that while what they do is a HUGE deal to a lot of people, in the grand scheme of things, it's really only a diversion.

How refreshing is it to see grown men actually having FUN at what they do? Not acting like that if they don't win, world peace will never be achieved? Seriously, I'm as big a seam head as you'll find: I'm the guy who curses at the TV when things go wrong and who REALLY thinks that if I wear my lucky hat, it'll help the Red Sox win. But when I go into my daughter's room to kiss her goodnight and see her sleeping, even I know what TRULY matters.

To me, it's a welcome relief from all the self important dinks that walk around as if they had a corn cob stuck up their nether regions and acting like playing sports for a living makes them somehow better than a teacher, a police officer, a soldier, or a stock broker. Slappy, I'm talking to you.

Pap gets how fortunate he is, and it shows in how he conducts himself when he's not out on the field.

Like a kid raiding the candy store.

Long live the Riverdance.