Friday, October 31, 2008

Just another Ghost on Halloween.

I know he's gone, never to return; at least not wearing the scarlet B on his hat. But without Manny, his dreads, and that wicked right handed bat hitting in the 4 hole we probably don't have 2 World Championships in 4 years.

Yes. I'm well aware that he basically quit on his teammates, jaked it in the field and at the plate, and basically behaved like a 4 year old to get run out of town all so he can break the bank as a free agent. And as much as I'd like it not to happen, some dink is going to give him around $100 million dollars to hit a baseball, lollygag around the bases, and make Lucy from Peanuts look like a Gold Glove candidate.

But it's Halloween, I found this picture, and it sums up Manny better than a 1,000 word column or blog ever could.

Plus, I needed a picture for a Halloween post and this one was on the first page I googled; Yes. I really am that lazy.

Speaking of Halloween, I broke about 37 moving traffic violations on the way home from work to take the Axis of Evil trick-or-treating, didn't eat dinner until 8:40, and finally got the last one put to bed about 4 minutes ago.

We walked the neighborhood ringing doorbells, trying to avoid cars AND the moronic teenagers from the neighboring development riding around on skateboards, and failing miserably to keep Trot from stopping every 2.5 feet to try and open his candy.

Meanwhile Rakes is chasing the couple across the street's Grandson around and hitting him with his candy bag, Ciera is ringing the doors of houses that are TOTALLY dark, and Ang is having a friendly chat with one of the Mom's down the street. All this while I try to play traffic cop for 3 whirling dervishes in costumes on a candy-fueled rampage.

I need a Quaalude.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Hate the Offseason.

Have you ever seen anything quite as sad as Fenway Park completely empty?

Until this year, this would have bothered me a little. Given the fact I got to attend 4 games and walk the hallowed halls of this great park, I've got a slightly skewed perspective. I touched the Green Monster and the Pesky Pole. I stood behind home plate and looked up at the press boxes.

I even took the tour with Kelly O and snapped a photo of the ledge behind the RF seats where some poor dink paid $35 to stand on a ledge and attempt to watch a game.

I stood behind the seats for over 7 hours while balancing myself on a guard rail, in the rain, to watch Josh Beckett lose to the Angels thanks to my good friend Rob. So while I'm not an expert, I at least have first hand knowledge.

As for the result of my extensive testing and first hand knowledge, I've come to the following conclusion; There is NOTHING more pitiful than an empty Fenway Park.

Come next April, the place will be jumping; beer will be sold, Fenway Franks will be eaten, and "Sweet Caroline" will be sang. Until then, the great old park will be silent. Gone will be the cheers, boos, and curses of 35,000 plus die hards wanting the Old Towne Team to pull one out in the late innings.

No Papi, no Tito, and no Joe Castiglione turning a long fly ball into an epic home run.

I hate the winter, with all the snow, sleet, and broken dreams for RSN.

Give me Spring Training, DO and Remy in Magnum P.I. shirts, and TC and Eck pontificating on the season to come.

I have no idea WHF I'm going to do for the next 4 months.

Thank God I've got Rakes to write about.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I wanted the Rays to lose for a myriad of reasons. Because they all got mowhawk haircuts, they've got cheap shot artists who wouldn't know a fair fight if it bit them on the rear end, and those idiotic cowbells they give away.

Because of The Heckler, Dick Vitale, and those two morons that announce all their games on FSN Florida. And let's not forget that stupid dome they play in with the roof in play, Joe Maddon and his doofus eye wear, and the fact that Jonny Gomes actually has a job.

Plus, I wanted them to lose simply because they beat my Red Sox and I have the mental maturity of a 3 year old; they beat my team? I hope they get their head handed to them on a silver platter. I've gotta admit that I took some sort of perverse happiness in watching the Phillies dog pile each other on the pitchers mound while the Rays looked like they were getting a root canal.

But the big reason I hoped the Phillies could pull it off? That soft spoken gentleman with the southern twang who manages the Phillies. The same guy who lost his mother during the playoffs, yet kept on going until the final out was recorded. A baseball lifer whose biggest claim to fame up until now was being Manny Ramirez's favorite coach.

That same guy is now the manager of the World Champions and they can NEVER take that away from him.

Congratulations, Charlie.

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Is it February yet?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Waiting for the Hot Stove League

After stories about writing on the walls, destroying furniture, and treating his brother like a punching bag, every now and then God shines upon my house and we have days like today.

Rakes obeyed everything his Mom said; no drinks in the living room, shared his toys with Trot, and said "please" and "thank you" when it was appropriate.

I'm ignoring the fact the two of them destroyed the Lego set in Ciera's math teachers room during parent/teacher conference today and Ang found Rakes on all 4's with Trot on his back getting ready to pull the fire alarm at school. Who among us hasn't done the same?

Nobody got killed, the police weren't called, and the emergency room went another night without a visit from one of my kids; all in all I'd call that a success.

I've gotta give an early Happy Birthday to my Big Sister Tex who is winging her way to New England tomorrow for a weekend at the Cape. Have a great time, sis.

And call me if you need bail money.

Wish I could be there to celebrate with you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Nation Turns it's Lonely Eyes to You.

With the upcoming election dominating every news outlet in the world, the Red Sox sitting at home during the World Series while the Rays play the Phillies, and the economy sinking faster than A-Rod's stock in the playoffs, I turn my weary eyes toward the one thing that can make it all go away.

A lone, solitary figure with a heart of gold, a bad disposition, and a quick trigger finger.

Forget Manny, Schilling, or Chip Caray and Joe Buck releasing the "Christmas Carols Sung By Two Ever Loving Dinks" next month. Nevermind all that Presidential Election talk and whoever that Joe the Plumber dude is; there are much bigger fish to fry.




Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's time for Halloween again.

Tonight at the local Methodist church where Rakes goes to pre-school, they held their annual "Trunk or Treat" event where the kids walk up to about 20 cars in the parking lot and get candy. It's sort of like pre-season for the big event this Friday.

So, from left to right you have the demented Lion who screamed for 20 minutes about wanting a hat, Rakes doing his best impression of Barney Fife as Woody the Cowboy, and Ciera channeling her inner Tek. Although she did turn down my suggestion she draw a beard on her face and wear her jeans pulled up to mid-calf.

You can't tell these young kids anything.

Trot was more interested in having a tail, Rakes wanted to know if he could carry a "real" gun and Ciera initially wanted to go as herself. What happened to the Halloween of my youth where you spent 3 months planning what you were going to be and then were utterly disgusted when the Paul Stanley costume your Mom bought looked NOTHING like the box it came in?

What killed me more than anything was remembering last year when we did this; I was walking on air because the Red Sox were in the World Series and I knew if I could make it through the chaos I had a World Series game I was actually invested in to get me through the night.

Yeah, I've got the game on now and I'm glad the Phillies are winning; it's just not the same.

Is it time for the Hot Stove League yet?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends.

There are people who go an entire lifetime and not meet somebody who changes the way they look at the world. And I genuinely feel sorry for them.

Today I had the pleasure of introducing my wife to my friends Rob and Jane, two of the best people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. Down from New England for the UNC/BC football game, I was in the rare spot of being on my home turf for a palooza. Sort of.

As I watched all the college aged kids walk against the street signs, ignore the whistles of the police officers, and generally look like they could care less what anyone else said I had a "Grumpy Old Men" moment for a second or two.

Then I realized it didn't matter. They weren't MY kids; Let 'em get run over by a Chapel Hill bus for all I cared. I was Paloozing.

Exactly like I expected, Angie fell in love with the two of them from the get go and we had a great time catching up and meeting Jane's Dad and his lovely wife. My only regret was it ended too quick; one of these days I'll convince her to leave everything she's ever known and move to New England.

And yes, I realize she'll have to be heavily sedated or declared mentally incompetent for that to happen.

I can live with that.

North Carolina Palooza!

New England meets the South today when Ang and I meet up with Rob, Jane, and Dad of Jane in Chapel Hill, NC for the UNC/Boston College football game.

I'm stoked about Angie getting to meet a couple of the best people I've ever known, and I'm just as anxious to show my beautiful wife off to them as well.

Throw in the fact that all 3 kids are spending the night at various unsuspecting victims... er, relatives and Ted is a happy boy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Looking Ahead

This is how I'm choosing to remember the 2008 Boston Red Sox.

Standing on the top step yelling their heads off over a Dustin Pedroia home run in Game 7 of the ALCS. Yeah, we lost. And yeah it's the Rays and not us fighting the Phillies over who is going to be World Champion this year.

I know we've got to worry about whether Tek is coming back next season, are Papi, Beckett, and Mikey going to be healthy, and that small matter of whether CC Sabbathia and Mark Texiera will be wearing pinstripes come April.

Way I look at it, we've got all winter long to worry over all that mess; my team got to within 1 game of the World Series and the Yankees finished in 3rd place.

No matter how you look at it, I consider that success.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sometimes a picture DOESN'T tell the whole story.

Thanks to my buddy Josh and his beautiful wife Amy my kids are now the proud owner of a Wally the Green Monster Build-a-Bear. Here Ciera is holding big Wally, while Rakes and Trot clutch their mini-Wally's in a gentle embrace.

Minutes after this picture was taken Big Wally was taken hostage for ransom while the two mini Wally's were executed gangland style.

Game 2 of the World Series is tonight, and the Rays are currently beating the Phillies 4-0.

This development hacks me off to no end; I wanted a sweep that resulted in Maddon and his upstarts heading into the off season with doubt, confusion, and a general feeling of "How in the world did we actually GET to the World Series?" reverberating in their brains.

Since it looks like that isn't happening, my second wish is Theo, he of the Ivy League law degree, has commissioned some disillusioned scientist to begin work on the Manny Ramirez clone, minus the lack of hustle and missing the "I'll quit on my team" gene to hit in the 4 hole next year.

If not, I'm sort of getting worried we'll have a DH hitting 3rd who'll lead the league in wall ball singles next year.

Yes. I realize it's still October. And yes, I realize the World Series is still being played.

I've got issues, OK?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote for Toeing the Rubber!

That shadowy figure on the left with the Ray Ban sunglasses and the gentle smile? That's my friend Cyn. And as much as her on-line persona will make you basically freak out in fear, if you know her you're gonna love her. (Sorry, Cyn. Hope I didn't ruin any street cred you may have once had. ;))

She's the author of a fantastic blog entitled Toeing the Rubber, which if you're one of the 3 people who regularly read HERE will be BLOWN away by what someone with real talent can do.

I've gotta preface the rest of this post with this; I've never endorsed another blog on my posts. Not because they didn't deserve it, but mainly because I just figured any positive comment from me was just gonna make the other person look bad. However, I considered my lack of readers against her shot at glory and decided to take an educated gamble.

If you aren't reading Cyn's blog, I gotta suggest you start post haste. She's knowledgeable, well read, intuitive, and is on a first name basis with Kyle Snyder. If you don't know who Kyle Snyder is, I humbly suggest you beat a path to and figure it out.

Bottom line is Cyn is a good friend. A woman who I hope MY little girl Ciera can grow up and immulate; articulate, well read, intelligent, and can tell you how to turn a perfect 5-4-3 double play without breaking a sweat.

Turns out Cyn is a finalist for "The Next Great Sports Blogger" sponsored by the Boston radio station WEEI. Seeing as how the only award I'll ever be up for is "2nd best blogger in the Dalton Family" this is my one and only shot at glory. So I'm starting up the "Get out and vote for Cyn campaign or I'll send Rakes and Trot to live with you for a month" contest.

Trust me on this; you don't want those two hellions anywhere close to your valuables and Cyn MORE than deserves this. The woman knows more about the Red Sox and baseball than I've learned in 38 years on this rock. This ain't no charity deal; she truly deserves to win this thing. I've gained more insight into the inner workings of the Red Sox by listening to her than I have reading 5,457 columns by the CHB.

On a personal note, you won't find a candidate with a more giving heart and the best Boston accent this side of Marky Mark in "The Departed" if you tried.

I'd say more, but I'd embarrass Cyn and get myself a beating the next time I get to Boston.

I'm the RSD and I approve this message.

As the young kids say;

Rock the Vote.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Serenity Now.

Due to the fact the Red Sox lost Game 7 Sunday night, combined with the fact Trot and I both woke up with what I can only describe as Dengue Fever at 5 o'clock Monday morning, I haven't had it in me to write about the events at Casa De Ted that occurred on Sunday afternoon until now.

Let me preface this post with this; I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER been as angry with one of my children as I was with Rakes 2 days ago. While Ang, Trot, and Ciera were taking a nap and Rakes was SUPPOSEDLY watching a movie in the toy room, I was on the computer messing around for a few hours.

It wasn't until Angie woke up, walked into the foyer, and uttered the words "WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU DONE?" that I got any sort of inkling things had gone awry. Turns out Rakes had turned our foyer walls into some sort of caveman graffiti experiment, complete with drawings of boats, baseballs, and houses in a variety mix of colors. He even traced the light plates for good measure while turning our entire entry way into one huge coloring project.

After cleaning what we could off the wall, priming and painting the various crime scenes, Angie discovered an even greater act of vandalism; our chair, from Clayton Marcus that we paid $400 dollars for back when we had no kids and a ton of disposable income had a 15 inch tear running all the way down it's side courtesy of a rusty stake knife and Rakes' lack of a conscious.

It's at this point in the story that I must admit I now understand how parents can go over the line when it comes to disciplining their kids. It's only God, a small miracle, and me seeing the world through a rage tinted haze that kept me from taking him out to the middle of nowhere and dropping him off for the next poor family that happened by.

He, along with me, Ang, and the rest of the free world have no explanation on why he did what he did; after 3 hours of talking I frankly just gave up. All I know is he's not yet 5, I'm closing in on 39 years old, and I have no idea what I'm freaking doing.

I guess I just play it by ear the next few years and hope against hope he doesn't end up in juvie. How do you respond when you try to have a heart to heart talk with a 5 year old and he just looks at you like you have 2 heads?

It's a little bit scary and a whole bag full of sober to think about the fact your first born son could be facing a criminal record in the next 5 years. I think I'll just pray he outgrows it and somehow becomes a missionary to Africa when it's all said and done.

Outside of that?

I got nothing.

Do you see now why I cling to the hopes of a baseball team for 6 months?

Can somebody tell me why valium is only available by prescription?

Monday, October 20, 2008

All Good Things Must Come To An End

From the first day pitchers and catchers report in February, it's coming. No matter how much we want to deny it, from Spring Training to the All-Star game to the last out of the World Series, it's inevitable. The baseball season will end; for the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation it ended last night. Not at Fenway Park, but in a dump of an indoor park in St. Petersburg, FL of all places.

To a team that had never had a winning record and if anyone in the free world had the foresight to actually lay money down in Vegas on them winning it all? God Bless 'em, because I sure didn't see it coming.

I'm not gonna complain; the boys had another magical run and made it to one game away from the World Series. Along the way, they dealt with injuries to Mikey and JD Drew, Beckett suddenly turning mortal again, and Tek a shell of his former self. Mike Timlin suddenly got old, Ellsbury remembered he was a second year player, and at the end we had Mark Kotsay playing 1B and Jason Bay in RF. He was there because the brass finally decided they'd had enough of Manny being Manny and shipped him off to Cali, where all he did there was look like the greatest player who'd ever lived for a couple of months.

In my eyes? The fact they were even THERE at the end is a minor miracle; facing a team that apparently has destiny and all the good luck in the world on it's side? That's a tough row to hoe.

On a personal front, this was hands down the best baseball year I've EVER had. I got to go to Fenway Park for the first time in May for a three game set with the Brewers while at the same time getting to see some old friends and meet some new ones. We paloozed, we hugged, and we laughed our heads off. Then, thanks to my good buddy Rob, I was actually in Fenway Park for Game 3 of the ALDS against the Angels with Josh Beckett on the mound; the fact we lost doesn't change the fact I got to experience something I never imagined I would.

Fenway Park in October.

So now we wait. For next year and pitchers and catchers. For those first images from Spring Training, for Opening Day, and for the first home series. We wait for another Palooza in Boston, for that first MFY/Sox series, and for the All-Star Game.

In short? We wait for 2009. It'll come; just like last year and the year before, and the year before that. Others like Bart Giamatti and James Earl Jones have said it much more eloquently than me, but the message is the same.

Baseball, the Red Sox, and another gut busting, nail biting, pace the floor and curse under your breath season is just around the corner.

It can't get here fast enough.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just Another Gray Hair

On the surface, this looks like a normal, happy child. What if I told you he had his crash helmet on while he's pushing this huge yellow and orange car as fast as he can toward his older brother in an attempt to separate him from his bicycle?

Did I mention Rakes JUST learned how to ride his bike without training wheels? So he's trying to keep his balance, pedal as fast as his little legs can go, watch out for mailboxes, curbs, and oncoming traffic while a demented midget with a BRATZ helmet, a grin usually seen on mental patients, and screaming gibberish pushing an over sized tonka toy tries to hip check him into the neighbor's driveway.

As I watched my boys try to maim each other before supper, I tried to keep my mind off Beckett and his Game 6 start. I was worried about his health, our bats, and those idiotic cowbells at Tropicana Field. Turns out I never should have questioned my team.

Beckett wasn't filthy, but he was good enough. The bullpen Pirates known as Okajima, Masterson, and Pap were out of this world, and it turns out The Captain isn't dead yet. So it's on to Game 7 tonight with Jon Lester on the bump. I guess it's appropriate; he's been our horse all year long. So let it come down to him vs Matt Garza.

It all comes down to 1 final game against the Rays to see who goes to the World Series. After 6 months of fighting for first place in the AL East and fighting on the field at Fenway Park, it's time for the Sox to take some advice from Andy Dufresne.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Ulcer Can't Kill You. Right?

*Photo courtesy of Kelly O*

It's the bottom of the 5th, Red Sox lead 2-1, and I'm currently rocking back and forth while reciting The Lord's Prayer.

I'm pretty sure this is no way for a 38 year old man with a wife and 3 kids is supposed to act. Realistically, I should start looking at October as a way to line up all my Doctor appointments, shrink visits, and decide to head to Costco for that extra large bottle of TUMS. And I probably should check on what the gallon size bottles of Pepto Bismal cost while I'm there.

Bartlett just tied the game at 2-2 in the 5th. I'm headed to the garage and the safety of the car and XM radio for now. Keep the Fair all you Red Sox fans and if anybody knows a good cardiologist, could you give them a call for me?

I've got a hunch I'll need one before this is all said and done.

Friday, October 17, 2008

You Called Down The Thunder. Well Now You Got It.

In my head, I keep imagining Jonny Gomes as Ike Clanton and Beckett as Wyatt Earp.

Those dinks had a 7-0 lead with 7 outs to go and blew it. Again, 7-0 with 7 outs left. And they choked; just like the MFY's in '04 and the Indians last year, they CHOKED. Now, the Sox have nothing to lose and probably spent the charter flight down to St. Petersburg chugging Bud Lights and trying not to watch as Papelbon did the Macarena while singing "I Need A Hero" at the top of his lungs.

Meanwhile Maddon and his crew are saying all the right things like "We're still in the drivers seat" and "We're going back home" but you know they've gotta feel like a lemur surrounded by a pack of wild Lions. I heard Charlie Steiner on the MLB channel on XM radio ask the following question today; Are the Rays up 3-2 or behind 2-3?

They may think going back to that hell hole of a dome is going to save their season. What they don't understand is the Sox have been here before. TWICE. The Rays are like a couple of small fish with a small cut in the middle of a pool of sharks.

You should have finished the Sox off. Like Mark Wahlberg in "The Departed" when he waxed Matt Damon or Bush Sr. in the first Iraq war. FINISH IT.

Instead, you gave the Red Sox hope. And hope, to a team like Boston is a bad thing for the other guy.

Tomorrow night it's Beckett vs "Big Game" James Shields. I'll ignore the fact he's with the Rays and he's pitched in approximately ONE big game and go with it.

Me? I'll take the guy who walked into Yankee Stadium and shut up 50,000 drunks on three days rest 5 years ago over the other guy who happened to have a pretty good year.

See you tomorrow at 8 p.m.

I'll be the guy having heart palpitations.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reality Bites.

It's the 6th inning and the Red Sox are losing 5-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Other than trying to resist the urge to find one of my neighbors who is willing to swing a sledge hammer full on into my gibleys, I'm oddly calm about the fact tonight may very well be the last time I see the Red Sox playing baseball this year.

I'm sure part of it is because if they lose I won't have to hear Chip Freaking Caray scream the words "Fisted, gliding, hammered, and stroked" until next season. For a guy with his pedigree, he comes across as nothing more than your standard homer announcer calling the local minor league affiliates game.

Also, it's been a pretty amazing year for me personally, at least as far as the Red Sox go. In May, I was able to go to Fenway Park for the first time in my 38 years. For a 3 game series vs the Brewers. Which the Red Sox SWEPT. Then, on the way home, Jon Lester pitched a no-hitter vs the Royals that I didn't find out about until around midnight that night.

Follow that up with getting to go to Game 3 of the ALDS, courtesy of the generosity of my friend Rob, and 2008 was nothing short of awesome.

Yeah, I'd have loved for them to have repeated as World Series Champions. But with Mikey on the shelf with a bum hip, Tek looking positively mortal, and the starting pitching deciding the ALCS was the perfect time to start throwing BP it didn't look good. Throw in Ellsbury hitting the proverbial wall, Pedie slumping, and Ortiz and his bum wrist and it's an ever loving miracle we made it this far.

I kept the Fair. Never gave up. But sometimes, it's just not your day. Big props to the Rays; I kept waiting for them to trip over their own feet and they NEVER DID. Great pitching, timely hitting, and they have rode the wave all the way to the end. All I can do is tip my cap, wish 'em luck, and pray the Phillies beat their brains in.

All I know is that every year, when the season starts, my team has a better than even shot of reaching the playoffs. We've been to the ALCS 4 times in the last 6 years and won it all twice. Ask the MFY's if they'd like to have that record in the 21st Century.

So I won't be tossing Tito, Papi, or the guy who keeps the pitching mound ready under the bus. It's baseball; if you don't get lucky you're in BIG trouble.

So I look to 2009 as "We'll get 'em next year." And I wish nothing more than Lowell get healthy, Beckett find his swagger again, and hope that next October will find Pap dancing around Fenway in his boxer shorts with a beer box on his head.

Although I'm still imagining a Mothers Day Miracle for tonight.

The Fair?

It's being kept.

POSTSCRIPT: We won. 8-7. I think I need a angioplasty.

On to Tampa and I wonder if those boys feel the noose tightening around their neck yet?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Will the last man standing please show up?

Down 3 games to 1.

Win or go home is about the only option I can try and sell.

Leave it to the Red Sox to have the guy who walks more people than the Kansas City Royals 5th pitcher to have the deciding game in his hands.

Screw it; if the Rays can't win this game they don't deserve to win the series. Dice-K is on the hill and I've got a good feeling. And if we win tonight, we've got Beckett in Game 6. God forbid the sun shine on us and we've got Jon Lester in Game 7.

To paraphrase Kevin Millar? Don't let us win tonight. We've been here before. Against better teams and against worse odds; bottom line?

It ain't over yet. And until somebody tells me that the season is over and Fenway Park is shut down until April I'll be right here keeping the fair. Cause not to long ago some moron told me it was done. Sadly, I believed him.

Now? Unless I see the World Series lineup and my boys aren't part of it, I'm keeping the freaking fair.

See you tomorrow, Tampa.

Better bring your A game.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I haz a sad.

Tonight at Fenway Park, we may be witnessing the end of an era.

Trot Nixon, long gone from the Red Sox, but since I named my son after him he's never more than a few rooms away from my heart threw out the first pitch.

The guy who caught it? Only the best catcher to ever don the Red Sox uni this side of Pudge Fisk and who quite possibly won't be brought back next year.

And the starting pitcher? Tim Wakefield, who is 42 years old and just got rocked with 3 HR's and 5 runs in his 2+ innings of work tonight. I have no idea what Theo and the front office is thinking in regards to Wake; that restraining order I got back in the spring sure isn't helping matters. Who knew the guy would be that sensitive? I mean c'mon; I don't think anything I said deserved me going through a mental evaluation and 36 hours of "observation".

Whatever. It's the top of the 6th, the Sox are losing 6-1 and are staring at being down 3-1 in the series. You know what that means, right?

We've got 'em right where we want 'em.

Ask the MFY's how it felt to be up 3-0 in 2004. Better yet, ask the Indians how it felt to have a 3-1 lead only to watch Papelbon dancing around the infield in his underwear with a 12 pack box on his head at the end.

I don't know if it was Casey Stengal, Yogi Berra, or Benny Hill who said it first, but the phrase "It ain't over till it's over" keeps banging around inside my head. Plus the fact that Chip Carey needs to learn some freaking humility and some respect for the defending World Champions. Plus it gives him a chance to hit the barbershop and have those caterpillars trimmed off the top of his eyeballs. Does the dude not have a mirror in his house?


For now, I'm headed to the garage and the relative safety of the car. On the downside it's not air conditioned, I can hardly open my door due to all the toys along the wall, and there is no television.

Positves? No television. Which means Chip, Buck, Ron, Pip, Alvin, and Pauley Shore (I'm not positive, but I think he's working the TBS pre-game show) are nowhere to be found. I just need to accept the fact that October baseball, in particular the ALCS is a test of my faith about the Red Sox.

2004 and 2007 say Keep the Fair.

So I will.

See you Thursday night, Tampa.

Do you believe in ghosts?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Somewhere Ted Nugent is Smiling.

July 23rd, 1979 my buddy Dayton hit a ground ball that bounced off a root in my back yard and hit me square in the marbles.

I bring this up only because it's the closest thing to how I feel after tonight's game I could think of. After watching Beckett gack it up on Saturday night I was hoping for Lester to resemble Sammy "The Bull" Gravano and dispatch of the Rays as such.

Sadly, this didn't happen, and after watching Carlos Pena's 9th inning Home Run hit some Volvo on the Mass Pike I turned my weary eyes to tomorrow.

Forget that 9-1 waxing we took tonight; tomorrow we look to a 42 year old knuckleball pitcher with a beer belly and premature balding issues. A guy who began his career as a corner infielder who somehow, through the grace of God, the magic of Fenway Park, and a voodoo shop on Berkline Avenue is now the longest tenured member of the team.

He's got a career 19-5 record vs Tampa, has dealt with Aaron Freaking Boone in 2003, and cried standing on the pitching mound after the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in 2004.

Plus he's got a set of gibleys big enough to go hunting with Mike Timlin and live to tell about it.

For all those reasons, plus the fact he looks like he'd like to gut Joe Maddon like some random deer I've got a good feeling heading into tomorrow nights game. ALCS games for the Red Sox are like Kryptonite to Superman; it makes us weak, weary, and ready to move on.

But just like being down 0-3 to the MFY's in 2004 and 1-3 to the Indians in 2007, I'm not sweating the small stuff. Something inside me knows that Wake will make 'em look silly tomorrow, Dice-K will be Dice-K, and Beckett will suddenly remember he's the Commander of the FYYO Brigade and we'll all be Riverdancing down to Philly or out to Cali sometime next week.

At least that's what I keep telling myself. Lowell hurt, Ellsbury 0 for 20 something, and Papi not being Papi is in the back of my mind. But I'm Keeping the Fair and holding on.

'Cause just like Red said in Shawshank.


It's a good thing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

When bad things happen to good people.

This is not the image you want to see in the 5th inning; Tito coming to get The Commander out of the game. I'm not really sure what's going on with Beckett; could be he's still feeling the oblique thing or he's just rusty from the layoff of not pitching much over the last month. Whatever it is, I imagine several water coolers, a couple of bats and possibly a toilet or two got trashed after he left the field.

All I know is after watching him scuffle, the game go back and forth with us taking the lead and the Rays getting it right back inning after inning was tough enough; to lose it in extra innings at the ungodly hour of around 2 a.m. and me blinking blearily at the television like some sleep deprived mole left me with the feeling I'd just been kicked in the gibleys with a pair of Beckett's cowboy boots.

The practical part of my brain knows getting out of that stupid dome with a split is good; considering the way they waxed us down there all season it's actually freaking fantastic. But the irrational part? I wanted to go back to Boston with those dinks down 2-0 and looking for Jack Kevorkian to put 'em out of their misery.

Fenway Park in October is different than the regular season; I found that out last Sunday night. And come tomorrow, so will the Rays. It's louder, somehow smaller, and the electricity in the air is UNREAL. Combine that with the cold weather, the absence of 35,000 stupid cowbells, and the magic of Fenway and I'm pretty sure those boys are gonna figure out they ain't in Kansas anymore.

Oh yeah. That guy we've got pitching tomorrow?

He's pretty good.

Pack a sack lunch, boys. It's gonna be a long day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Trot, channeling Ted.

This is what I found sitting in my chair when I came home from work tonight.

Funny, he looks like a miniature version of me after last weekend. I have no idea how I kept my eyes open for Game 4 this past Monday.

As I type, it's 6-5 Sox in the top of the 5th inning, and Pedie, Youk, and Bay have all just gone yard in the same inning.

I'm actually doing OK. Yeah, I'm hoping an asteroid will hit the broadcast booth in the next .5 seconds, taking Chip, Buck, and Ron Darling off to baseball heaven with it. And there is nothing I want more than for somebody in a Red Sox Jersey to take all those stupid cowbells that are ringing right now and shove them repeatedly where the sun don't shine.

Preferably somewhere in Chip Caray.

It's 10:21 on Saturday night, all my kids are in bed, and I'm pacing the living room and cursing like a sailor on a 4 day leave.

Must be Playoff baseball.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Playoff Baseball. It'll eventually kill me.

It's 10:10 p.m. on Friday night.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching, Chip Carey is causing me to consider firing a loaded weapon into my television screen, and the Red Sox are winning 1-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning.

Combine the fact Chip (what kind of name is that anyway? I realize I named my boys Rakes and Trot, but Chip? Did he live in the third stall on the right during high school, getting swirly after swirly while cursing his parents under his breath?) keeps trying to jinx the "thing that shall not be uttered?" If you're a fan of the game you'll get that; if not, see me tomorrow. I'm not gonna be the one to mess with the mojo.

All this while Red and Denton are live blogging over at Surviving Grady, Ang has turned my computer room/sanctuary into a sweat shop, and Rakes asked me if YoGo's would make him have nightmares as I put him to bed.

I've instructed Ang to have the defibulator ready and the hospital on speed dial.

And it's only Game 1.

I freaking love October.

::Mainlines Mt. Dew::

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rakes at the Pumpkin Patch: It's an off day.

Rakes went to the Pumpkin Patch with his pre-school class today.

And no, we didn't have to sign a waver absolving him of any crimes he might commit beforehand, but Ang went along just in case. To document it all in film in the event we'd have to defend ourselves in a court of law.

There were pumpkins to be picked, Scarecrows to be stuffed, cows to be traumatized, and trails to be walked. Apparently he did just fine, at least according to my wife of 16 years.

Although this one picture has me worried.

I'm pretty sure this Horse is gonna need therapy in the near future.

Red Sox baseball tomorrow night.

Thank God.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You'd think I was 10 years old.

Thanks to Josh and Amy, I've got another child. Only this one is green, with baggy pants and I don't have to actually feed him.

Sometime soon, Wally the Build A Bear will arrive on my front porch.

I give him 2.3 hours before Rakes has him tied to the ceiling fan or Trot has him hogtied to the bush in the front yard. This place is like "Goodfellas", only for minors. Which means the mayhem is the same but the language is a little more PG.

I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna make it until Friday night for a Red Sox game; I'm already twitching in my easy chair as I flip channels and curse under my breath. What can I say; the winter is never a fun time around the RSD's house.

And so I wait. For Joe Maddon, Erik Hinske, and Carlos Pena to invade my living room from the tomb known as Tropicana Field. For Chip freaking Carey and Buck Martinez to send me over the edge. And for Papi to send a James Shield fastball rattling around the catwalks of that mortuary they call home field. As much as I'm glad to see the Yankees sitting at home for the playoffs, I'm that much more irritated we've gotta play the Rays in the ALCS; they don't KNOW they shouldn't be here.

I've spent the last few days getting prepared; Extra Pepto in the medicine cabinet, a Raggedy Andy doll to punch repeatedly, and Darrin at Best Buy on speed dial just in case I decide to go Elvis Presley on my television Friday night.

Somebody tell me again how all this is good for me?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This NEVER gets old.

They could have done this Sunday night.

When I was, you know, IN Boston.

It's all good, though. The Red Sox are in the ALCS again and all is well. This time it's the Tampa Bay Rays, their beatnik manager Joe Maddon, and about 35,000 freaking cowbells standing in the way of the Red Sox going to the World Series for the 3rd time in 5 years.

So while I read "The Bernstein Bears Go To The Beach" to Rakes tonight with COPS in the background and him wondering why some dink was kicking the window of the cop car I was thinking how awesome this is.

I was thinking the same thing when I got home and Ang was giving the boys a bath. BTW, you haven't lived until you've uttered the following:

"Quit messing with your Peter!"

In fact, I had a grin on my face all day that you couldn't have removed with a jack hammer thinking about Jason Bay going all Superman into Home Plate to send the Red Sox one step closer to the World Series. Not even the fact Mikey Lowell is most likely done for the year is harshing my mellow.

Red Sox vs Rays to see who goes to the World Series.

And yes; it felt as weird to write that sentence as it does to read it.

Can the Sox just sweep this thing and restore the world to it's proper order?

And what in the world am I gonna do for the next 3 days?


Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Reaping the Whirlwind.


After 4 plane rides, 6 hours of total sleep, and an epic 12 inning, 7 hour game this picture sums up my weekend perfectly.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, no clue when this picture was taken, but it looks like everyone is having a good time.

Sleep deprived and punch drunk, about the best I can do tonight is say what an awesome time I had this weekend.

Thanks to Rob for everything; I've never know anyone as generous as you and JD. You made what I thought was an impossible dream into a reality and I can't thank you enough. The only bad note to the whole weekend was the Red Sox lost, but I'm keeping the fair they'll win tonight.

More when I can form a coherent thought or when I get enough sleep, whichever comes first.

All I know is when I taxied down the runway and saw the skyline of Boston off to my right, then after the plane flew out over the harbor and headed toward Charlotte I finally knew what it meant to have your heart tugged toward a place like my Dad feels toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Maybe one of these days I can convince Ang of the same thing. Until then, I'll be humming the song "Boston" if you need me.

Oh yeah; A Red Sox clinch of the ALDS tonight would sort of make my day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I think I'll go to Boston.

After following the baseball team all my life I already liked Boston.

Once I actually got there for the first time in May I fell in love with the place.

I'm sort of scared once I go back again this weekend I won't wanna leave.

Which creates somewhat of a dilemma. My wife that I adore and the kids I love more than anything in this world live in NC. So the question becomes do I pack 'em all up and move to Boston or just love the place from afar and visit when I can?

I gotta tell you; if somebody offered me a job today, I'd have the house on the market tomorrow morning. Although something tells me it's about 50% the city and 50% my friends.

Who I can't wait to see 2 days from now. Throw in Fenway Park, Josh Beckett, and a potential sweep of the Angels and I'm geeked right about now.

Plane leaves at 8 and I hit Boston around 12:30 tomorrow night/Sunday morning. More than likely this is the last post I'll make until I get back home on Monday so anyone who reads this mess keep the fair for me while I'm gone.

See you next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fenway Part Two

God must know I need a break.

It's a long story, and I'll share it one day when it actually happens, but it looks like I'll be at Fenway Park 3 days from now, watching Josh Freaking Beckett hopefully clinch a 3 game sweep of the ALDS vs the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Since this all popped up last night around 7:30, I'm a little punch drunk and still not really sure it's gonna happen. But if it does, no matter where you reside, I can pretty much bet you'll hear my screams of joy when I finally know it's a done deal.

Between the late ending to the game and me laying in bed in awe over the fact I may, in fact, be in Boston in just a few days did not lend itself to a good nights sleep.

UPDATE: I'm in. Just got the plane reservation stuff worked out and I'll be landing in Boston about 12:30 Sunday morning. This is nuts; 24 hours ago I was wondering if I was going to be able to watch the game. Now? I'm gonna be AT the game.

I've got a lot of people to thank for this, and come next week I'll give out the honors.

Right now I'm pretty much hyperventilating over the fact I'm gonna be back in Boston less than 6 months after I went for the first time.

Life really does come at you fast.

I wonder if All-State needs another idea for a commercial.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Live from the West Coast.

Terry Francona and his bash at will philosophy vs. Mike Scoscia and his hit and run NL style.

Vladdy and Texiera vs. Big Papi and Youkilis.

Lackey and Santana vs. Lester and Daisuke.

Wally vs. The Rally Monkey.

I call Sox in 4. We split in Cali and take the series in Boston.

The wild card? Josh Freaking Beckett.

I'll take his post-season record vs. anything else.

7 days a week.

October baseball; Dane Cook can eat my shorts.

RSN LIVES for this.