Sunday, April 29, 2007

the reason why spell check alone is not enough

So I log onto to check some stats during our 7-3 BEATDOWN of the Yanks today(I'm willing to bet the division cellar probably feels comfy by now), and I was greated with this. Sometimes, you just need someone to look it over before you hit "OK."

Yuup. Exactly.

At any rate, GO SOX! Best record in April!

Currently Drinking: Water(lame, I know, but I'm paying the price for last night)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the Monster vs. Godzilla

You know it's a great week when it starts off with your team sweeping their most hated rivals at home for the first time in 17 years. I guess merely stating that they swept doesn't even do them justice.

The Red Sox beat the Yankees by coming back in 3 straight games, games in which the Yankees gained the lead TWICE in each. The Red Sox beat the Yankees by absolutely mauling Mariano Rivera's cut fastball that hung way too along over the plate, skyrocketing his ERA and keeping him save-less for the year. The Red Sox beat the Yankees behind Dice-K's ability to pitch inside to A-Rod, effectively cooling him down for the time being. The Red Sox beat the Yankees with an earth shattering, record-breaking display of back-to-back-to-back-to-back homeruns which sent Chase Wright into the depths of minor league ball for the forseeable future. And it can't go without saying that the Red Sox were victorious this past weekend because of their phenomenal bullpen. Yup, that very same one that was supposed to be the "weakness" of this otherwise talented club(talking to you, Steve Phillips).

Maybe it's the fact that the Sox are 3 games ahead of the 2nd place team(Toronto) in the AL East, or that the Yankees have lost 6 straight and are chillin' in the bottom of the division, but I'm GREATLY looking forward to this weekend's rematch in the Bronx. This comes as a drastic change from years prior when I would worry about just comint out of The Stadium with one victory out of three. Not any more. Our pitching is solid(although the big 3 won't be up this weekend), but our bullpen has carried us, and our bats are just now starting to heat up. But there is yet another reason I look forward to the series this weekend, more specifically, the game tomorrow.

One hails from the Seibu Lions, the other from the Yomiuri Giants, but both are certified Mega-Stars in Japan. Of course, I'm talking about Dice-K Matsuzaka and Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui. I really am intrigued, as well as anxious, to see how this matchup plays out. Matsui did not play in the Fenway beatdown last weekend due to injury, but rest assured he'll be in the Bombers' lineup when things kick off at 7:00pm.

You thought Japan stood still for the Ichiro/Matsuzaka epic a few weeks ago? Well, the whole island may explode after tomorrow night. It will be Dice-K dazzling assortment of damaging dishes against the quick bat, powerful pull, and Matsui's knack for really hurting Red Sox pitching over the years. I won't be able to help the fact that every time they meet tomorrow I will have Duel of Fates ringing in my head. In Japan Dice-K was known as The Monster, while Matsui was often called Godzilla. Appropriate titles for such an epic matchup in the Bronx, don't you think?

The Monster will face off against Godzilla tomorrow night.

Currently Drinking: Water(gotta start hydrating the body for the weekend activities)

Intra-Division Rule 2.04b

Friday will have Boston swinging the bats in the unholiest of unholies and Dice-K making his Bronx debut (hopefully bringing back his ever popular plug A-rod and Jeter pitch). So what do you do when there are five days in between the continuation of the Sox-Yanks series? You keep up with the differences in games, watch the Sox pull 2 out of 4 games, and obviously root for who ever is playing the Yanks.

While keeping up with the Tampa Bay-Yanks games this week I realized that I always want Tampa Bay to beat anyone in our division since they are never a playoff threat. The Rays are always about 76.3 games behind (when they have a good year) by the end of the season and therefore it is always beneficial for them to beat anyone else in the division; mainly the Yanks. It is a bit ironic since if I really wanted them to win every time Tampa played the other teams in the AL East then they would indeed be a playoff threat, but don't boggle your mind with that kind of thinking.

It didn't take long for me to figure out what was really going on though. I just want the Yankees to lose. Right now they are battling it out with Tampa Bay for last in the division and are playing a series with Toronto. Now, logically you would want the team further back in the division to win to keep both teams as far as possible from you in the lead, but not here. I don't care if Toronto stays just as many games behind the Sox. I want the Yankees to be embarrassed (and yes, losing 6 in a row is embarrassing to The Boss, believe me). I'll take my chances with playing the Jays or Orioles in the ALCS just to have New York not even make the wild-card (in fact that would be almost as good as winning another World Series... almost).

Needless to say, this week has been great. Sure the Sox lost two, but they won 5 of their last 7. The Yankees however have not won a game since stepping foot in Fenway this year. I don't care how great of a year A-rod is having as long as his team is still losing. What does that say about the collective team when one of their players is having (as much as I hate to say it) one of the greatest months in the history of the game and they can not win. The series this weekend is sure to be a heated one and I plan on watching it with a microscope.

Quick shout out to Willy Mo Pena. I swear this kid is the mixed up love child of Big Papi and the Great Bambino. He has got such an Ortiz presence at the plate and just like the Babe there are only two outcomes to one of his at bats; K or HR. Tonight he played awesome (both offensively and defensively) but his big at bat game in the eighth with the Sox down 2-1. Baltimore brings in their closer Ray who subsequently loads the bases and pitches a meatball of a slider to Pena and he makes contact. As stated, contact = grand slam. If he could get his swing under control he could easily be one of the best hitters in the game.

Currently drinking: Natural Light (I like a little bit of class every now and then)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Japanese Rookie Saves the Day

Nope, not Matsuzaka. Hideki Okajima comes in for the ninth to pitch to the meat of the Yankee lineup. Jeter, Abreu, & A-rod. And he gets the save.

I don't have the patience to sit at my computer right now and type out the game to you. I'm sure Horne will have a detailed post later or at least a link to a good one. Sure A-rod had a good game (2 HR) and Schilling had some ER against him, but down 6-2 in the 8th doesn't mean jack with this team. I'm going to have to toot my own horn a little bit. I called the mess out of this game. Varitek had a great game with 3RBI and a HR which I didn't call but at dinner I said that Crisp was going to come out of his hitting slump (that's been almost a year since his broken finger) and sure enough he hit the gap just when he needed too. Also Cora is easily the best unsung utility hero. Comes in for Pedroia and gets the hit we need and makes two key plays in the 9th.

I love this feud. Every game feels like post season play. It's only the first of 18 games versus the Yanks and we were standing, pacing, screaming, and cussing for three and a half solid hours. We didn't have to bring Paps in (he has pitched two straight nights), Okajima proved he has good stuff (retiring A-rod for the first time tonight), and my favorite moment being Rivera blowing the save. I am not scared of "the best closer of all-time" anymore. Actually haven't been in, oh I don't know, about three years (2004 if you can't do the math). I'll let Horne fill you in on all the details. Make sure to watch the highlights. Late inning heroics at its best tonight. Dammit I wish the game got picked up tomorrow.

Go Sox!

Currently Drinking: Sam Adams Honey Porter

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

thoughts and notes

I don't really have one topic in particular to talk about, so I'm just going to do the whole stream-of-consciousness thing.

  • Dice-K got another loss today, but man he did he look good when he was on: 10 K's, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB. He had that loss of control in the 4th, but other than that, he was dealing. Our offense just couldn't get much going agains Gustavo "I'm the Joker" Chacin.
  • I take that back. Wily Mo hit an absolute BOMB against Chacin in the top of the 3rd. This thing hit the TOP of the glass(the old restaurant) in straight center field at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. They said it was 442', but really, how do they measure those? Anyways, it's one of the longest homeruns I have ever seen. Incredible.
  • Is it just me, or is the whole idea of not having a shootout in the NHL playoffs an awesome idea? The first night of the playoffs showcased a FOUR overtime thriller between Dallas and Vancouver. How exciting that must have been for those people there. That's over twice the value for their money.
  • So ESPN has this great channel, ESPN Classic, but the only damn thing they EVER show is boxing. Seriously, who actually gets excited about watching a boxing match from decades gone by? I am willing to bet that many more people would be interested(me included) in watching the horde of classic games from the sports of tennis, football, soccer, baseball, and hockey from over the years. Until they change something, I'm going to reference that channel as ESPN Boxing.
  • Just noticed moments ago that ESPN picked up Friday night's Sox/Yanks game featuring Schiller against Pettite. If FOX will show the Sox game on Saturday(instead of Cards/ exciting), then the whole series will be viewable from my living room. As it stands now, Beckett gets the call on Saturday against *insert A-AAA Yankee player here*, and Dice-K gets to shine on Sunday Night Baseball against Chase Wright, who got the W tonight for the Yanks(and has never pitched above AA).
  • Speaking of the Yanks, I'll admit it...A-Rod is going to have me nervous every time he comes up to bat this weekend. He's on an absolute roll, and that's not good. Their offense is ridiculous, so I just hope that while their rotation is in shambles we can gain some ground. Of course, this assumes we can actually beat the Blue Jays the next few days.
  • Over the past few weeks I have noticed this one guy in class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The first time I noticed him he had a Cubs hat on. A few days pass, and he has donned a Royals hat. Okay, two different leagues, but I still don't approve. THEN, mere days later, he walks in with a Cardinals hat on. So he has hats from two teams in the SAME division in baseball! WTF. The icing on the cake was when he came in today with a Mets hat on. Seriously...what the hell.
  • With that in mind......Trevor and I have been talking about this for some time, and we're going to start posting excerpts from our future #1 bestseller book on what it takes to be a Fan for your team. This INCLUDES rules about what kind of hat you wear for your team. So keep your eye out for those posts in the near future. They should be informative as well as entertaining.
Currently Drinking: orange juice(I'm on the tail end of recovery from strepp throat)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Fans" and Their Hats

For this semester I have taken it upon myself to be the newsfeed for my Japanese class on Daisuke Matsuzaka. My teacher (δΊ•η”°ε…ˆη”Ÿ) is full-blooded Japanese and is actually quite interested in baseball. So today I announced that for Dice-K's Fenway opener, he will be pitching against Ichiro Suzuki.

To my surprise, a guy in class had on a Mariners hat. You have to understand that in a Japanese class, someone besides me liking sports would be like one of them not liking anime. Anyway, I find out that this might actually be legit. The guy is from Seattle and has only been living in MS for a few years. Kudos to him for sticking by his team my man, kudos indeed. Nonetheless, things take a turn for the worse. I ask him if he'll be watching the game tonight since it'll be Matsuzaka versus Ichiro. His response, "What is that, soccer?"


Let that sink in. Here's a guy, from Seattle, with a Mariners hat on and he didn't recognize the name Ichiro. I'll give him Dice-K because I guess it would be possible to not know him yet, very unlikely but possible. However, not knowing Ichiro is completely deplorable if you are hailing as a Mariner fan. The guy is easily one of the greatest imports to the sport of all time with a life-time batting average somewhere around .890, a rocket cannon for a throwing arm, and is the fastest thing out of the batter's box since that big wheeled robot from Base Wars for NES.

He has received six consecutive gold gloves and shows no signs of stopping that trend this year. He has got one of the quickest swings in all of baseball. He was the second guy to ever be named League MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same year (Fred Lynn did it first). He has had over 200 hits in each of his six seasons, which is just stupid crazy. He was the first player to have a 50-hit month (August 2004). If this isn't convincing enough that you should definitely know this guy, continuing reading accounts of his incredible record breaking career here.

In no manner am I down playing Matsuzaka's ability but he has some enormous shoes to fill before he can come anywhere close to being the best Japanese player in the MLB.

I seem to get my post on in the AM, guess I'm going to have to change that so I can fulfill the what I'm drinking section. Instead of currently, I'll give you this.

Last Night's Drink: Horne senior's homebrew

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sox Tonight

Sox on TV tonight at 7:00pm (8:00 Eastern) on ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball. I hate Joe Morgran and the K-Zone is one of the single most inaccurate things to ever grace a sporting event, but none the less it is Boston. Sadly I'm probably going to be missing the game Wed. night so everyone watch and tell me how it goes.

Go Sox.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

thank you Jon Kerry...sort of

It seems that the Baseball Gods prevailed after all. About a month ago, MLB and DirecTV agreed to a seven-year agreement worth $700 million that would have given the satellite giant exclusive rights to MLB Extra Innings. Extra Innings is the tv package that allows you to watch all of your out-of-market games, which is perfect for someone who lives very far away from their baseball teams.

That contract agreed upon in March was basically Major League Baseball giving all its fans the bird. No one with cable packages(TimeWarner, etc.) would be able to pick up the E.I. package, and they'd be without a way to watch their favorite team during the season.

It seems however, that the smarter heads have prevailed. John Kerry(a Sox fan, btw) urged the FCC to look into this contract immediately after it was announced, and countless other higher-ups objected to this ludacris deal as well. After enough debate, baseball decided to keep the package on all cable systems throughout the U.S., beginning immediately.

This is AWESOME news. I'll be in Tennessee this summer for an internship, and I was seriously thinking about buying the Extra Innings package until I found out about the DirecTV deal weeks ago. I was crushed. But now, all seems well. I can't think of anything better than seeing my Sox play almost every night. Awesome.

Currently Drinking: lots and lots of water. I came down with something yesterday. Not fun.

Revisiting the Revelation

Part C

Thinking of my previous post about the Red Sox and how I came to connect with them I discovered another possible reason for my affinity. The thought occured to me while watched the Yankees / Devil Rays game Monday. If you read our timeline post you'll see that I do not care much for the Yanks. In fact, I hate them. To illustrate, as much as I like the Red Sox I do not own any articles with the Boston logo simply because I am still not too sure if I am a true enough fan having no direct ties to Boston (this is excluding a gift I received from a friend that is a knock-off jersey). I do however own a YH hat. What is YH? It's a Yankee Hater, and that's what I am. It's really sharp, it looks like the NY logo but instead it shows my disdain for the bombers. As pictured here ->

Now it is more than obvious that one reasons I came to love the Sox is because we both hate the Yanks. Indeed I hated the guys in pinstripes long before I was a Boston guy. Which also reminds me of the early 90s. I was a die hard San Fan 49ers fan back in the day and not just because of home-grown Rice or one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (Can-do-it Montana not Concussion Young). While I came to love those guys and everyone else associated with the team, I originally became a fan of the gold diggers because they were the rivals of the Dallas Cowboys who I hated dearly (Sorry Mal). They were one of "those" teams that dropped big dollars on big stars and you could just sense the smugness about them. Likewise when it was the Bills facing the Cowboys in Super Bowls XXVII & XXVIII I was rooting for Buffalo. It's just how it goes with me I guess. I'm much better identifying things I don't like and thus can easily decipher what it is then that I must like depending on what it is that I don't like.

So, the season starts off in a very familiar place with the Sox behind the Yankees. It's routine for us to be playing catch up, though I don't know if you can call it that after only one game. Either way I'm still so incredibly happy that baseball season is here. Finally I have something to talk about that only about three people care to listen to. Thanks Horne, Regg, and Miss Rookie.

By the way, I'll try to keep you all updated with how her schooling of America's Pastime in general and specific Sox knowledge is coming along. She's a bright one. I expect great things.

Between Opening Night & Day I've had plenty of beer for the week. A refreshing coke it is.

Barry Bonds Homerun Pool

Well, the baseball season is in full swing, and we thought we'd make things fun by starting a "When Will Barry Bonds Break Hank Aaron's All-Time Homerun Record" (or as I like to call it, WWBBBHAATHR) contest.

The rules are pretty simple. Leave us a comment on here telling us on what day you think Barry Bonds will BREAK Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record of 755 homeruns. Remember, this is NOT when he will tie the record, but when he will break it. Barry currently has 734 homeruns in the bank, so that means he'll need 22 more to pass ole' Hank. And with that information, I wish all of you good luck.

The winner of the contest will be the person who is CLOSEST to the day, either over or under. The prize? You'll get an autographed softball from your two favorite sports bloggers, Henry and Trevor, of course!

You can see on the right where Trevor and I think Bonds will perform the feat:

Henry: August 15th (away game at Atlanta, the site of Aaron's record breaker)
Trevor: August 2nd (away game at Los Angeles Dodgers)

The deadline to submit your picks is April 8th by the start of the Red Sox/Rangers game on ESPN.

Monday, April 2, 2007

2007 Red Sox Opening Day Blog

09:14:09 Mornin. It’s early. Drank way too much last night in anticipation of today. Trying to clean up the place in preparation for the big game. -H

09:18:58 Just got up despite having an 8:00am class. Henry saying “drank way too much” could not be more accurate. Jalepenos, BudLight, and Pina Coladas do not mix well. Got to suck it up for more beer and brats today. -T

09:48:07 Just went to get my apt. and mailbox keys replaced. It was a long weekend, don’t ask. Got our newest edition of ESPN Magazine. The one with Ryan Howard on the front (great guy) and in the corner where it talks about what else is in the magazine it says “& the Lovable A-Rod.” He is the only guy in all of the MLB that would have something like that. -T

My game prediction

A-Rod H:1 AB: 4 E: 2 R: 0 RBI: 0

10:37:54 Went to the store with Horne, got the brats and beer. Just got my secret recipe brewing some ribs in the oven and about to watch two hours of pregame such and such before the Yankees take the field versus the NY & Boston killers Tampa Bay. Go Rays! -T

10:54:19 Just finished paying bills. The total for this month’s rent had 33 cents tacked on. Coincidence? –H

11:29:12 Steve Phillips is calling the Reds game today, meaning he won’t be in KC for the Sox game. Thank God. –H

11:31:13 It’s really looking like Bonds is gonna break The record this year. It’s really only a matter of when, it seems. -H

11:35:47 Horne and I are talking about putting a prediction countdown to when the two of us think Bonds will break it. Should be on the site as soon as we get the internet running in our apt. again. –T

12:05:11 First up, Yankees-Devil Rays. Opening Day is here! Scott Kazmir…that kid is good. I’m off to class, so I’ll catch the end of this one. –H

12:09:50 Just to reiterate… It’s OPENING FREAKING DAY -T

12:17:33 A-Rod misses routine pop foul but manages to make a very ballerina-esque jump. He is given an E for his pathetic efforts. 1st Inning Error ! -T

12:21:55 Just in from the stat room: At this pace, A-Rod is projected to make 162 errors this season. –H

12:30:40 A-Rod K’s. And with that, I’m out. I’m handing the baton to Trevor for the next 1.5 hours. Godspeed. –H

12:44:24 Jeter makes a bad throw to first in top of 2nd. Credited with the E. –T

12:58:48 So Henry introduced me to his new book “Baseball Between the Numbers” and I was reading the chapter discussing whether or not Jeter deserved his gold gloves. As I’m reading the line about new fans thinking Jeter’s first name was “Pastadiving” because the phrase “Past a diving Jeter” was uttered so often during broadcasts, a relatively routine ground ball toward second bounced past a diving Jeter allowing the Devil Rays to score a run. –T

1:01:58 By the way, the article surmised that Jeter in no way deserved his gold glove since in 2004 he attained, for the first time in ten years, only an average fielding performance. –T

1:11:52 A-Rod grounds out. Keeping track that’s 0-2 with 1 E. –T

1:18:33 McCann for the Braves hits first homer of the season a few minutes ago. Just thought I’d mention it. –T

1:36:43 Elijah Dukes (TB) joins the elite club of having his first ML hit be a homer. –T

1:40:46 Yankees third Error. Phelps cuts off a throw to home plate allowing a run to try and throw out Crawford heading to second but instead throws to the left of Jeter and it sails into the outfield. Tie game at 3-3. –T

1:51:49 A-Rod flies out. 0-3 w/ 1 E. –T

2:01:13 Just hits me. I’m juggling THREE baseball games on tv. The season has started. The Red Sox are about to be on and the game will count for something. Papi’s slugging and Paps saving here we come baby! -T

2:36:55 Annnnnd I’m back. As to be expected, I was completely worthless in class. Yanks are winning. Damn. T-minus 32 minutes until Sox baseball! –H

2:41:42 Miss Rookie just arrived! Very exciting that this is her first regular season game as a part of Sox Nation. –H

2:53:24 The whole crew surprises us, we are now 6 strong for the Sox game. Baseball bringing people together for over a hundred years. –T

3:25:18 Game is under way. Unfortunately, we have Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. Jon is OK, but Joe is unbearable. I’m calling it right now: at some point in this broadcast Joe will mention his playing time on the Reds and how they were the best ever. Papi drives in the first RBI of the Sox season. That puts him on pace for 3,392,321 RBIs. Awesome.

3:49:01 Welcome to your first Opening Day, Pedroia. We call those singles. You can’t turn one into a double. Unless of course your first name begins with D- and ends with –aveRoberts.

4:09:07 Pulled the ribs off the grill and they were falling off the bone. Delicious. Just call me The Grill Master. Now come on Sox and get some slugging going on. –T

4:33:29 This hurts -T

4:58:24 It’s like we have never seen a curveball before. That is ALL that Meche is throwing. Argh. The great thing with this team/lineup is that you know there is ALWAYS a chance. -H

5:00:50 Annnnd welcome to America, Okajima. First pitch: JACK to right-center. –H

5:27:14 Okay, so maybe we wont score 900+ runs this year. It’s OK though, cuz Meche’s outing today will be THE highlight of KC’s year. Watch. -H

5:33:07 Thank you for swinging, Julio. Got Pedroia and Lugo on base…OBP Machine(aka Youk) is up…then it’s Papi, then Manny. We got something brewing, folks. -H

5:41:12 Papi strikes out with two on and two out in the top of the 8 with the Sox down by 5. Definitely not the norm. It’s OK; he’ll be eating those situations for breakfast throughout the season. -H

5:53:06 Travel Channel? India? What the HELL are you talking about, Jon Miller? -H

6:00:30 Top of the 9th. My rally cap is officially on. -H

6:02:29 Wily Mo fans. I swear, if that boy ever begins to make consistent contact with the ball, we’re gonna see 600 ft. home runs. -H

6:04:20 Mike Lowell gets his 1st of what is sure to be many, many, many doubles. -H

6:06:31 Bleh. What a crappy game. I would have been happy had we played well, but honestly, we didn’t. We got Beckett on the hill for Wednesday, and I’m pumped. He had a great spring, and I’m ready to see him in year two of his AL tenure. You can be sure that the Sox bats will not be as quiet the next go around.

Are you looking for sports? Or maybe just the Red Sox? That team that is in the American League East? That same team that is the rival of the New York Yankees? Maybe you are looking for sports on the rox? Or is it Sports on the Rocks? You may be looking for Sports Drinks. Henry and Trevor read the Boston GlobeBoston Globe. They also read ESPN. If you are also looking for Mississippi State University sports, then you are in the right place too. Dirt Dawgs? Diamond Dawgs? Dawgs in general? You can Google the hell out of this site if you want.