Do you ever think it’s on purpose? Like, for some reason, Jon Lester is mad at us?
My puppy does this sometimes. Not so much anymore now that she’s a grown up (take note, Jon Lester). But you hear about it. Your puppy is angry at you so she poos in the middle of the floor. Or on your Fortune magazine.
Is this your middle-of-the-floor poo, Jon Lester? Okay. We get it. We’ll walk you. GEEZ.
Baaaaaad Pirate loss aside (the fricking PIRATES?), things aren’t so stable in the nation.
And, despite what you may read, it’s not just the rotation that’s breaking like hips on osteoporosis.
Oh good. Media reports of “trouble brewing.” I’m so glad we have the media to interpret horrible losses as horrible losses.
Okay. 6-5 wouldn’t be horrible. You know. Unless it was against the FRICKING Pirates.
But, let’s be comforted in the fact that it is just a dress rehearsal. Let’s all take a deep breath and…
Hi, Media. You’re back.
Is Bobby Valentine taking the right approach? <- Really? How can we POSSIBLY know that when haven’t even played a REAL game? Seriously, people. I’m not going to say I’m wading in tulips over the way this week has been playing out, but it’s SPRING TRAINING. They don’t always nail the soliloquies weeks before the show, guys…
The losses aren’t what fills me with motionsicky dread. What fills me with motionsicky dread is the overall organization, or lack thereof. How we’re still in rumored talks with Roy Oswalt (SERIOUSLY) and don’t have a concrete rotation. Or a concrete lineup. Or a concrete anything, really. It’s like a dress rehearsal with only half a script. THAT is what we should be freaking out about. Not specifics. The general icky disorganization.
Panic about the CORRECT thing, Soxies.
Bobby V is still not sure about Bard- I’m okay with that uncertainty. It’s this thing Bobby V and I share. If we were friends, we’d talk about this over cheesecake. Bobby V, unlike most of you, Twitter world, gets the free pass dilemma. Bard keeps handing them out. I think it’s because he’s charitable. There’s no room for charitable DURING the games, Bard. That’s what Jimmy Fund events are for…
“I don’t think that even with his good stuff I could handle the walks,” Valentine said. “Now I don’t know if [it's the] spring…and trying to impress. That’s why I looked for the changeup. If there was a pitch he wasn’t comfortable with and that was causing some of these negative counts, I would have been able to use that as an excuse.”
Of course, look at our options… Doubront… MILLER…
Sigh. With the current troupe of players, Bard might be the default…
I have said all along I trust Aceves’ experience over Bard’s mound moping… I like Bard. I do. I like him in the bull pen. And, for once, I am not alone in the universe…
Speaking of things to get dizzy about- the Red Sox, at $1 billion (which will buy you a lot of yachts, eh, John Henry?), is the THIRD most valuable team, behind Stanks ($1.85 billion) and Dodgers )$1.5 billion). I’m telling you, it’s all those damn trucker hats the Stanks sell.
The Sox were FOURTH highest in TV rankings… But see, no one actually had to watch us last year, with the media’s careful attention to September highlights…
Fun facts to know and tell-
Do you think they’ll refund us our $69 from last year? I sure could use that money. I’d buy eggs.
Have you tweeted me yet? You should.
Speaking of Twitter, apparently, Red Sox Nation was baffled by an Aviles impersonator on Twitter…
PS- They’re trying to make me forget about Jason Varitek again, you guys. I feel as though we should all buy matching NEVER FOREGET bracelets. Who’s with me?
Roy Oswalt and the Sox have no “traction.” That’s what’s being reported today. Again. I care about this… oh… as much as I did LAST week when a similar report surfaced. Oh. And the week before. And the week before. And… tell me, was this Oswalt crap going on THE WEEK BEFORE THAT?
You know what’s more interesting than ANYTHING you have to say, Roy Oswalt? This morning’s Bleacher Report on the five players under the most pressure.
Got me thinking. The five- the Beckster, A-Gonz, Carl Crawfail, Papi and Bardlebutt. And, since I’m a Sox fan, a cynic and in an irritated mood today, obviously, my thought is the following question:
WHICH ONE OF THE FIVE WILL CAVE FIRST? My guess is Daniel Bard.
What do you think?
And what do you think our most controversial offseason move has been thus far? I’m going to go with Marco Scutaro…
In other news, the Patsies are still sobbing Giant tears. So, this morning, Shaughnessy tries to make us feel better by telling us the Red Sox failures are worse. Gee, thanks, Danny.
Speaking of the Patsies, I know I haven’t done an ASK TOO SOXY in awhile, but I got a super cute e-mail yesterday. Ahem:
I can’t believe you John Denvered (Hah. I did that, didn’t I? Oh, the cleverness of me… I like that. I hope that catches on. John Denvered! Oh, classic) the Super Bowl. Do you know that most of your readers are Patriots fans? (I have readers?!) And you get really off topic. Reading your blog is ALREADY annoying (So is your face). Maybe you shouldn’t alienate the fan base you have left. If the Sox had lost to the Giants (um) you’d have a sappy, dramatic One Tree Hill song for us (you do read me! you do!), not John Denver. Maybe you owe your readers an apology.
Brian Cashman, are you an inner New England fan?! I never knew! See, the usual me would mock you for your mixed sports similes and ponder at why you, a good speller, has so much fricking free time. I’d thank you over and over again for your clearly obsessive fanship of my blog and probably send you a commemorative silver star in my mind. But you’re right. The new me should be more sensitive. Should humor you. After all. I am 28-years-old today. Much more mature than yesterday’s 27. So. No John Denver. Here you go. This is me humoring you. And your humiliating, humiliating, excruciating Brady (that’s my new word for LOSS. It’s a verb AND a noun) yesterday. I mean, I did expect you guys to Brady to the Giants. But maybe I should have been more sensitive when you Bradyed. So. It’s just one Brady, after all. I mean, it’s a pretty super Brady. And Madonna was watching. But really, she slept with A-Rod. Her credibility is shot. But I loved her outfit. Did you love her outfit? Life is a mystery… Sing it, blondie. Sing it. Right. Back to you. And your team’s humiliating, nationally televised Brady. Let’s all sway to Joseph Arthur. Who was NOT in an episode of One Tree Hill.
Here. Stare at this while that song is playing for the full effect, k?
So, Soxies, happy my birthday to you. I hope it’s filled with sunshine and wins. You know. And not Bradys.
Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant are among Brady’s favorite athletes, according to reports.
It’s all starting to make sense. So THAT’s how you finagled starting rotation… rotation for… soul?
I didn’t mean that (I did a little bit).
Speaking of dastardly things, Josh Beckett has FINALLY broken his silence! Finally? Really, media?
“If we would have pitched better, none of that stuff would have even been an issue. And it shouldn’t be an issue anyway because what goes on in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse. I don’t care who says that or whatever, I’m not saying we don’t make mistakes in the clubhouse . . . it’s just what goes on in the clubhouse, it’s supposed to stay in the clubhouse.’’
So. Um. Let’s stop talking about it?
Ahem. More news.
Curt Schilling has been so loud lately that even the YANKEES are catching on.
And leave Youkie alone, Boston Dirt Dogs!
Happy day-before-Super Bowl, ladies and gents! And, if you haven’t participated in my Super Bowl pool (um, all but like, three of you), get on that ASAP.
PS- You’re welcome for the Roy Oswalt-free article.
This one’s for you, Bard!
Nick Cafardo and I agree on one thing today. And that is Tim Wakefield.
Who- as I’ve said before- we shouldn’t just write off- despite the imaginary walker.
Not sure it’s safe to assume that his tenure with Boston is over. Even if they don’t sign him right now, what prevents them from bringing him back in May or June or even after the All-Star break if they need a starter? He could always be one of those half-season veteran pitchers.
That’s what I see for Tim. Tim’s a utility guy and a hero. He’s not the guy you parade around the mound for a milestone. He can still serve a purpose.
And every time we write him out- he comes back as a weapon.
Well, you know. Except for that one time. Okay, that several times over the summer.
But that wasn’t his fault, see. It was the number.
Numbers are scary beasts.
So. Here’s the deal, folks. Benny C is playing it… safe? Is that even the word for this? He’s certainly playing it oppositeville. Maybe he was hanging out with Michael Hill… they were playing chess, see, when all of a sudden… the board, it got struck by lightning, right? And their hair frizzed up. Oh! And then, something magical happened like that one time on Gilligan’s Island. They switched brains!!!!!
Or, maybe Benny C doesn’t know we have money.
Maybe he doesn’t read all the disparaging comments people make about how we’re moneybaggers and buy our championships and have a bazillion dollars.
Or maybe he’s busy arguing salaries with our six unsigned arbitration-eligible players: RHP Alfredo Aceves, INF Mike Aviles, RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Daniel Bard, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and DH David Ortiz.
Or maybe he’s still playing with the rolly chair in what used to be Theo Epstein’s office.
Are we REALLY too broke for Roy Oswalt?
I do not understand how moving around payroll works. I understand that it’s how we lost Alex Rodriguez (blessing in disguise). I understand that the internet understands it better than I do-
Can we unLackey ourselves or something? I mean, it’s not like he can play…
I am so confuzzled by our pseudo-poverty.
So, in other words- this could be as good as it gets- at least for now.
Provided we have Aceves in our rotation- how do we stack up- right now- as of Jan. 17? Because I’m not feeling the rotation strength. The real people we’ll be counting on- Lester, Beckett, Buccholz- they couldn’t pull us out of a Soxplosion. And now they’re starring in our comeback tour? I’m not feeling the pep today, folks.
In other news- it always hurts when someone moves on. You know the relationship is over. You say you’re fine. But it’s like that Gavin DeGraw song-
I think it’s pretty obvious who I’m talking about…
I am having a bad day.
No. You know what? Let me capitalize that.
I am having a BAD DAY.
So, I’m turning to the one thing guaranteed to put a smile on my face and a skip in my step (provided there are no more icy stairs. Skips in one’s steps leaves one vulnerable to really dramatic backflip falls, I hear): Your letters.
In today’s edition of Ask Too Soxy, we first hear from Ryan. Okay. So, that’s not his e-mail signature. But I’ve decided it’s less vulgar to just make up a nondescript name.
Dear Too Soxy (I added the “dear.” I always add the “dear.” Guys, when you e-mail me, could you add in your own “dear?” Thanks.)
How does it feel to vomit your season?
Sincerely (added that too),
Hi, “Ryan.” First of all, let me tell you I appreciate your twitteresque efficiency when it come to the written word. Most people must utilize several lines of text before revealing themselves as jackasses devoid of constructive thought, a feat you alone can accomplish in eight words. Bravo! And using the word “vomit” instead of its lesser urban descriptors (barf, puke, etc) definitely showcases your post-10th grade education. So kudos to you! No toothbrush toilet scrubbing for “Ryan!” I didn’t realize they had Internet access at your temporary-just-until-your-screenplay-about-frogs-takes-off job at the Mini-Mart. And your generalizations! I applaud you on your ability (one shared by several, mind you- a fact I must point out so that you don’t think I’m applauding any creativity) to lump an entire season into a one-month Soxsplosion. That must be very freeing. Like that time you were canned from Taco Bell for never showing up to work, yet thought it all had to do with jealousy over your screenplay’s recent near success at the local writer’s guild critique at Golden Corral. It must be very freeing to, instead of concentrating on your life as a whole (yikes) series of failures, be able to fixate on that last mini-failure. It probably helps keep the cold, cold despair from trickling out of your eyelids on those blind dates that have been less and less frequent lately. Now, to answer your question: Frankly, “Ryan,” it sucks.
Sincerely, (<- see what a positive punch that one little adverb can have, “Ryan?”)
Next, let’s cross over to the Midwest and hear from John. John says he’s from Michigan. See, I’m thrilled to hear from someone from Michigan. Thrilled. Because it’s 29 degrees outside. And I bet you’re colder, John. Thank you for that.
I am excited to have Daniel Bard start. I think it’s a good move, but I see you keep saying mistake. What other choice do we have, (I added the comma) really?
Dear John (hah! I feel like I’m in a bad Nicholas Sparks novel all of a sudden. I kind of don’t want to leave the parenthesis because then cruel, cruel reality will set in…),
Daniel Bard has done this starting thing before, remember? I believe an appropriate summation would be the following hyphenated term: Mega-fail. He wasn’t just inefficient. He was bad. He was like, Lackey-in-an-important-game bad.
Additionally, he has already shown that pressure gives him more than hives. It gives him the temporary title of “Crazy Pitch.”
We’re already shifting Alfredo Aceves- who, I might add, is the epitome of versatility. You take out Aceves AND Bard and you’re just asking for trouble. A bullpen without badassery is just… well… a fence.
I’m a fan of leaving Bard EXACTLY where he is. Bullpen super star. I think “Crazy Pitch” was flukey this fall and, while I am confident that flukes aren’t permanent- that doesn’t mean I trust him at something as crucial as closing, either. He needs a hot second to warm up to badassery and closers don’t have the hot second. They are the hot second. Bard is just not up to hot second snuff. Let’s pop him in the bullpen and watch what happens.
What other choice do we have? We have all the choices in the world, John. We have, right now, Clay. We have Beckett. We have Aceves. We have Lester. We have Miller- but I think he’s bullpenable too. We have the capability of snatching someone. It’s a long off-season. And don’t count out Doubrant, who is much more startable (look at Triple A) than Bard. I think Ben Cherington is making a big mistake by not making big moves. The more we stall, the more terrible the answer to the question- What other choice do we have?- becomes. Am I the only one holding out an ounce of Dice-K hope?
A girl that’s into sports. I never thought I would meet one. You are awesome.
A girl that’s into sports. You still haven’t met one. This is the Internet, Jason. I could be a Tibetan monk with an I-phone. Or a rebellious Amish blacksmith or something with a record-setting beard. You don’t know.
We both do, however, know that I am awesome. Thanks for further bringing my awesomeness to my attention. Sometimes I think I’ll forget.
Dear Too Soxy,
You talk smack about Manny, but he’s the Sox’s golden child. So when you talk smack about Manny, you’re talking smack about the Sox. Think about that.
I was extremely disappointed to find you’re not nearly as peppy as your name implies. Seriously. Sunny is a name that evokes positivity. Optimism. I have decided to call you Cloudy. Cloudy McManny. I think that’s more appropriate. And I like adding “mc” to things. Let me start this again:
Dear Cloudy McManny,
Thank you so much for reading. It’s wonderful to know that out of all the Sox sites in all the world, you’ve stumbled into mine.
As far as talking “smack” about Manny, while it’s true I have made some extremely spot-on observations, the “smack” is what Ramirez is injecting into those obnoxiously veiny arms of his. And, the truth is in the juice. He got caught post-Sox. Therefore, I’m talking shit (much better term than “smack” now that I’ve told you what “smack” really means, right?) about the post-Sox Manny.
At least as far as steroids are concerned.
Sox Manny was a jackass. A point I have been on the record about pre- and post- Sox ouster. I take extreme issue with players who simply don’t want to play. Manny wanted to prank. Manny wanted to pose. But Manny didn’t want to play. Good riddance.
And seriously- how many bridges does Manny have to burn before baseball says no?
And, with that beep, my day just got worse.
Think of me, Soxies.
PS- make your letters LONGER. Shoot them to email@example.com
The official Too Soxy opinion?
So. Brian Cashman of Stankees infamy does have a redeeming quality: His taste in players. When asked to identify his favorite player to watch from another club, he only said what everyone was thinking.
“Kevin Youkilis probably. He really grinds out an at-bat and just kills you. He is so determined,” said Cashman. “You can pitch him in. You can hit him. Whatever. He just gets back in there and it’s sheer determination. It’s never a comfortable at-bat when you’re watching this guy try to do damage against your pitchers. He just finds a way to do it. I appreciate watching how he goes about his business and just how tenacious he is. A lot of these guys are very controlled in this sport, unlike football. But he’s got a tenaciousness that just oozes right through his bat, right there at the plate, and it’s pretty special to watch.”
He IS pretty special, isn’t he?
And, before you totally blink out of oppositeville, guess who Sox scout Galen Car said: DEREK JETER.
In good news, Captain Obvious’s messages are finally hitting home, as Alfredo Aceves is being conditioned to start in the Sox rotation.
The “I-told-you-so” chorus would be louder, but it is currently Papelgrieving, so…
There are also rumors that Bard’s being looked at for rotation. But that’s a bad idea. Why?
Were you watching baseball this summer? Do we really have to relive the pain? He’s a short-term pitcher with not a lot of inning depth- and his eyes bug out in pressure games. Let’s work him in the bullpen until he’s unJenksed, k?
And rumors are circulating about Matt Cain.
The MANAGER Search
And Torey Lovullo (ex Paw-Sox manager) and Gene Lamont (Tigers) are adding their names to the dating pool for the management gig. And I have a TooSoxy endorsement that may not be the most popular.
Yes, I know he’s a Jay- but just hear me out. Not only has he ALREADY had to deal with Sox drama (Paw Sox, yep, Paw Sox) AND is familiar with the players- he’s currently the righthand of John Farrell. Something HAS to have rubbed off. Darkhorse? Yes. Popular? No. Sveum? No. My choice? YES.
To be fair, Lamont and Sveum have also worked with the Sox- but in a bigger capacity- so they could already be tainted by Front Office whimsy. It all makes sense in my head, see.
Besides, the killer is always the person you least suspect. And NO ONE suspects Lovullo.
And, since I know how much my opinion means to you, America- start reaquainting yourself to Clam Chowder, New England style, Lovullo. And the rest of you, start learning to spell his name. THREE Ls, people. Come on.
So. Paps is out. But that doesn’t mean we have to lose the rest of our hopes and dreams. There’s Jason Varitek, and FireBrand says it’s time to let go:
Based on what you can expect from a 40-year old catcher, it might best to move on. It’s Lavarnway time but it’s always great to remember how important Varitek has been to the Boston Red Sox and how lucky we were to have him.
TooSoxy has a different opinion.
We’ll never let go, will we, Soxies? (Yes. I went there)
So he’s no spring chicken (Is it too soon for chicken jokes?). Tek needs to retire in a Sox uniform. He’s more than a glove. He’s a leader. I say slide him into Curt Young’s vacancy. He’s more than the catcher. He’s the captain. And after what we’ve been through, we need stability, continuity and JASON VARITEK.
David Ortiz. If Tek is the soul of the Sox, Ortiz is its heart. And he’s not going ANYWHERE. Right, Ben Cherington? Right?
“There’s some interesting guysout there that could factor into our right-field mix,” said Cherington. “A lot of that depends again on David. If David’s here, we’re going to go in a certain direction with the outfield. If he’s not here, it sort of opens it up a little bit. There’s alternatives, both in free agency and in a trade market for guys that can play right field.”
Is anyone else NOT comforted by that?
Theo Epstein is really gone. Really, really. And, even though HE CAN’T SEEM TO SHUT UP AND LET GO… we have to.
“How do you describe a death spiral?” he said. “We knew we had issues going into September (even though) we were on pace for 100 wins. We just couldn’t stop bleeding. A lot of things happened at the same time. We lost a few key guys to injury, a few guys had a significant downturn in their performance, and all of a sudden we looked up and we didn’t have enough pitching.”
“There weren’t players getting drunk during games. And it wasn’t widespread — it might have been one, two, three guys,” Epstein said.
Stop talking! You are making it worse!
I think this is alllllll part of the plan to steal our manager candidates.
And, in bizarrely horrific news, remember the Washington Nationals catcher kidnapped in Venezuela? (This really happened) He’s been rescued.
What is the world coming to?
So much news. Anyone else’s eyes rolling around in their heads?
TooSoxy has Twitter
And, in the most exciting news news of the weekend, we officially have a Twitter page. Tweet me. Tweet me like you’ve never Tweeted before.
So, thoughts people! Manager search! Ortiz! Tek! Who should stay? Who should go? Who should be kidnapped next in Venezuela (too soon, Lauren. Too soon)? Onward to the caffiene.
JUST got off work. Bottom of the 8th? 2 outs. And… OUT. Pedroia.
“An unusual thing to happen to Daniel Bard tonight…” ~Announcer.
What unusual thing? What unusual thing?
I HATE 13 hour, no-lunch-break days.
Asdrubal Cabrera. Oh.
“You go out there with confidence every time,” Bard said of the streak before the game. “I expect the same thing out of myself every time, which is to throw up a zero or two zeroes — whatever they ask of me. Nothing really changes for me. My confidence level is definitely high, but whose wouldn’t be if you get on one of these rolls? A lot of it’s luck, but I’ll take some credit, I guess, myself. A little bit.”
BARD! You jinxed it! Didn’t you ever go to elementary school? Don’t you know how these jinxes work?????
I bet you didn’t even knock on wood.
The Indians. I’ve always said those non-politically-correct-feather-heads were a problem.
But… Bard… that was only part of the 9-6 game… who allowed the other runs???
John Lackey started off in a way previously unseen this season, as he had his first 1-2-3 first inning of 2011, struck out three of the first six batters he faced, and retired the first eight Cleveland batters of the night. Once he did allow a hit, the Indians were able to get to him, as they scored five runs over Lackey’s 6 2/3 innings of work.
OH. IT WAS YOU, JOHN LACKEY.
ABLE TO GET TO HIM??????? They were able to TRAMPLE him.
Someone needs to threaten you. Or scream at you. Or something.
What do we do with you Lackey? Is it your feelings? Are your ‘ittle feelings getting in the way of pitching the damn ball?
Do you need an inspirational speech? Is that what you need? Because I can do that. Inspirational speeches… inspirational speeches… Ah. Here we are.
“You are so full of crap… you’ve got hardly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in with the best baseball team in the land for TWO YEARS. And you’re also going to walk out of here with a win from the WORLD SERIES. In this lifetime you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.”
Well, that settles it. The pledge is null and void. You did this to yourself, Johnny. Why do you make me mock you so?
WHY???? Do you think I ENJOY this?
I think you have deep seated issues, deeper than I, a blogger, can deal with. I think you need to talk to Timlin or something.
Thoughts on the game I missed? Observations I should know about?
Bah. Humbug. The Stanks are 1.5 behind. Top of the 9th, 3-2, Stanks. GOOOOOOOO WHITE SOX.
6:30 p.m.: T-minus one hour and counting… And I am definitely stopping by the liquor store on MY way home. Because tonight… horror of all horrors (crap. The PLEDGE) wonder of all wonders, we have the one, the only,
Tonight’s drink of choice is…
The John Lackey! A double shot of whatever cheap liquor is on sale.
See you in an hour. And please join me. I have pledged not to say anything bad about John Lackey. John Lackey is pitching. <– See the moral support I require?
Which Wich: I’m happy you opened a store in Boone. Really, I am. And my hummus sandwich with the crispy onions makes me quite happy. But your clientele? Questionable. Just saying.
A trip to the ABC, and I’ll be good to go…
“Lackey (8-8, 6.28 ERA) started the month of July with a putrid performance, allowing seven runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays, but he’s steadily improved over his last three starts. Since July 9, he’s 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA, including an impressive seven-inning, one-run start against the Mariners in his last outing. Granted, the Mariners rank 30th in the majors in runs, batting average and on-base percentage, but the win brought Lackey’s record back to .500, a confidence boost for any pitcher.“
And. Okay. I did see THIS, when Lackey made a big deal about being willing to go in Monday night. That was cool. I GUESS.
In one way, the image of Lackey, who is on tap to take the mound Wednesday night, stretching in the dugout and then making his way out to the pen was not something the manager ever wanted to see. In another way, it was.
“That’s probably a side of guys that you guys don’t see, that we appreciate,” Francona added. “Probably why we defend guys, because that’s not at my urging. He’s running down there to help. We appreciate that.”
I can read between the lines. This is the internet telling us everything’s going to be okay.
You’re right, internet. We are going to be JUST fine. John Lackey is going to be JUST swell. Thanks, Internet.
A still of that clip is Jeb’s facebook profile picture.
6:50. Ready to play.
7:19. Okay. Um. I have been very quiet. Very quiet for about five minutes now. So quiet. Just watching. You know. Sitting here. On my couch. Watching you, John Lackey. The game is FIVE minutes in. And it is THREE TO ZERO Royals. Top of the FIRST. One out.
I just want YOU to know that I know, Lackey. I KNOW.
Base hit. Look at that. Third hit in the inning. Look at that. Are you looking at that, LACKEY? Just checking. Jussssst checking.
Oh, look. Line to right. Heading down the corner. Double for Brayan Pena. Look at that. Hi, LACKEY. Keeping my cool. Just like we pledged. See? Just. Like. We. Pledged. I’m sure this is ALLLLLLL part of your plan. Whip them into a false sense of security, right? Right?
29 pitches. 2 outs. and… oh, what’s that? TWO on base? Losing by what, THREE? Just checking.
I don’t know, America. Does THREE runs in an inning violate our pledge?
Time for another John Lackey. JL, you are so much more tolerable in shot form. 7:26.
Bruce Chen. Jacoby Ellsbury.
And… just as I’m about to say something snarky about John Lackey, Jacoby HITS ONE OUT OF THE PARK! Number 17 for Jacoby! 3-1! 3-1! And, thanks to Jacoby, the pledge is intact another minute.
Dustin Pedroia has to jump out of the way to avoid a crazy pitch from this Chen guy. Pedroia is riding a 23-game hitting streak. Kind of a big deal. Kind of something we need. When it’s the FIRST inning and you’re down by THREE. I didn’t say anything. Not a thing. But I am looking your way, Lackey.
HOMERUNNNNNNNN! And Pedroia extends his hitting streak. Oh, yes he does! 14th homer of the season. 3-2. John Lackey must be wetting himself. He needs to buy them beers or something. Because about ten minutes ago I was full of hate. And now I’m full of sunshine. Sunnysunnysunnysunshine.
Gonz is struck out. To a lot of booing, I might add.
Kevin Youkilis. Aka Youki-poo. Aka loveofmylife. Doing his bat dance. I am so glad to see you, Youkie. Alive. And uninjured. And alive.
Fire in their eyes tonight, see?
Ball four. First base for the Youkie-poo. With Ortiz snaking up to the plate.
Chen looks petrified. His eyes keep darting around, and he’s not just checking bases. He has these weird freckle things, see? 2-2, Papi’s giving the death glare. Full count. Death glare. Checking first. Death glare. Papi’s on fire with the glares. Let’s hope he can back it up with a punch. Not literally, David Ortiz. This isn’t an Oriole. He’s just a Royal.
A home run should suffice.
Strikes out? I’d like to see a replay of that, please. 2 outs. “He did not check a swing on that one but he was called out,” Jerry Remy says.
I’m watching you, Ump.
Saltysaltsalt up for some smacking. 5-game hitting streak. I’d be more impressed if HITTING WAS NOT YOUR JOB. Like, If it was me? Like, Lauren has a 5-game hitting streak- see, that’s impressive. Because I don’t have to hit anything. Ever. Ever at all. Except Pixie sticks (the candy. not the drug euphemism). It would be like saying Lauren is on a five-story streak. See, I am paid to write stories for the paper. Just like you are paid to hit balls for the Red Sox. I just … I just… not impressed with your five streak. I’m sorry.
That was rambly. Omen of rambles to come, no doubt. Hi, Salty. You adjust your gloves a lot. Yeah. It’s the gloves fault. Sure. Jacoby’s uniform is awfully clean in the dugout. Meanwhile, back in salty land, full count. Third consecutive three ball count for Bruce Chen, if you’re paying attention. I’m not. But Jerry Remy is. Strike out.
Wow. Two runs. We’d be 2-0. You know. If SOMEONE hadn’t allowed those three runs.
“John Lackey had kind of a guard on his elbow and the umpire asked him to take it off,” announcer said.
Maybe it was the sleeve that allowed the three runs. Not the Lackey. Thanks for watching out for us, Ump.
Grounder, thrown out. First out.
Ew. Lackey just spit. Ew. America saw that, Johnny.
Fair ball. Look at that. Second base. Look at that. Second double of the night for this guy. Hmmm. Second. What was that, Lackey? Second?
Staying calm. Staying cool. Just the second. Just Johnny being…
Running Gordon back and forth… got him out. Other guy safe at second. Okay. So we’ve got a guy on second. How did that happen? Oh, that’s right. He got a hit, Lackey. That’s what happened.
Butler at the bat. Lackey’s on pitch 39.
This is not a criticism/mockery/judgment… but what is John Lackey doing with his beard? Really?
In the dirt. Okay. I’m sure you were just keeping Salty on his toes. He’s on his toes, see? So you can just pitch now. Thanks. Oh. Another base hit. Oh. So, someone at first and third. 6 hits into the game for the Royals. Oh. Look at that.
Lackey. I think you need to reread the terms of our Pledge RIGHT NOW.
Ellsbury makes the catch. Lackey, you owe him balloon animals or something. I didn’t call you a clown just now. I called you a finely tuned rubber artist. Who is. Um. Full of hot air.
Bottom of the second. Scutaro leading off. Oh good.
Scut, I thought I told you I needed space. After Monday, I need time to rebuild the trust. You’re smothering me, already. How are we supposed to make this relationship work if you won’t listen to me?
Trust in what we have, Scut. Just trust in what we have and give me time.
Full count. Fulllllll count. A walk. Okay. A walk. Thanks, Scut. I appreciate the gesture.
Darnell McDonald. Another ball. Pitching coach and Pena to the mound to dry Chen’s ‘ittle tears. poor tike. Okay, Chen. You do not blow a bubble with your gum when your boss is talking to you.
Nice. Now we’ve got McD on first and Scut on Second. Nice.
LOVE it. Navarro. A pop that looked like they could get to it. But it drops about two feet away. Lovely. And We load the bases with no outs. Lackey, you better be cuddling that lucky blanket.
3 balls for Jacoby. With the bases loaded, I’d like to add. BALL FOUR. Walkin’ in the game tying run. You can open your eyes now, Lackey. It’s okay.
Bases STILL loaded. 3-3.
And Dustin Pedroia pops it out. But McD scores for a 4-3 lead.
Okay guys. I don’t want to say what leads me to this conclusion: But that’s not enough! Up your game, guys! Up your game. We’ve got runners on first and third and Gonz at the plate. And Jacoby steals second. That’s steal 29 for those playing at home.
Out, but with room to score in a run. Thanks, Gonz. 5-3.
Still not enough guys! Pump them out.
Youkie at the plate. Caught pop. But that’s okay. Because it’s 5-3. I kind of wish Lackey hadn’t seen that. I kind of wish he thought we were still 3-0. Because now he’s all, “I’ve got a cushion.”
But chairs come with cushions.
That was deep. Think about it. You’ll see. That was so deep.
Catch. Catch. Two outs. Top of the third. Nice.
Beltran may be headed to the Giants? Whatever. We didn’t really want you. Your name doesn’t rhyme with anything.
And three. Three outs. Okay, Lackey. Okay.
Ortiz. Strike One. Ortiz. Ball one. Chen, it’s going to be okay. It’s just one game.
Pop catch. David Ortiz looks frustrated. Give that one to Chen, Papi. We don’t want tears on the mound.
Salty pops up. And Another out. One, two three. Just like Lackey. Blah.
Top of the fourth. 1, 2, 3. Yes. Out, out, out. Okay, Lackey. Okay.
McDonald on 2nd. In a neat failed dive catch by the Royals. Neat.
Us! Us! Us! And I’m distracted by people. I’m so popular, you know. So popular.
Okay. a REALLY weird out call on a Jacoby steal. We’re at 2 outs. And Youkie-poo is at the plate. Being all Youkilicious with the bat dance. Ground, leftside! Through the glove! Base hit! Bases are loaded.
And three people is an island you don’t want to strand. Right, Papi? Pooooooooor Chen. Bottom of the 4th and they are already warming someone up. Outside pitch. Three more of those is a walk on run, Chen, dear.
Ball THREE. One strike. Ball THREE. Anddddddddddd… In the air, right field… and….. GRANDFRICKINGSLAM.
Oh, pretty. And Lackey grins. You better grin. You better buy David Ortiz an egg roll or something. Because he has saved you.
1,000th CAREER RBI for Papi! A grand slam. I think I just teared up. Remember two years ago when they (you know, they) were allll Papi’s finished? Remember that? And I said to you, Papi… I said, if you can break your crap streak, if you can break it, I will name my puppy after you. I was at Midtown Tavern in Charlotte. With Eric. And when I got home, Elliot’s name was Elliot May Precious Ortiz. Oh… Oh… oh…
I love him so. 10-3 SOX, baby. Salty’s out. But no one noticed. They are too busy grinning at our Papi.
I’m walking Ortiz’ name puppy while I’m on a high. Don’t let Lackey ruin it while I’m gone.
Okay. I was gone six minutes. SIX minutes. And is 10 to 4. And one person is on second. I knew this would happen. Lackey makes a 7 point lead look iffy.
And he walks someone on first. Awesome.
90th pitch for Lackey. Is a ball. Of course it is. Curt Young, you watching this? Lackey, if you blow this lead, I swear to Fisk I will…
I haven’t broken the pledge yet. No. I haven’t. Damnit.
To left field. And a base hit.
AND the bases are loaded. ARE YOU WATCHING THIS, CURT YOUNG?
Okay, Lackey. Okay. You are trying my patience and my keyboard. You let ONE of those batters hit home and we are done. Do you hear me? DONE. The pledge will be null and void and I will mock you like you have never been mocked before. MOCKERY. Randy Williams is warming up. Of course. The one that cost us the fifty bazillion inning game the other day. Yes, that seems smart.
Chris Getz at the plate. If he gets a grand slam, our 10-3, I’m sorry, 10-FOUR lead will be 10-8. 10-8! Do. NOT. Let. That. Happen.
And it’s the fricking ROYALS, Lackey. Seriously. The ROYALS. They are from Kansas. KANSAS. And I know a lot about Kansas. I’ve watched Wizard of Oz. So I know there’s wheat there. And no color. Oh, and people that hate dogs. Does that sound like a team YOU want to lose to, Lackey?
And Salty makes the catch… saving your ASS, Lackey. We’re cool. Really we are. But I do NOT want to see you in the 5th inning. Hear that, Curt?
Jeb, dear. Which Wich is a smarmy new sandwich place where that healthy grocery store used to be near Boone Mall? Winkler’s Creek, maybe. But apparently Cano and Jeter eat there. That’s what the wall says.
Marco Scutaro. We’re on better terms now that I have another focus for my negative energy (LACKEY). Well, we were on better terms before you just got that out.
Okay. You know what? I thought I could do it. I did. I thought I could be mature about this and look at the score numbers and…
Oh, look. Heidi Watney. Talking to Jed Lowrie.
“I continue to push it every day. If I didn’t get that feeling I would think I didn’t get enough work in that day.”
Oh, Jed. You DL addict.
That’s it. I can’t hold this inside of me anymore. I feel like the Hulk. I feel like James Dean in Rebel without a Cause.
YOU’RE TEARING ME APART.
It’s YOU. YOU, John Lackey. I take it back. I rip the pledge up. I am ripping… the pledge up… and now I have a paper cut. I have a PAPER CUT. THIS IS YOUR FAULT. YOUR Fault. YOUR FAULT you Napolen Dynamite-esque jaw of inappropriate proportions. You sullen-faced attitude crapping, base loading excuse for mediocrity. I can NOT believe I ever-
Out number one?
What? You’re. Um. Not sucking?
Wait a mite… maybe…. could it be… could my public ridicule be… no…
Pop out. Two outs.
Could it be helping you? Every time I call you a name, like a wormy-slackfaced excuse for a Bond villain… you do… well?
Base hit. Well, blows that theory.
You’re just slime.
I would like to give Lackey to the Pirates. Here. Take him. He will be your booty. FDA, I’m going to need some help. His ego’s so huge.. I just… can’t… lift… him…
Jup! It’s so good to see you, Jup. Did you see that? Did you see what that sloth almost did to our 7 point lead? Did you?
Seriously. That fifth inning… by the grace of god and…
BASE HIT? Frick on a frick stick. One on first and third. I’m typing that out in case you can’t see that from your vantage point, Curt Young.
YESSSSSS Tito going to the mound. YESSSSSSS. Send that sloth to Pittsburgh! The dugout will do for now.
OhnoRandyWilliams. Ohno. Monday. No. We must not think of Monday. It’s a new day. A new day. With liquor. And cookies. Crap. I’m out of cookies. Have you ever had Paul Newman-Os? No? They’re Newmanneriffic. Randy Williams, I wish you were Daniel Bard.
Ends the inning. Pedroia does. Yes he does. Why do we call him the muddy chicken? I never figured that one out.
Jacoby Ellsbury. Double off the fricking wall. 10 to fricking 4. To fricking four. With Jacoby on second. Which means Jacoby will soon be on third. Which means… we’ve got this, Soxies.
Of course, that means Lackey’s also “got this.”
I can see it now. Can’t you?
Smug chin. Shrugs it off. Saying, see how bad ass we were tonight? We. WE.
Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. You still make my neck knot.
And base hit! base hit!
The Offense.The Offense. The Offense’s on fire. And we don’t need no water let the motherf…
Right. Blogging. Baseball. Tequilla. Shot thirty. Excuse me.
David Ortiz! Stop spitting! America is watching.
Gonz! Base hit! Score! Score! Jacoby! Run, Jacoby! Score. You do! You do! 11-4. 11-4!!!!!!!!! Zero outs. First and second. Zero outs! And… from the mist… baseball dirt, rising like fog from a mountain… steps the mighty… the fearless… the furious… the sexy… KEVIN YOUKILIS! And the crowd moans Yoooooouuuuukkkkk and it sounds like booing. But it’s not booing. It’s Yoooouuuuukkkkkiiinnnngggg. And he shrugs it off, like a noble warrior. Like a noble viking warrior. Like um… viking. Some of them were noble. They had Cool helmets sometimes.
Oh. Fail. Double play. Fail. Oh.
And. Like a noble warrior. He collapses. Gracefully. In the depths of the….
Damn it, Youk. Damn.
First base. You are on first base. And that is enough for me. You are enough for me. Hold me close and don’t let me go. Shot thirty again. Hi, Papi.
Inning ends. But that’s okay. Because we got to see another replay of your grand slam.
Okay. Observations. This is the Royals. This is not the Yankees. This is not Cleveland. This is Kansas Fricking City. This is Chen. Easy trumped by power bats. What if this was the Yankees? What if this was some badass like Cliff Lee? And Lackey pulled this shit? What if, instead of catching that ball when Lackey loaded up the bases, Salty dropped it? An ordinary error? What if-what if-what if? And, see, soon, we won’t be playing piddly teams like the Brewers and the Royals and the god awful Orioles. Soon, we’ll be playing actual teams. We’ll be playing October teams. And I don’t want to see what Lackey will do.
How many others must the paper cut?!
It’s like politics. And the economy. And the stock market. It’s all like that.
That’s called a stretched metaphor, for those of you playing at home.
Dan Wheeler. Warming up. Good. See, I’d rather see you than Mr. Let’s-allow-the-doubles. That’s your name, Williams.
Top of the 7th. Monday on my mind. Wincing as he hurls the rocks. Strike one. But it’s three and one, see. Three and fricking one. Is it just me, or did they get louder?
Ball four. Moustakas. REALLY. Of course. Seeing this, Curt, baby? Watching this?
I get it. Put the annoyingly frustrating players out this game so you can save people like Bard and the Beckster for Soxtober. Nice strategy. Stressful, but nice strategy.
Brayan Pena. NOBODY OUT. Until now. When Pedroia catches you, Pena. But runners on first and second.
McD makes the catch. Second out. Randy Williams, you need to get better. Just saying.
Alcides Escobar. I want to date someone with your name so I can say it quickly. But I do not want to date you. Because your team is annoying me. But you do have a lot of money. So there’s that. Okay. I’d go out with you if you asked nicely, bought me things and didn’t tell Youkilis.
In the air to left field… McD catches … and you are out. Call me!
Okay. I feel so much better. After another John Lackey, the drink…
I miss Reddick. Who, according to THIS article, saved us much cash today.
BASE HIT, SALTY! Loverly. Just like the song form My Fair Lady.
All I want is a win today.
It’s not enough, just to play.
With your enormous name…
Oh thank you… Saltalamacchia…
It’s to the tune of “Loverly,” if you’re playing at home. I’m very talented.
Popped up. Whatev.
Oh, Heidi Watney.
“there was a controversial end to the Braves-Pirates game… he was clearly out….”
Oh, that’s you, Jeb!
Apparently, it’s sparking talk of instant replay… And she asks Ortiz.
“You know already post season because of tv and everything they’re already too long… so just make the effort and try to stay on top of the game… You don’t say that many plays like the play last night between the Braves and Pirates… he’s a human being,” Ortiz said of the ump.
See, Jeb? He’s a HUMAN BEING. Treat him with dignity! And hugs! After all, it’s only baseball Jeb. It’s just a game… and I’m sure he’s very sorry.
Terry Francona has an idea to have a fifth umpire in a booth up top.
“And you rotate them like you rotate guys in the field,” announcer said.
Navarro strikes out. But that’s okay. Because it’s still 11-4.
Top of the 8th. And Randy Williams back on the mound. I see Curt’s point. Curt’s like, ‘why not?’ Let the pup have his day.
In the air… Ellsbury can’t make the catch. A long double. Third double of the night. They’ll call him the Doubler, they will. And our eyes will roll. Poor little kid at the wall. He really thought he had that. The kid, not Jacoby. I think Jacoby figured it out.
FDA is going to be at the game tomorrow. She promised to stalk Kevin Youkilis for me. I mean us. I hope that means acting as my go-between for the great love affair we will soon start.
Tito comes out. And Wheeler has a turn. Sit down, Williams.
Royal Reunion is a movie that MLB.TV has decided to preview. Hah. They also had a Royal Caribbean commercial. Noticing a pattern?
One out. 8th inning. Dan Wheeler.
I hope to see a lot of players I’ve never heard of at the bottom of the 8th. That always makes me feel better.
So, Soxies. How are you? You good? Thought I should check in. 11-4ness gives me some time to check in on YOUR needs.
Wheeler strikes out. B2B strike outs. It’s like he read the wikipedia article on how to pitch or something. Could you print that out and post it in the bullpen?
Two outs. Two outs. Two outs. I can chant here too, guys.
Damnit. The throw gets away. Run is in. 11-5.
This is your fault too, Lackey.
You know what? You don’t like it, e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Felipe Paulino warming in the pen for KC. Jeff Francoeur. Whose name I love. But whose bat gives me hives…
Sexy catch. OUTTTTTT.
Bottom of the 8.
Okay. You know what? We’re winning. Right? Right.
I should stop bashing Lackey. I should save it for the losses, right?
The losses we will inevitably have if we don’t figure out the Lackey situation…
Am I too harsh? I’m too harsh.
Okay. I’ll see what I can do about that pledge. but I really ripped it up. Maybe some scotch tape? And another shot. That will fixxxxx everrrrrryyyythinggg….
Yesss! Error throw gets Jacoby (our MVP candidate, I say) on first.
11th straight Sox game, btw, with at least 10 hits. Neato.
Hi, Pedroia. On the ground right side, throws out Pedroia. One out. Ellsbury takes third. A-Gonz who, shockingly, seems to be hitting the LEAST right now, takes the plate.
He’s 2 for 4 tonight with singles. Crazy close foul right now. If only this were horseshoes.
I like having Jacoby on third. Reminds of that Pettitte game. Ahhhhh memories. That’s a song from Cats. Memories….
In the air to left… back… OFF THE TOP OF THE WALL! Ellsbury scores. Gonz is out at second? Really? 12-5.
“This had to miss being a homerun by inches,” Remy said.
If only this were horseshoes, I say again. The game, not the crabs.
12-5… 10″08 p.m. Line drive down the right field line… foul.
Swing and a miss for Reddick. Strikes out.
Headin’ to the 9th. Feelin’ groovy.
Just read your comment. Don’t you worry about it Jeb. Lackey’s free. We don’t need anything from you. He’s going to be part of a surprise fruit basket, tucked between the cantaloupes. And we’re going to be out of there so quickly you won’t even be able to find the WSJ article. Your mouth will be full of grapes and then you’ll see Lackey, and you’ll be like, “oh shit,” but you won’t be able to say anything, it will come out like, “ohmfffft” because your mouth will be full of grapes. They’ll be really good grapes, though.
Two outs. Back to back in the 9th. This game’s MVP is going to be a toss up between Jacoby and David Ortiz. Oh, and Lackey. Wait. That was a joke.
I love this part. Where people stand and rally the win.
Well, not this part, where the ball goes into the dirt.
Come on, Wheeler. Can you hear my stomping from Boston? I bet my new neighbors can hear my stomping.
Base hit. Yeah. That’s not what the stomping was for. Let’s try that again. Strike one. Outside. One and one.
The last batter always takes the longest.
Come on, Wheeler! Come on!!!!!!!!!
On the ground. Thrown out to first! What? Safe? What? Fricktastic. Frick-frick-frick-frick-fricking-frick. Crap. Okay. That looked fair to me. Fair. Whatever. First and second runners.
This is wayyyyy too complicated for a 7 run lead.
Just go quietly.
It’s like the last scene in a movie where the villain (that’s us) tells the victim (always a girl) that it’s over. No one can hear your scream, little girl. So why fight it? I’ll make your death quick.
Of course, we’re not villains. So we’re not actually going to kill you by tying you to some train tracks. We shall show mercy and beat you at baseball.
Swing and a miss…. two and two. Gordon. The baseball player. Not the fisherman. Fenway rises to its feet. Love. It. North Carolina’s Fenway (in my townhouse) is doing the same thing. Except for the puppy. She isn’t sure what to do. She looks very confused.
Popped up. Foul ground… Navarro …. overruns the fricking ball.
For frick’s sake, people.
STRIKE OUT. 10:20.
And the Red Sox win.
That was way too complicated.
John Lackey, You did NOT do this.
Did you see how close Heidi Watney just got to David Ortiz? Why can’t I have her job? Can you make that happen? I used to be on television, after all. And being a news anchor is just like being Heidi Watney. Except I would get to stand more often. I would totally come out of television retirement for her job. I am going to sleep.
Thoughts? Have we been too hasty writing off Lackey? Do you think he did a good job? Do you think he will do a good job? Do you feel sorry for the Pirates, or are you just bemused? Oh, and are Newman-Os better than Oreos? These questions and more can be answered in the comments section. I look forward to reading what you have to say.