Friday, March 24, 2006

The Blog Strikes Back

A busy three months it’s been. I’ve had countless remarkable adventures since last I posted, each noteworthy in its own right. I got over what Johnny did. But not what’s happened with Vinatieri or McGinest. I soured on Mike Lowell and was pleasantly surprised by Ryan Gomes. I crossed blades with my Man of Meung and destroyed The Ring. I battled sharks with the Old Man and gave a Speech At The Stone. I was involved in a case of mistaken identity. I laughed out loud at “You know what else really grinds my gears? That these aren’t the droids I’m looking for.” I embraced “a skinny kid with a funny name” and have followed his career hence. I stole my daddy’s cue and made a living out of playing pool. I fell in love with Penny Lane and learned The Ropes from Spanish Fly. I did a radio broadcast with Handsome Dan and Mr. Scream. I rode headfirst into a hurricane and disappeared into a point. I was ship steward on the Covenant, first mate on the Stugots, and Captain of the Black Pearl; if only for a short while. I rode cross country with Dean Moriarty. Again and again. I practiced Robin Hood’s version of trickle down economics (rob from the rich to give to the poor). I served with the Shoe Police. I salvaged a roll of priceless toilet paper from the Titanic. But, like Jay Peterman’s cake, nothing so valuable can be preserved forever. Ahem. I still haven’t graduated, though I did become a gladiator who defied an emperor. I wound up wounded and not even dead.

And like that, he was gone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What Would Johnny Do?

Johnny Damon, $52 million/four years, sounds like a contract the Sox should have inked him to three or four months ago. At least that’s what it sound like. When A-Rod made his pitch, “Hey kid, ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” did Johnny begin to give into hate? Was it because Jeter snubbed him? I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise, four years ago he behaved in almost exactly the same way, dragging the A’s along until he sold his soul to the Commonwealth.

Did Johnny’s skill really derive from his flowing locks? Now we can find out. Did he thrive in Boston’s free willy clubhouse? Obviously. Will he shrivel, er, will there be shrinkage in the uptight kiss your mother goodnight shake your father’s hand Yankee clubhouse? I really hope so.

Is Damon walking around his house today singing Dave Matthews Band’s “I Did It?”

I did it
Do you think I’ve gone too far?
I did it
Guilty as charged
I did it
It was me right or wrong
I did it

Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, Sheffield, Giambi, Johnson, that’s a lot of egos, and other than Johnson, a lot of pretty-boys. Can they share the limelight? Will Sheffield stay angry or follow Pedro Cerrano down the path of enlightenment? Will Johnson say fuck you Jobu?

But I’m not talking about that, and for now, I’m not worried about it. Divisions are won in the dog days and World Series in October. December is for back stabbing and greediness, back-page rumors and trade requests. Am I now praying for the Sox to revitalize their Tejada talks? I haven’t stopped. Will Jeremy Reed fit into Johnny’s shoes, or wig? If Kevin Millar doesn’t get a new job, maybe he’ll whack Johnny. Or if he is broke he could just rob Edgar’s Renteria.

Did Johnny go down to the crossroads last night? Maybe, of 161st Street and River Avenue. Johnny, I believe this knife is yours...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I Know This Chick Carl And She’s Beautiful

- Barredo(et al) Shoutout: Last month’s FHM(linked to the right) had a one page section featuring a tastefully clothed and posed Babson College student sharing some secrets about her ex, “The J To The B.” I wish I had a knickname like that.

- I saw Eddy Curry at the Westchester today, he is a big dude. Anway, he was with some busted chick. Denis said maybe she was his doctor, assigned to 24hr service.

- If you’ve ever watched Lost than you know who the millionaire big-dude Hurley is. Well, I’ve been quite sure(for the past few days) that he had had another role we all might recognize him from, the big-dude in Almost Famous who goes nuts when Russell crows(sorry) “I’m On Drugs!!” and is similarly dissappointed with “I dig music.” Sadly, an IMDB search shattered my dream. In fact, the role was so minute, I couldn’t muster the patience to actually find his page. Either way, I’m crushed.

Download(courtesy of Tay): In The Meantime by Spacehog

So You Say Nice To Meet You

Josh Beckett, you say? No GM? No problem. Of course, the deal isn’t yet complete, the players involved still have to take physicals, but the principals are in place. The principals, by the way, are Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Hanley Ramirez, Anibel Sanchez, and Jesus Delgado. The deal in progress would send Marlins’ RHP Josh Beckett and 3b Mike Lowell to the Red Sox for SS Hanley Ramirez, RHP Anibel Sanchez, and RHP Jesus Delgado.

These deals in general include one team trading potential for certainty, and the other trading for economic flexibility and potential. The Sox dealt a prime-time shortstop prospect, their third or fourth best pitching prospect (and incidentally, the only one who doesn’t consistently top 95 mph) and Jesus Delgado, who’d hardly met his Single-A roommate. They got the 2003 World Series MVP, Josh Beckett, and Mike Lowell.

Throughout the 2005 season, and in seasons past, we have heard general managers, owners, scouts, and assistants to the traveling secretary (Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle... Costanza?!?) talk about not mortgaging the future by trading for proven veterans now. Beckett, however, is only 25 years old, and along with Jon Papelbon and Jon Lester, he’s set to make up a very young, VERY hard throwing Red Sox pitching staff for the next few years.

Mike Lowell is a two headed monster; he had a terrible year last year (though he did win the Gold Glove) and he’s set to make 18m. over the next two years. But the Sox had open spots at the corner infield positions, seem reluctant to keep Mueller, refused to re-sign Millar, and only the Greek God Of Walks (Youkilis) waiting in the wings.

The reason this deal really excites me, assuming it goes through, is that the Red Sox could afford to trade the prospects and and they got such enormous talent in exchange. Hanley Ramirez wasn’t about to take Renteria’s job, he can’t play second, and though they considered working him out in center, I’d much rather retain Damon. Ramirez is an incredible athletic talent, he “won every slam dunk contest he ever participated in” in the Dominican (according to himself, also, there’s no dunking in baseball, but it must be related somehow). The knock on him is that he relies too heavily on his God-given talent, but his work ethic lacks. He can hit, though he struggled mightily in the field, and he idolizes Manny (imagine Francona’s line of thought “wait, he’s an awe-inspiring hitter, struggles in the field, and thinks his ability to dunk is relevant, you know who would be a great mentor for him, Manny!” BRILLIANT).

As it stands now, the Sox have Schilling, Wakefield, Clement, Arroyo, Papelbon, and David Wells, along with Jon Lester. Add Beckett, and a David Wells trade moves from speculation to a certainty, and given Schilling and Wakefield’s age, Clement’s struggles since he was hit with a Barredo comebacker, having six or seven guys competing for the rotation sounds just fine. Beckett would rocket (oops) to the top of that list, possibly wearing number 21(oops) and the Sox look pretty good even without Theo. I had worried the Sox brass would be a bit like Frank and Jack after Billy went back to school (where’s Billy?), but for now I can rest.

Want more? I linked to some other guys' thoughts on the right. I particularly enjoyed the second to last sentence of the fifth point in Bill Simmons' piece.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Mucus Queen Is Yours

- A week ago today(friday) the Spin Doctors played the county center. How are the mighty fallen.

- The two best magazines to have in the bathroom are clearly Playboy and the tennis magazine Deuce.

- Traditionally, I listen to one of two songs following a shower; The Hey Song and Splish Splash.

- You know what really grinds my gears? EVERYTHING Jane Austen ever wrote and anyone who thinks its good.

- I realized I never actually posted DiSalvo’s Blog link, my foul. Look for it today, and find it you shall.

- How about another Playboy Party Joke. “A drunk driver and his buddy were driving down the street. The driver said to his friend, “I thinks we’re getting closer to downtown.”
The other guy asked, “How can you tell?”
The driver replied, “We're hitting more and more people.”

- Download: Ghetto Gospel, by Tupac feat. Elton John

- “Help Me Jebus!”

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lois, Take A Letter. “Dear Pawtucket Pat, I hate you. You are a bad man.”

- From December’s Playboy Party Jokes “A guy met a girl and was invited back to her place for the night. As they went into her bedroom, he noticed that it was filled with stuffed animals. They were on top of the wardrobe, on the bookshelf and windowsill, on the floor and spread all over the bed. Later, after they’d had sex, he turned to her and asked, “How was I?”
“Well,” she said, “you can take anything from the bottom shelf.”

- I failed to mention the name of Jim Bouton’s new book, it’s Foul Ball. Also, there is a new John Belushi biography that just came up, I’d recommend it. Any type of media chronicling his life, or Chris Farley’s for that matter, is well worth it. Of course, I haven’t read it yet.

- Mountain Drew has a new, typically Drew, blog, linked to the right.

- Since I’ve now linked to Andrew and Evan’s blogs (not brothers), I thought I’d keep the trend going and hunt down some other interesting blogs. Check out the two links on the right, if I find others, I'll add them. Also, as the only stateside blogger, I know declare myself the best of the three bloggers, if only by virtue of my location. Viewed another way, you could easily consider me the least interesting, shit.

- I spent ten minutes searching for all my friends’ names on the blog search engine, but sadly, none of you(legitimately) popped up. Losers...or, would it be a bad thing for your name to be ciculating on the internet, I’m not sure.

- I ought to clarify that when I was creating the domain name for this blog, I thought, for one reason or another, that I was a member of the class of 2004, hence, Of course I was not. Thus far, the only class I have been a part of is Hastings High School’s Class of 2001, and I had to write a four page paper on Tito Puente in the finals days of school just to graduate (yet I still received no diploma). In fact, since I haven’t graduated, I won’t even be a member of The Class of 2005 (you’re mostly losers anyway). So, from this day forth, the 04 stands for the number of readers I have. Party on Wayne.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And You Can Count, On Me, Waiting For You In The Parking Lot

- If you liked Super Troopers and Club Dread, Broken Lizard’s first movie was just released on DVD, its called Puddle Cruiser, and it’s supposed to be pretty good. If you didn’t like Super Troopers and Club Dread, please stop reading my blog.

- Last month in Esquire they listed “59 Things a Man Should Never Do Past 30.” Here are a few of my favorites: #5 - Name his penis his name plus junior; #9 - Ask a woman, “Hey, you got a license for that ass?”; #14 - Shout a response to “Are you ready to rock?”; #29 Volunteer to be a magician’s assistant; #33 - Publicly greet your friends by shouting, “What’s up, you whore?” (Definitely my favorite); #42 - Google the word vagina; #48 - Buy a novelty postcard in another country of topless women on a beach and write, “Wish you were here” on it(a close runner-up); #58 Whippits.

- One I didn’t agree with: #44 - Sport an ironic mustache(for anyone who can’t grow one until 30, wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity).

- Good Download: Baby, I’m A Big Star Now, by the Counting Crows. If this song sounds familiar, it plays during the end credits in Rounders.

- Better Black Bird Related Download: Jailhouse Rock, covered by The Black Crows.

- Funny Simmons quote about the Pats-Colts game. “Forty points and a gazillion first downs later, Manning was smiling on the sidelines, his teammates were pretending they liked him, ABC was rolling their fake MasterCard commercial and the fans were pouring out of Gillette Stadium.”

Monday, November 07, 2005

Buzz, Your Girlfriend, Woof

- The last few things I’ve read, with those I’d recommend in CAPS. Deception Point, ONCE AND FUTURE KING, NOW I CAN DIE IN PEACE, Digital Fortress, 1776, FREAKANOMICS (in the Malcolm Gladwell mold), THE MEANING OF SPORTS, KITE RUNNER, and JARHEAD.

- Adios Terrell, Go Pats.

- Jim Bouton has a new book, about trying to save an urban ballpark. Bouton is also the author of one of my favorite books Ball Four, which I read just before pitchers and catchers report, a little Spring Training ritual of mine.

- The first link to the right connects you to a segment from The Tipping Point, read it and see how you do. I think I got a fourteen; I guess getting elected “Friendliest” in high school is/was irrelevant , or there was a serious mistake in the voting.

- I’m going to a sneak preview of the new Harry Potter movie with my pops next Thursday(next Thursday is not this Thursday, its next Thursday, today is Monday, three days from now it will be Thursday, I’m going one week after that). Expect a more detailed review than my scalding, film student insight riddled critique of Sleepers.

- Good download, if you can find it: Fucked Runs by Blues Traveler

Goodbye My Looooove

Theo Epstein is gone. As the October 31st deadline approached I read every kind of article, from every kind of sports writer, with every kind of opinion. Since then, more of the same. Theo and Larry Lucchino just couldn’t get along; Theo wants to walk away from baseball, tour with Pearl Jam, and do goodwill in Africa; Theo has greater ambitions, and wants to be the youngest president of baseball operations; Theo got tired of the media circus in Boston and New England; Theo didn’t have as much control as he’d like. That’s a lot of explanations for one man’s decision, but none of them explain why a Brookline native, a Yale graduate who had worked in baseball since he was 19(under Lucky no less), the first general manager to bring a World Series Trophy to Fenway since Woodrow Wilson was president, none of them explain why a twenty eight year old phenom would abandon his dream job three years in. “In eleven years its gonna be 1984, man, think about that!” Makes almost as much sense, maybe more.

Theo had an undeniably excellent three year reign in Boston. His first year, the Red Sox came within five outs of their first World Series in 17 years; yet the way that year would have lived on were it not for the successes of the team the following year. Theo assembled the 2004 Boston Red Sox, had Thanksgiving dinner with Curt and Shonda Schilling, snatched Kevin Millar from Japan, signed David Ortiz at a fraction of his current market value (“What good is mining nose gold if you can’t share it with the village people?”), signed Keith Foulke, who may have prematurely ended his career to bring the Sox to the promise land(which I consider more impressive and heroic than Schilling’s ankle, if only because Schilling is on the wrong side of 35, and Foulke is now only 33), shipped Nomar out for Dave Roberts, Orlando “Mighty Mouse” Cabrera, and the guy who tried to steal the ball from the final out, and in the end wound up pouring champagne over Terry Francona, Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, and even Dale Sveum. I will remember these things about him, along with images of him sitting beside John Henry and Tom Werner with a Poland Springs bottle(the camera always caught him mid-gulp), announcing signings and trades with a stoic confidence, and most of all, for 2004.

When people point out the number of deals that didn’t work out in his favor, and then ultimately did(Vazquez, Contreras, A-Rod/Ordonez) I can only think about the G.M.’s who came before him, the inconceivably inept general managers who made incomprehensible moves day in and day out, ran popular stars out of town like it was their job, raised ticket prices, and didn’t seem to give a fuck about the fans; those men may have had plans, and backup plans, and backup plans for their backup plans, but for them, NONE of them ever worked out.

Theo we could trust, and that’s what I’ll miss. When he took over he and the new ownership group said they would rebuild the farm system. Three years later, as the door catches his heels, we can look to the roster and see names like Jon Papelbon, John Lester, Manny Delcarmen, Anibel Sanchez, Craig Hansen, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, and Kelly Shoppach. After 2003, when it was clear the team needed a starter to pair with Pedro and a closer(after the closer-by-committee proved to be disastrous), he signed Foulke and dealt for Schilling. This past season, he refused to deal prospects for immediate gratification. When his plan A failed, he moved to plan B, but he never mortgaged the future or reacted in panic. Theo we could trust.