Friday, September 28, 2007

The Boston Red Sox are AL East Champs in 2007!

It's done...finally. Of course we haven't won anything yet, and my hopes aren't very high on this team winning everything, but this was a huge task. I expect all the Sox to be rested over the weekend and our focus to be put on staying fresh and demolishing whoever we play.

Looks like we will get LAA - which scares the hell out of me. The Angels have a good hitting lineup and they have a good bullpen. Their lineup plays better than it is, with OCab always hitting well against us, Garrett Anderson is on a tear, Chone Figgins is smacking the crap out of the ball, even Kendrick is doing well, and of course Vlad. They have 7 out of 8 guys who have played over 100 games hitting .290 or better - that is scary.

Their pitching is pretty good too - Lackey won 18 games and has a 3.11 era, Escobar has shown signs of brilliance, and Weaver was decent. I think their #3 starter will hurt them. KRod is a damn good closer, and their bullpen is very decent with guys like Speier/Oliver/Bootcheck/Shields. And they have a wildcard in Ervin Santana, who is a young gun. A few years ago Santana was being compared to Pedro!

So, I'm a little nervous, especially if we don't have Manny being Manny at the plate. I think with Pedroia and Ellsbury we can match their speed though, which is something that the Angels have taken advantage of in the past.

In comparing stats, the Angels were pretty even with the Sox, but LA had the edge in avg, h and sb (by 45). The Sox surprisingly lead in HR by a ton (42 - even without a full year of Manny), runs, rbi's and obp. Our ERA was also .38 runs lower than LA. Interesting.

I also think that the Yankees can beat the Indians - and pretty easily. Cleveland is ranked 14th in avg and the Yankees ranked #1. The Yankees blow the Indians away in EVERY stat (but walks and saves) by A LOT! In some cases by more than 15% more! Yikes.

Red Sox vs Yankees in the ALCS makes me nervous, but I guess I have some time to think about that - and we need to focus on the first round first.

Buchholz was shut down today due to arm fatigue - he will not be pitching another inning the rest of the year - which sucks, but hell, that is the best for him. He's young, and he's our future. I'm still pissed they made him pitch all 9 innings in the no-hitter - that could have jeopardized his future. This was the right move though.

The Boston Red Sox are AL East Champions in 2007...I just like saying that!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

3... the magic number and the lead in the AL East.

Sox beat the A's 7-3 and the Yankees lose dramatically in the 10th on a Dioner Navarro HR for TB. That cut 2 games off the magic number and added 1 game to the lead in the East. It was a good night.

The other good thing is that the magic number for eliminating the Tigers is 1. I can't stand the Tigers - mainly because an old frined of mine use to tell me how great they were and how their WS appearance wasn't a fluke. Basically the Tigers were lucky to get to the playoffs last year, as they had a monumental collapse at the end of the season and lost the Central lead the last two days of the season to the Twins. It was embarrassing for them. To their credit the Tigers did make it to the WS, but again got embarrassed by a Cardinals team that was 5 games over .500 with 83 wins. So for him to say the Tigers were great was a joke, and this season just proves it - again. The Tigers are horrendous and they aren't made for the long haul.

But anyways. The Sox have the A's for 1 game and the Twins for 4 left. 2 wins is all we need and 1 Yankee loss. I think that is do-able. Yanks have 2 against TB and 3 against O's.

Last night Manny made an appearance - going 1-2 with a single and walk. It was good to have him back - and he is playing tonight (he's 2-2 2 singles). The heroes last night were Schilling (6 IP 1 ER), Ellsbury (2 RBI) , Lowell (RBI), Ortiz (HR 33 & 2 RBI) and Drew (3-4). Paps pitched for .1 IP, so that is interesting. I'm wondering if he is ok. Schilling looked good going into the playoffs - which is very very important.

The last 5 games will be interesting - I hope the Sox can get things settled by tomorrow so they can rest their players for a couple games.

The gusy on ESPN think Barry Bonds will end up in Oakland next season in place of Piazza. That is the perfect place for him, but again, when the Yanks lose ARod they will panic and sign Bonds. I don't like them signing him, because he will definitely hurt the Red Sox.

Barry Bonds 756 HR ball will be branded with an asterik before being sent to Cooperstown - there is a God! That is the absolute best possible thing that can happen for baseball.

Another thing I did last night is referee for the first time. It went very well, but I have a new appreciation for the zebras. Man, I have no idea how they see everything. I still need to train myself not to watch the puck, but rather watch my zone. I had a good time and the teams were very well behaved. Nothing too chippy, and no real complaints. John Walker was my co-ref and he taught me tons of stuff. I called the first penalty of the night, then didn't call another the rest of the time. I guess I was a bit bashful. I will definitely treat the refs better now though.

That's all I got - hockey tonight at 8pm.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I've gone to the dark side.

No not the Yankees you jackass....I'm refereeing inline hockey now.

I make my debut tomorrow night (all 4 games) and I'm actually a bit nervous. Not so much because I don't think I can do it, but rather I want to be good at it and respected for being good at it. That is probably asking way too much. I do think that one or two refs in particular have been HORRIBLE. And the refs do seem to make a lot of mistakes. Hopefully I won't be "that" ref.

I'm not exactly a saint, I have abused a ref here or there in my career. And I do get my share of penalties, and I do dive once in a while - so I guess I am the perfect ref. It will be interesting and I'm freaking out just thinking about it. I went to Sports Authority and bought a whistle and ref jersey - so I guess I have to do it now. Damn do I hate refs.

Tuesday leagues are the worst too - because these are the guys who can't skate at all and they hang all over each other. Half the time you can't tell if it is a penalty or just too newbs hugging each other. This should be quite a treat for a first time. Luckily I'm refereeing with another guy who I think is a very decent ref. That should take much of the pressure off me.

I wonder what it will be like to not want to go after the puck, and can I stay out of the way? I'm guessing I wear a cup (just in case), but do I wear shins? So many questions.Plus, I don't remember all those obscure rules like if a team has only 4 guys and there is a matching penalty, it is ok to to skate 4 on 3 and consider it full strength. So weird. Plus, I don't want guys screaming at me if I call a face off at the wrong dot or if I miss a tip that goes out of play and I want to face off on the wrong dot. Well, whatever. I've played more games than most of these guys on Tuesday nights have watched!

I just talked to Chris - a goalie buddy of mine, and he said something pretty cool - he said at least he knows the game will be called fairly. That means a lot. Of course I play on Wednesday nights - so that league is out. And, I've played on multiple teams on Thursday nights too - and technically I am subbing on Thursday nights too - so I'm not sure I can ref then either. Conflict-o-interest!

Damn, I need to go fishing. I have no clue what I am doing this weekend, and I'm bored. Went to Old Chicago last night and had a decent meal. Avi turned into a little wise guy last night at the restaurant, probably because she hadn't taken a long nap. She was kind fo funny - she knew she was pushing my buttons and loving it. Kids.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

NFL Sunday - made even better!!

Do you live outside your favorite teams home market? So you either have to buy the Direct TV package for like $200 or the Field Pass for $40? (Which is a HUGE rip off considering you can get the entire MLB baseball season on the radio - some 2500 games - for $15! I'll pay that - but not the $40 for 16 games). Well, get NFL games live (or almost live) directly on your computer in decent video quality (well 4" X 4" quality).

Check this out - and it really works - download, then go to this link and click on the game you want.

This worked perfectly and it saved my Sunday - as my wife had to work and the baby was napping. I wish I had known about this last week - but luckily we are 3-0 BABY! Go STEELERS!

Ok, Sox lost tonight, Yankees won - 1.5 game lead, and the Sox get Monday off.

The Steelers played well - very well - and looked like a top 3 team in the league. Colts and Pats will be tops until they prove otherwise - although the Colts don't look all that impressive against the Titans and Texans - but still, that offense is explosive.

The 49ers played well too on Defense, but the Steelers pounding was just too much. 133 yards rushing for FWP and Ben made all the right throws. I want to focus on one player that just makes me tick and is probably going to be one of the Steeler greats before he's done. His name is Hin..........Heath Miller, TE, #83. Damn, the guy is automatic. I wish I saw the stat for dropped passes and third down thrown too and completions for TEs. He's so automatic and when he gets the ball he turns up field and PUNISHES someone. I used to think Shockey was a punisher, but this guy let's three guys jump on his back and he keeps chugging. I don't think I've ever seen 1 guy straight up tackle him. He has only one weakness - the sidelines, that's the only thing he can't avoid when he is pushed out of bounds! He caught 3 balls tonight that were huge! One was out of bounds after a review, but he caught the ball as a LB was pushing him out of bounds so he didn't get both feet down. It was truly an amazing catch.

Hines Ward hurt his shoulder today, and that is a huge concern - but honestly Ben doesn't really need WRs except on third downs - which he doesn't get into a whole lot. I heard the Steelers were losing for the first time this season - for 12 seconds! After a first possession FG by the 49ers, Allen Rossum ran back the kickoff 98 yards for a TD. Amazing! That is called rising to adversity! Rossum was a great pick up - and he filled a huge weakness in this team. Another great sign was seeing our punter on the hands team on an onside kick. That's riht, Dan Sepulveda, a former walk on LB at Baylor University, was on the hands team and collected an onside kick and laid down nicely. You will NEVER see that in a game again. Crazy.

The defense looked great today - there was more pressure on the QB than the stats showed. Woodley got another sack and looked very good. The defense hit hard as usual - Frank Gore had 35 yards rushing and was pummeled every time he got the ball. Vernon Davis may be hesitant to catch a ball over the middle again - as he caught a ball and was planting his leg to turn upfield he got a helmet to the hip and was flipped over, landing on his head and coughing up the football right into Ryan clark's hands. The play was reviewed incomplete, but Davis was seen counting fingers on the sidelines. Lots of heavy hits - just the way we love it.

Jeff Reed was automatic tonight - I hope he saves some for when we need them. A garbage TD by the 49ers late brought them within 9. The Steelers came back and kicked a FG, then the next possession for the 49ers Alex Smith throws a pick 6 to Bryant McFadden for 50 yards. That sealed it - but Najeh Davenport ripped off a 40 yard TD to clinch it. Great game and our first real test by a decent defense. Arizona is next, then Seattle (in Pittsburgh).

Some games of note today - Cleveland has a FG try blocked with no time left to lose to Oakland (ugh). Those are truly the worst teams in the league. Sad. Denver sucked as usual - losing to Jacksonville 23-14. The game looked like it was going to go Denver's way as they made Jacksonville fumble on Denver's 4 yard line. On 4th and 6 from the 10 yard line, Shanahan went for it with 4 minutes left and Denver choked. Instead of letting their defense get the ball back (which I think it could have), he made a very bad bad decision. Again, Shanahan costs the Broncos a game. The last two weeks he has gotten gifts, and this week, against an equally crappy team, he choked. Completely. Of course all the Bronco fans will continue to ballwash him as usual.

NE looked good as usual. Dallas killed the Bears. GB trounced SD (amazingly - I guess Norv Turner really does kill the best offense in the game!). TB surprised St. Louis - by 21 points. Seattle barely beat Cincy. I'm thinking we can beat the hell out of AZ and Seattle and have fun doing it.

Man, I need to go camping for the weekend - I need to get some fishing in and get up to the mtns. Problem is that this is quarter close, and I'll need internet and cell phone access. I'm thinking maybe Breckenridge - this cool place called Tiger Run is a ritzy place and the family would have a good time.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Clinched the wildcard.

6 is the magic number for the East title. This takes a little pressure off. Tonights win aganist TB was in a dramatic fashion - getting a clutch Tek HR to tie it in the top of the ninth and then a sweet 2 run HR by Lugo to put us ahead. I could have sworn I beat on these same two guys yesterday for not producing? Think they heard me? Good to see some production down there - maybe, just maybe, they are getting hot and can hold onto the fire for a month or so? We'll need it. Pedroia went 0-5 pushing his average down to below .315, while Ellsbury went 2-5 and had 2 RBIs.

Some cause for concern was DiceK's pitching performance - he gave up 5 runs tonight and those stat lines never look good. If the guy could stop walking people and giving up free baserunners, that would help his ERA and performance tremendously. I can not see the SOx using him in a the playoffs - although after what they spent on him, they will probably be forced to.

The Yankees pulled out a win tongiht in extra innings over the BJs. They used 10 pitchers tonight - 7 for less than a full inning. Philip Hughes again did not look impressive - both teams scored plenty of runs though - as both bulpens got over used 12-11. Sox are still up 2.5 games.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Magic Number = 7 for East Title , Magic Number = 2 for Wildcard

The Sox turned on the offense tonight (at least late in the game) and the Yankees mounted an amazing comeback with 4 runs in the ninth, but came up short in the 14th. This was a huge win for the Red Sox and a huge momentum swinger for the Yankees. Sure, beating the Sox in Fenway 2 out of 3 was a big ego boost, but they have to come off the high sometime - and tonight was that night.

Papi blasted a HR, Lowell and Varitek had one also - which is huge since the power outage has lasted way too long. Beckett won game #20 - which is a huge accomplishment in a much better American League than National League (where there seem to be more 20 game winners).

Ellsbury got himself on ESPN with the #1 webgem - falling into the LF bullpen and managing to make a crazy catch. Of course the "bullpen" in the Trop is ON the field and the little mole hill for a pitchers mound is fully exposed (which is just begging for an injury). He also had a couple of hits and both he and Pedroia raised hell on the bases again - both scoring on an error or a wild pitch.

The bottom of the order continues to be useless - Tek (although he hit a HR tonight), Coco, Lugo, Hinske, Kielty - throw Drew in there and you have the potential for a no hitter any night. Brandon Moss actually pinch hit for Coco and had a hit. Sad. No production from that part of the order will kill us in the playoffs. Man, we need Manny back in a huge way - but we need Manny to come back and hit. He's had a LONG time off to recoop from a strained oblique. I know what a strained oblique feels like - I used to laugh at them, I just assumed it was an excuse for something else. But, they are humbling injuries - doing weird things like tying shoes is impossible - and turning side to side sends sharp pains up your whole side. But my injury was over in about 3 or 4 weeks. Hell, I was back playing hockey in 2 weeks. Manny better come back at his best or wait until the playoffs - although a couple games to shake the cobwebs off would be nice. Luckily we can beat the DRays without him.


News out today is that the SF Giants will not bring back Barry Bonds. Well, of course they won't! They raped him for the publicity and ticket sales of the HR record and now they tell him to F off. Couldn't happen to a better guy either. Whatever. Some stupid organization with no humility will pick him up next year. Hell - the Rangers picked up Sammy Sosa off the scrap heap and he leads that team in RBIs this season. (Which is sad considering the power hitters on that club.)

So who will sign him next season? Let's work backwards on this - who won't sign him? Well, no National League team is paying $12-15M for an 85 game a year defensive liability who is better suited for the AL. An American League team will likely sign him to play DH, but young teams and teams that are too concerned with chemistry won't sign him either - so let's subtract the Sox (DH is Ortiz), Toronto (Big Hurt), Cleveland (too good - too young), Detroit (Sheffield), Minnesota (too good and too young), Chicago (Thome), Angels (too smart), Texas (Sosa), Seattle (they are old enough). That leaves NYY, Baltimore, TB, KC, and the A's. TB won't spend $12M on a player, Bonds won't go to KC, and Baltimore doesn't need anymore bad press. That leaves NYY and the A's.

The NYY are about to lose ARod and could use the DH and PH power potential off their bench. Of course Giambi takes that roll - but something tells me they could find room for both. Not to mention that the Yankees can outbid anyone and Bonds jerseys could actually sell in NY City (but not in San Fran - weird). Plus, having the HR king* play on the Yankees might make Georgie boy cream his pants.

The A's are interesting, Billy Beane favors the OBP, and Piazza is on the way out. Oakland is very close to San Fran, and Barry could continue to live in his current home in CA, not to mention I think SF and Oakland play each other in Interleague play every season, so he has a chance to get back at SF. The A's also have a lot of young guys to fill the OF (instead of DH), and team chemistry really has interested Beane that much. He's been known to keep cancers too long (Terrance Long and Jay Payton) and cut good clubhouse guys (Keilty). So basically if he could get Bonds for like $8-10M, he'd do it in a second.

There are a couple of places he could land in the NL, places like Washington, San Diego or maybe LA, but the likelihood of them outbidding the Yankees and Barry passing on the next best thing of lots of time off and not being away from the family with the A's will be too much to pass up. So, no chance he stays in the NL.

My prediction, although the Yankees offer Bonds $12M - which is $4M more than the A's offer, Bonds chooses the A's, but then Georgie comes back and offers $15M and Bonds signs with the Yankees. Everyone has a price - and if you can buy a HR title, you can buy your happiness in NYC.

Oh, but right after Bonds signs with NYY, even before he gets to play a game for them, he gets indicted in this whole steroids scandal and we realize there is a God and Barry Bonds - the HR leader* - goes to jail. Don't feel bad for him, he has earned it. After he is convicted, MLB will wipe his records from the books to cleanse themselves of an ugly lie that they knew all along. Yes, the fan will be cheated, and MLB will be tainted - until another Red Sox/Yankee show down in September brings the fans back in 2008.

Candidate for Assclown Post of the Year

Check this article out that was on Yahoo today - by some no-name assclown Anthony Olivieri:
(My rebuttle comments in bold).

The sky is falling on Red Sox nation - again.

The Boston Red Sox celebrated their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004. Just three years later, they are conjuring up memories of another historic campaign - 1978.

The Red Sox have lost five of their last six games - many in excruciating fashion - to see what was a 14 1/2-game lead on May 29 shrink to just 1 1/2 over the rival New York Yankees in the American League East.

Boston squandered a 14-game advantage to New York in late July 1978 en route to the Yankees' second straight championship. Granted, this campaign, the Red Sox have the wild card to fall back on. Um, last time I knew, the Sox were a wildcard team when they won the WS in 2004. It doesn't matter how you get there - just get to the playoffs.

But as the noose tightens in New England nearly 30 years later, here are 10 reasons why it will be deja vu - all over again. What noose? I don't get that joke. Is he trying to say we are choking?

10. Big Papi's health - David Ortiz has been limping around with a myriad of injuries to his shoulder, knee, quadriceps and hamstring. With his team needing a lift, the clutch slugger may not be able to provide it. Ortiz had his chance to knock out the Yankees with the bases loaded in the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera on Sunday, but the aching All-Star just could not get around on the fastball. First of all, Papi is the only one with any power on this team, and he's doing it hurt. Why is this going to change over the next month? And second, he popped out to CF - when you can "not get around on the fastball" you pop out to LF (for lefty hitters) because you are late on the swing. I'm not sure you understand that concept or much about baseball at all.

9. Earth to Manny - Manny Ramirez is a surefire Hall-of-Famer, an RBI machine and one of the best pure hitters in baseball. But his space-cadet routine finally may be wearing thin in Beantown. He has a strained left oblique muscle, which has sidelined him since August 28. But prior to the injury, the 35-year-old Ramirez was in a fog. Without him in the lineup or with his head in the clouds, Boston's lineup becomes easier to attack. Manny has been an absolute great employee this season - no talk of being traded, no weird days off, he is injured however. Sure he had a down season, but so has Papi. Since when has Manny's head been in a fog or the clouds effected his performance? The guy has been one of the most consistent hitter over the past decade. But yes, without him the Sox lineup is less potent, unless he plays like he has all this season, then this lineup is better with Ellsbury in it - since Ellsbury strikes out less, hits into less DPs, steals more bases, plays better defense and gets on base more - not to mention hits for a higher average. But after all that, I see your point (I think).

8. Hideki Okajima's arm - Okajima was a Rookie of the Year candidate and one of the best relievers in the American League. His unorthodox delivery - specifically his head motion - confused hitters, making him the perfect bridge to star closer Jonathan Papelbon. But Okajima's arm is tired, and he will be shut down for five days. It's September, the AL East is on the line and one of your best relievers is not available? That's the real head-turner. Injuries happen - what are you gonna do? Okie must be tired or injured. I guess you got one point right.

7. The Smug Race - There is no doubt baseball fans in New York and Boston border on the intolerable, wearing cockiness on their sleeves. But Red Sox nation has taken it to a new level after the 2004 World Series title. However, the Red Sox have done nothing since their historic championship to warrant gloating - failing to make it past the division series in 2005 or even into the postseason last campaign. Maybe Boston's rabid following is getting just a bit ahead of itself. Could it be that the Red Sox just are not that good? Yes, we have been the best team all season - we still have the best record - but we aren't that good. It is all a mirage. And when can't the fans of the best two franchises in the sport do whatever the hell they want? Without the Yanks and Sox major league baseball would be a joke and no one would even care (see the steriod issues and the Bonds HR debacle). You should thank NY and Boston for the rivalry.

6. Fall of the Dice-K - Daisuke Matsuzaka has just two wins since July 29 and looks to be out of gas. If you listened to the hype machine prior to the season, the much-heralded former World Baseball Classic MVP was somewhere between Tom Seaver and a righthanded Sandy Koufax. In fact, he was supposed to be better than that. But in reality, he has been John Burkett with a little more velocity. In the final days of the season, Matsuzaka - and his golden arm - need to show what all the fuss was about. Amazing - I never heard a comparison to Seaver or Koufax - actually I remember everyone saying the Sox were stupid for investing so much in an unknown. How can an "unknown" be compared to Seaver or Koufax? I'd love to see the link with the comparisons. Yes, DiceK was overhyped before coming to the US, but no one was thinking that at the AllStar break. It's a long season, and even longer than the Japan Leagues baseball season. DiceK has never started more than 29 games - this season he has started 30 games and will probably get at least 2 more starts. Maybe he's tired. Can't blame him.

5. Papelbon - The luster is off one of the best young closers in baseball. There is no argument here that Papelbon will be a force in the AL for years to come. But in 2007, the mystique is lost - mainly against the rival Yankees. The 26-year-old has a miniscule 1.96 ERA and just 15 walks in 55 innings. But as Rivera's past exploits have shown us, a closer's season is defined by the big moments. Papelbon is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA and five walks in seven frames against New York this season. Yawn, what are Rivera's stats against the Red Sox? This could just as easily explain why the Yankees could choke. Papelbon has been pitching worse of late, but he could be even worse.

4. The Pink Hat Factor - The Red Sox always were the loveable losers, but not anymore. With a swelling fan base, they have become the chic club to root for with fans sprouting up all over the country. Red Sox nation has an immigration problem with most newcomers not knowing Johnny Pesky from Johnny Damon. All the good will built up from the baseball gods? Gone. Funny, ever notice Yankee hats in Africa? Because goodwill distributes clothing to Africa. Think there might be an exportation problem there? Sox fans sprouting up suddenly everywhere? Are you kidding me? I went to a Sox/Rox game in June 2004 (long before thoughts of a WS), and the stadium was 60% filled with Sox fans. There have been more true Sox fans around this country than bandwagon Yankee fans. Oh, and how do you expect the youth of America to know who Johnny Pesky was when he played 40 years before they were born? Hell, I bet you can't name the President 40 years ago.

3. Eric Gagne - The newly acquired reliever would be higher on the list, but his effect on the Red Sox will diminish - simply because he will no longer pitch in big spots. Or will he? General manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona seem insistent on throwing Gagne into the fire. He is responsible for at least five of Boston's losses since joining the club at the July 31 trade deadline. And Epstein may continue to try to prove Gagne's worth - and himself right - at the team's expense. Epstein was the one who told Francona to sit Gagne for almost two weeks, can you at least get your facts straight before writing up a big article on this?

2. The Yankees - Holding the best record in baseball since the All-Star break, it is all coming together for New York. The Yankees have steamrolled through the competition, including taking five of six from the rival Red Sox since late August. Boasting the league's most dangerous lineup, New York also has fixed its bullpen problems with the addition of rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain. Robinson Cano has broken out of his first-half slump, and Alex Rodriguez continues to post MVP-caliber numbers. If New York continues to play like this, Boston's play is irrelevant. One player fixes a bullpen? Amazing. If I remember correctly, the Yankees had the same lineup on opening day as they do now - so how are they suddenly dominant, but were less dominant then? There is always time for any team to choke. As long as the Red Sox are leading the division, their play is relevant. Any ideas how the Yanks will stack up against the Angels or Indians? Good pitching always beats good hitting - and the Yankees haven't proved their pitching is very good. Joba might pitch well against crappy hitters, but the Angels/Indians will eat up that 100 mph fastball.

1. Harsh Reality - Simply, they are the Red Sox and these things happen. History does not lie. As much as the 2004 World Series title was supposed to erase all the bad memories, 100-plus years of suffering just does not disappear. Ask any die-hard Sox fan. It is never easy. Get used to it, Boston. Passion is not created from easy victories. This is something non-Red Sox fans can't understand. Sure you might love your team, and you might root for them through thick and thin, but going through bad times over and over only makes us love every Sox team more. When we win, it makes it that much sweeter. Unlike say, Yankee fans, I've never seen a bandwagon quadruple in good times and be diminished to next to nothing in bad times. How many Yankee fans did you see when they were 14 games back? None, they were all bailing out. Great fans. I read once that after the 2003 loss in game 7 of the ALCS, one Sox fan couldn't help but get up the next day, grab his Sox hat and go off to work like it was any other day. It was like any other day - it's called passion, something you can't teach, something that can only be ingrained.

Nice try on an article - but your facts are not holding water, and like your reputaton after trying to write this "know it all" article you aren't getting anywhere.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Beware of Experian Fraud!

Have you gotten this charge on your credit card every month:

CIC*CE Credit Manager(Services and Merchandise) $9.95

If so, you too are signed up for a "free credit report" at How? You got a free credit report and in the small print it says that you have agreed to a monthly membership for $9.95. So, you go to get a "free" credit report, and then get sucked into a membership that you didn't want, and you will never hear from them again - not an email, not anything through the mail, not a phone call. You can even try to log into and it won't recognize your username or password - because you don't have one. So what are you getting for this membership? Jackshit.

You need to call and cancel this thing ASAP at 877-481-6826 - don't give them your credit card number, or social security number, have them look you up by name. They will ask you for your mom's maiden name - don't give them that either - tell them to confirm your identity with other info (I used my DOB). Cancel the "membership" with the asshole customer service (they will try to do everything to convince you that you signed up for it), then ask to talk to the supervisor about the account. Don't give in - stay on hold and talk to the supervisor. Tell the supervisor that you think this is fraud and want to report it. Tell them you think you deserve a refund - that 1,400 other people on the web have gotten the same charge and are pissed - say you will report this, and that you expected more from one of the largest credit agencies out there. They will say that they can only refund 3 months worth of charges - which is better than nothing. They said it would take 7-10 business days to get the credit - we'll see how long it really takes.

I googled the charge above and found out that several people have gone through the same thing - check out these google search results.

Make sure you check your credit card statement next month to ensure that you are not charged again and that you get your refunds.

I hope you catch this sooner than I did - I thought this charge was (it was the same amount) and I was going to call them - but figured I'd google the charge first. Good luck.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Let's not talk about last night - it makes me sick thinking about it - so let's skip straight to today. Sox win big 10-1. Beckett pitched a gem for his 19th win - and the Sox beat the Yankees best pitcher (Wang).

Man, the usual suspects continue to lead this team. Lowell, Ortiz, Ellsbury & Pedroia. Coco had a good game and Hinske hit a homer. Youks went out after getting plunked in the wrist - xrays were negative, but this is never a good thing.

5.5 game lead over the Yanks, and more importantly it gives the Tigers a chance to catch up in the wildcard race. Although they started some kid tonight Bazardo. Should be interesting. That team has to be the biggest disappointment (besides maybe the White Sox) this season. For all the talented pitching they have they still rely on guys like Inge, Casey, Thames and a host of other marginal players to fill their roster. I'm not sure that is enough offensive talent to get them by teams like the Angels/Sox/Yanks.

But whatever, Sox win tonight - so I'm in a better mood. We have to take tomorrow's game to close the series and put all the pressure on the Yankees.

Can you imagine if the Yankees didn't make the playoffs? I wonder just how much that team would get blwon up?

Saturday, Sept 15, 2007 - TU Clear Creek Clean Up

Saturday, Sept 15, 2007 - TU Clear Creek Clean Up

What a beautiful day - party cloudy, decent breeze, 75 degrees or so in Idaho Springs. Got there at 9am, we chose a group of four of us and hit our stretch. Pretty tough climbimg along some of those ledges next to the water, but we managed. My group consisted of Cooper (a board member of West Denver TU), Dwight (Pagosa Springs retiree) and Mike. We split in half and headed down stream, Cooper and I hit the City Hall stretch and worked our way to the 70 bridge. We worked the stretch right under the big wheel there along I70 next to the water fall - the river was very fishy there and beautiful. We caught ourselves looking for fish sometimes, and we saw them by the bunches. There are a ton of fish in that creek.

But damn, is that corridor just the dirtiest thing. Tons of garbage was pulled out of there today - and Cooper and I did quite a bit of that. We managed 4 heavy bags in the ~1 mile stretch.

It was a good turn out this year, a few more than last, and a younger group this year too. There was a group from the rafting company that was a young bunch and they added some fresh blood to an otherwise aging group. A big thanks to all the donors who donated gift certs as prizes - including Charlie's Flybox, Anglers All, Blue Quill, Golden Angler, Discount Tackle and a couple others (sorry if I left your gift cert out). The food was good too. I was out of there by about 1 and home by 1:30pm. It was a nice day. I didn't hang out to long - but met Cooper and Dwight and hopefully they will be frequenting this board.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And then it was .....11

Thank you Frank Thmoas for making this day good.

Yankees lost to the Blue Jays 2-1 and have dropped the Sox magic number to 11 and the East lead to 5.5 games. More importantly if the Sox get swept over the weekend they will still have a 2.5 game lead. We need magic this weekend - pure power and dominance.

For the record, I'm not overly excited about this team going all the way. Granted, I like our chances in the playoffs with a three man rotation of Schilling, Beckett, DiceK with Buchholz/Lester as our long men and a bullpen of Lopez/Timlin/Okajima/MDC/Paps. The pitching staff has to easily be the best. Our offense is not clicking yet though - and those players that are might not be playing that much in the playoffs (Ellsbury) or possibly slumping again (Lugo/Drew). Yes, we do have some amazing offensive potential when everyone is clicking - but I'm not counting on the stars to line up. Do I think we can beat the Indians or Tigers? Yes. Do I think we can beat the Angels? No. Do I think we can beat the Yankees? Maybe.

Honestly over the past couple of seasons the team that has been on a roll at the end of the season seems to win. Detroit quite possibly was the best team in MLB last season and the Cards took it. The White Sox may have been the best team in the league in 2005, but the Cards would argue because they had more wins. The WS took that series. Were the Sox the best team in 2004? Hell no - the Cards won 105 games, but we all know how that turned out. So, I guess I'll put my money on the team that ends the season the hottest and with the most momentum. If I chose right now, I'd have to say the Yankees or Angels.

Tomorrow is Friday and it will be war. May the Sox be the best team and win!


Magic number is 12 after a dramatic Red Sox win. A 1 out in the bottom of the ninth 2 run homer by Big Papi David Ortiz wrapped this game up in dramatic fashion. This could be just the spark we need to propel us into the Yankee series. We have the day off today, and tomorrow the Yanks will be in Fenway. I have a feeling this is going to be a battle. The Yankees have won their last 7 games, so they are ripe for being beat - no way can they carry that momentum for very much longer. We will need our guns to come out blazing - and it looks like Manny Ramirez may be back for the series.

I'm not sure Manny helps us or hurts us. With Manny in we need to sit Drew or Ellsbury - Drew is starting to hit and provides good D. Ellsbury has been a true spark plug for this team the last few weeks. Taking him out of the lineup can only hurt. Manny also has a tendency to be an all or nothing type hitter - swinging for the long bomb or a K or a double play. The first time we see Manny become a rally killer the fans will let the manager know.

One thing about Manny, he usually comes back very very strong from time off - and he kills the Yankees - so these are very positive things. Elssbury as a late inning replacement on the basepaths and field is not a bad thing. The bigger question is - what are we going to do in 2008?

Should be a GREAT weekend - all 3 games are on TV.

My weekend is packed - a championship inline hockey game tonight (last night we won the first game and lost the championship game), Friday I have the Sox, Saturday I have the TU River Clean Up and the Sox on TV and Sunday I have the Fly Fishing Retailers Show, NFL Football and the Sox on TV. That will be crazy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Magic number = 13, with crazy win over the DRays 16-10

Ok, I just witnessed the craziest game of my life - although witnessed is not exactly true. I watched on the internet and the radio - but it was insanity. I turned the game on and it was 8-1 Drays in the 4th. The Sox got 4 back, but they were still down by 3. Wakefield was long gone, and the DRays managed to get another in the next inning, and then it happened. 3 runs in the 5th, 6 runs in the 6th and 2 runs in the 7th. An explosion. 20 hits. Great hitting by Pedroia, Ellsbury, Drew, Ortiz and Lowell went 4-5! Amazing. Every Sox regular but Kevin Cash had more than one hit. Cash did have 3 RBIs.

This was one of those rollercoaster games where you just don't know the ending and are afraid to see who is pitching next for the Sox. I did come to realize that the Sox future is SOOOO bright - I mean think about it - Ellbury and Pedroia hitting #1 and #2 for the next 7+ years is very exciting. Seeing Buchholz and Lester in the rotation for 7 more years, with Paps closing games? That is a great core. We do need to find a catcher, but I think we have a great foundation for years to come.

Did I mention that Eric Gagne sucks. Well, there, now I have. He sounded horrible in his one inning of relief - giving up 2 hits and a run. Pathetic. The waste of space. I actually thought he might blow a 7 run lead. I considered it, really I did.

So, 13 is the magic number. 16 games remaining, and the Yankees can't win them all, so we only have to win 11 of them, or something like that.

The Sox win the East if:
If the Sox lose every game left (0-16), and the Yankees only win 5 games (5-13).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-15), and the Yankees only win 6 games (6-12).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-14), and the Yankees only win 7 games (7-11).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-13), and the Yankees only win 8 games (8-10).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-12), and the Yankees only win 9 games (9-9).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-11), and the Yankees only win 10 games (10-8).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-10), and the Yankees only win 11 games (11-7).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-9), and the Yankees only win 12 games (12-6).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-8), and the Yankees only win 13 games (13-5).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-7), and the Yankees only win 14 games (14-4).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-6), and the Yankees only win 15 games (15-3).
If the Sox win only 11 games (11-5), and the Yankees only win 16 games (16-2).
If the Sox win only 12 games (12-4), and the Yankees only win 17 games (17-1).
If the Sox win only 13 games (13-3), and the Yankees win all 18 games (18-0).

14 magic number; Steelers paste the Clowns

First off - Comcast sucks. The entire day on Sunday my internet was out - I called twice, and finally at 11:30 at night it was back up. WTF? Why can't they fix these things timely? They want my bill paid timely, they won't credit my account unless I bitch about it after it is restored and they certainly won't apologize. Assholes. Of all days to not have internet SUNDAY! Opening day in football, if I needed to adjust my fantasy football roster - I couldn't. If I wanted to pick up a player who did well - I couldn't. So what is it worth to you Comcast? 1/30th of my bill? Assholes.

Second - magic number is 14 - which isn't shrinking as fast as I'd like. Sure, we are 5 games up on the Yankees for the division and 9 games up on the wild card, but COME ON! Losing to the DRays 1-0 to Scott Kazmir was not so bad - but the Yankees keep on winning. Sure, they beat KC and Seattle (which hasn't been too difficult), but some team needs to grow some nuts and step up and beat this team. Toronto may be that team. But with Glaus out, that leaves little power left. The weekend is going to be awesome as all 3 games are on TV. Man, we need to win at least 2 out of 3.

Last - the Steelers dominated and destroyed the Browns. Man, could there be a worst organization in football than the Browns? How sad are they? Their coach has no emotion, no control over his players, he's clueless on personell, and he looks apathetic. He doesn't know who his best players are - and he cuts his starting QB 2 days after opening day. What? He should resign this minute.

The Steelers were all business - back to discipline and smart plays. Coach Tomlin is the next dynasty in Pittsburgh - he is awesome. The game started out poorly for the Browns, forced to punt inside their 10 on the first possession, their punter fudged the snap and had to run sideways to kick the ball - all of 28 yards. On the play there was 4 penalties - all on Cleveland. That is sad. Pittsburgh moved a couple plays and threw a 5 yard TD pass. The next Cleveland possession the Browns fumbled inside their 20 and the Steelers kicked a FG. There was 10:30 left in the 1st quarter and already it was evident that the Browns were a joke. Sad.

My players of the game were Roethlisberger - 4 passing TDs (and a ton of drops by the WRs and RBs), Sepulveda (4 punts inside the 20 - deep inside the 20), the D Line (stopped Lewis for 35 yards) and Hines Ward (1 TD, best blocking WR of all time). We looked steady - sometimes sloppy, but our D slammed the door. Brady Quinn would have made this game more respectable, but teh Steelers would still have won by 21 points anyways.

Tomlin gets my game ball this week - he's truly a breathe of fresh air in Pittsburgh.

Friday, September 07, 2007

15, and counting

The Yankees game isn't over yet - they are now leading 3-2 in the 7th - but the magic number is 15. Not too shabby. Yankees can just not afford for the Sox to keep on winning.

Tonight the Sox shutout the O's 4-0, every Sox regular except Lugo had one hit. Crisp actually scored on a balk in the game and the Cabrera went nuts and tried killing Pedroia. A shouting match ensued between Francona and I think the O's catcher, and then the O's manager got tossed. Finally a pitcher got up in the O's bullpen after about 10 minutes of arguing and the game was delayed a while. Veyr strange.

Some things I noticed lately:

Tonight the Sox rested their bullpen - Lester pitched well, then Lopez for and inning and then MDC for an inning. Thank GOD that Paps didn't come on.

Okajima is struggling - something like a 6 ERA in his last 10 outings - not good.

Ellsbury led off tongiht - we should expect this for the next 7 years at least.

The Sox keep winning without Manny Ramirez - which is quite a feat. The Yankees couldn't ask for a better opportunity than for Manny to be out for most of the rest of the final month. Let's hope he's back in 100% shape for the playoffs. He can carry this team for long stretchs.

Where the hell is Gagne? The guy hasn't pitched since August 26th against the CWS. Wouldn't tonight have been a perfect opportunity to get him some work? Weird. Is Gagne hurt? Thanks for the draft pick buddy - let's hope he closes out the season strong so we get a Type A reimbursement.

What about Devern Hansack - he could have closed out the ninth.

I'm still nervous about Lester - he walks too many guys. 20 walks to 29 K's is not impressive. His walks ALWAYS come back to haunt him.

DiceK and Beckett for the next two games - nice. The O's offense is horrible.

My guess is Tuesday September 25th is when we clinch the East.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

16 is the magic number

Ok, we beat the O's big deal - please please please stop using Papelbon every night. The guy has pitched in 4 of the last 5 games and his arm is going to fall off. Isn't this why we traded for Gagne? Or is Gagne useless and we wasted Gabbard and Murphy (Murphy s hardly a waste - Ellsbury and even Kielty were worth way more on this team).

Man, I think Tito is having a brain freeze or something. We need a petition to sit Papelbon for about a week (or at least until the Yankee series). Paps doesn't need to close against teh O's or DRays. Sad. Smarten up Francona.

Oh yeah, 16 is our magic number. Which means with 22 games left for the Sox and 23 games left for the Yankees:

If the Sox lose every game left (0-22), the Yankees would only have to win 7 games (8-15).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-21), the Yankees would only have to win 8 games (9-14).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-20), the Yankees would only have to win 9 games (10-13).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-19), the Yankees would only have to win 10 games (11-12).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-18), the Yankees would only have to win 11 games (12-11).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-17), the Yankees would only have to win 12 games (13-10).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-16), the Yankees would only have to win 13 games (14-9).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-15), the Yankees would only have to win 14 games (15-8).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-14), the Yankees would only have to win 15 games (16-7).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-13), the Yankees would only have to win 16 games (17-6).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-12), the Yankees would only have to win 17 games (18-5).

I still like those odds.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The Red Sox keep rolling. Beckett gets his 17th win of the season in a 5-3 win against the Blue Jays tonight. He pitched well - really only making one mistake - a three run homer. We need these kinds of games out of him to finish up the season and head into the playoffs.

The usually suspects performed well tonight - Pedroia & Ellsbury - funny that I say USUAL, but these guys are really putting on a show and they are sooo much fun to watch. Ellsbury got dropped to the 9th hole tonight and proceeded to get a single, a homer (his 2nd of the season) and a triple (his first of the season) and he only got up 3 times! Give him 2 more RBIs and a SB and he is quickly making us forget that that Manny guy is out. Ortiz, Lowell, Tek and Crisp pulled 0-fers tonight - which is starting to get a little scary. I'm not worried about Lowell, but those other bums need to step it up. Youks managed to hit one out - is it possible taht he is starting to become a power guy - swinging for the fences or striking out - with nothing in the middle? Scary to think of.

The other really scary thing is Paps pitching for the 3rd straight night. I mean, come on - why the hell did we get Gagne? Timlin couldn't get 3 outs? Lopez could pull a cat out of the hat. If I hear that Paps needs 5 days off and he mysteriously isn't available after that, I'm going to kill Francona. Seriously. Did he not learn his lesson from last year.

With the win, the Sox decreased their magic number to 17 games - unfortunately the Yankees won tonight - moving ahead of Seattle by 2 games in the wild card. We really need to wish for one of those teams to get very very hot and knock off the Yanks out of the wild card. Missing the playoffs might cause Steinbrenner to commit suicide, and it would shut every Yankee fan up for at least a year. How nice would that be? Yes, just think about it. Now get it done.

Yanks have one more at home against Seattle then off to KC after a days rest. You want to think that KC will be a pushover, but they have played relatively well against the Twins (took 2 of 4), the Tigers (took 2 of 3) and the Rangers (took game 1 - losing 1 one run in game 2). Hopefully they can carry that momentum forward. Their offense has been clicking - so that is a good sign.

The Sox have Schilling going tomorrow night against Shawn Marcum (who happens to be 12-5 with a 3.75 ERA), so let's not get our hopes up for a sweep - although I guess it could happen. The Sox are headed to Baltimore for 4 games - where 2 of 4 is not unheard of. We'll have 2 of Tavarez, Lester, Buchholz starting - so those games are no gimme's. DiceK and Beckett should round out the order. Having a couple of blow outs will help - it will give our call ups some filler innings and keep our regulars in the bullpen fresh. Bryan Corey and Devern Hansack were called up and they provide decent filler. Hansack needs to prove himself as he has not been spectacular at the MLB level.

139 games in the books - 84-55, exactly 23 games left. Magic number at 17.

I thought of a crazy thing last night - the Yankees could actually sweep the Sox 3 in Yankee Stadium and 3 in Fenway (coming up) and still not capture the AL East. That is absolutely amazing. Luckily the Sox have TB 6 times left and they could very well could clinch later in the month against TB. Let's look at it this way, for the Yankees to win the division:

If the Sox lose every game left (0-23), the Yankees would only have to win 7 games (7-16).
If the Sox win only 1 game (1-22), the Yankees would only have to win 8 games (8-15).
If the Sox win only 2 games (2-21), the Yankees would only have to win 9 games (9-14).
If the Sox win only 3 games (3-20), the Yankees would only have to win 10 games (10-13).
If the Sox win only 4 games (4-19), the Yankees would only have to win 11 games (11-12).
If the Sox win only 5 games (5-18), the Yankees would only have to win 12 games (12-11).
If the Sox win only 6 games (6-17), the Yankees would only have to win 13 games (13-10).
If the Sox win only 7 games (7-16), the Yankees would only have to win 14 games (14-9).
If the Sox win only 8 games (8-15), the Yankees would only have to win 15 games (15-8).
If the Sox win only 9 games (9-14), the Yankees would only have to win 16 games (16-7).
If the Sox win only 10 games (10-13), the Yankees would only have to win 17 games (17-6).
If the Sox win only 11 games (11-12), the Yankees would only have to win 18 games (18-5).

I like those odds.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Yep - that's the magic number after a Red Sox close win and a TB beating of the Yankees. Lots of memorable things happened today. Jon Lester pitched well for the Sox, and Jacoby Ellsbury proved he's for real - hitting his first MLB homer and making 3 great plays on defense to stop Orioles drives. He was definitely the star of the game. Lester and Lowell were also stars of the game - pitching well and driving in runs. I am a bit concerned about Kevin Youkilis who has been striking out at an alarming rate. His second half meltdown is starting to happen again. I think he struck out 4 times today - which I'm not sure has ever happened before. He has struck out 3 times in a game 3 times over the past couple of weeks - and that is something to be worried about.

The second half of the day was the Yankees getting stomped by the Devil Rays - after a close game until the 7th the DRays broke it open with a Carlos Pena (from, Northeastern University) homerun that helped him break the TB all time single season mark of 34. Congrats to Carlos, he is easily comeback player of the year and making Northeastern proud!

That brings the magic number down to 20 - and the Red Sox lead in the East to 6 games. We are in no way "out of the woods" or being handed the division, but we are controlling our own destiny and we could slam the door with a strong 10 games before we meet the Yankees in Fenway - and then beat out the Yankees at home. That would leave the Yanks backs against the wall and they'd have to be perfect the rest of the way to beat us out in the division.

I'm actually not worried - Beckett, DiceK and Schilling will not be as bad as they were against the Yankees - and no way Clemens does as well next time against the Sox. The 3 game sweep was a perfect storm for the Yankees and will not happen again. Man, it is going to be an exciting ending to the season. Let's all hope Manny gets better soon!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

9/1 magic!

I was supposed to head out fishing bright and early this morning - but that didn't happen. I was up late last night watching the Roast of Flava Flav on Comedy Central - funny as all hell. I couldn't sleep so I turned it on while laying on the couch. I had to shut it off after 30 minutes or so or else I would never have gotten up in the morning. But I didn't want to! Man it was actually kind of funny - dirty as all hell - but quite funny. I have to TiVo it next time it is on. So, I wanted to go fishing, and I was even woken up at 5:30 by a phone call from Orbitz telling me my Mom & Dad's flight was leaving on time - 2 time zones away, and in 3 hours - geez thanks.

Well, I slept until Avi woke up, then played with her all day until her nap time and I fell asleep on the couch around noon. I was woken up at 1pm by the wife and I headed to the airport. I met my mom and dad and we were home by about 3pm. It is great seeing them - they haven't been out here in over 2 years.

Well, the Steelers made their cuts today cutting Verron Haynes and Chuckie Okobi - keeping Carey Davis and Gary Russell - which is great. Our O-line still scares teh hell out of me. Oh, and the Steelers traded for punt returner Allen Rossum - which is a HUGE upgrade over what they have. That will make the special teams very exciting.

Oh, and one other little thing happened today - Clay Buchholz, the rookie pitcher for the Sox pitched a no hitter - absolutley amazing. Not only was it a great achievement by Clay, but it was the shot in the ass that the Red Sox need SOOOOOOOO badly. Scoring 10 runs was also nice with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brandon Moss chipping in on the offense. Of course Youks with a 3 run homer and Ortiz with a 3 run double helped too - and Pedrioa had some offense too - and an amazing defensive play that saved the no hitter in the 7th of Miggy Tejada. So, the magic number is now 22 - which seems like a lot - but with 26 games left, it seems very achievable. We have 11 games until we meet the Yankees at Fenway - ultimately I'd like to win 7 of those and have the Yankees lose at least 4 - which would drive the magic number in half with 15 games left. Of course 3 of those games are against the Yankees and those would be the telling games of the season. I BELIEVE!

I do miss fishing - this is a holiday weekend and normally I'd be camping with the family or finding some time to get away and fishing - but I'm not sure I'm going to get so lucky over the next week or so - with the family here, I can't get away. I need to find some kind of festival or fair to go to to keep everyone busy.

Opening game is 8 days away - Steelers vs Browns, man, that game will give us some great self confidence with a big win. My guess is 10-6 in a tough division - and I think we either win the division or get the wild card. Colts/Pats/Chargers/Bengals/Steelers/Broncos - I'm not sure if we are a SB team with the Colts and Pats in our conference - but I think we are close.

Lots of cuts hitting the waiver wire tonight - this is a tough time of year to be on the bubble. Lots of veterans and draft picks getting the boot - crazy.