Miles From Fenway

Welcome to the Majors, Charlie
August 12, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: baseball, Red Sox, sports

I’ve been a few days behind in terms of MLB news lately, so it came as a shock today when I saw that Tim Wakefield had been placed on the disabled list and that Charlie Zink was to fill in tonight. It was an odd mix of emotions for a moment. Those of you who have read for any amount of time already know that Wakefield is my guy. So to see him on the DL, especially with the standings the way the teams pitching woes these days, was a bit disturbing.

But then there was the excitement of Zink’s first major league start. I’ve loosely followed him for years as he yo-yoed between Portland and Pawtucket. He’s inconsistent, but what can I say, I’ve got a soft spot for the knuckleballers. They fascinate me. So I was excited when I got home from a meeting tonight to see he had allowed only 2 runs in 3 innings. Hungry and having just gotten home, I settled in, made some pasta, refreshed my screen and BAM … suddenly it was 8 runs. Oops. Well, that didn’t go as well as you’d probably hoped Charlie, but hey, at least the Sox are still winning. I mean, after a 10 run first inning, you have to figure they can pull this one out right?

Oh wait, as I write this it’s now 16-14 Texas. The Sox have now used 5 pitchers. This season is starting to get really frustrating.


A Question That Should No Longer Be Asked:
July 8, 2008, 6:05 pm
Filed under: baseball, sports | Tags: ,

Are the Rays for real?

Why is anyone even asking this anymore. It seems to have become a favorite topic on sports talk shows, radio broadcasts, and in print and online media. What more do these guys have to do? They’ve got the best record in baseball, lead one of the toughest divisions by 4 games in July, have the 3rd best team ERA in all of MLB. Exactly where do the questions come in?

Sure, they’re unproven in the postseason, but this isn’t the postseason. And right now these guys are clearly in it to win it. Even as a Sox fan, the team they are leading by 4 games at the moment, I kind of feel bad for them. Doing this well and they can’t even get decent representation on the All-Star team. Of course if you went up to most MLB fans, they wouldn’t be able to name a single guy on the team. MAYBE Longoria, if only because they’ve heard jokes comparing him to Tony Parker’s wife.

From my perspective, the question no longer needs to be asked. What needs to be asked is: “How do we beat them?”

In Any Other City In The World
February 6, 2008, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Boston, NYC, Patriots, sports

In any other city in the world I would have been over it by now. Sure, I would have been devastated. But I would have had time to properly mourn. I would have been able to hang my head, drown my sorrows in my beer, and wonder over and over again … what went wrong? I would have been able to avoid certain websites, not listen to certain radio stations, and completely avoided whole channel blocks on my television until the mere mention of the event stopped sending daggers into my heart.

The Giants are the Super Bowl Champions.

I want to be the bigger person. To give the Giants their due. I mean, they won! It wasn’t some cheaply won, bad call kind of game, they out played the team I root for. But the minute the game was over it started. The taunting. The jeering. The chants in the street of “18 AND 1!” “18 AND 1”. When you live in enemy territory, well, it’s just what you get.

The next morning I tried to avoid any mention of the game. I got ready in silence, choosing to awaken to my alarm instead of my typical Mike and Mike in the morning. My massive hangover from drowning my sorrows as the last of the seconds ticked away the night before dulling the dread of what I knew awaited me outside the safety of my apartment. The joy.

It surrounded me on the subway. Even with my nose shoved firmly into the spine of my book I could see images Eli Manning hoisting the trophy above his head all around me. On the backs of papers. On the fronts of papers. His goofy I’m-only-twelve-years-old face mocked me everywhere I went. When I got into my office my coworkers had plastered him to my door. So what that I was nice to them when their Mets COLLAPSED at the end of the season? The Giants won the Super Bowl!

Coworkers stopped by to gloat. Especially one who had called, back in July, that the Pats only loss was going to be to the Giants. Of course, he was thinking week 17, but his prediction came true none-the-less. On Tuesday it was just as bad. Giants jerseys were everywhere as the city celebrated their heroes with a parade.

Most days I love this city. This week? I think I’d rather be anywhere but.

Bring on pitchers and catchers.

Baseball Brain Dump
June 21, 2007, 6:07 pm
Filed under: baseball, books, Boston, Red Sox, sports

Since the hangover I am currently suffering through is inhibiting my ability to write a coherent blog post I instead present you with a baseball brain dump.

* So I’m currently reading Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits by David Ortiz (with Tony Massarotti) and there are a few things to note. A) I have NEVER gotten as many looks on the subway as I have when I’ve read this book on the way to and from work. They range from amusement, confusion, disgust, and mutual affection. It’s kind of fun to watch. B) Massarotti alternates between writing in his own voice and “ghost writing” in Papi’s. Massarotti’s chapters are fantastic. And I like hearing Papi’s stories, but … I think they went a little far in capturing Ortiz’s “voice”. Because the word “bro” can appear upwards of 8 times on a page. It’s completely over the top and is incredibly distracting. There is a reason people don’t write the way they speak.

* Last night’s game was just a whole lot of fun to watch. While a girlfriend and I were at the bar watching, we started talking about those seasons. You know those seasons where it just feels right. This is one of those seasons for us. I knew I had hit a turning point as a fan when I got word of the Schilling DL stint and I thought “Ok, that sucks but no big deal”. I had (and have) complete faith in the rest of our rotation to hold it together. This happens five years ago and even with a ten game lead in the AL East and I’m packing it in for the season expecting the worst. I like this way better.

* By now my love for all things Tim Wakefield has been well documented. But I also happen to have an affinity for the pitch he throws most often as well. And because of that I have been intermittently following the career of Sox prospect Charlie Zink. Zink’s had an up and down career over the past couple years, but this week he threw a complete game for the Portland Sea Dogs with a 6H, 1R, 2BB, 4K line. He started out with Sarasota in 2002, is 27, and has bounced around every level of the Sox farm system, but he seems to have started getting some consistency. With my little brother heading back to the Portland area for school this August, I may try to get up there to catch a game either late in the season or early next spring. I’d love to see this kid pitch (ha, I just called him a kid – the guy’s my age!).

You Take The Good With The Bad
June 19, 2007, 1:33 pm
Filed under: baseball, Boston, Red Sox, sports

I once had a friend accuse me of caring more about 25 men I had never met more than I cared about my real-life friends.

It was October of 2004, the Red Sox had just won the ALCS in dramatic fashion and were about to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series in 86 years.

But I didn’t know that yet. What I knew was that we were scheduled to host a Halloween party in my apartment that, if the series made it that far, would fall on the same night as Game 7. And under no circumstances was I planning on being at the party if that proved true.

In the end we all know it didn’t get that far, and I was able to both watch my team celebrate in St. Louis AND attend my own party, but that comment from my friend stuck with me.

Do non-sports fans simply not understand? In a way, it does feel like you know these guys. You read all the articles, you watch the games, by the end of the season you probably know more about them than you do about that girl who you called your best friend in third grade simply because she wore the same scrunchy you did.

And not only that, but it bonds you to other people that you actually do get to meet in real life as well. Take last night. That game sucked. It just sucked. Schilling got knocked around and even two home runs from Coco, who had only hit one home run in the entire season leading up to the game, couldn’t save the Sox.

But as I stood in Professor Thom’s watching the Sox implode, I began talking with a guy named Brian from the New York City Red Sox Meetup Group. As we were talking he sort of just stops for a second and says, “Finy?”. Turns out Brian is an occasional commenter/regular reader (so he’s one of the five of you!). Never would have met him if it wasn’t for the Sox. Same holds true for quite a few of my good friends to be honest.

Loving a sports team and loving your friends are not mutually exclusive. It just occasionally gets in the way of scheduling.

How Did I Miss This?
June 12, 2007, 11:27 am
Filed under: college, sports

Sam Presti was named the General Manager of the Supersonics.

Now, I’m not a basketball fan (I will never understand watching the entire game when the last two minutes are all that really matter), but I actually went to college with Sam. And as a fellow Emerson College athlete when so few students play sports there (number one comment when I told fellow Emersonians I played softball: we have sports?) I’m super happy for him. Sure he probably wouldn’t remember me by name, but it’s still damn cool. And with so many fellow graduates making names for themselves in television, film, radio, etc. it’s cool to see someone making a mark in the sporting world.

The Emerson Mafia – taking over the world.

An Exercise in Pictoral Excuses
May 8, 2007, 12:18 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, baseball, blogging, Boston, dating, drinking, misc., NYC, photos, Red Sox, sports, travel

Yes, I have been absent over the last few weeks, months, etc. But really, I’ve got some pretty good excuses.

First, I went to a Sox game at Yankee Stadium where I watched Dice-K pitch and the Sox win:

And ate a lot of peanuts:

After the game, I got way too wasted when the Twin showed up at Prof. Thom’s after a 6 month absence. But he wasn’t alone, he had the new-me with him. I held it together while at the bar, but the evening ended with me crying on the sidewalk in the Welshman’s arms. Look for a post soon about the rules of post break-up behavior. I think The Twin needs a memo.

So the next day I was hoping the Sox would cheer me up when I attended the second game in the series. That didn’t happen, since they lost, but at least I got to watch Wakefield pitch.

The third game in the series was watched at Thom’s. Much beer was imbibed during the day. And into the night. 12 straight hours of drinking does not a good blogger make:

After a few days break in which I recovered from said weekend, I went to a very swanky and very successful Alzheimer’s Association Junior Committee gala:

At which I was the PICTURE of decorum:

Two days later I was at a Cinco De Mayo party in Boston:

That didn’t end until the sun was rising:

Long story short? I’m such an ass that I am not even going to promise that I’ll be blogging more now (even though I will, no really, I swear).