Saturday, August 19, 2006

Beantown Beatdown: Stanks pummel Sox again

Sox, Beckett fall to Stankees, 13-5:

As the old saying goes "the more things change, the more things stay the same." Saturday afternoon brought more of the same as Friday afternoon/night/early morning: the Sox pitchers getting hammered like tackle dummies, Judas Demon running all over the park like the old days (if you squinted you could almost see the flowing mane) but for the wrong side, and the Stankees asserting themselves as the dominant team in the AL East.
If there was any doubt as to which team was in control coming into this series, it has all been erased, as the Bronx Bombers (they earned that nickname this weekend) have TOTALLY ANNIHILATED the hometown team these past three games. How bad has it been? Check out some of these facts gleaned from the wreckage:

-Boston has been outscored 39- 20, outhit 43-32, and majorly outpitched and outplayed the entire series.

-The Red Sox allowed 12 or more runs in 3 consecutive games for the first time in their history

-Boston pitchers threw a total of 630 pitches in 3 games, an average of 210/game.

-Judas Demon has really laid the whipping on his former mates, to the tune of 9-12, 5R, 8RBI w/ 3 1Bs, 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, and 13B. Throw in a couple of great catches and providing the offensive spark that a team needs in a series like this, and he made his case that he was worth the extra year/$13 mil. And no, Beckett didn't throw at him.

-Combined line for the three Boston starters: 13.2 IP, 22H, 20ER, 14BB, 8Ks; Josh Beckett gave up a career high 9 walks today, and his ML-leading 32nd HR; Jason Johnson was designated for assignment after Game1 yesterday, and Jon Lester would be on the next train to Pawtucket if they didn't need arms so badly.

- Not only did Johnson get dumped after Game 1, but New York jettisoned Sir Sidney Ponson after his Game 2 performance (3IP, 9H, 6ER), and Rudy Seanez got designated by Boston after last night's game, making three pitchers who started the series in the big leagues but didn't have jobs before Saturday's game- welcome to "The Rivalry", boys!

- Bernie "Methuselah" Williams made a sliding catch to end a Sox threat and hit his 9th HR; Jorgie "Molasses" Posada hit a 3-run triple-WHAT?!

The bloops, blunders and horrendous aspects of this Beantown Beatdown are too numerous and poisonous to discuss any further. But two things are quite clear after all is said & done:

1. The Sox better gear up for a 9th consecutive second-place East finish year and focus on the Wild Card; they fell to 4 1/2 GB of NY.

2. Even IF they do make the playoffs, with the pitching the way it stands today, they would get swept in the Division Series like they did last year.

Thankfully, Game 4 isn't until 8:00 tonight,on ESPN; Mussina faces Schill, a battle of the aces. If Cap'n Bloody Sock can't put an end to this madness, throw this team on his back, and help restore some dignity to the franchise at this low point of their existence, then it's going to be a LONG 6 weeks in the Nation.

and I will be off to the Skyway!


2 hours til game time (bad deja vu there)

Here it is a mere 10 hours after GM2 ended and it's almost time for GM3. Now that I've got a little sleep, which has brought a little perspective, let's take a closer look at the horrifying stats behind yesterday's doubleheaded disaster:

**Judas Demon, obviously feeling the sting of all my posts, went 6-12 w/ 2 HRs, 1 3B, and 7 RBI. His Coco counterpart was not as good: 1-9 w/ 2 Rs and 1BB. Wow, I really bit it on my calling of that matchup. Demon obviuosly didn't fracture his spaghetti arm- maybe today; if Beckett doesn't buzz one of his 97mph heaters up near Captain Caveman's huge melon to start the game, I'm turning it off right there.

** The two games took 8 hours and 45 minutes to play, and the second game is in the record books as the
longest 9-inning game in major league history. All of that baseball and I can't remember one reedeeming thing about any of it from the Boston perspective. Well, just a couple, but it remains a day of brain-damaging baseball for Sox fans, just and endless parade of Pinstripes hitting the ball and running around the bases, like a XBOX game gone haywire; I've watched a lot of baseball in my 38 years here, and no doubt that was the worst day of ball that I have ever witnessed, bar none. I might need therapy to wipe the memories of it out of my mind. I guess I, like many others in the Nation, will just have to pop in our 2004 Championship DVD set just for some cleansing of the filth. Especially if they lose today!

I just experienced a power surge here that knocked everthing out and wiped out the rest of my post about three words before I finished it (no lie). I did go into the numbers from the day, breaking down the good, the bad, and the (plenty of) ugly. Alas it has all been lost. I am taking this a sign from above to stop talking/writing/thinking about yesterday's games and focus on the future. Game 3 is now about 40 minutes away, and I am going to spend that time getting into a special place, where the memories of yesterday can't get me, and good thoughts about the rest of the series will fill my mind. And if I don't post after the game today, you'll know where to find me- The Sunshine Skyway center span! ***


A day that will live in infamy

Sox suffer humiliating sweep, 14-11, in nightcap:

It's 12:52 am. WMP just grounded out to 1st to end the longest game in ML history (4h 45m), and this marathon day/night/early morning doubleheader is mercifully over. I really can't think straight right now. Game 1 started 12 LONG hours ago, and now 59 hits, 41 runs, and a mind-numbing 756 pitches later, the Sox have suffered a sweep of epic proportions. They had this one, I thought, and even started to write that in my post after the 6th inning; Boston had fought back to take a 10-7 lead and seemed determined to close out the split. But a 7- run 7th inning in which the Stanks batted around for the FOURTH TIME TODAY crushed all hopes & spirits of members of RSN everywhere.
When the dust settles the implications of this sweep could be huge. The Sox staff was battered around like a buoy in a hurricane, and the irony of it is that Tavarez and Foulke pitched the best out of everyone!
I can't even begin to analyze this debacle now; it's 1:10, so Game 3 is a mere 12 hours away. That is when Senor Beckett will take the mound for the Boston Boys, and he will have the full weight of expectations from the Nation on his shoulders. If he pitches a gem and brings the Sox back to 2 games out with 2 left in the series, he will be considered worthy of ace status again. But if he gives up 3 more gopher balls while lasting only 5-6 innings as the Stanks leave the Sox in the AL East rear view mirror, well things could get REAL ugly. Especially going up against the Stankee's version of Beckett (both highly- touted, World Series- experienced pitchers failing to live up to expectations), the artist formerly known as the Big Unit.

2 down, 3 more to go. But how much lower can the Nation go? More from this mess when I wake up (I wish this day was a bad dream)!


Friday, August 18, 2006

Breaking News

This just in- Jason Johnson has was designated for assignment (i.e. dumped) between games to make room on the roster for Keith Foulke. Sayonara, Jason; (wish) we hardly knew ye.


Did I forget Jason Johnson was pitching?!


I believe that in my giddiness over the potential outcome this series brought to the table that I forgot the GOD-AWFUL Jason Johnson was starting the opening game. This is the type of series when Boston not trading for an arm at the deadline REALLY comes back to bite 'em.
The good news: this one was about as ugly as it gets for Boston, so things have to get better in game 2, right? How ugly was it? In this case, the numbers do tell the story:

  1. Judas Demon led off the game with a Triangle Triple; he went on to homer as well, and his line read:3-6, 3R, 4RBI, 1 sliding catch, immeasureable energy boost
  2. Abreu: 4-5 +1BB & 1R, took about 50 pitches in his 6 ABs
  3. The Stanks pounded out 16 hits, had 7 walks, scored 12, and left a staggering 25 men on base; 6 Stanks had at least 2 hits
  4. Boston "hurlers" (appropriate moniker for this bunch) Johnson, Snyder, MattapanManny, and Rudy Seanez threw a mind-boggling 206 pitches
  5. New York batted around twice in the last 3 innings when they blew the game open, turning it from 4-3 to 12-3 in a blur
  6. Boston hitters went 0-15 w/ RISP, the worst such performance this year in MLB

There were a few good things to come out of this pile of toxic waste:

  1. Newly acquired Eric Hinske doubled 3 times in 4 ABs, made a nice catch at the bullpen, but also lost a ball in the sun in right
  2. Manny hit his 33rd homer (93RBI), a Pesky-Pole solo shot in the 5th
  3. Alex Gonzalez knocked in 3 of the 4 runs
  4. Mark Loretta had 3 doubles
  5. Boston had 9 hits, 8 for extra bases (8-2Bs, 1 HR)

And that's about it. By the time sacrificial lamb Seanez got the final out of the bloody 9th, half the park was already spread throughout Kenmore Square, drowning their sorrows and priming up for the nightcap. The other half was throwing up their Kegs & Eggs breakfast the Cask was serving beginning at 9:00 am. But as the saying goes, all together now- "it's only one game"- and the Human Keg himself, Sir Sidney Ponson, takes the hill at 8:05 tonight, so as long as the Sox can split this doubleheader, most of the Nation will sleep easier tonight.

Until Johnson has to take the mound again (although it may not be for the Sox)

Interesting sidenote: WMP pinch-hit for Man-Ram in the 8th when the game was still "close", 8-4; more Manny Being Manny?


2 hours til game time

The historic weekend kicks off in a mere two hours when Jason Johnson takes the hill and Benedict Demon digs in at the plate for the first pitch of today's doubleheader. Although I am thrilled to have the ability to be home to watch the coverage thanks to my "flexible schedule", I would give my right...arm to be down in Kenmore Square milling around with the Nation, reveling in the booze-induced buzz surrounding Fenway; a sunny Friday afternoon and a re-scheduled game at 1:00 vs the Empire? It doesn't get any better than that.

Here are some news and notes as the first Fenway 5-game series since 1957 kicks off:

* Boston acquired 2002 A.L. Rookie of the Year winner Eric Hinske yesterday. Hinske, a 3B/OF, fell out of favor with the Jays (a common theme of late) after his numbers & playing time declined since his rookie campaign. That season he hit .279 with 24 HRs and 84 RBIs. In the 3+ years since he's averaged .253, 13, 57. But I've always like the kid. I've seen him play many times in the spring at LaBatt's Stadium, er Grant Field in Dunedin, and he's a gritty, hard- nosed player who seemd to give his all every time out. Plus he was good to the fans, always a plus in my book. They aren't on the hook for too much with him(about $4 mil for this year & next), and I think he'll fit in perfectly with the Boston clubhouse, especially with the other grinders like Trot, Tek and Lowell. He gets the start in right today, batting 7th.

* Boston also picked up former Tiger slugging 1B Carlos Pena for basically nothing, as he was playing in the low minors. Pena hit 27 HRs with 82RBIs in 2004, but fell of the planet after that, demoted to Triple A Toledo. But after a September 2005 callup he ripped off 15 HRs in 38 games, including a 461-ft shot, the longest in Comerica's brief history. He will be up to the big club Sept.1.

* It will be interseting to see the reaction new Stankee signee Bobby Abreu gets from the Fenway Faithful today. Today's Globe has two stories about Boston chasing Abreu before the deadline, but they backed off due to the financial commitment the Sox would have had to make over the next couple of seasons (roughly $20 mil). Of couse he's hitting .361 for the Stanks, with a .451 OBP, and although he didn't snub the Sox, there's still plenty of reason to jeer him.

*I don't know about the fans, but I personally find myself loathing JD more & more as the teams come down the stretch. Every time he homers (18 to date) or makes a big play, I just want to see his arm snap in half even more (then again, his arm is made of spaghetti, so the chance of that happening is nil). Compounding matters is the slide of Coco, at least in the average fan's mind. He has been criticized heavily the past few months, but I say cut the guy some slack. He can't help it that he got hurt and has had to work his way back into form since returning. Does he have a great arm? No, but neither does Demon, and Coco is a lot faster. He has seemed rejuvenated since returning to the leadoff spot (a place he belongs, regardless of Youk's OBP), and I would love to see him do something special this series, while Demon snaps a leg.


GM1: Wang (13-5, 3.85) vs. J.Johnson (3-11, 6.26-yikes!)

GM2: Ponson (4-5, 5.82) vs. Lester (6-2, 4.09)

GM3: Unit (13-9, 4.92) vs. Beckett (13-7, 5.02)

GM4: Mussina (13-5, 3.54) vs. Schill (145, 3.83)

GM5: Lidle (9-9, 4.64) vs. Wells (2-2, 6.06)

* And finally, let's all pray that E-Rod makes 4 errors, hits .167, Jetes goes hitless, and Papi hits at least 3 HRs, including a game-winner, and puts an exclamation point on who sould win the MVP this year.



Thursday, August 17, 2006


Two years ago, in a city not too far away... was a Series of un-civil war.
Boston hitters, striking while down 3 games-0,

had won their biggest victory against
the evil Bronx Empire.

During the battle,the Boston Red Sox

managed to steal the heart & soul
of the Bronx Bummers.
But the Empire still had the ultimate weapon, CASH,

and they would throw it around
with reckless abandon to destroy the
Red Sox Nation.

Persued by the Empire's
sinsiter GM, Judas Demon
fled his Fenway home aboard
a $13 million electric razor, custodian of the mojo
that allowed Boston to save
their people and restore
freedom to The Nation...
... and then he shaved it off!


They always say "10th time's a charm!"

Now that the furor has died down, it is looking more and more like the Willy Mo Pena/Bronson Arroyo trade could be a wash. Despite WMP's gaffe in right that cost them the Tigers game Tuesday, if you look at the numbers, well, take a look:

Bron-Bron: 26GS, 10-8, 3.45ERA, 176H, 68ER in 177.1IP, 26HRs, 41BBs, 138Ks

WMP: 58G, .314, 9HR, 34RBI, 10 2B, 2 3B, 58H in 185ABs, 14BBs, 59Ks, .361OBP, .535SLG

Throw out the fact that the Sox rotation is in disarray (remeber, when Theo's henchmen made the trade the Sox were going 6 deep with starters healthy: Schill, Beckett, Wells, Wake, Clement, Papelbon/Lester/DiNardo...) Also, throw out the fact that Pena missed almost two moths with a wrist injury, and throw in the fact that WMP is hitting moonshots further than Papi and Manny and is looking more & more like Little Papi, and like I said, wash.

Don't get me wrong, I love the hard-partying, crazy-haired rock-n-roller just as much as the next Sox fan; what he did for us in 2004 will never be forgotten, especially when he plunked E-Rod to ignite the infamous 'Tek Face- Shove Brawl. But from a business/team/fan standpoint, this one could go down as a good trade in the long run.

But check back with me in 6 weeks; if Bronson is pitching lights out as the Reds push into the playoffs and WMP makes a season-killing error on the last day of the season to keep the Sox out of it, well opinions change you know.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


That massive rush of air felt around the country at exactly 10:00PM EST was the release of a massive "WHEW" from all corners of RedSoxNation. When Papelbon got new Detroit leadoff man, the artist formerly known as "Pudge" Rodriguez to ground out to Loretta to end Boston's 6-4, sanity-saving victory, there was a palpable feeling of "thank god we took one from them; now bring on the Stanks!"
Like most of their wins these days, this one was anything but easy. David Wells was making his 4th start of his injury-plagued season, and everyone hoped he would pitch like he did in his last outing (7IP, 1ER), rather than his previous 2 (8 1/3IP, 15H, 12R, 4HRs). Truthfully he was somewhere in between. He went 6 2/3 and was touched up for 10 hits but only 4 runs, all earned; but 3 came in one inning on 2 HRs Boomer tried to give the game away, but on this night the Boston bats would bail out the pitching. They rouged up Papelbon's nearest cometition (now that Lirano is out) for Rookie of the Year, touted rookie right Justin Verlander, to the tune of 6 hits & 5 ERs in 6IP, plus one huge homer & 7 walks.

Detroit jumped out to an early lead (again) when Craig Monroe knocked in Omar Infante; but Boston tied it in their half of the 3rd on an RBI groundout by Loretta after Javy & Cora walked.
It stayed 1-1 until the 5th, and that's when the man who is etching his name in the MVP trophy week-by-week, DH or not, Big Papi stepped up with Loretta on first and two out. Here's my question:

WHY ON EARTH DO THESE MANAGERS INSIST ON PITCHING TO THIS GUY IN THESE SITUSTIONS?! Lesser managers would get canned for these decisions. Haven't they caught on yet- this guy is doing something speial right now, comparable to what Bonds was doing between '01-'04, when he drew (ironically) 755 free passes, and Papi's clean. PUT THE GUY ON BASE.

***Sorry, got off on a Papi man-crush/ARod hatred tangent***

Anyway, you can guess what happened next- Papi deposited the ball in the Sox bully for a 2R home run, his ML-leading 42 to go with 113 RBIs, and good vibes were in the Fenway air. But then Wells took the mound in the top of the 6th. A solo blast by Mags Ordonez and a MAMMOTH 2-run bomb that landed on Lansdowne by the immortal Brent Clevlan(his 3rd HR in 17 career ABs) later and Boston was trailing-AGAIN-4-3.
But the Sox were not to be denied tonight, and when the suddenly resurgent Coco Crisp(20-61, .327 last 14 gms) hit a Monster-scraping double to score Lowell & Lopez, no one in the joint even cared that home plate umpire Bruce Froemming, in his 5,00 career game, aptly blew a call by calling Cora out at home. Well, maybe a little. Boston tacked on an insurance run in the 7th, and then Craig Hansen and Palebon shut the door, and all is right with the world.

For one day.

Then the Evil Empire rides into the Hub for a five-game set that has huge implications on the playoff race. 5 games, 4 days (DH Fri), starting at 1:00PM.
Less than 48 hours away.

By the way, did I mention that Judas Demon went 0-5 and made the final out in the Stanks attempted come-from-behind 3-2 loss to the Birds?



So it's 1, 2, 3 DUI's you're out of the N-F-L!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This loss REALLY stings

It was a game that had all the makings of one of those classic Fenway victories. You know the ones, when the Sox pile onto their sacred sod, smiling, backslapping, and high-fiving like Little Leaguers as "Dirty Water" plays in the background; meanwhile the Faithful trickle out of the Old Ballyard with smiles on their faces and confidence in their step as they head for the nearest watering hole, or to their $40 parking spaces, knowing that their beloved team is going to topple The Evil Empire, and anyone else in their path to glory.
But something happened on the way to all those good feelings, and there was plenty of blame to go around for this heartbreaking 3-2, 9th inning loss to baseball's best team.
It had all the makings of a rare Fenway pitcher's duel for 6 innings. Sox savoir Curt Schilling was given a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, courtesy of a 3rd inning bomb by, of all people, Coco Crisp. Being as that he has been criticized for everything from his Damon-esque arm to inconsistencies at the plate, I think he was whisked away for a urine test immediately after the ball landed over the bullpens. Other than that anomaly, Tiger hurler Jeremy Bonderman, in the top 20 ERA & wins in MLB, was matching Schill zero for zero, and it stayed that way until the 7th.
Of course Schill was still out there for the 7th. It has become clear in his last few outings that Schill and Tito have come to an arrangement: he will pitch until he is physically unable to take the mound anymore, and HE will be the one to blow his games, not the flamable Boston pen.
No problem there (just picture the Bloody Sock). So in the 7th there was no action in the pen and no reason to think he was going to cough up that precious 1-run lead with 9 outs to go. After all, he had only given up 6 hits to that point, and when the Sox cut down the potential tying run at the plate in the 6th everyone thought they would be going home happy.
But in the seventh, things got interesting. Consecutive singles by Carlos Guillen and Pudge (now that he's off the 'roids, can we give him another nickname? How 'bout "stick?") Rodriguez to open the inning set off that all-too-familiar feeling in the pits of RSN's stomach. Up steps recently paroled (from Pitt) Sean Casey, who had a big hit in the Tiger's win on Monday. Well guess what? The man formerly known as "The Mayor" in Cincy shoots a double between WMP & Coco, scoring both runners and sending a hush through the formerly giddy crowd. If Casey keeps this up, he's gonna be the new Mayor of D-Town, too. 2-1 Tigers, 3 innings left.
Boston threatened in the bottom half when WMP doubled with 2 out. But what came next really hurt: 'Belli hit a soft popup behind second that would have scored Pena had it dropped into no-man's land. But Tiger 2B Placido Polanco made a twisting, lunging circus catch, extending his arm at the last second, snaring the ball, and in the process dislocating his shoulder. A terrific play to be sure, but the old Bleacher Bum in me quietly cheered when Orsillo announced "Polanco makes a spectacular catch, & injures his shoulder in the process". Sorry, I admit it. (I feel even worse now that they say he is probably out for the year).
Timlin came in and pitched a scoreless 8th (whew!). The bottom of the inning would provide the fireworks that all members of the nation have come to expect the past 3+ seasons- Big Papi getting a clutch hit. Coco reached on an infield single (more like Coco) and moved to second on a Loretta ground out. Papi up, no brainer to walk him with first open, right? Nah. Human chimney Det. manager Jim Leyland instead brings in Ledezma to relieve Bonderman AND ACTUALLY ELECTS TO PITCH TO PAPI W/ THE TYING RUN ON 2ND & 1ST BASE OPEN. Smooth move, Marlboro Man. Papi promptly laces a single to right as Coco raced around with they tying run, and the legion of Tiger fans had to be pulling their hair out over Leyland's decision. New game, 2-2, heading into the final frame, and you could smell the comeback in the air.
Ah, but something happened on the way to good times. These frisky felines wouldn't go away.
With Timlin still in, he gave up a walk to Guillen and then a 2-out single to (who else) The Mayor of Detroit (it's official now) and the game was on the line with Craig Monroe at the plate. What happened next will be the subject of intense debate & rage for the next 24 hours in The Hub; Monroe sent a blooper towards the stands near Pesky's pole. WMP came racing in to try and catch what looked like a foul ball, with Guillen tagging at third; trouble is, the ball was fair, WMP missed it as it fell in for a hit, and the Tiger scored what would be the winning run.
Was this loss WMP's fault? He could have, perhaps should have caught the ball. But in fairness to him, it was a very tricky play that probably would have scored the run even if he had caught it. Plus, there was one out, so Detroit would've had another chance to score. And given the sorry state of affairs with the Boston pen these days, they probably would have blown it anyway.
But Pena will be vilified. Schill & Papi questioned for staying in too long. Timlin ripped for his sudden inability to get any big outs. And it all adds up to a second crushing loss to the team with the best record in baseball, with one more to play against them before the Stanks come to town. Good times in Beantown, huh?
Tonight, 7:00, ESPN: Wells (1-2, 6.23) vs. Verlander (14-5, 2.95). Yikes.


Letters from my fans

Okay readers, it's time for my long-running weekly segment: Letters (I can reprint) from My Fans:

This week's letter comes from someone who everybody in the Greater Tampa Bay Area knows and loves: Bay News 9 head anchorwoman Jennifer Holloway.

For those of you who don't know Jen (she lets me call her that), she is warm & funny, talented & stylish, smart & humble...hmm, am I leaving anything out...lemme see...oh yeah...

Here is what my Number One Fan had to say about the debut of my blog, through my wife of course (gotta keep it on the up-&- up):

I just checked it out!! It's really quite cool.
He definitely has a knack for writing.....I didn't get to read all the Bucs stories, but I"ll go back later.
Great job!

Since many of you out there don't know Jen, here is what she actually meant, which I picked up from her subliminal clues: "I know he's married, and I am getting married in the near future, but dear God I wish I had met that brilliant man about 10 years ago! "

It's always nice to receive kind words from others "in the business"(especially the hot ones). But Jen, hun, I'm sure once you are happily married, anchoring a network newscast and living the jet-setting celebrity lifestyle you deserve, you will probably forget all about me.

Until then, thank you, best of luck , and see you at the Christmas party
(wink wink).

Oh did, I mention that she is a great sport as well?)
Love ya Jen!

**click here to enjoy more of wonderful Jen on her website**


Lay off Kornheiser - it was his first game

A lot has already been written and said about this columnist/TV cohost/failed sitcom character/grouchy bald man after his debut on Monday Night Footbal last night.

But let's set a few things straight:

1.) IT WAS HIS FIRST GAME Who performs like a superstar their first day at a new job? No one I know. Most people are a combination of nerves, confidence, and nausea, which is exactly how Tony came off.

2.) IT WAS A FREAKIN' PRESEASON GAME Who is in mid-season form in the pre-season? No one I know. Not the coaches (well maybe Chucky, Belichick, Cowher, and Billick), not the players (well maybe Romo), not the refs, fans, nor announcers.

3.) TONY WAS THE WAY TONY ALWAYS IS- SURLY & CYNICAL Snapping at "Theesman" (which he did frequently, to everyone's delight), complaining about the job reqiurements (namely staying up WAY past his bedtime), not knowing players & coaches, and praying the game didn't go into overtime-THAT'S TONY BEING TONY (to paraphrase one of RSN's favorite sayings). These same qualities made him a lovable grouch on PTI, but under the harsher spotlight that is MNF (no matter what network), he is criticized for this behavoir.

But the best thing to come out of all of this is Korheiser's response to his critics on the Dan Patrick radio show today:

On fellow Washington Times columnist Paul Fahri (click title link for his piece): "he is a two-bit weasel slug who I would gladly run over with a mack truck".

When DP played a snippet of Mike & Mike cohost Mike Golic's comments, where Golic basically said he thought the debut was neither great nor terrible, to which DP proclaimed that Golic has some sour grapes about not being chosen for the job, Tony ripped off this beaut: "I heard he ripped me, and I'd love to ring Golic's neck and hang him over a shower rod like a duck... he thinks I'm gonna be a disaster, and it always sounds like he's saying "it shouldda been me".

PTI cohost Mike Wilbon on DP's show today actually said he "didn't have a problem with anything Golic said, in fact I probably would've been nodding in agreement with him" and graded his partners' performance as a C+.

Bottom line: cut the guy some slack, let the booth take shape as the season progresses, and don't rip a guy after 1 game. And keep this in mind: at least we didn't have comments like "this guy makes Max Cady look like Atticus Finch; Pat Buchanan is so homophobic he blames global warming on the AIDS quilt" to listen to (Dennis, we hardly miss ya).


Monday, August 14, 2006

Soon enough he'll be pumpin' out sequels


Tigers pounce on Beckett, maul Sox 7-4

The good news? Former ace Josh Beckett didn't give up any homers. The bad? The best team in baseball took out their frustrations of being swept by the Chisox this weekend on him, scoring three runs in the first frame off Beckett ( now 13-7 after starting the year 10-3), then 2 more in the third. You knew it was going to be a rough night when the first pitch of the game was hit for a triple by Curtis Granderson. It got worse from there, as Dmitri Young knocked Granderson in, then the Tigers tacked on two more, and it was 3-0 before everyone even made it over to the game from The Cask.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Detroit in the third, then Sean Casey, who is THRILLED to be out of the purgatory that is the Pirates organization, singled in two, and it was going to be a long night at the ballpark. Coming back against the dregs of the league is one thing; coming back against the team with the best record in baseball (77-41) quite another.
Meanwhile the Sox were out there swatting at flies trying to get some runs off Nate Robertson (11-8). They finally scratched a run off him in the 5th, when WMP singled and Javy Lopez doubled him in. But after Alex Gonzalez reached on an error, Loretta grounded into a DP to end the mini-threat. They came back to make a game of it, briefly, in the 6th, when after a walk to Man-Ram, Youk crushed one into the seats(2nd HR in 2 nights) for a 2-run shot that made the score 5-3, definitely a workable deficit. Ah, but then disatser struck- Rudy Seanez relieved Beckett (6IP, 6H, 5ER, 4BB, 6Ks, 1WP, 0HRs). Oh boy.
Miraculously Seanez got the Tigers to go down on order in the 7th, with 2Ks even. They must have been taken off guard; I mean why would Tito put one of his gas cans in this tight game, right? Don't worry, in the next inning the Tigers woke up as to who was on the hill, promptly torching El Seanez for 2 huge insurance runs on 2BBs and 2 singles. 7-3. Ouch. Thanks, Rudy!
Boston made one last push at coming back when they scratched out a run in the 8th off young Detroit fireballer Joel Zumaya(he of the 100mph heater) on an RBI single by Youk; but when 3B coach Demarlo Hale decided to send Manny to the plate from second on a short liner to the outfield byLowell, and he was tagged out by a wide margin, and the hope for a miraculous comeback ended right there.
So game one goes to the big cats. Tonight isn't a "must win", but it's pretty damn close. No need to head into the 5 game set w/ the Stanks (who won last night; Sox now 2GB) in a slump.
Tonight's starters: Schilling (14-5, 3.89) vs. Bonderman (11-5, 3.76)


Movie Review: DISTRICT B13

A frenetic but flimsy French action flick. Fans of early Jackie Chan, or the recent high-flying Ong Bak will get into this one. Not much plot, but some exciting stunts.
Rated R for violence, drug use, and graphic images
Available on DVD: Sept 5, 2006
Clink title link for my IMDb review.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

ENTOURAGE: I Wanna Be Sedated

"It's sad to watch the kids leave the nest".

It would seem that those words uttered by Vince at the start of this episode could be foreshadowing where the final two episodes are headed. If last week was a fun speed bump along the road, this ep. was like pulling the "E" break; this odd entry was about ten notches down the fun scale from last weeks' Vegas extravaganza.
It starts out with Turtle about to sign Saigon's record deal, so he's pumped, and Drama offers to chauffeur him to the meeting. But when they arrive at the office, Saigon is nowhere to be found. Heart pumping, Turtle goes into the meeting alone, only to be rebuffed('the pen is for artists only") by the annoyed agent (David Paymer). He has until 5:00 to bring Saigon in or the deal is off.
Meanwhile E has been trying to see Ari, who has been ignoring Vince in favor of picking out a shower and fabric for his luxurious new office. After E has it out with Ari, who claims he's available when Vince decides he wants to work again, Ari hooks him up with landmark Hollywood producer Bob Ryan (a great Martin Landau) and sends them on their way. Little does E know, Bob is a stodgy old-schooler who whisks E off to his estate to tell him ancient anecdotes; he also has a habit of prefacing every other sentence with "what if I was to tell would that be something that you might be interested in?"
As they boys are doing their own things, Vince is doing his own thing- bedding a chick. I must say Vince's behavoir in this ep was a little bit squirrelly, such as taking a cab by himself to a bookstore, meeting an average-looking girl in the store, taking her shopping, then screwing her in the dressing room and her apartment. Like I said, a little strange for Vince (other than the screwing part), but the weird thing is, after they finish, Vince implies that he likes her and wants to see her again-tomorrow. "I'm unemployed" he says to her more than once. He also says "sadly I usually spend my lunches with my knucklehead friends". Hmmmm. But then she drops a bomb on Vinny's curly little mop- she's engaged, but since he was on her "celebrities to-do list" her fiancee would be okay with it. The look on Vince's face was priceless. I thought for a minute he was going into the "Mandy Zone" again.
It all wraps up with Turtle finding Saigon at a hotel, where he learns that Saigon has been "forced" by his former agent to honor a 10-year old, non-written contract. Despite Drama's proclamation that their agreement with Saigon is "a binding legal document", the new/old manager, Bunky, and his boys (nice cameo by Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia) make them see the light by dangling Drama over the balcony, an obvious homage to the legendary story about Suge Knight's similar treatment of Vanilla Ice. This was a classic scene, especially when Bunky recognized Drama as the star of "Viking Quest". The two parties come to an amicable agreement when Bunky gives Turtle the $40k he was to earn on the deal. But is Turtle's career over before it even got started? All he knows is that he's gonna buy a ton of chronic with that cash!
E finally realizes that Bob has no script for Vince and pleads to go home. But suddenly E finds common ground with Bob when he sees a picture of The Ramones in the house; Bob learns that they are all from Queens, same street as Joey Ramone, and a lightbulb pops on in his white-cropped head: "what if I was to tell you that somewhere in this house I've got a script about the Ramones?" Next thing you know, E, Vince, and Bob are strutting into Ari's office with Vince's next perfect script in hand: "I Wanna Be Sedated".

-Cue the (perfect) outro music: "Blitzkrieg Pop".

Vince as Joey Ramone? I can definitely see that before I can see him as Pablo Escobar! But the path the show is taking is a little harder to digest. I know the writers have been sending false signals all season (remember Dom? Me neither), but it does appear they are at least splitting the group up a bit. Next week we see Drama spread his wings as he begins shooting his pilot with "Eddie" Burns. These developments are certainly necessary in order to flesh out the characters and add some "drama"(sorry) to the show. But just remember guys, the cardinal rule of hit television: don't F**K with a good thing; this show works when these guys, plus Ari, are all together(hence the beauty of the Vegas ep). Split 'em up, and you have a show like this: some decent parts, but by themselves they don't up to a whole lot.


Sox gain sweep; Manny's streak ends at 27

It wasn't easy, and it wasn't pretty, and in the end Manny settled for the sixth-logest hitting streak in Sox history. But a win is a win, and a sweep is a sweep, and the Beantowners took a broom to the Birds,11-9, which coupled with the Stanks loss to the LA of A Angels leaves them only 1 game out of the division lead. And Papi had the day off!
Right from the first inning we saw a sign of what was to come in this 5-hr marathon slugfest. B'More touched up young starter Jon Lester for 2 in the top of the frame, but Boston bounced right back, loading the bases against erratic young righty Daniel Cabrera, and them emptying them, courtesy of a Monster slam from Mr. Clutch (sorry, Papi), Mike Lowell. But the Birds got 3 back in the 2nd, 2 of them coming on a HR by Corey Patterson, who could build a defense on why the Cubs gave up on him based on his play in this series (4-12, 3R, 3 RBI, 2 HRs). So the game was tied, 4-4, and things would stay that way until the bottom of the 4th.
In the 4th the Sox scored some unconventional Sox runs, on 2 singles, a bunt single, 2 walks and a wild pitch (Bosox going National League, nice!). A little breathing room and time to relax, right? Not during these dog days, where nothing is coming easy lately for the boys. Kyle Snyder entered in the 6th and promptly gave up solo shots to Kevin "Wish I Was Still Here" Millar and
Sox killer Brian Roberts, and the lead had shrunk to 7-6. And they were already into the pen. Gulp.
But the Sox were determined to silence these pesky birds and gain the important sweep, and when Youk popped a 3-run jack (after not being awarded first on an apparent HBP) to push the lead to 10-6, I figured "time to relax, go do some yardwork and come back in just in time to see Paplebon mow 'em down in the 9th". Right?
Something happened along the road to easy victory, as the teams traded single runs in the 8th (yet another homer from 'Belli, who is FINALLY paying off that police escort tab) and then Craig Hansen found his way into trouble in the 9th. I mean you knew Paps was going to be coming into this bloodbath, he knew he was coming in, and unfortunately it looked like the Birds were prepared for him to come in. Entering with 2 on and 1 out, he immediately walked Patter-son (there he is again). Hmmm. No Problemo. Up next is our old friend Millah, who hits a routine grounder to short that should have been a game-ending DP. But Cora booted it, everyone is safe, a run scores, and across the Nation, everyone simultaniously shifts uncomfortably in their seats. Breathe. When pinch hitter Brandom Fahey struck out, it was ALMOST time to relax. But wait, the mini-slump (can we call it that NOW?!) of the beloved kid closer continues as he walks Sox Killer (his official name now) Roberts to force in a run. 11-9, 2 outs, and not a calm meber of RSN to be found anywhere: "...If they blow this game....!!!
When Melvin Mora grounded a sharp ball to third, it looked as though it would skip into left and score the tying runs for sure. But the man who started the game off right for the Sox ended it in spectacular fashion, as Lowell snared the wicked shot and threw to first in time to end the contest, finally; the amount of air released from the collective "whew"' of everyone in the Nation could've raised the Hindenburg!
Like I said, a win is a win. Manny didn't extend the streak (he was absolutely robbed by Tejada on a hard liner in the 6th), and the struggles of the closer continue (although he did pick up save #31). Now the Tigers come to town. You know, baseball's best team (76-41). After that is the five-game showdown with the Stanks.
Gonna be some wild times in the Old Ballyard the next couple of weeks. Better breathe now.



For those with a fondness for gritty, violent, hard-core Westerns, this powerful Aussie gem is for you. Adapted by Nick Cave; starring Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone and Danny Huston.
Rated R for grisly violence, language, rape, and intense images.
Available on DVD: Sept. 19th, 2006
Click title link to read my review from