Saturday, August 26, 2006


Bob was with us- clubs, shoes, cooler & all

Here are some of the moments from the outing, and I think it's safe to say that we all felt that Bubba was there with us

Barb w/ Bob's cart
  • Joe takes charge

Let's sign in

Michael gets warm

Another sunny day in F-L-A!

Let's get this party started

...Skipper tees off first...

Bubba's Official Cart







Pinky supplied food & bevs


& cloudy,


...time to

get to the

19th hole!

Good to see barb smile!

The Czar at work

"Oh no, here they come!"

Let's auction stuff off...

Craig & Nick

having fun

"Dont you


Everyone had a great time




got checks

We love

& miss




Sox take 2 steps forward, 1 step back

Schilling fails in bid to win 15th, Sox lose 6-0 to Seattle

All it takes is a game like this one to erase all the good vibrations coming from the past two wins. Right from the start Boston was up against the 8-ball offensively, without Manny (knee) & Youk, who mysteriously missed the game due to illness (knowing his penchant for partying, I'd say 'hang over' was the illness). So Schill would have to make due with a patchwork offense, but he WAS going up against a rookie pitcher...anyway, these West Coast games are a killer-now I know how real writers feel with their deadlines on nights like this...gory details in the AM.

Back in the light of the day, this loss seems even more depressing. I know, Boston was playing shorthanded, and tell me if this lineup, minus Papi of course, would strike fear into any starting pitcher, even a greenhorn:

-Coco, .266 making fans pine for Judas more & more every day
-Loretta, .307 probably the most consistent non-star all year

-Papi, .287 M-V-P.
-WMP, .300 "Lil' Papi" has proven his value with all the injuries
-Lowell, .285 did the trade talk affect him ( hitting .235 since ASG)?

-Kappy, .219 we love & need Kappy, but c'mon dude
-Belli, .185 we love & need 'Belli, but c'mon dude
-Pedroia, .133 too soon to judge the kid, but c'mon dude
-Cora, .278 valuable utility man & respectable 9th hitter

I mean the lower third looks like the D-Rays lineup. When you have 3 guys hitting less than .220 batting 6-7-8 you might as well play with only 5 guys, cause the chances of those guys doing anything for you offensively are pretty slim.
So it was armed with that powerhouse lineup that Boston's best arm took the mound last night looking for win #15 (again- his 14th came on Aug 4th) against Jake Woods, a 26-year old making his 2nd career start. I had almost guaranteed the vet would truimph over this kid, but that was pitching- wise. I had not accounted for the pathetic lineup, one that could only manage 5 hits against the Mariners, 3 off Woods in 5 inns.

The Sox got down early when Schill gave up a single run in the 1st on a single and a double. And with Boston missing scoring opportunities in the 1st, 2nd, & 5th, leaving 2 men on in each frame,and their pathetic average with RISP lately continues to haunt them. But it stayed 1-0 until the 5th. That's when the wheels started to fall off for the hometown team.

The immortal Yunieski Betancourt hit a 1-out single to center. The next batter, Willie Bloomquist, hit a sinking liner to center that Coco seemed to think he could get to if he dove; he couldn't, and as the ball rolled past him and was retrieved by Kappy, Betancourt raced around to score the 2nd run and Bloom-
quist had himself a 'Coco-Triple'. That was it in that inning, but the tone was set, and in the next inning things got much worse.

The bottom of the 6th brought the seldom-seen Keystone Sox out of the woodwork and effectively put the game away for Seattle. A leadoff single by Lopez got things started, and then the fun began. Ibanez hit a sharp grounder to short that Cora tried to shovel but threw wide of Pedroia at 2nd, allowing Lopez to scoot to 3rd. But then Schill, who recovered the errant toss, threw wide of Lowell at 3rd attempting to get Lopez, and that allowed Lopez to score and Ibanez to get to 2nd. Next thing you know, Broussard doubled and Johjima singled, it was 5-0 Seattle, and the night was technically over.

It's one thing to lose; it's quite another when a no-name pitcher on a sub-.500 team beats your Hall-of Fame starter and have a lineup that can onbly muster 5 hits. Boston is now in a horrible 13-20 stretch since July 22nd when they lost the last 2 of a 3-game set here. They've lost to teams that are good (NY, DET) ,that are okay (OAK, ANA, SEA) and that are awful (TB,CLE,KC). So at least they are equal opportunity losers. But seriously now, things are VERY bleak as far as playoff hopes go for this squad right now. New York and Chicago lost last night (although Minnny took over the WC lead from CHI), so the distance back remains the same. But as this club is constructed right now, it's only a matter of time before they fall so far back that it we in The Nation bring back that old familiar Sox cry:

Up next: Tonight @ SEA, 10PM EST Wells (2-3, 5.40) vs. Meche (9-8, 4.66)

Pedroia tries but can't grab Cora's errant throw in the 6th inning last night


Friday, August 25, 2006

Good news/bad news: Sox win; Manny, Papi, Beckett ailing

Sox win 2nd in a row in Anaheim, 2-1
A lot of positive things came out of last night's thrilling 2-1 victory over the suddenly reeling Los Angeles Angels of Southern California by Way of Anaheim Angels, or whatever they call themselves (I still prefer 'Halos').

  1. 1.Josh Beckett earned his first win since July 24th with a solid effort: 6IP, 4H, 1ER, 2BB, 3Ks, and once again, NO HOME RUNS (he's only allowed 1 in his last 4 starts). But he did have to leave in the 7th with a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

2. Big Papi hit his ML-leading 46th HR, a titanic solo shot off rookie phenom Jered Weaver that gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Of Papi's 46 hrs, 26 have EITHER TIED THE GAME OR PUT THE SOX AHEAD. How do you say 'clutch' in the Dominican?

3. Speaking of the rookie Weaver, Boston hung the first loss on the kid as he was bidding to become the first rookie pitcher EVER to start his career 10-0. Sorry, buddy, but the Sox still have some pride left, and they weren't about to let a mop-topped rookie set any all-time record against them. Especially Jeff Weaver's brother.

A few other key things contributed to the win that can give members of The Nation reason to believe that the team is playing more like the early-July Sox than the Entire August Sox:

*Old friend Orlando Cabrera elected to make the play himself at second base on a DP grounder by 'Belli, only Alex Cora hustled all the way and beat OC to the bag as Lowell scored the eventual winning-run. Next time, flip to your 2B, O-Dog.

*Subbing in LF for the still hurtin' ManRam, Willy Mo gunned down the potential potential tying run after Howie Kendrick's single had already knocked in LA's first run in the 7th. HUGE play, and it loomed even larger because Timlin had just relieved Beckett, and Mr. Let Inherited Runners Score could have easily blown the game. Timlin went on to retire the next 2 batters to escape with the 1-run lead.

* Paplebon appears to be out of his funk, getting 4 outs including fanning the final 2 Angels to secure his 34th save.

So the team recorded another BIG win (as I've said, they're all big from here on out) but they cannot afford to feel too comfy: Beckett will have to see if his digit is healed sufficiently enough to take the mound Tuesday in Oakland; ManRam is officially 'day-to-day' with what has been revealed to be a mild case of patella tendinitis, so his return is unsure; and the Herald is reporting that Papi checked into Mass General Saturday night after experiencing an irregular heartbeat Friday and it continued into Saturday. It was supposedly nothing major, and Papi hasn't seemed to feel any ill effects judging by his performance since the stay: 7-19, .368, 3HRs, 4RBI in 5 games. Also, rookie Dustin Pedroia took over 2B duites from Mark Loretta last night as Loretta nurses a sore quad. Ay yah yah...

Let's hope that the Red Sox MASH Unit heals up soon, so at least the team has a change to make a run for the playoffs with all of its regular staters competing for them.

Up next: Tonight @ Seattle,10PM EST Schill goes for win #15 vs. young southpaw Jake Woods (3-1, 3.88). How much you wanna bet Schill doesn't let the team start another losing streak, especially against a rookie?!

GB: Stanks lost last night, Sox gained 1 gm, trail by 5 1/2

WC: Chisox bludgeoned Detroit last night, Sox remain 4 GB, w/ Minny in front of them


Thursday, August 24, 2006

FINALLY! Sox end 6 game slide, 5-4 in Anaheim

As Johnny Drama would bellow, VICTORY! Yes the losing streak is over at 6 games, and it was done in gritty, gutsy fashion. The Sox had to withstand an Angel rally after jumping out to a 5-1 lead by the third inning, thanks to Papi's 45th bomb, a 2-run jack in the first, and WMP's 2-run shot in the 2nd.
Timlin secured the hold when he got out of a bases loaded, 1-out situation in the 7th, and after old pal Foulkie got in trouble in the 8th, Paplebon came in to record 4 outs to seal the one run win.
For one night it was just like the old days (of one month ago). ManRam did start, but after going hitless in 2 ABs, he left after the 5th. Oh well. It's a win, and they needed one BADLY, so let's just take it for what it is and move on. After all, the Stanks won too, and so did the Chisox. Still a long hill to climb.

Well it's 1:30 and I've got to get some the morning I am going to the 1ST Annual Chicago Bob Memorial Golf Tournament. Plenty of coverage to come tomorrow evening (if I'm able)!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

They boldly went where no comics had gone before...


Like I said on Sunday, my DVR was smoking from overuse, but I'm sure glad one of the shows burning up the hard drive was the Shatner Roast- it was freakin' hilarious television. Not only did Captain James T. Priceline get skewered by the cast of relatively unknown comics, but they turned their weapons on each other for some gut-splitting, RAUNCHY one liners that left everyone shocked and awed. Many of these were aimed at Takei's & Dick's homosexual leanings.

The lineup went like this:

-Emcee Costanza was okay (although a tad hefty), and he got off a couple of decent lines, such as this gem in the intro: "Heather Locklear wanted to come tonight, but she's dating David Spade, so she may never come again"- rimshot, please. But it wasn't his jokes that made the evening better, it was the fact that he was the butt of so many others.

-Greg Giraldo This guy is like Ben Affleck meets Dane Cook, only funny. He was out first, and he ripped off some classics:
*On JA : " Jason, the only time you're funny these days is on a re-run...your shows disappeared faster than a bowl of Percoset at Farrah Fawcett's've been in more turds than Andy Dick's penis...

*On the three older female panelists: "Nichelle Nichols, Betty White, Farrah Fawcett- I'll take 'women I would've masturbated to 30 years ago for $1000, Alex""

*On Shatner: " Bill you're not just brilliant & old & fat, you're an inspiration- you proved that having no talent can be seen as hip and ironic; you overact more than Betty White's bladder"

-Betty White Yes she's in her '80s but still kicks ass, and she proved no "golden" oldie thanks to some of these zingers:

*On JA: "Oh Jason you are such a know I was expecting you to be just dreadful; in all fairness I was basing that on everything you'd ever done"

* On Artie Lang: "It always makes me laugh when I see Artie Lang on stage, knowing I'm gonna outlive him"

" know I've been a huge Trekie...that's why I'm so thrilled to see Nichelle and George Takei here tonight, cause let's face it- we all know Shatner's nuts, but George has actually tasted them"

*"I feel a special connection to you Farrah- I'm in my 80's and that was the last decade you mattered"

-Jeffrey Ross Normally he's the host of these things, so he wasn't at his best ("Captain Kirk to Cap'n Crunch"-weak), but he too had his choice lines:

*On JA: "you clearly come from the planet 'trying too hard' sing, you dance, you act, you do everything but make people laugh"

*On Andy Dick (who was everybody's favorite "whipping boy" for his homosexual tendencies)
"After last year's (Pam Anderson) roast Andy Dick kissed my girlfriend's hand;40 minutes later she was dead...Andy Dick's sole mission in life is to give AIDS back to the monkeys"

And this was the throwaway line of the night: "Speaking of Shatner, I think Betty White just shat'ner pants"

- Artie Lange Howard Stern's sidekick looks more like a sidecar, and evidently drinks like a fish, but still managed to join the fray, mainly with homophobic humor.

* On Pollack: "...he does every hacky impression in the world; you're not gonna see him again unless Comedy Central roasts Peter Falk

* On Shatner: "...I was never a Star Trek fan. When I was a kid I had weird interests like football, baseball, chasing p***y...Bill and I have a lot in common- Bill was on TJ Hooker and I once banged a hooker named TJ...Shatner's responsible for more peole not getting laid than impotence"

At this point a ditzy, ragged- looking Farrah came on stage and attempted to do some jokes, but just managed to mumble and look silly. Almost a carbon copy of her Letterman appearance, only instead of shocking it was just tired. She did manage to spit out one decent line to Shatner: "we have one thing in common- we both f***ed Lee Majors" as Shat stared incredulously.
Then Andy Dick did a skit in a Star Trek uni about him being the illegitimate son of Kirk and Spock, named Kok. And he wonder why they make fun of him?

- Patton Oswalt He made the mistake of making a comment about Andy Dick licking a roller skate and he felt bad for the roller skate; well that set Dick off on a licking spree, which was PAINFUL to watch, and he started with Oswalt who then waved at his zipper and said "see you in ten years erections"

* On Kevin Pollack: "Cable Ace nominee Kevin Pollack ladies & gentleman...former host of Celebrity Poker- how the f**k do you get fired from a job where all you have to do is say "nice fold Coolio?"

*To Shatner: "...this means a lot to me; I'm gonna go now, but before I leave just settle a bet for me and my friends: (pulls out a brown paper bag)- could you act your way out of this for me really quick?

-Mr Sulu (George Takei) Most of his humor was centered on his homo-sexuality, so I'm not gonna go too deep into his material, but he did have one of the best lines of the night:

*To Shater: " named is George "Ta-kay", not "Tak-eye" as you've insisted on mispronouncing it for the last 40 years; remember Takay, like toupee...all night long I've had to stare at that tangled, sticky, messy clump of fur- Farrah, please close you legs; at least Betty White had the decency to shave!

-Lisa Lampanelli Previously unheard of (by me), this big, brassy broad was the butt of jokes all night for her, um, large features and tendency to prefer men of color. But when she took the stage, she shot right back with these beauts:

*On BW: "...Betty White is so old on her first gameshow the grand prize was fire"

*On Shatner: " does anyone that mediocre get to be in that many movies; seriously, Kevin Pollack, how does that happen? Speaking of things that blow, Hi Andy Dick...Mr. Shatner starred in some amazing television shows- TJ Hooker was not one of them- what a piece of crap; I tried to TiVo TJ Hooker but my TiVo suggested I punch myself in the...

And on that note, my wrap-up of the Shatner Roast wraps up. Of course reading the jokes don't do them justice, and these were the cleanest ones! So if you want to see them yourself, click the title link to see the re-air dates and times.


The wheels on the bus come off & off, off & off...

As if a 6 game losing streak, a 6 1/2 game AL East deficit, another regular going on the DL (AGonzalez) and the lingering humiliation of being the first team swept in a 5-game series at home in half a century wasn't bad enough, now we've got to deal with another case of MannyBeingManny.
Warning signs were there for a flare-up of this semi-annual disease rearing its ugly head over the Lost Weekend; I mentioned it in my post on Friday after Gm 1 of BM II, when Man-Ram was pinch-hit for in the 8th when it was still a 4-run game (8-4 NY). Then came another excursion into the scoreboard (allegedly), and now this story by Shaughnessy(click link) that he was pouting after not being given a base hit (Jeter was given an error) in GM2 and had to be talked into playing Saturday. Next thing you know he is taken out of Monday's game with his infamous "tweaked hamstring", leading to the night off last night (he did come in to pinch hit in the 9th and launced a moon-shot to the deepest part of CF for an out).

All members of The Nation are familiar with his Superstar Sideshow by now; it's like a rite of summer. If he's not asking for a trade or stepping into the scoreboard for a pee break, then he's skipping the All-Star Game or begging out of big games (they're ALL big now) when his teammates need him most. Nothing new here. But this is THE worst possible time for an MBM flare-up. The team is decimated by injuries and embarrassment. Without Man-Ram hitting behind Papi, it's like Kryptonite to Superman- Papi walked twice, 1 INT- and it leaves the rest of the lineup looking mighty thin. No Tek. No Trot. AGon-gone. And now MBM. Yikes.
So let's all hope that ManRam comes to his senses, I mean his hammy heals quickly, and he can rejoin his mates tonight who are fighting (meekly) for a Wild Card slot. Until then, stay tuned for another episode of "As the Nation Turns".


Beleagured Bosox continue slide, lose to Angels 4-3

Looks like a 3000 mile road trip and a different team did nothing for the quiet bats and battered psyches of this staggering club. They flew all the way across the country to sunny Anaheim,Ca. just to see the same results they had on their own field over the past weekend: no hitting (especially w/ RISP), bad fielding & baserunning, and getting outpitched-again-this time by no-name rookie Joe Saunders. Jeez. So I guess it wasn't all the Stankees doing- this team really does stink right now.
Anyway, it's now 1:20, gotta work in the morning, and I'm about to vomit into my RSN trashcan over this club. Eight more games on the West Coast? I might look like an extra from a George Romero movie by the end of this...full recap in the AM...