Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reflecting on the 2006 Season

While enjoying a few cocktails with a some of my Sox Sistahs at the Cask, I ventured onto the topic of what they thought of the 2006 Red Sox season. People have a tendency to seek me out to discuss everything Sox and I have been amazed at how negative people have been about the 2006 season. It surprises me, because I don't really judge a season by the standings at the end of the year. I look at the big picture of the entire season. If for the most part I have been able to enjoy a full season of competitive baseball, then I'm happy. Here are some of the memories of 2006 that helped make the season bright for me.

  • I was thrilled to see Curt Schilling pitch in early April like the Curt Schilling we knew in 2004.

  • Kevin Youkilis at first base playing like he was born to be on first.

  • Our incredible defensive infield, Yo Lo Go Lo Va.

  • Everything about Mike Lowell.

  • Mark Loretta's walk off on Patriots Day.

  • Jonathan Papelbon shutting the other team down in the ninth.

  • Watching Jon Lester get his first major league win.

  • Doug Mirabelli's dramatic entrance back with the Red Sox right before game time.

  • Seeing the rookies get hazed by the veterans.

  • Jason Varitek breaking Carlton Fisk's Red Sox catching record.

  • David Ortiz and his outstanding 54 home runs.

Well off the top of my head these are what I remember about the 2006 season. I'm sure I've missed a few stellar moments and would love to have some additional input, so please comment and add your own favorite moments of 2006.

Here's to a Winning 2007!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Where oh Where Have All My Sox Sistahs gone?

Where oh Where

have all my Sox Sistahs gone??

Oh where oh where can they be?

With their blogging cut short

And their faces so long,

Oh where oh where can they be?
With all the razzing I got from the confusion of me beginning my blogging lessons, I think it is with my pleasure that I post the 1st post AFTER the cleanup. Christmas has come and gone. My favorite gift was spending Christmas morning eating breakfast at The Waffle House in my pj's with my sis and her family.
NOW Where ARE the other Sox Sistahs??? or are they not invited?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Excuse Our Mess...

This blog has just migrated to the new version of Blogger, our blogging service. While the changes resulting from the migration should be visible only to us posters, I wanted to bring a couple things to the attention of our loyal readers:

  1. Where are all the other sistahs? As I type this post, only myself and Beazer are listed as "Contributors" in the sidebar. This is, I am guessing, because the other contributors need to do their own mini-migration to the new service before they can post—which I hope they will do very soon (migrate and post).

  2. What are those funny "labels"? One feature of the new service is the ability of the poster to assign labels—categories, essentially—to a post. If you click on a label, you'll see all the posts assigned that label. Give it a try by clicking on "housekeeping" at the bottom of this post.

  3. What about comments? As far as I know, reader comments should continue to work as they did before. Blogger had an issue with users not being able to delete their comments if they made a mistake, but I think that problem was resolved.
That, I hope, is all you need to know about the change. We're still here to give you the very wittiest female baseball fan insight the internet has to offer. So keep coming back.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Red Sox Survivor: "The Right Stuff"

Welcome to "Red Sox Survivor: The Right Stuff", brought to you by the Boston Red Sox and Champion Ford.

And, now, live from Fenway Park, here's your host, Kevin Millar!

Howdy Sox Nation! It's great to be back in Boston!

You aren't 'back', Kevin. But if you do a good job, I might be willing to make you an offer. We lost about 10 "Fenway Ambassadors" after last season's third-place finish.

Fine! Let's just get this started.

Good man!

Okay, here's the deal. The Red Sox need a right fielder and this game is going to decide who that right fielder will be. We're going to decide tonight WHO has "The Right Stuff!" (giggles) Get it? The RIGHT Stuff? This is gonna be great! We have three contestants tonight. Our first contestant has been in the bigs for ten years. All with the same team. And even though they refused to offer him arbitration, here he is tonight. Ladies and Gentlemen, the original Dirt Dog - Trot Nixon!

::After high fiving, hugging, and a new handshake with Kevin, Trot takes his place in left field::

Great to see you, brother!

I'm just grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be here.

I had more to do with it than God, Trot.

::Awkward silence::
Aaanyhoo...our second contestant tried playing the outfield in Fenway last year and sucked like one of my babies on my wife's...


Yeah, whatever. Here he is, Wily Mo Pena.

:: Wily Mo runs to Kevin and tries to hug him. Kevin punches him in the stomach and Pena doesn't flinch::

Damn! Sorry Bronson, I tried, man.

I'll stand in centerfield...for now.

Just don't try to catch anything, heh-heh! Right Trot?

People who live in glass houses, Kevin. Glass houses.

::sigh:: I'm so unappreciated. Okay, and contestant three is made of glass and probably blows Theo weekly...ladies and gentlemen, D.J. Drew.

It's J.D., punk.

Whatever, D.J. Go stand in right field, but don't get too comfortable. I'll see you after the show. Now, the rules are simple, there are two categories: defense and offense. We'll see who does the best in the field and then take it to the plate. I judge everyone's performance and choose the winner.

This is supposed to be "Survivor". Don't we get to vote?

No. My show, my rules.

Actually, Kevin, it's my show.

Okay, whatever. Let's take a minute to hear from our sponsor and we'll be right back.

::wipes away a tear:: 2004, man, 2004. (shakes his head) Okay, back to the game. My amigo, Manny Ramirez is at the plate and I'm going to throw him a meatball. We'll rate the contestants on how they respond to Manny hitting one out.

I'm ready, Man!

:: Manny hits the pitch to Drew in right field. Drew watches the ball go over his head, Trot runs over from left field, knocking over Wily Mo and smashing himself into the wall. As he falls down, Wily Mo gets a glove on the ball and knocks it into the stands::

:: JD Drew threw out his shoulder watching the ball go by and will be on the disabled list for two months::
:: Trot strained his ass again and will be on the disabled list for two months::

:: Wily Mo wins the position by forfeit::

Man, that didn't go the way I thought it would.

Funny. It went exactly the way I thought it would.

With props (or apologies) to Surviving Grady and The Dugout.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good luck, Gabe!

I haven't met many players in person, but I had the chance to meet Gabe in December of 2005 (the picture above is from that meeting). He was well-(and soft) spoken and so obviously happy to be there. That season ended poorly for him. He ruptured his Achilles' tendon and some of us were sure he wouldn't play in 2006.

I asked him that day how he felt and he told me he felt great. He also told me he'd be back playing soon. He thanked me and my friend for coming out and he signed a dvd and a photo for me. I always liked Gabe but I was never taken with him the way many women in Red Sox Nation seem to be taken.

That changed after I met him. :-)

Gabe Kapler will never be a Hall of Famer. He'll probably only be remembered by fans of the 2004 Red Sox (as one of "The 25"). But he was so much more to the team.

He started the 2005 season in Japan and I remember watching him on "Extra Innings" when he came back to the team. Tom Caron told him that everyone in the clubhouse talked constantly about how much they missed him. This seemed to truly surprise Gabe.
When the Red Sox clinched the Wild Card in 2005, Gabe already had his surgery. He wasn't playing with the team, but showed up that day to celebrate in the clubhouse with his teammates. Many players remarked on how much it meant to them that he was there. It meant a lot to the fans too. Remember, Gabe is the guy who took less money to come back to the team in 2004, because he wanted to play in Boston.

Gabe Kapler is one of those rare people who seems to be a genuinely good guy. Even though he was never quite a superstar, he took his success and began his own foundation - dedicated to promoting awareness about domestic violence. In a field where powerful men who dominate all those around them are revered, Gabe chooses to be the man who admits that you don't have to flaunt your strength to be a real man.

I had great hopes for this post. But the truth is, writing about Gabe made me a little more emotional than I expected. When I read about his retirement, I immediately decided to write this brilliant account of his career. Something to convey how special he is to Red Sox Nation, because there are many fans outside the Nation who just won't get it. Instead, I find myself very sad and it's difficult for me to find the proper words to write a brilliant farewell for Gabe.

Luckily for us, Gabe is not going far. He's staying on with the team as the manager for the Greenville Drive, in South Carolina. Gabe's feelings on his new assignment? Predictably humble:

"A place where I'm going to be rewarded emotionally and spiritually to have an extreme impact on somebody's life can be much more powerful than hitting a home run in a clutch situation. "It feels right inside of my body."
It feels right inside of his body.

Reading those words gives me chills.

It isn't often you can say you're proud of someone like a professional athlete. Gabe Kapler is the type of person who makes that possible.

I'm so proud he continues on with the team and I'm proud that we in "The Nation" will always be able to say he's ours.

My apologies for the rambling post...but Gabe deserves more than just a brief mention.

Thanks for it all, Gabe!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Number Twenty-Four*

When you get older losing your swing
many years from now,
will you still be pointing to the fans you love
waving, smiling, losing your glove?

If you sit out a month and a half,
would you sit for more?
Come on, don't tease us. Please dude don't leave us.
Number twenty-four.

You'll be lonely too!

And if you say the word,
we will cheer for you!

Papi will be there, taking the heat,
when you want a rest.
You can carry water when you play the field.
Wily Mo can act as your shield.

Hitting a double, taking the lead,
who could ask for more?
Come on, don't tease us. Please dude don't leave us.
Number twenty-four.

Every summer we will watch you hit behind you friend David,
Big Papi Ortiz.

We shall scream and cheer!

You get to pick your days,
to sit against the Jays.

We'll send you postcards and drop you a line
stating we love you!
Write letters to CHB and Steve Buckley.
All they do is help kill some trees.

Give us your answer, tell us the score.
Be ours forever more!

Come on, don't tease us. Please dude don't leave us.
Number twenty-four.

*With apologies to Lennon (who didn't really co-write "When I'm Sixty-Four" but gets the credit), McCartney and any of the 'sistahs' who don't agree with the sentiment!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Clearing the Air

Hey folks! S'up? Lenny Dinardo here. Yeah, I know I'm not a 'sistah', but the way my name gets bandied about around here I figured it was high time I hijacked this blog and defended my good name!

Yeah, I said 'bandied'! What of it?

Anyhow, first things first. I wanted to apologize for, you know, sucking the entire time I was up with the Red Sox this season. It wasn't exactly how I planned for things to go. I figured with Bronson gone it would be my time to shine. Boy was I wrong!

Crap! I couldn't even get through the first few paragraphs without mentioning the "B" word. Sorry. It won't happen again.

See, I didn't know I sucked. Okay, I kind of knew I sucked, but tell me this, which one of YOU would give up the opportunity to pitch in the bigs for the Boston Friggin' Red Sox, just because you stunk? I don't see any hands. I didn't think so. So off my back please.

You know, I've been doing a lot more this off-season than just talking to Bronson. (DAMMIT!)

I went to Arizona to pitch out of the bullpen for the Peoria Javelinas. The season is over now, but I came out of it with a 1-0 record and a 2.70 ERA. Oh yeah, and in 10 games I struck out 16 batters.

SIXTEEN! Eat THAT Kyle Snyder! You Bronson wannabe.


Okay, back to baseball. What do you all think of this Matsuzaka dude, huh? When I first heard about him I thought his name was Matt Suzaka and I'd have someone to hit the North End with, but then David Pauley explained it all. $51.11 million? Damn, for that amount of money I would have had that surgery, er, I mean, that's a lot of money huh? Well, I'm not worried.

Should I be worried? Maybe I should call Bronson? (Shit!)

Speaking of phone calls, I got one that will interest you all! Manny called me today. Okay, he thought he was calling his dry cleaner, but still...he called ME! I'm pretty sure he won't be going anywhere. When I asked him about the trade rumors he wanted to know who was getting traded. I'm pretty sure we're safe.

Man, this blogging thing is tough. I don't know how these chicks do it! Let's see, what else did I want to say? Oh yeah, thanks to this blog and other strategically placed photos around the internet, there has been a lot of speculating about the nature of my relationship with Bronson. I just want people to know that we're friends...that's all. Like Joey and Chandler on "Friends". Except neither of us is as funny as Chandler. I don't know where people get the idea that we're anything other than that. Just because Bronson brought me presents from Japan doesn't mean anything. He probably brought something back for Dave Weathers too, that rat bastard.

My fingers are starting to hurt. All this typing better not affect my pitching, now that I'm back on track.

Well, in closing I'd just like to say, I never wanted to be a pitcher anyway, but it was the only way to stay close to Bronson.

I mean...

Aw, screw it!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Reasons to Be Thankful

Today is the day set aside for us Americans to give thanks to whomever or whatever we feel thankful to for our bounty. For those of us with a special interest in baseball and the Red Sox, it is also an appropriate time to ignore the negativity that manages to infuse itself into our game and our team and instead focus on the good stuff.

In that spirit, here are a few of the many things I am thankful for today.

  • I am thankful that Theo and the Trio won the Daisuke Matsuzaka sweepstakes...

  • ...and that they enjoyed an early Thanksgiving dinner with the Japanese phenom.

  • I am thankful for our other young major league pitchers, like Jonathan Papelbon and Josh Beckett.

  • Speaking of young pitchers, I am thankful that Jon Lester has lots of support as he battles cancer, and that he has access to excellent health care and the means to obtain it.

  • I am thankful that Derek Jeter didn't win the AL MVP...

  • ...and that haughty New Yorkers are apoplectic about it.

  • But more than that, I am thankful to have more intelligence than the 27 baseball writers who didn't give David Ortiz as much as a second place vote, especially the one who didn't give him any vote at all.

  • I am thankful, and will be ever so, for the 2004 Red Sox, who made generations smile.

  • I am thankful for a job that provides enough income to allow me enjoyment of several Red Sox games every year.

  • I am thankful to be in the midst of planning my fifth annual spring training vacation.

  • I am thankful to our loyal readers.

  • I am thankful for my sistahs.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why You Ask?


They say diamonds are a girls’ best friend
perfect in shape, form,
brilliant color reflecting in the admirers’ eyes.
Each one different than the next;
Yet all bring the same feelings,
the same joy, the same smile

When a man steps up to the plate and
Finally says, “Play Ball!”

The one question I get asked when people find out I am a Red Sox fan and a born and raised Texan: Why? Why the Red Sox? Where’s the connection? What about the Astros or the Rangers? Where’s your loyalty to your own state’s team? So I tell them…you want to blame someone or something…blame Roger…blame Roger Clemens and blame the passion of the Red Sox Nation.
In a state where Football is God…I became a baseball fan. I am not sure if it came about when I rode my bike to the Little League ball field to watch my friends play or because of the high school ballplayers in their tight white pants. Perhaps it was because I became enthralled with the way a ball came across the plate where a wooden bat connected and whacked it hard over the pitcher and shortstop, falling short of the centerfielder, while watching the batter haul ass around the bases trying to make a triple. Maybe it was how the catcher “sits” behind the plate calling the pitches, while the runner on 1st tries to steal 2nd. Or just that I enjoyed the sound of the ‘thump’ of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt from a fastball pitched. It really doesn’t matter because at some point in my younger life, I became an avid baseball fan.

I did follow the Astros, that is, until Roger. I attended Lamar University, a local college in Beaumont, Texas where the baseball program was as important, if not more important than the football program. (by the way, Lamar is the alma mater of Kevin Millar) Coach Jim Gilligan made it that way and still does today. Following baseball, I heard of a baseball phenom at UT, Roger Clemens. I followed Roger to the Red Sox and watched him succeed. So blame Roger…he is the reason I became a Red Sox fan. So now you ask, why didn’t you follow him to Toronto or to New York (gasp!)? Because after following Roger to Boston…I became a more avid fan of baseball but even more so…a fan of Red Sox baseball and became a part of the Red Sox Nation. How can you watch the BoSox fans and players and not get caught up into the passion of it all?
One thing I learned was Boston loves the Red Sox.
Make no mistake, I am a Texan so unlike some in the Red Sox Nation in Massachusetts, I still love Roger and follow him from afar, wishing him well even when he was playing for the enemy. So there, that is my story of how a die hard born and raised Texan gal became a Red Sox fan. And if you want to judge my loyalty or whether I'm a die hard Red Sox fan..just ask the Sistahs here, they'll tell ya.
Texan By Birth
Red Sox by Choice

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hello (hello... hello...)

... Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?

With apologies to Roger Waters, it has been quiet here lately. Over on my own Red Sox blog, I finally wrapped up the postseason stats of ex-Red Sox players and even did a drive-by posting about what little hot stove news there has been. I see that Beazer is similarly grasping for blog topics and has elected to post her greatest hits.

Meanwhile, somewhere deep in the heart of Texas, erstwhile-and-soon-to-be-again Sox Sistah Tex is trying to figure out exactly how she screwed up her account such that she can't post here. Trust me, when she finally gets things straightened out, you'll be glad she is here. If you've ever been at Fenway and seen a crazy woman waving a Texas flag, you have had a small taste of the Tex experience. I can only imagine what gleeful musings she would have posted (had she been able) when the Sox re-signed her compatriot Mike Timlin.

Of course, it would also be nice to hear from the other Sistahs who have not yet posted here. I hesitate to mention any names, but their initials are Bballwidow, Ladynightingale1, and Fenway123. Brenken just barely escapes scrutiny by virtue of a solitary post back in May.

Speaking of Brenken, she is coming north from her tropical lair in a couple weeks! Will we be able to capture her in pixels? How many Sistahs can we get in front of the camera at one time? Which of them will go postal after seeing said images posted here for our loyal readers to see? The world is waiting to find out.

Friday, October 27, 2006

We Know Where We Were

There are those dates in history where people will ask you where you were when it happened and you instantly know the answer without hesitation. Today is a day that all Red Sox fans know where they were and how they reacted.

This is a day that actually changed my existence as a baseball fan forever. I thought maybe it was temporary, but after two years I can honestly say that having the Red Sox actually win the World Series on October 27, 2004 really did change my life. I'm sure that may sound ridiculous for those that aren't diehard Red Sox fans but I'm sure some of you understand.

I had planned to have people over during the weekend to watch the World Series, as I never even considered the possibility that the Red Sox could actually sweep the series and it would be over by Wednesday. My husband and I were together in our living room in awe of what we were seeing. Not only was the moon outside now red but the Red Sox were about to finally win the World Series in our lifetime. As the final out was made I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and suddenly began to sob. I wasn't crying quietly I was uncontrollably sobbing. All I could think of was how happy my mother would have been to have experienced the joy of winning. I felt like she was somehow there with us, along with my father and his father. Generations of Red Sox fans alive and dead all sharing the moment of victory together.

I now can watch my Red Sox and not have that deprived feeling. I'm not desperate any longer when the season begins. I'm joyous that baseball is finally here again and hopeful for a good season.

I can just think about that moment in 2004 when the Red Sox finally became the World Champions and I feel happy and at peace. I cherish my memories of that very special team and I'm appreciative that I lived to see it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Like Mike

But do I really want him in the bullpen for another season?

Mike TimlinThat is the question on many Red Sox fans' lips following the announcement that the Red Sox have signed Mike Timlin to a one-year contract for 2007. To understand the reluctance, consider that Timlin's 2006 ERA was 4.36, significantly higher than his 3.55 career ERA; his strikeouts-to-walks ratio was down to 1.88 compared to 3.75 for his previous three years in a Red Sox uniform; and he blew almost half (8 of 17) of his save opportunities. It's hard to know if his sub-par season was more a function of his age (40) or the fact that he began the season not tuning up in spring training but rather playing full bore in the World Baseball Classic.

On the up side, Timlin is evidently a positive veteran influence on the younger pitchers coming up (and there are so very many of those young pitchers who need shepherding). He forever endeared himself to many fans back in 2003, when he was part of the postseason lights-out bullpen combo of Embree, Timlin, and Williamson.

Besides, I like his entrance music. I happen to know that Beazer harbors certain, um, thoughts about him from time to time. And he's a Texan, as our newest posting sistah, Tex, will tell you as often as she can.

So maybe it will work out after all.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A cell phone rings in Boston...

::stares at the phone:: Don't answer it. Don't answer it.
::stares at the phone:: Answer the phone, dude! Answer the phone!
(sighs as he answers the phone) What is it Bronson?
Dude! The season's over! We need to celebrate!
Celebrate? Bronson, the Sox finished third in the AL East. We finished behind the freaking BLUE JAYS. Papa Jack and Wally both got shitcanned because of how bad we played. What the hell do I have to celebrate?
Lenny, honey, who's on the phone?
Who the hell is THAT?
Dude! Who's the chick??
Bronson, I can explain... have a GIRLfriend?
It's not what you think...
(laughs) No kidding, dude!
I'm going shopping and I'm taking your credit card. See you later!
(sighs) God, I need a drink.
Dude! I can be on a plane and in Boston by midnight! I'm calling Millar! We're gonna PARTY, dude!!!
I gotta get some new friends.

Related Entries:
A cell phone rings in the middle of the night... (Part 1)
A cell phone rings in the middle of the night... (Part 2)
A cell phone rings late in the afternoon...
A cell phone rings in a lonely hotel room...
Somewhere in Kansas City, a cell phone rings...

With props (or apologies) to Surviving Grady and The Dugout.