Maclone's Musings http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog On sports and life... Fri, 25 May 2007 02:24:17 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.1.3 en Dum-dum-da-dum http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=31 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=31#comments Fri, 25 May 2007 02:24:17 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=31 No, not Schilling and his pitching. Go back, look at the headline, and hum it. That’s right, the wedding march.

It’s the big weekend, my baby bro, Dan, is getting married on Sunday. Unreal. Maybe I’ll post some pictures from the big day on Monday or Tuesday, in the meantime, though, here are some quick thoughts about that, and other stuff.

Get it? Other stuff. As in, Lost’s season finale last night. Holy Moly, what a sendoff until next time. Seriously, Jack’s flash-forwards are heart-wrenching. Charlie’s demise was tough to take. Hurley’s heroism made you want to stand up and cheer. Locke being Locke. Ben being Ben. Sawyer blasting Tom. Walt coming back, what the heck?

lockey

If you want real details, and some more info, check out Jeff Fischer’s site. He’s the best at it, and I never miss an update when it’s Lost-related. Good, good stuff, as always (hope he doesnt’ mind me borrowing the screen cap from his site).

*****

As for the wedding, I’m the best man — duh — and there’s so much going on, it aint’ funny.

Friday we’ll be taking my dad fishing for his birthday. The actual party was tonight, but me and Dan will be taking Dad and Dan’s buddy, and his dad, out to snare some stripers in the late afternoon.

Then it’s an early wake-up call on Saturday AM for golf with all of Danny’s buddies and some family. We’re teeing it up at Falmouth Country Club. Humor is certain to follow as I have not picked up a club in about a year. I used to play all the time, but it seems that once you have kids something has to give, and I had to give up on golf. Not that the sport is missing me, that’s for sure. My low round ever was 90, and I did that once. When I break 100 it’s a miracle. I just can’t hit it straight off of the tees, it’s a real problem. It’s gotten to the point, at time, when it makes more sense for me to aim waaaaaaaaay left and hope it will work its way back to the middle of the fairway. Of course, when I set up that way, that’s when I smack one straight. It’s really a maddening game. Thank goodness for adult beverages, because that will help me not get too mad at myself for duffing it all over the course.

After that we’ll be headed to Jared’s house for a cookout and horseshoes. Just what we need before the rehearsal, more drinking. This could get ugly. Personally, I’m going to try to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. I just don’t have the tolerance that I used to. Back in the day, I could handle myself like Frank the Tank, now, though, more than two and I start to slur my words and call my best friend occifer Croteau. It’s bad enough calling his occifer and instead of Officer, but he’s a Trooper and he hates to be called an occ … err … officer.

The rehearsal follows all of that, and then, you guessed it, more partying. The Boathouse on Saturday night seems to be the plan, so if you’re in the neighborhood stop on by sometime after 10, 10:30 and buy my brother a beer and wish him good luck. He’ll appreciate it, and so will I, since I won’t have to pay for every round that way.

Sunday’s the wedding, which I can’t wait for simply because it’s the first time that my kids have had a chance to really dress up. Leanna, my 3-year old, cannot wait to wear her princess dress as the flower girl. Rye could take or leave his tuxedo — he’s the ringbearer — but I know he’ll have a blast anyways.

And, more importantly, it’s a chance for me and my wife to actually dance together. We’re not dance club people, so we never go out to do that. We’re more like movie folks, we like to sit back with a tub of popcorn and watch a good flick. Still, it’ll be nice to slow dance with her and do the stupid white guy dance that I know for the fast songs. You know the dance that all guys are capable of. Feet planted on the floor, arms waving about a bit. The only other dance I do well is the Humpty Dance, and I’m sure that Digital Underground will be broken out for the occasion.

So it’s a big weekend on the horizon for me. I can honestly tell you that I don’t even know who the Sox are playing this weekend, that’s how involved I’ve been this week with getting everything done here at work and helping finish off the wedding stuff. It seems when you’re a wedding professional, such as myself, then you’re the go-to person for questions and such. Throw in the fact that I’ve been helping to coordinate what’s going on with the photographer (what, you thought I was going to shoot it myself?), and my head’s been spinning.

And it’s sure to spin some more this weekend.

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O(den) Well http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=30 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=30#comments Wed, 23 May 2007 16:41:23 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=30 I made a phone call yesterday afternoon to one of my dearest friends, Aaron. He’s the biggest Celtics fan I know, and has been forever. As much as I love the Sox, he loves the C’s. It’s his team. He was raised on Celtics green, it’s in his blood. Growing up one his most prized possessions was a Xeroxed copy of Larry Bird’s signature on a legal document.

So I called him yesterday afternoon to ask him if he was fired up about the draft lottery. “Yup, got on my hat, my shirt and I’m asking everyone to say a little prayer for the Celtics … I’m actually thinking about going over to St. Patrick’s after work to say one there.”

Apparently he didn’t make it to the cathedral because neither Greg Oden or Kevin Durant will be playing at the Garden for the C’s. As you’ve probably seen by now, the Celtics, despite a horrid, horrid season in which they ended up with the second-worst record in the NBA, wound up with pick No. 5 in the 2007 NBA draft.

I want to reach out to Aaron, and also Bill Simmons (who is probably on suicide watch at this point) and give them a hug. I mean, this is what they had, the chance of getting Oden or Durant. It’s what kept them going the last couple of months, the vision of watching one of those two guys wearing green and white for the hometown team.

It’s been 21 years since the C’s won a title (that alone seems sureal) and there is no apparent end to that drought coming any time soon. Celtics fans have been saying all year that throw one of those two guys into the mix and all of a sudden the Celtics are a playoff team. Aaron told me that had they landed the top pick, he felt that they’d be no worse than the fifth seed in next year’s Eastern Conference playoffs.

Now, who knows. Maybe they get Al Horford, or some other decent big guy, and he makes a difference, but it won’t be one of the big two, and that stings.

Looks like another year of ping pong balls in 2008. Who knows, but it won’t be the C’s playing in the finals, that I would easily wager on.

This feels a lot like 1997 and missing out on Tim Duncan. Timm-ah just keeps winning titles, while the C’s make a playoff appearance about every other leap year. More of the same seems to be on the horizon.

The only silver lining, if this guy from China’s still available at No. 5, the C’s have got to take him on potential alone. They need a big man, and this could be the answer. Still, I’d rather have Oden.

***

On a happier note, the Sox stuck it to the Yankees last night, 7-3. The good guys got off to a quick start and then held on. There were certainly some scary moments late in the ballgame as neither Oki or Paps seemed dialed in, but they survived the walks and got the job done.

That was another big showing by Julian Tavarez. The Freddy Kruger lookalike seems to be settling into his role very nicely with the team and I can’t remember very many fifth starters that seemed to love their role with a team as much as he does. Julian may be ugly, but the man can do what you need out of a No. 5, no doubt about that. Throw in the fact that he’s Manny’s best friend on the team, and you know he’s going to stick it out at least the rest of this year.

Happiness seems to be something we see a lot with the Sox. I think it comes down from Big Papi, hugging everyone in sight after big plays. That kind of thing just makes you smile, and when you’re on the bench with those types of guys you want to be there. Tavarez, when he was in St. Louis, seemed like he might win the Son Of Sam Award from MLB. I can remember seeing him on the mound looking like he was in the mood to commit a homicide. Now, with the Sox, he seems to be enjoying baseball.

In contrast, do the Yankees look like a team that enjoys being there right now? Take losing out of the equation, the Yankees don’t seem to have a soul. Jeter is a great baseball player, but he’s not really fiery, nor does he seem to rally the troops all that well. A-Rod, well he’s just a A-Rod, a me-first guy. Johnny Damon is a walking injury at this point and doesn’t seem to have the joie d’vivre he had in Boston.

New York has always made a big deal about being a professional team that does things “the Yankees way.” I’ll take facial hair and a little attitude, thank you very much.

So here is where we stand. The Sox have already done what they had to do in NY, win at least one. Tonight, if Schilling and the boys get the job done, it will be up to 11 1/2 games, and I don’t want to say that it’ll be all over, but let’s just say that finding a place on Yawkey Way to line up for playoff tickets now wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Sure it will be a long wait, but people lined up for the first Star Wars prequels for months. Let’s just hope that 2007 ends much better than Episode I.

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TV Doldrums Coming http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=29 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=29#comments Tue, 22 May 2007 17:31:29 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=29 All of my favorite shows are wrapping up on the tube, and now we’re headed to the worst time of year there for TV-watchers, the summer. Seriously, why can’t the networks come up with anything worth showing when the weather is nice? Why just re-runs and weird reality shows that aren’t worthwhile. The only summer show that I can ever remember catching on was the first season of Survivor, which went on to be a huge hit, and is still kicking. Other than that, though, it’s bad gameshows, worse reality shows, and re-runs.

Thank God that the summer is baseball season. There is no better reality programming than baseball. Coupled with the fact that I’m always at games in the summer (Cape League), and it doesn’t really matter that much anyways. Still, it’s fun to come home and catch up on stuff I want to see on the TiVo. There’s only so much SportsCenter one person can watch, don’t ya know. I’ll probably be spending my nights working on my sit n’ go games on PokerStars, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I’ve been playing really well of late and have had a very nice run this year. In fact, playing online I’ve been turning a decent profit of late. I made my initial deposit on the site of $55 back in November and I’ve run that up nicely. I cashed out $600 last week and still have over $250 to play with. You do the math.

Anyways, I’m just bummed that all of the good shows are coming to an end. Tomorrow night’s the last big finale of the season with Lost coming to its conclusion until next year. Heroes was good last night, but the fight between Sylar and Peter was a bit of a letdown. The 24 finale was better than I expected, I’ll admit. The season, as a whole, wasn’t the best, but the finale at least tied up the loose ends and gave a feeling of completion to the story. Although, we never actually saw Jack’s father die, and the boat was right there. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to find out that he got off with the circuit board, would you?

*******

Sox-Yanks last night, ho-hum. Wake’s knuckler wasn’t knuckling much and the Yankees put the Sox to bed. It was a pretty boring game, I thought. The good guys need to win just one of the next two to make it a worthwhile series. Just winning one is enough this time around.

No links today. I wasn’t able to find much worth reading today, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Hopefully something cool will pop up tomorrow.

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Lessons In Baseball http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=28 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=28#comments Mon, 21 May 2007 17:05:11 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=28 I wouldn’t have liked being at yesterday’s Sox game, because the nearly three-hour rain delay would have made me nuts, but the late start time did better fit into my own plans, and for that I am always grateful. I used yesterday’s win over Atlanta as a chance to teach my five-year old, Rye, more about the game. This is the summer that he’s going to really start to begin to understand my favorite game, and I can already tell that it’s both starting to click and become important to him as well. Other than the fact that he hasn’t quite picked up on the fact that Tom Brady plays for the Pats, not the Sox, everything seems to be going pretty smoothly.

When we started his curriculum, he thought that baseball games had 100 innings. Now he knows it’s nine, and that there’s a top and a bottom to every frame. God forbid that we ever see a cricket game, because I think those games do have 100 innings.

He knows how many outs there are per side and what a strike, a ball and a foul are. He loves home runs. He hates the Yankees. It’s all coming around nicely.

His favorite aspect of watching a game, though, is the pitch radar. “That one was 94, dad. That was 89. Wow, 97 fast.” It’s fun, and I always know how well our pitchers are throwing because I always seem to miss the radar readings.

Unfortunately our Teeball game from Saturday was rained out, it was supposed to be our first game. We’re going to miss this weekend’s game because my brother’s wedding is this weekend and we’ve got a million other things that have to be done.

Still, we’ve got the Sox games to keep us busy, and it’s nice that they’re playing the “yucky Yankees” this week.

It’s funny that this series doesn’t seem to be carrying much of the hype that usually surrounds Sox-Yanks series. With NY 10 1/2 back, there’s just not a lot to worry about. If New York were to sweep, which is highly unlikely, the lead would still be quite comfortable, although I’m sure the sky would be falling on the airwaves at WEEI. If the Sox sweep, well it’s basically over already and the rest of the season will be a long coronation of the AL East championship and we’ll just be hoping they can get up for the postseason and stay healthy until then.

The most likely scenario is that one team takes 2-of-3. If the Yanks do, no biggie. If the Sox do, it’s up to 11 1/2. Either way I won’t lose any sleep.

If the Sox sweep, things will be fun in NY this week. Brian Cashman will probably be looking for a new job if that happens, and Joe Torre might not be far behind him. And, you know what, that wouldn’t really be fair.

The Sox have been awesome so far this season. You can’t argue with a nearly .700 winning percentage. The Yanks have stunk, but don’t you have to cut a team a little slack when half of their games have been started by rookies. The injury bug is not a bug in the Bronx, it’s a plague. I’m fully enjoying it, of course, but there is a reason for New York’s ineptitude.

My favorite moments from the Yankees-Mets Sunday night game. A-Rod comes up in the third with two runners in scoring position and one down, and his team down 1-0, and he fans. Then, with his team up 5-1 later in the sixth, he homers to left. That’s A-Rod, he’s the best when the pressure’s off.

LINKS
Gee thanks Coach. I know that you skipper my son’s Little League team on your own time, and you don’t make a dime off of it, but I think I’ll sue you because my kid got hurt. WOW. If the coach had done something wrong, I could understand this story, but her kid didn’t slide correctly. Have you ever watched kids try to slide? They either do it correctly, or horribly wrong. Maybe her kid simply wasn’t very coordinated, but when you’ve got a chance to make a buck, go for it, right? If it was plagiarizing toward SI, I’d say that this is this week’s sign of the apocalypse.

Randy Moss is already making a good impession on his teammates. This is a good thing.

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Hinske The Hero http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=27 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=27#comments Fri, 18 May 2007 18:14:59 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=27 Eric Hinske lived out every little boy’s dream last night at Fenway Park. Hinkse made one of the greatest diving catches you’ll ever see, going into the corner in right to take away at least a triple. It basically saved the game.

The Sox fifth outfielder then came up in the seventh and hit a game-winning two run jack into the bullpen. Hinske, who was a Rookie Of The Year with the Blue Jays, rounded the bases and came to the Sox dugout with one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see on a ballplayer.

Who wouldn’t want to be Eric Hinske last night? He may not play a ton, and there’s a chance when it’s all said and done he may not even be with the team come postseason time (you never know, although I’d guess the outfielder that gets moved before the deadline is Wily Mo Pena), but last night he came through and had the adoration of 36,000 screaming fans.

Being the hero, even if its only for one night, is very, very cool.

LINKS

Hatin’ on the Yankees is always fun to do. Might as well kick them while they’re down, right. In this column Rick Morrissey, from Chicago, has a ton of fun at New York’s expense. Always good times. I love the stuff about Suzyn Waldman. By the way, if you haven’t heard her ridiculous account of Roger Clemens announcement, then go here, it’s surreal.

For those of you that miss when aiming for your face, fear not. The five-second rule IS TRUE.

Have a great weekend ….

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Baseball Cards, yay http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=26 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=26#comments Thu, 17 May 2007 05:15:48 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=26 I stopped in at my local 7-11 last night to pick up a bottle of water after the Falmouth Clippers’ baseball game (a 1-0 win, what a gem Jesse Hamilton pitched) and my buddy Anish was behind the counter. He’s a big-time Yankees fan, and I’ve been giving him a hard time on a daily basis (he never takes a day off, that guy) about the standings in MLB.
Well, I then had to give him a hard time about the new merchandise he was tagging to put out on the shelves. While the Sox may not be good enough to root for, they certainly are good enough for him to make some money off of. He had a bunch of Sox paraphenalia: fuzzy dice, coozies, lighters, etc.
I then noticed an untouched box of 1989 Fleer baseball cards. That’s about the time I stopped collecting cards (I was 16 by then, and they were no longer cool), but I couldn’t help myself to throw down the $2 for a pack, just for nostalgia’s sake. Here’s a few of the winners I got.
I love the first one, Paul Gibson, just because his goofy glasses kill me. The next one, Rafael Ramirez, made me laugh for two reasons. One, his pose is hysterical, and two, every time I bought a pack of cards I got a Raffy Ramirez. I must have had 3,487 cards, of various versions, of one of the most mediocre players in the history of the game.
The next one, Canseco, Terry Steinbach, and Big Mac is a scream for the unintentional comedy reasons. Back then they were viewed as heroes, guys that hit the ball a mile and were great all-stars. Who knew that Canseco woul write a tell-all about roids and that McGwire would duck a million questions thrown at him about the subject in front of congress. As for Steinbach, he faded away.
I threw the Larry Parrish one in for comedy’s sake as well. I mean, it just goes to show how many players play for your favorite team that you A, have absolutely no recollection of, and B, made no real impact whatsoever.
The last one, Andrew “Hawk” Dawson, I had to put in there because it was the only real good player in the pack I bought. The Hawk was awesome, and like Parrish, had a pretty uneventful stint later on with the Sox.
I also got a Yankees card. I gave it to Anish.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Remembering Ol’ Jerry http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=25 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=25#comments Wed, 16 May 2007 16:40:29 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=25 National headlines were made yesterday when evangelist Jerry Falwell passed away in Lynchburg, VA. I know that around these parts Falwell’s name was not revered as it is down there. In fact I’m sure that there are people that will read this blog that were happy to see him go.

Dr. Jerry Falwell was a lot of things, and controversial was right at the top of the list. Falwell never saw a microphone he wouldn’t speak into, and some of the things that came out of his mouth would make me cringe at times. He was a devout Christian man, strong in his beliefs, and he was never at a loss for something to say.

None of that matters to me, though. My heart is sad that he is no longer with us.

I attended Liberty University, in Lynchburg, graduating in 1997 with a degree is communications. The three-plus years at spent at LU are among the happiest days of my life. Not a day passes by that something does not remind me of my time spent in Virginia, dealing with a huge dose of culture shock, but somehow finding my way. Simply put, the time I spent at LU made me a better man, a better Christian, a better husband and a better father.

I am indebted to Jerry Falwell for helping make that happen. The school he founded in 1973 is unlike most mainstream colleges, and without it I have no idea where I would have ended up. I was on a path with no direction when I found LU.

The road I traveled upon arrival helped lead to most of the things that are good in my life. Without Liberty I never would have found my wife, Lyra, nor would I have learned the correct way to craft stories to spin, either in this space of the newspaper proper. I almost made several friends that I will have forever.

That is all thanks to Dr. Falwell, who founded a place for Christian kids to get a Christian education. He wanted us to have a place to train to compete in the real world. It was his vision, and it is a lasting one that will go on and on.

The memory that will continue with me is one of a jovial man that loved his athletic teams at LU. He knew that sports were the greatest way to spread the name and message of his university, so he made sure that LU competed at the highest levels. Every day the university pumps out better and better teams, which in turn turns up the brightness on the spotlight shining on the school.

As the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Champion, I had a front row seat for all of the big games on press row. I would always take my seat about 15 minutes before tip-off for hoops games, dressed in a nice shirt and tie, and — of course — my Boston Red Sox cap.

As I prepared my notes for the games, I would tense up a bit because I knew it was coming, out of nowhere. Just before the National Anthem I would be de-capped by Jerry Falwell, who would then go on to mess up my hair and then slap me on the back with one of his bear paws. If I were chewing gum there was a good chance that it would fly across the beautiful hardcourt floor.

He would follow up that bomb to my back with one of the most genuine smiles you’ve ever seen, a hand shake and a kind word. “How we doing today, Rich? Big game, we need to win this one.”

Then he’d be off to his seat. You never talked to Dr. Falwell during a game, and somehow everyone knew to keep their distance. He was nearly as big a fan of sports as he was Jesus himself. He loved to watch the teams compete. At halftime, that was the time to come up and say “hello” to him. Many did, and he always had time for them, taking pictures and shaking hands. I’m told that that continued right up to this past hoops season.

My wife was very sad yesterday, and so was I. It was like a relative passed away, and in a lot of ways one did. Jerry Falwell was a lot of things, but most important to me I considered him a friend, one that made the life I have today a possibility. God bless him.

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That’s What They Paid For http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=24 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=24#comments Tue, 15 May 2007 15:29:10 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=24 Looking out the window and it’s really, really dreary out there today. I guess we can’t have awesome weather every day, it’s not San Diego afterall.

What was awesome was Daisuke last night. My man can pitch, and the Sox definitely got what they paid for last night. I was talking about the game with my buddy Matt after the Sox upped their lead to 8 1/2 games and he sounded giddy as he we examined Dice’s stats. Life is good, that’s for sure.

My buddy Kirk is from Michigan and he’s a huge Detroit sports fan. I held off my inclination to call him after the game and taunt him, mostly because it’s a four-game series. He was claiming the other night, though, that the Tigers were better and are a superior team. A poll on ESPN.com last night had the Red Sox as the best team in MLB by a landslide, as voted on by baseball fans.

I visit a Pearl Jam message board every day and there’s a very busy sports forum there, and let me tell you one thing, the Yankees fans are beside themselves right now. They’re in full “don’t worry, we’ll come back and you’ll blow it mode.” You can’t make a single point without them bringing up 26 rings, blah, blah, blah. All I know is that there are six year olds walking around Manhattan right now that have never seen a World Series title, but I’ve got a five-year old that’s experienced a WS championship and three Lombardi trophies.

LINKS

Our boy Tim Wakefield takes the hill tonight for the Sox, you know, the knuckleballer, not the athletic trainer. Here’s a pretty cool little feature on what Wake has done so far this season. It’s been a pretty amazing season for the 40-year old so far. Did you know that Wake is the only player on this roster to have played with the Rocket? Heck, he also played with Johnny V. He’s been here a while, God bless him.

Baseball’s oldest stadium, yup that’s worth reading about I’d say. Also, you’ll notice the photo that leads the story, BJ LaMura was a very good pitcher for the Falmouth Commodores a few years back. I loved that kid. He’s from New York, so we had a back-and-forth regarding our beloved baseball teams, but he’s a good guy. I hope he makes it.

I love Superman, he’s my all-time favorite superhero. The 2006 movie was okay, but not what I was hoping for. If done correctly animated movies can be far better, and this one looks like it’s right up there. The Death of Superman story is so iconic, I don’t know why they didn’t go this route with the last movie. Oh well, since when did Hollywood know anything any ways?

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Weekend Wrap-up http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=23 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=23#comments Mon, 14 May 2007 16:27:58 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=23 It was an interesting and enjoyable weekend, I can tell you that. I’m just going to jump right in.

After work Friday was the return of softball to my life. For something like eight or nine years I’ve played first base for Falmouth Baptist in the Cape Cod Church Softball League. It’s a ton of fun and we’re always competitive. Honestly the main reason I still play is because it’s my one chance to really hang out with my buddy Kirk, who I always have a great time with. I met K when I joined the team and we’ve had some great times on and off the field over the years. Those great times, unfortunately, get fewer and further between as life takes over. When we started playing he was single and I was a newlywed. Now I’ve got two kids to go along with two jobs and he’s moved up the success ladder at his job, gotten married and now has his first on the way.

Anyways, my friend Brady’s wife Steph said it best at church on Sunday morning: “you guys are getting old.” It’s true, we are. The pain from Friday night’s game lingered through Saturday into Sunday. I’m just starting to walk normally now. My quads felt like someone was pulling and twisting on each end of the muscle. Not good times.

As for the game, we lost by a run. I stunk at the plate. Apparently I am not good enough to pick up a bat for the first time in eight months and go 3-for-3. Oh well.

Lyra and the kids took off Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with her mom for Mother’s Day. She would be returning sometime on Saturday night.

After taking care of my daily responsibilities on Saturday I was left with a big hole to fill with the rest of the day. I fired up the computer and saw that a poker tournament I’d been wanting to play on PokerStars was starting at noon, so i figured “what the heck.”

The tourney was a deepstack $10 entry tourney. Normally on stars the blind levels last about 15 minutes and you begin with 1,500 chips. I’ve gone deep in tourneys of that structure before and been in the last 10-percent of players (with over 1,500 entries) inside of three or four hours.

This, though, was a different animal altogether. We started with 5,000 chips and the levels lasted 30 minutes. That made for lots of play and allowed the good players to outlast the idiots and not have to make a dumb move to survive. I made it through the first hour with just under 9,000 chips and kept working that northward.

Before I knew it the Red Sox game had ended and I was still playing, and in good shape. Then 4 PM became 5 PM and 6 PM and 7 PM and so on. I was burning out quickly, but had to focus on the job at hand. Of the 702 entries, only 63 would make the money, so that was my first goal, survive the bubble, which I did easily. Then it was finish in the top 36, as the money started to go up some from there. Then the top 18 would guarantee me at least $77, so I went for that.

Before I knew it I had made the final table, eighth in chips of the 9 players sitting. With some cunning, some discipline and a little luck I made the Final Four. That’s where my good luck turned, unfortunately. The other smaller stack at the table went all-in with 7s, and I called with A9, which didn’t improve. I was down to barely enough for one big blind. I won three hands in a row, but was at a point where I had to stick it all-in just about every hand, regardless of what I had. I pushed with A3 and got called by JJ, which hit a third jack on the flop and I was done in fourth place for a cash of just under $500. Not too shabby. I’ve finished second at two live events in Atlantic City, but those fields were both under 75 entrants, so this was a big deal for me.

Sunday we took my mom, who is awesome, to dinner. We left the house and the Sox were down 4-0. Before we got seated at Oysters they were down 5-0 heading to the ninth. “Oh well, no big deal, they didn’t have it today,” I thought.

When I got home I couldn’t believe the news that waited there for me. “They freaking won?” I quickly went to ESPN.com to figure out what happened. It was ugly, but we’ll take it for sure.

You gotta love that the lead is up to 8 games now. Things are going about as well as they could for the Sox, and no, I’m not worried about the Beckett finger issue. Maybe he misses a start, but in the long run I don’t believe it will end up being a big deal at all. I just hope he doesn’t start going back to throwing too many fastballs in an attempt to lessen the stress on his fingers from throwing curves. We’ll see, but at this point you really can’t get too worked up about it.

LINKS

If you love baseball, this is a must-read from ESPN.com. It goes inside the clubhouse culture of MLB. I haven’t finished the story yet myself, but I’ve been way into what I have read.

The Waaah-mbulance is making a stop at Chipper Jones’ house. He doesn’t like the interleague play format. “It’s not fair.” Waaah.

Bob Ryan chides those that left the game early yesterday, and he’s right. Stay to the end, because you might miss something big. It’s not like these people are Devil Rays fans, right. Good things do happen to the Sox.

The Survivor finale did not disappoint last night night. All season long I’ve been trying to figure out if Dreamz was crazy, or crazy like a fox. Seems that it’s a bit of both. There’s no way that he, at the time of his decision, knew what he was doing. Yau-man made an offer and he made a quick decision. Only later did he decide to screw over the little guy. Here’s a good recap from EW of the last shows.

That’s it for now. RIP Christophuh Maltasanti.

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Enough With The Gifts Already http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=22 http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=22#comments Fri, 11 May 2007 18:55:53 +0000 rich http://capecodnow.net/sportsblog/?p=22 Mother’s Day is Sunday, so don’t forget to get a card for dear old mum, and maybe a trinket, too.

That’s the reason behind this post, I’m becoming a big-time Grinch when it comes to gifts. Enough already with the gifts. Every time I turn around I’m shelling out between $15-100 for some kind of gift, be it a kid’s birthday party, or a relative’s birthday, or some holiday. This month alone I’m in for Mother’s Day gifts to my mom, Lyra’s mom, and Lyra (from me, and the kids). Then on Friday is my boss’s birthday. The following week is my Dad’s birthday. After that is my brother’s wedding at the end of the month.

Let’s not forget next month, which includes one of my best friend’s birthdays, Father’s Day and my wedding anniversary.

I could go on and on. That’s why Thanksgiving is the best holiday of them all, there’s no gift-giving involved, lots of eating, thankfulness and football. Nothing beats that.

Of course a big part of my bitterness could also be tied to the phone call I got from Mrs. Maclone today while I was out at the park with the kids. She had dropped her car off to be inspected while shopping for Mother’s Day gifts. The car got a rejection sticker because of faulty tires. $578 later I’m not a happy camper.

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So I was able to get out to Dino’s to play a little cards last night and it was profittable. Good times in a little side action that some of the boys put together.

All in all it was a ton of fun becuase I played really well. What kills me though is just how bad some people play. I mean I know everyone has his or her own style, but some people are just STOOPID.

Here’s the situation, I’m in the big blind, with 400/200 blinds, and have a stack of about 4,800 behind it. The small blind has me outchipped by maybe 600-800 chips.

It folds down to the small blind, who looks at his cards and then reaches really quickly and says “I’m all in.” Rght there I knew he had nothing. There was too much Hollywood in his “I’m all in.”

I looked down at my hole cards to find an ace and an eight. I had to call, it was the right thing to do, and he hated that I called as he turned over his 3-9 offsuit. Of course anyone that knows poker knows where this story is headed, three in in the window, nine on fourth street, nullifying the ace I hit on the river.

The worst part, after the hand, he said with all seriousness “Wow, good call man.” I wanted to slap the taste out of his mouth.

Links:

NO WAY. Ricky Williams tested positive for marijuana. How could this be. I didn’t see this one coming. Stop the world, I want to get off.

Are the Sox a perfect team? I’d say no, but this is still a nice read. Good win last night, by the way. It’s still early, and NY could still make a run at us, but the last time the Sox had a lead this big in the division, I was still in college and barely old enough to have an adult beverage.

I’m just saying, any pitcher who calls himself “hero in the dark” and has an out pitch called the Oka-Doke, is A-okay with me.

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