Archive for September, 2007

Rich Vs. Kids (Week 4 picks)

Posted by rich on 30th September 2007

Well, daddy really needs to kcik things into gear here when it comes to picking the games against the kids. Random selection definitely seems like the way to go this year as the kiddos would be up a cool $50 on the season (at $10 per game) and I’d be down $70. I trail then right now by six games in the standings, which means that it is time for me to get picking well. Maybe I should just go Costanza and pick the opposite of what I think. I’d be in the lead if I’d done that.

For the uninformed, here’s the deal. My two kids, Rye and Leanna, are picking the NFL games against me this year. They switch off picking games, and they don’t think about anything but which name they like better. For instance, they know daddy loves the Patriots, so they’ll always pick the Pats. If they read a story with a Giant, then New York might be the pick that week. Who knows, they’re five and four respectively. Whatever it is, it’s working for them. For the season so far, Rye and Leanna are 17-12-3. Me, I’m 11-18-3.

On to the Week 4 picks.

Baltimore (-4) at Cleveland: If this were week one, I’d say that there’s no way that this game is interesting, and it probably shouldn’t be. Still, I have this nagging feeling that the Browns might keep it close. They were in the game last week and they won the week before. They’re starting to play better. But, that was against two crappy teams. The Ravens are pretty good. They’ll cover.
The picks: Me, BAL; Kids, CLE.

Carolina (-3) vs. Tampa Bay: Hmm, another intriguing one. The Bucs seem to be getting better, and the defense is pretty good. I’m going with the home team, though.
The picks: Me, CAR; Kids, TB.

Chicago (-3) at Detroit:
Ya know, the Lions aren’t that bad. They can score points. However the Bears strength is the defense, but they really can’t score points. I know that the Bears is the safe pick, but you know what, a home team getting three. I’ll roll the dice with the Lions, who, unlike Chicago, at least plays entertaining football.
The picks: Me, DET; Kids, DET.

Dallas (-13) vs St. Louis: If nothing else, in this year’s NFL, the good teams seem really good, especially at home. The spread is huge, but we won laying 16 with the Pats last week, and the Boys have been good to us. So we’re on the Romo bandwagaon again.
The picks: Me, DAL; Kids, DAL.

Green Bay (-1 1/2) at Minnesota: The Packers are a fun story right now. They haven’t lost a regular season game since last November. I’ll ride that streak and give up next to nothing.
The picks: Me, GB; Kids, GB.

Houston (-3) at Atlanta: Atlanta plain stinks. It can’t be fun rooting for them right now.
The picks: Me, HOU; Kids, ATL.

Indianapolis (-10) vs. Denver: Indy has not been the gambler’s friend this year. They haven’t been covering much. Maybe Denver can keep it interesting. What the heck, I need an extra reason to root against Peyton anyway.
The picks: Me, DEN; Kids, DEN.

Miam (-4) vs. Oakland: Wouldn’t you be mad if you had to watch this game in the rain in muggy Miami. Me too. The Dolphins fans aren’t going home satisfied either, excpet for the fact that many of the female fans will be wearing wet clothing.
The picks: Me, OAK; Kids, MIA.

NY Jets (-3.5) at Buffalo: Seriously, you could give me a touchdown per game and I’m still picking against OJ’s former team all year long. If this were a game of Madden, Buffalo would already have hit reset a couple of times and then just decided to pick a different team altogether.
The picks: Me, NYJ; kids, BUF.

Philly (-3) at NY Giants: Amazingly both teams are coming off of wins. I’m wanting to go Costanza theory and take NY, but I’m not going to.
The picks: Me, PHI; Kids, PHI.

Pittsburgh (-6) at Arizona: Another game where I’m very tempted to go opposite of my gut, but I won’t.
The picks: Me, PIT; Kids, PIT.

San Diego (-11.5) vs. KC: Remember how excited those KC fans seemed at the kickoff breakfast on Hard Knocks. At least they had a nice lunch that day. San Diego is due for a big day.
The picks: Me, SD; Kids, KC.

Seattle (-2) at San Francisco: If you’re Seattle, you have to be able to go out on the road and take a game at San Fran. You just have to. If you win, it’s probably by at least a field goal, so you’d cover. Right?
The picks: Me, SEA; Kids, SF.

New England (-7.5) at Cincinatti:
My favorite college professor is from Cincy and she chimed in this week, saying she’s expecting the Pats to kill her favorite team by quite a bit. Good enough for Mrs. Huff is good enough for me.
The picks: Me, NE; Kids, NE.

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Division Champs

Posted by rich on 29th September 2007

Driving home from the football game I stopped at Panera for a quick bite before they closed and got a text that the Sox had won, so the magic number was down to 1. However, I knew that the Yankees were winning, so I figured that the clinching would have to wait one more day. As I made the long way from Quincy to Falmouth, I switched over from Siriius to FM to catch some Sox talk, and low and behold Joe Castig is interviewing Red Sox players and congratulating them.

Good times my friends, good times.

This photo is straight from Head over there for all of their coverage of the big event. Now, 11 games to win in the postseason. The Sox open up the playoffs Wednesday or Thursday, that’s still TBA. All I know is that even I, who has been pretty positive all year long, was ready to write the division off two weeks ago. I’m very happy for this team and for us fans. They earned it. Let’s enjoy this until the playoffs start. It’s been 12 years since the Sox last won the AL East title, that’s not quite and 86-year wait, but it’s long enough.

Good times

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From The Press Box (Quincy Edition)

Posted by rich on 28th September 2007

I apologize for not posting anything yesterday. I usually get home from work and put together the next day’s blog stuff while I watch SportsCenter late at night. However, last night I got home and watched Survivor and Smallville (excellent return episode, by the way. I‘m happy that they didn‘t decide to stick us with a Bizarro Superman angle for the whole season) with my wife and then was editing images for my other gig. Before I knew what had happened it was 2:30 AM and I was toast.

Trust me when I tell you that you were not going to enjoy reading anything that I had to say at that hour. If it had been coherent I’d have been surprised. I can write perfectly fine at midnight, even 1 AM, but anything later than that and it’s scary. What follows is what’s been going on in my head while I watch a close football game between North Quincy and your Falmouth Clippers.

Also, I know that the NFL picks between me and the kids usually run on Friday morning, but this week, in an attempt to break my string of terrible luck, they’ll be going up on Sunday AM. Wish me luck, I need it on that front. They’re already killing me.

*** I don’t know how I got anywhere before I had a GPS in the car. I used to have the hardest time finding this place, Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Quincy, but not today. I didn’t even leave the Cape until after 5 PM and got here with 15 minutes to spare before kickoff.

Thankfully the Red Raiders North don’t have much of a following. I was able to park right up front. At kickoff the stands weren’t even a quarter full. Anyone over 40 years old would be appalled by the lack of support that these high school football teams seem to get on a weekly basis. Heck, even when I was a kid (that makes me sound so, so old), the thing to do on a Friday night was to go to the football game. Sure most of those in attendance didn’t watch the game, but at least they were there. Today, they don’t even bother to show up. To quote my good friend Jason, “it’s sad, really.”

***Seriously, could there be a job worse than being a high school band coordinator. As I sat in the press box at the Falmouth-North Quincy game this is all I could think of as the Red Raiders’ band mangled their 1,000th playing of “Hey Baby.” Do these bands know any other tunes? It’s as if there is a Band Directors union that decides upon about seven songs that they all must kill. At least the FHS band plays one of my all-time favorite songs, Seven Nation Army.

Now, I have no musical talent whatsoever. I know this. Still, I know good music, and what I’m hearing as I write this is not good … not even close.

*** I’m not sure how I feel about Clay Buccholz being shut down for the season. Since the wi-fi connections are not working here in the press box, I don’t have any access to stats, but I do know that Clay hasn’t thrown a whole lot in Boston. In fact, since he threw the no-no he’s barely thrown at all, making a couple of brief cameo appearances.

I completely understand that the Sox want to protect their investment, but still, if he’s one of your best 11 pitchers, you have to have him on the playoff roster. Right now, I would feel a whole lot better with him on the hill in the tournament than I would Julian Tavarez, or Eric Gagne. Of course, I think I’d feel more confident if I was pitching rather than Gagne.

*** Speaking of the Red Sox, can we just thank Sports Illustrated now for jinxing our favorite team? Usually I’m happy to see my copy of SI on my desk when I get to the office on Thursday morning. However this week I was somewhat horrified to see Jonathan Pappelbon sneering at me from the cover of my favorite magazine.

Actually the story about Pappelbon was a great read, and I highly recommend it. But, that whole SI jinx thing is tough to get over. They couldn’t have done a story about how the Yankees are playing so well, or put Grady Sizemore or CC Sabathia on the cover. How about Vlad the Impaler? Well, at least we have a good excuse if the Sox run through October is short-lived.

*** Speaking of things that bug me, here’s something that I hate, the fact that if you’re in a Starbucks and you want to go on-line, you have to pay for the wi-fi service, and it costs like $19.99 for the day or $29.99 for a month. Now I realize that Starbucks has a contract with T-Mobile and all (my sources tell me it runs for another year), but man, talk about a mistake. Coffee shops all over North America are offering the service for free, but if you want to go to the Mermaid Coffee Shop, then you have to shell out an Andrew Jackson just to browse the net and check your email.

It’s bad enough that the chain decided to get into bed with T-Mobile on the deal. That’s like if you went to McDonalds and instead of Coke products they offered RC or something. I know that from time to time the good people at Starbucks corporate happen on the Musings. It’s bad enough that they’ve yet to offer me some free coffee or cookies, but we really need to do something about the whole wi-fi thing. I mean, I could be punching these keys with a venti Americano in my hand and praising my favorite coffee shop instead of giving them a hard time over their net gouging. Let’s get on the ball corporate.

Seriously, isn’t it common sense. If you don’t charge for the wi-fi then people are going to sit around the shop and read browse on the computers. That means more refills and more pastries and sandwiches sold. That means more money in the long run. How many subscriptions are you selling to T-Mobile’s service per month? A couple per store, tops, right. Starbucks can’t be seeing all that much of the $19.99, a couple of bucks per sub I’m sure.

Instead they could have customers lounging in the store, spending an extra $3-5 each, which over the long run would give them a much higher profit. That would make the stock holders a whole lot happier I’m sure, and it would make for a better coffee experience. I’m just saying. It makes sense to me.

*** Speaking of internet issues, I apologize if you happened by The Musings a few days ago and saw a dirty picture. I had borrowed a picture off of someone’s web site, and he found it to be an issue. Rather than ask me to take it down, he decided to be a jerk. The dude changed the picture’s assignment to one that depicted a salacious and unnatural act.

Of course as soon as I realized this, I took it down. Apparently it is okay to expose people to despicable images rather than to just ask to have something taken down. I took up the issue with the other party, and he said that I was “a petty thief” for “stealing his bandwidth.”

Well, lock me up I guess.

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Quick Hits

Posted by rich on 27th September 2007

Well, it’s Thursday, which means lots of stuff to do at the newspaper. So, we’re going quick hits today.

** Welcome to the party Yankees. That’s right, everyone’s favorite team to root against for got in last night, so we know it’s going to be Cleveland, Anaheim, New York and Boston. The Sox and Yanks cannot play in the first round, and the Sox and Indians are in a virtual deadlock for first place. That means that it looks like Cleveland-New York, and Boston-Anaheim in round one. We’ll know for sure by the weekend.

** I loved to beat up on him all season long, but I am going to say this in my public forum. Maybe JD Drew doesn’t stink as much as we thought he did. His numbers for the year are still pretty disappointing, but he’s come on of late, and the Sox need him down the stretch. He’s batting .400 for the last 10 games and has driven in at least one run in six of those games. Sure .266 for the season is bad, but maybe, just maybe, he’s turning the corner. No better time than October to get hot.

** Okay, I’m against Mike Vick as much as the next guy. And, I’ve never taken an illegal drug in my life. Still, with all he’s going through, I can’t say that I’m too upset about the fact that guy sparked a joint or two. What he did was wrong, very wrong, but can you really blame the guy for trying to ease the tension a little bit? If I’m Vick, I’m taking all of my money when i get out of jail and moving to a tropical island somewhere. Anywhere where they don’t know who he really is, and don’t care.

** Seriously Mr. and Mrs. Fields, you named your kid Wrigley? Why not go with something more inspired, like McLovin?

** This much I know for fact, if it’s midnight, and Rocky III is beginning, I’m probably staying up past my bedtime. “Don’t give that sucka no statue, give him some guts.” Where would we be without Mr. T as Clubber Lang?

** At a decision has been made. The homer ball by Barry Bonds is going to the Hall of Fame, with an asterisk on it. Brand it won with 47-percent. I love that decision. Sometimes Americans get it right.

** Usually Hollywood opens its crappiest movies this time of year. Stuff like Message in a Bottle make their debut in September or October. This is why I’m surprised that The Kingdom, which starts tomorrow, looks very good. I’m intrigued. For the record, the flick I’m really looking forward to seeing most right now is American Gangster, with Denzel and Russell. It’s too bad that won’t drop until November.

** I’m not going out on a limb, but I’m going to say that the new Cavemen show is going to be horrible and a big time bust. If it isn’t canceled by November I’ll be quite surprised. I’m guessing that the guys that came up with the idea for this might have been hanging out with Mike Vick on a trip to Amsterdam.

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Almost There; TV Time; 756*

Posted by rich on 26th September 2007

yankees suck stilGotta love those D-Rays. Thanks to their extra inning win over the Yankees last night, and the Sox lopsided win over Oakland, the magic number’s down to three today. With five games left, that’s almost a lock, almost. I have declared New York dead too many times in the division race already. They just don’t seem to ever want to go away. They’ve ticked me off since July, so until the Sox are spraying champagne, I’m not going to crown them champions of the East. They’re closer, though.

The win last night was nice, but what really was great was seeing No. 24 trot out to left. The Big Boss and I were talking Sox in the office yesterday and I’d heard that there was a good chance that Manny wouldn’t be in the lineup until the playoffs started. Sean McAdam had said as much on The Big Show an hour before our conversation. Then, of course, at 7:05 there’s my daughter’s favorite player (she loves his crazy hair) heading out to the shadow of the Green Monster.

He looked pretty good in that first AB, lining that single to right. Overall, he went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored. I’ll take that after missing nearly a month of action. And, to have Youk back last night also made me feel better about the postseason. He’s very important to this team, and I’ll tell you what, that time off might have been the best possible thing for him. Youkilis had slowed down during the second half, and obviously needed a bit of a rest. The wrist injury allowed him to have that. Now, with Manny back, and the division nearly (remember I said nearly) wrapped up, they can afford to rest Papi a bit this week and have every one recharged for the playoffs. Heck, even JD (Can’t Buy Me Love) Drew has been hitting well of late.

This could be a fun October after all.

TV Talk

The new television season has begun, and so far it’s a big whatever. HBO’s new series Tell Me You Love Me is pretty awful. I’ve tried to give it a try, but it’s just a lot of whining. I watched the first three episodes and basically want to dance in traffic. I’m glad I’m didn’t watch it with Lyra for two reasons, one, she would have gotten angry about the naked people (it’s not as much as The Sopranos, but more than Larry David), and two, you can’t watch a show about relationship problems with a woman and expect not to get into an argument. It’s impossible. Whoever green-lit this show should be shot.

Last Thursday i saw the first episode of Survivor and I’m intrigued by that one. Sure each season is pretty much the same, people try lame attempts at back-stabbing one another, only to have things blow up in their faces. Through the first episode there really haven’t been any big alignments forged as of yet, but I’m sure that will happen tomorrow. I’m rooting for Jean Robert, simply because I’ve seen him play poker on TV. Other than that, there hasn’t been anyone that has really caught my fancy. I love that they’re in China, though, the new scenery is eye-popping. That alone makes it worthwhile.

hiroMy favorite show from last year, Heroes, came back on Monday night. I loved the first episode and I’m into the story. Right now it’s the best show on TV, I believe. Of course, I’m a sucker for comic book stuff. I can’t wait for Smallville to come back this week (the Bizarro Superman story should be interesting, and they’re bringing in Supergirl, who is very cute). I could watch an entire show based on Hiro Nakamura, Masi Oka is so good in that role. He’s just so much fun. I love seeing him pop up on old episodes of Scrubs from time to time, that always makes me laugh.

And there’s one new show you should be watching, if you’re into the type of stuff that I am. Journeyman started Monday night, and I must say I’m intrigued. It’s kind of like an updated version of Quantum Leap, but with better writing. In a nutshell, this reporter (hey, I’m on board right there) wakes up in a park near his house without a clue as to how he got there. He then discovers that it’s 20-years earlier. Of course he thinks that it’s a dream, but when he gets home his wife is pretty ticked that he’s been gone for two days (I can’t believe Lyra would believe that I had traveled back to the 80s either). So far I’m digging it. I’m just wondering if they’re going to go into the future, that would be pretty cool. Journeyman has already reached season pass level on the TiVo.

That’s what I’ve got so far on the new season. I can’t stand CSI: Wherever, or Boston Legal, or any of the other show that’s just like every other show on the tube. I need stories to follow to keep me interested, and that’s what those shows have.

Barry’s Ball

ecko bondsBy the time you read this there will have already been an announcement made, and if I had heard about it earlier I certainly would have informed you about, but the guy that bought the Barry Bonds ball decided to allow the world to decide its fate. If you go to the link they’ll tell you what’s happening to the ball.

The choices were, just give it to the Hall of Fame, brand it with an asterisk and then donate it to the HOF, or — you’ll love this — jettison it into outer space. The guy who owns Ecko clothes bought the ball and decided that this was the way to go, and you know what, i love it. I voted for brand it with an asterisk and then donate it to the Hall because I love the message that would send, and one day when Bonds goes into the Hall (he will, unfortunately), that ball will be waiting for him, and he’ll have to answer questions about it.

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5 With 6

Posted by rich on 25th September 2007

fenwayThat’s it, the magic number is down to five, thanks to the Yankees suffering an uninspired defeat against the Blue Jays yesterday afternoon. Nothing better than the Sox having the day off and having them pick up a half-game on the Yankees.

For the uniformed, the magic number is the combined wins and losses over the next six days that the Sox need to wrap up the division. If they win four games, and the Yankees lose one, that makes five and the Sox win the division. If the Sox win five of six, they win the division. If they win three, and the Yankees lose two, they win the division. Got it? Good.

So down the stretch they come, and the Sox need to get this done. It isn’t a total necessity, since they’ve already clinched at least the wild card spot, but this goes deeper than getting into the playoffs. The Sox need the confidence boost that will come with wrapping up the division title. They’ve been in first place since April and to lose that hold on the top spot in September would be a punch to the stomach, to say the least, a kick to the nether regions. Confidence is king when it comes to the big leagues, and losing the hold on the top spot now would cost them that, to say the least.

The Sox aren’t just playing for the division title this week, but also for the best record in the American League, which would guarantee them home field through the playoffs. Is that important? You bet. The Yankees are one-game over .500 on the road this year, and 23 over at home. Anaheim, who is a half-game behind the Sox for the best record, is a .500 team on the road, and 27 games over at the Big A. Cleveland is seven games over on the road and the Sox, who have the best road record in the AL, are nine over away from Fenway. Playing at home is a big advantage for all of these teams, to have the advantage throughout the playoffs could be the difference between winning and losing a series.

For the final six games, the Sox will play them all at Fenway. The Yankees, they’ll be on the road. I like the Sox’ chances.

Of course, I’d like the Sox’ chances a bit better if NY wasn’t finishing with Tampa and then Baltimore. Sox fans can’t get too upset, though, as Boston faces Oakland for two and then Minnesota for four. The pitching match-ups don’t look too bad either, with the Sox missing Johan Santana in the final series and seeing just one pitcher you’d really categorize as scary in the final week, Joe Blanton, who is 14-10, which is good, but hardly great (trust me, he was on my fantasy team, he’s hittable).

mannySo let’s say that I’m guardedly confident as the Sox head to the final week. Hey, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Yeah, I know.

Let’s face it, when it all comes down to it, we’re probably going to be sweating a game seven at Fenway between the Sox and Yankees with a trip to the World Series at stake. The three weeks leading up to that will be full of ups and downs, twists and turns and plenty of Maalox moments. I’d just like our chances a bit better if I knew that Manny was going to be involved.

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3-0, The Easy Way

Posted by rich on 24th September 2007

This won’t come as a surprise, but i think that this Patriots team could be something special, really special. Sure we’ve seen this club start 3-0 before. We’ve seen them win the Super Bowl, three times over in fact.

maroneyIt’s something else, though. It’s beyond swagger. This club just seems to be on a different plain from every other team in the NFL right now. Sure Pittsburgh looks good, and the Colts haven’t lost, but heads-up, would either of those teams be favored against New England. Would they be within touchdown? I say ‘no.’

I though that the 16-point spread that the Pats were favored by seemed high. Sure, they’re good, but more than two TDs in the NFL? Looking back, that spread was probably too low.

Shouldn’t we have expected that Brady would have another big, big game. Shouldn’t we have expected that Randy Moss was going to continue his re-ascension to the top of the league? Shouldn’t we have known that Laurence Maroney could run wild over the 30th ranked rushing defense?

Yeah, we probably should have.

The Pats are averaging a gaudy 38 points per game — the easiest math equation I’ve ever done, since the team has scored 38, 38 and 38 in three games. They’re giving up a little over 10 per game. When I used to play John Madden Football as a younger man I’d have a hard time putting up numbers like that.

And, we forget, but this Pats team is short-handed right now. They’re missing two key components of the defense with Richard Seymour out with an injury and Rodney Harrison having one game left on his HGH suspension. Of course they’ve been filled in greatly by Jarvin Green, Brandon Merriweather and Mike Sanders.

And that’s what makes the Patriots better than everyone else. We’ve heard it before, but the Pats strength really is the club’s depth. Think about it, at WR alone they’ve got Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth playing primarily reserve roles. Gaffney led the team in catches during the playoffs last year and Stallworth has been a No. 1 his whole career. Sammie Morris is the back-up at running back, and he does nothing but produce first downs whenever he’s in the game. And then there’s all the guys we don’t even really know. The guys that play mostly special teams that just buy into the system and get the job done every time they see the field.

I realize that we shouldn’t get too worked up about a blowout win over a bad Buffalo team that lost its starting quarterback on the first play of the game. But, still, that is an NFL team that the Patriots destroyed yesterday after destroying a good San Diego team and a competitive New York team.

Do any of us fear Cincy this coming Monday night? Should we? They can’t stop the pass and the Pats throw the ball with the best of them. It’s surprising when a Brady pass falls incomplete. It’s even more of a surprise when he gets picked off. Sure Tommy will have a bad game at some point this season, and the Pats probably will lose a game or two along the way, but here’s the funny thing, and the thing that makes the Patriots the class of the NFL, if they do lose, we’ll be downright shocked.

It’s just fun to be a fan of this team right now, isn’t it

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No, It’s Iowa

Posted by rich on 23rd September 2007

Okay, I need to get going soon, but I just caught the tail end of Field of Dreams as I was eating my breakfast and it got a little misty in here. I would put the last five minutes of that movie up against anything in terms of its “get to ya” factor. When John Kinsella asks Ray “is this heaven” and Ray says, “no, it’s Iowa” and, well you know the rest. Man, talk about a lump in the throat. That movie is just good for the soul, I’m in a great frame of mind right now.

Speaking of good frames of mind, this kid simply isn’t. Let’s just say, you shouldn’t play poker if you can’t handle the mood swings.

Thank God Kige Ramsey is not the NFL Commish. What else should they do the Pats, Kige? Maybe make every Pats fan walk barefoot for two weeks. Change the taps to Near Beer at Gillette?

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Into The Lion’s Den

Posted by rich on 23rd September 2007

Today I go into the lion’s den, so to speak. I have a wedding to photograph out in Brewster, and the clients are … gasp … Yankees fans. The wiseguy groom, who is actually a pretty good guy, wrote under special instructions for the wedding: Wear a Yankees hat to the reception.

That is one request I will be unable to fulfill. First, I don’t own one. Second, I’d rather wear a Satan hat than a Yankees hat.

It should be quite interesting, because I know that I shall be taunted relentlessly throughout the day. I don’t even know what my retorts can be. “We’re still in first?” maybe. I don’t know. At least the Sox pulled out last night after blowing it in the late innings. If only the Jays could have held on, but that bullpen keeps giving the Yankees gifts. Oh well.

The worst part about having to work today is that I will miss the Pats game. I’m not that worried about how they’ll play against the Bills, but I hate missing the games. They only play once a week, and not being able to see it live is always a downer. Thank God for TiVo. I’ll be watching it when I get home, that’s for sure.

Until Monday ….

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A Little Reprieve

Posted by rich on 22nd September 2007

Maybe it was good karma. I spent the day at the Scallop Festival (if you’re going Saturday or Sunday, stop by and say “hi” to my dad at our tent), manning the store and I made my way over to this guy’s set-up. He has a company called “Supahfans” and he sells Red Sox-related shirts and stuff. You’ve probably seen his “Entering Fenway” shirts and the like.

papi shirtAnyways, I noticed that he had a very cool Napoleon Dynamite inspired “Vote For Papi” shirt. I really don’t know what Papi’s running for — he wasn’t nominated for the ridiculous Red Sox Nation presidency — but I had to have one. And, because I’m a vendor at the Festival, I got a deal on it. Sweet.

So I threw on the T-shirt when I got home tonight, and wouldn’t you know it, Papi comes to the plate and ices the game with a homer. Good vibes I tell ya, good vibes. At the time, the Yanks were down 4-0, which made me feel even better.

Of course NY came back to tie it in the bottom of the ninth against Toronto, and we’re back to square one, or so I thought.

Somehow, someway, the Yankees didn’t come through. I know, I was blown away too. Greg Zaun, who would seemingly have a hard time getting a hit off Rye, came through with a 14th inning walk-off homer to beat the Yankees and spoil that huge comeback by the Yankees.

And the lead’s back to 2 1/2. It’s not very big, but as a Red Sox fan, I’m happy that they actually gained some ground. It’s been so long since that happened. The Magic Number is down to 7, and who knows, maybe the Sox can still hold on to this lead afterall.

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