Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reality TV and Baseball... Again

If "reality" TV is scripted, maybe baseball is too.

Monday night, the story leaked that the Sox were designating Darnell MacDonald for assignment. A player is designated for assignment in order to open up a space on the 40-man roster. A player designated for assignment might be traded or placed on waivers, which would allow any team to pick up his contract, with preference going to the team in the player's league with the worst record. If no team picks the player up (clears waivers) the player is assigned to a minor league team.

Francona didn't want to see MacDonald go. MacDonald didn't want to go. But with Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury coming off the disabled list, and no one wanting to see MacDonald booted from the majors, everyone was really hoping another team would pick him up.

Dramatic, no? It gets juicier.

MacDonald was scheduled for an 8pm flight back to Boston Tuesday night. At 5:30pm he received a call from Sox management to get his butt to Tropicana Field. Jacoby Ellsbury was experiencing pain in his side again, and the Sox needed MacDonald. He made it in time to warm up and play the end of the game.

That's better than any rose ceremony I've ever watched, but if you still aren't buying my theory about baseball resembling reality television...

Recognize the name Joe West (he's behind the plate tonight)? How many other umpires can you name? Okay, Bluehats, you can name them all, but you know what I mean. Joe West is the ump who complained about the length of Red Sox-Yankee play earlier this season. This week he ejected Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle and manager Ozzie Guillen during a game against the Cleveland Indians. West called Buerhle twice for a balk, and Buerhle threw down his glove. Guillen went out to either calm him down or protect his image... not quite clear which, but regardless West threw them both out.

The judge becoming a bigger story than the contestants? So reality television. Is anyone else thinking West and Simon Cowell* might be planning a new show together?

*Cowell left American Idol this week, which I read about in the paper and did not witness live during the American Idol Season Finale- there was a game on of course!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Greenlight

Bases loaded, and J.D. Drew waits for the pitch from Tampa Bay Ray's Wade Davis.

"Do you think he's got the greenlight,"* Dave asks me. I can't tell if my husband is poking fun at me, testing me, or hoping I've crossed far enough into baseball dorkdom** to find it fun to discuss these matters.

Dave guessed that because the Sox needed to pad their 1-0 lead a little, especially against the Rays, Drew would play it safe. I guessed that I had no freaking idea.

Dave's guess was right- Drew drew (oh, fun) a walk that brought in a runner.

Assuming Dave was simply engaging me in baseball banter, what would have been the harm in guessing? Dave probably would have appreciated me arguing for Drew swinging for the stars. Hey, there was only one out and it was the fourth inning.

I'm reminded again this morning that it is alright, even expected to be wrong in baseball.

Headlines today have the Sox continuing the surge, rolling, and just plain HOT. The Sox have two games remaining in the 13 game do-or-die run against challenging teams. For those 11 games, the Sox are now 7-4.

Not exactly what most of Red Sox Nation predicted. Guess it's time to give myself the greenlight to be wrong with the rest of ya!

*Pinkhats, I am assuming that "the greenlight" in this context means going for a homerun. It would be very ironic if I was wrong though.

**Sorry to offend; part of me is holding onto to a pinkhat like a security blanket... or a shield.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Earned Date Average

So you want your earned run average (ERA) to be low. Self-explantory-wise, that's one that could go either way.

I know I've defined ERA in a previous post- a pitching statistic calculated by dividing earned runs allowed by innings pitched and forecasting over 9 innings. So much other baseball information is swimming around my head, though, that ERA with its vague name - you would think earning runs would be a good thing- hasn't sunk in yet.

Maybe after lasts night it will be easier. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched a no-hitter into the eighth inning, when Marco Scutaro was unable to catch a broken-bat hit by Phillies' Juan Carlos. This morning, sports analysts are abuzz about Dice-K's ERA with and without this season's one 5-hit and one 6-hit inning.

With the bad innings, Matsuzaka's ERA is 5.76; disregarding those innings it is 2.6.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, and we went out to dinner to celebrate. It was the second date we went on in our first year of marriage. So let's say our earned date average is 18, the number of dates we will go on over nine years of marriage.

If we took out a few bad dates (say Dave didn't get me flowers- ha, that would make our lifetime EDA 0.00001) the EDA would be less.

And now I'm realizing that while this might help me remember ERA (even if I lost all my readers in the process), it is a bad analogy. I said in the beginning of the post that a low ERA is good, whereas a low EDA would be bad.

Remember that, Dave!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Remy Mail

I have no idea where she found his email address, but my mom-in-law Candice* contacted Jerry Remy about the blog yesterday. Which cracks me up for two reasons:

1) She is a huge Yankee fan.

2) My own mother said to me last week, "Oh, you have to watch every game; and wondered if there wasn't a more interesting topic I'd like to write about.

So of course I kept my ears peeled whenever Remy and Don Orsillo got to yammering during the Sox game against the Twins last night. No mention of pinkhatbluehat, but Orsillo was razzing Remy about not having an office at Fenway.

What does that say about the likelihood that he will read Candice's email? I'm still holding out for tonight. Either way it will be a good game as it's the first interleague play (Phillies) for the Sox. Does that mean John Lackey will be batting? No seriously, I am embarrassed to admit that I am not sure about this.

*Thank you, Candice, for reading the blog even if it is about the Sox
and for being one of my biggest fans.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baseball Girl's Night

My friend Anna came over last night to watch the game and work on her yummy blog.* She has a life, and not a baby & baseball life; of course I needed to hear all about it. She arrived just after the game started, so I easily fell into my old pinkhat way of chatting through the game.

Before I knew it, it was the bottom of the fourth. Ortiz SLID into third base, and I missed it. Luckily, the hit was reviewed, providing ample airtime for replays. The ball actually bounced off the top of the Monster- homerun!

 I made sure I was keeping an eye and ear on the TV for the rest of the game, even when our conversation got juicy- on her end of course.  What am I going to talk about? OMG, the baby drank seven bottles yesterday?

I was feeling pretty bad about not turning my full attention to the Sox, but then it hit me. As a pinkhat, I would occasionally be so engrossed in everything other than baseball, that I would clap for the wrong team.** But there I was last night having a conversation and completely following what was happening in the game.

I even tuned out Anna a few times when the Sox had something going… I used to get so mad at my husband for doing that to me.

Maybe this bluehat thing won’t be so bad.

*, although I don't suggest visiting if you are hungry or have a sweet-tooth.

** Please don’t hate me. It was really embarrassing when it happened and now I am working to prevent it from ever happening again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Drinking Lemonade

Is this what it means to be a sports analyst? Don't worry, this little blog isn't going to my head. It's just ironic that after one of my more opinionated posts, the Sox do everything in their power to prove me (haha) wrong.

Darnell McDonald and Jeremy Hermida were clutch hitters last night, bringing about the rally that led the Sox to a 7-6 victory over the Yankees. Don't "git" anywhere guys. Sorry I said it. Although Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron should still consider coyboying up.

Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka and Catcher Victor Martinez met with Terry Francona and Pitching Coach John Farrell yesterday. It doesn't seem like Dice and V-mart will be paired up again anytime soon. I'd like to think Francona took my advice and is simply waiting for the All-Star break to drag these boys to the woods (for a ropes course and trust falls of course, although it's possible more homicidal thoughts have crossed Francona's mind in reference to Matsuzaka).

Jonathan Papelbon made for some scary Sox-watching again last night, but luckily he took my advice. Remember I said he should use his left? states "...his gloved left hand made the difference" regarding the catch that prevented the Yankees from tying up the game. Francona joked that he looked like John Belushi doing it, but so what?

Finally there is something weaker than a run prevention strategy... playing a game under protest. Kinda like threatening to smack your sister unless you got to play with the Mattel-brand Barbie, then telling on her for not sharing nicely (I've still got some beef to work through with my sisters).

Josh Beckett's back was clearly acting up. He allowed Robinson Cano a two run double, and Farrell came out to the mound and signaled for reliever Manny DelCarmen without speaking with the Umpire first. Relievers are only allowed eight warm-up pitches, but the Sox were treating this as an injury.

Joe Giardia is upholding his protest. I bet he would have dropped it had the Yankees won, even though he claimed to be concerned that a precedent would be set.

Now the question is how I should use my new-found power. If I write about how much the Sox suck, how they could be wavering around .500 all season, will they go on to win it all?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making Lemonade

You can learn something from every experience, good or bad.

Yup. Still trying to put a positive spin on the Sox. Maybe it's because I don't want Dave bugging me to turn that crap off anymore. Maybe it's because I'm not enough of a fan yet to justify being pissed off at the whole team. Whatever the reason, I've decided to learn something from the Sox's atrocious performances of late. Hey, I might soon be the only fan left in Sox Nation. Francona will turn to me for help picking up the pieces.

Here are some of the things I've learned could be going wrong:

1.Pitching. Jonathan Papelbon, the pitcher who promised he was working on varying his pitches, threw 19 pitches last night- all of them four seamed fastballs. Francona, the pitchers need to throw different pitches or the batters will know what to expect. Have righties throw a few with their left. Consider investing in some of those tennis ball slingers I've seen used at dog parks.

2. Pitching again. Daisuke Matsuzaka almost admitted he needed to take Victor Martinez's suggested pitches more instead of shaking him off. Seems like a trust issue to me. Francona, bring the whole team to the woods for a ropes course and trust fall exercises.

3. Yoohoo, Ellsbury, Cameron, where are you? There were four balls hit to the outfield that Jeremy Hermida and Darnell McDonald should have caught, but I don't remember their names on the original roster. What happened to the motto cowboy up? Francona, tell Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron to "git" back on the field.

4. Run Prevention. a) What the hell is that? and b) Why does everyone know that's your strategy? Isn't this comparable to jumping in a boxing ring and announcing you will only be blocking punches to your
face? Maybe this is why the Yankees don't put a shift on David Ortiz... they figure so what? the Sox are focused on run prevention so we don't need to field every ball perfectly. Francona, call a press conference ASAP, today, right now.

Say only this, "Forget (or some other word that starts with F) run prevention. Yankees, we're coming back tonight to whoop your ass."

See, learning something from a bad experience?*

*Note to self: stay on topic next time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What a Year!

"What a year to watch the Sox."

I heard this at least twenty times this weekend alone. People can't help but say it when they learn about my self-inflicted commitment to watch or listen to every Sox game during an "off year". 

I understand where they are coming from. I stayed up until 11:30pm last night watching the Sox turn a 6-1 lead over the Detroit Tigers in the fifth into a 7-6 loss in the twelfth. Today the score is 6-1 Tigers in the seventh. When most fans flip stations (or just throw the remote at the television), I sit here and watch the train wreck.

Friday night provided a glimmer of hope. Slumper David Ortiz hit a three-run homerun* in the first and another homerun in the fourth.** It seemed as good a sign as any that the Sox's luck would turn.

And then there was Saturday's game. And Sunday's game. And a two-game series starting tomorrow against the Yankees. 

Which brings me to another glimmer of hope. Another sign that the Sox's luck could turn around.

On May 12th last year, the Yankees were 15-17. And they went on to win the World Series (hear me out, I'm making a point not switching teams).  The Sox are now 19-19. As Ortiz pointed out, angrily, after Friday's game, "It’s not over after April. It’s over after October.’’

See, there is still hope. 

I think I would be getting similar comments if the Sox were kicking a$% every game. Instead of an "off year" it would be a "blow-out." What I am most enjoying about baseball is the comeback. And the personalities of the players. When the team is a winning machine, you don't get to enjoy either of these. 

Ortiz showing signs of a comeback AND talking to the media. I'd say it is a year to watch the Sox

*Dave would just like to say "I told you so."
**Ortiz's 36th multi-homerun game in his career.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ask Me No Questions

Dave worked late tonight, so I did my first solo walk with our iPhone and speaker stroller set-up. I got the usual smiles from Sox fans and grumbles from those out for a peaceful evening walk.

Thank God I didn't get any questions.

I have been so focused on learning the lingo... and I'm not even doing that well. My friend just told me I called a bag a plate in a previous post.  Apparently the two terms are not interchangeable (thanks, Kevin). It's totally obvious because of how they look, and I should have learned it when I was six (thanks, Dave).

Anyway, I have been so focused on learning the lingo that I have been slacking on reading about general baseball going-ons. For example, I totally missed A-Rod stomping Dallas Braden's pitching mound, then Braden pitching a perfect game, then Braden's grandmother telling A-Rod to "stick it".

Luckily it was my friends, and not strangers on the bikepath assuming I'm a Soxpert, that asked the following:
1. Who are the Sox playing tonight? (asked at 6:45pm, and met with a blank stare from me)
2. Did you know Detroit hammered the Yankees? (because the answer to question 1 was the Tigers)

I hate to admit it, but another reason I have been less baseballaware is the local library. I went there for a children's sing-a-long with the baby and returned with a stack of chick lit. I guess I have been missing my trashy TV, and the novels seemed like a nice substitute.

I guess I have to go back to reading the Globe sports section on my morning train ride and on the way home.

But give me a week to get back on the track before you ask me anymore questions.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blogging at Bedtime

I'm writing this in my pajamas with teeth brushed and face washed. I made it into the bedroom and even under the covers without posting.  My eyes just wouldn't stay shut knowing I was neglecting my baseball-blogging duties.

I listened to the game on the radio today- the Sox rallied in the ninth when Adrian Beltre hit an RBI single, but ended up losing it 3-2 to the Blue Jays. I planned to post about it after the baby went to sleep, but my husband and I started in on some serious discussions about a job offer he received. Let's just say the night got away from me. 

So instead of posing an intriguing question and answering it with ground-breaking research (like I normally do), I decided to take the easy way out. My mom-in-law is a huge Yankee fan, but very supportive of this effort. She gave me "365 Oddball Days in Boston Red Sox History" a while ago. I decided to open it to today's date and hope whatever occurred on May 12th however many years ago was something I wanted to write about.

Odd(ball)y enough given the family topic du jour, May 12th and May 13th both involved employment issues. Center fielder Dom DiMaggio retired from baseball on this date in 1953. DiMaggio was the starting center fielder for the Sox for twelve years, minus three years in the service. In 1953 he was replaced by 23-year-old Tom Umphlett. I guess DiMaggio decided the Sox could kiss his a#@ if they wanted him to sit on the bench and let some kid play his position.

Quite the opposite happened on May 13th. September 26, 1954, was supposed to be Ted Williams' last game. He even hit a home run to commemorate it. On May 9, 1955, his divorce to wife Doris was finalized. On May 11, 1955, he reached a financial settlement with her. And on May 13, 1955, he signed a new contract with the Red Sox.* Was William's telling his wife to kiss his a&% by making sure the contract was excluded from the settlement?

Unfortunately this does not clarify anything about my husband's employment decision, but it is an interesting coincidence, don't you think?

*He didn't retire again until 1960.

Monday, May 10, 2010


It's 8:21pm and the Red Sox are up in the bottom of the second. There was a five minute intermission while the umps reviewed a Toronto Blue Jays hit off the Monster that was eventually deemed a double, plus a pitching change, but that still puts us on target for the game to end around midnight.

Sometimes, when the games are really dragging, I find myself making up fun ways to change the game a little. Not permanently... just an occasional Wacky Wednesday or  Far-out Friday deviation from the normal rules.

Here are some examples...
1. What if, instead of teams rotating between batting and fielding, one team was up at bat for nine innings straight and then the next team took the plate? Think about it- some games would take half the time. 0-0 after the first nine innings with a lead-off homerun...

2. What if the batters could choose which direction to run the bases. Once they got on base they would have to continue in that direction of course. I'm not sure if all the batters that followed would have to run in the same direction. It might be more fun if they didn't.

3. What if baserunners could catch fly balls or passes. Maybe they would throw the ball into the stands or stick it down their pants so the fielders couldn't snatch it back and tag them out.

Okay, I should really focus on learning the real rules of baseball. I'll get back to that tomorrow.

Unless the Sox decide to make it Totally Tubular Tuesday.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Don't worry. Dave gave me a Mother's Day present. No fighting at our house.

But everywhere else I turn, the theme is fight night. It started with the Bruins vs. the Philaelphia Flyers game on Friday. Dave tried to convince me that hockey is basically soccer on ice (okay, that turned into a little fight). I made the point that there are no walls to slam the opposition into in soccer. And if there were, you would get a red card, not just a time out.**

Friday night also sparked the inevitable Red Sox-Yankee "you think they're gonna fight?" conversation. Pitcher Josh Beckett hit two Yankee players (Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter) and buzzed another (Francisco Cervelli) in the sixth. He also hit Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, so lets just say he made a few mistakes.

The Yankees didn't see it that way. Retaliation came in the third inning on Saturday. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia drilled Dustin Pedroia with a fastball in the fourth.

 Then the game went to rain delay in the fifth. We were celebrating my aunt's birthday with my extended family and sat down to eat during the delay. Talk around the table was surprise that the benches hadn't yet cleared and speculation about when they would clear.***

Unfortunately the Sox got embarrassed before they could get rowdy.

In honor of Mother's Day, the players on both teams are wearing pink wristbands, and some are using pink bats- this is my kind of night.  No way there will be a fight tonight.

Which reminds me. Researching the rivalry for the last post, I read about quite a few on-field fights. Other than mommy saying no fighting, what are the rules about fighting in baseball?

*Beautiful earrings and a framed picture of my daughter for my office.
**Does the ref tell you to ruminate on what you did like Supernanny does?
***That led to an interesting reveal by my uncle about my grandfather. Turns out he and his brother used to be boxers. They would make $2 a fight (or a night... not quite sure).

Friday, May 7, 2010


The Red Sox have some catching up to do. This is the 2,768th meeting of the BoSox and Yankees, and the Yanks are up 1,119-934-14. (You thought I was going to bring up the Yankee's season-opening series sweep, didn't you. Hey, I'm a pinkhat, but I'm not stupid.)

This, the most noted sports rivalry of all time,* has been going on since April 26, 1901, before Boston was called the "Red Sox". Interestingly, it was before the Yankees were called the Yankees. They
were the Orioles and were located in Baltimore, not New York.

The first major incident between the teams occurred in 1903- a fist fight after one of Yankee's (at the time named the Highlanders) batters ran into Sox pitcher George Winter. The Sox went on to win the
game and the first World Series. (Thought I'd include those details to win back some Sox fans after the first paragraph.)

The rivalry built as the two Northeast teams continued to face eachother. But what sealed the hatred, what still drives Sox and Yankee fans to get ejected from stadiums, happened off the field. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to New York. The Bambino had set the homerun record in Boston and continued to rock statiticians' worlds in New York. The Yankees actually made it to the
World Series for the first time, but Ruth got hurt and the Yankees lost. (Do you love me again Boston Bluehats?)

And so it continues... more fighting on the field and in the tunnels underneath the stands. Sox left-fielder Theodore Williams (Teddy Ballgame) bats .406 for the 1941 season but the American League MVP
goes to Joe DiMaggio, who had a 56-game hitting streak. More fighting... Like really brutal fighting. Plus a period of time, a pretty long, pretty sad period of time, where the Yanks were getting
it done at the end of the season.

Fast forward to 1999- only because I was there to witness it. Red Sox pitcher turned Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens faced Pedro Martinez in game 3 of the ALCS. Fans had a field day when Clemens was pulled in the third and the Sox won the game 13-1. The game was most memorable for me because my mother scrambled for a ball tossed up from the bullpen with a bunch of young children and came up with the ball (and some bruises).

More fighting- between the Red Sox and the Yankees, not my mother and
the children.

2004. Who can forget Curt Schilling's bloody-sock and the Red Sox coming back to win the American League title after being down three games?

Not going to talk about the massacre.

2007. Red Sox win the World Series again, but no brawls to report. In fact, the Sox-Yankee war has become more of a vocal one, following the release of the Mitchell report and other steroid allegations, and some highly publicized remarks by both teams ownership and management. And now it's 2010. It's still early in the season. Plenty of time for controversy still. And plenty of time to chip away at that all-time standing.

Come on, Sox.

*According to wikipedia, which just happens to be the source of all
the other facts and superlatives in this post.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Every night I sit down to watch the game thinking, "I'd better get to those dust bunnies before Vivi starts crawling and gets to them first." 

Cleaning, along with cooking wholesome dinners, exercising, and other not-as-virtuous activities, are a thing of the past. I'm a baseball watcher now, but couldn't I at least tackle the TV room?

I keep my eyes on the tube and dust the trim with a burp cloth. It's the second inning, no outs, and J.D. Drew singles. I scrape something sticky off the ground with the edge of a pacifier. Adrian Beltre is up next, and he gets on base too. 

I decide what I really need is a broom and some bleach. Plus some rubber gloves to get at what is either uneaten baby sweet potato or baby...

I round up my cleaning materials and rush back to the TV. What happened? It's the third inning, the Angels are at bat, and the score is still 0-4.

I boot up the laptop (cleaning abandoned at this point) and bring up the Boston Globe Extra Bases blog, which describes each inning. Here's how it describes the third: "Sox are an LOB-machine tonight.... Four LOBs over two frames."

Um, what? A quick google search reveals that LOB stands for "left on base" and is an official statistic indicating the number of batters stranded on base at the end of an inning. I guess LOB-machine is not a rockin' label to be assigned.

"Over two frames" is a little harder to discern. There is quite the selection of bat and ball picture frames - just google "baseball" and "frame" if you would like to purchase one.  There are also instructions on how to frame a baseball, which seemed like a weird thing to do. Luckily, it turns out that framing the baseball means convincing the umpire that a pitch is in the strike zone.

Still not the frame I'm looking for. Dave's at the game so I can't even ask him. I'm starting to think that a frame is an inning. That would mean that four LOBs over two frames would be four runners left on base in the first and second innings. Can anyone confirm?

Now that I solved that (possibly) I'm going to focus on the game again. It's 11-6 in the sixth, and this is an exciting game. The cleaning can wait until later.

Or October.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Actually it was quite eventful...

Did I say the game wasn't eventful last night?*

Jon Lester pitched through the eighth. In a season marked by starting pitchers not living up to the hype, and a bullpen paraded out to the mound every game, this is an event in itself.

Plus Lester held the Los Angeles Angels to one earned run, five hits, and two walks... Angel's Erwin Santana didn't pitch half-bad either, but I'm watching the Sox here, not the Angels.

Bottom of the eighth, Jeremy Hermida hit a double towards the Monster with bases loaded, and all three runners scored.

Pitcher Jonathan Papelbon came in for the ninth (non-save situation, pinkhats look back a few posts). Don't you love the phrase 1-2-3 inning? It's so descriptive.

Speaking of the "eventfulness" of the game, I want to say thanks to the guys occupying the seats in front of us. The convo was entertaining when we were eavesdropping, and even more so after we joined in. I'd mention the details here, but I think it really deserves it's own post. (Let's just say if anyone has insider tips on getting into the escort business, these dudes would kindly like to pass the info on to their friend.)

*Technically I wrote that my sister said it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Sister

My sister Danielle just pointed out it's been a pretty uneventful game
so far, although we did just get a piece of the beachball. We bought
some bleacher seats on a whim- Section 43, Row 50, really the best
seats in the park.

Luckily we haven't been kicked out of our renegade seats. And it
hasn't rained yet.

Guess where I am?

Warning Track

Picture yourself walking out of a play put on by actors with really bad Shakespearean accents. You didn't understand what was happening on stage, but you're hopeful "the experience" provided a little contact culture.

That's me every night watching the game.

I know I'm supposed to be noticing plays developing and anticipating which pitches will come next. Instead I'm chipping away at my nail polish and letting the innings all blend together. Whoops, someone just hit a homerun and the score jumped up three runs... how did those other runners get on base?

Slowly though, I'm starting to notice things I've always let waft around me as part of "the experience." Take for instance, the warning track.

I don't know when I decided the warning track was above my level of baseball comprehension. It's such a simple concept- the warning track is the area between the field and the wall, usually filled in with dirt. It's purpose is to warn fielders that they are nearing the wall as they run to make a catch with their eyes on the ball.

Dave caught himself mid-smirk when I made the proclamation last night that it was time to figure out the warning track. But really, think about how it is used, and follow my husbands lead (c'mon, I know you're smirking* too). It's more than just another location on the field. Shot out to..., caught in the..., running towards the....

Okay, I get it. It is just a location on the field. I guess it's just going to take more experience to make this more than just an experience.

Now we're all confused.

*Maybe this will stop the smirking. The term warning track started in the old Yankee Stadium. The Yanks set up an actual running track around the field for the players to work out on.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It Wasn't All Bad

After a weekend marked by Orioles wins (and a water boil order), at least I can say It wasn't all bad.

Yes, the Red Sox were swept by the Baltimore Orioles, the team that WAS considered to be the worst team in baseball. And yes, I did have to watch every minute of it.

But, for the first time this season, I started to feel like a fan.

Reason 7,854 why I historically have not watched sports with my husband is the number of calls he receives during a game. When the Sox (or the Celts, or the Bruins, or the Pats) make an amazing play, other fans calls Dave to talk about it. When the Sox are really sucking, fans of other teams call him to talk smack about it.*

I got my first smack talk calls and texts** this weekend. Like I said, it wasn't all bad.

*You know the team is really, really sucking when Dave doesn't answer the phone.

**I will acknowledge that the Orioles scored a few runs (hard not to cede that point), but that is where the "respect" stops, Anna. Go Sox!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Walk It Off

I watched tonight's game from my friend C.J.'s house in Connecticut. He's a decent guy, so he probably caught up on the blog before I arrived. How else would he have remembered my promise to learn about walk-off wins after Darnell McDonald's opening night?

Since I promised, and since tonight's game wouldn't be much fun to write about, this one's for you Ceej.

Some background... during the last inning of the game, if the team batting second is ahead, the game is over after the top of the inning. If the game is tied or the team batting second is behind, the game is over after the winning run(s) are scored.

On April 20th, against the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox were tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth (thanks to a homerun in the eighth, also by McDonald). McDonald hit the ball off the Green Monster, bringing in the runner to win 7-6.

McDonald's hit has been known as a "game-winning" RBI since the beginning of baseball. It's only been a "walk-off win " since the 1990s/early 2000s.

The term was first made known by a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle in an article about Oakland reliever Dennis Eckersley in 1988. I guess Eckersley had his own way of describing things, including game-winning hits.

At first the term was used to describe the dejected way a pitcher that allowed a game winning hit walked off the mound. Over time "walk-off win" evolved to depict the way the runner celebrated while he walked (really jogged) over homeplate.

Okay C.J., happy? Other readers, if you opened this post guessing it would be about the Red Sox walking off the now two losses to the Baltimore Orioles... that too.