Red Sox-Yankees: Opening Night, Live and Uncensored

 

The feeling is mutual, kid.

Red Sox-Yankees opening night baseball. Dust off your refresh button. Updates every… time I think of something. Or if you’re getting here late, read from the bottom up.

11:54 My sophomoric thoughts as Bo-Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon struts to the mound with Flogging Molly or some other crappy Irish music blaring over the PA system: “Is this the season the New York Post busts out the ‘Pap Smear’ headline after a crucial early October blown save?” One more out to go. 9-7, Sox with a Yankee on first and two outs. This game started mercilessly around 8:15… I need a quicker hobby. UPDATE: bel-TRE throws out Granderson for the final out… Boston Day over. Happy variable operationalization, America.

11:43 As the Sox extend the lead to 9-7 on a Pedroia single to right, I have a couple Easter-church-service observations to get off my chest: 1) I don’t need an usher to take me to my seat when the building’s half full. You’re not fooling anybody, Creekside. Empty is empty whether you have two Wal-Mart greeters breathing down my neck or not. 2) The projector guy has to be quicker on the trigger switching song lyrics… You hear that collective mumble during the first 5 words of every new verse? Yeah, that’s because everybody’s waiting for the next slide. Otherwise, pretty stellar Sunday.

11:31 As I was saying, before Bard finished the inning, he showed why he makes diehards so jittery: namely, he has the accuracy of a point oh two Donte Stallworth and the control of a rabid kindergartner. The Sox get out of the inning unscathed after a 4-pitch walk, but sphincter tightening could be a common 8th inning occurrence for Boston fans come late August.

11:24 Sox reliever Daniel Bard enters the eighth to a chorus of bloviatorial fawning – he’s had the third fasted average fastball for all relievers last year, he’s the second coming of Stud Setup Guy X, he struck out 63 in 49 IP last year, etcetera, etcetera. And while something moved in Bill Simmons pants and an older than God Neil Diamond prepped for “Sweet Caroline”… Hold up a sec. I have Neil Diamond chills. SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!

11:10 Matching Orel Hershiser’s Nostradamus tendencies one line at a time, John Miller offers the following as middle relief stiff Damaso Marte enters for the Yanks in the (*I can’t believe it’s still the*) bottom of the seventh: “Marte’s numbers terrible last year.” Marte promptly issues a wild pitch that moves a Sock to third and a shouldabeen wild pitch that ricochets off Posada’s glove. 8-7, Sox, as Joba The Hut puts out the fire – the fire being Adrian bel-TRE.

11:00 The MLB: Where Amazing Happens… After 6 Plus Excruciating Innings of Joe Morgan. A still-Smirfly Dustin Pedroia parks a ball into the Monster seats off of reliever Chan Ho Park. Knotted at 7. Given Park’s big 2010 NY stage, he could very well rival Byung-Hyun Kim for Most Meaningful On-Mound Nervous Breakdown By An Asian-Born Pitcher. This has to be a top-10 story line.

10:49 “Your bullpen comes in to wet the bed,” says a prophetic Orel Hershiser moments before geriatric Steven Tyler craps himself during a strained rendition of “God Bless America.” The great thing about the Aerosmith legend: his daughter. She’s 1) not Liv 2) smoking hot and 3) just turned 21. Happy birthday, Chelsea.

10:45 The Yankees can credit my temporary leave of absence for their 2 runs courtesy of A-Rod, Cano and “Hip Hip!” Jorge. In case you’re curious, I spent the last 15 minutes crafting an email to the museum curator I’m hoping to interview tomorrow. We’ll talk about finger painting, Monet, and SC. And I know, you’re not curious. 7-5, Yanks.

10:29 Youkilis shoots a 3-1 pitch into right field, Swisher runs right by it, and the Sox cut the lead to 5-4 with a stand-up triple that would have been an inside-the-parker if not for the animal growing on Youker’s chin. That’s gotta slow you down. Girardi yanks Sabathia after 5+ IP, 6 H, 4 ER. ESPN cameras again find a drunken Mike Leach hollering along the dugout railing. If you’re watching, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Also, Adrian bel-TRE, not Beltre, lines a single up the middle. 5-5 

10:23 John Miller after Victor Martinez yanks a double down the left field line: “And the Red Sox are back in business.” No outs, runners on second and third, 5-2 Yanks and CC is sucking wind (between hot dogs). It’s a good thing, because I really needed an excuse to forego operationalizing variables for another 2 hours. Baseball: The National Time Waster.

10:20 John Miller during a laughably awkward discussion of nicknames: “You don’t have a nickname.” Orel Hershiser: “Well with a first name like Orel…” Robbie: “Did Orel Hershiser just make a dirty joke?”

10:13 Question for any Bud Light exec that happens to stumble across our site: Have the guys that make the Bud Light commercials ever actually tried Bud Light? And if so, how do they sleep at night? Also, El Capitan – aka “Jeet,” according to John Miller – is 2 for 4 with an RBI. To early to predict .400?  

10:04 Sabathia through 4+: 4 hits, 2 runs… The problem with live blogging? See below.

9:59 In all of my clowning around, I would be remiss not to mention that pushing-300-pounder CC Sabathia has held Boston to just three hits through 4+. Get used to this, Sox fans. The Kool-Aid doesn’t taste nearly as good when you consider a 3-4-5 of Martinez, Youkilis and the Memory of David Ortiz. Start praying the pitching’s as good as you think it is, and expect a lot of 3-2 games.

9:56 The 66, but still sharp as a tack Joe Morgan refers to Red Sox manager Terry Francona as…

Tito, not Terry.

In his defense, this came right after a barrage of excellent commentary, featuring, “It’s hard to hit when your head is moving.”

9:40 In honor of A-Rod’s weak infield fly and JD Drew’s held-him-to-a-single, one-handed snag off a Cano wall ricochet in right, I’d like to present without further ado, THE FIVE ENCOUNTERS OF RODRIGUEZ

1) The first time I met A-Rod was at a driving range in Coral Gables. My dad walked up, told him that his son (me) went to Westminster High, too, talked about Eddie Murray, yada-yada-yada. He was well tanned. Kind of a dick, though.

2) He walks into my yearbook classroom sophomore year to promote his annual charity basketball game. This was before he signed his first $250 million contract and subsequently severed all ties with the school. Several hypodermic needles fell from his pockets. We should have been suspicious, but were momentarily blinded by his neon green Augusta National shirt. He was well tanned. Kind of a dick, though.

3) Saw him at the driving range again. Nothing further to report other than his inflated 12 handicap listed outside the gym door. Closer to an 18. Still tan. Still a dick.

4) He walked into this local dive in South Miami called the Bagel Emporium, but only after the back half of the restaurant had been cleared out for his juicer entourage. No Madonna sighting, unfortunately.

5) Same place. Bagel Emporium. Though this time, my Dad memorably asks of the half-million dollar Maybach out front, “Are we sure it’s his?” Yeah, Pops, we’re sure. But just in case, my Mom just as memorably points out, “It says ‘A-Rod’ on the tag.” No Kate Hudson sighting, unfortunately.

9:34 Here’s a little NBA talk for my own personal edification brought to you in part by Lopsided Baseball Games Are Really Boring. The Spurs throttled L.A. today and are now 5-1 in their last six, including wins against the Magic, Celtics, Cavs and Rockets. They’ve clinched a playoff spot and the only loss in that stretch came against the Nets on a fluky back-to-backer. Manu’s March/April splits: 22-6, 37-5. Watch your back, PK. 

9:29 Breaking news in to SC…. This tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays will unveil their new rally-monkey-like opening day slogan to correspond with the blockbuster past weekend of “Clash of the Titans.” Rays PA guy: “RELEASE THE QUENTON MCCRACKEN!”

9:28 Center fielder Brett Gardner just capped off an at-bat that would make Paul Molitor proud. First and third with two outs and he works Beckett for eight pitches before lining a single to left center. Jeter follows with another single. 4-1, Yankees, as South Florida fans use every last scrap of evidence convincing themselves that forfeiting 2 great years of Sub-30 Beckett was totally worth Hanley Ramirez (*whispers* and it was). Also, Victor Martinez just fell for the double steal. Big Vic will be seeing plenty of time at first this season. 5-1, Yanks. 

9:13 As Robbie Cano pokes a double off the Monster, camera’s fixated on LeBron James and Dr. Dre mingling in a decked out skybox. Between the East Coast-West Coast rapper beef and Jay-Z’s minority ownership of the Nets, I’m pretty sure Mikhail Prokhorov just took an AK-47 to his 60-inch plasma. Also, you know what time it is…

Gratuitous King.

8:59 A big I-got-nothing-better-to-say shoutout to reader Britt Perkins, who mentioned us on her blog today, but forgot to link the site. Baby steps, Brittany. She also told me a story about one, I shi* you not, “La-A,” who’s name she came across on Last Night Texts (which she was totally surfing at work). A pronunciation? Thanks for asking. La-DASH-uh. Seriously. Great work, Brittany.

8:55 Steve Phillips will not be making any appearances in the ESPN booth tonight, but you can catch him over at AOL Fanhouse. Big Papi’s thoughts: “How the mighty have fallen.”

8:53 John Miller on David Ortiz’s limp roller to first base: “A productive out!” This about the slugger in the 5-hole. How the mighty have fallen… Youkilis goes from 2nd to 3rd on Papi’s at bat. Beltre drives Youker in despite a “spectacular catch” in center by Granderson. I believe Bill Simmons once called this move the “Deltha O’Neal Shuffle.” Different sport, but you get the concept – make a dreadful misread, hustle to catch up, make the product look more difficult than it needed to be.

8:42 Kevin Youkilis just shot one into the gap in honor of Jesus… Oh wait. He’s Jewish. Nevermind. Youker’s ’09 OPS: .961, but he played only 136 games. Youker’s SCWOPS: .807. This has legs, people. 

8:30 Random notes… Jorge Posada and Curtis “Ultimate Clubhouse Guy” Granderson both teed off on Josh Beckett in the last 2 minutes. 2-0, Yanks. Joe Morgan, who’s been in pro baseball since 1963, says that he did not know that the foul pole in the short porch in right field was called “Pesky’s Pole.” There’s a reason for firejoemorgan.com. Also, as you know, Donovan McNabb has been traded to conference rival Washington, automatically jettisoning the former Eagle into 2010 Eff You Mode. As a Cowboys fan, this does not please me. Nice job, Andy Reid.

8:25 Baseball-Almanac.com lists 2005 CC Sabathia at 6’7″, 250 pounds. MLB.com lists ’10 Sabathia at 6’7″, 290 pounds. Here’s what you don’t know: The Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” program is actually based on CC’s post-game spread exploits.

8:17 Sox legend Pedro Martinez throws out the first pitch. Shaq gets the start for the Yanks. Weird night.

8:12 Nick Johnson would totally benefit from SCWOPS, aka Sports Casualties Weighted On-Base Plus Slugging. Formula: OPS x (games played/team games). Johnson rocks a respectable OPS, but it’s deceptive because he’s always hurt. Is this stat full-proof? Consider this – Johnson’s ’09 OPS = .831; SCWOPS = .682

In a word, yes. Somebody get John Hollinger on the phone.

8:04 As Jack-O of B.S. Report fame would point out: this game is indeed being played in Fenway instead of the home of the defending world champions. Captive Catholic audience in front of their TVs for Easter, anyone? ESPN’s been playing up “Boston Day” for a week now – Cavs at Celtics followed by Yanks at Sox. Some people call it shameless marketing. I call it “synergy.” Nice work, World Wide Leader.

– Robbie

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