Friday, July 31, 2009

We Love You Papi Papi Papi !!!! (click this title to link to the story)

In light of the most recent allegation that Big Papi is included on "The List" - the list from 2003 of players that tested positive for performance enhancing drugs (the same list that A-Rod and 102 others appear on) - I've been up since 2 am researching steroids and the MLB list of banned substances. I will admit that until now I have consciously remained ignorant to the whole subject - I guess accepting it as part of the "Era", an attitude shared by many.

Yes, I shared thoughts about Hall of Fame induction for "dopers". I still stand by those thoughts. But, now that the allegations have hit so close to home, I feel I owe it to Big Papi, the Sox, all of MLB and myself to garner a better understanding on the subject and it's implications on our national past-time now and in the future... I may even blog educatedly for a change !!!! Here's where I'm at....

The "List"..... in 2003 ALL baseball players were tested as a SURVEY to determine if drug testing was required. The test was supposed to be anonymous, for statistical purposes only with each specimen numbered only as it wasn't illegal to "juice" at that point. Apparently the list was created to match the sample numbers with a name. If greater than 5% tested positive, a drug policy would be (and was as results were around 7% positive) introduced. After the survey the list was supposed to be destroyed - obviously it wasn't.

Thanks to the whole Mitchell Report (ANOTHER 89 names ???) and Balco investigation, the "List" ended up in the hands of the Federal Government to be used to question those included on it in an effort to track down the main distributors. The List is SUPPOSED TO BE SEALED !!! and only used to get the names of "users" so they could question them - apparently that isn't true either. AND, it is against FEDERAL LAW to leak information from a sealed file - especially during an on-going investigation !!!

That's it in a nutshell, but this new revelation also spawned curiosity in me as to what steroids and or PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and other substances are banned substances - especially since ManRam tested positive for fertility hormones earlier this year - YES, using anabolic steroids can cause impotence so......

What I find "funny" is what names are being leaked and that they are leaked at all. Consider A-Rod.... he publicly announced on "60 minutes" that he never "juiced". Then his name is "leaked". Papi publicly stated during Spring Training this year that anyone found guilty should be suspended for the season. Now he and Manny are tied to the list... and Manny served the suspension for testing positive in May. So, is Manny's name being leaked to show that he's been juicing for at least the past 6 years ??? AND, these names are leaked the day before the trading deadline..... HMMMMMMMMM. Maybe it's an ongoing plan to discredit the big sluggers of our time.... but, remember the pitchers are "juicing" too... Clemens, Petite, etc......

So, I actually found, printed and read the MLB "Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program". Wading through all the legal and scientific jargon and in conjunction with Wikipedia, I was astonished at the number and types of "substances" that are banned - well over 100 substances, although some are accepted in low levels. Included on the banned list are...
1)DRUGS OF ABUSE - marijuana, cocaine, heroin etc - we all know them..uh, have heard of them
2) ANABOLIC STEROIDS - Testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) are included on this list of 45 substances
3) ADDENDUM B - an additional list of several dozen substances - 99% of which I can't even pronounce the name of, let alone what they are or do... but I intend to research each and every one of them out of curiosity and fairness.
Wikipedia also includes a list of 30 "Stimulants" that are banned.. in researching several of these, they refer to anti-depressants and appetite suppressants. This list includes Ephedra, an herbal supplement (containing Pseudoephedrine - uh, Sudafed)- probably due to an FDA ban on the sale of Ephedra-containing dietary supplements due to side-effects. These "discoveries" have made it necessary to myself to research and catalog each and every "substance" on these lists in order to "know it all". I'll be a professional pharmacist when I'm done !!!!

One substance I didn't see named (YET) officially is Createin - although Wiki says that this is what Sammy Sosa (and McGwire) was "busted" for. I have a BIT of knowledge about Createin. I know it's legal as I buy it at WalMart for my son. He uses it as a supplement in his training for muscle development. I imagine they consider it an HGH ???? - but it is sold over the counter - MUCH research is needed !!!!

So now what ?!?!?! Papi "refused" to comment until he has the full understanding of what he's being accused of - GOOD MAN !!! And he seemed somewhat surprised that his name is on the list. In reading his book, "Big Papi", he doesn't really seem like the type that would do ANYTHING illegal (although it wasn't illegal in 2003), at least knowingly. There are rumors that in the Dominican, "trainers" feed their developing prospects "supplemental" shakes.... does anyone know what are in these???? And Papi was most certainly in his homeland prior to the 2003 season having been cut from the Twins after 2002....

This new allegation will NOT change how I feel about David Ortiz. I will still wear my Papi shirt with the utmost pride and give him a standing ovation whenever he steps to the plate. Papi (and Manny) brought 2 world series championships into our lives.. I will always be grateful for that. I disagree with Tony Masserati that these allegations tarnish the championships (uh, the pitchers were juicing too, remember???).. At least for this die-hard fan !!!!

I wish Papi well in his effort to clear all this up. I know whatever the situation is/was he will be straight up... I mean look, A-Rod and Petite admitted it and it is going away... Rocket continues to deny it and it continues to tarnish his career.

As I eagerly await the truth about these allegations, I will continue to research this for my own (and anyone that cares to read) edification. I NEED TO KNOW NOW !!!! I wish MLB would seek and injunction to have the entire list "exposed" so we can all deal with this once and for all and move on, instead of our national pass-time taking hits at the whim of someone with sinister intentions.....

And I will ALWAYS continue to support Big Papi !!!!! Oh, and THANKS for that big fly yesterday, Big guy. YOU ROCK !!!!!

-Nuf Ced
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sox Recap - game from July 28, 2009

Hail, Hail the gang's all here !!! or Fried Rice

In a pre-game ceremony at the Fens last night, the Boston Red Sox retired Jim Rice's familiar number 14. In attendance, lining the 1st baseline, were Rice's family, Hall of Famers Eck and Pudge, and other former team-mates and coaches including Dewey and Freddy. 90 bazillion year old Johnny Pesky unveiled the "14" on the right field facade (I hope they gave him a closer seat after !!!), Jim Ed threw out the first pitch (VERY high and outside big guy) and his grand kids got the game under way shouting "Play Ball !!!" It was a very well put together ceremony from a classy organization. And Jim's speech was 100 million times better than the one he delivered in Cooperstown !!!!

Although our Bombers banged out 14 hits and scored 8 runs (AGAIN)..... THEY GAVE UP 21 HITS AND 9 RUNS (BULLPEN!!!!!) - AND committed 3 errors - Nick Green had 2 and our "thief" had the other!!!!!!! At least Jacoby made up for it at the plate and on the bases (nabbing #45 - 10 to go !!!!!!!!) but GREENIE, what have YOU done for me lately ????? Nuf Ced

Bucky (Clay Buchholz) wasn't a shining star, but he turned in 5-2/3 innings of 2-run, 9 hit ball, giving our boys a better than average chance to win with a 5-2 lead.... DA DA DA DA !!!! Enter the bullpen !!!!!!!! My thoughts are well-documented here..... the BULLpen looked more like PIGpen, with Paps being the Kingpin (or "pig" as it were) !!! Nuf Ced

Jigman entered the contest with a "lofty" 7-4 lead - I'm sure the Fenway Faithful figured it was in the bag (I know I did - well kinda, you know I'm not as impressed with Paps as I used to be). But it was Papelbon (and inevitably, the Sox) that got bagged as the All Star closer blew that 3-run lead (with a little help from his "friend" - GREENIE !!!!) sending the game to extra frames.

JD (more later) NEARLY saved the day in the 10th, sending a rocket (not Clemens) to the base of the right field wall but it was caught by the A's.

Enter Sandman(ny) (uh, Metallica anyone?) Delcarmen. Our resident Belly-itcher (you should listen to you Kid Nation manager more guy) was pinned with the loss ALTHOUGH... it was Takashi (NERD) Saito that allowed Manny's inherited runner (and ultimate winning run) to score. And I can't put all the blame on Delcarmen... TITO, Manny shouldn't be throwing 34 pitches ANYWAY !!!!!!! Nuf Ced

On the brighter side.... the bats were on fire !!! - too bad DEFENSE (and pitching !!!) wins championships... right Coach Belichek ?!?!?!

Leading the offensive attack were Youk (he's BAAAAAAAAAACK !!) and JD (wow, when's the last time you could say THAT???) with 3 hits each including 3 doubles between them. Jacoby (this kid really makes things happen out there - Meatloaf?), Mikey (his hip well-rested) and George "Kat" Kottaras (spelling a banged up Captain Tek) had 2 each - Mikey and Kat rounding out the 5 double attack.

Despite the potent offensive attack, there was no joy in Mudville as the "mighty" bullpen "struck out"(proving to be impotent once again) ... Nuf Ced

Penny (NOT DeCAF) takes the "pill" tonight!!!!!!!!!... WORRIED !!!!!!!!!!

Once again, it's been real, it's been fun.... and it really has been a lot of fun !!!!


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Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame....
The recent Baseball Hall of Fame inductions have spawned at least 2 controversies, and probably more !!!!

First.... Hank Aaron announced that he supports the induction of [juiced] players into the Hall, but with an asterisk. With all due respect Mr Aaron.... "WTF?!?!?!" What exactly would the "legend" of said asterisk be ???? uh..... "* CHEATER" ?!?! "* FRAUD" ?!?! "* GENETICALLY ENHANCED" ?!?!
Certainly, I have no idea what the committee will do but here's some random thoughts on the subject (and I really don't know which side of the fence I'm on here, YET!!)
"Convicted" performance enhancers...... what kind of UN-enhanced numbers would these "athletes" have put up if not on the juice? Would they be worthy of Cooperstown? Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmeiro, Bonds, "Manny", A-Roid, Clemens etc.... ALL "worthy" of induction based on the numbers, BUT would inducting these "padded" performers not be an insult to those already enshrined that didn't cheat? I don't see how they can be in the same "league". Would it not be lowering the standards of baseball's Shrine? (especially when these performers have put up better numbers than those already inducted.....) Do you delete their numbers for the period(s) that they were known to be on "enhancers"? Do they still qualify as Hall of Famers???
And what about all of the borderline candidates that didn't cheat but would certainly have had "worthy" numbers if they had? Is it fair to them? Would it not be punishing them for playing fair? Wouldn't it be teaching young athletes that cheaters DO indeed "win"?
And do we know how many "stars" of today ARE actually on the juice?
OR, would said asterisk actually immortalize non-steroid players to a new height (if that's possible)???? I'm leaning toward my idea of a Hall of "SHAME" !!!! There are so many implications now because of those damn steroid users - Nuf Ced

Charlie Hustle.... Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that he MAY lift the ban (for betting on baseball) on Pete Rose and make him eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, albeit well after the 15 year period in which the writers would have made the decision (it would now be up to the veteran's committee) DO IT !!!!!!!!!
I may be a bit naive here and not know all the facts (although i HAVE started reading "Collision At Home Plate" - thanks DeCAF !!!) but as I understand it now, Pete Rose admitted to betting ON the Reds but never against them (so it isn't like he would compromise his team - he would try harder !!!!)
Come on, Pete Rose was the epitome of TRUE Grit... AND DIDN'T JUICE !!!!!!!! His numbers are amazing and 100% TRUE !!!! He's a "first ballot inductee" if there ever was one. As a player, could there be a better role model for our youth??? Rose always gave 1000% !!!! Hard nose, gritty, never say die !!!! Or would you prefer to teach or youth to cheat to win?
Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. He won't be the first inductee that led a reckless lifestyle... are there not proven raging alcoholics and "womanizers" already enshrined ?? Those are great role models too right??? Nuf Ced

Brett Favre.... FRIGGING RETIRE and go away already, will you?!?! I have absolutely NO respect left for this baby of a "man". Even my DIE-HARD Favre and Packer fan sister can't stand him anymore !!!
Had he stayed retired 3 times ago, then yes, he was truly one of the greatest football players of all time. Oh WAIT !!!!!!!!! He's a proven drug addict !!! I've lost respect for him due to his antics over the past few years - doing whatever he needed to do to be sure HE stayed in the spotlight !!!! GROW UP BRETT - and please go away !!! Nuf Ced
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Gardening 105 - or 3-headed monsters

So I'm out in the garden the other day... doing what all gardeners do - drinking beer and catching some rays !!!! Anyway, after inspecting the crops and tying up the tomato "TREES" (they are approaching 6 ft tall!!! - I'm glad I opted for the 36" tomato cages rather than the 54" version - NOT !!!!). So, my attention shifted to the row of sunflowers (8 in all) that reside in southern most "Oregon" (remember the garden is shaped like California).

For some reason, despite all the rain, slugs, ants and wild bamboo, these bad boys seem to be doing quite well. The "tall boy" (not a beer reference) is over 9 feet tall at the "head", (with a stem - uh, TRUNK.... over an inch in diameter) with the rest of them ranging between 6-1/2 feet and that. So, I'm thinking they're doing good considering that the variety, according to the seed pack, averages 7-8 feet - although I've never grown them or seen them from closer than a speeding car window.

Anyway, as I am flicking ants and picking slugs off these "wonders" of nature, I stand on a milk crate to try to examine the head of my tall guy (the 9 footer - it's a daily routine). All of a sudden..."What the ?!?!?!?! !!!!!!!! While bending the trunk down to get a closer look, I almost fell off the crate !!! (too many tall boys?) This bad boy actually has 3 heads growing !! (remember I'm a sunflower virgin). There is the main head that is about to bloom and 2 additional (mini) heads in the "crotches" of the uppermost leaves. And low and behold, his buddy next to him has 3 heads too !!!!!!!!!!

So now I'm thinking I'm really cool and have grown something pretty special. Like any red blooded American..... I Googled !!! to gain a better understanding of what I have.... Well, anyone that has grown, or even Googled, sunflowers before knows that I was grossly disappointed at my findings...

Apparently, 9 foot 3-headed monsters are quite common. In fact, the "official" record for height is over 25 feet tall (geez, I'd need an extension ladder to inspect THAT one !!) with unofficial reports of 40 foot tall specimens. And get this !!!!!! The OFFICIAL record for number of heads on a "single" sunflower is................... eight frigging hundred and thirty frigging SEVEN !!!! 837 ?!?!?!?! Holy sunflower seeds Batman !!!! [insert "cheeky" innuendo here]

So my "Fluffy" (Harry Potter reference) may not be special, but his "bark" is worse than his "bite".

-Nuf Ced
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sox Recap - game from July 27, 2009

Beckett Bounces back behind Bombers' Bats

The Red Sox bats returned last night (obviously the bats took a longer All Star break than the rest of the team), hopefully marking a sign of things to come and not a flash in the pan. The Sox pounded out 14 hits in an 8-3 win over the Nomar-less As...

Beckett pitched 7+ innings (pitched to 1 batter in the 8th giving up a triple) giving up 2... well ok, officially 3 runs.... on 8 hits and punching out 10 !!! "Danny Boy" Bard took over for the 8th giving up 1 hit and punching out 2. Whew, this kid really has some gas !!!

Well, you know, Bard features "EASY" cheese and "HIGH hair" consistently reaching triple digits on the gun. He also offers a slurve (slider/curve) that he throws in the upper 80s... hmm, Wake's fastball is mid 70's.
This kid is rapidly "earning his keep" and pitching in more critical situations and could/SHOULD be an important piece in Boston's future puzzle. I wonder what this kid would be like if he pulled the string (change-up) once in awhile....hmmmmmm, starter? JOHN !?!?!?! (pitching coach John Farrell) Nuf Ced

Manny (NOT a belly-itcher) Delcarmen mopped up with an uneventful 9th inning, preserving Beckett's league-leading 12th victory. Hmmmm, Cy Young anyone ?????

Ah the bats....... Everyone in the line-up banged out at least one base hit. Jacoby led the way with 3 hits, including a triple - can this kid run???? Reminds me of the Comcast commercial... NO, not the Bill the turtle ones... the one with the "genetically modified rabbit/panther thingy".. those with Comcast will know.. for those who don't.. here it is.... ... Ok, kid.... you've got a nickname too... "Thingy"

Pedey had 2 hits including a 1st inning "jack" over the monster and a sac fly. (remember the prediction). Here's a NEW one... Pedey and Jacoby will BOTH collect over 200 hits this season.... providing they stay healthy !!!! Nuf Ced

Newly acquired Adam La "Cucaracha" continued to infest his new home banging out 2 doubles as Mikey Lowell sat out his 2nd game in a row... What a great pick up this was THEO !!!!!! Mikey could find himself fighting for playing time in the future (prediction????)

Slumping JD had 2 hits and JBay even chipped in with a hit and 2 walks helping the cause. And Jed Lowrie!!! Off to a slow start since his return, this poor mountaineer SMASHED a ground rule double to left field with the bases loaded driving in 2 runs... OK OK OK... in the words of Eck... he hit a "quail" !!! Hopefully that blooper will help him start hitting less like "Granny"... No offense Jed, you know I'm a BIG fan.... Nuf Ced

July 28, 2009..... Jim Rice night at the Fens !!!! Precluding tonight's battle with the A's, the Boston Red Sox will retire #14, last worn by newly inducted Hall of Fame member, Jim Rice. In an effort TO re-iterate, this ceremony has also been long over-due and a night that the Sox have been waiting for 20 years to arrive - remember no one has worn the number since Jim retired.

Clay Buchholz toes the rubber for the our boys... uh guys, it would be pretty embarrassing to lose on a night like tonight !!! Nuf Ced

As always, it's been real... it's been fun... and it really has been alot of fun !!!

-Nuf Ced

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

James Edward Rice

Shipping up to Cooperstown

"Big Jim", "Jim Ed", "Jimmy"..... it doesn't matter how you to refer to Jim Rice....


Anyone that knew me growing up, knows I've personally been waiting for this day for 20 years. To a young Red Sox fan growing up in the 70's and 80's, Jim Rice was THE MAN !!! My room was plastered with posters, magazine covers and pictures of my childhood idol. I even kept a scrapbook and scored many of the games while watching them on TV. And I often "fought" with my sister who was a Fred Lynn fan. Jim Rice is probably the main reason why I am the die-hard fan that I am today.

Jim could do it all as a player and to me he could do no wrong....

He hit for power..... 382 career home runs ..... No, not the most ever but from 1975-85 he hit 330 dingers - the most in the American League for that time period. You do the math if Jim could have played 20 or more healthy seasons - that's a lot of taters !!! I remember hearing a report early in Jim's career in which Hank Aaron - THE home run king - said that if anyone could break his record, Jim Rice could. And Jim's career 162-game avg for RBI is 113.... Hammering Hank's ???? 113.... hmmmmm
He hit for average..... .298 career batting average ..... Not the best average ever but he hit over .300 7 times and had more than 200 hits 4 times. But Jim played when he was hurt (much like ManRam - NOT !!) which most likely affected his overall batting average. His career 162-game average for hits is 190 (Pete Rose's is 194) - imagine 20 or more healthy seasons...
He could run the bases..... Although built like a fullback (I'm SURE he was bigger than the 6'2" and 205 ponds he was listed at), he ran like a halfback... Grossly over-looked is the fact that early in Jim's career, he was a "triple machine" hitting 15 3-baggers 2 years in a row. It seemed like he was always hitting triples or home runs... the major components for reaching 406 total bases in 1978 - his MVP year. He even nabbed 10 bags 1 year.
He could play the outfield..... Also over-looked is that Jim Rice was no slouch defensively and worked harder on his fielding than he did on his batting. His career fielding percentage is .980.... not that far off from the left fielder he replaced....Yaz's percentage is .982 as a left fielder.... and better than Teddy Ballgame (.974) whom Yaz replaced.... continuing the history of Hall of Fame Red Sox left fielders that played their entire careers donning a Red Sox uniform.

Jim Rice was the most feared hitter in baseball for over a decade. Whereas many players like Big Papi have "shifts" deployed against them - infielders shifting to the right side of the infield, the "Rice shift" as demonstrated by the Royals was to play with 4 outfielders - like a softball team. I remember Jim even being INTENTIONALLY walked with the bases loaded !!! The reason???? It was much better to give up only 1 run instead of 4 !!!! Plus, I will never forget watching a game in which Jim Rice broke his bat on a check swing !!!! And Jim Ed did all this WITHOUT the use of performance enhancing substances !!!!

I've "met" Jim Rice a few times in my life - of course he would never remember that !!! But my biggest Jim Rice thrill is a day I will never forget... it was mid-summer in 1978 - I was 12. The local golf course had a celebrity golf "tournament". There were stars from all sports there... Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Bobby Orr, Dwight Stones (Olympic High Jumper)... even "Killer" Kowalski WWWF superstar) etc etc etc... and of course Jim Rice !!!!
Amidst hall of famers from all of the sporting worlds I had no choice but to walk the golf course following Jim Rice !!! I was in heaven walking 18 holes with my idol. I got to see the personal side of this larger than life icon of mine. I also learned that all the reports that Jim Rice wasn't friendly were 100% FALSE !!!! He just didn't like reporters !!! Actually he didn't like reporters asking him to talk about his teammates - an "everyone has his own voice" mentality - and that was grossly misinterpreted by the press (as is everything in life).
Anyway, after walking most of the course in awe and literally speechless (I was a shy kid), I was running out of time to actually say something to Jim. I finally "ballsed up" and meekly asked if he thought he would hit 40 home runs that season (40 being somewhat of a benchmark in the non-steroid era) as he had hit 39 the year before. His answer confirmed as to why this man was my idol and was the perfect response to a chubby 12-yr old kid with visions of grandeur. To sum his response Jim told me (and everyone else within earshot), "Personal numbers don't mean anything if the team doesn't win. If I hit 40 home runs but the Sox lose, then it doesn't matter." WOW, talk about selfless !!! ... and a great attitude to teach kids.

I could go on forever. I may not be Jim Rice's biggest fan but other than his family I bet I am.
On the day of Jim Rice's induction ceremony into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I'm as proud as a new daddy for my childhood idol.... someone that came second only to my own dad. I lament that I can't be there to see it in person... but I'll be setting the DVR and watching it on the big screen.
Way to go Jim Ed... it was a long time coming but well worth the wait.... I KNEW this day would come !!
And I knew this Tuesday would come too as the Red Sox finally retire #14 and display it where it belongs.... in right field with #1 (Bobby Doerr), #4 (Joe Cronin), #6 (Johnny Pesky), #8 (Yaz), #9 (Teddy Ballgame), #27 (Pudge) and #42 (Jackie Robinson). I give the Red Sox a lot of credit as they obviously have been waiting for this day to come for 20 years so that they could retire #14... no need to wonder why NO ONE has worn Jim's #14 since his retirement in 1989....

Nuf Ced
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sox Recap - 18 July - 24 July

July 24th - A Penny saved is a win earned !!

Obviously it's been a dismal start to the 2nd half of the season - a 1-5 road-trip that saw our boys "vault" into second place, 2 games behind the EVIL Steinbrenner Empire. The pitching staff had held it's own with a 4.23 ERA over that span. But the "Bombers" bats turned out to be toothpicks, hitting under .200 over the same timeframe. NOT the way to win ball games guys !!!! Nuf Ced

FINALLY the boys returned to friendly Fenway last night on the brink of disaster. In a HUGE start for the team (and himself) Brad Penny took the hill in an effort to extinguish the team's longest losing streak ever (well ok, not EVER - but it has felt like it).

The Sox starter had the shine of a Bra(n)d new Penny !! Penny pitched a powerful 6-1/3 frames, giving up 1 run on only 5 hits - with NO walks and 4 Ks. It's "funny" tho, the fewer strikeouts that Brad has, the better he pitches... HMMMMMMMM. But did I see the "gun" register 99 mph ???? Now THAT's "MOSS" baby !!!!!!!!!!! Nuf Ced

I'd like to see Brad make it through a complete 7 innings but Melvin Mora's 12 pitch (ETERNAL) at-bat surely was a big reason it didn't happen last night. But the "pen" did it's job with Manny (no, NOT ManRam) Delcarmen and "Ut Oh" Oki pitching 1-2/3 innings of "no-no" ball.

BUT PAPS !!!!! You're gonna make me gray kid (too late) !!!!!!! Jigman "decided" it would be better to load the bases and THEN start to actually pitch..... and remember my thoughts here. WHEW !!!! Thank God he was able to bear down and strike out the final 2 batters to earn his 25th save !!!

Offensively, the Bombers didn't set the Fens on fire. But Pedey and Jacoby had 2 hits each with Papi, JBay, Cpt Tek, Mikey and even JD Drew chipping in with timely hits. Yes, even JD showed signs of snapping his streak (0-24), squaring up a couple of fa(s)tballs, one of which found it's way to the gap in left. That's it JD - go with the pitch man !!!! Nuf Ced

Ah Jacoby and Pedey.... never NUF CED about these kids. What a 1-2 punch !!! (remember the '07 post season???) As mentioned, each had another 2 hits and have been the most consistent bats over the last week. And the thief snatched another bag !!! And they continue to do it in the field too - each turning in highlight reel defensive plays AGAIN last night - Jacoby with that diving catch to end the 3rd (and save runs) and Pedey... ah Pedey... how the hell do you make those plays when the ball is already past you ?!?!?! Way to go "big" guy !!! Can you believe they list this kid at 5'9" and 180 pounds ???? Nuf Ced

I'm still on the Fens about Jacoby in the lead-off spot though - although it seems to work well. But I did like Tito's thought of putting Ellsbury's consistent stick in the 7-spot in an effort to boost the bottom of the batting order. Think about it.... you're only a LEAD-off hitter once a game, right? Obviously, with Drew and the crew's slumping ways of late, Tito needed to mix things up a bit. PREDICTION ????? Nah !!!!!!!!!!!! But look more more "shaking up" in the near future... Nuf Ced

Mark Kotsay finds himself as the odd man out, being "designated for assignment" (apparently a polite way of saying "you're fired" !!!!) after they picked up JBay's buddy, Adam LaRoche, from the Pirates (and for "peanuts", at that). "La La" (you know I name EVERYONE) is a hard-hitting lefty first baseman - and only 29 years old. Good move THEO !!!!!!!! This guy's a 30(homer)/100(rbi) bat waiting to happen (uh, oh yeah, he had 32 dingers in 2006) and should add some punch to the line-up spelling Youk at 1st... or possibly even Papi at DH. Hmmmm, it would be nice to have La La's bat in the line-up on a daily basis...... something to think about... GREAT MOVE THEO !!! Nuf Ced

Johnny Lester toes the rubber tonight in an effort to bounce back from his last outing and continue the boys' winning "streak" !!!!!

As always, it's been real, it's been fun.... And it really has been a lot of fun!

I will close with a prediction... I predict I will post multiple blogs today so come early and come often. I absolutely MUST write about Jim Ed on the day before his induction (into the Hall of Fame) - and 3 days before the Sox retire his number !!!!! Ever wonder why NO ONE has donned number 14 since Jim Rice retired???? The Sox have been planning this for 20 years - NOW is the time.... what class !!! I bet Big Jim cries.... I bet I do too !!!!


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mighty Mouse - or "Friends, Romans, countrymen...... LEND ME YOUR EAR!!"

Here I come to save the day !!!!!!!

So Mom visited for the weekend - in from Wisconsin. Although this visit caused pre-arrival hustle and bustle (AS ALWAYS - need no criticism, RIGHT?) to be sure the house is "acceptable", it's always "nice" to have her visit (you know what I mean). Actually having her here motivated and gave me a reason to dig the rest of my daughter's bedroom set out of the basement - where the dampness was affecting the particle board - gotta "love" THAT !!!!!!!!

Anyway, opting not to sleep on my daughter's somewhat "broken" futon (I have NO idea what she does to that thing - yeah right !!!), mom "attempted" to sleep on the couch (she doesn't like to intrude). After 2 nights of sleeping on the couch, Mom's back was too sore to continue. The "die was cast".... OUT with the futon, IN with the bed (and dresser).... again, multiple motivations here !!!!

While CJS (son - and proven Cracker Jack Stealer) and his friend were lugging the furniture up from the basement (they're a lot younger than I am), my attention focused to the ceiling fan in the room which has never worked since we moved in last December. Obviously July is good time of year to have the fan operational so I starting flicking switches and spinning the blades by hand in a futile attempt to get the fan to work.

While the blades were spinning, I noticed "dust balls" falling from inside the fan - uh, inside the motor housing to be exact. Upon inspection of said dust balls, I realized that they look more like nesting material (remember the Mickey and Minnie post). AHHHHHH, maybe THAT is why the fan doesn't work....

Deciding it would be better to at least clear out as much of the nest as I can for now, I started to pull out as much of it as I could reach. I got to this one part of the "nest" that wouldn't come out with an easy tug, so I tugged a bit harder. OMG, when it still wouldn't come loose, I realized that it wasn't part of a nest at all. No indeed, this piece was actually a dead mouse's ear sticking down between the "housing" and the motor (a gap of less than half an inch) !!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOEEE !!!!! Step back !!!!

As the decaying mouse stench (if you've smelled it, you KNOW what I mean - "good" thing I have a FEW times in my life - NOT!!), steadily wafted through the room, I knew I must get that guy out of there. Rather than immediately dismantle the fan to do so, I did the smart thing - I grabbed a pair of pliers, clamped on to any part I could (uh, the ear is the only thing accessible) and tried to pull this dead mouse through that 1/2" gap.... BAD MOVE !!!!!!!!!!

After tugging enough to completely wedge the mouse carcass inside the fan, the grip of the pliers "slipped" off of the dead thing's ear.... WRONG !!!! IT RIPPED THE EAR OF THAT DEAD THING'S HEAD !!!!! So now I stood there with a dead mouse jammed up in my fan and the mouse's ear jammed in the jaws of my pliers. Obviously Mom was totally grossed out at this point - and I was on the verge also (NOT really but had to make HER feel better - actually I laughed)... I think she would have jumped up on the bed in "fear" but that would have put her closer to the mouse !!!!!

Needless to say, I then had to totally dismantle the fan to get that [bugger] out of there. As every cloud has a silver lining, I needed to remove the fan anyway to fix it - or figure out why it doesn't work at least. And I needed to get that furniture out of the basement. So, missions accomplished !!!!!!!

Y'all come back mom, YA (h)EAR !!!!!!!!

-Nuf Ced
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sox Recap - game from July 18, 2009

ROOKIES !!!!!!

Tito apparently forgot that "binky" yesterday as I suggested as the "Bombers" bats are once again silenced by a pitcher just out of diapers !!!!! This is becoming as glaringly painful as a broken record as the Sox were boy-handled by Toronto starter, Marc [long Polish name]. TITO, PLEASE listen to me !!!!!! Nuf Ced

Brad Penny toed the rubber (and possibly his Sox "career" - more in a bit) and was bested by a "boy wonder" in an outing in which Penny struggled consistantly with his "spots" giving up all 6 of Toronto's runs on 8 hits in just 5 innings of work.

Having "cruised" through the first 3 frames, Penny seemed to be on his way to ANOTHER quality start until the Jays jumped on him for 3 runs in the 4th and another 2 in the 5th, all but sealing the victory and sending Brad to the clubhouse for a "powder".

On a bright note.... Penny's failing effectiveness did NOT allow our "trusty" bullpen to blow another lead as Toronto had a 6-1 lead upon Penny's departure. Too bad Kevin Millar couldn't have batted 27 times (still love ya cowboy - even more when you K 3 times!!!!)
Quite the opposite was true as apparently the "pen" took advantage of the week off and came back well rested, pitching in with 3 innings of "No-No" ball. Still a bit worried but that's 2 games in a row that the bullpen has been up to par. Nuf Ced

Another bright note saw the return of Jed Lowrie (uh, Beavis???) although apparently Jed is a bit rusty... maybe he needs some "black gold" to take care of that rust... or "Texas tea"...

Anyway Beavis... When Mikey calls for a pop-up, LET HIM CATCH IT !!!!! You looked more like JETHRO (Bodine) on that play !!!!!! Too bad you don't look like Ellie May !!! Nuf Ced

In an effort to attone for that "Butt-Head" error, Jed went yard later in the game to make the final score 6-2... too bad "Beavis" couldn't have batted 27 times too, huh?

Ah JBay......... "Jason" continues to struggle at the dish, striking out ANOTHER 2 times. I'm going to start calling him J-K(rueger) if he doesn't snap out of this... Nuf Ced

Where has the resident purse snatcher (uh, Jacoby) been ???? Official report is that he's experiencing "intestinal turmoil"... Uh, is that a polite way to say he has the "runs"???? It CAN'T be Motezuma's Revenge as our thief is half Mexican.... HMMMM... I wonder if that is why.... NUF CED

Brad Penny - see "Sox Thoughts - 19 July, 2009"... Nuf Ced

Today could (SHOULD) be a classic !!!! Johnny Lester takes the hill for the Sox against Roy Halladay for the Bluebirds... HMMMMMMMMM, any implications here !?!?!?! Not sure but, Doc, you'll be in Theo's better graces if you let the Sox pummel you today !!!!!!! I can dream can't I????

But seriously, this "event" must be viewed in 57" Hi Def so you can find me in the "man cave" come first pitch at 1:07 .... 1:07 ???? Is that some sort of Canadian time??? ... Nuf Ced

It's been real, it's been fun... and it really has been a lot of fun....

-Nuf Ced

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Sox Thoughts - 19 July, 2009

"No deposit, no return" ???

The Beantown Bombers squared off against the Blue Jays Friday night to open the "2nd half" of the season. Clay Buchholz was brought up from AAA Pawtucket to make a "spot" start.
Mikey Lowell (on Friday) and Jed Lowrie (on Saturday) returned to the active roster.
OBVIOUSLY, I have things to say about these "situations".

Buccholz was brought up for the 1 start on Friday to "give Beckett and Wake additional rest after the All Star game" - a game in which neither pitched mind you.... Clay was magnificent, proving that he is ready for the "bigs" - giving up 1 run on 4 hits in 5-2/3 innings.... did Theo and the boys have "ulterior motives" for giving Clay this opportunity??? I have heard it said that with the trading deadline 2 weeks away, this start was to showcase Buchholz to the rest of the league (and to increase his value) in the hopes of using him as "trade bait". But what if he failed miserably in that start??? Would that have not been detrimental to that "plan". - Nuf Ced
As previously posted, it was "unusual" for the Sox to go with a 6-man rotation... Now, I will take that further... I "predicted" that Bulchholz will be called up in September and be in the rotation next year... I hold to those thoughts (at least until after July 31st - trading deadline) So, just MAYBE this one start for Clay was his chance to prove to the organization that he CAN and SHOULD be in the future plans of THIS team - they needed to see that NOW he is ready. (Brad Penny (previously predicted as 'on the fence' - may have sealed that "deal" yesterday) - Nuf Ced

Mikey (Lowell) returns to the line-up. WOO HOO !!!! As "feared", Aaron "psycho" Bates gets sent back down to Pawtucket. But "psycho" proved his worth in his 1-week stint in the bigs - to the Sox or someone else ?!?!?! You know my thoughts here and I HOPE that Theo and the boys don't start resorting to Sox "tactics" of old (particularly Dan Duquette) and trade away top prospects for "seasoned" veterans. "Home-grown 'tastes' better than store-bought", RIGHT ?!?!?!?! -Nuf Ced

"Come and listen to my story, 'bout a kid named Jed...." Lowrie, that is... JED LOWRIE RETURNS !!!!!!!!!

Ooops, wrong pic... let's try this.

BUT, if there's ever a Beavis and Butt-Head movie, Jed's got my vote to co-star !!!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, Jed's return couldn't have come at a better time. Adios Julio Lugo, the boy is back in town!!! Jed is a very important piece to the Red Sox championship puzzle. WHAT ?!?!?! You don't agree ??? We have (Nick) Greenie ???
Consider this, Jed is capable of quality play in at least 3 infield positions... SO WHAT ?!?!?! SOOOOOOOOOOOO, Mikey (Lowell) will need every 5th or 6th day off to rest the hip - uh, JED CAN PLAY 3rd... no longer the need to shift Youk over to 3rd !!! Hmmmm, maybe "Psycho" IS history.....
Pedey will CERTAINLY need a "spell" at 2nd on occasion - especially with Kelli in the hospital... HERE COMES JED !!!
Beavis (Lowrie) and Greenie will probably platoon at shortstop, with Jed picking up additional playing time around the "horn"... No worries Nick, we're not through with you yet !!!!!!!!!!!
I feel a bit bad for Lugo (NOT)... but I'm sure there's a team that wants a shortstop with as many errors as hits !! Nuf Ced

Obviously, with the trade deadline looming ANYTHING can happen. I would never pretend to have all (or ANY) of the answers and I put 100% trust in Theo Epstein - he has proven himself as one of the sharpest baseball minds since Day 1... AND HE'S STILL A KID !!!!!!!!!!

I know, I know, I know... You all want to see "Doc" Halladay in a Sox uniform.... only time will tell.
But, is that NOT the ULTIMATE display of "No Mas, No Mas" by the Blue Jays ???? How do you give up a Cy Young Award winning, perennial All Star pitcher - unless you can get an entire team for him!! There's GOT to be more to it and I'm sure the price will be HIGH. Nuf Ced

... It's official !!!! The Fens will host this year's NHL "Winter Classic" on New Year's Day.. CAN YOU SAY... PSYCHED !?!?!?!?! The Big Bad Bruins will be facing (off) against the Philly Flyers. DeCAF, wanna catch a hockey game ?!?!?!?!?

On a sad note.... Walter Kronkite has passed - Nuf Ced

As always, it's been real.... it's been fun. And it really has been a lot of fun....

"And that's the way it is" (Walter Kronkite)

-Nuf Ced
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gardening 104 - or Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

So, I'm out in the garden the other day... doing what all gardeners do... IGNORING all sense of life's responsibilities !!! ... Anyway, I am inspecting the sunflowers to see if they have started to bloom yet, "... When my eyes beheld an eerie sight.."... SO, I saw this little "monster" (see pic) crawling on the leaves. "...And suddenly to my surprise, he did the mash ." Well, he crawled around on the leaves at least. The "daddy long legs" wanted nothing to do with it. Actually I didn't either !!!!!!!!

Curiosity may have killed the cat (thank gawd), but I NEEDED to know what this thing was - so, I did what anyone would do... I "GOOGLED" (wow, that sounds dirty). Assuming it was some sort of beetle, I searched "beetle"... go figure!!! To my surprise and dismay, I go to this site.... uh,, I think. Not really but something like that... or "Acme Bug site dot com" (get it???), maybe it was.. Modern "mentality" makes me think that you can put ".com" after anything and there will be a site.. HMMMMMMMM !!!!

Anyway, I go to the site and WOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEE !!! Apparently "beetle" is practically synonymous with "insect" (bug). In scrolling the 120+ sub-categories for beetles, it appears that every bug known to man is classified as a beetle !!!!!! including ladybugs, fireflies etc etc etc. This saddened me a bit as I have never thought of beetles in a very positive light - I guess THAT changed my thought pattern.

So, I finally find "who" I think this little guy most resembles. Apparently, a "long-snouted acorn weevil" has visited my garden !!!!! Weevils wobble but they don't fall down !!!!
WHY ME !!!!!!!! According to the site, they eat nuts (rut roh, I may be in
personal danger here !!!) so what the heck is he doing on my sunflower - besides chasing away that daddy long legs.... In any event, I flicked him with my finger back into the woods where he belongs !!!

Garden now "safe" from this "monster" (actually the body was less that 1/2 an inch), a frightening thought crossed my skull.... MY MOM IS COMING TO VISIT IN LESS THAN 2 DAYS !!!!! just kidding... I had to chuckle to myself as I could hear her now... "Home-grown vegetables taste so much better than store-bought..." HA !!!!!!!! C'mon Ma, SOMEONE had to grow what we buy in the store, no? And I kinda like the added flavor of the insecticides industrial farmers use......
I don't know about tasting BETTER, but they sure taste CHEAPER!!!!

-Nuf Ced

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blunderdog - or "I don't wanna fix screens, I wanna be a Dentist" (EH, BLOGGER)

There's no need to fear......... !!!!!!!!!

So I have this Beagle... I'll call him... Snoopy (cuz that's his name - actually it's Snoop Dawg). Apparently, he's been named Scrappy and Sammy previously - I adopted him from the dog pound. Snooper will be 6 (42 for me and you) in September - and STILL only weighs 25 pounds !!! .... 25 pounds of sheer terror mind you.... or sheer terrified Beagle !!!! (more to follow)
It all started 2-1/2 years ago when I decided it was time to have a dog - after living the cat nightmare for years. So I scoured pet-finder ads and saw that the New London "pound" had a Staffordshire Terrier mix for adoption (I wanted a "man's" dog !!!) I drove my chariot to the pound and entered the "holding area". So, I part this canine sea of ferociousness to find the dog from the ad. It was a bit unnerving walking past all the teeth and drool as EVERY, well ALMOST every, dog there was trying to tear through there cages to get at me... man's best friends, my butt. They were like caged animals... oh wait, they WERE caged animals... Note to my "friends" at the pound... that's NOT how to act if you want to get out of the "slammer". Ever heard of "good behavior"??????
As I retreated to exit, feeling that my trip was a waste, I noticed this very small, VERY CALM Beagle sitting on his cot. I HAD to stop and at least say hi to this cute little thing. He had this Mona-Lisa expression and "puppy dog eyes", as if thinking, "You don't want any of these other ["idiots"], 'Take me home tonight'" (Eddie Money, anyone?)
So, I CAUTIOUSLY put my hand near the cage to see his reaction... half waiting for Cujo to explode out of this cute little guy too.... but nope !!!! He approached the cage, gave me a quick sniff and proceeded to lick my hand through the chain link - and secured himself a place in my heart. I WAS SOLD - or HAD!!!!

Although my "mission" was to adopt a larger dog, I settled up with Tanya, the tattooed, pierced, Harley riding Dog Warden of New London - nice as hell, but WHEEEEEEEW !!!!!!!! - and brought Snoopy (I ALREADY named him) to his new home.
A few things have become apparent over the last 2-1/2 years:
1) Beagles (or THIS one at least) are NOT sporting dogs !!! He epitomizes (probably COINED) the term, "It's a dog's life !!! Talk about lazy.... he'll sleep all day - actually HE DOES !!!! - well, except to eat (and do his "duty") and EVERY TIME I leave the room !!! I have trouble sitting sometimes cuz he's so far up there !!!! I'm SURE my butt is shaped like a Beagle..... tho I don't dare look !!!! Cling-on Warrior !!!!!!!!!! Wow, I wonder if he's scared of "my" ghost....
2)Although a Beagle, Snoopy is the world's worst "gun-dog" - he's PETrified of loud noises. No, I do not own a fire-arm, but thunderstorms, fireworks etc ???? if you're looking for Snoop, look under my desk - or up my butt !!!!
He has no fear of other dogs however.... ALWAYS trying to bite dogs 4 or 5 times his size. Uh, pick on "someone" your own size Snooper, it'll be less hazardous to your health !!! Small guy mentality at it's best... or small BRAIN !!!!!! The pound must have toughened him up...
3) Snoopy HATES screens.... you know, like screen doors and such. As mentioned in an earlier post, I was fixing my basement screen door the other day.... marking the SIXTH screen I have repaired over the last 2+ summers. The funny thing is, Snoopy doesn't go through the screens to get out - HE GOES THROUGH THEM TO GET IN !!!!!!!!! He truly isn't "right" !!!! Note to self... don't put the dog out and then fall asleep on the couch !!!! My bad.... Sorry, pupski !!!!
Oh, rest assured...Snoopy has a "routine" when he has to go out and no one is home... he shreds the rugs in front of the doors... and the door casing - high fiber diet !!!! Imagine the "damage" I could be repairing if I actually had adopted a "Cujo".........

Oh well, he has a few "quirks" but I wouldn't trade him for the world !!!! These quirks often make me wonder what his life was like prior to the adoption.... sad to think about it, but that's all over now BUDDY !!!!

Ha, wait until I tell Snoopy I blogged him !!!!!!!!
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Gardening 103 - or Casper? or Ants in your pants

So, I'm out in the garden yesterday, yeah yeah yeah, it's a daily thing !!! Anyway, I'm doing what all gardeners do - formulating a new blog, of course !!!! The weather is gorgeous so I decide to go topless - uh, I took off my shirt to "catch some rays" !!! I hung my t-shirt on my "trusty" rake (true gardener, here) that was leaning against a "beautiful" Japanese (red) Maple tree - that dang tree casts a shadow over southern "california" until after noon !!! If I owned this place, I'd be blogging about the Connecticut chainsaw "masacre" !!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I "hung" my shirt up rather than toss it on the ground so the ants wouldn't "investigate" it (important thought there - you'll see !!!)
"Moving" on, I was marveling at the success of my corn"field". "The corn is as high as an elephant's eye...." No wait, THAT's Oklahoma - my garden is named "california"... None the less, I have 2 dozen stalks and not ONE of them is in need of a hEARing aid already!!! So, I'm checking out the "situation" when it occurred to me that I'm going to have corn coming out my ears (and my butt, eventually, I imagine!!!) This could be an "interesting" summer !!!!
Ok, get to the point !!!!!!!! As I am scanning the "field", I hear quite a bit of rustling in the BAMBOO "ocean" which would actually be the Pacific (get it's location?). Thinking it may be Alvin and/or the boys (previous post) returning, I focus on scanning said "Pacific".
As I'm panning the "sea" WOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEE... I honestly believe I saw a ghost !!! In a brief flash through the corn, I "observed" a "human" torso in the "sea"... caucasian, assumingly male (didn't see a face but didn't see long hair, either), with a light blue shirt !!!!! WTF !?!?!?! Ok, once again gardening has startled me - I need a new hobby !!!!!! But then I'd have nothing to blog about, HA HA HA !!!!
After, several "minutes" of trying to re-see what I THINK I just saw, I decide that although it's only 10 am, I NEED A BEER !!!!!!!!!!!
I grab a brewski and decide perhaps gardening is over for now and procede to repair the basement screen door that "faithful" companion, Snoopy, decided he really didn't like anymore (future post !!!) In the meantime I have posted my ghostly "discovery" on [a social networking site]. Ha, I got a re-post by a "friend", I'll call her GG, that is apparently and expert on the paranormal.... Mrs. Dr. Venkman, I presume !!!! more on that in the future.
A bit of "history" is in need. I absolutely believe in ghosts and believe I have been followed by a ghost for many years - OFTEN hearing footsteps and noises, and disappearing/reappearing items (like keys and such). AND I was told by a "card reader" that the ghost I have been experiencing is actually the ghost of my deceased father !! C'mon pops, do some weeding then - SHEESH !!!!!!!!! (Thanks Maxi). Although dad was never much of a gardener.....
Screen door repaired (until the next time - and there WILL be a next time, trust me !!) I retreive my shirt and head to my computer to play Texas Hold 'Em, or BLOG, that is. As I am "blogging", I start to feel crawling on my body... Low and behold, I have SEVERAL ants climbing up me (good thing I hung the shirt up to avoid this, huh?). Apparently these ants are more fond of that maple than I am (and my Old Spice deodorent) and made the journey into the house with me.... good thing I didn't go bottomless !!!!!!!!!!

True to my life, this is all true !!!!!!

-Nuf Ced
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Sox Recap - game from July 12, 2009

Beckett makes his pitch to be American League STARter

What a glorious day at the Fens Sunday afternoon (the weather wasn't too shabby either) as Josh Beckett pitched a complete game 6-0 shutout over the Royals. In the finale of the unofficial first half of the season, Josh went the distance on the hill (NOT giving the "pen" ANY opportunity to deluster THIS gem) giving up only 3 hits and striking out 7 -- YES, 7 Kathryn Tappen, not 6, as you reported. Good thing you're so cute !!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH..... Nuf Ced

Anyway, the win gave Beckett his 100th career victory and tied him with TEAM-MATE Tim Wakefield for the AL lead with 11. The Sox are really reaching a lot of personal milestones this season, culminating in the ULTIMATE????
In a classic display of "gas", high "cheese" (with "moss" on it), "paint"ing and even an occasional "do drop in", Beckett single-armedly carried the Sox to victory in their last contest before the All Star break. Our boys now lead the AL EAST by THREE games !!! The Bronx Bummers lost ANOTHER game to the Angels - I wish the Yankers could only play the Sox and the Angels all year!! Nuf Ced

Offensively, the Sox bats continued to pick up the pace, banging out 10 hits (3 by "psycho" - more later) and showing a lot of patience at the plate - walking NINE times and getting hit by a pitch twice. Uh KC, you can NOT beat a little league team with "control" like that !!! Nuf Ced

"Psycho" (or was that Steve Lyons) Aaron Bates, led the way with 3 hits (2 doubles) and ALMOST went yard to dead central for the first time in his major league "career" - which is all of 5 games now !! Good thing Lars Anderson has been a bit "off" so far this season and the front office opted to call up Bates. Here's your chance "psycho" !!!!

With Mikey Lowell set to return after the "break" (and SOMEONE needing to be sent "down"), Bates has made a great argument for the Sox to keep him in the "bigs" for at least awhile. But, at the very least... See you in Septemeber "psycho" !!!!!!! Nuf Ced

Pedey chipped in with 2 hits, including ANOTHER double (#30) - this kid's a double MACHINE. Just think how many DINGERS he'd have if he was a bit bigger in stature !!! No worries, keep it up little guy - I'm sure you'll "double" your way to Cooperstown !! (Was THAT a prediction?!?!?!) Youk and Rocco (I LOVE that name) also has 2 hits each in key situations.

JBAY had an "interesting" day at the dish - apparently KC's pitchers are expecting Jason to "break out" (of his "slump") at any moment. JBay walked 3 times and was hit by pitches twice - they didn't even through him a strike until his 5th and final at bat of the game !!!! In an effort to make it 5-5 (on base) JBay harmlessly fouled off a couple of pitches before "taking one for the team" AGAIN - uh, or in the middle of his back, as it were. If ya can't beat um, hit um ??????

STOP !!!!! THIEF !!!!!!!!! Yup, Jacoby continued his crime spree, swiping his 40th purse (bag) !!! NO JACOBY, DO NOT STOP !!!! You're criming (or climbing) your way to a new Sox single season mark for burgularies. You go boy, I'm SURE you can outrun the "fuzz".

WHAT THE BUCH(holz) !?!?!?!? Yessirree, Clay Buchholz makes his (hopefully) triumphant return to the Sox' rotation. For those who don't remember (how could you EVER forget), Clay is the author of a major league no-hitter. He performed that feat in 2007 in one of his first big league starts. Nef Ced

In a somewhat "unusual" move, the team expands the pitching rotation to 6 for the 6-game road-trip that opens the 2nd "half" of the season. After pitching his way to a 7-2 (he lost yesterday) record with a 2.36 ERA at AAA Pawtucket, Buchholz gets the nod to open the 2nd half of the season against the Bluebirds on Friday night. Go get em Clay !!!!!!!!
This kid would be in any other rotation in the bigs - probably AT LEAST a 3rd or 4th starter. But, with the Sox loading up on pitching over the winter, Clay has spent the season down on the farm. Hang in there BUCHy, it's only a matter of time! PREDICTION TIME !!! Smoltzie won't be re-signed (having done his "job" and bringing the trophy back home), Penny (NOT you DeCAF) is a "pick 'em" and Diceman??? DA DA DA DA !!!! Clay Buchholz WILL be in the Sox' starting rotation next year !! He'll be up in September this year too !!!! Nuf Ced

On a more serious note, Dustin Pedroia has withdrawn his invitation to the All Star festivities. As previously reported, Pedey's wife, Kelli is pregnant with their first child (rut roh, a LITTLER little guy??? - perhaps an MVP will be born !!!). Kelli is due in August and was admitted to the hospital last week, where she remains. In a classic display ot Tito's (manager Terry Francona - or should it be Tito JUNIOR???) fatherly persona and "family comes first" mentality, Tito once again "advised" Pedey to be with his family. Are the Sox NOT the best organization in MLB ??? Nuf Ced

Bs-TOWN.... The Bruins... "Phil Kessel's my hero, Phil Kessel's my hero !!!" Although on the fence with THAT commercial, PLEASE SIGN HIM !!!!!!!! Wow, am I glad I needed to check the spelling of his name at the Bs website.... HAVE YOU SEEN THE ICE GIRLS ?!?!?!? Nuf Ced

"POLITICS"... Yes, you all know my political views !!! President Obama will be throwing out the first pitch at the All Star game - woo hoo !!! BUT, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't step into the booth to commentate !!!!!!!!!! Stick to "hoops" big guy, k?? Uh, and fixing the economy !!! Nuf Ced

Yes a "bit" lengthy. But, with the All Star break "looming" I am taking the opportunity to "rejuvenate"... or at least figure out the dang blog site !!!! No worries, I'm still formulating a blog about the UFC pay per view - I think I'll watch it again !!! After I "research" the Ice Girls, no doubt !!!
Posting may be sporadic this week, but hopefully will result in a new and improved version of my blog page... Plus I NEED to "cowboy up" ( I STILL love Millar) and start additional blogs to "report" on our other "hometown heroes" - the Cs, Bs and Pats - this WILL turn into a full-time "job", won't it ?!?!?!?!? AHHHHHHHH.... Nuf Ced

Home-run derby tonight - I wonder if Beckett will participate... remember that BIG fly against the Phillies ??????

As ALWAYS, it's been real, it's been fun... And it's REALLY been a lot of fun !!!

-Nuf Ced

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sox Recap - game from July 11, 2009

Another pitcher's duel at the Fens !!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOT!

YOUKER !!! YOUKER !!! He must be in the front rooooooooooow !!! Uh, that was Bob Uecker - but I personally have sat in Mr. Uecker's "special" seats - 1 row in front of the Ford sign in right field... check it out next time you visit the Fens - at least 20 rows BEHIND Ted Williams's famous red seat (the one marking the Splendid Splinter's 520 ft dinger) !!! LOL, I have also watched a game from BEHIND the ginormous scoreboard - any seat will do... Nuf Ced

Anyway, so why shout out for Youk twice, you ask???? Simple, once for each time the "Golden Greek" (I KNOW he isn't Greek but that was the big joke when he first came up) went yard in yesterday's slugfest at the Fens.... the second of which ended up where ???? You guessed it - in the FRONT ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW - on top of "Wally", that is - the green MONSTER, not the Green "Monster"... still with me??

So a game that should have been a total annihilation by the Beantown Bombers, turned into a pinball game with balls flying everywhere - the teams combined for 24 runs, 25 hits and FOUR miscues as the Sox bats outlasted the Royals 15-9.

15-9 !!!!! Wait, didn't John Smoltz pitch 5 innings and leave with a 9-1 lead ??? WTF ?!?!?! Can you say BULLPEN ?!?!?!?!? NUF CED !!!!!!

In yet another "fine" outing by the Boston relief crew, that HUUUUGE lead dwindled rapidly, allowing KC to eventually close the gap to 9-7. "Plop Plop, FIZZle, FIZZle"!!! I think Alka Selzter would have provided more relief here. Come to think of it, I believe I ran for the Tums !!!!
Once tauted as "The best bullpen in baseball"(obviously that JINXED them) the Sox "pen" will hopefully take full advantage of the break granted them by the upcoming All Star event - PLEASE?!?!?!? (except Paps of course - see ya in St Louie, Jigman!!!)
Seriously though, I expressed my concerns last week and the Sox "pen" has a 7.05 ERA over the last 7 contests.... giving up 9 hits and 8 runs in 4 innings yesterday alone !!! Hmmmm, perhaps it were I that did the jinxing !!!!

Thank goodness the Sox' bats were on fire (maple burns reeeeaaaallll good) making ANOTHER prediction come true and earning Smoltzie his first Sox VICTORY!!!! I TOLD you not to doubt !!!!! NOW, Smoltz can and will be the Hall of Famer that he is (did that make sense). Nuf Ced

Youk (twice) led the way as he, Captain Tek and Papi went yard - continuing to make predictions come true - maybe I WON'T stop making them !!!!! Also, Dustin had 2 hits including a double, vaulting him to the top of the league in that category (he's BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK !!) Youk had 3 hits, 4 rbi and scored 4 times - he's back too !!!!!!!!! And Jacoby's great work ethic ("whatever THAT is"...STILL love that commercial) continues to show as he nabbed another bag - number 39 !!!!

Once again JD earned his keep, gunning down that runner at home. Whew, I had to look twice thinking that Dewey (Sox right fielder of the past) had made a triumphant return !!!!!! Oh, but they gave Dewey's number to a "relief" pitcher - GIVE IT BACK Takashi !!!! Wait !!!! Takashi ???? Can you say "Revenge Of The Nerds" ?!?!? I love that movie, you can keep the shirt! Nuf Ced

JBay is really concerning me, but wait until after the break, gang (PREDICTION!!!!) See you at the mid-summer classic too !!!!
And whew !!!!!! Daniel Bard really has some gas !!!!!! (Uh, Eckism.... NOT, well you know... never mind) Nuf Ced

Not to be left out is Norman, I MEAN, AARON Bates.... as this "psycho" picked up his first major league hit (AND RBI too) in his only at bat, after replacing Mark Kotsay !!!

While the Beantown Bombers were "handling" the Royals, the Bronx Bummers were busy getting "spanked", giving the Sox a 2-game lead in the AL East, and assuring that our boys will be in first place AFTER the All Star break !!!! (AND at the end of the season !!!)

In closing.... PEDRO to make a return to the majors ?!?!?!?! He SURELY (NO, i didn't just call him Shirley) won't be making a return to the Sox.... SO PEDRO, "Who's your daddy" NOW !!!! Nuf Ced

As always, it's been real, it's been fun and it really has been a LOT of fun !!!!!!

-Nuf Ced

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

ALVIN !!!!!!!!!!!! or Gardening 102

So I'm out in my garden (I know, recurring theme..... but gardening is a full-time "hobby") doing what all gardeners do - getting a "farmer's tan"!!!! NOT, I was topless on this beautiful day. Anyway, as I am admiring my handy work, something becomes painfully obvious..... Alvin, Simon and Theodore admire my vegetable menagerie too !!!!!!!!!!! I KNEW I should have picked up that BB gun at that yard sale a couple of weeks ago !!!!!!
As I'm piddling (NO I do NOT pee in my garden - often, at least) Alvin "Jumps up on a hickory stump and says 'Boy, let me tell you what'"..... oops, Charlie Daniels flashbacks, sorry !!!!!!
"Seriously" though, I was securing some plants and FIGHTING THAT DANG BAMBOO.... although, contrary to my son's opinion that "our" wild bamboo isn't "real" bamboo... I sawed down a couple of stalks that I could make a Kendo Stick out of that would put a smile on Shane McMahon's (WWE owner-to-be) face !!!!
So, I'm out in the "back 40" (or 6' x 25') doing my "thing" when out of the blue... uh, GREEN underbrush, this "cute" little chipmunk scurries along the west border of California (my garden's unofficial handle due to it's shape). As I continue about my business of trying to ensure a successful crop, Alvin continues about his business trying to determine a point of entry to decimate said veggie menagerie !!!! or perhaps it was Simon or Theodore... or all 3 as this "scenario" repeated itself several times.... I wonder if the "mouse blocks" work on Alvin and the gang.....
At one point, faithful companion, Snoopy (my beagle) got all up in "arms" near the basement door - my assumption here was that Alvin tried to infultrate the home-stead. Holy crappers, not only do I need to "fight" Mickey and Minnie in the house, but Alvin and the Chipmunks too ?!?!?!? This place is a rodent nightmare !!!!!!!!! If these boys get inside the house, some serious heads are gonna roll - hopefully THERE'S !!!!!
Hmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder if I can swing a deal with these guys.... stay out of the garden and the house and we can all sing Christmas carols by the firepit !!!!!!!!!!!

NOTE... and FYI... yellow jackets LOVE beer.... So, if you're ever drinking beer outside and you take a swig and it feels like it's crawling down your throat... spit it the hell out !!!!!!!! Better to abuse an ounce of alcohol than get stung on the tongue by a yellow jacket.... I personally haven't been stung yet but have "spit" probably a dozen would-be pains in the neck (or throat) out in my life!!!!!!!!!!

I do NOT make this stuff up !!!!

-Nuf Ced

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Sox Recap - game from July 10, 2009

Lester is lights out, launching the Red Sox into the AL East lead !!!!!!!!!

For those of you new to my blog.... Wait, I am new to my blog !!!! this is my first attempt at blogging.... it's all downhill from here, right? DOUBT IT !!!!!!!!!

In a classic pitcher's duel at the Fens last night, Johnny Lester was a royal flush continuing his absolute domination over the Kansas City Royals... and on the league as of late.... hmmmmmm, who was it that he "NO HIT" ?!?!?!?! Nuf Ced
Although the Royals' Brian Bannister quieted our beloved Sox bats... Johnny Boy was equal to (or better than) the task.
With the score knotted at goose eggs into the 8th inning, PEDEY (did I NOT predict he is on the verge of carrying the team?!?!?) doubled hard off "Wally" (the green monster) scoring Aaron Bates (no relation to Norman, mind you - I don't think) for the only run of the game. Bates pinch ran for Mark Kotsay who had singled.
Wild Thing once again entered the game in the 9th with a chance to vault the Beantown Bombers into first place as the Bronx Bummers were busy losing.
Paps was lights out too !!!!!!!! Continuing to "listen" to my "suggestion" Paps featured high cheese (see ECKtionary) with plenty of "moss" and mowed down the Royals preserving the victory.
The Sox now lead the Yankers by one game and Lester's record improved to 8-6 (5-1 over his last 8 starts or so). Shouldn't he be heading to St Louis??????????? Nuf Ced
Johnny Boy struck out 8, bringing his season total to 131 Ks... he's surely going to break the Sox' all-time strike-out mark for a south paw (lefty). Paps picked up save number 23 on the season. Can you say 50 ?!?!?!?!?!
Jacoby continued breaking the law, stealing his 38th base of the season.... pretty much making last year's 50 thefts a distant memeory and bringing him 1 crime closer to Tommy Harper's Sox mark of 54 !!!!!!
John Smoltz takes the hill tonight for what WILL be his first victory in a Red Sox uniform (first of several, that is). You know me and my predictions !!!!!!!!! 1 out of 3 (decisions) will be GREAT here !!!!!!!! Nuf Ced

ECKtionary (abridged)
"BIG FLY".... a home run
"GOING BRIDGE"... "GOING YARD".... hitting a home run
"DEAD CENTRAL".... a home run to center field... as in, "Papi took that piece of "salad" (see below) to dead central"
"PUNCHOUT".... a strike out, commonly known as a "K"
"PIECE OF CHEESE"... a fast ball
"PIECE OF SALAD".... a seemingly easy pitch to hit.. aka, a meatball or watermelon
"HIGH CHEESE"... obviously, a high fastball
"HAIR"....extra "giddy-up" on a fast ball.... "That piece of cheese had some hair on it"
"PAINT"... to throw a pitch JUST over the corner of the plate (or just OFF the corner)..."Beckett can really paint"... Somehow in Eck's vocabulary, this is also a noun..."That pitch was paint"

New editions to the ECKtionary....
"Do Drop In" ... a 12-6 curve ball (think about it)... NOT to be confused with the Ephus pitch that Spaceman Bill Lee patented......apparenty while I was visiting my friend, Sam Adams, at the Fens recently, The Eck coined a new entry in his vocabulary...
"Moss"... see "Hair"... although usually used by Eck to describe his actual hair (on top of his head).... the "master" of Eckisms has expanded the meaning of "moss" and uses it interchangably with "hair"....

Can you EVER imagine Dennis Eckersley and Jack Edwards (Bruins commentator) in the booth at the same time ?!?!?!?!? Nuf Ced

That wraps up my first legit post as a "blogger"... come back early and often as I ALWAYS have a lot to say.

-Nuf Ced

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Comic "Relief"

So, I'm out in my garden yesterday doing what "all" gardeners do - "fighting" all the wild bamboo !!!! - If I were a bamboo farmer, I'd be rich !!! Anyway, all of a sudden I have a strong "urge" to [pee]. Although the house (and bathroom) are within 50 paces, I do what every red-blooded male does..... I LOOK FOR A BIG TREE !!!! After a brief scan of the horizon (I have to go REALLY bad now) I spy a tree fit to be my loo. I hurriedly made my way to the tree, getting "ready" as I approach it, and circle around to avoid any chance of being seen by passers by. Wait, is it "Public Urination" if you do it on private property? I better check into that, or I just MAY be running from the fuzz, huh? None the less, I round the tree only to be startled by a deer !!!! I nearly peed my pants - uh, oh yeah, that's why I was there in the first place !!! Bambi scampered away quickly probably thinking, "That idiot looked like a human in the headlights !!!"

Birds... AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I have over 4 acres for these things to "relieve" themselves yet the INSIST on crapping all over my less that 2 ft square camping chair by the firepit !!!! And I "suggest" that everyone do NOT buy a dark colored car - the seagulls LOVE dark cars !!! All I can think of is that Super Bowl commercial with the pigeons ("Danger Zone" playing in the background) targeting my Black Grand Prix !!!! ARGH !!!!!

One more thought... I know they say "God don't make junk" but Father above, I'm really curious what your mind-set was when you created slugs !!!! Between the bamboo and the slugs it's a wonder my garden has grown at all... they decimated my lettuce patch and are doing a pretty "good" job on my squash flowers - not allowing the bees enough time to pollinate them. Cure???? No idea.... I've tried chemicals with mixed success - all the rain we've had "fights" my efforts here. It was suggested I try "Beer Traps", a small lid with beer in it. Supposedly it attracts the slugs and the beer kills them. WRONG !!!! I set a beer trap the other day right between 2 of the slimy guys to test this theory... one of the slugs climbed right in, had his fill and then "stumbled" away. The other guy wanted nothing to do with it so I picked him up and placed him in the trap myself. After a few moments of "getting happy", this one also exited the trap... What a waste of good beer !!!!!!!!! All I did was make 2 slugs very happy...
Salt works great though... I spent 30 minutes the other day dumping salt on dozens of these vermin.... WOW !!!!!!!!!!! that was the most fun I've had in awhile - until faithful companion, Snoopy, decided it would be fun to roll around in the melted slug aftermath !!!!!!
Note... Deep Woods Cutter has the same "effect" as salt here !!!

Ah, what a relief !!!!! I could NOT make this stuff up.....

-Nuf Ced
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