If you turned in early to the Red Sox Seattle game you saw a lot of offense.

You saw the Mariners put up 4 in the top of the first and the Red Sox answer with five. Then Mariners put up six more meaning that Red Sox starter Stephen Wright, who had given up a single run in his last game against the very same team, had given up 10 earned runs before the book was closed on him, Nelson Cruz with two 3 run HR’s and a single to drive in seven on those 10 doing most of the damage.

It didn’t stay that way.

The same Seattle pitcher Wade Leblanc who had shut out the Red Sox in that same game against Wright would give up one in the fifth. J. D Martinez would hit a 2 Home run in a 3 run Red Sox 6th and then a key single in a five run seventh with the bases loaded and then three in the 6th and then in the seventh went on a tear to score five more.

As I’m writing this the score is 14-10 with one out in the bottom of the 8th, now the top of the ninth. Seattle is coming to the plate and while it looks very good for the Rox Sox they will still have to get those three final outs before Seattle scores 4 to get that win.

And that is why Baseball is better than Basketball, Hockey, Football or Soccer and it isn’t even close.

No matter how big a lead you have you still have to get those outs before you can celebrate, and no matter how bleak it looks, you team will still have a chance to score as many runs as you can before that third out is recorded.

No Clocks, no taking a knee, no pulling a goalie, no LeBron sitting down because he knows its hopeless. As long as you still have a single out yet to be given your team is not done.

That’s baseball and that’s why it’s the best.

Oh and the Sox won 14-10

An interesting thing happened to me the day before yesterday.

I work in a place with a lot of people who are either under 30 or not from the new England and are going absolutely mad about the upcoming world cup and completely excited at the prospect of it coming to the US in 8 years.

During the conversation about sports I causally mentioned the Red Sox being in first place and how it is such a change from the time of the Curse of the Bambino.

Now there was a time not all that long ago that if you said “The Curse” in New England every single person regardless of age knew what you were talking about without having to mention Babe Ruth, the Yankees or “No No Nanette

They had no idea what I was talking about.

Yesterday I expanded the experiment, at work I randomly asked almost two dozen people two questions.

  1.  If I say “the curse” to you what am I talking about?
  2.  If I say “the curse of the bambino” what am I talking about?

Of the two dozen people I asked two people knew at once what the curse was, two more realized what I was talking about when I mentioned “the bambino”.

The rest didn’t have a clue.

Just 14 years ago that would have been unthinkable.  For generations the curse of the Bambino was an integral part of being a New Englander.  It would not even have been necessary to include “of the Bambino”  just reference to “the curse” would have been enough for heads to nod.  Books were written about it.  Plays were made about it.  HBO’s real sports did a full show on it.

and it was the reason why in New England, Bucky Dent’s middle name isn’t Earl.

To say “the curse” was an obsession would be the ultimate understatement.  When 2004 began you would have been hard pressed to find a single man woman or child in New England that didn’t know what the curse was.

Then this happened

and this the next day

and this a few days later

and this

and then finally the following week.

a few days later my sons and I were part of the 3 million people who poured into Boston for this

It was the biggest thing you ever saw in the area.  We have won two more World Championships (2007 & 2013) and as of today two years after the retirement of Big Papi the Red Sox sit in first place and are likely to win over 100 games this year.  It’s a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

But it seems like nobody cares anymore.

It’s been just under 15 years later and I can be in a place full of people who live in New England who have no idea what I’m talking about when I bring up the curse and that is going to grow when you consider that high schools and colleges around New England will graduate tens of thousands of students this year who have no memory of a time when the Red Sox were not Champions. 15 years ago every single caller on sports talk radio would be in a state of excitement with the Red Sox neck and neck battle of titans in the AL East on the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s last World Series win in a Red Sox Uniform.  Nothing else would have mattered

On Thursday night the 1st place Red Sox were about to start a 4 game series against the surprising 1st place Seattle Mariners.  An epic battle, yet what was the topic of conversation on the home station of the Red Sox as I drove in…An interview with Tom Brady’s wife and Brady’s interview with Oprah!

It was typical.  During the Sox amazing run if you turned on sports talk radio you were much more likely to hear about Tom Brady not showing up for voluntary workouts and should the Celtics make a play for Lebron James than Red Sox talk.  On the late night drive a few days ago I actually heard a guest state that the only reason a host mentioned the Sox at all is that the station compels him to because they carry the games.

If the Red Sox had not won that world series in 2004 or 2007 or 2013, this would not be the case but with victory came comfort and with comfort the loss of collective memory of the shared frustration that united us here in New England.

In the last hour of the week I noted four guys talking sports at work, none of them were discussing the Sox Seattle series or the game in progress (The Red Sox would win 2-1 despite a nail biting 9th) all they were interested in was Russia beating the Saudis at the world up and if that Russian team was the real thing or not..  As I listened to them for a brief moment I found myself missing the curse that was the common bond that bound six states and everyone in it together…

… but then I remembered all those wonderful moments from 2004 and that regret disappeared overwhelmed by a wave of pure joy that come over me faster than you can say: “Big Papi”

The curse was a cultural milestone but I’ll take winning any day.

Closing thought. I wonder how much larger over the norm the graduating classes of 2023 will be in New England and if anyone will realize the reason why?

By John Ruberry

“Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”
Longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

For the 2018 Chicago White Sox, so far there have been a lot of downs. The South Siders, at 12-30, have the worst record in baseball. If their current pace continues, the Sox will lose 117 games and end up just a few games ahead of the most hapless teams since MLB expanded its schedule to 162 games, the 2003 Detroit Tigers and the 1962 New York Mets.

Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox, has been anything but sweet for them. Their record is a pitiful 5-16 there so far this season.. On a cold afternoon in April, just 974 fans were in attendance as the host dropped a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was at home when the team’s sole 2017 all star, right fielder Avisail Garcia, suffered a hamstring industry which placed him on the disabled list. Just two nights ago left fielder Nicky Delmonico was put on the DL after his right hand was broken after getting hit by a pitch. And it was on the South Side last month when reliever Danny Farquhar collapsed in the dugout when he suffered a severe brain aneurysm, which knocked him out for the season.

On the upside, the team slogan for 2018 is “Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit,” a reference to manager Ricky Renteria, a patient man–that’s the type of skipper the Sox need–Ricky Renteria. While plagued by some bad baserunning miscues, the White Sox aren’t infected by laziness. It’s just that they don’t have very many good players. First baseman and designated hitter Jose Abreu is the only South Sider batting over 300. MSN Sports listed the best player so far this season for each team, for the Sox they chose right hand starter Reynaldo López, who coincidentally starts at home this afternoon against the Texas Rangers. His ERA is a 3.50, but his record is 0-3 with 46 innings under his belt, which led its writer Greg Papke to opine that it “shows how abject the team is that he has failed to win a game despite those solid numbers.”

Team statistics betray the awful truth. The White Sox rank next to last in Major League Baseball in ERA and runs scored and they’re at the bottom in WHIP, that is, walks plus hits per inning pitched.

“Ricky’s boys don’t quit, as the Sox marketing plan insists,” the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan remarked last week, “but neither do they score nor pitch.” The White Sox were expected to perform poorly this year, but not this badly. Last season they lost 95 games, but they ended last September one game over .500.

Back to the good news:: The White Sox are only nine games out of first place, but they play in MLB’s worst division, the American League Central, which the Cleveland Indians, at 22-22, leads. And the Sox are only a half-game behind the team ahead of them in the Central standings, the Kansas City Royals, who obviously are also enduring a horrible 2018.

But help is on the way. Last summer the White Sox traded their ace, Chris Sale, to the Boston Red Sox for several prospects, including Yoan Mocada, who is their starting second baseman this season, and hard throwing starter Michael Kopech, who is currently pitching in AAA and is expected to join the Sox later this season. Also last summer the White Sox traded another starter, Jose Quintana, to the Chicago Cubs for two of that organization’s top prospects, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Crease.

Earlier this decade the Houston Astros, who the White Sox swept in the 2005 World Series, went through a similar rebuilding process. Now they are the reigning World Series champions. In 2011 the Astros lost 106 games, in 2012 they dropped 107 games, and the following season 111 games.

Then the upswing began.

UPDATE 7:20pm EDT: My post must have been good luck for the White Sox. The heretofore hard luck López pitched eight shutout innings this afternoon against the Rangers while giving up only two hits. His record is now I-3.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

It’s been an amazing year for Boston Sports.

Last Year the Red Sox Won their Division, the Patriots went to the Superbowl, the Bruins are tied for the lead in their division with 3 games to go and the Celtics, even without their Superstar Kyrie Irving are in 2nd place in their division with a chance to be the #1 seed with five days to go.

This year is starting just as good the Boston Red Sox after losing their opener thanks to one wild inning have won five straight, the team has yet to commit an error in the field and no starting pitcher on the staff has an ERA above 1.70 and that’s with Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz or Steven Wright all starting the season on the DL

In the days before the Red Sox broke the curse of the Bambino a 5-1 start with their ace carrying an ERA of under 1.00 there would be no other story in the state. Newspapers would be hailing the teams start, TV shows would be talking about the upcoming series with the Yankees with bated breath and the phone lines of sports talk radio would be full of optimists proclaiming this being the year and naysayers noting that their big free agent signing JD Martinez is hitting .200 and has yet to go yard and proclaiming the limited offense in the opening games as a harbinger of doom.

But in this post curse era none of that is happening.

What is the number # 1 topic on Boston sports radio, on TV and in the papers: The Patriots.

What are the Patriots doing with their off season moves. Will Belichick trade more players for draft picks or draft picks for players. Why did they let Brandon Cook and Danny Amendola go? Will Grok retire? Is Brady planning to retire before 45, will they Draft a quarterback and why the hell DID the Patriots sit Malcolm Butler in the Superbowl?

Oh the Celtics and Bruins get some mention in passing and if either get to the conference finals the might get more but even on WEEI the home station of the Red Sox the only thing I hear in my drive to work or my drive home is Patriots Patriots Patriots.

Now to be fair the Patriots are an incredibly newsworthy topic, they are the longest running dynasty in the history of football and have arguably the best coach and best player in the entire history of the league and as the end of their time together gets closer they will become even more newsworthy than they are now.

But I submit and suggest if David Ortiz, Curt Schilling and their gang of idiots had not broken the curse 15 years ago, there is no way that the Patriots offseason would be a bigger story than the Red Sox start and when I turn on the radio looking for news of how the Red Sox when my workday ends, I would certainly find it.

Closing thought, I wonder if they’re seeing the same thing in Chicago.

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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

I’m in Kansas City this week on a vacation that’s a side effect of my wife’s serious operation back in Feb. As she couldn’t go on the trip with her sister as planned and had to use up our voucher miles before Sept or lose them she suggested finding somewhere that the RedSox were playing and go see them there. This is the first time since I started writing that I’ve been somewhere without the express purpose to cover some political event or conference. The only work I’ll be doing are this week’s posts and perhaps the odd interview if one drops into my lap. It is so weird to wake up somewhere else without having to be somewhere or to have 30 or 50 interviews to upload. Of course given that the Room AC is not working properly and I spent two hours on twitter and on the phone between priceline and the sheraton four points people and their parent company trying to resolve it due to my wife’s breathing issues it’s even weirder. It seems the final plan was to keep her awake all night trying to get things fixed till she was too tired to not fall asleep even with no AC in the summer heat and the noise of the rather loud fan they provided. I presume that plan worked because while I stopped tweeting on it at 1:30 AM and fell asleep soon after, as of this writing (9:30 am central) she and my son are still out like lights so I don’t know when they finally gave up and crashed. Even odder the room isn’t oppressively hot as it was when I dropped off so I guess at least for a brief time during the night the AC kicked in and combined with the rather loud fan managed to drop the temp to an OK level, but then again I grew up without AC and never had breathing issues and can sleep on a wooden pallet with a piece of cardboard on it so the real test will be how DaWife feels when she wakes up. The last gave of the series is a 1:05 start so I’d like to get her up early so we can get a spot of breakfast but as I don’t know when she got to sleep I think I’ll let her sleep as late as we safely can.

Now I know why my parents never went on vacations.

Kaufman Stadium is a lovely place to watch a baseball game but as in Denver it’s still very odd to go to a ball park and: Not see it full, See promotion after promotion during the game, see the necessity for the scoreboard to be used to get the crowd to make noise. But that’s the difference between practically selling out an entire season and having to draw people. Our three tickets for the first game at Kaufman stadium in the upper deck of left field cost what it would have set us back for Standing room in Fenway park…for one of us.

This is my first trip to the midwest and there is a real sense of Deja vu in coming to a place like this. I’m reminded of the days of my youth when Massachusetts was populated by normal people with normal values and not run by frenzied leftists. If I was younger I’d leave for a place like this in a second as the liberal New England in general and Massachusetts in particular is no place to raise a family if you don’t want to have to fight every day to raise your children as Faithful Catholics or Christians of any stripe. You can’t imagine how much I miss those days, it’s also the reason why there are so many Red Sox Fans everywhere else. People might leave the craziness of New England but one’s love of the Red Sox comes with you.

The Death of Otto Warmbier is to some degree a surprise. One might think that to North Korea an American foolish enough to put themselves willingly in their hands is an asset to exploit so normally one might think that any torture would be designed to be painful but not fatal however it’s a vivid reminder that with the Norks you are dealing with one of the worst regimes in the history of history and unless your a Christian Missionary ready to become a Christian Martyr giving your life in the hopes of saving souls, it’s not a place to willingly put yourself.

The left’s pious insults concerning Mr. Warmbier’s death and their previous statements concerning “white privilege” come as no surprise as sadly I’ve come to expect no better from them, the real question is what kind of retaliation will we see from this president. What price will the Norks be made to pay and how will he pull it off without setting and can he afford to be patient in making them pay that price.

Yet another special election (actually two as there was one in SC as well that the Democrats decided to concede rather than sink a fortune in) is now over and Karen Handel despite being an unexciting candidate managed a five point win despite millions of dollars from the bluest states there pouring into the state to defeat her. I think this from Hotair is telling:

 

11:10 pm: Finally, here is Karen Handel’s victory speech. At 2:30 Handel thanks President Trump and the crowd responds “Trump! Trump! Trump!” At 3:15 she thanks Steve Scalise and spends a moment talking about the need to find “a more civil way” to disagree. “In these United States of America, no one should ever feel their life threatened over political beliefs and positions,”

 

I think that while the DC shooter managed to only wound Steve scalise, he managed to kill Democrat chances to win in GA06 as voters in that district who might have stayed home decided they didn’t want to reward attempted murder. Of course this doesn’t change the fact that the GOP needs to get moving on their agenda as Chris Muir seems to have pegged.

The attack by Mr. Osborne in London was, in my opinion one of the most predictable crimes in the history of history in terms of simple mathematical statistics. Given that we’ve had over 31,000 Islamic Terror attacks worldwide since 9/11 (40 attacks in 15 countries from June 10th though the 16th alone) sooner or later probability stated that you would actually get a westiner targeting Muslims. I have no problem calling what he did terror, but I insist that leftists who do so do the same concerning every other attack done by Muslims in the name of Islam. The real question is will the same people willing to throw collective guilt on Englishmen over this attack respond in a similar way to what happened in Brussels yesterday?

It also plays into one of the things I’ve predicted, the longer both the authorities in power and moderate muslims decide to deny and ignore the danger of radical islam, the more likely you’ll see people like Osborne decide to, in his mind, strike back. I expect to see many more like him if the state of denial continues. This of course does not justify his acts of murder which not only need to be vigorously prosecuted but punished to the fullest extent of the law.

A little Doctor Who, I see that Big Finish has decided to give a series to Derick Jacobi playing the “War Master”. Jacobi’s time as the Master on screen lasted less that 15 minutes before he regenerated into John Simm but during that time he ruled the screen. I’ve often wondered what he would have done with the role if he had been given more time. Now we’ll find out.

Finally we are going to be seeing the first Multi-master story in Doctor who outside of Big Finish My bet is that Michelle Gomez Master is killed by John Simm’s master with her at the moment of death remembering doing so. Even if I’m wrong the word is she will not be returning to the role. While I wasn’t a fan of the whole gender bender business Gomez made the part her own and has simply owned every scene she has been in in a way we haven’t seen since Alex Kingston. Doctor Who fans will miss her.

Update:  Dropped a “r” from Otto Warmbier’s name, corrected

There is an old saying that the Definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

On Friday Night that Yankees with two bases open in the bottom of the 8th of a tied game choose to pitch to David Ortiz

Yes you read that right

David Ortiz takes as much joy in punishing the New York Yankees today as he did 10 years ago.

Ortiz has played such an integral role in the rivalry with the Yankees in his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he added another memorable moment Friday night with an eighth-inning two-run home run as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2 in their first of 19 meetings this year.

Now I’m a Red Sox fan and I rejoice in a Big Papi game winning HR as much as the next New Englander, but as a baseball fan my only reaction to pitching to Ortiz in this situation is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s walk off 12th inning HR in game four in 2004?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s game winning hit in the 14th in game 5 of the same series?

Did they forget Mr. Ortiz hitting a bases loaded two out grand slam in the ACLS vs the Tigers that tied the game two (despite a heroic effort by Tory Hunter) in 2013?

Did they forget the opinion of St. Louis Cardinal fans just before game six of the World Series in 2013?

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open [game five double to give sox the early lead] was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, I repeatedly asked those in line: If they were managing St. Louis would pitch to Ortiz with a base open. While a few of the people said “yes” the general consensus was; walk David Ortiz even if first base wasn’t open.

Ironically after I left this line I ran into a large group of Cardinal fans who declined to go on camera. I asked them my David Ortiz question. The Cardinal fans answered bluntly. They didn’t care if the bases are loaded and the game tied, They’d all give Ortiz a free pass each time up rather than risk pitching to him.

Cripes last year against the Cubs with the bases empty on a 3-0 count you actually had the sight of Ortiz walking to first base before the next pitch arrived because he KNEW they weren’t going to pitch to him.

The guy hit 37 HR and drove in over 100 runs last year. This isn’t 1968 with Mickey Mantle on his last legs getting gift HR’s from Denny McLain on his farewell tour, Ortiz is going out on top.

And even if you ignore all that history, Did the manager of the Yankees forget that yesterday when he came to the plate in the 8th inning with the go ahead run on base he was the current league leader in doubles)?

And you’re going to pitch to him in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with a man on first in Fenway Park!?

I’ll give the last word to the Knight from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade:

I had some problems with my data card and only today have been able to recover the photos from my trip to Fenway on Wednesday so we will put off my review of Nightmare in Silver till next week to give you to close our Baseball season some photos of Boston, Fenway and the most loyal of fans.

Red Line to Green Line to Fenway.
fenway real 001

There were alternatives to my $12 subway trip, VERY expensive:

fenway real 007

But on the cheep or full price it’s still an iconic park

fenway real 011

An iconic sign

fenway real 019

Iconic Statues

fenway real 015

And now Iconic beards

fenway real 018

But the real icons of Boston, are not the media under the lights…

fenway real 028

…Or covering happenings at the park

fenway real 024

The Kenmore Subway:

fenway real 029

Or the even the police that are there to protect

fenway real 027

the Icons are the fans

fenway real 022

Who stood and camped in line to see their Sox and was rewarded with victory

fenway real 021

But I couldn’t stay for the game, after all it was a no scalp zone.

fenway real 023

and without that fedora the scalp is all I have although the beard certainly fits in.

…Morning Joe not withstanding let’s remember even before Obama decided to hit the Red Sox in Massachustts he wasn’t as popular around here as you think after all I seem to recall he showed up around the weekend before the special election that Brown won, how did that work out for you?

You know when I went to bed I thought the Swatting of Aaron Worthing was the stupidest move I’d ever seen, Obama hitting the Red Sox in Massachusetts THAT’s dumber!

I hope Former Obama Administration official Elizabeth Warren brings Obama here every single day, you might recall the GOP in NH commented they wanted Obama to visit the state every day to remind voters what party the current governor belongs to. I want every single Congressman and State Rep with a D next to their name tied to Obama so tight you’d think they were a skydiving pair.

And you expect me to be afraid of these guys?

Update: The DaTechGuy Fundraiser is in progress, our goal is $3000 and any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”. Thanks to Bob and Mike for kicking in.

Update: thanks to Sissy too





One of the reasons why Baseball is the best game ever invented is the lack of a clock. It is not possible to run out the clock or to stall. To win you have to achieve two distinct goals.

1. Score more runs than your opponent

2. Achieve 27 outs, plus an additional 3 per extra inning if necessary

No matter how good your team is on paper if you can not do this, your team will not win, additional with a 162 game season even a spectacular team will lose over 50 games a season and even the worst team will win at least 40.

You would think that Dan Shaughnessy would have understood this before violating a basic convention

That the author of the book on the Curse of the Bambino would be willing to do this is astounding. It also tells you how far the Red Sox have come this decade, 10 years ago nobody would have felt safe with any lead around here.

His statements were not the only violation of Baseball’s convention that day. New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes after a bunt single in the first pulled himself from the final game to preserve the batting title earning derision from fans and writers nationwide:

Reyes isn’t just the anti-Ted Williams, he’s anti-everything we love about baseball.

In case you don’t know Ted Williams going in to a double-header to end the season hitting .3995 and rather than sit at take the rounding insisted on playing both games going 6-8 ended at .406.

In that same spirit of the game the Phillies knowing that the St. Louis Cardinals have owned them this season still played all out to defeat and eliminate Atlanta knowing that they would have to defeat said cardinals to make it to the series.

The Yankees however violated two serious conventions.

#1 Rookie Dellin Betances in his first career start was pulled after only two innings even though he had not given up a run. Convention one: you give a young starter a chance to win his first major league start.

#2 After burning through 8 pitchers in seven innings for the sheer hell of it, the Yankess not only failed to relieve a pitcher after loading the bases and hitting consecutive batters but in a one run game in the 9th with a season on the line choose not to use the single greatest closer in baseball history in order to make Tampa Bay earn that win.

Tampa will be a formidable foe and now will be coming off not only an incredible high but did not have to play an extra game that might have made them more vulnerable. (Considering the Red Sox inability to score insurance runs given multiple chances I suspect they would have had no luck in Tampa).

If there is any justice then the Rays will defeat the Yankees (assuming they can get by Detroit) who decided not to preserve their lead and will face the Phillies team that played the game the right way.

It’s an excellent lesson to Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP field, until the votes are actually counted and cast, we don’t know what is going to happen. Perry and Romney and all the rest are no more anointed to their positions than the Red Sox and Braves were.