1. Dougie was up with two outs again the bottom of the ninth after Manny and Papi both hit what looked for sure like home runs, but which were gloved by Choo, who had also hit the grand slam off Josh Beckett that sent him to the showers--but this time there was no Carmona magic. Meanwhile, this phenomenon of warning-track flyouts vs. multi-run bombs in turn gave rise to a prime example of the NESN homerism that sometimes just makes me laugh: on the postgame show, Tom Caron was talking about how Manny's warning-track flyout "just didn't carry"; the fact that Choo seemed to have no trouble smacking his granny almost to the Red Seat seems not to be relevant in this case. Oh, NESN. You're like FOX News for Sox fans.
That said, for a team with a record well under .500, the Indians sure are a pain in the ass. Either that or the Sox suck much, much more than we've even estimated.
2. What the fuck, Josh Beckett? The Eck says he's made adjustments, but he appears to somehow have fallen victim to the Derek Lowe Fifth Inning Syndrome--for those of you who've forgotten, it's cruise, cruise, cruise through four and two thirds, and then, as the great Christy Mathewson was once heard to say, "Zing! And also zowie!"
3. Meanwhile, I really wish someone could make a rule that states that Josh Beckett cannot use the phrase "execute pitches" or any variation thereof in a press conference any longer. It seems to be his own version of Jimy Williams' "manager's decision", i.e. a different way of saying "no comment."
4. Since the goddamn Yankees won today, we are now officially a game out of first place. Goddamnit. Incidentally, I typed in www.mfy.com just to see what would happen, and was disappointed with the results.
5. The good news is the bullpen is hanging together remarkably well. Timlin actually kept his shit in one sock tonight, including a nice pick and throw to first to end his half of the ninth. Kyle Snyder once again held the line. Keith Foulke apparently had an encouraging inning in Pawtucket and could be headed back soon (yes, this to me, this is good news, so shut up).
6. More good news: pretty, pretty defense. I continue to be overjoyed that we did not trade Mike Lowell. (What's that you say? He mashed his other foot with a foul ball and had to come out of the game tonight? Well. Um...er...No hablo ingles, lo siento mucho. No entiendo lo que dices.) And that Gonzo play where he leapt over a charging runner while removing the ball from his glove in midair and throwing dead-on to Youkilis? As Denton wrote in the SG boys' Barstool Sports column, "Alex Gonzalez makes plays regularly that Nomar would wake up stuck to the sheets if he dreamt about them."
7. Travis Hafner is a beast. He looks like a high school bully. He's ridiculously broad across the shoulders, too. I'm pretty sure it was him one of the national-broadcast dumbasses (they all blend together) called "country strong" a while back. I believe he was also the guy who broke a bat swinging and missing? Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, In my mind his voice sounds like a strange combo of Strong Mad and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
8. FUCK Aaron Boone and his goddamn pull home run off the Fisk pole (thanks for that sacrilege while you're at it, dingus). I hope he gets Ebola.
9. Read this book. Seriously. If you're not reading it, you are missing. out. For example, here's a footnote--just a footnote!--from one of the chapters:
The mechanics involved in pitching a baseball produce some of the most violent motions in all of sports. Tests done by a biomechanical engineer at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, showed that an average human ulnar collateral ligament, which connects the large bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow to one of the two bones that make up the forearm, would snap when placed under the amount of pressure a major league pitcher uses to throw a fastball.
I mean, damn. Isn't life a little more interesting now that you know that information? Don't you feel a little bit like a dweeb for every time you may have bitched about pitch counts?
10. Next time you want to shit on Francona, consider that Eric Wedge could be our manager. Or we could somehow, perhaps as punishment for collective sins we've all committed in past lives, or in some parallel universe, have Grady Little back as a manager. As I said, read the book and you'll understand in more vivid detail than you could ever possibly have wanted exactly how terrible Gump really was. It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. I don't envy Dodgers fans.