Monday, October 10, 2005
That AJ Pierzynski. What a class act, huh? I could get into the whole "wouldn't expect anything less from a Southsider" snark, but I'd just start to scare myself by sounding like a Cubs fan. Just thought I'd make sure we're all quite aware of what we lost the series to.
What a weekend this was. The rally in Lansing (photos here if anyone's interested), the Sox elimination, the sad and pathetic excuse for football that was the Michigan/Minnesota game (photos here, and then, today, the Lions game. My goodness, the Lions game. But I ought to address these in order.
So, for the Red Sox, bye bye 2005, you were fun while you lasted, except when you weren't and you made me want to rip my eyeballs out of my head and swing them about by the dangly ropy optic nerves that would have come out the back. 2005, on the whole, was a pretty good year... I mean, I got out to a lot of games, so that's certainly something. Matt Clement was great up until the very end, Tony G was a pleasant surprise up until the very end. Manny and Papi were something that had to be seen to be believed. Billy Mueller didn't bust a knee, despite the fact that I was so worried, at the start of the year, that he would. Trot Nixon went ballistic and tried to "give some information" to the opposing team; the sort of information that led to his physical restraint by Blaine 'Sign of Surrender' Neal and John 'Eyebrows of Doom' Halama (remember them?). Jon(athan) Papelbon emerged as the new moon-faced hick-voiced absolutely-huggable darling of the pitching staff.
Stuff like Johnny being the best hitter in baseball for a while and Papi hitting walkoff homeruns kept happening. Edgar fed Ortiz applesauce in the dugout. Matt Mantei was marginally effective for a couple of games.
And hey, we made it to the playoffs.
So, yes, on the whole, a good season. But am I happy about it? Gracious me, no. And indeed, why should I be? The team that I love got swept in the ALDS like they'd just had a grenade blown up in their faces, and they were still stunned, picking bits of shrapnel out of their scalps and hearing nothing but ringing in their ears, while the games just whisked along past them. The grenade being that last regular season series against the Yankees, of course.
The White Sox? I have all kinds of respect for what they did. I think Ozzie Guillen is hilarious and awesome, if insane. But I'm sorry, I don't like them. I saw them beat up on my poor kitties one too many times this season, and their ballpark sucks, and I find pinstripes nauseating. If the Angels win their series I'm going to root for the monkey, that's all there is to it.
I still can't quite believe that we got swept. To be sure, my brain is cordoning off some of it, because of that whole 'not sleeping for a week' thing I've got going on, but the bit that's seeped through is some pleasant combination of dismay, disbelief, and disgust, to be alliterative about it. I know full well that with our crumbly coffeecake topping of a pitching rotation, we probably would not have gotten all that far anyways. But we couldn't scrape just one win? Not even one?
Nothing you can do, though, not now. Nothing except sit back and freak out about free agents and who's going to play center field for us next year and what pitchers we're going to pick up and Theo Epstein's contract, I mean. After all, we're Red Sox fans. We may become wildly depressed over the end of this season, or we may shrug and look back to '04, but we all start getting ourselves worked up over next season as early as right now.
As for Michigan?
Watching Laurence Maroney plant the Minnesota flag in the middle of the Michigan M at midfield is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen. But I can't even get too infuriated about it, because they had every right to do so. We played like shit. We played like we deserved to have that design disaster of gold and maroon planted violently on our M.
Everyone's been saying that Chad Henne is in a sophomore slump. I really, really hope that this is true, and that it's a sophomore slump we're suffering from here, as opposed to a freshman fluke.
Big 10 championship hopes were hanging by a slender thread before. They're officially gone now. With 3 losses on the season, our role from now on is just playing spoiler to everyone else.
Choice quotes from the furious fans behind us at the game:
"Hey, Gophers! Hey Gophers! Go eat some more weeds!" (note: as the gopher's diet does consist of a wide variety of vegetation, this chant was surprsingly accurate)
"Gophers! Get outta here! GO BURROW!"
"Garret Rivas: YOU'RE FAT! YOU'RE FAT! YOU'RE FAT!"
As for the Lions, well...
Forward down the field!
A charging team that will not yield!
When the Blue and Silver wave,
Stand and cheer the Brave!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Go hard, win the game!
With honor you will keep your fame.
Down the field and gain
A Lions victory!
It's getting late and I really ought to conk out, but let me just mention that I have never seen a team play so dirty in my life. Two players ejected, second-most yards on penalties in the NFL, ever. The way the receivers were (not)catching the ball, and the way the Ravens were running the ball, we might very well have lost this game if not for the sheer determination on the part of the blackbirds to shoot themselves in the cleat.
I would also like to state that despite the fact that he threw for under 100 yards on the day, I still have a shred of confidence in Joey Harrington. I am dead certain that it was not helpful for him to see Marcus Pollard get the ball thrown right at him, only to watch Marcus see Ray Lewis bearing down on him, squeal, and curl his hands away from the ball, plain as day saying, "OMG lookit lookit I'm not touching it I'm not touching it please don't hurt me Mr. Lewis sir!" Yeah. That'll do wonders for your quarterback. Plus Roy was out with a hyperextended sore wibbledy whatever, and Charles Rogers is suspended for being a Michigan State grad.
Whatever, we won. Consolation for the referreeing disaster of last week, I reckon.
So I hope that everyone's alright, Sox and Wolverines fans alike. The window looks pretty, but there's no sense in jumping out of it. There's always next year! And, for sad Wolverines fans, more of this disaster of a year. Huzzah!