Formerly Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies

A Bostonian at the University of Michigan.

There will also be discussion of the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Michigan Wolverines. Probably in that order.

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the flickr photostream

Head here to see what I've been shooting lately.

the game sets

Head here to see the shots from a specific baseball or football game (or anything else I've made a set for).


Spelling rant
Yankee Star Wars
A Tigers Comedy of Errors
How bad is Keith Foulke really?
Harry Potter and the Boston Red Sox
Bellhorn vs. Graffanino vs. Lamprey
Critiquing team slogans
Joey Harrington blogs a baseball game
Jason Varitek gets injured
Winter meetings fashion report
Mascot Rant #1
Mascot Rant #2

8 Days of Jewish Baseball
Day 1- Kevin Youkilis
Day 2- Brad Ausmus
Day 3- Al Levine
Day 4- Jason Marquis
Day 5- John Grabow
Day 6- Justin Wayne
Day 7- Shawn Green
Day 8- Gabe Kapler and Theo Epstein

the Story of Chanukah, Red Sox style
Part I: the cruel reign of Steinbrennochus
Part II: rise of the Soxxabees
Part III: the rebellion begins!
Parts IV, V, and VI
Parts VII and VIII

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Fun with Roster Photos
Note: Comments may not exactly correspond to images, as the images will change when the team puts up new photos. Adds a level of surreality, I think.
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Over the Monster
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Professional, Idiot, and the Tailback
Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory
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Yanks Fan vs. Sox Fan

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Fire Joe Morgan
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On the DL (gossip)
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Rays Talk
Red Reporter (Reds)
Serious Dismay Sports
Uniwatch (all teams)
USS Mariner (Mariners)

Gilbert Arenas
Curtis Granderson
Tommy Lasorda
Mike Maroth
Pat Neshek
Nate Robertson
Curt Schilling
CJ Wilson
Kevin Youkilis

the Brushback
Call of the Green Monster (Red Sox)
Die-hard Cubs Fun
the Dugout, chat room of pro baseball
Korean baseball cartoons (inexplicable)
Wizznutzz (Wizards..just read it)

Ann Arbor is Overrated
Dave Barry
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Go Fug Yourself
Goodspeed Update
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Ryan Estrada
Mike Wieringo

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Thursday, September 28, 2006  

A brief science lesson for you.

Things which Devil Rays feast upon:


-small crustaceans

-small fish

-Josh Beckett

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11:03 AM

Monday, September 25, 2006  

So the Red Sox are done.

Well. You know what they say. When one door closes, another one opens...

It's hard to be too upset about the Sox. Even before the actual, mathematical elimination came through, we knew it was over. When your team has Julian Tavarez holding the dual roles of team ace and official Manny babysitter, you simply aren't going anywhere, or at least nowhere that ends in trophies. That's just a fact of baseball and life, and I think we've all been so used to it for a while now that we just weren't too sorely wounded by the last feeble eepings of the dying sea slug that was the 2006 Red Sox.

I know Patriots fans are upset. To them I say, look upon the works of ye mighty Detroit Lions, and cherish thy freedom from true despair.

Losing to the modern-day Green Bay Packers. How utterly mortifying. My roommate, who has only the vaguest understanding of sports in general, asked me who the Lions were playing. I told her. She said, and this is 100% of Fact, "Oh, that's the pretty-boy team, isn't it?"


"Brett Favre, isn't he a pretty boy or something?"

Oh holy freakin' cats.

"Not for, uh, at least 10 years, he hasn't been."

That was probably the highlight of the Lions game for me.

I am refusing to think about them. I am REFUSING. To think about them. Except to say that if Roy Williams guarantees another win this season, I am going to march down to Ford Field myself and duct tape him to the Joe Louis fist. You hear me, Roy? You can mouth off all you want when you're strapped down under silver belts of sticky goodness on the business end of a giant hovering black forearm. That sounds so dirty. I am not editing it out.

Actually, I couldn't even watch all of the Patriots game last night, because the sound on that station cut out just before halftime. Only on that channel. I switched over to the Cardinals/Astros game for a little bit before the pressure of the work I had yet to do and the fact that I really have had enough of Roger Clemens, thank you very much ESPN, conspired to make me give up on televised sports for the night.

Eh. The Tigers had already clinched a playoff berth for the first time in 19 years. That was all the TV I needed to see.

Of course I am also officially Not Upset about Michigan, as we beat Wisconsin to start off our Big 10 season right. Still, I've been doing this with every win so far... I say to myself (and everyone around me), "OK, good, another win... now let's see what we can do next week." They've beaten Notre Dame and Wisconsin, very not shit teams, and Vanderbilt, which is, uh, well, it's not Central Michigan, anyhow. And I still have very lukewarm feelings about each upcoming game. Last season was more scarring than I thought it was, clearly.

Good game, in the sense that we didn't get rained on this time, but unfortunate because the first in-conference home game of the season brought the sorority girls out in droves. Our favorites were the large group who showed up in the second half, crammed the benches so people had to stand sideways, and then turned, backs to the field, and talked to each other for the rest of the game. Dear These Girls-- I hate you. My seatmate hates you. Every single person in every row you infested hates you. You can talk at home on your bloody porch couches as well as you can here. Never come to another game again. With much rage, actual football fans.

The Z for Zoltan gestures are spreading like wildfire. At the last home game I saw just a few of them in the stands, and a few in the band. At this game, they were all over the student section. Zoltan! Zoltan! ZOLTAN! We're only obsessed with kickers a little bit at Michigan, honest.

The rest of the photos are right here, for those of you who are interested.

Wolverines, Tigers, pro football. Right now we just need that sea slug of a Red Sox team to quietly expire without breaking any more of its squishy little parts along the way. I've reached the point of begging the baseball overlords to let the season end, please, with no more casualties. Give this slug a watery grave and wait for its eggs to hatch next spring.

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7:41 PM

Friday, September 22, 2006  

I was in the Union, again. This time it was not because I had no cable at home but instead because we had just gotten out of a lecture and my friend Sara and I were in the mood for some greasy Union comestibles in the way of dinner. I steered her to a table with a view of the TV, around which the few other diners were already clustered.

I was confused. I had forgotten about the Tigers game being an afternoon offering, and so was surprised by the appearance of the Red Sox on the screen. Not complaining, though, so we sat down to eat our gooey pizza and bitch about the art school.

David Ortiz came up to the plate. I have to admit to being dorky enough that an Ortiz/Santana battle is exactly the sort of thing I love to see. I fell silent and both Sara and I turned our eyes fully over to the TV.

Of course he hit it out of the park. Of course.

Sara knows nothing at all about baseball. I explained to her who David Ortiz was, who Jimmie Foxx was, who Johnny Pesky was, why it was so marvelous to see Johnny Pesky hug Papi and nearly cry, why this homerun was not like all other homeruns. By the time I finished, Ortiz was stepping out of the dugout for a curtain call, waving to the crowd.

"So aren't you going to get up and scream or something?" Sara asked.

Very funny. Art school kids always get a kick out of watching me go insane over baseball. I looked around at all the Tigers fans watching around us, smiling and hopeful, seeing Santana beaten so smartly. Since the Tigers had already lost, it was IMPERATIVE that the Red Sox win, to maintain that slender half-game lead. That's what's important right now, around here. That and Michigan football.

People were still shouting and clapping in Fenway. I'm glad, heck, we're all glad it happened at home. It would've been nice no matter where it happened, but this is better, seeing Ortiz showered in appreciation and love as only a faithful Fenway crowd can do.

I explained who Johan Santana is, how he's usually almost unhittable in September. I explained, or tried to explain, how deeply Boston can care about and love certain players. Sara nodded and mulled it over.

After Ortiz's second homerun of the game, ESPN cut to him smiling in the dugout, right after everyone had given up on the silent treatment and mobbed him. "He looks so... so happy," Sara said. "Like he's always like that."

Yeah. He is.

That's our Big Papi.

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2:57 PM

Tuesday, September 19, 2006  

Everyone in Detroit is rooting wicked hard for the Red Sox right now. There's generally a sort of indifference to the AL East out here in Michigan, except of course for a dislike of the Yankees, but now, my goodness. I had three people come up to me and say, "Go Red Sox!" this morning, in an unsolicited response to my hat. Unfortunately that was at 7:30 am and before I had had any coffee, so all I could muster up in response was a sort of interested grunt.

It's sort of funny how this is working out. The Red Sox are pretty much out of the race and right now it's more about getting everyone out of the season alive than getting out of the season as winners. It's about dudes named Kevin Jarvis and Mike Burns (who?) and David Murphy, a guy barely older than me who manages to look somewhere in the vicinity of 48 years old. It's about pitchers with cancer and busted shoulders and cellophane knees and Julian freakin' Tavarez starting games.

It's about how David Ortiz is probably not going to get the MVP again and saying some rather silly things about that. Jeter is most likely going to get it, and I can't say I'm too torn up about it. Of course I would love to see Papi get the thing, but of all the Yankees on that team Jeter is one of the least objectionable, and he is having a great season. FJM points out that, in many ways, Travis Hafner is having a better one, which is their own personal crusade of the year, but since we live in the real world and not one where baseball awards are handed out with anything like impartial and proper weight given to the appropriate stats, I'm not going to be too upset if/when Jeter wins it.

All this, and usually I'd be sinking into a stupor right about now. A black, sullen resentment of baseball and all involved in the game of baseball. But it's not happening. I haven't been posting over here all that often, I know, but that's a combination of the fact that I'm posting more often over at Roar of the Tigers, I have a snotload of work these days, and I've been avoiding BCRS because I don't really want to think about what the Lions did this past Sunday. It's not because I'm down on baseball right now.

Quite the contrary, actually. In your senior year at the Michigan art school (or, in my case, my 'fourth' year) they finally deign to give you a studio all your own. By 'studio' I mean a 10'x10' bare cubicle with a concrete floor and inspiringly dull beige walls that you have to furnish, entirely, yourself. I've covered the damn thing in baseball stuff. There's a big poster of Fenway, a bunch of those little posters the Globe gives out all summer, a couple printouts of photos and photoshopped images I've made myself... some scorecards... some baseball cards... some napkins from Comerica... It's like being swaddled in baseball, really. And I fucking love it.

I'm watching the Tigers games every night I can and catching up on the Red Sox games on during my studio time. I check all the scores and standings-- congrats to the Mets, and the injured Pedro, and congrats to the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Toledo Mudhens for their Tigers organizational victories. I have matching posters of Brandon Inge in my apartment and my studio, and I have the photo of Jason Varitek facemashing ARod also hanging up in both spots.

The Red Sox are effectively done but I am excited about baseball right now. For a Tigers fan who was not even born yet in 1984, this is a wholly novel thing. Usually, this time of year, it's Red Sox or depression. Now I have something to get all riled up about, and it's not back home in Boston. Weird. Weird.

But we're starting a series with the Twins, and even if their season is finished, the Red Sox can help keep this ridiculous, insane Detroit magic alive. For once I'm not the only Tigers fan out here wholeheartedly pulling for the Red Sox. It's nice, you know? For one short series, everyone understands my deranged dual fandom.

Go Red Sox. Go Red Sox. Go Red Sox.

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9:09 AM

Saturday, September 16, 2006  

Hail! to the Victors Valiant!
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes!
Hail! Hail! to Michigan, the leaders and best!
Hail! to the Victors Valiant!
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes!
Hail! Hail! to Michigan, the Champions of the West!

Mario Manningham! MARIO FREAKIN' MANNINGHAM. <3 Mike Hart! Chad Henne! The defense, O, the defense!

I was watching Big Ten Ticket before the game, and they had Bo Schembechler on. He said many things; I wish I'd been taking notes because damn does that dude still give a great quote. But one of the things he said that I did remember was that he thought the offenses were comparable, and it was the team with the best defense that was going to win the game today.

So Bo said, and so it was.

Brady Quinn with the ball squirting out of his hand for no readily discernible reason. LaMarr Woodley chugging downfield with that fumble recovery, looking like he was about to have a heart attack and fall over. Mike Hart with his arms wrapped securely around the ball, chewing up the minutes. Shawn Crable HOLDING LLOYD CARR'S HAND to keep him in place while the celebratory water bucket was readied. MARIO FREAKIN' MANNINGHAM.

So, so many "Fuck-the-I-rish" and "O-ver-rated" chants going on outside right now. And we're here in Ann Arbor, not even out in South Bend.

And the Red Sox, against all odds and reason, won their morning game. Everything that I was dreading about this weekend, turned around and turned to wins. (Of course I still have obscene amounts of work to do, the Red Sox have three more [!!] games this weekend, the Tigers still need to win badly, and there are the Lions tomorrow. BUT WE'VE MADE A DENT IN IT.)

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7:52 PM

Monday, September 11, 2006  

The Lions lost their season opener on the last play of the game. Typical.

It wasn't as bad as a pasting, I suppose, and there were a lot of things that looked really good (the defense, the occasional ability to connect for long passes), but man, if a 9-6 loss on a last-second field goal isn't pure Lions football, I don't know what is.

Here's what I got out of it:

Kitna's first pass goes for a middlingly long first down completion. Hotness.

Black jersey day.

God I hate the new ref unis. What the fuck's up with the stripes of varying widths? And the thick black side panels? I mean seriously, what the hell. They look like clowns.

Wow. First Lions series, Kevin Jones 9 yard run, shakes one tackle on his ankle, continues fighting forward, gets the first down. God, that's so refreshing. He had a good block from Schleisinger (sp?) to get him sprung initially.

Forced fumble, picked up by the Lions. EEeee!

Ok, that's two blocked kicks. What the hell? Are the Seahawks that predictable on kicking?

Kevin Jones is showing really good effort after a tackler gets hold of him. I realize this is pretty much what you SHOULD be seeing from a football player, but given the Lions last season... and all the shit with Charles Rogers and Mike Williams, man, it's nice to see someone showing that they WANT to play, if not necessarily for the Lions then at least in general, that they WANT that extra half-yard. It's early, they have plenty of time to get dispirited but, again, after all that shit about the WRs in the off-and pre-season, man.

Lofa Tatupu (sp?) is making some really nice plays out there. Reacting to the ball really well.

WOW! Mike Furrey catches a 19-yarder for a much-needed first down and gets FLATTENED by, uh, some Seahawk or other. I mean plain old destroyed, clean hit as anything, shoulder to shoulder, but Furrey just had a total momentum shift there, going forward and then BAM, going backwards. Holds on for the first down. <3

So, uh, Jon Kitna's throwing the ball down the field. Remind me again why we never let Joey do this?

The first ball all day that Hasselbeck REALLY went all out for, really aired it out, and Dre Bly is the one who catches it. Out of bounds (he touched one foot down on the edge of the white line, but was firmly on the sidelines when his other foot came down), but still. Heh. Yay.

Hrmph. Seahawks make another field goal to make it 6-3 in the last second of the first half. Boo-ers, not a fun way to go into the lockerroom, I would much rather be tied.

Jimmy Johnson thinks that, despite all the hooha about the stuff right before the season, we're "establishing discipline" in Detroit. One penalty, I think, in the first half, for like 5 yards or something. That's RIDICULOUS for the Lions, who usually make so many shitty plays just because their minds aren't properly into it.

Go to Roy Williams on second down and 6, ball was kinda low, he was kinda covered, but it was definitely still catchable. And he didn't catch it. Dropped it.

Walter Jones gets his foot caught, out of the game. Hmm.

HORSESHIT play on Eddie Drummond. He catches the ball on a kickoff, sort of, and at pretty much the exact same time a Seahawks guy runs into him, hard, knocking it loose. He had no time at all to catch that. Maybe time to feel it in his hands, but certainly not enough time to secure it. The refs conference and decide to not call a penalty on the play. That is horseshit. That is total horseshit. He did not have enough time to properly catch the ball before he got hit, that is interference. HORSESHIT. The Ford Field crowd agrees with a low, prolonged boo that's still going on when they cut to commercial.

Oh, the refs said the Lion behind him gave him a push into Drummond. HORSESHIT. The Lion back there BARELY touched him, his fingers brushed against his lower back. It was hardly a touch, it was CERTAINLY NOT anything that would have changed his momentum in one way or another. Oh my god. That is so fucking... FUCK! Stupid fucking refs.

Big Kevin Jones first down called back because Roy Williams was moving on the line, even though he was, as the announcers point out, nowhere near the play. Grr. He then makes a catch on the next play and it's a first down by a slice of the nose of the football. He got a good spot. I am still not happy with you, Roy.

Kitna is one of the Lions' captains by unanimous vote of his teammates. Ah, Joey. On the one hand, I hate the way he was used and then run out of town here, but on the other hand... man, if our team has confidence in their quarterback? When was the last time we could say THAT?

KEVIN JONES! "Tackled", stayed up, fought his way forward. OMG. Kevin Jones=Mike Hart=LOVE.

Kitna throws it out of bounds on third down, and the crowd boos. Knew they still had it in 'em.

Arright. The pro football players as the high school football team? I kind of love this commercial. If I have to see it 8 billion times over the course of the season I'm sure I'll grow to hate it, but on first viewing it is pretty much basically awesome.

Boos starting to come fast and thick now. How easily Lions fans slide back into that. They've shown some good things today; unfortunately they've also shown a kind of general shittiness when it comes to getting the offense seriously going. Roy Williams and Kitna seem to be having a good amount of trouble getting together on passes. I dunno.

Oh my god. They just showed Trent Green getting knocked out in KC. Oh man, that hit did not look good.

Lions defense, at least, has looked very good so far. Hasselbeck is getting thrown around a lot and Alexander's been pretty much shut down.

Dan Campbell, 29 yard catch! Over Marcus Truffant's upstretched fingers. Eeee. :D

Someone ripped a hole in the back of the Sean Alexander's jersey. Little triangle of black shiny armor showing through right between his numbers and just under his name.

Jason Hanson ties the game, 7:05 left in the 4th quarter. 6-6. YES. Whole new ballgame, except now everyone's much more tired.

Shaun Rogers is having a sick, sick day. "Right there is a classic example of a bullrush, ladies and gentlemen."

Where the FUCK is the defense at the end of the game?? They're stopped all game, and then all of a sudden they're putting together all these long running plays and shit?? They're in SUCH easy field goal range right now it's not even funny. SHIT.

Ugh. Seahawks win it on a last second field goal. 9-6 final and everyone saw it coming. At least we held them down; the fewest points they scored all of last season (according to the FOX guys) was 13.

James Hall: "We wanted the win. It wasn't bout comin' out here to see how well we could play out here, we wanted a win... like I said, we came out here to win, we didn't come out here to put on a good performance." He shakes his head and compresses his lips, mildly disgusted, when the reporter asks how he feels about how well the defense played, how good their performance was even though they didn't win. Good attitude. Also very well-spoken. It's that good U of M education.

Marinelli: "There's no option, there's no solution other than winning, that's it, and I won't accept anything less, I won't accept ANYTHING LESS..."

[reporter asks, did you play well?] "Yeah, but I want more than that, we gotta come out as a team and win this thing... Penalties hurt us, and holding, and communication, we beat ourselves, that's something good football teams don't do, you can't beat yourself... Good football teams- which we're gonna be-have got to do those things, got to do them well... There's no excuses, there's none, what you gotta do, when you come under pressure in a game, you gotta put pressure on the men to win..."

[reporter asks if he thinks it's a good start anyhow] "Bad start, we lost, 0 and 1.... God, I just, I thrive on competition, I thrive on this stuff, to see men get excited... you just gotta win, though, that's part of it, the challenge is the winning..."

[reporter asks what he thinks of the fans] "Oh I think they're great, great fans, great city, great town..."

Roy Williams: "If I was Chicago, I'd be watchin' out... y'know offense, we played good, not great... and defense played their butts off, if we can get that 15 or 16 more times, we'll be in the playoffs..."

[reporter asks if they can improve] "Yeah, especially in my opinion my play, they tried to take me down with two guys and that worked pretty well... I think that we'll be a champion this year." Um, OK Roy. I don't remember seeing too much double-teaming, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

Kevin Jones: "There were a few late hits... I mean that's football, I can take it... I thought we played more physical than we used to... I don't know how many sacks we had today, but... Y'know I just want the ball in my hands so I can make plays, give me space so I can make plays, so we can win... every time we ran the ball either it was stopped, or we got 9 yards."

Jon Kitna: "I don't think they did anything exotic, I've seen teams take people away, they didn't do that, but they played good football today... we're gonna be fine, there's no question, I see it every day in practice... now we just have to understand how hard it is in this league to put 7, 8, 9, 10 plays together... it was awesome, it's exciting..."

[reporter asks about the defense] "On the other hand, the offense, we feel some frustration, because we feel like we didn't hold up our end of the bargain... there's a lot of plays you wish you could have back when you lose, but no [I can't think of one in particular]."

Fernando Bryant: "It's tough, it's tough cause we're in the business to win... the rest of the NFL, I'm sure they gonna be lookin'... oh he's [Shaun Rogers] a special player, bottom line, when Shaun's goin', I don't think there's anyone in the NFL who can block him... that's how you start buildin' things, yknow, you win in your division, you win in your division an then you gotta shot... we gotta get that winnin' taste in our mouth." Tastes like chicken.

EVERYONE keeps saying that they still need to look at film before they can really know what happened in the game. Sims, Marinelli, Roy, Kevin Jones. Hmm. Such an emphasis on film right now. Wonder where in the org it's coming from.

Eddie Drummond: "Well why today was so frustrating for us was because we said don't beat ourselves in this game, and that's what we did today... I don't think there's gonna be a defense this year that can stop us, so it's up to us... the defense, I mean, you can't play any better than they did today... you just have on the sidelines, the offense is real pumped up because of how the defense is playin'... if the defense plays that way all year, we gonna win way more games than we did last year... that's somethin we did not have in the past, guys with their head down, today everyone had their head up... fans were arright, after they noticed we were dominant a little, they were into it, they got us a couple timeouts actually, we always appreciate the fans... " Also very well-spoken.

Like I said, it was a respectable game. All the guys after the game seemed to think it was unacceptable to play well but lose, and while, after only one game, I'm willing to look on the positive side, it's heartening to know that they understand that it is not OK to lose even one game, not ever, and that the team who thinks it is is a team that will never get anywhere. This is all very new for the Lions of late.

Oh, and I was at the Michigan game on Saturday, where we had a RAIN DELAY. There's some NCAA rule that states if there's lightning within 5 miles of the stadium or something, it has to be delayed. Apparently there was lightning, because they suspended play for about 45 minutes. Everyone got soaked, but the two things that stand out most in my mind are the band, who kept us from mutinying by playing through the storm, and the stench. It was huge, and came in warm, nauseating, rolling waves. I'm not sure what it was; I suspect it was just the mass accumulated smell of thousands upon thousands of drunk, filthy students made wet. Like a wet dog, you know?

Anyways. Photos from that game are right here.

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2:58 AM

Friday, September 08, 2006  

Happy birthday to Jere and Billfer and I swear someone else that I'm not remembering right now because I'm a bad human being. But anyways happy birthday, guys!

Today I turn Sean Casey! Tonight. At the midnight which passed like 3 hours ago. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Sean Casey! Wow.

For the Ann Arbor locals, we went to Leopold's for a wicked low-key kinda thing, 'cause that's how we roll. The kids I went with tried to teach me euchre, which is something that Michigan natives apparently are born knowing in some deep reptilian part of their brains. Like baseball in Massachusetts natives, maybe.

And let the record state that my very first legal SeanCasey-aged beverage consumed was a Cape Codder. Because it seemed APPROPRIATE, dammit. And was tasty.

SO! Right. Look at all the blogging power, having a collective birthday today. I mean, Jere and Billfer are HEAVY BLOGGING HITTERS, so to speak. Clearly September 8th is a blessed day, a day on which dedicated bloggers are spawned. Prospective mothers, take note.

I have no good way to end this so! Haiku!

Older than Felix
But at least still younger than
Dustin Pedroia.

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2:39 AM

Thursday, September 07, 2006  

Unless something very unexpected happens, a couple nights ago I attended my final baseball game of the season. Sniffle, etc. It featured an hour long rain delay, a frustrated Jeremy Bonderman, a spectacular Brandon Inge catch, Andrew Miller, Ichiro, a lot of sarcastically glorious Neifi Perez love, and a Tigers loss. However, it also featured a bunch of Tigers bloggers and Real Live Baseball, so despite all the negatives (loss, rain, Neifi's continued existence...) it was a rollicking blast.

The post is
here at Roar of the Tigers, naturally enough, and the photos from it are all here on flickr.

I am, by the by, officially wired up now and I did get to see the Red Sox game last night, such as it was. I also have to admit that I jumped around like a fool and made squeaky sounds when Anibal Sanchez completed his no hitter and was raised, teary-eyed, up onto his teammates' shoulders. Damn, kid. I rag on ESPN rather a lot, but it's hard to dislike them after they cut away from the Sox game and gave us a chance to see that as it happened.

There's not much to say about the Red Sox right now. It's pretty much just all about waiting for the end, sending positive thoughts and fluffy kittens to Jon Lester, and hoping no one else gets hurt/sick/arrested/killed in the next few weeks.

Football starts soon. I don't know about you kids, but I'm all kinds of psyched to see what sort of MAD STRATEGEEZ the Lions roll out this year. Here we come, 3-win season!

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4:08 PM

Monday, September 04, 2006  
I can't even say anything. I still don't have internet or TV in my apartment, I'm pissed off in about 8 separate ways at about 8 separate things. So I come to the Union (along with everyone else on campus apparently who can't get Comcast to deal with them; there are a lot of kids here, most of them with their computers), because, believe it or not, I have to give a 10 minute presentation tomorrow and I need the magical internets to do research for it. This is because the art school is, collectively, a 3-month old decaying goat carcass.

No internet. No TV. No microwave. Researching before classes even start. So many logistical things to work out that I won't even get into. Held hostage in the apartment for 7 hours by Comcast today, only to finally learn that Comcast is not coming today. Great, Comcast, but I'M IN CLASSES DURING YOUR HOURS OF OPERATION TOMORROW WHEN AM I GOING TO GET THIS SHIT HOOKED UP.

You can imagine my mental state.

So you can perhaps also imagine how utterly, pathetically grateful I was to get on the University internet here in the Union, and how even more pathetically grateful I was to the wonderful people who invented It was buffering like a dream and I was watching LIVE BASEBALL for the first time in MANY LONG, STRESS-FILLED DAYS. And, almost as soon as I turned it on, there was MIKE LOWELL, patron Saint of the Double, doubling in a run to tie the game. Good on every level. Red Sox, check, Tigers, check, Mike Lowell, check.

And who should come up in the bottom of the next inning but Carlos Pena. Former Tiger Carlos Pena, Massachusetts native Carlos Pena, Red Sox fan Carlos Pena. And what does Carlos Pena do? He only HITS A FREAKIN' WALKOFF HOMERUN.

I may have made a noise.

I know that the Red Sox have fallen apart like a bloody seeding dandelion in a high wind, but right now, today, surrounded by reams of wood panelling, irritable students in their pajamas, and the sounds of the Miami/FSU game...

This is a feel-good game. And Carlos Pena is my feel-good player of the week. Because this is the only baseball game of any description I've seen since, jeez, I don't even know. Last Wednesday, maybe. And it felt so good that it was ridiculous.

Why do we love this game so much? I don't know; or rather, I'm not getting into it the night before my first day of classes when I've still got research to do. But we do, and I do, and there's something about it that can make even the worst few days disappear, even if it's only for a little while.

Seriously. One day I'll meet whoever got this thing going, and I'm going to hug them so hard ribs'll crack.

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11:00 PM

Sunday, September 03, 2006  

I'm back in Ann Arbor, and things like "move in" and "people demanding to spend time with me not on the internet" and "my roommate being a hippy and not having either TV or internet hooked up" have prevented me from seeing any baseball or following it at all. So imagine my JOY when I trot down to Espresso Royale to upload all my photos from the Michigan/Vanderbilt game and I discover that Jon Lester has CANCER, and Schilling did something to his arm, and so did Papelbon and, as Amy says, basically the only healthy member of the team right now is Alex Cora.

Needless to say, we will be talking about football right now.

Wolverines! Football! It was fun. Loud. Everything a college football game should be. Except not quite as dominant as we would've liked. But first things first. (And all photos clickable, as usual)

The crowd getting in, at least at our gate, was terrible. In previous years they've just torn off the bottom half of your ticket and let you in, but this year apparently they've decided to scan the barcodes on the tickets. You would think that this would be easier but you would be wrong. I have never seen the Michigan gates this inefficient. We were literally standing in the crowd, waiting to get in, for about 25 minutes. If it wasn't a crappy nonconference game I would've been furious. I mean, holy cats, what if we'd missed the kickoff of the Michigan State game because of this? They had better get their act together before the season gets going in earnest.

This year they moved the band from where they used to spend all game, in the bleachers on the opposing team's sideline and in the corner across from the student section, to the actual stands, in the middle of the student section. I guess they expanded the student section to the sides, because they take up rather a lot of seats. But it was very cool being able to shoot them from that close up. Expect a lot of painfully artsy shots of the band this season.

Part of the reason the game wasn't as dominating as it should've been was Chris Nickson, the Vanderbilt quarterback. The little fucker could run. And last year we had NO END of trouble with mobile quarterbacks. I was hoping that this season would be different, but judging from yesterday, apparently not.

One of the reasons we did win was Mike Hart. Beautiful, lovely Mike Hart. If he can stay healthy this season... and if we use Kevin Grady and the passing game enough to keep opposing defenses from concentrating solely on him... oh the marvels that might result. Who among us does not love Mike Hart? Everyone loves Mike Hart.

ZOLTAN MESKO'S FIRST PUNT. Let the world tremble at the mighty foot of Space Emperor (thank you MGoBlog) Zoltan Mesko.

Many, many more photos can and should be found here. As you can see, we're much closer than we were last year... row 11! Unfortunately we're still deep in the corner, which isn't the greatest, and we were surrounded by like the entire population of every sorority on campus, at least for this game. They were priceless. Squabbling over seats, and then not even watching the game.

Hopefully I'll be able to watch baseball soon (I know I'm not alone; a lot of kids who moved into apartments this year don't have cable or internet yet). Classes start Tuesday and, assuming it doesn't rain, I'll be at the Tigers game that night. So, you know, will the rain clouds away, lovely BCRS readers. After dealing with the evilness of the art school, I'm REALLY gonna need some baseball.

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3:56 PM

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