Monday, October 22, 2007
I know I haven't been posting over here very often, but rest assured, I have been spreading the insane Sox love during that time:
I have to say that Game 5 was maybe the most stressful baseball game I've watched in a long, long time. There were any number of times when I thought my roommate would come in the next morning and find me curled up dead in front of the TV. It really did feel like 2004 again: that sort of awful do-or-die thing that most of us, given the kinds of jobs we have and lives we lead, just don't feel that often. Eeesh. I mean, there are big games, and there are Big Games.
Of course this is why JD Drew's grand slam at the start of the next game was so very amazing to RSN. It wasn't just that he hit a postseason grand slam; it was that we knew, at that moment, that we probably would not have to live through another Game 5 just yet. Two of those games one after the other might have been too much for us.
Last night was tense most of the way, but still nothing approaching Game 5. I LITERALLY thought I was causing myself physical damage during Game 5, either from the nail biting or the stress-induced internal traumas. Game 7 was rough until we broke it open, but still, WE were the team on a roll at that point, not the Indians, and despite the double plays (which, by the way, NEED TO BE ADDRESSED before the World Series, 'cause my GAWD I know Westbrook throws that sinker, but that many balls on the ground in the infield with men on base is NOT OK) the Sox just looked more tapped in than the Indians did.
Now, of course, comes the Dire Challenge. We have the Red Sox on a roll, and the Rockies on a roll. I am split on this World Series (prediction-wise... obviously not rooting-wise), for two reasons:
The Rockies' streak may have had time to cool down since they've had a relatively long wait between the end of the NLCS and the start of the WS. Obviously the Rockies have some good players, or they wouldn't be able to rattle off that streak in the first place, but a lot of baseball streaking is made up of amorphous stuff like 'staying hot' and 'feeling locked-in' and other such newspaper tag phrases. The Rockies were able to maintain their streak in part because they were playing game after game with no breaks (or short breaks), so they were as individuals and as a team maintaining a rhythm that worked. Maybe (hopefully) the time they spent waiting for the ALCS to resolve itself will have put them off their game a bit. The Red Sox are on a roll, and they only have two days to stew on it. Advantage: Sox.
The Red Sox may be burnt out after the struggle to win the ALCS. That's the problem with the league championships when the games and series are close. You can't slack off, because then you have no shot at all at the World Series, but in a way you don't want to exert quite as much effort as you possibly can. Most everyone's hurting in one way or another by this time of year, and if they push too hard just to get through the LCS, they might not have much left for the WS. See: Detroit Tigers, 2006. Of course this isn't always the case (see: Boston Red Sox, 2004), but it can be, and it worries me. The Rockies had pretty stress-free series, and they've had lots of time to rest their pitchers. If Game 5 was that stressful for ME, I can only imagine how much exponentially worse it was for the actual players. Advantage: Rox.
We shall see what we shall see. All we can do is keep the mojo up (DON'T WASH THAT JERSEY) and hope for another Papelbon jig.
Labels: ALCS, baseball, MLB, photoblog, Red Sox
Friday, October 12, 2007
That's my living room wall: the little painting all the way on the left is Fenway Park, the big painting is old Tiger Stadium, and the flag, of course, is the Detroit Lion.
We were having some trouble with the electricity in my apartment (i.e. my roommate managed to trip one of the circuit breakers three times in a single morning), so I alerted the apartment manager and toddled off to class. I came back just as the maintenance guy was finishing up. He hadn't been able to replicate the problem, so it was all Very Mysterious and we were both at a bit of a loss to explain it.
As he was packing up his tools, his eyes alighted upon the Lions flag. Well. As you can see, it's hard to miss, especially since that's the wall that faces the front door.
Maintenance dude nodded at the flag. "Well, that's your problem right there. Suckin' all the energy right outta the place."
I laughed. In light of the Lions' most recent outing, this was a fair assessment.
"Really. That'll take all the energy right out." At this point I wasn't quite sure if he was joking or not. On the one hand, how could he NOT be joking? On the other hand, the Lions have been bad enough for long enough to do some serious damage to people's minds.
After another minute of conversation about the Army recruiters staked out in our parking lot, maintenance dude left, but not before casting a baleful glance over his shoulder at the Lions flag.
I'm a little worried now.
Labels: football, Lions, NFL, terrible
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Although I really am not a fan of TBS's broadcasting, I do have to say that I appreciated their blatant Jonathan Papelbon fangirling on Friday night. Jonathan Papelbon, more than almost anyone on the Sox, seems to regularly reduce grown men and women to squealing 12 year old fangirls. This is pretty par for the course when it comes to Sox fans, but it's remarkable when people who are NOT Red Sox fans do it.
I can't keep track of who's broadcasting what game for TBS, because so long as it's not Don Orsillo I don't actually give a flying goat liver about it, but the whole crew on Friday night was complicit in this. Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound. As every good Red Sox fan knows, Jonathan Papelbon has a crazy, insane stare that he uses before every pitch to reduce the opposing batter to a quivering mass of protoplasm.
The TBS guys were obviously captivated by this patented Papelbonian stare. The video guys zoomed in on his face, multiple times-- close enough for everyone watching the broadcast to get a little protoplasmic quiver themselves. The broadcasters waxed poetic about the intensity of his gaze, the power of his stare, the cool level-headedness of his eyes, and all manner of hideously intangible things that most of us admire as incidentals but that they seemed to treat as skills on a par with his ability to throw a baseball 97 mph while nicking an inside corner of the plate.
Between the audio problems and things like the way they cut away from a Manny/Papi hug just before it started, I have not had much reason to be happy with TBS. But as they zoomed in on Papelbon's deranged pre-pitch face for the third time on Friday, I found myself for the very first time praising the TBS staff.
Labels: baseball, Jonathan Papelbon, MLB, TBS