01 October 2010
Another baseball season has come and gone. The playoffs will be significantly less interesting to this baseball fan without the Red Sox. Heh... I wasn't even able to make it to a game at Fenway this year.
It's been very different this year. Unable to even watch half the games on TV due to my 2010 night work schedule, I feel a bit disassociated with the team I love so much; only able to catch a few games here or there in the half-week I have my off-nights.
Luckily I was able to follow some of the highlights of the season: Darnell McDonald's homer and walk-off in his first game as a Red Sox, Daniel Nava's first-pitch grand salami.
However, trailing the Rays and Yankees this year has a somewhat sobering effect. That's not to say I should feel entitled to a Division Title or even a Wild Card spot in the playoffs - I don't and I shouldn't. Plenty of teams languish for years without as much as a winning record, what makes our team so special? For years that's how it was with the Red Sox, then with one taste of glory, some have come to expect it all the time. Of course this is a natural reaction, once one gets a taste of the rich life, it is very difficult to come down from that high. It's not easy to be humbled, but one must have the virtue of grace to accept things as they come and roll with the punches, however staggering they may be.
In the playoffs, I believe I will be supporting Minnesota (they have a player from my hometown, Brendan Harris). Texas should be interesting, they have had very few playoff appearances and with all their posturing this season with some of the greatest talent that organization they have ever employed, they stand a real chance in knocking off the Rays or Yankees. On the NL side, I still favor the Giants, they have a great fun-loving chemistry in their clubhouse and a tenacious, never say die attitude akin to our Sox.
On the homefront, it's been a busy summer, many days at the town pool, our annual camping trip, a few days at the lake beaches, even one visit to the ocean this year early on in June. Fall is showing just as much promise. Here we are on the first of October... September passes ever so swiftly, as always, possibly my favorite month of the year, what with school back in session, lingering warmth from the summer but cooling trends coming into play, and the change in the colors in the foliage at the end of the month... it really is the perfect month. We took Sierra to her first live stage show, the Nickelodeon kids' show Yo Gabba Gabba at the Flynn (my first time in this downtown historic theater). She had a blast, she couldn't believe her eyes! My bro Tom and I also enjoyed a concert of a different kind - LCD Soundsystem - just incredible - although I had thrown my back out the day before so I couldn't enjoy it as completely as I could have with a healthy body. I really shouldn't wait for over a year to pass between musical gigs - being such a music lover as myself I should be getting out there enjoying as much live music as possible.
Keep on truckin...
29 June 2010
Ok, so I thought I'd get to my 200th post a lot sooner.
But I wonder, is blogging as popular as it used to be? Or have I just fallen off the proverbial blogging wagon?
Anyhow... in the last 2 months:
1. The Red Sox have improved from a sub-.500 team to the second best record in the league, 2nd only to the hated Yankees, of course, whose robotic machine of a team seemingly rallies every game in the late innings. The Sox have meanwhile gone 35-19 in May and June, despite SEVERAL injuries (Ellsbury, Cameron, Hermida, Beckett all on the DL for the majority of the past 2 months, and now adding 3 more over the past weekend - most importantly Pedroia going to the DL for a foot fracture, the other 2 (Buchholz and Martinez) won't likely hit the DL.
2. The Essex Hornets boys varsity baseball team are 2010 state champs! I've had the privilege of seeing a good number of their home games, every one of which they've won that I've seen (they only lost twice all year). What a perfect send off for retiring long-time coach Steve Ferreira of 43 years, the winningest high school baseball coach in Vermont history with over 520 wins. I've been honing my sports photography skills and here are some of the better ones from this season at the Essex home field.
20 April 2010
5 games in a row. All of them losses. From just keeping their heads above water to playing catch up. Such is baseball, and such is April baseball. No championship was ever won in the first 2 weeks of a season, so take heart.
I was on the road yesterday spending time with my family, and before I knew it, when I checked the score of the Patriots' Day game, our beloved Sox were down 6-0. On the road back, I had the latter innings on the radio in the car, and I heard Hermida's home run, so there's that.
At the end of the day, sure I felt disappointed, ultimately it sucked. Sucks even more seeing the Rays and Yanks at the top of the standings. But I still love my Red Sox, win or lose. Sorry no words of wisdom today, just keep the faith and keep on believing.
Around the rest of the league, I'm enjoying watching the San Francisco Giants. I don't feel that betrays my love for the Red Sox since they normally don't play head to head being in the National League, although they will have an interleague series come June. They really have a great chemistry; they really look like they're having a lot of fun out there. Between Lincecum's absolutely sick pitching skills and Sandoval's unassuming and quirky qualities, this is a team to watch, not just because they are winning, but because it always seems like a party with them, not unlike the 2003-2004 Red Sox. Maybe that's what the Sox are missing this year, maybe it is what they've been saying is a "bridge" year, a team built with spare parts. We will need time for the glue of this team to set and gel. Also it's amazingly difficult when you're starting your season against 3/4 tough teams over .500, we will need some bottom feeders to kick around to get our mojo back. But never give up on this team.
Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Some bandwagoners may fall off or take that bridge. Faithful and Diehards only need apply.
(next time: post #200)
09 March 2010
These long blogging absences have got to stop. Apologies.
Fortunately for me, my unemployment period lasted less than 3 weeks, so hooray for me. Sort of.
I go from one large company to an even larger corporation, but a completely different line of work. I'm still trying to determine if it suits me well or not. The schedule is interesting in that I work nights for 12 hour shifts, 1900 - 0700, but I've adjusted to that, so long as I get a sufficient amount of sleep, which means I must sleep in until 2-3pm in the afternoon after hitting the sack around 7:30-8am. My schedule will stay the same: Wednesdays through Fridays, and working every other Saturday. Either way you cut it, if you're working the other side of the schedule, you're working half the weekend. Since I'm no longer a young party person, I don't really miss having Friday night off, I'd rather enjoy a quiet Sunday/Monday/Tuesday out and about, running errands and such.
Spring training is in full swing and couldn't be happier that the dawn of the 2010 Major League Baseball is upon us. Currently watching the debut of Stephen Strasburg in the Tigers/National game. Strasburg the bright spot in the game pitching 2 scoreless innings, now the Nats are getting smoked by the motor city kitties. No televised Red Sox game today (not until Sunday will there be next one) but they are looking good so far this spring. It's a shame a lot of the young kids won't make the club at the beginning of the season as there is limited space unless an injury occurs. With a rotation like Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Matsuzaka, Buchholz; starting lineup of Ellsbury, Pedroia, V Martinez, Youkilis, Ortiz, Beltre, Cameron, Drew, Scutaro; bench of Hermida, Varitek, Kotchman, Lowrie ; Bullpen of Papelbon, Okajima, Wakefield, DelCarmen, Ramon Ramirez, Bard, Bonser - that makes a full team of 25 (and yes that is all from memory). Much has been said about what is perceived to be a smaller offense - I don't believe the hype. Ortiz will be back to form much more quickly this season, Beltre, Cameron & Hermida will be better than expected so long as they mesh well with the team.
With our family's new Nintendo Wii, I HAD to get the current MLB video game. I'm currently embarking on a full 162 game season. I lost the entire first series against the Yankees, after leading in early innings, losing big in later innings as the Yankees are prone to do (as I was still learning the controls, so I will grant them that). Since then I have swept the Royals in that series, including a game-winning home run by Mike Cameron in the top of the 9th to win it 2-1, and CG shutouts by Beckett over Greinke and Lackey vs. the Twins (Mauer is rated 100 for contact and a very tough out).
On the music front, is it possible to already nominate 3 of the worst songs of the year? All equally awful: Bedrock, Hey Soul Sister, and Party in the USA (although there is an amusing mashup with Notorious BIG of Party & Bullshit by Hathberger).
For last year's worst song, I'd have to say Empire State of Mind because of the Yankee World Series implications. Ugh. Love NYC but HATE THE YANKEES.
Oh, and we taught Sierra to boo the Yankees. Good times.
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