Saturday, December 31, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
As an adolescent, growing up in Rhode Island in the early-90s, on the local rock station, 94 HJY, each day they had an hour of programming called "Get the Led Out,"devoted to the worship of my rock gods: Led Zeppelin. And each day, I was tickled fucking pink. Mind you, by this point, John Bonham was already a decade dead, and the band's last album, In Through the Out Door was an afterthought (note: I don't count Coda as a real Zeppelin album; it was swag thrown together to honor a contract). As Pearl Jam and Nirvana and grunge began to replace the hair bands of 80s, Zeppelin was already being considered a relic, a staple of your rock diet, but definitely not hip. Jimmy Page was working with David Coverdale of Whitesnake, and Robert Plant had yet to tap the hot indie/folk chick musician market, yet Led Zeppelin was still very much alive in my baked teenage eyes.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
My wife got in my car the other day, and as we were pulling out of the driveway, she made a face like she had picked up the scent of something decomposing. "What are you listening to?"
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Being kicked in the nuts with a steel-toed boot. Passing urine that burns with the intensity of hell-fire. Stubbing a toe. Accidentally crapping your pants on a first date.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
- Reportedly, a former Orioles executive said before the trade for Erik Bedard that all signs point to the fact that Bedard didn't want to be traded and he's unreliable health-wise. He wasn't a big-market pitcher. Then Bedard went out on Friday night, coming off the DL, and pitched for an inning two-thirds, getting shellacked, and pulled from the game. All signs point toward bad move. Is it me, or does this have train wreck written all over it.
- As I posted on my Facebook page, my six year-old son told me the other day that "a burp is just a fart in your mouth." The more I think about it, the more I think he's right.
- Last night, Philip Humber pitched for Chicago, and I giggled throughout his entire outing, thinking about what a tough time high school would've been for him. Do you still wonder where my son gets it from?
- All of the bands that I listen to, everyone has heard of. Just saying.
- It's occurred to me---and the numbers prove it---that no one really reads this blog. Does that make me delusional for continuing to write blog entries? What's next? Will I declare myself King of Nate-Land and march down the street carrying a scepter and a six-pack? Oh, the possibilities.
- I think "Laser Show" is fairly accurate description of what Pedroia does when he catches fire at the plate.
- Republicans and Democrats, I'm tired of all of them. This video, albeit from England, does a nice job describing the world's economic problems in terms even morons like me can understand.
- If I owned a horse, I'd name it Lester.
- This version of my friend Dan Cray's song "More Than Booze" is gorgeous. Wait, have you ever heard of him?
- At the trading deadline, The Red Sox have the second best record in baseball, the best in the AL. It seems this team is for real. I'm a happy panda.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
This week, however, the Patriots have usurped the headlines with a couple of outrageous acquisitions. Make no mistake, I don't think anyone with half a brain will question the talent of Albert Haynesworth and Chad OchoCinco: it's the personalities that raise questions.
Flat-out, Haynesworth is a uber-douche. His checkered history as a sidelines headcase, a selfish teammate, and a Big Ben-esque misogynist make me wonder how he's going to translate in Hoodie-World. Oh, and he goes on trial Aug. 23 for sexual assault and faces a possible 180 days in the clink. But he only allegedly fondled a waitress. He didn't carry a gun or organize dog fights. I'm sure he won't see any time.
Then there's Chad OchoCinco, and I have to say I LOVE THIS GUY! From the Sharpie on, I've always liked him. When HBO filmed the documentary of Cincinnati's training camp for Hard Knocks a couple of years ago, I watched it simply to see Chad OchoCinco (Johnson, dancing machine). He's a character, and being someone who fiddles with fiction, I like characters. In the same way I liked watching Manny until he completely bailed on the team; in the same way I loved hearing Pedro in interviews; in the same way I found myself glued to Marchand and Seguin's epic partying after winning the Cup, I'm sucker for the off-field story line. My wife calls them "male soap operas," and I think it's an accurate term.
I honestly can't wait to read OchoCinco's tweets this season. I love this stuff. I'm not a stats guy, and I'm not even going to touch the Moss vs. OchoCinco debate, which will inevitably arise when you have similar eccentric receivers, but this acquisition has suddenly made the fall---and the end of my summer vacation---a little more palatable.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: B-. Again, I realize I devoted an entire post to "The Salty Sack of Suck" and obsessed over the fact that he married his high school gym teacher, but he really hasn't been too bad. The bat has come around a bit, and defensively, he's competent. Victor Martinez, he is not; however, he's batting .251 and, for a catcher, you'll take it.
Jason Varitek: C+. Oh, Captain, my Captain. If I could grade intangibles, he'd be off the charts, but Varitek is getting old (sadly, he around my age) and he doesn't have the bat speed he once had. But I still love the guy.
Adrian Gonzalez: A+. I was telling my father the other day that Adrian Gonzalez may be the best all-around ballplayer I can remember playing for the Red Sox in my lifetime. He is my man-crush, our Savior, simply brilliant. In fact, I'm going to stop writing about him and dedicate a song instead.
Dustin Pedroia: B+. Pedroia started slow, but he was so pissed at himself for not making the All-Star team that he's come back with his patterned "laser shows" lately. I love his grit, his post-game interviews, and his awkwardness in Sullivan Tire commercials.
Marco Scutaro: C. I feel about Scutaro the same way I feel about lettuce: not much. However, seeing Jed Lowrie hurts himself each time he takes a shit, and Jose Iglesias isn't quite there yet, it's Scutaro for now. Bleh.
Kevin Youkilis: B+. Is this man arguably the biggest whiner in professional sports (in the running with the creepy Sedin twins)? Yes. Am I glad he's on the Red Sox? Affirmative. Now, since a gynecological injury kept Gay-Rod out, Youk is going to the All-Star game. Nice.
Carl Crawford: C. He's overpaid. Everyone knows this. And he's been hurt for the last month. While I'd be remiss to not acknowledge his knack for the walk-off so far, unlike Gonzalez (I swoon mentioning his name), this is not the package that was promised.
Jacoby Ellsbury: A. After last year's debacle, where I told my wife she couldn't wear her Ellsbury t-shirt anymore, he's come back and sent a resounding message to doubters like me. However, don't be shocked to see his name thrown around at the trading deadline.
JD Drew: F. Mr. Blutarsky...
Josh Reddick: A. Here is a glimpse at the future rightfielder, and there was much rejoicing. The kid can play. So far, he's batting a cool .414 in the big leagues. I just wish he'd get rid of the douche bag chin-strap beard.
The Designated Hitter.
David Ortiz: A. People will say to me, "Papi is back on the juice." And I'll say, "So what." He's putting up incredible numbers and is, once again, a formidable force from the left side of the plate. In other words, he's Big Papi, again.
The Best Thing to Happen This Season.
Here. The dude grabs his girlfriend's boob on television. Mad props for this play, but Remy and Orsillo's responses are even better.
Friday, July 8, 2011
With tonight's game against the Orioles two and half hours away (and I'm still slightly in love Buck Showalter's countenance after last night's back-to-back-to-back home runs because the douche ran his mouth in a Men's Journal article in the off-season), here's an assessment of the Red Sox pitching staff, based on...well, nothing. I'll handle the offense tomorrow.
Jon Lester: B. Lester was my man-crush last year before I was swooned away by Adrian Gonzalez. And while Lester has been his bullish "fuck cancer" self at times this year, he's also been somewhat inconsistent. Before the season, I tried to make the case for Lester as the best left-hander in baseball, but after watching Cliff Lee put on his clinic against the Sox last week, I can't begin to make the argument anymore.
Josh Beckett: A. Not only does Beckett look a little like me, plus six inches (height, assholes), he has been the Sox veritable ace so far. I saw Beckett pitch against CC Dough-boy and Spank-jobs on Sunday Night Baseball at Fenway in April. Amazing. I fell in love again that night, and he's hardly disappointed since.
Clay Buchholz: C+. The only reason I'm giving Buchholz such a high grade is because he's so goddamn ugly, and his wife is so goddamn hot. You have to give points for that. Otherwise, aside from his injuries, he has yet to show a glimpse of the pitcher he was last season.
Dice-K: F (as in "fuck you" and your apocryphal gyro-ball and your huge contract and your ostracizing yourself from the team and your sad mediocrity in American baseball)
John Lackey: F. Mr. Blutarsky zero-point-zero.
Tim Wakefield: B. Wakefield, who started the season as a 45 year-old mop up man, has once again come through for the Red Sox in a pinch. If you're a baseball fan and you don't like Tim Wakefield, most likely you're a flaming asshole-ish dickhole.
Andrew Miller: B-. This kid was drafted by Detroit with his cock swinging in the wind about five years ago. Then the Tigers rushed him into the big leagues, which fucked with his head, and he became a long-shot for the Sox. So far, however, he's done all right. Maybe, dude. Maybe.
Bobby Jenks: D-. He was supposed to be a contender, albeit a fat contender. Between injuries and sub par outings, he's been a Glass Jaw Joe for Mike Tyson's Punch Out, plus 250 lbs.
Matt Albers: B. Who? What? He's been all right.
Dan Wheeler: D. I was rooting for this guy because he's from Rhode Island---in the same way I root for Ferrally Brothers' movies and the band Deer Tick. He grew up in Warwick, the town next to mine. But, so far, when he hasn't been injured, he's been a liability. Dude, come on, do it for Little Rhody.
Daniel Bard: A-. I'll admit, I wrote Bard off with the rest of Red Sox 2011 roster after the first two weeks of the season. I thought he was a guy who could only throw a fastball, and hitters had figured him out. I was wrong. He's developed his change-up and has been one of the best set-up guys in baseball.
Jonathan Papelbon: B+. Contract year, and he's making his case as a career closer. However, I still never feel completely comfortable when he comes in with a lead less than two runs. Why is this? Oh, because he's blown a ton of saves the past three seasons, thus earning the nickname Papelblown. Clever, huh?
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
1. Don't bet on the Red Sox.
2. Don't date a woman who can beat you at arm wrestling.
3. Don't drink before noon.
Simple, right? However, when Tito FranCOMA is batting Darnell McDonald second against a team that might be the best in the majors, with an offense that has managed one run in the last 18 innings in the Cheese Steak Mecca, Rule #3 gets thrown out the window.
For years now on this blog, I've been preaching what seems to be common knowledge: the NL is an inferior league. And Sox usually, to use the parlance of Sir Dustin Pedroia, "rake" in these inter-league games, and going into the inter-league games this season, The Red Sox were the most formidable team in baseball.
And then the whining started.
Fine. I can deal with a slump (not really), but what has been the most difficult thing to stomach has been watching my team morph into a bunch of whining bitches on par with any of Bravo's Real Housewives. It started a week before they went on the road with this whole overblown issue of how they were going to get Papi into the line-up. Tito started getting his panties in a bunch over whether or not Adrian Gonzalez should play right field, and it becomes a regional crisis---far more significant than, say, global warming---in the Boston media. God fucking forbid the Red Sox have to play nine games without a DH. Oh, woe is me! Youk starts calling on Bud Selig to re-examine the injustice. The bitching and whining in the clubhouse hits a fevered pitch.
Are you serious? So instead of going into Pittsburgh and kicking the snot out of the Pirates, they bitch and whine and pout and drop two out of three games. Now, they're hours away from being swept in Philly while that dumb-ass green-thing mascot with the stupid dick-like snout dry-humps the top of the dugout. Nice.
Ultimately, you can gauge the character of team by how they behave when they're losing. Yes, the Red Sox had one of the most impressive paper-clubs (behind Philly) going into the season, but watching these cry-babies for the last three weeks has made me sick to my stomach. Not to sound like a beer commercial---although I'm going to sound like a beer commercial---but man-up, bitches, and win some goddamn games.
Either that, or set your date to go shoe-shopping with Tamara amd Gretchen. One or the other, please. You look ridiculous.
[Edit: I realize how sexist this post is, but sometimes, when you're a man who thrives on sports-talk radio, the urge to swing your cock becomes irresistible.]
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
In short, it was a dream game to watch, and I didn't have pay $200 for tickets and another $40 for parking, and $8 for a "bend me over" Bud Light like I would have at Fenway Park. Instead, my wife and I took our son to a New Hampshire Fisher Cats AA game against the Altoona Curve---and, yes, I admit, I had to look up where the hell Altoona was located (it's in Pennsylvania, in case you're curious)---and for $30 we bought seats a row behind the third base dugout, where we could almost see the seams spinning on the pitches.
And when we got home---no traffic coming out of the game---The Red Sox were still playing the pathetic Padres, and it was still in the sixth inning. The games, by the way, started at roughly the same time. The Red Sox lost, which was completely unacceptable, but, all in all, I had a good baseball night.
Listen, despite my posturing on this blog as an obnoxious Red Sox fan, I am, first and foremost, a fan of the game. Unlike most of the Pink Hats in the box seats posing as the "Fenway Faithful" in their brand new Bruins t-shirts, I stay off my cell phone when I'm watching live baseball and actually watch the game. While I realize I'm at risk of sounding sanctimonious here, I find very few things in life as satisfying as being in the stands for a well-played baseball game. For me, it's right up there with an ice cold beer on a hot summer day, an afternoon nap, and the moment I experience when something I've been writing clicks and comes together.
While the Red Sox start and three minutes, and I have every plan of parking my ass on the couch to assure they don't lose a series to fucking San Diego before going on a nine game NL road trip, it's reassuring to know that instead of taking out a second mortgage to bring my family to Fenway, any time I have a hankering for live baseball, I can drive five-minutes and catch The Fisher Cats.
As someone perpetually on the slow end of the learning curve, I've finally discovered this little AA gem that the middle-class baseball fan in New England can enjoy.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
On the eve of your ninth straight win, a veritable carpet-bombing of the lowly Blue Jays, after sweeping the paltry Oakland batch and the Spankees with ritualistic precision, I come to you contrite. I come to you begging for forgiveness. My sarcasm in earlier posts, when calling you "The Greatest Team in the History of Professional Sports," was both stupid and unjust, as you're making a case for the aforementioned title as I type. Clearly, I have no intuitive sense of irony. I am a dumb, dumb man and my abject attempts at humor were fatuous and vapid.
You see, gentlemen, when you started the season with a miserable 0-6 record, I was at the head of the lynch mob, my torch afire and screaming until my own miserable lungs were exhausted. In fact, the pre-2004 Nate Graziano was quietly enjoying the masochism, enjoying the stage where I could spew my tired Gen. X sarcasm.
Again, I was wrong.
Adrian Gonzalez: You were the best kept secret in baseball, tucked away in San Diego with your bat on your shoulder---waiting, waiting, waiting to woo us in a big market. You have been everything that was advertised, and seeing gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, I'd be happy to be bride, as long as we don't have to consummate the union. I don't swing that way.
Papi: I am so, so happy you're back on the juice. What a difference! You're smiling in the clubhouse, making the Yankees look like bitches; in short, you're your old self! Great to have you back!
Josh Beckett: for the past couple of years, I've been slightly surly when people would approach me and say I look like you. Now I'm considering shaving so we can have identical facial hair. You rule, Josh, my brother!
Jon Lester: Money.
Jacoby Ellsbury: I'm am truly sorry about all of my "Lady" Ellsbury cracks last season. I now believe your ribs were legitimately bothering you, preventing you from being the A-list lead-off man you've been so far this glorious year. Admittedly, I had no way of gauging your pain, and my irreverence is unforgivable. I'm a douche. I suck.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: I apologize for the whole "Salty Sack of Suck" stuff with the South Park clip.You've proven me wrong, and it is me, sir, not you, who is the "salty sack of suck."
Theo Epstein: God, it must feel good NOT to be Brian Cashman right now.
John Henry: You're creepy.
Please, gentlemen, accept my humble apology. Thank you for sweeping three straight series; thank you for putting Yankee fans back on their heels, forcing them to bring up their "27 rings," which is the only thing Yankee fans can say when they've been blatantly out-dueled; and thank you for being so fucking good.
With love and admiration,
"A Salty Sack of Baseball Blogging Suck"
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
This is very cool if you haven't seen it yet. An impromptu "Let's go Bruins" chant breaks out at a Phish concert of all places. Damn, even the hippies hate the Canucks, and hippies love everyone.
And while we've been blinded by the Bruins' recent ass-kicking of a team that almost makes The Spankboys seem likeable, The Sox have coolly taken four in a row from the Yankees in their [edit: somewhat] new whiffle-ball field.
Go Sox and Bruins!
[edit: Okay, I realize they've been playing in the "new" stadium for four years, but for guys like me, who used to watch Dimaggio and Mantle in the old Yankee Stadium, it is still relatively new.]
Monday, June 6, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
But, far and beyond, the most difficult thing a man can say is "I was wrong."
You will rightfully note my past posts titled "A Salty Sack of Suck" and "They're Going To Be Fine (Notes From an Asshole)" and "Charlie Says, 'Relax." And it seems like each baseball season I come out spewing optimism, followed by a complete and total rejection of the team where I make cynical and snarky comments (perhaps posting South Park video clips), which ultimately results in contrition, and reverts back to a renewal of my pessimism.
Right now, however, the Red Sox are playing, as advertised: Like the Best Team in the History of Professional Sports. Baseball fans are now seeing what will happen when this line-up, busting at the buttons with potential, will look like running on all cylinders. Crawford is starting to earn his money (relatively); Lady Ellsbury is red hot; Youk is Youk; Pedey is Pedey; and even the aforementioned "Salty Sack of Suck" is starting to make Theo look good. Josh Beckett is back to his "I'm an asshole so try to hit my shit" self. My man-crush Jon Lester is stellar, and even Tim Wakefield---who, if you have a baseball soul, you have to love---has been solid.
The cynic is saying that I'm jinxing the bastards by writing this, but the realist knows that this is a team that is, far and beyond, better than any of their opponents. When sportswriters looked at the 2011 Red Sox on paper, they unanimously agreed that this team has an unfair advantage. When they started the season like late-Bea Arthur doing the pole vault, baseball fans outside of the Hub rejoiced with indignant high-fives, and Sox fans, like myself, resorted to apocalyptic posts and snide scoffs.
So here it is: I was wrong.
The 2011 Red Sox are the real deal, folks. They are the team to beat. And while I wouldn't waste the gas money to see John Lackey pitch at McCoy if I were stranded in Pawtucket;and if Josh Bard doesn't develop a second pitch he's going to continue to throw batting practice at the set-up position; and Dice-K can stay forever in Japan, as far as I'm concerned; this team is clearly very good. The team to beat.
I was wrong.
For the first time in my life, I'm not worrying about the Red Sox. This, of course, could be (to use the cliche) the Kiss of Death, but, for now, I'll save my fretting for the Bruins, trying to win the first Cup in 39 years against a formidable Vancouver team.
And, by the way, Jeter is gay. It was all histrionics. You get the point.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
- Adrian Gonzalez came as packaged, and you can make an argument that he's the best player in baseball. I want to put a poster of him in my bedroom, like I did with Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs when I was a kid, but my wife vetoed the idea. She thinks it's "creepy."
- There an interview with me on Cheek Teeth, the blog for the literary journal Trachodon, where I contributed a poem in Issue #2. Check it out here.
- "Fuckin' A" might be the most versatile phrase in the English language: You stub your toe ("FUCKin' A!"); you hit a lottery ticket ("fuckIN' A"); your best friend tells you he found his wife in bed with another guy ("aww, fuckin' a, dude"); you find yourself reading this crap ("fuckin'a, what's wrong with me?").
- Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy compared Claude Julien to Grady Little in his column, and he's spot on. I'm worried about the Bruins. They have "choke" all over them, right now, and the perfect dipshit to watch it go down.
- Here's a video of my poem "Cracker and Me." I'm now a YouTube presence.
- Yes, I was one of the first and most vociferous naysayers when it came to The Red Sox pathetic start out of the gate. Yesterday, I was going to admit I was entirely wrong then last night Tito FranCOMA, thumb firmly up ass, watched as his bullpen gave up eight runs to the Cubs in the eighth inning, blowing a two run lead. Where was Bard? Papelbon? Do inter-league games not count anymore?
- I bet Arnold Schwarzenegger was rooting for The Rapture.
- Gregg Yeti kicks ass.
- I'm reading it again with my American Lit. class, and I have to say, The Great Gatsby is the great American novel. The older I get, the less I feel the need to dissect the book and can simply enjoy the story. That's the point of reading, right?
- Did I mention how impressed I am with Adrian Gonzalez? The other big acquisitions from the last two years---Crawford, Jenks, Lackey, Wheeler, Salty---not so much.
- There's nothing better than a Sunday afternoon nap. Had the rapture happened, I would've been shit out of luck. The Great Gatsby on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, life, even this sordid den of iniquity we inhabit here on Earth, is sometimes pretty sweet.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
The lesson here for Red Sox fans is don’t be a Hab. Because until this team starts playing with a modicum of passion, and until we all start calling them out on it, we’re all complicit in the problem.
And, hey buddy, go Bruins! They're going to be fine.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I can't sleep. I've seriously worked myself into such a fit about the goddamn Red Sox that every time I close my eyes and try to sleep, I hear Terry Francona's voice: "You have to stop trying so hard. You're forcing things."