Saturday, May 28, 2011


There are things that are difficult for any man to say---"I feel (insert any abstraction)" or "You're right, honey, I don't need another beer" or "Okay, Jeter is not really gay."

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


It's May 22, and I'm alive! Talk about a hangover: imagine waking up the morning after you told everyone the world was going to end, like this Camping douche. Do you even bother getting out of bed? Then again, after the Red Sox and Bruins' apocalyptic chokes yesterday, I didn't particularly feel like showing my face today.

Oh wait. I never leave the house. Problem solved.
  • 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

They're going to be fine (notes from an asshole)

Last night, I had the pleasure on sitting next to a Canadians' fan at the local watering hole as we watched the Bruins advance to their first conference final in 19 years. While the poor jilted soul haplessly cheered for the deflated Flyers, cursed Chara (because that's what Montreal fans do: whine and bitch and cry), and snorted in disgust as The Bruins drove the nails into the coffins, I grinned in the self-satisfied way that only an obnoxious New Englander can.

Let me preface this by saying, I'm not a huge hockey fan. As this guy rattled off the underwear sizes of each player on the ice---I'm guessing as a backhand pissing contest to prove me inept in my fandom---the Greatest Team in the History of Modern Civilization, the 2011 Red Sox were getting shellacked for the second day straight, a grand total of 20-2 in two games.

Plot twist: This dope was also a Red Sox fan.

So as The Best Team Since the Coining of the Word "Sport" was getting cock-slapped by the Twins, I couldn't help but bring up the parallels between 2004 Red Sox and the 2011 Bruins---the gritty underdogs, retribution, a post-season run that seems mystically destined.

Snort, snort, stats. "I'm fine with the Red Sox," he said, changing the subject. "I'm sick of people overreacting. They're going to be fine."

Which brings me back to the Red Sox of 2011, as opposed to the Dirt Dogs of '04. Watching this team lately has been like dating a schizophrenic. Every now and then we'll see flashes of the team that was advertised. For example, the eighth inning Tuesday night's game when Gonzalez and Papi went back-to-back after Lester was his usual bull on the mound. But then you look at the standings, and this team is 14-18 in LAST PLACE IN THE AL EAST!

I believe I am justified in saying that I am sick and tired of people telling me to calm down, looking at this team on paper and saying they're "going to be fine." It simply is not acceptable. It's not "fine" how this bunch of overpaid dandies is under-performing. And it comes down to one thing, the essential quality that any team worth their weight in shit possesses: a passion for the game.

This year's Red Sox have no fire on the field. Maybe they need a game where the benches clear, where Veritek feeds A-Rod a fistful of catcher's mitt; maybe they need a manager who will throw the bats at them in the showers, ala Bull Durham; maybe they need to start playing like athletes instead of employees; maybe they need to take a lesson from the Bruins and Tim Thomas and grind it out. Unless something lights a spark under these jerk-asses, I'm going to be sitting at the bar next to a paradoxical Canadians/Red Sox fan spewing stats and telling me the Red Sox are "going to be fine."

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.