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Preview: Hoo's On First

Hoo's On First

A Sox/Pats Blog.

Updated: 2014-10-06T19:33:27.094-05:00


Best Time Ever


Went to the Sox/Yanks game on Wednesday

Best thing that happened to me

A Few Open Letters


Dear Red Sox,
Please stop giving your manager chest pains. Even a win like last night can't be good for his health.

Dear Tito,
I'm glad you're feeling better Maybe you should just turn the TV off in the seventh or so and just meditate. Breathe in. And out. In. Out. In. Out. Doesn't that feel better?

Dear Edgah,
Please hit.

Dear DLo,
I hear you're coming back for the ceremony on Monday. Thank you. You need some appreciation in person, Mr PostSeason.

Dear Mr. Old Yankee Fan,
Remember how you came in yesterday morning and made fun of my Red Sox starting pitching? I didn't see you this morning. Too bad.

Dear O's,
Thank you for last night. Now can you do to the Yanks this year what you did to us last? And maybe give us a break.

Dear Boomer,
Well it was an improvement. Keep it up. At this rate, you could win next start.

Dear Mr. Mills,
Give us more of a chance to love Boomer. Only 70some pitches?

Dear Papi and Horny,
Don't do anything different.

Dear Tek,
I don't care what they say. I love the C. And keep up the good work.

Dear Jays,

Terry Sprung


Terry Francona out of the hospital.

Team physician Dr. Thomas Gill said Friday that tests showed no evidence of a serious heart problem and that Francona's chest pains probably were caused by "a recent viral illness."

"He will be monitored over the weekend by the Red Sox medical staff, and should be ready to return to the bench on Monday for the team's home opener," Gill said in a statement. "He is in good spirits, and is extremely eager to return to the team."

And I was thinking about a long involved rant in another post, but this says it better than I probably could.

Media bad, tree pretty

Random Encounters


I got yelled at by a Yankee fan today.

I was at work and a elderly female (and huge sox fan) coworker of mine came up to me and asked me who was starting tonight. "Arroyo," I told her. "Good," she said. And before she could say anything else this OldMan (tm) in a Yankee hat came up to us and started wagging his finger and yelling that the sox "had the worst starting rotation in baseball and how did we feel about our hero now that he was getting knocked around by minor leaguers and how we had just gotten lucky and how before that we hadn't won in 75 years [blogger's note. jeez if you're going to give a diatribe, get your facts right] and we could only win once a century and we weren't going to win for another 75 years and WHERE WERE WE GOING TO BE THEN!!!???*" And I smiled ever so sweetly at him and said "Alive."

He didn't have much to say about that. And wandered off still muttering. He was just sooooo defensive about it all. So. Funny. And hey! I was nice! I didn't start making chocking noises or anything.

I giggled to myself about it for hours after. I'd heard about other Sox fans having these encounters, but this was my first. I've been deflowered. . . Cool.

Who's Your Daddy, Now?


My how things have changed.

It wasn't long ago that Rivera coming into the game meant the end. Game over. It all started to change mid last summer (say July 24), even if we didn't know it yet. It was a shock when Mueller hit that walk-off homer. So much of a shock I called my father to scream "THEY WON! THEY DID IT! WOOHOO".

Then came that September game and "catch the ball". Hmmm

Then the post season. We all remember that.

Then April 5th. Rivera came into the game. And my first thought was, we have a chance. And Tek took it. Of course then Rivera held the line, and the Sox lost in a walk-off homer in the bottom of that inning.

Then April 6th. Sox down by one. Enter Sandman. And I went "Yes! Here we go!" And there the Sox went. I even had a friend call me on my cell in the middle of that inning crowing, "Now he's the fruitless bat!"

There is no more dread for me in the ninth inning of a Sox/Yanks game. And the Red Sox are the defending world champions. I like this new world of ours.

Thoughts and Prayers for Tito


Francona rushed to hospital

NEW YORK -- Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been taken to a New York City hospital after complaining of tightness in his chest.

A team spokesman said Francona, 45, was taken to Cornell Medical Center for "precautionary reasons." He will miss today's game between the Red Sox and Yankees. Bench coach Brad Mills will serve as interim manager.

Sox general manager Theo Epstein said he was taken to the hospital by ambulance for what he called "precautionary testing." Francona was accompanied to the hospital by Sox trainer Jim Rowe.

Mills told the media he spoke to Francona at the hospital, and said the Sox manager told him "he feels OK."

Francona suffered life-threatening blood clots following arthroscopic knee surgery in November 2002. He was in Seattle interviewing for the Mariners' managing job when he experienced severe chest pains.

"I got off the plane and thought I'd had a heart attack," Francona later told The Boston Globe.

Doctors prescribed blood thinners and the problem was thought to be under control, but complications developed. He had staph infections in both knees, then developed serious hemorrhaging in his leg. He was hospitalized for more than a month and ultimately underwent eight operations.

"With the circulatory problems that he's had in the past, they (the doctors) want to make sure things are checked out a little bit more and I think they might be a little bit more cautious with him ...," Mills told the media this morning. "I think we'll just wait and see what happens and we'll get more news as the day goes."

Mills also said Francona fell asleep on the bus ride over to Yankee Stadium this morning, and said Francona told him, "I don't feel very well."

From what the Sox say, he seems to be in good spirits.

Win today for Terry, guys.

Accentuate the Positive


What I liked about yesterday's game

1) Matt Clement pitched ok. Kept them in the game, didn't seem to get rattled. If not for that error and botched DP, his line would have looked better.

2) Tito's management of the bullpen. Perfect.

3) The bullpen. Almost perfect.

4) Mike Myers making Matsui look foolish. OK, he eventually got a bloop. But damn did he look silly before that.

5) We're starting to hit.

6)We're starting to hit for power
7) Making Rivera blow Yet Another Save. I actually thought, when he came in, oh good, we can get him. Great feeling. And it was ALMOST a loss potential, if JD's ball had just traveled a few more feet.

8) Millar's defense. Some *great* places. That 3-2-3 DP was a thing of beauty.

9) Our Captain Clutch.

10) Mark Bellhorn's line - On base twice/Two K's. That's so Bellhorn.

11) The Stienbrenner-Cam. Did you see the look on his face in the top of the ninth? Priceless. First the Pickle-face(tm). Then the dismissive hand-flap. Then the pasty-white jawdrop. Great stuff.

Things I didn't like so much.

1) The loss (duh)

2) The lineup. C'mon, Tito, drop Edgar down the lineup at least until he gets over his nerves or whatever they are. Stick Bellhorn back in the two-hole maybe? That seemed to work ok last year.

The lineup I'd put out.
Johnny Damon
Mark Bellhorn
Manny Ramirez
David Ortiz
Kevin Millar
Trot Nixon
Jason Varitek
Bill Mueller
Edgar Renteria.

3) Clement needs to work on his control just a *smidge* more. (although I was really fine with his hitting Jeter, that man needs to move off the plate). But I'm sure Clement will. He looked great in Spring Training with this aspect and today Im sure the adrenaline and nerves were off the charts.

4)Edgar Renteria. I realize Manny hasn't hit either, but I know Manny. He has his mini-slumps. He breaks out. I don't know Edgar yet. Also that error? *shudder*. I'm willing to believe in the New Team Nerves. Look at Cabrera last year. I felt the *exact* same way, yet by the end, I adored him. I can see it happening again.

See? The list of stuff I liked is MUCH longer than the stuff I didn't like.
Game on in a few hours. Go, Sox!

Keeping Up the Tradition


So we lost Opening Day. Big deal. One down, one hundred sixty one to go. Marathon not a sprint. Blah blah etc.

Although, I should say - we lost Opening Day.. . again. We lost Opening Day last year. And the year before. And look how good we wound up doing then. In fact, we haven't won an Opening Day since 2000. You could say we haven't won an Opening Day this century/millenium. And it hasn't slowed us down.

A couple of interesting patterns. We haven't won an Opening Day since 2000. When's the last time the Yankees won the World Series? 2000. So. Red Sox lose Opening Day=Yankees don't win the World Series. I'll take that pattern.

I looked into the stats a bit.

2001. Lost Opening Day 2-1 in 11 innings. Almost won but eventually lost. We held on that year longer than we had any business to. We lost Pedro, Nomar *and* Varitek. And we held on for a good chunk of the year. OK, it all crashed and burned eventually, but that's the year the boston dirt dog came into being (and I don't mean the website).

2002, we lost Opening Day 12-11. A worse loss. We were seriously scored against, but again, almost won. We won 93 games that year.

2003, we had a 4-1 lead and blew it in the ninth and lost 6-4 I believe. An even worse loss. That year we won 95 games, made it to the playoffs and came within 5 outs of the World Series.

In 2004, we were blown out by the O's 7-2. The worst loss so far. And we all know what happened at the end of THAT season.

So. The worse we lose Opening Day, the better we do in the season! That's a good sign, right?

So a couple of random facts.
First pitch of the season to the Sox - a foul to Johnny Damon
First out of the season by the Sox - Johnny Damon 4-3
First K of the season by Sox batter - Edgar Rentaria
First pitch of the season thrown by Sox - ball
First hit of the season against the Sox - Wells, by Jeter
First out of the season made by Sox - Arod, F8
First K of the season thrown by Sox - Sierra
First hit of the season by Sox - David Ortiz
First Run of the Season - Payton drives in Ortiz.

First off day of the season. Today. Sigh.

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge


This morning, the following was the entire text of the Providence Journal's sports front page. There's a guy who hawks T-shirts and hats in the Yankee Stadium parking lots. Whenever the Red Sox came to town, his inventory consisted of "1918" baseball caps and "Killer B's: Babe, Bucky, Buckner, Boone" T-shirts.He went out of business last October. So did everyone else who hitched their financial wagon to the "Curse Of The Bambino."Welcome to baseball's new reality. In 2004, the Red Sox did more than win a World Series for the first time in 86 years. They destroyed a cottage industry, pulled the plug on decades-old taunts -- never again will we hear the chant "NINE-TEEN! EIGHT-TEEN!" -- and changed the sport's very culture.Wile E. Coyote caught the Roadrunner. Nothing will ever be the same.And now the Red Sox face a whole new challenge: Living life as the hunted, rather than the hunter. Trying to defend, rather than seek, a crown.Today we look at the '05 Sox, along with the rest of the teams in baseball. Tomorrow we'll examine the new Red Sox-Yankee dynamic.And then the new season -- and the new world order -- begins.And it will begin. Tomorrow (barring inclement weather). And it begins like no other in my memory. I still smile at random moments. Have you seen that McDonald's commercial? That's me. I'm excited and anticipatory and happy and nostalgic and impatiant and looking forward to warm summer evenings filled with Red Sox baseball. But for the first time, I no longer feel anxiaty. And it's an amazing thing.A few takes, from a few angles.More Than a Game (Three Tissue Alert) The Yankee-Red Sox rivalry is much more than the oldest, strongest, most intense clash in American sports. It's a tapestry of generations, linked by heartache and hope. It's a decades-long soap, the characters cloaked in pinstripes or solid gray. It's balls ping-ponging around the lyrical bandbox in Boston's Back Bay, and legends growling in Monument Park. It's Babe Ruth and Harry Frazee, Joe D. and Teddy Ballgame. It's Bucky Dent lean, lean, leaning; it's Roger Clemens, in a Yankee cap, taking a bow before the Fenway faithful; it's Aaron Boone, stealing Dent's vulgar faux middle name.It's scalding passion, often producing history at its rawest. It can be both vile and sweet, emotions flittering with one swing of the bat. It used to be 26 World Championships and chants of "1918," but not anymore. It's an obsession, one that digs into your soul and stays there for eternity. It abides through strikes, steroids, scandals and war. If the rivalry ceased to exist, the Eastern seaboard might as well close its shutters for the summer.A New Battle Is About to Begin We know it will be special. If the last two years - or 25, or 50, or 90 - have taught us anything, that is it. If we can dream it, the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox can do it. What it is, we don't know. Neither do they. But starting tonight, there will be more moments for the ages, more questions in which the context is forever understood.Chapter 102 I'm not even sure what that means. Somehow, it makes sense. I spent my winter secretly hoping that the steroids saga would morph into a prolonged, unexpected lockout, just to give me more time to appreciate what happened. It was too improbable, too surreal, too magnificent. On Oct. 16, the Sox were getting last rites. On Oct. 27, they were pouring champagne in St. Louis. Remember the book "Thirteen Days," the one about the Cuban Missile Crisis? This one could have been called "Twelve Days." In eight games over 12 days, everything changedPlay Ball.[...]

Better Than the First Robin of Spring



No words necessary.

pic from



Someday, I will get here.

Going the Distance

DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- More than 15 years after Ray Kinsella built it, people still come.

Just like Shoeless Joe Jackson, throngs of baseball fans -- 65,000 a year -- are drawn to this city to see the ballpark Kevin Costner's character built in a cornfield in the 1989 movie ''Field of Dreams."

I read (and reread to tatters and had to buy a second copy) the book many years before the movie came out. Both are two of my favorite sports creative works I have ever experienced.

And someday, my dream of getting there will be realized.

Bit o Blog News


Evan and his Firebrand of the American League has moved and now can be found here. Link has been changed in my sidebar.

Evan is also calling for question submissions here

I'll quote a bit
Will Carroll has given me the opportunity for Red Sox Nation to ask him questions! Will Carroll is the author of a new book - "The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball's Drug Problems" and is also an expert on injury - if a player is subsceptible to injuries and what not. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and blogs at Baseball Toaster. Here’s your chance to ask him ANY question. Have a question about steroids? Injuries? Anything in general? Leave a comment and talk about it…

So. Any burning questions? See Evan.

Barry Zito, Ace Photographer


I'm a bit of a compulsive shutterbug (you should see how many rolls of pictures I come home from trips with) and I also love experimenting with differnt angles and framing techniques and lighting and subject matter and etc.

That said, I found some of these wonderful and fascinating. Thanks to Amy on the SGMB for the link.

You know what would be great? If SI/MLB/someone had a project where they gave one player (at least) on every team a camera and had them going around taking Day in the Life pictures. Can you imagine what a Kevin Millar could do?

Man, Id pay money to see that.

I think he's growing on me


He loves Boston's Idiot Club For Men.

"I tried going back [to New York], but I'm glad I got this uniform on," he said. "It's a thing of beauty over here. You can't get that in New York, but you can get it here and that's why guys are the way they are here. I'm on cloud nine over here. I could have dealt with this for a long time. It's a lot of fun . . . I had a bad day today and guys are cutting up already. Some guys can handle it. I don't know if Kevin Brown can. Coming in here, it's like I've been here 20 years."

Lefty Loose
Said general manager Theo Epstein when asked about adding a potentially abrasive personality to the Sox clubhouse: ``What, we don't have any guys like that already?''
Looking back, maybe the young GM was onto something. Wells has been nothing short of a surgeon during a career in which he has won 212 games. Now he resides in a Red Sox clubhouse where there are, perhaps, more people like him than ever before, where he is no longer an outcast as much as he is just another one of the boys.
And lest anyone forget, he wins.

This might actually work out.

Captain of the Pen


Good article on Timlin in The Globe today.

Timlin Stands Tall

Funny how far faith, a mother's love, and a survivor's instinct can take a man. The White House? Hey, that was a great day, don't misunderstand. Timlin couldn't have stood much taller than he did that afternoon, when George W. Bush saluted a fellow Texan. But if you really want to take the measure of the man, beyond the fact that this is his 15th year in the big leagues and he has pitched for a half-dozen teams and has three World Series rings and has appeared in more games than all but 26 pitchers in big-league history, you'd do well to recall what Red Sox manager Terry Francona said earlier this spring.

"I know Foulkey's our closer," Francona said, referring to Keith Foulke, "but this has been Timlin's bullpen. He kind of leads that bullpen. He'll take the ball any day you give it to him, even when he shouldn't. You have to be careful of that, but it's also a real compliment for a guy when I say that."

They have a name for Timlin in the Sox bullpen. They call him "Captain," not in a formal, Jason Varitek sort of way, maybe even with a touch of old-goat teasing in there, but also because he's as steady as they come.

They said he had no guts in Baltimore," a veteran major league scout said here yesterday. "Nobody in Boston says that, do they?"

No, we don't.

Field of Dreams


Fenway lives!

And I have to say I couldn't be happier. I love that park. And yes. I have been there. In fact, I go to a dozen or more games a year. I've sat in almost every section of the park. Still working on a couple. *knocks wood about Green Monster lottery*. And I love every bit. OK the right field grandstand's could be improved, which actually is a possibility. And I find it so easy to get to. Yes really. And I don't pay $40 for parking either.

And you can't rebuild history. The red seat. The Wall. The Pesky Pole. The scoreboard. The Morse Code. The CitGo sign and the view of the Pru. You can try to duplicate, but it would only be a pale copy.

I'll tell you one thing. When I go to a game, I get there, go in the gate. Enjoy the Yawkey Way Fest (thanks, Owners). And then I use the rest room, get something to eat and drink. And then I find my seat, sit, and then I don't move the rest of the game. I don't need any fancy diversions, any special concessions (although thanks for the right field concourse. Good stuff.) or any of that stuff people say Fenway lacks. I go to watch a game, and to soak up the ambiance and atmosphere. And Fenway has that in spades.

You know. In my neck of the woods, there are lots of beautiful beach cottages and houses in the woods. And people come in, buy them up, tear them down and build McMansions. And I can't help feeling something's been lost in the process.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, By Bronson Arroyo


Judging by the second photograph here , Bronson should be the one wearing David Wells' hat.

(Thanks to Annette on the Surviving Grady Message Board for the link.)

RIP "The Monster"


Dick Radatz, whose towering presence and 95-mile-per-hour fastball made him baseball's most dominant relief pitcher in the mid-1960s and earned him the unforgettable nickname of "The Monster" in Red Sox lore, died yesterday when he fell down a flight of stairs in his home in Easton, according to police.

I wasn't old enough to see him play, but all that I've read and seen show that he will be missed.

On the way home from work today, they had Johnny Pesky on the radio, talking to him about his memories of Radatz. He was telling wonderful stories in incredible detail about things that happened 40 years ago. I can't even remember all I did last week.
Johnny is an absolute treasure. We as Red Sox fans are truly blessed.

Warning. Danger, Will Robinson


Whatever you do, don't drink and read this at the same time. A definite Hazard For Your Keyboard(tm).

Because of this, John Flahrety will be hereafter known in my house as "Dobby".



A bit more news on Tedy Bruschi here

I almost find this less scary than the previous news. I mean, the heart is easier to fix than the brain, right?

mmmmm Good


My Stop and Shop got the Hood Red Sox ice cream last week.

They are as follows:

Comeback Caramel - Chocolate and Caramel Socks with thick caramel swirled with caramel ice cream.

Fenway Fudge - Chocolate and fudge socks swirled with fudge in chocolate ice cream.

Green Monster Mint - Chocolate and mint socks swirled with thick fudge in mint ice cream

Peanut Butter Nation - Chocolate and peanut butter socks swirled with thick fudge in vanilla ice cream.

You can see pictures of them here

I'm going to try each. As soon as I have room in my freezer by finishing off the ice cream already in there. BTW? Turkey Hill Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream is incredible. Just so you know.

Fab Five Update


In the Herald today.
FORT MYERS, Fla. -The "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's" Fab Five will take on the Red Sox' Fab Six here today as Kevin Millar, Johnny Damon, Bill Mueller, Jason Varitek, Doug Mirabelli and Tim Wakefield line up for some serious tszujing.

The five stars of the hit Bravo reality show, Carson Kressley, Kyan Douglas, Ted Allen, Jai Rodriguez and Thom Filicia, are scheduled to descend on the City of Palms Park sometime after noon to begin making over the scruffy bunch of idiots who rode loosey-goosey attitudes and bad grooming all the way to the World Series last season.

But don't worry, gals. Damon will not be Sampson to Kyan's Delilah.

The caveman outfielder has a clause in his book contract that prohibits him being shorn until his new tome, "IDIOT: Beating 'The Curse' and Enjoying the Game of Life," is released.

"I think he told them they could trim it a little, but nothing dramatic," Sox spokesguy Glenn Geffner said. "The guys are being great sports about it though. Bill Mueller basically told them, 'Have your way with me.' "

Well! Don't let Carson hear that!

Anyway, the show will tape today, tomorrow and Wednesday at the Sox spring training facility. The guys will get new clothes, a grooming makeover, probably a few cooking lessons from Ted and Thom, the decorator, will work his magic on the clubhouse.

Jai, as usual, will be sensitive and supportive.

The Fab bunch were originally scheduled to overhaul only Millar, the red-neck Red Sox who has had some challenging hair issues over the past couple of seasons. But then Kevvie's teammates decided to get in on the action.

The show will air in June - possibly as the "Queer Eye" new season premiere. Do stay tuned. . . .

Have I mentioned I can't wait? This should be a total kick.

Must Have


Gleaned from

The cover of the 2005 Red Sox media guide shows Doug Mientkiewicz leaping on top of a barely visible Jason Varitek and an obscured Keith Foulke, while Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Millar, Schilling, and Dave Roberts charge toward the celebration after Game 4 of the World Series. In an unusual twist, the club, next to a photo of the championship trophy, runs the following text: "This championship isn't just about these 25 guys. This is for every fan who has ever been to Fenway Park. This is for Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Ted. This is for Yaz and Lonborg, Tiant and Fisk, Evans and Rice. This championship is for everyone who came so close and for everyone who cared so much." Classy.

I can't wait.

Checking In With an Old Friend


Great article on Nomar today in The Herald.

A separate peace

"When you spend so much of your life in one place, it matters. As far as that city goes, those fans, they always embraced me," Garciaparra said before last week's exhibition against Texas. "I tried to do everything I could. I will always appreciate them.
"After everything that happened, I realized I have a big heart. There will always be a place for them there. Just because I'm not there doesn't mean I'll forget them. They were out there on my birthday, singing 'Happy Birthday.' Not just once, but every year. It was incredible. How many other players does that happen to?"

"I never watch the World Series. There are only two times I've watched the World Series. The last one (before 2004) was in 2000, because Jay Payton was my roommate in college, and he was my boy," Garciaparra said. "You have to watch your boys when they're in the World Series. I'm watching the Red Sox, and these guys are my boys, too. Pedro (Martinez) and D-Lowe (Derek Lowe ).
``When they were down, 3-0, to the Yankees, I told my friends that if the Yankees didn't sweep, the Sox were going to win it. They said, `How can you predict that?' and I said, `Because I know my boys."

Boomer . . . Butter . . . Butter . . . Boomer . . .


Nicked the pic off of The SGMB (image)

According to BC&RS his name is "Butter", he belongs to Padre Ryan Klesko and apparently likes hanging out in the bullpen. (Who can blame him.)

Personally, I think from certain angles he looks a bit like David Wells.

What do you think?