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To the finish

Mike:
Things are good because I am not dead yet and the rats move in the beer cans and the papersacks shuffle like small dogs …

 

Doug:
Sometimes my clock falls. Sometimes my sun is like a tank on fire.

 

Mike:
Finally, down oh-and-two, we have them right where we want them.

 

Doug:
Absolutely. Last year's ALDS sweep was the anomaly. This is how we do it. Take gut; death, at last, is no headache. '99 against Cleveland, '03 against Oakland.

 


Doug:
Dude, you're so flippin' right. Besides who wants to win easy anyway?

 

Mike:
Nothing like riding back into the opponent's house for game 5 with a stick of dynamite in your teeth.

 

Doug:
When we chose to, nobody does hope bettah than a Red Sox fan.

 

Mike:
Our banjo screams sing sing through the darkened dream, green grow Fenway green …

 

Author's Notes:

Several of today's lines are taken directly or with paraphrasing from Charles's Bukowski's poetry volume The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses over the Hills

"I am not dead yet …" from "Remains."
"Sometimes my clock falls …" from "Division"
"Dynamite in your teeth" from "The Way it will Happen Inside of Can of Peaches&emdash;" "Takes gut …" and "banjo screams…" from "Song of my Typewriter"

Comments

I'm taking the Sox to win it in 5.

Notice I didn't specify WHICH Sox I'm taking.

A few paraphrased quotes from a movie that seems too apropros, "The Princess Bride":

"To the death."
"No! To the pain!"

"You rush a miracle team, you get rotten miracles."

"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia", but only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against the Red Sox, when playoff *death* is on the line."

"You mock my pain."
"Life is pain, fans. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

"We'll never survive."
"Nonsense. You're only saying that because nobody (but us) ever has."

And finally...will we go out on Friday?

"Inconceivable!"

There maybe be Divine or, if you prefer, Meterological intervention on Friday if the weather guys at NECN are right. A extra day won't hurt.

My heart tells me the Red Sox in 5, but the best my brain can allow me to hope for is a game 5 if the Red Sox win game 3. (Which was what I was thinking last year right before game 4 of the ALCS).

I also like how everyone stood up for Gaffy. This may be the clubhouse chemistry that many pundits said was missing....I would not want to be the next pitcher to face Gaffy..he has an ax to grind.

My co-worker told me that, as Ms. Red Sox, I should know better than anyone that this thing isn't even big yet!

The White Sox must be terrified.

Kaz, you forgot one:
"My name is David Ortiz. You killed my followers. Prepare to die."

White Sox fan here, but I just wanted to say too that the CHISOX players were standing up for Graff. Probably didn't hurt that he used to play for us too. Even Iguchi was talking about it through his interpreter.

Yeah did you see Graffy charging out of the box in the 9th? He was totally thinking two or bust. A base hit gets him home and ties the game. Too bad nobody could step up. Graffy did what he could. I'm glad to see no one throwing him under the bus (except for the usual suspects).

I believe. But it's making it difficult to watch.

Bruins had a game stolen from them last night by a horrific hooking call. I mean one of the worst hooking calls evar. It's so weird watching pro hockey again.

H.B.-

I respect your endless optimism, but there comes a time when poetry just won't save this team, like now. This team just isn't all that good, never were. The 2003 Sox would have creamed this year's edition, not to talk about last year's. The 2005 Sox are tired, worn-out, and based on various comments, not really getting along as well as the 2003 and 2004 teams. No chemistry, just a bit off, roles not well-defined. Millar should not be playing. Renteria is no Cabrera (by the way, check out O's performance from last night) nor even a Nomah. Tony G is no Walker. The pitching staff is unreliable and have no real defined roles. Tony G and Clement have shown that they lack the clutch nerves to play in the playoffs.

I am a Sox fan but ...White Sox in a sweep, maybe 4

Forgot to mention that this team is slow as molasses and wouldn't know how to play small ball if it bit them in the behinds. The old saying that good pitching beats good hitting is haunting the `05 Sox

re "endless optimism" you'll need to take that up with Mike and Doug.

I'm not revealing my own feelings at this point one way or the other.

"Finally, down oh-and-two, we have them right where we want them." Classic.

Re: Gaffeanino, on the Yankees radio pre-game last night one of the announcers said, "I didn't see the game, but someone must have mentioned the name Bill Buckner." Ouch.

K9 celestial being-
I agree with much of what you say, but I think you're being unfair to Graffy.... he's been more consistent than Walker since joining the Sox, and a better fielder. They should rewrite the remaining 2 years of Clement's contract, though, and make it 4 half-years- tell him to go home on July 1.

And, can someone enlighten me about Manny's 'single' in the first? I missed the first couple innings while at work, so I didn't see it- was he dogging it as much as some people are saying, and therefore costing us a bigger inning? If so, where's the outrage on that (again)?

How dare y'all question the veracity of Bukowski Mojo?

To the pain!

Graffanino's been more consistent than Knoblauch, that's for sure. And I remember a slow grounder going right through A-Rod's wickets last weekend. Like the song goes, the truth hurts, but the truth is all there is.

I won't say it's over, because obviously- it isn't. We're coming home where hopefully there'll be a nice Back Bay breeze to help Wake's knuckler flutter a little more. Schill is a big game pitcher and has shown such of late. I'm not much for predictions, but I can picture an offensive explosion of epic proportions building in the bats of the Boston lineup. Those boys do what they are capable of in Games 3 and 4 and I defy Contreras to pitch another game like his last one. Our G5 pitcing on the other hand...

I felt so bad for Graff last night- you could just see the dissapointment on his face. That said, I was almost physically ill after that play happened. I thought that the days of one player costing us a game were long gone. Say what you want about Wells holding them down, keeping men off base, etc. etc.- Tony G. gloves that ball and even if it isn't a double play, its at least the lead runner and the worst they can do is a two run shot to tie it. He has been super consistent for us since coming over this year- he just picked the worst possible time to let one slip through his legs. Whatever. Here's hoping that our boys are taking a long hard look in the mirror today and asking themselves if this is how the defending World Champions want to go out.

Man, the national sporting press couldn't wait to bring up the Buckner comparisons. A "ghost of Buckner" reference was on ESPN's website before the game was even over.

Give me a break. Graff's error happened in, what, the fifth inning? They had four more innings to push across one lousy run and couldn't do it. An error happening in the midst of a game, with plenty of time to recover, is just a teensy bit different than one in extra innings which immediately costs your team the game.

Obviously, we all know why the national press is pushing this angle. It's Red Sox! Gotta have a "curse" or "fate" angle to push, right? It's all just so very, very tiresome. We've gotten past that nonsense; why haven't they?

It can happen to anyone. Tony has something like 3 errors on the season and I can remember at least one occasion when he followed his error with a solid hit like last night.

Now, on the other hand, if it had been Erroria who made the game losing error, we'd be sending him on the Little express. But there's still as many as three games for that scenario to play out. 30 errors on a season is about one every five games.

The proper lesson should have been: Never fight a land war in Asia - unless you have the will to win.
From that - at least - the Red Sox can draw a lesson.
Funny how piecing together pitching works in the regular season but stings so badly post-season...

Dewey's Bastard: that was a good call. Kluzak had it right: if you *impede progress* with your stick, they will call it, even if it is only making the guy break stride to fend you off. That is the new rule, it was clearly shown in the video the NHL sent around to the teams, and while I don't like the outcome, I am glad they called it, because I would want them to call it for us.

Not that the refs were consistent all night, though. But taken in isolation, it was the right call. And the Bs have nothing to complain about: they had far more opportunities to score and couldn't do it. As usual.

Pudge, but should that call have been made with less than a minute left to play? Whatever happened to the unwritten rule that games are not to be decided by the refs? I think a little discretion there would have been appropriate- let the boys play and decide it in OT or shootout....

Good point Aaron about the error happening in the 5th. There was a lot of game left after that.

"And I remember a slow grounder going right through A-Rod's wickets last weekend."

He had a decisive E in last night's game too. I'm not worried about these GBY's, but of course it would have been nice to win that game.

Back with Buk, H.B.!!! Excellent. We take one from the ChiSox and they'll collapse. Let's do this.

Let me be clear, pudge, I am ever optimistic when the NHL says "this year we're clamping down on obstruction, no excuses!". I think it does a palpable disservice to the game. But I think they're going about it all wrong. Essentially you could argue that a defender with body position on a puck carrier is guilty of "obstruction" because he stands his ground and refuses the carrier to pass. What they need to do is actually call the trips, hooks,holds and X's as they are defined, not describe this nebulous "obstruction" penalty which can be whatever referees want it to be. A player that attempts to hook but fails to meet the critera is no more guilty of a hook than a defender trying to sweep the puck is guilty of a trip. As one of those referees who's notorious for not "letting them play", even I wouldn't call something like that.

You're right, though - in the end they just didn't put the puck in the net. Theodore is still a tough nut to crack.


Pull up your Sox

And grab your Cox.

We're Goin' to OUR Party!!!

buckner: that unwritten rule has been explicitly revoked. The same NHL video sent to the teams said the refs will call the penalties whenever they occur. Discretion is NOT appropriate in this new regime.

Dewey's Bastard: you say "But I think they're going about it all wrong." Fine, but this is the way they ARE going about it. This was a textbook example of what they decided they would be calling.

However, I do disagree with you that they are going about it wrong. The rule actually says, A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who impedes the progress of an opponent by "hooking" with his stick. And "hooking" is defined the act of using the stick in a manner that enables a player to restrain an opponent. Fitz did use his stick "in a manner" enabling him to restrain his opponent, and he did impede the opponent's progress, whether or not he actually "got the hook" on the opponent.

You think this interpretation is overly strict; fine, but I am think it will have a positive impact on the game. I am giving it the benefit of the doubt for now, anyway.

As to Theodore, yeah, if you just saw his games against the Bs you'd think he was destined for the Hall of Fame.

Last year I got ejected because the refs decided to crack down on what they deemed was a league out of control, and players who "talked back" would get a penalty. I got called for roughing on my first shift, and I said, "what did I do?" He said, "you hit him first." I sighed, and said, as I entered the box, "no I didn't." Two extra minutes. I looked at him and said, "what?" Two more. Four innocent words, four minutes. Three minors is an ejection, so I was gone. Incredible.

So I agree that refs can go too far. :-) But in this case, it was a deliberate action in perfect concord with the edict handed down by the league, with the full understanding of the teams and players.

Dewey's Bastard: BTW, how do you feel about Manny getting Dewey's number? I always had hopes it would be retired for him, or something, so it pains me. :/

Pudge, why with the recent postings about any and everything except the baseball team that this site was named after? Politics and hockey. Great. Gimme a break- it's the first game of the season. What's up- have you given up on the team and moved you focus to other arenas? I'm pretty sure that's not the case, but you sure do make it come across that way...

//We're coming home where hopefully there'll be a nice Back Bay breeze to help Wake's knuckler flutter a little more.//

NV in SD; Wind forecast for Friday is due south at 17 mph. That's directly over the Monster toward the first base line. I forget -- does Wake like the wind coming in or going out?

I'd have to say blowing at him to give the ball a little more dance. Unless I'm mistaken, a wind at his back flattens out the knuckle ball. I'll be surprised if that weather forecast dosen't changed four hours from now, and again a few more times by 1:00pm tomorrow...

Wake actually prefers domes, I believe... Thanks, pudge, for the rulebook update- you're a regular cesspool of knowledge, eh? :-) I still think the average ref will use some discretion after the usual shake down, but in the long run the game is much better off this way. And I'm with you on Dewey- always had a soft spot for him. I don't know if you caught the 'Stories from RSN' on NESN, but they had one about a cancer patient from Maine with 3 months to live who recovered after meeting Dewey... nice tearjerker story. Still looks like he could go in as a D replacement, too....

//I'll be surprised if that weather forecast dosen't changed four hours from now, and again a few more times by 1:00pm tomorrow...//

Game's at 4:00, right? Actually, they'd be better off moving it to 1:00. The non-stop weekend rain is supposed to start around 4:00. My Saturday tickets may become Sunday tickets.

Anybody know anything about a Herald columnist that wants to interview Red Sox fans in Chicago? I have an e-mail of jwitlin@bostonherald.com, but I get "no such user".

NV: hockey is my favorite sport, and after last night, the night before, and Sunday ... well, even a Bruins loss is a high point of my week so far. :-)

I've not given up per se. Frankly, I've never thought the Sox would win this year, since before they even won last year, because history says they won't.

Last year, several hours before the Sox won the World Series, I noted the fact that all (at the time three other) Boston teams had broken long losing streaks against St. Louis.

Celtics won first championship against the St. Louis Hawks in 57, the Bruins won their first in a few decades against the Blues in 70, and the Pats won their first in 02 against the Rams. All three failed to capture the championship the following year, but rebounded to win the year after that.

So I figured if the Sox did win in 04, they would win next in 06.

That said I still root for them to win, but this pattern has helped take the pressure off, in my mind. On the other hand, the last three times the Sox have been winless and facing elimination, they came back to win the series. So I've not given up yet.

//Anybody know anything about a Herald columnist that wants to interview Red Sox fans in Chicago? I have an e-mail of jwitlin@bostonherald.com, but I get "no such user".//

It's probably Dawn Witlin at the Herald. Get rid of the "j" and try dwitlin@bostonherald.com.

Yeah- 4pm EST Bob. Sorry, I was refering to my dismal situation on the Left Coast that will result in either a) me arriving for & leaving work 4 hours early or b) feeling like I'm comming down with something Thurs afternoon.

Good to hear Pudge. I recall that tidbit about the "St. Louis Phenomenon" last year. Unfortunately, it dosen't appear that we have any similar mojo going for us this year unless someone can conjure up some correlation involving Jordan's 63 point losing effort vs the Celts in '86 and maybe some B's over Blackhawks playoff victory (I'll defer to you on that one Pudge)from backin the day. Seems the only past history the Pats have vs the Bears was an embarassment, so we won't even make a stretch for that one.

Like I referred to earlier- I haven't seen an obese female anywhere for almost two years now so if any of you catches sight of her- punch her in the neck.

Here's an interesting Bruins-Blackhawks thing. Bruins had the longest streak of consecutive wining seasons, 29, ending in 1996. Blackhawks had second most, and ended their streak the next year at 28.

Hm, wait, that means that since the Red Sox won the WS last year, the White Sox will end their losing streak and win it this year.

Forget I brought it up.

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