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Something in the air

Hart Brachen, strip's author:
Hey gang, I thought allergy season was over for me but I just had a massive sneezing attack and my head feels like it has been pressurized with Marshmallow Fluff and my eyes are so itchy I can barely read a computer screen.


Hart Brachen:
Other than that, life is wicked good. I mean back to back sweeps?! Are you friggin kidding me?


Hart Brachen:
For the first time I can remember, I'm actually loving interleague play.



HB, enjoy yourself a fluffernutter as you recover.

Yay for Jon "Don't Call Me Mo" Lester. Delcarmen had a good inning as well. Tavarez and Seanez? Blah.

If Pena and John L. adopted a baby together, would he be called Willy Molester?

on to the Phillies

LC...it's just so layered, what with the myriad homoerotic implications of two men adopting a baby together, and same baby not only being a molester, but one of willies.

So I guess Lester can pitch a little?

Hey, at least Tito used the right guys in during mop-up time. Last night Torre pitched Rivera. One day after he'd gone two innings. With a 5-0 lead. I'm sure you'll all cry a river for me and mine.

You just reminded me of the '70's-'80's comedy "team" of Willy Tyler and Lester. Actually, there were a few ventriloquists in the '80's who hit it big. How lame were we back then?

You're right, Dave, I feel terrible.

Even sporting a 9-1 lead, did anyone else besides me experience a less-than-subtle "uh-oh" turn of the gut when Seanez and then Tavares come rolling out of the bullpen? God, I wish I had a better feeling about the relief squad...

Still, back to back sweeps. Feeling pretty good about that.

Hope you feel better soon, hb. Have a little Eclipse Coffee milk with your fluffernutter. Good for what ails you.

Failing that, grab a 'Gansett Long Neck

Six in a row against two NL East clubs that are sucking wind, if not sucking out right. I live for this.
Take back everything I said last week about interleague play being a failure.
Bring on the cursed Phillies, who are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
The level of competition offered by Washington and Atlanta, coupled with the Mets meltdown last night v. the Reds has me wondering if the Mets are really any good or is their division really that bad.

yeah, that World Cup allergy's a bitch ;-)
Hopefully you're Ghana feel a lot better around noon.....

I hope these commercials never find national air, or Paps death stare might lose a little of its potency...


Hey peeps, I'm still around. Didn't think I'd just jump ship on Soxaholix, did you? No, I read it faithfully every day (it's my homepage!) Anyway, I moved back to CT so I guess I'm not Philly Patri0t anymore... more like NewHavenPatriot. Yeah, that sounds good.

Now we've got Jason Johnson as our fifth pitcher, and Snyder got sent down. I just can't place it, but for some reason, I feel really good about that.

Sorry, Dave S., you're going to have to take that up with the tortured stylings of J.O.'s "Mystique and Aura as Strippers" analogy.

We're too busy dancing around tessie's grandkid speaking in tongues.

In re: Jason Johnson. I was in Cleveland on Tuesday (or was it Monday) when they designated him for assignment. The EEI wannabe in Cleveland was ranting about what a pice of crap JJ is/was and how glad they were to be rid of him. Buyer's remorse, I guess... they gave him a big contract over the winter, I guess (who knew?). RSN immediately came to mind. JJ has burned the Sahwx a few times in the past, although not recently. He's no BA, but let's keep throwing reclamation projects into that Black Hole that is the 5th Starter and see if someone takes hold (see e.g. Shawn Chacon, MFY 2005). It can't hurt and maybe lightning will strike.

Natalie, those commercials are brutal. And what's up with the little animated guy with the cigarette butt for a head?

Oh my, those commercials!!! I'm glad I don't live in New Hampshire...

(Welcome to New Haven, Patriot! It's not a bad place to call home.)

and Pimpong is down...

And he's back up again. Dr. House is apparently on the Ghanian Medical Staff. Not looking good kiddies. Less than 10 minutes to score 2 goals. (Italy is holding up their end of the bargain, up 2-nil on the Czechs.

Argh. Just got back from watching the game. The boss, a big soccer fan, was there as well. Nice morning except for the result.

What sucks is that both Ghana's goals were kinda cheap. Not to take anything away from the Ghana team, whom I'm happy for.

But if Reyna doesn't go down and if the ref wasn't a total jackoff, the game would have been a 1-0 win for the US.

Ah, well, in 10 mins I'll be over it. It's not Red Sox baseball after all.

Sticking with a working formula...the Sox are 6-0 since my grandson was born!

I tend to be philosophical about US losses in the World Cup because the games just seem to be so much more important to the rest of the world. I think I read that the WC final has 10 times as many worldwide viewers as the Super Bowl...can anyone confirm this?

The fact that we insist on calling it "soccer" describes our relationship to the game and the rest of the sports world pretty smmarily. I'm sure that the sports elation/capita in Ghana right now is much, much higher than it would have been here in the US had our team won.

That said, I noticed that overall interest in the WC was much, much higher this year than in years past, and I fully expect the bars to remain packed with football fans as the tourney continues.

A must read for all Fluffernutter fans from New England

I guess no 'Miracle on Grass' this year. Personally, I think the WC shows how out-of-step the US and its sports fans are with the rest of the world. Fans at the WC are rabid and the genunine nature of their enthusiasm is all so evident. RSN seems medicated in comparison. On the other hand, so much of the 'enthusiasm' in US sports seems to be manufactured. Did anyone actually watch the Stanley Cup or NBA finals this year? I looked at the scores for the final games but watched none of the action. In contrast, I have watched a lot of WC and do not come from a soccer background.

PS - Caught a bit on ESPN about the 20th anniversity of Len Bias' death and heard a brief mention of its impact on the Celtics. 20 years without a serious playoff run.

I don't think I buy the "out of step" argument.

I do think you're right that 1) WC enthusiasm from other countries is very genuine 2) lots of our sports are hyped.

But as much as I do enjoy watching the WC games and rooting for the US, I'd still rather watch an NFL game on a Sunday afternoon in the fall.

h.b. was that the same ref who did the Serbia match yesterday? That guy was a total jackhat-I thought the Irish commentater was going to blow a fuse.

An interesting variance between the US vs. Rest of World in sport fandom is reflected by respective behaviors following major games/series/matches. In the US, fans of the winning team tend towards riot; for the rest of the world, it's the losing fans who riot.

Not sure it's the same ref or not, but either way he totally sucked.

And that's yet another reason why I don't think soccer will ever catch on in the US.

I don't know too many American sports fans who can embrace a game when so much seems in the hands of the refs and the rules seem totally arbitrary and often unfair or outright biased.

I know the strike zone in baseball can vary from ump to ump and game to game, but usually it's at least consistent within a game and rarely does an ump's ruling mean the difference in the game. I mean, yeah, it happens, but in soccer it seems to be the default condition.

And that whole notion of arbitrary extra time. I know baseball is "timeless" in that a game can go on forever, but it's also rigid in the sense of 3 strikes, 3 outs, 9 innings. It's a beautiful balance.

I'm not suggesting that an outcome of any given soccer game has much to do with the extra time added on in each half, but the willy-nilly nature of it just feels wrong to me. And the faking the injuries to kill time? Bleh.

Again I'm not anti-soccer and do enjoy it, but it'll never be a game I fully give myself over to because of the above.

//Personally, I think the WC shows how out-of-step the US and its sports fans are with the rest of the world. Fans at the WC are rabid and the genunine nature of their enthusiasm is all so evident. RSN seems medicated in comparison.//

Huh? Red Sox fans aren't rabid, passionate, and genuine? Am I missing something here? Also, whenever the WC comes around, FIFA tends to "cleanse" the sport (and the host country) of the multitude of hooligans who give it such a bad name and reputation. If they didn't, you'd be calling those "rabid, passionate, genuine fans" idiotic anarchists with a blood lust nearly matching radical Islamists.

I also truly hate this "out of step with the rest of the world" shit. We have our own interests in sports. What's the problem with that? Do we have to don some fake "I love soccer/football" attitude? A lot of the world loves cricket, too. Austalians love vegemite. The British adore kidney pie. Are we all out of step because we don't?)

I kind of like being out of step with the rest of the world.

Even outside of sports, I don't think it's a coincidence that so many innovative ideas have come out of the USA.

It's sort of in our national character to make up crazy shit derivatives like baseball or our version of football as much as it is to come up with things like the telephone, the nuclear submarine, the iPod, jazz... so on and so forth.

//The fact that we insist on calling it "soccer" describes our relationship to the game and the rest of the sports world pretty smmarily.//

FYI, the word "soccer" for the sport was coined by students at Oxford a century or so ago. That's Oxford, England, not Oxford, Mississippi. :-)

Jon Lester rocks. That is all.

1889, socca, later socker (1891), soccer (1895), originally university slang, from a shortened form of Assoc., abbreviation of association in Football Association (as opposed to Rugby football); cf. rugger, but they hardly could have taken the first three letters of Assoc.

Well they sure as shit are happy to point out that we're the only ones who call it soccer anymore! And with no small degree of condescension, mind you: "Oh yes, old chap, we're watching a football match here at the Crown and Dragon. You see, you call it 'soccer' in America, not to be confused with your 'football', hey? Care for a piss-warm Old Speckled Hen? I say! It's a 1-1 tie, after all! Ribbing good!"

Regardless of any sterotypical American disinterest in futbol (or whatever you want to call it), I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first half of the Brazil- Japan game during lunch today. The level the Brazillians play at is absolutely astounding. It is truly "the beautiful game" when they take the pitch. Another thing I really get a kick out of is the crowds at these games. Soccer can be a little slow at times, but these fuckers treat EVERY SINGLE GAME like its G7 of the World Series. And honestly, is there much better than seeing dome drop-dead gorgeous girl going absolutely apeshit when her team scores?

Hey everybody, here's a fun little contest: Write Shaughnessy's "Pedro Retuns" column before he does. I already entered. Let's get a Soxaholix winner of this thing:


I'm so fuckin' tired of big, strong soccer athletes falling down like a bunch of little A-Rods because they got tripped. Those medical people come out with a stretcher...a fuckin' stretcher...to cart them off?! Please...

When Damon and Damian Jackson collided (for example) is when a stretcher is needed, not when you fall down playing bally.

I like soccer just fine but stop acting like a bunch of fuckin' Pimpletons!

"...as much as it is to come up with things like the telephone, the nuclear submarine, the iPod, jazz... so on and so forth."

Ahem - Alexander Graham Bell was a Scotsman. Jonathan Ive (inventor of the iPod) is an Englishman. :o)

the len bias death was a tragedy not only for the family, but for the celtics as well. that was the beginning of the downturn. they traded a starting guard from a champinship team(gerald henderson)to get bias. he would have kept them in the hunt for 10 years. too bad for all involved. mom spoke at our high school and she did a great job. what a shame.

So true about the ubiquity of the stretcher at the World Cup.

And not to pick on Reyna, but the guy goes down in pain when his knee gets knocked and this gives the other guy a clean break on the goal in which he scores.

Then Reyna is carted off in the stretcher writhing in pain and, okey dokey, 3 mins later he's back in the game playing.


Most likely it's 100% legit, i.e., his pain was severe to the point where he had to fall down and give up the goal and then got better.

But it just doesn't look right to the eyes of the typical US fan who is used to seeing athletes play through what appears to be much worse.

Actually, I kind of think Reyna is a horse's ass. I saw him interviewed last summer on ESPN and he kept saying MLS gets better ratings and is more popular than MLB.

Dream on Claudio.

File that with the same pipe dream that the US team can compete on the international level.

The clear impression I get watching soccer is that the players flop like Vlade Divac in order to get the opponent carded. It just seems WAY played up, and part of the game strategy. So if you won't do it, HB, I will: Reyna was playing for a foul, then trying to save face by writhing around. He wanted a whistle, and didn't get it.

I think you're right. He knew the Ghana dude already had him beat so he faked it.

Quite a difference between that and the bloody sock, eh?

Two different worlds.

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