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At the end of the day, this strip is not about a banana.

Hart Brachen (author of the strip):
Hey, Hart here. I had to take an early morning airport run (yes, on 9/11, of all days), so my routine got jammed.


Hart Brachen:
I'll leave it to the rest of you Soxaholix to carry on the day's dialog in the comments.


Hart Brachen:
Here's something to get things started. What was the biggest surprise for you regarding the '06 season?



Two types of surprises, good ones and bad ones..

Good surprise: Papelbon (Bellhorn close second)

Bad surprise: Fenway General Hospital taking over where Fenway Park used to be...


I was surprised to see some web gems that actually involved the red sox middle infield.

Lowell. Cidn't think anybody could have stepped into Billy Meuller's shoes so capably.

I'm always suprised when a hot prospect lives up to his billing, so I have to say Papplebon, Ramirez, and Meredith.

I'll stick with good surprises to stay positive: Lowell. Papelbon is second, only because we saw some of what he could do last year so he wasn't a complete surprise.

My biggest surprise trends negative.

I'm surprised how much the Sox missed Damon, but, even more so, I'm surprised at the positive effect Damon's had on the Yankees.

I totally scoffed and derided Damon's own insistence that his off field intangibles had so much to do with the 2004 run, but now it looks like I was the idiot in this case.

In August, the New York Yankees went into Fenway Park and swept a five game series there for the first time since 1943. And they were without their starting right and left fielders...

Now that was a surprise!


I still can't get over that...

My biggest surprise is yet to come when the White Sox and Twins fold up shop and we make the playoffs.

Okay, okay, a guy can dream.

I'm going to have to seriously go with the trade of Arroyo as negative surprise. Hometown discount for his contract, decent #3 or #4 starter, was willing to pitch out of the pen for times in previous years.

Positive surprise is landing Carlos Pena for nothing. I had this guy as a value pick on my fantasy roster in 2002 (last year with Rangers and then got flipped to Oakland and Detroit mid-season). Watching his stats back then told me he just needs a little time and I think next year could be great for him in Fenway (if we're smart enough to keep him).

Biggest + surprise: Lowell.

Biggest - surprise: Timlin.

biggest surprise?? God hates us again

My biggest surprise is that Ghengis Ortiz has Mark Bellhorn as his second most postive surprise after J. Papplebon. Bellhorn? Wasn't he DFA'd like a year ago?
I have three biggest negative surprises, which I suppose should be classified as disappointments.
In particular order:
- the literal and figurative absense of Coco Crisp. He started the season on fire. Got hurt early and then for all intents and purposes never returned.
- The team went awfully quickly from stocked with starting pitching in Spring Training to having Schill and Josh and three cadavers.
- that after three years in the playoffs and two years after winning the World Series, the Red Sox fans so quickly reverted to being Red Sox fans, namely the woe-is-me, insufferable, God-hates-us types personified by that toad Ben Afflec.

Oh, and if I may, I'd like to posit on Week 1 NFL...


Shaun Alexander held to 50 yards and a lost fumble against Detroit (guess who was my 1st round pick this year)? The Pats forced to win on a safety (I'm *so* glad we still have Dillon!...Not.)? Baltimore blew out the Bucs (ok, so I called that one AND the Jets...but not Atlanta).

I just *love* the commentators: "...this is Week 1 football! Of course it's going to be sloppy. They'll get better slowly and by Week 3 everything will be in a groove."


Um, hello? Pre-season football, anyone? Let's stop just using it to reap dollars from fans who couldn't afford the time/money to see one of the 8 "real" games and actually start using it to get 1st line guys into the game again so that Week 1 isn't relying on a lucky safety or field goals. Geez...it's like they've never played football before yesterday.

defense! real, beautiful, fun to watch defense!

Staying positive here, I agree with Anne. Real...Beautiful...Fun to watch...Defense.

Biggest + surprise: Mike Lowell. I think 99% of the fans did not see this coming. He was derided as old and slow (both bat speed and reaction time on field). The consumate professional.

Biggest - surprise: The extent of the collapse, which is still ongoing. Thank god the Royals are leaving town.

Papelbon...thought he'd be good as the closer when I bandied him about as an option in coversation, but not as good as he turned out.

First surprised they actually used him in that position, then surprised he was that good.

Minus surprise - Decimated pitching rotation with injuries to 3, 4, 5, and backup starters.

Yeah, you're probably right about Bellhorn, but my expectations have been kept pretty low at 2nd base - with all due respect to Todd Walker, not a lot of shine there since the RemDog.

h.b. more or less hit the nail on the head. I thought that Damon would be on the d.l. for the entire season and that Coco Crisp was a great acquisition. Sigh.

Crisp hasn't had any kind of season this year, and Damon has taken advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium and provided similar OBP to what you'd expect, along with his solid range/noodle arm defensive combo. But Crisp having a year similar to Damon's wouldn't have made any difference in the scheme of this year's Red Sox season. Take another year or two to write Crisp off. This could just be a down year (perhaps the injury/time off messed him up?). There's plenty of time left (season-wise) for Damon to shrivel up and Crisp to break out.

I was surprised to see Beckett suck as much as he did: I was expecting something more along the lines of a 4.20 ERA with a 15-9 record. I got the record part essentially right, but only because he's among the league leaders in run support.

And I would have guessed Papelbon to be a solid closer, I am definitely surprised that he's logging one of the most dominant relief seasons in the game's history.

Biggest good surprise had to be Alex Gonzalez not being a total waste..

Bad surprise - How about Coco, Beckett, Varitek, and Nixon hitting an Xtra base hit every month or so.

Ok, Lostaholix...if you have been aware, the show has been running a spin-off/game over the summer called "The Lost Experience". The different crazy websites and things have been giving snippets of a larger video. These 70 different snippets of a 6 minute video could be played back-to-back to see some insight into parts of the show like the numbers and who/what DHARMA is and what it's plan/goal has been.

If you are interested in getting some of this insight, someone who has obtained all 70 snippets glued them together and uploaded the final full video to YouTube. It doesn't give away all the answers to all of your questions, but it does give some of it to you (and of course, opens a few new questions as a result). I don't know how much or in what way this info is going to be integrated into the show (or if it is at all). So with those caveats out there, I present to you the Hanso Exposed video:


Watch it if you will. I found it to be interesting and just enough info to be cool and yet tempting for Season 3 to start.

On a Patriots note, New England just traded Branch to the Seahawks, reportedly for Seattle's first pick in next year's draft.

Sheesh! Not like they needed a receiver this year, or anything...

Two suprises:

1) Papelbon, for obvious reasons. The man was a guillotine for 2/3 of the season.

2) Ortiz, for his massively out of character recent comments...he sure as hell won't win the MVP now.

hey jason, he wasn't gonna win it anyway and the big guys allowed to show frustration

If you are old enough to remember Ace Bailey playing for the B's, keep him in your thoughts and prayers on this day.

Biggest suprise: CHB hasn't penned a new book explaining the end of the world

2nd - How BDD continues to revel in perpetuating the pre-2004 mentality.

Positive: Although I'm getting used to it - I'm still amazed at Papi's absolutely ridiculous clutch-ness.

I was actually pleased to see Beckett's extra base hits, since I happened to be at the Philly game in which he homered- although I am profoundly disappointed in the number of EBH he's surrendered

I've got to second Jason. I had to think for a second, "Is it April Fool's Day?" Those comments did not sound like Ortiz at all.

He must be in a world of frustration right now to make comments like that. At least his comments will make the writers think twice. He definitely deserves consideration.

Billy Mahty/Jason O or anyone else,
Can a brother get a link?
(To the ortiz comments?)

Biggest surprise...batshit can actually PITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's better as a starter than a reliever...

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