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2 slp prchnce 2 drm

So it wasn't so much Red Sox fans losing sleep over the closah situation as it was Jonathan Papelbon himself.


I love the image of the restless Paps, tossing and turning in the sheets like a lattah day Hamlet, Prince of the Fens.


"To close or not to close: that is the question."


Whether 'tis nobler to go every 5th day
Of fortuitous routine and 200 innings,
Or to seize the ball in a 9th of troubles,
And once, twice, thrice end them?


Ah, there's the rub.


Oh, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven.


There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.


Author's Notes
As you most likely realized, most of today's lines are ripped and/or repurposed from Hamlet.


I'm thrilled. Finally a common sense decision.

So apt to do a Hamlet strip today, H.B.

After all, Paps is an "enterprise of great pitch and moment."

Brillant, h.b.

I don't think 'ole batshit is long for the rotation. Lester can't waste in Pawtucket for too long.

English Lit.majors everywhere are laughing their asses off.

man i dont like this i dont like this one bit....i think there putting this kids health at risk. im not worried about batshit he did surprisingly well last year as a starter i am worried however that when august rolls around the kids arm will have fallen off. even my 8 y/o sees that. oh sure shill says he's stronger,smarter this year well thats fine till he goes on the dl. then its just one of those baseball things right? they were all worried about this kid and were going to protect him that lasted long. kyle snyder should have been givin the job till he proved he couldnt do it. hey who was the closer in 03 his name was By
Comittee wasnt it?? remember him?? and how it took a senial manager and a juiced jason to keep us outta the w.s.
whew glad i got that off my chest.
and im not paddys alter ego either...just feeling it

Well, at least Paps can get a good night's sleep now.

"Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

This is fucking awesome (the strip).

Papelbon to the pen--I do not deny that it will be nice to see him handling the end of the game, and if he indeed does not really have a third pitch and wants to close this badly, then he should (if his arm will be okay).

I still say if he could become a good/great starter, that would be better than a lights-out closer.

Also, anyone who makes the asinine comment that he's the #4 starter and #4 starters aren't as valuable as closers, yeah, they should have their head chopped off. Some guy slotted in at #4 in April is pitching with a 3.4 ERA in June. Is he the #4 starter? Morons.

Harwich Rich- I am one of those laughing-her-ass-off English Lit majors! Well done, hb.

As for Papelbon to the pen, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't." I am cautiously optimistic, although I'd rather Kyle Snyder or Jon Lester than Batshit in the rotation.

Longtime lurker, turned on to this site by a former boss who's freaking rabid for the Sox.

(I grew up a Royals fan in the glory -- translation, Ewing Kauffman -- years, so while I can't claim to be a part of RSN, I do get off on the anti-NYY elements. And as a writer, the literary references kick my narrowing midwestern behind.)

All of which is to say ...

Great work as always, h.b. -- and holy mild profanity, Circle looks particularly lovely today.

A moment of silence for one of the great unintentionally funny men in television:


"These cherries taste funny."

When Larry Bug Melman uttered that line, I laughed until I vomited. Really. It was meatball pizza and beer.

Circle looks particularly lovely today.

Circle lets her hair down and gets that perky glow whenever she's feeling especially enthused about the Red Sox fortunes.

Bud. Not Bug. Although I suppose he has a few of those crawling through him right now.

Smart decision. Paps will not be pitching 4-days in a row for 2 innings a pop. He will be the 9th inning closer. This will "preserve" his arm.

Looking forward to batshit's first start too. Lester can take his time getting ready for the season. No rush in April to get him in the rotation.

Now where can I get a case of Asahi Super Dry??


Hamlet was partial to divinity? I thought it was a southern delicacy primarily peddled to folks at South of the Border.

Trailer for the 2007 Red Sox movie called "0.300":

"This is lunacy. This is madness!"


--enter heavy bass drum beat--

A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of an inning.

I know I;m in the minority but I think the best thing that came out of Paps closing is putting Tavarez in the 5th spot. He pitched great in the off-season and I think his having to curb his enthusiasm for the 5-6 innings instead of 1 will help alot. I'm drinking Tavarez kool-aid and 13 wins from the freak.

Oh, I've seen her with her hair down before.

Maybe it's today's slightly tousled look ... or that knowing half-smile.

(And I'm not usually one for blondes ...)

I love the idea of a Tavarez kool-aid that, when drunk, gives you the countenance of a gargoyle and turns you totally bat shit insane, sort of a Jeckyle/Hyde thing.

Wow, lots of new names in the past few days. I think that's great and hope more lurkers and/or commenters who have just found the site continue to post and chat.

Jar, I agree with you (I said as much over on Schilling's blog yesterday when the news first broke). It seemed pretty obvious to me last year after mid-season when Tavarez was asked to go 4 innings in a tie game that he was on fire...completely unlike his former self. That's when I realized he was overthrowing when he was geared up for 3 outs and doing so much better going for 3 innings. In fact, I wanted him to stay in (I thought he still had plenty of movement) and instead we swapped him after 3+ for the guy who eventually gave up that game.

I am completely pleased that they got my memo. It was sent telepathically from my kitchen last weekend, while sorta, (well completely) buzzed and ranting that there is NO choice but Paps in the pen for this year and Tavarez could very well do OK in starting rotation. (But for the love of all that is holy, do not put him in for middle relief.)

I, too, like that some new commenters have added their voices.

BTW, Kaz, thanks, too, for your Soxaholix evangelism. I've noticed you've sent quite a few 38pitches readers over this way through your comment linkage on Schilling's blog.

I'd like to join the gang, too, H.B. I have lots of time on my hands, and a basement dwelling that allows for uninterrupted posting.

Anybody up for a game of D&D on web cam?

Anytime, h.b. I don't think I'd qualify for the -aholix suffix if I didn't drink the kool-aid that is Circle's pouty red lips and bring it forth unto the unknowing masses. I was really hoping Curt, himself, might have enough time to stop by and say hi, but it looks like he usually only has time for answering the bazillion questions that he gets in the comments section. Wordpress must love him for all of the new accounts he's brought them (must have acct to add comment).

I can't claim responsibility for getting you into the SI article/poll though. That's all you and your high-quality contributions to Sox Blogdom. By the way, how did SXSW go? I never noticed any mention of it since you got back. Care to comment?

Re SXSW it was something of a disaster which is why I haven't mentioned it.

But here's the deal..

My wife, who joined me, took sick about 10 mins after we got there. At first we thought it was just a 24 hour thing but it got progressively worse to the point of having to go to the hospital and the whole nine yards.

I didn't even make it to the panel.

On top of that it rained like a mofo.

C'est la vie.

One high point: I spent some time at the Continental Club one evening (while my wife was still in "just one more puke into the bucket and I should be fine, no worries...you go on ahead and I'll catch up" mode) and was psyched to see that club show up on the most recent episode Friday Night Lights for a scene.

I did get to meet Will Leitch from Deadspin, though. Awesome guy. Funnier in person than he is on Deadspin even.

One other high point. Although the docs confirmed virus and not food poisoning, I never did get it myself, fortunately.

The magical curative properties of red wine and the chronic if you ask me.

Excerpt from Bronson's version of Dirty Water -"YEEAH!". This is exactly what went through my head when I first heard the news. Paps has been a closer in college and was overused in o6. You just gotta love that he asked for it. I'm still not completely in agreement with the "starter is better for the arm" mentality either. Paps even came out and said with people on base he acted like he was closing. How is it easier on the arm to do this for multiple innings instead of multiple days? That said I am still a bit worried, I am a sox fan.
Got my tix to the first three here in KC this week, my biggest letdown was not seeing Paps pitch. No prob anymore. Hopefully I'll get to see him put some scheduled mop up time in. Beckett, Schill, Dice K, and Paps in a span of three days, I'm gonna have to stock up on Asahi!

Now listen, Kaz. I think it's a very good thing that a young man - after he's done some very good work - should have a chance to relax and enjoy himself, and lie around, and drink beer and so on. But after a few weeks I believe that person would want to take some stock in himself and his situation and start to think about getting off his ass. :) [My apologies to Buck Henry].


You're in KC as well? There's a chance I'll be at those early Sox/Royals games, if I'm not in Atlanta at the Final Four (it all depends on the Jayhawks on Saturday).

Hope all of this rainy crap has moved on by then.

Sorry our weather wasn't more hosiptable, h.b. Did your wife by chance get to enjoy the "Smackdown Hut" that is the Brackenrige E.R.? Some nights, it's a real treat for an up close dose of the human condition.

The Continental Club is seriously the only place I have any hope of not feeling like a total social misfit given the hipness of the Austin music scene. Must be that advancing age thing. Glad you got to enjoy that, at least!

Wiley Wiggins said SXSW was a blast. Do you know him, Birthofasoxfan97?

FYI- Alex Bleth as an interview with Schilling about his blog on SI.com today, which just got me SO jazzed for Opening Day. This quote from Schill brought out the superbaseballfandork in me, I am giddy: "Fast-forward this to Opening Day. It's a 2 p.m. game, hopefully I'll pitch great and we'll win. Sometime around 7 or 8 o'clock that night I'll sit down -- I'm on the road, I'm by myself -- I'll blog out the game, pitch-by-pitch in some instances, inning-by-inning, I'll go into minutia ... By 9 o'clock that night I'll have a post up. I'll give you numbers." Righteous.


No, Bob - it seems like he was around the whole UT Film school scene, but I don't think I've ever met him. Even tho it is still a pretty small town here...

Count me as one of those who applauded Paps' return to the starting rotation (for all the obvious reasons: regular work, 200+ innings, etc.)

Count me also as one of those who applaud this latest move back to closer. If Theo had picked up a serviceable veteran closer in the offseason, then yeah, let Paps start. But he didn't, so this is by far the best option.

What's more important: having him take the ball every fifth day, or that priceless sense of peace that comes with knowing the game is OVER when he takes the mound in the ninth?

My heart has been filled with oppressive, existential dread at the thought of "Joel Piniero, Red Sox Closer." The Mariners fans with whom I work all get a hell of a chuckle the day the news broke that we had signed him. When Mariners fans are snickering at you, you know you're in trouble...

Any thoughts on the Doug Mirabelli <3's Erin Andrews rumor?

A lurker outed by Kaz:

Unless there's some nod toward my home town Flo dogs up in York I lurk (I'd thrown down the link to that strip but noob I am). Plus being 3 hours behind most of you now takes the wind out of thine sails.

Circle - love her. Batshit - scary. Kool-aid - drink it often...I am in Ken Kesey's backyard.

There's still this pre-04 voice in my head nagging me: Schill is 40, Beckett has leprosy, Dice ???, Shaky is shaky...Then my post '04 mind sees Papi breaking windows on Lansdown and I sleep well at night.

Nat - I more excited for Schill's play by play blog of Batshit's first start...

Hi, my name is da kine, and I have a crush on Circle. I can't remember, does she like chicks or dudes? With the ultra-feminists, you never know.

Oh, Hooligan will do fine.


Yup in KC, originally from the Wooster area. Therefore Sox take priority over KU basketball.....by far. As I'm sure people on this blog can tell you east coast college basketball is NOTHING like it is here in the midwest.

Yeah, college hoops tends to take over this area at this time of year.

If I go to Atlanta, though, it'll be for work and not for cheering.

Same if I'm at Kauffman for opening day.

Can't gripe about getting paid to go to ball games, though. Well, I could, but people just roll their eyes.

Sing it with me:

Dynamite, Dynamite
When VANDY starts to fight.
Down the field with blood to yield,
If need be, save the shield.
If vict'ry's won, when battle's done,
Then VANDY's name will rise in fame.
But, Win or lose,
The Fates will choose,
And VANDY's game will be the same.
Dynamite, Dynamite
When VANDY starts to fight!

Georgetown Sucks Ass!!

Bonus: Tennessee lost!! Woo-hoo!!!

Fight on Loyola
Fight to win.
Roar on you Lions
Roar again!
Keep up the spirit
Born of ol',
Our loyalty
will ne'er grow cold.
Fight on Loyola
We're all here,
Backing you with a cheer!
We're beside you,
Here to guide you,
So fight, fight, FIGHT!

Oh. We didn't make the tournament?

Well, at least we're fighters. The song says so anyway.

How on Earth did Soxaholix only receive 1% of the votes on this SI best of Sox blogs poll?


As I was out waltzin’ me tilde,
An ‘yphen went mad and near killed ‘er
A grammatical glitch
In a ditch, put the bitch:
‘Twas enough to cause shock, and bewilder.

A day late to be sure but forgive me as there’s a bloody great time difference and I was well occupied yesterday pondering Lou’s millinery accomplishments. I missed the tilde stuff until you were all tucked up in bed. I posted a somewhat similar limerick yesterday but it was 4-13am Hub-time.

And as for people with too much time on their hands, consider: http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/10/04/history_of_the_tilde.

working backwards on a Saturday morning - posted then read the strip - I agree with the following - totally awesome strip hb and Circle is, as a teenager might have said some years back, way hot wth her hair out.

Argh. Just realized I had given my self two (albeit similar) handles.

I think I'll stick with SinKC, because the other is a verb. And while I live on the Kansas side, in the 'burbs, I work in Missouri and consider myself from "Kansas City."

Guess I'm bistateual ...

bistateual(ity) seems to be a Kansas kinda thing: see, for example,Dorothy's ambiguous relationships with the wicked witch of the west on the one hand and the tin man on the other

Ack, not the "Oz" references!

(Although I do go to Toto's for coffee on more than rare occasion. What can I say? It's close to home, and there's no place like ... well, y'know.)

The "bi" is only stateual, though. In matters bedward (or deskward, or frontseatward, or whatever), I only hit from one side of the plate, as it were.

After all, my self-esteem can barely handle rejection from one gender, much less two.

And with that, I return to lurking. Until whenever ...

hmmmm - so any discussion after 4pm EST will be between SinKC, soxdownunder and me.

does anybody work late on the east coast anymore?

Unfortunately I'm still here. Just taking off though. Does that mean I'm heterostateual because I live and work on the Kansas side? C Y'all Later

What is this shit? Now the inmates are back to running the asylum? Papelbon is a great pitcher. Now we will get only 65 innings out of him, instead of 220. He would have won 17 to 21 games. All closers are the same. They all collect around 35 saves and "blow" six or seven saves. Papelbon "blew" plenty of big games last year. Our starting rotation suffers a huge blow with this silliness. If Theo had simply made a move for any run of the mill experienced closer, we wouldn't be in this situation. We stink up the middle. The soon-to-be bust Lugo, Coco, an aging Varitek, and Pedroia aren't exactly Concepcion, Geronimo, Bench and Morgan. Drew will have an incredible year, although it may only be for 135 games. I see a possible batting title for him. Manny and Papi are taken for granted. One of them is due to miss about 60 games. I'll go with Manny because he's a position player. Lowell won't do as well. Schilling has never been the same since sacrificing his career for the Red Sox World Series title. Lugo mailed it in for the last 45 games in the middle of a tight pennant race last year. Youkilis will get better and better. Timlin is done. Beckett has already taught his flat 93 mile per hour fastball up in the zone pitch to Dice-K. If the players are running the team, the season's now over before it ever began. - Paddy

Certainly on a Friday there is not much joy from any east coast (other than this one down 'ere) after 5. Sonoma ... ah, I have spent some glorious, if blurry, days there.

The time is out of joint,
Oh cursed spite!
That ever Paddy24 was born to set it right.

paddy24, thanks for that entertaining dose of stupidity. All closers are not the same, see: 2003, 2005. Papelbon's "big game" losses were HARDLY "big game" and mattered about as much as your doomsaying when it came to what killed us in 2006. We can only be improved by moving Tavarez out of the pen (I don't care where, but out..SP will do just fine). We didn't get Lugo for his defense, Coco and Pedroia are largely unknowns, and Tek is looking his best since 2004. Schilling has added a pitch and he's feeling his best since 2004.

I think Timlin is the only one you got right and Beckett is my "wait and see" pick. If the players were really running the team, then Papelbon would be a starter, Schilling would be sending in columns to the Globe, and Manny would be the team cook.

Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand/that I might touch that face!

Closing is where Papelbon's heart is. Coincidentally, it's where the Red Sox's best interests are. It's so nice when things dovetail so sweetly.

Downunder - nice limmerick! Is that a genetic gift of the Empire, or a more individualistic talent?


Bob, Just for you --

Roar, Lions, Roar
For Alma Mater in the Hudson Valley
Fight on for Victory Evermore
While the Sons of Knickerbocker Rally Round
Columbia, Columbia
Shouting Her Name Forever
Roar, Lion, Roar
For Alma Mater on the Hudson Shore

What's that? 7-7 in conference play? No tourney bid? Oh.... Well, nevermind then. (F-ing U-Penn...)

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