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A public service announcement (with hot dogs)

Jeez, Arturo, first it was the tofu dogs now you're offering gluten-free?


You're caht is morphing into Whole Foods before my eyes.


How long befoah you show up in Birkenstocks and a hemp apron?


Arturo, the hot dog vendor:
Hey, gotta, keep up with the times, Mr. Roy. Celiac disease cases are on the rise.


Celiac? What is that some sort of STD or something.


Arturo, the hot dog vendor:
I hate to break it to you, Mr. Roy, but the world doesn't revolve around your genitalia.


Hey, slow down, Copernicus, you're dissin my dogma ovah heah.


Arturo, the hot dog vendor:
And people afflicted by celiac have chronic diarrhoea, failure to thrive, and fatigue.


Failure to thrive? Fatigue? Arturo, You do realize you just described the Red Sox offense, right?


Arturo, the hot dog vendor:
Somebody call, Shaughnessy. It's the Curse of the Gliadino!



Holy shit. I almost pooped myself. Or, that might be the Moroccan tap water.

Curse of the gliadino.

Brilliant, HB. Simply brilliant!

Thanks for raising awareness of this disease--my brother's got it. Poor bastard can't drink beer ever again.

@redsauce - check out Grist Mill, they do a gluten free beer and it's quite tasty

good strip hb.


ps: the RS are killing me softly. Death by a thousand nubbers.

I think H.B. is reading my creative briefs (I'm working on Abbott Nutrition, which addresses this exact issue).

H.B., please send ad ideas to my email address.

Oh, and be sure to sign a waver form allowing me to steal all of your ideas, concepts and thoughts.

The sausage vendor dissin' Doug's junk,what a way to end the week :O

To whom it may concern:

For good and valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I hereby waive any rights in any comments and transfer and assign those comments to Bob, if he is foolish enough to want to use them.



Boston Red Sox offense: brewed with sorghum

Thanks, L.C.

That comment is now an ad for Attorney Weinstein. Although I had to add a few versions of "absolutely" into the copy.

See how easy my job is?


Some schmuck throws a perfect game, and all we can talk about is the big D?

Glad you liked today's strip.

Here's a few behind the strip tidbits for your amusement.

1) Originally was going to build a strip around Mike and Circle with one of them hitting the theme that things were so bad with the Red Sox that they were turning to the Megan Fox v Angelie Jolie scuffle to get a dose of offense.

2) Couldn't find a harmonious way to work this into the strip, but in my mind I have it that one of Arturo's grandchildren has celiac and that's why he knows so much about it and is why he is offering the gluten free fare.

i like ye olde skoole clinical diarrhea spelling hb.

taking my father in law, a newly minted sox fan living in yankee territory, to fenway for the first time on sunday. it's his first ball game since the 1950s. i promised no rain and a sox win, when the weather was sunnier and the sox had bats. don't make me a liar boys...

I'm headed to the game tonight. Can't wait for another 5 innings from Penny!

Coming down from soggy NH with my boys. Go Penny.

Feste was right--The rain it raineth every day.


Yep, one of the difficulties of living with Celiac (my niece has this condition) is that it is quite difficult to find food that won't make you stink the place up. Not all foods list their gluten components and some falsely advertise their gluten free-ness. Much like Theo's difficulty finding suitable components for the team that won't stink up the park. There is the Lugo Gluten with its self evident stink, the Penny Gluten that decomposes after 5 innings, The Smoltz Gluten which takes 6, the Drew Gluten which tricks you for 1 month each season into thinking you can handle it but then has you completely shitting the bed, and the list goes on..

hb, instant classic strip

I don't want any condition that Elizabeth Hasselbeck has.

lc - calling out Buehrle's perfect game mid-stream, not a faux pas? or was it a failed gooch?
or you don't believe in that nonsense?

I don't believe in the nonsense, although the radio announcers sure did.

Rays radio was all "perfect" "no hit" "hasn't allowed a batter to reach"

WS radio was "something special happening" "tune in to the ninth, it might be electric"

baseball's a funny game. That's why we love it.

I don't believe in that jinx crap at all, except, of course, when I do.

I've believed in the gooch, the jinx, that crap, ever since Jason DeGoes opened a bottle of champagne before the Buckner, uh, misque.

Strangely, neither his family or police have ever questioned me about his disappearance.

What do the Cambridge PD and the Red Sox have in common?

Both are full of white guys screwing up at their job.

What do Henry Louis Gates and Carl Everett have in common?

Anger management issues and a flippancy with charges of racism when confronted with such.

Oh, AMEN, hb. AMEN.

The Gates situation = shark attack stories in summer of '01(thanks for reminder LC): "news" filling a vacuum.

Sorry, Jim, Bob owns that comment now.

(Thanks for the reminder Bob)

I'll pile on some more kudos - fantastic strip, HB.

What I love is that you actually have created a family for Arturo - he doesn't live in a hot dog vending vacuum.

BTW - good high school friend taking another space walk today...pretty cool.

Also, so rare and nice to get a PA WITH hotdogs, not about them... or other supposedly super-harmful and important things like secondhand smoke, the imminent loss of all our coastal areas to global warming, transfats, not looking both ways when we cross the road, not washing behind our ears, etc...

What should we learn from The Watchmen movie and the Gates-CPD incident?

We never want to see a dick in blue.

And by PA, I mean PSA. :)

My son has celiac and I'm so happy to see the "Gluten Free" thing gaining some traction. It's hard for a nine year old to always know he doesn't get a piece of birthday cake at the party.

know your rights..... all three of them. Tell me it didnt take 31 responses to catch the Clash reference in today's strip title.

Why do you think I brought up Gates and the CPD, w8r? ;)

You have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it.

I was thinking you were on it Kaz but just like our lineup..I,m a little slow squaring up on something pitched.

Well Matt Fucking Holliday would have helped the Sox. Too bad we signed some loser from Pittsburgh instead and the Cardinals stepped up. WTF is Theo doing?

Why, Scott, can Holliday bat?

Let me clarify. Can Holliday hit any better than LaRoche? I just went looking because I haven't kept tabs on Holliday this year, but don't remember anyone in Oakland impressing me. I see that he's having a resurgent July anyways. But he and LaRoche have put up similar numbers on the season this year.

It's a hectic day here, I'm just getting to today's strip.

Bob, my Aunt Rosemary also opened the champagne before Buckner's "misque". Eighteen years later all was forgiven.

Why did the blonde start going to church? Because she heard a guy there was hung like this (spread arms apart).

And now, ladies and germs, beer cart.

Have a great weekend all.

Hopefully we'll have something fun to yak about on Monday.

When is management going to demand from Francona that he determine what the best lineup is? Does Francona throw the names of the players into a hat? This is why we can't score any runs. No one has a role. A guy can't be a #1 or #3 hitter one day and then a #7 the next day. #7 means you are one of the least talented hitters on the team. #1 and #3 are big-time roles. It can't go both ways. Do Ellsbury and Ortiz stink or are they the go-to guys? Is Drew a #1, #6 or #3 hitter? I want to see some consistency in writing out the line-up. This tells me that Francona is wishy-washy and really doesn't have a handle on what the strengths and weaknesses of his players are. There's usually a best way to do anything, including determining a line-up. There's too much randomness with Francona, and I'm sure the players would like to settle into roles. Theo waited too long to make a move. Now, all the GMs know the Sox are desperate for offense. I'd like to see Papelbon, Ellsbury and Penny moved. Papelbon has been hit hard, he's indicated that he wants to play hardball in contract negotiations, and can be something of a distraction. His value is still very high. They could move him and Ellsbury for A. Gonzalez. Bard can step right into Papelbon's closing role. Penny should be moved after this last good outing while he still has some value. Ellsbury will never be a great hitter. The worst thing that could have happened, did. Ortiz showed some life. That was an abberation, but here he is now in the prime spot in the order. That's a huge mistake. Bay played himself out of about 25 million dollars and is probably by now very depressed. I know I would be if I threw away that kind of money. Pedroia has been pre-occupied all year. He makes big errors, gets thrown out on the bases and really hasn't been himself. He blew the relay throw last year and made an out in a big situation in the final game. Lowrie will not recover from the wrist injury. No one ever has. Masterson now has no real role. He's become like a mop-up guy. Francona lost him in the shuffle. Smoltz is all talk. He should be embarrassed. Wakefield, as usual, will now be AWOL in the second half. Varitek has played very well, but we can expect another fade. It's hard to be excited by how things are playing out with this team. Theo, like every other GM tends to do, is over-valuing his prospects. Gonzalez is a proven commodity. Buchholz and Ellsbury are not. The failure to trade Lastings Milledge cost the Mets a World Series appearance several years ago. The Mets fell in love with him. I think Theo is in love with some of his prospects, to a fault.


I'd call it a bit early to bury Ortiz...he just hit a 3-run jack.

Remember when Lester and Beckett sucked balls for all of April and a lot of May? Give Smoltz a couple more chances. (But not too many more, I'll say that much.)

some thoughts on your musings above, Paddy...

I don't think I am a Francona defender, but your attack on his batting order changes seems a bit monday morning quarterback in nature. If batting order had a proven formula with simple inputs then yes, the best to worst hitters would go in order in spots 1-9. Each lineup spot gets about 15-20 more plate appearances per season the the following spot (you can look it up). But then perhaps you'd like to account for left right left... hitters depending on opposing pitchers? or plant particular types of hitters in each spot? or maybe you are a believer in OPS v. avg.? or what about creating almost a 2nd round of 1-4 hitters in the lower part of the lineup? or putting a good on base guy at 9 so the #1 coming around can move him? or... on down the line. And what do you do with the actual behaviour of the batter? by all paper analysis, any of Drew, Pedroia or Ellsbury could and should be the leadoff guy, yet each seems not to perform up to the paper analysis when put inthe spot but does perform when put in other spots like Pedroia at 2 and Ellsbury at 7 (i'm thinking Drew maybe would do best at the #10 spot). nothing about Francona's attempts at a lineup seem random. And it is a long way from Williams' ever changing lineups (daily as I recall).

Paps, Ellsbury, Penny... I too would like each roster spot filled with future HOFers, but given that only about 1% of all players get to HOF, that's not realistic or affordable, even by the Skanks. Paps can leave the Redsox as soon as Bard has the confidence he needs - not there yet imo. Paps pisses me off to no end, and he is not a team man. He is playing for his own stats and fame - so fuck him. Penny is a decent 4 or 5 pitcher, I'd like better, but it could be a lot worse - he'd be the ace in Baltimore. not to say Theo shouldn't be looking for better, but I suspect he is - there are only a handful of MLB GM jobs out there and I tend to think they are consistently filled with the best available. Ellsbury - can't agree with you on him. I like what he brings to the game, he is young, he is fast, he makes a difference when he is on base, his defense is good to good+. And moving him with Paps for A. Ganzalez seems a high price for a guy who has some good years under him in SD, but doesn't seem to fall into the great player category (very good, not great) based on performance to date. and who fills in in the OF for Ellsbury? Baldelli? - shit. Drew? can't pley 5 straight games. We end up with 2.5 first basemen, 1.5 third basemen, and 2.5 outfielders. Might be good for the lineup, but the field seems a bit off balance.

Agreed with Lowrie - I've written before that he better have to earn his job back. Smoltz - agreed also - so far not showing me much. One or two more shit starts and he goes into my "he sucks" list (I don't care much for past performance). Bay is coming back to earth - I'd like to keep him , but am glad he's not been overpaid for yet. Masterson is lost - you got that right. He should have a better role - I like his stuff better than DelCarmen's or Ramirez.

Its Sunday a.m., I could ramble all day on this stuff.


I'm saying I'd like Penny traded because his value is currently high, compared to his future level of play. Same with Papelbon and Ellsbury. Gonzalez would tear it up at Fenway. I don't care whether or not Smoltz performs well. It's the non-stop talking I can't stand. He's talked the talk but I haven't seen him walk the walk. I didn't say that I don't like Francona's batting order on a particular day. I said I don't like how it changes drastically from day to day. It's been 30 years, but I basically can still remember this:
1 - Remy
2 - Burleson
3 - Lynn
4 - Rice
5 - Yaz
6 - Fisk
7 - Evans
8 - Scott
9 - Hobson

Get it? The team was constructed of players that had obvious specific talents (Burleson could punch the ball to the right side, Remy was fast, Rice could knock in runs, etc.) Perhaps this current team isn't put together properly. If there's no obvious place in the order for each batter to hit, then maybe we need to look at the GM.

It's unbelievable to me that here we are at this stage in the season, yet there's been nothing along the lines of: "OK, this is what we're gonna do: Jacoby, you get on some how, some way. Dustin, you take pitches and let Jacoby steal, then go the other way to move him over. Youk, you're our best all-around hitter, so you hit 3rd. Jason, you knock in the runs. J.D., you pick up what's left over. Get those runners in. Mike, you provide some protection for our other sluggers. Jason, keep those power and walk numbers going. David, tough year, Bud. Nick, be that spark plug as our second lead-off man." Any thing short of this, is sheer stupidity. In any organization, workers have roles - meaning they need to know what's expected of them at all times. Decide on a batting order. If the players execute, we make the playoffs. If not, we go home. But having NO PLAN, assures defeat.

Aight, Smoltz can go.

//Decide on a batting order. If the players execute, we make the playoffs. If not, we go home. But having NO PLAN, assures defeat.//

This is probably at the heart of how I see Francona differently. I can't argue with your logic, but I'm saying Francona has determined a lack of execution and has not just jumped to "we go home". Instead he is trying to correct the listing ship with the tools he has. What seems like lack of plan is likely trying to craft a new plan since the first was failing. Is the team built wrong? probably. I could argue that the Remy lineup from your post above was also built wrong - no WS title resulted from it. Guys knew their roles, fans were comfortable with the setup, but no title.

I am waiting for a real move this week to help with the starting pitching. Other then Gonzalez, I don't see much on the market for position players that would be an improvement. I generally like what Theo has done for the team but am fed up with the stand pat approach - that approach gets me in agreement with your suggestion above that the GM may be building the team wrong.

time to sunset the Smoltz experiment. I have lost my enthusiasm for it. And do hitting coaches and managers ever take the boys out to the woodshed and beat some damn sense into them? or would that be too old school?

did somebody say sunset

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