“I’m Not Superstitious, but I am a Little Stitious” : The Birds and the Beards.

Koji Uehara, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Do I, as a fan, honestly believe that what I do has any impact on a baseball game being played hours away by grown men who will never know my name? I don’t. But has that stopped me from developing a variety of quirks, habits, and superstitions over the years? It hasn’t.

via “I’m Not Superstitious, but I am a Little Stitious” | Fire Brand of the American LeagueFire Brand of the American League.

A Great Article By Jack Keller.

I grew up taking the train from our home in Connecticut with my mom, to NYC, and during those 45 minutes before iPhones and even cd players… we had a thing called the newspaper.. and there were basically only two sections that I would read. 1) The funnies (http://garfieldminusgarfield.net) and 2) the sports section.

I grew up with my mom pointing out what an RBI meant, Hits, Homers, Batting Average. And I would check it DAILY… see who was close to batting .300 and who were below the Mendoza line. I was born in 1989, which means that I had the (un)lucky childhood of seeing the Yankees win perennially, but boy oh boy was rooting for the underdog so much more fun, and stressful. I’m surprised there were not any balding, diehard, 8-year-olds. We had Nomar and his 3 minute bat and glove routine between pitches, Pedro buzzing people by the ear, Jose Offerman, Brian Daubach and a whole other bunch of forgetful names and woeful september collapses. We all knew if we could score a run, pedro would win… but the guys the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter through 9 and still lose the game in extras. 

Any who.. point being.. over the years I grew my own superstitions, nothing specific, but I’d get this uncanny feeling that my daily karma would affect their win loss record. Like.. If I were to accidently litter, I would start walking away and then think to myself, “If I don’t go pick that up, the sox will lose” Seriously, baseball made me a better person, if not a weirder person.So I picked up those bottle caps and would hold on to them for hours until I could find a receptacle. I mean I’d be willing to risk having a chewing gum glued pocket than to piss off the baseball gods. This ties in to the superstition of not saying the word ‘no hitter; during a no-hitter. So many times, like clockwork, do I see an announcer, or a friend, look at the score, say.. “oh! he’s throwing a no-no..” and the VERY NEXT PITCH.. base hit.. up the middle… or a bloop.. or w/e.

I know, i know.. there is no way my actions could affect their play. And i know that thousands of baseball… even sports fans get overly attached to something bigger than themselves. But its fascinating.. isnt it?

Like.. the sox were down by like 5 runs one day.. and I was pissed and grumpy.. and i started kicking off my shoes and I took off my right sock and then all of a sudden.. base hit.. sooo.. I sat there motionless.. for like 2 minutes until… another base hit.. followed by another.. and a few runs and half an hour later.. I’m still frozen on the couch with a sock in my hand afraid to move.. did it work? kinda.. but we still lost the game, maybe I twitched or something. Or someone else near Fenway missed the garbage can and ruined it for the rest of us. Ha.

So I’m in Law School now, just my luck, the year I leave Boston after 7 years of being there, they make it to the World Series. So I’m flooded with reading, and there is another sox fan at this small NC school (Elon) and it was Game 6 of the ALCS, the sox were down in the middle innings. So we both decided to leave the library to catch dinner separately and come back to the library and finish studying for our Property midterm the next morning. Oy was I stressing out, I would not have been in a good mood had they forced a game 7, and to study with that nervousness would be.. really tough. So, I try to do anything i could to get the sox bats hot. I did push ups, showered, threw my sox T on, lucky underwear (superman boxers), favorite hat, and went back to the library. As I walk in, I kid you not, that same friend, Chris, had changed his clothes also.. Authentic Sox Jersey, both sporting our beards and we just laughed at each other that we kinda.. just had to do this.

My only remaining question is.. If the sox win the World Series… Do I get to shave? or Do i have to keep it for another full season… heck.. If it meant we’d get a handful of rings in a row… is it worth it? The job interviews. The lack of girlfriends.. I might have to stay in the south and apply to Duck Dynasty to maintain the Red Sox Dynasty.

Quick World Series Predictions: The Birds and the Beards.

Potential Sox MVP: Ellsbury

Key player to watch: Xander Bogaerts

Key Pitching Perfomance: Jake Peavy <Will he control his nerves>

Key Pinch Hitter: Daniel Nava

Sox win in 5.

Catch you on the flipside: Salt and Papi


Finally a W for the Red Sox to even the series 1-1.

This title is brought to you by the Boondock Saints: 2 brothers trying to rid beantown of evil. The movie had to have something to do with it. <The movie is set in Boston.. and one of the actors, Norman Reedus, is on the Walking Dead, which I was watching that night.>

I’ll admit. I did not watch this game, I was too busy doing Property Reading, and being down 5-1 with the future Cy Young Winner on the mound was doing nothing but putting me in a bad mood. My mom kept texting me, “don’t watch the game, do your homework, tonight is not our night, I’ll call you if anything good happens.” So she never called. I watched the season premier of AMC’s Walking Dead with my neighbor and Elon 1L Maddie, started reading about executory limitations and put sox on the back burner of my mind. Occasionally I’d glance at my phone to check the score only to see that another inning had passed… and I’d just toss the phone further out of reach across the carpet so I would refresh it strike by strike. So i was finishing my reading, it was late, I figured the game was almost over, I unlocked the screen only to see 5-5 tie, ORTIZ GRAND SLAM. I let out a scream reminiscent of my high school wrestling glory days, fist pumped Jersey Shore style and ran down to my apartment to turn the game on, just in the nick of time to see Salty at the plate, Prince being a terrible Fielder, and a wild pitch and a single by Iglasias, the Red Sox won! I might as well have started singing the National Anthem: JOSE can you seeeeeee, by the balls early flight, Ore the RED SOX have WON and I can sleep well tonight….. ect

Great feeling. Also, FYI, before this game..

The Patriots had won in the Last 10 seconds of the game with a Brady touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins.

Kenbrell Thompkins

Kenbrell Thompkins

I was feeling pretty lousy also before the comeback, and earlier in the 4th Quarter I got a text asking if I wanted to go for a run. And I was like.. Nah I got a lot of property reading to do, go ahead, I will see you later…. then the magic happened.. then i texted them back saying: Have you guys left yet, I feel rejuvenated. During the run, I told them that this was a good luck run for the Red Sox. So ,in about an hour from now I will go on another good luck run to help us gain a 2-1 series lead.

Thought it was worthwhile to add a GIF of a closer look of Big Papi Magic

Game 2 ALCS 2013

Game 2 ALCS 2013

And the Flip:


Good Luck Tonight!

Forever Remember: 10/13/13- 2 Amazing Boston Wins.

Go Red Sox.

Good Luck Run Time!

So I’m thinking of shaving my beard…

Game 1: 2013 ALCS

Game 1: 2013 ALCS

I have never screamed louder for a measly base hit than I did in last night’s loss to the Tigers. Gotta hand it to them, this is not a blame game with umpire, but 17 strikeouts, and 13 men left on base with only 1 hit in the ninth inning… they deserve all the credit. How do you get 6 walks and go 0-6 with runners in scoring position, and not get a base hit.

We pushed their pitcher to 120 pitches in 6 innings, but could not break through.

2 games in the ALCS.. both 1-0 scores, against the ACE of their respective teams. Sanchez is their #3 starters, so now we have this uphill battle against the 2 best pitchers in the AL.

Lets home Clay and Lackey have a few gems in their pocket, or the bats to wake up, because otherwise, 2 games from now, would could be looking down a big 3 hole, and these handy beard trimmers are starting to look pretty good.

So thank you Nava for preventing an embarrassing combined no-hitter in the first game of the ALCS.

I was really happy to see Xander pinch hit, but not with 2 outs in the 9th. I was drinking Boston Lager, hoping for an X-men walk-off win.

A few interesting points from last night.

1) why did Ross start the game, only to be pinch hit for later by Salty? Are his numbers that much better against a pitcher we haven’t faced?

2) Why didn’t Berry steal 2nd, a batter earlier. Then Drew’s sac-fly could have gotten him to 3rd base with 2 out. We all know a wild-pitch there could tie the game and shift momentum.

3) I was talking to by buddy Caolan at the Red Sox bar Stumble Stilskins in Greensboro, NC during the game. And it was the 5th inning, 2 on, 2 out for Peralta. AND I SAID: Walk him, load the bases, he’s the guy that hit a double in his last at bat, I’d rather go after Infante. He said: No, there are 2 out, best go after him. Few seconds later.. the decisive bloop single that scored the winning run. Easy to look in hind sight of what we ought to do. Whenever I get in a one-run deficit.. I tell myself.. HEY we had to at least score a run to win the game, so that AINT THAT BAD. UNLESS.. you end up praying.. we have to get a hit to avoid embarrassment..

This series really hinges on what Middlebrooks, Drew and/or Xander can do. Because if you can effectively silence Ellsbury and Victorino.. our spark plugs.. and with Napoli fresh off a Belhorn besting record. There are just a lot of uncertainties… and we need a few clutch hits from everybody.

A loss is a loss. Time to turn the page.. do some law school reading and watch tonights game with a lucky playoff beer-d.

Quick Sox Recap: 3-1 Win Over Rays, move on to ALCS


Some quick thoughts about the Sox’s win over they Rays to move on to the ALCS.

1) Did they win this series? Or did Tampa really just choke… 3 games in a row. Bases loaded nobody out in the 2nd inning, and a strikeout and a double play later, I’m left scratching my head as to why we did not have at least a 1 run lead for most of this game. 1 run would have lowered my blood pressure substantially. Especially after we took Peavy out when down 0-1 in the 6th.

2) Craig Breslow, MVP of the Day. Struck out 4/5 batters and really killed any momentum the Rays had amassed.

3) Biggest at bat of the game: X-man.. Xander.. 2 walks.. and 2 runs. When will this kid get a start in the ALCS.. hopefully against a tough Lefty.. but are any of the Detroit Starter’s Left handed… And do I really want to see the A’s with all the former Sox providing them with excellent moneyball? Moss, Lowrie, Colon, Reddick, Crisp. Heck.. they’re a few players away from being a complete recycled sox team.. and i’m completely okay with that. The Red Sox just dont have the patience to let the David Murphy’s of the world breakout of their AAAA shell, yet here we have 30 year old Nava having such a great year.

Back to X-man’s 1st walk, that led to the game tying run. He had a good eye, and laid off some tough pitches. Looked cool as a cucumber and I’d like to see if we can get more of a lightning in a bottle ala Ellsbury in ’07… but you aint going to sit Drew/Middlebrooks, but you could alternate just to get him in the lineup.. and then pinch hit when necessary. Especially if Peavy is starting since he’s a fly ball pitcher.

4) Victorino. Basically guaranteed that I’ll be putting pineapple on my pizza for the time being, since the flying Hawaiian legged out a crucial infield hit to allow the go-ahead run to score. Guy playing right field.. with Pedrioa’s 110% effort. Hit by 4 pitches this ALDS and set a record for OBP over .500 for the series. Basically, any residual love i had for Trot Nixon and they way he played.. is now transferred to Vic. And also I give credit to him for the way he showed a bunt, maybe blocking the vision of the catcher which led to the passed ball that Xander scored on to tie it up. He’s 100 times more valuable than Crawford was to us, and for a fraction of the cost <although not to the savings Nava is awarding us> and he’s only been hitting from the right side.. which If he keeps it up.. may have to abandon his switch hitting ways, because the power is there.. especially on R/R.

I was a freshman at NU for the ’07 win and I find it funny that once I leave to NC, they’re back on top, with a model for sustained success, and bearded faces.


Red Eyes Poem

Law books

Red Eyes and Red Books

Law Books and Law Crooks

Read books and Red Bed

Heavy Sleep and Heavy Head

Red Eyes and Tired soul

Empty Fridge and Empty Bowl

Take out, Eat in

TV on, Red Sox Win

by Jules Toraby 10/8/13

Silly String of Events: Sox ahead 1-0

Silly String of events

Red Sox up 1-0 in the ALDS

The Rays may have strung together an impressive 3 consecutive road wins to get into the postseason and a chance to play the Red Sox in the ALDS, but they would have needed a 4th consecutive road win to be holding a series lead morning. But thanks to a silly string of events in Game 1, all momentum has been shifted to the bearded fellows I root for, which is a huge sigh of relief considering there was a lot of talk about how the last 4 days off were negative in terms of momentum to the Sox staying hot at the plate.

Although Lester came out hot out of the gate last night, striking out the side in the 1st, the Rays hit 2 solo home run to quiet the Fenway faithful, and really make us wonder if we could best the Rays Lefty. Pedrioa got the inning started with a single, and then Ortiz hit, what i thought was a 2-run blast, but should have been out one with a runner on first, but instead turned into an error by Wil Myers who waved off Jennings but decided to let it fall behind him for a ground rule double. 2 Runners in scoring position, no out. BIG TURNING POINT.

Myers Mistake

Myers Mistake

Then after Gomes double off the monster to tie it at 2, Drew hit a dribbler and was called safe at 1st, nice hustle.. questionable call, but tie should go to the runner. Good heads up play by Gomes to score from 2nd from an infield hit.

Drew Safe

Drew Safe

That proved to be the winning run. As the Rays did not score again, but the Red Sox took the momentum and put up 12 on the board.

This win was huge because we were all questioning whether Lackey was the right match up for Price in game 2. If we were to win game one, then Lackey seems appropriate because he’s a gamer and pitched a great complete game against the Rays during the regular season, and happens to have better splits at home then on the Road. BUT if you needed someone to go toe to toe with Price, <to even the series at 1> I’d say that Buchholz gives you the best option, because he has the lowest ERA, but maybe lower endurance considering he’s only a few games removed from the DL.

But the sox won, and now we get to give Lackey the opportunity to prove why we spent the big bucks on him several off-seasons ago. And Just like JD Drew hit a $70 million dollar grand slam in ’07 against the Indians in Game 7 of the ALCS… Lackey has an chance to make this the $82.5 million postseason, starting with winning game 2 of the ALDS.. hopefully leading to 2 more important wins.

Who knows.. I hate to write off that this the only important postseason of his contract, but you cant take anything for granted..

and if we do become perennial winners.. we can reevaluate then.

<Funny thing: I was just browsing Boston.com and they have an article that says the same thing I felt about Lackey>

A victory Saturday against the Rays would do for Lackey what that grand slam in Game 6 of the 2007 ALCS did for J.D. Drew. It would provide at least one counter for all those punchlines about his fruitless long-term, big-money deal with team.


Also.. just consider who’s contracts we’ll pick up.. if the Sox have a ‘Successful’ postseason.
Salty, Drew, Napoli, Ellsbury… all within possibility of returning.

Otherwise, Bradley Jr, Carp, Butler… it your turn.

Go Sox!

ALDS Rays vs. Red Sox: Tale of the Tape – Stats Driven – Boston sports statistics blog

ALDS Preview

In 2008 when these two teams last squared off in the postseason, the Rays outlasted the Red Sox 4 games to 3 in the ALCS, advancing to the World Series where they were vanquished by the Philadelphia Phillies. While only David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia remain from the lineup that faced Matt Garza in the deciding game, Boston’s Game 7 starter, Jon Lester, will get the chance to avenge the loss by getting the ball for Boston in Game 1. The man who saved that clincher, David Price, will likely go to the mound for Tampa Bay in Game 2 on Saturday evening.

via ALDS Rays vs. Red Sox: Tale of the Tape – Stats Driven – Boston sports statistics blog.

Looks like we wont have any fried chicken or beer during this playoff series.

I, like the majority of Red Sox fans, are nervous about this series.

Maybe Ellsbury can steal us a taco and we can scratch away a few runs against the quality rays rotation.

I feel like the big hits are either going to be from:

a) The heart of the franchise: Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury,

b) The new guys: Gomes, Drew, Victorino, Napoli

c) Feel good story: Nava, X-man, Carp, Salty

Which team should Red Sox want to play, Indians or Rays?

The Devils

Following is by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com

Take your pick.

Do you want the team in the Indians that has won 10 games in a row, exuding the kind of feeling not seen since the 2007 Colorado Rockies? (Remember, the club that went 21-1 before being swept by the Red Sox in the World Series?)

Or how about the Rays, an American League East rival that has given you a boatload of headaches for the last half-decade (48-43 advantage for Tampa Bay in the last five seasons)?

These are the options the Red Sox find themselves facing.

After the Rays’ 5-2 win over the Rangers, Tampa Bay now gets a crack at Cleveland in Wednesday night’s Wild Card play-in at Jacobs Field. The winner, of course, earns the right to play the Red Sox in a best-of-five division series.

So which club should the Red Sox want to play?

via Full Count » Which team should Red Sox want to play, Indians or Rays?.

I’ll just add in my own words that most Red Sox fans fear facing the Rays in the ALDS because of their starting pitching. Just in my perspective, how great would it be to see Terry Francona back as the manager of the Indians, then hopefully to the Dodgers in the World Series? The Dodgers with whom we completed the Mega-Deal, that was so essential to our current teams success. They’re basically the new Yankees with an almost unlimited bank account. Then there are the RED HOT Indians with Nick Swishalicious, Grey Hair Giambi, Ubaldo, Santana, and Danny Salazar <who started the year in AA and has only pitched 55 major league innings, but is good enough to start the one game wild card for the Indians. Apparently he can reach triple digits with his fastball and so far in the 1st inning of this playoff game he has struck out 2, so in just over 2 hours from now we should know who the sox will be facing in the ALDS.

Check out the link below to see fan thoughts of the upcoming ALDS.


Thoughts from the Fenway Park Practice

Notice how even the diehard fans reiterate the desire to see both the Indians and Dodgers!

Let me know in the comments who you’d rather see and why.



Bring out the brooms, the Red Sox just swept the Yankees in their last 3-game series at Fenway Park. Before the game, they honored Mariano Rivera, who unless they make the postseason, made his last visit to Fenway as an active player. But this really isn’t a case of the Mo the Merrier, lol, usually you try to avoid seeing the other teams closer, even if he has choked recently. The bigger picture here is that the Red Sox are running away with the division, a year after finishing in Last Place in the formidable AL East.

With another loss by the Rays and Rangers today, the Yanks are still in contention of both wild card spots. Who would the sox rather face in the first round of the ALDS is quite another story. We all seem to conclude that it will be a Red Sox v Tigers ALCS, but that’s counting your chickens before they hatch, all we can submit is that this is a farm-raised organic team… Literally.

Look at all the homegrown players that are apart of this years success: Lester, Buchholz, Pedroia, Middlebrooks, Bogaerts. Ellsbury and Bradley Jf. This is a solid core, part of the winning mold that Clay demonstrated today going by going 11-0 for the first time since Clemens. Lucky 11. It is a shame that he had to spend 3 months dealing with a sore neck from ‘sleeping with his baby weirdly?’ but if we are going to make it to the ALCS and match up with likely CY young apparent Max Scherzer, we need every ounce of our lucky 11 to go toe to toe with the Tremendous Tigers. Even though he was not at his best today, walking 4 and only striking out 3, besides an unearned run in the top of the 1st from what is usually a good pick-off move, he only permitted 2 hits to a rejuvenated yankee lineup, so kudos for that.

The next speculation we could have is how would you structure the playoff rotation.

In the ALDS, a best of 5 series, in a four man rotation, who do you want to pitch twice?

Clay, Lester, Lackey or Peavy. I’d say Lester, your opening day starter, who has been your workhorse all season and is finally turning the corner by using his cutter more selectively. Lester, Clay, Lackey and Peavy… no need for a game 5.. and hopefully no need for a game 4 because the Sox have seen the most pitches in baseball, a thousand more than the next patient team. We’re full of grinders and gamers and a lot of luck.


Koji Uehara 2013 Red Sox

Koji Uehara 2013 Red Sox

In his 63 1/3 innings this year, the right-hander has allowed just 29 hits (.133 opponents’ batting average) and nine walks (1.3 per nine innings) — with his 0.600 WHIP ranking, at this moment, as the lowest in major league history for a pitcher who worked at least 50 innings, besting the standard for greatness achieved by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley with the A’s in 1989 (0.607). – Weei’s Alex Speier. (http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2013/09/06/koji-ueharas-long-unassuming-path-being-best-c)

As of the end of the first week of September, Koji has actualled pitched yet another scoreless inning lowering his WHIP to a microscopic 0.591. For those of you who do not know what WHIP stands for, it is [walks and hits per innings pitched]. So a WHIP at/or under 1.0 is considered very good, meaning for 9 innings of baseball you’re good for 9 hits/walks combined. To have a WHIP closer to 0.6 means you only give up 6 hits and walks combined per 9 innings which is crucial for a closer to be able to keep men off the base paths. He has been pitching with such Japan-ease, that I bet you he he’ll gain some MVP consideration, although we all know that the Detroit Tigers possess both the Reigning and Future Cy young and MVP winners. [see Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and now most likely Max Scherzer]. 

Koji and Papelbon Comparison

Koji and Papelbon Comparison

Now lets compare the two quickly.

In Papelbon’s arguably best year which was in 2006 where he placed second in the Rookie of the Year voting to non other than the great Verlander himself.

In 2006, the All-Star pitched to:

a 4-2 record with a 0.92 ERA in 68 innings pitched in 59 games, striking out 75, with a WHIP of 0.776.

Great numbers, He did a great job for 6 seasons posting a WHIP under 1.0 for 4 of the 6  seasons.

Koji on the other hand, 5 years older than Papelbon, in his Age 38 season is having one of the best season’s ever for a pitcher. Just ask Eck himself.

Koji has already pitched 64 innings to a tune of 1.12 ERA, 89 K’s, and a 0.591 WHIP

AND is in currently pitching his 5th consecutive year with a WHIP under 1.

All I can say is, Here’s to looking at you, kid. You’re doing great. I’ll donate all the money I’ll save this postseason on Migraine pills from having to see the sox NOT trot out Eric Gagne like relievers with the game on the line.

Just a reminder Gagne had a 6.75 ERA and 1.875 WHIP in the 20 inning rental that cost us Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre.

I’m a firm believer that we could’ve looked more like the A’s and have an outfield/infield of Brandon Moss, David Murphy, Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander, Lowrie, Pedroia and Middlebrook playing 1st base maybe something similar to how we used Youk on our team. But that;s a completely different story. I got to see Moss, Murphy and Ellsbury in a Pawsox v Fishercats game over a half dozen years back when I was still in High School.

I just want to see Red Sox v. Tigers in this year’s ALCS, with maybe a Red Sox v. Dodgers World Series. Wouldn’t that be something. But if all else fails, Go Pirates!!