Thursday, December 2, 2010

Too Long To Tweet: Our one and only "home" game

I live in an affluent county, and yet it only has one ice rink with one ice surface. This means that the overwhelming majority of county conference high school games are played at a large facility in another county, where the only fans are parents and such. But today was special. Sure, we lost 6-2, but we got to play our one game this season that's at the rink across the street from my school. The stands were packed with fans of both teams, but mostly ours. Of course, this being a high school athletic event involving mostly boys, the shit soon hit the fan.

First off, we didn't have our starting goalie. In our season opener, he managed to rack up 25 PIMs and a 3-game suspension, all on one play with under 2 minutes left. For this game (and presumably the next two) our coach decided to put the biggest skater in goalie pads and hope for the best. The first thing I noticed was that the game had a much faster pace than our first game. Nonetheless, the team played well (even the fill-in goalie) and the game was tied 2-2 after 2.
The third period was when things got out of hand. A go-ahead shorthanded breakaway early in the period and three more goals against after that were our undoing. But there's not really anything unusual about a school team with me on it losing (0-22 now, WHOO!!) The story was all the penalties, and the fan reaction. The game got really chippy, and as the period wound down, there seemed to always be 2 or 3 of our players (including one who'd gotten a 10min misconduct) in the sin bin. But here's the kicker- our coach got ejected with 3:33 left, so our suspended goalie came down from the stands to coach with the crowd chanting his name. It was awesome.
The two things I took away from the game were 1) that hockey kicks ass, and 2) that there's nothing more amazing than playing in front of a passionate home crowd.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Road to 0-161, Conclusion

It was the last game of a Red Sox season filled with turmoil, freak injuries, and demoralizing losses. (Seriously, who knew you could lose .5 to 0, pi to 3, 0 to -1, or, my personal favorite, 4 to i? In fact, the one bright spot so far was Boston winning the Nobel Prize for discovering how to score an imaginary number of runs!) The 0-161 Sox were hosting the 161-0 Yankees. Under Brett Favre's tutelage, Jonathan Papelbon had retired and unretired many times. John Lackey never pitched all year, and demanded a trade. Daisuke Matsuzaka found out about, and subsequently joined, the class-action suit, and the Sox organization owed him a lot of money after he lost every game that season 1-0. The sellout streak was long gone, and Fenway was empty and desolate for this early October Sunday matinee. The further indignity of a winless season was staring Boston in the face.

But something amazing happened. The Sox were leading the Yanks by some truly insurmountable run total, and it was only the 4th inning. After all that had happened, one might expect the Red Sox to blow that lead. They didn't. The Yankees had accepted that they weren't going to rally, yet they were willing to do anything to avoid a loss. With two outs in the 4th, the Yankees just seemed to give up. They put in some reliever who seemed not even to be trying. The Boston players were perplexed, but gladly took their walks, easy hits, and HBP's. However, the fun would quickly turn to a feeling of helplessness as New York's intentions became as clear as the sky soon wouldn't be. The Red Sox were pouring it on, and so too would the gathering storm clouds. 

The game was still half an inning away from being official. All the Sox wanted to do was get to the middle of the 5th, and by now everyone had realized the Yankees weren't going to let that happen. The Red Sox tried to make the last out of the 4th, but New York wouldn't throw strikes or even attempt to throw out the Sox runners who weren't even running. To the Yankees, an undefeated season was far more important than the integrity of baseball. The rain came, and the game was called. Even if it hadn't, the Sox probably would have just conceded to stop that travesty of a game from going any further.

The Yankees went on to beat Milwaukee in the World Series. Or at least, that's what the history books'll want you to think. Bud Selig canceled the postseason and declared New York champs, as well as giving the Brewers the pennant as a thanks for building a statue of him outside Miller Park. And with that the 2010 MLB season concluded. There's no happy ending. The bad guys won, and the good guys lost.

Road to 0-161 Part 3: Finnished (@MIN)

{I've had this written for a while, but I've been busy with school and procrastination. Having been on summer break for a few days, I guess July 4th weekend is as good a time as ever to finish typing my Sox season preview. Since I'm sure not everyone has a schedule handy, this installment takes place April 15}

Our story resumes with the Red Sox in Minneapolis. Having lost their first six games, they desperately needed to beat the Twins at brand new Target Field. As the title suggests, this didn't happen.

In the first game, Josh Beckett bounces back from his bad start against the Yankees, but gets the loss when he gives up a walk-off homer to Joe Mauer (a la Ryan Zimmerman in the first game at Nats Park). Next game, Dice-K gives up just one run in 6.2 innings, but gets tagged with another 1-0 loss. In the third game, Jon Lester gets off to a strong start. However, he gets injured and tries to tough it out, but ultimately gives up 8 runs in 5+ innings. By the end of the game, most of the starters and coaches are sitting in the dugout when Joe Mauer walks over.

Target Field Announcer: [heavy Minnesota accent] That's it folks! Final score- Boston 5, your Minnesota Twins 16!
Dustin Pedroia: If you want a postgame handshake to maintain your polite Minneso-o-otan image, don't bother. Just go away.
David Ortiz: Dustin, stop acting like you know anything about Minnesotans {remember, Papi used to be a Twin}. Or for that matter, politeness.
Mauer: [ignoring them] Yo, Adrian!
Adrian Peterson: 'Sup, Joe?
Dusty: Whaaa? How long has Adrian Peterson been sitting behind our dugout? And that's Brett Favre!-
AP: [inturrupts, mocks Dustin's tone] And that's Al Jefferson! (the former Celtic, do ya'll know him?) And that's Kevin Love! And those are Niklas Backstrom {I swear, this is the last time SNG gets written about unless he does something notable besides having the same name as a star on my favorite team}, Mikko Koivu, and.... how the hell do you say your name?
AM: Antti Miettinen. It's not that hard to say.
AP: But it's hard to spell.
AM: How does that affect whether or not you can pronounce it?
AP: It shouldn't.
AM: Then why- oh, never mind.
Papi: Your name sounds like a drug! {No, I didn't make up this joke}
AM: I'm not a drug, I'm Finnish!
AP: Moving on, me and these other Minny stars (and Antti what's his name)
AM: Hey!
AP: Chill, I'm just messin' with ya. [continuing on] In all seriousness, we wanted to support Joe and the Twins in their nice new ballpark.
Mauer: Today was the best day for them to come because, well, let's just say none of them have games to play soon. At least the Vikes did well.
Favre: Throwing crushing, season-ending interceptions makes me feel like a kid out there! Should I come back for another season? I think I can! I know I can! Maybe...
Terry Francona: That's great, Brett.
AP: Hey Joe, can we come down into the dugout?
Mauer: Sure, guys!
Sox Players and Coaches: [loud sigh]
Mauer: [after everyone gets into visitors' dugout, talking to Sox] Ya know, it would be nice of you guys to introduce yourselves [cuts off as he notices an unfamiliar face] Nik, who's your friend?
SNG: Not friend, interpreter.
Mauer: But you speak great english!
SNG: I'm aware. He's-
SSS: [inturrupting and in a condescending tone] World-renowned Finnish-Japanese-English interpreter, Sami Saku Suzuki.
Koivu: My brother's name is Saku!
SNG: Too bad he wouldn't sign with us.
Koivu: I tried to get him to come here, but he didn't want to be a Wild.
Dusty: He didn't wanna be your teammate? [laughing] Your brother hates you, your brother hates you!
SSS: Yeah, well, yours is a Pedobear!
Dusty: Dude, uncalled for! [punches SSS in the face]
[awkward silence]
SNG: Eh, Triple-S had it coming. Egotistical assclown.
Francona: But WHY did you bring a trilingual interpreter to a baseball game?
SNG: Well, it doesn't really matter now that my interpreter's unconscious-
Dusty: And a douchebag!
SNG: But I couldn't help but notice that Dice-K hasn't gotten any run support this season-
Dusty: We're aware.
SNG: And as a fellow IFA, I think he deserves better. I just wanted him to think about something- Is our international free agents getting consistent offensive support?
Mauer: Are, not is.
SNG: That's what I thought, but didn't your former leader once-
Francona: The conversation hadn't quite gotten there, Curt. CURT? What the hell are you doing here?
Schill: The front office asked me to unretire because we're 0-9, desperate, and can't stay off the DL.
Francona: That', wonderful. You're in good company, Curt. Brett Favre's here.
Schill: Awesome, he's my unretirement idol!
Favre: Aw, shucks, I'm flattered.
Papi: [sees the Finns are confused] Oh, don't mind Schill. He's just a Republican.
Mauer: [to the hockey players] I can explain everything later.
SNG: That's not quite what I was trying to say...
Papi: Stop! Infighting will get us nowhere! We're only 9 games in! There's plenty of time for the Sox to catch fire!
Mauer: DON'T SAY FIRE AROUND NIK! He still has nightmares.
SNG: That was supposed to stay between you and me, Joe.
[dispute escalates into a full-on brawl between hitters and pitchers]
Jonathan Papelbon: [entering the dugout to see what the commotion is] What's going on? [sees Favre] Brett?
Favre: They're fighting over whether the pitchers or position players are to blame for your bad start.
Paps: Oh. [pauses] So should I tell them or will you?
Favre: You.
Paps: Guys, stop fighting! [they miraculously stop] I have an announcement to make. As you know, this is my Hattiesburg buddy Brett Favre. He's my new career advisor.
Everyone: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ron Gardenhire: [walks over to Mauer] But Joe, there's one question that wasn't answered. Why did Nik want to talk to Dice-K, and why couldn't he use a team interpreter?
Mauer: [succinctly] First off, that was two questions. Secondly, there are a lot more questions than that. Thirdly, I don't think the Red Sox would want their big investment to know about Nik's plan.
Gardenhire: Plan?
Mauer: He's trying to get IFA's from teams with bad offenses to join him in a class-action lawsuit.
Gardenhire: WHAT?
Papi: Give it a rest, caballito. We're gonna turn it around. I mean, it's not like we're gonna go winless. That would be ridiculous.
Mauer: I thought he was kidding when he said he was suing for offensive support. Now I don't know what to think.
Gardenhire: It's your hometown team; you'd know better than I.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

NNICQotD March 1-12

Yeah, it took me a while to get around to this post, I know. Here's the explanations of the Not Necessarily In Context Quote of the Day for the first two weeks of March.

Mon 3/1 "So we're making albino midgets?" "Yes."
We were doing a thing in science class that modeled dihybrid crosses with coin flips. The traits involved were dwarfism and albinism, so I asked the assistant teacher this question. (FYI, I know midget isn't really PC, but that's the word the worksheet used. Not my fault.)

Tues 3/2 "Plus, if a moose is carrying a gun, it's an illegal moose.
I have no idea what this means. There are a few boys in my history class who are class clowns. Somehow, I wound up mentioning that I'd eaten reindeer stew in Alaska, and one of the boys said something about eating moose even though it was illegal, and then added this.

Wed 3/3 "But you can't give a pop quiz, like, in the middle of class!"
This was said by a girl in my math class with about 15 minutes left in the period. Long story short, we knew there would be a quiz soon, but we didn't know when. Basically, some of the class was afraid that we were about to get it then, because the teacher can be intimidating sometimes. His quizzes are usually a lot longer than 15 min, mind you. (Except the unit circle quiz, which is what the pop quiz turned out to be a few days later. We only had 10 minutes to fill out a blank unit circle.)

Thurs 3/4 "The purple wildcat can probably self-pollinate."
This is also from Bio class. We were doing a practice problem about incomplete dominance involving red, purple, and blue wildcats. Someone had forgotten what the F2 generation was, so the assistant teacher said that it was when the F1 generation self pollinates or something to that degree. A student pointed out that wildcats were animals, not plants, and this was the teacher's joking response.

Fri 3/5 "If you say sin, I will smack you."
The abbreviation for sine is sin. Trying to be funny, a guy in my class pronounced it like it was spelled (as in a bad thing) instead of pronouncing it like sign. My teacher (who often makes jokingly empty threats to hurt/disfigure/kill us) didn't like this.

Wed 3/10 "Do we have to stab ourselves?"
We were doing a lab about blood types and one kid was wondering where the blood would come from. For the record, we used fake blood.

Thurs 3/11 "What an asshole. I hate Mozart."
Since chorus class is right after lunch, we're allowed to eat it in the chorus room. A senior who's played the piano for about a decade, was sitting at the piano and telling us some things about music theory. She told us that modern composers break some of the theory "rules" set forth by people like Mozart. I guess she doesn't like those rules.

Fri 3/12 "The pizza would have to own something the way you're using it."
We were writing sentences with homophones in English, and one set was its and it's. A student read a sentence about pizza that used the wrong one. Once the teacher realized, she said this.

Well, that sucked. I'll try to do better next time. If there is a next time...

Friday, March 19, 2010

I had an RBI!

As the title suggests, I had an RBI yesterday. But perhaps it would be better if I started at the beginning-

My JV softball team was supposed to have scrimmages last Saturday and Tuesday. It rained a lot over the weekend, so the Saturday scrimmage got postponed a week and the Tuesday one got rescheduled for yesterday (Thursday). The schedules we were given had yesterday's game as an away game, but the online schedule said we were at home, which was what the coaches kept telling us.

So we get to the field and at around 3 are trying to set it up for a 3:30 game. We're having a problem putting in the game bases when Coach comes over and tells us that we're on the road and that the bus, which had left with the varsity players, was coming back to get us. I think what might have happened (but I don't know) was that the coaches thought that JV was at home and varsity was away, because most schools probably only have one softball field. However, they had two fields where we were going. A few minutes later, we were on a bus to a large Baltimore county school. But that's a pretty big county, and of course the game wasn't in the nearby part. It was in a part of the county all the way on the other side of the city. And after riding a bus for a couple hours (traffic was really bad), we got there. We did a quick warmup, and what was supposed to be a 4 o' clock game started at about 5:30.

I batted second and played third. (Not really relevant, but for some reason the bus driver, who was a Yankee fan, was one of the base coaches) The leadoff hitter took two balls and the home plate ump said it was a 3-1 count. No one protested, so I thought I'd gone crazy and missed the first two pitches. I got up to bat with a runner on first and struck out looking on two pitches because it hadn't yet registered that every batter was starting 1-1 because of the late start. After sucking defensively I came up to bat again with the bases loaded in the 2nd inning. I worked an RBI walk on 3 pitches, but I was left on base due to the 5 runs an inning rule. The game was called with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th (I would've led off the 5th) because all games have to end at 6:30, even though there was plenty of daylight left. We'd lost 13-6. We got back on the bus and were driven home by the bus driver/base coach. The return trip took under an hour, but I wound up not getting to my house until after 8, and I was tired. Naturally, I still had dinner to eat and homework to do, and my dad was mad at me for him not knowing it was a road game (but that's another story).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Road to 0-161, Parts 1 and 2

Road to 0-161 is basically a 4-part series where the '10 Red Sox do their best imitation of the '08 Detroit Lions. Why would a Sox fan write this kind of thing? I dunno. Maybe it teaches us to not take anything for granted or something sappy like that. Anyway, here's the first two parts, which involve Boston's first 6 games. And remember- this can't actually happen. Right?


Boston had high expectations going into the 2010 season. Yes, Jason Bay had signed with the Mets and the core vets were a year older, but there were many reasons to be hopeful. Younger stars like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jon Lester were also a year older (and better). David Ortiz was hopefully going to have a huge bounce-back season after a slow-start in '09. And most of all, it had been 3 years since the Sox' last World Series win. Surely, they were due. (Oh, and I almost forgot- they signed John Lackey and some other guys)

Spring Training in sunny Fort Myers went well, except for the aforementioned Lackey getting hurt. He was expected to only miss a few weeks, barring setbacks. (Spoiler alert: there were setbacks. These are nightmare scenarios, after all. Okay, I admit it. I decided for him to be injured because I wrote some of this before he was signed and didn't want to add him to the series. Probably for the best.) The Red Sox believed that they could still be the best team, even without Lackey. On paper, this wasn't too far-fetched. But baseball ain't played on paper! It's played on a diamond. And not the type that are a girl's best friend. Unless, of course, she's a huge baseball fan... [end tangent] You mean like that trig thing? [I said end tangent, dammit!]

Part One: Home Opener (vs. NYY)

Jon Lester came oh-so-close to getting a win against the Yankees in the Red Sox' first actual game of 2010. (The Sox had won the previous day's exhibition in DC simply because crabchowdah was there!) Papelbon needed one more out to end a 5-3 victory, but (guess who!) A-Rod hit the eventual game-winning 3-run homer on an 0-2 count. Naturally, Boston's season went downhill from there. New York won the next game in a blowout after Josh Beckett got epically lit up. The day after that, Dice-K pitched 6 strong innings but was tagged with a 1-0 loss. (This score is important.) Luckily for the Red Sox, their next 3 games were against the lowly Royals. (There's no imaginary dialogue for this section. I apologize; blame writer's block and having more important things to do.)

Part Two: We're Not In Kansas (City) Anymore (@KC)

Clay Buchholz, Lester, and Tim Wakefield were given the starts against Kansas City. Boston lost all three games and Wake to an injury. Dustin takes a nap on the team plane to Minneapolis, and awakes to find... well, this:

[Dustin lying on ground; eyes closed. He hears Ortiz talking in a falsetto, Domincan voice]

Papi: Toto, where are you?
Dusty: [jolts completely awake; springs to feet, which he suddenly realizes he has 4 of] What the hell?
Papi: Oh, there you are!
Dusty: David, what's going on? And why are you dressed as girl? 
Papi: Toto, you- you talk!
Dusty: Toto? Oh shit, I'm a dog aren't I? And lemme guess- you're Dorothy.
Papi: Yep!
Dusty: This is getting weird. [notices the crashed team plane and gets agitated] What happened to the rest of the team?!?
Papi: What team?
Dusty: This is serious! We need to find the others! [ed. note: To answer your question, no, this isn't a Lost parody. It's the Wizard of Oz.]
Papi: What others?
Dusty: You know- Paps, Youk, Tito, Beltre...
Papi: I don't know who those people are. Or are they some of your doggy friends?
Dusty: [starts to talk but cuts off] Never mind. So, how do we get home?
Papi: Well, the plane crushed the wicked witch of the West [points to a woman in an Angels jersey under the plane], but we must find and kill the witch of the East before the Wizard of lOZers will send us home.
Dusty: But where is home?
Papi: I was hoping you'd know.
Papelbon: [dressed as scarecrow, yelling from a distance] Can we come, too?
Dusty: Who the hell are you?
Paps: I'm scarecrow. This [gestures toward Youkilis] is Tin Man, and this [points to Sluggerrr] is the Cowardly Lion.
Sluggerrr: [quietly] Hi. I- I'm kinda scared of dogs.
Dusty: [barks and growls loudly]
Sluggerrr: Ahh! [runs screaming into Tin Man's arms]
Youk: I swear to God, if you don't get off me right now-
Papi: [to Dusty, who's been laughing the whole time] Toto! That wasn't nice! Apologize!
Dusty: Fine. I'm sorry, Sluggerrr- I mean, Cowardly Lion. [feels ashamed that he knows what the Royals' mascot is called and looks down in inward embarassment] Whoa! Where'd that come from? It's a road! Made out of- are those yellow bricks? We should follow it while singing and dancing!
Papi: That's a great idea, Toto!

Dusty: [panting] how much further?
Youk: I think I'm starting to rust from sweating!
Dusty: Wait. You can sweat [pauses] but you don't have a heart?
Youk: So? You have a heart but can't sweat! You're a dog!
Dusty: Touche. No really, how much further?
[an evil-looking woman in a Yankees jersey appears in front of them]
Woman: It doesn't matter! Your journey ends here!
Dusty: So you're the wicked witch of the East...
Woman: And I'll be the last thing you ever see!
Ghost of Witch of the West: No, I will! [evil cackling]
[fade to black]

Youk: Wake up! We're landing and you have to put your tray table and seat in the upright position or else we'll all die!
Dusty: So it was just a dream... Are we still 0-6?
Youk: Unfortunately. So, tell me about your dream.
Dusty: The damndest thing. It made no sense. Like it was written by some crazy 9th-grader with only a basic knowledge of the Wizard of Oz!
Youk: Oh...kay.
Dusty: You were Tin Man.
Youk: [proudly] Well, I am a heartless killah on a baseball field.
Dusty: Kansas City's lion mascot thing was the Cowardly Lion. And you [talking to Paps] were the scarecrow.
Paps: Ugh. Why does everyone think I'm so stupid?
Dusty: You say some dumb shit, man.
Paps: Yeah, but I'm just trying to be funny!
Dusty: Don't worry about it. I was Toto, for God's sakes! Papi was Dorothy!
[some laughter in the plane]
PA System: This is your pilot speaking. We're beginning our descent into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where the bathrooms have been wide-stanced Senator free since June 11, 2007.
Dusty: We're here. We're 0-6. But only 0-6! Let's be the first team to win at Target Field! Who's with me!?

[part 3 soon]

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Source Recommendations for an English Assignment?

First off, let me make it clear that I despise writing papers; it's my least favorite part of school. Especially when I only have a couple weeks to do them. But since I have to, can anyone help me find info for a research paper on the effect of technology on communication? The topic I hope to explore is how celebrity blogging affects public perception, but I'm having a hard time finding information on the topic. The paper's due in a week (2-8), so if I don't find sources soon I'll have to do a topic with easier-to-find resources. If you have any suggestions of links I should check out, please leave them in the comments, tweet me, or email me at Thanks.

(PS- I'm still working on my Red Sox nightmare scenarios series, which will hopefully get written before the season starts :) I'm also attempting to write some parody songs)

And last but not least: we watched this video in Bio class last Thursday- enjoy the educational Australian (?) British (?) epicness.