Jose Valverde is a loud guy.
After a draining night of watching a certain team I care a great deal about lose an important game in sudden, sickening fashion, I trudged out of bed this morning, got ready for work and, of course, started thinking about Jose Valverde and the Chicago Cubs. I’m sure that’s healthy.
I’m prone to making drastic leaps that can leave my friends confused, but allow me to re-connect the dots my beer-zapped brain linked this morning.
If sports are supposed to be entertainment, then Jose Valverde is a one-man cabaret act. At least he used to be.
From the safety of the left field grandstand, I got to know Valverde pretty well during my first year living in Arizona, while he closed games for the Diamondbacks in the 2007 season. That year was a great one for them, packed with one-run wins and a surprise division championship and the accompanying trip to the playoffs. Valverde was named an All-Star that season in recognition for his ability to rack up saves, but it was the way he pitched that got him into the spotlight. Continue reading
This is Tuukka Rask. He does not play baseball.
Last night, the Red Sox were down to their final strike when Will Middlebrooks, batting against Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney, laced a change-up into the outfield for a bases-clearing double. The Sox went up 4-3, Junichi Tazawa picked up the win in relief, and if I’m imagining the scenario correctly, most of the crowd went home happy, since this took place in Tampa and no one there seems to care about the Rays one way or the other.
Apparently, it was a hell of an at-bat for Middlebrooks, who is rebounding from a minor slump and on his way back towards the torrid pace he carried through April, when the Red Sox were busy surprising a jaded fan base and sitting in first place. The mighty Jon Couture actually has a great breakdown of Middlebrooks’ at-bat here, complete with his growing patience and his success reading the pitcher and the situation.
They’re a game back of the Yankees this afternoon for the top spot of the American League East, and they’re playing some fun games, even when they lose. But don’t ask me about details, because I’ve missed all of them lately. Simply, it’s because the Bruins are in the playoffs, and it is functionally impossible for me to concentrate or devote any sort of emotional focus on the Red Sox when this is the case. Continue reading
There's no shortage of baseball in the Bay State. (Graphic by Nick Tavares)
Summer and I don’t get along. I get cranky in heat and humidity, I don’t like having to sit in air conditioning, I can’t standing being in a hot room without air conditioning, I don’t like bugs and too much time in the sun makes me dizzy.
But I live for summer, and that’s almost entirely because of baseball. Most of my favorite memories in the summer involve either some form of the national game or screaming my brains out at a concert. But Pearl Jam isn’t on tour this summer. So baseball will have to do. Luckily, living in Massachusetts, I’m never too far from a game.
The desire to catch a game, though, had been lower than any summer in recent memory. Continue reading
There wasn't a thing I didn't love about Trot Nixon.
While suffering through a 5-2 loss by the Bruins Saturday night, I decided to distract myself with baseball. With the way the Bruins have played lately, there’s been a lot of distracting myself with baseball.
This week, Boston.com has been asking readers for their favorite Red Sox by position since 1967. It’s written by the folks from Boston Dirt Dogs, so as you can imagine, it’s written pretty poorly. Still, it’s a solid idea, and I voted in a couple of their polls.
Sitting in a restaurant on Saturday afternoon, I noticed a framed picture of the 2004 Red Sox as they rushed the Busch Stadium field in St. Louis. It’s not a new thought, but it hit me that the 2004 team is likely going to be my favorite Red Sox squad for a very long time. I can’t fathom what a future team would have to do to vault to the front. Continue reading
Look out, Brick. Im coming for you.
Quickly, I wanted to announce that I’ll be writing for bruinszone.com, part of the Rant Sports network, as their Bruins writer, naturally. I’ll be posting pretty regularly, with lines, injury updates, game wrap-ups, and whatever else feels appropriate or natural.
Also, unlike some other unnamed blog networks (Bleacher Report), the folks at Rant Sports seem to run spell check before posting their stuff, and they seem like a good, informative lot. So after you check me out, give their other blogs a spin, too.
Really, this is all part of my upwards climb on the media ladder. Andy Brickley, I have my eye on your seat at NESN.