Red Sox: Pap-Squared

For a stretch last baseball season, it seemed as though the typical Red Sox game was a narrow win, relying on a home run from David Ortiz and a save from Jonathan Papelbon. Last night’s game, the sixth of the new season, was close to that pattern, but not necessarily in a very comforting way.

The game was indeed a narrow win. It was 3-2, but perhaps even closer than the score suggests. Papelbon entered the game in the 8th inning, with one out , runners at the corners, and the heart of the Texas order coming up. He got the final five outs without giving up a hit or a walk, let alone a run, with three of the five being by strikeout. All of Boston’s runs came on two home runs by David Ortiz.

So why doesn’t this Red Sox fan find that comforting? The win seemed to rely too heavily on the Pap-squared effect. If either Ortiz or Papelbon is anything short of outstanding, the Sox don’t win, at least not in 9 innings.  Or perhaps it’s because that’s the way some Red Sox fans, including this one, think.

Time for a perspective paragraph. Splitting on the road isn’t bad, and the Sox come home from their first road trip of the season 3-3, without having sustained any major injuries. Ortiz has started hitting. Papelbon once again looks like an outstanding closer. I was regretting his absence from the rotation, where he’d be set to give us ~200 innings rather than about a third of that number, but games like last night’s will help dispel such regrets.

So now the Mariners come to Fenway. Tomorrow is home opener, and Wednesday’s game should start with Ichiro facing Matsuzaka.

Matsuzaka on Course for 30+ W, 300+ Ks

MatsuzakaDaisuke Matsuzaka got the win today in his first Major League Baseball start. This puts the new Red Sox starter on a course for more than 30 wins, and, given that he fanned 10 today, more than 300 strikeouts. That should get him the Cy Young, rookie of the year, and probably Most Valuable Player.

Are the above extrapolations laughable? Not compared with stuff like this: Matsuzaka shops for groceries like a wild banshee reciting an awesome cinquain.

Hound Seeks Home

Betsy From AboveI fear that the time really has come to give up our dog, Betsy. It’s probably fairly accurate to describe her as a 10-year-old coonhound. We’re not completely sure, because we got her as a mature dog from a pound about 4 years ago.

She is very gentle with our kids. But with the second kid about to start crawling, our already full hands will overflow. Betsy gets on well with most other dogs, but she doesn’t care for cats.

If we don’t hear from a potential home in the Boston area in the next couple of days, we will surrender her to a shelter. We’d ask for a small donation to a local animal charity from any people kind enough to take in this lovely dog. Why ask for a donation? There are many reasons for not giving away a pet.

If you would like to know more about Betsy, please email me: andrew dot watson at yahoo.

Red Sox Start

DMThe Boston Red Sox have just opened the 2007 season in Kansas City. The Boston weather provides a good reason for the Sox opener to be a road game.

The Boston Globe coverage focuses on the pitcher… but not one who will pitch today. “He wasn’t pitching today, but Dice-K couldn’t seem to stay away from the camera,” runs the caption for this picture. But it seems more as if the Globe’s cameras couldn’t stay away from Daisuke Matsuzaka.

In news of the game itself, the Sox got a run in the first inning, but the Royals already have three hits of Schilling (who is actually pitching today).

BostonNOW

BostonNOW is a new free daily newspaper launching this year that will incorporate both traditional and citizen journalism. It sounds like a cross between Universal Hub, which is where I read about BostonNOW, and Metro.

I’ve already granted permission to use content from this blog, under the condition of attribution. That’s not specific to BostonNOW. It’s granted to all by the Creative Commons license I use.

Children of the Radio

The city that hosted the Boston Tea Party has moved on to storms in teacups (or is tempests in teapots the American version?). A recent example comes from Cedric Maxwell, radio basketball analyst.

Here’s Dave Adams’ account, which he posted to the Universal Hub blog. One of the comments provides the following advice to critics of Maxwell. “If you don’t like it, DON’T WATCH!!!”

The best thing I can say for this comment is that it reminds me of the kid who stated a preference for radio over TV on the grounds that the pictures are better.

Post-Oscar Snow

Snowy FeatsThose who fall asleep during the Oscars shouldn’t be too harsh on them. Neither should they leave a pan of pasta boiling, unless they want to be woken by a smoke detector. But woken I was, and in time to see Martin Scorsese get his Oscar. Perhaps he should have come to Boston sooner.

Much to my daughter’s delight, soft snow came to Boston this morning. Perhaps that was bound to happen once Al Gore’s warning about global warming got its Oscar.

Since Maddie and her little brother came along, we don’t get out to the movies much. The 2006 movie to which I’m most looking forward is Pan’s Labyrinth. The pasta pan is expected to live, by the way.

Globalization in the Village

I was in Roslindale Village today, calling in at Solera wine, where Michael asked me if I’d seen yesterday’s rugby match between Ireland and England. I said that I hadn’t, and that my team was Scotland, who hadn’t fared any better than England. Scotland lost to Italy, for those not following at home. So I bought some Italian wine, bid Michael good day, and went on to the cheese shop.

One of my cheese purposes was a Californian cheddar. For those knowledgable about cheese, geography, or both, that’s a little strange. But today seems like an appropriate day for cheese from California.

Globalization Just Round the Corner

Belgrade AvenueA few months ago, the three businesses housed here were, reading from left to right: a tanning salon; an Albanian restaurant, about which I posted previously; and a Brazilian market. Only the latter is still there.

The restaurant is still run by the same people, but has reopened as an American restaurant. I haven’t been there since it reopened. Adam has, though, and reports a huge menu – like 20 types of burgers, many with Boston-themed names… a similar variety of pizza choices and plenty of options for people who don’t want either (but I didn’t see any of the promised Albanian holdovers).

The tanning salon has for a while had a sign in the windows asking, it seems, if anyone wants to take over a tanning salon on Belgrade Avenue. It is indeed just round the corner from us in Roslindale. I don’t miss the tanning place, but I do miss the Albanian place.