Friday, June 6, 2008

Return to Blogging and Various Sports Miscellany

It's been a while since I've tried blogging on a regular basis. Generally, I get lazy about it and then slowly lose interest, eventually giving up altogether. Either way, I'm back to write about sports, although you'll likely see a fair deal of complaining about Northeastern and/or work, as time permits.

Regardless, here's a couple recaps from a few games from Thursday the fifth.

Boston Red Sox 7, Tampa Bay Rays 1

My roommate was kind enough to offer me the second ticket in a pair he won at work. Our seats were probably the best I've had at Fenway outside the Baseball Beanpot, as we were sitting in the infield grandstand just underneath the Northeastern sign on the third base line.

James Shields had a pretty poor first inning, hitting Pedroia and giving up a double to JD Drew before Ramirez knocked one well over the Monster. He eventually got out of the inning, but the game was starting to look a lot less like the pitching duel I had been expecting.

Of course, the previous evening, the game got a little chippy when Crisp took out Iwamura while trying to steal second base. Apparently Shields remembered and proceeded to drill Crisp in the thigh as he was leading off the bottom of the second. Crisp took about three steps towards first and then charged the mound. The ensuing brawl, complete with streams of relievers coming in from the bullpens, took about 10 minutes before the umps got complete control, at which point they spent another 20 minutes figuring out who to toss. Crisp and Shields were thrown out pretty quickly, but it took the umpires a while to also toss Gomes, the only Rays player who would end up with an RBI that evening.

As fate would have it, Ellsbury, after moving to center to replace Crisp, managed to injure himself on a nice diving catch. He took a backasswards route to the ball and ended up diving and rolling over his wrist, forcing him to leave and Drew to move to center. I don't think I've seen Drew in center since his days in LA, but he didn't get a whole lot hit his way the rest of the game.

After the fight, the game got pretty boring, with the occasional "Beat LA!" chant rising from the outfield grandstands. I left the game in the middle of the eighth to go watch the Finals, but Timlin and Aardsma pitched the last 2.2 innings without event.

I'm usually okay with outbursts of physicality during any sporting event, but the bench-clearing "brawl" is the stupidest event in baseball. First off, it ruins the strike zone (which, I might add, is crappy enough without any help) for the rest of the game, as the umpires tend to move the zone more outside to keep things from escalating further. Moreover, an interesting Shields/Lester matchup turned into Lester vs. Rays Long Relief, also known as "boring." My biggest issue, though, is that these players make too much money to screw around like this. They're walking around on millions of dollars, some of which I supply through my ticket and merchandise purchases, and if I have to miss seeing Vlad because some idiot charges the mound, I'm going to be incredibly pissed.

It's also worth it to note that baseball players are embarrassingly bad fighters. If you want fights, watch hockey.

Boston Celtics 98, Los Angeles Lakers 88

No recap from me, but I will say this much: Anyone expecting Kobe to shoot 9 for 26 again is an idiot and has probably never actually watched basketball. The entire fourth quarter, it seemed like every shot from the Lakers rattled out. If the Celtics are banking on their defense to keep Kobe shooting 34%, then they're in bigger trouble than they can handle.

Expect Odom and Gasol to wake up, as well.

Paul Pierce's "injury" and subsequent return were the smartest thing the Celtics have done this postseason. Unfortunately, that only works once. The 2-3-2 setup for the Finals is a huge advantage for the Lakers who, still, have not lost at home in the playoffs. I'm gonna say the Lakers take the game on Sunday and sweep in LA, just in time for me to get back and head to the parade.

Game Preview: Angels at Athletics, 10:05 EST

The A's are a better team than expected, which is basically the same thing everyone says about them every year. I'm not convinced that Beane is the genius that Oakland fans claim him to be, but he's clearly a step above your average GM.

Tonight is a nice Lackey vs. Blanton matchup. Blanton's not very good, but neither is the Angels offense, so the game will probably rest on how well Lackey pitches. If he keeps pitching like he has been, I'm not worried. Expect to see Vlad back in the lineup.


Greg said...

Is fighting allowed in college hockey

Greg said...

wow the fact that I just read all that must mean I'm even more bored than you are.

Marcus said...

Haha dude, I'm just glad someone read it.

And yeah, fighting is "allowed" in college hockey the same way it's "allowed" in the NHL. The refs try to break it up immediately, though. Usually the fighters serve matching 10 minute misconduct penalties.

Greg said...

how do i post anonymously so I can freely express my views and make it looks like thousands of people are reading this?