Hot Stove Live Blog (?)

Hottoddy2003There is a show on NESN called "Red Sox Hot Stove".  See, this is what I’ve always said about the new Red Sox management…they know their market.  I just sat for a half an hour watching a show about the Red Sox…in November.

Hey, I am starved for baseball.  NESN is now showing a ‘classic’ game from September 23, 2003 against the Orioles.  So I decided to live blog it.  πŸ™‚  I told my friend Kelly that I was going got try and practice scoring to these games, instead I’m live blogging.  Go figure.  It really isn’t so much a live-blog as my ramblings while watching a game that we all could go look up the box score instead of watching it on NESN…but then I wouldn’t get to, you know, WATCH baseball.  NESN knows I’m here, huh?

Tim Wakefield is the starting Sox pitcher.  It’s interesting to note the empty seats behind home plate (Don Orsillo says it’s because it was raining all day).

They chop these games up to fit into two hours…it’ll be tougher to live blog (and impossible to score, so I don’t feel too badly about that!)…but I’m in a baseball mood so here I go.  (It’ll be a slightly different format than my real live blogs since the ‘timing’ is off)

First inning – Orioles go down in order. Eric DuBose is pitching for the Orioles.  Oh man.  This is the time of clean-shaven Johnny Damon and "Hot Toddy’ Todd Walker at second.  Damon takes strike three and Nomar is up and gets a single to first on an error, on the, wait for it, first pitch.  This was the season where so many started **** about Nomar swinging at the first pitch.

Oh Nomar.  How I miss you.  Sort of.  Kind of.  Well, I miss the 1999 Nomar anyway.

Oh good God they just showed Grady Little in the dugout.  Is it possible I forgot for a moment that he was the manager that year?

Hot Toddy just hit a double!  Oh, take off the helmet, Todd so we can see the hair!

Manny is up.  He’s practically unrecognizable.  Looks a little chubby and has very short hair.  Ah, and it’s an intentional walk called by Mike Hargrove. 

Hottoddy2003bI still can’t get over how many empty seats there are.  It’ll be interesting to see if the place fills up as the game goes on.

Hey Big Papi is up!  He looks exactly like he does now.  Bases are loaded for him.  His career with the bases loaded, according to the NESN graphic, in 2003 is .281.  He hits the ball to Brian Roberts, who commits the second error of the game for the Orioles, and the score is 1-0

September 2003, for those who forget, is basically when the Red Sox kicked it into gear and decided they were going to win, dammit. 

Kevin Millar is up with the bases loaded…and hits into an inning-ending double play.  In 2003 that really wasn’t as common as you’d think.

NESN is calling this game "Walker and Ortiz rescue the Sox".  I purposely didn’t look up the box score for the game (although, thanks to NESN, I know how it ends)…I love that Todd Walker is prominent in a ‘classic’ game.

Second Inning – Wake starts it off by giving up two singles to Jay Gibbons and Tony Battista.

Jerry Remy said it was pouring all day and the outfield is soaked.  By the second inning the seats have filled in.  Guess everyone was just afraid of the rain.

One out with runners at the corners and Luis Matos up.  Matos is one of the non-Red Sox players I’ve always liked.  For many reasons.  Of course, as I type that he hits a three-run homerun.  Yay Luis. 

It’s a good thing I know how this game ends.

Nomar just dropped a ball because he had to "back-pedal".  Remy blames the outfield…the official scorer gives Nomar his 20th error of the season.

Alex Gonzalez.  That’s all I’m saying. πŸ™‚

In my NyQuil-induced haze last week, I watched "House".  It’s a nice enough show, but it isn’t one I go out of my way to watch.  But last week I did.  And last week they ended the show with a Michael Penn song, "Walter Reed".  I’ve probably listened to that song 100 times since last week (and it’s on right now).  As some of my friends say, I’m a marketer’s dream.  πŸ™‚ 

Tim Wakefield just struck out Brian Roberts looking to end the inning.  WTG, Wake!

"We pick up action later in the game", says Don Orsillo.  "Later" being the top of the fifth with the score still 3-1.  One of the things we missed is a passed ball by Doug Mirabelli.  Josh Bard says "hi", Dougie.

Papi2003The video editors at NESN must hate Nomar.  They show another play that looked like error number 21 for Nomar but was scored a hit.

This is a great commercial for how good the new field is.  The entire outfield looks like it is one giant puddle.

AH a shot of Tim Wakefield’s sweaty neck.  Given when this game was played, I’d guess there were a bunch of ‘ladies’ online at discussing that very thing!  πŸ™‚

Wake gets out of the fifth unscathed.  Todd Bloniarz is calling the game for the bottom of the fifth.  Apparently he was one of the "Sam Adams Announcer for an Inning" winners.  I forgot about that during 2003.  With no offense to Mr. Bloniarz, I hate when they bring in the amateurs to do this.  Makes me nuts.  I’d rather hear Lenny Clarke and Denis Leary. 

I’m guessing something good happens for NESN to make us put up with this guy.

Mirabelli walks while NESN shows Wakefield eating in the dugout.  Is it apple sauce?  Is it ice cream?  We’ll never know.

Johnny Damon is up.  Good Lord they just showed a close-up.  He was a baby.

DuBose walks ‘Belli and Damon and here comes the pitching coach.

Here comes Nomar.  He’s hitting .311.  Okay, I DO miss Nomar.  Sue me.  Nomar, squared to bunt.  No outs and men on first and second and Mr. .311 average is going to bunt?

Papi2003bNomar  hits into what should have been a double-play but Nomar’s speed and Damon taking out the second baseman, turns it into a fielder’s choice.

I just "Googled" Todd Bloniarz as The Red Sox score a run on a long fly ball.  The guy was a college sports broadcaster from as far back as 1996.  I think that’s slipping a ringer in there, no?

Todd Walker’s 80th RBI for 2003.  Ooh…and we get a shot of "the hair" when the show Toddy in the dugout.

Nomar just stole second base.  Oh, what a healthy Nomar could do…

Another intentional walk to Manny to bring up Big Papi who strikes out to end the inning.  No worries…according to NESN, we having seen the last of Papi.  3-2 Orioles.

Sixth inning – Wake gets two quick outs.  We get to see Bill Mueller make a great throw to first.  Hey, Jack Cust is up!  Is he still playing major-league ball?  He hits a double and Remy tells me he’s been on base three times tonight.

Wake gets out of the inning.  Millar starts the bottom of the sixth and lines into left field.  Ah, my Kevin.  Heads to second on a wild pitch.  HEY Bill Mueller was the  ‘special guest’ on "Extra Innings" that night!  They don’t have too many special guests on that show any longer since they shoot it in Watertown.

Inning is over with Millar being left at third.  I’m actually reliving the frustration of this particular playoff-run as I type this.

Lennyinarizonanov2006Seventh Inning – Wakefield is still in there.  Hey, Tim Raines Sr is "Not your typical fan" tonight and he’s wearing a "Sean John" sweatshirt and baseball cap.  Placement is everything.  Hey, I didn’t know he had Lupus.  Gee, three years later and I learn something new!

Random photo of Lenny in Arizona.  Thanks!

One, two, three inning again for Wake…but he’s still losing.

Damon is out again and Nomar is up.  The Sox only have three hits tonight and Nomar’s is one of them.

Nomar just took a few steps toward first on what he thought was ball four, but was really strike two.  Luis Matos makes an amazing catch to rob Nomar on the next pitch.  Nomar goes back to the dugout looking slightly cranky.

Hot Toddy and his hair are up next. 

Someone in the stands  just yelled "Come on now Walkah!", who proceeds to make out number 3.  That’s what we’re missing in Boston.  More players with the "er" or "ar" in their name.  Nomah, Walkah, Millah, Muellah…

As a "NESN Classic Moment" they just showed Curt Schilling’s first save as a Red Sox player.  I weep silently.  Thank the Good Lord that experiment is over.

Bottom of the 8th – I know many people who wish baseball games actually moved this quickly.  I’m not one of them.  Manny is up.  He’s been intentionally walked twice.  They’re kind of stuck pitching to him now.

Manny hits a double that he turns into a single.  Ah, that Manny.  πŸ™‚  Grady now takes him out of the game for pinch runner Adrian Brown.  This is one of the things that used to make my father throw things at the television.  My father is of the belief you don’t replace Manny with ANYONE unless Manny is bleeding out his eyes.  Big Papi just made the first out of the inning.  Yeah, so far taking Manny out of the game worked well.  Here comes Millah.

Quickest pitching change ever.  Jorge Julio is pitching to Millar.  And immediately comes up with a 98 mph fast ball that gets called a ball. 

Adrian Brown steals second.  Okay, what do I know, right?

Adrian Brown steals third.  I’m imagining, at the time, my father yelled something about what does HE know as well.  πŸ™‚

NESN just showed John Burkett and Derek Lowe both give the Italian salute in the dugout and Millar strikes out.  Karma, boys, karma.  2003 American League batting champion Bill Mueller is up.  I have a feeling he doesn’t do what I want him to do.

And I’m right. But no worries, we have Adrian Brown in left field!!

9th inning – Hey!!!!  Bronson Arroyo is in!!!!!  Oh my…this is the short, short hair version of Bronson.  πŸ™‚

Honestly, I had no idea Bronson came into this game.  He just struck out Brook Fordyce.  And then he gave up a double to Brian Roberts.  Don Orsillo says he’s trying to make the ‘post-season’ roster.  He did…but not because of this game.  He just gave up two runs on a single.  5-2 Orioles in the ninth.  You won’t believe this, but I am just now actually remembering this game.

Let’s just say, in 2003 and for a lot of 2004, Bronson wasn’t close to being my favorite player.  :-/

Bottom of the ninth – 5-2 Baltimore with Trot Nixon in the game for Gabe Kapler.  Jorge Julio needs three more outs to get the save.

Trot is out, Tek is up.  Seriously, I’m flashing back on this game.  2003 I was living in the back room of a family friend’s house and basically did nothing that summer but work and watch the Sox (I know that sounds like my life now, but trust me, in 2003 it wasn’t all good…the Sox were my salvation, along with some sistahs!).

Tek gets a  hit and I remember being annoyed that he had the nerve to give me hope.  Here comes Johnny Damon.

Tek gets to second on a wild pitch…hey, there’s only one out and Tek is on second (that’s me being optimistic in 2003).

Johnny moves Tek to third but makes the second out.  At this point, I bet I turned the channel.  I can almost guarantee it.

Toddorsillo2003 I flip the channel back to NESN to see Jason at third and Nomar at first with two outs and Todd Walker up (back in 2003, I haven’t turned the channel tonight).  Because he was the recipient of our first postcard shower, I KNOW I kept the channel to NESN to see what he would do.

Don Orsillo practically has an 0rgasm when he announces Walker’s three-run homerun!  I remember running to the front of the house yelling.  πŸ™‚

NESN just showed Jeff Suppan in the dugout.  Oh man.  I DON’T miss HIM.  πŸ™‚

10th Inning Speaking of pitchers I don’t miss…Byung-Hyun Kim takes over for Arroyo.

Kim has two outs, including a strikeout.  And here comes the ever-dangerous Jack Cust.

Ortiz, Millar and Mueller are up in the bottom of the tenth.  Sadly, we won’t be seeing Millar or Mueller. 

Jack Cust gets another hit.  Jack Cust= Red Sox killer.

Going into the bottom half of the tenth and Don Orsillo sounds like he knows what’s going to happen!

Wow, live blogging three year-old games edited down to two hours is a lot easier than doing ‘real’ games!

New pitcher for Baltimore.  Ainsworth.  We won’t be seeing him for long as Big Papi is up.  Worth noting that he doesn’t have a hit tonight (reached on a fielder’s choice).

2-1count and although there are many, many fans still there, they are very quiet (clapping not cheering), until, of course "Red Sox win 6-5!  Walk off homerun for David Ortiz on a magical night at Fenway!" according to Don Orsillo.  πŸ™‚

And there was much rejoicing.

Ooh, ooh!  They’re going to replay the post-game interviews of Walker and Papi!!

Todd mentioned the fans.  Todd always mentioned the fans.  Man, I miss him

Hazel Mae promises to let us hear from Trot during Sports Desk tonight.  Well, she certainly knows how to get me to watch.

Hey, there is Trot!  Didn’t really say anything.  Oh well, at least he looks good!

Except for the Lenny picture, these photos I snapped off the television with my digital camera.  They aren’t the best quality but they sure do bring back the memories from 2003!

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