It’s Coming…

Miscellaneous

There comes a point in everyone’s life where we have to be patient. Whether we’re waiting for it to be Friday, because work sucks, or we’re waiting for the next post of a very amusing blog to be published, we must tolerate the delay without getting upset. Luckily for those of you who enjoy my blog, the wait will be over very soon. For those who are waiting for Friday, well, there isn’t much luck in store for you. Perhaps catching up on the posts you may have missed will get you that much closer to Friday. I heard Stacy, the most popular senior in high school, reads my blog. Don’t you want to be as cool as her? She has so many friends who care so much about her.

You want to know a way to test your patience? Order something off your favorite clothing brand’s website on a Friday night. Talk about time stopping. You’re guaranteeing a couple more days of waiting in aggravation for that package to arrive, because your order will be processed the following Monday. Then, once it is processed, you’ll track your package more often than a senior frat bro checks for his final exam score in calculus leading up to graduation. We all know after your sixth year of college graduation is never going to happen, especially if calculus is keeping you back; it’s the worst thing ever created.

The thing that has been testing my patience lately is the arrival of Fall – the greatest season of all time. So many things occur during the fall, it’s almost too much to take in at once. We have the arrival of the college football and basketball seasons, the arrival of the NFL, NHL, and NBA (meh) seasons, the holiday season, and most importantly, the arrival of changing weather.

Collegiate Fall Sports

College sports are far more enjoyable to watch than pro sports in my opinion, especially football. It’s a combination of two things: 1) the atmosphere in and around the stadium, and 2) collegiate athletes seem to play with a greater need to prove themselves more than professional athletes.

Those who were lucky enough to have gone to/go to a school which has a powerhouse football program, hell, any football program really, should consider themselves lucky to have experienced Fall Saturday’s for 4+ years. Unfortunately, my school didn’t have a football program, but I was able to experience the energy Saturday’s brought out of people whenever I went to USC (University of South Carolina) football games, and boy was it a great feeling. From the start of the tailgate, through the duration of the game, and even after the game, the energy in the air from college football is strong enough to make the bleachers bounce up and down, and probably power the whole city.

Benefitting the most from the energy generated from us fans are the players themselves. These guys feed off of the yelling and screaming of fight songs, which only leads to them wanting to play harder, better, faster, stronger.

N-now th-that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger, I need you to hurry up now, cause I can’t wait much longer…

Sorry about that. Whenever you’re given a chance to rap the lyrics of Yeezus himself, you must take advantage of it. Anyways, where were we. Because these college athletes are feeding off of the crowd, it seems like they play with a greater sense of urgency to prove themselves, and that makes the sport more enjoyable to watch.

Professional Fall Sports

I come from a city where our teams like to play with your emotions during the Fall, and it’s hard to watch. The Nationals have been succeeding during the regular season over the past few years, but once playoff baseball starts it’s a whole different story. They’ll typically win the first two games of a five game series, and then go on to lose the next three in a row, crushing your heart as badly as Summer Roberts crushes Seth Cohen’s time and time again in the Orange County. Both the Wizards and the Capitals are on the up and up, but they often times have fallen victim to the same playoff woes as the Nationals, thus crushing the hearts of many of their fans.

As for the Redskins, I don’t even want to talk about their situation. If they win five games this year, it’ll count as an improvement. If they win seven games by some miracle, they’ll have matched their total amount of wins over the past two years. However, if the Redskins are sucking, that means one thing: fantasy football is in progress, and there’s nothing that makes football more enjoyable than participating in fantasy football.

Holiday Season

Tell me one thing that’s greater than being woken up by the scents of a Thanksgiving dinner tickling your nose? The days leading up to Christmas you say? Well, I think you got me there. I’m a sucker for the Christmas season. Listening to Christmas songs while sipping hot chocolate on the way to cutting down your very own Christmas tree probably tops the list of holiday activities. It even tops raiding CVS the day after Halloween for all of the discounted candy.

If you’re not into the holidays, you’re not a human being. However, there are things even you will be happy about: more holidays. Each month leading up to the end of the year contains at least one holiday, which means one more day off from work. If you don’t like missing work, I envy you, because you probably have a job you actually enjoy. Take your job-loving, holiday-season-hating self somewhere else during my favorite time of the year. Also, would you mind checking to see if there are any job openings there?

Changing of the Weather

I’m sick of walking outside and instantly sweating in places I didn’t think it was possible to sweat in. I’m sick of getting into a hot car whenever I want to go somewhere. I’m sick of all of the mosquitoes taking my tasty Puerto Rican blood. I’m sick of hearing all of those cicadas buzzing high above from the trees, acting as a constant reminder as to just how hot it is (talk about a summer anthem). I’m sick of my sunglasses fogging up when I get out of my car. I’m sick of feeling uncomfortable walking outside in shorts and a t-shirt, for Christ sakes. I’m sick of summer. I only want summer around long enough for me to get a good tan, and then I want it to go away. I want it to go away for one reason, and one reason only:

Flannels.

Luckily Fall is inching closer and closer. However, I think my flannels will have to wait a little longer this year. After moving to Charleston, SC, it’ll probably be hot until November. Guess I’ll have to snuggle with them so I can have that skin-to-fabric contact.

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You Need a Ring for this Club

Uncategorized

One of the most common debates in sports is whether or not athletes who have won a ring are on the same level as those who have not won a ring – ranking wise. Yes – a ring would be nice to have under your name, but is it really a big enough factor to say you’re in a different category as someone who has one? What about when you’re comparing an athlete who has one ring to an athlete who has two? An athlete with two compared to one who has three? Etc. Is it fair to say athlete A is ranked lower than Athlete B, because he has a hunk of metal decorated in the finest of jewels offered? Personally, I don’t think so. At least when it comes to team sports that is (baseball, basketball, football, etc.).

If you’re on a team, there’s only so much you can do as an independent athlete on that team to ensure not only punching a ticket to the World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, [insert championship game here], but actually winning it. There are only so many runs you can drive in, shots you can make, yards you can run for, before you need to depend on one of your teammates to help bring home the W. What happens when your teammates become undependable? Your career ranking shouldn’t be faulted because your double-play partner struck out with a runner on third to end the first, and last World Series Game 7 of your career; especially if you won the Triple Crown during the regular season (led the AL/NL in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in).

Should Matt Flynn be considered a better QB than Matt Ryan (aka Matty Ice), simply because Flynn piggybacked off of Aaron Rogers for his Super Bowl ring? That’s what this whole argument often sounds like. You may be thinking, “you’re comparing a starting QB to a second-string QB, that’s a little unfair.” Let us not forget Flynn is tied with Rogers for the franchise record for passing yards in a game, and holds the Packers record for number of touchdowns thrown in a game (6), so he is a record-setter. And, Matt Ryan is a record-setter himself, too: Ryan is 3rd behind Dan Marino (who happens to not have a ring as well) and Peyton Manning for most TD’s in NFL history by a QB in his first 5 seasons; he has the most career wins, best QB rating for a starter, most career passing yards, and many other records for the Falcons Franchise. But, wait, he doesn’t have a ring; let’s put him behind Matt Flynn.

I’ll leave you with a list of star super-star athlete’s who haven’t won a ring for you all to look over, just as a reminder:

  • Patrick Ewing – NBA Hall of Famer, Rookie of the Year (1985), 11-time NBA All-star, recognized as one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time.
  • Charles Barkley – NBA Hall of Famer, NBA MVP (1993), 5-time All NBA First Team awardee, 11-time All-Star, recognized as one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time.
  • Barry Bonds* (yeah yeah yeah, steroids, whatever) – 7-time NL MLB MVP, 8-time Gold Glove winner, 12-time Silver Slugger winner, 762 career home runs (leader), single-season record holder for home runs (73).
  • Dan Marino – NFL Hall of Famer, 9-time Pro Bowl awardee, NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the year (1984), first QB ever to throw for 5,000 yards and 40 TD’s in one season (1984), holds 31 Miami Dolphins franchise records.
  • Ted Williams – MLB Hall of Famer, 19-time All-Star, 2-time MLB MVP, 2-time Triple Crown Winner, MLB All-Time and All-Century team awardee.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. – 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, 7-time Silver Slugger winner, 630 career home runs (6th overall), MLB All Century team awardee.
  • Barry Sanders – NFL Hall of Famer, 10-time Pro Bowl awardee, 2-time NFL MVP, 6-time First Team All-Pro awardee, #1 Most Elusive Running Back of All-Time (NFL.com), third leading rusher in the NFL. 

Major League Blasphemy

Baseball

Scott Cousins, Buster Posey

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Major League Baseball is drawing up a plan to eliminate collisions at home plate, possibly as soon as next season but no later than the 2015 season. Now, I don’t really want to write an opinionated post about this issue, because I can see where both “for” and “against” sides are coming from, and I’m stuck in the middle of the two. However, there are things I do want to point out, and those things are the comments left by many of the United States greatest citizens taking advantage of their time to shine.

One thing I love doing is reading the comment board under articles, especially those of such controversial topics as this. Here you’ll find some of the best comments in the world. These comment boards give you the opportunity to hear an opposing side; watch two people virtually go at it; laugh hysterically at peoples wittiness, or how people get off on “trolling” journalists; have the thought, “how stupid can some people be?” fill your mind, followed by a blank stare at your screen; and, the creme of the crop – reading a comment by a spammer claiming her friend makes $7,000+ a week while working from home and you can do the same in three easy steps – just click here (profile picture is typically of some hot chick).

Without further ado, here are some of the wittiest comments from this article (there were over 1,000 comments, and if you think I had the time to read over all of them, well, you’re right – sometimes I do. BUT, I still wouldn’t have, because I’m too lazy):

  • “Baseball fans PAY to watch the game and know they’re in danger of getting hit by a line-drive foul ball. Where’s our protection. Maybe we should be compensated too.”
  • “What about constructions workers? Should they stop hammering nails because its dangerous? They might smack their thumb!! Ouch! No more hammers!!”
  • “Major League Baseball announced today they are removing the fastball from the game because it is deemed unsafe for players” (followed by this gem of a comment) “I predict Dickey to return to Cy Young form…”
  • “They are going to ban bats by 2016. Pitches will be lobbed directly to the batter, who will then throw the ball into the field of play…”
  • “The NFL called and they agree with this rule change”
  • (For all you Hockey fans out there) NBA – Can’t touch anyone, NFL – In the process of banning every hit, MLB – No plate collisions…NHL – “Fighting and hitting is part of the game”. Gotta love hockey”
  • “Sources say by 2016 pitching machines will be used instead of pitchers to eliminate season ending arm injuries”
  • “In 2020 all sports will be played on video games and there will be 30 co-winners so we can all be friends. Yay!”
  • “Why don’t they ban sliding in general while they’re at it? A lot of players get hurt sliding into second. Running too. Fewer players would get hurt if they just stand around.”
  • “The competition committee is also working hard to make sure that players have access to orange slices both during the seventh inning stretch and at the conclusion of games.”

A special shout-out goes to the comment board of this article for writing half of my post. As previously stated, I’m lazy, and I’m proud.

Traitor…

Baseball

Those of you who personally know me may have witnessed my undying love (and maybe uncanny, but who’s to judge?) of the Boston Red Sox, and my hatred for anything that negatively affects them. Whether these witnessed occasions have been me pouring my feelings out via Facebook posts/Tweets, or if they were in-person outbursts, I just want to let you know: if you’re seeking an apology from me, you’d have an easier time finding an ugly girl in the neighborhood The Stepford Wives lived in. And, with the deal made between the Skankees and Ellsbury, let us embark on a magical journey where I shall continue the streak of you seeking an apology.

On Tuesday night the Evil Empire and ex-Red Sox Center Fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, struck a 7-year $153 million deal, with a pending option year to boost that lovely income. But, for some reason I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be. Could it be because Sox fans saw this coming after they won their 8th World Series title in October? Perhaps it’s because the Sox have a top prospect in University of South Carolina standout Jackie Bradley Jr., who is waiting to be called up to take on the tricky confines that come with playing the outfield in Fenway? Maybe it’s because Ellsbury has been riddled with injuries the past two seasons? Still shocked he would sign with a rival? Most likely it’s a combination of all of that, and more. I can’t really come to a conclusion. But, nonetheless, we have to move on.

Now, I don’t want it to sound like I’m bashing Ellsbury, or making it look like he isn’t a good fit for the Yankees, but is he really worth $153 million over 7 years? That’s almost $22 million a year, making him the 3rd highest paid outfielder in MLB history. He’s had one great, and I mean GREAT year in 2011 (30+ HR’s, 30+ steals, 100+ RBI, .321 batting avg., 158 games played), and everybody was so high on him – he would have won the AL-MVP had Justin Verlander not had a great year of his own. But, since 2010 he’s played in an average of 96 games, due to injuries (some of them minor). Do you really want to invest in something that risky? By all means go for it, Yankees. It may come back to bite you in the long run, like much of your other risky investments.

Not only did this deal shock the baseball world, but the Yankees may not have enough money to bring back perhaps the best second basemen in the Show, Robinson Cano. (I say “perhaps” because I love my boy Pedroia, and that guy is a warrior.) With the Yankees wanting to stay under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold, it may be hard thing to do having signed Ellsbury and catcher Brian McCann ($85 million). But, they’re the Yankees; if they wanted to hire some grave diggers to bring back Babe Ruth and sign him for $94 million a year, I wouldn’t be surprised…

Enough about that, it’s totally impossible; unless you’re Ellie Goulding *que’s Anything Can Happen*. I can honestly say I’m truly terrified whenever Robbie Cano steps into the batters-box against Lester/Buchholz/Lackey/[Insert Red Sox pitcher here] and the game can change with one swing of the bat. So, if you’re telling me I won’t have to deal with the feeling of terror some 19 games next year, and in place deal with Ellsbury hitting one of his bloop singles? Shiiiiiit, that’s the greatest early Christmas gift a man could ask for (kinda…not really).

Let’s wrap this thing up, I’m starting to ramble. Stemming from many different statistical tests and years of research, I’ve come to this conclusion about the Yankees logic: If you can’t beat ’em, buy their players until you can (Ellsbury, Youkilis, Damon, Clemens, RUTH).

On to the Next One

Baseball

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It’s time to put away the McDonald’s Oakley’s/swimsuit combo and the army helmet and start preparing for the ALCS showdown. This series has the recipe of being one of the best of all-time, but nowhere close to the Sox winning 4 straight to beat the Skankees Yankees in 2004, en route to winning it all. Last night, Justin Verlander pitched a gem for the Tigers to punch their ticket to the ALCS, where they’ll battle it out with the Red Sox. Two high-powered offenses facing off against two very talented pitching staffs?  I’d like to reserve a seat for one, please – on my couch that is. There ain’t no way in hell I’m forking over $150+ for standing-room only tickets. I’m still just an intern 😦

A lot of people had their concerns about the Red Sox going into the series against Tampa. Not only do those games typically come down to the final innings (as we saw in 3 out of the 4 games), but analysts were predicting the Sox to be sluggish offensively, due to five days of rest. Boy, did the they make those “experts” eat their own words. The Sox put up 12 runs, on 14 hits in the first game to win 12-2. They followed that up by pounding out 7 more runs, on 11 hits to win game two 7-4. If that’s sluggish, then I’m going out on a date with Kate Upton tonight (please, whoever is up in the sky (Santa); make this come true. I promise to be a nice boy for the rest of my life).

The only blemish on an overall good series was when manager John Farrell brought in Franklin Morales (my “are you shitting me?” moment) to start the 8th. After Tazawa got Evan Longoria to pop out to third and Will Myers to strike out to end the 7th – the two bats with the most pop in that lineup – I was for sure he’d come back out in the 8th, but nooooo, Farrell had other plans. Morales ended up walking James Loney to start the inning, and giving up a bunt-single to Desmond Jennings right after. Sam Fuld, who pinch ran for Loney, ended up scoring the go ahead run later that inning. I wanted to give Farrell “the look” (you all know that look, so don’t ask which one) before, during, and after Morales’s performance.

As for the Tigers, I didn’t watch much of their series because, well, they aren’t the Red Sox. However, a colleague of mine told me they weren’t swinging the bats too well (I bet you the “experts” said they were going to come out hot). I’m just hoping they don’t come alive during this series, especially at Fenway. Reigning triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera could have a field day with the Green Monster, and slugger Prince Fielder can make any field look like a little league field. The Sox pitching staff just needs to execute their pitches, which they’ve shown they can do, and try not to leave anything up in the zone. As for handling Miggy; I don’t know what to tell you. I wouldn’t doubt there’s a video out there somewhere of him pulling a slider, low-and-away, from a right-handed pitcher, and putting it 415 feet. That guy is unbelievable.

I guess the only thing I can do now is sit and watch at home, while stroking my…playoff beard (AHA, GOTCHA!) that I’m in the process of growing. It’ll never be on the level of Pedey’s, Napoli’s, Salty’s, or Gomes (way to ruin the “eeee” sounding names, bud) beautiful forests of facial hair, but it’ll do. Being the ex-baseball player I am, and seeing how superstitious we (baseball players) are, I remembered the exact three outfits I wore on the days the Sox won (in order, too). You better believe I’ll be sporting those for the first three games, sweat-stains and all. Go Sox!

The Time has Come

Baseball

ImageThat’s it. The 2013 MLB regular season is over (intense sobbing). All 4,860 games have been played, with an additional game being played tonight between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers to determine the final AL Wild Card team. But, turn that frown upside down, because those beloved Boston Red Sox (AKA the Boston Bearded Beauties) are in it! I know you guys are just as excited as I am, no need to deny it. I’ve already ordered my Red Sox AL East Division champs shirt, and one awesome fan of my blog bought me the shirt that has all of those magnificent beards on it that I talked about in “And the Winner is…“, so I’m pretty stoked! (…it was me.) With that being said, let the playoffs, and the beards that are often associated with them begin!

As stated before, the Rays and the Rangers are squaring off tonight in a one-game series to determine who will play the Cleveland Indians in another one-game series, to then determine who will play the Red Sox in the first “official round” of the playoffs. Confusing? No way, Jose. It’s easy-peasy (sp?). I don’t know who I’d want the Red Sox to play out of these three teams. Boston took 12 of 19 against Tampa this year, but they – especially Evan Longoria – always scare me. They could go on a streak as long as the one Will Ferrell had in Old School and shock the world! Texas took 4 of 6 from Boston this season, and have rattled off 7 wins in a row to force this one-game series with the Rays. Plus, they always seem to give Boston a hard time, winning 10 of their last 14 games against them in the past 2 years. They’re just one of those teams. As for Cleveland, Boston took 6 of 7 games from them this season, but that was early on in the season. Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona is now the manager for them, and he has a career post-season record of 28-17. Plus, they’re coming into the playoffs winning their last 10 games in a row – granted they played the Astros, White Sox, and Twins – but they still have momentum, which is key.

What about when the Sox win the AL Division Series and have to play either the Tigers or the A’s in the AL Championship Series? The Red Sox and the Tigers have battled it out this season, resulting in the Tigers winning 4 of 7. If that were an ALCS series right there, the Sox would have lost. Also, these two are the top 2 teams in every offensive category in the MLB (runs, batting average, on base percentage, and slugging). It could be a pretty tight series. As for the A’s, the season series between the two was tied at 3 a piece. They kind of remind me of the Rays from a few years ago (“under the radar”, pretty good offense, great pitching) and that doesn’t leave a good feeling in my stomach (it could still be from me sacking myself yesterday while skating – either way, it sucks). I could definitely see this series going all 7, which is good for TV, but not for fans.

Ahhhh! I’m already stressing out and the playoffs haven’t even started! I may be the most stressed I’ve ever been in my life for the next month, so don’t push my buttons. This drives me crazy, I won’t get sleep, I hope the Red Sox escape defeat. Oh-oh-oh, craaazy, and it’s sucks so much, the road to the World Series will be pretty tough – sang to the beat of (You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney Spears (just keep singing it, you’ll eventually get it).

Wait, what? What is that? There’s a whole other division series going on? Who gives a f***? I’ll worry about the NL when my Sox are playing the team representing them in the World Series.

Beardy Beard Beard

Baseball

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Photo Cred: USA Today, FTW

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. IS THAT NOT JUST THE GREATEST EFFING MASCOT PICTURE EVER?! This picture made me smile like that of a 14 year-old high school freshman girl, who was just asked for a pencil by the All-State Varsity QB, Mikey Football (no relation to Johnny Football).  I mean, seriously, I challenge you to find a more awesome picture of a mascot than this one (just a forewarning, I probably won’t like your suggestions because I’m biased). By the way, this picture doesn’t give Wally’s beard justice. Here’s a link to view his full beard, basking in all its glory.

Anyways, how did I come across this ravishingly, stunning photo? Well, it all started when I arrived at work this morning. I was going about my normal routine: putting my phone/wallet/keys/sunglasses on my desk, powering up my laptop, making my water (I haven’t hit the coffee stage yet), etc. After checking my emails and warming up from being outside (the mornings are getting pretty chilly here in DC), I went to ftw.usatoday.com, a website dedicated to funny/odd/crazy stories involving sports. That is where I saw the beautiful image above – in thumbnail form – with the title “Red Sox offering $1 tickets to fans with beards”. Red Sox + Beards = Manny will be clicking this link, no questions asked.

The story was about how the wonderful people that make up the Red Sox Marketing and Promotions team were running a promotion where, well, fan’s with beards got $1 tickets, just as the title said. Even those who do not have the privilege of growing the greatest feature of hair on one’s body were able to get these tickets. All they had to do was wear a fake beard, or simply draw on a beard using face paint. How awesome of a promotion is that? Well done, Red Sox. I applaud thee. (Also, I wish I would have known about this promotion before it happened! I totally would have driven up to Beantown to see my Sox play for $1.)

With all of this talking about beards, you may be asking yourself, “Manny, why are you so obsessed with them?” Let me tell you: beards are like a nice flannel button-up to keep your face warm during those brisk, fall afternoons; beards give you something to stroke when in deep thought about your next big idea (this may or may not be happening as we speak); beards give off the sense that you’re not one to be messed with, especially for tall lanky guy’s lacking massive muscles like myself; beards are your best friend, they look after you by keeping snacks easily accessible at all times of the day. What’s not to like about any of that?

I don’t really know how to end this, so I’m going to make it as awkward as possible – like the awkward “turn around” when walking on the beach in a big group. Where is the turning point? Should we all do it at once? One-by-one? In couples? Quick turn around vs. looping turn around? Ummm…uhhh…errr…ehhh…AHHH…FIN.

**No beards were taken advantage of in the making of this post.

Buchholz Back in Beantown

Baseball

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Soooo, this is my first ever blog post and why not make it about the greatest sports team EVER?! But, before I go on a rant about how amazing, and studly these BoSox are, I want to give a shout out to my Muva (Mother), my Fava (Father), my Sistaz (Sister’s), my friendz (friends), my puppiez (puppies), and all the crazy-catz (crazy-cats) out there who have influenced me in my life. This blog is for you, and uhhh, yeah…I hope you enjoy it.

If you couldn’t tell by the title, CLAY BUCHHOLZ IS BACK FROM THE DL AFTER BEING ON IT FOR 94 DAYS!!! And, if you couldn’t tell from the caps, I’M REALLY F#%!@&$ EXCITED!!! I meannnnn, it’s not like he was 9-0 when he went on the DL, or he gave up 16 earned runs in 84.1 innings pitched, equating to a 1.71 ERA. It’s not like he held opponents to a .195 batting average against him, or had an 81/29 strikeout/walk ratio. “Wait…you mean he actually did all of that before he was sidelined with a shoulder injury? Wow, they must have really suffered with out him.” Nahhh, homie. The Sox have the most wins in the MLB and they are currently 1 percentage-point behind the Braves for the “best record in baseball” (Sox: 87-58, .600; Braves: 86-57, .601). They hold a 7 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East, and can further extend that lead with a 3-game series win (or sweep) against said Rays starting tonight, which just so happens to be my mans’ Buchholz’s first start back.

This news just makes me…*tear*…so excited for my Sox. They had a season to forget about last year (2012) after going 69-93 due to the Bobby V-disease (for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a disease that basically eats away at team chemistry and causes severe pain for said team’s fan-base). And then who can forget about the collapse in 2011, when the Sox went 7-20 in September only to miss out on a playoff spot by losing the last game of the season to the O’s? (Ugh, now I’m really bringing tears to my eyes). But all is well in 2013. A team, dubbed by the media to have a “rebuilding year”, is proving everybody wrong and are poised for the playoffs, just like the old days. Getting him back is just more cushion for the rotation, and help to solidify a playoff berth for these Boston Beauties.

Oh, yeah, before I forget. How beautiful are the 2013 Red Sox? Let this lovely slideshow, prepared by the NY Times show you just how beardiful they really are:

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/09/09/sports/baseball/Red-Sox-Beards.html