The Red Sox Game – We’re Doing It Wrong

My friends and I play a lot of board and card games. Anything silly, strategy heavy or, ideally, both is held in high regard. One of them, a card game called Munchkin, is both a send-up of and homage to role playing games, kung fu theatre, sci-fi, superheroes, Lovecraftian horror and a lot of the other stuff you love as a kid…okay, a lot of the other stuff I loved as a kid…or, you know, as an adult in a couple of those cases. 😉 It’s an extremely silly game but also contains a fair bit of strategy. How longe do you collaborate with the other players to beat the monsters and steal their treasure? When do you start stabbing people in the back to win? Can you form alliances you can later betray? You know, great corporate world prep kind of stuff.

Hey Kristen, this is highly entertaining and all. Sounds like a fun game. But is there, oh I don’t know, a baseball tie-in in here somewhere? Yeah. Wait. I’m getting there.

Most of the cards that give you advantages in this game, will also give you a disadvantage in certain situations. For example, the boots of buttkicking card gives you a +3 against monsters because, one would assume, you could stomp on them more effectively, but will also give you a -1 if can’t kill the monster and have to “run away” because, well, they’re heavy.

Fascinating, Kristen. But is there like a +4 centerfielder lurking in here somewhere or a Mendoza line card (+5 defense/-2 offense) because, frankly, I’m not seeing any baseball tie-in. Quiet you. *clears throat* Ahem.

My point is this. For whatever reason, for the past two seasons, the Angels seem to have a -6 against the Red Sox. (Other seasons would certainly qualify as well, but we seemed to have turned the corner in 2009.) I’m not saying the Sox haven’t played good ball when our two teams met, because they have, in many cases excellent ball. It just that lately the Angels seem to slump no matter what and strange things happen. Our bats disappear. Players botch routine plays left and right – Peter Bourjos has had two errors this season. Both of them were dropped routine pop-ups while playing the Red Sox. The great bullpen adventure becomes more Frank Miller than Stan Lee. Most streaks, pitching, hitting or otherwise grind to a halt. It’s weird.

This season, the Angels have taken two out of three against the first place Indians, the Rangers when they were hotter than hot, the Blue Jays and, most recently, the hot and getting hotter Rays. So one would think that we would at least split our series with the Red Sox but, apparently it never works out that way. Come on guys, this is mental! Look at who you have beaten and look at how lights out you’ve been when you’ve played your best this season. Now, pull it together, back up Haren and give him some run support – no runners left behind! – and you can win this one and then turn around and do the same thing for Santana!

* * * * *

As you probably deduced from the above or any number of news reports this evening, Jered Weaver’s undefeated streak came to an end, which was always going to happen eventually. As Dan Haren said in an interview after his loss, no one is going to finish the season at 27 and 0. He was recovering from a stomach virus during which he lost a reported 9 pounds – which really shows up on that lanky frame, 6’7″ or not – and had to spend some time in the hospital with an IV to restore fluids.

Suffice to say, he didn’t have his usual spark. His pitch counts were higher, things were just slightly off…and the really scary part is that he still could have won the game with a little more run support. And that’s not even addressing the crappy umpire call that lead to Pedroia being in a position to smack in the 2nd and 3rd of those runs and changed the game…of course, one of our runs benefitted from a less blatant bad call, so I can only complain so loudly *whistles*. What I’m saying here is, contrary to what some media folks are saying, the streak was not a fluke. Weaver is good and he is tough – and now we know just how tough! – and he will rack up more wins, as will the rest of the rotation who aren’t exactly chopped liver. Go Angels!


  1. invariablybaseball

    Honestly, I think the Red Sox use loaded dice @home. +4 to run support: (Luck of the green monster) My A’s have suffered in that stadium their fair share too. Eric Burns not touching the plate on a play at home in the playoffs is forever burned in my mind.
    One good thought to have is ya only got 3 more games left to play the Sox for the season.

  2. blithescribe

    Jon – I am laughing because the loaded dice comment is so true. I wasn’t going to seize on the “it’s almost over now” strand of hope…and then I watched this evening’s game. Sigh. It’s almost over.
    Mike – He he, well stealing the game would be very Munchkin-like. You can find this and all manner of other goodies at (a board games site, despite how the name might sound) and the Steve Jackson Games site. Rookie pitchers, eh? I didn’t realize they were an issue for both New York teams.
    Alissa – Pesky is right. I will be glad to be done with them at this point, even if we can pick things up in the next two games. New York is definitely looking good and doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
    — Kristen

  3. theheirloom

    Kristen – The thinking at Fenway is this: “We need to get last month out of our system, so we need to use the park to our advantage. Any freight train that comes through here gets a bazooka to it. It’s not going to be pretty, but it has to be done.

    “And, Jerry Remy’s got pneumonia…let’s do it for Jerry and the Nation!”

    Weaver and the Halos got a bazooka fired at them. A weak shot, but it landed – somewhere. No, Weaver will not be 27-0, but he made a statement last month that will resonate this season. If he gets 20 or more wins, then April was worth it. The upshot is that pitchers need run support and the Halos still have the Sox number. They just need to correct some mistakes in time for the first pitch.

    – Randy

  4. blithescribe

    Randy – I don’t know that it was such a weak shot. The Sox definitely have something to prove after those first two weeks, but I think they have the tools to prove it and they’re playing like it now. I just think that we have the tools to compete and for whatever reason just don’t.
    Jeff – Oh I’m aware of the specifics – I had an Angels fan grandfather in the middle of my youthful Dodgers fandom and I’ve always read a lot. While alcohol does not offer any tangible points advantage, we have noted that those who are most well lubricated tend to play the game the best.
    Rob – Ha ha, nice! There are no D-10’s in this game, except those us only somewhat reformed geeks choose to use as level counters. It’s strictly how many total points you have in front of you and choose to throw down vs. how many total points that monster has plus whatever bonuses your helpful/backstabbing buddies choose to use to help (for a price) or hurt you. I don’t know that it’s so much a case of letting the Sox heat up at this point as stepping up to the plate and rising to the occasion.
    Catherine – How nice for you. So. How about that no-no? 😉
    Ron – Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    — Kristen

  5. blithescribe

    Russel – That we did! A hard fought win on Wednesday and a nice clobbering last night sure put everything in a better perspective. Thanks! I really think this is shaping up to be a great season.
    — Kristen

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