Monday, August 30, 2004

We’re almost at the end of August, and after one month it looks like the Nomar trade is an unqualified success.

The Sox just ripped off their 6th win in a row yesterday, completing a four game sweep of the Detroit Tigers at Fenway. They’ve pulled to within 4 and 1/2 games of the Yankees, bringing back a glimmer of possibility for the American League East race. After playing .500 ball for May, June and July, they’ve been winning consistently in August (20-7 this month) and looking good doing it.

What happened? I think the big change is the defense. Orlando Cabrera and Doug Meintkiewicz are huge defensive upgrades over the injury slowed Nomar and the Kevin Millar/David Ortiz combo at first base. Cabrerra makes all the plays over at shortstop, has tremendous range and can make the spectacular play, too. Meintkiewicz is amazing at first - he just stops everything that comes in that direction.

The proof is in the pudding. In the first 76 games this year, the Sox gave up 60 unearned runs. In the last 27, they’ve given up six. The pitchers have more confidence and are going deeper into games since they only have to get 27 outs in a game, not 29 or 30.

Now we go into what may be the most important stretch of the year, with nine games against Anaheim, Texas and Oakland, the three teams in the Wild Card chase with the Sox. The Sox have done a great job beating up on the Torontos and Detroits, but this is really where we see if the new look Sox have what it takes. 6 wins in the next 9 games would go a long way toward convincing me.

Barry Bonds is just a few home runs away from 700, an astounding achievement whether it’s steroid enhanced or not. Only two other men, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, have ever hit 700 taters in a career. As much as I’m not a Barry Bonds fan, it’ll be interesting to watch the chase as the season winds down.

Summer finally arrived this weekend, one week before Labor Day. This was the first truly hot, muggy weekend we had all summer, with temps in the high ‘80s. We spent Saturday at the pool with my parents. They’re heading back to Florida right after Labor Day, so we’ll see them again next weekend. They may come here in October for a few days before they go to a Bat Mitzvah in New York - other than that the next time we’ll see them will be for our trip down south during the Christmas break.

Yesterday was another hot one, but me and the kids went back to Lynn for our second North Shore Spirit game of the season. It was a bit uncomfortable, but we still had fun. The Spirit won the game 6-0. We took some of the middle innings off to play in the playground, go on the moonwalk and do the speed pitch. R. tossed the ball up there at 4 MPH - I didn’t even know those radar guns could measure at that speed! J. threw at a respectable 25, which seemed to be consistent with other kids his age. He’s really gotten into baseball this summer. He’s always up for a game of catch, and his throwing has gotten a lot stronger and more accurate over the last few months. We’re thinking about sending him to an after-school baseball skills program over the winter. As you can imagine, it thrills me no end that he is inheriting my love of the game.

R. managed to screw up her courage at the end of the game yesterday and go for a run around the bases. As you might remember from my
July 20 blog entry, she was a little nervous about going out on the field by herself and running the bases. This time she got herself out there and returned with a big grin on her face. It made me glad to see her do it.

One week until we have to go back to suits at work. I’m still not happy about the prospect - I think it’s ridiculous that employees that don’t face customers have to wear formal business attire. However, there’s nothing I can really do about it besides grumble, so I’ll just deal with it. I still need to buy at least one more suit and a couple of more shirts, so I’ll do that over the next few weeks.

Had an interesting experience with our cable company today. There was an article in yesterday’s paper about the fact that Comcast was making Tivo-like cable boxes available to customers. I asked A. to call Comcast today to see what the deal was and to schedule an appointment to get the box hooked up if it all sounded reasonable. So she called this morning and told me that it would actually cost $2 LESS per month to have the same service with the Tivo box than without. Go figure. So, the cable guy is coming Thursday to hook it up. I had her look into how much it would be to add a Tivo box on our second TV ($4 less? I don’t know), but Comcast said they’re only offering one per household until they see how the supply and demand goes. I’ve heard great things about Tivo, so I’m looking forward to trying it out. People say it changes the way you watch TV as much as the iPod changes the way you listen to music.

The Republican National Convention starts in New York this week. Somehow they seem to be managing without quite the amount of disruption that beset Boston at the Democratic convention last month. Protesters, who were virtually invisible in Boston, seem to have saved themselves for President Bush. The largest protest march ever at a convention happened yesterday. Hopefully, the protesters don’t do anything stupid or destructive. They should make their voices heard loudly, but peacefully.

I think this is shaping up to be a very divisive election. There are a lot of people who would never vote for Kerry and a lot who would never vote for Bush. There are some in the middle who will be the ones to swing the election. I think that it will really hinge on how the economy goes for the next couple of months and the continued prosecution of the War in Iraq and the War on Terror. It’s going to be an interesting two months.


At 11:43 AM, Blogger The Hey said...

Thanx for the heads up on the DVR boxes. I called and I'm getting mine on Friday. No word on the price issue, but I'm sure I'm gonna be as lucky.


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