Friday, April 27, 2012

Classic Japanese Baseball Moment

For what it's worth, I hate every second of this video, but its wicked entertaining.  First, she's wicked creepy walking out to the mound and standing there, then she goes into baseball mode, shaking off signs and whatnot.  As if that's not enough, she delivers the pitch, then inexplicably dies, the best part of the video.

Sidenote, batters actually stand in for the ceremonial first pitch?  Or was that girl straight out of the bullpen?  What is Bobby V still managing over there?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things That Are More Entertaining Than Watching the NFL Draft

 Compiled by Ike, Jim and myself:

Watching my roommates play Fifa.
Going to the Apple store when something is broken.
Paint drying.
Waiting in the doctor's office or DMV.
Reading. Just in general.
Watching anything on C-SPAN.
Going to church. Latin masses, especially.
Wrapping Christmas gifts.
Returning one of those gifts right after Christmas.
Sitting in traffic.
Going through airport security.

This list is going no where, look, the draft sucks.  I just don't know what else to write about since its monopolizing the sports world right now.

Who is the Best Caped Superhero?

So, the other day, my roommate Jim comes out of the shower and just stands in our common room, with a quizzical look about him.  He then poses the following question:

"Who is the best caped superhero?"

He admitted to being a fruit and thinking about this during his shower, but it's a pretty legitimate question.  Let's discuss:

However you bracket the competition, it's going to come down to Batman and Superman.  But the final four would probably include Thor and the underdog of Magneto.  Quailman could snag a spot in the elite eight, but only because the other competitors would be Halloween-costume imitations.

If you don't know who Quailman is, or was, I guess, that may be your biggest question mark, but for those of you who had a childhood, your attention fell on Magneto.  Look, yes he's the X-Men's biggest antagonist, but think about it.  Magneto was just looking out for his fellow mutants.  Think about it: yeah, he hates humans, but who here doesn't wish they had some of those mutant powers?  So before you go bad-mouthing Sir Ian McKellan, take a water break and consider.

Now down to the final.  Everyone already knows the winner, its like the 1995-96 Bulls playing a rec league team.  Batman.  The five-tool player.  First-rounder.  There's no question.  Superman's enemy was played by Kevin Spacey in one movie, I'm pretty sure that should've disqualified him from the competition.  Batman was up against Heath Ledger.  Did you see The Patriot?  Ledger killed A TON of British dudes.

The argument really lies in: Is Batman truly a superhero?  Answer: Absolutely.  I think importance relies on "what does he do," rather than "what is he?"  Yes, Superman is truly a super man, possessing other-worldly powers, but Batman uses natural abilities and technology to combine into a crime-fighting machine. 

Plus, Batman's American.

Just Kidding, the Red Sox Still Know How To Play Baseball

 After the first sweep of the year, I feel a little better about the Sox, but not great.  They barely pulled it out in their third game against the Twins thanks to the pitching, but the bats are showing some serious life.

So are there any reasons to feel good about the Sox?  As bonkers as it sounds, yes, there are.  Mike Aviles has caught fire from the leadoff spot, with four home runs and a .328 average.  David Ortiz is still hitting over .400.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia is starting to come around, and it seems like every time Kelly Shoppach steps into the box he finds the gaps.  Basically every part of our offense is finding their stroke, even Kevin Youkilis.

And yeah, there are plenty of reasons to worry in the forms of every one of those guys that steps on that dirt hill in the middle of the infield grass.

As it stands, Phil Humber, the latest hurler to toss a perfect game (no big deal) is getting lit up, 7-3.  Go Sox.

UPDATE:  Carl Crawford was just diagnosed with left elbow ulnar collateral ligament sprain, and was shut down for treatment.  Chalk that up to the reasons to worry paragraph...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Canucks Still Doing What They Do Best

 The Canucks do everything well, except play hockey.  They can cheap shot you, talk trash, bite you and now make excuses for why they're not still in the playoffs.  Their general manager Mike Gillis took the reigns on this one:

“I really felt the game in Boston for some reason was such an emotional and challenging game, it was almost like playing a Stanley Cup final game in the middle of the season and from that point on I don’t think our team ever really collectively got their emotions together,” Gillis said.  “We had some injuries that disaffected us and we just didn’t seem to play consistently as well from that point. There were certain points where our goaltending was so good it got us through. As a group I didn’t think we executed as well or played as well from that point for the remainder of the season.”

Oh, it wasn't that you guys just played like garbage against the #8 seed Kings, or that you just didn't have the legs to compete?  It was definitely the Bruins fault.  Sorry you guys wasted all of your energy fighting Shawn the same time...while he was against a wall...against your bench.

Stay classy, Vancouver...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Missing: @JoseCanseco

 Everyone's favorite juicehead, Jose Canseco, is just fine, but the same cannot be said for his Twitter account.  @JoseCanseco has disappeared from the Twittosphere, according to  Their list of Canseco's greatest tweets pretty much sums up why this is a worthy story...
  • "al gore was a head of his time. i miss him rest in peace buddy hug for u"
  • "did you hug a tree today send me pic of your splinters"
  • "Yesterday at Fenway it was so hot. In all my years playing ther I never seen a hot day in April in Boston. Must be global warming"
  • "I will challenge you to a spelling competition"
  • "Boston needs a dh I am ready, just need a tryout. nobody loves playing the game more than I do"
  • "I would rather be stupid and honest than smart and a lyar whitch one r u."
  • "I am pretty dumb for a genius"


A new blog means a new audience.

Hopefully a lot of you have been followers for a while, first with The 7 Day Weekend, and now with my new venture, Three If By Strike.  As always, I want to hear what you guys have to say and what you guys want to see.

This is a blog for the people by the people.  If you want more of the same from The Weekend, let me know.  If you're unfamiliar with The Weekend, check it out at  Either way, follow the blog, tell your friends, find new friends and tell them or just check the page out once in a while if you feel so inclined.  Thanks, everbody.

Why April Should be for Baseball

 Setting the clocks an hour back and putting away your winter coats means one thing: Spring.  And spring equals baseball season.  So why then, every time I turn on ESPN or ESPN 2, all they are talking about is the NFL Draft?  If I have to see John Gruden's "Quarterback Confessional" or whatever the hell its called one more time, I'm going to lose my mind.

Baseball just started, the season isn't even 20 games old, and already its taking a backseat to football, and with the NBA playoffs around the corner, basketball, too.  I understand that the NFL Draft is coming up, but everyone knows Andrew Luck is going to go with the first pick.  I don't care about seeing Merrill Hodge and Mel Kiper Jr talk about the same stuff day after day, analyzing who the Chargers will pick in the 15th round.  It's a joke.

America's national pastime is baseball.  Fenway Park just celebrated its 100th anniversary, and ESPN feigned interest by talking about it the day of, and that was it.  In any sport, no facility has been around for 100 years, the closest is Wrigley Field at 98 years young.  Opening Day has been in April practically since the dawn of time.  I completely understand that not everyone is a fan of baseball; a lot of people think its too slow or boring, or just don't like the sport.  That's cool, you're an idiot if that's you, but I get it.  But am I being illogical thinking that it should get more attention than a sport that won't play a regular season game until almost five months from now?

Is anyone else as pissed off as I am?  April is for baseball, and I'll allow the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  So why are 35 minutes of Sportscenter devoted to football in the middle of the spring? Thank God I can watch ESPN3 so I can pick and choose my highlights.

Monday, April 23, 2012

All These Dunks, and No Ron Artest Elbow-Throwing Celebrations!

What's a blog without insane dunktastic videos?  The Dunking Devils, probably Croatia's best athletes, not including the Summer Olympic events. Sit back and enjoy.

Ron Artest Sucks

“During that play, I just dunked on Durant and Ibaka. I got real emotional, real excited. It's unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he's okay. The Thunder, they're playing for a championship this year. I really hope he's okay and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. It was such a great game. It was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time. That's it for today.” -- Metta World Peace

Did World Peace decide he's going to limit his celebrations to only Jon 'Bones' Jones impressions? First of all, I get just as pumped up as anybody for a big play, but never have a thrown my elbow backwards in celebration. Go ahead and try that for yourself, how awkward does it feel? He should be suspended for the rest of the season and the entire playoffs, no question. I don't care if he dunked over Shaq, Wilt Chamberlain and Dikembe Mutombo, no one throws an elbow like that by accident.  If Raffi Torres earned a 25-game suspension, World Peace's elbow is right on par.

For my closing argument, I give you Dan HL, making his second blog post in a row...

Love in Stockholm and Dan HL

So far, I'd like to think that I've entertained your eyes and minds, and I haven't forgotten the ears.  As it was with The Weekend, this would normally be our "Top iPod Jams" section, but for better or worse, the focus will fall heavy on two bands this week.

Love in Stockholm formed in Allston, MA, and is one of the best local bands I've seen in a long damn time, the other being the next band I'll mention.  They fashion themselves a rock 'n soul band, and they deliver on that with every song. Check them out on Spotify or iTunes, and visit their site, If you're into it, follow them on Twitter @loveinstockholm.  The video above has got to be my favorite song, "Running In Place."

In a perfect world, I'd be in a band named Dan HL.  The Boston-based "abrasive folk" rockers play out from DC to Maine, and for my money, are one of the best shows around (even when they play in the basement of a bar that only allows three of their five members to play at one time). Check them out on Spotify, iTunes, @dan_HL, or at, and watch their live performance of "Indie Film Actor" from NYC.

Canucks are Gone

I'm not a huge fan of memes, but I figured if there was a good time to bust one out, this was it.  Last night, the Los Angeles Kings, the #8 seed in the West, eliminated the Vancouver Canucks.  That caps the 42nd year of misery in Vancouver... I love it.

Hey, at least Roberto Luongo played good... Wait, no, that was their back up Cory Schneider.  Well, at least the President's Trophy counts in the Playoffs... Wait, no, it doesn't mean anything.  Alright, at least the whole team played well... Oh, they only won one game? Nevermind, they're garbage.

I don't know how much further the Kings will make it, but clearing out the Canucks is a huge leap towards hoisting the Cup, even with possibly three more series to go.

The good news for the 'Nucks is they now have an extra month and a half of no distractions to figure out what to do with Luongo.  His $5.3 million per year through 2022, no-trade contract will be virtually impossible to move.  Plus, if you were a team with a chance at the playoffs, why would you want someone who's now twice proven to fold up?

Ke$ha's Got Talent

Everyone knows that most pop stars these days don't have naturally good voices, but when we can actually hear evidence of that, the result is always hilarious.  It's tough to get through the whole video, so if you even make it through the first chorus, I commend you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Semi-Live Blog -- Bruins and Capitals, Game 6


I'm supposed to be doing my thesis paper, but the B's are on, so let's be real.


Capitals come out banging on all cylinders.  Looking tough.

Third Period: Third period draws to a close.  Bruins can't let this one slip away.  They need to come out with fire.

Dammit....Ovechkin ties it up.  Capitals are heating up, pray for overtime.

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAL ANDREW FERENCE!!!!!!!!!!! 3-2 BRUINS!!!!! 7 minutes to go!  I've given up updating times for this period.  Actions too crazy for that.

Both teams are absolutely flying out of the gate this period.  Pouliot got himself an idiotic penalty, second game and second day in a row, but the B's penalty kill was on point again for this one.

Sorry for the break, had to run over to the cafeteria and grab some grub before the third period.

Second Period:

Period comes to a close, Caps holding a 15-5 shot advantage in that frame.  Chara's bloodied but back on, and the Capitals are playing like the Canucks tonight.  The refs are slowly letting the game slip out of control.  Should be an intense third period one way or the other.

0:20 remaining: Matt Hendricks really helping his team with a dumb tripping call, catching Peverley going across the blue line.

0:41: Apparently you're allowed to run around and hit whoever you want away from the puck today.  Jason Chimera clips Brad Marchand in the head, then streaks down ice and gets a pass from Niklas Backstrom to tie the game up at 2-2.  Glad to see that this will be the sixth straight game that the Capitals will play like cheap bastards.

4:10: Capitals earn a bullshit power play, after play was stopped for an apparent too many men call.  The only man in the box is Patrice Bergeron for a high-stick.  Good news: Chara's back out for the penalty kill.

5:26: Things are getting a little scrappy. Roman Hamrlik knocks down Chris Kelly in front of the net, and then Brouwer has some words for Kelly during the stoppage which Peverley took exception to, hence the shove and separation.

Tim Thomas with an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING STICK SAVE on Marcus Johanssan!  Wide open net as the Capitals are maybe starting to catch on to Thomas' aggressive net-minding style. 8 to go.

9:26:  SAVE BY THOMAS! And Jay Beagle being a chump again, par for the course.

14:02: Power play ends, good pressure, probably too much passing, with no goal to show for it.

18:03: Alex Ovechkin draws a four minute double minor for smacking Zdeno Chara in the face with his stick.  Bloodied up, Chara will sit out for a few series.  Let's see what the power play unit can do.

Milan Lucic, Dennis Seidenberg and Troy Brouwer all have 4 hits with a period and two minutes under their belts.

Both teams come out with no real advantage one way or the other.  Anyone else not a fan of NBC's NHL coverage exclusively playing Nickelback into commercial breaks?

First Period:

First period came to a close with the Bruins holding a hard-fought 2-1 lead over the Caps.  The Capitals are putting on a lot of pressure on the forecheck, something the Bruins aren't returning.  The hitting game goes to the Bruins so far, but so do the bonehead mistakes.

Rich Peverley cashed in the Bruins first goal, which was quickly answered by Mike Green to tie the game at 1-1.  The Bruins power play was looking weak as it usual does at playoff time, but potted their second power play goal off the stick of David Krejci to make it 2-1.  Braden Holtby is still playing out of his mind, but the Bruins are being patient and taking some good shots.

And to be fair, that goal by Green was going a foot wide if it didn't hit Greg Zanon's leg and roll in.

Some other news, Patrice Bergeron isn't taking face-offs because of an apparent upper-body injury, but its not like he'd be allowed to stay in half of his face-offs anyway.  The refs aren't taking any horseplay at the dot, and have thrown out players on almost every face-off so far.

Shawn Thornton and Joe Corvo didn't dress for today's game, instead Jordan Caron will play in his first playoff game and Mike Mottau will take his place beside Zanon as the third defensive pair.

Us vs. Them


Alright, so we're 4-10.  Big deal.  We were 2-10 last year, then we were the hottest team in baseball all summer.  The collapse happened, its over.  This is a new year.

Honestly, no, I'm not that thrilled to have Bobby Valentine as the manager.  But in his defense, he didn't expect to be without Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Bailey 14 games in.  I just can't tell you how embarrassing it is to hear boos reign down for the home team in our home stadium.

Its obviously easier said than done, but I think Yogi Berra had an explanation for this: "Ninety percent of the game is half mental."  When you have the weight of an entire city on your back, pissed about missing the playoffs by one game last year, its gonna wear on you.  The Sox just have to take it one at-bat, one pitch at a time.  Stop over-thinking, everybody has to just play their game, and it'll come together... says the utility man on a D-III club baseball team.

Maybe take a page from Big Papi David Ortiz's book.  Hitting over .400 finding those holes in the shift, and not to mention losing all that weight and backing up his teammates no matter what.

But here's why it's us versus them, boys and girls.  When the Yankees get swept in a series by the Rays in mid-June, they'll be ready to tar and feather Joe Girardi while they fall to their knees and cry to the heavens about how God has forsaken them.

Look, we're 4-10, if we break now by not showing up to the games, booing everbody and slamming them all over Twitter, Facebook or whatever else, its just going to get a lot worse.  It's April.  If you bet your life savings on the Sox going 153-9, then you can get upset and boo all you want, but for the rest of you, keep the faith.

Sox Get Marlon Byrd


Red Sox picked up Marlon Byrd yesterday from the Cubs.  The deal was officially Byrd and cash considerations from the Cubs for relief pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named later.  I don't know if it was Ben Cherington or Theo Epstein who fired the deal up, but who thought Marlon Byrd would make a difference on this team right now?

Apparently our centerfielders can't keep their shoulders in their sockets, as Jason Repko went down with what Bobby Valentine labeled as a "slight separation," after Jacoby Ellsbury popped his right shoulder sliding into Reid Brignac a week ago.  Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross have panned out pretty well for us so far this season, and with Carl Crawford still nursing his left wrist, the Sox needed a quick fix.  Game time is 8:05 against the Yankees, weather pending over Fenway.

Birthday Shout-Outs

In keeping with one of our weekly posts from The 7 Day Weekend, it's time for some birthday shout-outs.  If you're a football fan (American or International), today's a big day for that.

Dejuan Blair
Marshawn Lynch
Amber Heard
Igor Budan
Evangelos Mantzios
Jos Hooiveld
Mark van Bommel - not his goal, but he was in on the assist
Shavo Odadjian - bassist for System of a Down
Donald Tusk - Polish Prime Minister
Peter Frampton
Jack Nicholson
Pope Alexander VIII

The Patriot...?

I don't need to say anything about this. I know its now like a week old, but its still classic. I just don't really know if this is funny, or just really scary.  I also suggest playing the clip starting at 1:35 if you ever want to ask your friends if they're hungry.

Backs Against the Walls


One shot to keep the season alive for the Bruins tonight.  They lost an absolute heart-breaker last night at home.  Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand scored within :28 seconds of each other to tie it up at 2-2 in the second period, which gave Boston a short momentum burst.  But when Mike Knuble threw back a rebound for a 3-2 lead, Boston sprung back to life.  Johnny Boychuk, the second defenseman to score on the night, lit the lamp on a power play goal with 11 minutes to go.

Unfortunately, home ice didn't give us any advantages here.  I thought the Capitals were supposed to suck.  They just squeaked into the playoffs, with their best player being a rapidly-declining Alexander Ovechkin?  Unreal.  About as unreal as Beniot Pouliot's decision to slash with 2:50 remaining in the game.

Pouliot has played tough in the first five games of the playoffs, but left the team out to dry on that play.  Troy Brouwer came with a full head of steam down the right side boards and flung one, near post, past Tim Thomas' shoulder.  I was sitting in the media dining room at Fenway Park with some other Fenway employees and some media types including Dan Shaughnessy.  Just utter disbelief filled the room.  The big, bad Bruins are one loss away from packing it in for the summer.

Bruins play today, Sunday, at 3:00 in Washington.  I want Braden Holtby's head on a stick...

We're Back...


It's been almost a year since my last blog, which is a problem in and of itself...  But the bigger problem is why I had to start this blog.

I have a thesis paper due in just over 24 hours, and I have to report to Fenway Park at 6:05 p.m. where hopefully I'll avoid the 5th Boston Massacre.  The 4th is the reason I'm back to blogging.

Last night the Sox carried a nine run lead into the sixth inning.  They held an eight run lead going into the seventh.  That's as much as I'll say.

This blog will be much of the same from The 7 Day Weekend -- little bit of baseball, little bit of hockey, little bit of Boston.  Anything you want to hear, see or read, it'll be here.  Thanks for reading guys.  And I apologize in advance for how many times I'll be using that picture of Bobby Valentine.