Thursday, July 29, 2004
Boston Red Sox 1, Baltimore Orioles 4
For whatever reason, no-name pitcher Dave Borkowski decides to have a career night *last* night of all nights...and the Sox woes versus the Orioles this year continue. Schilling pitched decently (four runs on seven hits in seven innings) although he made mistakes twice to Javy Lopez, who hit two homeruns. David Ortiz kept the game from being a shuttout by hitting a solo shot in the ninth. Personally, I was distracted for most of the game, mainly by my roomate's cat, who seemed to be hitting the crack pipe particularly hard last night. Oakland won, but Toronto managed to beat the Yankees, who go off to face Baltimore tonight. Maybe the Orioles will screw them up too, although this year Baltimore hasn't been the Yankee-killing team they were last year. Meh. Still no final word on the David Ortiz suspension, or what disciplinary action will be handed down for the fight on Saturday. YANKEES SUCK!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Postponed in the 3rd inning because of rain
Redsox.com calls this rainout a blessing, since Wakefield was scored off of four times in two innings and the Sox were down to Lopez, who is 3 - 0 against them this year. Of course, the rainout happened right after the Sox had scored two runs, so that statement could be a bit off, but giving Wakefield the rest probably isn't too bad of an idea. Of course, the Yankees and A's both happened to win last night...but that's what makeups are for. Francona wants a doubleheader to make it up at the end of the season - I say that's fine, as long as he takes it seriously this time.
In other news, don't jinx it yet, but Ramiro Mendoza has pitched four scoreless innings in a row and is now 1 - 0. Maybe, just maybe this is one of those long term investments stock brokers like to do. With a really long maturing time. Give it time, but we might just be saying, "Jose Contreras, eat your heart out." YANKEES SUCK!
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Game 96: Boston Red Sox 7, New York Yankees 8
Game 97: Boston Red Sox 11, New York Yankees 10
Game 98: Boston Red Sox 9, New York Yankees 6
Game 99: Boston Red Sox 12, Baltimore Orioles 5
To spark a winning streak, combine the following: a game lost in the ninth inning to an RBI single by A-Rod; a day of violence between Arroyo, A-Rod, Varitek, Tanyen Sturze, Gabe Kapler and Kenny Lofton; a few weird calls; a blown save by Mariano "Enter Sandman" Rivera; shining breakthroughs by Millar and Kapler; the solving of the Contreras enigma...and one of the most exciting weekends in baseball ever. Mix vigorously, then serve to all opposing teams red hot. Admittedly, I missed most of it except for Game 98, which I enjoyed a particular relish that comes with a defeat handed to a Yankees' starter who had supposedly figured himself out, while our "head case" pitcher pitched with incredible composure...and I consumed 28 ounces of Sam Adams. As Yankee fans are happy to point out, of course, the Sox are still 7.5 games back from first place and yes, they are. It's unlikely at this point that that'll change too much (of course, didn't they say that in 1978 too?), but the Sox are looking like they might go on a tear like the one back at the beginning of the month...and there's no All Star Break to screw up the momentum this time.
Most thrilling moment of the weekend: watching the highlights from the second game of the series the five or six times ESPN showed them that night, seeing Varitek take out A-Rod with that face-push to leg grab maneuver...then watching the Bill Mueller homerun. Makes me tear up just imagining it. I can empathize with Schilling's reaction after his poor performance on Friday - this stuff just inspires that sort of emotionality if you get into it enough.
On the injury front: I feel like I shouldn't even have to have a section on this topic, but it seems like a completely healthy team ain't in the cards this year. Reese is still on the DL, Williamson *might* be coming back for this weekend's festivities at Minneapolis and Trott...Trott is still the undeclared stage, with the current feeling being a break for anything from two weeks to the rest of the season. Kapler's hot right now and hopefully he'll stay that way, but it's always nice to have depth in a position. Hopefully this will be a best case scenario. Neither Damon or Varitek were hurt badly enough this weekend to stop playing.
Game two tonight versus Baltimore, with Wakefield facing off against old Red Sox nemesis Rodrigo Lopez. The Sox faced Lopez last week, during that ridiculous first game of the Thursday doubleheader which prompted my open letter to Francona, telling him how I feel about him.* I'm hoping for (or is it expecting?) a better performance from the Sox tonight. YANKEES SUCK!
*ESPN color commentator Rick(?) Sutcliffe told audiences on Sunday night that Francona had been an "excellent pickup" for the Sox. Micah, who was watching the game with me and I almost fell off the couch we laughed so hard. Sutcliffe also called Derek Jeter the William Wallace of baseball, prompting Nikki to ask me later if we could paint Jeter's face blue.
Friday, July 23, 2004
Boston Red Sox 4, Baltimore Orioles 0
That's better. I came to the realization that, necessary profanity asside, my rant at Terry Francona yesterday afternoon was a bit misdirected. Yelling at him is like yelling at President Bush - they're both pawns of their system. We need to take out the Dick Cheneys of the Red Sox universe to stop the corruption at the source. Specifically, the taint of Moneyball needs to be purged from the Front Office thinking about baseball.
Moneyball, besides being a book about the team-building ideas espoused by Oakland GM Billy Beane, is a concept where, simply put, statistics become the be-all and end-all of team building and by extension, team management. Here's the problem though: Beane's philosophy, apparantly, is that winning the regular season is the important goal - the playoffs are just a statistical crapshoot. That said, in the six times Oakland's been in the post season since 1988 (the last time they won the World Series), they've been knocked out each time. In the past four years, they've lost in the Divisional Series. Crapshoot they may be, but the point of playing through the season is not to win the pennant - it's to win the World Series. If getting to the post season was the important thing, Brigham's wouldn't be marketing "Reverse the Curse" ice cream* and I wouldn't be ending these missives with the mating call of Red Sox Nation.
Why is any of this relevant? Because the Red Sox Front Office is enamored with Moneyball. GM Theo Epstein is a Billy Beane disciple, the Red Sox have SABRmetrics analyst Bill James on their payroll and Terry Francona was hired partially because he believes in using stats over gut feeling. Basically, they're following a lame duck policy developed for teams with tiny payrolls, not the second largest payroll in baseball. And it's showing - Francona has under his command one of the most talented teams in baseball and the Sox are 8.5 games behind the Yankees and fighting Oakland and Chicago for the Wildcard. Grady Little, for all his foibles, can claim to have done more with less. What the Red Sox need is to ditch this straight-on-statistics approach and hire a manager who can mix a knowledge of stats with an understanding of how a player's doing - that human factor that's so important and that statistics cannot represent.
First game of a three game series against the Yankees tonight at Fenway - Schilling versus Lieber. We'll see if the streaky Sox can win more than one game every two. YANKEES SUCK!
* - take a look at that page I just linked to, if only for the amusement value. Those Brigham's people are pretty freaky...
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Boston Red Sox 3, Baltimore Orioles 8
Hey Terry Francona: you're a FUCKING MORON. This is not a GODDAMNED EXHIBITION GAME...you don't NOT PLAY YOUR BEST PLAYER, bring in a FUCKING ROOKIE PITCHER STRAIGHT FROM AA TO PITCH, bring RAMIRO "I'M A WORTHLESS EXCUSE FOR A PITCHER" MENDOZA AS A STOPPER and expect to WIN A GODDAMNED BALLGAME. For chrissake, these are the FUCKING BALTIMORE "SIXTEEN-AND-A-FUCKING-HALF-GAMES-BACK" ORIOLES. And another thing: pick a fucking lineup and positions AND STICK WITH IT. I'm sorry your players keep getting hurt...I really am, because it's clearly fucking up this team's momentum. But you know what? FUCKING AROUND WITH THE LINEUP EVERY GODDAMNED DAY IS NOT GOING TO GET YOUR PLAYERS INTO A GOOD GROOVE. I hope they fucking fire your ass. And you know what? If Theo Epstein agrees with your cockass way of managing, he should be fired too. End of story. It's only 4:00 and I feel like I need a drink. Thanks guys.
Game 93: Boston Red Sox 5, Baltimore Orioles 10
Man, I am out of it. I missed Tuesday's game because of the aforementioned concert, but apparently the Sox managed to get a big lead and just barely hold onto it, courtesy of our exhausted bullpen. Last night I was up in the Bronx, where ESPN's Wednesday Night Baseball logically does not broadcast the Red Sox game...it broadcasts Texas vs. Anaheim. Apparently, though, if I had been in Brooklyn, it would have been the Red Sox. No, I don't understand either, unless ESPN thinks they'll get higher ratings for on two teams most Bronxites could care less about rather than one they actively dislike. In any case, Pedro had an excellent night turn into an awful one, the Sox didn't hit enough to make up for it (although Kapler apparently had a pretty good night both in the field and at the plate) and the outfield allowed an inside-the-park homerun by doing a three person relay to the plate. Again, I don't understand either.
Micah, Yankee fan extraordinaire (who owns a David Ortiz shirt, now...I have hope for him yet) seems to feel that picking up a game on the Yankees this week and then sweeping them this weekend might give the Sox a shot at first, but I've really resigned myself to a ninth year of wildcard competition. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Of course, I might not feel this way if the Sox weren't continuing to play like it was June. At least they're spliting the series instead of losing them...feh.
In other news, Pokey Reese is on the 15 day DL for straining his ribs. Since Nomar some rest as well (why is everyone on this damn team hurt all the time?), the Sox have picked up Ricky Gutierrez to serve as yet another utility infielder who can be switched as needed. I don't wonder if part of this team's problem is that even when they aren't hurt, they're wondering where they're going to playing that day. I see Kevin Youkilis is back up, Bill Mueller was playing second yesterday...the team seems to be scrambling right now. Doubleheader today versus Baltimore - Wakefield is tonight, but this afternoon we have Abe Alvarez, fresh from AA Portland. Not nervous about this at all...no, not at all. YANKEES SUCK!
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Boston Red Sox 4, Seattle Mariners 8
Dear Messrs. Foulk and Leskanic (and to a lesser extent, Embree): way to blow it. I stayed up until 1:45 on a work night because I was pretty sure our *world class* bullpen could hold a 4 - 1 lead, but you certainly proved me wrong, didn't you. To the Sox offense, with the exclusion of Mr. Varitek: way to not get runs and support your pitcher, who did a stellar job last night. Missed chances against the Mariners, for chrissake. You guys can do better than this and you missed a chance to get a game on both the A's and the Yankees with that loss last night. And finally, to Mr. Arroyo: after a record twelve strikeouts and two excellent, nearly scoreless outings, it looks like the Sox might have finally found their fifth starter. Keep it up...you rock.
I hate the West Coast. Actually, I don't hate the West Coast specifically, just its time zone. Staying up that late for a loss does not make me a happy camper and I'm not pleased that today's "early" game isn't starting until 4:35 Eastern today, when I'm already about to leave for the evening (and go enjoy Kiss and Poison in NJ...I feel like such a stereotype). Also, anyone with the last name of Boone should just die now and get it out of the way before I kill you. YANKEES SUCK!
Boston Red Sox 4, Anaheim Angels 2
Boston Red Sox 3, Anaheim Angels 8
Boston Red Sox 6, Anaheim Angels 2
A split makes this weekend a lot more satisfying than it was looking on Friday. Pedro was top notch, Schilling was excellent and has apparently recovered enough in the foot to stop taking numbing drugs, Wakefield may be hurt after having been hit in the arm on Saturday and had another poor outing and the Sox did the standard hitting when they're hitting, they're really hitting and when they're not, they're not. Manny was out for most of the weekend with tight hamstrings, but he's back tonight (more on that tomorrow). The big news, of the weekend, however, was David Ortiz.
I did not have a chance to listen to or watch Friday's game (of course), but from talking to Robin and reading Ian Browne's article on RedSox.com (check the top for the excellent picture of Ortiz charging Francona into the umpire), it seems that homeplate umpire Matt Hollowell's strikezone was diagonally-shaped, leading to frustrations for Martinez, Varitek, Garciaparra (who never complains about strike calls) and David "Poppy" Ortiz. David Ortiz seems to have a permanent smile on his face - it's part of the reason he's my favorite player. Thus, to turn Ortiz into a raving, bat throwing madman, one would imagine that the umpire was a bit of a screwup, bringing down the wrath of the gods, so to speak. Of course, that won't do the Sox much good if Ortiz gets a suspension for tossing bats out and charging an umpire after his ejection. There's been no announcement on what the league's decision is yet, so we'll have to wait and see. YANKEES SUCK!
Friday, July 16, 2004
Boston Red Sox 1, Anaheim Angels 8
Man, I really hope we don't have to face Anaheim in the playoffs...it'll end that party RIGHT quick. Lowe pitched like he was under the sway of some crooked, sadistic star that kept him *just* out of trouble until the end of the fifth, when the pitch count was too high for him to be effective anymore. Alan Embree couldn't get outs to save his life and at that point I was too tired and it was too late (damn these West Coast games) for me to stay up and listen. Apparently it was a worthwhile choice on my part.
So the Greek God has gone back to Pawtucket, so the Sox can try and salvage something out of their investment in Mendoza...who no one has any confidence in. I was kinda hoping he'd disappear at the end of last season, but that clearly didn't happen and I hear courtesy of the WEEI announcers that he wasn't too effective on his rehab assignment. Guess we'll see what happens, but I don't see this experiment going terribly well. At least Youlk will get some playing time and learn some first base while he's in RI. YANKEES SUCK!
Monday, July 12, 2004
Game 84: Boston Red Sox 7, Texas Rangers 0
Game 85: Boston Red Sox 14, Texas Rangers 6
Game 86: Boston Red Sox 5, Texas Rangers 6
Losing that third game is always that much more bitter when the Yankees win the same day. Especially when it's right before the All Star Game and you've won the previous five after a horrendous slump. I hold myself partially responsible - going off to play a game of Battlefleet Gothic (yes, I'm an enormous dork - I do realize this) with Micah, trusting that the Sox could win after their rally in the seventh. I'm told the pickoff of Pokey Reese from first was BS, but there was a certain lack of energy in the air yesterday that made it feel like the boys just weren't playing right. Wakefield's knuckleball didn't dance for the first time in three games, errors were made, hits weren't gotten, etc. Bad day all around. But that game was preceded by Arroyo's magnificent shutout victory on Friday and Lowe's surprising performance on Saturday, where six unearned runs not only did not stop the offense, but more importantly did not bring out Lowe's...um...emotions, * so the positive, in this case, shines through like a car's high beams.
So, what have we learned from this homestand? First, the season sure as hell ain't over by a long shot. Sure, the Sox are seven games behind New York, but after beating up Oakland last week, they are first in the Wildcard. Will miracles never cease. Sure, we could hope that this year would be the first time in nine years that the Sox finish in first in the AL East and they still may, but at least there's the Wildcard consolation. Second, Johnny Damon is a golden god. Third, having Bill Mueller batting eighth or ninth is like having a second heart in the lineup. Fourth, no one on this team is beyond hope quite yet. It has been and will be difficult to remember to remember that, but it's fortunately still true.
Finally, I have to make my comment on the All Star Game. I have been against the All Star Game since 2002, when I learned about the roster selection powers given to each team's manager, the ridiculousness of the vote early and often policy espoused by MLB for player selection and the inanity that is FOX All Star Game coverage. Actually, scratch that - all FOX coverage. In general. Except for the Simpsons. Anyway, hatred of FOX aside, I watched Ichiro hit an infield hit and tear down the line to first base (man, that was fast) in 2002 and have not watched since...nor do I plan to this year. Bring on the second half, I say. YANKEES SUCK!
* - Derek Lowe said last week in a press conference that he was not a head case, despite the popular perception. Unfortunately, I missed putting the link up before it disappeared from the article listing on RedSox.com, but basically he challenged the press to tell him how he screwed up. Apparently whatever he heard or just the action of talking about it in public was enough to keep him together on Saturday. Bravo.
Friday, July 09, 2004
Boston Red Sox 8, Oakland Athletics 7
It was like last year all over again, down to a shaky performance by the pitching staff and a thrilling victory in extra innings, courtesy of Bill Mueller. I, unfortunately, was not able to listen to the game (apparently trying to listen to the Red Sox in the Bronx crashes Internet Explorer) and I had turned Gameday off because I kept staring at Nikki's computer - Mueller hit his double while I was getting destroyed in Super Smash Brothers on Nintendo 64. I watched it this morning on MLB.com (thank God for streaming video feeds) and it was definitely quite thrilling - winning two out of three is nice, but a sweep is that much nicer, especially since it gives us the tie for first place in the wildcard. Unfortunately, all of the other bad guys (Yankees, Rangers and White Sox) all won last night, but keeping pace is still good.
Tonight we've got young Bronson Arroyo trying to get his first win of the season, going up against Texas and Joaquin Benoit. Taking a look at the pitchers' splits on ESPN, they seem to have about an equal chance in this one. Both teams have excellent offensive capabilities, but the Sox do have homefield advantage...I have my hopes. YANKEES SUCK!
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Boston Red Sox 11, Oakland Athletics 3
Can you say two wins in a row? Can you say this team is ON right now? Pedro had an excellent seven innings - seven strikeouts, five hits, three runs. Manny had an ENORMOUS homerun that hit off of the top of the Coke bottle (right after the ESPN guys mentioned that neither he or Ortiz had hit anything in the past two games and that it didn't really matter that they hadn't). Mueller went 3 for 4, Garciaparra 2 for 4, Damon 2 for 5, Varitek 2 for 4 and Mark Redman was knocked out after two and two-thirds innings. The Yankees lost again yesterday (Sox are now six games out of first), the win against Oakland puts the Sox firmly in second for the wildcard with a game difference behind the A's...it's just been an excellent two days. Oh and the season's half over. Interesting how things stand...
As much as the ESPN announcers annoy me (although the level of annoyance they cause me is nowhere near how angry I get at Tim McCarver and Joe Buck), they did make two interesting points last night. First, for all the panic in Red Sox Nation last week, the Sox are only two games behind where they were last year at the mid-point. Second, assuming things continue the way they have been over the past two days (ok, maybe not on quite the same pace, but with the hitting being as energized as it has been this series), the second half of this year and the second half of last year have one thing in common: Bill Mueller. The Red Sox trade Shea Hillenbrand to Arizona for Mueller and putting Mueller at the end of the lineup energizes the offense. Mueller returns from a successful knee surgery, is put at the end of the lineup and seems to be energizing the lineup. And the guy is supposed to have such a good work ethic and lack of ego that you have to believe that he could continue to provide this sort of boost for the rest of the year without having head-trip problems. Things are looking up...YANKEES SUCK!
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Boston Red Sox 11, Oakland Athletics 0
An EXCELLENT night for baseball. But we must not get too confident...it's pulling off the second win in a row that's the real issue right now. In God and Pedro we trust. But last night, man, it was like everything was finally going in the right order. Wakefield's knuckleball was dancing for the second week in a row, Barry Zito had nothing, the bottom of the Red Sox lineup (Nixon, Mirabelli and Mueller) combined for seven (yes, seven) runs, including a Bill Mueller homerun in the second inning, Damon went 5 for 6, Millar went 3 for 4...it was awesome. And the Yankees lost. And the Rangers. And the White Sox. Seven games out of first in the AL East, alone in second place for the wildcard and two games behind Oakland and Texas. Word.
In other news, Scott Williamson is listed as being on the DL indefinitely by ESPN.com, while the Boston Globe reports that he's going to Cincinnati to get a second opinion on his elbow, which suggests that *perhaps* this injury isn't quite as bad as an indefinite stay on the DL might suggest. Ellis Burks is also going back in for knee surgery. I really feel for this guy - it's terrible that he can't seem to get the chance to just come back and play. With his seven innings last night, Wakefield now has 1,757 and 2/3 career innings, passing Mel Parnell for fourth on the all time Sox list.
Mark Redman comes back to Boston tonight to face Pedro, with his splits of a .350 or so average and 21 earned runs over about 27 innings in the past four years against the Sox, compared with Pedro's splits of a .213 average and 7 earned runs over about 21 innings against the A's. Gotta love them stats. I'll be watching tonight on ESPN, wearing The Hat and The Shirt and attempting to teach my roomate's cat the virtues of a good game of baseball (he's a kitten - you gotta get 'em young). YANKEES SUCK!
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Game 78: Boston Red Sox 3, Atlanta Braves 6
Game 79: Boston Red Sox 6, Atlanta Braves 1
Game 80: Boston Red Sox 4, Atlanta Braves 10
Losing a series to the Atlanta Braves. They're pathetic, guys. Just remember that. The really high note of this weekend was Schilling's awesome complete game on Saturday. Coming after two disappointing extra-innings loses in two different cities that completely wiped out the bullpen, it was that much better that Schilling could step up and carry the game like that. I watched the beginning and end of that one in two different bars in Boston and the feeling in the air at the end of the game was really more of relief than anything else. Of course, as my friend Dave put it that night, Schilling can't pitch every day - as Lowe went on to prove on Sunday by completely falling apart in the fifth inning. He lost to Mark Hampton, of all people! Hampton is pathetic! Feh. On a brighter note, the day of rest seems to have done Nomar some good - he's gone 7 for 11 since Thursday. Now the Sox spend the next two series at home, perhaps deciding the fate of the AL West as they play Oakland and Texas. That wildcard thing kinda depends on series like these, guys, especially since you couldn't be bothered to make up more than a game (now a half game because of the Yankees' start yesterday) on the three Yankee loses over the weekend.
I also want to note the end of the Eric Gagne save streak, after 84 games. A pretty incredible accomplishment - I wonder if he'll get back on track and start an even longer one this time, or if the Dodgers will change his role so that he gets more playing time and becomes a factor in more games. YANKEES SUCK!
Friday, July 02, 2004
Boston Red Sox 4, New York Yankees 5
Me to Robin on the phone, postgame: "Robin, why does God hate us?" What a game. A thirteen inning, heart-breaking slog. But this isn't one that can be really be blamed on anything except a curse. Sure, there were numerous scoring chances that the Red Sox could have acted on and failed and maybe Leskanic shouldn't have pitched to Cairo in the thirteenth after giving up a triple to him in the twelfth, but the Yankees weren't any luckier in their scoring - until the end. And they left twelve men on base to our nine. It still hurts though.
Ready for the optimist? Maybe this game is the turning point of this awful, awful month of baseball. Sure, it was a game worthy of the Kardiac Kids and we're now eight and a half games out of first place, but at least the Sox really seemed to put their hearts into winning this game. Maybe Francona will finally acquire the set of cojones he needs to run this club properly.
Of note: looking pathetic apparently does work sometimes. My girfriend the Yankees fan felt so bad for me and my plight that she wore The Hat for most of the evening (from the 4th inning or so on). The last time she did this was at the end of May and the Red Sox came back from a deficit and McCarty hit the walkoff homerun to beat the Athletics in Game 50. Alan called me at the end of the twelfth and asked me why I wasn't watching the game on YES (I told him I didn't want to jinx anything) - Nikki (the girlfriend) heard me talking about it and turned the TV on anyway, right after Manny hit the homerun to make it four to three. Besides the end of the game, I also had the privilege of watching Nomar be the only player NOT standing on the dugout rail for the end of the game. Clearly there's a bit speculation about his future next year and he didn't play tonight - I've started to wonder if he'll finish out the season in Boston. Something must be wrong with me, but YANKEES SUCK!
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Boston Red Sox 2, New York Yankees 4
Fire Terry Francona. And no, not just because of his idiocy in pulling Wakefield WAAAAY to early last night, although this article sums my feelings up on that score pretty well (and props to redsox.com for posting an article that didn't pull any punches). The Red Sox committed another two errors last night. They completely squandered a bases-loaded-and-nobody-out opportunity. It seems clear to me that there is leadership lacking in the Sox dugout and clubhouse and that this is the reason why a team with such enormous potential is playing .500 ball. I could go on, but what's the point? I'm just going to end up being frustrated again, maybe even as soon as tonight. Something needs to be done.
Two choice quotes from the article above:
1. "I need a strikeout here." - Terry Francona to Tim Wakefield when he pulled him in the sixth. Clearly you don't need to rely on your excellent starting pitcher at all, Terry. That would be foolish.
2. "Little was the designated villain. Even when Little was fired, Red Sox fans were not completely satisfied. It didn't seem like punishment enough for the pain and suffering and emotional anguish that Game 7 loss created. But outright dismissal had to do, because the practice of burning people at the stake had been tried and later discredited in Massachusetts." It certainly would inspire the managers to be more careful if the threat of burning was applied, though.
Mueller may be back in action as soon as Friday against Atlanta - maybe the surgery was the cure for what ailed him? Williamson left the game last night with some sort of arm injury, but I haven't seen an update on his status, so I don't know if he'll be on the DL again...hopefully not. Strangely enough, after reading this article about the Riviera and a few other ones on Boston.com, I feel good enough (misery loves company?) to the usual callout: YANKEES SUCK!