Dear. Big Papi

July 31, 2009



I am not a fool, there is literally no one in the game of Major League Baseball that I would be shocked to hear took steroids in the early part of this decade.  With the exception of Derek Jeter, you ask me about pretty much every superstar in baseball, and force me to gamble my mortgage on whether or not they liked a good needle in their ass, I’d probably bet in the affirmative.

That being said, it didn’t hurt me nearly as much as many when your name was leaked as part of the 104 players who tested positive in 2003 (note to everyone involved in MLB: unless all 104 names are just announced, this black mark on baseball will keep creeping up (second parenthesees – is it ok to use “black” mark, or I am going to be suddenly summoned to a meeting with our President with my favorite six pack?)).  But please, Mr. Ortiz, I beg of you, just handle this the right way.  So far, so good with your “wait til I get all the facts…I do want to address this with my team and the public.”

Your legacy has not been tarnished in my eyes.  Your walkoff hits against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS will still be legendary…it’s just that the legends will be part of the Steroid Era.  It is what it is.




I had a conversation at dinner last night.  The question was, if you were Ortiz, how would you react?  There was a flurry of, well, if we were Ortiz we would know if we were guilty or not.  At which point my brother looked at me as if I had asked him how to spell the word “and”.

You have handled this controversy, thus far, as well as could be expected given a crappy set of circumstances in a town that loves to either love or hate it’s baseball players.  My sister-in-law pointed out that Manny has it a little easier – LA journalists aren’t as hawkish towards their players.  Given your scenario, keep hitting three run home runs doing your charity work, and people will move on.  Someone else’s name will be leaked and the attention will shift.  Not that I’m condoning drug use, but 2003 was a don’t ask/don’t tell gray area of steroid use.

This bizarre, marketing/paper selling name dropping scheme is getting annoying.  First off, the federal government being involved in substance use and abuse in baseball is a little confusing and seems over the top.  Doesn’t the government have better things to worry about?   There is this little skirmish going on in the Middle East … and some famines, genocide, epidemics, pandemics …

I don’t think the entire list should be published, but I do think that the leak should be determined and shut up (yes, I’m the master of the obvious).  It is not only tainting the sport and the era, but the sensationalism is making the sport, the athletes and the fans all seem cheaper.

Steroid use was not regulated in 2003.  You agreed to anonymous testing in an effort to determine if drug use should be monitored and are getting screwed over 6 years later.  It sucks and I’m sorry you and the other’s who were tested aren’t being treated with the respect you deserve.


Jeremy And The Fantasy Baseball Blowout

July 31, 2009

NIFER: dude.  what did you do to the fantasy league?

JEREMY: what?  am i being blamed for this?

NIFER:  why did two teams drop out because of you?

JEREMY:  it wasn’t because of me.

NIFER:  what happened?

JEREMY:  they tried to pass a trade, it got vetoed by 4 people.  so it didn’t pass, they were pissed.  is someone seriously telling you its my fault?

NIFER: yes.  most definitely.  was asked “did you hear about jeremy and the fantasy baseball blowout?”  which, by the way, should be the title to a short story or movie

JEREMY:  what the fuck

NIFER:  did you motivate the trade veto?

JEREMY:  i discussed it with your brother.  but two others vetoed as well.  what the fuck

NIFER:  hahahaa.  this is awesome.  i’m laughing

JEREMY:  im calling your brother.  ive been a part of countless leagues, and never seen anyone react to a veto like this.  they asked who vetoed and why, i answered.  then i wrote this (which is clearly a takeoff on a few good men, and in my mind, genius) …

you want more answers?
….Son, we play in a fantasy league that has standards and those standards have to be guarded by the teams in this league. Who’s gonna do it? You? You Sartdogs? You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That my post, while somewhat self-interested, probably saved the integrity of this league. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves the integrity of this league. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the fantasy league that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Or maybe next year you should start a league. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to (Editors Note: Jeremy can not take full credit for this quote…besides Aaron Sorkin, writer of A Few Good Men, it has been used in fantasy message boards past)!

tell me thats not amazing

NIFER: it is amazing

JEREMY: thanks.  i’m super pissed off right now if i’m being blamed for this

NIFER: you’re implicated.  maybe it was your use of the word “son” that set him off.  or … maybe, i’m going to go out on a limb here, he missed the reference.

JEREMY: how could you not see that’s a joke!

NIFER: i wish a few things.
1. that i hadn’t dropped out of the league this year
2. that i had been in the room when he read that if we’re going off the theory that he missed the reference
3. that i had been included on the call where the two of them decided to drop out of the league
because i bet it was serious as all hell.

JEREMY: you have no idea how heated i am

NIFER: i have an idea.  i also, as an addendum to my previous list, wish i were sitting next to you now.

SHE SAID: Sports Trades

July 28, 2009

Part of sports teams is the trading that goes on.  It has both saved and devastated teams throughout the history of sport.  And while I understand, I have trouble when a player I love is traded.

Thinking about it now, I’m not sure if my fear of trading is why I shy away from naming a favorite player.  Ever since Damon (who wasn’t my favorite player, but I enjoyed him nonetheless) went to the darkside and lost all individuality in doing so and Nomar was traded (which I understood as a business move, but couldn’t wrap my mind around the Red Sox without him on their roster for a while and yes, winning the World Series helped me get over that in a hurry), I cannot tell you who is my favorite player for the Red Sox.  The last shirt I bought was a Renteria shirt which I quickly realized was a horrible investment and thankfully, I didn’t go for the replica jersey, as my brother did.  His rationalizing after the trade?  Someone else will pick the number and he can wear it again.

He was lucky.  My younger brother had the unfortunate destiny to fall madly in love with Mike “The Gator” Greenwell, left fielder for the Red Sox from ’85 – ’96.  While a dependable player, he was never a super star outside of my brother’s head, and in Greenwell’s defense, it was hard to follow in the shoes of the Splended Splinter, Yaz and Jim Rice (congrats on making the hall of fame).  Greenwell played out his entire career for the Red Sox, I don’t know how common that is for someone to play their entire career with one team … but for years my older brother and father had a blast trying to convince my younger brother that Greenwell had been traded to another team. Some mornings, my younger brother would come to breakfast only to find a section of the NYT cut out and my older brother claiming there was an article about Greenwell getting traded to the Yankees that he had needed to cut out for some reason.  It was easy fodder.  And I wonder how much this stress effected my younger brother.  Loving a player so much, yet knowing at any time they could be traded and that they had no, or at best limited, loyalty to their team.

Now, I love the teams and admire the players.  But I can’t bother getting attached to them.  It’s too hard.

So, one would think I would apply this to the other teams I follow.  Not so.  And oh, what a rookie move.

Aaron Ward.  I have no idea how you became my favorite player.  You’re not flashy, you’re not the high goal scorer for the Bruins, you didn’t kill it in PIMs, in fact, it’s almost like you did everything you could to not stand out.  You came across as intelligent enough, dependable as a defender, and man, you threw your body into it.  You respect the sport.  And my son and I grew to adore you.  His Bruins jerseys all had 44 on the back, we knew where you were at all times both on the ice and the bench.  We felt for your hurt wrist in the playoffs and yelled at the other teams for slashing you when it was hurt.  We celebrated you at all times.  We went to great lengths, stretched one might say, to point out how you were involved in all successful plays on the ice.

But you were traded on Friday back to the Hurricanes in a “salary dump”.

And at 30, I have to learn the don’t get attached lesson all over again.

HE SAID: Sports Trades

July 28, 2009

I could literally write an entire book about this topic…good trades, bad trades, trades my teams have made that make it hard for me to stand up after reading about them, trades that make me throw up in my mouth a little, trades that make me more upset that Bill Buckner was after he…ok enough of that.  Bottom line is that through the last decade, when Boston somehow became the best professional sports city in the country (stop whining everyone else, we have 6 titles in the last 8 years, not to mention countless playoff teams), we have little right to complain.

When our teams make a trade (or in the case of not resigning a free-agent) it is generally in order to improve the team.  Even the Aaron Ward salary dump freed up some money to sign a Defenseman with much higher upside just a few days later.  Imagine being a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who in the last month have traded away half their position players for prospects who aren’t even ready for the major leagues.  Then, when these prospects finally blossom, the Pirates will trade them away for more prospects.  Pirates fans, along with far too many other fans, never even have the opportunity to fall in love with players the way we do. 

Holy crap I think I just wrote those two paragraphs without taking a breath.  I’ll finish by listing the five trades that have had the most impact on me personally the last decade (given the nature of this post, I will only focus on trades in which Boston players left the city, so you won’t be reading about epic trades the Sox made for players like Rico Brogna and Dante Bichette):

5. December 1, 2005 – The Bruins trade Joe Thornton for a bag of hockey pucks and a new zamboni (ok there were a few players, but it was less than .50 on the dollar).  Joe made me a hockey fan again after the trade that happens a few spots down on this list.  When he was traded I couldn’t believe the Bruins had bent me over again, how the eff could we trade a future MVPer for nothing?  Well the Bruins have made some moves since to right the ship, but still this was awful.

4. August 1, 2008- Manny Ramirez traded essentially for Jason Bay.  This has been written about ad nauseum, and if Manny were simply one of the best right handed hitters of this generation, instead of one of the best right handed hitters of this generation who was also fucking nuts, this would be #1.

3. March 6th, 2000 – The Bruins trade Ray Bourque to the Avalanche for who gives a shit what they got back in return, #77 was the Bruins!  Harry Sinden made this deal as a favor because he felt bad for surrounding Ray with suckiness his whole career.  By the way, my fantasy hockey team name is ‘I Hate Harry Sinden.” Yes, you read that correctly, I have a fantasy hockey team.

2. July, 2009 – Julio Lugo traded for Chris Duncan.  Just kidding.  Happy Trails, Julio!

2. April 21, 2002 – Patriots trade Drew Bledsoe to the Bills for a draft pick.  Fresh off a Super Bowl made this trade harder to swallow, but still, this was devastating.  There are plenty of Bledsoe haters out there, and obviously we didn’t need him, but Bledsoe (along with Parcells) turned the fortunes of the Patriots around.  Classy guy that he was, he took a full page ad out in the Boston Globe thanking the Boston fans.

1. August 1, 2004 – Nomar traded.  It was banquet night at summer camp, they were giving out effing riding awards so I took it upon myself to go check out  Upon seeing the news I ran back down the dining hall, grabbed the mike, and announced in a very dramatic way that Nomar had been traded. If the interruption of Most Improved for Riding doesn’t warrant the No. 1 spot on this list, I don’t know what does.

HE SAID: Lame Shoes

July 22, 2009

Ironically, it is super lame for a male to write a blog about lame shoes, but given what I saw this weekend at Vermont Brewfest, I have deemed it absolutely necessary to unburden my soul.  So, I have decided to rant about Teva’s, how lame they are, and how lame they have always been.  While it may be unconventional for our typical posts, Nifer is free to choose whatever shoes she wishes to shit on.

Look at this picture – somehow, American teenagers thought looking like that was cooler than rollerblading in the mid 1990’s.  How the fuck is this even remotely possible?  Did that one super cool lax player sport Teva’s at his New England Boarding school one day, with his Nantucket Red Shorts, and they just spread like wildfire?

I know what the marketing ploy was – sandals you could wear to the beach and still be active in, as opposed to just regular old flip-flops.  You know what else work? A pair of sneakers.  Don’t want to get sand on your trendy New Balances (shit, I wear trendy New Balances), then wear a pair of old sneakers.  Better yet, you are at the fucking beach – don’t wear anything on your feet.

You know what the worst part is?  In 1995, my Dad had a pair of Teva’s and I didn’t.  And I was so jealous.  I wanted the straps, I wanted to be tan on half of my feet with white stripes cris-crossing.  Actually, that’s a lie, I wanted to have burnt red feet with white stripes cris-crossing.  Thankfully, my parents instead sent me off to camp that summer with a some tennis sneakers and a pair of shower flip flops.

But they also sent me with a bag full of rollerblading gear, and I probably looked like more of a dbag than this guy.  I guess that’s a bit of a digression, which is a sing it’s a good time to stop ripping people who thought this was cool.  So, Nifer, what about you? Do you agree Teva’s are lamer than any other shoe fashion? Anyone else who cares to weigh in feel free to leave a comment…

SHE SAID: Lame Shoes

July 22, 2009

There are so many options here, but I’m going to stick with a fad, as you clearly have, and while Crocs are just begging to be dubbed the ugliest shoes known to man yet again, I have to go with a relatively recent and new “invention”.


That just happened.  Vibram FiveFingers, “alternative performance footwear”, come in other, more offensive colors (ie: camo in case you want to point out to others that you’re an asshole without them having to go through the trouble of talking to you) and also come in mid calf height, in case the slipper variation wasn’t ugly enough for you.

These are one of those inventions that are supposedly life changing and really great for your feet, posture and balance.  However, I maintain that there is a way to do this without making your client look like a cartoon character.  Unless another goal was to have people point and laugh at the wearer, which, I mean, that’s funny.  I get it.

I agree that Tevas are horrendous, but what makes them the most horrendous is the socks worn in conjunction … while these are just really fucking ugly and whoever designed them should be placed in solitary confinement and heavily medicated so they not only design anything else, but don’t even conceive of another design.

Another point: we both chose shoes for the water enthusiast.  Clearly there is a market here for decent looking shoes that one can wear while boating, fishing, clamming, what have you.  Flip flops don’t stay on.  And while Jeremy thinks we should all save our beat up shoes instead of tossing them, I disagree.  Laces suck when you’re in a hurry and canvas and leather are not ideal for the water and don’t usually dry out overnight if you’re planning to use them two days in a row.  And not all of us, once we are over ten, want leather summer feet (not really sexy while playing footsie in bed).

So, Tevas are ugly, these are uglier, Keens are too bulbous, and Crocs are what to wear when you don’t want to get laid.  Questions?