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Yep, that’s right, I’m already dreaming of spring and all the wonderful things that come with it. Must be the two seed catalogues I got in the mail yesterday. Can’t wait to get out there and dig in the dirt!

Or maybe it’s the weather; in the 60’s today with lots and lots of sunshine. Sure does feel like spring to me!

Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been spending quite a bit of time online looking at the Red Sox home page, checking out the Spring Training schedule and counting down the days till the first Grapefruit League game. March 3rd! That’s only 61 days away!

Happy New Year everybody–and here’s to a better year for the Sox!

 

 

Take a look at the headlines on the Boston Red Sox site this morning:

Sox get bruised, battered by charging Rays

After early exit, Lackey hopes to make next start

MRI shows bursitis in Youkilis’ left hip

Beckett making progress; Bedard strains lat

and

Weiland looks to snap Boston’s three-game skid

Yikes! You have to look really hard to find any good news there. Come on guys, I know it’s been a long season but now is not the time to fall apart, not with the Yankees 2 1/2 games in front and Tampa Bay snapping at our heels for the wild card spot. You have less than 20 games left in the season, surely you can last that long.

Can’t you? Yes, you can. I know you can. You’re back at home now and that’s where you play your best baseball so please, please, snap out of it!

Yay for TOMS Shoes and their One Day Without Shoes!  In case you haven’t heard of this, TOMS Shoes is asking everyone to spend at least a little time today barefoot so we’ll all know what it’s like for those who don’t have shoes.  I can get behind that since I spend quite a bit of time without shoes every day, especially now that spring has finally arrived.  The thing is, I choose to go barefoot but some people don’t have the choice.  So, go ahead, kick off your shoes and walk around in your bare feet for a while–and don’t forget to imagine  what it would be like if you didn’t have the option of putting your shoes back on.  Oh, and the next time you’re shopping for shoes, think about buying a pair of TOMS Shoes, they’ll donate a pair to someone who needs them for every pair you buy!

In the Say It Ain’t So department (aka Nay!) the Red Sox lost again last night.  Phhffftttt!  But like I said in yesterday’s post, we still have a lot of games to go and I refuse to start worrying–yet!  My thoughts on the two lost games–they’re not playing like a team.  I’m hoping by the All-star break they’ll be more comfortable with each other and able to think like a team.  Of course, that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong!

And finally, someone in Hollywood is making a movie that isn’t a remake.  Universal is filming Cowboys & Aliens and it sounds like a movie I’d really like to see.  And it sure doesn’t hurt–in my eyes, at least, that Harrison Ford has just signed on as one of the stars.  Okay!

Hilarious interview on the Dames of Dialogue today…with a dog!  Yep, that’s right, I said a dog.  But Bo isn’t just any dog, he blogs and he has a book out too.  Check it out and don’t forget to leave Bo a woof comment!

In other news, we’re two games into the baseball season and after two games, the Red Sox and Yankees are tied for first place in the AL East.  Fabulous game on Sunday night but last night…not so much.  Oh well, we still have 160 games to go and who knows how it will all turn out.  My prediction?  New York will be defending their title in the World Series.

Of course, I’ve been known to be wrong at times and yes, I’m probably only saying that because I’m superstitious.  I only know one thing for sure; baseball is finally back and I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

Here’s wishing all the teams good luck!

*especially the Red Sox!

That’s directed at the Red Sox.  Come on guys, do whatever you have to do to break out of this horrible slump you’re in.  You’re better than this and I, along with all your other fans, don’t like seeing you in last place in the AL East, not even this early in the season.  For cripes sake, even Toronto’s doing better than you.  Then again, they’re doing better than New York and Tampa Bay too, so I guess it’s not all bad.  Nah, forget I said that, this is bad, very bad and I sincerely hope it won’t last.

Okay, that’s it.  Just had to get that off my chest.  I know it’s not anybody’s fault but we need a win or two…or heck, let’s think big and go for a couple dozen.  I know you can do it!  Well, okay, maybe not out west because that’s never been your favorite stomping grounds, but please once you get back to Fenway, do us all a favor and give your fans something to smile about again!

The world, at least my little corner of it, will be a better place for it!

Post-season baseball, you gotta love it!  Especially when your team makes it to the play-offs.  Yep, Boston didn’t win the division–kudos to the Tampa Bay Rays!–but they snagged the wild-card and that’s good enough for me.  I’m pretty sure they won’t make it to the World Series again, but at least I get this chance to watch my favorite players in action.  And I have to say if the Rays make it all the way this year, I’ll be watching and cheering them on.  Because, hey, I write romance, nothing I love more than a Cinderella story with a happy ending and I think the Rays are just the team to give it to me this year.

I’m not counting the Red Sox out just yet and I’m singing Tessie every chance I get and wearing my ratty 2004 World Series champions t-shirt or my not quite as bedraggled 2007 World Series champions sweatshirt and driving myself crazy following all my other Red Sox superstitions.  I fully admit to a bit of…um, “not this year” thinking, but they’ve proved me wrong before.  Like in 2004, when I thought the Yankees had them beat.  Or last year when I was sure they’d never get past Cleveland to make it to the series.   In fact, they did it as recently as Tuesday night–er, early Wednesday morning–when they beat the Angels in their first post-season game. 

So go on guys, prove me wrong some more!  I promise, I won’t mind at all!

Oh, before I forget, is it just me, or is every other Red Sox fan of the female persuasion crushing on Jacoby Ellsbury?  I have to tell you, if I were still a young girl, his picture would be up in my room just like Tony C’s was once upon a time.  Not only is he gorgeous, he can hit, run like the wind, and when he makes one of those diving catches that are becoming something of a trademark for him, well, shivers and goosebumps!  And now, I see on the Boston Red Sox site that he’s started a blog on MLBlogs, Jacoby Ellsbury’s Postseason Blog.  Hmmm…bet he gets a gazillion comments from the female contingent of Red Sox Nation.  Beyond that, I wish him all the luck in the world with his blog and I hope he gets to continue writing new entries for a long time–at least until the major league baseball season is truly over for this year!

Great game last night between the Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers.  Tim Wakefield pitched eight scoreless innings and the offense scored five runs for him.  I love to hear that.  Wish I could’ve seen it too, but you know how it is down here in North Carolina, about the only baseball you get to see on a regular basis is the Atlanta Braves’ games.  Although TBS and ESPN are doing a better job this year of broadcasting games from around the league, my husband isn’t a big fan of baseball and with my tendency to read instead of watch TV, it’s a rare thing these days for me to watch a baseball game.

But I wish I had seen the game last night because I always love to watch Wake pitch.  It amuses me to see him baffle the opposing team with a pitch that just floats over the plate at a slow speed.  For some reason they have a hard time figuring out how to hit it.  I haven’t hit a baseball in longer than I care to remember, but I watch Wake pitch and think, why can’t those guys hit that thing?  I guess it’s because the ball comes in at that diminished speed, they’re used to pitches that pass them by in the blink of an eye and the slowness of Wake’s knuckleball, coupled with the way they dance over the plate are just, IMO, beautiful.  Most of the time the batter’s stand there after Cash catches the ball and the look on their face says it all, like, “What the hell?”  I love that.

Something else happened in the game last night that I love, Ortiz and Manny hit back to back homeruns for the first time this season.  Big Papi’s was, as always, a thing of beauty, but Manny, well, Manny’s was priceless–at least for me, because well, you know how I feel about Manny.  Last night’s was number 497 and that swing of his looks so effortless and easy, like he’s doing what comes natural to him and loving every minute of it.  I keep hearing the ESPN announcers and reading articles written by other sports reporters on-line that say Manny has the sweetest right-hand swing in baseball.  Yep, they got that one right.  And I’m not just saying that because I’m a fangirl of his.  Really, watch it sometime and I think you’ll agree–smooth and easy, his bat just floats through the air, but it’s deadly…

Kind of like Wake’s pitching!

If you’d like to see the videos–I really hope I do this right!–click here and enjoy!  I sure did!

 

First, there was the unfurling of the World Series Champion banner–yippee and yahoo!–then came the presentation of the rings–was it just me, or did the picture of Big Papi showing off his two rings along with the one of Paps admiring his one, say it all?–and then we had…Buckner.  Buckner?  Yeah, that’s right, Bill Buckner back at Fenway and I have to say, I’m proud of the way the Boston fans greeted him.  And that press conference afterward?  Well, emotional is putting it mildly.

The thing is…I never really considered how the whole 1986 um, Buckner bauble and the treatment he received from the fans and press affected his family.  And okay, I admit it, not so much him, either.  I think it would be safe to say most Red Sox fans didn’t think about him or his feelings, but I’m so glad they didn’t boo him when he returned to Fenway last night.  Maybe now, he can put that part of his life behind him, or at least accept that Red Sox Nation is willing to forgive and forget.  Okay, maybe not forget, but with two World Series championships in our pockets, we’ve put it behind us.  So, I offer my formal apology to Buckner for all the nasty things I ever thought or said about him and I hope he feels better about the whole thing.

After all the ceremony, it was time to play some ball–and play some ball is exactly what my boys did.  From Dice-K going 6 2/3 scoreless innings–is it possible he’s going to surpass Josh Beckett this season and become our ace in the hole?–to the outstanding offense and their five runs–of which my man, Manny was responsible for one.  Yay, Manny!–it was an opening night to remember, not to mention a big relief for me–and I’m sure most of the rest of Red Sox Nation! 

Tonight, we have Jon Lester going against the Tigers’ Bonderman and…who knows what will happen?  That’s one of the best things about baseball–or any sport for that matter–you just never know.  So, beyond the penchant of most professional athletes to utter those infamous words, “you know”, every ten seconds when they’re talking or being interviewed–and don’t even get me started on that personal pet peeve–the thing is…we don’t know. 

The only thing I do know, is I’ll keep watching and cheering for my favorite teams and players, and I’ll occassionally write about what’s happening with my boys–but not too often, because, well, you know how superstitious I am.  Wouldn’t want to jinx the chance for a repeat!

Speaking of repeats, congratulations to Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols–you did us proud again, ladies! 

Rocky Top, you’ll always be,
Home sweet home to me;
Good ol’ Rocky Top,
Rocky Top, Tennessee!

Wow, a lot of things happened while I was away on vacation!  I’ll try to keep this short, but fair warning, it may run a tad long.  Hmm, maybe I should break it down in categories…

First up, baseball.  Not feeling too happy with my boys right now, but hey, we’re only six games into the season and they have plenty of time to pull out of this hole they’ve dug themselves into–last place in the AL East.  Ugh, I hate saying that, but those are the facts and everybody knows Boston has one of the toughest schedules in the majors during April, so I’m not angsting over it–too much!  I am glad they made it back from Japan safely and truthfully, I didn’t expect them to do well following that long trip.

I’m taking comfort in the thought that after 18 days, four cities, and three countries, they had to be exhausted and the losses in the past week probably have them feeling as frustrated as the fans.  Tomorrow is opening day at Fenway and after today’s off day, I’m hoping they’ll be rested enough that they’ll be able to pull off a win against the Tigers.  Playing at home is always better and as Scarlet O’Hara said, tomorrow’s another day.  Let’s hope so!

Second, Amazon.  Grrr!  They’re flexing their considerable muscle and trying to force publishers to switch to their POD company, BookSurge, a move that has the potential to seriously hurt small press publishers and their authors.  I’m a newbie at this whole print thing–my first print book won’t be out until August–and don’t really understand all of it, but from what I’ve read the whole thing sucks.  I know my publisher is working to alleviate any worry for its authors and coming up with appropriate plans to keep our books out there, but I really don’t like Amazon right now.  Suffice it to say, they’ll get no more of my business until they stop acting like the playground bully and stop employing these kinds of scare tactics. 

And speaking of my publisher, they just sent through the link to a humorous assessment by Jock Stewart on his Morning Satirical News blog about what’s been going on with Amazon:  Nile Books Tells Publishers ‘We’re the Only Game in Town.’  Take a few minutes to read it, you’ll appreciate the humor, even if you’re not an author with a book to sell on Amazon.

They–L&L Dreamspell–also just sent their authors some good news about Barnes and Noble where our books are concerned.  It’s too complicated to go into here–and yeah, being a newbie, I don’t understand it all–so I’ll just say it’s further proof that this publisher really knows how to take care of their authors!  Thanks L&L!

Third, the world of e-publishing.  I understand the owner of New Concepts is still sending out bitchy emails about what’s going on with them.  I’m not saying they’re going down, but if I were one of their authors, I’d be busy circling the wagons against attacks from this woman and her shady unprofessional business dealings.  And please, please, if you’re an aspiring author, listen to everything that’s being said and avoid this publisher at all costs.

Dark Eden Press is now officially closed and I’ve heard the authors all received their rights back from the owner.  I’ve also heard some rumblings which lead me to believe this closing wasn’t really a matter of personal illness and that the owner has done a few things which give some people the impression that she’s not handling the closing as professionally as she’d like everyone to believe.  Don’t know what the truth is here and I’m reluctant to bring this up, but it has me wondering–especially after seeing a copy of an email to her authors from one of the owner’s pals (?) that said they had so many submissions to one of their lines that they decided to “give” them to another e-publisher.  WTF?  Can they do that?  And if they can, did they bother to check with the authors of those submissions first?  Because I’ve heard some rumblings about the publisher they chose to “give” them to and I don’t think if I was one of those authors, I’d be very happy about this.  Sure, it’s a chance to be published, but given the word I’ve heard on this particular publisher, I think I’d run as fast as I could in the other direction before signing with them–and I have to wonder how many new authors will know to check them out thoroughly before they sign?

Okay, that’s enough for now.  This thing is way too long so I’ll have to save the news about my vacation for a different post.  See ya’ later! 

I don’t know what made me do it, but this morning as I was eating breakfast and entertaining myself surfing the Internet, I turned on the TV and guess what I found?  Baseball!  Yep, my boys were playing their season opener again the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo.  How come I didn’t know that?  I would’ve been up at the crack of dawn if I had known ESPN was going to broadcast the game. 

And believe me, I will be tomorrow morning!

So, I came into the game late, around the eighth inning, and the Red Sox were behind.  Bummer, but I started singing Tessie as I poured another cup of coffee and it wasn’t long before Tessie worked her magic again.  In the ninth, Brandon Moss–a last minute replacement for J. D. Drew–hit his first homerun in the majors and tied the game.

Believe me, that was better than ten cups of coffee to get me going!

Then, when the game went into extra innings, I got to see my favorite player, Manny Ramirez, do his thing.  And oh boy, was it a thing of beauty!  With Julio Lugo on second base, Oakland decided to walk David Ortiz and take their chances with Manny instead.  Wrong decision on their part, but I love it when that happens, especially when it plays out like it did today!  Manny hit a double–which came close to being a homerun–Big Papi and Lugo rounded third and headed for home and the Red Sox won their first game of the season.  Woo-hoo!  

The thing is…I really don’t get it when teams intentionally walk Ortiz and take their chances with Manny.  It always makes me shake my head.  Just doesn’t make sense to me, but then, like Oakland manager, Bob Geren, said, “they’re both great hitters and you have to pick one or the other.”  And I guess, in the case of Ortiz and Manny, it sometimes seems like the classic no-win scenario.  I’m just glad they play for my team.

So, baseball’s back and with it comes the Red Sox, Manny, and unlimited hope for another winning season.  God’s in His heaven, smiling down at all us baseball fans, and at least for the moment, all’s right in my world…

play ball!