Friday, September 30, 2005

**MOJO** - Fantastic Four Day 2

As we enter the last weekend of the season, the Sox sit one game back in the division. The previous 159 games have come down to the following: two to tie, three to win. To start the series off right, we continue with what brought us the walk off win yesterday: the first super team ever assembled, the Fantastic Four.

Today, it is the Invisible Woman who will guide us to another victory.

Geeks and nerds everywhere have reached a consensus that were the Four ever to battle each other, it would be Sue Storm that would come out on top. Don't forget that she not only can turn invisible herself, but also project invisible force fields as she chooses, a power with limitless possibilities. Those that underestimate the Invisible Woman are usually on the wrong end of a beating.

Invisible mojo is for helping many aspects of the game. For our base runners, so the fielders may forget about them and they can advance with impunity. For David Wells, to make his delivery harder to read, and for his curve and breaking pitches are impossible to pick up. For our batted balls, to slip through holes in the infield and find gaps in the outfield. These are the things that will bring the Red Sox to victory. And if that doesn't work, David Ortiz can always jack a few more over the wall. If he doesn't get the MVP, they might as well award it to Ray, the Tampa Bay mascot, because it doesn't matter who it goes to it would still be a travesty.

And for a little extra luck, I feel it is my duty to remind you that the Invisible Woman was played by none other than a woman whose hotness is only rivaled by the surface of the sun: Jessica Alba.

And with the team needing to get hot and stay hot, a little Jessica Alba mojo never hurt anybody... except Wang of course.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

**MOJO** - Fantastic Four Day 1

With the Red Sox one game back and four to play, it will take the mojo of the world's greatest family to guide them through. No, not the Osmonds. The Fantastic Four.

With the Sox dropping two straight in this most crucial of stretch of games, it is imperative that they remain strong. The temptation to give in may be strong, but they must not yield. They must stand resolute, like a rock. And so mojo turns to the living embodiment of that sentiment, Ben Grimm: The Thing.

Possessing superhuman strength and a gruff exterior with a hide to match, the Thing is just the type of hero the Red Sox need. The strength to power the ball off the bat, and the durability to withstand the Blue Jays attack. In a must win game, it will take all the Red Sox can muster of both to come out with a victory. The Blue Jays can be tough, but the Red Sox will be ready for them.

The Red Sox face off against Scott Downs. He too has a superpower, and even on alter-ego. By day, he may be mild mannered Scott Downs, but by night he is the "Slump Buster". Lets see the Red Sox get some early runs off the Blue Jays starter and get up early. With a little luck, the Red Sox can enter the series to decide the season tomorrow with a share of the AL East lead.

But until then: It's Clobberin' Time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

**MOJO** - Elemental Day 1

With the season winding to a close, we turn to the very life force of the planet. Not to be confused with the Periodic Table of the Elements, these are the mythical sources of all the planet's energy, and have long been used to influence magic and superstition. While in the midst of the most important stretch of the year, we call upon them to help the Red Sox clinch the division title.

And with the team needing to be "en fuego" for the last few games of the year, we look to the element of fire.

The entire team needs to get hot and stay hot. The offense needs to scorch some liners, much like Edgar Renteria has been doing the last few games. The defense needs to make some hot plays in the field, like Alex Cora always seems to manage when called upon. And Arroyo needs to bring the heat and sit down the Blue Jays batters with no damage done.

To say that the rest of this season is a trial by fire would be an understatement. If you can't stand the heat, get out of Fenway.

If you would like to participate in today's mojo from home you could light some candles (red ones), or even roll out the grill for an early Autumn cook out. After all there are few better ways to prepare food than fire-grilling.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

**MOJO** - Perseverance Day 4 (Game 1, Take 2)

With last night's rainout, the game has been moved until today at 1 PM. To add on to last night's dramatic hiker rescue mojo, we turn to someone who not only could serve as an inspiration to those in need like Aron Ralston, but someone who also know how could be useful in the dugout today to navigate the always treacherous doubleheader:

The bullpen may be held together with duct tape, but it will have to do.

For a little extra mojo, I'll be at the day game today (2-0 this season), and I'll be taking my mojo compatriot Pine Tar Helmet.

Monday, September 26, 2005

**MOJO** - Perseverance Day 4

Perseverance is something our starter tonight, Curt Schilling, might know a little something about. After all, it was just last year he made not one but two brilliant starts hobbled by an ankle he shouldn't have been able to walk on, much less pitch on. It is just this type of grit and determination which will carry the Red Sox to victory, and with this in mind we turn to one of the more dramatic stories of this nature: that of Aron Ralston.

For those of you who don't remember who Aron Ralston is, he was hiking in Utah in the spring of 2003, when a 1,000 pound boulder fell onto his right arm. After lying in the small canyon he was trapped in for 5 days with little food or water, he realized he needed to take drastic action and severed his own arm below the elbow with a dull multi-tool (is there anything they can't do?), applied first aid, and then hiked to safety.

Needless to say, the Red Sox situation isn't nearly this drastic. With seven days left until the end of the season, and only four until the dramatic showdown with New York, the Sox need to have saved their best baseball for last. The Red Sox remained tied for first, and a win today can also tie them with the Wild Card leading Indians. The postseason is getting closer, and it's going to take everything the Sox can muster to get there. Let Aron Ralston serve as an inspiration: don't give up hope and do what you have to do.

Magic number stands at 8, lets see it go down by tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

**MOJO** - Perseverance Day 3

Perseverance is not about strength. It is not about speed. It is not a question of ability. It is a question of will. The will to win can overcome some of the greatest of odds. Sometimes, the will to win is taking extra time in the batting cage, or doing extra fielding drills. Sometimes it is putting on your pink sweat suit and running to the Statue of Liberty.

If there is a living (pixelated) embodiment of Perseverance, it is Little Mac of the classic NES game Punch Out. A guy so weak it takes dozens of blows to knock down an opponent while being felled by far fewer. A guy so short he literally has to leap to connect with his opponents head. None of this matters to him, for even someone of such small stature, with a maximum amount of effort, can take down even the largest of opponents.

So adopt the scrappy, never say die spirit of Little Mac, and don't let up until John Maine and the Orioles look like Glass Joe, he of the 1-99 record.

Don't stop punching until the division and the belt are yours.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

**MOJO** - Perseverance Day 2

As the fight through the home stretch continues, Perseverance mojo is there to remind you to keep fighting on. Some like to say that fans do not have any influence over the players' performance. And while that may be a convenient thing for the individual fan who likes feely gloomy, it is not entirely true. While a single fan may not, the fan base as a whole most certainly does. The Boston Red Sox do not live inside a bubble, and they do hear the voices of Red Sox Nation. You might not be able to help Schilling regain his command or Millar go the opposite way, but that does not mean that contributing as part of a supporting fan base does not help in is own meaningful way. When sports writers talk of a player "moving to a playoff atmosphere" and "having a homefield advantage", they are talking about you.

This is not to say that the Red Sox are absolved from criticism. Sometimes there is the need for tough love (and sometimes, dare I say, an intervention), but that is part of being a support. Giving direction when direction is needed. With all of this in mind, we turn to today's mojo: the Iditarod.

This grueling 1200 mile sled dog race is the longest of its kind. The winner usually finishes over 9 days after he started, and many don't even finish at all. With 27 checkpoints along the way, the Iditarod is a great test of not only athletic ability (of the driver and of the dogs), but also of mental will.

The Red Sox still have a 9 day trek of their own they must complete. And just as the dogs pulling the sled need a driver to steer them, so must Red Sox Nation urge on the team to succeed as well.

So, to all those taking the field as well as the many more watching along: mush! We're almost done, keep sprinting until you've won. And if someone looks like they are starting to give, don't feel the need to spare the whip.

Friday, September 23, 2005

**MOJO** - Perseverance Day 1

In the past 2 days, the Red Sox have lost a game and a half to the dreaded Yankees, and now sit in second place just out of a playoff spot. This has caused many a Red Sox fan to entrench themselves firmly in "doom and gloom" mode, something we had all hoped we had seen the last of last October.

However, this is like quitting in the last 100 meters of a marathon. You've been keeping the faith in the Red Sox all year. Many have been doing it for their entire lifetime. Now, all is asked of you is to do it for 10 more days. Sure, it's a long season, and many of you are tired (as many of the Red Sox are, 30 days in 30 games will do that to you), but that is no reason to give up.

If your spirit is cramping up, just grab yourself a Gatorade and speed those mojo electrolytes back into your system.

Win one more than NYY over the next 7 and take 2 of 3 at home. This is no miracle. This will be business as usual.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

**MOJO** - Sitcom Cliches Day 2

In tonight's episode of "The Red Sox": the gang try and cheer up teammate Edgar Renteria with a blind date... with hilarious results.

(scene: the Red Sox clubhouse in Tampa Bay)

[The team exchanges high fives after a big win over the Devil Rays.]

Manny: Hey, David, your two Home Runs were awesome.
David: No, YOUR two home runs were awesome.
Trot: Yeah, well my 4 hits almost made it for a cycle. Lets see you guys hit a triple!
David: Hey, I've hit... (counts on fingers) nine! (canned laughter)
Varitek: Hey, are you guys talking about getting four hits! Do you have any idea how many phone numbers this gotten me? I got 50 today, and those are just the ones addressed to my ass. (canned laughter)
Trot: I got enough to use as a towel to clean off my hat... not that I would.
Manny: I asked to see David's pile once. It was like the ending to Miracle on 34th street. Bags and bags of phone numbers, all addressed to Big Papi. (canned laughter)

(All resume high fiving and man-hugging each other. Meanwhile, Edgar Renteria forlornly enters the locker room and mopes his way to his locker.)

Damon: Awww guys, take it easy. Edgar's upset because he didn't get a hit tonight and no one is passing him any numbers.
Renteria: Sometimes I feel like I'll never get a hit and I'll be the biggest loser on Earth!
Shoppach: Hey! (canned laughter)
Wakefield: Hey guys come here (they huddle away from Renteria) we should set Edgar up on a date tonight, you know, to boost his confidence.
Mirabelli: That's a great idea. There's a nice place to eat up the road from here. Serves great fried chicken. Some Hall of Famer used to go there all the time.
Wakefield: Does anyone know where we can get him a date.
Millar: Don't worry. I know me a guy.
Mueller: But how will we know if it goes well.

[circle wipe - scene: The lobby of a nice restaurant. The Red Sox are walking to the maitre d' dressed in suits, hats, trench coats and sunglasses.]

Varitek: Table for 39, please. (canned laughter)

(The meal is going nicely, and Edgar's 6' 3" date is laughing heartily at his jokes. So loudly you can see the laugh shake her Adam's Apple. In the background we see the members of the Red Sox all piled onto one side of the table peering over their menus, as they have been for the entire evening.)

Edgar: Will you excuse me for a moment. I have to use the little shortstop's room.
Date: (Husky voice) No problem, cutie. (Edgar walks over to the Red Sox table.)
Edgar: Hey guys, you can stop spying on me now. (The team acts in disbelief.)
Timlin: Wow, what a coincidence that we'd be eating at the same restaurant!
Edgar: Nice try, but I spotted you guys as soon as you came in.
Mueller: But how did you know it was us?
Edgar: Well, next time, maybe you, Trot, Graffy, and Tek shouldn't wear your suit pants tucked into pulled up red socks. It is kind of easy to spot. And who's idea was it to set me up with a guy? (Every one stares at Millar.)
Millar: Hey, I said "I knew me a guy!"
All: Millar! (Millar puts a lamp shade on his head and pulls out a bottle of Jack Daniels)
Millar: Well, let's party! (Freeze frame on everyone laughing as "Louie, Louie" begins to play.)

And as we come to the conclusion of another thrilling episode of "The Red Sox", the team learns a valuable lesson: all slumps come to an end, sometimes in ways you might not expect. Lets have everyone contribute today as they did working as a team to cheer up Renteria today to help Wakefield get the win, and let's especially see Renteria return the favor by having a big night tonight.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

**MOJO** - Sitcom Cliches Day 1

On tonight's episode of "The Red Sox": The Red Sox just found out their bosses (Schilling and Ortiz) are coming over for dinner, and there's no time to prepare!

Varitek: OK guys, Shilling and Ortiz are coming over for dinner, and we really need to impress them to get that promotion we've been wanting so we can win tonight.
Millar: I can get them fried chicken! (canned laughter)
Varitek: No thanks. Wells, I'm putting you in charge of food, seeing as you are so... you look like you like food. (canned laughter)
Petagine: I'm a 5-star chef, maybe I can help.
Francona: Sorry, Roberto. We need someone to stand on the roof and make sure no helicopters land on it. In some ways it's the most important job there is. (canned laughter).
Varitek: OK, bullpen guys, why don't you go help out in the kitchen. Manny and Edgar, you guys are setting the table. Johnny, pick out some music. Trot and Mueller, find some nice suits for everyone to wear. Millar... don't get drunk. Everyone else, find something useful to do.

[circle wipe - "Later That Night"]

Chaos in the dining room. Manny and Edgar have been dropping plates left and right. Johnny picked out some nice club music, but now the stereo has a velvet rope around it and none of the other players can get in. Trot and Bill pick up nice suits... but somehow covered them all in dirt and pine tar on the way home. Youkilis got confused about what he should be doing and drove to Pawtucket. Oleurd is standing expressionless in the middle of the room, wearing a helmet. Sveum has been standing at the front door waving in complete strangers off the street.

The kitchen is a complete mess: Hansen and Papelbon overcooked everything. Myers and Bradford got in an argument with Harville and Gonzalez over the proper way to add ingredients: from the top or from the side. Foulke somehow forgot what food is. Timlin is doing all right, but now he's in charge of making everything and could really use some help back there.

Varitek: Oh no guys! This place is a disaster and Schilling and Ortiz will be here any minute. [door bell rings] Dale, stall them at the door!
Sveum: Wave them in? You got it!
Varitek: Uh... I can explain...
Schilling: I can't believe this.
Ortiz: You threw us a big party!
Schilling: This is fantastic!
Varitek: It is?
Schilling: It sure is. The promotion is yours.
Ortiz: And don't worry about the win, Curt and I will take care of that.
Millar: [stumbles out of closet with Jack Daniels and a lamp shade on his head] All right, let's party!!
ALL: Millar! (freeze frame as everybody laughs together, and "Louie, Louie" begins to play.

And another delightful episode of "The Red Sox" comes to a close. Just a friendly reminder that no matter what crazy hijinx may ensue, it all works out in the end.

Monday, September 19, 2005

**MOJO** - Pirate Day 1

Ahoy! Prepare to be boarded!

Arrr, it be pirate mojo today, mateys, as all the lubbers crawl out to join in t' fun o' today's holiday: International Talk Like A Pirate Day. This be my kind o' day!

The Sox set sail today fer the coast of Tampa Bay, for treasure, o' course!

Let's see what these directions be? Begin where ye see two rectangles, turn east and walk 90 paces. Turn north and go another 90 paces. Turn to t' west, and walk another 90 paces. Finally, ye be turning to t' south and walkin' 90 paces. Yer treasure lies beneath a marker shaped like a house. Find t' marker, matey, and ye will be greatly rewarded with some booty.

And I know how ye like bonus mojo, so here be bonus bad pirate jokes (courtesy of Capt. Bloodgulch Roache).

Q: What is a pirate's favorite country?
A: ARRRRRRRRgentina.

Q: Have you heard about the new pirate movie?

Q: What is a pitate's favorite aspect of computational linguistics?
A: PARRRRRRRRsing sentences.

Q: How does a pirate find out when he's going to be attacked?
A: He watches Sea-Span.

Q: Why are pirates so mean?

Q: Who is a pirate's favorite slugger on the Red Sox?
A: David Ortiz (these days, even pirates have a hard time loving Kevin MillARRRRRRRRRR)

Avast, ye filthy bilge rats, get yerself some grog and talk like a pirate fer mojo's sake, or it be t' plank fer you!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

**MOJO** - Boston Day 3

With the Red Sox wrapping up their four game set with the Oakland Athletics today, it only seems appropriate to send them off with a little local flavor. And Boston has plenty of local flavor to offer for mojo.

For the offense, is a nice hearty bowl of Boston baked beans, with some brown bread to help it down.

A big bowl of beans for some more big innings worth of offense. The pitching has been picking up the slack the past few times, it's time for the offense to do it's part and score some more runs. Of course, no matter what happens, I won't envy Brad Mills with what that bench must end up smelling like.

For Matt Clement and the pitching staff, we provide perhaps the most recognizable dish to come from a New England kitchen: clam chowder.

A hot bowl of chowda (Show-dair? Say it right, Frenchy!) is just thing to continue the hot starts by the Red Sox starters. It's a streak this mojo would like to see continue, so crack in a few oyster crackers and hope Matt Clement can keep it going.

For the defense, more sweet plays like Alex Cora's web gem last night would certainly be welcome. So a little dessert goes out to tonight's second baseman and the rest of the defense:

Of course, we need something to wash it down. So for Tito and the rest of the coaching staff, a little Boston lager should hit the spot.

Just remember the slogan: "Always a good decision." I'm looking at you Sveum.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

**MOJO** - Boston Day 2

Hometown mojo rolls on after the ultra rare walk-off HBP in extra frames last night. Today, we turn to what Ron Burgundy would refer to as "diversity", or otherwise known as an "old, old wooden ship.

The U.S.S. Constitution was commissioned back in 1797, and now rests in Boston Harbor for visitors to see. Built to be powerful enough to defeat an enemy of equivalent strength and fast enough to outsail a stronger opponent, "Old Ironsides" was the class of the Navy, and is the oldest ship still in commission. The U.S.S. Constitution brings with it traditional mojo, for the Sox to do what they have always done well, score runs. To be powerful enough to knock the ball out of the yard, and swift enough to manufacture a run when you have to.

With Bronson Arroyo taking the hill today, we turn to another frigate docked in Boston Harbor: the Boston Tea Party Ship.

In response to the Tea Act of 1773, Boston Patriots boarded the vessels of the East India Company docked in Boston Harbor and threw 342 crates of tea overboard. This act of defiance sparked a rash of demonstrations throughout the American Colonies. Last night, Tim Wakefield provided the spark with his 9 inning performance, lets see a full blown Party break out with Arroyo's start today.

And for a little extra Boston mojo today, I'll be sitting out in Sec 43 with a host of other Royal Rooters enjoying the game. Here's to them, and to those that can't be there in person:

Friday, September 16, 2005

**MOJO** - Boston Day 1

With the Red Sox back in Fenway for another homestand, it seemed that it was about time the team's host city chipped in with a little mojo. And with this post coming to you from within city limits (for the first time ever), it seemed appropriate.

Welcome to Boston (Mojo)

With the team taking the field, it is only natural to look to Boston's premier green spaces: the Boston Common and it's lesser known neighbor, the Public Gardens.

Few things are more enjoyable than spending time in the common on a sunny afternoon (except maybe relaxing in Fenway on that very same afternoon). The Common's mojo is for a nice relaxing game where the Red Sox victory is never in doubt. Score big and early, so our hearts can take a break for once. Lets have the game be less like boarding one of these:

And more like boarding one of these:

Tonight's game will be about teamwork, especially when at the plate. That means getting on base for those hitting behind you, and more importantly, getting timely hits when there are "ducks on the pond".

With Wakefield on the mound, the knuckler always likes a little extra mojo, and the Common isn't one to let him down. Let's have Wake's pitches today look like it's an afternoon game of pickup among friends. Except he's still Tim Wakefield, and he gets to throw one of these:

I hate to tell you this, Oakland but, psst:

(special thanks to Tony Lonardo for providing me with a couch to sleep on and a PC to post from)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

**MOJO** - Sauce Day 2

With rain rolling in, we call on some defiant mojo to keep the showers away. We're throwing a barbecue!

And what BBQ would be complete with a large helping of BBQ Sauce? Barbecue sauce goes great with just about everything coming off the grill. It's great on chicken, it's great on burgers , it's a must have. Perhaps best of all, is when it is coating a nice rack of ribs.

So say "nerts" to rain and lets have the Red Sox come out slugging against Joe Blanton and the A's. Curt Schilling will be making his first start since taking his trip in the Wayback Machine, and he gets a little something extra since we want his start to be freakin' sweet.

Let's not have any rain ruin our delicious cook out. Dig in folks, the food is straight from the grill. Oh, and you might need this:

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

**MOJO** - Sauce Day 1

In yesterday's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox looked flat and uninspired. They needed to be transformed into something with a little more flavor, as David Ortiz likes to say. And Buffalo Sauce just might do the trick. After all, what else can turn this:

Into this:

Buffalo sauce is just the hot and spicy thing to add to the mix to jumpstart the Red Sox team. Of course, the hot flavor of buffalo sauce may not agree with the delicate palette of some people. But of course, the same can be said of tonight's starter, David Wells. Lets hope that sauce mojo can bring Wells a much needed win from the Skydome.

Enjoy the win(gs)!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

**MOJO** - Periodic Table of the Elements Day 2

Once again, we turn to science to bring the Red Sox the mojo needed to overcome the Toronto Blue Jays.

#30 Zinc

Zinc is an incredibly useful mineral. It is used in batteries, in galvanizing metal, and is a vital mineral in keeping a healthy body. It is the fourth most common mineral in use today. In fact it would be hard to imagine a world without zinc.

It also would be hard to imagine a Red Sox team without Matt Clement. He has been one of our more consistent starters this year, and has flourished in Boston. With the help of zinc, lets hope Clement can dispatch with the Blue Jays quickly and easily.

#29 Copper

Copper his a reddish metal with a high conductivity. Copper is used frequently in wire and conduit for its ease in transmitting energy. Copper also is used much in cookware for it's ability to transmit heat. In fact, copper is one of the few metals used more than zinc is.

Copper is here for Keith Foulke, for a little mojo to help him regain his electric stuff.

Of course, let's not forget: What do you get when you start off with zinc and cap it off with copper? Well, in the words of Vince Vaughn in Swingers, you are so money and you don't even know it.