Saturday, March 27, 2004

My Kingdom For A Screened-In Porch

I was at my parents' house today, which is located on the beautiful (but often stinky) Long Island Sound. Being at the beach always reminds me of being a little kid. I think my favorite baseball memories are the ones where I'm watching the Red Sox on the screened-in porch at my Grandpa's cottage, which was also on the Connecticut shore. (Specifically that game in '86 where the Sox beat the Indians 24-5, and Spike Owen scored six runs, which was cool because I also had a cat named Spike, who probably scored at least six mice that day.)

It was always such an exotic experience to watch the game at my Grandpa's, because he got TV 38. At home, we only got a few games on the Connecticut affiliate, so it was the same announcers and everything, but to actually be watching 38 was always cool. I'd get to see the ads for other shows on 38, which our station would cut off: "Catch Hogan's Heroes after the game here on WSBK, TV 38."

The key to life is a screened-in porch. People are always tryin' to get money so they can get a huge house and lots of toys. But for me, if I can just get myself a screened-in porch, I'll be all set.

You don't need money to live like a millionaire. If you're doing what you want to do, what more do you need? Plus, all the money in the world couldn't buy the memories I already have.

I just hope that one day I can look back at myself as an adult on a screened-in porch, watching the Red Sox in the year they won the World Series.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

NY Media Misinformation Update 3/23

If your only source of baseball information is WFAN in NYC, which it is for a LOT of people, you think that Kim is starting the season as the Red Sox fifth starter.

Mike & the Mad Dog were trying to figure out the starters in the first Sox-y*nks series in mid-April. After they figured out the y*nkee pitchers, they went through the Sox pitchers:
Pedro Sunday, Schilling Tuesday, Lowe Wednesday, Wake Thursday, okay, accurate so far. Then it gets crazy. Mike: "Friday's the home opener, so they won't pitch Kim, they'll probably go back to Pedro." Dog: "I don't know, I think they might not put that much emphasis on this series where they'd skip Kim." (?) Mike: I think they'll go Pedro for the home opener..." Mike then explains Pedro's next turn would be the Thurs. right before the y*nkee series, so he'll wait 2 days, Schil pitches Fri night, then Pedro on Sat. He also says that Schil said he wants that first game, and since Pedro has the season AND home openeres, Schil will get the y*nkee opener.

Now we Red Sox fans know that Kim is injured, and will be starting the season on the DL. And we've heard more than once now that Bronson Arroyo WILL start thye home opener. You'd think they could've checked the web for like five seconds, so they wouldn't have to sit there arguing over Kim vs. Pedro for the home opener, when Arroyo has been slated to start by the manager already.

Terrible job, guys.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Baseball/Politics/Music (couldn't think of a clever title for this one)

If you read that last post, you deserve a short one now. Go.

I'm gonna quote Billy Crystal here. (C'mon, he was funny in the SNL years, plus he was nice to my sister when she said 'hi' to him at the Claridge Hotel pool in Atlantic City in like '85.) And this isn't the exact quote, but it was something like, "Baseball was the only thing I had in common with my father."

This is far from the truth for me, (For example, my father and and I, besides being Red Sox fans, both enjoy blackjack, as well as body-surfing.) however, the point is, baseball has a way of bringing people together who otherwise wouldn't want to be in the same room as each other. Although in my case, it's the Red Sox specifically as opposed to baseball in general. Like if I see someone wearing a Red Sox hat, unless they're murdering someone, I know I'll have a special connection with them. And I don't know if y*nkee fans have that going for them. Because, let's say when you're not in the Northeast, when you see a Sox hat, you can be pretty sure that the person under it is a fan, and you'll probably end up discussing where each of you is from in New England, and other Red Sox-related stories, and even if one of you has a Go Vegan T-Shirt on, and the other is wearing a George Bush, uh, I don't know, belt buckle, it doesn't matter because you've both survived life as a Sox fan.

But, on the other hand, the y*nkee hat is more of the default hat. Like if I saw someone in Idaho with a y*nkee hat, I'm guessin' it fell off a truck and they just picked it up and put it on for the hell of it; OR, they got it in '97 to replace that Braves hat that was gettin' shoddy. You know what I'm talkin' about.

Same goes with the music scene. I was in a band for 3 years, and I still go to a lot of shows, and I get a lot of people seeing my Sox hat and telling me they're a fan as well, even though you wouldn't think they cared about baseball by lookin' at 'em. So a musician with a B on their hat is someone who's passionate about music and the Red Sox. A musician with an NY on their hat is someone who plays music and is trying to cut down on glare.

The Sympathizers

As promised, here's the article/post about Red Sox-sympathizing y*nkee fans.
Note that I realize that not all people/fans fit into the categories mentioned below.

Okay, so I've been thinking about this a lot. It's hard not to, with all this sympathizing going on around me. Well, maybe not that much. But compared to the past it has. When I was growing up, there were Red Sox fans, and y*nkee fans. And you had the odd kid who probably went on to a career in, I don't know, jail...who'd say, I'm a y*nkee fan AND a Red Sox fan. By age three I already knew that that didn't make any sense. But for the most part, y*nkee fans didn't like the Red Sox, and vise versa. Let me rephrase that: Me and the other one or two Sox fans I knew down here in southwest CT didn't like the y*nkees, and everyone else didn't like the Sox.

Nowadays, I have a lot of y*nkee fans telling me that they hope the Red Sox win the World Series. And that they think the y*nks' money issues are ridiculous. When I hear this stuff from y*nkee fans, my initial thought is "Sweet! Good to know you've got a brain in that huge head of yours." Heh heh. But then I think, NO, this isn't right. There is a marriage between the two teams. No, an anti-marriage. And an anti-marriage can't survive without a strong hate and deep distrust among the two parties involved!

Then I calm down, and try to see if I can find some kind of formula that shows me which y*nkee fans drift toward the border of Red Sox Nation, and which kind won't even leave the mansion--except for shopping. ("This Mondeci didn't fit, can I get a refund? Oh, and where do you keep your A-Rods?" "Aisle three, sir.")

I thought maybe politics had something to do with it. Off the top of my head, I can think of four friends who started off their lives as y*nkee fans and are left-wingers. One of them bought a Red Sox hat recently and truly wants to see us win it all. Another said, upon hearing of the A-Rod trade, "I'm getting close to fully rooting for the Red Sox." The third has long since rooted in Southern California, and the last time I talked to him, he said, "This 'Boston Sucks, Y*nkees Suck' thing is so PLAYED OUT...Come to California, go to the park, and have a picnic!" But the fourth, despite marrying a Sox fan, and not really caring about baseball that much, still LOVES to bash the Sox, and I don't see a conversion any time soon.

So 3 out of 4 liberal y*nkee fans will be sympathetic to "the plight." I guess. Nah, theory doesn't work. Although maybe the guy at the bookstore(see preview to this post) makes it 4 out of 5, assuming that there's roughly an 80% chance a bookseller would be a left-winger based on my experience working at one. And my cousin through marriage, he's a y*nkee fan who doesn't seem to mind the Sox, and he's a musician, which, unless he plays country or southern redneck rock, means he's a lefty. (And, a little off the subject, I've met quite a few other musicians who've seen my Sox hat and said, Hey, me too!)*see next post.

Okay, well, since I don't like to bring politics into baseball,*(again, see next post) I'll just put it this way: People who are creative and do cool things, who happened to get stuck with the y*nks at an early age, are smart enough to see the reality of the situation, and can find it in their hearts to feel for the Red Sox fans.

Mind you, as I write this, I'm imagining all these people I described above sitting on thrones with big cigars and y*nkee memorabilia behind them, laughing and saying, "Yeah, I saw that Sox fan again today, and get this: I told him I'd like to see Boston win the World Series! Ha ha ha ha ha! And he bought it!! Ahhhh-ha ha ha ha ha!" (Note: a true y*nkee fan will always refer to the Red Sox as simply "Boston." In fact, those are the hardest ones to deal with. If they say, "How's Boston doing?" right to your face, just walk away, man.)

So yeah, maybe to solve my little mystery I need to hear what y*nkee fans say to each other about the Red Sox BEHIND closed doors.

But I keep coming back to the anti-marriage thing. Do I want my friends to join me or hate me (in baseball fandom terms)?

This brings me to Chan. Chan, whose blog can be found here, is a y*nkee fan. After reading the preview to this post, where I mentioned the bookselling sympathizer, Chan said he's in that boat as well.
Chan came from a foreign land half a planet away when he was around 15. That was almost 15 years ago. The first person to attempt to "get him into baseball" was another friend of ours, Jim, a true y*nkee fan who I believe actually was born in the Bronx. So Jim made Chan a y*nkee fan. In the early '90s, I tried to make Chan a Red Sox fan. I knew he'd already chosen the y*nks as his team, but I felt there was still time for him. I took him to a Sox game at Fenway, and I remember saying to him, C'mon, just root for the Red Sox. I could see this was gonna be difficult for him, if not impossible. I remember thinking, You're such a good person, you CAN'T be a y*nkee fan. But I guess it was too late.

After knowing him all these years, though, and reading his blog now, where he talks about how someone told him, "It's like you have a cloud over your head all the time," I say to myself, and now to you, "That's not a y*nkee fan, that's a Red Sox fan." And like I said, he says he's a sympathizer, so we'll see.

So maybe it's about one's personality. If you've got the right kind, you can do anything, including switching loyalties from one side of a rivalry to the other. But is that good? Well, only if you're LEAVING the dark side, heh heh. But what I really want, I think, is for everyone to just choose already. It's like they got their '96 championship, and they were all happy, and then they got '98, and '99, and by 2000 it was getting old, and now there's been this few years where they're all teetering on the Bronx, so to speak. Just choose! Is there enough y*nkee fan left in them so that they almost have to see the Red Sox win BEFORE they switch over? Maybe it's just not comfortable to go from saying, My team just won a few years ago--for the 26th time, to saying, My team hasn't won in almost 90 years--and that was only the 5th time.

Like that bookseller guy said, "It's a hard habit to break." But Peter Cetera said similar words, so unless you wanna be like him, and do cheesy duets with Cher.....join us....join us......JOIN US........

Note: Please don't read into my use of the words "sir" and "man," in this post, when I could've used the female equivalents, escpecially in the former case.

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