Friday, April 09, 2004

The other day I was whining about how the "real" media is obviously checking the web sites made "by the people." And how I thought it wasn't fair that Dirt Dogs is therefore speaking for all of us Sox fans, because it's a very popular site. Well sure enough, today I read on Bambino's Curse that Peter Gammons checks out Dirt Dogs and the SoSH message board to see what fans are thinking. So there you go. Gammons could've said, I do a thorough search of the web to see what fans are thinking, but no. At least he threw SoSH in there, so he actually does see a lot of DIFFERENT opinions, but he didn't say RedSoxNation, which is my board of choice, and has an arcade. (Check out my high score at Snake. Heh heh.) Ed of Bambino's Curse also was pretty peeved that Gammons didn't mention HIS site. So Ed, don't worry, the REAL people are going to your site.

(I wonder if Gammons had went to THIS site, what he would've thought of me calling him Peter "God, I love the yankees" Gammons.)

Magic # Thru 4/9: 158

The bad news is: We're now an under .500 team. I'm not worried, though, especially because of the good news, which is that the yanks are already showing signs of weakness. Any combination of just 158 Red Sox wins and yankee losses, and we beat 'em. The yanks are also committing early-90s-yankees-style blunders. Keep rooting for chaos in the Bronx, everybody. The phony dynasty MUST be toppled.

Here's a quote from Bob Raissman's article (New York Daily News) about opening day at yankee Stadium:

"On the radio it wasn't enough listeners could hear the crowd go wild when Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate for the first time in his Yankee Stadium debut. Pompous Inc., aka John Sterling and Charley Steiner, felt compelled to verbally dip this moment in bronze, like two doting mothers preserving their babies' first pair of shoes. 'If you were a player like A-Rod wouldn't you want to give your all to these fans?' Sterling asked. 'Now, he (A-Rod) is a Yankee.' In Japan, was A-Rod a sushi chef?"

Read the rest here. This article sums up what I've been sayin' about the yankees. (Thanks to my dad, for bringing this article to my attention.)

Another example of the pomposity of Sterling: Today I heard parts of the Sox game and parts of the yanks game on the radio. In each game, I heard a great defensive play described. When Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Trupiano announced the play he saw, he let the audience know what a great play it was, and basically showed that he was impressed with the skills displayed by the fielder. In the yankees game, when John Sterling made his call, the impression I got was that Sterling felt proud, not just of Derek Jeter, who made the play, but of himself, for being THE person who got to tell "the world" about this play, which he, simply by being there, made happen. Make it so, Sterlingius proclaimed, his voice booming from high on Olympus... Anyway, if you've never heard anything from Sterling beyond, "It is high, it is far...", trust me, it gets worse. He's not as bad as Michael Kay, though. At least with Kay being on the television side now, I can turn his voice off and still watch the game. And Charlie Steiner, god and baby jesus, that guy is clueless. At least those other two know a little bit about the basics of announcing a baseball game. Steiner will leave you hanging for what seems like five minutes, leaving you to try to guess what's going on on the play by judging the crowd noise. You know SOMETHING'S going on down on the field, and Charlie knows, but he ain't tellin'...

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Cases Against Conformity

I hate how all the MLB sites are connected to each other. If you go to some other team's site besides the Red Sox', you'll see how it's laid out exactly the same. As Sir Mix-A-Lot once said, "I ain't down with that."

Here's where problems arise because of it: On the Sox' site right now, there's a button offering fans to bid on a Bill Buckner/Mookie Wilson autographed photo of the moment when the ball went through Billy Buck's legs. I know I don't need to say any more. But I will say: "Why did Buckner sign that picture anyway? How many more did he sign?"

Anyway, I'm sure this is on there because anything MLB is auctioning probably automatically shows up on the site of the team or teams involved. But sweet Gedman, you'd think somebody would have caught this goof.

In other nonconformity news, how sweet was it that Johnny Damon went 5-for-5 AND robbed a homerun last night?

On Hench's Hardball on dirtdogs, Hench asks if anyone else noticed that Johnny's "a step slower" this year. The answer is yes, ESPN's Jon Miller, on Opening Night. He said it repeatedly, and said it was due to the way he looks with his hair. I can't believe Hench took this half-joking statement and acted like it was his own observation, and that it had some kind of merit. Like you could tell from one game if a guy is slower than he was the year before. Anyway, I love Damon, and his hair, and his super duper speed. I'm proud of my 1st place team.

The Orioles: yankees Lite

When did the Orioles turn into the yankees? Not in terms of win-loss record, of course, but I think this franchise has decided to follow the yankee mold of crappiness.

When Javy Lopez homered off of Pedro on Opening Night, did you hear the yankee stadium-esque siren blaring? And what was with the fans showing life and getting all over Pedro--when the yanks are in town they sit there in quiet awe. But maybe that's because of the fact that their team lays down and dies for the yankees repeatedly.

And what with Ripken tutoring A-Rod on how to play third, and Joe Torre calling up Mazzilli before the season to wish his little apprentice luck, this team is becoming a sister-squad of the yankees.

But I've got more. Last year, me and Pat went to Camden Yards, and a suspicious thing happened. The scoreboard started to flash the score of the yanks game, which was in progress. I think they were playing Oakland. We see, "Oakland 2..." So everyone cheered, assuming they were ahead of the yanks. (I say 'everyone' because there were so many New Englanders there, it was a home game for the Sox) Then they flash the rest of the score: "yankees 6" What?? That's right, they knew that 60% of the crowd was Sox fans, and just to piss us off, they deceive the entire ball park. The O's fans loved that one. First of all, that's just not right. When you're at a Major League Baseball game, shouldn't the scores of the other games be given in a fair manner? It's not like it's "Guess the Attendance." Second of all, aren't the Orioles supposed to be chasing the yankees, like we are? Why would they be rooting for a non-division opponent to beat the team they're trying to catch in the standings?

On Bambino's Curse, Ed talks about an a-hole Oriole fan he had to deal with on Tuesday. I think I saw this same guy when I was there:) They really like to fight, those O's fans. The guy and his buddies at one of the games we were at were really aggressive. And this wasn't in the cheap seats, either. But that's just a few bad kiwis in the bunch, as I know some fine upstanding O-Birds fans as well.

The "Real" Magic Number Thru April 7th: 159

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Become The Sports Media

Jello Biafra called one of his spoken-word albums "Become the Media." He just meant that we the proverbial people should think for ourselves, and spread the word of truth, instead of just blindly believing what's shoved down our throats.

In the sports world, I believe it should be no different. And with the internet, it really is like having a "new media," made by the fans. I'm happy about this, but as with everything else, we need to make sure the new boss isn't just the old boss in different bunny slippers. Let's take, for example, Boston Dirt Dogs. There are some very good things about this site. One of them being that when you're there, you're one click away from so many baseball and Red Sox related sites. I am grateful for that. But the opinions on that site drive me crazy. I'm so sick of reading negative things about Pedro and Manny. And when he/she/they tell Johnny Damon to cut his hair, I'm reminded of my mongoloid JV baseball coach in high school who would repeatedly mock me about my long hair. That macho a-hole is why I quit playing baseball. You know, after the A-Rod deal, I had a sneaking suspicion that Dirt Dog was really Steinbrenner, but now that he's telling Red Sox players to cut their hair, I'm sure it's him.

I understand there's a certain tongue-in-cheek-ness that goes along with these Dirt Dog headlines, but I think they make it pretty clear that they are seriously concerned with the fact that there is or are a player or players on the team who don't look exactly like them. Funny, there's all this talk about the curse, and how "none of us really believe it, the media made it up!" Well, it's not comforting to know that what we're REALLY worried about is the length of the players' hair.

I say "we" because Dirt Dogs is now representing Red Sox fans. And this is what I'm worried about.

You see, as much as I disagree with the some of the opinions on that site, I believe they've got every right to have and post them. But as it's gotten more popular, we've seen how the "real" media has consulted it to find out what the "real" fans are thinking. And since Dirt Dogs just wants to run all the free spirits off the team (the very players who make this team such a joy to watch), that's what the media will end up reporting. How is that different from all the "real" media morons, who've always just wanted to see the team fail anyway, and tick off the stars so they'll leave and sign with the yankees?

We have a pitcher on our team who might be the best of all time. And he's pissed off. Why should he be? We all buy shirts with his name on the back; we pay more money than some small countries have just to see him perform; we love his wacky antics. The people who I know--in real life--who are Red Sox fans, love Pedro Martinez. The reason why he's pissed is because of what stupid, old white dudes write in the newspaper. We have a chance to change what he thinks by replacing those dinosaurs. But instead, we leave it in the hands of basically ONE website---which repeatedly refers to Curt Schilling as the ace. (which has nothing to do with respect for Schilling) What are these people trying to do? What do they stand to gain by helping to make Pedro skip town? Unless, of course, they're actually Steinbrenner. Besides, do they think that if Pedro leaves, we can just replace him with someone who's as good, but looks and thinks like "us?" I'm really freakin' worried that Pedro's reading this stuff online! All he has to do is look at Schilling's Dirt Dogs T-shirt to get the address!

I love that Schill has this special connection with the fans. But if he sees that he's being called the ace on a website that he's promoting on his shirt, why doesn't he write to that website and tell them that Pedro's the "ace" as it stands right now and if you don't stop calling me the ace, I'll never make another internet post. (Again, none of this would matter if Dirt Dogs was simply a fan site, but he and they and everyone knows it's basically another Boston newspaper. Well, y'know, minus the actual story that normally follows a headline.)

I wish everyone who posted at SoSH and RedSoxNation would start their own site. There should be multiple sites that have the kind of "clout" that Dirt Dogs has. Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. But it's not how hard I look that matters, it's how hard those media creeps do, if they look at all...

Magic Number Thru 4/6: 160

Just before A-Rod struck out to end tonight's yanks-Devil Rays game, Hell No declared his home run in the first inning the "Play of the Game." Yeah, that homer really set the tone for the yanks 9-4 LOSS. Mussina shelled again. Awesome.

Got to see the Sox game from the fourth inning on down at the Bean, nice to see Schilling and Foulke start off right. The win combined with the yanks' loss put the Magic Number to Finish Ahead of the yankees at 160.

Today's example of a reporter saying that the yankees bullpen has improved, and then mentioning specifically Gordon and Quantrill: Peter "God, I Love the yankees" Gammons.

Today's line on Quantrill: 2/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 HBP

Monday, April 05, 2004

I Love Pedro Martinez

A caller on the FAN in NYC today was whining about how Pedro doesn't have it anymore, and all he does is intimidate people. "He drilled Segui!", he said. The hosts, Mac & Sid, two Met fans who should be way more anti-yankee than they are, did a fairly good job of telling the guy he was being ridiculous, but they did point out that after Pedro gives up a home run, someone's gonna pay.

Okay, last night's "incident," of Pedro hitting Diego Segui was an accident, nothing more. Didn't anyone who didn't know already find out like a week ago that Pedro and Segui have been friends at least since 1995-7, when they were teammates in Montreal? And was it the batter after the home run? No. Why would he wait a batter, just so he could hit his good friend? Also, Joe Morgan on ESPN2 pointed out correctly that the pitch got away from Pedro in the same spot as a pitch earlier in the game. (Only a righty was up, so nobody got hurt.) Another article which proves that the two are friends can be found here. This is from the Sporting News circa 2000, and also gives a good impression of the non-start day Pedro.

Then today, I read Shaughnessy's article about last night's performance, and do you know he said the same thing as Mac & Sid said: Someone had to pay. And he makes no reference to the fact that Pedro and Segui are buddies. And while at bambino's curse, I saw an excerpt from a Washington Post article that said that Pedro has nothing left but intimidation. These two writers said the same two dumb things that the caller and the hosts said on the FAN. People need to, well, I'm gonna quote Kurt Cobain here, after all, he's been gone 10 years as of today: "Hate your enemies, Save your friends, Find your place, Speak the truth"

Does that make any sense?

The Boston media is as bad as the New York media, but for much different reasons. Most of these Boston sportswriters just want to stir up crap, and want to see the Red Sox lose. And I'm getting frustrated, and I'm starving.

Oh, and apparently New Haven is getting NESN now, so congrats to you in NH, hopefully I'm next...

Good Signs For Connecticut

Well, the magic number stayed at 162. Schill will get 'em on Tuesday.

A couple of Connecticut related items:

1. The Red Sox gained a new radio affiliate down in Greenwich, in extreme Southwest CT-1490 AM. I don't think it will come in any better than TIC in Hartford for me here in Danbury, but it's a good sign that the team actually made a strong move to gain more listeners, not only in Fairfield County, but Westchester County in New York as well. Maybe NESN isn't far behind for us Fairfielders.

2. After tonight's game, I flipped on Mike'd Up, Mike Francessa's weekly sports show on the New York NBC station. He had his buddy Mad Dog on with him, as they did the show live from the Final Four in San Antonio. Behind them was a rowdy group of drunken UConn fans, who were loud enough to distract Mike and the Mad Dog several times. (Although I was born and raised in CT, I never was a UConn fan--and neither was anyone else before they got good.) So these fans are yelling and chanting and reacting to everything that was said, and then as Mike is throwing it to a commercial, he says, happily, "We saw a Red Sox loss tonight..." Although I only had a split second, I anxiously awaited the reaction of this group of Connecticut kids. And I was surprised and delighted. It was mostly "Awwwwwwww" and "Boooo" with one audible whistle that I think was pro-yankee. I think the tide is turning, ever so slowly.

CT must become Red Sox Na--, you know, Territory.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Opening Day

If you haven't read Frank DeFord's ridiculous piece of garbage yet, read it here: GARBAGE. Right away you get the gist of the whole article: It's not a rivalry when one team wins all the time. (See my March 20th post.) I thought of those T-shirts yankee fans wear that show the number of championships each team has won, and then says, "What Rivalry?" Wow, what a brilliant article, it's based on a bootleg T-shirt. So my next thought, naturally, was, Hey, that's almost as bad as writing an article based on those "Babe Bucky Buckner Boone" shirts. And sure enough, partially due to the fact that SI.Com highlights proper names in their articles, the next thing I see is those four names. This is like sportswriting for kids. Seriously, it's like reading some elementary school "sports page". In other news, Mr. Zoppi is making us run 20 laps in gym class. No fair!

Anyway, I had my mom read this article and she had a great quote about it: "Remind me, when I'm pushing eighty, to not write anything for public consumption."

Speaking of my mom, it's Opening Day, which always brings back memories of sprinting from the school bus to my house, where my mom would be waiting with a score update, and then I'd get to catch the end of the game. Thanks, mom. (It's on Sunday night this year, I get to see the whole game!)

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