Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Poll Position

I was watching the Channel 30 (New Britain/Hartford, CT) news last night, and I saw the Aaron Boone home run appear out of nowhere. I quickly turned away, but I listened as the newscasters were talking about a poll of CT baseball fans that was coming up after the break. The male anchor, Gerry Brooks said, "Do we have to see this again?" as they went to commercial. When they came back they showed the results of the poll: CT is made up of 47% yankee fans, 33% Sox fans, and 9% Mets fans. (although the Sox "won" more counties than the yanks)

Eh, they don't know what they're talkin' about, I said, as Gerry signed off with "Go Red Sox".

I wanted to know more about this poll, so I went to Quinnipiac's web site. (see poll results here) (Quinnipiac is a college in Hamden, CT, which seems to exist solely to poll people about various issues. Pay attention to the news as the presidential election approaches, and you'll hear about a Quinnipiac poll every so often.)

The first thing I noticed was that Channel 30 indeed DIDN'T know what they were talkin' about: The yankee number was 43%, not 47%. (That was the number from a poll last July--note how the yanks are losing fans) This is a huge difference. 47 to 33 makes it sound like almost half versus a third. 43 to 33, on the other hand, (and let's not forget about the 3.3% Margin of Error,) is pretty damn close.

But this was a poll of about 900 people, so I'm not taking it too seriously. However: There are 8 counties in CT. The poll results show Fairfield and Hartford's stats individually, and then Middlesex and New Haven are grouped together, as are Tolland, Windham, and New London. (Litchfield, in the NW, is apparently not represented.) Fairfield, where I live, the closest county to NYC, consists of 55% yankee fans, and 10% Red Sox fans. (and 17% Mets fans). When you consider that Fairfield has more people than any other county, and the Red Sox ARE NOT ON TV here, I think you'd have to agree that it should be tossed right out of this poll. Which makes the Red Sox the most popular team in CT.... I know Fairfield is yankee territory, hence the name of my blog, but give people a chance to see this team, and you'd get a lot of people interested in the Red Sox. That logic may fly in the face of what I always say about Sox fans being true fans, as opposed to the frontrunning yankee fan base, but think of it this way: If there are yankee fans who "kinda" wanna see the Sox win (I just met another one today), then surely there are plenty of neutral fans who would start rooting for the Sox, if they just had a chance to see what a fun team they are, and all the other perks and benefits (heh) of being a citizen of Red Sox Nation.

Okay, back to the poll: The first poll question was "How interested are you in following major league baseball --very interested [22%], somewhat interested[35%] or not interested at all?[43%]"

Here's the second question: "If 'Very' or 'Somewhat' interested) What is your favorite major league baseball team?"

So they included the people who said they were only somewhat interested in following baseball in the poll! Remember, "Somewhat Interested" is only ONE step above "Not At All."

But in Tolland, Windham, New London, the "Very" number is 28, and the "Somewhat" is 38. And there, 46% are Sox fans, and 36% are yankee fans. So where there's more interest, there are more Sox fans.

I don't know, according to this wacky poll there are as many Orioles fans in Hartford County as Mets fans. And 1 in 20 baseball fans root for the Cubs in Eastern CT. So who knows what people are thinking.

But I guarantee you, if you took the same poll in '86, the Mets and yankees numbers would flip flop. That huge "Somewhat Interested" crowd is just a hotbed for yankee bandwagon activity. These outrageously low Met numbers show me that a large chunk of fans go from Mets to yankees depending on the standings, but also should show MLB and the cable companies that they might want to reconsider the current baseball "zoning" of our state.

Key win tonight, which I would've LOVED to see. Magic number down to 109. Unfortunately within a minute of the game ending, I watched some dude on the Rockies--the tying run--get caught stealing to END the game against the yanks. Absolutely terrible. Lucky bastards. The guy slid WAY to the inside of the base, almost touching grass as he slid, allowing the fielder, who caught the late throw three feet in front of second, to tag the guy on the chest. Unbelievable. Wait til we play those guys again...

Monday, June 07, 2004

We Are The Pac-Men!

Since I used to be in a band called The Pac-Men, it is only fitting that I am now the reigning Pac-Man champion in the arcade over at RedSoxNation.Net.

The ghosts in that Pac-Man game don't have the same personalities (ghostalities?) as they do in the real arcade game. Blinky should be the aggressor; Clyde aka Bashful should be, well, you know, like Manny.

In this version, there's not much rhyme or reason to what the ghosts are trying to accomplish. Sometimes they seem to actually be protecting the power pellet, which is unheard of in the arcade. And you can tell when one is going for the kill. But they definitely get dumber as they get faster. So try to stay alive for as many boards as possible--this is more important than eating ghosts, I think. Plus, if you can get to the "key" boards, those keys are worth 5 grand a pop, and they come up a lot of times per board. In the arcade they only come up twice per board.

While I'm giving away secrets, here's the key to the game Snake (which I also have the high score to, heh heh.) Play the middle speed. At the fast speed, I topped out in the 4 thousands. At the middle speed, I think I got 5600 or so, before it got erased.

What does this have to do with the Red Sox? Uhhhh...the Red Sox, uh, go through season after season, "boards" if you will, and, uh, try to avoid the ghosts. And every time they finish a season, they power up for the next, but the ghosts are there again all powered up as well. And it never f***ing ends.

Yeah, that's it.

The Luck Is Already Going Back The Other Way

I'm going to Fenway on Wednesday. On top of my 10-game plan, I got tix to two other games. One of them being Wednesday. I could've chosen Tuesday (or Thursday), but I figured, break up the week, go for Wednesday. Had I chosen Tuesday, I'd get to see Pedro pitch, I'd get to see fatboy Wells pitch and boo the crap out out of him, and I'd possibly get to see Nomar's return. Oh well. Gimme a win and I'll be happy.

Listened to my boy Kay today, as he decided to show up for his radio show. He was trying to say that certain athletes should be considered "champions" whether or not they actually played on a championship team. His example was, "you can't tell me Don Mattingly's not a champion." I'm telling you, Michael, he's not. Sorry. Since when do yankee fans allow people that never won a championship to be called champions? Oh wait, 2001, when "both teams won" the World Series. Man, I keep forgetting who I'm dealing with here.

He also was saying, "You can't tell me Karl Malone's not a champion, just because Jordan pushed off and made the final shot against the Jazz." Uhhh...

The point is, I would've loved to call in at that moment, and said, "So, Michael, Pedro Martinez is definitely a champion, right? If Aaron Boone doesn't hit a bad knuckleball out, the Sox would've definitely won. You can't tell me he's not a champion!" And the whole '86 team for that matter, "Come on Kay, if Calvin Schiraldi could've just gotten one more strike, it would've been over, therefore, Dave Stapleton and Al Nipper are definitely champions." I think his whole deal was that he was confusing "champion" with "superstar."

Just another one of Kay's mental problems. He's so damn stubborn that if he says something, even if he clearly hasn't thought the whole thing through, he'll stick to that opinion, no matter what. He could never admit to being wrong.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Lucky Weekend

I was just saying the other day that I always wished I could hang out with someone who was in jail for 50 years, so I could tell them everything they missed. And then bring them to the beach and show them Jet-Skis. You know, stuff like that. Except nowadays, they've got TV in jail so they pretty much all know what's going on. But I'm sure there are plenty of people who've been in a coma for a while. I'd like to get on a list of people that get to show newly-awakened coma victims around. But their family members probably have that covered.

So I was in NYC on Friday with two friends, and we met up with my friend's other friend who lives in the city, and who I'd never met before. (I insisted we eat at the Riviera Cafe on West 4th Street, where the Red Sox are always the featured game, and Sox fans rule.) So this guy--the one I'd never met--had been in Europe and Central America for the last year, and missed the whole baseball season, and wanted me to fill him in on the '03 playoffs. So in a way, I got my wish. Only this was even better, because I got to talk about just baseball. (He's aware of the microwave oven, VCRs, etc.)

It was kinda cool to relive the whole thing, except for the end, of course. But still, it was like therapy in a way. It was good to say some things out loud that I'd kept inside since last October. Plus, the guy is a very anti-yankee New Yorker despite not being a huge baseball fan, so he was sympathetic. (Had he been a yankee fan, I'd have been outnumbered 3 to 1 at the table.)

Unfortunately, that night's game was a bummer.

But the next luck changed.

My friend Chan had an extra ticket to Bob Dylan at the Mohegan Sun casino. I can't pretend to be a big Dylan fan, but I figured: A. How often do you get to see a living legend? B. It's free. and C. I'll be at a place where I can bet the Belmont Stakes.

So we headed for Uncasville, CT, about a two hour ride.

We got there and Chan decided he'd throw in an equal amount to what I bet, and we'd split any winnings, since he knows nothing about betting on horses. So I decided that if we were gonna win any kind of serious cash, we'd have to go against Smarty Jones. The big plan I devised? Bet on every other horse. I figured that way, all we'd have to do is root for eight horses out of nine, and if the second choice wins, we'd get break (roughly) even, and if any other horse won, based on the odds, we score pretty big.

So when that 4 horse was gaining down the stretch, knowing he'd gone off at 35-1, me and Chan were going nuts. It was like Times Square on New Years' eve inside the betting area to begin with, and that race made it even crazier. That was definitely my favorite horse race of all time. Me and Chan got like 90 bucks each.

Then we found out Reagan died. Four years ago, my friend Bruce and I made a one dollar bet: Who will die first, the Pope or Ronald Reagan? I chose the Pope. Damn you Reagan, screwing the little guy yet again. So I won a bet and I lost a bet, but the loss was negligible.

So then we headed over to the arena, and literally put our butts in our seats as the PA was saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, Bob Dylan..." No waiting. At a concert. Me and Chan timed it just right.

Dylan was pretty cool. He sounded like Adam Sandler a lot, though. He said nothing to the crowd except for introducing the band. "On guitar, deeb deeeba; dooba deebadoob, druuums." Everything he plays is way different than the way it was originally written. I could barely make out Like A Rolling Stone, It Ain't Me, and Highway 61. Chan said the last song was All Along The Watchtower. I completely missed this, despite being familiar with the tune.

Going home, after my lucky day, I knew the Red Sox had won. Schilling on the mound, after such a bad spell, they had to have won. Fortunately I was right. And with today's win, which I also missed most of, the magic number is down to 110 through D-Day.

My friend Calvin informed me that Michael Kay has signed a five-year contract with the "Hell, No" network. If there is a god, I invite him or her to please help us all.

One final note: RIP Robert Quine

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Location: Rhode Island, United States