Friday, November 12, 2004

Wait 'Til Last Year

First snow of the year today. Always one of my favorite days. But today wasn't my ideal "first snow." It was basically raining all day, then it turned to sleet, then as I drove north home from work, I started noticing a coating of icy snow on cars. And as I got home, I got to see some flurries, which quickly stopped. Eh.

Here's what I like: It's early afternoon, on a Saturday. No, a Sunday. The first Xmas song of the season has been played on the radio already, so you've been forced into the holiday mood, whether you care to be there or not. You're in your car, on your way home. It's very cold, but you don't mind, because there's snow in the forecast. It's so cold that you know that if it's gonna be falling, it's gonna be in the form of snow. You start to see some flakes. Then--here's the key--the snow starts swirling around on the road. The road isn't getting coated, but the wind is just sweeping little drifts of snow around like, well, like the Red Sox sweeping the Cardinals. As other cars pass you going the other way, more snow dances on the pavement. By the time you get home, there's an inch on the ground, it's getting dark, and you drink hot chocolate while you watch the snow come down under the lights outside. The next morning you wake up and see a healthy foot of snow covering everything. You call in to work, saying you can't get your car shovelled out, even though you could if you wanted to. Then you start thinking about how eventually all the snow will melt, and spring and summer will come around again. It reminds you of watching the Red Sox on a warm August night, and you hope and pray to the baseball gods that next season will be, I mean, just like last season.

Thank you, Boston Red Sox, for making our autumn. But maybe more importantly, our long, cold, snowy, beautiful winter to come.

I feel bad for Floridians.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

"You Didn't Tell Me You Were Gonna Kill It!"

Fittingly, the guy from the Chicago area got the Blues Brothers-related Quiz right: Candy ordered Orange Whips for everybody. The weird thing is that he answered at 10:28 and 57 seconds AM, the same time--to the second--that yesterday's correct answer came in. What's up with that?

Speaking of drinkin' and whatnot, as it turned out, the Sox won the World Series and I still didn't have a drink. And if that didn't do it for me...

Today, a thought came in to my head: "The Charlie Brown Halloween special must be coming up soon!" Then I realized that we're almost halfway through November. It just went to show me how wrapped up in those playoffs I was. (Not that I didn't know already). I mean, to not have anticipated a Charlie Brown special--in any season, that's out of control.

At the Super Foodmart today, I saw a little three year old kid with a Pedro shirt on. He looked up at me in awe, probably thinking I was on the team since I was wearing my Manny jersey and my hat. I loudly said, "Yeah, all right. Sox!" He thought that was pretty cool. And his mom thought it was pretty funny, too.

Anyway, I heard Pavano's meeting with the yanks went "fantastic." But that's meaningless, he's not going to the yanks. I definitely wouldn't mind having Pavano on our side, and as a bonus, he's from Connecticut like me.

Quiz #6: What does Joe Castiglione often refer to the Blue Jays as?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I really think Pedro and Varitek will stay. Everything we're hearing is a bunch of nonsense. They've gotta work something out with Jason, and I think he wants to stay. And nobody's gonna offer Pedro something so much better than what we've offered, that he'd absolutely have to bolt. (Notice I haven't mentioned any other names.)

Today, Joe Torre was on the Michael Y2Kay show. Kay asked how Joe felt about having to go into Fenway and watch the Sox raise the flag on Opening Day. The world's handsomest manager went into a story about being in Florida, and running into a Red Sox fan. He told the guy how the Sox did a good job, and the yanks had a chance but couldn't come through, bla bla bla (Torre actually used the words "bla bla bla"). Then he said that the guy told him, "Now we have nothing to be agitated about." Kay laughed and said, "Yeah, they lost their reason to live!" That piece of crap. Totally not what the guy said. Anyway, Torre just kind of ignored the comment. But then Kay, getting back to Opening Day, said, "Don't even have the team in the dugout, just leave 'em in the clubhouse." (when the flag is raised). Torre said something to the effect of, "No, we'll be out there, we're a proud team, and they deserve to do that." Kay gets shot down! Good for Torre. It was so pathetic the way Kay was sure Torre would agree with him. He said it like he thought he and Joe were both yankee fans from the old neighborhood. "Yeah, we won't even be on the field, screw them, right? Right?" Wrong. It would have been funny if Joe had worded hs response, "No, Micheal, we're not going to wuss out and hide like YOU apparently would."

Torre also said he didn't watch the World Series, but wasn't surprised by the results. And that he's "over" the choke. And he called Steinbrenner five or six days after, and asked if the boss was over it. Boss said no, so Torre "lied" and told him he wasn't either so poor George wouldn't feel all alone.

I'll say this about Torre. I hear him interviewed a lot--he does a segment with Mike & the Mad Dog every week--and he's so comfortable talking on the air, I get the feeling he's in his kitchen in his robe, cooking eggs while he's on the phone. And compared to most other athletes, it's good to hear someone just speak in a normal, real-life, conversational tone, instead of, "Yeah, my teammates came through for myself, and myself gives them all the credit in the world."

Okay, I've said my nice thing about a yankee for this decade. In fact, I better say a few bad things about Torre to make up for that. Let's see, oh right, he's not that great at managing, as he proved with the other teams he managed that didn't have a huge payroll. Also, he came out and said Schilling was faking his injury. Terrible job, Mr. Torre. Oh, and when he comes out to the mound to take out a pitcher, I imagining him saying "!"

Quiz #5

Award-winning (I gotta assume) thespian Alan Hale, Jr.'s often disgruntled, always optimistic, brave and sure old sea captain was known to his fellow castaways on Gilligan's Island as "Skipper." But Skipper's given name was Jonas Grumby.

Someone named Mike wins Quiz #4. Congratulations. I was thinking that I actually will give out a prize, but not for each quiz. Whoever wins five quizzes (you have to be the first to answer correctly to get a win)will win the grand prize. The current leader board: The Bosnian-1, Mike-1, Anonymous-1. And one quiz had no winner.

Quiz #5: (this should be easy) What drink does John Candy order for himself and the other cops in The Blues Brothers?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A Three Hour Tour

Dirt dog continues to act like the Red Sox kidnapped his only son with this ID card thing. He's now saying to give $ to charity instead of accepting this never-actually-offered offer. (How many dirt dogs hats and T-shirts has he sold by now? And how much of that cash went to charity? Tell me if some did, because I really don't know.) Remember the person who wrote the quote that dirt dog used to show that since one fan doesn't like the idea, ALL fans must not like it? ("I'll never pay $5 to prove I'm a Red Sox fan") And remember how I pointed out that the first reply on SoSH to that was "I will, since I spend more than enough money on Red Sox gear to want it for the discounts."? Well, the first guy replied to that with:

"Yeah, I hear you. I've spent my fair share on the Red Sox as well. At first, it bothered me because I felt like people who had the card would think they were better fans just because they spent $5. But, the more I think about it, I don't really care what other fans think. I know where I'm at when it comes to the Sox. So if people want to pay $5 as a "short-cut" to fandom (and I'm not saying that's everyone, but some will definitely do this), then so be it. Of course, anyone could just buy a shirt and it could be the same "short-cut," so I guess I don't really have a point. Awesome. Uhhh... GO SOX!"

So I guess that person turned out to be a false martyr for the dirt dog "cause." It's great how he says he doesn't care what others think, and correctly points out that buying one of these cards is no different than buying a shirt, which also tells everyone you're a Red Sox fan. Only the shirt costs four times MORE than the card.

So why doesn't dirt dog tell everyone who buys a Red Sox T-shirt or hat to give THAT money to the Jimmy Fund? Or stand guard at souvenir stores and not let anyone who he doesn't consider a real fan walk out with Red Sox merchandise, if that's what he's worried about?

This card, which, by the way, none of us know the exact details about, is just another T-shirt. Only you carry it in your wallet, the Red Sox gather info from it(believe me, they're not going to harm you or your family in any way, or monitor your movements, or put a chip on your brain), and you get a discount on your next T-shirt.

Seriously, Red Sox T-shirts are worse than this card, if you want to look at it from a "Who's a real fan?" perspective. Because you can be a fake, front-running fan, and use a T-shirt to fool people into thinking you're a real fan a lot easier than you can a card, which you'd have to go around waving in people's faces.

I hate group mentality. I think most fans probably heard about this from dirtdogs, and so the first thing you hear about the idea is how stupid it is, so of course a lot of people's opinion is going to be skewed by that. I'm just glad the guy who DD used as an example actually ended up thinking more about it, and changing his opinion to the MINORITY side.

This reminds me of this moment in elementary school. The teacher asked a yes/no question. The correct answer was "yes." He went around the room, asking each student for their answer. So the first kid, who wasn't very smart, and who I felt bad for because he was mildly retarded, said "no." The second kid, a popular kid answering with much more confidence, said "yes." The third kid sided with the popular kid: "Yes." As did the fourth. I don't need to tell you that after everyone had answered, there was still just one "no" in the "no" column. So the fourteenth kid ended up getting the right answer, just for being a conformist, while that first kid had to take a stab at the answer, with no one else's opinion to fall back on. (It would've been sweet if the retarded kid had been the only one who got the right answer.

And a few years ago, when my friend Brian and I had a public access show, we were going around asking people, "Who would win in a fight, Glenn Danzig or Henry Rollins?" When we got to a group of children, who were probably the same age as I was in the previous story, the first said Danzig, and the second said Rollins. Since no one knew who these people are, the next person just sided with the last: "Rollins." "Rollins." "Rollins." "Rollins." "Rollins."

I guess I didn't really need to explain group mentality to all you adult people. But I'm just sayin', once one opinion starts gathering steam, it's hard to stop.

So if and when the Sox do come out with these cards, try to get the official story, and make up your mind based on the facts, and not someone else's opinion. If you want the card, get it. If you don't want it, don't get it. But don't tell people they're stupid if their choice differs from yours. Look, I'm usually the king of complaining about stuff that probably doesn't matter. And I'm not to worried about this thing. So, take that for what it is or isn't worth. I know, about 5 bucks, right?

Back to reality, the answer to the last Quiz was Police Academy 3. No one guessed, so no one wins the two-acre plot in Palm Coast, Florida. Reid Nichols over in the Quiz department has done some evaluating of the Quizzing process, and found that lack of interest in the Quizzes is due to lack of relevant content. He suggests more questions with a Red Sox theme.

Well, as you can see, I've overriden that bastard. Next Quiz question:

What was the Skipper's actual name on Gilligan's Island? (The character's name, not the actor's name.)

Monkey Business


Management Scared Off By Fans Gone Ape

"We saw that monkey and we knew we'd made a terrible error," said Larry Lucchino. "God bless dirt dog for telling us what all the fans think. He definitely has a larger penis than I do. We've also told all our players to get crew cuts. Also, all foreign and foreign-looking players have been given their unconditional release."

That's right, this morning's dirt dog headline, surprise again, is:

"Sox Delay Monday Rollout of Fan ID Cards to Rethink Idea After Nation Pressure, Negative Feedback"

How much feedback could they have possibly gotten from an idea they haven't even announced yet? This all sounds fishy to me.

Monday, November 08, 2004

A Nation Is Spoken For

Does it piss you off when one Red Sox fan decides to speak for all Red Sox fans? You've probably heard by now that the Red Sox will be offering people a chance to buy a card for five dollars that shows that they're a member of Red Sox Nation. You can use the card to get discounts on Red Sox gear. You've also probably heard that is PISSED about this. His top fake story shows a picture of a monkey and a five dollar bill in an envelope, implying that any Sox fan that pays the five bucks is a chimp.

I say, first of all, lighten the frig up! Yes, it's a cheesy thing. "Woohoo, look at my Red Sox fan card!" Of course none of us needs a card to remind us what team we root for. But it's no dumber than Wally, or Kid Nation, or that Super Hero trash collector at Fenway. This isn't even a bad idea, in fact. They just had to slap a catchier name on it than "Red Sox Discount Card." Anybody who pays the five is probably someone who buys a lot of Red Sox gear, and surely you'd make up that five and then some buying more gear. And it's FIVE friggin' dollars. Which goes to the Red Sox, who need dough like anybody, as Frank Rizzo once said. You know how much money I've given to this team this season alone, between the 10-Game Plan, T-shirts, food, and playoff tickets? A whole lot more than $5, and, needless to say, I'm VERY happy with the results!!! Think of it this way, this is the least amount of money the Red Sox could charge you for anything, except a Coke, and those might be $5 next year, at the rate they're going. The "convenience fee" on my playoff ticket alone was more than 2 1/2 times the price of this card. Dirt dog is acting like they're charging 50 dollars a pop for it.

Then he quotes someone from the SOSH message board:

"I'll never pay $5 to prove I'm a Red Sox fan."

Ooooooooh, stay away from this guy. I'm shakin' over here. This guy's serious...if I buy this card he might try to kill me, he's outta control! (And I think you "prove" it every time you pay 7 bucks for a beer at Fenway--or 30 to park your car. I love it, people who can afford computers and baseball tickets fussing over FIVE DOLLARS.)

What dirtdog doesn't show us is the very next post on that thread (or any other Sox fan's opinion that differs from his):

"I will, since I spend more than enough money on Red Sox gear to want it for the discounts."

The point is, some people are dead set against this idea, and some people are willing to try it, and some people don't give a shit. And I respect all these people's opinions. Dirtdog, as a flag-wavin' American, should, too. Look, all marketing is stupid. Dirt dog should know this, as that Star-Spangled Banner has been sold so many times over on one cheesy bumper sticker after another since 9-11, the only thing it "stands" for is the way we capitalize on tragedies.

And there are plenty of other people on that board who disagree with dirtdog. One even mentioned the Kiss Army badge. When you compare it to that, it makes this whole thing even more comical. Imagine some Kiss fan in the 70s saying to his diary (you know, because Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet), "I'm so pissed, they're offering Kiss Army badges now. I'm a REAL KISS FAN, I don't need no pansy-ass badge! Fuck 'em!" Everybody might want to think about relaxing here.

One of the original news stories about this card offer contains a quote from a fan who is VERY pissed about the idea. Who is this fan? Dirt Dog! The paper got the quote from him because they own his site (they say this in the article). How fucking stupid is this?

So basically, the average (internet) Sox fan goes to the number one Sox fan site, sees himself pictured as a monkey, is told that he's stupid if he thinks a certain way, clicks on the link to the newspaper story, which contains a quote from a "true Red Sox fan," who agrees with the first site because, surprise, he RUNS that site.

The American Way, I guess. I just hope the Red Sox don't change the way they think because one guy is trying to speak for all of us. But all the guys still have weird hair, so that's a good sign that they don't care about dirtdog's opinions. (Except for Schilling, I guess.)

Another thing that a lot of people on the internet probably don't think of is that not all baseball fans are on the internet. Dirt dog asks why the Sox can't use their free e-mail service to see how many Sox fans there are (which is another reason they're selling these cards). Well, I'm a life-long fan, and it took me years of having the internet to even think about getting Red Sox info there, beyond In the mid-90's, I was strictly searching for Nirvana bootlegs on the web. A lot of people who are really big fans still either don't have a computer, don't have the internet, or just don't use it for baseball-related things.

Of course, this whole thing could be fake. After all, I did hear about it on dirtdogs.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Gedman Mystery Solved

Ortiz hits mega-HR in Japan.

So speaking of Gedman, I saw a Gedman autographed photo on eBay the other day. I won it for $1.32. The picture is a black and white action shot of Rich sliding into third from a low angle, possibly shot from near the first base dugout at Fenway. It's weird to get an autographed of someone on a picture you've never seen before. I was intrigued by the fact that in the shot, you can see those red, white, and blue buntings on the fence in the background. Since they're clearly playing the White Sox (with the big SOX across the chest, and numbers on the pantlegs), I knew it wasn't a playoff game, so I figured it was Opening Day. I checked, which rules, and I looked for an opening series against the White Sox during the 80s. I found the game: April 12, 1982. As Gedman is clearly about to be tagged out in the photo, I knew I had the right game when I saw

"RED SOX 5TH: Gedman doubled to right [Gedman out at third (right to shortstop to third)]"

Rich was trying to stretch a double into a triple! And they ended up losing by one!

I just think it's so cool that you can take a random picture, use a little deductive reasoning, and figure out exactly when it was taken. Especially a picture of Gedman.

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